START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
Jan 14, 2006
True Friend

A girl asked a guy if he thought she was pretty,


She asked him if he would want to be with her forever.... and he said no.

She then asked him if she were to leave would he cry, and once again he replied with a no.

She had heard enough. As she walked away, tears streaming down her face the boy grabbed her arm and said....

You're not pretty you're beautiful.

I don't want to be with you forever, I NEED to be with you forever.!

And I wouldn't cry if you walked away...I'd die...


I like you because of who you are to me.... A true friend and if I don't get this back I'll take the hint.

Tonight at midnight your true love will realize they like you.

Something good will happen to you at 1:00-4:00 PM tomorrow.

It could be anywhere --AOL, Yahoo, outside of school, anywhere.

Get ready for the biggest shock of your life.

Please send to 15 people in 15 minutes.


"A good friend will come bail you out of jail....
But a true friend will be sitting next to you saying ...
WE screwed up! "

Proud to be your Friend!

Make sure you read all the way down to the last sentence, and don't skip ahead.

I've learned....That life is like a roll of toilet paper.

The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.

I've learned....That we should be glad God doesn't give us everything we ask for.

I've learned....That money doesn't buy class.&nb! sp;

I've learned....That it's those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.

I've learned...That under everyone's hard shell Is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.

I've learned....That the Lord di dn't do it all in one day. What makes me think I can?

I've learned....That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.

I've learned...That the less time I have to work, the more things I get done.

To all of you ... Make sure you read all the way down to the last sentence.

It's National Friendship Week.
Show your friends how much you care.
Send this to everyone you consider a FRIEND, even if it means sending it back to the person who sent it to you.

If it comes back to you, then you'll know you have a circle of friends.



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Posted: Jan 14, 2006 2:03am
Dec 17, 2005
ICRC – Bulletin No. 25 - South Asia earthquake
16 Dec 2005 15:10:00 GMT
Source: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) - Switzerland

