11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and fun … 1. It takes a licking but keeps on ticking: Scientists can rebuild a mouse’s heart with human cells. (Learn more at Futurity.org) 2. Quick: Who’s that below? A simple test that measures the ability to recognize and name famous people may help diagnose early dementia. (Learn more at AARP) 3. Drinking two cups of cocoa a day may help keep your brain healthy. (Learn more at AARP) 4. Twitter can predict elections. (Learn more at …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and fun… 1. Howdy Doody (and Van Gogh) could help save Detroit. (Learn more at AARP) 2. The YouTube sensation “Grandma Drummer” has revealed her identity. (Learn more at AARP) 3. A stench like rotting flesh from a blossoming corpse flower attracts not only bugs but humans, too. (Learn more at Washington Post) 4.  The days of $3 a gallon gas are gone for good.  (Learn more at AARP) 5. “Silver shoplifting“ in Japan has doubled since 2002. (Learn more at Portland Press …

Walter Cronkite’s WWII Letters Home in New Book

Before he was the voice of his generation and “the most trusted man in America,” Walter Cronkite was a 20-something war correspondent writing letters home to his new wife. Now his namesake and grandson, Walter Cronkite IV, has complied the letters in a book, Cronkite’s War: His World War II Letters Home. The grandson, a recent college graduate, is working in Washington these days at, of course, CBS News. That’s where Cronkite, who died in 2009, anchored the evening news after …

Are You Giving Up on the News?

They were our heroes. Woodward and Bernstein brought down a president. The New York Times published “The Pentagon Papers” in the face of government resistance to revealing damaging truths. “Uncle” Walter Cronkite spoke for many Americans when he concluded that the Vietnam War was not winnable. Many in our generation saw the news media as a positive force in society, driving out secrecy and corruption with the “disinfecting” light of information. Today, as a recent AARP poll shows, journalists have …

Poll: Half of Americans Prefer TV News; Older Adults Pay Closest Attention

Television is still the preferred news source for half of Americans, though it may not retain its dominance for long. While about 60 percent of older adults prefer TV news, just 34 percent of 18 to 35-year-olds say it’s their top choice, with 55 percent of this younger cohort preferring Internet news sources. And that’s far from the only generational difference in news preferences and interest. According to a recent Harris Interactive poll, the age groups differ not only in their preferred news sources but in the ways they consume and pay attention to news, as well.

Stepping into My Own Prime Time

For years I was a sitcom writer; my shows were always in prime time. I have been writing voices for Designing Women, Family Ties, Kate and Allie.  Yup, that’s me – except not really. They have been what Julia Sugarbaker would assert on her soapbox, what Alex Keaton would wisecrack to his way-too-liberal parents, what Kate would say supportively to Allie. I would give them lines, but they were never my voice. That’s the trick to writing for others on TV: you write …