Birthdays for Saturday, Dec. 26

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to five excellent visual journalists…


Jason Boyd is digital media manager for WCTI-TV 12 and FOX 8/14 in New Bern, N.C. and a writer for the Stanly News & Press. A product of East Carolina University, Jason worked as a sportswriter for the Washington (N.C.) Daily News, the (Greenville, N.C.) Daily Reflector and the Wilson (N.C.) Daily Times and sports editor of the Washington Daily News and the Rocky Mount (N.C.) Telegram before moving to the Ledger-Enquirer of Columbus, Ga., in 2006 as assistant sports editor. He spent seven-and-a-half years as an associate editor for the Sporting News in Charlotte, N.C. He moved back to eastern North Carolina in May. Jason turns 45 today.


Scott Goldman is senior director of content strategy for Angie’s List in Indianapolis, Ind. A 1990 graduate of Syracuse University, Scott spent two years as the Sunday sports editor for the Post-Star of Glens Falls, N.Y., before moving to the Charlotte Observer in 1994. He moved to the Washington Post in 1999 and then to the Indianapolis Star in 2004 as assistant managing editor. He served as president of the Society for News Design in 2006. He moved to Advance Digital of New Jersey in 2012 as the chain’s director of content. He moved to Angie’s List in 2014. Find his Twitter feed here. Scott turns 47 today.


Kevin McGeever is senior editor editor of Visit Florida, the state’s official tourism marketing arm. A 1978 graduate of the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, Kevin earned a master’s degree from Syracuse University in 1980. He spent eight-and-a-half years as an assistant sports editor for the St. Petersburg Times and a similar amount of time as a suburban news editor before becoming senior editor for online news in 2004. He joined Visit Florida in 2011. Find his Twitter feed here. Kevin turns 59 today.


Gursharanjit Singh works in the field of pharmaceutical technology in Bangalore, India. He also draws cartoons and writes Punjabi poetry. He’s a 2004 graduate of the Rajiv Ghandi University of Health Sciences. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here. Gursharanjit turns 35 today.


George Treviranus is a user experience designer for of Madison, Wis. A 2014 graduate of Madison College of Wisconsin, George served as design director and then editor-in-chief of the student paper there, the Clarion. He’s also worked as a freelance designer for print, user experience and branding. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here.

Gursharanjit, Jasaon, Scott, George and Kevin share a birthday with actors Beth Behrs and Christopher Catesby “Kit” Harington; musicians Lars Ulrich (of Metallica), Jared Joseph Leto (of 30 Seconds to Mars) and Harvey Phillip “Phil” Spector; comedian Irwin Alan Kniberg (better known as Alan King); puppeteer Caroll Spinney; sports greats Yohan Blake (track and field), Osborne Earl “Ozzie” Smith, Carlton Ernest Fisk, Carroll Christopher Chambliss (all three baseball), John Franklin “Frank” Broyles (football coach) and Jay Glazer (commentator); politicians Birch Evans “Evan” Bayh III and Albert Arnold “Al” Gore Sr.; Chinese leader Mao Tse-tung; mathematician Charles Babbage; author Henry Valentine Miller; TV hosts Stephen Valentine Patrick William “Steve” Allen and John Edward Walsh and radio host David Sedaris.

In addition to Boxing Day, today is National Thank-You Note Day and National Whiner’s Day. Seriously.

Have a wonderful birthday, folks! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Friday, Dec. 25

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to a pair of excellent visual journalists…


Brian Root is assistant sports editor of the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va. A 1990 graduate of Washington & Lee University, Brian served as managing editor of the Bulletin of Martinsville, Va., before moving to the Newport News Daily Press in 2003. He jumped across the James River to the Pilot three years later, serving as team leader for reporters until switching to sports in 2012. Find his Twitter feed here.


