Tuesday, November 12, 2013

To MOOC or Not to MOOC?

It was a gloomy Halloween morning. All the pumpkins were carved and lighted. Witches on brooms, ghostly apparitions and tombstones littered front yards in neighborhoods across the land.

And I, nestled all snug next to my computer, was able to tell my witch story in a Massive Online Open Classroom (MOOC) from the comfort of my home.

Out of Time, as I've recounted in an earlier post, is the story of a teen whose ambitious goal is to hack time travel to meet her idol, the Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci. This self-proclaimed modern-day Renaissance genius has plans from Leonardo's own notebooks that she has determined were his own dreams to crack the time code. But Leonardo had neither the science--harnessing the neutrino, identifying the Higgs boson--nor the technology of iPad, Facebook and Twitter to bring that dream to life.

Charley Morton, with a little help from her friends and science co-conspirators, does. Thus, the screenplay version of the Out of Time adventure begins.

But Out of Time is no mere scifi-fantasy screenplay. It is emerging on Twitter, on the Web, in videos and, soon, as an interactive multimedia learning experience for teens and teachers.

So when Nellie Deutsch, of Moodle MOOC 3, and Greg Limperis, of TechinEDU, invited me to create a MOOC around this transmedia storytelling experience as one of the Connected Educators Month offerings, I was thrilled. When Nellie posted the page on her WizIQ hosting platform, the numbers of interested learners jumped--ultimately to close to 3,500 people.

I was even more excited--and more than a bit nervous--to learn that participants in our Halloween Tale hailed from around the globe: U.S., Canada, U.K. Venezuela, Columbia, Tunisia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka. (View recorded class here: www.wiziq.com/online-class/1435994-expanding-learning-through-interactive-online-storytelling-out-of-tim)

The class was warm and welcoming, and Nellie was the perfect host. I enjoyed the experience and now look forward to the sequel, Transmedia Storytelling: Learning through Narrative Engagement Out of Time--this one in time, for Connected Online 2014 on Saturday, February 8 at 4 p.m. EST.

And jump into the #TwitterFiction story @OutofTimeMovie on Twitter. After all, Charley can't jump Out of Time without you!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Building Story Algorithms


