By Charlie Zimkus
What are alternative story forms?
» They’re ways to tell stories that are beyond
the typical inverted-pyramid text + headline +
» They’re typically more visual, and involve text
working with images to tell a story.
» Common examples are timelines, grids, Q&As,
calendars and data maps.
Why use ASFs?
» They grab readers’ attention
» They explain complex issues
» They help readers retain information
Helping readers understand
The 2007 Eyetrack study by the Poynter Institute had
three groups read an explanatory story about the bird
flu that was presented in three ways. Readers were then
quizzed on the content.
The story forms:
1. Straight narrative with image and quote
2. Partial narrative with map and two sidebars
3. No traditional narrative, but a map, Q&A,
by-the-numbers chart and other graphics
What Eyetrack found
» Those who read the third prototype answered
at least seven of nine questions correctly, by an
almost 2-to-1 margin.
» Of the people who had perfect scores, nine of 10
had read the graphic version.
Conclusion: ASFs help readers retain information.
Provides background information to supplement an ongoing news story.
Think of it as an easy-to-digest and focused encyclopedia entry.
A good way to look ahead, especially if the “when” of the story is important.
Provides readers with the “what” and the “when” at a glance.
A fun way to tell a simple story visually.
This to-do-list ASF engages the reader, asking them to pick up a
pencil and get involved. Could also be used for a public official or
coach to outline an agenda.
Sometimes reporters can use data plotted on a map to tell a story.
Concepts can be easier to understand if you show
and tell readers what the story is about.
A useful roundup for election results that need
to be noted but do not require a full story.
Let the game tell the story. This format is interactive
but there must be a logical progression for it to work.
NOVEMBER 24, 2011
HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
Our suggestions begin
Our seasonal contest for big people ,D3
JON WOODS AND TBDBITL
ANNUAL THANKSGIVING GAME
By Joe Blundo and Charlie Zimkus | THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
rab a pencil and a map: It’s time for Life
Arts’ annual Thanksgiving game.
Our Road-Trip Challenge asks you to
identify 12 Ohio towns whose names begin
with the letters in Thanksgiving.
Get them all right, and you’ll win our admiration.
And we’ll admire you even more if you answer our
special bonus question — a riddle.
Here’s how to play: On the state map, we have
added visual clues suggested by the 12 towns. We
have also provided a few key letters.
Your job is to identify the towns, starting with No. 1.
The task will take you on a virtual journey of about
1,569 miles (or so says Google Maps).
It includes a couple of central Ohio locations, but
mostly — to make the game more challenging — we
roam the state in search of small locales.
A state road map might come in handy.
If you play the game right, the first letters of the
towns will combine to spell Thanksgiving. From there,
you move to the bonus round — in which we ask you
to identify a special Columbus street. Good luck.
Master Sgt. Martin J. Cervantez
By Jacqueline Trescott
THE WASHINGTON POST
About one hour from
Kandahar, Afghanistan, the
artist walked with soldiers and
bomb-sniffing dogs on the
lookout for minefields and the
They had inclines of dirt to
hike over and grapevines to
“There was actually a vineyard with grapes growing along
dirt mounds,” recalled Master
Sgt. Martin J. Cervantez. “The
soldiers were doing patrols, up
and over. But they were steep,
and the dog handler had to lift
Cervantez, 43, joins fellow
soldiers in battle, but he makes
sketches and takes photographs.
Back in his spacious studio at
Fort Belvoir, Va., the only official Army artist tries to capture
what he saw, heard and felt.
“I go through the sketches
and photos,” he said. “What do
I think would be visually
appealing? What would capture
the soldiers’ experience? I want
to capture the soldiers’ perspective so they have something to
Cervantez continues a
See CANVAS Page D2
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Oh i o
Jason Bateman in a scene
from Arrested Development
1. _ _ _ _ S B U _ _
7. _ _ _ E N V _ _ _ _
2. _ _ _ _ LT O _
8. _ _ _ N T _ _
3. _ _ H V _ _ _ _
9. _ _ R M I _ _ _ _
4. _ _ _ O L E _ _
10. _ _ D E P _ _ _ _ _ _ _
5. _ E _ O
11. _ _ S H _ _ _ _ _
6. _ _ D N _ _
12. _ _ H A _ _ _
SPECIAL BONUS RIDDLE
East of Dublin lies a street
That makes you think of
Eaten on a special day
When the Detroit Lions play.
Find this court whose
Certain parts of Butterballs.
_ _ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
- Give up? Find the answers inside ,D2
‘Arrested’ to return on Netflix
Imagine Television and 20th
Century Fox Television have made a
deal with Netflix to put the former
Fox series Arrested Development
back into production, according to
An undetermined number of new
episodes of the show, with star
Jason Bateman, are to become
available on the video-subscription
service starting in 2013.
Group to sing at White House
The New World Singers, a Columbus Children’s Choir ensemble of 32
youngsters 10 to 16, will travel to
Washington to perform on Dec. 20
at the White House.
The group, to be conducted by
See SHOW TELL Page D2
The Living Room Experts.
Our Holiday Home Sale kicks off
5 DAYS ONLY!
tomorrow at 8AM with bonus savings, FRI SAT SUN MON TUE
special offers and free local delivery! 8-9 10-9 12-6 10-9 10-9
Government how they voted
Shows what action a government agency took, the vote
and what it means for readers. It allows the reporter to focus
on big issues while still recording the news.
Sometimes a story can be told through a variety of graphics,
including maps, charts and diagrams. The information can be so
thorough that a traditional story is not needed.
Used when you want to compare several items that are similar.
The comparison type must be short and the same length.
JANUARY 18, 2012
Lots of lentils
A SPECIAL BABY CAKE
WHO’S YOUR VALENTINE?
A quick soup recipe ,D3
Goody reveals gender
AT THE KITCHEN
1. Place about 1 tablespoon of filling in the
center of each wrapper.
