After six years with various iPhones, I lasted all of five days trying out my first Android smartphone. But I’m not mad about the $50 restocking fee I had to give the AT&T store to give the Galaxy S5 back. It was a worthy experiment that made me realize what I do like about iOS and what I want out of a phone in general, plus helped me break some less than stellar habits. Here’s what I learned.
1) I want my text messages pushed to me.
I’m not a big fan of push notifications — I have pretty much all of them turned off — but I rely on push for accessing texts quickly and easily. It’s something that defines the medium (for me, but obviously not for everyone). I used to get miffed/mystified when my Android-using husband didn’t get my texts right away, but now I know why. Continue reading →
“Social media is a thorn in the court system’s side,” said the man at the front of the room to the pool of potential jurors nervously awaiting our turn to avoid being picked, but really he wasn’t just a regular court employee, he had some kind of pull, some kind of position of power, enough that he interspersed his inspirational speech about how jury duty is the quintessential building block of a just society with slightly indignant reminiscences of his efforts to streamline the system.
He wants our email addresses, no, we won’t automatically be called again if we give them, because that will save on postage, did you know it can take up to three. whole. stamps. to get one potential juror in the seat we are now in? That’s because we all want to be scofflaws and giving our email address to the City of Philadelphia won’t fix that but it will save on postage and that’s not his money he’s talking about it’s taxpayer money so give up that @ will you please. Continue reading →
Everyone is a photographer now, and that’s wonderful. We all document moments both important and mundane, scenes both amusing and stunning, creating a colorful whirlwind that turns into an extra layer of the fabric of life. Step into the serenely industrial galleries at Pier 24 in San Francisco, though, and you’ll be reminded that photography can also be art.
A huge variety of photographic prints make up the current exhibition (“A Sense of Place,” open through May 2014), but it’s the gallery space itself that is most intriguing. Continue reading →
It’s 8 AM, and I’m standing in front of what looks like a mix between a celebrity transport and a secret-ops van — matte black with tinted windows and indistinct silver trim — waiting to go drink beer. More accurately, continue drinking beer, since the day before I’d spent on the event floor of the Great American Beer Festival, hopping from tasting table to tasting table with 40,000 other beer fans.
Glancing around, I see one person I know slightly and several I don’t know at all. By evening, I’ll feel like I’d known them all for years.
Ed Yashinksy, the Troegs manager who appears to be somewhat in charge, herds all dozen of us onto the black bus and gives the driver the okay. We’re off, pulling out of Denver on our way to spend the day in the nearby brewery mecca of Fort Collins. It’s 8:30 AM.
“Ready for liquid refreshments?” someone yells, and coffee is swapped for cans of breakfast beer in hands all down the facing benches. Continue reading →
If someone dies and you want to tweet about it, go for it. You’re doing them a favor.
Last week, New York Observer editor Peter Kaplan died. I didn’t know him, I didn’t even know of him, by name. But I felt like I should’ve.
While I was sad to hear of a brilliant man’s relatively early death (he was 59), I was grateful for the flood of tweets memorializing him. Peter Kaplan was a person worth remembering, but also a person worth discovering.
These days, even minor celebrities’ fame explodes when they die. Instead of dismissing the surge as a symptom of pop-culture obsession, consider it an opportunity to learn about one more human and extend whatever impression they made on the world just a little bit further. Continue reading →