Tuesday, October 26, 2010
If you choose your search terms well, you can create a valuable reference to mine Twitter information on a particular topic on a daily basis. It also gives a shout out to the people whose content you reference, which is nice.
I am not clear if paper.li archives old copies of your paper. If it does, I will be using it regularly.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
The economy, on the other hand, has been decimated - no oil, no fishing and shrimping, and no tourism. Out of the three, the one that should not have been affected is tourism.
Anyone who has spent time at the beach has had a vacation where it rained all week, or there were jellyfish, or seaweed. From a tourist perspective, the threat from the oil is no different. Sure, there might be oil if you plan a trip toward the end of the summer. But a week at the beach is always a chancy proposition weather- and water-wise, which is why there are swimming pools, water parks, restaurants, pubs, golf and shopping aplenty- just to name a few diversions. I hope everyone who was considering vacationing in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama or Florida any time this summer, but especially the 4th of July, will come on down and spend a little money and have a lot of fun. You'll help people out who need it and you'll have a blast - everybody wins!
The 4th of July is the biggest weekend of the summer. If it fails, then the people who live along the coast - shopkeepers, inn keepers, bartenders, waitresses, dive boat personnel - all lose their livelihoods. There are not many better ways to celebrate Independence Day than patronizing small businesses in a beautiful part of the United States.
What it looks like today
As for the current, visible effects of the oil, the picture at left was taken on Father's Day on Johnson Beach, Florida. Snowy white sane, clear water - just gorgeous. Thanks to the clean up crews and the lack of boats, the beach and the water everywhere I've been is cleaner than I've seen it in years and years.
I read today they think the oil is drifting away from Alabama. I've seen so little oil compared the media reports I watched and read in Colorado.
Last week, I spent a night at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama. I saw some of the biggest, fattest, healthiest pelicans I've seen in ages. They were diving for fish in the Bay, so I know there were minnows around. The sea gulls and terns were all over the grounds, looking for scraps as always. My sister-in-law and I went on a four mile hike along the shore and saw no oil, just sand and bay.
I drove over Mobile Bay today and saw lots of birds, though not as many as I saw last week. Lots of boom, too - the grim reminder of our ongoing defense against what is lurking out in the deep sea, wherever it may be.
But, people were swimming in Mobile Bay both days, and my family and I swam in the Gulf this past weekend. Kayaks, paddleboats, and jet skis were all popular at the Grand Hotel. Life goes on in this part of the world. Folks are not looking for a handout, but they'll gladly work for a fair price to ensure you have a great vacation, fishing trip, meal, mixed drink, or memento. Check it out.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
If you're going over the river and through the woods these days, it seems like you have to have an iPod, Zune, or video player on hand. If you're tired of being disconnected from each other on family outings, I highly recommend How Stuff Works, especially Stuff You Should Know and Stuff You Missed in History Class.
On a recent family outing, we listened to a story about Toussaint L'Ouverture and the Haitian Revolution, followed by How Whale Sharks Work, ending with the riveting and sad tale of Into the Ghastly Blank with Burke and Wills.
The stories are five to 30 minutes long, and most are 10-20 minutes in length. I get mine free from iTunes. Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant, the amiable hosts of Stuff You Should Know, tell their tales in a relaxed yet compelling way, and the topics are engrossing. Katie and Sarah's cheeky take on history brings old stories to life. Listening to either podcast series is a great way to break up a traffic jam or generate conversation on a long road trip, while learning a little something.
So, turn off the talk radio, stow the iPod, and find out about the 1916 shark attacks that were the basis for the book Jaws. Learn whether Nazi criminals are still walking free. Find out about "Harry Houdini, Master Mystifier." Is there is a worst way to die? Why do people blush? Was there really an Atlantis? It's a safe bet these guys have the details about something you did not know, but want to learn.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
|Texting on a keyboard phone|
image by Alton, licensed under GNU Free Documentation License
Times have changed
Those rites of passage, as silly and painful as they were, are so very innocent compared to today’s ubiquitous, ever-lasting online world. Now slumber parties can turn into Chat Roulette sessions, where “truth or dare” is replaced by “get naked in front of strangers online.” Boys are much more likely to engage in this behavior than girls. Because the Internet is the world's largest public marketplace, sexting and video chat carry risks and a permanent record we did not have to worry about when we were experimenting in the pre-Internet days.
