Tag Archives: Holiday

The 11/29/13 Joy Jar

28 Nov

Today is the day after Thanksgiving or in the shopping world, ‘Black Friday.’ Ryan Goodrich of Tom’s Guide wrote in What Is Black Friday?

The origins of Black Friday
Historically, starting the holiday shopping season on the day after Thanksgiving is largely due to the Santa Claus parades of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Department stores like Macy’s sponsored such events, which they used as advertising vehicles. It then became a common practice to never advertise for holiday shopping prior to the conclusion of such parades.
While parades are no longer as commonly used as the herald to holiday shopping, they’ve succeeded in establishing the day after Thanksgiving as the first day for holiday shopping.
MORE: Amazon to Offer Black Friday Deals Every 10 Minutes
The use of the term “Black Friday” to describe this shopping holiday dates back to 1961 in Philadelphia. It was used to describe the crowded pedestrian and vehicle traffic that resulted the day after Thanksgiving. By 1975, the term gained traction and use outside of the city.
These days, retailers have a different explanation for the term. For many companies, Black Friday marks the point in the calendar year when companies go “in the black,” or finally begin to turn a profit for the year.
Outside of shopping, the use of Black Friday has a lengthy history. Traditionally, the term signaled that something had gone horribly wrong with the economy. “Black Friday” was first used to describe Sept. 24, 1869, when several financiers tried to corner the gold market and instead crashed the market and caused a depression. In 1873, another panic in the financial markets also began on a Friday.
The Great Depression began after the stock market collapsed on Oct. 29, 1929, but that was Black Tuesday. Another bad day for the stock market, Oct. 19, 1987, was called Black Monday.
The negative connotation of the phrase prompted several officials to try and rename the day to “Big Friday” as a description of the types of deals available. However, such attempts were unsuccessful and the name has stuck.
When Black Friday starts
For years, it was common for retailers to open their doors as early as 5 or 6 a.m. to kick off a lengthy day of extreme sales. Between 2005 and 2010, the opening time shifted earlier each year, until stores such as Target and Best Buy were opening their doors at midnight on Thanksgivingnight.
Several retail stores, such as Toys R Us and Walmart, have now taken things a step further to begin their Black Friday deals as early as 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening….
http://www.tomsguide.com/us/what-is-black-friday,review-1952.html

If the stores are open, that means that many employees will have the hours they can spend with their loved ones limited.

Karin Klein wrote in the L.A. Times article, Retailers abusing workers: Black Friday’s just the tip of the iceberg:
Retail stores commonly hire as many part-time employees as possible so they won’t have to give benefits as basic as a sick day off. They require employees to keep their time free for the days they’re scheduled to work the next week — but the store thinks nothing of calling them on slow sales days to tell them not to bother coming in. Or worse, after the sales clerks have dressed for work and spent the time and money to commute to the job, the store sends them home mid-shift because too few customers are showing up. Those aren’t hours of paid vacation, you can be sure. People who already earn low, low wages are suddenly stripped of work hours with no opportunity to arrange in advance for other ways to make money.
No one would remain employed very long if he or she called in to the boss minutes before the work day was to start, saying, “Someone else will pay me 50 cents more an hour today, so I’m not showing up.”
It’s basic courtesy, right? Maybe at the social level, people feel more comfortable canceling plans on one another at the last moment. But when it comes to business, time is money — and at these wages, money for basic sustenance. On both sides, schedules should be honored.
People have always worked holidays — gas station attendants, nurses, police, journalists — when they were needed. And with families so scattered and overwhelmed, I’m seeing more friends whose Thanksgiving gatherings are held the weekend before or two weeks after. What matters isn’t the formally declared holiday but the feasting time together in service of gratitude.
I’m no fan of the Thanksgiving shopping trend, but the outrage over holiday work hours seems like one of those easy hits, full of the symbolism that gets people posting on Facebook, talking boycott or calling for new work laws. Yes, the creep into this family and national tradition is a sad sign of greed, but it’s a smaller one than the really damaging effects of greed on low-wage retail workers all year long. Let’s not allow the easy outrage to distract us from the bigger picture.
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-thanksgiving-shopping-20131127,0,2718184.story#ixzz2luxhtkON

Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is reflecting on our buying choices affect the lives of others.