2. Moisten the edge
of the wrapper with
water to help seal it.
3. Fold the wrapper.
Pleat the edges and
press them together.
4. Note the halfmoon shape of a
5. Boil dumplings in
water until they have
- A recipe for Year of the Dragon Dumplings ,D3
Food Editor Robin Davis will make
Greek Sandwiches (see recipe,
Page D2) on 10TV News HD at noon
today on WBNS-TV (Channel 10).
Missed the segment? Find it at
RECIPES FROM BATALI
Asking families to have
supper together every night is
Life gets in the way, what
with sports, homework and
other activities — not to mention two or three jobs.
Still, making time is important, if only for
one day a week
dish — say,
meatloaf — and
serve it every
to build their
around the meal — thanks to a
subtle shift in mentality.
The goal is to gather to share
stories and arguments.
As my children were being
raised, my wife, Susi, started
every meal with “What’s the
funniest thing you heard all
day? What’s the worst thing
that happened all day? With
whom did you sit at lunch?”
Family conversation has a
new rival these days: handheld gadgets.
I suggest adopting a Batali
family rule: no technology at
the table — no texting, tweeting or electronic messaging.
(Jonesing for a tweet? Sneak off
to the bathroom.)
My offspring have started to
enforce the ban, too.
Sunday supper won’t cure
the world’s problems. Yet the
few minutes around the table
might give children the confidence they need to thrive.
The food at the table
CHRIS RUSSELL DISPATCH PHOTOS; FOOD STYLING BY CHARLIE ZIMKUS
Year of the Dragon Dumplings With Ginger Dipping Sauce
By Robin Davis
See BATALI Page D3
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
onday will welcome the Year of the
Dragon with the Lunar New Year — and
offer a reason to celebrate in the wake of
many other holidays.
The traditions of the Lunar New Year include the eating of Chinese dumplings, or
tender dough stuffed with a variety of fillings,
The making of dumplings certainly takes
time, but it lends itself to another Lunar New
See DUMPLING Page D3
- A recipe for a side dish with
Brussels sprouts ,D3
Talk-show host has hectic first year
By David Bauder
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — After
taking over for Larry King last
January, Piers Morgan worked for
only 11 days before his vision of
the show collided with reality.
He was flying to Los Angeles
with producer Jonathan Wald —
and, as soon as they landed, their
cellphones buzzed with news of
political upheaval in Egypt.
Wald turned to Morgan and
said, “You know, we were wondering when we were first going to
go live. Tonight’s the night.”
So began an eventful year that
saw Morgan revise the format of
his prime-time show, quit Amer-
EXPLORE THE MANY
ica’s Got Talent and see his reputation dragged into a phonehacking scandal.
Through everything, he survived. He didn’t live up to his
initial boasts about the competition being buried, but he didn’t
Viewership for Piers Morgan
Tonight rose 9 percent over the
final King year and even more
among younger viewers.
He is marking his first
anniversary this week with
See HOST Page D4
‘Artist’ up for 12 British awards
The frothy silent movie The Artist
and the moody spy saga Tinker Tailor
Soldier Spy rank among the leading
contenders for the British Academy
Film Awards, the British equivalent of
The Artist received 12 nominations;
and Tinker Tailor, 11 — including nods
for best picture and director, and
best-actor mentions for Jean Dujardin
and Gary Oldman.
The other best-film nominees: The
Descendants, Drive and The Help.
In a diverse field not dominated by
a single film, multiple nominations
were also tallied by The Help, The Iron
Lady, My Week With Marilyn and We
Friday, January 20
Sunday, January 22
SAMPLING 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
ALL MARKET DISTRICT LOCATIONS
If you love Asian cuisine, then Market District
is the place to be this weekend! Come sample
fabulous Asian dishes and take advantage of
great deals on a variety of Asian ingredients
and foods all weekend long!
Jean Dujardin and Berenice
Bejo in The Artist
Need To Talk About Kevin.
The best-actor contest pits
Dujardin and Oldman against George
Clooney of The Descendants, Michael
Fassbender of Shame and Brad Pitt
Nominated for best actress are
See SHOW TELL Page D4
Used when multiple candidates are being considered for the same job.
Categories can include age, background, pros/cons and qualifications.
Keys to victory
Whether it’s a big game or a big election, breaking down the
keys to victory into numbered lists makes the information
more accessible to readers.
Use this when the location is the most important information. The map
serves as the backbone of the package and points out areas of interest.
This example of the I-70/71 split incorporates a step-by-step ASF.
MARCH 16, 2012
PART 2 OF OUR GUIDE
Ryan Johnson joins ‘Fairly Legal’ ,D3
SO WHAT’S HAPPENING?
A BREAK FROM THE MADNESS
THE TOP FIVE
PART 1 OF 2
Where to eat, drink and relax in the Arena District
As pop culture goes, here’s what
drew the most eyes and ears during
the past 10 days:
1. American Idol (Wednesday), Fox
2. American Idol (Thursday), Fox
3. The Voice, NBC
4. Person of Interest, CBS
5. The Big Bang Theory, CBS
By Jeffrey Sheban | THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
sst: In town for the weekend? Looking for a good time? With six NCAA
Tournament games on tap Downtown on Friday and Sunday, thousands of
visitors unfamiliar with Columbus will be seeking places to eat, drink and
shop during their downtime. (And that number doesn’t count visitors who
are destined for the state high-school girls basketball tournament and other big
draws this weekend.) The good news: Nationwide Arena is ringed by restaurants,
bars, boutiques and galleries — so finding a lot to do quickly won’t require a degree
in logistics. To further simplify matters, The Dispatch has put together two installments of tips and suggestions for navigating the Arena District and points
beyond. Today, with four games on the local NCAA basketball schedule, the focus
is close to the action — a few blocks in any direction from the arena. For the off
day, our guide on Saturday will broaden the scope, assuming that people have more
time and a greater inclination to venture out. Let the big weekend begin.