Lindsey Turner is creative director for the Gannett Design Studio in Nashville, Tenn. A 2004 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Lindsey interned at the Birmingham News. She spent spent seven years at the Memphis Commercial Appeal as a designer, copy editor, blogger and assistant art director. She moved to the Gannett hub in Nashville in 2012, where she led the team that designed papers in Mississippi, Alabama and Virginia. She was promoted to creative director in 2014. In addition, Lindsey sells what she calls “salty and Southern-fried pretties” — greeting cards, note cards, gift tags, wall prints and so on — via her Etsy store. Find Lindsey’s portfolio here and her Twitter feed here.

Lindsey and Brian share a birthday with actors Sissy Spacek, Gary Sandy and Humphrey DeForest Bogart; musicians Cabell “Cab” Calloway III, James William “Jimmy” Buffett, Barbara Ann Mandrell, Shane Patrick Lysaght MacGowan (of the Pogues), Annie Lennox, Dido Florian Cloud de Bounevirlle O’Malley Armstrong (who normally only goes by her first name), twins Jessica and Lisa Origliasso (of the Veronicas) and Harvey Phillip “Phil” Spector; sports greats Rickey Nelson Henley (better known as Rickey Henderson), Jacob Nelson “Nellie” Fox (both baseball), Kenneth Michael “Kenny” Stabler and Larry Richard Csonka (both football); Red Cross founder Clarissa Harlowe “Clara” Barton; Egyptian leader Muhammad Anwar El Sadat; hotel owner Conrad Nicholson Hilton; auto racer-turned-manufacturer Louis Chevrolet; scientist Isaac Newton; author Carlos César Salvador Arana (better known as Carlos Castaneda); TV producers Rodman Edward “Rod” Serling and Richard Keith “Rick” Berman; Believe It or Not! cartoonist Robert LeRoy Ripley and political commentator Karl Christian Rove.

In addition, today is Christmas Day. Which, I suspect, you already know.

Have a great birthday, you two! Best wishes and Merry Christmas!

Birthdays for Thursday, Dec. 24

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to four top-notch visual journalists…


Pat Carr is a visual journalist based in Washington, D.C. A 1970 graduate of St. John’s University of New York, she spent 17 years teaching in various schools in South Carolina and Virginia. She served as an editorial coordinator for the Dahlgren Memorial Library at Georgetown University’s medical center before joining Knight-Ridder Graphics in 1989 as a researcher. She was promoted to senior researcher in 1995 and then to graphics editor in 2000. She left the service — which had become MCT Graphics — in 2014.


Tyson Evans is a member of the New York Times’ Newsroom Strategy Team, which seeks to prioritize and launch digital initiatives and implement the famous in-house innovation report that made the rounds last year. A 2005 graduate of UCLA, Tyson spent his senior year as editor-and-chief of the Daily Bruin before serving a news design intern for the Los Angeles Times. Later that year, he went to work for the Las Vegas Sun, where he designed for both print and online. He was hired away by the NYT in 2008 as deputy editor for interactive news. The Times promoted him to his current position in 2014. Tyson also teaches at Columbia University and serves on the board for the Society for News Design. Find his personal portfolio page here and his Twitter feed here. Tyson turns 33 today.


Nathan Groepper is director of consumer experience of Gannett’s Des Moines (Iowa) Register. A 1998 graduate of the University of Iowa, Nathan went to work right away at the Register as a copy editor and designer before being promoted in 2008 to presentation editor for features and then to design director in 2009. He moved over to the Des Moines design studio in 2011 as creative director. He moved to his current position a year ago. Find his Twitter feed here. Nathan turns the big four-oh today.


Chinelo Onwaulu is CEO of Sylvia Fairchild Editorial Services, a firm offering writing and copy editing services in Abuja, Nigeria. A 2003 graduate of Calvin College, Chinelo spent a year as night web editor for the Observer-Dispatch of Utica, N.Y., and then another year as online editor for the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Va., before moving back to Abuja in 2010. She spent a year with Timbuktu Media — publishers of a number of newspapers including Next — before working for Cassava Republic Press, a book publisher. She went freelance three years ago. Find her blog here and her Twitter feed here.

