Doug Haslam

Gischeleman: "To Create With the Mind"

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Watching old movies with your kids; yah, I gotta do this more

As a lifelong movie fan, part-time art-film snob, and dad, I had a great time reading Boston Globe film critic Ty Burr’s new book”The Best Old Movies for Families: A Guide to Watching Together.”

Ty BurrFirst, I should disclose that I know Ty– we live in the same school district, and my son is slightly younger than the younger daughter he references so frequently in this book.

I think it is a wonderful idea to watch old movies with your kids– to open up enjoyment that is not solely dependent on dull kids’ TV and video games.

Ty is exhaustive in explaining why you should–or should not– sow different movies to your kids, what might need explaining, and what companion movies you should seek out for further viewing.

When my son was a bit younger, I showed him Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin films– which he ate up, and still likes, and this may give me the excuse to explore a bit more with him, starting with my own library and perhaps rambling over the nearby Brattle Theater in Harvard Square, Cambridge, or the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline, Massachusetts for a revival show.

Now that I have praised the book, it’s time to get snarky. I need a list of films not to watch with your kids– or Old Movies Guaranteed to Mess with Your Youngster’s Mind:

  • Blood of a Poet” — Ty Burr recommends Jean Cocteau’s “La Belle et La Bete,” and rightly so as it is fantastic. But Cocteau’s earlier, surreal mind-f**k of a short film should be good for a little bed-wetting and nightmares. (Also look for: “Un Chien Andalou” by Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali, especially if your child has been naughty)
  • Any film by Ingmar Bergman — I was a little surprised Ty could not find at least one Bergman film to include in his book, until Bergman died this week and I was reminded of his subject matter. Try the Seventh Seal, especially if your young genius is a budding chess champion.
  • Godzilla” — This is an old movie, from 1954, so it should qualify. No excuse for not including this in the book; I refuse to acknowledge this omission. It’s a classic, especially the American version with Raymond Burr inexplicably shoe-horned in.
  • Catherine Deneuve — Ty included the beautiful ribbon-candy of a film “Umbrellas of Cherbourg,” but could have dug deeper for follow-up films. I think “The Hunger” would be great. It’s not so old but it co-stars David Bowie; don’t kids still love Bowie?

Just a few helpful suggestions for the next edition of the book.

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Your Lunch of Lunches


Your lunch of Lunches

Originally uploaded by douglashaslam
Ok, this is terribly silly, but I couldn’t resist. The “e” in “side” from my Uno’s lunch was being rubbed out, so I gave it an assist.

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Social Media is Not just on Your Computer — Boston TweetUp, 7/24/07


Joe, CC, and Doug

Originally uploaded by stevegarfield
As much as I love conversing on Twitter, Facebook, blogs and the like, it is equally important to meet people in person– the same people, I mean. These kind of meetups make the online conversations more meaningful, and tightens the connections between us all.

I also try to meet people coming into town– would like to do more– and try to see online friends in other cities (sorry about the NYC missed connections a couple of weeks ago, Paull et al).

“No Reservations” Screening, Boston, 7/24
I attended the Boston TweetUp (meeting of Twitterers) last night, and was pleased to see some friends I had met before and meet several new ones.

So, hello to C.C. Chapman (pictured, center), Kroosh, Steve Garfield (who took this photo, the only one I know that I managed not to avoid being in) and John Wall (and great to meet the lovely Carin finally).

Pleased to meet you–in person–Joe Cascio (pictured, left), Josh Nichols, Laura “Pistachio” Fitton, Clarence Smith (whom I now know), Critt Jarvis, Amy Carpenter.

And of course, I met Kathy Maister of StartCooking.com, who hosted us for the movie screening of “No Reservations,” starring Catherine Zeta Jones and Aaron Eckhart. the movie was ok– harmless, really, with a great performance by the young lady actor in it.

Seeing Catherine Zeta Jones from the second row was quite interesting, but did not have quite the same affect on me as seeing Daniel Craig from the same seat did on my wife a couple of months back.

I would especially like to thank the owners of the drool-worthy Nokia N95 and the iPhone for convincingly feigning interest in my slightly wacky but not nearly as special phone, my Samsung SCH-u740.

