What An ALS Family REALLY Thinks About the Ice Bucket Challenge
Submitted by Danielle Pierce, consultant, @dpierce915
As with any of the latest viral stories that grab ahold of our newsfeeds and evening newscasts, they garner eye rolls and plenty of naysayers, including those shaking their finger at the latest viral challenge/fundraiser—the ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) #icebucketchallenge. While some argue that dumping a bucket of ice water on their head is both “stupid and ineffective,” Bo Stern, a blogger whose husband was diagnosed with ALS, feels otherwise and sums it up as, “We are in for the fight of our lives with this monster, and the very LAST thing I want is for people to give quietly, anonymously, and then slink away … I will be happy for you and every Facebook like you receive, as you nudge ALS an inch or two closer to the collective public consciousness.” ALS released a press release on Tuesday, citing donations have reached $22.9 million compared to $1.9 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 19). These donations have come from existing donors and 453,210 new donors to the Association.
Note: Pete Frates is credited with igniting the challenge in the wake of the 75th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s ‘luckiest man’ speech (if you haven’t watched it, I encourage you to). Frates, a former Boston College baseball captain who was diagnosed with ALS in 2012, first shared his story with Bleacher Report and demonstrates the power of hashtag activism—#icebucketchallenge #strikeoutALS.
After a 16-season WNBA career, Becky Hammon will join the San Antonio Spurs as an assistant coach next season. This marks a pivotal moment in professional basketball: Hammon will become the first full-time paid woman to coach an NBA team. Hammon has spent the last eight seasons with the San Antonio Stars who play the (beloved) Minnesota Lynx tomorrow night in the second game of their Western Conference semifinals. In last night’s game Hammon scored 14 of her 17 points in the second half, helping the Stars come back from the 15 point lead held by the Lynx. Our Lynx held on for the win, but did I mention one of Hammon’s baskets was a spinning shot that pulled the Stars within two with only 1.9 seconds left? Oh yeah, the Spurs can learn a lot from this all-star.
The ALS #icebucketchallenge has gone viral (yeah, I did it), informing everyone what ALS is in hopes of getting enough donations to create a world without ALS. While the attention ALS has received is amazing, it makes me want to spread awareness about the many other issues that are affecting people in this world. That leads me to a young man who decided to film a documentary to share his story about achondroplasia. Jonathan Novick has achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism. In his “Don’t Look Down On Me” documentary, he leaves his audience with a thought provoking question, “the next time you see someone who is different than you, think about what their day might be like, think about all the events of their life leading up to that point, and think about their day — and think about what part of their day you want to be?” I ask you to watch this documentary and think about his question when you encounter someone who may appear to be different than you.
Web Trolls Winning as Incivility Increases
Submitted by Peter Ryan, assistant consultant
Internet Trolls – we’ve all dealt with them. Watching as the comment threads of our favorite articles, videos and photos get filled with lewd, ignorant and hateful comments. As the internet slowly becomes central to the human experience as we know it, the emotional damage that can be done by these near impossible-to-track defamatory comments become more and more of a pressing issue.
Dealing with these internet hobgoblins has been compared to “playing Whac-a-Mole with a sociopathic hydra” as many sites’ utilities for dealing with abuse are less than adequate. Now people are calling for more intense restrictions on what can and cannot be posted on the internet, asking for a shield from what can be the ugliness of human society.
Raising the true question: “To what extent do you want to make it harder for people to express themselves on the Internet?”
When it comes to publicity, what’s the Super Bowl Halftime Show really worth?
Submitted by Cassidy Milder, assistant consultant, @cmilder
The NFL has narrowed its list of potential 2015 Halftime Show performers down to Coldplay, Rihanna and Katy Perry. Here’s the catch: the artists may have to enter a bidding war to get the gig. In the past, performers have played for free, with only their travel expenses covered. Now they must decide whether it’s worth donating post-show tour revenue or offering another financial contribution for the publicity, and apparently the suggestion did not go over well with the candidates’ representatives.