Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Igniting Science Excitement in Kids: Top Authors Gather in Washington, DC, April 28-29 for USA Science & Engineering Festival Book Fair

WASHINGTON, Mar 20, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Seymour Simon, one of the country's most prolific children's science book authors, was once asked what makes a great science book for young readers. He replied: "A lot of it has to do with the writing -- it’s important that it be clear, interesting, accurate in its science information, and stimulating in opening up a new world or aspect of science that readers never considered before."Simon, whom the New York Times called "the dean of [children's science] writers," is among 36 esteemed authors in science who will excite and engage young readers April 28-29, 2012, in Washington, DC, when these writers appear as Featured Authors at the USA Science & Engineering Festival Book Fair, hosted by Lockheed Martin, the nation's largest celebration of science and engineering.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Vybe: The Postman For Music Information

edding, California - February 2- Only three days after its official release in the
iTunes App Store, hip newcomer, Vybe, impressed Apple enough to score a spot in the “New and Noteworthy” section of iTunes.  Additionally, the application shot past 11,556 other free music apps to number 23, reaching 10,000 registered users within its first week; and it’s still climbing fast. 
The reason for Vybe’s growing popularity is the app’s unique ability to keep users connected with the music they love. Vybe is a user’s one-stop-shop for new albums, singles, videos, and concerts.  It creates comprehensive artist profiles by pulling real-time updates from across the internet. Created to be a “better platform for artists to connect with their fans and fans with the music they love,” Vybe provides a mobile space for users to effortlessly keep up.
When first installed, Vybe automatically scans the music library on the user’s device, following all of their artists/bands. Anytime artists release new content (albums, singles, concerts, videos) their fans will receive a push notification that leads them into the app. Users can customize the types of notifications they receive & set how far they will travel for a concert, ultimately giving users a personalized experience & keeping Vybe relevant. Opening a push notification takes users directly to the new content where they can not only preview music, see concert venues/dates/times, & watch videos, but even link to buy the music or concert tickets. Users can also share the content they just discovered to Facebook or Twitter, amplifying the viral reach of the content for the artist. Fans have all relevant information about their favorite music right at their fingertips. The days of being the last to know about the newest music or missing a great concert are over, thanks to the postman for music information.
To check it out download the app at:
www.vy.be/getit (use account username: reviewer and password: reviewer or create your own account).
For more information about Vybe, Inc. visit www.vy.be or blog.vy.be.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Booming Baby Boomer Exodus Makes Choosing the Next Generation of Business Leaders a Challenge

With the onslaught of baby boomers entering retirement over the next decade -- an estimated 7,000 to 10,000 people a day starting this year -- who will take over the leadership of privately held firms and family businesses? “The choice of successor to lead your business can propel it to great success or plunge it into failure,” says Richard A. Morris, principal of ROI Consulting in Evanston, Ill. “With less than 30% of family businesses successfully transitioning to the next generation, leadership selection is a key consideration.”

Through his research, Morris has identified three techniques business owners typically use to choose successors that often lead to a poor long-term prognosis for the company:

1. Anointing the firstborn. Often the owner will follow a tried and true method of leadership transition, taken straight from royalty, by anointing the firstborn the next leader. This method can avoid arguments among siblings and often adheres to family tradition. However, it fails to take into account the desire or capabilities of all of the children or other potential candidates.

2. Selecting whoever is interested. Just because a family member has decided to come work for the company and has expressed interest in taking on the leadership role does not mean he or she has the right capabilities. Morris warns, “Often we find that family members working at the company are there for all the wrong reasons. It may be, for example, that they were unable to find another career and drifted back to the family business. Is that who you want running the company?”

3. Choosing the person who “does it like me.” Many family business leaders who are thoughtful about their succession decision choose a person to run the company who has skills similar to theirs. “This may appear to be the correct choice, but most of the time it is exactly the opposite of what is needed for the next phase of the company,” explains Morris. Research defines four lifecycles or stages: Start-Up, Growth, Mature, and Reinvent, and each requires a leader with a different skill set.

Morris recommends business owners develop a list of skills required by the stage the business will be entering. “Then owners should assess all of the family candidates to see who may have the needed skills. If there are no family members with the requisite skills, it may be better to hire a professional manager,” Morris advises. “I’d rather own a company that succeeds than run my family firm into the ground.”

Morris also co-authored the book “Kids, Wealth and Consequences: Ensuring a Responsible Financial Future for the Next Generation” (Bloomberg Press).

Monday, March 21, 2011

Free Online Allowance Calculator Helps Parents Teach and Talk About Money

Parents who want fun ways to teach and talk to their children about money have a new free online tool, theAllowance Calculator, created by Jayne Pearl, co-author ofKids, Wealth, and Consequences: Ensuring a Responsible Financial Future for the Next Generation(Bloomberg, a Wiley imprint, 2010).

