May was bike month in my world. Not only did I overcome my fear of pedal power, I even learned to kind of enjoy my new mode of commuting, not to mention the extra hour of exercise a day.
It did have a few bumps, though. Or rather, left me with a few bumps. But it also helped restore some of my faith in humanity.
During a stressful week, it’s so easy to think you’re just having the worst luck. But sometimes, people pull through for you and help you bounce back. Last Wednesday, I was riding home after a downpour and managed to catch some slick streetcar tracks at a bad angle. Down I went, resulting in a few bumps, bruises and scrapes – plus a bruised ego when I realized that I’m not indestructible. But, some total stranger on the street came to help me up and made sure I was OK! Instead of walking by, she stopped and helped me gather my wits. I thanked her, but in my rattled state I never got her name. I am, however, truly appreciative.
Earlier this week, while pulling into the bike locker at work, I somehow managed to get my spoke caught in the door. I can’t explain it accurately because, well, it still doesn’t make any sense to me. The essential part of this story is that my bike was wedged in the gate and I couldn’t figure out how it happened – or how to fix it. Again, the kindness of strangers saw me through! Two people stopped what they were doing on a Monday morning and helped me wriggle my bike free – risking getting covered in grease (and being late) in the process. Without their help, I really don’t know what I would have done – but I definitely would have been even more rattled and certainly late for work.
So, while it hasn’t been all smooth sailing, my bike has helped remind me that there are still people out there who are willing to stop to help a total stranger. I’m so grateful – and will certainly try to pass on the random acts of kindness next time I spot someone in need.
How incredible is this use of a six second video? I always love Vine for little jokes and DIY tips, but never thought about medical applications.
UCLA’s Health System became the latest healthcare provider to turn to social media to invite the public into an operating room.Since 6:24 a.m. Thursday, the @UCLAHealth Twitter account has been using Vine and Instagram to chronicle the implant of a brain pacemaker. The device counteracts Parkinson’s disease, according to UCLA Health’s Facebook page. In one Vine, Dr. Nader Pouratian said it’s the 500th time that the operation has been done at UCLA.
The hospital said they chose to use Vine to showcase the technology and help raise awareness of the device and its benefits. Amazing.
“Social media arrived, with their good sides and their bad sides, and introduced a new culture, a culture where anyone can publish anything about anybody, with the Internet acting as a giant, unfiltered, viral poster.”
Do we live in an age where reputations can be destroyed with a single click? While this article focuses a lot on recent news headlines, I find the philosophical question here much more interesting: have we taken the gossip and rumours of the schoolyard to an international forum? Or are we entering an age where most people have experienced some kind of negative personal information disseminated on the internet – thus diminishing the overall impact?
Honestly, I don’t know. But it’s important to remember that the ease of spreading information is a double edged sword.
“Despite the sudden popularity and misuse of the term by anyone who wants to sound cool (hint: it doesn’t mean “fun”), there is a specific meaning and powerful industry around gamification.”
Both news sites and businesses have been looking for ways to incorporate gamification into their social media strategies – and I love this article’s definition of the (increasingly popular) term: “systems and processes that engage and motivate.”
The article notes that Generation Y may even require gamification in their work experiences – would you like to be part of an office where you can compete, level up and earn badges?
I have never been a cyclist. In fact, barring a brief stint while in Paris last year, I haven’t been on a bike since a bad fall when I was 16 left some pretty gnarly scars on my knees. Plus, by that point, I had my licence and figured four wheels always trumped two – unless they were motorized (I still have a soft spot for motorcycles.)