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Thursday, February 26, 2009

It’s Cheaper to Gain Weight than it is to Lose it

A great post today from Fooducate . . .

Until the middle of the 20th century, many people struggled with the most basic need for nourishment. They simply did not have enough to eat. Many a night they would go to sleep on an empty stomach. People were skinny, overly so. Only the wealthy could afford to eat well; they would flaunt their wealth with a hefty waistline.

Fast forward to today, the world has prospered, and food is now cheaper than it has ever been. Which means that in most western countries, even low-income people can go to bed with a full belly. Yet even today poor people struggle with basic nourishment. Only now, the problem has reversed, with too much (bad) food being consumed, creating for the first time in history a larger number of obese people on the planet than starving people.

This not a low-income or a third-world country issue. It's a problem for anyone who lives in country whose food system has joined the global chain and adapted to the “western diet;" a diet of convenience, replacing home cooking with processing in a factory. America, the leader in industrialization and economies of scale, took to food just like cars in an assembly plant, and through amazing breakthroughs in food technology was able to produce a Twinkie that would stay fresh for five years and a $.99 burger available on every street corner.

While the cost of filling our bellies has decreased, the true price of processed foods is in the collective medical bills we pay for obesity related disease treatment.Yes, it is tasty, convenient and cheap to gulp down greasy, sweet, and salty foods and beverages. Low Price, taste and convenience are the thee pillars of modern eating. However, a table standing on three legs is bound to topple. That missing fourth leg is your health, and it's what’s absent from many people’s diets today.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The future of food labels

Reposted from Fooducate:
If the smell from the supermarket bakery or deli department isn't enough to crank up your hunger and open up your wallet, here’s what the future has in store for you:

Peter Harrop, IDTechex chairman, said that printed electronics are emerging that will engage more of the human senses. “Future labels will be able to sense when a consumer is near and emit an aroma such as coffee to encourage them to purchase the product.”

He added that the next generation of printed electronics will also include reusable, reconfigurable and programmable labels, some of which are responsive and interactive such as moving color pictures.
I'm sure the fast food and soda industries are over this one.

~ Nicole

Reporting live . . . via Twitter

Earlier this month I gave a talk on social media at a Contra Costa Public Information Network meeting and demonstrated Twitter. I gave a few examples of how communications professionals and journalists are using Twitter to show that it's not just about people telling their friends about what they had for lunch or that their cat is taking a nap. I just read a great example of a journalist utilizing Twitter to do an outstanding job of beat reporting. Here's what BeatBlogging said about Ron Sylvester, a court reporter for The Wichita Eagle, who has been "reinventing court coverage with Twitter:" Sylvester tweets what is happening during the trial and provides insight into the trial itself. Sylvester is using social media and his blog to transform how newspapers cover trials. No longer is Sylvester being beaten by broadcast media. Instead, his live updates from the court room beat everyone. And unlike live TV coverage of a trial, which can be overwhelming, Sylvester’s 140-character tidbits make following a trial very easy.

Sylvester’s Twitter use also proves that Twitter can be a valuable tool for journalists in less-populated, less-tech savvy areas. Many of the people that follow Sylvester’s court room tweets are not on Twitter. They’re not that interested in Twitter itself, but they are interested in the content that Sylvester produces on it. These people either follow along on Sylvester’s Twitter page or on blog where his tweets are embedded.

I wonder what communications professionals and journalists will think to use Twitter for next . . .

~ Nicole

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What is a He/She?

The article Do You Have a Cow About He/She/It? addresses one of my biggest grips about how some people have tried to screw up the English language further then it is already is. That is the use of the he/she creature that doesn’t exist in nature. You can use ‘their’ and ‘they’ or even ‘he’ or ‘she’, but he/she is never correct.

Proper English says that if you don’t know the gender of the person you are speaking of, that person is identified as a he, never a she or a he/she. The use of ‘they’ or ‘them’ has slowly come into common use when gender is unknown or could be either male or female. I prefer this use although both words are really plurals.

But, I’ve always felt that since the words ‘man’ and ‘men’ are both contained in the words ‘woman’ and ‘women’, that identifying someone as a doorman, chairman or postman are all really gender neutral when viewed in that light.

So – I’ll continue to use ‘he’ as I was taught in my English class, but slip in a ‘they’ or ‘them’ and perhaps a 'their'
when it seems appropriate. But never will I use he/she. It’s just bad English.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Blast from the past

Long before anyone had heard of the Internet, early home computer users could read their morning newspapers online ... sort of. Steve Newman's 1981 story was broadcast on KRON San Francisco.

~ Nicole

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Social Media Road Map

There are so many social media platforms available on the Internet that it can be hard to keep up at times. It can be challenging to join the social media conversation if you don't even know where to start. Brian Solis and JESS3 created a great tool, The Conversation Prism, that conveniently categorizes all of the socia media tools out there.
~ Nicole