I hope one of my students submitted this to PostSecret

Posted February 6th, 2011 in Random by Muhammad84G

PostSecret

And this isn’t from PostSecret, but I’m posting it as well….

internet

9/11 + 9

Posted September 11th, 2010 in Politics, Random by Muhammad84G

This blog, in some ways, owes its very existence to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and I’m thinking about the ninth anniversary not because there’s a lot of media coverage about it on this Saturday morning but because the weather in Boston is eerily similar today to what it was through much of the northeast, including Pittsburgh, where I was living, nine years ago.

It’s almost like we’re taking a collective breather; next year the tenth anniversary falls on a Sunday — the big banner year will coincide nicely with big, fat, Sunday newspapers. Even though they’re just numbers, journalists love anniversaries that come in intervals of five; in 2006 I noted the coverage was “verging on overkill.”
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Stuff I Should Invent

Posted September 5th, 2010 in Random by Muhammad84G

1) A foot pedal so I can lift the lid of toilet seats without having to touch them, similar to the foot pedals on trash bins. And maybe a second foot pedal for flushing, because those automatic sensors never work.

2) A bra with a Velcro fastener.

Cool Stuff in Today’s Papers

Posted September 5th, 2010 in Random by Muhammad84G

Here’s what I’m reading today (some from the papers, some from other places):

Finally, some sensible city planning: instead of assuming growth, some planners are acknowledging that, try as they might, some cities have to shrink. And that can be an opportunity.

Marathon running as a means of charitable fund raising (with an Ed Norton cameo).

He climbed the six highest peaks in New England in six days.

AOL Patch is calling itself the future of hyper-local news and journalism. If this is true, we’re all fucked (journalists and news consumers alike.

And I think this has been circulating for a bit, but it’s news to me and the “Journalist does not understand the subject they are writing about” may have come in handy for my post earlier this morning: Journalism warning labels.

What I’m reading today

Posted August 25th, 2010 in Random by Muhammad84G

Happy I got a couple of trips in to the Gallows before all the good press. Even happier that the reviews for Seth have been glowing.

Another Globe article raises an interesting question: What’s in your chef’s favorite fridge?

Not that anyone asked, but here’s a look at mine:

My fridge, 8/25/10

May be a bit too geeky for me, but an application to organize your to-do list via Gmail looks intriguing.

Your brain on computers: I think most of us suspected tech robs us of much-needed down time (coming from the guy who has been up since 5 am because I awoke with a start and remembered an email I just HAD to send at that very instant).

Philadelphia wants bloggers to pay a $300/year business tax. Other cash-strapped cities will probably follow.

Does Twitter make us communicate more effectively? When I have long-winded writing students I often do an exercise that forces them to edit sentences down to 140 characters or less. Which, I realize, is kind of, sort of, but not really borderline contradictory to what I told you the other day.

Reading List from Sunday’s Papers

Posted August 23rd, 2010 in Newspapers, Random by Muhammad84G

Stuff I read in yesterday’s papers that is worth mentioning:

36 Hours in Portland, Me.: I did six hours in Portland a couple of weeks ago; looking forward to heading back for the other 30.

Now Playing: Night of the Living Tech: “Evolution — not extinction — has always been the primary rule of media ecology. New media predators rise up, but other media species typically adapt rather than perish. That is the message of both history and leading media theorists, like Marshall McLuhan and Neil Postman. Television, for example, was seen as a threat to radio and movies, though both evolved and survived.”

In Case of Emergency: What Not to Do: This can serve as the basis for at least 2-3 lectures in the Intro to P.R. class I’m teaching this fall.

What happened to losing? I was skeptical and reading in hopes of finding “affirmation for the facile argument about the so-called ‘wussification of American kids today’,” but Neil Swidey makes a balanced and reasonable argument, pointing out the flaws in both not keeping score but putting too much of an emphasis on competition. It’s also well reported and beautifully written, which made it easy to get through the long, magazine-length article:

Shields says it’s worth remembering that, at its root, the word competition actually means ‘to seek or strive with.’ True competition, as he sees it, describes striving with your opponent, fighting hard to draw the best out of each other, not simply hoping for a win regardless of circumstances. That’s how Chris Evert, when asked to name the favorite match of her career, could select an excruciating Wimbledon loss to Martina Navratilova. The two archrivals had pushed each other to the max, inspiring peak performances, and that was enough for Evert.

Got a match?

Posted August 20th, 2010 in Random by Muhammad84G

Increasingly, the answer is no. Perhaps the only real sad thing about the long, slow extinction of smokers is that fewer and fewer restaurants and bars use matches as promo items:

Clockwise: Starlite Lounge in Cambridge, Eastern Standard, East Coast Grill, The Living Room and some place where I got a hot dog on my one-afternoon trip to Nantucket.