How prevalent is sexting?No one knows how many teens and young adults are sexting - sending sexually explicit texts or pictures via text message. The study Sex and Tech: Results from a Survey of Teens and Young Adults (note that it is a PDF) estimated that, as of 2008, half or more have sent or received explicit messages. Perhaps most alarming: “15% of teens who have sent or posted nude/seminude images of themselves say they have done so to someone they only knew online.” In other words, some of our children are sending provocative pictures of themselves to strangers via the internet - which means those pictures have a shelf life of forever
Other surveys estimate a lower rate, saying that one in five teens have received an explicit text or picture: less than 5% admit sending an explicit message. A Pew survey said that teens with unlimited texting or “pay their own bills” are the most likely to sext. Regardless of the exact numbers, experts agree that sexting is becoming increasingly common.
Why is sexting and video chat on the rise?
New trends and technology are making it easier than ever to virtually hook up. For example,Chat Roulette’s stated purpose is to chat with people you do not know – and, as this article points out, often you “only” have to get through five naked guys to find someone with whom you want to talk. Tinychat next and the venerable (by Internet standards) phone service Skype offer similar capabilities. Unfortunately, screen captures from chat sessions with these services are posted all over the Internet, so one night’s indiscretion can become immortal.
Seriously, what can happen? Kids will be kids, after all
Mix sexting with the toxic judgmental behaviors of some teens, and you have a lethal mix. Hope Witsell, who was just 13 years old, committed suicide because of the chaos that resulted from a sexting incident, as did 18-year-old Jesse Logan. Hope sent a picture of herself, topless, to a boy in seventh grade. Another student intercepted the picture and sent it to other students in the school. Students relentlessly taunted her and her life fell apart.
Jesse Logan sent an intimate picture to her high school boyfriend. When they broke up, he sent the picture to other girls at their school. She faced the same vicious condemnation from her peers that Hope did.
Name-calling and public derision rendered their lives miserable. Both girls committed suicide by hanging. They never knew each other – Hope lived in Florida and Jesse lived in Ohio. But both were overwhelmed by the consequences of sexting. The lives of everyone involved – not the two girls alone - were irreparably changed.
The age old issue is that teens simply don’t realize the possible results of their actions. When it comes to sexting and online video chat, the short term consequences range from humiliation to criminal charges. Long term, today’s teens won’t be living down the unfortunate hairstyle twenty years from now. They’ll be dealing with the naked screen captures that will derail political careers, college acceptance, and even job opportunities. Deniability will disappear – it’s pretty difficult to say you didn’t inhale when the video has been widely available on YouTube for years.
How do parents help teens understand the dangers of sexting and video chat while encouraging their independence?
So, how best to help your teen avoid these pitfalls? Talk with your kids, no matter how uncomfortable it is for you. Read the study. Make a commitment to stay on top of social networking trends and risks.
Quick, common sense tips from the Sex and Tech study (have you read it yet?:)
- Don’t assume anything you send or post is going to remain private.
- There is no changing your mind in cyberspace—anything you send or post will never truly go away.
- Don’t give in to the pressure to do something that makes you uncomfortable, even in cyberspace.
- Consider the recipient’s reaction.
- Nothing is truly anonymous.
- Talk to your kids about what they are doing in cyberspace.
- Know who your kids are communicating with.
- Consider limitations on electronic communication.
- Be aware of what your teens are posting publicly.
- Set expectations.
References and resources
Sex and Tech: Results from a Survey of Teens and Young Adults. Funded by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and Cosmo Girl. Retrieved February 28, 2010 from http://www.thenationalcampaign.org/sextech/PDF/SexTech_Summary.pdf
"Sexting" Shockingly Common Among Teens. CBS News, Jan. 15, 2009 http://bit.ly/c9jfkU
'Sexting' Increasing Among Teens. KHQ Right Now, Feb 22, 2010 http://bit.ly/9yLtpK
Inbar, Michael. MSNBC.com, Dec 2, 2009 ‘Sexting’ Bullying Cited in Teen’s Suicide http://bit.ly/9wr2Sq
Celizic, Mike, MSNBC.com, March. 6, 2009Her Teen Committed Suicide over ‘Sexting:’ http://bit.ly/bdbq62
Brunker, Mike, MSNBC.com, Jan. 15, 2009 ‘Sexting’ Surprise: Teens Face Child Porn Charges: http://bit.ly/aIrZHs
Kuang, Cliff, FastCompany.com Jan 27, 2010 Welcome to the Weirdest New Internet Pastime: Chat Roulette http://bit.ly/dfkJkjRao, Leena, TechCrunch.com, Feb 16, 2010 TinyChat Launches Grouped Version Of Chat Roulette http://tcrn.ch/9qsKXM
Sunday, January 24, 2010
NONPROFIT, AID ORGANIZATION AND FAITH-BASED CHARITIES
You've probably donated already. The relief organizations have an easy time raising awareness because the story is urgent and unambiguous - people are suffering right this minute - now. You can make a difference in someone's life now. Help now. So, generous people all over the world are donating money, time and expertise to help the men, women and children in Haiti.
