Here’s your brain on social media

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Autographed photos will be available soon. Keep watching A Brand New Day for announcements about this and other Sammie memorabilia which may be made available.

Yo, it’s Chat Day.

We have a few things to address, but ...

Apologies to those letter writers who insist I should keep prattling on about Sammie the World’s Greatest Cat.

I just can’t do it every week, you feline lovers.

So you know, however, moments ago Sammie took a break from guzzling water out of the kitchen faucet to say hi to her fans.

Autographed photos will be available soon.

Now to business...

ITEM: State Representative (and likely soon-to-be-senator) Don Cheatham says that loophole risking mental health for our first responders is going to be fixed.

The Post Falls Republican claims there’s solid interest here in the north, in Boise and elsewhere in the state for making an adjustment to workers’ comp regulations.

“Quite a few legislators are behind this,” Cheatham said. “I think among our group in the county, Paul Amador (R-Coeur d’Alene) has become most familiar with the details — but with so many advocates, I’m pretty sure this error on PTSD will be changed.”

In case you don’t remember, Idaho’s workers’ comp law requires that you must incur physical injury to be eligible for financial help.

As medical science understands more and more about PTSD and the dangers to first responders, various other laws may need adjusting to protect them.

ITEM: One downer since I’ve moved to idyllic Twin Lakes Village is that I’m not exposed to the hustle and bustle of city life on a day-to-day basis.

So maybe I’m missing some of the obvious growth issues that are occurring as Kootenai County booms.

Reader Cynthia Marlette, for instance, says the number of sirens she’s hearing has jumped up noticeably.

“It’s 7 a.m. and the daily rash of sirens has already started,” Cynthia wrote. “Some days our community sounds like NYC. Blaring fire truck sirens, along with support vehicles, fill the air with alarmingly more frequency.

“That much screaming used to mean a front page newspaper article the next morning, reporting some horrible, tragic accident. But usually there is little information to explain all the previous day’s alarms.

“I have the utmost respect for emergency responders and know they are only doing their job. I just wonder why the uptick in calls that require so many sirens.

“Is it normal for a community this size? Is there any solution to the noise problem?”

Good question.

Answers, anyone?

ITEM: Josh Misner, that bright and humorous communications prof at NIC, recently authored a Facebook post about imagining a college dialogue being lifted straight into the real world.

I laughed for five solid minutes when I read it.

Here you go ...

“If real-life discussions worked like college discussion boards, you could have this,” Josh wrote, providing a funny but plausible example …

JOSH: “I read an interesting article today on what social media is doing to our brains.

“It suggested that, with all the information at our fingertips, we are essentially losing our ability to think critically.

“Instead, we’re starting to act like human search engines with no critical thought whatsoever.”

OTHER PERSON: “Wow, I really like what you said there. It’s pretty awesome you found that article the way you did. I agree completely. Thanks for saying what you said. I got a lot out of it.”

ITEM: By popular demand, here are a couple more hilarious newspaper headlines (not ours, thank heaven) submitted by Press historian Syd Albright.

Take it away, Cyanide Syd ...

“Worker Suffers Leg Pain after Crane Drops 800-pound Ball on His Head.”

“Starvation Can Lead to Health Hazards.”

Thank you with another deep bow to Syd. Thanks to Josh, Cynthia and soon-to-be Senator Don. And reluctantly, to Mark Zuckerberg.

Bouquets to all of you for being a great audience.

Sammie and I will be here again next Wednesday, but ...

Now it’s time for Celine Dion.

Give her a warm welcome.


Steve Cameron and Sammie the Cat are columnists for The Press.

A Brand New Day appears Wednesday through Saturday each week, if Sammie’s schedule is clear. Steve’s sports column runs on Tuesday.



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