Latest report on ICRC activities in the field Needs still emerging in remote areas Two months after the earthquake, ICRC assessment teams are still discovering people desperately in need of help in remote mountain areas. A team that visited two villages in the Nura Seri area of the Neelum valley reported that 95% of mud houses had been destroyed. The state of health of the villagers was found to be alarming, with cases of diarrhoea and skin diseases on the rise and people with broken bones that had not been treated since the earthquake. In one of the villages there were 400 children below the age of five, a particularly vulnerable group.
The villagers also expressed concern about the welfare of widows and other vulnerable people who could not travel to the relief distribution points. They said that up to 90% of livestock had died, leading to a lack of dairy products. Most of the maize crop had also been destroyed and all the grinding mills were broken. Both villages had received some help from local charities and the army.
The ICRC has now sent in a medical team and will distribute full two-month food rations to all the villagers and corrugated iron sheeting to the most vulnerable families.
More needs are emerging regularly as ICRC teams return to villages after initial distributions and have more time to talk to people as they carry out further assessments and monitoring.
First phase of emergency distributions completed according to plan The ICRC has completed the first phase of distributions slightly ahead of time, thanks to exceptional weather conditions which allowed helicopters to fly almost uninterruptedly. The plan was to distribute basic shelter materials and food to 200,000 people affected by the earthquake - roughly 25% of the total population living in Pakistan-administered Kashmir - before the end of the year.
Distributions are now continuing with a second round including new items such as warm clothing, soap, corrugated iron sheeting and tools.
So far, the ICRC has distributed over 4,850 tonnes of aid to over 204,000 people. This includes: •non-food: 184,800 blankets, 61,000 tarpaulins and 5,200 tents; 33,100 items of clothing for men and the same quantity for women, 16,500 items of clothing for children; 33 tonnes of laundry soap and 10 tonnes of toilet soap;
•food: 1,869 tonnes of rice, 869 tonnes of split peas, 357 tonnes of ghee, 347 tonnes of sugar, 90 tonnes of tea and 53 tonnes of iodized salt.
First deliveries of corrugated iron sheeting and tool kits It has been clear for some time that corrugated iron sheeting and tools to repair collapsed houses or build temporary shelters for the winter are the items most in demand, especially at higher altitudes where heavy snow will make tents difficult to use.
This is easier said than done, however, and it has taken several weeks to order these materials from manufacturers in Pakistan. Producing wooden boxes strong enough for helicopter airlifts has been another challenge. ICRC engineer Jean Vergain remembers: "The first time we tested a box by lifting it into the air it broke. Stronger boxes had to be designed capable of holding up to two tonnes without risk of accident when flying over villages."
The first kits have now been delivered to the village of Batnara, at an altitude of over 2,000 metres in the mountains between the Neelum and Jhelum valleys. Each kit is transported in a large net hanging from a helicopter and contains materials for 20 households.
Initially, 5,000 households will receive an average of 12 corrugated iron sheets, one thin metal sheet and one repair kit each. Tool kits comprise a hammer, saw, pliers and nails. The programme is aimed at villages at altitudes where snow will fall first in areas that have received least help so far.
There are plans to expand the programme if these first distributions prove successful.
Carpenters fly to remote villages to help build winter shelters The most vulnerable among the earthquake victims, such as widows and elderly people, are unable to carry the building materials themselves or assemble temporary shelters, even if provided with tools.
The ICRC has therefore hired 20 local carpenters in Muzaffarabad and transports them by helicopter to the villages where iron sheeting is being distributed. The craftsmen stay there for a few days to help those who need help in building shelters.
Warm winter clothing and essential household items The second phase of assistance distributions also features warm clothing for men, women and children, shoes, laundry and toilet soap, towels and candles.
This programme got under way during the past week and some 8,000 households have so far received aid in nine villages, mainly in the Neelum valley. The aim is to reach nearly 42,000 households in the coming weeks.
First fortnight of work for mother-and-child clinic in Cham The ICRC's mother-and-child clinic in Cham has been providing health care to the population of this isolated off-shoot of the Jhelum valley for two weeks now. Up to 100 patients are already being seen each day.
The team in Cham consists of an ICRC team leader, a midwife and two nurses, one of whom has a public health background. There are also two female translators and other support staff.
Diarrhoea is a common complaint in Cham, especially among children, and several youngsters are being rehydrated daily in a tent set aside for the purpose. Some mothers and their children have respiratory tract infections. The medical team therefore holds hygiene-promotion sessions for patients coming to the clinic and for community heads from the surrounding villages. These local leaders are asked to pass on the health messages to their families once they return home.
The ICRC medical unit is also taking part in the Ministry of Health's vaccination campaign. Over 200 children were immunized against measles, mumps and rubella in the first three days alone. Those who needed it were given an oral polio booster and vitamin A. Others were vaccinated against tetanus.
• Read the story of Fazal Noor, a woman who works at the clinic.
Going back to places already assisted On 10 December, ICRC teams returned to the area around Gujar Bandi in the Jhelum valley to assess the situation after the distributions. This is a common practice to monitor the use of aid, but also to keep in contact with communities already assisted in order to identify any further needs or changes in their situation.
The villagers reported that part of the population had migrated to different places, leaving at least one person behind to guard the property and livestock and to collect relief. Families were staying further down the valley to protect young children from the winter cold. There was already some snow covering the ground and more was expected soon.
Discussions revealed that all households had received ICRC food and shelter distributions, and the villagers confirmed that the aid had been distributed fairly. There were no complaints about the quality of the food.
Most tents did not withstand the first snow and people said they would use them in the spring. However, those who used to live in mud houses have no alternative, as they cannot afford the cost of tin sheeting and labour. The price of both has gone up since the earthquake.
People have also become more vulnerable to illness as their diets have changed radically following the loss of up to 85% of their livestock. Dairy products, which are an essential source of protein for the population, have therefore become rare.
Finance To respond to the needs of the earthquake victims, the ICRC extended its 2005 budget for Pakistan from an initial 5.6 million Swiss francs to 62 million francs and launched an appeal to donors on 17 October. This extension covers operations only up until 31 December 2005. To date, the ICRC has received over 56 million francs in contributions to its operations in Pakistan. The public has donated over two million francs to the ICRC, including 840,000 francs on line. For its humanitarian operations in Pakistan in 2006, the ICRC has appealed for over 97 million francs. The ICRC is asking its donors and the public to continue responding generously to its appeals.
Special page on the ICRC website:
Photos for the press: over 200 recent photos of the earthquake and ICRC action are now available and can be ordered by e-mail at
A selection of photos is available on the ICRC website:
For further information, please contact:
Islamabad / Pakistan Leyla Berlemont mobile: +92 300 850 81 38 satellite phone: +88 216 89 80 41 45 e-mail: , attention L. Berlemont (ICRC Islamabad central +92 51 282 47 80 or 282 47 52) Languages: English/French/Arabic
Muzaffarabad / Pakistan-administered Kashmir Jessica Barry, ICRC Muzaffarabad, + 92 300 852 87 04
New Delhi / India Michael O'Brien mobile: +91 98 11 80 66 33 e-mail: (ICRC New Delhi central tel.: +91 11 24 35 23 38/97 or 24 35 43 94/95/96) Languages: English
Geneva / Switzerland Vincent Lusser mobile: +41 79 217 32 64 ICRC Geneva press secretariat tel.: +41 22 730 34 43 e-mail: Please also check:
Pakistan: GMT + 4 hours; India: GMT + 4.5 hours; Geneva: GMT +1 hour