1. Wrecking Ball, Bruce Springsteen
2. 21, Adele
3. Now That’s What I Call Music! 41,
4. Own the Night, Lady Antebellum
5. Mylo Xyloto, Coldplay
13. R Bar
14. Gordon Biersch
15. Big Bang Dueling
16. Buca di Beppo
17. Sunny Street Cafe
18. Boston’s the
19. Ted’s Montana Grill
20. BD’s Mongolian
21. Elevator Brewery
N. High S
1. Jeni’s Splendid
3. Sushi Rock
4. Bar Louie
5. Park Street Tavern
6. Park Street Cantina
8. Garage Bar
9. BBR Columbus
10. Brothers Bar Grill
12. Barley’s Brewing Co.
2 Russell St.
Whether toasting a lastminute win or drowning your
sorrows after a heartbreaking loss, consider the flavors
of establishments that brew
their own beer.
Three can be found within
reasonable walking distances:
Gordon Biersch (401 N.
Front St.), part of a California chain, is a bottle
cap’s throw from the arena;
Barley’s Brewing Co. (467
N. High St.) features a
different firkin (beer from a
sealed cask) every Friday;
and Elevator Brewery
Draught Haus (161 N. High
St.) offers tours of its nearby
brewery (165 N. 4th St.) at
4 p.m. every Saturday.
Food and drink
G O O DA L E PA R K
N. High S
N O R T H B A N K PA R K
- To watch a video about
John H. McConnell
ON THE WEB
M C FERSON
S C I OT O R I V
TOM BAKER | DISPATCH
Pretty much every bar
and restaurant has a variety
of options for sports viewing, but some raise “big
screen” to a new level.
Hockey fans might want
to check out R Bar (413 N.
Front St.), the unofficial
bar of the Columbus Blue
Jackets, our not-sofearsome NHL team and the
main tenant of Nationwide
Other bars that emphasize sports viewing include
Boston’s the Gourmet Pizza
(191 W. Nationwide Blvd.),
BBR Columbus (106 Vine
St.), the Garage Bar (147
SONG AND DANCE
Jukeboxes are a dime a
dozen, but at least two
Arena District establishments emphasize live
music: Park Street Tavern
(501 Park St.) and the Big
Bang Dueling Piano Bar
(401 N. Front St.).
For the young at heart,
singles and basketball fans
looking to burn off nervous
energy, a series of large,
dance-friendly bars and
clubs can be found on and
near Park Street — generally two or three blocks
from the arena.
Included are Brothers
Bar Grill (477 Park St.),
Gaswerks (487 Park St.)
and Park Street Cantina
(491 Park St.).
Animated love story is for adults
By Colin Covert
STAR TRIBUNE (MINNEAPOLIS)
The fluidly animated Chico
Rita offers a sexy, sultry, passionate love story between a 1940s
Havana nightclub singer and her
The film, which lost the Oscar
for animated feature to Rango, is
told in terms easier to reconcile
with a live-action movie: The relationship is realistic, frankly sexual
and more emotionally violent than
a cartoon is expected to be.
The work represents a mostly
between writer-director Fernando
See CHICO RITA Page D2
Rita in Havana, in a scene from the film
2. Game of Thrones: The Complete
3. Jack and Jill
5. Puss in Boots
Sources: Nielsen Media Research, Billboard, Rentrak
Each week, we consult Metacritic.com
to compile aggregate opinions, converted to numbers, based on reviews
from printed and online sources. Each
movie is listed with its “Metascore,” an
average rating from zero (terrible) to
— Michael Grossberg
TV crime-drama adaptations
21 Jump Street (2012)
Miami Vice (2006)
Starsky Hutch (2004)
Charlie’s Angels (2000)
The A-Team (2010)
Top March-opening movies
Alice in Wonderland
($334.2 million, 2010)
300 ($210.6, 2007)
Monsters vs. Aliens ($198.4,
Ice Age: The Meltdown
Liar Liar ($181.4, 1997)
See BREAK Page D8
Football player James Laurinaitis,
scheduled to appear at Fan Madness
1. Love on Top, Beyonce
2. The Motto, Drake featuring Lil
3. Strip, Chris Brown featuring Kevin
4. Lotus Flower Bomb, Wale featuring
5. Rack City, Tyga
Vine St.) and Bar Louie
(504 Park St.).
For communal viewing
with a twist, consider “Fan
Madness,” a free event from
11 a.m. to 11 p.m. today
only in Battelle Hall of the
Greater Columbus Convention Center (400 N. High
All tournament games will
be televised on five large
projection screens, and fans
can mingle with former Ohio
State athletes LeCharles
Bentley, Terence Dials, Brian
Hartline, Craig Krenzel,
James Laurinaitis, Scoonie
Penn and J.J. Sullinger.
Beer will be available,
as will video games, a
mechanical riding bull and
For more information,
1. Home, Dierks Bentley
2. Alone With You, Jake Owen
3. Ours, Taylor Swift
4. Love’s Gonna Make It Alright,
5. Reality, Kenny Chesney
CBS rolls out wave of renewals
CBS has renewed 18 series, representing the bulk of its schedule, for
The mass renewal includes
dramas, comedies, reality shows and
newsmagazines but not the sitcom
Two and a Half Men, whose return is
still being negotiated.
Three of the series had already
been picked up: The Big Bang
Theory, How I Met Your Mother and
The rest of the list consists of the
dramas Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds,
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The
Good Wife, Hawaii Five-0, The
Mentalist, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles
and Person of Interest; the comedies
Mike Molly and 2 Broke Girls; the
reality shows The Amazing Race and
Undercover Boss; and the news-
Jim Parsons, among the stars
of The Big Bang Theory
magazines 48 Hours Mystery and 60
Museum, Smithsonian linked
The Springfield Museum of Art has
become the only Ohio art museum
named a Smithsonian affiliate, the
museum announced yesterday.