The Allowance Calculator helps calculate what a child’s allowance (or the price of anything) today was worth when the parents were the same age. For example, if 16-year-olds receives $20 allowance per week, that would be the equivalent to $2.86 in 1965 when a 45-year-old parent would have been 16. In other words, $2.86 in 1965 is the equivalent of $20 today. The calculator also lets users figure out, if the parent earned $20 in 1965, how much that would be worth today: $139.80. Another way to use the calculator is to input how much allowance the parent actually received at age 16, to see how much that would be in today’s money: If the parent received $5 in 1965, that would be worth $34.95.

“Talking about money can be difficult, or even taboo in many families,” say Pearl. “The Allowance Calculator is intended to offer a comfortable way to open up a dialog not just about allowance, but also about financial responsibility and financial values.”

The authors encourage parents to give allowance to children as soon as they acquire the ability to add and subtract, understand the value of different coins and bills, and express interest in buying things. “One way to determine how much allowance to give is to base it on a list of financial responsibilities that include discretionary (wants) such as music CDs, movies, supplies for activities, and nondiscretionary (needs) items such as toiletries, school lunches, and public transportation.”

The author explains that even wealthy parents should give their children allowance tied to financial responsibilities. “Allowance is a tool for teaching kids that no matter how affluent the family may be, money is a finite resource,” say Pearl. “Allowance also helps children learn how to delay gratification, make choices, and experience the consequences of those choices. These are important financial values that will help children grow up to be responsible consumers, savers and investors. In a society that is feeling the consequences of overspending and overuse of credit cards, kids who develop the discipline to save now and buy later instead of the reverse will be much more successful at surviving in any economic environment when they grow up.”

Other free financial parenting tools, including an Intergenerational Equity (sustainable spend rate) calculator, $mart $kills Allowance and Budget Controls (ABCs) spreadsheets, and online games such as the downloadable $mart $kills Asset Allocation Game, can also be found on the authors' website.

Kids, Wealth, and Consequences helps affluent parents and their advisors understand how affluence affects children’s future success, happiness and motivation. The book explores everything from how and when parents should talk to their children about the often-uncomfortable topic of money to what affluent families can learn from the economic meltdown about spending, saving and investing to help them better prepare themselves and their children to survive in any economic environment.

Jayne Pearl is a journalist and entertaining speaker, focusing on family business and financial parenting. She is author of Kids and Money: Giving Them the Savvy to Succeed Financially (Bloomberg Press) and has co-authored or ghost-written ten other books. Jayne began her career at Forbes and was former senior editor of Family Business magazine, to which she has contributed for 20 years.

Richard Morris is an adjunct professor at the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and is principal of ROI Consulting, helping family owners expand and pass down their business to subsequent generations. Previously, he worked at his family's 80-year-old privately held company, Fel-Pro Incorporated, managing Marketing and then Acquisitions, and serving on the Board of Directors until its sale in 1998.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

California's Woodworth Vineyards Pinot Noir Wins A Top Award

Among the wine news that I came across today is the news of a California Pinot Noir - Woodworth Vineyard’s 2008 Pinot Noir won a Gold Medal at the 9th Annual Pinot Noir Summit and finished third in its judging category. It’s the only Pinot Noir still wine grown and produced in the Temecula Valley wine region.

Woodworth’s 2008 Pinot Noir achieved scores of 93 and 94 from judges who tasted more than 360 competing wines from the United States, France, Italy, Australia and New Zealand.

“We’re obviously ecstatic that a panel of judges including sommeliers, wine makers, wine writers, chefs and wine lovers, determined that our Pinot was among the best,” said Marlene Woodworth, who owns the winery with her winemaker husband, Gary. “It was even more exciting that we won while competing against traditional Pinot Noir strongholds such as Carneros in Napa, Santa Barbara and Russian River.”

Southern California is generally considered too hot to grow Pinot Noir. Woodworth Vineyards, however, enjoys a unique micro-climate with warm days and very cool nights coupled with coastal fog in the mornings, an ideal environment for Pinot.

“Pinot Noir lovers spoke out loud and clear at the 9th Annual Pinot Noir Summit,” Barbara Drady, Pinot Noir Summit organizer and wine evangelist. “In an unmistakable statement of preference, they embraced wines of elegance and varietal authenticity rather than burly Syrah-like Pinots, the muscular Pinot Noirs made popular by a few influential reviewers and their publications.”

Described as the “most romantic of wines,” the 2008 Pinot Noir from Woodworth has notes of bright cherry and little bit of spice followed by a big berry taste accentuated by soft tannins and a lingering finish with smoky hints of tobacco. Gary and Marlene Woodworth produce all of their wines in small batches. Only 140 cases of the 2008 Pinot Noir were made. 

