Disruptions: Texting Your Feelings, Symbol by Symbol

Being a word-oriented thinker, I don’t have much interest in emoji icons. I dislike it when an autocorrect turns a traditional sideways smiley into an icon. My daughter, who at age 11 is too young for a Facebook account, sometimes uses my Facebook account to chat with her slightly-older teen friends, which means that when I am using Facebook on another device, chat windows pop up and fill themselves with…

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13: The Musical Promo

Here are some clips from a heartfelt, belty ballad that my daughter and her good friend will be singing this weekend in “13: The Musical.” They’ll each be playing the part of Patrice (the protagonist’s love interest) on different nights. The song is “The Lamest Place in the World.” We spent a fun afternoon filming around town.  

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Ben Franklin Sings about Your Rights as a Photographer

If you’re legally present on a public street or sidewalk, you can legally photograph anything in plain view. (This includes children and crime victims… but just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s always a good idea.) If law enforcement engages you, ask whether you are free to go; if so, then move out of the way. Don’t interfere with a crime scene or traffic. Don’t record private conversations or telephone…


Handshakes Really Do Matter

Monday night handshake/eye contact practice. [W]hen was the last time you analyzed your handshake? Consider these questions: If you are a male and you meet a female, who should extend their hand first? If you are a male and you are meeting another male, who should extend his hand first? If you are a female and you are meeting a male, who should extend their hand first? If you are…


Rules for Civility: 14-Year-Old George Washington’s 110 Commandments for Cultivating Character

Every Action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present. When in Company, put not your Hands to any Part of the Body, not usualy Discovered. Shew Nothing to your Freind that may affright him. In the Presence of Others Sing not to yourself with a humming Noise, nor Drum with your Fingers or Feet. –Brain Pickings.


The Physics Behind Traffic Jams

In between today’s various events, I dashed into the store for milk. As I was preparing to back out of my space, I saw a little old lady pushing her cart along, not realizing that my engine was running and I was about to back out. To make a long story short, I didn’t try to dash out in front of her, or honk to hurry her along, I just…

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Teenage Usability (Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox)

Teens often work on laptops with track pads, making interactions that require precision — such as drop-down menus, drag-n-drop, and small buttons — difficult. Design elements such as rollover effects and small click zones are also problematic, if they’re usable at all. Small text sizes and dense text make reading difficult. Combine these elements with poor ergonomics and you have a prescription for fatigue and errors. –Jakob Nielsen Teenage Usability…