Social Media by the Numbers

Which comes first: the numbers or the words?
Story is part of a connective thread that weaves our lives together in the tapestry of humanity. I saw this in the work of Esther Krinitz at the American Visionary Arts Museum special storytelling exhibit in Baltimore on a recent visit. She has literally stitched her personal history through the war into fabric in crewelwork. It is a magnificent masterwork of memory.
In the same way, my writing weaves together what is otherwise a fragmented set of sensory experiences into a coherent narrative.
But what is story without an audience?
We’d been feasting on Maryland crabs, fresh out of the Chesapeake—with only a slight detour to a nearby seafood place to pick up bags of the steaming, Old Bay-seasoned crustaceans. The litter of crab shells, hammers, picked over legs and entrails piled up on newspapers in front of us, as did the corn cobs, beer bottles and other detritus from a traditional summer backyard picnic. 
Satiated, fingers and tongue burning from too much Old Bay, my son Ben and his girlfriend, younger son Ari and our friend Mickie visiting from Israel settled in for conversation. Interested in getting feedback from a generation of digital natives for my just-launched tweet-storytelling experiment @OutofTimeMovie, I observed how Ben has been busily following people on Twitter for his band Clones of Clones’s upcoming release of a new EP.
Out of Time (link to post below), for those not familiar (okay, for the 7 million people minus 30 some-odd who are now followers) is based on a screenplay I’ve written about some wicked smart teens building Leonardo da Vinci’s version of a time machine for the school science fair using modern technology that old Leo could only dream of: GPS activation of a secret code based on relativity and enabled by everything from Legobots to curling irons to solar electrical panels tied into an iPad for activation. With some gummy worms and energy bars thrown into the travel pack for a snack on the 500 year ride back to Renaissance Florence.
The characters have developed a life of their own. (Teenagers!) A friend suggested I start tweeting the story. Much like the way Dickens and other authors of his day serialized their stories in London newspapers, and soap operas became daily “stories” for millions of fans—based on Proctor and Gamble’s innovative intention of telling a story while selling Ivory soap—Twitter is shaping up as the modern medium for serial storytelling with a potential worldwide audience tweeting suggestions and advances to influence the outcome.
“Hey, Mom, it’s all an algorithm,” said Ben, which came as something of a revelation to me in that moment of repose. Not that I am unaware that search engines and social apps work by the numbers, but I had never before applied that to gaining followers, connections and friends on my own social media outlets. (Duh!)
I’d noticed that other people win by popularity, ubiquity, or by being influencers. Their nodes grow through celebrity or controversy, novelty or blooper. Not my claim to fame (or, in the case of the blooper, at least I hope not!)
Having just seen Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Band featuring Edie Brickell (aka: Mrs. Paul Simon) in concert at Chautauqua and noted to myself that the fabulous blue grass (!) musicians in the band sans banjo-picking comedian Steve Martin wouldn’t stand a chance in hell of ever leaving wayside bars in North Carolina, much less playing to packed houses on tour around this here U.S. of A. with complete acoustic, lighting, staging and publicity hands, I also understand the rocket boost that can come along with good old star power.
Mind you, this is not unfamiliar ground: having spent much of my career in public relations, I knew all about the power of the mainstream media to launch (or fell) a rising star. And the news media—whether its local news, cable, or the esteemed New York Times and Washington Post or TV networks that made up the apex of my old PR hierarchy for pitching stories for clients—had always been the holy grail for influencers and wannabes. My current work in social marketing is all about gaining traction for the big ideas that shape—or change—people’s approach to health, and spreading evidence-based research as the foundation to substantiate positive behavior change.
An enthusiastic adopter of social media, I also use channels like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to boost reception for the messages my clients and I feel compelled to share. But I told myself that influence in the digital age was different. In my world, it’s all about content. Provide interesting, compelling stories, and the world will want to listen.
But that proves to be a slow way to win the race to getting attention. And my new storytelling project will only really come to life once I can convince people to join in the telling.
‘Coz it’s all about the algorithm.
So here is the news for digital popularity. Numbers beget numbers. Does content matter? Well, yes…but first you have to get people’s attention.
Which set me to thinking: what if mathematics is, indeed, the foundation of being? Not a numbers person myself, the idea that we can shoot to fame strictly by being statistically significant leaves me cold. And since one of my personal obstacles in life—one that I am coming to the realization that I need to overcome in order to advance soulfully—is the very idea of publicizing myself, drawing attention to me (as opposed to another person, a cause, idea or principle), it’s hard to wrap my head around becoming this algorithmically significant statistic. Playing the numbers game.
Why is this idea so hard?
First and foremost, it’s a reflection of how I was raised. Putting yourself out there feels, well, aggressive. “Good girls are modest; they don’t draw attention to themselves.” “Your husband and family come first.” “It’s selfish to indulge your self-passion, -interests, -needs, -care (fill in the blank).”
 This may seem sexist, but as a rule, I have noticed that men do not seem to suffer under the same constraints. The way we raise boys to appear in society does not discourage them from promoting themselves and their ideas.
Beyond the constraints of social mores and upbringing, I have some ingrained biases towards substance over statistics:
·      I want to believe ideas matter.  It’s not for nothing I trade in them for a living.
·      Numbers may have their own elegance and internal logic, but life is messy.
·      The number of people who are, in their heads, mathematicians—and this might also include economists, physicists and others hard-wired to make sense of numbers—is relatively small. In the world and in the soul, words make meaning out of the randomness around us. Numbers included.
If this notion turns out to be all wrong, or at least incomplete, that stands my world on its head. But that’s not all bad. Maybe from here I will be able to tell the story in a whole new way.
So here we go in 5…4…3…2…
Up, up and away

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

From Carpools to Time Travel Tweeting: Join Our Social Storytelling Experiment

Published in Technology Integration in Education

Creating a Story Tweeting Adventure
I am a consultant in social marketing specializing in education and health. I am also parent to three great kids. I drove a lot of carpools back in the day (1993-2010 was the apex of my career as the schlepping mom in the silver Volvo station wagon—ancient history yet ever-present), and relished spying on the candid conversations playing out in the back of the car.

