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PZ the Do-Gooder Scrooge



Phyllis Zimbler Miller brings you her take on the good, the bad and the ugly



Updated: 2017-09-21T19:39:44.272-07:00

 



Are You Prepared on a Job Interview to Answer the Question How Many Followers You Have on Twitter?

2009-07-05T00:26:12.906-07:00

If you're looking for a job and want to improve your chances of doing well in an interview, you need to know about the most important aspects of internet marketing today, including social media such as Twitter, blogging, article marketing and other strategies.

Check out www.TeachMeInternetBusiness.com now to learn how you can get the jump on your job competition.

-- Brought to you by Phyllis Zimbler Miller, a National Internet Business Examiner at www.InternetBizBlogger.com



New Gig as the LA Internet Business Examiner

2009-04-13T22:36:18.719-07:00

I've just accepted being the LA Internet Business Examiner at examiner.com with the commitment of writing 3-4 posts a week on this subject. While I'm very pleased about this opportunity, I took a hard look at my online commitments and realized that something had to give.

Thus I am giving up this blog in "exchange" for the examiner.com opportunity.

I won't be taking this blog down as there are several posts that are what is called "evergreen" -- not time specific. So if you happen to stumble upon this blog after today, I hope you'll check out whether there are any previous posts you'd like to read.

And I invite all of you who have faithfully followed me here to check out my new gig at examiner.com -- LA Internet Business Examiner.
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She also blogs at Mrs. Lieutenant and Operation Support Jews in the Military, and she is the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life. Her company Miller Mosaic LLC builds call-to-action websites for book authors and small businesses.



President Obama Establishes a White House Council on Women and Girls

2009-04-13T11:57:20.463-07:00

As a long-time feminist, this video brought tears to my eyes. It's only a few minutes long and definitely worth watching:
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She also blogs at Mrs. Lieutenant and Operation Support Jews in the Military, and she is the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life. Her company Miller Mosaic LLC builds call-to-action websites for book authors and small businesses.



Reflections From the Passover Seder

2009-04-12T12:45:55.492-07:00

At the Pesach seder this year one of the guests shared her thoughts on the 10 plagues and then connected her thoughts with our world today. I'd like to give you an overview of what she said:

She pointed out that it wasn't until the 10th plague that the Israelites had to do something themselves -- they had to put lamb's blood on their doorposts. In other words, talking about leaving Egypt didn't lead to leaving Egypt. The Israelites had to first take action themselves towards their goal.

And then she said that this is the same today. That TALKING about helping to do good in the world (my note: such as feeding the hungry or donating funds to help military families in need) isn't worth anything. You have to DO something -- to act -- for your good intentions to have any value.

Very profound -- and if you've been TALKING about donating funds to a needy organization or reaching out a helping hand to a newcomer in your community or any of the myriad good deeds that we all talk about, commit yourself to ACTING on one of these projects.

It's spring now -- traditional time of rebirth. Start acting today.
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She also blogs at Mrs. Lieutenant and Operation Support Jews in the Military, and she is the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life. Her company Miller Mosaic LLC builds call-to-action websites for book authors and small businesses.



TV Show House Goes Further in Its Support of Mental Illness -- Spoiler Alert

2009-04-06T23:26:43.302-07:00

If you are a fan of the tv show HOUSE and haven't watched the April 6th episode, I'm warning you that there's a spoiler ahead. You've been warned.

In my February 3rd blog post "Popular TV Show HOUSE Uses Its Star Power to Support Mental Health" I applauded that the tv show has been raising a great deal of money to support the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Tonight the show dealt with suicide and a search for the cause of that suicide. At the end of the show there was a public service announcement about what to do if you are in crisis. And then there was another announcement:

If viewers wanted to leave a message for the person who had killed himself -- they could go to www.fox.com/kutner and leave a message.

I had just written a blog post at www.FictionMarketing.com about when people act as if fictional characters are real. And my immediate reaction to the web page to leave messages for "Dr. Kutner" is that this blurring of what is fiction and what is reality has gone too far.

Yes, I cried during the show, but I was crying for the fictional character. No, I don't want to demean the death of real suicides by leaving messages for a fictional tv character.

What are your thoughts about this?
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She also blogs at Mrs. Lieutenant and Operation Support Jews in the Military, and she is the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life. Her company Miller Mosaic LLC builds call-to-action websites for book authors and small businesses.



