Personal
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Quit Begging Me to Shop Already, You Look Desperate

I love shopping. Plenty of family members and friends can attest to my love for the mall. Neiman Marcus to Wal-Mart, I love it all. But after four housebound days watching hundreds of commercials touting Black Friday sales using crazy-eyed, emotionally over-stimulated women, I’ve been trying to figure out how …

PR
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Book Review: Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences by Nancy Duarte

Nancy Duarte doesn’t hate Powerpoint. She just hates what some of us do with it. Her book, Resonate, is designed to break us out of “read along with me” mentality prevalent in many informational and factual presentations today. You know the kind – each slide has a title and three …

Personal

The nearly weightless side of nature.

Enough tornados, earthquakes, freak snowstorms and bad news. This video of thousands of starlings, flying in the most beautiful unison, was taken in Ireland and is now sweeping the Internet. Who among us doesn’t need a little beauty today? <p>Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.</p>

Personal
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Impressions of Dakar, Senegal

My first trip to Africa was my October visit to Senegal, on the west coast. I spent most of the time working at a conference held at the Le Meridien, but was able to get out a few times to see little bits of the city. My lasting impressions are …

Personal

El Nido Family Centers Needs Your Help

They are one of the oldest social service agencies in Los Angeles, helping a nearly invisible impoverished population as they try to transform their lives. The problems they address include child abuse and neglect, school dropouts, adolescent pregnancy, youth crime and gang prevention. El Nido Family Centers is losing millions …

Writing

Book Review: “Skippy Dies” by Paul Murray

Remember being 14? If you need a comic refresher on the drama, pressure, self-doubt, bullying, fear and hormones, “Skippy Dies” is a great place to start. Irish author Paul Murray writes beautifully, humorously and sympathetically about the inner lives of 14-year-old boys and girls residing in a posh Dublin boarding …

Unsolicited advice

Can the human brain actually calculate risk?

Japan’s 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami and nuclear plant explosions have prompted thousands of news segments and blog posts on risk. Here in Los Angeles, we’re being inundated with risk calculations from experts and officials on a variety of potentialities – the risk of radiation exposure in LA from …

Personal

Oklahoma clay takes beautiful form in Frankoma Pottery

There’s nothing particularly fancy about a piece of satin-finished Frankoma pottery, made of creamy beige clay from the Arbuckle Mountains or reddish clay from Sugar Loaf Hill. But something about its blend of Western inspired lines and practicality appeal to me, and I’m proud to have more than a few …

Technology

Google can do that?! JC Penney manually demoted in search ranking for black-hat dealings

New York Times writer David Segal likens Google to the entrance to the largest shopping mall on the planet. I’ll take it a step further and call the innovative search company one of the most powerful media companies in the world. Its search results dictate the information that most of us …

PR

How to write a media advisory easy as pie

Whether you’re promoting a pie-eating contest, a press conference on the courthouse steps or a perfume product launch, a media advisory is a great tool for inviting the media, particularly television and radio. I think of media advisories as shorthand press releases – a means for delivering the who, what, …