Syracuse Tweetup on Friday, July 15 – who’s in?

Twttr, a LiveJournal-inspired micro-blogging project, was finished March 13, 2006. A week later, @jack had posted the first message: “just setting up my twttr.” It took a year just to get 20,000 users, but in 140 characters (or less) the site grew to be what is today the third-most popular social networking site in the world, with over 200 million accounts.

So let’s celebrate.

Twitter (as Twttr later became known) went public on July 15, 2006 — let’s celebrate that 5th anniversary with a Syracuse Tweetup on Friday, July 15th, 2011. Continue reading

Who’s most likely to cheat? 11 warning signs to watch out for

I read some interesting statistics over at TheDailyBeast. Here’s 11 warning signs that you (or your partner) might have an affair. You’re more likely to cheat if…

1. You’re a man.
Men are 7% more likely to cheat than women.

2. You’re unhappy.
Unhappy men are 13% more likely to cheat than happy men – 10% for women. If you or your spouse is miserable, then something’s wrong in the relationship whether you’re having an affair or not.

3. You don’t like to spend time with partner’s relatives.
Even if their family really IS crazy, you’re 24% more likely to cheat than if you do spend time with the in-laws.

4. You live in a large city.
Maybe it’s because everyone knows everyone in a small town, but big city people are 39% more likely to cheat than those in suburbs and rural areas.

5. You watch online porn.

Porn-watchers are 300% more likely to cheat. Interestingly enough, another study found that if you think about sex every day, you’re 22% more likely to cheat than those who think about it a few times per week. Who thinks about sex that little??

6. You spend less than 10% of time together.
If he works and you don’t, there’s at least a 10% chance you’ll cheat.

7. You married at 16.
The average age for getting married has grown over the years (a British study found the average woman gets married at 30 now), but you’re 400% more likely to be unfaithful if you marry at 16 than if you marry at 23 years old.

8. You live together before marriage.
There’s a 39% chance at least one of you will commit infidelity.

9. You have an identical twin who’s cheated.
If your twin cheats, you’re twice as likely to cheat than if your twin doesn’t. Plus, how many TV shows have we seen where someone falls in love with the wrong twin? Lesson: stay away from twins everywhere but your fantasies.

10. You never went to church.
Sinners are 250% more apt to have an affair than those regularly attending religious services.

11. You earn $75,000 or more per year.
Rich people are 150% more likely to be a cheater than those who make $30,000 or less – how do you think they got so rich? If your partner doesn’t have a college degree, you’re 3% more likely to cheat and, if you have a college degree (especially a master’s) you’re 175% more likely to look for love in other places.

So, overall, who’s most likely to cheat? Rich, young, unhappy, non-religious men with a master’s degree in large cities. Stay away from Dustin Moskovitz and Mark Zuckerberg.

PHOTOS: Lake effect snow in Syracuse – from blue skies to blizzard in 30 minutes

Ah, Syracuse. For those that have never been there, it’s right in the center of New York state, about halfway between Buffalo and Albany on Interstate 90. We’re known especially for Syracuse University and SU’s basketball and lacrosse teams (currently ranked #4 and #1, respectively), but Syracuse is also where the serrated knife, the dental chair, and the 24-second shot clock were invented.

Syracuse is also the snowiest city in the United States, undefeated in the annual race for the Golden Snowball Award. So far this winter we’ve gotten over 100 inches of white stuff already. Why? It gets crazy lake effect snow from its proximity to the Great Lakes, causing the weather to go from blue skies and sunshine to snowmageddon in half an hour. Syracuse can get 3 feet of snow, while a suburb 20 miles away could see nothing.

On Sunday, I drove from Boston to Syracuse. Here’s photos of the crazy weather:
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All’s vanity: 8 self-indulgent websites that feed your ego

You’re so vain, you probably think this blog’s about you. This time, you might be right.

According to MSN, today’s college students would rather be praised than have food, money or sex. So it comes as no surprise that the hottest thing on the Internet are vanity sites that serve little purpose save for a cheap ego massage. Here’s eight sites that’ll do just that. is a business card-like monument to vanity.

