Rethinking the Magazine

first_imgYou can indeed teach an old magazine new tricks. Here’s a list of examples to prove it. “If there were anything new in this business, we would have done it six months ago,” a cynical old editor once told me. Still, I see new things in old magazines that you may want to consider in the New Year ahead.1. Rethinking the TOC.Traditionally, the lead story on the table of contents is the cover story. Not so at Texas Monthly or Fortune Small Business. Both magazines have been employing a redirect to an interior “cover” story on the TOC. Here’s how it works: The cover story for the November 2007 issue of TM is “Being Jenna Bush,” with a photo of the president’s daughter front and center. When you go to the TOC, however, the Jenna story is summarized in a quick blurb with no visual. Instead, we see a photo of Samir Patel and an oversized text box for “The Glorie of Defeet,” a story about this young man’s maturation as he lost the national spelling bee five years in a row. Samir’s photo covers two-thirds of the page.Fortune Small Business does likewise. The cover story for the July/August 2007 issue is “The FSB 100: Lessons From the Fastest-Growing Small Public Companies,” with a photo of John Norris, CEO of Fuel Tech, the company ranked number 12 in the 100. On the TOC, however, the cover story is blurbed without a visual. The bottom half of the page is dominated by a visual, an oversized page number and a story called “Face-Off: Two companies that make inflatable figures used in movie crowd scenes head to court.” The visual, which covers about 40 percent of the page, is an eerie-looking humanoid figure, all dressed up and ready for court.This packaging approach enables a magazine to go big off the cover, and then redirect the reader to a smaller story that is not even blurbed on the cover. For the magazine, it means less repetition of what has already been said on the cover; and for the reader it’s like finding a little prize inside the package.2. Rethinking the letters department.With the shift from mail to e-mail, and the proliferation of blogs and other forms of commentary, the old-style letters department is suddenly up for review. Last summer, New York dropped letters and launched a department called Comments. It reads like a catch-all in-basket, with tightly and brightly edited comments from reader mail, internal notes from columnists, excerpts from bloggers, and observations gleaned from other publications. “Not all our commentators are impartial, if opinionated, observers,” reported the magazine recently. “Sometimes they’re the subjects of the stories” who write to clarify a point. The give and take with reader mail is often quite lively. A reader from Brooklyn wrote that he found a movie review confusing: “For instance, what is a ‘woo-woo conceit?’ And what is a ‘schnorrer?’” The Comments reply: “Get thee to Google, man! You’ll discover that woo-woo means ‘concerned with emotions, mysticism, or spiritualism’ and schnorrer comes from a Yiddish term for ‘beggar’ or ‘free-loader.’ Yeesh! (An expression of exasperation.)”3. Rethinking the folio line.Are page numbers necessary? Condé Nast recently distributed a stand-alone supplement called Movies Rock with several publications, including The New Yorker, Wired, Vanity Fair. The editorial was identical in all versions, but the ads and ad pages varied from book to book, and so did the page count for each version. What to do? No page numbers appeared on the cover. No page numbers were used on the TOC. No pages were numbered. 4. Rethinking the interviewer.Time was redesigned last spring, a changeover that included much editorial repackaging. For its popular “10 Questions” department, the magazine turned the interviewing over to readers. Readers go online and submit questions to be asked in interviews with notable names in arts, sports, media and politics. “Each week, you ask and they answer,” says the magazine. “Also new: a free iTunes podcast of each interview.”John Brady is visiting professional at the Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University. He is a partner at Brady & Paul Communications, a publishing consultancy, and conducts editorial workshops for professionals. For information on his Interviewer’s Handbook: A Guerrilla Guide for Reporters and Writers, his Web site is johnbrady.info, or you can e-mail him at Bradybrady@aol.com.last_img read more

DOD Installations Chief Lays out Path toward Future BRAC Decision

first_imgDOD opted not to include a request for a new round of base closures when it submitted its fiscal 2019 budget proposal earlier this year, but by no means have defense officials given up on the prospect of asking for a BRAC in the future. On Wednesday, the department’s installations chief told lawmakers that because the administration had just released its National Defense Strategy, it didn’t make sense to include a request for a new round. “We weren’t really in good conscience ready to ask Congress for an authorization for BRAC this year,” Lucian Niemeyer, assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment, told the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee.Instead, officials decided to take a pause. “We’re looking at the National Defense Strategy; we would like to reevaluate to what degree we think moving forward base closures might help us carry out the defense strategy to become more lethal,” he said in response to a question from Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.).The department is using the pause to reassess its most recent calculation of how much excess infrastructure it is carrying. Niemeyer told Courtney there were “some concerns” about the report DOD released last year that estimated 19 percent of its capacity was excess. The department is embarking on an effort with the services to take a closer look at how fully their facilities are being utilized. “We’re trying to get it to be an enterprise look. … and make sure we are optimally occupying our facilities.”When officials are confident they have a good handle on “exactly where we have excess,” they will brief the defense secretary. Niemeyer did not volunteer how long the process would take or what the next steps may be, however.He also reiterated the argument that a new BRAC round would not only help DOD save money but it also would provide an opportunity for the military “to get more lethal” by consolidating forces and realigning its installations. Unmanned systems, cybersecurity and other new missions were not significant factors during the last base closure round. “How do we lay in those new technologies onto our existing Cold War basing structure? Do we even know what a base of the future really should look like?” Niemeyer asked.Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Starkey Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Aston Martin Valkyrie outputs confirmed 1160 hp and 664 lbft

