Facebook the Nation

By Larry Teren


Ma called the other day to ask a question. Our conversation went like this:

Ma: what’s an IPO?

Me: oh, you must have heard about Facebook, the number one social media company. An IPO means an initial public offering. It’s when a company decides to open up ownership through stock shares to the general public and not just officers and employees of the company.

Ma: uh, huh. How come Facebook is in trouble with their IPO? Continue reading “Facebook the Nation”

A Tale of Two Immigrants

By Larry Teren


Some immigration stories turn out well; others, just plain make you shake your head.  Take these two people and learn from them:  Gac Filipat (pronounced Gus Felipi) and Eduardo Saverin.

Mr. Filipat came to this country from Yugoslavia twenty years ago. He took a job as a custodian at Columbia University because they offered up to fourteen free college credits a year for employees. Columbia only accepts ten percent of applicants a year. He took them up on it while he went about his business of cleaning toilets and the like. By the way, a full year’s tuition at Columbia as of 2011 was pegged at $45,290. Slightly more than half the students were entitled to some type of financial assistance to a maximum of $40,259.

Gac came to this country speaking little English but ended up taking a heavy dose of English literature classics. He has fulfilled only half of his dream. He intends to stay on as a custodian and continue with graduate courses which are also payment exempt for employees. Not bad for a man of 52, huh? Continue reading “A Tale of Two Immigrants”

As You Like It

Grammarians aren’t happy when we confuse the word ‘like’ with ‘as’. No, they don’t like it at all- or should I say they don’t ‘as’ it?

Today, the word ”like” has become synonymous with the Facebook website. It is a simple link identifier for expressing pleasure with someone’s presentation on their Facebook wall or to even an external site that links back to it. Most website score-keeping used to be a matter of clicking YES or NO. Facebook decided that it was bad manners for visitors to take an extremist position. The new opportunity for expression has become LIKE. To be fair, they give the visitor a chance to change his or her mind and take it all back by clicking UNLIKE.
Continue reading “As You Like It”

History Is For People Who Live In The Past

My editor, an unnamed relative, says that History is for those who want to live in the past so I should write in the past- that is, past tense. My brother, I mean editor, doesn’t like me using what is called historical present when I do my storytelling. I ask him if he ever hears of Damon Runyon as the guy has made quite a living doing just that. He then throws out names like Saroyan, Benchley, Thurber and Perlman and said that they never wrote in such a mixed up way. So I tell him I am writing in the vernacular. He said it is more like the vehicular- with all my run-on thoughts.
Continue reading “History Is For People Who Live In The Past”