Black Friday: Because only in America, people trample others for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have.
Unknown

Sorry shoppers on Black Friday will block and tackle better than your football team on Thanksgiving.
Unknown

Let’s spend Thanksgiving spilling food on our clothes, and Black Friday buying new ones.
Unknown

Happy Thanksgiving to someone I’d have no problem stomping to death on Black Friday.
Unknown

Make sure the clothes you buy on Black Friday take into account how fat you got on Thanksgiving.
Unknown

The 11/28/13 Joy Jar

27 Nov

Today is Thanksgiving. Christian Answers.net describes the history of Thanksgiving:

In 1789, following a proclamation issued by President George Washington, America celebrated its first Day of Thanksgiving to God under its new constitution. That same year, the Protestant Episcopal Church, of which President Washington was a member, announced that the first Thursday in November would become its regular day for giving thanks, “unless another day be appointed by the civil authorities.” Yet, despite these early national proclamations, official Thanksgiving observances usually occurred only at the State level.
Much of the credit for the adoption of a later ANNUAL national Thanksgiving Day may be attributed to Mrs. Sarah Joseph Hale, the editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book. For thirty years, she promoted the idea of a national Thanksgiving Day, contacting President after President until President Abraham Lincoln responded in 1863 by setting aside the last Thursday of November as a national Day of Thanksgiving. Over the next seventy-five years, Presidents followed Lincoln’s precedent, annually declaring a national Thanksgiving Day. Then, in 1941, Congress permanently established the fourth Thursday of each November as a national holiday.
Lincoln’s original 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation came—spiritually speaking—at a pivotal point in his life. During the first week of July of that year, the Battle of Gettysburg occurred, resulting in the loss of some 60,000 American lives. Four months later in November, Lincoln delivered his famous “Gettsysburg Address.” It was while Lincoln was walking among the thousands of graves there at Gettysburg that he committed his life to Christ. As he explained to a friend:
When I left Springfield [to assume the Presidency], I asked the people to pray for me. I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But when I went to Gettysburg and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ.
As Americans celebrate Thanksgiving each year, we hope they will retain the original gratefulness to God displayed by the Pilgrims and many other founding fathers, and remember that it is to those early and courageous Pilgrims that they owe not only the traditional Thanksgiving holiday but also the concepts of self-government, the “hard-work” ethic, self-reliant communities, and devout religious faith… http://christiananswers.net/q-wall/wal-g007.html

Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is Thanksgiving;

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.”
Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance

“Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.”
Erma Bombeck

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.”
W.T. Purkiser

“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual…O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.”
Henry David Thoreau

“Eucharisteo—thanksgiving—always precedes the miracle.”
Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

“Thanksgiving-giving thanks in everything-prepares the way that God might show us His fullest salvation in Christ.”
Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

“The Christian who walks with the Lord and keeps constant communion with Him will see many reason for rejoicing and thanksgiving all day long.”
Warren W. Wiersbe

“I always think it’s funny when Indians celebrate Thanksgiving. I mean, sure, the Indians and Pilgrims were best friends during the first Thanksgiving, but a few years later, the Pilgrims were shooting Indians.
So I’m never quite sure why we eat Turkey like everybody else. (101)”
Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do.
Victor Hugo

The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.
William Blake

The 11/26/13 Joy Jar

26 Nov

Moi knows who she IS. She is a conservative Christian who follows a Jewish carpenter named Jesus. Jonathan Mizrahi wrote on his blog, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving:

A once in eternity overlap:
Next year features an anomaly for American Jews – The first day of Hanukkah coincides with Thanksgiving, on 11/28/2013 (meaning the first night of Hanukkah is actually the night before Thanksgiving). I was curious how often this happens. It turns out that it has never happened before…and it will never happen again.
(Correction: it happened once before, in 1888: see addendum below.)