first_img More From Roadshow 2020 Hyundai Sonata first drive: An attractive and compelling midsize sedan Enlarge ImageThe Valkyrie’s absurdly powerful V12 engine undergoing testing. Aston Martin Aston Martin has been trickling out little bits of information about its superlative Valkyrie for quite some time, but on Friday the company shared perhaps the most important numbers yet. Aston confirmed that the Valkyrie’s hybrid powertrain will be rated for 1,160 horsepower at 10,500 rpm and 664 pound-feet of torque at 6,000 rpm. Remember, the Valkyrie is planned to be a road-legal car.The astonishing figures are based on combined output from the car’s gasoline engine and electric motor. The former, a 6.5-liter naturally aspirated V12 built by Cosworth, is rated for 1,000 hp at 10,500 rpm, with a maximum engine speed of 11,100 rpm. Peak torque is rated at 546 pound-feet at 7,000 rpm. Aston said previously the engine weighs only a little over the company’s goal of 200 kilos, or about 441 pounds.Aston Martin Valkyrie MantisEnlarge ImageThe car’s design is just as extreme as its horsepower and torque figures. Aston Martin The remainder of the Valkyrie’s output comes from its hybrid components, with an electric motor from Integral Powertrain Ltd and batteries from Rimac. The motor delivers 160 horsepower and 206 lb-ft alone, with supplements the V12 and delivering those headlining combined output figures.As a refresher, the Valkyrie is being co-developed by Aston Martin and Red Bull Advanced Technologies. Though intended to be emissions-compliant and legal for road use, Aston is also going to offer a Valkyrie AMR Pro version for track use, which will weigh just 2,220 pounds and have a claimed 2,200 pounds of aerodynamic downforce. Just 25 will be built, whereas the standard road-ready Valkyrie will be limited to 150 units.With the powertrain details confirmed, Aston Martin says it is now beginning to build the first physical test prototypes of the Valkyrie. We can’t wait to see and hear the wild hypercar being put through its paces on the track — especially given how wild that V12 engine sounds on its own. Post a comment 0 Share your voice Aston Martin Tagscenter_img 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better Aston Martin adds even more ways to tweak your Valkyrie 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous Aston Martin Exotic Cars Performance Cars 23 Photoslast_img read more

Kalam Teacher par excellence

first_imgThe People’s President was as much the Pupils’ President. So the eminent educationist Satyam Roychowdhury has named his latest literary venture as “Pupils’ President – APJ Abdul Kalam”. The 11th President of India, the ‘Missile Man’ behind India’s nuclear power, loved to be recognized as a teacher at the end of the day. Even at the age of 84, he used to travel a lot in and outside the country for delivering lectures at varied educational institutes.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’In fact, he loved interacting with the students, inspiring them not only to dream, but to transform the dream into reality. He expressed his wish for dying while doing what he liked the most.  It really happened. He passed away while delivering lecture before the students of IIM, Shillong.Satyam Roychowdhury’s “Pupils’.President – APJ Abdul Kalam” is probably the first literary tribute to Kalam after his demise. It is a complete compilation of articles and speeches by the great soul himself along with contributions by eminent scientists and scholars from across the globe. Article like “Paperboy to President “depicts the story of his struggle through the ages. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix The little boy who used to deliver newspapers in Rameswaram, later on became a great scientist and eventually acquired the throne of the President of India. The inspiring prologue by the editor is a good read and will ignite the young minds as dreamt by Kalam. The minute description of Kalam’s last rites at Pekkarampu village near his hometown Rameswaram and thereafter the story of his journey “From Rameswaram to Raisina Hills” added a value to the book. The compilation of Kalam’s speeches through the month of July 2015 is well thought of. Moreover, homage articles by Dr Bikash Sinha or those who had the golden chance to come across the great scientist have made the book a collection worth preserving. “Pupils’ President – APJ Abdul Kalam” has been formally launched by Sourav Ganguly on the Teachers’ Day in Kolkata. Sourav was nostalgic as he not only received Padmashri from his hand, but later on also was in close acquaintance with Kalam Sir. He said, “For me, he was a Guru.” Satyam Roychowdhury explained how Kalam’s life fascinated him in many ways. “He has always been my hero. This book commemorates the life of a man who worked tirelessly for the betterment of the nation and to ignite billions of young minds”, said Roychowdhury. It is a very good gesture on the parts of the editor and the publisher BEE Books to offer 50% discount to the students all over India. Sources said, on the World Teachers’ Day which falls on October 5, Satyam Roychowdhury will gift 1000 school students with this book in Kolkata.last_img read more