I don’t smoke, but shamelessly grab a handful of matches whenever I leave a restaurant that’s still holding onto this antiquated but pleasing tradition. I now make a point of it, as a little over a year ago I found myself in a home without a match, and was relegated to buying a few boxes to have on hand at Stop & Shop.

Pictured above is part of this summer’s haul, including (clockwise) Starlite Lounge on the Cambridge/Somerville line, Eastern Standard, East Coast Grill, the Living Room (where I had my book release party in 2007) and some place in Nantucket where I grabbed a hot dog while covering a Cape Wind hearing for the Globe. Not shown: Chez Henri in Cambridge.

30 rules for life after 30

Posted August 9th, 2010 in Funny, Life, Random by Muhammad84G

Once you turn 30 you should never:

1. Camp out for tickets.
2. Brag about how hung over/drunk you are on Facebook.
3. Sport fuck.
4. Wear an article of clothing (i.e. sports paraphernalia) with another man’s name on it (unless you’re Snoop Dogg).
5. Live in Allston.
6. Set deadlines, as in “by the time I am 35 I will have accomplished X.”
7. Call your dog or – even worse – any other pet “my son.”
8. Display photos of your dog or – even worse – any other pet on your desk at work.
9. Display action figures on your desk at work.
10. Own action figures, for that matter.
11. Refer to your age as “twenty-11,” “twenty-12,” “twenty-13,” etc.
12. Introduce yourself using a nickname.
13. Quote the Ben Affleck “act as if” monologue or any other scene from Boiler Room.
14. Brag about getting a hand job (or, depending on your gender and sexual preference, give a hand job).
15. Sing along with the radio.
16. Have unframed artwork, especially if it’s a poster of a hot chick (or guy) or a liquor advertisement.
17. Call women, no matter how hot they are, “chicks.”
18. Lift a leg to fart.
19. Put bumper stickers on your car in a bid to express your alleged originality with a bunch of clichés.
20. Use your necktie as a headband while on the dance floor at a wedding (good advice for people of any age at any venue, but particularly for men older than 30 who attend weddings. And if you are a man in your thirties, you will attend weddings. Oh, will you attend weddings).
21. Do things solely out of F.O.M.O. (fear of missing out). When it comes to doing dumb shit, F.O.M.O. can be as bad for people in their thirties as peer pressure is for teenagers. It can cause you to do everything from attending bad cocktail parties in distant suburbs to pursuing ill-advised matrimony.
22. Consider Perez Hilton a primary news source.
23. Yell “He shoots! He scores!” when the ATM spits out cash instead of an insufficient funds notice.
24. Wear tee shirts from concerts, road races, and other events within 72 hours of the event’s conclusion.
25. Give your penis a name.
26. Measure your penis.
27. Get giddy and make lame jokes when you get/don’t get carded at a bar or restaurant.
28. Eat cereal for dinner or pizza for breakfast.
29. Call radio stations to request songs or enter contests.
30. Supersize it.

Most of the tidbits in this public service announcement are geared towards men. But some apply to both men and women, and if you’re a woman dating a guy in his thirties, you may want to run him through this checklist. Give him a grade based on the percentage he meets (i.e. >90% = A, 80-89% = B, etc.).

If you want what are arguably more practical tidbits, check out AskMen.com’s Top 10 list of things you shouldn’t do after 30 (which are eat fast food, drive recklessly, play video games obsessively, live in a dorm room, get a tattoo, binge drink, live paycheck-to-paycheck, work at a dead end job, be socially/politically clueless and, the one where I admittedly tend to come up short, dress like a slob).

And, finally, please feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments section.

The final 4,310 feet

Posted July 23rd, 2007 in Blogging, Random by Muhammad84G

Congratulations o media watchdog Dan Kennedy, who completed his quest to hike all 48 4,000-footers in New Hampshire this past weekend. Dan’s Media Nation blog is a must-read for journalism junkies who have graduated beyond the mundane crap at Romenesko and want real insight and analysis.

“I plugged away, hitting a lot in the ’70s and a few in the ’80s and ’90s. Starting in 2000, when my son, Tim, was old enough to come with me, I resolved to finish the list before I was too old and decrepit to do it anymore.

“This past Saturday, just shy of my 51st birthday, I made it. It took me nearly 39 years, which might be some sort of a record — albeit a very different record from the one set by an ultramarathoner named Tim Seaver a few year ago. Seaver did all 48 mountains in less than four days.”

Before running started increasing bigger and bigger portions of my weekends and travel budget, this was sort of a back burner goal for me. The irony is now that I’m in decent enough shape to do better hiking, I don’t have time for it. Someday, I supoose…

Pet Peeve

Posted May 11th, 2007 in Random by Muhammad84G

I’ve been running around today trying to finish up a project and get ready to head to New Hampshire for tomorrow’s Big Lake Half Marathon.

But I wanted to quickly mention something that bugs me for no reason in particular: people who put their cats on leashes.

That is all. Have a great weekend.