I had the great pleasure of interviewing “Hope for the Flowers” author Trina Paulus, explaining how her allegory of transformation came to be. Read to children for 50 years, it’s also a profound, multi-layered parable for teens and adults. Once you read the book, you are unlikely to ever forget it.
“Hope for the Flowers” tells the story of two caterpillars, Stripe and Yellow, seeking the best way to live their lives. It tells of their search for life’s purpose through striving, longing, loving and letting go.
Hope for the Flowers: Trust in Change?
Along the way, they join tens of thousands of caterpillars fervently struggling to reach the top of an endless column. Should they climb over others to reach the unseeable “top of the pile?”
Or should they let go of what they can see to trust there is something beautiful beyond?
Paulus, at 86, is an idealist and activist, and she is hard at work on two sequels to “Hope for the Flowers.”
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Hope for the Flowers has been translated into Spanish, Dutch, German, Brazilian Portuguese, Korean, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Persian
Hope for the Flowers, by Trina Pauls[/caption][Hope for the Flowers, on Amazon and at your local bookstore, by Trina Paulus. Published by Paulist Press, 1973, ISBN: 978-0809117543, 160 pages.]
For as long as video games have been around, game designers have been creating new ways to control them. These include the keyboard, the joystick, the mouse, the console controller, platforms controlled by dancing, and gyroscopic controls built into smartphones.
Tic Tac – which I became a fan of when they denounced Donald Trump saying he used TicTacs before molesting women – just launched their first chewing gum. Chewing it controls two new video games.
Chew and Play
Tic Tac’s “Chew and Play” games are available through Snapchat Lenses. They’re named for the two flavors of gum.
In “Spearmint Jungle,” each time you chew, you can propel a little-man from vine to vine over hazards like crocodiles. You can help a skier leap obstacles in “Cool Watermelon Water Ski.” TBWA/Chiat/Day New York created the games.
This is an important interview in this new era of fake news. The Nantucket Sea Monster – a Fake News Story, by Darcy Pattison, tells the tale of one of the greatest PR hoaxes of all time. It happened back in 1937 on Nantucket island, terrorizing people across the country.
The multiple award-winning book teaches children in grades three to six not to believe everything they read. Here is the reaction of one third grade class.
The newspaper was in on the stunt
There was no sea monster and the Nantucket newspaper and publicity committee were in on the stunt. Yet the news quickly spread from Cape Cod to California. The Nantucket Sea Monster demonstrates kids that hoaxes, free press, and publicity stunts can be made up and seem real.
Pattison teaches kids that fake news can also be applied to books, social media, and websites. Not everything published is accurate nor true. She teaches kids to ask questions and not to believe every story until they learn the facts.
Comcast has come up with a new way to fight cord cutters. And it sucks.
In markets where Comcast is a monopoly or duopoly, cord cutters who don’t pay for cable channels will be relegated to super-slow Internet speeds.
Comcast has long been imposing data caps on customers. So now, if you agree to buy cable, your Internet speed is being increased at no extra charge — for now.
“Cord cutters are not invited to the [speed increase] party,” the Houston Chronicle wrote. “Only those who bundle Internet with cable television and other services… will see their speeds go up at no extra charge.”
Cord Cutters Cost Comcast Cash
In their latest quarterly earnings statement, Comcast said it lost 96,000 video customers and saw video revenue decrease 0.8 percent, “primarily due to a decline in the number of residential customers.”
Kids’ TV networks have lost half of their audiences over the past decade. And this season is looking like it’ll be the worst yet. Hardly anyone in the industry predicts a turnaround.
The Netflix Generation
With its shares climbing 58 percent this year, Netflix is bringing more youth-oriented production in-house. Netflix hired hired Melissa Cobb away from a DreamWorks joint venture to run its kids and family division. The division just produced a new live-action series, “Alexa & Katie.”
Cord cutting will only accelerate as new batches of kids raised on the Internet join the fray. Networks are going to have to figure out how to make more money from shows they produced – whether they are online or or broadcast on the tube.
Here are seven apps that are much more fun than the news.
You need to spend time with these apps (some are actually useful) because these days too much news will drive you bananas. For example, before noon today, Paul Ryan announced his retirement; John Boehner announced that he’s joining one of the biggest pot companies; the president’s bellicose Tweets threatened to start World War 3.
And then, Mark Zuckerberg testified for four or five hours before Congress, where some Congresspersons were no better versed in Facebook than they were in the thousand-page bills that they admit to signing without reading.
1- Horror Channel Night Terror Alarm Clock Have trouble waking up in the morning? Use the horror alarm to wake up with a scream… you’ll be glad to get out of bed. This will definitely get you up without hitting the snooze alarm. It does have a panic button, in case you chicken out.
2- If that’s too scary, there’s Wakie – a fun, friendly community of people who wake each other up in the morning.