Learning value of money may make kids less philanthropic

first_imgEven if your five-year-old kid does not know what money can buy for him or her, the moment he or she gets to know the value of it, chances are the knowledge may make him or her less philanthropic in nature, says an interesting research.In other words, the act of handling money makes young children work harder and give less. This effect was observed in children who lacked the concrete knowledge of money’s purpose and persisted despite the denomination of the money. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“Money is a double-edged sword. It produces good outcomes in terms of concentration and effort but bad outcomes when it comes to helping, taking, and donating.” said professor Kathleen Vohs from the University of Minnesota and co-author of the study.For this, the researchers conducted five experiments and one study involving 550 children (ages three-six) in Poland and the US. In one experiment, the children were asked to either sort money or buttons before completing a challenging puzzle. The paper is forthcoming in the journal Psychological Science.last_img read more

The Company Leading the Future of Farming

first_imgMay 23, 2013 4 min read This story appears in the June 2013 issue of . Subscribe » Sustainability » Love & Connecting » Invention » Urban Life »Rural LifeFood & Beverage » Work Life » Gaming » Crowdsourcing & Collaboration » Sports & Recreation »Here’s a crazy idea: Combine 3-D printing and tissue engineering to “print” animal products and tackle some of the planet’s biggest problems. Animal farming, after all, accounts for about half of all human-caused greenhouse gases, taking place on one-third of the available, non-frozen land on Earth. All to feed people’s appetites for 300 million tons of meat a year.Enter Gabor and Andras Forgacs, father-and-son founders of Modern Meadow, a company they started in 2011 that may very well be the model for the farm of the future.Five years earlier they helped start Organovo, a firm that makes human tissues for pharmaceutical research and other medical applications, and was a commercial spinoff of Gabor’s pioneering work at the University of Missouri in “bioprinting,” which he describes as “extending biological structures in three dimensions.” Modern Meadow’s output is based in part on this work. On a basic level, the process involves using 3-D printing to deposit clumps of cells into patterns of tissue. The particles fuse post-printing–similar to cell development in embryos. Unlike Organovo’s final products, which must be kept alive, Modern Meadow’s postmortem animal tissues are simpler to build and faster to market.Leather, a $60 billion trade globally, is first on the agenda. “What we build is skin, or hide, and we do this elaborate game to turn it into leather,” explains Gabor, who serves as chief scientific officer of Modern Meadow, which is based in Columbia, Mo., and Moffett Field, Calif. A prototype material will debut later this year, so the company is currently focused on building out commercial relationships. “Our goal after that is to be able to do a limited production run and to incorporate [the leather] into fashion accessories and apparel in 2014,” says Andras, CEO. “Then, it’s all about scaling.”Interest has been resounding. Large manufacturers and designers of apparel and accessories–even automotive manufacturers–stand to benefit from a more efficient leather supply chain. For consumers, fabricated leather could alleviate environmental and animal-welfare concerns.Meat is a longer-term project but should have similar financial blessings. On the research side the company has garnered equally keen interest, winning competitive grants from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and scoring funding from organizations like Peter Thiel’s Breakout Labs. “The grants were approved and awarded with the speed of light,” Gabor says, noting how extraordinary it is for research to be backed with such “glowing fanfare.” To date, Modern Meadow has received $2 million in funding, an amount that should skyrocket as the company completes its prototypes and pursues further phases of grant funding from Small Business Innovation Research. “It illustrates where we stand,” Gabor declares, “that what we are doing is timely, we have the right reputation, and it is of interest to society.”More Rural BrillianceFreight FarmsFreight Farms upcycles shipping containers into stackable modular mini-farms, reducing the footprint required for growing crops and allowing for locally grown produce in urban areas.Wide Open SpacesA deal site for hunting and fishing gear, Wide Open Spaces also curates under-the-radar brands.AgLocalAgLocal scored $1 million in funding last year from Andreessen Horowitz for an online platform that allows local and family farms to sell responsibly raised meat directly to consumers.Rent-a-Goat.comOnline directory Rent-a-Goat.com lists herders around the world who rent out their goats for clearing away unwanted brush and weeds, as an eco-friendly alternative to machinery or chemicals.Kusa”Syn-turf” flip-flops from Kusa make you feel like there’s grass beneath your feet.Front Yard CoopThe Full Monty by Front Yard Coop: A solar-powered, self-propelled coop that moves around the yard to provide birds with fresh foraging, while a fence keeps them safe from predators.FarmersOnly.comDating site FarmersOnly.com solves the problem of how to meet someone when you work on a farm all day.WildBlueWildBlue, part of the Exede internet service, offers high-speed internet to rural communities (virtually every home and small business in the contiguous U.S.) via satellite; no need for cable or phone lines.MetwitThe Metwit iOS and web app aggregates weather information from users who report local conditions (including photos); a smart push notification system makes it the first crowdsourced severe-weather alert system.   Register Now » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Globallast_img read more