Monday, July 30, 2007

A Whale of a Vacation

Recently my partner and I took a friend from Michigan on her first trip East, spending a week in Dennisport on Cape Cod.

Part of our plan was to go whale watching, something we'd done many times. Our friend had never had seen the Atlantic Ocean, let alone a whale.

We booked three tickets on the Dolphin Fleet in Provincetown, on the tip of the Cape, and set out on a blue-sky afternoon to see more whales than we ever expected.

In fact, the marine biologist on board kept reminding us that future whale watch trips would never equal this one. He was probably right.

We saw 20-25 humpback whales, a finback mother and calf, dophins and a minke whale, as well as many sea birds.

These pictures don't begin to convey the thrill of having one of these creatures come up next to your boat and open its mouth to pull in fish and sea water. They dive, send up bubbles which attract small fish to the surface, then sneak up on them and plow through the pool of fish, taking in fish and water by the boatload.

Their baleen filter the water back out and keep the fish in. Then the whale swallows the fish down a gullet the size of a grapefruit.

These whales spend their winters south and spend months without food. Then they summer up north and eat practically nonstop. Imagine spending a few months eating so you don't have to eat for the rest of the year!

One whale swam right under our boat. Not to worry. He was just watching us.

The Cleavage Conundrum

Hillary Clinton showed a little cleavage recently and everyone's abuzz. Pundits are speculating that her wardrobe decision was carefully calculated, designed to combat her "acting like a man" tough-girl image. After all, John Edwards saw fit to lament that her debate-night jacket wouldn't be his first choice. But, then, guys in pink generally get more guffaws than gals do.
You can't make this stuff up!
With Americans and Iraqis dying every day while the folks back home worry about fashion choices, it makes you wonder where our priorities really reside.
So, here's a suggestion for the next debate. Add up the number of men and the number of women participating in the debate. Select amply cut suits for X number of men and something in pink for the one woman in the pool. Then, number the outfits, put the numbers in a hat, and have everybody pick a number.
If Richardson draws the dress, then that's the way it goes. Suddenly, Richardson aside, wardrobe becomes a fairly moot point. Unless, of course, one of the guys is stuck with a pink shirt.
Seriously, kids, it's not that big a deal what she wears. Few people will be able to get past the fact that she's a woman and a woman has never been elected president.
Here's the thing. Women have been leading other countries for a long time and most of those countries were in a lot less trouble most of the time than are we, the United States, today.
So, give her a shot. Let her debate with the boys. And, networks. Let's keep it to just head shots, OK?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Beginning a conversation

After some help from a former student, Eric Hansen, I've decided to jump into the social media world and start blogging!
As a teacher, I find I learn as much from my students as they likely learn from me. Eric, a recent graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with a degree in public relations, delivered a dynamite series of seminars on new media in spring 2007 here at Newhouse and he inspired me to start communicating with others through this technology.
Since I work in an environment where news is king and all things current spark interest, I look forward to chatting about the latest trends, disturbing news stories, corporate foibles, and many other topics.
Here's to some great discussion!