18 March 2009

My Lefty Plight

Thanks to Carly's "lefty fact a day" calendar, I have become OBSESSED with the left-handed world, and had no idea how hard my life has been. Just watch this clip on writing left-handed. It looks so EASY, the way those righty people write. SO LUCKY. There are a few more videos to explain how, exactly, the whole world caters to right-handed people. Click here to view them, then feel sorry for me, and my 10% of the World. Man, I'm in a lot of "10% of the world" groups...


Kyle Taylor

16 March 2009

Rolling Stone On Economic Crisis

This is - hands down - the greatest explanation of "what happened" to cause the economic crisis I have ever read. Be warned - it's a long read. By the end, However, I want to take this Cassano guy out behind a warehouse somewhere and slap him around a bit. I mean, COME ON! The whole crisis can almost be tracked back to a single man at AIG Financial (which is located in London). Oops! Click here for the article.

15 March 2009

Channel Swim Update: Month 1

I'm one month into my "official" announcement about swimming the English Channel, though I've been getting in the mental game since last October. So far, so good. I have been swimming four days a week, running 5 days a week, lifting 3 days a week and attending a "core" class 3 days a week. Needless to say, I was running myself ragged on top of school, tutoring in a local school, Rotary duties and so on. Last Wednesday reached "critical mass" and I decided I needed a short break. I took four days off to recover, rejuvenate and just not have to think about training.

The key, I think, to working out is listening to your body. For the past ten weeks I have looked forward to going to the gym, getting in the pool, doing those sit-ups and so on. Last Tuesday was the first day in a long time where I was literally DREADING all of the above. My mind was running blank on the treadmill, I was counting the second until "core" class was over and I was doing everything I could to be late to swim practice. Message: Body needs a break!

So, I took it. Now it's Monday and once again, I'm excited to swim! I missed it. Missed feeling fit and refreshed and pumped. My body has recovered, I'm not sore anymore and it just feels like time to dive back in, literally and figuratively. I've got six weeks until I start training in the Dover Harbour on weekends and I've got about 16 weeks until go time. Every minute counts, even the ones where my body is recovering.

For more information and to support my swim, visit my website by clicking here.


Kyle Taylor

Bye Bye Bye!

So it appears that what I've been saying for months - ideology fades in times of crisis and we can actually deal with substantive issues while zealot-driven madness seems all the more obvious. Welcome to a renewed America. I'm particularly a fan of the statistics they outline. Check it out here.


Kyle Taylor

Blood On Our Hands

This recent piece in the New York Times outlines the "approved alternative methods" George W. Bush (then President) approved for secret interrogations. The report the article highlights is based on American Red Cross interviews. I can shocked, appalled and incredibly saddened by this news. You want to be a beacon on a hill, you've got to act like one. Please note that the stories outlined are graphic. Make sure to read all the way to the end so the author's intentions and "point" are made clear. Click here for the article.


Kyle Taylor

12 March 2009

Jon Stewart - American Hero

We read an awful lot about "news-tainment." Some good, some bad. Bottom line, has ANYONE called out the hacks that caused these problems more prominently than Jon Stewart? I think not. Many thanks, Jon, for speaking for all of us who don't have the outlet to speak for ourselves. Kick some misinformation pa-tutti.


Kyle Taylor

11 March 2009

Happy Plants Make Happy Food

A friend of mine just started working on this documentary, set to be released pretty soon. Fascinating trailer. Can't wait to see the entire film!


Kyle Taylor

And The Arm Obsession Continues

As if the CNN Home Page wasn't enough, now NY Times writers are talking about Michelle Obama's arms and following those conversations up with editorials. Apparently Michelle Obama's arms are now insulting people? I'm so confused...


Kyle Taylor

10 March 2009

Generation Quoi?

And here we go again with the labels. So apparently this recession is going to drive us all to Revolutionary Road, desiring "security" and "normalcy." I. DON'T. THINK. SO. Bring on the adventure. Innovation is the only way out!

Michael Jackson Goes On Tour (And So Do I)

Back in the 12th grade (high school, which is now officially 7 years behind me) I particpiated in a little contest called Mr. Troy High School. As part of said competition, we were required to perform our "talent." Seeing as how I had no stage-able talent (beyond competitive swimming - no pool - or dramatic monologues - wrong crowd) I decided to perform Michael Jackson's 1990's smash hit: Black or White. My Dad - being the coolest Dad on earth - filmed the entire thing, as well as operated my strobe lights and industrial fan (you'll understand that part on'ce you've watched). The best clip is definitely the second one down (number 3), if you can't watch them all. One more big shout-out to my brother who - at 8 years old - wore ridiculous clothes and rocked out on stage for me. Love you Cody! Do enjoy. AMAZING.

