Jeff Atwood blogged yesterday about the emotional abuse people heap on others over the Internet:
I admired the way Stephanie Wittels Wachs actually engaged with the person who left that awful comment. This is a man who has two children of his own, and should be no stranger to the kind of pain involved in a child's death. And yet he felt the need to post the word "Junkie" in reply to a mother's anguish over losing her child to drug addiction.
Isn’t this what empathy is? Putting myself in someone else’s shoes with the knowledge and awareness that I, too, am human and, therefore, susceptible to this tragedy or any number of tragedies along the way?
Most would simply delete the comment, block the user, and walk away. Totally defensible. But she didn't. She takes the time and effort to attempt to understand this person who is abusing her mother, to reach them, to connect, to demonstrate the very empathy this man appears incapable of.
As one Twitter user said, "falling in love, breaking into a bank, bringing down the govt…they all look the same right now: they look like typing."
Well, not really; but this is worth a view.
Posing as her character C.J. Cregg, who was the press secretary in the critically acclaimed show that ran from 1999 until 2006, actress Allison Janney took a surprise turn on the podium to the delight and surprise of the real White House press corps.
Janney ended the spoof by revealing the real reason she was at the White House: to talk about opioid addiction and what was being done to combat the problem. Her current show on CBS, Mom, deals with drug addiction and its struggles.
"This is a disease that can touch anybody, and all of us can help reduce drug abuse through evidence-based treatment, prevention and recovery. Research shows it works, and courageous Americans show it works every day," Janney said.
This comes on the heels of Bradley Whitford (who played opposite Janney on The West Wing) endorsing Hillary Clinton as "by far the most qualified candidate to run for president in my lifetime."
Yesterday, some of us from the Apollo Chorus were on WGN-TV in Chicago promoting our upcoming spring concert. Take a look.
Our concerts will be next Friday, May 6th, at 7:30pm at the 4th Presbyterian Church in Chicago, and Sunday May 8th, 3pm, at the First United Church in Oak Park.
I just updated my Fitbit's firmware, which the app cheerfully told me would take "about 10 minutes." It took almost two hours. As a consequence, my 13-for-13 record for today could not be recorded as my device was off my wrist from 3:15 until just now.
Via (of all people) Dan Savage, if you or someone you love watches Fox News, HearYourselfThink.org can help:
The first step to freeing America from the toxic influence of the Right-wing Media Noise Machine is to pull back the curtain and expose it for what it is and for the harm it is inflicting on our culture, communities and Democracy.
Fortunately, there’s plenty of ammunition to help us in this effort.
We should take heart that we are seeing the beginning of a shift where Americans (including high-profile Republicans) are increasingly aware of, and vocal about, the concerted effort by the extreme Right to manipulate the media toward a radical ideological agenda and the dangerous consequences for our country.
He also recommends watching Jen Senko's documentary The Brainwashing Of My Dad, whose trailer I give you here:
The Tribune has a graphic up demonstrating how Chicago temperatures dropped 20°C in one day. We went from a high temperature of 28°C at 4pm Monday down to a morning low of 7°C by 7pm Tuesday.
I should mention that I had several windows open Monday night, and closed them around 4am. That helped a little, but it would have helped more had I turned the heat on.
Despite the colder weather, through yesterday I've had six consecutive days of 15,000+ steps, including two of better than 20,000. Today looks promising as well. Fitbit also has a new feature that awards a pip for each clock hour in which you get 250 or more steps, the idea being to get you off your ass. I've got my app set to count from 8am to 9pm. Since Friday, I've had 13 of 13 hours four of five possible days—and today looks pretty likely as well. (The trick is to take Parker for a walk at 5 minutes before the hour, which gets me two pips in 10 minutes.
This just happened today:
Also, yesterday was the fifth day in a row that I topped 15,000 steps. Today it's gray and cold, so I may not get that many.
Graham Chapman and Terry Jones visited Chicago in 1975 to promote Monty Python and the Holy Grail. And then they shot these promos for the local Public Television station, WTTW:
DNAinfo has more.
Breaking from more than 60 years of tradition, on May 11th the National Weather Service will stop using ALL CAPS in its forecasts:
The National Weather Service has proposed to use mixed-case letters several times since the 1990s, when widespread use of the Internet and email made teletype obsolete. In fact, in web speak, use of capital letters became synonymous with angry shouting. However, it took the next 20 years or so for users of Weather Service products to phase out the last of the old equipment that would only recognize teletype.
Recent software upgrades to the computer system that forecasters use to produce weather predictions, called AWIPS 2offsite link (The Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System), are allowing for the change to mixed-case letters. The switch will happen on May 11, after the required 30-day notification period to give customers adequate time to prepare for the change.
Yes, we only have about two weeks left to prepare for this MOMENTOUS CHANGE. I can scarcely believe it myself...
It looks like David Koch has left the reservation:
In the interview with chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl, which aired on ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos," Charles Koch said Bill Clinton had done a better job than George W. Bush in controlling government growth while president.
"So is it possible another Clinton could be better than another Republican?" Karl asked.
"It's possible," Koch responded.
"You couldn't see yourself supporting Hillary Clinton, could you?" Karl pressed.
Koch responded: "Well, I - that - her - we would have to believe her actions would be quite different than her rhetoric, let me put it that way. But on some of the Republican candidates we would - before we could support them - we'd have to believe their actions will be quite different than the rhetoric we've heard so far."
Now, as Josh Marshall pointed out, this doesn't mean that Koch actually supports Clinton. But he's not actually supporting Trump either. This is getting pretty interesting.