Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Okay, insulin dependent diabetics, we're cool re Swine Flu

graphic lifted from my favorite Twitter page right now @the_swine_flu
Update: May 18, 2009

Okay, strike all of that. I'm watching AC360 and Dr. Gupta is on. It seems that ALL of the cases of death in the USA have victims with underlying chronic conditions. So, um, nevermind.

Update: April 30 @ 11:37pm

Interesting. has a piece about the first known victim of the H1N1 virus. Although, some are saying those with compromised immune systems might get through this, the first victim had diabetes. Now since the first victim had diabetes, are blunt Amy and Dr. Gupta correct about fragile immune systems being less at risk or are our fragile immune systems poised to have the same strong reactions to this virus?

Now the writer doesn't say what type of diabetes she had. Honestly, I doubt the person who wrote this has enough knowledge to know that probably matters. I say that because I don't know how many times I say "I'm diabetic" and the person I'm speaking to doesn't know the difference between insulin dependent and non-insulin dependent diabetes. I don't expect your average person to know, but I'd like people writing articles on this to have a bit of a clue.

So I'm putting it out there. First, my condolences to her family, but variant of diabetes did this she have? That might matter (and might make me take this post down...and I've never done that before.) Swine Flu's First Fatality: A Chronicle of Deaths Foretold
BBC: Mexico shuts down to control flu

Okay, the strike through code completely corrupts the rest of the page, so another way to keep this up as an act of contrition for posting something inaccurate is to just change the color. It's in white. If you want to read it, highlight it. But it's factually inaccurate.
She totally put it in a blunt way in how she said it, but she said it and that got me on the research path to verify it.
The absolute last thing you want to do is strengthen your immune system. Does no one know anything about immunology on here before they start spouting? The 1918 flu (the closest thing we have to the current virus) induced a cytokine storm in mouse models. ie it is the immune response to the virus that will kill you, NOT THE VIRUS. This means that young healthy, fully immunocompetent people are the people who will experience the cytokine storm to it's full extent, and ultimately die. Younger people without a fully challenged immune system, people who are immunosupressed (yes, diabetics etc) are much more likely to survive. Not many older individuals will even show symptoms. This is going to be a young and healthy persons problem. Read up on things before you get the immunosupressed community having MI's please.
Originally posted as a comment by Amy Firth on Mashable - The Social Media Guide using Disqus.

I verified it here. Dr. Sanjay Gupta from CNN basically says the same thing:
CNN: Sanjay, one question that we haven't gotten to ... most of the people who died from swine flu in Mexico were in the prime of their lives really, and this usually hits infants or the elderly. What does that say to you as a doctor?

Gupta: This is interesting. And the same thing happened in sort of a nonintuitive way when we were talking about SARS and when we were talking about avian flu.

Think about it like this: Typically, you think of someone who has a weakened immune system, who's going to be most adversely affected by an infection. Their immune system simply can't fight it.

But in these cases, it's the immune system itself that reacts robustly, and it's the immune system in that reaction to the virus that is causing death in these patients. So the virus starts that cascade, but all that fluid builds up in the lungs, and all those inflammatory cells throughout the body -- that's what's causing the problem. We saw the same thing with SARS and with avian flu as well.

Which is why exactly as you said ... [people in their] 20s and 30s and 40s, this hospital behind me, they say that's been the bulk of their patients with regard to swine flu.
She's right. I'm no longer paranoid and will be handing out N95 masks at my local airport.

Thanks blunt Amy and Dr. Gupta ;)


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Monday, April 27, 2009

From the Cartoons and Comic Books blog "Lois Lane - I Am Curious (Black)!"

This is a great blog post. I discovered it on Twitter. Thanks to Questlove from The Roots for posting the link.

I won't comment too much on it as it brings the point home all on its own.

However, the point of it is what a lot of people simply refuse to get and acknowledge. It's flat out obvious when you're judged based on your skin color. It happened to me in South Korea, but it wasn't as negative there for me for some reason. I can't articulate the difference, but, for me, there is one.

What's interesting is when it happens to me here in the States. I'm nice and law-abiding. I'm educated and moderately multilingual (acknowledging that I'm not fluent in anything but English but can get by in a few languages at this stage.) I've traveled pretty far and wide and, in general, I'm simply not a threat to anyone. However, I'll be on mass transit and people will choose to stand rather than sit next to me. Sometimes that's because they're only going one stop, but other times, you can't help but notice how quickly they sit down somewhere else on the bus when a seat opens up.

