Mobile phone etiquette on Fox 25

March 2nd, 2011

The cell-phone etiquette interview from the Tuesday night news. I was hoping they would include the bit in which the anchor asked if cell phones weren’t depersonalizing public life, as people stood in line and checked texts or e-mail rather than saying hello to their neighbors. I broke out laughing and asked when Bostonians had ever made small talk with each other in public. But they didn’t include that bit.

“Bullying bosses” on WBZ

March 2nd, 2011

Here is a link to the “bullying bosses” segment on WBZ. Thanks to all of you who wrote in about bad bosses!

“Social Studies” on food & mood

March 1st, 2011

Did my regular gig on WGBH Radio today — a segment on the psychology of food and healthy eating. I’ll blog a bit more about this topic later in the week, too — I did a lot of research that I didn’t get to talk about on-air!

Politics & families

February 9th, 2011

I did my “Social Studies” segment on WGBH Radio yesterday on the topic of politics and families. It was a call-in segment, so it got rather entertaining. You can listen to it here.

For whatever it’s worth, I get more complaints from liberals about being teased/bullied by conservative relatives than the reverse. (The only person who’s ever ended a friendship with me over politics was to the left of me.)

“Social Studies”

December 14th, 2010

Here’s my segment from WGBH’s Radio’s “Emily Rooney Show,” taking questions about holiday etiquette and psychological findings about gift cards, cinnamon, and Christmas music:

UPDATE: No “Miss Manners” event

November 15th, 2010

Hey, all. As it turns out, I’m not going to be at the Jewish Book Fair this Sunday (November 21) after all. Miss Manners was not able to come, and they very much wanted it to be a joint appearance. Alas!

“Social Studies”

November 11th, 2010

Here’s my “Social Studies” segment from yesterday’s Emily Rooney show on WGBH radio. I talk about getting ready for winter, the demonization of smokers, and the handshake heard ’round the world.

Yet another storytelling event

October 22nd, 2010

This Tuesday, October 26, I’ll be one of the judges at a storytelling slam at Johnny D’s in Davis Square. The slam starts at 8:00 pm (signup begins at 7:30) and tickets are $8 — free for Somerville residents with a story to tell! More info here.

The slam is on the theme of “Horrified!” — nicely specific yet open-ended, that — and is hosted by Massmouth. From the press release:

Many things may make us horrified, from medical to the media, social and political, culinary, natural and macabre. On October 26th, ten intrepid contestants will strut, before judges and audience, their best 5-minute tale on the “horrified!” theme for laughs, gasps and prizes. First prize: a $50 Johnny D’s gift certificate. For contestant tips & coaching, visit: http://massmouth.ning.com/. In between, audience members may participate in story games, Halloween riddles & who-knows-what-all-other surprises. Make reservations @ Johnny D’s for a great dinner & the best seats!

What’s your best five-minute story of a time when you were horrified? Come tell us!

My stage debut

October 21st, 2010

How’s your Halloween weekend shaping up? If you have no plans for next Friday night, come see me in “The Big Broadcast of 1946,” a live radio extravaganza at the Somerville Theater in Davis Square. The show runs October 28-31 (Thursday through Saturday evenings; Sunday matinee) and the Friday, October 29 performance will star your very own Miss Conduct in the illustrious role of “Bar Patron.” (Since the show is set in 1946, I’ll be rocking the Rosie the Riveter look.)

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

Except for the two comps I have, which are free! I’m going to give these to the first person who asks. The tickets are good for any performance, though of course I hope you’ll come see mine!. And, on the honor system, if you’ve won tickets before, let someone else have a chance. (If they’re not gone in a day or two I’ll open it up to everyone.)

And if you have no plans on Halloween night itself, come to W00tstock! Mr. Improbable will be an entertainer there, and I’ll be in my flapper gear. We’re not quite sure what W00tstock is, but we’re looking forward to it!

“Social Studies” on WGBH

October 20th, 2010

Here’s my segment on WGBH, as referred to yesterday. Enjoy! (No, there isn’t any picture, because it’s radio.)

