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February 2011

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Runner Streams His Marathon Online

February 28, 2011

It is remarkable enough anytime someone completes a marathon. It is a long 26.2 miles. Believe me, I know from personal experience, having run two marathons myself. I wrote about my first one in Phoenix in 2007.
Joseph Tame runs Tokyo Marathon and streams it online
(Joseph Tame completed a marathon while streaming it online, photo from CNN)

Just a few days ago Joseph Tame completed a marathon in Tokyo. He didn't set any records for speed - it took him over six hours. However, he wired himself to stream it for people on the Internet. About 3,000 people followed his iPhone stream. Tame works in social networking, so this was an ambitious challenge that fit well with his endeavors to communicate a challenging life experience to the online world. You can check out the story by Kyung Lah of CNN here.


And The Oscar Goes to the...Best Life Story?

February 25, 2011

The Motion Picture Academy Awards ceremony, complete with all its glitz, glam and posing, takes place this Sunday (February 27) and there are 10 nominated films for Best Picture. The Oscars traditionally had nominated five pictures each year, but they've expanded the category.

Like most people, I have not seen all the nominees. But I eventually will see most or all of them. Despite the mostly egocentric nature of the film industry and many who work in it I still love movies and I look for how films can teach us about life and our own stories. This year there are a number of nominees that are powerful in that regard, but perhaps the one that most resonates with  our childhood and touches the hearts of children and adults is Toy Story 3. An animated film has never won Oscar's Best Picture. Maybe this year it will. The story is heartwarming and full of intrigue and overcoming challenge. There is plenty of reminiscing about our own upbringings and favorite toys (especially for us Boomers). And, gosh darn it, how refreshing it would be to have a movie like this win (see the movie's official site).


Biographies on Musicians and Getting the Interview

February 17, 2011

Because I spent so many years working in the radio broadcasting business, playing music and interviewing artists, I have a hunger to know what inspires musicians. I find their life stories to be fascinating. Usually they have many challenges, rejections and so on to relate. A lot of tough living can happen before a band gets signed to a record deal. And it is even more difficult to sell records, get airplay and achieve some commercial success. On top of that, life on the road, dealing with big egos, struggling to make money while staying dedicated to your dream - it is a hard business to succeed in.

I've shifted careers and this past year I've been back in school to get certified to teach. Currently I am student teaching at a middle school to 7th graders and an assignment they've all been working on is writing a short biography on a music artist or band of their choice. I've taught them how to conduct research, create an outline, find interesting and important facts and write a compelling bio that is in their own words (not "cut and paste" from some online article).

Imagine my delight when I discovered a couple of days ago the story about Annie Reed, an 8th grader in a school near Detroit, who had a similar assignment. Only her teacher pushed her to do something a bit more challenging. He asked her to try to get an interview with the artist. That's intimidating, especially when the artist she was writing about is Eminem, the very popular and reclusive rapper from Detroit.

Annie didn't shy away from the challenge and pursued the interview and against great odds was granted a once in a lifetime opportunity. The article by B.J. Hammerstein of the Detroit Free Press, details how she did it and is a heartwarming story that has been picked up by other media, including USA Today (here). As you might imagine, we used this article in the class I am teaching and it was fun and inspiring. It shows that when you do personal history work it can sometimes lead to great things. Annie will always have this powerful experience in her life to recall and share. And it grew out of an assignment to write a bio on someone else. Stories, interviewing and writing all matter a great deal. Go for it.


A Bio About You

February 14, 2011

Many people encounter the need to have a short biography written about themselves. Typically this is for professional reasons. Perhaps you are being profiled in a magazine or trade publication. Maybe you are running for some sort of elected position. Or you might be a writer who needs exposure. There are many reasons for a biographical profile.

If you are crafting a bio like this it should be written in a third person point of view. This presents you in a professional way. The bio should be succinct and highlight your background and experience, but it also should give an insight into you as a person, as this article on eHow states.

I've found it can be difficult to write this yourself, even if you are a good writer. It can help to have a professional who has some emotional detachment from your life interview you and put something together. I've done it many times for others and at a very affordable rate. You can find out more here.


Real Lasting Love

February 12, 2011

Your Legacy of Love by Gemini AdamsWith Valentine's Day just around the corner I wanted to once again remind you about Your Legacy of Love - the wonderful book by Gemini Adams. If you want to give a lasting gift, give this book. And then start planning how you will pass on your values and wishes, your "Gift in Goodbye".

This book is being offered for a special 50% discount to my readers, but the offer has been available for over a month and will discontinue after Monday, Fabruary 14 (Valentine's Day). So, check out the special offer now by visiting our Highlight Site special feature on Your Legacy of Love.


Super Bowl Advertising Through the Years

February 7, 2011

Super Bowl XLV is history and the Green Bay Packers are the victors. But the game is not the only thing viewers tune in for. Every year advertisers hope their millions spent on marketing will have a lasting effect. It seems to me that many of the television ads are dissapointing, too often going for the lowest common denominator. However, there are a few that manage to become memorable. People certainly love to watch and talk about the ads.

The one I most enjoyed this year was the little Darth Vader with the "force" to start up his Dad's new Volkswagen. It was a nice mix of family "ahh" cuteness and nostalgia for the Star Wars generation. These days the Internet (especially YouTube) allows for multiple viewings, but I think the superbowl-ads.com site is compelling as a site that helps us put Super Bowl ads through the years in some sort of context and commentary.


Living to 114...and more

February 4, 2011

Eunice Sanborn 114 year old woman diesRecently Eunice Sanborn passed away at the age of 114. Think about that - 114 years old! According to the Gerontology Research Group she was born July 20, 1986 in Lake Charles, Louisianna. They base her birth on census records from that time. She outlived three husbands and apparently joked about finding a fourth. She had one child, a daughter who died in 1995 at the age of 90.

Think about the history this woman experienced. She was 7 when the Wright Brothers made their historic flight and 21 when the United States entered World War I. She lived through the Great Depression, other wars, the babyboom, the spread of automobiles, television, space exploration and computers. See the story on CNN International for more.

There must be something to this age of 114 as Walter Breuning reportedly hit that milestone this past September 21. He's still alive and pretty sharp! You can find some videos of him at YouTube.

We need to honor our elders and remember they are eye-witnesses to our history.


The Constant Information Flow of the Internet Stream

February 2, 2011

The constant flow of information across the Internet is a stream that we can jump in or watch from the riverbank. Our world is connected like never before.

This evident each time something major happens in the world. News now travels at “real time” speed. We see it especially with social media like Twitter and Facebook. Currently the world is watching the unrest in Egypt as people are protesting the regime of Hasni Mubarak and hoping for a new freedom and democracy. This view into global happenings can exert pressure in many ways, such as on governments, businesses, education and the very lives of people everywhere who are exposed to the Internet stream. In the United States there is debate about whether our country should continue to give support to Egypt, a country that benefits from a great deal of financial aid, or call for Mubarak to step down (see this article from the Christian Science Monitor).

The incredible and always current flow of information can dramatically impact our life stories and personal history. Look at how many people are commenting about it through social media, blogs and other “virtual water cooler” places.

Read more in the current issue of our newsletter.


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