Each month at PRI's The Works, we each share our thoughts on something new (or just new to us) that we find inspirational, thought-provoking, or just plain cool.
|I’m not a regular shopper, but I was in the market for a new carry-all-my-junk tote bag and was super impressed by the product videos on Zappos.com. They made my search for the perfect bag so much easier when I was able to see a real person holding, carrying, and opening the bags. It was the next best thing to being in a store. And, of course, the web developer in me immediately wanted to know more about the folks that produce these videos. Turns out there’s a whole team at Zappos committed to giving customers a better user experience through these short pieces. I was impressed by their dedication and aggressive production goals. I love seeing companies working to make customers happy.|
|“Inspired” can also mean obsessed, right? While a book whose description begins with “Marriage can be a real killer . . .” might not exactly inspire me, I am blessedly, blissfully, obsessed with it. I can’t stop reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. No, I’m not done yet, so don’t tell me what happens! But, I highly recommend it, no matter how it ends up . . . ending.|
|My family and I recently attended a backyard barbecue at the home of friends in New York. It featured a foraging walk where we learned that what I thought was clover, and had been ripping out of my yard, was actually a lemony-tasting plant called wood sorrel! The walk was led by Paul Tappenden of Rockland Forager with members of Suburban Forager also in attendance. The next day we enjoyed wood worrel and dandelion from our backyard with dinner! I will definitely be looking for a class close to home that I can take to identify more backyard edibles.|
|The mistake of all mistakes.” In three days, the results were devastating. There were more than 45,000 casualties, and 7,000 soldiers lay dead in the summer heat on the fields in and around Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
The battles were fought July 1-3, 1863. In November 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address during the dedication for the Gettysburg National Cemetery. So well-written you can’t paraphrase it. Read it aloud. The speech is an inspiration for how language can transcend the grit and gravel of our lives.
|I am inspired by the free photo-sharing program Instagram launched in 2010. Instagram allows users to take a photo, apply digital filters, and then share it on a variety of social networks including its own. What’s inspiring is that at any moment you can view photos taken by others all over the world. A search for #sunset for example returns hundreds of thousands of sunset photos from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. A search for #UFO is also great if you need an alien fix. Try it!|
|I am inspired by the Can't Stop the Serenity charity event. From their site: “Since 2006, fans have organized screenings of Joss Whedon's Serenity to raise funds and awareness to support Equality Now in their work for the protection and promotion of the human rights of women around the world.” Sci-fi fans have taken a movie that was a financial flop, based on a cult TV show that was canceled before it even finished one season, and created a global charity that has raised more than $600,000 since 2006. I attended the Philadelphia screening this past weekend to help support this great cause.|
|I am inspired by a blog I stumbled upon called The Networked Society. An article in the blog entitled, “Using Technology for Good in the Networked Society” brings light to how, via technology, we can harness the power of the people in a way that has never been done before. It’s inspired me to take a deeper look into what I can simply do by clicking a button, writing a blog, taking part in online petitions, and more.|
|I am inspired by the announcement of the Microsoft Surface tablet. Surface is a line of tablet devices running Microsoft’s next-gen operating system. Surface is thin, light, and it has great battery life. The device will attach to a removable rubberized keyboard that also acts like a book cover. Could this be the iPad competitor?|