Sunday, June 28, 2009

Future of journalism relies on psychic help

TMZ posted that Michael Jackson was dead six minutes before the coroner declared his death. I don't know how they did it (wire tapping at UCLA medical or maybe an office psychic). Who knew entertainment websites would be the place to turn for breaking news. I am assured that my guilty pleasure of reading tabloids will be very important to my career, life and future happiness.

So what does this say about receiving breaking news through the internet?

TMZ did not identify their source. However, their speediness played a part in the athletic game of who gets the news out first (good work in delivering factual gossip). Especially when the legit news sites like CNN, BBC, NY Times were bombarded with hits and google thought they were being attacked by a virus, (one that can do the moonwalk, that is). TMZ managed to grab the news first, the best in the game, they win.

Hopefully future happiness is still in the cards for those of us who read tabloids.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Jobs lost in journalism are on the rise in the US, but enrollment in journalism schools are soaring according to Angelia Herrin, professor of journalism at Harvard. Many question this phenomenon, with readership down in print journalism and massive lay-offs in the newsroom; classrooms are still full of optimistic students ready to learn on their first day.

One of those students would be Maria Karpenko, 22, from Waterloo Canada. Karpenko isn’t discouraged when she hears that journalism is in bad shape. “My viewpoint is that journalism is at a standstill”, she said. “There is a new wave of journalism evolving from a new type of stories.”

Karpenko would like to have a master’s degree in journalism to complement her recently completed bachelor’s of science degree from the University of Waterloo. “I want to bridge the gap of the sciences to the general public,” she said. “I want to stay connected with science, but don’t want to spend six years on a PhD.” Karpenko would like to become a health or medical journalist.

Karpenko is no stranger to the world of journalism. She spent much of her teenage years
helping out in her family’s own art publication called Lace Express magazine. “I worked as a secretary,” she said.

Karpenko was born in Moscow and lived there for six years then moved to Niedersachsen, Germany for eight years and then to Canada where she spent most of her life. She speaks three languages and hopes that will help with her career in journalism.

“I like the idea that at this program, I can start working on my degree right away,” she said. “I don’t have to wait to apply by December and start in a year’s time.”

Interested in new technology and social media, Karpenko believes that blogging, Twitter, and Facebook are important ways for her to keep track of all the different changes in journalism in the social networking world.

Karpenko would like to have her own online magazine one day. “I recently got my own blog, but haven’t written anything on it yet.” she smirks and continues, “I am starting small.”

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ray Bradbury

One of my literary heroes is still kicking. Click here to read more.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Last Weekend Before Class Begins!

Seven week class. Goodbye Summer.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thinking Books

Recently, I blogged about reading books on neurology to understand and help with my indecisiveness. These author folks are responsible for helping me whenever my head is stuck and I'm gone to the world of decision making. They're also to blame for my missing countless T (subway) stops, audible ahhs and hrmm in public places. All because they make me think about thinking. Here's the list of the books I found helpful:

Click here for an article about following your gut.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I did it, I joined. I loved my first class.

I can't stand on my toes... yet.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Why I love Brooklyn



Bedford Cheese Shop

Picnic on a bench

Random parade for a Saint

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tis the season for Music Festivals!

I'm kicking off the first one with The Northside Festival this weekend in Brooklyn.
Excited to listen to some live music with my friend's Sara (who I met in Ukraine) and my dear friend Polinka. If it rains this weekend, I know both gals would make excellent teammates for a game of cranium (Kind of nerdy and uneventful thing to do in NYC, I realize.)Take it up with Hasbro people.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

WHO: Swine flu pandemic has begun, 1st in 41 years. We are officially in phase six of a major flu pandemic. Time to start preparing:

Onward with the installment of how to survive the swine/bird flu:

1. Allow your baby to lick the pig.

Perhaps this child lives on a farm and does a daily pig licking and has developed an immunity to swine flu ( sucks for the rest of us). It is important not only to allow your child to pet animals, but also lick them too. Perhaps no one will follow because it’s not PC to have “People licking Pigs," but I'm playing it safe. I shall follow his example and partake in this pig licking ritual. Prior this, immunity does not exist.

2) Gas Cheap Gas

No, not from swine flu. As in, I can put this in my car again, and leave, in case Boston becomes a city devastated by the flu. I’d feel pretty safe cruising around in this protective piggy.

3.Clothing Add-ons.

In years past, I had to be embarrassed of my holey, too small shorts left from when I was 16, but now I can cover up in these new fashionable protective spacemen suits. Now, no one has to dress up, which means I won’t be ashamed and groove with my old clothes. In fact, now I can make a fashion statement.

