I've been given the chance to do an email interview with Silvana Nardone, the editor of Every Day With Rachael Ray magazine. Silvana, a mom of two, would love to discuss cooking - from great kid-friendly recipes to how cooking with your kids can be a wonderful bonding experience.
Are you a fan of Rachel Ray and her magazine or show? Or just need some cooking advice? Either way, send me a question or two for Silvana. Feel free to ask about work/life balance, editing a magazine, or writing, too - your questions don't have to be about food or cooking with kids.
Then email me the questions, your name (the way you'd like it to appear in public) and website link (if you have one) to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, June 4. If I useone of your questions, I'll credit you when I post the interview over at my children's books and cooking blog, A Readable Feast.
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This came from my friend Kim who works at WD Interactive, a communications and technology firm that works with non-profit organizations, foundations and educational programs to optimize the effectiveness of their online initiatives.
This is just a friendly reminder that we would love to get your input on our research project about understanding what parents need and want with regard to online and offline parenting communities; and how they are using these kinds of groups to find information, support, etc.
Just to remind you, we are a NYC-based research group conducting a survey of participants in parenting groups to find out about their experiences in those groups. It will take approximately 5 minutes to complete, and your answers will remain confidential.
At the end of the survey you will be invited to enter a drawing for one of twenty $20 Target gift cards. We appreciate your help and are grateful for your time.
We are looking for as many responses as possible from both group administrators as well as members, so we would appreciate it if you can post the survey up in your message boards.
Thank you! Alison
Here is a link to the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?A=162764668E57122
I took the survey. It was very quick and easy to do.
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I'm coming out of the closet and making a big confession here on my blog.
I'm a Trekker, and I want to be Captain Picard when I grow up.
To celebrate my coming out and the 40th Anniversary of Star Trek on September 8, 2006, I will be hosting a Star Trek 40th Anniversary Blog Carnival here at A Mama's Rant. Besides my other two blogs participating, This Mama Cooks! and A Readable Feast (yes, there is such a thing as Star Trek inspired food and family activities) I hope you will blog about such topics as:
Of course you can be more serious and blog about your favorite episode or character, how Star Trek influenced you growing up, or your annual trek to StarCon.
Please sign up at Blog Carnival to let me know you're participating. The deadline for posts is September 7 and I'll post everyone's blog links here at A Mama's Rant on September 8.
Live long and prosper.
I guess Katie Couric IS taking the folks she met at the Denver Town Hall seriously. I attended the Denver meeting, and several people told Katie that they wanted to watch the news on the Internet when it was convenient for them.
So this is what CBS is going to do according to Brian Stelter of TVNewser:
Beginning Sept. 5, the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric will be simulcast live on the Internet, Sean McManus and Larry Kramer announced today.
The webcast will be free and ad-supported. "The move, announced this morning, makes CBS News the first of the network newscasts to use the Internet for simultaneous transmission of the news," Broadcasting & Cable says.
Kramer tells mediabistro.com that the network has negotiated a new agreement with CBS affiliates that allows the simulcast to happen.
There's one catch: "To access the simulcast, viewers will be asked to register so that they view it when the television broadcast is aired in their time zone," CBS says.
McManus calls the simulcast is "a groundbreaking development in making the program available to the largest possible audience." He added: "It's another giant step towards providing CBS News content to people wherever they are -- in their homes, in their offices, in their cars, on their computers or on their cell phones." The program will also be available on-demand...
Live is one thing, but people wanted the convenience of being able to catch the news after it was broadcast on TV. And after the kids had gone to bed. They also wanted to get further information via CBS's website on that night's stories, and be able to go back to archived information.
Is CBS throwing their audience a bone with their "groundbreaking" Internet simulcast? It waits to be seen if they are able - or willing - to give viewers the in depth reporting they want.
Geez, are Google's lawyers so bored and underworked that they need to come up with reasons to sue people? Take a load of this nonsense.
Google Takes Legal Steps Against Using Its Name As A Verb
August 15, 2006 2:49 p.m. EST
Julie Farby - All Headline News Staff Writer (AHN)-Search engine giant Google has sent off a series of legal letters to media organizations, warning them against using its name as a verb.
The California-based company is becoming concerned about trademark violation, with a spokesman confirming that it had sent the letters, saying, "We think it's important to make the distinction between using the word Google to describe using Google to search the internet, and using the word Google to describe searching the internet. It has some serious trademark issues."
In June, Google won a place in the Oxford English Dictionary, while "to google", with a lower case "g", was included last month in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, America's leading reference book.
Meanwhile, the online service WordSpy, defines "google" as: "To search for information on the Web, particularly by using the Google search engine; to search the Web for information related to a new or potential girlfriend or boyfriend." This is also what pops up first if you type "googling" into Google.
In an attempt to protect the company's trademark, the letters have raised sneers after they were leaked on to the web, with bloggers making fun of the examples Google's lawyers deem acceptable. They included: "Appropriate: I ran a Google search to check out that guy from the party. Inappropriate: I googled that hottie."
However, according to the Independent's report, eyebrows may be raised, too, in the publishing and media industries, which are worried about Google's encroachment on their intellectual property via its Google News pages and its plan to put every book ever published on to the web.
What's next, Humprey Bogart's estate suing over "don't bogart that joint"?
Google needs to get a life.
Katie Couric is friendly, accessible, smart, articulate, professional, and concerned. And so are the Coloradans who showed up at her town her meeting. While the audience was heavily white, female and middle-aged, it was a good sampling of typical citizen's of the Mile High state.
