Breathe in the Fresh Air, Help the Fresh Air Fund

I'm outside these days as much as possible, relaxing on my deck, getting fresh air and enjoying the suburban life with my kids. Unfortunately, not everyone has this luxury.

The Fresh Air Fund has provided free summer vacations to New York City children from disadvantaged communities since 1877, and there are 200 children who need to be placed with host families for this August. Since all prospective host families need to be screened and vetted by the end of July, these 200 children may miss out on an invaluable experience.

Please host a child or help us get the word out that we need folks who can welcome a child from the city into their homes next month, especially families who want older children and boys.

Email angie@freshair.org or call 1-800-367-0003 -- ask for Angie. If you want to help but don't live in these areas - BLOG about this program, tell your friends, recommend someone, or DONATE.

Sometimes just doing something good is a breathe of fresh air in itself.


Pecha Kucha: Chatter + Design = Precision

Okay, I admit it: I adore PowerPoint. I like the instant slide show capability without the overhead slides, and that I can use it instantly for work or for personal stuff like photo slideshows.

But I get wordy. I use too much copy on one slide. My longest presentation was sixty slides... most of those were boring.

And then along came Pecha Kucha. It sounds a bit like the Latin number in "Dirty Dancing." No, wait, that's the pachanga. Nobody puts PowerPoint in the corner...

Pecha Kucha means "chatter" in Japanese, and is the art form of creating slide presentations that are 20 slides, 20 seconds each, no more than six minutes and 40 seconds. Less is more, get off the floor, we'll hear no more. I have corporate clients whose introductions are longer than that, all backed by one slide titled, "Introduction".

Get down with the PPT at parties in your city where you can experience the fun that is Pecha Kucha. Don't forget your laser pointer. Now off to my pachanga lesson.