Know What Alec Baldwin Knows

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If you can’t find Alec Baldwin these days, he is probably playing the new updated “Words With Friends.”

In case you forgot, Alec got into trouble on an American Airlines flight December, 2011 when he refused to turn off his phone minutes before his Los Angeles bound flight to New York was about to take off because he was playing the Scrabble-type game. To refresh your memory, click here.

When the story broke, “Words With Friends” became even more popular than it had been. Being a publicist, I still insist the whole incident was a set-up, but I’m not interested in debating that now.

I’m here to tell you one of our favorite digital games just had a update. You can read about it in USA Today. Just to set the record straight, “Words With Friends” is not associated with Scrabble. Apparently, there are enough differences that Zynga, the parent company of “Words With Friends,” is able to co-exist with Hasbro, maker of Scrabble.

Some of the new updated features:

1-Community Matches: Players can search for a more ideal opponent.

2-A Dictionary and Word of the Day to improve your vocabulary.

3-A new type of personal profile

4-Your game stats, with wins and losses.

5-The number of unique words you have used.

I don’t know if I’m happy about these improvements. Once I see my lousy stats in a snapshot view, I may want to quit forever. Forever is a long time. I have to remind myself, it’s just a game. Hear that, Alec?

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Standard American Diet (SAD)

According to the creators of MicroGreenz, an estimated 40 per cent of Americans will be obese by 2030. Their Kickstarter campaign claims “commercial interests have transformed our food into what is now dubbed the standard American diet.”

I am sharing this information with you because three friends sent me an email about the same campaign in one hour. I thought that was pretty odd. There may be something to it.

MicroGreenz are little veggie shoots that grow virtually in 10 days. They claim to have “four to 40 times more nutrients than mature veggies. All we have to do is sprinkle them on salads, soups, sandwiches, etc.

You decide for yourself. Watch the video to see how easy it is to grow these seedlings right in your window.

This reminds me so much of the science projects we had in the sixth grade. If you try it, let me know. I will share with others.

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Risky Business

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If you are a Uber customer, or are thinking of becoming one, I strongly suggest you read their terms and conditions. CNET, a tech site, just wrote a story that spells out how Uber “absolves itself of any liability in cases of injury or accident and is not responsible for a driver’s actions.”

I was particularly drawn to the story because as you probably know, Eliot and I no longer own a car in NYC. We had every intention of using Uber for local trips. The service came highly recommended by family and friends.

It certainly is upsetting to read that Uber is not responsible for anything that happens to me. CNET actually quotes a lawyer who examined Uber’s written claims. He said, “You can be raped, you can be killed, you can be murdered, and it’s not their responsibility.”

Click here to read about the passenger who got hit over the head with a hammer by one of the Uber drivers.

This post is to encourage you to know your Uber rights. While Eliot and I haven’t used Uber yet, we absolutely plan to in several cities. We have been taking taxis in NYC for decades so we know the good, the bad, and the unpredictable, We just like being forewarned.

By the way, CNET, says that five year old Uber is growing rapidly. “It now has cars driving around 204 cities in 45 countries, and the company claims to cover 55 percent of the US population. It’s also the highest-valued venture-backed company in the world right now with a valuation of $18.2 billion.”

It’s Rude To Publicly Publish Someone Else’s Email.

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I can tell immediately when I am getting an email from a contemporary (read: older person). If he or she is sending a group email, everyone’s electronic address is copied in the “To:” line. It never occurs to the sender to use the Blind Copy line out for respect to everyone else who doesn’t want his or her email address passed around.

I never say anything because I assume everyone else on the list is admonishing the sender. I just smile and let someone else do my dirty work.

The other “aged” maneuver my friends do is forward jokes that were passed along from several of their other friends. Not only do I see pages of email addresses that were copied from prior emails, but it takes me forever to scroll down to the joke. I now make it a habit to delete the entire email before I get tortured by the process.

A New Chapter In Book Publishing

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Book publishers are finally going to compete with Amazon. Harper Collins is leading the way, but I heard other publishing houses plan to do exactly the same thing.

Effective in a month from now, Harper Collins is going to help their individual authors sell books. Harper Collins authors can now add a “Buy Now” button to their own personal websites and social feeds which will transfer book buyers directly to the hc.com (Harper Collins) online store.

That’s pretty cool. Seems like a natural to me. Not sure why this was never done before. I guess the book industry finally decided that they needed to do something novel. Ha!

That’s not all. Harper Collins authors will receive better royalty rates on affiliate sales.