Thanksgiving is set as the fourth Thursday in November, meaning the latest it can be is 11/28. 11/28 is also the earliest Hanukkah can be. The Jewish calendar repeats on a 19 year cycle, and Thanksgiving repeats on a 7 year cycle. You would therefore expect them to coincide roughly every 19×7 = 133 years. Looking back, this is approximately correct – the last time it would have happened is 1861. However, Thanksgiving was only formally established by President Lincoln in 1863. So, it has never happened before. Why won’t it ever happen again?

The reason is because the Jewish calendar is very slowly getting out of sync with the solar calendar, at a rate of 4 days per 1000 years (not bad for a many centuries old calendar!) This means that while presently Hanukkah can be as early as 11/28, over the years the calendar will drift forward, such that the earliest Hanukkah can be is 11/29. The last time Hanukkah falls on 11/28 is 2146 (which happens to be a Monday). Therefore, 2013 is the only time Hanukkah will ever overlap with Thanksgiving. You can see the start date of Hanukkah as a function of time in the attached plots. In the long timescale plot, the drift forward is clear.

Of course, if the Jewish calendar is never modified in any way, then it will slowly move forward through the Gregorian calendar, until it loops all the way back to where it is now. So, Hanukkah will again fall on Thursday, 11/28…in the year 79811. http://jonathanmizrahi.blogspot.com/2013/01/hanukkah-and-thanksgiving-once-in.html

Many Christians acknowledge the Jewish roots of their faith. The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews has a great explanation of Hanukkah:

The Importance of Hanukkah
I once had a Christian pastor friend who said he thinks that Hanukkah is really a critical holiday for Christians, too. Why, I asked — I knew about the reference in John chapter 10, but nothing more. He said that if the Jewish Maccabees had not risen up against their oppressors, then secularism and paganism would have controlled the Jewish people. And if it would have controlled the Jewish people, Jesus would not have been able to be born as a Jew, to live a Jewish life, to see the Temple, and have the Bible. Judaism would have been wiped out.
He’s right that Hanukkah is a very important holiday. There is an attempt in every generation to rid the world of the Jewish people. And if not, there are those who want to accommodate and negotiate and be flexible. Then there are those who say they can do that sometimes, but there are times when you must draw a line in the sand. When they try to take away my faith I cannot accommodate, I cannot adjust, and I cannot compromise. The Maccabees drew that line in the sand, and they triumphed. If not for their triumph, Judaism would have been gotten rid of by those authorities, and Jesus the Jew would not have been around 165 years later… http://www.ifcj.org/site/PageNavigator/eng/inside/hanukkah

Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is a recognition of the Jewish roots of moi’s faith.

Kindle the taper like the steadfast star
Ablaze on evening’s forehead o’er the earth,
And add each night a lustre till afar
An eightfold splendor shine above thy hearth.
Emma Lazarus, “The Feast of Lights”

Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame
Blessed is the flame that burns in the secret fastness of the heart
Hannah Senesh

To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle.
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

The miracle, of course, was not that the oil for the sacred light –
in a little cruse – lasted as long as they say;
but that the courage of the Maccabees lasted to this day:
let that nourish my flickering spirit.
Charles Reznikoff, “Meditations on the Fall and Winter Holidays”

Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.
Buddha

We have focused on the miracle-thing and I think we often overlook the message of Hanukkah. To me, the core of the holiday is the cleaning of the temple…. The accomplishment was in restoring the temple to the purpose for which it was built. Now think of the temple as a symbol. Perhaps it represents my life. The world has tried to use me for its own (perhaps good, but none-the-less extrinsic) purposes. But now I can rededicate myself to my own original purpose.
Ralph Levy, “Hanukkah – Another View”

Let the straight flower bespeak its purpose in straightness – to seek the light.
Let the crooked flower bespeak its purpose in crookedness – to seek the light.
Let the crookedness and straightness bespeak the light.
Allen Ginsberg, “Psalm III”

I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders.
Jewish Proverb

Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.
Chinese Proverb

Even our misfortunes are a part of our belongings.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry,

The darkness of the whole world cannot swallow the glowing of a candle.
Robert Altinger