Movie DUPLICITY Deserves Its Low Box Office Take

2009-04-06T16:50:35.917-07:00

The weekend domestic movie box office was reported in Daily Variety today as it is almost every Monday. FAST AND FURIOUS on its opening weekend took in $72.5 million, which was considerably more than projected and a very good opening weekend number.

In 7th place was the Julia Roberts-Clive Owen starrer DUPLICITY, which in its third weekend took in $4.3 million for a cume of $32.4.

Unfortunately my husband and I contributed to that $4.3 million.

We had gone to the film expecting it to be a comedic spy thriller, perhaps even in the vein of the classic THE LADY VANISHES. Oh, how I wish we could have vanished back home as we both sat in the theater shaking our heads. How did this movie get a greenlight and a big budget?

In my blog post at FictionMarketing.com I talk about when fictional characters are real. In the case of the movie DUPLICITY, the characters are so uninteresting that there is absolutely no risk of anyone thinking these characters are real.

And the stakes of the story? In THE LADY VANISHES the fate of the whole Allied effort might depend on the vanished lady getting safely back to England.

In DUPLICITY -- okay, I don't want to tell you to see the movie to find out the stakes. Let's just stay that it makes no difference to anyone whether Julia Roberts and Clive Owen complete their mission satisfactorily. And that's a real shame for a movie that's a comedic spy thriller.
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She also blogs at Mrs. Lieutenant and Operation Support Jews in the Military, and she is the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life. Her company Miller Mosaic LLC builds call-to-action websites for book authors and small businesses.



Read the Mrs. Lieutenant Blog Post About Rape

2009-04-03T09:53:52.417-07:00

Today is one of those days when I'm directing you to my Mrs. Lieutenant blog because the subject of the post -- rape -- and the actually uplifting message of the www.YourMilitaryLife.com interview of Eldonna Lewis Fernandez are topics that I want to share with my PZ the Do-Gooder Scrooge blog readers.

Read the Mrs. Lieutenant blog post now.
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She also blogs at Mrs. Lieutenant and Operation Support Jews in the Military, and she is the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life. Her company Miller Mosaic LLC builds call-to-action websites for book authors and small businesses.



Fiction Marketing: Using Blogging to Promote Your Novel, Memoir, Poetry or Stories

2009-04-01T09:37:44.585-07:00

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FictionMarketing.com has just been launched as an experiment in using a website in conjunction with a nonfiction book proposal to attract an agent for the proposed book project. The book itself -- Marketing Your Fiction: Effective (and Frugal!) Ways to Promote Even the Hard-to-Sell Genres -- is a how-to book for writers of all types of fiction.

My younger daughter Yael built the site through our company business www.CalltoActionWebsites.com -- and my co-author of the book project, Carolyn Howard-Johnson, and I are very pleased with the site.

We're giving away a copy of the book's blogging chapter to help people who are considering starting their own blogs. I wish I'd had this chapter when I started my blogs. And Carolyn has quite a few blogs of her own. So we wrote the chapter with the information that we would have liked to have.

Visit the site now. We've just posted on the blog section an edited transcript of the tweetchat we did on Twitter yesterday evening on writing book proposals. (Carolyn sells on Amazon a 49 cents report on writing book proposals.)

And let me know what you think of the site and the concept.
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She also blogs at Mrs. Lieutenant and Operation Support Jews in the Military, and she is the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life. Her company Miller Mosaic LLC builds call-to-action websites for book authors and small businesses.



Brain Gyms: Now Physical Exercise Isn't Enough

2009-03-28T21:43:59.527-07:00

"The Latest in Mental Health: Working Out at the 'Brain Gym'" by Kelly Greene appeared on the front page of the March 28th Wall Street Journal. It turns out that we people over a certain age can exercise our brains as well as our bodies at gyms being set up all over the country.

While I happen to believe in the theory that exercising our brains on new material as we get older is very important, I'm not ready to sign up at a brain gym. But you may feel differently.

Form your own opinion (exercise your brain!) by reading the Journal article on brain gyms.
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She also blogs at Mrs. Lieutenant and Operation Support Jews in the Military, and she is the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life. Her company Miller Mosaic LLC builds call-to-action websites for book authors and small businesses.



Internet Phobia: What Behavior Are Parents Modeling for Their Children?

