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Story Lab: May 23, 2010 - May 29, 2010

Was unplugging just a dream?

It wasn’t a nightmare exactly. All I knew was that people were getting sick from eating carrots. I had not covered a food-borne illness outbreak in several years, but a colleague had come to me asking for help. And...

By Annys Shin  | May 27, 2010; 10:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Not an out-of-office-reply type of guy

The night before our little experiment, I did something I had never done in my life. I activated my personal Gmail account’s "Vacation Responder," which sends out an automated reply to anyone who writes me. My message to would-be recipients...

By Ian Shapira  | May 27, 2010; 10:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Journalism  
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Unplugging from The Matrix

Sunday: At 10:37 p.m., as I was in the midst of a frantic bid to move my life offline before midnight, I had one persistent thought running through my mind: this is so stupid. Why was I doing this?...

By Brigid Schulte  | May 27, 2010; 10:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Journalism  
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Unplugged: Email looked better before I opened it

With apologies to my friends and family, here are a few of the dumb “news feeds” I missed while off Facebook for a week. A young relative: “just locked up their man for a day in Sorority Life. Must be...

By Theresa Vargas  | May 27, 2010; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Journalism  | Tags:  Facebook, Internet, Offline, Social network, Unplugged  
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Pick of the day: Thinking of Memorial Day

We've started a blog called the Impact of War, which examines just that. We're asking all sorts of people--soldiers, their families, caregivers, experts, academics--to write about how the wars resonate today, nine years after 9/11. I figured we'd get some...

By Christian Davenport  | May 27, 2010; 9:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Story Picks  | Tags:  Memorial Day, Rachel Porto  
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Pick of the Day: You can't make this stuff up

Here's an idea for a movie script: Scene: CIA headquarters, Langley, Virginia. March, 2003. Several tall, thin, greying men wearing thin ties and dark suits sit around an oval table. The light is low. CIA Officer 1: "Let's make a...

By Christian Davenport  | May 26, 2010; 9:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Story Picks  | Tags:  CIA, Iraq, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein  
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Critique this: Building a better BP story

Whenever reporters settle on one angle for a complex story, readers and experts inevitably write back saying we totally missed the bigger story. How could you miss the elephant in the room? Your story's been done a million times! Are...

By Ian Shapira  | May 25, 2010; 3:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Hard choices, Journalism  
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Pick of the Day: Henry Allen on the prestige of combat

Having just written a story about a guy who helps bust people who pose as war heroes, I've been fascinated by the story of Richard Blumenthal, the Connecticut Attorney General and Senate candidate who apparently exaggerated his military resume. The...

By Christian Davenport  | May 25, 2010; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Story Picks  
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20-year journey: AOL to Yahoo to Gmail--to Facebook?

Strolling around AOL's campus last week was strangely moving. The memories came flooding back: sending my first email so many years ago in AOL's portal, chatting over instant messages with a girl I coveted in college, getting to know one...

By Michael S. Rosenwald  | May 24, 2010; 1:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  More on the story  
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Pick of the day: "A mayoral fencing match"

This story has everything -- well almost everything. It's missing sex and murder and there are no acts of heroism--or, it seems, heroes. But, hey, it's Monday, and this nicely reported piece by The Washington Post's Ann Marimow captures a...

By Christian Davenport  | May 24, 2010; 9:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Story Picks  | Tags:  adrian fenty, d.c. mayor's race, fence, vincent c. gray  
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'You've got mail!'--stories from AOL's heyday

The screeching static of the dial-up connection will forever be wedded in many Americans' memories to the omnipresence of America Online in the early years of the web. From the movies to Saturday Night Live, the mechanized baritone catch...

By Marc Fisher  | May 23, 2010; 10:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Build-A-Story, More on the story  
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