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Today's word on journalism

May 8, 2009

The Last WORD

The Fat Lady Sings, Off-Key, Drools

At about this time every year, like the swallows to Capistrano or the buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio, the WORD migrates to its summer musing grounds at the sanitarium —St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose.

The reason is clear, and never moreso than as this season —the WORD's 13th —peters out.

It's been a fraught year of high palaver and eye-popping transition, both good and not-so-much. An interminable presidential campaign saga finally did end, and in extraordinary and historic fashion. Meanwhile, the bottom and everything that's below the bottom fell out of the economy, with families, homes, entire industries and —of particular interest to WORDsters and the civic-minded —dozens of daily newspapers ("I don't so much mind that newspapers are dying--it's watching them commit suicide that pisses me off." --Molly Ivins). . . all evaporating. What replaces them, from the individual to the institutional to the societal? Are we looking at a future of in-depth Tweeting?

As any newsperson or firehorse knows, it's hard to turn your back on day-to-day catastrophe --we just have to look at the car wreck. But even the most deranged and driven need a rest. As philosopher Lilly Tomlin once observed, "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."

So this morning, as a near-frost hovered over northern Utah, the unmarked van pulled into the driveway and the gentle, soft-spoken men in the white coats rolled the WORD out of bed and into a straitjacket for the usual summer trip to St. Mumbles, where the blathering one will be assigned a hammock and fed soothing, healthy foods --like tapioca, dog biscuits and salmon --while recharging the essential muscles of cynicism, outrage, sarcasm, social engagement and high-mindedness, in preparation for the next edition.
Summer well, friends.

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Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Utah entrepreneur to E-Week seminar: 'Don't let fear stop you'

By Candice Mattson

April 10, 2009 | LOGAN -- Jeremy Hanks, a successful entrepreneur, was one of the Partners in Business seminar speakers on Thursday. A BYU alum, he focused his talk on his "adventures in entrepreneurship."

He compared his adventures in entrepreneurship to his outdoors adventures and said they are similar in many ways, one being both types of adventures require work.

"I think it's hard work. I think it's really hard work," Hanks said about starting a business. He said that many Americans have a dream to start a business, but fear is holding them back.

"Fear of risk keeps us from taking the risk," he added. Hanks said that although the current economy might be tough, it shouldn't deter people from accomplishing their dreams. Many of the largest companies in the world were started during tough times, such as IBM, UPS, Disney and Microsoft.

"I don't think it's coincidence," he said, saying that many of these companies had very humble beginnings.

Hanks' speech was part of E-week, a week-long event focused on entrepreneurship which gives encouragement and ideas to anyone who has considered starting a business. It is sponsored by the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business.

He also shared his five rules for adventurous entrepreneurship: leap before you look, it's all about focus, be fanatical, there are no roadblocks, only hurdles, and success is a series of summits.

"At the end of the day, I believe if you try, you'll be happier," he said. He added with the world economy like it is, there need to be many entrepreneurs who are willing to start up businesses to get things going.

"Go be entrepreneurs and don't be afraid," he said.

Hanks is the founder of Doba, an Orem-based software company. More information can be found on and


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