Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Ep 47: A Creative Approach to Solving Environmental Issues With Molly Morse

She is one of the bright and innovative people who is bringing new technologies to work for a sustainable planet, and I am intrigued to learn more. Join me now in my conversation with Molly Morse, to learn more about her passion for positive-impact plastics, the health of the environment and her creative approach.
Dr. Molly Morse is the CEO and co-founder of Mango Materials, a San Francisco Bay Area-based startup company, that uses wastewater treatment plant methane gas to manufacture biodegradable materials. Her vision of the future involves the proliferation of anaerobic digestion so that methane can be used to make electricity, fuels, and materials – creating local regions of economic resiliency.
Molly received her Ph.D. from Stanford University and her B.S. from Cornell University. Dr. Morse has contributed to multiple patents, publications, and presentations. Along with other Mango Materials team members, she is currently working to upscale the biomanufacturing technology of using methane gas to produce biodegradable materials. Their current focus is on the production of waste-derived biopolymers that can be used as fibers for the textile and fashion industry.
More in this episode
    Dr. Molly Morse discusses what Mango Materials does to create a new product that is a substitute for conventional plastics that can go into fibers to be made into clothing and other uses.
    The material that is produced can be used for cosmetic packaging, plastic bags, fibers for clothing and more, that can break down rather than remain in the environment.
    In the conversation, we discuss the various applications that the product can be used for and how the product could break down after use.
    We learn more about how Dr. Morse shares her passion for a better environment and bio-composites that would be able to be used within environmentally friendly construction applications through her processes.
    Dr. Morse shared her journey to becoming a business owner and how her educational path leads her to the present.
    She discussed how the company is transitioning out of R & D and into application development.
    Molly shares how she came up with the company name and creativity was significant in that process.
Molly Morse says, “How we encourage our children to solve problems, it isn’t something that can’t be undervalued. Those key moments can stick with kids for a really long time. Challenges can lead to lots of solutions. Fostering creativity from a very young age and encouraging it is important.”
Molly identifies with this quote, "The creative adult is the child who has survived."– Julian F. Fleron
One of the quotes to add to that is Einstein when he said, "Do not grow old, no matter how long you live. Never cease to stand like curious children before the Great Mystery into which we were born.”
The Green Biz Conference:
The Red Cross:
Other ways to help victims of Camp Fire:
Articles about forest fire management:
Subscribe to Our Mailing List:

Check out this episode!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Karen's Fruit and Croissant French Toast

The other day I gave a talk to the Sacramento Bloggers group. I brought goodies which included wonderful buttery croissants from Estelle's Bakery and a couple were left over. Two-day-old croissants are not the best things to eat, but I did not want to waste these expensive treats. I also drink my coffee black, so the leftover cream from the Starbuck's coffee order was just sitting in the fridge. 
I am a good Canadian and always keep maple syrup in my fridge, I'd been to the market yesterday and had bought my usual fresh market berries and while the oranges on our tree are not quite ripe the zest is orange, fresh and tangy. A few pantry basics and a tasty dish emerged.
Cal liked his Veteran's Day treat and wanted to be sure I wrote the recipe down.
I thought a blog post could do that and I could share this with everyone.

Karen’s Baked Fruit Croissant French Toast Casserole

2 servings

  •       2 large (Jumbo) one- to two-day-old croissant
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  •        dash Kosher salt
  •        1/3 cup each of fresh washed blueberries and raspberries
  •        Optional - substitute/add strawberries
  • Toppings, if you wish - confectioners’ sugar, or maple syrup


Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, place rack in the middle of the oven.
Grease a 3-4 cup casserole dish with 1/2 Tablespoon butter.
Slice croissants and arrange to fill the bottom of casserole.
Mix beaten eggs, cream, vanilla, cinnamon, orange zest and maple syrup in a bowl. Pour just over half over croissant layer. Arrange remaining slices and pour remainder of mixture over slices. Add fruit over the top.
Place in pre-heated oven and bake for 25 minutes. Enjoy!

525 per serving

Estimated Nutritional values: 
carbs 58g, fat 27g, protein 4g, fiber 5g, K 81mg, Na 500mg, Cholesterol 245mg, folate 4% daily value, iron 6% daily value, vit C 25% daily value, Mg 4% daily value, Ca 8% daily value

Saturday, November 3, 2018

The East River District of NYC and recent BlogHer meeting

This story starts in August 2018 with me in NYC relaxing after a very full day at BlogHer18. I’m enjoying the luxury of the three-week-old Mr. C Seaport Hotel near the Brooklyn Bridge and Pier 17. This is a comfy contemporary hotel in a neighborhood that is undergoing revitalization. Trendy, touristy and gentrified but historic and exciting. I love the old cobblestone streets and the old buildings.