I don't let it stress me, but I do notice it. It's not like it didn't happen when I lived here years ago. It's just that when it does happen, it's pretty obvious what's going on. I also think it's funny to see people reach for their bags when the fact is that I'm ore concerned about the contents of my bag being stolen than snatching someone's bag. I'm the one carrying the Blackberry, iPod and a laptop. It's interesting. Yes, the comic shows the judging comes from both sides. Neither side is 100% innocent in this.

I agree with Millsie, the person who posted it, that it's a goofy story. I'll add that is full of stereotypes. For example, Lois sounds, okay. I know plenty of blacks that do too. However, the point remains.

There is progress, but it's nowhere near fast enough for my liking. Nowhere near.

BTW, it's best to click over to the Cartoons and Comic Books blog. Boo!

I had to reduce the size of the pictures significantly to get the full pages on my blog. So either you can click on each picture one by one or just click over and read them all. Plus, they deserve the traffic for this.

Lois Lane - I Am Curious (Black)!

Posted by Millsie on November 21, 2008

Comic books sometimes try to be important and make a statement about some social issue of the day. This sort of thing was all the rage in the earlier 70s when you had some very good stories such as those in Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams’ Green Lantern/Green Arrow series. This story that I featured is from Lois Lane 109 and was written by Robert Kanigher. It is a well meaning but very goofy story if I may say so myself.

BTW, I have to say that Lois looks hawt as a sista.


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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Things You Should Not Twitter: A funny site

Update: Things You Should Not Twitter is a funny site that is no more.

So enjoy the screen shots because that's all that is left.

Here is another site that got one shot I didn't: Stuff I Found

This is just a hilarious site: Things You Should Not Twitter. I saw the link when Guy Kawasaki sent a tweet about it.

Yes, if you look on the sidebar of my blog, I've been sending out tweets like gangbusters. It happens when you're trying to deny that you're no longer just transitioning but are officially unemployed ;) However, the big move east will happen soon, and in the spirit of "it's rarely let me down before" optimism, I blame my unemployment on that.

However, in the meantime between doing some part-time research for a reporter in NYC (yes, I'm doing something) and looking for something full-time, I get distracted by Twitter.

Earlier today, someone I'm connected to sent out a tweet about what she's not doing at her job. Well, speaking of work, I don't know if that's the wisest tweet to send out. Twitter feeds into the search engines almost immediately. In fact, if I want to find a tweet and can't remember who did it, I'll run a Google search and I almost always find it in the top few search results. (That's exactly how I found the link back to Kawasaki's tweet.)

Twitter places very high in searches people. It's only a matter of time before waves of "busted on Twitter" stories start happening just as the "busted on Facebook" stories, like this or this one, and other social media sites started making headlines.

Maybe it's the fallout of a talk show culture. My generation was around when talk shows were a dime a dozen on TV. Now the Internet provides a platform for people to do the same thing without having to get vetted by a talk show producer and, if selected, spilling your guts in front of a studio audience. Instead, with social media there is no vetting required. All you need is a computer and an Internet connection and then you can do the same. However, when you do, just remember that, just like with TV, anyone can see it.

Click over and check some of these out. This site just started a few days ago and already there are some where you just shake your head and wonder why someone has the need to share that much. I wonder how many are jokes and how many are serious?

These are just a few. Click over to the site for plenty more ;)


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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ashton vs. CNN (well, actually CNNbrk)

Update 1:16am - May 14, 2009

I was on a bus from NYC to Philly. The bus had wifi but wouldn't let me load the website. Odd. Anyway, here it is for those of us who didn't get to see it.

Ashton doing a ding dong ditch. Of course, he had to change it up because you can't just walk up to Ted Turner's front door ;)


Update: 11:18pm - It's done, baby, done. Ashton beat CNN and that was pretty bad ass to witness via webcam.

Thanks to anyone who followed my lead and added him! It's a victory for new media. Things are changing.

I don't know if you've been following this madness, but a couple of days ago Ashton Kutcher challenged CNN and Ted Turner to a contest. Basically, if he got to 1,000,000 followers on Twitter before CNNbrk (Breaking News), he'd ding, dong, ditch Ted Turner's house.

