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Connecting the dots.

Essays about how we communicate and why it matters.

Cultural Context and The Rise of Instant Brands


Posted on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 by Shelley Cowan

Baby Boomers first experienced the promise of instant delivery in the 60s, when Polaroid introduced its Swinger to the mass market. The notion of instant expanded from there, as one professional sport after another adopted instant replay to settle disputes and camera manufacturers offered digital images in place of film.  ..

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Welcome to the Inner City


Posted on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 by Shelley Cowan

Last Friday, when I learned of the renewed investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails, I knew I’d be spending Saturday knocking on doors. I wanted to do my part, and was eager to know if the latest news had changed anyone’s mind.  ..

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Crossing in Droves


Posted on Saturday, November 28, 2015 by Shelley Cowan

As I watched the fear generated by the attacks in Paris morph into fear of Syrian refugees in America, I was curious to know more about Americans’ reactions to immigration over the years.  ..

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Core Strength


Posted on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 by Shelley Cowan

Earlier this spring, we drove to Milwaukee to see Hal Holbrook in his one-man performance of Mark Twain Tonight, a series of dramatic recitations from the writings of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, aka Mark Twain. ..

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Je Suis Not Quite Sure


Posted on Sunday, January 11, 2015 by Shelley Cowan

At first, I thought Charlie Hebdo was the magazine's editor. As I learned the facts, grasped the horror and listened to the stories I kept returning to conflicting thoughts about terrorism, free speech and the power of pictures and words. ..

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Leaving the Catbird's Seat


Posted on Friday, October 17, 2014 by Shelley Cowan

After 20 years of working with presidents, C-everything and a lot of other smart people, I began to wonder if I’d learned anything. So last year I stopped working as a consultant and started working in the family business.  ..

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Customer Service and Michael Moore


Posted on Sunday, July 13, 2014 by Shelley Cowan

Twenty years ago, filmmaker Michael Moore launched a show called TV Nation. I vividly remember the CEO Challenge episode. He stood outside of corporate headquarters and called for CEOs to perform tasks appropriate to the products they sold.  ..

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Another Polar Vortex? Time to reread The Tempest.


Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 by Shelley Cowan

It’s been quite a year: Record cold, snow and ice throughout the eastern U.S. California faces catastrophic drought; southern England was battered by wind and rain; volcanoes devastated Indonesia. And high above the earth, clear air turbulence played havoc with jet planes.  ..

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