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Posted: Dec 17, 2005 9:46am
Dec 17, 2005
Many women victim of 'gendercide,' study finds
18 Nov 2005 04:36:40 GMT
Source: Reuters
By Larry Fine

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 17 (Reuters) - There is a shortfall of some 200 million women in the world -- "missing' due to what a three-year study on violence against women calls "gendercide."

The number of what the study describes as 'missing' women is based on the random birthrate of males and females and how many fewer women there are than what would be expected in the world population, said Theodor Winkler, head of a research center that directed the project.

Winkler told a news conference at the United Nations on Thursday that gender-related abortions and infanticides were the leading causes for the shortfall in the female population. Another factor was domestic violence, including so-called honor killings in some cultures.

"We are confronted with the slaughter of Eve, a systematic gendercide of tragic proportions," Winkler wrote in the preface to the study, recently published as a book titled "Women in an Insecure World."

"There are dozens of ways women come to a grisly end," Winkler told U.N. reporters. "Obviously, human rights and the legal protection of women is of crucial importance but it is only one component. There is also a cultural change that must operate."

Winkler said violence against women was the fourth-leading cause of premature death on the planet, ranking behind only disease, hunger and war.
"It starts in the womb. There are societies where male births are preferred, particularly if the number of births are limited. That's where abortion for gender reasons starts," he said.

The book uses U.N., World Heath Organization and government reports and photographs to examine the plight of women.

It details statistics on rape, violence traced to forced marriages, prostitution and sex slavery. The book says that according to a study based on 50 surveys from around the world, "at least one out of every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime."

At least 700,000 women are sold into prostitution annually, the book added.
"The deeply rooted phenomenon of the violence against women is one of the great crimes of humanity. We cannot close our eyes to it and hope it simply goes away," Winkler said.

The book was produced by a committee formed by the Geneva Center for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces to be distributed to governments, academics and health practitioners.
Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Dec 17, 2005 9:36am
Dec 16, 2005

Albarran, Alan B.
Management of Electronic Media.
Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thompson Learning, 2002.

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Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1994.

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Understanding and Changing Your Management Style.
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Leaders: The Strategies for Taking Charge.

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Brown, James and Quaal Ward.
Radio-Television-Cable Management.
New York: McGraw Hill, 1998.

Buckingham, Marcus and Curt Coffman.
First, Break All the Rules:
What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently
New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999.