Chinelo, Tyson, Nathan and Pat share a birthday with actors Ava Lavinia Gardner, Karl Diedrich Bader, Anil Kapoor and John Anthony Woods (better known as John Levene); musicians Enrique Martí­n Morales (better known as Ricky Martin) and Louis William Tomlinson (of One Direction); model Daphne Groeneveld; radio and TV personality Ryan John Seacrest; comedian Steven “Steve” Smith Jr. (better known as Red Green); frontiersman Christopher Houston “Kit” Carson; eccentric bazillionaire Howard Robard Hughes Jr.; sports greats William McGarvey “Bill” Dudley, Tim Jennings (both football), Jerold Taylor “Jay” Wright (basketball coach) and Jay Scot Bilas (ESPN basketball commentator); writer and director Nicholas Meyer; authors Stephanie Morgan Meyer, Mary Theresa Eleanor Higgins Clark Conheeney (better known as Mary Higgins Clark), Fritz Reuter Leiber Jr. and Isidor Feinstein Stone; children’s book illustrator Johnny Gruelle and comic book creator Mark Millar.

Of course, today is also Christmas Eve. Seriously.

Have a wonderful birthday, all! Best wishes and Merry Christmas to you!

Birthdays for Wednesday, Dec. 23

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to six excellent visual journalists…


Michael Higdon is a city life reporter for the Reno (Nev.) Gazette-Journal, where he says he covers “gentrification, tech, hipsters, beer and spirits.” A 2009 graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, Michael worked a summer internship with the Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky., was a Pulliam Fellow at the Indianapolis Star and an summer fellow at the Poynter Institute. He also did some work for NASA during his final year in Reno. He started work for Swift Communications, also of Reno, in June of 2009 as an ad designer and slid back to the editorial side in 2010 as an editorial designer. In 2012, he was named Swift’s editorial systems administrator. In 2014, he launched Drinkable Reno, a web site focusing on Reno’s craft beer scene and parlayed that into the new reporting gig in which he started work in June. He also teaches part-time at the University of Nevada, Reno. Find Mike’s personal portfolio here and his Twitter feed here.


Alicia Kramme is lead designer for the Kansas City Business Journal. A 2014 graduate of the University of Iowa, Alicia served as graphics editor for the student paper there, the Daily Iowan. She spent two-and-a-half years at the Gannett Design Studio in Des Moines, Iowa, before moving to the KCBJ a year ago. Find her portfolio here and her Twitter feed here. Alicia turns 24 today.


Mary Peskin is an associate at We Media, a digital media company in Reston, Va., co-founded by Mary’s husband, Dale Peskin. A graduate of N.C. State University in Raleigh, Mary spent 22 years as design director of the New York Times Regional Media Group. She joined the American Press Institute in 2005 and spent seven years as associate director until API merged with the Newspaper Association of America in 2011. She continued working on the merger and developing programs and coordinating workshops through 2013.


Marcia Prouse is the storytelling coach at the Nashville Tennessean. A graduate of Arizona State University, Marcia earned a master’s degree from the University of Missouri, where she edited a book in lieu of a thesis. She spent 16 years at the Detroit Free Press, as a magazine art director, photo editor, deputy director of photography and section editor. She moved to the Orange County Register of Santa Ana, Calif., in 1997 as a photo editor. She was named director of photography in 1998, Sunday editor in 2008 and then added daily A1 duties in 2012. She was named assistant managing editor in 2014. Marcia joined the Tennessean a year ago. Find her Twitter feed here.


Tom Roeder is weekend editor of the Gazette of Colorado Springs, Colo. A 1996 graduate of Washington State University, Tom spent two-and-a-half years as a reporter for the Chronicle of Centralia, Wash., before moving to the Herald-Republic of Yakima. In 2003, he moved to the Gazette as military affairs reporter. He was promoted to weekend editor in 2012 and added duties as military editor a year later. Find his Twitter feed here.