The affiliation program, in
See SHOW TELL Page D3
Good to use when there are multiple elements to a story.
Rather than tying them together, let the nuggets stand on their own.
Includes a brief introduction, short text of 30 words or less and short
headlines. Group related nuggets together.
Coming next Sunday
HOME FOR HOLIDAYS
Sweet as sugar
Readers share their tales
DECEMBER 11, 2011
Stevia can be grown indoors ,H6
CHUTNEY CHEESE BALL
OLD HOUSE HANDYMAN
This style, widely popular in the Midwest,
is characterized by low-pitched hip roofs,
decorative roof brackets, tall and narrow
windows, and elaborate door and window
crowns. Some examples include arched
windows and cupolas or towers.
This phrase describes a ubiquitous design
popular during the first half of the 20th century,
a stripped-down variation of the more elegant
Prairie style. Foursquares are identified by their
boxy shape, 21⁄2-story height and hip roofs,
which typically include a center dormer. Fullwidth porches are common.
Inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement, this
style is distinguished externally by exposed
roof rafters, low-pitched gabled roofs, wood or
stone facades, wood details, and front porches supported by thick, tapered columns.
Internally, the homes feature extensive wood
trim and built-in details such as bookshelves.
- When popular: 1900 to 1940
- When popular: 1905 to 1930
- Where to find: Olde Towne East, University
- Where to find: Clintonville, Grandview
- When popular: 1840 to 1885
- Where to find: German Village, Italian
An architectural digest
Experts clarify the proper descriptions for 10 home styles
in central Ohio — from American foursquare to Tudor revival
By Jim Weiker
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
hy sell a ranch home when
you can sell a midcentury
And why bother with a bungalow
when you can list a Craftsman?
Names do matter, in architecture
as well as in real estate.
A snappy architectural description
can add cache to a home. It can also
draw frowns from those in the know.
“The real-estate community has its
jargon, and within the architectural
history community, there’s jargon,
Popular during the
Victorian era, homes in
this style are identified
by steeply pitched roofs,
multiple roof lines,
shingle siding, asymmetry, front porches and
front-facing gables. Bay
windows are common,
along with decorated
exterior wall surfaces.
- When popular: 1880
- Where to find: Olde
Towne East, Victorian
My holiday gift to you is a list of
my most-used tools, gadgets, glues
and other assorted stocking stuffers, some of which cost nothing
but might draw perplexed looks if
you give them as gifts.
Let’s start with
the wire clothes
hanger, the kind
that comes back
from the dry
cleaner with your
pressed suits. I use
them for everything from holding
small parts for
repairing a sagging
My daughter’s last muffler repair
job was a work of art, with three
strands of coat-hanger wire, two
pieces of sheet metal from the
bottom of a discarded charcoal
grill and three metal screws. The
guys who finally won the honor of
replacing it with a new muffler
howled when they saw my handiwork.
I used hanger wire recently to
clean out a downspout that had
become clogged with leaves. The
wire is flexible enough to make the
turns in the elbows, and the hook
on the end did a great job of snagging the gunk clogging the pipe.
I suggested recently to some
college students that they use a
hanger to fix a sagging futon
frame. They looked perplexed.
“My hangers are all plastic,” one
finally said. I will bequeath them
one of my metal hangers.
I bet you all have some great
uses for old hangers. Please send
your ideas to me so I can share
Next on the all-time favorites
list is something called Zip-It
Clean, a tool so simple and vital —
See MILLER Page H2
See STYLES Page H2
Although its popularity peaked in the 1940s
and 1950s, this style — based on early American styles such as Georgian and Federal —
has never truly left. It is now enjoying another
revival in places such as New Albany. The style
appears in many variations, but it is broadly
characterized by a center entrance accented by
columns, a symmetrical facade, double-hung
windows, brick or wood siding, and a rectangular layout. Also common are pediments over
the front doors and window shutters.
- When popular: 1880 to today
By Matt McKinney
This one-story design, sometimes called a
rambler, emerged in California before World
War II and flourished nationally in the 1950s
and 1960s. It is marked by its single-level
low-pitched roof, asymmetrical layout, abundance of windows and, typically, wide eaves, a
rear terrace and minimal ornamentation.
Among architectural purists, ranch describes a
form, or shape, of a house, rather than its
style. Likewise, the phrase midcentury modern
doesn’t describe a style but might refer to a
large ranch, especially one with an unusually
- When popular: 1940 to 1980
STAR TRIBUNE (MINNEAPOLIS)
This simple style, introduced by English
settlers in Massachusetts, was revived after
World War II because of its efficiency and
low cost. Typically found in 11⁄2-story versions, it’s characterized by open side gables,
narrow roof overhangs, rectangular shape,
wood siding and, usually, a symmetrical
- When popular: 1940 to 1960
- Where to find: Colonial Hills in Worthington, Hanford Village on the East Side, Westgate on the West Side
- Where to find: Bexley, Upper Arlington
- Where to find: Upper Arlington, Northwest
Dutch Colonial revival
A variety of the Colonial revival movement,
this style is primarily distinguished by gambrel roofs. Other characteristics include a
rectangular shape, double-hung windows,
symmetrical layouts and center entrances.
Some versions include second-floor dormers
or eaves extended over a porch.
This style, which harks back to medieval
English cottages, is identified by steeply
pitched roofs, exposed decorative timbers,
massive chimneys, multipaned casement
windows and asymmetrical layouts. Elaborate
examples feature wood-shingled roofs and
decorated chimneys. Stucco siding is common, but brick or stone can also be found.
The style, so-called because it originated
in Europe, is chiefly identified by its flat
roof, minimal ornamentation and plain
stucco or concrete finish. Other common
features include metal windows, corner
windows, a lack of window or door trim,
and cantilevered second-story projections.
