Blog Archive


How to watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2020: Livestream, social media and more

Good morning, all. Happy Thanksgiving 2020.

In yet another reminder of the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact, the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York is continuing, but without the crowds and hundreds of volunteers who make it happen every year.

The parade will, however, still air in living rooms across the country as you Zoom with grandma and grandpa over turkey and pumpkin pie. (Hopefully they’ve figured out how to use Zoom by now.)

The 94th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will scale back on its typical 2.5-mile route in order to prevent large crowds. It will travel from Central Park West to Herald Square.

Instead of having 80-100 handlers, some balloons will be outfitted with a “specially rigged anchor tether framework of five specialty vehicles,” according to Macy’s and NBC.

Because it was filmed in segments, the only way to see the parades, performances and commentary is on TV

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  • November 26, 2020

Social distancing reduces a warming shelter’s capacity, but not its heart

It was so cold even the moon didn’t want to come all the way out.

Just a narrow crescent shone down on the parking lot in an out-of-the-way corner of downtown Toms River where a white passenger van waited to take the least fortunate members of the Just Believe Inc. community to a warming shelter operated by the non-profit homeless outreach organization a few miles away.

Steven Reeves, one of that night’s guests at the warming shelter, was bundled up in a Carhart one-piece work suit that bitter Tuesday evening, waiting to have his temperature taken as a precaution against the surging coronavirus so he could board the van. Things could be worse, 58-year-old Reeves told another guest who had cursed the cold.

“I slept out in the rain the other night,” said Reeves, who was released from prison last year and now struggles with bi-polar disorder, seizures, partial blindness

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  • November 22, 2020

Why Social Media Advertising Is Still Necessary

Bonnie Clyde had just sent free pairs of beach-ready sunglasses to a who’s who of celebrities and influencers when the pandemic cancelled everyone’s vacation plans.

Suddenly, a campaign meant to cement Bonnie Clyde as the nexus between internet culture and LA cool in the minds of consumers didn’t seem like such a good idea. The brand cut its social media ad spending to close to zero in March, joining countless other fashion companies that saw the marketing budget as an easy way to cut costs.

That turned out to be a mistake, said Jon Yuan, Bonnie Clyde’s founder. Halting Instagram ads was like cutting off the brand’s oxygen supply. Sales dropped to next to nothing.

By late April, Bonnie Clyde had ramped up its marketing again, now with paid social ads rather than a gifting campaign. It focused on its bestselling models, including rectangular “show and tell” acetate frames, inscribed

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  • November 19, 2020

Exercise classes reduce loneliness, social isolation in seniors

Study: exercise classes reduce loneliness, social isolation in seniors
A new study from Cedars-Sinai showed that evidence-based group exercise classes reduce loneliness and social isolation in older adults. Credit: Cedars-Sinai

Older adults who joined group exercise classes experienced decreased loneliness and social isolation, according to a new Cedars-Sinai study conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic. The classes have continued virtually since March, and early results suggest the online versions are also effective.

Seniors face increased risk for developing serious health issues or even death if they lack social connections or feel alone. Loneliness is connected to higher rates of depression, anxiety and suicide. Experts say social isolation can have the same impact on an older person’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Both loneliness and social isolation are widespread issues in the U.S., where more than a third of adults 45 and older feel lonely and nearly a quarter of those 65 and older are socially isolated, according to

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  • November 13, 2020

These stars deleted their social media accounts

A whole host of stars have bared their lives on social media and dared to be criticised by trolls from across the globe. But for some celebrities enough was enough and they decided to delete their accounts. From body shaming to cruel memes, here are 10 stars who deleted their social media accounts, and the reasons why…

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The ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’ star deleted her Twitter account after a hacker shared a cryptic message about her then-boyfriend and another woman. She believed that social media was not a “positive thing” for her and has not returned since. She said: “If people can handle that sort of output and input in the social media sphere, more power to them.”

Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission

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  • November 11, 2020

Virtual volunteers to prevent social isolation

Beth Reese Cravey
| Florida Times-Union

Ray Pringle knows what to say to people who are learning how to live with serious injuries or sickness.

In 2008 the retired Army veteran and former police officer lost much of the use of his legs after having spinal surgery. For years he has used his experience as a volunteer certified peer mentor for Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital patients, which because of the COVID-19 pandemic is now seeking 400 additional volunteers to provide virtual services.

“I have met some beautiful people that have had to face a perplexing injury or sickness, such as waking up to the reality they will never walk again,” he said. “Having to face that permanence is devastating to a person. I know, I had my doctor tell me those heart-wrenching words. I live mostly in a wheelchair and I share to others the ups and downs of life doing

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  • November 9, 2020

55 cheap, clever products social media is obsessed with

Have you ever tapped the collective brain of humans on the internet before going shopping? It seems like there’s an army of social media influencers trying (and recommending) products that everyone else has to pay for. That’s OK, though, because I know the products they’re promoting are highly praised. And when I buy them, I no longer have to do the returns on gear that didn’t match the hype or spend my own hard-earned on junk that isn’t worth it. That’s the beauty of cheap, clever Amazon products that social media is obsessed with. They’re popular and usually worth spending money on.

I mean, let’s face the facts: These social media sharers have seemingly tried everything. They’ve unearthed products that do everything from reminding me to drink more water to defogging my glasses while wearing a mask. Sometimes, they even promote creative things like egg white separators for the kitchen.

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  • October 31, 2020

Kim Kardashian’s private island birthday mocked on social media

Yet, it also had a seemingly unintended consequence of unleashing the Internet’s wrath. For most on social media, her photos of the bash — which pictured plenty of people in her “closest inner circle,” all partying like it was 2019 — were about as out of touch as one could get during a pandemic that has killed more than 226,000 people in the United States.

“Happy birthday,” wrote the British actress Kelechi Okafor. “I hope someone got you an alphabet book as a gift, so you can learn to read the room.”

Indeed, many people have had little to celebrate this year, especially in the U.S. Besides the coronavirus, there are wildfires ravaging the West, unemployment at a high, the economy at a low, kids stuck at home for virtual schooling, college students stuck in lockdown on campus, and voters waiting for hours to cast their ballots in a bitter

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  • October 28, 2020

Covid means Zoom, social media and streaming dominate our lives. The mute button is sanity.

Where I currently live, the TV goes on before 7 a.m. each day and stays on until 10 p.m. every night. The awkward staccatos of morning news cascade into an endless cacophony of cable —the dour melodies of WWII documentaries, the tinny early-Western gunfights, the crunch and wail of cop dramas audible in every room. This aural overload persists into the evening whether or not someone is watching, as if the TV were a scented candle or a clock rather than the roaring content waterfall that it is. Wherever I go, I hear it all, I receive everything, and I enjoy almost nothing.

Months of Zoom conferences punctuated by flushes and farts have shown that knowing how and when to press mute — on yourself, on others — has become a necessary social skill.

This isn’t my house, and shutting down the all-day noise buffet is not an option. Due

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  • October 18, 2020

Social Distance Review: Enough With the Quarantine TV

A home health aide with no childcare and limited funds must decide whether to neglect her ailing patient or her young daughter. An overworked man neglects to mute a video chat with his colleague, accidentally forcing her to overhear him bicker with his newly unemployed boyfriend. With school canceled, a teen gamer uses every digital tool available to court her crush: Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Discord, VRChat. A dad racked with worry over his COVID-stricken wife struggles to distract their son, who desperately wants to see her and is too little to understand how gravely ill she is.

Sounds familiar, right? If you’ve been sentient in the developed world this past year, you’ve surely heard about—and quite possibly lived through—an experience similar to at least one of these scenarios. And you can revisit them starting Oct. 15 with Social Distance, an eight-episode Netflix anthology series from creator Hilary Weisman Graham

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  • October 15, 2020