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July 02, 2013

The (Somewhat) Fantastic Four! - 4 Quick Snippets You Can Read Before the 4th


by Ron Daly

Jack kirby. fantastic four

(Fantastic Four is a trademark of Marvel, Inc. and, by extension, Disney. Via this site.)

Yeah, I know - you're on auto-pilot as you cruise toward the July 4th holiday. But focus on these four quick-hit articles and you'll be informed, engaged and (hopefully) entertained.

(Somewhat) Fantastic Four, assemble!

The Invisible Girl...er, Guy, I mean.

Apparently Edward Snowden, the NSA Leaker and man-on-the-run, has had a little trouble finding asylum in the various countries he's contacted. He's written to multiple countries and embassies, looking for a way to evade the authority of the US. Many have turned him down outright, while others have implied that if Snowden wanted sanctuary in their nation, he may yet find it, but only if he can get to their embassy...which is hard to do from the inside of a Russian airport terminal. Ironic that a man whose movements have been followed so closely can't seem to get anyone to recognize him.

I only bring up Snowden because last month (before this scandal broke), I wrote a post on CU Insight about the "Human Factor" in data security. The article talks about employees who don't follow the company's rules on digital security (intentionally or inadvertently) and gives ideas on how to set up strict guidelines on protecting member information. Give it a read here.

The Ever-Evolvin' Multi-Colored Thing!

Remember those wheels that showed every social network and summed up what each did on a big, colorful wheel? Well, it's gotten much, much bigger in the past five years. The "Conversation Prism" by Brian Solis and JESS3 has grown by leaps and bounds. Compare it to the versions of years gone by - especially the 2008 version. How many of these channels is your credit union using? And how many of those are getting members' attention?

Do you have a Mr. (or Ms., or Mrs.) Fantastic?

Get them their very own trophy. Trophy Buffet will allow you to buy a trophy for your favorite person for whatever reason you like - some ridiculous, some worthwhile, all made with material you can write on and modify. Watch their goofy video and contribute to their Kickstarter if you believe that "everyone gets a trophy" is a good policy.

How to Avoid Becoming the Human Torch

And since this is the 2nd of July, it's a good time to remind everyone out there to be safe with their fireworks and barbecue grills. According to recent figures, firework-related injuries are down, even though there are still significant risks associated with the improper use of fireworks. 

What impressed me about this article? The number of people seriously injured due to barbecue grills every year...almost twice as many as those injured by fireworks. Maybe the family and I should just celebrate with cold foods this year. Chicken salad and popsicles, anyone? 

As we do every year, we wish all our readers and everyone out there a happy, safe Fourth of July. We also wish America a very Happy Birthday. Can you believe it? 237 years young and still going strong!


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