2009-03-26T19:33:11.198-07:00

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The internet and all the myriad possibilities that accompany it are here to stay. So why do many adults think it is a badge of pride to declare "I don't do anything on the internet"?

This week I sat in the waiting room of a doctor's office explaining Twitter to a 15-year-old boy who liked my Google phone on which I was checking my Twitter account.

Out of one ear I could hear the boy's father proudly declaring to another waiting room patient how he has nothing to do with the internet and how he thinks the internet is ruining his kids' abilities to do whatever (I missed that part of the conversation).

Later I thought about what teens are learning to do and what they aren't learning to do. And I realized that Twitter actually is a very good teaching tool for learning how to write brief and to-the-point messages.

I actually revise my 140-character tweets more carefully than I revise my blog posts because those 140 characters are out there for anyone to see. Plus the message is short enough that many people actually read my tweets.

And another thing about that overheard parental conversation. What kind of behavior modeling are parents doing when they announce they've closed their minds to learning new technology?

Thus when a teen announces she's not going to undertake a new activity being pressed upon her by a parent, what "coinage" does that parent have to insist she be willing to at least try?

This last year I've spent learning internet marketing has been incredibly worthwhile -- and, yes, incredibly frustrating also when I don't immediately "get" something. But the rewards of learning new information -- of eventually "getting" a new concept -- far outweigh the frustration.

If you're one of those parents going around "bragging" that you don't use the internet, perhaps you should look at yourself in the mirror and smile -- and then ask your teen to be your guide in cyberspace.
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She also blogs at Mrs. Lieutenant and Operation Support Jews in the Military, and she is the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life. Her company Miller Mosaic LLC builds call-to-action websites for book authors and small businesses.



DITCHING MR. WRONG Online Book Launch March 25-28

2009-03-24T18:27:37.505-07:00

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DITCHING MR. WRONG: How to End a Bad Relationship and Find Mr. Right -- by author Nicholas Aretakis -- has its online book launch March 25-28, and I'm participating in the launch.

When you buy DITCHING MR. WRONG between March 25-28 from the link below, you’ll get it at a discount and receive many gifts and bonuses, including my special report How to Use Facebook, Twitter and Other Social Media to Create Eager Buyers for Your Book -- a $14.95 value.

Check out this special offer now for DITCHING MR. WRONG.
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She also blogs at Mrs. Lieutenant and Operation Support Jews in the Military, and she is the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life. Her company Miller Mosaic LLC builds call-to-action websites for book authors and small businesses.



PZ the Do-Gooder Scrooge Gets a Do-Gooder Certificate of Appreciation

2009-03-23T16:53:20.292-07:00

For those of you who read this blog regularly, you know that I like to highlight people and organizations that "do good." So I was pleasantly surprised when Lindsey Brothers submitted my name for the U.S. Army Freedom Team Salute Certificate of Appreciation.

Read about my getting this Freedom Team Salute.
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She also blogs at Mrs. Lieutenant and Operation Support Jews in the Military, and she is the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life. Her company Miller Mosaic LLC builds call-to-action websites for book authors and small businesses.



BROTHERS AT WAR Documentary Provides a Window into the Iraq War Experience

2009-03-22T10:33:40.685-07:00

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I've just viewed the documentary BROTHERS AT WAR directed by Jake Rademacher. Directed is a bit of a misnomer because what really happened is that Jake took a camera crew to Iraq to experience what two of his brothers have experienced as soldiers there.

Jake is the oldest of five brothers and two sisters, and he tried to go to West Point and wasn't accepted. Although he doesn't say so, it appears it may be because of his eyesight. But brother Isaac goes to West Point and brother Joe enlists.

And so Jake gets his own body armor and helmet and goes off with a camera crew to record his own experiences on patrol and sitting in a sniper nest.

The documentary is really a family portrait of a large family with two sons as warriors and one as the recorder of the story of those warriors. It's a story that draws you in as you learn more about the relationships in the large Rademacher clan.

I recommend seeing the documentary for both its personal look at the warriors' experiences and at the impact these experiences have on the family back home.

On March 25th Nancy Brown and I will be interviewing Jake Rademacher on our BlogTalkRadio show YourMilitaryLife.com. Listen live at 6:30 p.m. Eastern or listen afterwards to the download.
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She also blogs at Mrs. Lieutenant and Operation Support Jews in the Military, and she is the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life. Her company Miller Mosaic LLC builds call-to-action websites for book authors and small businesses.