My passion is storytelling. So I started surreptitiously jotting down some of the backseat banter and, as my kids grew up, noted how their language, ideas and attitudes transformed along with their bodies and brains. It was a complete anthropology lesson in teen social psychology that, as a mom, I found exasperating, but as a writer and science interpreter, I found fascinating.

The result was a flight of fancy from childhood—out of time. Literally. Begun in 1997, I have recently completed writing a screenplay, “Out of Time”, whose protagonist, Charley Morton, is a 13-year old middle school girl and self-styled Renaissance Genius, à la her Florentine Idol, Leonardo da Vinci.

Social media makes the element of storytelling more intriguing, so when a friend suggested I take my screenplay public, anticipated Hollywood agents and directors lining up to option the story notwithstanding, the idea of tweeting it and incorporating followers’ voices into the storyline seemed intriguing.

The result is @OutofTimeMovie, a new social experiment to encourage friends and followers on Twitter to interact and direct Charley M. & Friends on adventures through time.

We’ve set up a profile on Twitter where Charley has already begun narrating her tale.

Charley’s adventures with friends and frenemies in multiple “time zones” over 500 years was seeded by a decade or so of those aforementioned carpool conversations. What happens next will grow out of your participation in the tweet-adventure.

Screenplay Storyline

A gaggle of over smart teens get literally carried away while doing a school science fair project: constructing a time machine. Thanks to two enterprising teens Charley Morton and Billy Vincenzo’s detective work, uncovering plans they attribute to Leonardo da Vinci, the intrepid Charley travels back in time to 15th century Florence. Armed with nothing more than an iPad, cell phone, rigged up solar battery, Legobot pieces and sour gummy worms, she jumps back show 500 years to meet Leonardo, her “Italian Idol”.

Both real and fictitious characters mingle in the present in a Washington, D.C.-area middle school, and in Renaissance Italy, where 21st century teens learn more than they bargained for, jumping into a time of social, intellectual and religious ferment in contrast to their modern lives, and shocking early Renaissance sensibilities with their relaxed attitudes towards authority, religion, and women’s place in the world.

Charley finds herself continually censored for pursuing her passions—culinary, scientific, technological and musical (ranging from a search for the best spaghetti pomodoro (tomatoes not yet having made it to Florence from the New World-Columbus just circling),  to playing Words with Friends on her iPhone to playing violin with Lorenzo di Medici’s orchestra)—while Leonardo discovers a girl with learning far in advance of his own discoveries, but Charley is endangered by forces beyond her understanding, including the Dominican Friar Savonarola, originator of the famed bonfires of the vanities who deems Charley and her “magic-possessed” friends a threat to the minds, hearts and souls of the people of Florence.

Making it Social: Drop a Tweet

That’s the foundation; now we want you to get involved. Please follow along in the adventure or, better still, jump in and “Drop a Tweet”!

How? Simply tweet questions, replies, instructions or twists to their adventures to the characters (listed below). Or ask them to describe what they see, hear or smell along the way. Charley has already consulted a pediatrician who’s joined in the tweet chat (@jackmaypole) by asking him whether time travel might bring on motion sickness. Check out Dr. Jack’s response.

She’d love advice from technology mavens on how to stay connected to the present with her iPad or iPhone, since satellites obviously weren’t circling the planet in 1492 (in fact, Columbus was…barely).

