The Week: What Caught Our Eye

October 26, 2019

Sunrise showing the clouds and mountainsShe’s just showing off, this Autumn is, with a wink and a bedazzling wardrobe. 

BETTER TO UNDERSTAND: As they struggle under unrelenting financial and political pressures and changes in the way people consume news, some news organizations seek the public’s understanding and support. Others are summoning the strength to publish truly remarkable work of high public service. Last summer, a tragedy broke hearts in every corner of an Upstate New York community: A three-year-old child, taken by his mom to the restaurant where she worked, fell into a grease trap and died. The dark corners of social media pounced on the story and, with the usual inaccuracy, invective and indictment, contributed only pain and misinformation. So, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle took a deeper look over many months, producing an accurate, contextual and humane story that will save lives and promote healing and understanding, a story about difficult choices and the fragility of life. Some media shine a spotlight to demonize. Others light a benevolent candle and seek solutions.

HELPING HANDS: The men in recovery needed an opportunity, the Fort William Henry Hotel needed housekeepers. Compassion and opportunity met up on the shores of Lake George.

WHERE TRADERS FEARS TO TREAD: In some cities and many rural corners of Upstate New York, with populations too small to be served by a grocery store, Stewart’s is experimenting with filling the gap by bringing an expanded selection of fresh fruit, vegetables and meat. More desserts, fewer food deserts.

LAUGHING ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK:  “Good Boys” is the hit film about three clueless sixth graders, hilariously foul-mouthed beyond their years, desperate to figure out how to kiss a girl one of them adores.  Throw in a drone, a fraternity house, some older girls, and you get why the Seth Rogen/Evan Goldberg film is getting a big sloppy smooch from fans. So far, it’s said to have grossed $110 million on a $20-million budget. It’s the first original R-rated comedy in three years to top the box office charts, and only the second original film to open at No. 1 this year. The producer is Glens Falls native John Phillips, the talk-of-Hollywood writer and actor behind Dirty Grandpa (2016) and The Office (2005). A product of Glens Falls High School, Yale University, and the legendary Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York, John has also performed stand up at top venues in New York, including Gotham Comedy Club and Stand Up NY.

MUIR VACATION TIME: Syracuse native and Ithaca College alum David Muir, anchor of ABC’s World News Tonight and 20/20 news magazine, has purchased a historic, six-bedroom home on Skaneateles Lake. Muir has won multiple Emmy and Edward R. Murrow awards for his work and was chosen by People as one of the sexiest men alive. So, there you go.

YOU’VE GOT AN INN:  This looks like fun: A 177-year-old Greek revival mansion is on the market in the Warren County community of Johnsburg. The original flooring, windows, pocket doors, trim and staircases are intact; plumbing, insulation and electrical work are new. A beautifully restored carriage house is included. John and Catherine Roosevelt (Yes, those Roosevelts) Dunn built the pre-Civil War masterpiece. The family owned the first Calico Mill in the United States. A perfect backwoods inn or family compound only minutes from dining, shopping, museums, hiking, biking and paddling in North Creek.


THE MOMA MOMENT: It was founded by three women looking to shake up the conservative art world. Its original collection consisted of just eight prints and a single drawing. Now, the Museum of Modern Art is one of the most influential museums in the world with a collection of more than 200,000 items, and it’s reopening after a major renovation that added creativity spaces and new galleries. Come along on an audio tour with the BBC.

SWEET MOMENT FOR THE TANG: The Tang Museum wants to be sure you’re awake and asking provocative questions.  Can you mix Hudson River School landscapes with Rube Goldberg cartoons? Shaker Furniture with contemporary art? The Tang thinks so, and it’s exploring new ways to combine visual and performing arts, natural sciences, and humanities. It’s just received two gifts totaling $1 million to support its collections endowment and its publications program. 


