Durable Human (2 book series)

Yearly Archives: 2011

Where News is Going

People go where they need to go to get the news they want. New online research and a gathering of Internet trend-setters tell a tale of widespread practicality.

According to a new Pew Internet and American Life Project report, local TV news is still the go-to source for weather, traffic and breaking news. But people are looking elsewhere for other information, often using their phones.

How the Internet has revolutionized the way messages are delivered was the focus of this year’s Activism + Media + Policy, or “AMP” Summit held last month in Washington, D.C.

Andy Eller is the Director of Business Development at place-sharing site, Gowalla. In a panel presentation, he told AMP attendees he gets all his news from Twitter because it’s unfiltered and current. Twitter’s own Adam Sharp then took the opportunity to mention that tweets about an earthquake hit New York before the actual tremors did.

In his AMP remarks, CBS White House reporter Mark Knoller says he likes writing news on Twitter “because it doesn’t have to go through a copy editor.”  Twitter, he continued, is like “having my own personal wire service” – on which he has churned out 40,000 tweets in two years. Continue reading

Shatner Rules

If you ever hear or see anything about William Shatner’s Shatner Rules, do not attempt to avoid it. You will be powerless to resist the book’s black-hole-like magnetism and relentless cross-promotion.

Shatner Rules caught me with something called a “Klout Perk”. As someone who spends too much time on Twitter, I received a peppy little email asking if I’d like a free book about the “Shatnerverse.” I bit on the bait, it arrived in the mail, and I was hooked from the first page.

First of all, it’s funny. The Shatnerisms made me laugh out loud, like when he said “Few are worthy enough to call me an egomaniac!” and described his kidney stone as “an onyx of agony.” Continue reading

Diary of a Metro Convert

At least one Washington-area commuter is making her Try Transit week permanent. When a person cancels the contract on a parking spot in her own office building, you know she has to be serious.

My cousin loves her car – a 2009 Infiniti G37 coupe. Color: liquid platinum. But her enthusiasm for driving was significantly curbed in June when she was involved in an accident in heavy rush-hour traffic for the second time in two months. Not only did it give her jitters behind the wheel – her insurance payment doubled.

Knowing what I do about how taking transit saves money, burns calories and frees up time, I gingerly made The Ask. Since I was commuting downtown for the summer, I suggested we take the bus to the Metro from the stop right outside her development in central Tysons Corner. Before the accidents, she may have laughed it off, but instead she said yes.

Here’s how it went that first day in mid-August (the other voice you hear is mine): Continue reading

Cellphones More Important Than Kids?

To a new and tragic degree, people are keeping better track of their phones than they are of their kids, particularly the little ones.

An average of two to three children die every week during the summer, left behind in a car. In 2016, three times as many kids died than the year before (most of them 3 years old or younger), even before the summer heat began. A one-year-old recently died when the outside temperature was only 68 degrees.

In every season, know the facts:

  • Your child gets hot faster than you do – up to five times faster.
  • A closed car can reach a broiling 125 degrees in only minutes.
  • Cracking the windows does not slow the heating.

Experts suggest this as a top countermeasure: Continue reading

How to Get Through to Congress

photo by Brian B MaddenOn Capitol Hill today, phone lines and websites are buckling under the pressure of so many Americans trying to make their feelings known about the debt ceiling. They’re answering President Obama’s call in a speech last night: “If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your member of Congress know. If you believe we can solve this problem through compromise, send that message.”

Mr. Obama wasn’t specific about how to do that, but most people apparently went the traditional route. Thankfully, though, there were other ways to make their voices heard.

According to a new survey –  ironically released today – Congress has rushed to embrace social media. And none too soon. Continue reading


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