Homes for Our Troops Builds Homes for Badly Wounded Veterans

2009-03-19T11:33:42.224-07:00

I just learned about Home for Our Troops through a Facebook message I got from Goli Motar. The organization has a heartwarming mission, and the fundraising effort that Goli writes about is also rather amazing.

Please read Goli's Facebook message on my Mrs. Lieutenant blog to learn more.
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She also blogs at Mrs. Lieutenant and Operation Support Jews in the Military, and she is the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life. Her company Miller Mosaic LLC builds call-to-action websites for book authors and small businesses.



Stress: Can Be the Culpit in Your Backache

2009-03-17T16:47:24.423-07:00

"Stress So Bad It Hurts -- Really" is the headline for Melinda Beck's article in the March 17th Wall Street Journal that explains the toll that stress can take on our physical well-being. She quotes from Christopher L. Edwards, director of the Behavioral Chronic Pain Management program at Duke University Medical Center:
Decades ago, when doctors said a condition was psychosomatic, it was the equivalent of saying it wasn't real, since there was little evidence that the body and the brain were connected. "Now, we recognize that what happens in the brain affects the body and what happens in the body affects the brain," he says. That knowledge gives us the tools to try to manage the situation, he adds.

Dr. Edwards says his pain-management program in Durham, N.C., is seeing a rise in patients amid the current economic crisis: "There's a very strong relationship between the economy and the number of out-of-control stress cases we see."
You'll have to read the article for yourself as I don't have time to add more to this blog post. I'm off to the gym with my exercise partner to relieve my own stress.

Read this Wall Street Journal article on stress now.
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She also blogs at Mrs. Lieutenant and Operation Support Jews in the Military, and she is the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life. Her company Miller Mosaic LLC builds call-to-action websites for book authors and small businesses.



Heifer International: Ending Hunger and Caring for the Earth

2009-03-15T11:16:18.569-07:00

Yesterday at a Bat Mitzvah the 13-year-old Bat Mitzvah girl announced that she was donating a heifer to a village in Africa to help fight poverty. And she said she was doing this through Heifer International.

I had previously heard a Bar Mitzvah boy announce that he was giving a goat to an African village through Heifer International (www.heifer.org), and I've written about this boy's Bar Mitzvah in an earlier post here. But today I wanted to share more information about this amazing organization:

Part of the extensive programs this organization runs is something called "Passing on the Gift." Here's one such story from the organization's website:
In Rwanda, Christine Makahumure showed the true meaning of passing on the gift.

In 1994 genocidal war that raked Rwanda destroyed everything Christine had. She saw her son and husband shot to death when they were caught in a crossfire. When the fighting ended, Christine was barely able to feed her daughter and parents.

But then she received a Heifer cow. The milk supplemented the family’s meager diet, and she was able to buy a small home with income from selling milk.

Christine gave her first calf to a neighbor – but she didn’t stop there. She provided money so her neighbors could build and apply for their own Heifer cow. And she adopted four war orphans and became a living example of passing on the gift.
Read more about the extraordinary activities of Heifer International.
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She also blogs at Mrs. Lieutenant and Operation Support Jews in the Military, and she is the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life. Her company Miller Mosaic LLC builds call-to-action websites for book authors and small businesses.



All About Business Company Brought to You From My Co-Host Nancy Brown

2009-03-12T08:32:40.452-07:00

Nancy Brown, my co-host on the BlogTalkRadio show YourMilitaryLife.com, has just started a new business called All About Business Company.

As Nancy says, "With this tough economy, all businesses need that other set of eyes to review their daily business operations. When they are cutting costs and staff, they could probably cut their operational costs easily. For example, by using newer office equipment and computer programs, they could make their staff more productive, and their staff could be utilized for other tasks."

Here's a brief video of how Nancy's new business can help your business. Or if you know of businesses who could be helped by Nancy, please send this blog post to them.

And Nancy has been so bitten by our BlogTalkRadio show that she now has a new show of her own called Business Guru Show. Check the schedule to learn from her business wisdom.
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She also blogs at Mrs. Lieutenant and Operation Support Jews in the Military, and she is the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life. Her company Miller Mosaic LLC builds call-to-action websites for book authors and small businesses.



