Tags Posts tagged with "Twitter"


Elon Musk. Pixabay photo

By Daniel Dunaief

Daniel Dunaief

Our story begins some time around now. No, there’s no chocolate, despite the season, and there’s no meadow where everything is edible.

No, our modern-day story begins where so much of us live these days, online.

You see, a famous and once marvelous company called Twitter is run by an eccentric, wealthy and successful businessman named Elon Musk, who somehow figured out how to create and mass produce electric cars that require no gas and that sound like spaceships.

Musk has decided, after many hours of running Twitter, that he needs to find a successor.

So, borrowing a page from Willy Wonka, he provides invitations that cost 3 cents per tweet to enter a sweepstakes.

When he narrows the field down to those who get the golden tweet, he plans to invite a group of five people to come to a virtual, top secret Twitter tour.

A few people try to make fake tickets, but the ever vigilant Musk spots the fraud. Day after day, people wait until, finally, five people, some of whom have never tweeted in their lives, have a chance to run the company.

Musk appears on screen wearing a top hat and a menacing smile. He demands that no one record what they see or take a screenshot of the secrets he is prepared to share.

Each person has a tiny image — about 1/4 the size of Musk’s — as they virtually walk through a factory floor.

On the first stop, Musk invites them to join him in the secret Hunter Biden/ New York Post room. Ah, yes, the story about the infamous laptop, which will undoubtedly become a part of an extensive investigation into the Biden progeny, is in this room.

“Don’t try to read anything!” he snaps.

But, of course, one of the contestants can’t resist. With a special tool that tracks eye movements, Musk knows that contestant No. 1, who is chewing gum constantly, is trying to decipher all the information. Her screen develops a horrible virus that turns it (and her entire computer) purple.

“You see?” he says, shaking his virtual head at the other small characters. “That’s what you get when you don’t listen. Oh, look, here they come now.”

Wearing virtual clothing embroidered with the Tesla logo, a modern day group of Oompa-Loompas appears on screen.

“Oompa, loompa, doompa dee do.

I’ve got another riddle for you.

Oompa loompa, doompa dee dee

if you are wise, you’ll listen to me.

What do you get when you don’t listen to Musk?

A virus on your computer that will kill it before dusk.

Who do you think should have the last laugh?

It certainly won’t be you or your staff.

Take a moment to ponder this fact,

Running Twitter may take too much tact.”

“Well,” Musk interrupts, waving away the virtual characters. “That’s enough of that. Now, let’s go for a virtual boat ride.”

In everyone steps as a boat careens through a choppy river, passing one door after another, with the names of celebrities who have been suspended hanging from each virtual room.

The boat stops near an embankment. The Musk character invites his guests to look at some special doors.

When he turns around, his virtual eyes widen in shock, his lower jaw drops down to his knees, and he hunches his shoulders.

“How? What? Wait, what’s going on?” he stammers, looking closely at the faces of his remaining four contestants.

Sure enough, on screen, Musk recognizes that two of the faces are the same as his, while the other two look like versions of Donald Trump.

“No, but, I made this game,” he whines. “How will we find out who wins?”

“Ah,” one of the Trumps says. “For that, you’ll have to tune into the sequel, which will only cost $99 and will become a collector’s item in no time.”

by -
0 1057

Verbs await like a collection of colors, quivering, shaking and jumping on their palettes to define and describe the unfolding scene.

What verbs will we use to describe the future president of the United States, whose name itself can be a verb?

Well, for starters, he tweets. We know that fact through his candidacy and it’s a pattern that continues now that he is assembling a cabinet and as he awaits his turn as president. His tweets represent his direct-to-the-people message, cutting out the middle man of the media. As with pharmaceutical companies that market their products directly to consumers, sometimes Trump’s tweet messages, which crackle like thunderbolts from his fingers, should come with a warning. For example, “Don’t operate heavy equipment while listening to these tweets, which may cause shortness of breath,” or, “If you find yourself shouting approval or disapproval in response to these tweets, try not to read them in church, in a library or any place where shouting could cause a crisis.”

When he communicates with the populace, with American leaders or with foreign leaders, what verbs will fill the canvas?

He often seems to warn, to threaten and to demand. Maybe he believes American greatness starts with a tough president who insists America and its interests go directly to the front of any line.

In recent days, he has weighed in on the discussion about the election, claiming widespread voter fraud prevented him from winning the popular vote “beauty contest.”

Through his tweets, he also leveled attacks against reporters he derides for disagreeing with him.