However, then he added that he'd donate 10,000 nets to prevent malaria. This cause is something that he tweeted about a couple of days before the challenge. That's also when I decided to take him seriously and urge him on and encourage others to follow him too. Also, today, I realized I was following CNNbrk, so I stopped, for now. I'll follow them again when this is all over.

Now in the land that is the Internet there are a lot of haters out there who don't seem to get it. Brian Solis, however, does. For that his post on the topic is well worth posting here.

BTW, if you're not on Twitter, get on it and follow Ashton Kutcher:

Ashton and Evan Williams, one of the founders of Twitter will be on Oprah tomorrow. I'll be in Yosemite, so I'm going to miss all of this, but tune in if you're in the States. It ought to be fun to watch.

However, if this is the first you've heard of this, read what Solis has to say.

Also, folks in the K-blogosphere, if you still pay attention to what I write (and I hope some of you do), get on Twitter and follow Ashton. Thanks ;)

It's close y'all: HuffPo - Twitter Showdown

The Race to 1,000,000 Followers Sends Twitter and Social Media into Relevance and Irrelevance


It started as a simple and seemingly harmless contest. Who would be the first person on Twitter to reach 1,000,000 followers?

This wasn’t yet another follower push open to just anyone on Twitter however, not even the Weblebrities who helped propel the popular micro community to an emerging, iconic pop culture status; it was (and at the moment, still is) a race between the world’s most visible celebrities and prominent media brands.

It started when Ashton Kutcher, a television and movie star who’s also keenly astute and observant to the promise of new media challenged CNN and its founder, Ted Turner to the race.

It was the match heard round the blogosphere, twitterverse and statusphere.

Shortly thereafter, Britney Spears, Will Smith and a bevy of opportunistic celebrities (and their publicists) and media properties (driven by their PR teams) followed suit. Britney’s team offered chances to win free tickets in exchange for followers. Other celebrities (who shall remain anonymous, DM’d followers to ask for help in spreading the word.)

The competition quickly became a media phenomenon.

Ashton and Twitter Co-Founder Evan Williams are now expected to appear on the Oprah show tomorrow, which will coincide with almost every leading competitor surpassing 1,000,000 followers on the same day. The publicity was enough to inspire Oprah to start tweeting.

Sarah Ross, Ashton Kutcher, TechCrunch50

At the time of this post, CNNbrk was in the lead with 977,02 followers, with Ashton Kutcher following closely with 973,806, and Britney Spears in third with 944,273.

Initially I questioned the exchange. I couldn’t help but feel as though “we the people” on Twitter were merely viewed as pawns in a personal chess match between the elite.

Think about it. If Twitter had 6-7 million users, we’re talking about 1 in every 6 or so users following one of the contenders.

I threw the question out to Twitter, “How do you feel about the race to 1,000,000?”

The response was almost overwhelming in its volume and vigor, spanning across Twitter and Facebook over the course of several hours.

While the publicity for Twitter and the overall medium that is Social Media is incredible and sprawling, I believe that the purpose and deeper meaning of having 1,000,000 followers on Twitter or any social network, will be lost to the fervor that fuels this “contest” – unless we’re comfortable holding the title of “follower” a.k.a. social pauper. I highly doubt that any brand will view this special achievement of having cultivated 1 million followers as an opportunity to “engage” in “conversations” with their communities. Intention is easily assessable by simply viewing the latest tweets via

But in Ashton’s case, it’s so much deeper. I believe his intentions are genuine.

Should he win, he’s promised to donate 10,000 mosquito nets to help fight malaria. After promising the nets, he then dedicated the nets either way. Using social media to build a platform for self-promotion or a top-down distribution channel for propaganda and messages is, in the spirit of the social web, anti-social. To demonstrate that any individual can earn influence for which to wield freely and graciously in the name of social good is symbolic of the true spirit of Social Media.