Stephanie Selensky is chief of the copy desk of the Forum of Fargo, N.D./Moorhead, Minn. A 1997 graduate of North Dakota State University, Stephanie spent a year as a copy editor at the Aberdeen American News and then two years at Prairie Public Broadcasting before joining the Forum in 1997. Find her Twitter feed here.

Alicia, Stephanie, Michael, Tom, Marcia and Mary share a birthday with actors Corey Ian Haim, Susan Victoria Lucci, Joan Marie Severance, Ronald Ralph “Ronnie” Schell and Harry Julius Shearer; musicians Edward Louis Severson III (better known as Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam) and David Michael Murray (of Iron Maiden); model-turned-reality TV star Holly Sue Cullen (better known as Holly Madison); model-turned-singer-turned-First Lady of France Carla Gilberta Bruni Tedeschi Sarkozy; synchronized swimmer-turned-model Estella Dawn Warren; U.S. Navy admiral-turned-politician James Bond Stockdale; U.S. Army general-turned-politican Wesley Kanne Clark; sports greats Robert Albert “Bob” Kurland (basketball), Danny MacAskill (cycling), Gregory Jack “Greg” Biffle (auto racing), Hanley Ramírez, Cody Ross, Jerome Martin “Jerry” Koosman (all three baseball), James Joseph “Jim” Harbaugh, Jack Raphael Ham Jr., Bennie Lee Cunningham and Paul Vernon Hornung (all four football); political commentator William Kristol and Mormon Church founder Joseph Smith Jr.

In addition, today is the Human Light Celebration. Seriously.

Have a wonderful birthday, y’all! Best wishes!

Time to buy your 2016 calendar

Instead of going down to the local chain bookstore and buying whatever crappy calendars they’ll have on sale after Christmas, why not get something gorgeous and made just for we media types?

Since 2002, Scott Fybush — a broadcast consultant and the guy behind of Northeast Radio Watch — has sold calendars featuring scenic views of broadcast towers.


The calendar is a high-quality publication, with coil binding and pictures from Scott’s own collection. Among the towers in this year’s edition:

  • WWV and WWVB in Fort Collins, Colo.
  • WIOD in Miami
  • South Mountain near Phoenix
  • KWAC of Bakersfield, Calif.
  • WABC of Lodi, N.J.
  • And the giant tower atop the Empire State Building.

And six more, of course. Scott also includes anniversaries of significant dates in broadcast history.

The 2016 Tower Site Calendar is just $19 plus $3.50 for first class shipping or $6.50 shipping for priority mail. Order them here.


A 1992 graduate of Boston’s Brandeis University, Scott worked as a reporter for WCAP in Lowell, Mass., WBZ in Boston, R News in Rochester and WXXI, also in Rochester. In addition to his freelance work, he edits radio trade publications such as the Radio Journal, NorthEast Radio Watch and

Find his Fybush Media web site here and his Twitter feed here.

Birthdays for Monday, Dec. 21

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to four wonderful visual journalists…


Esther Kim Cotton is an office manager for an optometrist in Sacramento, Calif., and a digital film producer. She graduated in 2013 from the Art Institute of California at Sacramento. Find her web site here and her Twitter feed here.


Eric Palm is an e-commerce sales and service agent for Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. A 1996 graduate of Auburn University, Eric worked as copy desk chief of the Opelika-Auburn News and as a copy editor for the St. Petersburg Times before moving to the News & Observer of Raleigh as a designer and copy editor in 1999. He moved to the Ocala (Fla.) Star-Banner in 2002, to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune in 2003 and then to the New York Times in 2005 before settling in at the Orlando Sentinel in 2006. After the Sentinel laid him off, Eric worked as a freelance designer and videographer while earning an Associate Degree in digital media at Valencia Community College. After a year as a senior illustrator with Lockheed Martin, Eric moved to Disney in 2012 as an enterprise digital media design and communications associate for social media. He moved into his current position in 2013. Find his Twitter feed here. Eric turns 42 today.


