This isn’t news so much as validation. A new study is the latest evidence that overheard cell phone conversations are more distracting than regular overheard dialogue. The difference is that your brain tries to fill in the missing half of the conversation, thus making it difficult to focus on anything else. I’ve written about rude people before, and there have been several other studies saying basically the same thing. But you can never have too much ammunition when waging war against jerks.
Filed under: Douglas Quenqua, New York Times, 2013, Amy Alkon
February 15, 2013 • 2:16 PM
I first met Ben Smith in 2009 when we participated in a panel discussion in front of some student journalists. He was at Politico at the time, and it was just after Eliot Spitzer had gotten busted. While we were waiting to go on stage, Smith got a call from Spitzer on his cell phone. I thought that was pretty cool. Fast forward three years, and Smith–one of the smartest political reporters in NYC–took the top editorial job at BuzzFeed, instantly making him America’s most respected purveyor of listicles and cat gifs. How do you not write about this guy?
Filed under: Douglas Quenqua, New York Times, 2013, Ben Smith, BuzzFeed
December 3, 2012 • 9:27 AM
Like all languages, sign language evolves organically. There is no central office inventing or approving new signs. While there’s something beautiful about that, it’s also a huge pain in the ass to hearing-impaired science students, because there is a lack of agreed-upon signs for complicated terms like “photosynthesis” — or even simple ones like “mass.” This leads to a lot of improvisation and finger spelling, which only adds to the frustration deaf students already feel in the classroom. Now, with the rise of the Internet and particularly Web video, hearing-impaired scientists are creating online forums and even wikis to try to agree on some useful signs. The story is here, but be sure to check out the gorgeous multimedia page that goes with it, starring N.Y.C.’s favorite interpreter, Lydia Callis.
Filed under: 2012, Douglas Quenqua, New York Times, Lydia Callis