In his own words, Kutcher so passionately defines what has inspired many of us over the last several years in our work to help cultivate the foundation for social media and the very people powering its evolution, “So why is this significant? This is a huge statement for Social Media. For one person to actually have the ability to broadcast to as many people as a major media network, sort of signifies the turning of the tide from tradition news outlets to social news outlets. With our video cameras on cell phones, picture cams, blogging, twittering, posting, and Facebooking, we actually become the source of the news, the broadcasters of the news, and the consumers of the news…we have the potential on this day to turn the tide…where social media and social news outlets can become as powerful as the major news outlets. We’re doing that with the help of you. It’s sort of power to the people and I like that, a lot.”

We participate on social networks to express ourselves and share a piece of who we are in the real world, online, to forge relationships with people we respect, trust, and admire and it inspires us to share, learn, and grow together. With every tweet and update, we reveal a bit of what we stand for and what moves us, forming a unique social graph that contextually connects us to others in an irreproducible network. It’s unique to each one of us, and it’s both empowering and powerful.

We become media.

We become influencers.

We are the source of the social seismographs that spark reverberating tremors that represent the potential to create a webwide social effect.

We’re shifting into a rapid-fire culture that moves at Twitter time. Attention is a precious commodity and requires a personalized engagement strategy in order to consistently vie for it. The laws of attraction and relationships management are driven by the ability to create compelling content and transparently connect it to the people whom you believe benefit.

Twitter and the statusphere have become our attention dashboards, the new ecosystem for sharing, discovering, and publishing updates and micro-sized content that reverberates throughout social networks and syndicated profiles, resulting in a formidable network effect of activity. It is the digital curation of relevant content that binds us contextually and through the statusphere we can connect directly to existing contacts, reach new people, and also forge new friendships through the friends of friends effect (FoFs) in the process.

Is having one million followers sustainable? Better yet, is it engaging or welcoming? Can you genuinely listen to and converse with a community that rivals the population of small countries?

Perhaps it doesn’t matter...not anymore. If you are a curator of highly relevant information, thoughts, beliefs, opinions, and motivating substance, then you can potentially flourish into a fountain of inspiration that channels content to the beacons and ambassadors who also represent interconnected human networks. It’s how we communicate now.

Dr. Dunbar, theorized that the size of the human brain allows a stable network of about 148 contacts, which has become known as “the Dunbar number.” In Social Networks however, real world relationships have evolved into something altogether different and perhaps more authoritative. Now, individuals can follow and are followed by thousands or (eventually) millions of "friends" across the Conversation Prism. This is a new breed of personal branding and expert and themed curation tethered to a peer network that exemplifies fandom and creates a platform for peer-to-peer influence. And, we may or may not ever know the people who choose to follow our updates or friend us on these popular and emerging networks. Our human network is defined by reach, not just in one community, but through the syndication of multiple social networks.

For Ashton, reaching one million followers represents the potential of socialized media, the future of information discovery and distribution, and the connectedness of contextual human networks. For the others, collecting followers represents the ability to push information to a faceless list of avatars using a new medium. As followers, we’re simply relegated to subscribers and fans, nothing less, nothing more.

The future of Social Media lies with those who can create, cultivate, and empower individuals to produce and share meaningful content and activity to inspire action, foster education, instigate change and build a more media literate society.

Helpful Posts on PR 2.0:
- The Domino's Effect
- The Conversation Index
- A New Search Engine for Twitter
- Social Media Influences Buying Decisions
- Can The Statusphere Save Journalism?
- Is Social Media Recession Proof?
- Facebook Now 200 Million Strong
- Twitter Traffic Surges to 10 Million
- The End of the Innocence

- The Social Effect
- Putting the Public Back in Public Relations is Now Available

Twitter and Social Networks Usher in a New Era of Social CRM
- The Human Network = The Social Economy
- In the Statusphere, ADD Creates Opportunities for Collaboration and Education
- Humanizing Social Networks, Revealing the People Powering Social Media
- Social Networks Now More Popular than Email; Facebook Surpasses MySpace
- Are Blogs Losing Authority to the Statusphere?
- I Like You The Emerging Culture of Micro Acts of Appreciation
- The Ties that Bind Us - Visualizing Relationships on Twitter and Social Networks
- Make Tweet Love - Top Tips for Building Twitter Relationships
- The Battle for Your Social Status

- Twitter Tools for Communication and Community Professionals
- Is Twitter a Viable Conversation Platform


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The Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Preview is out ;)

It's bad ass.

Nothing more to say.


If the video doesn't come up either just watch the YouTube one below or run a search for "Harry Potter" and it will come up in the cue.