Ciancutti, Arky and Thomas L. Steding. Built on Trust.
Chicago: Contemporary Books, 2001.

Clark, Roy Peter and Cole C. Campbell.
The Values and Craft of American Journalism.
Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2002.

Cohen, Don and Laurence Prusak. In Good Company:
How Social Capital Makes Organizations Work
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Collins, James C. Good to Great:
Why Some Companies Make the Leapnd Others Don't
New York: Harper Collins, 2001.

Covington, William G.
Creativity in TV & Cable Managing & Producing.
Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1999.

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How to Lead Your Staff to Better Writing and Better Teamwork.
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The Editor in Chief: A Practical Management
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Posted: Dec 16, 2005 6:30am
Dec 15, 2005
The Pathology of Apology

By Scott M. Libin (more by author)
Leadership and Management faculty

For as many mistakes as bosses make, you'd think they'd be better at saying they're sorry. Somehow, this skill eludes so many people who have authority in the workplace. 

That's a shame, because an effective apology can be a powerful thing, as Jill Geisler explained 
in this space a couple of years ago. Still, participants in Poynter

leadership seminars often discover their own lack of expertise in apologizing can greatly limit their influence. 

One such discussion over the summer helped me see more clearly some of the specific disorders that can afflict apology and drain even a well-intended effort of almost all impact. 

There's the drive-by apology, a close cousin of the drive-by compliment. That's the classic "good job" comment delivered in passing that's usually as lacking in sincerity as it is in specifics. Recipients of drive-by compliments often suspect that the editors and managers who offer them haven't actually even read, heard or seen the stories they are praising. Worse yet, those who receive drive-by compliments have to guess what it was the boss liked. For these and other reasons, drive-by compliments can do more harm than good.  

The drive-by apology works in much the same way:  It's delivered on the fly, involves little actual effort and can be over before the recipient fully realizes it's even happening.  Often, the drive-by apology is shorter than the title I've given it: "Sorry!" is sometimes the full text.  You're lucky if there's an "I'm" attached. This is appropriate when you accidentally jostle someone while not watching where you're walking. It's a lousy way to express remorse that goes any deeper.

Generally speaking, the amount of time spent delivering an apology ought to have some relationship to the amount of thought that went into it. Two or three syllables spat out in a split second make it seem the speaker is trying to get a distasteful task over with as quickly as possible, just to put it behind him.  

That get-it-over-with approach also underlies the preemptive strike apology. This popular but ineffective form of damage control seeks to get out in front of the situation by apologizing before anybody even has time to assess the full extent of the offense. Actually, that's often the point: The sooner I say I'm sorry, the sooner I can become indignant if you refuse to move on, put the past behind us, look to the future, etc. This is especially handy if what I'm apologizing for is just the tip of the iceberg, and I'd prefer you not look any more deeply into what might lie beneath. 

Listen for this form of apology from public officials who don't want to "dwell on," "drag out" or "beat to death" a situation, as they will tell you journalists are so fond of doing. It's often an indication that your reporting should be just beginning.

Then there's the limited-time-only offer of apology. It is a highly contingent, immediately revocable way to say you're sorry. Its real point is what goes unsaid: the strong invitation for the other party to reciprocate with an apology of her own. Though unspoken, this demand for a response often takes laughably obvious non-verbal form –- raised eyebrows, a tilt of the head, an obvious pause… And should the recipient of a limited-time-only offer fail to seize the opportunity -– well, then, forget it! I said I was sorry. The least you can do is say the same. I have now wrestled aggrieved status away from you, and in the process, I hope, shifted attention away from what I did in the first place to what
you have done since then. Or failed to do. So there. 

To put it in the parlance of the real estate boom: The limited-time-only offer is the interest-only loan of apologies. It doesn't really require any investment, just an easy installment to get started. There's no actual equity involved. 

Almost all of us have encountered one particularly pathogenic apology: the condescension concession, which concedes nothing on the part of the speaker, but saddles the recipient with responsibility for being harmed: 

"I'm sorry if you took offense at what I said (or did)."  