PTSD: People Who Haven't Been in Combat Can Also Have This Disorder

2009-03-10T23:40:46.250-07:00

On March 10th Heather Hummert,the wife of a Purple Heart veteran and who is contributions coordinator for FamilyofaVet.com, was the guest on the BlogTalkRadio show YourMilitaryLife.com that I co-host with Nancy Brown of YourMilitary.com.

Heather spoke about her own experiences when her husband began exhibiting signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and how she couldn't find any information to help the families of people suffering from PTSD. She also talked about how PTSD can happen to anyone after a traumatic experience -- and that what isn't traumatic to one person can be traumatic to another.

Heather urged civilians and military personnel to recognize if someone they love is displaying signs of PTSD and to encourage that person to get help immediate.

Listen to Heather explain PTSD.
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She also blogs at Mrs. Lieutenant and Operation Support Jews in the Military, and she is the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life. Her company Miller Mosaic LLC builds call-to-action websites for book authors and small businesses.



Twitter Featured in The Wall Street Journal

2009-03-07T23:18:49.038-08:00

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Twitter -- the micro-blogging platform of 140 characters or less and which I have often blogged about -- is getting more and more media attention.

In the March 7th Wall Street Journal, reporter Julia Angwin (@juliaangwin on Twitter) shares her tale of starting on Twitter. You can read her article now as an introduction to Twitter if I haven't already convinced you to join this free social media site.

And if you do join, follow me at @ZimblerMiller.
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She also blogs at Mrs. Lieutenant and Operation Support Jews in the Military, and she is the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life. Her company Miller Mosaic LLC builds call-to-action websites for book authors and small businesses.



Brad Pitt Takes the Make It Right Project to Washington

2009-03-05T18:45:29.010-08:00

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Brad Pitt has played an incredible role in the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina with his instrumental involvement in the community organization Make It Right. On December 25th I wrote in this blog about his efforts to rebuild the devastated Lower Ninth Ward.

On March 5th the Daily Variety carried the story online "Pitt Meets Prez" -- describing Brad Pitt's visits around political Washington to garner support for Make It Right. Read the story for an update on Pitt's efforts.

To donate to Pitt's New Orleans effort, go to MakeItRightNOLA.org.

(In the Daily Variety photo above Brad Pitt is with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.)
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She also blogs at Mrs. Lieutenant and Operation Support Jews in the Military, and she is the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life. Her company Miller Mosaic LLC builds call-to-action websites for book authors and small businesses.



Mixblendr Launches: First Web Open Source Audo Editing and Remixing Software

2009-03-04T19:49:59.045-08:00

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Mixblendr -- the first web open source audio editing and remixing software -- has just launched. I have a special interest because from afar I've watched this new application being developed:
Mixblendr is open source software that lets you create interactive music experiences on your website. Mixblendr lets you provide your users with audio tracks of your choosing, which they can remix and mashup using our powerful and easy-to-use audio application.

These remixes can then be published to a competition to be voted on by the audience of your site. Mixblendr is an all-in one solution for creating remix competitions, interactive music experiences, or online collaborations tools.

Mixblendr was founded by Sandy Parakilas and Jon Nathanson. Sandy is a musician and recording engineer who was looking for a better way to make remixes and mashups and share them with his friends. Jon was an executive at Fox Mobile Studios.

They collaborated with former Java Sound lead developer/code ninja Florian Bömers, who developed the Mixblendr audio applet, with an interface designed by Sandy.
Check out Mixblendr now.
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She also blogs at Mrs. Lieutenant and Operation Support Jews in the Military, and she is the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life. Her company Miller Mosaic LLC builds call-to-action websites for book authors and small businesses.



New York Times Weighs In on Internet Copyright Issue

2009-03-03T19:04:11.125-08:00

Many of us on the internet quote from other sources, giving the attribution of the source and often linking to the original article. But in the future we can be running afoul of the copyright law if we quote too much.

Unfortunately, what constitutes too much under the "fair use" statute of copyright law doesn't include a legal word limit. Bloggers and website content people are left to their own discretion.

To learn more about this subject, read Brian Stelter's March 2nd New York Times article "Copyright Challenge for Sites That Excerpt." (I'm not going to quote any of the article here -- I don't want to risk being in violation of the "fair use" statute when it comes to The New York Times.)
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She also blogs at Mrs. Lieutenant and Operation Support Jews in the Military, and she is the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life. Her company Miller Mosaic LLC builds call-to-action websites for book authors and small businesses.



