Archive for September, 2010

7 Tips for Disater Prep by Jodie Watson

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Now that summer is over and the kids are back at school, it’s possible that you have a little more time on your hands.  September is National Preparedness month and while we pray that we will never have to experience what it’s like to be in the middle of an emergency, it can happen – as we so often see on the news.  Don’t get caught unprepared by thinking it could never happen to you. 

Depending on where you live, you may be subject to hurricanes, earthquakes, floods or fires.  If an emergency situation occurred tomorrow, would you be ready? As a California resident, I live in earthquake territory and always have an emergency kit on hand and easily accessible, complete with items such as: a flashlight, first aid, food, water, and a radio – just in case.

Become aware of different kinds of disasters which may affect your area so that you will know how to prepare for such circumstances. A great place to start is to contact your local emergency management office (e.g. Red Cross) either by phone or do some research online. Here, you will learn all about which disasters could affect your area, where to go in case of an evacuation, and how to protect your home from both natural and made-made disasters.

Being prepared and making plans that the whole family are aware of will help you to know what to do, where to go and how to stay in touch during an emergency.  Keep emergency items at home, but also consider preparing other locations.  For instance, I keep a roadside emergency & first aid kit in my car; along with a spare tire, phone charger and extra gas in case of a break down. While traveling, I keep a list of any emergency contacts on me at all times and make sure that a family member or friend is aware of my travel itinerary including, hotel & flight information. All work places should have a plan in the event of an emergency. Make sure you are familiar with all of these safety precautions should something happen while you’re on the job. Stocking your desk with a few simple items such a first aid kit, a few bottles of water and a snack isn’t a bad idea either.

Always think ahead.  By taking a few simple steps, you can keep your family and yourself safe by preparing for the unexpected.

Here’s to a happy, healthy (disaster free!) Fall season.


Make arrangements and stockpile these items to be as prepared as you can be in the event of an emergency. 

1)     Create or purchase an emergency kit. Keep it fully stocked at all times and have enough supplies for at least 3 days, for everyone in your household. Your kit should include basics such items as: water, non- perishable food items, flashlights, manual can opener, disposable utensils/plates/bowls and a radio. Consider any specials needs your family may require including prescription medicines, diapers, and feminine hygiene products.  Be sure and keep at least $50-$100 in small bills and change in your emergency kit.

2)     Prepare a plan for your household. Make sure your family is aware of what to do in the event of an emergency and who to contact. Post emergency numbers on the fridge, or in any common areas. Children should carry a list of these numbers with them when they are away from home. Chose a meeting location other than your home. This is in case you are unable to regroup there due to road blockage, fires, etc. Practice your plan with your family every now and then to help everyone feel and confident in a crisis situation.

3)      Keep your inventory fresh. Items should be stocked in a dry, cool place, out of direct sunlight. Garages are not a recommended area for food and water storage due to varying changes in temperature. Water should be replaced every 3-6 months and smoke detectors should be tested on a monthly basis.

4)     Protect your valuables. Create a record (written & digital) of expensive household items such as televisions, kitchen appliances and jewelry. Take pictures as another form of proof. Make copies of this documentation and store it in a fireproof safe as well as another area outside of your house, like a family/friends home or better yet, the bank.

5)     Make copies of important papers. Items such as: driver’s licenses, social security cards, a deed to the house, marriage and birth certificates and wills need to be protected. Make a copy of each of these documents and keep them in separate places. Store a copy in your banks safe deposit box and a close families home in case something happens to your house.

6)     Make sure you are properly insured. There are many different kinds of insurance policies, be sure you are covered in the event of a natural disaster. Many insurance companies cover more than one kind of damage insurance depending on your area. Be safe, not sorry.

7)     Don’t forget about your pets! If you’re a pet owner, be sure to stock some emergency supplies to reflect the needs of your beloved pets. Keep crates on hand to easily move your animals around in a timely manner. Make note of where local animal shelters are located in case you need to keep your pets there at a later time.

Contact Jodie Watson:

If you have any questions, would like to schedule a free professional organizing telephone consultation, or would like Jodie Watson to speak at your next corporate function, group meeting, social event, or retreat, call at (818) 590-7800. You can also contact Jodie on Facebook and Twitter or visit her website at Supreme Organization.