Congratulations to all my friends who publish books with HC. My suggestion! Don’t quit your day job yet. A contact of mine at HC confided that this won’t put a dent in Amazon book sales for many years to come.

It’s A Fast Three Years

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Image: Apple

Today is the third anniversary of the death of Steve Jobs, Apple’s Founder and former CEO. He was 56 years old. It is difficult to believe that it’s three years already. Remember when three years took a long time to happen? Now, at our age, it is going by so faster and faster.

I read in Business Insider that Tim Cook sent an email to Apple employees reminding them of the anniversary and reflecting on Jobs’ wisdom.

Creativity

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.”

Inventing

“It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them

Death

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

Getting Fired

“Getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”

For more profound quotes from Steve Jobs, click here.

My Worlds Are Colliding



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The first time I heard Jerry Seinfeld ask George Costanza if he was worried about his worlds colliding, I was dumbfounded. What an interesting way to shed light on the different roles we all play in life.

George was worried if he introduced his current girlfriend to his friends, that George Costanza as you know him, world cease to exist. There is: The Relationship George, Independent George, George You Grew Up With, Movie George, Coffee Shop George, Liar George, and Bawdy George.

The reason why I’m thinking about worlds colliding is because there is a new calendar app that integrates your life with everything else going on in the world. That means your new daily “UpTo” calendar could possibly display your appointments, those of your family and friends, and events you are regularly interested in like concerts, movies, theater, book releases, new record albums, outdoor activities, etc.

All you have to do is check the categories that “UpTo” offers and they conveniently appear on your daily calendar. Even if you didn’t buy tickets to a certain concert, “UpTo” lists it. Many of us like to know what’s going on in the world. The app also allows you to sync in activities from family and friends who are willing to participate.

The app features layers of different events. “UpTo” links to 10,000 calendars and you can pinch and expand your calendar and reveal another layer of content based on your interest.

I have included a video which explains the entire concept. I just downloaded the app myself so I don’t miss out on a thing. I will be curious to see how my calendar switches to Miami. One step at a time.

Capsules Replace Needles

I was on a series of conference calls all day yesterday. That’s not unusual for me these days. I have at least nine pre-scheduled conference calls each week. This seems to be routine for companies who have employees all over the United States.

I like most of the calls because you learn pertinent information all the time. The frustrating part of most calls is waiting for all the participants to hop on. I started to pass the time lately by asking those who were holding with me if they read anything lately that was interesting.

One guy yesterday blew my mind when he told us all that the needle may be replaced by a pill. That would be so cool for the many people I know who are afraid to get poked. Researchers at MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital are working on an oral alternative to an injection. The solution involves having tiny needles on the pill’s surface injecting drugs directly into the lining of the stomach.

Watch the video to see how the technology works. Or, click here for written information.

On The Street Where I Live

I have been living on the same street in NYC for almost 40 years. Here is a photo of what my window looks out on.

IMG_1032.JPGOnly in NYC can you find a hardware store, a Verizon store, a Subway sandwich shop, a UPS, a pizza joint, a nail salon, a cleaners, a Korean grocer, an Asian restaurant, a hair salon, a newspaper/magazine store, a wine store and a shoe repair shop on one block. This is all on the west side of Second Avenue between 61st St and 62nd St. Pretty amazing.

What’s even more amazing is that many of the shop owners know me by name. We have had a lifetime of experiences together. However, I now know that I have reached a new position in the community.

I was walking past the Verizon store today when one of the workers was standing outside in the doorway. A new three-person staff recently took over that location. Eliot was in there two weeks ago ordering a new iPhone 6 Plus for me. I haven’t been inside that store for over a year.

As I am walking past the Verizon store, I ask the worker standing outside, “When will the iPhone 6 Plus come in?” He looks at me closely and says, “Oh, I told your husband that I would call him as soon as the units arrived.”

How did this dude know Eliot was my husband? Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. He put one older face, together with the other older face. My life just raced by me. This young sales guy was looking at an elderly lady, me. I might as well have been wearing a Greek mourning dress.

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I was at least 40 years his senior. “Just called me grandma, kid.” He was probably wondering why I needed an iPhone 6 Plus. Do people my age use such an apparatus?

Then something miraculous happened. A strange car with a camera on top passed by. The kid said, “What was that?” “That, my dear, is one of thousands of Google vehicles that roam the earth taking a street view photo featured on Google Maps.”

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Once again, technology breaks down the age barrier. We are all young in the world of digital.