Memories of San Francisco

Baiba and I love San Francisco and just spent 3 weeks
there. It’s a fascinating city to explore so I always carry
my camera on daily runs. Never know what you’ll see…





One day we looked out our hotel window and saw hundreds
of Santas. It turned out to be SANTACON an annual
San Francisco mass gathering and pub crawl…

richardstjohn-san-fran-6richardstjohn-san-fran-7richardstjohn-san-fran-8Nice to see they’re all interacting face-to-face
instead of texting on phones…
Oops spoke too soon!








San Francisco Museum of Modern Art










Not far from the business center you can
be completely surrounded by nature…


OLD- That’s Alcatraz prison on the island in the background
NEW- Container ships are now often bigger than the prison



And more San Francisco containers neatly stacked…




Running through Chinatown I saw this accident not long
after it happened and 10 pedestrians were injured


Wonder if there’s a psychologist and couch in the back?


This bakery gets 3 Michelin Poops


If only this garden had a tree I could “bark”


 Functional  vs  Organic


Doesn’t he know San Francisco is always cold




Neil Young sang Helpless Helpless Helpless
IN SF it’s Homeless Homeless Homeless





Protest Protest Protest


Ultimate Recycling
Using an old recycled truck to haul recycled stuff



The AUTODESK GALLERY has terrific exhibits
showing how 3D PRINTERS enable designers
and architects to create innovative shapes
and models for products and buildings


A full size partial model of a car made on 3D Printers


Small very fine objects made on 3D Printers


Soon you could be making your own clothes on a 3D Printer
“Touch my shoulder again buddy and you could lose a finger!”


My wish…and probably Baiba’s


Richard St. John



Something Fishy About My Marathons

Really enjoyed a week in Iceland, and now I’m running the 42 km Reykjavik Marathon. Terrific weather, supportive spectators, beautiful scenery, and we’re running on a nice flat road next to the ocean. But the scenery doesn’t matter, because I’ve already run 39 km, my legs are tired, and I’m only thinking, “Three more kilometers to the finish-line and it’s over.”

Then, unexpectedly, I feel something strange on my leg. Look down and see an almost invisible coil of nylon fishing-line wrapped around my ankle and foot. Thinking, “It will just fall off” I keep running. But suddenly the line also ties up my other foot, and I go crashing down face-first onto the pavement. Lying there more dazed than hurt, I’m thinking, “Is this just a bad dream?” And I curse the fisherman who left a coil of fishing-line on the road.

Try to stand-up, but can’t because my feet are tied together. So roll over and sit up, then struggle to unravel the thin, unbreakable line tightly wrapped around both shoes. Notice a bleeding gash on my leg, but my only concern is, “Other runners are beating me to the finishing-line!” When really it’s a fishing-line that’s beating me.

Finally break free from the bonds, wobble to my feet, and begin running slowly, while the nice spectators give me a round of applause for being stupid enough to keep going. And it seems the sitting gave my legs a short rest. So I pick up speed, pass most of the runners who had just passed me, and finish in 3 hours 48 minutes.

It turns out 3:48 is the fastest of my last five marathons, and I place 2nd in Men 65-69. And who knows, maybe I also set a World Record for being the first runner to ever break through both a finish-line and fish-line in the same marathon.

And here’s the really strange part. This was actually my second fishy marathon. A couple of days before the 2014 Paris Marathon I was enjoying a bowl of good thick fish soup, when suddenly a tiny fish bone injected itself into the underside of my tongue. It really hurt and I tried everything to get it out. But it was too far back and too small to grasp.

By morning there was a big, sore lump on the underside of my tongue and swallowing became very painful. It was the day before the marathon and I should have been carbo-loading and stuffing myself with food, but I could hardly eat or drink. And next day during the race it hurt to swallow energy-gels or water. So eventually I became de-hydrated, had no energy, and agonizingly walked/ran for the last 7-kilometers to the finish.

Why do the world’s fish have a conspiracy to get me? Is it nature’s revenge because I grew up in Nova Scotia, near the ocean, and ate so many delicious fishes? And why do they attack me on land, instead of in the water? Until I find the answers, there’s no way I’ll ever do a triathlon. In the swim part, the fish would finally finish me off.

Dear Robin Williams

I have always been a big fan of yours, because you were so incredibly funny and often did the unexpected – even when I had the chance to interview you. Each question I asked launched you into a hilarious, spontaneous monologue that was the opposite of what I expected. You had me in stitches, laughing the whole time. I wanted you to talk about yourself, but no way were you going to be serious – until the person who took this photo asked you to “Smile!” Then, of course, you did exactly the opposite and looked very serious. It was funny at the time, but now with your final “unexpected” we’re not laughing. We’re crying and deeply saddened. Thank you so much for a lifetime of laughs. You will be missed.

Richard St. John

Robin Williams & Richard St. John

Robin Williams & Richard St. John

If you give a talk in a forest and no one hears it…

If you give a talk in a forest and no one hears it, does it make an impact? Only if it’s later seen on TED. Congratulations TED on a billion views and making it possible for so many talks to have a big impact on the world.

I was fortunate, but very scared, to give the first TED 3-minute talk in 2005. I thought the information would never leave the room. But then TED put talks online, took mine out of the forest, and gave the information an opportunity to reach people and perhaps make an impact.

Now millions of people around the world have viewed it and comments like the ones below keep me going. Thank you TED!

Your “Richard St. John’s 8 secrets of success” short video from TED changed my world. Now I’m happiest guy in whole Poland!

United States
I saw your video on TED and knew instantly I could use your work. I teach English to students who think school is pointless and boring. But they ALL want to succeed. THANK YOU for your work. The ripple that you started continues outward.

I’m teaching workshops and empowering women in an African community in the midst of crisis and chaos. I found you on TED and loved your talk. Then I translated your book into a simple workshop that really woke people up. Many thanks for your work.

Thank you very much, Richard for your inspiring speeches. They help me teach my younger brother how to be successful.

I liked your TED talk a lot so I got your book. My wife read it and realized she hated her job, so she went into education research. Now she’s helping children in India and she loves it. You changed her life.

I learned very much through your TED speech. I had given up hope but came to the realization that it is never too late, and very important to never give up. Thank you very much indeed.

I watched your TED video and you explained in minutes what I have been trying to figure out for years. I am going to throw the Zoloft away.

April 15, Webinar – "Retaining, Motivating, and Inspiring Today's Students: How To Do It With Eight Words."

If you’re an educator, you might be interested in our webinar on April 15. The subject is student motivation and retention. How do we encourage students to stay in college and not drop out, especially those who have lost their way or are struggling? This webinar is about how educators are doing it with 8 Words. Don Fraser and I will share the exciting results of pilot programs where college instructors are using 8 To be Great books, videos, and exercises to take students from a mindset of confusion, doubt, and anxiety, to an outlook of possibilities, confidence, and learning. In as little as an hour, students get more fired up about their career, education and future. Here are a couple of my favorite quotes from students who attended a workshop:

“It was the best presentation I’ve ever seen! I learned useful ways to achieve, rather than moping around the house, telling my mother I don’t care about school.”
Thiuya, student, George Brown College

“It has helped me get through the first semester of college and will forever change the way I work and go about achieving my success.”
Rita Randelle Davis, student, George Brown College

CLICK HERE to go to the Innovative Educators website and see more about this webinar