3- Shhhh is a mobile application that turns off all notifications and alarms automatically to stay tuned with friends and family when spending time together. And to give you quiet time to get work done.
Paint Your Photos
4- Procreate is a multi-award winning painting app for iPad designed for creative professionals. Made exclusively for iPad, Procreate allows you to create sketches, paintings, and illustrations. It costs $9.99.
An artist who goes by the name Subway Doodle uses Procreate to add monsters to photos he takes on iPhone and transfers to iPad. He sells prints on instagram for $25 and up on his website. He says Subway Doodle resides in Brooklyn, NY with a house full of monsters. Every purchase goes directly to feeding their insatiable appetite for bacon. This one is called Subway Tourists.
5- Invisible Boyfriend Gives you real-world and social proof you’re in a relationship so you can get back to living life on your own terms. Let’s you have text conversations, share photos, tell a believable story about your “invisible boyfriend”
6- Noisli – A choice of background sounds helps you improve focus and enhance creativity.
A new study suggests that the ambient background noise or buzz of conversation in public places can fuel creativity, for example. But if coffee shop buzz doesn’t do it for you, how about the ocean and birds, rain, train whistles….
Guess My Age
7- How Old? – upload your photo and it tells you how old you look. Here’s one it got wrong (in a nice way) about me.:)
What 25 million people gave to “Most Used Words” Quiz Creator
If you’re one of the more than 25 million people who took the “Most Used Words” quiz on Facebook, here’s what Paul Bischoff of Comparitech says you gave away about yourself and your friends to Vonvon.me, creator of the app:
Name, profile picture, age, sex, birthday, and other public info
Entire friend list
Everything you’ve ever posted on your timeline
All of your photos and photos you’re tagged in
Your education history
Hometown and current city
Everything you’ve ever liked on Facebook
Info about the device you’re using including browser and language
Perhaps worst of all, your friends are not notified when you use a Facebook app or quiz and provide access to their information.
Important: Watch my interview with Bischoff to learn the three things you need to change in your privacy settings before you use another Facebook app or take a quiz.
Depending on the requirements of the app or quiz creator, you sometimes can remove all permissions except your public profile and Facebook timeline posts, and still use the app or play the quiz. However, as Bischoff points out, “most people that play probably won’t bother.”
Facebook Quiz Dangers
Like so many of the quizes and apps that are shared on Facebook, the “Most Used Words” app is free, quick and kinda fun. The problem: instead of using it within Facebook (who already knows everything about your entire life), you use the quiz and apps on third party sites that collect and can store the information about you and all of your friends on their servers. Those servers could be anywhere in the world, even in countries that have very lax privacy laws.
What do they do with your information? Facebook prohibits them from selling your data, but how is that rule enforced? There’s no way to know.
Changes you need to make
The good news: you can change your privacy settings, and the information you share with apps, and Bischoff tells you how to do that in this interview. Or you can resist the urge to use the next Facebook app or play the next quiz that comes around.
Please Note: I first published this post in 2015, but I’m running it again as a public service.
Lady-friendly Doritos will be smaller and they’ll “make less of a crunch noise.” While they’ll surely cost as much as manly Doritos, they’ll come in a packet “specifically designed to fit inside a handbag,” PepsiCo C.E.O. Indra Nooyi told Freakonomics Radio.
Nooyi says Lady-Friendly Doritos and similar products that are in the works are based on research showing that men and women eat chips differently.
Women Would Love To…But They Don’t
“As you watch a lot of the young guys eat the chips, they love their Doritos, and they lick their fingers with great glee, and when they reach the bottom of the bag they pour the little broken pieces into their mouth, because they don’t want to lose that taste of the flavor, and the broken chips in the bottom. … Women I think would love to do the same, but they don’t. They don’t like to crunch too loudly in public. And they don’t lick their fingers generously and they don’t like to pour the little broken pieces and the flavor into their mouth.”
That was Retweeted 58,000 times and got 155,000 likes, including mine.
A lot has been written, posted and Tweeted this week about Harvey Weinstein and the prevalence of sexual assault in not only the movie industry, but all industries.
Every Woman I Know Has a Story to Tell
I don’t know a woman who doesn’t have a story to tell, including me. They’re stories about how we didn’t tell anyone for fear of harming our careers, of being accused of doing something to bring it on, or, worst of all, of not being believed.
It takes a lot to tell these stories publicly, and there have been some very notable ones told this week.
Will anything change?
Is Bill Cosby in jail? Will Harvey Weinstein go to jail? Will the statutes of limitation change?
Maybe, if women – and men – keep speaking up and speaking out, we’ll force change. That’s a big maybe. But it’s a start.
As Sophie Gilbert says “The power of #MeToo, though, is that it takes something that women had long kept quiet about and transforms it into a movement. Unlike many kinds of social-media activism, it isn’t a call to action or the beginning of a campaign, culminating in a series of protests and speeches and events. It’s simply an attempt to get people to understand the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault in society.”