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August 2007

Modite: Rebecca Thorman

Modite_2 I just came across a remarkable young woman in the blogosphere: Rebecca Thorman of Modite.com. From her MyBlogLog profile:

Modite is...

[Mod-ahyt] ~ Noun.

1) Modern. Urbanite.

2) Yuppie with a social conscience.

At 23 years old, Rebecca is the Executive Director of a young professional organization in Madison, WI, whose mission is to attract and retain young talent and leadership in order to contribute to the regions’ economic, civic, social, and public policy futures.

She also authors Modite.com, a wonderful collection of thoughts, ideas, and experiences related to how Generations X and Y can be more successful in life, love, and work, as well as more valuable contributors to society overall.

Rebecca is a prolific writer, and displays wisdom beyond her years. I especially love these posts:

Listen up, Ladies Who Launch - if you haven't yet profiled Rebecca, she should be next on your list!

Chinese Video Game Addiction

China_video_games The one-child policy in China has spawned a generation of spoiled but lonely kids that turn to video games to fill their time.

Some have become so attached to gaming - nearly 6 percent spend more than 40 hours a week online - that the nation has recognized the problem as an addiction.

In an effort to control this behavior, the Chinese government has created summer camps to wean kids off of gaming, and special software that curbs game duration (after 3 hours a pop-up appears that encourages the player to log off and go exercise; those that refuse risk losing all of the points they've accumulated in the game!)

The tactics don't appear to be working (China has 162 million Internet users with 100 new users logging on every minute) but adults are committed to the effort and view rehabilitation of these teens as part of their social responsibility.


The Wall Street Journal has a good article about leetspeak, the shorthand text many have adopted for communicating in the digital age (think "LOL" for "laughing out loud").

Leetspeak first became popular in the 1980s among hackers, or "elite" users who developed the coded language to conceal their hacking plans and elude text filters. It has since become a common method of communicating - via instant message, cell phones, and email. Teenagers [allegedly] like the fact that their parents can't read it; adults often find it a useful shorthand when communicating on the fly.

While language purists are outraged at the abandonment of proper grammar, some scholars argue that it's natural for language to evolve in this way. The articles cites examples such as the word "OK" (first appeared in a Boston newspaper in 1839 as an abbreviation for "oll korrect" and is now one of the most commonly used words) and "SOS" (the popular call for help, originated during the telegraph era when people communicated via dots and dashes and abbreviations). The Coyote Blog has a great post (via MarketPower) likening English to an Open Source Language, meaning it evolves based on how ordinary people are using it.

Feeling like a n00b because you don't know the lingo? Microsoft has a handy Parents Primer to Computer Slang and there's a multitude of Leetspeak translators on the Web.

Georgia's Youth Parliament

I am fascinated by this article that appeared in a recent issue of the magazine Monocle. It talks about the ruling party in the Eastern European (thanks for the correction, Claudinho) Republic of Georgia, which is comprised of mostly 20- and 30-somethings.


This crop of young leaders is part of a concerted effort to staff up with a new generation of officials not tainted by Georgia's Communist past. The majority of them were educated in the US and Europe, which helps them in their dealings with the West, something their predecessors lacked.

Niades Brachetto d'Acqui

Niades I was recently introduced to a delicious, new [to me] type of Italian red wine: Niades Brachetto d'Acqui.

What's so special about it? It's sparkling!

That's right - a sparkling red. It was my first. And it is perfect on a hot summer night, when traditional reds are a bit too heavy. It's actually a dessert wine - delicious with chocolate, and also recommended as an accompaniment to fresh fruit like strawberries.

The wine itself is sweet like cherries; it reminds me a lot of Port. Its name derives from the Brachetto grape, from the Acqui district of the Piedmont region of Italy.

Chowhound lists some local shops where Niades Brachetto d'Acqui may be purchased for about $17. Don't forget the chocolates.