Ferris Bueller and Friends Tweet and Use FourSquare…for an Afternoon

If you’re reading this now, you missed it. An excellent play on Twitter and Foursquare reenacting everybody’s favorite movie from the ’80s — a modern classic — Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

The premise: On May 7, @ferris_bueller appeared on Twitter and began tweeting lines of dialogue from the movie and assorted asides. Other characters like Sloane Peterson (Ferris’ girlfriend), Jeannie Bueller (his sister), Mr. Rooney (the dastardly school principal) and eventually even best friend Cameron and Abe Froman (the Sausage King of Chicago) joined in. (As of this morning, Froman is still tweeting (@FromanSausage).

A Foursquare account was added along the way, and eventually Ferris checked in at Wrigley Field (natch).

And then, according to TechCrunch, just as suddenly as it started, Ferris Bueller’s day on Twitter ended. A final tweet from our hero: “You’re still here? It’s over. Go home…. Go.”

Source: TechCrunch

Green Card Victory for Same-Sex Binational Couple Takes 30 Years

Congratulations to two of Out4Immigration’s long-time supporters, Mel & Geert! After many years, Geert received his green card last month. This same-sex binational couple (Geert, at the right is from The Netherlands, and Mel, at left, is an American citizen) have been together for more than 30 years. Together they have navigated the US immigration system through many twists and turns, including the HIV travel ban. The lifting of the ban earlier this year, made Geert’s green card application possible.

Geert & Mel specifically thank all those who write letters and call Congress every week for all you do to keep equal immigration rights and the need for the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) in front of those who can make a difference. The couple also are greatly indebted to their Congresswoman, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA-9) for her ceaseless support of UAFA and LGBT immigration rights. (Read more)

Photo by KazzaDrask Media.

Obama on iPods, iPads, Xboxes: “Information Becomes a Distraction”

In case you missed President Obama’s remarks about our beloved gadgets this weekend to the 2010 graduates of Hampton University in Virginia, here’s what he said:

“And with iPods and iPads, and Xboxes and PlayStations — none of which I know how to work — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation…. So all of this is not only putting pressure on you; it’s putting new pressure on our country and on our democracy.”

We know he’s right. Silicon Valley and the world’s other tech hubs have made the way we get information (and oftentimes misinformation) fun. But where are the tools that will help these college grads, younger students and us out there in the workforce (or beyond) manage what we receive, retain what’s needed, circulate what’s useful and dismiss in a timely fashion what’s not? That truly is a challenge for this decade and Web 3.0.

Source: Washington Post

Never Forget to Pay a Parking Ticket Again: Parkzing

Living in one of these hard-to-park-in big cities like San Francisco, New York, D.C. or Chicago, parking tickets aren’t just an annoyance, they’re a way of life. With the big cities (and the smaller ones) strapped for cash, mayors are making meter maids work harder to ticket more cars per shift for a steady stream of revenue. The more parking tickets become a way of life, the more they get ignored — and the more they get ignored, the more the late fees and penalties add up. Your city gets a shot in the arm, and if you’re particularly unlucky (or forgetful) your car gets the boot.

Parkzing will remind you to pay your tickets so you don’t have to remind yourself. Enter your email address, city and license plate into their system and get a friendly email reminder that you owe some dough for overstaying that meter last week, or worse — double parked in a fire truck in front of hydrant. Whatever the non-moving violation, they will remind you so you won’t incur late fees or penalties.

Only available in San Francisco, New York, D.C. and Chicago right now, but taking requests for other cities. Sign up or request your city join the Parkzing community at this link. A simple technology for the rest of us.

Source: VentureBeat

Twitter in America: Recent Trends

Edison Research/Arbitron Internet and Multimedia Series has just published the findings of a 3-year study tracking Americans and the social media tool Twitter.

Two years ago, less than 5% of Americans had even heard of Twitter, much less knew hot to “tweet”. Today 87% of Americans have some idea about the concept (although only 7% of us actively do something about it — i.e., use a Twitter account).