And, teachers in every subject area from science to art to music could suggest a rubric for Charley and Billy’s science fair report, how discovery of the Higgs Boson has implications for time travel, whether Charley’s talent on theviolin would match the abilities of a professional orchestra in Lorenzo di Medici’s court, or sharing historical context for Leonardo da Vinci’s role under the di Medici’s, or whether advance knowledge of the future (gravity, flying) might change da Vinci’s legacy.

I plan to post a series of short video updates (aka: serial story tweets) to recap the story for new followers, and as catch up for those who may have missed episodes.

Five simple story rules for driving Twitter action:

1.    Tweet as yourself; the characters will respond or change action if, and at the time, your direction fits into the narrative.

2.    Please use only these fictional characters to anchor the story. Will consider introducing a new character if it makes sense as the story develops

3.    Will work on developing only one storyline at a time (past, present or future) to have time to experience the scene, create a narrative line (setup-hook-inciting incident-plot point(s)-challenge-resolution). Will jump into new adventures after these criteria have been satisfied in the time/place involved.

4.    Strive for historical accuracy (please research the time period): consider actions, interactions and dialog suited to time place, and historically accurate figures.

5.    Appropriate use of technology (time travel and other) is encouraged.


Charley Morton, 13-year old girl, dreamer, violin player and self-styled modern day Renaissance genius who loves all things Italy and Leonardo da Vinci.

Billy Vincenzo, 13, Charley’s science fair partner, class “nerd”, crush on Charley.

Beth Jacobs, 13, social butterfly, smart but would rather be popular, Charley’s BFF (not!) and rival for Lex Campbell’s attention.

Lex Campbell, “hot” new guy at school, plays on baseball team and dreams of being recruited for major league team out of high school, major crush.

Kairos, 15-year old who appears mysteriously at Charley’s Dad’s office on Take Your Child to Work Day. He can travel across time to show up anywhere, any time. Origins unknown. In 1492, he is Leonardo’s apprentice, and sits to model for his art.

Elisabetta, 13-year old in 1492 Florence. Works in di Medici palace and takes the impetuous Charley under her wing to protect from palace intrigue.

Gwen Morton, Charley’s mom, concert violinist with National Symphony Orchestra and music teacher.

Jerry Morton, Charley’s dad, contractor for Homeland Security, and clueless about teenage girls.

Mrs. Schreiber, science teacher at Da Vinci Middle School

Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance genius, needs no further introduction.

Lorenzo di Medici, Duke of the Republic of Florence and part of the powerful family that includes Popes, Bishops, arts patrons, military innovators and enlightened citizen-politicians

Giralamo Savonarola, Dominican friar, preacher, and self-ordained prophet. Originated the bonfire of the vanities to burn as “sin” all art, wealth, books and religious tracts. Repeatedly denounced Lorenzo’s “despotic” rule and pursues any sign of “idolatry” or “witchery”.

Settings: Home/School, the present

Takoma Park, Maryland - Suburban Washington, D.C., Da Vinci Middle School, Takoma Park Public Library

Renaissance Italy, 1492, Carnival time

A rural field outside Florence, Italy, di Medici Palace, Pitti Palace and Piazza Signoria, the central square of Florence

Twitter Screenshot

Friday, May 17, 2013

But How Do You Really Feel?

A verbal tour-de-feeling from brisket to Buddhism.

How Can Words Describe?

