Durable Human (2 book series)

Yearly Archives: 2011

Give the Gift of Less E-Mail

As we face a new year’s load of fresh information, consider this resolution: abiding by the Email Charter.

It’s Chris Anderson’s idea. As curator of the TED thought leadership conferences, he gets a torrent of e-mail. Chris pines for the good old days when people didn’t “barge into someone’s house or office and expect, then and there, 20 minutes of thoughtful, focused attention.”

As he warned in the Washington Post, your inbox is “a to-do list that anyone in the world can add to. If you’re not careful, it can gobble up most of your week.” Or someone else’s.

Here’s an example. Say I get an e-mail about a grant which could benefit my non-profit. I begin reading the lengthy attachment and soon my attention wanes. What do I do next? Forward it on to someone else, with the note: “Do you think we should bring this up at our meeting next week?” Continue reading

Social Networks Mirror Teen Social Lives

How teens get along within social networks reflects what happens in real life – for good and for bad.

Just as they do face to face, kids love to socialize online. Four out of five online teens hang out on social networks. Some of them may like to tweet or dabble in MySpace, but practically all have a profile on Facebook. “No one had any idea how quickly and or how widely this would spread,” says Stephen Balkam, director of the Family Online Safety Institute which sponsored the new report by the Pew Research Center.

The majority of kids between age 12 and 17 think people are mainly friendly in the digital space. But many, especially black teens, have witnessed mean and cruel behavior. Some younger girls have been so shook up by what they’ve seen, they were worried about going to school the next day. Continue reading

Washington D.C. Farm Grows More than Food

Little kids aren’t the only ones reaping benefits from a new farm in the heart of the Nation’s Capital.

Because he likes to cook, 16 year old Daniel Martinez has been appointed “executive chef” at the Farm at Walker Jones. Whenever he volunteers, he whips up dishes in the farm stand with whatever is picked that day. “It’s really neat to see plants and herbs I’d never heard of before like swiss chard – in the middle of D.C.” Daniel walks to the farm from a nearby private high school where he is a sophomore.

The half-acre plot primarily serves students, families and neighbors of a D.C. Public School called the Walker Jones Education Campus.Last year, even though groundbreaking wasn’t until early summer, the farm managed to raise 3,000 pounds of food which went to residents, a retirement community and a kitchen which serves the homeless. Continue reading

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