The 11/25/13 Joy Jar

25 Nov

Thanksgiving should be the OFFICIAL start of the Holiday Season which includes Christmas and Hanukkah. If you have no faith, then just celebrate being alive. Florida’s Natural has an interesting discussion of holiday traditions in Holiday Traditions. Why We Do What We Do:

Ever wonder how fruitcake became a holiday tradition? Why standing under the mistletoe means pucker up? We’ve uncovered the origins of some of the holiday’s most popular traditions.
Issue: December 2009
Why fruitcake during the holidays?
In 18th-century England, fruitcake had become so prevalent, there were laws enacted to restrict its consumption to Christmas, Easter, weddings, christenings, and funerals. Over time, the popularity of the fruity cake waned at the other occasions, leaving Christmas to be the lone holiday it’s associated with.
What’s the story behind the dreidel game?
When the Syrian Greeks prohibited Jews from practicing their religion, Jewish parents painted Hebrew letters on four-sided spinning tops called dreidels (from the German word, drehen, which means to spin) as a way to preserve their faith. The Greeks thought the Jews were just playing an insignificant game. The Hebrew letters on the dreidel stand for the phrase “A great miracle happened there.” This refers to the miracle celebrated at Hanukkah.
Why do people kiss under the mistletoe?
According to Scandinavian folklore, Baldur, god of light, was killed by a dart made of mistletoe. The tears of Baldurs mother, Frigga, became the white berries of the plant. Frigga decreed that mistletoe would never again be used as a weapon and that she would, instead, kiss anyone who passed under it.
How did the tradition of the Christmas tree begin?
Legend has it that in the seventh century a monk went to Germany to spread the Word of God. He used the triangular shape of a fir tree to illustrate the Holy Trinity. The converted people in Germany then began to revere the evergreen fir. By the 12th century, firs were being hung upside down from ceilings at Christmas as a symbol of Christianity. The first decorated tree is said to have been in Latvia in 1510.
Why light a menorah during Hanukkah?
Hanukkah is the “Festival of Lights”. The Hanukkah Menorah commemorates the Jews’ miraculous victory over the Greek-Syrian army (thousands of years ago) and the one-days-worth of pure oil that miraculously lasted for eight days in the Temple. Jewish custom insists that every family should light the wicks of the Hanukkah Menorah each night for eight days of the festival. The Hanukkah menorah contains nine candleholders — eight for each of the eight nights of the celebrations and the ninth, called Shamash, used only for lighting the others.
Why do people kiss at midnight on New Year’s Eve?
A centuries-old legend claims that the first person you come in contact with when the clock strikes twelve sets the tone for your happiness and fortune in the New Year. A kiss with one you love equals good things, but kiss someone other than your true love, or no one at all, and misfortune is said to be heading your way….http://www.floridasnatural.com/lifestyle/household-advice/holiday-traditions-why-we-do-what-we-do

Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the Holiday Season.

“In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it ‘Christmas’ and went to church; the Jews called it ‘Hanukkah’ and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say ‘Merry Christmas!’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah!’ or (to the atheists) ‘Look out for the wall!”
Dave Barry

“Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.”
Erma Bombeck

“Humanity has always conquered the flux of natural time by means of a rhythm between active and passive time-spans. To reconquer his holidays, to establish a new and better time schedule for life, has been the great endeavour of man ever since the days of Noah.”
Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, Out of Revolution: Autobiography of Western Man

“You know if the U.S. Government wanted to boost the economy there’s a simple solution make Black Friday the refund date for your state and federal taxes”
Stanley Victor Paskavich, Return to Stantasyland

I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up – they have no holidays.
Henny Youngman

Holidays are about experiences and people, and tuning into what you feel like doing at that moment. Enjoy not having to look at a watch.
Evelyn Glennie

I celebrate everyone’s religious holidays. if it’s good enough for the righteous, it’s good enough for the self-righteous, I always say.
Bette Midler

All holidays can be good times.
John Clayton

The 10/31/13 Joy Jar

1 Nov

Moi DOES NOT practice the occult and does not believe in some of the darker aspects of Halloween. Still, there are many fun aspects of the day, Today’s deposit in the ‘Joy Jar’ is the fun that Halloween can bring.