It is worth considering for a moment the essential goodness of so many, helping those they will never meet, because it is the right thing to do. It's a WOW moment -- a time for thanks for those who give so selflessly.
So thank you. From middle school bake sales to local church fundraisers and missions...to the old reliable first responders, like the Red Cross and the Salvation Army...to the aid organizations who have been in Haiti from the beginning - you are doing great work. You are saving lives. You are making a difference. You are also enabling us to transform our lives by giving, which unites us in love to each other, and reminds us that what connects us is ever so much stronger than that which divides us.
Please take a look at the aid organizations below the next time you consider donating to a nonprofit. There are a million reasons not to donate, not to support these nonprofits, not to give. Some may not support your political beliefs. Some may not share your spiritual or religious beliefs. Yet, there are infinitely more reasons to give, to donate, to help. People need help. People need you. Perhaps you feel a call to help -- otherwise, you would probably not be reading this. All you have to do is find a group you can support.
Ways to investigate charities
Check out Charity Navigator or Network for Good if you are skeptical about a given group. They provide some statistics about how groups spend their funds, they each have their own list of charities, and you can donate directly from Network for Good.
Articles about charity scammers
- Five Tips to Avoid Haiti Scams
- As World Looks to Help Haiti, Scammers Sit Poised
- Haiti Donations Targeted By Scammers
You are also welcome to send me an email to be included on my list.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Over the years, I've worked for and with several non-profits. A common refrain among the fundraising team is frustration with "the people who don't give."
"Why don't people give? Don't they know you don't get something for nothing?"
People are not ungrateful. They are not, as a rule stingy. The primary reason people don't give is because they are not asked. You may think you have asked, but if they did not hear the request, or they did not realize it was for them, you have not, in fact, asked in any useful way. You have a communication problem, not an "other people are bad" problem.
So, if you have asked but they have not responded, review your communications. We'll publish tips over the next few weeks on ways to increase giving by amplifying your message, connecting the reasons people want to give with what you want to accomplish, and making it easy to give. Let's start with that last one.
Eight tips for making it easy to give - and two things to avoid.
- Investigate Paypal and, if possible, provide an online donation option.
- Accept credit cards and publicize that you do so.
- Provide a return envelope when sending direct mail or enclosures in your children's folders for school fundraising.
- If you're raising money for a church, make sure your pledge cards and donations cards highly visible and accessible throughout popular gathering places on your campus.
- Have clearly marked, secure donation boxes available around your community.
- Collect donations at every event - not necessarily actively, sometimes a simple jar is enough - but give people an opportunity to give at the time they are feeling the most connected to your cause.
- Selling items or trying to get a scrip program off the ground? Put a personable team together to staff an ongoing table.
- Identify a point of contact to answer all questions related to fundraising and make that person regularly visible.
- One don't? Don't underestimate the time, talent, mutual support and commitment it takes to get a solid fundraising effort off the ground - nor the number of man hours it will take to sustain it.
- The most important don't? Don't be ashamed of asking for money. Make your case passionately, clearly and forthrightly - and often enough to get the results you need. If you are timid about asking for the resources to make the change you want to make, people will pick up on your ambivalence. They will not support your programs because your reluctance to ask for funding makes it look as if, perhaps, your entire heart is not in the effort. Since that is not the case, be confident in your fund raising.
Next - What's the big idea? That is, do you have a big idea to wrap around your fund-raising effort? Why should people support your cause? (Subscribe to be notified when the next post goes live)