Blog
Los Angeles
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Dinosaurs, bottles and cans

No one in North Hollywood collects cans and bottles with more style and whimsy than this man. My Spanglish was good enough to get a shy smile and permission to snap his photo in my apartment building garage, but not enough to get the story behind the diorama featuring Jesus, …

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Writing
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Streamline bloated writing

Add a powerful punch to your writing by using as few words as you can to express your thoughts. Readers’ attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, so concise writing is key to keeping their eyes on the page or screen. I’m as guilty of wordy writing as anyone. Here’s …

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Writing
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Mining for gems in your writing

Writing is not unlike mining for gemstones. It’s labor intensive, can be frustrating and sometimes surprisingly rewarding. You can write better reports, blogs, emails and tweets if you break your writing tasks into three easy steps, similar to those taken by a rock hound or gem miner. Step 1 – …

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Personal
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Slow down and breathe

Two minutes of running as a beginner and I was gasping for air. How did people run for a mile? I couldn’t make it around the block. I asked my fast-footed sister for advice. “You’ve got to slow your breathing down,” she said. I had no idea how to do …

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Personal

Communication Breakdown, It’s Always the Same

In my job at ICANN, I have the privilege of traveling around the world for our thrice-yearly meetings, and year-round I get to meet and work with people from every continent. The biggest barrier is typically and unsurprisingly language — my three years of high school Spanish don’t take me …

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Technology

Book Review: Worm

Worm: The First Digital World War by Mark Bowden My rating: 4 of 5 stars So, can Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, make TCP/IP and the domain name system exciting? The answer is yes and no. The 2008 Conficker worm infected millions of …

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Personal

Brownies with Greek Yogurt

I’ve been experimenting this week with healthy versions of delicious treats, and these brownies are a knock-out. Vanilla greek yogurt adds protein but no fat, and gives the brownies a dense, rich texture. Ingredients Vegetable spray 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 1/4 cups wheat flour 2 cups granulated sugar …

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Personal

Avoiding that Peaceful, Sleepy Feeling While Driving

In cities with a lot of traffic, road rage gets all the media attention. But I’m more regularly afflicted with a more peaceful, sleepy feeling when stuck on Los Angeles’ great bottleneck, the 405 Freeway through the Sepulveda Pass. There’s a mile-long stretch that can take 20 minutes or more …

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Writing

Clear Writing Inspires Clear Thinking

Writing about complex ideas sometimes brings out the big vocabulary words and abstract expressions. This seems like the right approach — complex ideas should be explained and expounded upon with complex words, right? Wrong. If reader understanding and retention are our goals, then we want to make our document clear …

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