Signs and Sense

I’m just back from a few days of vacation, following the SEJ conference. Had an interesting experience on the way home, driving solo across Colorado. I stopped at a Starbucks in Frisco, CO, and quickly realized that the guy behind the counter was deaf. Fortunately, a year or so ago, I’d attended an American Sign Language (ASL) class taught by my friend Steve DiCesare (a talented musician and ASL instructor).

It turned out that Steve’s most important point about ASL is true: It’s generally less important that you know the precise sign, and more important that you communicate visibly with your whole body and face. Here’s what I mean:
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Live from Loyola

At this moment, I’m in the computer lab of the Monroe Library at Loyola University. This is a very cool library – ethernet ports all over the place, artwork, it’s fabulous, nice lighting, it’s perfect.

I’m here to deliver a presentation on RSS feeds and digital voice recorders as part of the computer workshop (still at the conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists) I’m listening to a couple of presentations first, and here are the highlights….
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Hotel Web Sites: What’s the Deal with Net Access?

Next week, I’ll be traveling to New Orleans for the annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists, which this year will be held at the Astor Crowne Plaza – apparently a very fine hotel in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

It’s been my unfortunate experience that Internet access at hotels is often flaky, complex, or unexpectedly costly. I never seem to know quite what the situation will be until I get there.

Net access has become a necessity for many kinds of travelers. It’s no longer a nicety, but a core service that could easily make or break someone’s decision to stay at a given hotel. So here’s what I wish: That hotels would routinely list on their Web sites, in an easy-to-find place, exactly what the deal is with Net access from their guest rooms, and how much it really costs.
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Megachurches: Ugly as Sin? What the Sites Don’t Show…

If there’s not already one somewhere within 100 miles of you, there probably will be soon – “megachurches” are the latest phenomenon in popular Christianity.

I’ve looked at a lot of megachurch Web sites recently, like Willow Creek Community Church in suburban Chicago (one of the nation’s largest). What I find most intriguing is what seems to be almost uniformly missing from these Web sites – photos of the megachurches!

The absence of photos is conspicuous because these are huge, huge, HUGE facilities. You’d think those pastors would be proud to show them off!
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