I get it: As an agent of change, Trump may feel it’s his job not to highlight everything that’s going well with the country or to shout encouragement. That, he may believe, would be like telling a kid who has struck out continuously that he’s having a great game.

Shifting from the visuals of colors on a page to the sounds at a pep rally, will the Trump presidency repeat similar notes with a single tone? Will he continue to castigate, to criticize, to claim and to attack? Those are just a few of the verbs that describe the approach Candidate Trump took on the contentious campaign trail.

At some point, does President Trump become like a strong-willed character in a compelling novel? Will his experiences enable him to make a transition to becoming a president who emits a different tone and who leads to a symphony of greatness that comes from every part of the country?

Will the cajoling, the criticizing and the arguing transition to educating, inspiring and elevating? Yes, I know his approach and policies may help educate more Americans and may help bridge the gap between the testing levels American students reach compared with students in other nations.

Certainly, as Trump demonstrated during his campaign stops, he can and has rallied people. What actions, what verbs, will describe the way Americans and, indeed, people around the world, react to his message? As an agent of change after the polished rhetoric of President Obama, Trump may not want to compete and, indeed, may sprint away from the pontifications his predecessor proffered.

That, however, doesn’t preclude Trump from the kinds of verbs we hope we can employ to fill the pages of the next four years. Will he encourage, empower and reassure Americans about the government that supports, protects and serves them?

by -
0 1514
Owen McAvoy gets checked while trying to create an open lane during Ward Melville's semifinal win over Lakeland-Panas. Photo by Bill Landon

Ward Melville is used to playing defense — it’s the name of the Patriots’ game.

But the boys’ lacrosse team became fatigued as Victor High School’s faceoff specialist T.D. Ierlan won 13 of 16 draws to give the undefeated Blue Devils a huge advantage in time of possession, and ultimately lead them to a comeback win in the New York State Class A final, 7-5, Saturday afternoon at Middletown High School.

Dylan Pallonetti drives to the crease during Ward Melville's semifinal win over Lakeland-Panas. Photo by Bill Landon
Dylan Pallonetti drives to the crease during Ward Melville’s semifinal win over Lakeland-Panas. Photo by Bill Landon

“It sucks when you know you’re in the good old days yet it still flies by,” senior midfielder and attack Owen McAvoy lamented on Twitter following the loss. “I’ll never forget this team.”

With 5:35 left in the first quarter, Ward Melville freshman attack Dylan Pallonetti put his team on the board, followed by junior attack Dominic Pryor, who found the back of the net from the left side of the cage, to give the Patriots a 2-0 lead after 12 minutes.

Senior attack and midfielder Connor Grippe bounced in a good goal before Victor scored unassisted with its first goal of the game for a 3-1 halftime advantage over a team that averaged 16 goals per game up to that point.

Victor proved why it is undefeated though, and scored three unanswered goals before Grippe moved the ball to the middle and stretched the netting unassisted, to knot the game at four goals apiece with 5:08 left in the third.

The teams remained in a stalemate until the fourth, when junior attack Eddie Munoz rocketed a shot between the pipes from up top to give the Patriots a 5-4 advantage, but again, the Blue Devils proved what they are really made of.

The Patriots went over eight minutes without an offensive touch, and tried four different guys at faceoff, but couldn’t get the ball. The Blue Devils rallied back with three more unanswered scores for the win.

“And just like that, my high school sports days are over,” senior defender John Day posted on Twitter. “It’s been real, Melville.”

Chirs Grillo fires at the cage for the score in Ward Melville's semifinal win over Lakeland-Panas. Photo by Bill Landon
Chirs Grillo fires at the cage for the score in Ward Melville’s semifinal win over Lakeland-Panas. Photo by Bill Landon

Victor, which was the Class B state champion last year with a win over Manhasset, proved that moving up a class could not bring the team down, as the Blue Devils are currently riding a 44-game winning steak into next season.

Maryann Holsberg took to Twitter to voice her opinion of Ward Melville this season.

“[Ward Melville lacrosse], [Connor Grippe], you played with heart and made the Patriots family proud,” she wrote.

Senior defender Sean Thornton also lamented about the fact that the Patriots’ defensive unit will be split up next year.

“I don’t wanna believe that I just had my last high school lacrosse game today,” he wrote. “Love you boys.”

Despite the loss, and the many losses Ward Melville may realize next year without its 16 seniors it will have to replace following graduation this June, some of those current seniors are confident in the team’s ability to get back to the state finals next season.

“Thank you for the memories,” senior attack Chris Grillo wrote. “I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with any other group of guys. Take it down next year boys.”