08 March 2009

London Weather EXPLAINED!

This past weekend in was cloudy, got windy, got sunny and BOILING HOT, got cloudy, poured rain with some thunder and lightening for good measure, got sunny and BOILING HOT, got cloudy, got windy then rained again all in about 8 hours. Welcome to London - 6 seasons in an afternoon. Fortunately, someone sent this link along, which explains why UK weather is so volatile. Totally exhausting, no? No wonder the weather gets so much play in uk chit-chat...


Kyle Taylor

07 March 2009


Watch to the very end. Too funny! This is keeping me sane in the heat of term paper madness!


Kyle Taylor

06 March 2009

Photo Props!

Just a slightly exciting usage of my photo. It's on the homepage of the White House Museum! Click here to see it. The photo credit for it is here.

Just thought it was exciting!


Kyle Taylor

05 March 2009

This Is Supposed To Be Higher Learning?

Well term paper marks came in and suffice to say, some students weren't all that happy. In seeking out feedback the official University Policy (pasted here) was cited. In brief, it turns out the official policy states there is to be no feedback. Basically, we're supposed to take a 2-digit number and "critically reflect on our own work." Seriously? How is this learning? While some Professors have been willing to give private feedback in person, the fact remains that official policy is to give NOTHING. Since we never see our exam papers again either, there is actually NO exchange of knowledge based on completed work AT ALL. I'm sorry, why, exactly, are we here?

And what if you feel that your grade is truly unjustified and want to challenge it? It turns out, you all but can't. Some highlights:

"There is no appeal against the academic judgment of examiners, and no re-marking of papers."

So basically, you can't appeal because you think your paper was mis-graded. WHY ELSE WOULD YOU APPEAL? It goes on:

"There are no other internal means of appealing against the Exam Board's decision...If following the completion of the School's internal procedures you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of your appeal, you may be eligible to appeal to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator."

Brilliant, thanks. When can these appeals be raised, you ask? IN NOVEMBER FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF YOUR PROGRAM. Needless to say, LSE and I aren't all that ok with each other at the minute...


Kyle Taylor

04 March 2009

It's Go Time

Four months of prep work have now passed. Strength tests say I'm nearly back to 100% of my pre-surgery self. The deposit has been made and the cause has emerged. It's go time. As I am unable to sit still (even whilst in the middle of a Master's program, I've decided to challenge my physical self by taking on the English Channel on July 4th of this year.

That's right, I'm in the middle of training for a solo swim across the 22-mile English Channel. I am studying in London thanks in large part to my Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, sponsored by the Rotary Foundation. My host club has been supporting a young boy named Harvey Parry in his quest to walk again. At just 15 months old, he lost both of his legs to meningitis. Now four, his family works tirelessly to ensure that he have whatever it takes to grow up with every opportunity. Unfortunately, the only place that can provide comprehensive treatment is in the United States, which means the family is a) funding the entire operation by themselves and b) needing to visit New York several times per year to enlarge his prosthetic legs.

His story and his family have touched me and while I know that there are so many young people in this world who are in need, Harvey is right here in front of me and there is something I can do to help. I will be swimming the Channel - overcoming my own physical limitations and recent shoulder surgery - to help raise funds for his next set of legs. It's 22 miles from England to France and mine will be a solo swim - one of only very few made by an American.

I know times are tough, so I wouldn't be asking unless it were incredibly important to me. My goal is to raise $10,000, with all proceeds going directly to Harvey's next set of legs. I've set up a website where you can learn more about Harvey, the swim and Rotary as well as make a secure online donation. Any amount you can give will be most appreciated - $11, $25, $100 - the equivalent of a few Starbuck's coffee's or movie tickets - will go a very long to help this young boy. Every donor will be recognized on the flag that will fly over my boat when I cross the Channel, and there are many co-sponsorship opportunities for businesses and organizations, should you want to be part of our media campaign as well. You can donate directly by clicking here.

You can find out more about Harvey, see some pictures and donate online by clicking this one.

I'll hopefully be following the purpilish route on this map that I found online, though I'm planning for it to take roughly 7 hours and 20 minutes (not 14!).

I'll definitely be posting updates here on progress, as well as additional thoughts on politics and so on. A very diverse portfolio, I guess!

More soon.


Kyle Taylor