Who Was Dawn Hochsprung? Chances Are You Already Know Her

dawn hochsprung twitter

That is the last tweet of Dawn Hochsprung, principal at Sandy Hock School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Yesterday she was setting up books and, no doubt, getting ready for her Grade 4’s Winter concert. This morning, as she sat down with a parent and a psychologist to discuss a Grade 2 student, gunshots rang out in her school’s hallway. She, and the pyschologist ran for the door to confront the danger and look after their kids.

They didn’t return.

20 children also died this morning in the halls and classrooms of the school, including an entire kindergarten class.

Read the rest of this post on Babble.com

Pinkwashing Breast Cancer Every October

This post was originally published at The Yummy Mummy Club October 6, 2011

I was planning on writing a post about how the breast cancer movement has become over commercialized. Pink is persistent in the month of October found everywhere from the cleats of NFL players to the lapels of politicians. You can buy everything from hammers and hats to golf balls and travel mugs with the pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness and research proudly displayed.

But something is missing from this mass marketing of the pink ribbon – the awareness. The movement is supposed to remind women to check their breasts for abnormalities. The heightened publicity for the month of October is to remind you to watch your body and catch this disease early so it’s not deadly.

Instead, it’s a way for companies to boost the bottom line while tossing a percentage of profits in the research kitty. Breast cancer is big business, to be sure.

That was my original thesis, anyway. And then I stumbled into a video that gets the spirit of what this movement is about.

Yes, even when talking about breast cancer, there’s an app for that. An app that is free. An app that brings everything about this movement full circle.

Rethink Breast Cancer’s Your Man Reminder is cheeky, fun and not about putting pink in every window, on every accessory and every athlete – it’s about awareness. It’s about prevention. It’s about looking after yourself.

Celebrate the survivors and honour those who have passed with pink this month, but also remember to regularly give yourself a little T-L-C.

To be honest, I’d like to go back to the days when black and orange were popular for the season, not pink. Wouldn’t it be great if our grand-kids just knew October as the month we celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving?

On Going Viral, Protecting Copyright, And Herding Cats

Cats that Webchick is herding

There’s a side effect of going viral: your image is everywhere. My article about having a favorite kid was picked up by websites around the world. Not just bloggers were writing about my story, but big news sites and media outlets too.

The first week it was the tv shows. Then it was the blogs. This week it’s the big magazines that are grabbing my story.

When it first broke, my inbox was filled with requests for interviews. I did a couple, but quickly stopped as the pressure from the audience was too much to bear. I was called some nasty, hurtful things by people I didn’t know and while I stood in front of it to try and put a human face on the story and quell the keyboard courage, it just meant I took the arrows to the face instead of my back.

My wife asked me to stop doing interviews.

“I am no longer doing media on this issue” was the form letter response I gave to more than 2 dozen outlets from the CBC to Ryan Seacrest.

Even without doing interviews, my story still spread. They talked about me without me as a guest, which didnt help the message any. Supposition and judgment replaced facts and the conventional wisdom was whipped up even more.

Favorite kid? Really? This is NEWS? The machine continued to crank and churn out the content that was easy for people to emotionally relate to and understand.

Many websites and news outlets wrote about this story as well, and this is the part that upset my wife: they used images of our boys. Hello Magazine, The Australian Women’s Weekly, The Toronto Standard, and nearly a dozen other outlets all grabbed images of my family without permission.

I had originally granted permission to The Daily Mail and ABC to use my image, that was it. Everyone else just assumed those images were public domain and grabbed them.

My wife did not want our boys’ faces tied to this story, so I started writing letters to the editors to ask them to remove the image. On the web, the cats had run free and I was about to try and herd them.

Hello [name of editor]

[insert publication] has published images of my family for which you have not been granted publishing rights.

[http://www.url where my image was posted]

All of my images are protected by a Creative Commons Non-Commerical Attribution license. These images were originally posted to my Flickr account where it is protected by this license, and [insert publication] has republished it without my permission.

Since you have used it commercially, I request that you immediately remove these images from any and all articles published across all of your websites and affiliates.

Thanks so much.

That’s it. Within hours most every single request I made was answered. An apology was given, and my image was pulled.