A site for the especially narcissistic, lets you fill the screen with a huge photo of yourself. Add a super-short bio and some links to your Twitter and Facebook, and boom, you’ve basically just posted a giant business card. However, a smarter and more useful business card would be your actual blog or site.

[Pictured: Lauralie Lee, who claims she’s “more than just a pretty face.”]

2. Facto
Is one of your ears bigger than the other? Do you have a hidden talent for karaoke? This is the site where you post random facts about yourself, if for no other reason than to talk about yourself.

3. Klout
You have Twitter, and you have 4,978 followers. You might think that makes you pretty cool, but you’re following 6,239 people. Most people that are following you are probably just following you back out of “you follow me, I’ll follow you” blind courtesy. But you still want to know just how influential you really are, and Klout analyzes your Twitter profile and gives you a score. It doesn’t do much more than that, but it’ll certainly give you a pat on the back.

4. Who Gives A Tweet?
Maybe you don’t care about influence, and you just want someone to tell you that you’re funny. Who Gives A Tweet? won’t tell you who cares, but they will let users rate your 140-character posts on a scale from completely useless to totally worth reading.

5. Formspring
You have a lot of secrets that you bet people are just dying to ask you. Well, put your money on the table. Formspring lets anonymous people ask you questions about anything – usually about yourself. So, in other words, you get to answer questions by talking about yourself.

6. Quora
Sort of a Q&A version of Wikipedia, Quora is a strange cousin of Formspring and The interesting difference is that non-experts get more of an opportunity to pretend they’re experts and answer questions that they might have no background on. Quora has recently gotten a lot of attention, but the buzz will die out once people realize the site serves no useful purpose.

7. Foursquare
Ugh, Foursquare. Businesses and brands love the idea of people “checking in” to their location because every check-in is like a little shout-out for their products. I see the advantage for companies to use it for promotions, but I don’t understand why people enjoy it, because they’re basically endorsing them without compensation. However, there is one fun activity that feeds a hungry ego – badges. If you check in enough times someplace, you can be “mayor” and brag to all your friends.

8. Three Words
Ask your friends to describe you in three words. Even if they’re not using nice words, they’re still talking about you, and isn’t that the point of any of these sites? To have people talking to you and about you. Still, it’d be nice if someone wrote “I love you.”

Happy Internetting, you egomaniacs.

Was it just a dream? Explaining ‘Inception’ for once and for all.

Moviegoers went rampant in summer 2010 trying to explain Christopher Nolan’s mind-boggling Inception. Now the movie’s finally on DVD and you can watch it over and over, analyzing it again and again. But you still can’t figure it out. What the fuchsia happened?


Was it just a dream?
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Verizon iPhone 4 will come out… STOP. STOP posting ‘confirmations’ based on unnamed sources and rumors.

Stop spreading wild rumors, people. We’ve been hearing about the Verizon iPhone for over two years and, despite all the “confirmations” we’ve heard over that time period, there still is NO Verizon iPhone.

Yet still people, even respectable news outlets like the Wall Street Journal, spread bogus reports based on hearsay and “leaked” photos from “unnamed sources.”

The latest rumor is that the Verizon iPhone 4 will be coming out on February 3rd, 2011, and that Verizon will be announcing it on Tuesday. What’s the basis? Two things:

1. There is a “rumor” from “unnamed sources” that Verizon employees have been told they cannot take a vacation between February 3rd-6th. The implication is that there’d be a major launch of a product during that time period. However, this is a rumor, and ANY major product could be launched during that time period. Hell, they could just be starting employee training on how to stop spreading stupid lies about the Verizon iPhone. And the “unnamed source” could be a homeless guy named Jim.

2. Verizon has sent an invitation to various bloggers and media outlets to a press conference in New York City on January 11th. What does this mean? Nothing. They could be announcing 5G, or the first Wi-Fi service on the moon, or anything. The invitation says “Join us as we share the latest news from Verizon Wireless.” The news could be that a new CEO is being hired, or anything internal or financial.

It’s bad enough that if someone jokes on Twitter that a D-list celebrity from 1993 has died, everyone believes it and spreads it until said celebrity, who hasn’t done anything famous or noteworthy in 15 years, has to make a statement saying they’re still alive. How embarrassing.