Now, doesn't that make you feel better? Of course not. A milder form of this disorder manifests itself in variations like, "I'm sorry if I said (or did) something that offended you." At least that takes a tiny bit of ownership of what went wrong, while still implying that the real problem belongs to the other person.  The condescension concession is just a slightly gentler way of saying, "Too bad you're so unreasonably sensitive."

Following the phrase "I'm sorry" with an immediate "if" sucks almost all the life out of the expression of regret. Following the phrase "I'm sorry" with the word "but" absolutely annihilates the apology –- and then some. As my Poynter colleague Al Tompkins likes to say, the word "but" can bulk-erase the words that precede it. 

That's why the big sorry "but" form of apology is actually no apology at all. Think about the last time you heard someone begin a sentence with the clause, "I'm sorry, but" -– as in, "I'm sorry, but that's not news." Was the person really sorry? I doubt it. In my experience, "I'm sorry, but" almost always is another way of saying, "Never mind what anybody else thinks; I'll have the last word here."  

Anne Van Wagener/Poynter
Finally, let us not forget the passive apology, another accountability-free option available to those who want to smooth things over without truly taking any ownership: "Mistakes were made," is the classic case, eternally popular with politicians. At least it's concise. The passive apology takes no responsibility, but neither does it aggressively place blame -- "if feelings were hurt" or "if damage was done."

Two classic examples -- one from the White House, and one from The Washington Post:

Appearing Sept. 15 on ABC's "Good Morning America," Dan Bartlett, counselor to the president, talked to Charlie Gibson about the federal response to Hurricane Katrina. Bartlett acknowledged that the president was well aware "things could have been done differently."

The Washington Post
explained on its front page Sept. 12 why two pages of paid obituaries had been missing from Sunday's newspaper: "A robust week of sales by the advertising department... led to two more pages than the production staff had expected," and -- note the following shift to passive voice -- "the decision was made that death notices could run later in the week."

We have 1970's sappy "Love Story" to blame for the notion that "love means never having to say you're sorry." I'm not sure whom to blame for the pathology of apology.

I just know it's not me, and I'm sorry, but that's the last word.

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Posted: Dec 15, 2005 1:09pm
Dec 15, 2005

Mentoring Across Race and Gender Lines

Mentoring someone who "looks like you" often is called "natural." Most of the extensive literature about that type of mentoring deals with a one-way relationship in which the mentor "grooms" the mentee.

Mentoring someone of a different race or gender occurs less frequently and is more difficult, but is not "unnatural" or "weird." It also may be the only real antidote to the "glass ceiling" that blocks the progress of minorities and women in organizations.

The limited literature about such mentoring emphasizes that the relationship has to be two-way, with each party helping the other learn something the learner would otherwise have learned less well, more slowly, or not at all.

The cardinal rule is "don’t assume." Assumptions and expectations must be made explicit and discussible.

Topics that have to be confronted include:

  • When and how to communicate.
  • Whose initiative is required at various times.
  • Whether the relationship is office-only, etc. A set of norms has to be agreed upon by both parties and both have to live by them.
Other guidelines for both parties include:

  • Developing cross-cultural communication skills so you can get past misunderstanding to get to disagreement and even to agreement.
  • Being ready to affirm styles and creative processes that are different from your own.
  • Not being discouraged if progress is slow — you are dealing with habits of thinking and feeling that were acquired over an entire lifetime.
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Posted: Dec 15, 2005 10:45am
Dec 15, 2005
Team Building: Major Issues Facing Teams

By Paul N Pohlman (more by author)
Senior Faculty/Assistant to the President

Goals, purpose, and mission: What are the team’s goals? What is the team’s purpose and/or mission? How do the team’s goals mesh with the organization’s mission and goals?

Roles and responsibilities: Who will play what roles and be responsible for what tasks? How will team members be helped and held accountable for their responsibilities? How will the team take collective responsibility for its work?

