This is not an exit

November news roundup: Week 2

In Uncategorized on November 15, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Here it is: your weekly news roundup for the second week in November. I should have had this done yesterday, but better late than never, right?

Last week, Facebook earned rights as a water cooler, video games come one step closer to world domination and a once controversial project in my hometown breaks ground after the dust has finally settled.

So, without further ado, here are my favorite stories from last week. What are some of yours? Feel free to post in the comments.

Company accused of firing over Facebook post
Steven Greenhouse | The New York Times

Have you ever logged onto Facebook only to be horrified by a notification alerting you to a highly inflammatory comment a co-worker left about your boss? Well, the National Labor Relations Board says you shouldn’t have to — at least not for fear of being fired, that is. And as long as your co-worker has a valid point.

Yes, it seems that the rules that apply at the water cooler are valid online, as well. The board ruled that employees’ Facebook conduct falls within the protection of the National Labor Relations Act. You know, the piece of legislation that says you can criticize your bosses without fear of being fired so long as you have a valid point.

This case doesn’t bring a monumental decision, nor does it tell us anything we don’t already know. Rather, it slightly emphasizes just how much access people have to your life when you announce it online.

Spanish neighborhood unveils ‘Super Mario Street’
Catherine E. Shoichet | CNN

It’s called Avenida de Super Mario Bros. and it’s in the suburb of Zaragoza in northeast Spain. One day I will live there.

City officials say folks can expect more of the same in the coming years, with plans to name streets after The Legend of Zelda, Sonic the Hedgehog and Space Invaders franchises.

Of course, those same people admit this is sort of a publicity stunt. They hope the media attention puts the project on the fast track in order to meet a completion deadline of June 2012.

The naming of the street also happened to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the release of Super Mario Bros. in Japan. Before Wii Sports came along, SMB was the best-selling video game of all time.

Similar events went down across the nation, most notably at the Nintendo World Store in New York City.

As a video game enthusiast, it’s nice to see that a hobby that was once looked down on is finally being taken seriously the world over. After all, video games are a multi-billion dollar industry these days.

St. James begins expansion project
Molly Walker | The News-Register

Earlier this year, St. James Catholic Church in McMinnville, Ore. announced it would renovate its digs on First Street in order to double its capacity. This would effectively double the church’s capacity and allow it to cut back from eight services to five,  giving pastors a reprieve from demanding schedules.

In order to properly finance the project, St. James officials announced they’d be shutting down San Martin de Porres, a satellite mission in Dayton. It turned into a David vs. Goliath of sorts, with a member of the San Martin congregation going so far as to appeal the decision directly to the Vatican.

No go.

The folks out there told San Martin’s delegation to take care of it locally. Fate later smiled upon the Dayton misison in September when Del Smith, the patriarch of Evergreen Aviation, donated the funds St. James needed to finish the project in order to spare the congregation.

So San Martin was spared and St. James has started its renovation. Everybody wins!

You gotta love community journalism.

  1. Personally, I feel like employees should be allowed to make inflammatory remarks even if they aren’t valid, which is a fairly subjective evaluation anyway.

    Skippable rant paragraph: Facebook is a social device, not a professional one, and anything acceptable in public (off the clock) should be acceptable online. It’s implicit in the service that if you make a comment to a friend, it’s a simple act of communication; what isn’t implicit, but everyone knows anyway, is that many other people can see your post, depending on your friend’s privacy settings. What Facebook needs to do is allow a lot more basic options. They allow user-determined “groups” for selective privacy of photos, and for a socializing network, it’s almost absurd that the option doesn’t extend to specific comments or status updates.

    The short version, of course, being that you’re an idiot if you think making inflammatory remarks about your boss, valid or not, is going to go unnoticed. There’s how a socializing service should logically be run, and there’s reality.

    Del Smith swoops in for the rescue, huh? I wonder… if there’s a Popemobile, is there a Popewing too? Although it might be a little more dangerous sticking His Eminence in a glass display case six miles above the ground, as opposed to one rolling down the street… and he’d only be on display for his boss THAT high up.

    Someday there will be a coffee shop where you can buy Deku Seed Cake or Zora Coffee. And I will eat there every day.

But what do YOU think?

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