Friday, February 28, 2014

Losing Dad

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Drowning in Despair


“Old, white, wrinkled and angry, they are slipping from polite society in alarming numbers. We’re losing much of a generation.  They often sport hats or other clothing, some marking their status as veterans, Tea Partyers or ‘patriots’ of some kind or another. They have yellow flags, bumper stickers and an unquenchable rage. 

“They used to be the brave men and women who took on America’s challenges, tackling the ’60s, the Cold War and the Reagan years — but now many are terrified by the idea of slightly more affordable healthcare and a very moderate Democrat in the White House.

“We’re losing people like my father to the despair of Fox News, and it’s all by design.”

—Edwin Lyngar, self-described libertarian and “frequent Republican voter,” I lost my dad to Fox News: How a generation was captured by thrashing hysteria,” Salon, Feb 27, 2014 
  
• Editorial Comment: SpongeBob might be more calming.


PeezPix by Ted Pease 
 
Key West Sunset






PeezPix. ted.pease@gmail.com
 

TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Utah State University, Logan, Utah. ted.pease@gmail.com.
(Be)Friend Dr. Ted, Professor of Interesting Stuff

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Reporting Mom

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Get in there!


“Reporting is like being the new kid in school. You’re scrambling to learn something very quickly, being a detective, figuring out who the people are, dissecting the social structure of the community you’re writing about. Emotionally, it puts you in the place that everybody dreads. You’re the outsider. You can’t give in to your natural impulse to run away from situations and people you don’t know. You can’t retreat to the familiar.” 

—Susan Orleans, New Yorker writer, from Maria Popova, “Brain Pickings 2013


 • Editorial Comment: That's why I interview only my mom. For everything. 




PeezPix by Ted Pease 
 
Pastels





PeezPix. ted.pease@gmail.com
 

TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Utah State University, Logan, Utah. ted.pease@gmail.com.
(Be)Friend Dr. Ted, Professor of Interesting Stuff

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Invisible Obsession

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More Agony


“[T]housands of unknown athletes will be doing faintly ridiculous things for the hell of it. Unseen are the four years they spent performing repetitive actions to prepare them for their big day. The Olympics are largely a story of obsession.”
Paul Hayward, chief sports writer, The Telegraph, writing about the 2012 London Olympics (Thanks—again—to alert WORDster and JCOM survivor Kenneth Miller, Olympic addict) 


• Editorial Comment: Now I feel guilty—didn’t watch a single minute of the Sochi Olympics.

PeezPix by Ted Pease 
 
The Wellsvilles, Cache Valley, Utah




PeezPix. ted.pease@gmail.com

TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Utah State University, Logan, Utah. ted.pease@gmail.com.
(Be)Friend Dr. Ted, Professor of Interesting Stuff

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Making Verbs

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Get Away From Me!


“For some residents of Camden, N.J., Brian Williams is a verb. As in ‘if you are going to film here, please don’t Brian Williams me.’” 


—Steve Patrick Ercolani,American media has an addiction to ‘poverty porn,’” The Guardian, Feb. 19, 2014.
(Thanks to alert WORDster Brenda Cooper)


• Editorial Comment: Could be worse when NBC comes to call: Don’t Ann Curry me!

PS: Note to Guardian editors: America media HAVE...



PeezPix by Ted Pease 
 
Moo











PeezPix. ted.pease@gmail.com

TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Utah State University, Logan, Utah. ted.pease@gmail.com.
(Be)Friend Dr. Ted, Professor of Interesting Stuff

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Animal Science

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Cow-Tipping


http://modernfarmer.com/2013/09/cow-tipping-doesnt-exist-cow-flipping/
JAKE SWEARINGEN: YouTube is the clearinghouse for all of human stupidity. If somebody does something that's dumb—and I believe cow-tipping is a very dumb activity if you do it—it will be on YouTube. And yet there isn’t a single one.


SCOTT SIMON: And the physics are daunting.


SWEARINGEN: The physics are daunting. When you actually get up close to a cow, it’s a large animal. The average dairy heifer comes in around 1,400 pounds. A bull can get up to 4,000. It really is on the equivalent of trying to tip over a small car.


SIMON: Back to the fact that we have staffers here who have maintained that they've been part of a cow-tipping. Now, forgive me—I hate to personalize it—but are you saying they're full of, you know, you can finish that sentence in a bovine manner.


—Scott Simon of National Public Radio and writer Jake Swearingen, in a serious discussion on the physics of cow-tipping, 2014. See Swearingen’s Modern Farmer article, “Cow Tipping Doesn’t Exist — But Cow Flipping Does”


• Editorial Comment: Well, now I'm going to have to find a cow and test this myself.

PeezPix by Ted Pease 
 
Moo











PeezPix. ted.pease@gmail.com

TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Utah State University, Logan, Utah. ted.pease@gmail.com.
(Be)Friend Dr. Ted, Professor of Interesting Stuff

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Fish

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Fish Story


A poem must break to the surface
and nibble at light,
confounding refraction
and swallowing sense
at a sudden bite
with wide-mouth contraction.

A poem must be cunning
to avoid rhetoric flies,
anglers baiting with lies
must dart for white water and running.

If caught on the hook of meaning,
a poem must whirl and fight,
tugging and constraining,
alert for oversight.

Loose from the critical reel
a poem plunges once more,
moves beneath manifest current
outward from net and from shore.
 

—George Steiner, poet, in The Paris Review, Issue 1, Spring 1953.



• Editorial Comment: Time to get Toad the boat ready to go (see below). Poetry at sea.


