160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! MODESTO – Scott Peterson’s family offered a $250,000 reward Friday for information leading to an arrest in the murder of his pregnant wife. Peterson was convicted in November 2004 of killing Laci Peterson and her 8-month- old fetus. Now on Death Row at San Quentin State Prison, he has always maintained his innocence. The family is offering the reward for “specific information leading to an arrest and conviction for the abduction and murder of Laci and Conner Peterson, or for specific information leading to the exoneration and release of Scott Peterson,” according to a news release. “All of us remain deeply committed to Scott’s innocence and to finding Laci’s real killer,” Lee Peterson, Scott Peterson’s father, said. Laci Peterson was eight months pregnant when her husband reported her missing on Christmas Eve 2002. At Scott Peterson’s trial, prosecutors argued that he strangled her at the couple’s home in Modesto and then dumped her body in the bay near where Peterson claimed to have been fishing that Christmas Eve day.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to bring joy to the types of work that I, uh…don’t particularly enjoy.I’m lucky enough to often earn a living doing work that I DO enjoy. But even with a fulfilling, challenging career, there are moments I don’t relish. I’ve written extensively on this blog about the bane of invoicing, for example, and busywork always gets me down.I’m a champion procrastinator at the best of times… and my tendency towards procrastination is directly proportional to how much I’m dreading the work. Chores that should take a few unpleasant minutes get delayed hours, or even days.I’m sure that many of you are often in similar situations. Some of you, no doubt, are able to think “let’s get this over with!”, buckle down, and get your most onerous work done promptly.I appreciate and envy your self-control.I am so not of your ilk.I’ve tried self-bribery. I’ve tried self-threats. I’ve tried whining to my significant other, who inevitably tells me just to do the darned thing, already. All of these tactics are only partially effective.Ultimately, it seems that the only way I can easily do less-enjoyable work quickly… is to turn it into enjoyable work. This is an obvious solution, if not a terribly workable one – how do I turn invoicing, for example, into a pleasant task?The answer has come to me recently, and it is: silliness.The idea came to me when watching my nephew clean up his toys: one of the small chores he’s been given to increase his confidence and sense of responsibility. I watched him putter around his room, stacking Legos and pushing stuffed animals into vaguely defensible semblances of piles. As he cleaned, he sang himself a little nonsensical song.“What are you singing?” I asked him.“Oh, just a silly made-up song,” he said, “If I don’t sing, it feels like working.”… from the mouths of babes!As my nephew so wisely pointed out, part of the reason I dread unpleasant tasks so much is that they feel, so finally and absolutely, like no-fun. When I deliberately try to cultivate silliness in stupid onerous work… it magically becomes more enjoyable, and thus infinitely more do-able.I’ve started consciously building games centered around annoying tasks. I’ve had my roommates time how long it takes to do my invoices – and tried to beat my own record. I’ve started creating “Stupid Work Playlists”, full of bad pop songs, to listen to when I’m doing dull tasks. I’ve begun trying to work small internal jokes and puns into copywriting work – nothing noticeable, just done for my own amusement. I am, in short, being silly.Because I no longer view “suspending my sense of humor” as a requirement for getting dull chores done, I’ve found myself happier and bouncier while doing even the most boring work. Tasks go faster, and time drags less.Silliness, it turns out, is dreadfully, seriously important.
Youth Speaks has announced a new youth hip hop and spoken word contest and radio special called “Raise Up.”This nationwide contest is designed to use the power of spoken word and hip hop, as well as the reach of public media to foster a discussion among a diverse group of young people about their education and future aspirations. The contest will run from April 7 through June 30, 2014. The winners – chosen by a panel of judges, including Def Jam Co-Founder Russell Simmons and actress and activist Rosario Dawson, will perform at The Kennedy Center. The Raise Up project is part of American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, a public media effort to help communities address the high school dropout crisis supported by Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s (CPB).“Public media is the voice of the community, bringing in diverse perspectives and addressing critical issues through reporting and storytelling, resources for the classroom, and as a local destination for community forums and dialogue,” said Patricia Harrison, President and CEO, CPB. “The contributions of our youth are essential to the enduring prosperity of our nation. Every child wants to succeed and every child has talent to contribute. Public media will not only capture their stories but help them to participate in a bright future for themselves and our country.”“We want to hear from young people around the U.S. about the challenges they go through both individually and systemically, and we want to celebrate the successes of young people who have navigated the system and made it to graduation,” said Youth Speaks Founder and Executive Director James Kass. “Our goal is to encourage young people to raise their hands, raise their voices, raise up as an individual, raise up their schools, and ultimately use the power of their voice to help raise the rate of graduation.”Project partners include Def Jam Records Co-Founder Russell Simmons, the Association of Independents in Radio (AIR), Urban Word NYC, Young Chicago Authors, and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Other key advisors on the project include Chair of the Emerson Education Fund at the Emerson Collective in Palo Alto, CA, Russlynn Ali, and Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Director of the Educational Equity Initiative at the Institute for Sustainable Economic, Educational and Environmental Design (ISEEED) and an associate professor at San Francisco State University). Additional partners will be announced.Participation is limited to individuals ages 15 – 22. Submissions will be accepted from April 1 through June 30, 2014. All submissions will be posted on the “Raise Up” website, www.raiseupproject.org, and voted on in a three-tier judging process: the general public, a diverse group of panelists selected by Youth Speaks, and finally an esteemed panel of celebrities and youth leaders, including Russell Simmons and Rosario Dawson. Five winners will be selected. Each winner will receive $5,000 educational scholarships from the project partners and will travel to Washington, D.C. to perform at the Kennedy Center in the fall. Youth Speaks will work with the Association of Independents in Radio (AIR) to produce a corresponding two-part series that will be distributed to public radio stations nationwide.Youth Speaks will also work with public media stations in every community across the country and the organization’s extensive Brave New Voices youth network to promote the project to potential contestants. “We want to have as many young people as possible be part of the national discussion about the high school dropout crisis,” said Kass. “We believe their voices have the power to change the conversation.”For more information, please visit: www.raiseupproject.org.