A Million Dollar Dream is Fulfilled

Every morning I wake up to NPR. One morning last week a Morning Edition story really caught my attention because it brought one of my own stories full circle.

Women’s boxing had made it into the 2012 Olympics and one of the women being interviewed happened to be the subject of a 2005 article I wrote for the Nashville Scene. The story, titled Million Dollar Dream, was about the newly opened Boxing Resource Center in Nashville, Tenn., and it’s owner Christy Halbert.

But the story was more than a profile about the new boxing gym. At its core was Halbert’s dream to see women’s boxing be accepted into the Olympics. Now, here in 2012 was an NPR story about that dream coming true. Too cool.

According to a Nashville City Paper story, Halbert spent years lobbying for the cause and her persistence paid off in 2009 when the International Olympic Committee voted to include women’s boxing in the 2012 Olympics.

Congrats to Christy!

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Hark! INstride lives!

INstride_coverSome shameless self-promotion is in order today as news broke that INstride, a new monthly health and fitness magazine for central Indiana, was officially launched this month along with its Web site, www.myINstride.com. I know–all two of you reading this blog–please contain your excitement.

Now, why in the world do I care that central Indiana has a new health magazine for the over-40 set? I don’t live there and I’m certainly (!) not over 40. I care because my fellow j-school classmates and I poured our very unpaid souls into researching, developing and pitching this new magazine to Schurz Communications. Our consulting project, called the media management project, involved hours of walking the Hoosier streets in Bloomington, Martinsville and Bedford and asking people about their health and fitness interests.You name them, and we bothered them in the name of market research: seniors at the YMCA, firefighters, homeless folks, families at the park and many more. Then there were hours more on the phones and in front of our computers back in Chicago, preparing for the big pitch.

The finished product no doubt looks different than the product we pitched (see the presentation here), but it looks like they incorporated some of our ideas and I wish them success.

You can read about the launch here, where we Medillians get a shout out. Good to know that our hard work paid off. Now just waiting for the check.

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Great news: Iran releases Roxana Saberi

A wonderful update to a story I’ve been following for many weeks about a fellow Northwestern University grad.

Today, The New York Times reported the release of Roxana Saberi, an Iranian-American journalist sentenced to eight years in prison in Iran for espionage. Saberi has been living in Iran since 2003 and working as a freelance journalist for BBC and NPR.

It’s interesting to see how many people (in the online comments) believe that Obama’s approach (and Clinton’s) to foreign policy may have been a game-changer in Saberi’s case. On the other hand, one has to wonder if this has all been a big show– just another case of Iran being Iran (see Manny being Manny).

Congrats to Saberi and her family.

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Victory! Nashville home to America’s Best Restroom

It’s a day for Tennesseans to celebrate. The AP reported today that Nashville is home to America’s Best Restroom. The Hermitage Hotel’s famous john was my choice for Best Public Restroom in the Nashville Scene’s 2003 Best of Nashville issue. Check out the blurb below.

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Best Public Restroom: The Gentlemen’s Bathroom at The Hermitage Hotel “This room has been the site of several music videos and numerous legislative deals.” These words aren’t describing The Capitol Grille or The Oak Bar, two of Nashville’s true power rooms located side-by-side in the newly renovated Hermitage Hotel. No, the words are etched in a plaque outside the bar and grill’s men’s bathroom. There’s good reason for all the attention: It is truly the Krispy Kreme of loos. Back in the 1930s, the men’s bathroom was remodeled in the art deco style, and it has been preserved ever since. Jade green urinals and sinks stand out against shiny black-and-green tiled walls and black tiled floor. Two black chairs on a platform facing the urinals symbolize the spot where men once sat to have their shoes shined. The spotless bathroom stalls look more like art installations than the real thing. And the hand towels are just that—real cotton towels. As the plaque acknowledges, scores of women have sneaked a peek at the bathroom’s striking interior. One hotel staffer notes that it might well be the men’s room most frequented by women in the city. And to think that during the early years of the hotel women were not allowed to sit in the hotel lobby or bar, only on the verandah. Now we’re walking in and out of the men’s room as we please. Ladies, if you go, be sure to knock and say, “Housekeeping.”

—Erin Edwards, published in the Nashville Scene‘s “Best of Nashville” issue on October 02, 2003

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Susan Boyle: I dreamed a dream

OK, I rarely post stuff like this but I grew up obsessed with Les Miserables. And I do have a hopelessly sappy side.

Now Susan Boyle, a 47-year-old unemployed, unmarried Scottish woman has become an overnight sensation with her performance of “I Dreamed a Dream,” a classic Les Miz tune. What makes this so remarkable to me is the relationship between Susan’s story and the song’s lyrics.

Here’s the clip of Susan’s life changing forever (one can only assume) on Britain’s Got Talent. Way to go, Susan!

It’s also fascinating to see how many You Tube posters are writing “Copy this if **Susan Boyle** got you here” under several YouTube videos of professional Les Miz performances. Viral indeed.

Here’s an example.

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Medill alum charged with spying in Iran

roxanaThe news about a fellow Medill alum, Roxana Saberi, is getting worse. News reports say she has been charged with espionage in Iran. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is calling for her release. Read the Washington Post report here.

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RIP IHT.com

The New York Times folded The International Herald Tribune‘s website into NYTimes.com today.

Now you have the option of viewing the regular U.S. Edition of NYTimes.com or the Global Edition, which mirrors the NYTimes’ design and incorporates both IHT and NYT content. Having worked at IHT last fall/winter in Paris, it’s true that much of the content on IHT.com was from the Times. This is indeed a natural progression, but I’m sorry to see IHT.com go. Plus, the NYT-IHT integration means that several of my IHT colleagues are no longer needed in Paris.

Bonne chance.

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