LA Times Photo Blog Gives Old Photos New Life With Photo Scanning

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

LA Times Photo Blog Gives Old Photos New Life With Photo Scanning

“Framework” Uses Photo Scanning To Celebrate Photojournalism

The Los Angeles Times has a must-see photography and video blog called “Framework,” which takes full advantage of the joys of photo scanning by featuring old Times photos from the paper’s enormous archive. The blog highlights the diverse and fascinating moments captured by Times photographers through the decades, and according to the Times, “celebrates the power and explores the craft of visual storytelling.” The Framework blog page also features more current photojournalism, and serves as a kind of online resource hub for photography enthusiasts who can discuss the tools and techniques used in the trade. 

The above photo, featured in a recent Framework article, was taken in 1962, and given new life via photo scanning in 2010. It depicts comedian Jackie Gleason with Los Angeles Times Hollywood columnist Hedda Hopper, during Gleason’s $80,000, 10-city train trip from Los Angeles to New York on “The Great Gleason Express.” A massive public relations stunt, the 4,337-mile rail excursion was an extravagant promotion for a new CBS show called “Jackie Gleason’s American Scene Magazine.” The show was a huge success, becoming simply “The Jackie Gleason Show” in 1966, and running until 1970.

When this photo was taken in 1962, Gleason was already making an unprecedented $100,000 a year from CBS, and his career was climbing steadily. His most popular character was the brash bus driver Ralph Kramden, who first appeared in a comedy sketch on “Cavalcade of Stars” on October 5, 1951. That sketch later became the hit series, “The Honeymooners,” which gained such popularity in syndicated reruns that even today, a life-size statue of Gleason (dressed in Kramden’s bus driver uniform) can be seen outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City. In 1961, not long before the above photo was snapped, Gleason performed one of his most memorable film roles, portraying pool-shark Minnesota Fats in the critically acclaimed Paul Newman drama The Hustler.

The Best Things About Our New Office

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

As announced last month, we’ve moved offices! There are many awesome perks about being in our new office. To make sure we cover everything, we’ve asked a handful of our employees “What’s the best thing about our new office?” We’ll let them tell you.

Again, we send a big thanks to all of our amazing customers, we couldn’t have done it without you. We’re so honored to have you a part of this fantastic journey into our bigger and newer office!

Here’s what some of our employees have to say:

“I Just LOVE the hardwood floors here, they make me feel so fancy! “ –Kelly, Customer Service Comedian

“I like that my commute to work is cut by 3 minutes.”–Aimi, Photo Gallery Guru

“It’s a tie between my sunny window and our girls-only bathroom!” -Pamela, Marketing Magician

 “I like how our office is ONE story now. No more carrying stuff up & down the stairs!” –David, Check-in Chief

“My favorite thing about this office is how organized and efficient things are.” Chris, Facility Rockstar

“It’s bright, spacious and makes me feel alive!” Megan, Quality Queen

“All the new employees we have here! And all the room for growth!” -Anderson, Boss Man

“I have a window!” Matt, Operations Extraordinaire

 “My favorite thing about the new office is the space we have to roll around on our chairs.” Koa, Billing Bigshot

As always, if you have any questions or just want to say hi- feel free to contact us by email at, on Twitter at @ScanDigital or personally at @PamelaSD. You’re also welcome to come play our photo games on Facebook! Hope to hear from you soon :)

Also, here’s our new address is: 240 Center Street, El Segundo CA 90245. We’re barely half a mile from our old place.

Famed Civil Rights Photographer Exposed As F.B.I. Informant

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Famed Civil Rights Photographer Exposed As F.B.I. Informant

Ernest C. Withers Provided Information On Civil Rights Leaders

The history of the American civil rights movement was thrown a curve ball last week. Last Sunday, the Memphis Commercial Appeal published the results of a lengthy investigation proving that Ernest C. Withers, one of the most celebrated photographers of the civil rights era, also worked as a paid informant for the F.B.I., and used his position as a movement insider to provide detailed information about high-ranking civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King, Jr.