Relationships: How will relationships be formed and maintained within the team? How will relationships be managed with individuals and groups outside the team? How will the team find the time to both form relationships and work on the tasks it undertakes?

Leadership: Who will lead the team? How will leadership roles be shared or rotated? Who will facilitate the team meetings?

Power and influence: Who has power and influence on the team? How do they exercise it? How do team members react and respond to those with power and influence? How do members influence the team? How does the team influence powerful individuals and groups outside the team?

Skills: What is the mix of skills needed to do the team’s work? What technical or functional skills are needed? What problem-solving and decision-making skills are needed? What interpersonal skills are needed?

Communication: How will team members communicate with one another? What communication processes and systems will be used? How will the team communicate with individuals and groups outside the team?

Problem-solving and planning methods: What problem-solving and planning methods will the team use to do its work? What methods and processes will the team use to run its meetings?

Conflict: How will the team manage disagreements and conflicts?

Progress and results: How will progress and results be measured?

Risk and rewards, successes and failures: How much risk can the team take? What rewards will the team receive for its results? How will the team handle successes and failures?

Creativity and innovation: In what sense does the team see its role as being creative? What brainstorming and problem-solving processes will the team use to create innovative ideas and alternatives?

Motivation: Why do members want to be on the team? What’s in it for them? How can they help the team? How can they be involved in and challenged by the work the team is doing? How does the team help motivate its members?

Celebrations: How will the team celebrate its ability to work as a team and the results it achieves?

Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Dec 15, 2005 10:30am
Dec 15, 2005

A Girl's Guide to Geek Guys

By Mikki Halpin and Victoria Maat
(Now a whole book!)

So, your crush on the bass player from Vibrating Sandbox has finally died a whimpering death and you're wondering where to go from here. All the sinister dudes are either dating a series of interchangeable high-school riot girls in baby doll dresses and an overdose of manic panic, or permanently shacked up with some bitter old lady who pays all the bills. Which will it be, a wifely prison or a humiliating one night stand? Into this void of potential mates comes a man you may not have considered before, a man of substance, quietude and stability, a cerebral creature with a culture all his own. In short, a geek.

Why Geek Dudes Rule

  • They are generally available.
  • Other women will tend not to steal them.
  • They can fix things.
  • Your parents will love them.
  • They're smart.

    Where The Geek Dude Lurks

    While they are often into alternative music, geek dudes tend not to go to shows too often. Instead you'll find them hanging out with their friends, discussing the latest hardware revolution or perfecting their Bill Gates impressions. You know how some people wear t-shirts with their favorite bands on them, thus showing that they went to certain shows? Well, geek dudes wear t-shirts with the logos of different software companies on them, thus showing that they are up on the latest, um, releases. A small, though convivial, rivalry may be detected here amongst the geek dudes. Try wearing one yourself and see if he strikes up a conversation.
    Of course the best way to meet a geek dude is through the Internet. All geeks harbor a secret fantasy about meeting some girl in cyberspace, carrying on an e-mail romance in which he has the chance to combine an activity he is comfortable with, computing, with one he is very uncomfortable with, socializing. To many geek dudes, cyberdating is just an advanced form of some kind of video game, but they are frustrated by a lack of players. Their lack is your strength.


    You might notice that these men harbor some strange ideas about how the world works and some particularly strange ideas about women. There is a reason for this. Because they've had limited interpersonal experience, geek dudes must look elsewhere for behavior models. Lacking a real world social milieu, geeks often go through a transference stage with such narratives, and try to model their interactions on them. Thus, certain media images and themes come to have an overly cathected, metaphorized reality to them, while the rest of us view such programming as mere entertainment. Case in point, our next topic...