4.Infection means Injection... by Cobras?
The swine flu hit the pandemic alert just as the weather got warmer. In years past, I had to a) be embarrassed by unholy paranoia of a pandemic flu b) put myself into credit card debt to buy tamiflu for me and my loved ones. Now, no one has money, so no one can buy tamiflu, which means I won’t be ashamed to preach to the choir about the importance of preparedness. In fact, now I can make a statement of how the apocalypse is coming. (Again, this strategy may be more effective in Boston and other major metropolitan cities where I can blend in with other paranoid crazies.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I just finished reading Jonah Lehrer's book "How We Decide."
I've always had a difficult time making decisions. I tend to over think
things till the decision becomes over rationalized and my instinct muffled by thoughts.

Big decisions gave me panic attacks.

My cure was reading several books about the brain (especially on prefrontal cortex), along with understanding what is going on in my mind that makes the decision difficult to make, practice shutting off over thinking through meditation. Wala! Clarity

Grocery shopping used to be a nightmare for me. I no longer dwell on what is the best choice for an optimized breakfast cereal that tastes the best and has the best nutritional ingredients. I just pick it and go.

Clip of Lehrer on Colbert Report:
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Jonah Lehrer
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorStephen Colbert in Iraq

Lehrer talking about emotional brain vs. rational brain:

Monday, June 8, 2009

Roadhouse- February Archive

It's my twenty eighth birthday. For a treat, I wanted to go to the Roadhouse, Public's House patch of Southern BBQ and beer in Brookline. I ventured here to find good American beer and yes, vegetarian BBQ... it's possible. I love how the Roadhouse captures the parallels of rock'n'roll debauchery and southern soul cuisine. Ever have a fried pickle? You're at the right place.

I wanted to try their catch of the day: fried fish, the most decadent of southern cuisine. I, like the commis grad student, couldn't afford to go out to eat every night. Now, I am ordering the season's catch with cajun spice and sinful goodness. I'm glad that I have the luxury of treating myself in a time of being stint.

One tiny chomp and my tongue goes numb. The adrenalin of the meal is evaporating as quickly as my tastebuds. I smell something off now. This is the only thing I ever spat out. It was involuntary. My friends also notice the stench from my plate.

As far as I can make out, the fish isn't fresh. It's Saturday, not a Monday where in the restaurant business is common knowledge the worst day to order fish. I send back the order. The manager reassures me that he wouldn't serve anything that wasn't fresh. I'm not reassured. He does a walk of denial over to the kitchen with my rancid fish, exchanging my meal for a veggie burger with smiling politeness. Round II, I was happy, all was good again.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ushering at Harvard's Graduation Ceremony

Ten honorary degrees were given out today!
Here's a link.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Another weekend in Cleveland

I've met some great friends while living in Cleveland last year. It's easy for me to hop in the car and drive ten hours to see my Midwestern pals. Rachel's brother-in-law got us tickets to see the Cleveland Indians play against the New York Yankees. We were right behind home plate.


I gave up sports when I was ten. After being on the tennis team, dive team, soccer team, swim team, ballet, tap, modern dance, and gymnastics; I left my path to becoming super jock when my family moved to California from North Carolina. It's not like sports didn't exist in California. I just found something else to occupy my time.

In California, my sister and brother discovered rock'n'roll and being the youngest and having everything trickle down to me anyway their love of music naturally did too. I was introduced by my siblings to bands like Faith No More, Nine Inch Nails, Primus, Led Zepplin, Blondie, and Metallica. I was in love with exploring new kinds of music from oldies to punk. In high school, I would spend my weekend at the teen center watching local bands. Many nights I would lay on my bed looking at the ceiling listening to Pink Floyd. Music not sports was what I turned to.

As an adult, I've been feeling the need to become a team player again. Sports seem to be the common thread that connects people in a city like Boston. With the economy being as bad as it is many of my favorite bands aren't touring to Boston anymore. I need a free and simple activity that I can enjoy and get my heart pumping like music did. It is time to discover the unexplored world of sports.

I joined my publishing company's softball team. Everyone on our team is different; from the older guy getting married in sales, to the stoner in receiving, and the girl in the finance department. We are a team and under that title we are brought together to expand our skills while having a good old time.

The first time I went up to bat, the pitcher threw the ball in an upside down rainbow. I swung as hard as I could. I slightly tapped the ball while spinning myself 360 degrees and falling to the floor. I didn't even make it to first base, but caused a uproar of laughter from both teams.

I had a blast. Cheering on teammates and slapping the hands of the opposing team at the end of the game. Even though, I probably won't join a laundry list of different teams like I did when I was younger, I will explore the world of sports starting with softball. And who knows I might tack on competitive swimming and ballet too.