Beyond the DSM-5
Our stories are often defined by our emotional experience of life. It seems, however, language limits the way we express emotion. If you are a native English speaker, for example, you may say you're feeling blue, to connote a persistent sadness. But how is that distinct from being "down" or "depressed"? 
Much of what we can understand about other people's emotional states is in the ear, eye and even tongue of the beholder. 
-->How to put that into words?
Yiddish, the language of my grandparents, is a particularly “feeling” language. The language was spoken in the home by Jews of Western Europe. Ladino, the dialect for Sephardic Jews, scattered throughout the Mediterranean after expulsion from Spain due to the Inquisition, is an admix of Hebrew, Spanish, Arabic, Turkish and other languages. 
The Yiddish tongue evolved to include an amalgam of Hebrew, Aramaic, German, Polish and a bissel of the Romance languages as the ancient Hebrews, who were destined to roam the Diaspora from the time of the Babylonian exile until the mid-20th century, acquired the words and accompanying gestures to express a rich range of human emotions—from long-suffering to ecstatic. 
Take verklempt, made famous in a Saturday Night Live skit, “Coffee Talk,” with Mike Myers and Co. A word meaning “Overcome with emotion!” even sounds dramatic. Or hear somebody kvetch, complaining as if they’re trekking over mountains in pinchy high heels.
For a broader, yet more nuanced appreciation of how other languages have grown up around feelings, the infographic above shows the rich variations of emotional experiencing evidenced in a host of other languages. Each could contribute to the ways we understand ourselves--and each other.
What is missing in translation is how much expressions of emotion demonstrate the national/linguistic character of the peoples who speak any given language. And how much the rest of us are missing out on by not being able to express our feelings with precision.
Beyond generic constellations  
-->sadness, love, joy—that evoke emotion in a general way, language can plunge knife-like into a specific area of the heart with pinpoint precision. Why do these expressions arise in some cultures and not others?
Why would a Japanese mother, for example, use language that expresses the emotion between "bittersweet", "painful" and "wistful"? Were there generations of Japanese women whose cherished children broke their hearts? Do not mothers in all cultures feel such maternal heartsickness at times?
On the other end of the emotional color wheel, a key aspect of cheerfulness in Danish is hygee, a feeling of comfort and coziness; enjoying food and drink with friends and family. Are Americans too busy to distinguish general good cheer from the joys of intimacy? Or is that experience of too much closeness a thing of the rosy past, when (according to my nonagenarian mother) families would hang out nightly on the front porch sipping lemonade and greeting neighbors strolling down the street? Does such general bonhomie then contribute to a trust that makes people comfortable leaving the front door unlocked?

Umami and Gedempt by Any Other Name Would Taste as Yummy

Is it any wonder that, in almost every language there are expressions for food that hit the taste buds with a burst of emotion?
Sweet, sour, salty, bitter – the words that describe the combination of tastes the celebrated French chef Escoffier discovered plying his culinary trade that go beyond any of those individual sensations on the tongue to make something greater in the sum than in their parts: umami. So it goes with gedempt, a Yiddish word for something “slow-stewed and falling apart”, like a brisket so tender and tasty the meat peels away from the fork. Is it any wonder that Escoffier’s 19th century “invention” of veal stock was the basis for a recipe known to every Yiddishe mamma from the Pale to the Bronx?
And is it any mystery that words like sweet, sour, salty and bitter – flavorings and tastes that materialize merely in the mind of the taster – also are used to describe our emotions? And that, when it comes to describing utter deliciousness, words alone are a weak substitute for the experience of tasting?

Leashing Emotion to Unleash Expression

The stories we tell others, in any language, may seem pale in the face of intense emotions where words do not even suffice to express. In large part, our ability to express how we feel depends on empathy the ability of another to feel and relate to what I feel. In the emotional retelling of our stories – our joys, fears, shames, love – seems to come from a deep human impulse to share, and one that most connects to others whose recounting of similar, even universal stories may often reassure us that we are not alone, thus bring healing and health to our hearts, words alone cannot express.
Emotion is a whole body experience. Felt in the mind, body and heart, we are emotional beings. Between our feelings, our words, ourselves and others lies a universe.
Yet, if we speak out of anger, fear,  or even ecstasy, we are less apt to make ourselves understood. Psychologists and neuroscientists alike confirm that we are not in control of our rational minds. In the throes of intensity, it is difficult to have the presence of mind to understand ourselves, much less convey to others what is going on. 
Think first, talk later.
An Escoffier contemporary, the French author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, reveals the secret to connecting from heart to heart in The Little Prince: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Speak from the heart, as the saying goes, and your story, no matter the limits of language, will touch other hearts receptive to the feeling.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

This blog, we are a changin'

Artist: Dorothy Stevens
I listen to a young Bob Dylan as I write this post. "Come senators, congressmen,/Please heed the call/... For he who gets hurt is he who has stalled/...For the times they are a changin'."