- When popular: 1890 to 1950
- When popular: 1925 to today
- Where to find: Bexley, Old Beechwold, Upper
- Where to find: scattered
- When popular: 1900 to 1940
- Where to find: Clintonville
Sources: A Field Guide to American Houses, Virginia Lee McAlester; The Visual Dictionary of American Domestic Architecture, Richard Carley; www.architecture.about.com; jan.ucc.nau.edu;
Ohio Historic Preservation Office; LaFontaine Architecture Design; Columbus Landmarks Foundation
MINNEAPOLIS — Paul Brazelton will soon move his family into
a recently renovated 1935 Tudor
home in southern Minneapolis
that has no furnace.
Even though winter is bearing
down, he removed the boiler and
plans to use that basement space
for his daughters’ home-school
He also took out the fireplace.
If this sounds like an uninviting
house, there’s something else to
know: Brazelton, a software engineer and passionate environmentalist, has almost finished a
retrofit of his house to the stringent engineering standards of the
Passivhaus, or Passive House,
model, a German system of homebuilding that uses insulation and
highly efficient doors and windows
to save energy.
The finished 2,000-square-foot
home could be warmed even in
the dead of winter with two small
space heaters, Brazelton said,
although the family plans to piggyback on their hot water heater and
use an in-floor heating system in
“We’re really nervous,” said
Brazelton, “because when it’s 20
degrees below and you can feel
your house contracting and cracking like it’s just trying to resist the
cold, it’s hard to believe that two
space heaters from Target will do
the trick for us.”
The finished project is on track
to be certified by the Passivhaus
Institute of Darmstadt, Germany,
as the first EnerPHit home in
North America, according to the
family’s architect, Tim Eian of TE
Studio in Minneapolis.
The EnerPHit standard, deSee FURNACE Page H2
MARCH 19, 2011
$175 million flop
FIVE YEARS OF TWITTER
SO WHAT’S HAPPENING?
Disney’s ‘Mars’ ailing at box office ,D3
A guide for the uninitiated
First Person is a weekly forum
for personal musings
and reflections from readers.
residential gas bill
Days with a snow
depth of at least
1 inch — or the fifth
most on record
(No. 1: 1977-78, with
Lane miles of roads
that would be plowed
to remove snow from
every street in
3,000 lane miles in
Longest stretch of
days (Dec. 12-29)
with an average
For those who despair the season of snow,
2010-11 could have been worse. Perhaps these
numbers will provide a measure of comfort.
By Joe Blundo | THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
t long last, spring will arrive at 7:21 p.m. Sunday.
Winter has seemingly lasted forever, keeping
us shivering. Yet the numbers say the season
hasn’t been that cold, that snowy or that
Central Ohio recorded one minor snowfall
record: The 2.9 inches that fell on Dec. 12 was the most
ever for that date.
Compare that with New York (snowiest January:
36 inches); Hartford, Conn. (snowiest month: 57 inches);
or even Huntsville, Ala. (most consecutive days with
snow on the ground: eight).
The most memorable weather event here was the
ice storm of Feb. 1-2, which knocked out power to
180,000 American Electric Power customers in Ohio
and left Columbus littered with broken branches.
With help from the cities of Columbus and Chardon;
Columbus schools; Columbia Gas; the Ohio Department
of Transportation; the National Weather Service; and
Keith Heidorn, a Canadian scientist who calls himself
“the Weather Doctor,” we offer a statistical snapshot of
the winter of 2010-11.
of daylight that
Columbus will receive
today compared with
Dec. 21, the first day
this winter in
recorded on Jan. 22
in Columbus history,
as recorded on
Jan. 19, 1994
Snowfall record for
February, as set in
with 4.8 inches in
through Monday, of
plowing and treating
roads in Ohio
Total snowfall in
the snowiest place in
the state, through
Friday — or about 120
inches more than the
total in Columbus
Calamity days used
by most Columbus
schools (while a few
have taken four
and Chardon has
Weight of salt
(in tons) used by
Columbus as of Friday
— or, at $59 a ton,
about $1.9 million
(in tons) of
5.7 inches of snow
(about what fell on
Jan. 20) if spread
the 227 square miles
of Columbus (with
the actual weight
depending on the
water content of the
snow — which varies
widely, according to
See FIRST PERSON Page D2
Upstart talent show springs forth
Once a month, we check in on the
supply and demand at the Columbus
THE WASHINGTON POST
Christina Aguilera, who will
serve as a coach and judge on
the NBC competition The Voice
Pop diva Christina Aguilera,
hip-hop artist Cee Lo Green,
Maroon 5 frontman Adam
Levine and country crooner
Blake Shelton were trotted out
this week at a media junket in
Los Angeles to plug The Voice, a
new challenger to American Idol.
To refresh fading memories:
Late last year, amid swirling talk
about the upcoming battle between the Fox series American
Idol and The X Factor with
Simon Cowell, NBC pulled a fast
one, announcing that it had
landed the U.S. broadcast rights
to a hot new Dutch singing competition called The Voice of
So a war for the hearts and
minds of America suddenly
looms between The X Factor and
In the Netherlands, the original version of The Voice has
displaced not only The X Factor
but also Idol and become the
most-watched TV talent show in
Dutch history, NBC noted gleefully.
The network has developed
the show so fast that The Voice
will premiere April 26.
On the other hand, Cowell —
who has done The X Factor for
years abroad — announced
By Lisa de Moraes
TOP BUYS FOR APRIL
1. I’ll Walk Alone, Mary Higgins Clark
2. The Fifth Witness: A Lincoln Lawyer
Novel, Michael Connelly
3. Save Me, Lisa Scottoline
4. Treason at Lisson Grove, Anne Perry
5. The Sixth Man, David Baldacci
I read the obituaries.
