Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Getting Really Small

If I needed any more reasons (which I don't) to cherish and admire Ben Small, my favorite magazine designer, a longtime friend as well as collaborator, and a guy with a much-derided last name, I could simply point to the quote I noticed he placed recently near his work space. It silently speaks volumes:

Should any political party attempt to abolish Social Security, unempllyment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. there is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaries and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligable and they are stupid.
--Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1952

Does e-mail Make You Dumber? That was the headline of a brief article in the August Discover Magazine, which I breezed through while on vacation recently. Writer Anne Casselman had this to say, in part, as the answer. "If you feel like a zombie at work, perhaps you're suffering from infomania, the term the Hewlett -Packard affiliate in Britain coined for people addicted to e-mail, instant messaging and text messages. A recent study for the company found that British workers' IQ test scores drop temporarily by an average of 10 points when juggling phones, e-mails and other electronic messages--more of an IQ drop than occurs after smoking marijuana or losing a night's sleep." I guess I should be happy that I don't do text or instant messaging and never have, and so maybe my temporary stupidity is only half as bad as some of my multitasking friends. Or at least I hope so.

Small Type, Big Party. We had a blast at last Friday's end-of-summer party at the Poets & Writers League of Greater Cleveland. The weather cooperated, the turnout was brisk. My wife loved seeing (in one case) and meeting (in another) authors whose work she's read and admired. She even found enough fellow teachers in the crowd to chat away with while I worked the room (and the lawn outside) a bit. I was especially heartened to see and be able to chat with at some length a couple of my blogging pals, two especially good and serious writers, Jeff Hess and Chas Rich. They nicely kept watch over the beer supply from a good perch on the porch, while teasing me about my small (there's that word again) type on this site, and the colors which make it hard to read. Okay, guys, I promise to eventually respond with some changes. As for the PWLGC soiree, if you missed it, don't despair. Another in the series is planned for late September. We'll keep you posted.


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