While these times feel far distant from Dylan's folk anthem of the 1960s but change is no less imperative. I am a far different person from that impressionable grade schooler whose older brother burned his draft card and fought against Vietnam. In the 1960s and '70s we all heard such clarioon calls to action: End this meaningless war! Equal rights for women! Equality among all people, no matter what their race! These were inspiring to an impressionable young girl just reaching adolescence.

Today there is no unifying ideal although the needs for social, political, environmental and economic justice are just as compelling, if not more so. We are living in a state of high anxiety. There is no common vision for a better world? Where are the voices of those fighting violence, discrimination and injustice, or driving change? Young people today may be called to action--or lulled to inaction--in myriad ways, through the echo chamber of Facebook pages where all the voices reflect their images back to each other or through the Twitter feed into the ether. The voices are fragmented and momentary.

Unlike the youth of the '60s who decided to take power into their own hands, those seeking change seem to have ceded their power, the better to deny any responsibility for the dire state of our world.
Occupy Wall Street At Times Square, New York City
World Wide Day Of Protest, October 15, 2011
Climate, food supply, terrorism, gun violence -- these are the crises we face, ever present. Stress, anxiety, poverty, addiction and disease epidemics that can jump the globe as tracked by Twitter: these have led us as a society to paralysis.

Our world is in crisis. The same old ways aren't working any more. Where are new remedies emerging? Who are the people willing to reframe the questions and try out new responses.

Is There a New Story Waiting to Be Told?
 However close new channels for communication and engagement in a world that is so closely interconnected, the power to make a differences seems far-removed. What is the call to action today? How can we answer? Who should we answer to?

In looking at old problems in new ways, can we drive innovation? Pass the Talking Stick seeks to tell our new story. How can we reframe crisis as opportunity? How do we use the science of story to illuminate solutions?

To begin, a few questions:
  • Can we examine what stories we have been telling ourselves to see whether these portray our personal, social and political realities accurately? Are there other stories that are not being heard?
  • Is there evidence that the brain retains information differently in story form than when presented through factual evidence? And if so, how to present statistics accurately yet with impact?
  • People are hungry to learn. How do we teach researchers and technical subject matter experts to share their discoveries in multiple media and social media channels in plain language?
Senators, congressmen, mothers and fathers, we are shaping the world through the stories we tell ourselves, our children and each other.
Pass the Talking Stick
In fact, it is not just storytelling, but story sharing that makes us human; we all have something to say, but without an audience, it is all just babble.

So let's use this forum to tell a new story, not just about what has always been, but about what we can create. Together we can explore and realize a world in common.

The dire story of threat and fear of decline has created a world of anxiety, scarcity and uncertainty. Primitive passions appeal to the override mechanisms in our brain, awakening our default urge to run, freeze or fight.

But we know more than ever before about how our biological default mechanisms work for better and for worse, and we are discovering the tools to use planning, thinking, logic and awareness to shape a better human response.

Now is the time to use our enhanced awareness to evoke a more careful - or cared for - legacy for our children and theirs.

I suggest that if we have a new call to action today, it could be Tell-and-Listen. To tune in to each other through the power of story. What change can we put into action that will lead us to a less reactive, more conscious way of living?

Maybe the folksingers that spawned a generation of protesters was prescient in calling us together to "tune in and turn on." Today, Dylan's words may call us together as, collectively, we begin to shape this new story, buoyed by science.

