Google: Pushing to make the web more mobile-friendly

MobileCarIn case you missed it, Google recently announced plans to make mobile-friendliness an even more important part of its ranking algorithm. What that means is that it’s even more important than before for your website to display well on mobile devices.

The reason for this is sound. It isn’t just Google trying to dictate changes that it wants you to make to your website. Google is reflecting the reality of how people use the Internet. Continue reading

Mixing Memory With Desire: Poetry and Public Schools

"April is the cruellest month, ..."

IMG_1291Nearly every year on April 1, I re-read T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land.” It’s one of my favorite poems, and while I pay homage to it by quoting and requoting lines from it in conversation year-round, I also like to sit down and read it through periodically. The opening line, quoted above, is of course why I choose April 1 for this pleasure. (Also, April is National Poetry Month, so there’s another reason, though not the one that drives me.)

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Yearning for Summer

Onions-250It feels like spring today in my part of Chicagoland, and over on Twitter I see people on the West Coast preparing to head out to their farmer’s markets. So now I want to be at mine.

Unfortunately, it’s only mid-February, and here in the Midwest we won’t see a farmer’s market for months to come. Memorial Day, where are you?!

I want sunshine and rows of fresh produce and flowers—lettuce and spinach, strawberries, live plants for the garden. I want the party atmosphere and the fun of seeing friends and neighbors out and about. Continue reading

God, I love Chicago!

TheBeanI’m not the only one. Neil Steinberg does, too. So do a lot of other people—presumably including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who wrote of thinking to himself “God, I am in Chicago” after first arriving in the city for a visit at the age of 15.

Steinberg recounts that moment of Jackson’s among many other stories in his 2012 book You Were Never in Chicago, which I read recently and reviewed over at Escape into Life. It’s one of many memorable tales Steinberg brings to life in the book, which took me down memory lane—both as a journalist and as an adoptive Chicagoan—while also teaching me more about the history of the city I love.

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Girl Waits With Gun – A Review

girl-waits-with-gunThe year is 1914. Three sisters are driving a carriage down the street in Paterson, N.J., when an automobile appears and barrels straight into them, overturning their carriage, breaking it apart, and pinning them beneath it. When passersby scramble to right the vehicle and help free the sisters, oen of the sisters confronts the automobile driver and demands reimbursement for the damage done to the carriage.

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Alternatives to Valentine’s Day

Valentines-Day-AntiquesDo you have a love-hate relationship with Valentine’s Day? I’ve always been at least a bit conflicted about it. I’m all for love, and showing people that you love them, but celebrating a single day when that’s expected is problematic for me in a couple of ways:

  • It leaves too many people feeling left out—and probably many of the people who most need to know they’re cared for.
  • What about the other 364 days of the year (365 days in a leap year)?

Rather than celebrate Valentine’s Day, I’d prefer to fill the world with random acts of kindness every day of the year—kindness both toward the people we love and toward total strangers. Here are some ideas: Continue reading