This week’s edition of Sunday Morning Coffee is brought to you by the utter lack of sleep I get every time there’s a thunderstorm in Texas. For reasons that are beyond me, at the first hint of thunder or lightning my dog mysteriously leaves his body and becomes a panting, shivering, whimpering mess. He usually defecates on the carpet at least twice. It’s a strange phenomenon that is equal parts sad and frustrating.
Now that we’re working under the caveat that this will be less coherent than usual, let’s get down to it!
- Did you know we celebrated International Women’s Day last week? I did, but that’s because I went to an all-women’s college, so my lovely classmates were more likely than most to post about it on my Facebook newsfeed. I may be cheating by posting to a collection of articles rather than a single one, but Small Business Trends curated a pretty great collection of stories about female entrepreneurs. Rock on, sisters.
- On a related note, here’s an interesting article discussing Columbia’s reaction to its sister school, Barnard College, landing President Obama as their commencement speaker. In sum: there’s still a bizarre undercurrent of misogyny about all-women’s colleges and their relative “ease.” Going to Smith left me with some complicated feelings about same-sex education–on a personal level, I’d probably never do it again–but it still hurts to hear the stereotypes about the worth of these schools as compared to their co-ed counterparts. My former classmates pretty much kick a bunch of ass.
- Hey! It’s South by Southwest Interactive here in Austin! I haven’t been able to go to any of the Interactive stuff, because my budget lines up better with the free music that will be beginning next week. But I’ve been interested in reading up on all the emergent technology that folks have brought to the table. For example, here’s an app that will allow you to identify information about any potential connections you may have with total strangers. Creepy? Absolutely. Cool? I think so. As with most technology, I meet this with a combination of fear and total awe.
- Speaking of mixed feelings, my hometown brings us a bizarre article about a couple suing a hospital for neglecting to discover that their unborn child had Down Syndrome. Prenatal testing is a weird issue and I can’t really craft a cogent response to it at the moment. I do understand how many parents would not feel ready or willing to raise a disabled child; but on a gut level, reading about this particularly extreme reaction was disappointing. My oversimplified response: stuff happens, and we’re often unprepared for it. Then we learn and grow and become better people. And sometimes we start nonprofits.
- On marketing: H&R Block’s popularity with the young adult crowd has jumped impressively since their support of a tongue-in-cheek political initiative called The ‘Stach Act. What does this teach us about marketing? Well, my entire generation is really weird, that’s what. Our obsessions include, but are not limited to: cats, anything from the 90’s, cats interacting with dogs, bacon, cats wearing clothing, George Takei, mustaches, and cats. Harness the power of any of that, and you’ve pretty much struck marketing gold. But I’d like everybody to know that my dear hipster friend Weston and I loved H&R Block before it was cool. That’s Weston and me at the bottom, featured in “The Pilot Episode.”