It’s a long journey across the country to New York from California. Even though a short trip in duration, it’s been so worth it. There’s been fantastic energy here with a lot of first time #BlogHer attendees.

I was so happy to get out of California, where I would in most summers love to be. The smoke in the air and my asthma have kept me mostly housebound. Nonetheless, this trip pushed my exhausted self to its limits. I was not yet recovered from surgery and with my neck problems never easy. Sure, I use a wheelchair at the airport to avoid a lot of standing and walking. Even with minimal carry-on items, it can be a bit much. I bring a neck pillow and blanket, and while I balk at the expense of first class or business class, I do sometimes opt for extra room. Still, I was already tired and was adding insult to injury.
Despite the physical challenges, my spirit was energized by attending a meeting with inspiring speakers and enthusiastic and friendly attendees. 

I did mention it was a trip to New York City? I love New York. I'd not stayed in the East River District before. I found out this area of town is one that my friend Lena, a shipping industry podcaster from Sweden, had recently visited and raved about. It was just chance that I headed there, too. I have to echo her raves.

I include some photos of the neighborhood. It's on the East River edge of the financial district just next to Two Bridges and Chinatown. My hotel was two blocks from the venue, well within easy walking distance for me. The Mr. C Seaport had a few growing pains with my shower not draining well the first day and the room thermostat not able to regulate the temperature well. The staff seemed concerned and attentive to repairs. From the workmen in the halls and elevators, it was apparent that while the hotel was open, it was not yet completed. It is very attractively appointed and the bed very comfortable. The bathroom sported two sinks and a separate generous sized shower and a separate toilet. The robes were delightful. I'm thinking of ordering one from them. The logo is cute, and they do sell a T-shirt and ball cap. There are a generous bar and an assortment of snacks. However, I think a hotel room should have a Keurig coffee maker and complimentary tea and coffee, which this did not. I also love hotels that provide a small fridge and even better a microwave, too. Unfortunately, none of these amenities were provided. However, the Bellini restaurant that is attached to the hotel and offers the room service was delightful. I know I'd have used it even if the room had the amenities I listed. My eggs Benedict Florentine breakfast was perfect with fresh squeezed orange juice and delicious and plentiful coffee, a great start to my last day. The evening before I had tea and dessert in my room. The water was not quite as hot as I'd have liked by the time it got to me and while the berry sorbet was delicious the lemon pie that actually was a lemon tart, was not quite perfect. The short pastry was a little overly firm and thick.
I do not hesitate in recommending this delightful hotel. If you are flush enough to spring for a suite with a view, I would think it would be near perfection for your stay in New York. I was indeed pleased with my stay overall. 

The neighborhood sports a small grassy park with a geodesic metal structure adding charm and whimsy to the area. I love how an artist created a trompe l'oeil painting on a broad blank wall. The art features a building of similar architecture to the surrounding structures. An archway in the painted building offers a scene of the Brooklyn Bridge just beyond.

The lavender color of the metal work under the FDR freeway made me smile as I made my way to Pier 17. There is a museum ship at the pier, and I noted a South Street Seaport Museum and a New York City Police Museum in the neighborhood, though I did not have time to visit. A water taxi service is busy there, as is a water tour service.

The meeting venue was in a new 4- story building with good elevator service; however, I recommend the escalator. A continually changing lighted-advertising display in an atrium well adds a bit of entertainment to the ride. I noted the construction of several restaurants in this structure.

The conference was located on the fourth floor. Registration was a bit of a crush, but the wait not prolonged. From there swag bags, then on to the central meeting area. Large windows that looked out on the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Financial District made the environment inviting. In the main conference room, circular cloth covered tables were surrounded by chairs. Small banks of extra chairs provided ample seating. Several large monitors around the room allowed for excellent views of what was happening onstage.

Once seated we attendees explored our goodies. I particularly liked the Moroccan Magic lip balm. The flight had made me dehydrated despite my best efforts, and it was a godsend for my dry lips. I did not use the John Frieda John Frieda Secret Weapon Touch Up Creme until I got home, but I love it. I have straight hair, but it often sticks out at an angle after washing, and the ends get brittle. I use a small dab of this product, and it works wonders.

Croissants and cold brew coffee were available from Pret A Manger. Delicious. They provided snacks and lunch, too. A vendor, FreshDirect had coldbrew and flavored water, fresh fruits and vegetables, and iced doughnuts to supplement the primary offerings. It's too bad that the company is only based on the East Coast; their offerings are terrific. I recommend them to any reader in their delivery area.

