Fertile Action Gala 10′ Review

This year’s Fertile Action Gala was a huge success, with a spectacular venue in the SLS Hotel, amazing attendees and delightful entertainment. A definite night to remember.

The Gala Ballroom

A video I co-produced, created, editied and directed by Elijah Shepard for the foundation kicked off the evening followed by Dr. Susan Love. Dr. Love urged guests to join the Army of Women in the only initiative in the world that connects women diagnosed with breast cancer during their child-baring years to critical research projects affecting their health. In the past, all the breast cancer research was done on mice and as Dr. Love accurately put it, “It’s kind of hard to put mice in stir-ups.”

2010 Fertile Action Gala

Fertile Action table showcased Army of Womens work online and unveiled a poster showcasing at Livestrong’s Young Adult Alliance conference in November.

Alice Crisci Speaks at The Fertile Action Gala 10'

Alice Crisci lit up the stage as she told the Fertile Action story. Focusing on her astonishment that there was a 50/50 chance of her being personally stripped of the ability bear children and astonished at the staggering cost (approximately 20 thousand dollars) that it would take to finance any procedures that would protect her right a future as a mom. She discussed her personal experiences and the experiences of her close friends and colleagues. She pointed out that the University of Southern California Fertility was recognized for being the first of its kind to offer discounts to all women touched by cancer during their fertile years through the Open Discount financial aid program.

The evening carried on through the awards ceremony where The Vitality Award, was presented to Dr. Philomena McAndrew, an oncologist and founding partner with Tower Hematology and Oncology, for being the first to join the Fertile Action Network, pledging to ask all her patients, “Have you considered your fertility preservation options?”

In addition, the Visionary Award was given to California Cryobank and was accepted by Dr. Cappy Rothman for its leadership and partnership in the cause.

The Tasty Ta-Ta's Show

The evening continued with entertainment from the “Tasty Ta-Ta’s” crew and ended in great fashion.

All-in-all, the Fertile Action Gala was a wonderful event raising money for a terrific cause.

For further information regarding USC Fertility please visit USC Fertility and learn more about Fertile Action.

Starring You On The Big Screen

Forbes, CES 2008

Forbes, CES 2008

Louis Hau 1.9.08

CES 2008

Las Vegas, NV

How would you like to give yourself a starring role in your favorite videogame? Or music video? Or your favorite movie scene of all time?

South Pasadena, Calif., start-up Big Stage wants to help you do just that. The company has developed a technology that will allow anyone with a standard digital camera to create a life-like avatar of themselves. They will then be able to place that avatar on a blog, Web site or social-network page as a fun way of identifying themselves.

Even better: with a little know-how, users will be able to insert their virtual selves into a digital media file–or, say, place a 3D image of Intel (nasdaq: INTC ) Chief Executive Paul Otellini in the music video for Smash Mouth’s 1997 hit “Walkin’ On The Sun,” as Big Stage Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer Jonathan Strietzel did during Otellini’s CES keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show on Monday.

Big Stage’s technology has its roots in government-funded research in 3D imaging done at the University of Southern California. The work takes what had been a complex, time-consuming image-creation process and boils it down to a consumer-friendly means to create personalized avatars.

The company’s technology is currently focused on reproducing facial images, but full-body avatars are in the pipeline. Its avatar system will be available to the public in the second quarter of this year.

On Tuesday, Strietzel needed only a few minutes to create a 3D avatar of me and superimpose my face over that of Harrison Ford’s in a scene from Raiders Of The Lost Ark. There I was, in a dank room, slyly replacing a coveted idol head with a small sack of sand. Damn, I was good.

As startling as it can be to see a moving 3D image of yourself, these are very early days for the technology, which is bound to become more compelling as the ability to simulate intelligence improves to create an even more realistic digital you.

What sorts of revenue-generating applications could a life-like avatar have? You don’t have to think too hard to come up with a pack: Videogame publishers could license the technology to give customers the ability to place their avatar inside a game. Similar uses could be attractive to online virtual worlds and social networks. And here’s one of Strietzel’s favorites: Allowing customers to insert themselves into famous movie scenes could give studios a new way of generating fresh revenues from existing film assets.

Read more