PeezPix by Ted Pease 
 
Toad the Boat








PeezPix. ted.pease@gmail.com

TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Utah State University, Logan, Utah. ted.pease@gmail.com.
(Be)Friend Dr. Ted, Professor of Interesting Stuff

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Flake

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First Down

“If an NFL player can come out as gay, a Republican senator can come out as an NPR listener.”

—U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., referring to openly gay potential NFL player Michael Sam, on “Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” National Public Radio, Saturday.



• Editorial Comment: Sounds like a concussion.




PeezPix by Ted Pease 

Headache







PeezPix. ted.pease@gmail.com

TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Utah State University, Logan, Utah. ted.pease@gmail.com.
(Be)Friend Dr. Ted, Professor of Interesting Stuff

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Little Ducky

.
More Presidential Wisdom


“In 2003, President Bush, then two years into his tenure, was asked by journalist Bob Woodward about his place in history. ‘History,’ he replied. ‘We don’t know. We’ll all be dead.’”

—Robert W. Merry, author, Where They Stand, 2012 (See Salon



• Editorial Comment: Stay in the tub, Dub.



PeezPix by Ted Pease 

Sad Snowman











PeezPix. ted.pease@gmail.com

TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Utah State University, Logan, Utah. ted.pease@gmail.com.
(Be)Friend Dr. Ted, Professor of Interesting Stuff

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Presidents Day

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Wisdom

“Never let your head hang down. Never give up and sit down and grieve. Find another way. And don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.”—Richard M. Nixon

“No man ever listened himself out of a job.” —Calvin Coolidge 


“Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” —George Washington
 

“A little flattery will support a man through great fatigue.” —James Monroe 

“If you want to make beautiful music, you must play the black and the white notes together.” —Richard M. Nixon

“I know what I am fit for. I can command a body of men in a rough way; but I am not fit to be President.” —Andrew Jackson 


“As to the Presidency, the two happiest days of my life were those of my entrance upon the office and my surrender of it.” —Martin Van Buren
 

“With me it is exceptionally true that the Presidency is no bed of roses.” —James Polk 

“The man who can look upon a crisis without being willing to offer himself upon the altar of his country is not for public trust.” —Millard Fillmore
 

“Nothing brings out the lower traits of human nature like office seeking.” —Rutherford Hayes 

“I have never been hurt by something I didn’t say” —Calvin Coolidge

“If it were not for the reporters, I would tell you the truth.” —Chester A. Arthur
 

“Above all, tell the truth.” —Grover Cleveland 

“You can not stop the spread of an idea by passing a law against it.” —Harry S. Truman
 

“You ain’t learnin’ nothin’ when you’re talkin.’” —Lyndon B. Johnson
 

“I like the job I have, but if I had to live my life over again, I would like to have ended up a sports writer.” —Richard Milhous Nixon
 

“Don’t try to fine-tune somebody else’s view.” —George H.W. Bush 

“We did not come to fear the future. We came here to shape it.” —Barack Obama



• Editorial Comment: Politics aside, you have to hand it to them. What a crappy job.


PeezPix by Ted Pease 

Sad Snowman











PeezPix. ted.pease@gmail.com

TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Utah State University, Logan, Utah. ted.pease@gmail.com.
(Be)Friend Dr. Ted, Professor of Interesting Stuff

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

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Friday, February 14, 2014

A WORD for Valentine’s Day

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Heart of Journalism

“The heart of journalism is storytelling—we are storytellers and story-listeners, and that was the magic of The World. [Today], the media are increasingly becoming a purveyor of information, but information without knowledge and context is of little use to us. . . . That’s why we read novels: those stories connect us with the experiences of others. The power of journalism to change the world is when we make those intimate connections.” 

—James McGrath Morris, biographer and author, Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power (2010) URL & link to interview 


• Editorial Comment: Bet you thought this was going to be some gooey, syrupy Valentine’s Day thing.


PeezPix by Ted Pease 

Peony








PeezPix. ted.pease@gmail.com

TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Utah State University, Logan, Utah. ted.pease@gmail.com.
(Be)Friend Dr. Ted, Professor of Interesting Stuff

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Olympic Fail

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Too Much Coverage?

-->
“Always the best statistic is that journalists (20,000) outnumber the competitors (17,000). A great media experiment would be to assign one journalist to every participant to cover their story from first to last. That way every Olympic life would achieve literary immortality.” 

Paul Hayward, chief sports writer, The Telegraph, writing about the 2012 London Olympics, April 2012 (Thanks to alert WORDster and JCOM survivor El Kenneth Miller, Olympic addict)



• Editorial Comment: The agony of defeat.



PeezPix by Ted Pease 

Utah sunrise








PeezPix. ted.pease@gmail.com

TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Utah State University, Logan, Utah. ted.pease@gmail.com.
(Be)Friend Dr. Ted, Professor of Interesting Stuff

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Potholes & Poems

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What to Write


“Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, and not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style.

“I am not urging you to write a novel, by the way — although I would not be sorry if you wrote one, provided you genuinely cared about something. A petition to the mayor about a pothole in front of your house or a love letter to the girl next door will do.”

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (1922-2007), writer (Vonnegut’s writing tips) 


• Editorial Comment: Even an email or a tweet or haiku, if you do it right.


PeezPix by Ted Pease 

Utah sunrise








PeezPix. ted.pease@gmail.com

TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Utah State University, Logan, Utah. ted.pease@gmail.com.
(Be)Friend Dr. Ted, Professor of Interesting Stuff

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

.