"Come gather 'round people/Wherever you roam..."

Monday, November 26, 2012

CyberMonday and all that Spam

Dear Friends,

Among other interesting activities, I moderate comments on a health blog. While the blog is popular and, on any given day, we may receive 10-15 comments, in this very special time of the year, we are averaging more like a comment a minute.

While, in the main, no one objects to the blog's new found popularity, I might point out that most of these contributions seem to be unintelligible. Often, these are thinly disguised as actual comments to posts -- "Specifically where there is married life with no romance, you will have romance with no married life"-- is one I  noted as particularly irrelevant on a blog devoted to preventing teen drug abuse and addiction. Although one must also admire the daring of those discount pharmaceuticals attempting to peddle generic prescription drugs on a blog warning of the dangers of addiction!

Attention all spammers: I appreciate most those messages that demonstrate are outright selling as opposed to layering a thin veneer of commentary over an otherwise blatant spam. Nike's, Christian LaBoutain, Burberry, NFL jackets and Uggs are among the most popular, judging by the entries to-date. But social bookmarking and link building are also appreciative, though lesser known as brands.

But for those really inventive resellers, you cannot beat the creativity of wrapping a clearly fictitious article about the Israeli prime minister resigning and the PLO representative's reaction around the charade of selling pens and sunglasses:

        Israeli Defense Ecclesiastic [montblancpensonlinesale] Ehud Barak announced his acclimatization Monday, saying he inclination quit civil affairs in January to lavish more time with his family.

      His resigning mont blanc comes at a warmly delicate time for Israel, which is observing a tenuous cease-fire with the hostile Palestinian unit Hamas after an eight-day tiff that killed more than 160 people — the mind-blowing majority of them Palestinians in Gaza.

      Barak, who is married and the shepherd of three children, [montblancpensonlinesale] said Monday at a word talk in Tel Aviv that he will proceed as defense assist for the next three months, as elections are apposite in January. He said he won’t debate the elections.

     Hanan Ashrawi, a fellow of the Palestine Unshackling Consortium’s executive body, weighed in on the announcement.

     “I contemplate this signals identification [lunettesdesoleilraybans] of the futility of the military overtures in the adoption of fury as means of dealing with the Palestinians,” she said. “If it is for intimate reasons, we cannot opine, but if it’s recognition that his complete tear was based on the military proposition to public existence, then this demonstrates the recognition of the futility of militarism and violence.”

     Some Israeli factional commentators had speculated ahead of the commercial that Barak was planning to quit the government of Prime Churchman Benjamin Netanyahu to form a new center-left party.

A bid for Ehud Barak's shepharding a peace process in the Sinai, perhaps?

For all of the above, helpful links to the products abound, and in many languages: Japanese, French, Spanish, German, Dutch, English, and variations given fractured sellers helpers from Eastern Europe, not to mention the ever-present Spambots that must rely on Google algorithms and half-baked translations for their creative message management.

And the festive holiday season has just begun!

Question to the blogosphere: how are you managing this season's Spamalot? Surely there are better ways to see that actual questions and comments are addressed without succumbing to brand-name Season's Greetings!

And question to brands and their resellers: do you think your messages of cheerful consumption or comments wrapped around irrelevant stories are the most effective way of reaching consumers? Or is it just cheap and easy and you're thinking, "Couldn't hurt to cover all bases?"

I am curious to know...

Robin Stevens Payes, Principal

Creating and Implementing Marketing Strategies
Health Communications and Social Marketing

WordsWork Communications LLC

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sleeping to Remember—And Forget - Dana Foundation

New research in neuroscience shows how cues during sleep can interrupt, or reinforce memories. Through functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), researchers can measure where in the brain these memories are stored, and what neural (or brain) pathways are involved in remembering specific events or people associated with the memory. The implications for learning are fascinating, as is the potential to disrupt triggers for stress and trauma.
Sleeping to Remember—And Forget - Dana Foundation