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Welcome, friends! 

Time to weigh in

Just yesterday, I started a blog. It's titled Thirty Ways.

In the blog, I'll be following 30 people who have lost weight and kept it off. I was inspired to ask people about their weight loss success stories after I finally lost 30 pounds myself. I'm by no means the Biggest Loser... one person I've already talked with lost 220 pounds!

What I discovered was that there is no one way to lose weight, no matter what the latest diet guru tells you. Everyone I have talked with so far has chosen a different path -- and they've ALL been successful.

So click on over and start reading some good stories. And, comment on your own success story. Every person has a fascinating story to tell, and I love hearing them. Read More 
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Still playing with science

Having written two children's science activity books, my antennae is always active when it comes to science experiments. So, take a look at my Science Play page here.

I'll add simple science activities to this page as I come across them. In honor of Memorial Day, I've added an activity that uses potatoes... so leave a few of them in the bottom of the bag when you make your potato salad this weekend.

If you've done a fun science activity with your child or student, post a comment here. I'll add it to the Science Play page. Read More 
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RIP Newspapers

There's no hotter topic these days than the future of journalism. I never thought I'd see the day when newspapers became obsolete, but so it may be. Although I still subscribe to my local paper, even I get most of my news online.

To read one column examining the current crisis in newspapers, click here.

I've had many great editors in my writing career and the writer of this column, Richard Rein, the editor of U.S. 1, a Princeton business newspaper, is one of the best. He taught me what a good story is and how to go after it. Let's hope these skills will continue to have value.  Read More 
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Let's talk about -- cough, cough -- swine flu

About 100 years ago, I wrote a profile of Peter Sandman, a risk communications consultant. Back then, who could guess what sort of work that entailed? Insurance underwriting? Financial management?

But along came the Exxon Valdez spill, and soon everyone was talking about arrogant corporations with their bumbling public relations, clumsy damage control efforts and heavy-handed image manipulation.

Peter Sandman advises companies on how best to present disasters and potential hazards to the public, and he's not into covering your tracks and manipulating public opinion. In fact, he advocates honesty and vulnerability... not two words you generally see in the same sentence when it comes to corporate America.

Mr. Sandman preaches a simple equation: Risk = Hazard + Outrage. Simply put, the equation defines risk not only on the basis of cold technical data but also by human standards such as trust, morality, accountability, openness, and compassion (the outrage component). Outrage, he says, is a predictable response when people feel they aren't being dealt with squarely. It doesn’t matter how big or small the actual risk is, or whether people are overreacting. In Mr. Sandman’s way of thinking, outrage is just a much a part of risk as the hazard. So, companies need to address not just the actual hazard, but the public's perception of a hazard.

I see that Mr. Sandman's business is thriving these days. Take a look at his musings on the swine flu outbreak and the best way to address this slow-moving threat here or follow the link to my profile of him ("Outrage-ous") in the right column.
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