WGBH

October 5th, 2010

Hey, Bostonians — I’m going to be doing regular appearances on WGBH Radio’s “Emily Rooney Show.” I’ll be on every three weeks or so, on a segment called “Social Studies,” in which I will discuss recent findings in the social sciences, analyze pop culture and current events from a psychological point of view, and take listener questions. Here’s my most recent segment from last Thursday, talking about — what else? — the Ig Nobels. (No, you can’t see anything. It’s radio.)

Miss Manners and Miss Conduct!

September 20th, 2010

Hey everyone! I’m going to be appearing with Miss Manners (aka Judith Martin) at the JCC Boston Jewish Book Fair Festival Day on November 21! Mark your calendars now! From the website:

Join the arbiters of manners, conduct and decorum, Judith Martin (Miss Manners) and Boston Globe columnist Robin Abrahams (Miss Conduct) as they discuss Martin’s latest book on weddings, dish on today’s manners (or lack thereof) and solve the perennial dilemma about which fork to use.*

The entire event sounds really great, with a lot of wonderful authors. There’s something about the juxtaposed pictures of Ms. Martin and me on the event website that make us look as though we’re going to be fiercely debating one another, with her on the side of engraved wedding invitations and duck a l’orange and me on the side of Facebook and Trader Joe’s. Somehow, I doubt it will wind up that way.

But you never know! Could be a catfight! You don’t want to miss that, boys, do you?

*I do not understand this last clause. There is no dilemma about which fork to use.

Reminder: “Man in the White Suit” event

September 6th, 2010


Around Boston? Got plans? Coolidge Corner’s “Science on Screen” series will kick off tonight at 7pm with a showing of the classic Alec Guinness comedy “The Man in the White Suit,” followed by a brief discussion led by Mr. Improbable (the man in the self-perfuming suit) and Daniel Rosenberg (the man in the white lab coat) and featuring Jim Bredt as the man in the silver suit and Miss Conduct as the woman in the little black dress.

Come on down, check out the sale books at Brookline Booksmith, come see the movie and say hi, and enjoy an ice cream on the last night of summer.

Yet more dry, classic comedy

August 19th, 2010

If you’ve been enjoying the Parker and Saki references of late — their succinct wit, their keen social observations — you might also enjoy the classic movie “The Man in the White Suit”:

Alec Guinness delivers one of his most beloved performances in this smart satirical comedy that pits a mild-mannered but single-minded inventor against the forces of Britain’s textile industry. Sidney Stratton (Guinness) is a brilliant if under appreciated research chemist on a quest to bring progress to mankind by inventing a new kind of fabric that never gets dirty and never wears out. When he finally succeeds, he is hailed a genius. But both textile manufacturers and labor unions soon come to realize that his miracle cloth could destroy their industry, and resort to desperate measures to make sure his invention never gets to market.

“Man in the White Suit” is going to kick off Coolidge Corner’s “Science on Screen” series on September 6, and will feature a post-show talkback featuring Mr. Improbable himself. Check out the theater’s description- — they’ve got a great page, including a trailer from the film — and perhaps I’ll see you there, yes?

Boston radio roundup

August 3rd, 2010

I’ve got a bit of radio coming up in the Boston area over the next couple of days. Today (Tuesday) I’ll be doing the Emily Rooney Show on WGBH 89.7 FM Tuesday, between 12:30-1:00 pm EST, almost immediately followed by the Dean Johnson Show on WCAP 980 AM from about 1:20-2:00 pm.

If you don’t catch the Rooney show, you can listen to the podcast later — if you don’t catch WCAP, tune in next week, because I have a regular appearance on Tuesdays.

Tomorrow, I’ll be on the Peter Blute Show on WCRN 830 AM between 8:30-9:00 am. This is also a semi-regular appearance, more or less every other Wednesday.

… and of course I’ll be chatting live with you online, tomorrow from noon-1:00 p.m. on boston.com. And you’re the very best of all.