The Woodworths purchased 45 acres in De Luz in 2000. Eight acres are planted with grapes, including nearly 3 acres devoted exclusively to Pinot Noir. The Pinot vines were grafted onto Syrah, Carmenere and Cabernet Sauvignon root stock over the last five years. Woodworth Vineyards also produces Chardonnay, Syrah, Merlot, a White Merlot (Golden Maggie), a blend of Chardonnay and Muscat (Sweet Sophie) and a red blend (Black Dog).

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Santa’s Computer Gets into Trouble on Christmas Eve

A fun and exciting read awaits readers in author Mark Steven Berkoff’s Santa’s Computer The Story, Other Love Stories, and a Poem. Released through Xlibris, this book follows Santa as he worries about his gift deliveries when his computer is down.

It’s the night before Christmas and Santa becomes frantic when he can’t find his mouse; and to make matters worse, his computer is down. He’s getting older now and he needs some assistance with regard to the zip codes, time zones, and the many more children to bring toys to. But now that his computer is in trouble, he must find solutions to his computer headaches or else, there will be no Christmas and there will be chaos in China, madness in Maui, bonkers in Brazil, mayhem in Montana, and many other problems. So, he goes to his computer lab and begins searching through his books— PC magazine, Compu-World, Data Daily, and so on. He reads hundreds, thousands of them—all in one night. But will he find the solution to his computer problems before it’s too late?

Endearing and very delightful, this book is also filled with other love stories and a poem to give readers an exciting and memorable reading experience. Santa’s Computer The Story, Other Love Stories, and a Poem is available in softcover and hardcover picture book formats.

For more information on this book, interested parties may log on to http://www.Xlibris.com.

Santa's Computer The Story, Other Love Stories, and a Poem * by Mark Steven Berkoff 
Publication Date: February 18, 2011 
Picture Book; $15.99; 24 pages; 978-1-4568-5599-4 
Picture Book Hardcover; $25.99; 24 pages; 978-1-4568-5600-7

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (610) 915-0294 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879.

For more information on self-publishing or marketing with Xlibris, visit http://www.Xlibris.com. To receive a free publishing guide, please call (888) 795-4274.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Social Network Participation Increasingly Affects Executive Decision Making, According to 2nd Annual New Symbiosis of Professional Networks Study

The Society for New Communications Research (SNCR), a global nonprofit research and education foundation and think tank, announced the results of the 2nd annual New Symbiosis of Professional Networks Study led by SNCR Fellows Donald Bulmer, Vice President, Global Communications, Industry and Influencer Relations, SAP, and Vanessa DiMauro, CEO of Leader Networks. The study -- supported by quantitative data gathered from more than 100 senior business professionals and executives -- benchmarks the impact of social media on enterprise decision-making.

his study extends the research Bulmer and DiMauro began in 2009 and 2010 focusing on professionals’ use of social media for decision-making. The 2010-2011 study examines the dynamics of trust that professionals have within their social media communities, as well as the value of engagement and collaboration to support decision-making and innovation across company operations for internal and external purposes.

Of the 114 executives who participated in the study, most were key decision makers in their respective companies that ranged in size from under 100 to over 50,000 full time employees.

Key Finding include: 

  • Social networks have evolved to become knowledge and communication networks, and access to thought leadership content is now the primary reason professionals visit networks and communities. Professionals are collaborating with each other through the thought leadership content they generate, curate or share. No longer is collaboration an experience between a limited number of people.
  • While nearly all professionals surveyed (97%) use LinkedIn, the use of smaller (niche) professional networks are actively being used to find peers and content specifically related to the work that they do (by role, industry, geography, etc.). Professionals are finding the right mix of large open networks and private communities to support their learning, networking and decision-making activities.
  • Professional communities are being used more frequently to inform business strategy and supporting new products and services (much more than in 2009). A majority (80%) of respondents are able to accelerate decision process and information/strategy development by participating in online communities.
  • Endorsement (e.g. like, read, share, retweet) is at the center of collaboration in social media communities. “The Crescendo Effect” in social media environments has great impact on buying decisions. High quality content yields transparency and credibility.


“Business professionals are changing how they collaborate as a result of online professional communities and peer networks,” stated Bulmer about the study.

“Professional collaboration is changing from a small professional exchange into an interaction with content in more public ways,” added DiMauro. “The consequence of sharing content online is enhanced influence.“

Additional findings and insights from the 2nd Annual New Symbiosis of Professional Networks study will be posted through out the week on Don Bulmer's blog, Everyday Influence and Vanessa DiMauro's blog, Building Online Communities for Business.

Visit http://www.slideshare.net/sncr/the-new-symbiosis-of-professional-networks-2010 for the full study results.

About the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR):

The Society for New Communications Research is a global nonprofit 501(c)(3) research and education foundation and think tank focused on the advanced study of the latest developments in new media and communications, and their effect on traditional media and business models, communications, culture and society. For more information, visit http://sncr.org.