WHAT HE GAINED: A few years ago, when he weighed so much his legs cracked open, Carlos Orosco could not have considered even a short walk, let alone a race. But there he was last Sunday, crossing the finish line at the 26.2-mile Detroit marathon, fulfilling an impossible dream and not missing the nearly 500 pounds he left behind.

NO LIMITS: Science once suggested a limit to how fast a human could run. Not so fast, Doc.  Meet Eliud Kipchoge, the new fastest person on Earth.


PERENNIALS: Sometimes you own books. Sometimes they own you. Zoe Andrews loved that book so much she gave it away 25 years ago so another child might benefit.  Now, like a devoted dog, the book has come back.

BLOOD SISTERS: In 2012, a nurse’s donation of bone marrow saved the life of a six-year-old girl suffering from a rare form of blood cancer. The two never met, never even spoke on the phone until another turning point, this time in the life of the nurse.

YOU TALKING TO ME? FLEE! Do you shut the door, pretend to talk on the phone, or stick in the ear buds? Avoiding awkward small talk at the office is an art form. But there’s a career price to be paid when you cold-shoulder co-workers or flee the corporate speed-dating scene.  And there are ways to make networking more valuable and less painful.

AVOIDING THE AX, NOT THE TAX: You’ve heard about tax-averse New Yorkers decamping to the Sunshine State. Now we learn even New York City’s Christmas Tree would rather be in Florida, too?

TAP INTO THIS: Who would go to a bar just to drink when you can play bocce, throw axes and recall which Renaissance artist liked to pump iron?

LAKE GEORGE’S LONG MEMORY: Each November, as many as 7,000 American flags pop up on the lawn of the Fort William Henry in Lake George. They’re placed by volunteers to honor veterans and active-duty military personnel. The Fort invites visitors to submit the names of family members who have served or are serving, together with their rank, time period and branch of service. As gray November looms, this field of colors is about to bloom anew.

ONLY ALEXA KNOWS: When you and Alexa are all alone, what’s the most sensitive question you pose to her? What dirt might you drop on the Dot? Now we know.

BEHOLD THE BLOBS: Blobs – those slimy, brainless organisms – are woefully underestimated. Utterly without cause. Blobs can find their way through mazes. Blobs can construct efficient transport networks, configure themselves into a near-replicas of the meticulously designed Tokyo rail system, and transfer knowledge to other blobs. They have no mouth or stomach, but they’ve managed to survive for 1 billion years. Time to reappraise.

THE MEEK SHALL INHERIT YOUR PARKING SPOT: You’re late and need a parking space. Do you snag the first one no matter how far it is from the door? Or do you drive optimistically right to the front door? This holiday season, when you’re circling the mall parking lot, you’ll thank us for this timely science-based advice.

YULE LOVE IT: To celebrate the coming season, the family-focused European Christmas celebration Christkindlmarkt returns to Charles R. Wood Park in Lake George Dec. 6-8, with 40 vendors, food, live entertainment, children’s activities and Lake George Steamboat Co. boat rides with Santa. 


"If you’re always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be."
– Maya Angelou


NOT ANOTHER MATPAKKE: Norway is one of the most beautiful countries on Earth, famous for its breathtaking fjords and midnight sun and the Northern Lights. Its cosmopolitan cities are full of stunning architecture and great culture. But you can’t have it all: The lunches bore the living baloney out of you.

PLEASE SHARE: Feel free to pass this along to your friends and colleagues.

THANK YOU to our contributors: John Brodt, Bill Richmond, Bill Callen, Lisa Fenwick, Colleen Potter and Tina Suhocki.

FACING OUT is what we do. We help companies, organizations and individuals work effectively with their most important external audiences – their customers, their shareholders, their communities, the government and the news media.

Facing Out features news and other nuggets that caught our eye, and that we thought might be of value to you, our friends and business associates. Some items are good news about our clients and friends, others are stories that we hope will leave you a bit more informed or entertained than you were five minutes ago. As always, we welcome your ideas and feedback. 

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