Author Archives: Zane Cassidy

About Zane Cassidy

My blog www.cloudthinking.me is a place for becoming something else.

A Short Documentary

Good news! Mike and I have found someone to interview us about the Cali Cares journey. Our goal is to digitally document this project and have it subtitled in Japanese. We hope that victims of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami will appreciate our sincere condolences. Our wish is that you can  look out towards the ocean with optimism in your heart. Remember, when you look west, you are also looking towards us, your friends.  We care about you and your struggle. We look forward to a brighter future for Japan and California.

-Zane

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Going to Japan?

Hey everyone,

Mike and I are considering going to Japan next year as a way to finalize the Cali Cares journey.  The idea came to us when we heard about this opportunity:

Japan Tourism Agency to give out 10,000 flights to would be tourists

The Japan Tourism Agency plans to ask would-be travellers to submit online applications for the free flights, detailing which areas of the country they would like to visit, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper said.

The agency will select the successful entrants and ask them to write a report about their trip which will be published on the internet.

Needless to say, we were going crazy over the idea of actually going to Japan.  After researching this news more I found out that this opportunity is not a for sure thing yet.  In any case, Mike has been editing the video footage from his trip and is making a short video.  We plan on submiting this, with our personal interviews, and crossing our fingers.

I get the goosebumps thinking about Mike being able to ride a stretch of the Japanese coast on the same bike he road down our coast.  I can’t think of a more fitting end for this journey.

For more on the travel opportunity check out this article from the Telegraph.

-Zane

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Sharing a blog

Hello,  I hope everyone is doing well.  Take a look at this blog, written by a Belgian couple living in Japan for a year.  Just days ago, on July 31st, they experienced what it is like to feel an earthquake for the firs time.

http://thejapans.wordpress.com/

Mike and I are both working on other projects but we will keep updating the blog from time to time.  If you are interested in my next blog endeavor check out Thought Metabolism over the next few days.

Thanks for stopping by and as we say;  may you always be close to someone who cares.

-Zane

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Cool Design

found at ffffound.com

-Zane

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Opening up to the rest of the world

Mike and I haven’t talked for a while, we live hours from each other, so we generally communicate only when we are struck with a new idea or concept.  Today I gave him a call and asked him what he thought about opening the Cali Cares blog up to other forms of humanitarian awareness.  Apparently, he had been thinking the same thing!

So, we have decided to enter what I consider a “camel phase.” We will absorb and distribute information about humanitarian concerns (in the US and abroad) and the role that tech and culture play in how we interact with these concerns.

There is no end goal right now, we just want to get a good idea of what is going on out there.

Today I want to share this article about US aid to famine stricken Somalia, courtesy of BBC news Africa. And also this post from the Snowblog titled, “Somalia’s famine: their agony and our historic part in it.”

Crisis has gripped the Horn of Africa

There is an immediate need for intervention.  The US has agreed to intervene so long as their presence is not threatened.  Apparently, large areas of south and central Somalia are controlled by Al-Shabab, a group affiliated with al-Qaeda, and recognized as a terrorist organization by the US.

Donald Steinber, deputy administrator of the US Agency for International Development, has insisted that the potential US presence is  to save lives and, “not to play a game of ‘gotcha’ with a UN agency or any other group that is brave enough to go in and provide that assistance” (courtesy of BBC).

The Snowblog has another take on this crisis, and it spans back decades, to a time when the author was a young reporter in Somalia.

The next few weeks will mean life and death for many Somalis.  Our thoughts are with them at this time.

-Zane

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Congratulations Japan and a Re-Post

Hey Everyone,

Mike’s bike ride finished about a week ago and we have both started moving on to other projects.  But, I keep finding myself thinking about Cali Cares!  Today I wanted to say congratulations to the Japanese women’s soccer team for becoming World Cup champions!

It was very difficult for me to choose a side the entire game but I was glad to see Japan win.  And it was such a historic victory… They had never been to the semi-finals let alone the final, never beaten the US, they fell behind twice, and had to face the world no.1 goalie in a penalty shootout.  It reads just like a Hollywood underdog story, except it’s their reality, and a living example of their optimism and perseverance.

Now, for the re-post.  These are my thoughts on the Cali Cares journey, from start to finish, written on July 9th.

The Cali Cares campaign has nearly reached its end.  Thank you for following Mike’s ride, and if you read his last post you know that there will be one or two more turns left in this journey.

I have been thinking a lot about Cali Cares over the past week.  Today I would like to share my thoughts on what I consider to be a successful and enlightening project.

A sketch by Mike for a Cali Cares brochure. Circa April 2011.

In my eyes, Cali Cares has become more than just raising support and awareness for survivors of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.  It is a story of one man’s dedication, and a testament, that all of us are capable of doing more.

To my knowledge, before Cali Cares the farthest Mike would ride was 2 miles down to the beach and he certainly wasn’t worried about where he would stay the night.  That’s not to say he didn’t train, he did, but there were a lot more questions than answers when this voyage began.  Now he can ride 60 or more miles a day, he met some amazing people, was privileged tobreathtaking scenery, and he helped raise money for a good cause.

I have to include myself in here as well.  Before Cali Cares I had little knowledge about Japan, experience with blogs, charities, etc.. but I have come away from this project feeling educated.  Both Mike and I have found that by helping others we have ultimately helped ourselves.

For these reasons alone I feel like this project has been a success.  However, I have learned a few other things, and I feel it would be a shame not to share them with you.

A few months ago Mike came to me with this question:

“How can I show these people halfway across the world that I sincerely care about them?”

With all of the footage on the news it certainly made us feel like we live in a glass box.  But, an empowering thing happened as we explored Mike’s question… We found that while technology may have helped to construct a glass box, it also has the potential to break this box, and provide a level of support which is more human than we first realized.

To some extent technology has caused a rift in what we can do; we can observe but when we reach out our hand we hit a glass wall.  This is concerning for me because I believe we need to look out for our global neighbors. With regards to Japan, we share the Pacific Ocean, we share the same heart, we share the same faults, and we can be there for each other as our fates become “our fate.”

It’s only a matter of time before future disasters in other parts of the world affect us economically, environmentally, emotionally, etc…  But what we learned over the course of this project is that we can use websitesblogssocial media devices, and other neat things (double impact and free rice) to provide support for people outside of our physical range.  And the type of support is becoming more immediate, personalized, and sincere.

I think that Cali Cares has become an example of this.  I don’t know how many survivors have seen this blog, perhaps zero, but it is now documented that we care about you and your struggle, we love you, and we want you to love the ocean and the earth again.

Knowing that we are leaving this legacy has given us a certain satisfaction… We have answered Mike’s question.

And the future is bright with opportunity.

A little girl in Ofunato receiving a pair of socks. Courtesy of Socks for Japan.

Thanks for your support, and may you always be close to someone who cares.

-Zane

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Coca Cola and Red Cross come together for change.

Imagine that you are thirsty and you want a soda, so you walk up to the soda machine and put in your $2.00.  You pick your $1.50 favorite (what is your favorite?) and after the bottle pops out you are given a choice:  keep the change or donate to the Japanese Red Cross…

For more information about this Coca Cola and Red Cross collaboration check out this site and enjoy the video of it in use.

-Zane

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