Mashable has the skinny on a few other useful findings from the report that may encourage others to take the plunge into the Twitterverse. For example,

* African Americans account for 25% of the Twitter population, which is double the percentage of African Americans living in the US.
* Twitter users are more likely to live in higher income households.
* Four in 10 Twitter users (39%) own three or more computers.
* Twitter users are three times more likely to follow brands on Twitter than on other social networking sites.
* Less than half of regular Twitter users post updates (47%), although 70% of these same Twitter users do post status updates to other social networking services like Facebook.

And one more item of interest from the report itself: Those 87% of Americans who have heard of Twitter trail those Americans who have heard of Facebook by a mere 1%. That’s right — 88% of Americans know about Facebook. The differences though come in the number who maintain an account. While just 7% of us actively use Twitter, 41% of us maintain a profile on Facebook.

Viral Betty: Betty White to Host This Week’s Saturday Night Live

The viral social media campaign to get 88-year-old actress Betty White to host Saturday Night Live has been a success! More than 500,000 Facebook fans and countless of others on Twitter have achieved what may be the first viral fan wish heard by network TV. This Saturday night, May 8, Betty White will walk onto the SNL stage and deliver the opening monologue. White commits to just one thing, there will be “very little nudity.”

Musical guest Jay-Z and SNL female alums Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Molly Shannon and more will join White, star of TV sitcoms like “The Golden Girls” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, who has had a recent resurgence in films. When asked by “Today Show” co-host Meredith Vieira where she’s been lately, White replied, “”I didn’t know I’d ever been away.”

Tune in (or set the DVR) for Saturday Night Live, May 8, 11:30 pm.

People magazine.

Upshot: Read a review of the show the morning after, May 9, 2010 on Ken Tucker’s TV on EW.com ‘Saturday Night Live’ Recap: Betty White was funny, vulgar, and totally charming (lots of good video clips).

Immigration Issues Are LGBT Issues

Following May Day worker/immigrant rights’ marches around the country on Saturday, George Perezvelez reminds us that “immigration issues are LGBT issues” in an Examiner.com story. In San Francisco and New York, groups that advocate for same-sex binational couple immigration rights like Out4Immigration and Immigration Equality were there to show how badly the US immigration system needs to be fixed. Because right now, if you are a gay or lesbian American in a relationship with a person from another country, the US immigration system does not recognize your relationship. You are legal strangers. And you have very few avenues available to staying together legally in America.

Perezvelez writes,

Discrimination comes in different shades and forms. Adoption of the Permanent Immigration Act, reintroduced in 2005 in the House and the Senate under it’s new name, the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) must be a priority. This legislation has been stalled for 5 years and is overdue.

As more and more states move to adopting legislation recognizing Civil Unions (last one to do so was the State of Hawaii) to states in which marriage is legal … to implementation of Domestic Partnership Ordinances, the failure of the Federal Government to accept State’s rights on this issue and the adoption of DOMA, have made it impossible for LGBT members in committed relationships regardless of their marriage and/or partnership status to come together and live as one in the United States. This discriminatory practice is not even an issue to heterosexual couples from different countries with spouses/loved ones in the US.

Are equal protection clauses and rights under the US Constitution only applicable to a certain number of people in our communities and nation? Is the road to enlightenment so narrow that we continue to marginalize elements within our society we are either to afraid to understand or accept? Isn’t diversity what has made our country great throughout our history?

Immigration policies must be rooted in common sense, compassion and practicality.

And so should other laws like the right to serve your country, the right to not be discriminated against in the workplace and the right to share your life –safely and legally — with the person you love. (Read more)

Note: In San Francisco, special thanks to the One Struggle One Fight contingent for showing LGBT solidarity with the immigrant community at the May Day march and rally. OSOF carried a large rainbow flag that said “We Are All Human Beings”. Check out the photos above by KazzaDrask Media.