Archive for September, 2010

Thu 30 Sep 2010 8:24 am   //   Posted in: Labeling, Media, Technology

Nobody knows what “social graph” means

For three years, people who write and speak about technology have been using the phrase social graph. It’s sometimes used casually like a synonym for Facebook, the company that popularized the term. But what does social graph really mean, and where did it come from?


Mon 27 Sep 2010 8:00 am   //   Posted in: Media, Technology

Flow chart: Choosing a social network

Social media is too confusing! In an effort to simplify it, I took a stab at creating a chart illustrating when it’s appropriate to post an update on each of the social networks I use.

Sun 26 Sep 2010 10:48 am   //   Posted in: Photos, Transit

Travel and transit photos from Denver

I just got back from a short trip to Denver for a conference. Here are a few photos of trains and buses.

Denver Light Rail
RTD Light Rail


Tue 21 Sep 2010 7:21 am   //   Posted in: New York is different, Photos

Photos of the approach to LaGuardia Airport

Before airplanes, people traveling long distances to New York City arrived by ship across the New York harbor, watching the island of Manhattan slowly come into view, unfolding with drama and promise.

Today we have the approach to LaGuardia Airport. On the evening of Labor Day, I flew into LaGuardia on a Dash 8 from Roanoke, descending over the harbor, over Manhattan, over the Bronx, then turning and landing from the northeast on runway 4-22. This approach may provide the most spectacular view of any urban airport landing in the world.

You’re not supposed to use digital cameras on the plane, but I did anyway.

Brooklyn: Verrazano Narrows Bridge, Coney Island


Fri 17 Sep 2010 9:20 am   //   Posted in: Photos

Stormy weather in Park Slope

A quick but severe wind storm felled a bunch of trees in Brooklyn yesterday, including a big one in front of my church. Update: It was a tornado! Also, the church sustained damage to the stained glass windows, the roof, the belfry, and the cross on the roof (which blew off). Debris blew into the church through the busted window, reaching all the way to the altar. I’m told some members of the church helped clean the place up and insurance is covering the damage.

10th Street.

Thu 16 Sep 2010 8:21 am   //   Posted in: Technology

Your Facebook status will get you robbed. Uh, really?

Computers are scary! Eye strain, Internet addiction, identity theft, not to mention the fact that technology makes us isolated and alone. And now this: Burglars are monitoring your Facebook status, and will break in when you’re away.

Wait a minute. That makes no sense.


Sun 12 Sep 2010 6:55 pm   //   Posted in: Bicycles

Today’s bike ride: NYC Century

Today I set a personal record for the most miles biked in a single day: 127. I rode the NYC Century Bike Tour today—all 102 miles of it—and biked to and from the Central Park start/finish line from my apartment in Brooklyn. There are a couple of ways I could have made this ride easier—including choosing the alternate start location of Prospect Park, rather than Central Park—but I wanted the challenge of the extra miles. As a bonus, I got to enjoy a pre-dawn, solo warm-up ride through the empty city at 5 a.m. on Sunday.


Sat 11 Sep 2010 2:08 pm   //   Posted in: In the news

Getting it right

Today I’m thinking about a few hours I spent on a military base on September 11, 2001. I was into my second week on the job as a news reporter for The Carlisle Sentinel newspaper in Pennsylvania.

We watched the footage on CNN in the newsroom for a few minutes, then I was sent to gather reporting from one of our local military bases for the September 12 paper. Ultimately I contributed quotes and facts to three stories as part of the paper’s reporting team. One story was about the military, another about churches, the third about schools. Nine years later, the parts of those stories that stand out most to me are the quotes from the military professors I interviewed at the U.S. Army War College in Pennsylvania. Keep in mind these quotes all came within a few hours of the attacks:


Fri 10 Sep 2010 10:00 am   //   Posted in: New York is different, Photos

Shine on

Just an ordinary parking structure…


Mon 6 Sep 2010 10:36 pm   //   Posted in: Photos, Travel

Kisses for popcorn

I spent a long, lazy, perfect Labor Day weekend at Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia, with my brother, sister-in-law, and some friends. We stayed near a place called Smith Mountain Dock, which sells popcorn to children (and, um, us) for them to toss at the enormous carp that swim in the lake. The fish love this!