Category: The Ledlie Letter - Year: 2013

December 2013

Nearly Newtonian journalism.  In the first big swing back of the digital revolution, Newsweek announces it will return to print in 2014 after leaving ink a year ago. But there’s a however here.  New York magazine, the inspiration for Atlanta, Denver, Philadelphia and every other “city mag,” says it is cutting its weekly print schedule by more …

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November 2013

Oil rush.  Despite America now sitting atop the largest oil and gas reserves in the world, Texas A&M issued a warning to incoming petroleum engineering majors last year: careful, it may not last. College students choosing majors that correspond to the list of jobs that are in high demand, said the …

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October 2013

Walking again in their shoes. A year ago, Superstorm Sandy destroyed windows, doors, and electrical systems on Ellis Island, where 12 million of our ancestors first trod American pavement from 1892 to 1954. Happily untouched were artifacts of the émigré spirit, including a huge mural-sized passport issued by His Imperial …

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September 2013

Legal (dress) code. While citizens of France and Switzerland roil over the wearing of burkas, a courtroom in Bucharest, Romania, explodes over shoes. Specifically, blue suede sneakers with fluorescent green stripes worn by a male defense lawyer, (only $265 for the pair). Disrespect to the court, declared the judge (female). …

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August 2013

A lesson for life. Reputations – and sometimes fortunes – are now flattened within days and without trial. There is the court of law and there is the court of polarized public opinion. In an age of frenzied media and instantaneous analysis, the prudent person, iconic or otherwise, knows how …

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July 2013

Ribbit. Ribbit. (Repeat indefinitely.) An Atlanta lady, looking at everlasting highs in the low 80s and rainstorms as frequent as three or four a day, concludes the world will not end in fire or ice but in a terrarium. Everybody’s business. The Irish both south and north have found Rory …

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June 2013

Anybody got Winston Smith’s cell phone number? Amazon sales of George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 jumped 6,021 percent in just 24 hours. Many people apparently found uncomfortable resonances between Orwell’s “Big Brother” and the news of U.S. government surveillance programs. It’s over there on the right, dear. By the shrimp …

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May 2013

Other than that, Mr. Williamson, how did you like the play? Seated cabaret style at a performance of Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 a weekend ago, New York critic Kevin Williamson found cell phones to the right of him and cell phones to the left of him.  …

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April 2013

After Boston. Digital played its role with photos and tweets by the millions flying across Boston and around the world. But the crucial moment came when a man stepped out of his house, lifted the tarp on his boat, went back inside, and used the telephone. The heart of the matter. …

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March 2013

One thing at a time. Alone. Susan Cain says open-plan offices reduce productivity, impair memory, make people worrisome and even sick. Multi-tasking, she says, increases mistakes by 50 percent.  Brainstorming? It works online, but not in face-to-face groups. Cain, author of Quiet, has the studies to back it all up. …

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February 2013

The Battle of the Books. Again.  First it was the classics versus the moderns (c. 1704).  Lately it’s been one hand-held book against another (since both digital screens and bound volumes usually require the use of hands). Now the contest moves to the cosmic plane: as new libraries open their …

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January 2013

Walkout.  Some 400,000 members quit U.S. labor unions last year, leaving 14.3 million such workers on the job, the fewest since World War I. Most are in government positions. (This may inspire thoughts of the famous one-liner from Pope John XXIII.  Asked how many people work in the Vatican, the …

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