Interviews with Elon Musk Inspire Word Art Series

Interviews with Elon Musk Inspire Word Art Series

Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh Dialogues

When was the last time you saw a piece of art inspired by an interview? I stumbled across a series of six word clouds inspired by the following Elon Musk interviews.

They were created by Tyra Robertson who leads Elon Enthusiast.


1. KQED’s Computer History Museum Visionaries Series

2. PBS Show Think Tank

3. (Digg’s) Kevin Rose Interview Series

4.The Oxford Martin School at Oxford University

5.The Mars Society

6. The Royal Aeronautical Society.

I was very honored to be included in such an illustrious collection. If you missed my interview at the Computer History Museum in January 2013, here’s the video.



And here’s some feedback from across the web:

“I am impressed with your ease and confidence and the way you were able to lead Musk with charm and fluency and keep the flow of the interview crisp and vital — in a word alive!  Good work & warm congratulations.” Michael Krasny, Host KQED’s Forum

“Having seen every single video of Elon Musk, what I really apppreciated was that the interviewer prefaced her questions with content from Elon’s more practiced answers, so we saved a lot of time and just jumped into a ton of new information never mentioned in other interviews. Very good interviewer. 10/10!” Maximus Victorius on YouTube

“Loved the program.  Alison conveyed a mastery of the subject, and the vocal counterpart was delicious.   Perhaps the best interview I have heard.” Steve Jurvetson, Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist

“Alison really captured his charm and warmth and aspirations in a lovely way.  He seemed more at ease  and willing to be honest with Alison than in any interview I have seen him in. Her questions were excellent, and she was so articulate and poised on stage.”   Laurie Yoler, a Tesla investor who was part of the 500-strong live audience.
“This is an example of my favorite kind of interview, the journalist asks well thought questions and then sits back and lets the subject tell the story.” Tyra Robertson, Elon Enthusiast

“I love how knowledgeable the interviewer is. It really opens up different answers from Elon that I haven’t heard a million times.” AlphacentauriAB on Reddit

Jeffrey Toobin Transcript: Kagan, Supreme Court, Environment

Jeffrey Toobin Transcript: Kagan, Supreme Court, Environment

By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh Dialogues

Fresh Dialogues (TM) is an interview series with a green focus: Fresh Questions, Fresh Answers. This video interview took place at  Foothill College Celebrity Forum on April 1, 2010, just one week before Justice Stevens announced his retirement. Check out the new Fresh Dialogues YouTube Channel more exclusive interviews.

Download or listen to this lively Fresh Dialogues interview


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ALISON VAN DIGGELEN: Hello and welcome. Today on Fresh Dialogues: Jeffrey Toobin.

Jeffrey – thank you so much for joining me on Fresh Dialogues. Let’s go on to your specialty: The Supreme Court. In 2009, they decided against environmentalists in a lot of cases…

JEFFREY TOOBIN: Six out of six.

ALISON VAN DIGGELEN: Yes. What are your thoughts on that, moving forward? Is this going to continue…this anti-environmental stance of the Supreme Court?

JEFFREY TOOBIN: I think that the court as currently constituted will likely continue in that direction. I don’t think it’s a particular hostility to the environment per se. I think it is a general sympathy for corporate defendants in all cases, environmental cases being one category of cases where the corporations are the defendants.  They are also generally – the conservative majority –  fairly hostile to government regulatory efforts…and the environment is one area, not the only area. So if the court stays as it currently is, I think you’ll see a lot more cases like that.

ALISON VAN DIGGELEN: So would you say, it’s moving more pro-business?


ALISON VAN DIGGELEN: And the environment losing out as a result?

JEFFREY TOOBIN: That’s certainly how the environmentalists see it.

ALISON VAN DIGGELEN: And how do you see it?

JEFFREY TOOBIN: Again, not a field of great expertise of mine, but I see who wins the cases and who loses them. And it’s the polluters who keep winning.

ALISON VAN DIGGELEN: And what about the future? Justice Stevens is due to retire shortly

JEFFREY TOOBIN: He hasn’t said so officially but I think he will retire this Spring.

ALISON VAN DIGGELEN: So how is that going to change things? What are your predictions?

JEFFREY TOOBIN: I think he is a key member of the liberal four on the court, he will likely be replaced by another liberal. So in terms of the outcome of  cases in the next few years, probably not a huge impact, but I often like to quote Byron White the late Justice, who said if you change one Justice, you don’t just change one Justice, you change the whole court. If you start to have an energized liberal group of young  – by Supreme Court standards -Justices like Sonia Sotomayor, like the next Obama appointee, the wind could start to be at their back. And if Obama gets re-elected, you could see more appointments…so it’s a big deal.

ALISON VAN DIGGELEN: And who is your No. 1 candidate for that appointment?