Memorable moments from the speakers include an opening guided meditation with Agapi Stassinopoulos author of Wake Up to the Joy of YouGabrielle Union talked about her new book, We're Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated and True. Amy Schumer introduced the Voices of the Year Awards and spoke about the importance of the #MeToo movement.  Maria Menounos discussed her mother's brain cancer and her own brain tumor diagnosis and stressed the importance of being your own and your family's health advocate. I enjoyed the live Betch Slapped podcast with Jordana Abraham and Aleen Kuperman, of Betches, especially learning both of their mothers were OBGYN doctors! Kristen Meinzer of WNYC, who I'd just heard at Podcast Movement, joined them to discuss starting a podcast. A candid and lively discussion with New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Christy Turlington Burns about women's reproductive health, maternal policies, and the state of women's health care found a very receptive audience.

Breaks allowed us to visit vendor booths. The LG booth was even more cramped than the last time I visited blogger, and while I wanted to post their Twitter challenge video about the feature fridge, it was just too difficult to accomplish with so little space and instructions that did not work well with my iPad. I did take a video, and I must say that the fridge is incredible. My phone might have been useful in that booth. However, at that moment the battery was low, and it was getting recharged. BlogHer is very aware of our phone dependence, and a sponsored phone charging station was available. It seems BlogHer attendees are partial to I-phones. Connections spots were at times challenging to locate for Apple devices while Android users could always find a connection.

The health-related booths got a quick visit from me. I loved the Susan Komen t-shirts. I do like that organization's mission, which is not just researching for a cure as some social media posts insist it ought to be. The Susan B. Komen Foundation has a balanced approach to attacking breast cancer with a focus on services for patients as well as clinical research support. The Crisis Text Line was another health-related booth. Crisis Text Line provides a needed service, I encourage folk to volunteer. Vagisil and Dr. Ladydoc provided female health information. 

Humanscale promoted the ergonomic office, and their swag of a portable metal straw with carrying bag and brush has been handy. (It also is increasing my environmental concern street cred.)

I liked the Worth booth for a line of professional clothing. Much of the fall collection was more suited to a New York-Northern East Coast climate, but, some outfits could work in California.

Surprise treats were in store for us during the conference. Tiny cupcakes with decorative frosting spelled out Blogher 18 and were not only lovely but a sweet tasty treat. The party Wednesday had delicious hors-d'oeuvres, and the environment provided a great opportunity to network.

This was my third BlogHer event, two general audience BlogHer meetings and one BlogHer Health. It would be hardpressed to find much difference between the two types of meetings and I will consider attending BlogHer in the future. The exposure to new products is an integral part of the business design. It is an excellent opportunity for influencers to discover new goods and services and for some to form business partnerships such as affiliate programs. Who could resist the powerful women Barbie dolls swag? (Some readers are familiar with my Barbie collection and share the interest, I know.)

I'd recommend a BlogHer conference for influencers who are interested in brands and for those who want to hear fascinating discussions on topics of significant interest to women. 

For me, the best part of attending BlogHer is the networking I mentioned above. I've learned so much from my fellow attendees. BlogHer has always been inspiring and energizing.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Ep 46: When the Love of Literature and Scotland Turns into a Podcast with Ginger Wiseman

Ginger Wiseman is one of the co-hosts (with her sister) Summer Reynolds, of The Outlander Podcast. She has a great story of how her love of the books and then the series, and a passion for Scotland, led them to create a podcast for fans. I always have a great deal of fun learning about how my guests found their creative niche. Today is no exception.
More in this episode
● We learn about Ginger's story and what got her and her sister, Summer into hosting two podcasts.
● How the two sisters connected over literature through the years and how that strengthened their love of the written word in multiple languages.
● She discusses her love of the Outlander series and the events that led to the creation of their fandom podcast.
● Ginger shared what led her and her sister to create The All Souls Podcast and how that helped them broaden their horizons with fans, friends, and travel.
● She shares how she was able to get involved with ComicCon working in press and the benefits that have helped her grow her shows and gain more visibility.
● Ginger shared more about The All Souls Con event and that she follows the book releases and shows coming out with the international networks.
● The sisters planned for the long haul as the main character had not yet been cast.
● Ginger shares how she was able to plan out the podcast episodes in alignment with the books and episodes for content.
● She noticed early on that there was a random invitation to join for an after-show. She felt that guests found more value when they did a live video in their private FB group after-show right after the episode ends.
● Having a sponsor never changed their content, schedule or format.
● She felt empowered to have a podcast through her exploration of what other podcast hosts were offering and her love of the dramatic arts growing up.
● She shares her journey with her sister to Scotland and how they created a group experience trip they do yearly.
Ginger says, "While everyone has their own talents or abilities that they've honed, whatever it is that you feel, even if you're not doing it professionally, whatever it is that you feel is a great outlet for you creatively.[SIC] Being creative must be intentional. It's important if you are creative that you have to make time for those things. It is needed and a very important part of life."

Check out this episode!

Montreal - A Girdled Porcupine (reflections on a reunion in 2013)

Forty years, unbelievable and yet, a reality; that it's been that long since I graduated from McGill with my M.D.;C.M. and a l...