Chance encounters

Chico can be a pretty small world sometimes. On Friday, I happened to head downtown for a slice of pizza where I ran into one co-worker at City Plaza. Later, I ran into another co-worker near Duffy’s.

I guess I didn’t expect to see them — I usually don’t see anyone I know when I visit downtown. Still, I run into people enough times to keep things interesting.

Oh, I walked through part of City Plaza’s fountain and emerged with a sharp, distinct smell of chlorine on my clothes. I wonder if the city increased the amount of chlorine after some parents complained.

Different worlds

I know some groups are worried about “freaking,” that genteel style of dancing involving dance partners sexually grinding against each other. China apparently has a similar problem — kids holding hands while dancing. BBC News has the story. Interestingly, the Chinese government is promoting dance as a way for increasingly overweight kids to get exercise, but some are worried.

Some parents had expressed fears that if boys and girls danced hand in hand they might fall in love and put their studies at risk.

I wonder if the Chinese might be receptive to square dancing. It seems less scandalous than the waltz.

Good news and, well, good-er news

Hey all –

I wanted to share two of the best things to happen today. First off, someone installed those paper towel dispensers that auto-magically whirl paper out when you wave your hand in front of them. Truly, we live in a wondrous age.

Perhaps more importantly, I’m proud to announce that I helped relaunch my newspaper’s Web site today at The redesign has been a long time coming, and I’m glad to turn our site on its head (esp. with the help of my co-workers).

Oh, I also devised a slightly corny slogan to go with it. “The new – the power of more.” One huge reason why I’m not in public relations, although I’m all right with it. – It’s for real.

It’s a modest effort compared to the most progressive of the “Web 2.0” sites. I mean, where are the delightful search “clouds,” jerky 30-second video clips and user-defined ‘news’ sections?

Still, it’s a pretty big step forward for a 30,000-circ. newspaper used to putting out stories just once a day. I’m happy with this blend of old-fashioned journalism with the best the Web can offer, including multimedia, mashups and some user-contributed material.

I hope those interested enjoy it as well. Please let me know what you think.

— Ryan

Learn about the redesign — Including the “power of more.” (Just one of the three or four things I’ve had to write about the redesign).
– Watch Editor David Little discuss the new site.