JEFFREY TOOBIN: Elena Kagan, the Solicitor General, former Dean of Harvard Law School. Very much an Obama type person – moderate Democrat, a consensus builder…

ALISON VAN DIGGELEN: Do you know if she’s an environmentalist?

JEFFREY TOOBIN: I don’t… I just don’t know. My sense is, it’s just not an issue that has come across her plate a lot…she is someone who has written on administration law, which tends to mean she’s a believer in the power of the Federal Government to regulate. But I wouldn’t…

A – I don’t know what she thinks…and B – I don’t…

A is enough. I don’t know what she thinks about these issues…(laughter)

ALISON VAN DIGGELEN:  (laughter) OK. Jeffrey Toobin I really appreciate your taking the time for Fresh Dialogues.

JEFFREY TOOBIN: My pleasure. Nice to see you.

For more Fresh Dialogues Video interviews click here

Maureen Dowd: Quotes from Fresh Dialogues

Maureen Dowd: Quotes from Fresh Dialogues

By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh DialoguesMaureen Dowd on Fresh Dialogues

Pulitzer Prize winning Maureen Dowd was a guest of Fresh Dialogues on Friday April 3rd, 2009.  The interview was recorded at the Fairmont Hotel San Jose,  April 2nd, 2009. Here are some select quotes from the transcript. Check back soon for the full transcript.

Are Maureen’s New York Times columns letters to her mother, Peggy?

“She is in my head in the sense that I want to amuse and inform the reader, and surprise them…tell them something they don’t know.”

On her Irish heritage

“They say that the Irish understand about politics and writing and I hope it’s true. I like to think so.  I had a friend named Michael Kelly, the first journalist to die in the Iraq War…we had an editor who used to call us Gael Force.”

On America’s taste for all things big

“That’s who we are – we like big cars and McMansions, Costco…the question is, how big do we need to be to still feel American, while Obama tries to downsize us?”

On the failure of American car manufacturers to go green and embrace smaller, more efficient cars

“A French psychologist was hired by the American car manufacturers to justify why they didn’t go green earlier.. .why they kept making those huge SUVs, pickup trucks and Hummers long after they should have realized these brands was not really where we needed to go…. He asserted -a reptilian part of the brain seeks tools of survival, especially when the United States remains under threat of attack…You don’t want to go to war in a little Pinto. That’s where their head was.”

On GM’s Rick Wagoner and his firing by President Obama

“Reporters who cover Detroit were so relieved about Wagoner being fired. They’d watched the industry for years and years and years refuse to just embrace the future and make all these stupid decisions. And reward themselves.”

On Obama, his brain and his focus

“What’s depressing about the last decade is that America seems stupid and that’s what Obama is focusing on turning around. He himself is a real smarty pants. His favorite thing is to be in a room with a bunch of eggheads and he wants Americans to be smarter and kids to be better educated.”

On Dick Cheney’s role in derailing Vice President Nelson Rockefeller’s alternative energy plans in the 1970’s

“Rockefeller was a very moderate Republican and he developed an idea for an energy plan that would get us into alternative fuels. It was killed by (President Gerald) Ford’s chief of staff who was Dick Cheney. If Dick Cheney hadn’t done that then, our energy future would have been so much more advanced.”

On H.W. Bush’s attitude to environmentalists in the 80’s

“Bush called Al Gore ‘Ozone Man. ‘  That’s just how they treated environmentalists… as tree hugging, sandal wearing idiots.”

On Maureen calling Al Gore “practically lactating” due to his eco-sensitivity

“I was sympathetic to his ideas. I was just teasing him a little bit because he was so earnest. He could be a little righteous and self important; and it’s not always the most effective way to communicate your ideas, even if your ideas are right. ..He was sometimes a pompous messanger.”

On her green mentor and ‘office husband’, Tom Friedman, the NY Times columnist

“I try to get advice from  Tom Friedman, who is Mr. Solar around our office. ..his whole house is solar designed. He’s trying to coach me in how to be more environmentally correct. ..When he gets depressed about the environment or the Middle East…he’ll come in and go, ‘let’s get a daiquiri!”

On Obama’s plans to embrace green tech and green energy

“Hillary and Obama in the primaries were both competing to come up with a plan for green jobs and for me, it’s  very exciting because for the last 8 years it felt like we were going backwards in every way and that we weren’t coming into the 21st Century. We were like the Flintstones: not moving forward.  So I love all that.”

Charlie Rose: Quotes from Fresh Dialogues

Charlie Rose: Quotes from Fresh Dialogues

By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh Dialogues Charlie Rose on Fresh Dialogues

Extract from Fresh Dialogues interview dated March 3, 2009:

On his Great and Glorious Life

For the full transcript, click here

“I get up every morning with a new adventure. The adventure is fueled by interesting people. I get a chance to control my own destiny.”

