The European Rules of Social Kissing

Two years ago, I moved to Portugal. I moved from a culture where kissing and hugging as a greeting was reserved for family and close friends to one where kissing and hugging are a far more widespread form of greeting. This is further complicated by the fact that my partner is French and that our social circle includes family – English, Portuguese and French, friends – English, Portuguese, French, Danish, German and Dutch and business colleagues and acquaintances which include all of the above plus Spanish and Italians as well. They all have different rules for social greetings!

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Talking Beats Texting Among Teens

When I was a teenager, going online meant connecting to a friend’s local bulletin board system and checking the message boards, though you knew that you were never connected at the same time as anyone else since we were using dial-up modems to connect directly to computers that were just like yours — pathetically slow compared to the computers of today, or even the iPads! For the most part, however, we did our communication face to face and on the phone if that was not possible.

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When Eddie Got AIDS in 2012

One of the store clerks in our neighborhood — let’s call him “Eddie” — went missing for over a month.  Janna and I always loved seeing Eddie during our weekend shopping outings and he was always warm and friendly and talkative.  We also knew Eddie was Gay because of the personal stories he openly shared with us as we shopped.

Greying and testing middle age, we also knew Eddie, a proud Latino, had dedicated the last twenty years of his life to living with, and taking care of, his unwell mother.  His daily routine was to wake up, work in the store, and go home to her.  He had no social life.  He life was “job and mom.”

When Eddie disappeared six weeks ago, we knew something terrible happened and last Sunday our worst fears were confirmed when we finally saw Eddie again, behind his cash register, looking wan and uncomfortably thin.  He told us the horrible news with a calm resignation:  At 50-years-old, he wasn’t just HIV positive, he had full-blown Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.  Eddie had AIDS.

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Your Privacy is Leaking

Social Networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, FriendFeed, MySpace and Twitter all hope to create a feeling of loyal warmth and human companionship — but is something more nefarious lurking just out of sight beneath the surface intimacy?

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Self-Directed Learning in Non-Structured Environments

We believe the social networking wave of the present will push students into a 24-hour cycle of learning from each other and not from instructors or traditional textbooks.  If a student needs to learn something they do not know, they will simply expand their network to ferret out a new person and invite them into their feral circle of knowledge.

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