Some Men Look At Things That Are and Say, “What. I don’t see it.”

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WOODY “WHERE’S THE TREES” TERKEL was a man whose powers of observation were in his day considered extraordinary. Extraordinary, that is, in the sense that they appeared to be completely inoperative. Critics, using a common expression of that bygone era, unfairly referred to him as “clueless,” while rivals complained that his broad generalities had no insights, his big-picture assessments no focus, and worst of all, his reception area…
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A Guy You Could Always Count On (And I Mean That Literally)

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BERNARD “BY THE NUMBERS” O’NEIL didn’t just have a head for numbers, he had a head OF numbers. No, I mean really the guy’s noggin was actually made out of numbers–little sevens and threes and fifty-twos all over, sticking out of his nose and stuff. And while the marketing industry lauds him today as a Pioneer of Creativity, there was…
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Butterfly Myths: stories about my artist mom

butterfly mom close-up

JOAN MARIE SCELP STARR CARTWRIGHT LAURIA (b.1929, d.2012), my mother, was a jazz singer. As you might expect though, other people knew more about that part of her life than might an adolescent boy – I wasn’t old enough to see her perform in the bars and night clubs of the small, Eastern Ohio town…
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I love it when you talk baseball talk.

baseball talk tutor

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL throws out its first pitch of the 2014 season on Saturday in the series opener between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers. I welcome it. But I also have to admit that, in a era when climatic conditions – or at least our observations of them – are so dazed…
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Will I be content sharing if nothing comes back?

The Social Media Idiot

LATELY I’VE BEEN WRITING a lot about content sharing, the idea of offering to others the expertise or knowledge or tricks-of-the-trade that you have to give, both as a gesture of generosity and as a business strategy. First I wrote about how some creatives think it’s undermining content creators (here). Then, more recently, about how…
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Learn how to talk like a lumberjack talks

lumberjack talk tutor

YOU MAY BE a lumberjack, and that’s okay. But right now we’re talking not about the Monty Python sort, those lumberjacks who skip and jump, and who like to press wild flowers, and other things we won’t go into. This is about the “grease burners” and “wood butchers” that inhabit the hard world of hardwoods….
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How to really dish out the hash: Learn diner talk

diner talk tutor

THE AMERICAN THESAURUS of Slang may one day be the last place you’ll find diner talk, a rich and colorful dialect soon to be as extinct as Aramaic. Adam and Eve on a raft—wreck ’em (an order for two scrambled eggs on toast); massacre the eggs, spoil ’em, wreck ’em (scramble the eggs); flop ’em,…
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Content Creators and How to Lay A Golden Egg

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COULD THIS BE a Golden Age for content creators? Has the Internet, not to mention the enhanced interconnectivity created by social media, expanded our opportunities? Many of my fellow writers, and designers, and various other creative people, now smack in the middle of this industry in transition, don’t necessarily see it that way. To the…
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