The Gong Blog

How Taxing: HodgePodge for Apr. 15


Apparently I can’t resist a story about emojis. Here, from NPR, is a report on a new study on how well the pictograms work for communication:

“Not so fast, say a group of researchers who found that different people had vastly different interpretations of some popular emojis. The researchers published their findings for GroupLens, a research lab based out of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.”

Is the chicken local?

Maybe you heard this on All Things Considered yesterday: The Tampa Bay Times conducted an in-depth investigation into purported “farm to table” produce at local restaurants. The resulting series of articles, besides appearing under the puntastic moniker “Farm to Fable” (and bringing to mind the chicken skit from Portlandia), provides an interesting look into the gap between reality and puffery in food marketing:

“The farm-to-table trend has exploded recently. Across the country, menus proudly boast chicken raised by local farmers, pork from heritage breed pigs, vegetables grown from heirloom varieties. These restaurants are catering to diners who increasingly want to know where their food comes from — and that it is ethically, sustainably sourced. But are these eateries just serving up lies?”

Radioactive selfie

The story behind this photo showing the “lava flow” from the Chernobyl meltdown is as fascinating as the photo.

“At first glance, it’s hard to know what’s happening in this picture. A giant mushroom seems to have sprouted in a factory floor, where ghostly men in hardhats seem to be working. But there’s something undeniably eerie about the scene, for good reason. You’re looking at the largest agglomeration of one of the most toxic substances ever created: corium.”

Share this

People (like, actual real people, not “brands”) are sharing less on Facebook, Inc., reports:

“Have you by any chance noticed yourself feeling less friendly toward Facebook lately? Perhaps you still open the app a few times a day to check your notifications and scroll through a few posts, comment on a viral video, ”like“ a story from The New York Times. But when it comes to the personal stuff–your vacation photos, your job announcements, your gripes about the wait at the DMV–you’re just not sharing it like you used to.”

Speaking of NPR

As an avid listener of our local NPR affiliate, WCVE, and of podcasts and new-media platforms like NPR One, I found this story on NPR’s future very interesting:

“To understand NPR’s predicament, it’s crucial to first understand what NPR is and what NPR is not. In some ways, the second part is easier. NPR is not a radio station, and it is not responsible for every show in which polite voices speak in a restrained, earnest manner about the issues of the day; other players that traffic in such fare include American Public Media, which produces Marketplace, and Public Radio International, which co-produces The Takeaway.”

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Tony Scida

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