I write about my kids all the time, and it won’t stop me. I’ll continue to post their photos to Flickr, Twitter, and Instagram as a way of sharing with family and backing up.

I’ll also continue to use services like Google Alerts and Mention.net to catch the sites that will write about me so I can respond and manage my copyrights.

But the Google juice that this story has given my name attached an image of my kids to it. I asked people to stop using it, and they did. Amazing.

Now if I could just get them to link to my actual stories instead of quoting me out of context, we’d be all set.

Image Credit muir.ceardach

Other Cover Options For Time Magazine’s Breastfeeding Issue

jamie lynne grumet time magazine cover

The picture of Jamie-Lynne Grumet posing with her son breastfeeding from a chair on the cover of this week’s issue of Time Magazine was not the only one taken for the “Are You Mom Enough?” issue. It was, however, the one that would generate the most reaction.

There have been many thousands of words written on the topic over the past 36 hours, but Babble’s Rebecca Odes perfectly analyzes the image for how it was constructed by photographer Martin Schoeller and what it means, artistically.

But there were 3 other women, and families, shot for this cover. When you see them you’ll see exactly TIME’s motivation was to shock.

The Bachelor Canada Auditions In Calgary

chris harrison bachelor canada

Love is in the air as The Bachelor Canada hits the road in search of Calgary’s most eligible bachelorettes.

Citytv’s nationwide casting tour for The Bachelor Canada is calling on all eligible women looking for love, romance and adventure to audition for what could be the most important blind date of their lives.

Calgary auditions take place from 11a – 8p on Tuesday, February 21 at the Hyatt Regency Calgary, 700 Centre St. S.E.


To be eligible for The Bachelor Canada, participants must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada and over the age of majority.

For a complete list of rules, regulations and registration forms, visit www.citytv.com/bachelorcanada.

Applicants must bring valid photo ID and application form to the audition.

Participants unable to attend the casting tour can submit their application online.

This is going to be a delicious train wreck. I’ll be sitting in the lobby of the hotel watching the dateless, desperate, and wannabe celebs in too high heels, too short skirts, and too much make-up stroll by. Pass the popcorn.

Father Of The Year Responds

Abermale, North Carolina father Tommy Jordan didnt like the comments his daughter Hannah had to say about the family on Facebook. He had tried grounding her before and that didn’t work, so this time he took his gun to her laptop and pumped it 9 times.

The video has gone viral on Facebook, YouTube, and parenting blogs across the web.

Parents are split: while they like the stand he took, some are hesitant that guns are involved.

Now, Tommy has responded to the response with this comment on his Facebook page:

Attention Media Outlets:
While we appreciate the interest you’re all putting forth to get in touch with us regarding the video, we’re not going to go on your talk show, not going to call in to your radio show, and not going to be in your TV mini-series.

Some of you think I made an acceptable parenting decision and others think I didn’t. However, I can’t think of any way myself or my daughter can respond to a media outlet that won’t be twisted out of context. The Dallas news TV news already showed that in their brief 5 minute interview with the psychologist.

Additionally, there’s absolutely NO way I’m going to send my child the message that it’s OK to gain from something like this. It would send her a message that it’s OK to profit at the expense of someone else’s embarrassment or misfortune and that’s now how I was raised, nor how she has been raised.

So I say thank you from all of us. If we have anything to say, we’ll say it here on Facebook, and we’ll say it publicly, but we won’t say it to a microphone or a camera. There are too many other REAL issues out there that could use this attention you’re giving us. My daughter isn’t hurt, emotionally scarred, or otherwise damaged, but that kind of publicity has never seemed to be to have a positive effect on any child or family.

If you’re a news outlet that wants to ask us a question, feel free to so via email. I’m sure by now my email address is easy enough to find. It might take me awhile to get to a response because I’d have to sort through the “Die you bastard” emails to find it, but we will respond if its something that we feel merits it. Otherwise, sorry… no interviews, no talk shows, no call-ins.

If we respond to anything, it will be on here, and it will be in a way that our words can’t be misconstrued or edited for appeal to specific audience or shock value.

Now, I’m going to try to get to work for the day.
Best of luck to all of you out there… and PLEASE give my phone a break.

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