Internet Marketing: Going from the Horse and Buggy to a Horseless Carriage

2009-03-02T10:49:24.237-08:00

Internet marketing is a subject I don't usually deal with in this blog. But in the last few days I've been running up against closed mindset attitudes about this very effective marketing strategy. So I want to share some thoughts with you about the need for an open mindset about marketing in cyberspace. Websites and web marketing have changed dramatically in the last five years, with many new applications that weren’t available then. Websites today take their cues from successful blogs, which have everything up front and immediate – no waiting for flash intros or welcome pages with a few words on a series of screens. If people don’t like what they see instantly, they are out of there and on to the next website. Open mind marketing rule #1: Don’t make the mistake of thinking that what was true for the internet five years ago is true today. Don’t assume that your website from five years ago is “good enough.” Take the time and effort to find out what’s new and what’s effective in the internet marketing world of today. Don’t drive a horse and buggy when there’s a horseless carriage available.Open mind marketing rule #2: Don’t follow every piece of advice so that you are running around in circles without making any progress.Understand that some advice is better than others, and that not every piece of advice fits every situation. Take your time to evaluate the information you’re learning and consider what makes sense for your particular marketing project, your own available promotion time, and your strengths and weaknesses.For example, the social networking site Twitter can be an excellent marketing tool if your personality fits the Twitter modus operandi. But there are people who get easily frustrated with trying to stay on top of various conversation threads. If you’re one of these people, utilize a social networking site that better suits your personality.Open marketing rule #3: Be flexible. If something doesn’t work for you, be willing to admit defeat and move on to another tactic. Just because many internet marketers say that Facebook is a great place to create relationships, if using Facebook isn’t helping you with your marketing, admit this and switch to trying something else (although don’t get rid of your Facebook account). Of course, you can’t give up after only a few days. All of the social networking sites take time and effort to utilize them effectively. But if you’ve given Facebook several months of effort, you should probably consider finding a better site for you to connect with potential customers.In conclusion, if you want to pave the way for a successful online marketing campaign, you must be in it for the long haul with an open mind – ready to learn new things, try new things, evaluate advice, and be flexible. And if you want to read an excellent book about having an open mindset, read Carol Dweck's MINDSET: The New Psychology of Success.[...]



TurnOffYourTV.Com Says Let Your Signal Die

2009-02-26T20:05:29.847-08:00

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The March 2nd New Yorker has a review by Nancy Franklin of Joss Whedon's new television show DOLLHOUSE, followed by an "essay" on the push back of the change from analog to digital television.

In talking about the choices analog-set owners have to adapt to this brave new world, the article says:
There's another choice as well. Analog-set owners could follow the advice on turnoffyourtv.com: "Let your television signal die and explore the world around you Wake up out of the TV-induced stupor and enrich your life with real experiences."
I had never heard of this movement, so I checked it out. You might also want to check out turnoffyourtv.com and form your own opinions.

To me, the weirdest part of the whole brave new television world is that some people are watching a show like LOST on a huge television screen and some people are watching the same show on their phones. So who's living a more two-world experience? The characters from LOST or we ourselves?



Critiquing Art: It’s All Subjective

2009-02-24T17:16:06.333-08:00

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The English novelist Ian McEwan is the subject of the New Yorker Life and Letters’ Feb 23rd article The Background Hum: Ian McEwan’s art of unease by Daniel Zalewski.

While part of the article deals with McEwan discovering at an advanced age that he has an older full brother about whom he never knew, part of the article deals with the opinions of other writers about McEwan’s novels.

In light of full disclosure, I’ve read three of his novels: AMSTERDAM, ATONEMENT (before I saw the film) and SATURDAY.

The novel SATURDAY, which takes place in the course of one day, reminds me of Barbara Vine (Ruth Rendell) novels. And also there’re the obvious hints of Virginia Woolf’s MRS. DALLOWAY (with one of the most memorable first lines in English literature: “Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.”).

Yet for any writers or aspiring writers, the most important idea to take away from this New Yorker article is that opinions about novels, just as opinions about paintings or fashion or automobiles, are subjective. And those of us who create stories have to remember that something we write might hit a troubled chord in a reader – a troubled chord that has nothing to do with our writing – and yet turns the reader against our work.

And when that happens, we need to say to ourselves “It’s their loss,” and keep on writing.