Archive for April, 2008

My little sisters are two of very many young girls that adore the 15-year-old actress and singing sensation Miley Cyrus (aka “Hannah Montana”). News has run rampant about her recent photo shoot with well-known photographer Annie Liebovitz for Vanity Fair magazine.

Miley Cyrus Vanity Fair Photo

I understand PR stunts – hell, I work in PR – so I can actually understand why Miley (and most likely her management) decided to move forward with the photo shoot.  However, I’m pretty disappointed in the photos. I don’t think many of Miley’s young fans read Vanity Fair, but nonetheless, to the ones that do see this photo of her, it sends a negative message.

This reminds me of Britney Spears career shift years ago – young singer becomes idol for millions and then decides to break out of her “good girl” image by sexing herself up. I understand that sex sells, but at some point entertainers need to ignore their managers, think less about making the most money or winning the most awards, and just entertain fans. Being a “role model” for millions puts a huge amount of pressure on teen stars, but this is the choice they made when they got into the business. More importantly, the star’s parents should have considered this pressure before taking their 7-year-old child to their first audition.


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Researchers from Purdue University’s Vulcan Project have created the most detailed picture yet of human sources of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. There is an article on this featured in today’s Boston Globe. This video is a really interesting animation presenting the data – you can see the emission levels pulse as emissions increase during the day and fall off at night.

You can get their data and rank the emissions of carbon dioxide by county – Middlesex County, MA, where I’m from, has the 16th highest level of CO2 emissions among all counties in the country (Middlesex is #1 nationwide in carbon emissions from the commercial sector and ranks 6th in terms of emissions from residential sources – i.e., “McMansions” abound).

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Wonder Woman

Last weekend hundreds gathered in all their geek glory for New York ComicCon (a couple of my clients were there, but I didn’t make it out.) I did, however, stumble across a post and video on Boing Boing about the conference – a great video. Love this guy! I mean c’mon, how great is his assesment that you can tell how good a game is based on the weight of the box?  🙂 I had some trouble embedding the video in my post, but you here’s the link.

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I very rarely overhear interesting conversations on the MBTA commuter rail. When you are on a commuter’s schedule (i.e. on the train between 6 and 9 in the morning and 4 and 7 in the evening), you will usually hear miscellaneous and very BORING work-related cell phone conversations or the occasional commuter buddy chats to the tune of “how was your day” or “what’s going on this weekend.” Nothing worth listening to.

Today, however, the 112th Boston Marathon took place. My office (and Back Bay station) is conveniently located a couple blocks from the finish line. So, there were a bunch of runners sporting reflective silver plastic wrap (they get these to keep warm after they finish the race) on the train ride home. Among them was a unique fellah sporting an all pink jump suit sitting next to a pile of pink clunky plastic and cardboard. I didn’t ask questions and took my seat.

After a few minutes, he starts talking with some other runners and tells his story. He just started a charity dedicated to raising money for cancer research and he ran the marathon today in a huge pink hairdryer costume! Wouldn’t you listen in too? His charity, My Hairdryer for Cancer, gets celebrities to sign hairdryers which are then sold to auction with all proceeds going to cancer research. He was also on the Matty in the Morning radio show this week to help spread the word (photo below).

I didn’t get to see the costume in full effect, but I hope someone cheering him and the other runners on took some photos today and will post them online.

To the guy on the train (blonde one in the photo below) – best of luck with your charity! You have a great story. Continue to tell it in crowded places, so people can eaves drop.

Hairdryer for Cancer, Matty in the Morning


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The Old North Bridge, Concord, MA

Let’s not forget that 95 American patriots – the first American patriots – gave their lives on this day in 1775 at Lexington and Concord in the first battles of the American Revolution.

When British General Thomas Gage sent a force out of Boston to confiscate weapons stored in Concord and capture patriot leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock in Lexington, those men stood defiantley on the Lexington Green until – in an instant – the silence was broken by a musket shot from the British line that would forever change the world.

Most of those men could hardly conceive the improbable chain of events that would follow – they just wanted to be free. They believed in the principle of self-governance; that no one should hold power over them without their permission. In standing up for that belief, those men catalyzed an experiment in republican democracy that shattered the long-standing idea of concentrated, inherited political power and recognizes the self-evident rights of man.

That experiment, called The United States of America, continues to this day and so long as it does, will require patriots to represent and defend her. So on this revolutionary anniversary, let us also not forget about our American patriots – of whom we could not be more proud – stationed in this country and around the world today, April 19, 2008.

Concord & Lexington Schematic

Click this image to see a schematic of the battles at Lexington and Concord 

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Most of us get up every day to the sound of an alarm, get dressed, grab a bite and its off to work we go for hours and hours….and hours and hours. I switch gears quite often throughout the day with my job- which can make focusing difficult sometimes, but overall it helps to make the day go by pretty quick. Others I know work on the same project for weeks, which can seem daunting. Either way, every now and again, you’ll catch yourself watching the minutes tick by waiting to go home. For me, here are a few things that help me get through those REALLY LONG days.

  • Pandora.com– Online radio at its best. Make playlists based on your favorite artists and songs and then Pandora will generate similar songs that you might like. It is a great way to hear new music while blocking out unwanted office noise and keeping your toes tapping til its time to go home….
  • Hoops and YoYo – A couple of REALLY adorable animated characters from Hallmark. Their site has great free e-cards, so when you are thinking of someone while at work – friend, loved one, etc. – shoot them a quick card. I love sending and getting these! This one about “Mondays” is hilarious.
  • Go for a walk (sorry no link for this one) – The most practical item on my list. With the weather getting nicer, I’m sure a walk around the block will do you good (I should do this more often myself). 
  • Take a Break. Read a blog!

So, what tricks do you have up your sleeve?

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In this video, Dan Mitchell from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity explains a bit about why a National Flat Tax or National Sales Tax would be better than the current system in which we all get screwed. Support for tax reform in the form a Flat Tax and/or Sales Tax has been gaining a lot of momentum in the last few years – and I’m all for it. The nerdiness factor here is through the roof so try to contain your giggling and pay attention.




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