UPDATE: Joe Cascio posted a video via Blip.TV, which I am happy to share, especially if you are eager to see me fondling an iphone. Also, the bit where Amy is telling, rather animatedly, her “quitting” fantasy unfortunately did not get recorded in its entirety, but I hope she blogs it somewhere.

script type=”text/javascript” src=”http://blip.tv/scripts/pokkariPlayer.js?ver=2007062101″>

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Eight random things about me (yup, I got tagged)

Doug Meacham tagged me the other day, so it’s my turn to weigh in on the “Eight Random Things About Me” meme. First, the rules:

  • Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
  • People who are tagged need to write their own post about their eight things and post these rules.
  • At the end of your post, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
  • Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Here goes:

  1. I am an Eagle Scout, and a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow, a fraternal group within the BSA. My vigil name is “Gischeleman,” which I liked so much I named this blog for it. It means “To Create with the Mind,” or as I originally understood it, “Vision Maker.”I value my time in the Scouts, though I am not fond of the national organization’s discriminatory anti-gay policies.
  2. Before getting into public relations, I worked for a decade in public radio, mostly at WBUR-FM, Boston– yes, the Car Talk guys really are like that in real life, thanks for asking. My last job there was as producer for “Only a Game.” Great job, still a great bunch of people.
  3. I have an engineering credit on a rock record, the EP by Ed’s Redeeming Qualities called “Ed’s Day.” I can’t find my copy and I am pissed. ERQ hosted the Sunday Evening “Ed’s Basement at The Rat in Kenmore Square circa 1988-1989, where I got to meet River Phoenix, who played there with his mediocre band Aleka’s attic, and Kim Deal of the Pixies, who seemed quite nice. Yup, I’m name dropping.
  4. I played trombone and tuba through high school. I was actually pretty good, but dropped them in favor of spinning vinyl in college. I actually marched in the NYC St. Patrick’s Day parade as part of the New England Scholastic Honors Band.
  5. I was a jazz DJ at WERS-FM, Emerson College, and after that, for a little while at WBUR. Boston remains a good city to meet some pretty good jazz musicians. I recall meeting Mark Murphy, Harold Mabern, John Medeski, Cercie Miller, and a bunch of really talented musicians, many coming from the New England Conservatory and Berklee College of Music. Hey, more name dropping!
  6. I got to see Hank Aaron play ball. Yes, I am just old enough. It was Hammerin’ Hank’s last season, he hit a double in Fenway Park. Another Fenway moment I witnessed: John Valentin’s unassisted triple play game, which also happened to be the major league debut of Alex Rodriguez.
  7. My 9-year-old son is ten times the athlete I was.
  8. I may or may not be related to Francis Bacon. Pretty sure I am related to Nathaniel Bacon of Bacon’s Rebellion. I like to think I am a distant cousin of singer Annie Haslam– she, like my grandfather, is from Bolton, England.

To keep the chain going, and hoping I don’t get someone who has been tagged already, I hereby tag:

Chuck, Chip, Cathryn, Critt, Duncan, Ed, Brian, Priyah

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Harry Potter 7: Best reason to buy it at Costco

DSC01610

Originally uploaded by douglashaslam
Why buy “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows” at Costco? Because you can get these sweet boxes to carry your booze.

Also, I scratch my head at the people who line up to buy the book on the first night. One Twitter friend told me that at Porter Square in Cambridge MA, there was a 500+ line at the Barnes & noble, while the CVS next door, also stocking the book, had no line.

I understand the appeal of joining a Harry Potter party and joining in the celebration, but if you just want to buy the book… well, I don’t do lines.

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PRobecast 25: Social Media PR, Grammar Vandal, and more

I have posted PRobecast, Episode 25 of Topaz Partners‘ weekly PR-related podcast.