On Silicon Valley’s role in this challenging economy

“The economy today is a place of uncharted waters. I think technology is part of the solution. Science and technology are part of the key to unlocking the future.”

On what Silicon Valley visionaries like Larry Page and Sergey Brin have in common

“Certainly they have in common curiosity, certainly those two have in common great intelligence. They all have in common a sense of wanting to explore the unknown. ..There is a passion about the future and they bring to a consideration of the future enormous tools.”

On joining Twitter

“I’m very excited about it. All these technologies are my friend. My interest is in distributing what I do. I am fortunate to have a reputation… a brand name…my interest in maximizing distribution is made for the technology community.”

On his role as a journalist

“I’m not in the role of being an advocate for anything. My goal is to provide the kind of analysis that helps people make a decision, to approach an issue. I don’t have to be the expert. My role is to ignite, inspire, create a platform for engagement by experts.”

On how he prepares for an interview

“Just read and read and read and read. And talk. Get on the phone with someone and say, what is it you think I should know?”

On Tom Friedman and the green revolution

“Tom Friedman has been on our show more than anybody. His range is extraordinary. His book Hot Flat & Crowded is a call for a new energy policy… There is an argument that can be made that America can reassert its leadership in the world by engaging the energy question.”

On his insatiable curiosity

“I constantly wanted to know and experience everything. But I was never intrigued by drugs. I always liked alcohol, but I never had cocaine in my life…I was never tempted – I was so in love with doing, experiencing, feeling, traveling…the experience itself was enough for me.”

On what he dreams about

“To engage life and have the experience of discovery. But I also want to create in a very specific way, a true global conversation.”

President Obama shows he’s serious about green

President Obama shows he’s serious about green

By Alison van Diggelen, host of FreshDialogues

It only took six days to change the (clean tech) world.

On January 20th, while the world stopped to watch, President Obama gave a stoic but very powerful Inauguration Address. Instead of the soaring oratory we’ve grown accustomed to, he was somber in his words and delivery, reflecting the gravity of our economic crisis.

From my perspective, the speech has brought nothing but optimism and goodwill from friends and colleagues in Silicon Valley and around the world.  I was especially cheered by his promise to restore science to its rightful place in government policy making.

Here are some excerpts of President Obama’s Inauguration Address that underline his commitment to fighting climate change and boosting clean tech:

“…each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.”

“We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.”

“With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet.”

On January 26th, President Obama announced his new energy policy at a White House press conference. His words will no doubt bring sighs of relief and even some champagne sloshing to those in the clean tech world, especially electric vehicle manufacturers.

No single issue is as fundamental to our future as energy. America’s dependence on oil is one of the most serious threats our nation has faced…it funds both sides of our struggle against terrorism and puts the American people at the mercy of shifting gas prices; stifles innovation and sets back our ability to compete.”

He’s also started to follow through this week on his campaign pledge to allow California and 13 other states to set strict car emissions and fuel efficiency standards. The California Air Resources Board estimates these new standards will cut greenhouse gas emissions from cars 18% by 2020, and 27% by 2030.

This fine president not only talks the green talk, he walks the green walk. Bravo.

Martin Sheen’s Fresh Dialogues Quotes

Martin Sheen’s Fresh Dialogues Quotes

By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh Dialogues

On happiness and money

“I disagree with the philosophy that you can’t buy happiness. I know a lot of wealthy people who are happy as Larry…what you can’t buy is joy. Joy is very very costly.”

On what brings him joy

“The realization of my flawed humanity…that the great mystery of the universe includes me personally… I feel to the core of my being that I am loved, and if I can be loved anyone on earth is capable of feeling they can be loved.”

On what God is

“I don’t know what God is, but I have a profound, fundamental belief that God is in fact love. That there is a reality there and I am personally loved. I know it’s true for everyone if it’s true for me, but I can’t explain it and I can’t make anyone aware of it.”

On how he developed his social activist ideals as a golf caddie

“Around the age of 14, I became aware of the injustices associated with the work. We were non-entities to them…and they often used obscene language in front of us….we were little boys and they were abusive… anti-Semitic … racist. And they, for the most part, were upstanding members of the community, businessmen, lawyers, doctors. As the result of being a servant at so young an age, I learned how NOT to treat servants whether they’re waiters of bus-boys or cabdrivers. …and I organized a strike.”

On his green motivations and action

“There’s a Hebrew adage that says, ‘he who hath offspring giveth hostages to the future.Well I’ve given children and grandchildren, so they own that future. We have to be aware of our responsibility to future generations.”

On his heart attack while filming Apocalypse Now

“I got ill in the Philippines and I damn near died. They got me to a hospital and it was like in the movies. I was on a gurney being rolled through the corridors, lights were flashing and faces were coming and going, and this little face came alongside of me and I realized it was my wife Janet. She leaned down and whispered in my ear, ‘It’s only a movie babe.’ And I started to get well at that moment.”