Considered one of the most important photojournalists of his era, Ernest C. Withers was a veteran of the black press, and photographed many key moments in the history of the American South. The above photo, which was scanned to digital for preservation by the Smithsonian, was taken by Withers as he, Ralph Abernathy, and Martin Luther King, Jr. rode on one of the first desegregated buses in Montgomery, Alabama in 1956. The photographer was even in Dr. King’s hotel room on the night King was assassinated. Withers, who died in 2007 at the age of 85, engendered a deep trust among civil rights leaders like Dr. King. They never knew that the man known as the “original civil rights photographer” was providing the F.B.I. with scheduling details, photographs, and biographical information of the civil rights movement’s key players.

While the details of Withers’s relationship with the F.B.I. remain unclear, it is certain that the photographer worked for at least two years (from 1968 to 1970) with Howell Lowe and William H. Lawrence, both F.B.I. agents from the bureau’s Memphis domestic surveillance program. Withers’s motives for becoming an informant are not known; Withers’s supporters have maintained that he would not have committed such a betrayal for financial reasons, but others have suggested that Withers needed extra money to support his eight children.

The F.B.I. keeps files on all informants, but has refused to release Withers’s file, which may contain information about his recruitment and his remuneration. However, some F.B.I. reports that link Withers to the bureau were obtained by the Memphis Commercial Appeal under the Freedom of Information Act, and scanned to digital for posting on the paper’s website.

To view those documents, click here.

To view a gallery of Withers’s photographs that have been scanned to digital, click here.

New iPods And More!

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

New iPods And More!

Apple CEO Steve Jobs Unveils All New iPods

This week is all about Apple. Last Wednesday at the company’s annual music event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, CEO Steve Jobs introduced a completely new lineup of iPods (excepting the venerable iPod classic, which remains unchanged), a refreshed iTunes software with social networking features, and a revamped Apple TV console that boasts new features and a much lower price. We’ll do a full write-up on the Apple TV in a couple of days; for now, let’s concentrate on the new iPods, which should be available starting this week.

If you’ve even begun thinking about the potential hot gifts for this holiday season, you can stop wondering. It’s only September, and Apple already has this year’s gift-giving season in the proverbial bag. The infinitesimal iPod Shuffle has regained its buttons after a somewhat unpopular stint as a button-less player, but more newsworthy is the new iPod Nano, which has been radically redesigned and now sports a small touch screen with multi-touch capabilities.

The all-touch iPod Nano is only a fraction of an inch larger than the Shuffle, and has ditched the now classic touch-wheel controls for a tiny touch-screen, which covers nearly all of the Nano’s face. The new Nano is considerably smaller than its predecessors, measuring just 1.61 inches wide by 1.48 inches tall. Although the new form factor and touch-screen interface will certainly appeal to many (it is, after all, extremely cool-looking), there are already some mixed feelings about the new Nano from iPod enthusiasts. For example, the gym-going crowd (among whom the Nano has always been a popular choice) has offered speculation that the new Nano may be harder to operate while running or jogging because of its lack of physical buttons. There is also the truncated feature-set to consider; the 5th generation could playback digital video transfers of movies and TV shows purchased from the iTunes store. It also included a built-in video camera for capturing fun and special moments on the go. The new Nano is back-to-basics (music only), and this reduction of the player’s feature-set may not go over well with users who enjoyed the previous Nano’s video capabilities. That said, it never made much sense to include video on a player with a 2-inch screen, and video enthusiasts can now look to the refreshed iPod Touch for their video needs.

Just like the original iPod Touch promised users much of the iPhone experience without the high monthly fees (and spotty AT&T service), the newest Touch model is very nearly an iPhone 4 without the phone. It sports the glorious retina display, which features 4 times the resolution and 4 times the contrast of the previous generation’s display. This allows for smoother text and crisper, high-res photos and digital video transfers. There are also two cameras on the new iPod Touch. The front-facing camera is used for Apple’s “FaceTime” video calling application, which allows users to make free VoIP video calls over WiFi. The rear-facing camera captures video in 720p high definition.

Over all, Apple’s new lineup of iPods looks to be quite impressive, and you shouldn’t be surprised to see them popping up everywhere – including on holiday wish lists.