Rob Capra, Sandy Kalik and I discuss:

  1. The “Public Relations” entry on Wikipedia: Is it ok if PR people contribute to it–pretty please, Mr. Wales?
  2. We discuss a new white paper, “Relating to the Public; the Evolving Role of Public Relations in the Age of Social Media,” by Paul Rand and Giovanni Rodriguez. We talk particularly about integrating social and traditional media, recruiting, and teach new media in PR classes.
  3. “Social Media Influence” index: Do we need one? Is it useful? Should we create one that shows Tech PR Gems to be the most influential blog?
  4. Cheering on the Grammar Vandal: striking a blow for proper English. Plus, yet another appeal to get rid of “Post Mortem” in business usage.
  5. On the Blog: Facebook vs. LinkedIn, Facebook vs. MySpace, and focusing social media usage
  6. On the Blog: Read alison Raymond’s post on Technorati!
  7. What to do next week: social media-driven film screening for “No Reservations” at Fenway Theater in Boston, July 24.
  8. Comment below or email bmoc@topazpartners.com
    Audio: Leave a comment at +1-781-404-2419, or Skype doug.haslam

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It’s time to kill “post mortem”

I have heard this phrase too many times, and it’s time to revive my campaign from several years ago to rid our world of this little indicator of negativity.

“Post mortem.”

Why, after any completed project, campaign or event, must we have a “post mortem?”

Why, if the project, campaign or event is successful, do we call this meeting a “post mortem?”

“Post mortem” means, literally, “after death.” I understand that the finality of death corresponds to the end of an event. But to use an actual death metaphor– not a metaphors, is it? The actual word, then– to refer to your project infers that something went wrong.

Was your publicity event an utter failure? Did someone die during your fundraising campaign? Are you performing an autopsy on a deceased human being? Perhaps “post mortem” fits.

If not, why not use “post factum” instead? Yes, it means “after the fact.”

I first noticed this absurdity back in my public radio days, when during the on-air fundraisers, the staff would hold “post mortems” after each day of fundraising. “Nobody died!” I would yell. “We met our goals! Call the meeting something else.” I was a smartass in those days. I’m trying to recall, but I think I did get some people to stop referring to what were usually celebratory recountings of what went right as “pst mortems.” A small victory, if I’m not imagining it.

After hearing an informative segment on “post mortems” on the Inside PR podcast, I realized that it’s time to revive the campaign to stamp out “post mortem.”

Please, so your part. “Post factum,” please

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PRobecast Episode #24: Emailing for Comments, Whole Foods, and PR by Facebook

I have posted PRobecast, Episode 24 of Topaz Partners‘ weekly PR-related podcast.

Rob Capra, Alison Raymond and I discuss:

  1. Pitching by Facebook: What do three PR flaks think of Robert Scoble‘s preference for being pitched on his Facebook wall?
  2. The ethical implications of using email to fish for comments for a client’s blog
  3. The real consequences of astroturfing: Whole Foods’ CEO posting anonymously on Yahoo! stock forums
  4. Our thoughts on Nielsen/Net Ratings dumping the page view measurement standard
  5. Anne Murray needs to work on her messaging instead of her golf game (via CanuckFlack)
  6. What to do this weekend: celebrating Bastille Day with an obscure movie

Comment below or email bmoc@topazpartners.com
Audio: Leave a comment at +1-781-404-2419, or Skype doug.haslam

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You can subscribe to the podcast via Podcast Ready
or iTunes.

Or simply use the RSS link here: View RSS XML


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Will It Blend? – iPhone

Will It Blend? – iPhone

I have tried to stay out of the iPhone discussion, because I don’t want to enable the Macolyte zombie army, nor do I want to bash a cool gadget because that’s the cool thing to do.

But this latest episode of the great Blendtec “Will it Blend” series is priceless. I’ll give away the ending, because it is still worth watching anyway; yes, the iPhone does blend.

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“Life is Good?” What else you got?

ligRecording today’s PRobecast (Topaz Partners PR podcast), we talked about an upcoming Boston event at Fenway Park sponsored by “Life is Good.”

Many of us know “Life is Good” as the familiar emblem on T-shirts, hats and myriad other items– and that events the home-grown company sponsors or puts together raise money to benefits worthy non-profits. But, Tim Allik raised a great point- is “good” and adequate term to describe life? Tim was afraid that his 5th grade teacher would nix the term. I merely wonder: what would your term for life be?

Maybe that word changes depending on what you are going through at the time. Perhaps you might express it in flavors, or music, or some other felling that dominates your creative thinking. I don’t know, but I would love to know what you think “Life is…” at the moment you read this. There are a few initial suggestions from Twitter friends in comments at the original Tech PR Gems post, but feel free to add your own and I will jump in as well.

Go wild! Do it now– life is short, you know… nah, I can do better than that.

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