    The Trek factor

    If you're not up on your Star Trek, you can forget about getting or keeping a geek dude. And I'm not just talking vintage-era Captain Kirk and Spock either. You've got to be up on your The Next Generation, your Deep Space Nine, your Babylon 5. Armed with your own knowledge of Federation policies, you can better gauge when and how to act. The sexual politics of Star Trek are pretty blunt: the men run the technology and the ship, and the women are caretakers (a doctor and a counselor). Note the sexual tensions on the bridge of the Enterprise: the women, in skin tight uniforms, and with luxuriant, flowing hair. The men, often balding, and sporting some sort of permanently attached computer auxiliary. This world metaphorizes the fantasies of the geek dude, who sees himself in the geeky-but-heroic male officers and who secretly desires a sexy, smart, Deanna or Bev to come along and deferentially accept him for who he is. If you are willing to accept that this is his starting point for reality, you are ready for a geek relationship.

    Once You've Nabbed Him

    Of course, catching that geek guy is only half the battle. Keeping him by your side is another story altogether. I was privileged to speak with Miss Victoria Maat, who not only got herself a geek guy but was also clever enough to marry him just a few short months ago. She interrupted her newlywed bliss to give us a few tips on the care and feeding of a geek man:
    Geeks are sensitive and caring lovers and husbands. If you can hang with the techno-lifestyle, they make the best mates. They are the most attractive people, not flashy or hunky, but the kind who get cuter and more alluring over time (I told you she was a newlywed). Definitely give geeks a chance.

    Geek Cuisine

    Geeks tend towards packaged, junk foods since they prefer to work and think and aren't all that into cooking for themselves. Make sure that your geek understands that you are not merely a replicator, and provide him with home cooked food. A batch of chocolate chip cookies will let him know that you love him. You do have to monitor your geek for weight gain; however, remember that most of their days are spent sitting and staring at a monitor.

    Geek Lifestyle

    The geek dude has long work habits and tends to bring his work home with him. He seems permanently connected to his hard disk. You must at least appear interested in his work. Generally, a solid understanding of the computer is a must; if you cannot master this, you should at least be able to talk the talk. Remember most geeks are anal and they get stressed about details which appear insignificant. Be understanding, put on your best Deanna Troi face (see above) and empathize.
    To relax, geeks love to play the latest computer games. Let him play Myst or Chuck Yeager's Air Combat for hours if he wants to. Act concerned if he's stuck or has just been ambushed by three MiGs. My geek loves to try to help people on the Internet who say that they are stuck in Myst. He comes up with clever riddles instead of directing them point blank. Geeks also like to go to sci-fi and Japanese animated movies, again, a basically harmless vent for your man.

    Geek Buddies

    Many geeks extend their work friendships into what they jokingly refer to as RL (Real Life, also known as "that big room with the ceiling that is sometimes blue and sometimes black with little lights"). The greatest thing about your geek's buddies is that you can feel secure in setting them up with your girlfriends. They may feel awkward around females at first, so don't overwhelm them. In time they will come out of their shell and realize that you are into the same things they are.

    Post-It Note

    I thank Victoria for the above advice. I must say that when she read my draft of the piece, before writing her section, she asked her husband which one he thought she was more like, Deanna or Beverly. Howard, the devil, immediately replied that he had always thought Victoria was actually most like Ensign Ro Laren, a cute character with a slight authority problem who is always had trouble (this is fairly apt). This exchange is interesting for several reasons:
  • Howard had already thought about who she was most like.
  • He could summon up characters from seasons past with ease.
  • Victoria actually knew who he meant.
  • Folks, I think this marriage will last.

    One Last Thing

    Because they have been so abused and ignored by society, many geeks have gone underground. You may actually know some and just haven't noticed them. They often feel resentful, and misunderstood, and it is important to realize this as you grow closer to them. Don't ever try to force the issue, or make crazy demands that he choose between his computer and you. Remember, his computer has been there for him his whole life; you are a new interloper he hasn't quite grasped yet.
    Geek dudes thrive on mystery and love challenges and intellectual puzzles. Don't you consider yourself one? Wouldn't you like a little intellectual stimulation or your own? We thought so.


  • Visibility: Everyone
    Posted: Dec 15, 2005 9:58am
    Dec 15, 2005

    Visibility: Everyone
    Tags: ,
    Posted: Dec 15, 2005 9:35am
    Dec 15, 2005

    25 interesting things that you learn about computers in the movies... 

