Happy Thanksgiving

December 4, 2008 | Leave a Comment

A young man named John received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary. Everything it squawked was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity. John tried and tried to change the bird’s attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music and anything else he could think of to clean up the bird’s vocabulary.

Finally, John was so fed up and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. John shook the parrot, and the parrot got angrier and ruder. In desperation, John grabbed the bird and put him in the freezer. For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed. Then suddenly there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for more than a minute.

Or do I mean social media *are* like ice cream? At any rate, here’s a fun video explaining: Social Media is like Ice Cream

Word Play

October 23, 2008 | Leave a Comment

For those who love word play, thanks to the Marina Bay Tides for these treats:

  • I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.
  • She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.
  • A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.
  • The butcher backed into his meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.
  • No matter how hard you push the envelope, it will still be stationery.

Book Launch 2.0

October 12, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Not sure what to do next, now that you’ve written your book? The Book Launch 2.0 video will make it painfully clear. Plus, you’ll get a good laugh!

“WARNING” the site reads. “This game may make you smarter. It may improve your speaking, writing, thinking, grades, job performance… ” The oh-so-addictive-and-good-for-you-too vocabulary game works like this:

  • You’re presented with a word.
  • You click on the answer that best defines the word.
  • If you get it right, you get a harder word. If wrong, you get an easier word.
  • For each word you get right, FreeRice donates 20 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program.

Thanks to April Orcutt for sending the link to this clever site that will surely help you move quickly through writers’ block. She reports, “Newsweek said it lets you send “snarky” messages.”


January 10, 2008 | Leave a Comment

And the winner of the Merriam-Webster Word of the Year for 2007 is: w00t. What, you say? According to the Merriam-Webster website:

w00t (interjection)
expressing joy (it could be after a triumph, or for no reason at all); similar in use to the word “yay”

Check out the website for the rest of the Top 10.

Reprinted with permission from “The Book Marketing Expert newsletter,” a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques. http://www.amarketingexpert.com


December 29, 2007 | Leave a Comment

Thanks to Connie Gutowsky for sending this link to a Scrabble-like game called Chicktionary, in which seven hens cluck appreciatively each time you spell a word made from the letters they provide. It’s addicting.

Common Ties

December 11, 2007 | Leave a Comment

Thanks to April Orcutt for sending this info about a market for stories. (Not necessarily travel-related, but I love flash fiction, quickies, and short stories, so I’m passing this along. And the Quickies are so short you can surely find time to write one. Maybe it would be a good activity for those times you just need to write something—anything—to get the creative juices flowing. Or for when you’re procrastinating about writing what you should be writing. Yep; been there.)

Thanks to Easy Going Books for this link to the Norad Santa Tracker. You might want to turn the sound down before clicking …

Food Timeline

September 5, 2007 | 1 Comment

“Ever wonder what foods the Vikings ate when they set off to explore the new world? How Thomas Jefferson made his ice cream? What the pioneers cooked along the Oregon Trail? Who invented the potato chip…and why?” Thanks to Anna Lane for sending this link to a food timeline. It might come in handy next time you’re researching a story!

Ad Flags

August 29, 2007 | Leave a Comment

Thanks to Anna Lane for the link to this odd site showing national flags — from an advertising perspective.

Where’s Matt?

August 5, 2007 | Leave a Comment

Thanks to Anna Lane for sending this link to Dancing Matt, photojournalist and entertainer.

One less excuse; if he can do it, so can you: “An Italian writer decided to put his mobile phone to good use during his daily commute to and from work — by writing a book. Robert Bernocco, an IT professional took advantage of his travel time by writing a 384-page science fiction novel, Compagni di Viaggo (Fellow Travelers), on his Nokia using the phone’s T9 typing system.” From the International Business Times.

Thanks to my folks for sending the link to this site where you can “check out your old stomping grounds during the times of the penny postcard.”

I love this example of the importance of critical thinking that I received via e-mail. Unfortunately, its source was not attributed.

A student at Eagle Rock Junior High won first prize at the Greater Idaho Falls Science Fair, April 26.

He was attempting to show how conditioned we have become to alarmists practicing junk science and spreading fear of everything in our environment.

In his project he urged people to sign a petition demanding strict control or total elimination of the chemical “dihydrogen monoxide.”

ProofreaderI think this is a joke, but one can’t be too careful with one’s life….

Fly Lady

April 18, 2007 | Leave a Comment

Have trouble balancing travel, writing, a day job, a family, and running a household? If so, you might want a daily dose of inspiration from Fly Lady.

Thanks to Bradley Charbonneau for sending these helpful directions for Adventure Travel to London:

  1. Go to Google
  2. Click on “maps”
  3. Click on “get directions”
  4. Type “New York” in the first box (the “from” box)
  5. Type “London” in the second box (the “to” box)
  6. Click on “Get directions”
  7. Scroll down to step #23

Now you know.

Here’s one of those missives you see from time to time making the rounds on the www. I liked it.

  1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
  2. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.
  3. Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.

Ten Best Puns

March 9, 2007 | Leave a Comment

Who thinks this stuff up, anyway?

1. Evidence has been found that William Tell and his family were avid bowlers. Unfortunately, all the Swiss league records were destroyed in a fire. Thus we’ll never know for whom the Tells Bowled.

2. A man rushed into a busy doctor’s office and shouted “Doctor! Doctor! I think I’m shrinking!” The doctor calmly responded, “Now, settle down. You’ll just have to be a little patient.”

3. A marine biologist developed a race of genetically engineered dolphins that could live forever if they were fed a steady diet of seagulls. One day

Although this sketch has nothing to do with travel writing, it is too fun to leave out.

Heavy Lifting

March 1, 2007 | Leave a Comment

Thanks to Chris Lunn for sending the link to this video about a man who can move anything. “Wally Wallington has demonstrated that he can lift a Stonehenge-sized pillar weighing 22,000 lbs and moved a barn over 300 ft. What makes this so special is that he does it using only himself, gravity, and his incredible ingenuity.” What does this have to do with travel writing? Well, maybe you want to write about Stonehenge …? Honestly, I just thought it was really cool.

Dixie Belle Cruise Ship

February 28, 2007 | 2 Comments

dixie-belle-cruise.jpgTesting image upload process with this shot of the Dixie Belle.

What’s the connection between travel writing and the Beach Impeach project? Let’s see: freedom to travel, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech … not to mention human decency. Here’s a link to a powerful Beach Impeach video, Run to the Rock, by Jamie Cavenaugh, which YouTube yanked because of “inappropriate” content. What’s inappropriate about it? Well, it shows what’s happening in Iraq, that’s what.

Here’s Impeach on the Beach, shot by thirteen-year-old Sam Rubin. This one is on YouTube.

The movement for impeachment has mushroomed; there are a lot of YouTube entries. Here are a few more:

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