Beside me (a blogger and charter school president), there was a middle school counselor, a police officer, a rancher, several folks in the agricultural and health care fields, journalism students, writers, stay-at-home moms, fire chiefs (one active, one retired), a realtor, a lawyer, an artist, a professor, a female Presbyterian minister, and many parents and grandparents. There was a handful of minorities including a few African-Americans, at least one Hispanic man, and a lesbian government worker and mother of two. Also, there was a really smart and insightful 18-year-old named Michelle.
Unlike what I gathered what was going on in Minneapolis per Leab at Ironic Teachings, the audience didn't know each other and weren't dressed in suits. In fact, dress ranged from sports coats and office casual to ranch wear and jeans and t-shirts.
So what do Coloradans want? The BBC News, NPR and CBS Sunday Morning! We want more depth, less sensationalism, less violence and gore, and a world view of the news. We want real people interviewed with several sides of the story being shown. We're tired of politicians. Several people expressed a need for civil discourse of the issues and solution oriented news.
Coloradans want news that enpowers people. We want to hear about the good things going on in our society to balance all the murder, violence and disasters shown. We're tired of hearing the politicians give their views, and want to see how real people are affected by issues of the day such as immigration and same-sex marriage. We're tired of news that polarizes our nation. We want to see the good think our soldiers are doing in Iraq - instead the news focuses on the bad stuff.
We want Katie to do live broadcasts from small towns and cities (an idea that seemed to intrigue her executive producer, Rome Hartman). People want to download the news on their computers, and to pick and choose which stories they'd like to see more information from. They want to use the technology out there, whether it's the Internet, TiVo or podcasts.
The only thing I found contradictory was the idea that the news needs to be filtered because young children might see it versus the desire for more depth in reporting. It was obvious to many in the room that little kids should not be watching the news. We all agreed that it is scary and brings up a lot of things parents aren't prepared to deal with (death, rape, disasters, abductions, war, etc.). Obviously, little kids aren't mature enough to handle these issues (teenagers are another story). The solution? If you don't want your child to see scary things, turn the TV off! That's what TiVo is for, folks.
Will people generate towards quality, in-depth, intelligent news? And can CBS earn ratings and make money off it? We'll know in September when Katie hits the airwaves.
Katie Couric is due in Denver on Thursday to meet and greet the brass at KCNC-Channel 4, where her CBS Evening News will place its bets in September. She'll hold a kind of Town Meeting for 100 that morning at one of the DCPA's venues. No press allowed, and none of the staffers from KCNC either. Just plain folks telling Katie what they want to see on the news. More than 1,000 people applied to be part of the party. Many are called, few are chosen.
How did I get picked? Well when I signed up online, I wrote that I was a professional blogger, the president of a public charter school, a freelance writer, and a work-at-home mom. I think it was the charter school bit that intrigued them (it's good to be the president) but you never know.
So what the hell am I going to tell Katie?
That I'd like the nightly news to stop scaring us to death or treating us like idiots? That we want people we can trust again, like a young Tom Brokaw, who was virtual member of my family?
After Boo Girl's birth - just a couple of weeks before the Iraq War - I stopped watching the nightly national news and reading Salon.com's political commentary. I just couldn't take news of war, death, and destruction - and how President Bush and the White House was handling it - any more. The local news was no better, just stories of who got shot, what building burnt down, kids who were ill, or inane stories of which panty hose was better.
Is it a matter of "what have you done for me lately"? What purpose does the national nightly news serve, to inform or to entertain us?
Here are some blog posts on what happened at Wednesday's Town Hall meeting in Minnesota:
Hanging with Ms. Couric from Ironic Teachings (excellent, detailed post -seems that the audience was hand picked by the local press, which smacks of some sort of Bushy-like gathering)
Thinking to make life simpler this summer, I tried changing my Denver Post subscription to Sundays only. When I found out it would be more expensive, I elected to keep having it delivered seven days a week. I'm glad I did because I would have missed out several terrific articles including:
Giving our kids the freedom to grow up by Kiesa Kay - I too have a daughter who is a "me do it" kid too. I appreciate Kiesa's heads up on schooling, fashion sense, and self-piercing. Any child who pierced her own tongue and bellybutton is a force to be reckoned with. She's to be admired for surviving the teen years and keeping the relationship with her daughter intact and healthy.
Then I read, Struggling district may close the book on library branch by Monte Whaley - It's sad to see any library close due to district budget woes. Americans don't realize how wonderful it is to have a public library system. We take it for granted that there's even a small library nearby, even in the most rural areas. I remember talking with my sister in Switzerland, and made the mistake of asking her, "Can't you get that book at the library?" She laughed. There aren't public libraries there.
Finally I came across Al Lewis's column, Slackers bring down all at work, in the business section. Al wrote about a recent survey done by Leadership I.Q., a Washington, D.C. based training and research company:
Those surveyed were asked to list five characteristics of a low performer. The top five responses were: negative attitude, stirs up trouble, blames others, lacks initiative, and incompetence.
Low performers are often skilled in the art of work avoidance. They spend more time arguing their way out of tasks than it would take to complete them. They are good at identifying problems but not so good at finding solutions. They have well-crafted excuses for not getting anything done. And their sloth is often at the expense of more conscientious co-workers who must pick up their slack.
Many slackers, however, do not see themselves as slackers, preferring to blame others.
You can apply this outside the workplace as well - friends, people you volunteer with, neighbors, and so on. Al's description brought back memories of college for me. There was always a fellow student who spent more time giving the professor excuses than they would have doing the actual assignment. I could never figure out why they bothered to be in school if they didn't want to do the work.
Check out the Denver Post Bloghouse, too.
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