    1. High tech equipment is often driven by a computer with a DOS prompt. (re: RoboCop)
    2. High tech companies don't do offsite backups of the data (re: Terminator 2)
    3. All media devices are readily available - ie If someone hands you a DAT tape with important data on it your PC will have a DAT drive.
    4. No matter what you ask a computer to do it will respond with a percentage complete bargraph - especially when searching for data it can accurately give you the time remaining until it finds that data.
    5. Data searching will always involve displaying all the searched data on the screen until a match is found - this is true of text and graphics such as fingerprints.
    6. Telephone calls can be easily redirected through places all over the world, and upon a tracea globe will be displayed complete with lines travelling between each place.
    7. Deleting of data always takes just a little less time than it takes the bad guys to knock down the door.
    8. Alltechnology is plug and play - every computer can have any piece of technology attached.
    9. High tech graphical interfaces are often driven by hundreds of keystrokes which do not appear anywhere on the screen.
    10. IP addresses automatically supply the feds with the physical address (ie log on and they know where you are!)
    11. Word processors never display a cursor.
    12. You never have to use the spacebar when typing long sentences. Just keep hitting the keys without stopping
    13. All monitors display 2 inch high letters.
    14. High-tech computers, such as those used by NASA, the CIA, or some such governmental institution, have easy-to-understand graphical >interfaces.
    15. Those that don't will have incredibly powerful text-based command shells that can correctly understand and execute commands typed in plain English.
    16. Corollary: You can gain access to any information you want by simply typing "ACCESS ALL OF THE SECRET FILES" on any keyboard.
    17. Likewise, you can infect a computer with a destructive virus by simply typing "UPLOAD VIRUS." Viruses cause temperatures in computers, > >just like they do in humans. After a while, smoke billows out of disk >drives and monitors.
    18. All computers are connected. You can access the information on the villain's desktop computer, even if it's turned off.
    19. Powerful computers beep whenever you press a key or whenever the screen changes. Some computers also slow down the output on the screen so that it doesn't go faster than you can read. The *really* advanced ones also emulate the sound of a dot-matrix printer as the characters come across the screen.
    20. All computer panels have thousands of volts and flash pots just underneath the surface. Malfunctions are indicated by a bright flash, a puff of smoke, a shower of sparks, and an explosion that forces you backward. (See #7, above)
    21. People typing away on a computer will turn it off without saving >the data.
    22. A hacker can get into the most sensitive computer in the world before intermission and guess the secret password in two tries.
    23. Any PERMISSION DENIED has an OVERRIDE function.
    24. Complex calculations and loading of huge amounts of data will be accomplished in under three seconds. In the movies, modems transmit data at two gigabytes per second.
    25. When the power plant/missile site/whatever overheats, all the control panels will explode, as will the entire building.
    26. If you display a file on the screen and someone deletes the file, it also disappears from the screen. There are no ways to copy a >backup file -- and there are no undelete utilities.
    27. If a disk has encrypted files, you are automatically asked for a password when you try to access it.
    28. No matter what kind of computer disk it is, it'll be readable by >any system you put it into. All application software is usable by all >computer platforms.
    29. The more high-tech the equipment, the more buttons it has. However, everyone must have been highly trained, because the buttons aren't labelled.
    30. Most computers, no matter how small, have reality-defying three-dimensional, real-time, photo-realistic animated graphics capability.
    31. Laptops, for some strange reason, always seem to have amazing real-time video phone capabilities and the performance of a CRAY-MP.
    32. Whenever a character looks at a VDU, the image is so bright that it projects itself onto his/her face.
    33. Computers never crash during key, high-intensity activities. Humans operating computers never make mistakes under stress.
    34. Programs are fiendishly perfect and never have bugs that slow down users.
    35. Any photograph can have minute details pulled out of it. You can zoom into any picture as far as you want to.

    Visibility: Everyone
    Posted: Dec 15, 2005 8:37am


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