So, please – stop posting “confirmations” based on sources and rumors.

I’ll believe the Verizon iPhone is coming when a) Verizon or Apple themselves actually announce it, and b) when it’s actually in a freakin’ store. Until then, I’ll just enjoy my AT&T iPhone.

The 5 B’s of Blogging

Starting a blog but not sure where to go? Have one that you haven’t updated in months? Here’s five B’s of Blogging (otherwise known as, ahem, the five Be’s of Blogging) to keep your presence on the internet both relevant and interesting.

1. Be passionate.
There are jobs that people do to pay the bills, and then there are jobs that people love so much that they don’t even feel like jobs. For those that feel like blogging is a “chore,” or a “necessary evil,” you either need to change your attitude or blog about something different. For example, a personal blog should only be about what’s personally interesting to you. I’m good at math – I got a perfect score on the SAT in math and a 5 on the BC Calculus exam when I was in high school, but math doesn’t interest me. I’m good at it, but I don’t care about it, so why would I blog about it?

2. Be informative.
If you’re going to wax political about the state of government, or complain about monopolies in the technology and entertainment world, or even just discuss your favorite TV show… then you should know what you’re talking about. Watch the news, listen to a radio show, read a blog, anything – and of course, Google it. The news changes so fast, that you don’t want to be complaining about something that’s already changed. How dumb will you look if you’re posting about a celeb rumor when it’s already been proven false?

3. Be personal.
Even if your blog is professional or topic-focused, don’t be afraid to remind people that you’re a real person with real thoughts, feelings and experiences. I’ve written a lot here, but the most popular post on this blog was an entry about how I broke my leg playing roller derby. Be you. Because you’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like you.

4. Be useful.
Share links to related stories or topics. If you’re quoting from another source, link back to it, buddy. If there’s a YouTube video about what you’re talking about, embed it on your blog. A picture tells a thousand words to go along with your 350 words. Give a call to action, if there is one, and tell your readers how to take the next step. You could blog about how you hate sticking to a diet, and then share links to five other sites’ tips for how to stick to a diet.

5. Be interesting.
If you don’t like to write, that’s fine. Get a tumblr and share your favorite pictures. Don’t just re-post or regurgitate crap that’s already out there, though. Add your own $.02 and react to what you’re posting. For instance, if you were blogging about rising gas prices, you could include a story about how you once took a road trip through seven states and how amazing it was to see different gas prices throughout your adventures. If you have a sense of humor, use it. If you’re angry, show it. (Don’t use all caps, though.) A simpler way of looking at it: if you’re bored writing it, then they’ll be bored reading it.

For more advice or professional help, I offer web design and social media services.

Starting off 2011 on the right foot, a.k.a. an update on my broken leg

X-ray of my right leg

An x-ray of my right leg, two months after breaking it in a roller derby bout. You can see the rod going through the bigger bone, which still hasn't fully healed.

On October 16th, I broke my leg in a roller derby bout against Mass Maelstrom near my hometown in Massachusetts. I shattered (and I hate to use the word “shattered” because I’m a hypochondriac, imagining the worst of every injury) my fibula and broke my tibia, meaning there was nothing connecting my foot bone to the knee bone. After two surgeries and 39 staples, I’m bionic – I’ve got a plate on my ankle, a metal rod in my right leg, and a dozen screws holding it all together.

For the first month, I was relegated to a couch and wore a huge, awkward boot that left me largely immobile. I watched more crap movies (did you know that Netflix doesn’t offer subtitles/captions on most of their instant titles?) and crap TV than I care to recount.

At my doctor’s request, I stayed at my father’s house twenty miles outside of Boston. It was good because a) I got to see family and hometown friends; b) my recovery required lots of check-ins to make sure I was recovering well; and c) I couldn’t even get around with crutches or a walker, much less make meals or do basic chores. I did get to have my favorite sub, though, the Budster: chicken fingers, bacon, BBQ sauce, and cheese in a torpedo sandwich. YUM. However, I couldn’t sleep, and I was taking painkillers like they were breath mints. Worse, I missed Syracuse and my life there.
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