A Circle of Many: The Avon Walk

Last night we had dinner with our friends Abby and Joel. They are extremely funny, good-natured and down to earth people. We go to Atlantic City with them; they introduced us to the Secret Restaurant; our sons play Little League together. Joel is an executive in Big Media -- he runs the show that runs the shows, along with the games, the programming and even some advertising. His circle of work touches many other circles, through what you see and hear via his media outlets. Joel is a good guy, and not just because he kept finding excuses for me to leave our wireless coverage-free table, walk outside, and get a Yankees score.

Our main topic of conversation was Abby's participation in last week's Avon Walk For Breast Cancer in New York City. Abby walked a marathon over the course of two days, an athletic accomplishment for which she trained for about a year. It was an intense conversation because it's a topic that touched all of us. My Aunt May, truly a grandparent figure in my childhood, died 15 years ago as a result of breast cancer. Today my daughter carries her memory as a middle name. We have had a number of scares in our own circle of family and friends. Abby walked in honor of her grandmother, who lost the fight, and three of Abby's friends, who have breast cancer and are fighting it daily.

Abby raised a good chunk of change -- several thousand dollars. She did it by using her local and electronic communities, via email and more traditional means. We supported Abby through an on-line donation. By making it trivially easy to learn about, donate to, support and encourage participants in the events, the Avon Walk has created thousands of micro-communities. It's as simple to learn about the Avon Walk and to donate as it is to forward a joke you get from a co-worker. Each circle of many can be grown by passing on an email or a URL. Each circle is bound tightly by someone's pink ribbons.

As a new blogging wonk (a "blonk"?) I still have to write down ideas when they're fresh, otherwise I forget them before I'm near a keyboard. Last night's dinner was captured with "Randall's Island". Abby described the feeling of waking up on the second day of the walk, on Randall's Island just to the east of mid-town New York city. As she surveyed the skyline, she felt that she had just conquered the city. Abby did what every athlete and politician in the city wishes to do -- she came out on top, emotionally, physically, and in pure terms of social benefit. Abby is the pride of Big Media - at home and in the large - as well as her internet circle of many.

Comments:

An idea. Sun is releasing the "rented computing power" and, I supose you will be building a big Datacenter with hundreds of machines. Why not use the CPUs not sold to participate in the folding@home project? Not only you would be helping the world to be a better place but, I'm sure you would be very well positioned in the ranks (your marketing would be very happy with the free publicity), you would get an 100% CPU utilization of your Datacenter (but with no compromise to your paying customers) and, you would benchmark the reliability of your CPUs for real, not a statistical number.

Posted by Jaime Cardoso on October 10, 2004 at 07:10 AM EDT #

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Hal Stern's thoughts on software, services, cloud computing, security, privacy, and data management

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