Even when I travel, I buy a
newspaper wherever I stop or
stay and immediately turn to the
obits to read about people I’ve
The habit began when I had to
write my mother’s obituary in
2000. The director of the funeral
home where the
hospital had sent
her body told me
that he’d prepare
it. I said no —
that I would sit
with him and
For almost an
hour, I reBENEDETTI counted the
identities that I
thought should be included:
member of the Women Airforce
Service Pilots in World War II,
longtime Realtor, retired Nevada
State Employment Service employee and beloved mother.
From then on, I started reading the obits daily — at first out
of curiosity. It’s amazing what
you learn about people from
Many newspapers today rely
on funeral directors — instead of
novice reporters — to collect the
data and submit them.
I’ve written a few obits in my
time — including one about
Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas
for a business newspaper.
One day, I got the idea to
place my hand on the obit page
and say a small prayer: “Receive
them please, Lord.”
I instantly felt better, but the
practice has turned into something of an obsession.
Now, I must read at least one
newspaper a day. It must be in
my hands — online doesn’t
seem to make it — and I must
recite the prayer, with one recitation for each page.
Most days, I say it two or three
times. On Memorial and
Veterans days, I might say it five
times or more.
The habit has led me to some
I once saw the obit of a
woman who was survived by,
among others, a son who bore
the name of a man I know professionally: central Ohio
developer Larry Canini.
I like the guy, so I decided to
go to the visitation. After arriving, I didn’t see him, so I asked
the man at the door where I
could find him.
“I’m Larry Canini,” the man
I had gone to the wake of a
woman who’d borne a son with
the same name, but I didn’t
know the man. Embarrassed, I
shook his hand, gave my condolences and left.
Another man and fellow golfer
Family’s Century of Art and Loss,
Edmund de Waal
RESERVES ON THE RISE
MEMOIRS AND BIOGRAPHIES
1. Before I Fall, Lauren Oliver
2. Secret Historian: The Life and Times
of Samuel Steward, Professor, Tattoo
Artist, and Sexual Renegade, Justin
3. The Neighbors Are Watching,
4. The Nomination, William G. Tapply
5. The Hare With Amber Eyes: A
1. And Furthermore, Judi Dench
2. Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame,
and Floundering, Meredith Baxter
3. The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels
to Tractor Wheels — A Love Story, Ree
4. Zombie Spaceship Wasteland,
5. A Widow’s Story, Joyce Carol Oates
See TALENT Page D2
Rank for 2010-11
among the coldest
heating seasons in
the Columbia Gas
service area (No. 1:
1976-77); or 28th
among average winter
Photo essays are self-contained presentations that tell the story visually.
You need text to set up the premise and captions for the photos, but the
point is to let the pictures tell the story.
Shows how something happens.
Combines elements of a timeline with diagrams.
Answers readers questions at a glance,
simply and effectively.
Let the subject or subjects of the story speak for themselves. This format
allows readers to scan more easily for the information they want.
JANUARY 21, 2012
Several displays to come
SO WHAT’S HAPPENING?
Actor loving nighttime soap ,D6
Selleck, who stars in the police
drama Blue Bloods, possesses
perhaps the best-known mustache on television. It’s so
highly regarded, the New York
Post reports, that he had a
personal mustache groomer
who rushed to comb it between
takes while filming in that city.
Rivera, 68, has told interviewers that his face was last
hairless when he was 25. “My
mustache is older than my
wife,” he once said.
As iconic lip hair goes, his
might rival Selleck’s. It’s so
well-known that the miniseries
I Love the ’70s had a recurring
segment dedicated to the
In 2010, he made national
news when he allowed Oprah
Winfrey to shave off his mustache on her show. Evidently,
he didn’t like the results. The
’stache is back.
William Howard Taft
Michael B. Coleman
The jumping plumber from the
video games sports a bushy,
upturned mustache that
makes him instantly recognizable. One of the theories
behind his popularity is that
his humble looks make it easy
for players to identify with his
Ohio leads the nation in presidents with facial hair. Ulysses S.
Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes and
James A. Garfield all sported
luxuriant growth. But one of the
best mustaches in presidential
history might have belonged to
The former Ohio State football
star has rarely been without a
mustache since high school, but
he recently shaved it off. He was
tired of mustache maintenance,
he said. But the ’stache could
reappear. He likes to “change it
up a little,” he said.
The mayor’s neatly trimmed lip
adornment is the first mustache of
Columbus. Coleman, who first grew
a ’stache in high school as a rebellious act, said he has shaved it off
only once (about 10 years ago) and
didn’t like the results. He won’t
make that mistake again: “I don’t
foresee a time ever in life where I
would shave my mustache.”
By Joe Blundo | THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
ulk Hogan without a mustache? Unthinkable.
Yet the former professional wrestler recently told TMZ.com that he is
going to shave it off. Apparently, it’s a career move: Hogan said he has
some movie auditions planned. He didn’t explain why that means the
mustache must go. The revelation prompted the president of the semi-serious
American Mustache Institute to fire off an instant protest.
“We do hope that Mr. Hogan, for whom we have great reverence, reconsiders
shaving his upper-lip shading device, as millions of those he has inspired
would be greatly let down, leading to mass chaos and deep bouts of depression
in the mustached American community,” said Aaron Perlut of St. Louis.
Whatever happens to Hogan’s hair, the world will still have plenty of signature
’staches, not to mention the memory of distinguished facial hair of the past.
Here’s a sampling of the mustaches that matter — including one that recently
only a little off
top of club
Identify the upper lip
a. Mark Twain
b. Neighbor Ned Flanders
c. Salvador Dali
d. Groucho Marx
e. Mike Ditka
f. Theodore Roosevelt
Can you identify the person just by seeing the mustache?
Here are six ’staches. Match them with their owners below:
First Person is a weekly forum
for personal musings
and reflections from readers.
Cement, sand, aggregate and
Though largely unnoticed in
daily life, these ingredients —
when correctly combined to
form concrete — help shape
I’m in the
business — the
part that actually
My family has
been in this line
RALPH V. of work since my
the United States in 1920.
