A Big Vat of News Chum Stew

Observation StewFor some reason, the last two weeks I just haven’t had the fire for a lot of posting. I’m sure the shutdown was part of it, but I”ve been focused on a number of tasks (both personal and professional), and the ideas just haven’t screamed “post me!” as they sometimes do. Still, I have a small collection of random articles for you, and hopefully I’ll get back to speed soon. So heat up that crockpot and enjoy some news chum stew:

  • Alabama Jews. Every time I receive an issue of Reform Judaism magazine, there’s an article from a small town in Alabama encouraging Jews to move there. I recognize it particularly because I actually have a number of family members that live (or have lived) in that town (Dotham, AL). The NY Times obviously saw that ad as well, and did a nice piece on the town and the success of their ad in saving the Jewish community there. Would I move there? No, but that’s primarily because (a) the work I do doesn’t exist there, and (b) where would I find enough theatre to keep me happy?
  • Stamping It Out. Did you hear that the post office had to destroy a run of a recent commemorative because some group didn’t like the pictures? If you did, it is probably because the story went viral on Facebook. Here’s the real scoop. The Post Office did a run of a stamps to support an effort to get kids moving and active. The problem was they didn’t fully review the images with experts, and a few of the stamps depected “unsafe” activities (e.g., no safety equipment or dangerous). The stamps were held back pending a decision as to whether the art should be reworked. The first run may be destroyed, but the decision hasn’t been made yet. Of course, other than a way to point and laugh at a quasi-government institution (which people love to do on Facebook), the impact is little, because most people (other than me) use commemoratives these days.
  • Addicting Cookies. You probably though Girl Scout cookies were crack in disguise. You’re wrong. The real crack is Oreo Cookies, which may be as addictive as drugs. You certainly can’t eat just one.
  • Finding the Abominable Snowman. Here’s an interesting discovery: the Abominable Snowman and similar Yeti sightings may be true. However, they aren’t men, just very large bears.
  • Surprises at Kickstarter. I’ve supported a few kickstarter campaigns, and I’m sure you’ve done the same. Mine have been typically theatre or music related, which is no surprise. What is a surprise, however, is the most successful category of Kickstarter campaign: Dance. Not games. Not movies. Not theatre. Dance. Evidently, the audience is passionate and willing to put their money where their taps shoes tap.
  • Hidden Libertarian Messages. Although I doubt my sister-in-law will read this far, let’s see if she does. Libertarian agendas are hiding everywhere. Did you know that Little House on the Prairie has a hidden Libertarian message? It does, and this article explains what it is and how it was hidden and shaped. It certainly is a more entertaining way to get that message across than reading Ayn Rand.