Also, it's the version. If you're not in the States, it won't work. That completely sucks. I hated that before I moved back to the States, but that's how it is :(

Here is the YouTube version courtesy of


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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Natalie White, aka PumaShock, on Star King

I got the video link to this yesterday. Someone asked me if I knew about it. Outside of my first year in South Korea, I never got in the habit of watching Korean TV shows. Plus, when this was all getting stirred up I was getting ready to move and when she was on the show I was back in the States.

This is the background story. There is a San Francisco based singer songwriter who goes by the name of PumaShock. Her real name is Natalie White. She's also a black American. She started putting up videos of her singing some of her favorite Korean pop songs: Natalie's YouTube Channel. Koreans took notice. There was a scandal when Taeyeon from a group called Girls' Generation said something like Ms. White was pretty for a black girl. (video link) Oooops! I'm not even going to touch that because after years of living in it I will get angry if I dwell on it. Plus, it's hard to get into someone's head. Maybe it was an innocent faux pas or maybe she is a blockhead. Either way, Ms. White is the focus here.

Anyway, it worked out for Ms. White that she got on Star King and seems to be on a marvelous PR junket in Seoul. She's meeting people in entertainment and, since that's what she wants to do, I say good on her. Here are the videos of her appearance on Star King.


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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Travel Recap

Okay, I'm back in San Francisco. After flying down to L.A. to attend the One Splendid Evening concert and sail off on the the Mayercraft Carrier the next day and then staying behind after the cruise to spend some time in my hometown, I think I only managed to loose one thing. I have a glucose meter that is MIA, but 1) I'm pretty sure I know where I left it and 2) I've got two back-up meters.

In terms of the people, one of my roommates from last year roomed with me again. That was fun. I also ran into tons of people that I clicked with last year and ignored the ones that I didn't ;)

I think the best moment for me was waking up in Cabo San Lucas, opening the window and looking straight out on the arches of Land's End. I know, I'm supposed to say something like "being on a cruise with John Mayer!!!" Yes, that was great, but the view that morning was priceless. I'm sure even Mr. Mayer won't be mad at me for ranking a great view as the best part. However, it was a weekend of many great moments.

I only had one truly negative moment. On Tuesday after the cruise, I was on the shuttle heading back to LAX to pick up a rental car. I'd put at least two bags of stuff I'd bought in Cabo San Lucas in the overhead bin along with a box of stuff from the OSE concert. What that meant was it was going to take me a few moments pulling, twisting and tugging to get situated and get off of that bus. I turned to the woman waiting behind me and told her she could go past me if she liked. Don't you know I heard her say as she got off the bus something about how that lady was trying to "rush" her off the bus.

Um, no, you silly cow.

I was saying she could just go around me because I didn't want to hold her up. I was offended because my intention was to be nice. But when people expect to get shit from you, it usually doesn't matter what your intention is, they're going to get shit.

I did think it was funny to be in Mexico and to see things like the Hard Rock Cafe and little cantenas blasting rock n' roll. This isn't a criticism. It was my first time there. Of course, since I loved Van Halen way back when (still do), I knew about Cabo Wabo too. I didn't bother to go in though.

I understand the sort of tourist they're catering to, and that's the reason for Cabo's success. It's about traveling to a resort town and lounging in the sun. "Authentic" would not be the feeling I got from being in Cabo. But sometimes authentic 1) is overrated and 2) isn't want you want. Sometimes people just want to relax somewhere with the creature comforts that they're used to.

Cabo seems the perfect place for that. In fact, that's exactly what I did. I got off the ship, shopped a bit, hired a pedi-taxi take me along the main drag for more shopping and a beer (thanks Gregorio!) and that was it. Then it was back to the ship because, as usual, I was up way late and was exhausted. I slept through the afternoon until the roar of the ship's engines woke me up.

It was lots of fun, lots of music, lots of dancing and, if I can manage it, I'll be back for next year's cruise. I'll be posting all the other blogs I find on it over on The Mayercraft Chronicles. The first post courtesy of the TryJM site is up and more shall follow. However, now I want lunch.

(Just like last year, I'm making no claims to originality; I'm just compiling all the blogs I find in one spot. The goal: I'm trying to help make info easy to find.)


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