Something that only happens once in a lifetime happened today - at 12:34.56 to be exact. The time and date together was 123456789. I would never have figured that out on my own if I hadn't logged onto Facebook and saw it in someone's status. What amused me was how many news outlets found this newsworthy. I had a plethora of stories to choose from, and I picked the Chicago Tribune, mainly because it was listed first.
My reliance, some might say addiction, to Facebook is another advance in my lifetime that I didn't see coming. In fact, back in 2004 when it started during my senior year of college, when someone asked me if I was on Facebook, I thought they were asking if I was in the printed version BU puts out during every class's freshman year. Over the past couple of years I have watched several friends become enamored with their iPhone. The things you can do with that phone...all of my friends who have them cannot put them down. The phrase "there's an app for that" has become commonplace. When someone told me he had an app to know when to avoid the Fenway area because Sox were in town, I incredulously asked, "There's an app for that??" (Turns out it was just an MLB app that listed your favorite team's schedule, but considering the life-altering traffic Sox games cause, I could see why he purposefully mis-used the app.).
The New York Times tech blog, GadgetWise, featured the DoGood app as its App of the Week recently. A group of University of Michigan students created the free app that lists daily random acts of kindness you can perform for others, simple things like thanking a teacher or making someone laugh. The users can then click the "done" button, so the good deeds can be tracked in quantity. You can see how many people across the country did, in fact, help an old lady across the street.
One engineering expert performed a tremendous act of kindness for his fellow passengers, as reported by the BBC. On the way to Glasgow from Menorca, vacationers were told they would have a flight delay of eight hours after a technical problem on the plane forced its grounding while an engineer was flown in from Great Britain. The man, who refused to be identified, stepped up and announced he was a qualified engineer. After a check of credentials, he was told to have at it, and he apparently fixed the problem. The flight landed in Glasgow only 35 minutes late. Having had an eight-hour delay coming home from Spain due to very same reason, I am still not sure I would like a fellow passenger to be fixing my plane, credentialed as he was...
(Image courtesy of The New York Times - and I can tell you not one of those 525 doers was from Boston...)