“I think if human beings had genuine courage, they’d wear their costumes every day of the year, not just on Halloween. Wouldn’t life be more interesting that way? And now that I think about it, why the heck don’t they? Who made the rule that everybody has to dress like sheep 364 days of the year? Think of all the people you’d meet if they were in costume every day. People would be so much easier to talk to – like talking to dogs. ”
Douglas Coupland, The Gum Thief

“I wish everyday could be Halloween. We could all wear masks all the time. Then we could walk around and get to know each other before we got to see what we looked like under the masks.”
R.J. Palacio

“Pirates are not born; they are made out of God’s tears and the devil’s furry.”
Shannon L. Alder, Never or Forever

There is a child in every one of us who is still a trick-or-treater looking for a brightly-lit front porch.
Robert Brault,

Where there is no imagination there is no horror.
Arthur Conan Doyle, Sr.

Once in a young lifetime one should be allowed to have as much sweetness as one can possibly want and hold.
Judith Olney

Clothes make a statement. Costumes tell a story.
Mason Cooley

Proof of our society’s decline is that Halloween has become a broad daylight event for many.
Robert Kirby

I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion.
Henry David Thoreau

There is nothing that gives more assurance than a mask.
~Colette

Look, there’s no metaphysics on earth like chocolates.
Fernando Pessoa

The 10/30/13 Joy Jar

1 Nov

Moi is looking forward to being on two weeks of vacation at Christmas. Just to have time to relax and just read and go to movies will be welcome. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is a much needed vacation.

“The only problem with politicians taking two week vacations every year is it’s about 50 weeks too short.
”
Jarod Kintz, The Days of Yay are Here! Wake Me Up When They’re Over.

“Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”
Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now

“In matters of healing the body or the mind, vacation is a true genius!”
Mehmet Murat ildan

“What shall you do all your vacation?’, asked Amy. “I shall lie abed and do nothing”, replied Meg.”
Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Laughter is an instant vacation.
Milton Berle

A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking.
Earl Wilson

A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in.
Robert Orben

If we would only give, just once, the same amount of reflection to what we want to get out of life that we give to the question of what to do with a two weeks’ vacation, we would be startled at our false standards and the aimless procession of our busy days.
Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Modern hazards: Halloween and the sex offender registry

17 Oct

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Moi came across this report from Steve Kiggins of Q13 News, Police: Check your neighborhood for sex offenders on Halloween:

Halloween is fast approaching and police are sounding the alarm, asking if parents really know their neighbors.
Police in Snohomish County said it’s a good idea to check the sex offender registry before you take your kids out for trick-or-treating.
There are 1,700 registered sex offenders in Snohomish County, and at least a dozen in the neighborhood near Rockefeller Avenue and 36th Street. Most parents said they don’t check to see if any of those sex offenders are on their trick-or-treat route.
Lisa Ellefsen and her 3-year-old daughter Reigna are ready for Halloween.
Their Everett neighborhood lists several sex offenders close by, so they usually go trick-or-treating at grandma’s in Arlington. That’s until Ellefsen checked the sex offender registry near grandma’s house.
“That’s Arlington?” Ellefsen exclaimed when she checked the list. She thought leaving Everett would be a safer bet for Halloween, but Arlington has its share of sex offenders.
“It freaks me out,” she said. “You’ve got to watch your kids, I guess. You can’t hide from the world.”
Pumpkins and cobwebs are already up in some Everett yards. Surprisingly, some sex offenders are allowed to put up Halloween decorations — it all depends on the conditions of their release from jail.
“Look at those conditions of that release,” Shari Ireton with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said. “Of course, if that person is violating one of those conditions, you definitely want to call 911.”
That’s why police want parents to double-check the registry for their neighborhoods.
“The more informed someone is about what’s going on in their neighborhood or community, that’s the surest form of crime prevention,” Ireton said.
Search your county’s sex offender registry at the links below:
http://q13fox.com/2013/10/16/police-check-your-neighborhood-for-sex-offenders-this-halloween/#ixzz2i0IasWwx

The world has sure changed from what moi knew as a kid. Here is the National Sex Offender Registry Watchdog http://www.familywatchdog.us/

Parents for Megan’s Law and the Crime Victim Center are offering the following tips:

Be aware! There are over 614,000 registered sex offenders in the United States. Your child could be knocking on the door of a convicted sex offender. Use the following Halloween Safety Tips to help protect our most vulnerable.