That’s a lot of concrete flowing
down a chute (or out of a dumptruck tailgate).
I started working with concrete in 1976, when, as a highschool sophomore, I took a
summer job with the company
that employed my father. The
company built the infrastructure
for subdivisions: storm sewers,
waterlines, curbs and pavement.
I spent summers during high
school and college in the middle
of what I thought was nowhere
— the vast land north of I-270,
east of Brice Road and west of
That “nowhere,” of course,
eventually became somewhere.
We’d pull onto a site consisting of only survey stakes and a
dirt field; and, by week’s end, a
street would be born.
The routine continued as the
suburbs of central Ohio were
I served my country in the
military for three years and
returned to the industry in 1987.
My father and I started a business, again placing and finishing
concrete throughout Franklin
County and beyond: in the
Brewery District, at Otterbein
College in Westerville, at
Donatos pizza shops and at
uncounted residential and commercial sites. The work took us
to a new strip mall in Upper
Arlington, an old supermarket
on W. Broad Street, mechanical
pads on the roof of Mount
Carmel Medical Center and
everywhere in between.
There, we poured concrete —
adding to the hard, gray history
of central Ohio.
Central High School became
COSI Columbus, an open area
near the Ohio State University
Medical Center became the
Spirit of Women Park, and land
on the East Side became Easton
Town Center — all projects
blending old and new.
On the western edge of the
Arena District, where my grandfather and father had contributed to street-maintenance
1. b; 2. e; 3. d;
4. a; 5. c; 6. f
See FIRST PERSON Page D2
ETTA JAMES 1938-2012
THE BICENTENNIAL CHALLENGE
Singer made ‘At Last’ her own
on city history
Today we continue the Bicentennial Challenge, a yearlong
series of quick quizzes about
Columbus history — in honor
of the city’s 200th birthday.
Life Arts offers - Answers
a quiz (along
with the answers week ,D3
from the previous week).
The first reader to email Joe
Blundo at jblundo@dispatch.
com with the correct answers
is declared the weekly winner.
At the end of each quarter,
the person with the most
victories receives $25. (In the
event of a tie, a drawing
determines the winner.)
a Cotton Club chorus girl, and I
wanted to be obvious as the
most flamboyant hooker on the
street. I just wanted to be.”
James died yesterday of comLOS ANGELES — Etta James’
plications from leukemia at
performance of the classic At
Riverside Community Hospital
Last was the embodiment of
in Los Angeles. She was 73.
refined soul: Angelic-sounding
Despite the reputation she
strings announced the arrival of
cultivated, she would always be
her passionate yet measured
remembered best for At Last.
vocals as she sang tenderly
Her soulful rendition of the tune
about a love finally realized after
FILE PHOTO introduced in a 1942 Glenn
a long and patient wait.
Miller movie became the song
In real life, little about James
Etta James performing in 2009
that would define her as a legwas as genteel as that song. The in Columbus
platinum blonde’s first hit, The
Jamesette Hawkins was born
In other words, she was one of
Wallflower, was a saucy 1955
in Los Angeles to a mother
RB number about sex. She was music’s original bad girls.
“The bad girls . . . had the look whom she described as a scam
known as a hell-raiser who had
artist, a substance abuser and a
tempestuous relationships with that I liked,” she wrote in her
fleeting presence during her
1995 autobiography. “I wanted
her family, men and the music
to be rare, I wanted to be
industry. Then she spent years
noticed, I wanted to be exotic as See JAMES Page D2
By Nekesa Mumbi Moody
and Robert Jablon
Challenge No. 3
In column 1 are six parks named for prominent
Columbus residents of the past. Match the parks
with the first names and occupations of the people
for whom they were named (columns 2 and 3).
When what is said is the story. Present the topic for the quotes
in an introduction and then let the speakers tell the story.
A quick way to verify the truthfulness of statements.
Our Ad Watch feature is a perfect example.
Used to tell readers in a new way something they should already know,
such as how to steer out of a tailspin or the difference between a tornado
watch and a tornado warning.
Usually less is more, but when comes to reporting Proficiency Test scores
for area schools, more is more. Each reader is looking for information that
is relevant to him or her, and if it’s not there, this story is worthless.
Story so far
Use for continuing stories to catch readers up to speed.
Ideally no more than 20-30 words. Could use subheads such as
Story so far, What happened, and What’s next.
Talk to reader
Break out information into talking points to help guide readers
through a subject and answer their questions quickly. Look for visuals that
can help tell the story.
Break down the information into main categories and
compare two teams. This format is similar to a grid.
Use when the sequence of events is important in telling the story.
They help readers follow the big-picture part of the story, while freeing
the reporter from having to include all the background information
in the article
Give readers advice, keeping the tips short and relevant. Having the tips
come from an expert gives the package authority.
Short, anecdotal tales that are useful when telling a story through
multiple people. Can be used with news as well as features.
Coming next Sunday
A PLACE OF HER OWN
Rare Western visitor
Woman finds new home
DECEMBER 18, 2011
Rufous hummingbird makes appearance ,H6
Basking in warmth
of holiday memories
By Jim Weiker | THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
hile chestnuts should have been roasting on open fires, Emmy Camp’s family
huddled around candles for a holiday meal of Wendy’s hamburgers. ¶ Her
memorable Christmas tale is among several “home for the holidays” stories
submitted by readers. ¶ Below are recollections of the Santa who fell into the coal
chute, the lumpy gravy that turned out to be something else, the holiday dinner
shared in an icy Indiana ditch and a surprise phone call from Santa. ¶ The tales offer
holiday home adventures — or adventures on the journey home.
