Ursinus Ex-Chairman Puts Tweets In Mouth; “Deep Likes”; 200 Overdoses From Elephant Tranquilizer (Sept. 6–7, 2016)

From: The Philadelphia Inquirer

Need a babysitter? Don’t worry, Gramps’ll quit. 
Many baby boomers on the verge of retirement are given that one last push when their child has a child. They instead want to babysit full-time.

For women, one study found having a new grandchild increased the probability they’d retire by 8 percent, possibly so they can fawn over their child’s little ones and right some of the missteps they made during their parenting years.

It’s also beneficial for the older folks: “Taking care of grandchildren who are cute and adorable and fun also helps reduce symoptoms of depression,” Maia Noeder, a pediatric psychologist at Nemours/Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children said.

Social media strikes again (Go Bears) 
In what may the quintillionth example of the power of social media to unravel a life, an Ursinus College chairman is feeling the wrath of students, fellow chairman and what seems to be the connected world at large after posting the following asinine tweets, among others:

  • “Yoga pants? Per my DTW visual survey, only 10 percent of users should be wearing them. The rest need to be in sweats — or actually get dressed.
  • “Bruce Jenner got 25K for speaking engagements. Caitlyn gets $100K. What wage gap?”

A student outed the tone-deaf Michael C. Marcon* on his Facebook page, which means critical commentary on social media was exposed by critical commentary on social media.

A fumbled apology followed — “we should always challenge ourselves to understand different perspectives or just appreciate the banal observations of everyday life” — leading to additional criticism. (Note to future apologists: just say, “I’m sorry.”)

And, of course, Marcon was inundated with hateful comments about his family, including his kids, on (where else?) social media.

This day and age, any public/prominent person, quasi-public/prominent person or anyone with aspirations to be one of the above should know better than to tweet or post to any social media even vaguely sexist, racist, ageist, whatever-ist comments. Still, no reason for his family to be targeted.

Michael Krawitz can relate. This same week, the former candidate for the West Deptford Township Commissioners withdrew from the race after “sparking a social media uproar for allegedly harassing a female journalist on Facebook.” He initially claimed his account was hacked, which was later disproven.

The lesson, which is the same lesson we’ve learned countless times over: be afraid of social media. Be very afraid.

*This just in: Marcon steps down

From: Wired

Speaking of “properly” using social media, let’s just ask the kids. Phenomenal article in this month’s Wired take’s the reader inside the social media lives of five teenagers. She follows them around. She witnesses their interactions. She grows as a modern human.

We must listen to them.

Do you know what a “deep like” is*? What does ODR** mean? Ever go on a Snap Streak***?


Maybe I’m weird, but I find this stuff fascinating. Getting old is strange. If nothing else, let’s all agree to abide by their rules. They simply make sense.

*When you are stalking the old photos on someone’s Instagram account and accidentally double-tap on one of them, hence “liking” it and alerting the account holder to your stalking ways. While humiliating, never, never unlike a deep like. You will look even more foolish.

**Open Don’t Reply. Apparently, teens do not find it acceptable to send a message, or snap, to another teen on Snapchat and not receive a reply snap from the recipient within a reasonable period of time.

***Pretty cool, actually. It’s when you and a buddy send video or photo snaps back and forth for an extended period of time, with one stipulation: the recipient has 24 hours to respond to the sender’s snap. Keep up the exchange long enough and a sweet flame emoji appears next to the user name of each person.

Take it from 16-year-old Sofia: “Streaks are a big deal. For someone you’re really close with, you can have a 50-day streak. But someone you’re friends with but don’t hang out with every weekend…it’s a 10-day streak.”

The Cheap Seats

  • In [Upper Darby School District’s] 10 elementary schools, white students, though a minority districtwide [UDSD is 47 percent African-American, 32 percent white, 14 percent Asian, and 5 percent Hispanic], make up majorities in five schools: Westbrook Park, 76 percent; Hillcrest, 68 percent; Garrettford, 56 percent; Aronimink, 54 percent; and Primos, 51 percent. African Americans, on the other hand, are substantial majorities at three elementary schools: Stonehurst Hills, 86 percent; Bywood, 67 percent; and Charles Kelly, 61 percent. (Inquirer, “Why the Silence in Upper Darby, 9/6/16)
  • “More than 200 people [have] overdose[d] in the Cincinnati area in the past two weeks, leaving three people dead in what officials call an unprecedented spike….Officials say the overdoses were largely caused by a synthetic drug called carfentanil, an animal tranquilizer used in livestock and elephants with no practical uses for humans. Fentanyl can be 50 times stronger than heroin, and carfentanil is as much as 100 times more potent than fentanyl.” (NYT, “Cincinnati is awash with a drug that kills in minuscule doses,” 9/6/16)
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