1. ALWAYS check http://www.parentsformeganslaw.org for registered offenders in your neighborhood.
2.NEVER allow children or teens to Trick or Treat alone.
3.ALWAYS accompany young children to the doors of homes they approach.
4.NEVER allow kids to enter a home without permission from a parent.
5.NEVER allow children to approach any vehicle unless they know the owner.
6.ALWAYS have children carry a flashlight or glow stick.
7.NEVER approach a house that is not well lit.
8.ALWAYS scream, kick and punch anyone who tries to grab or force kids to go with them.
9.NEVER consume unwrapped prepackaged treats.
10.ALWAYS carefully inspect treats for open wrappers.
Call us for your free copy of Halloween Safety Tips!
Contact Us
1-(888) ASK-PFML or 1-(631)689-2672
Email us at pfmeganslaw@aol.com

New! 24 Hour Megan’s Law and Sex Offender Tips Hotline
for Suffolk County New York Residents
Call 1-(855) PFML TIP

If you would like to report a sex offender in violation (click here) .

http://www.parentsformeganslaw.org/sortReport/sortsel.jsp
http://www.parentsformeganslaw.org/public/Directors_Old_Message/Halloween_Safety_Tips.html

The sex offender hazard really brings into focus what Facebook, Twitter, and other social media lack. It is a sense of community and knowing who your neighbors are.

Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz wrote in the 2012 Chicago Tribune article, Why it’s worth getting to know your neighbors: Some neighborly advice on reaching out and making connections:

Some 28 percent of us know none of our neighbors’ names, reports a 2010 Pew survey; it’s particularly pervasive among younger and lower-income people.
“The biggest barrier is just a perception that we should not be involved,” said Keith Hampton, associate professor of communications at Rutgers University. “We fear having people intrude in our lives, but we also have to recognize … (the) risk in not knowing the people around you.”
Knowing your neighbors can help defuse conflicts before they turn ugly.
“If someone leaves their dog out too late barking, then that’s Joe — it’s not some random guy you hate,” said Bob Borzotta, founder of neighborsfromhell.com, a chat room for people embroiled in neighbor disputes.
Though technology is partly responsible for making neighbors less relevant (it enables people get social support from afar), it also is helping revive neighbor ties. Several social networking sites are dedicated to connecting neighbors; Hampton’s research shows that people who use those technologies are more likely to talk to their neighbors in person and on the phone than those who don’t.
One such site is Nextdoor.com, which has more than 1,900 neighborhoods, said co-founder Nirav Tolia. Its purpose is not social but to solve practical problems, like finding a lost dog or organizing a block party. The majority of posts are either recommendation requests (someone seeking a good plumber) or classifieds (trying to sell a couch). There’s also an “urgent alerts” feature that sends an emergency note via text message; a neighborhood in Texas used it recently to alert people to tornadoes.
Jon Elliott, 28, joined the Nextdoor group for his neighborhood in Lancaster, Pa., in hopes of creating a sense of community because, he said, “it’s hard to go up to someone walking their dog and just start a conversation.”
The site proved helpful when a posting about a car break-in spurred a slew of neighbors to respond that their cars also had been broken into, Elliott, said. But neighbors also now wave to each other in the street and call one another by their names, he added.
That’s not to say neighbors should become best friends. It’s the weak ties that make a happy neighborhood, Hampton said, so just make it a point to say hello or offer to collect someone’s newspapers if they’re going out of town.
Respecting boundaries is vital, Borzotta added. Introducing yourself if you’re new to the neighborhood, or welcoming a neighbor who has just moved in, is a good way to establish contact, he said. (Cookies? Unnecessary.)
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-04-25/features/sc-fam-0424-know-neighbor-20120424_1_neighbors-social-networking-sites-block-party

In a world where many are wired, but few are connected, a sense of community is one defense against predators whom roam all year, not just at Halloween.

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