Cooking up burgers
Two days before
Christmas in 2004,
Emmy and Bill
Camp were waiting
for their son, Brian,
to arrive from FlorEmmy
ida when an ice
storm knocked out
power to their
Late in the evening, eight hours
late, Brian finally landed with
some guests: a pair of cockatiels;
Rocco, the dog; and Tabitha, the
cat, who promptly peed in a
Unable to take all the animals to
a hotel, the family spent the next
few days in coats and gloves, sleeping on lounge chairs around the
Power was still out when the
Camps’ daughter, Lisa, arrived
with her family on Christmas Day.
Lisa’s husband, who worked at
Wendy’s corporate headquarters,
packed along dinner: frozen
Bill Camp cooked the hamburgers on a camp stove.
“That was our Christmas dinner,” Emmy Camp, 77, said. “We
still laugh about that today.”
Hearing from Santa
On Christmas Eve
14 years ago, 5-yearold Christopher
Balch was outdoors
with the family
when an airplane
Christopher descended over the
house toward Port
Columbus International Airport.
It was too dark to make out the
shape of the plane, but the blinking lights were plainly visible.
“We told him that was Santa’s
sleigh, landing,” said his father,
J. Randolph Balch, 59. “His
ON THE HOUSE
The couple visited the open
houses claiming to be in search
of a new home.
He was big, in his early 50s,
sporting a chef’s coat. She was
in her late 30s and heavily tattooed.
for a home in
the wake of her
they told realestate agents.
ways in the
home. While the
the agent’s attention, the woman vanished into a bedroom.
And that, officials say, is when
things went wrong.
According to the Franklin
County prosecutor’s office, the
couple stole more than $12,000
in jewelry, cash and camera
equipment from half a dozen
homes they visited during
August open houses.
“The gentleman immediately
came into the family room,”
said Annette Marble, an agent
with Columbus Realty Professionals in Plain City who was
listing a Hilliard home that the
“She took off right upstairs,
and he kept me at bay in the
family room. I would head
toward the foyer and the stairs,
and he would block me from
going there. Finally, I was getting ready to go upstairs, and
she came out of the bedroom
and shut the door. . . .
“They seemed somewhat
normal, but after she shut the
door, I had a weird gut feeling.
When they left and my sellers
came home, I asked them if
they were missing anything of
They discovered rings were
Once the agents realized what
was happening, they contacted
the Columbus Board of Realtors, whose alert caught the
attention of other victims.
Lynne Elledge, a Real Living
HER agent, became suspicious
when a woman spent an unusually long time on the second
floor of a home that Elledge was
showing on the Northwest Side.
After police compared notes,
Michael Shipley, 53, of the West
Side, and Crystal Galloway, 37,
of Richwood in Union County,
were arrested. Each has been
arraigned on six counts of burglary and four counts of theft.
Both have pleaded not guilty.
The thefts have understandably alarmed real-estate agents.
Elledge, for instance, plans to
post a sign on her open houses
proclaiming that the home is
Marble would rather not hold
open houses again — at least
“I love doing open houses,
but I don’t like doing them
anymore,” Marble said. “It just
kind of put a bad taste in my
If nothing else, agents can
find comfort that such incidents
See MEMORIES Page H2
See WEIKER Page H2
More bottle trees are sprouting in Northern yards
STAR TRIBUNE (MINNEAPOLIS)
Bottle trees are whimsical yard decorations, popular in the South, that use
colored-glass bottles on a framework.
Looking for a gift for the gardener
who has everything?
How about a bottle tree?
The decorative “trees” — with colored glass bottles for “branches” — are
a tradition in the rural South and the
Caribbean. But now they’re becoming
a popular garden ornament in the
North, as well as the subject of a forthcoming book.
“Bottle trees are the modern pink
flamingo,” garden author Felder Rushing recently told The Wall Street Journal.
Gardener Maggie McDonald, who
lives in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., had been
pining for one since she first saw a
homemade version at a friend’s place.
“I’ve wanted a bottle tree for so
long,” she said.
She looked without success until her
husband located a bottle-tree artist
just an hour’s drive away.
McDonald bought her “tree,”
trimmed with cobalt-blue bottles, in
June and displays it near a steppingstone embedded with matching blue
“It’s so pretty!” she said. “When the
black-eyed Susans are in bloom, it
really looks sharp.”
Jerry Swanson, the Princeton, Wis.,
By Kim Palmer
“It’s so pretty!
in bloom, it
See BOTTLE TREES Page H3
STAR TRIBUNE (MINNEAPOLIS)
Helps readers understand terms that might be used throughout
a story or series of stories, or can be a collection of jargon.
How do we use more ASFs?
» Think about the package, not just our part
» Open our minds
» Think like readers
» Plan ahead
Former Poynter Institute fellow Monica Moses offers tips:
What story should be planned?
» Any story that readers should not miss. Usually the lead
or centerpiece on each section front.
Who needs to be involved?
» No more than six people.
1. reporter 2. editor 3. photo and/or graphics rep.
4. designer 5. copy editor
One must have authority to green light the group’s plans.
When is the right time to talk?
» Before writing or visual work is begun, but after
the reporter has a good idea of the scope and thrust
of the story.
» The more focused the story idea, the better the
headlines and visuals can be.
» Rule of thumb: If the story can not be summed up
in 20 words or fewer, you are not ready to plan the
Questions to ask yourselves
» What is the point of the story?
» Why will readers care about it?
» What form should the story take?
(One long narrative? Intro with nuggets and graphic?)
» How can the story best be illustrated?
(Photo, graphic or illustration? Numbers? Infobox?)
» What is the working headline?
(Whoever is doing the visual work needs this
headline to produce good, journalistic, contentdriven photos, illustrations or graphics.)
How long should these meetings last?
» No longer than 10 to 15 minutes.
» The more you do, the better and faster you become
What is the tone of these conversations?
» They should be as fun, democratic, creative and
freewheeling as possible.
» They can generate excitement.
» Many photographers, artists and designers get
new visual ideas from talking to reporters.
» Many reporters say they see their stories in a new light
after talking with people from other departments.
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