Don Tate is a children’s book illustrator based in Austin, Texas. A 1984 graduate of Des Moines (Iowa) Area Community College, Don had been working at the Des Moines Register for nearly two years when I became graphics editor there in April 1999. Shortly before the end of that year, he left for Austin. Don spent about 12 years as a news artist for the Austin American-Statesman, but his job was phased out in Cox Newspaper’s editing and design hub transition. He left the newspaper in 2012. Don’s illustrated more than 40 books — most recently, The Cart that Carried Martin by Eve Bunting (August 2013) and The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch by Chris Barton (April 2015).


In 2012, Don’s first book as an author — It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie — was published. Read more about it here and here.


His second was released in September — Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton. Don wrote and illustrated that one. It was written with the assistance of a grant by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Find Don’s personal web site here, his blog here and his Twitter feed here. Find his Facebook fan page here. Don turns 52 today.


Amy Waters Yarsinske is author of 56 books, most involving history, biography or current events and many having to do with the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. Her most recent: An American in the Basement: The Betrayal of Captain Scott Speicher and the Cover-up of his Death, published in July 2013.


A 1985 graduate of Randolph-Macon Women’s College in Georgia, Amy earned a master’s degree at the University of Virginia in 1988. Find her web site here and her Twitter feed here.

Eric, Esther, Don and Amy share a birthday with actors Samuel Leroy Jackson, Kiefer William Fredrick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland, Andrew Ryan “Andy” Dick, Raymond Albert “Ray” Romano, Jane Frances Kaczamrek, Jack Noseworthy Jr., Paul Winchell and Jane Fonda; musicians Carl Dean Wilson (of the Beach Boys), Nicholas George “Nick” Gilder and Frank Vincent Zappa; TV hosts Phillip John “Phil” Donahue and Alexandra Ann “Alex” McLeod; sports greats Florence DeLorez Griffith-Joyner (better known as track star as FloJo), Christine Marie “Chris” Evert (tennis), Walter Charles Hagen (golf), Joaquín Andújar, David Arthur “Dave” Kingman, Andrew James “Andy” Van Slyke (all three baseball), Michael Joseph Alstott (football), Adam Schefter (ESPN analyst) and Joseph Vincent “Joe” Paterno (football coach); movie producer Jeffrey Katzenberg; novelist Heinrich Theodor Böll; writer Cicely Isabel Fairfield (better known as Rebecca West), Founding Father Paul Revere and politicians Hu Jintao, Benjamin Disraeli and Kurt Josef Waldheim.

In addition to the Winter Solstice — which happens at 10:49 p.m. CST tonight — today is Celebrate Short Fiction Day, National Flash Light Day, Crossword Puzzle Day, Humbug Day and Global Orgasm Day. Seriously.

Have a terrific birthday, folks! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Sunday, Dec. 20

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to ten excellent visual journalists…


Garrett Evans is a designer for the Hill newspaper in Washington, D.C. A 2012 graduate of the University of Missouri, Garrett worked for the Columbia Missourian. He joined the Gannett Design Studio in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2013 and then moved to D.C. in 2014. Find his web site here and his NewsPageDesigner portfolio here. Garrett turns 26 today.


Jon Fisch is social media director for Q Nightclub in Seattle. A 2000 graduate of the University of North Dakota, Jon spent four years on the sports desk of the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald before joining the Charlotte Observer in 2001. He spent two years at the State in Columbia, S.C., and then four years at the Post-Dispatch of St. Louis before joining the Seattle Times in 2007. He was promoted to assistant sports editor in 2008 but was then laid off in 2012. He caught on quickly with MSN and was promoted to West Coast news editor later that fall. Jon started work for Q in 2013. He turns 39 today.


Jen McCaffery is associate editor at Rhode Island Monthly magazine. A 1994 graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., Jen earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University in 1999. She spent six years as a staff reporter covering courts, heath and families for the Roanoke (Va.) Times before moving to a similar beat at sister paper the Virginian-Pilot in 2006. She moved back north in 2010 and worked as an editor for AOL’s Patch in East Providence, R.I. She joined Rhode Island Monthly in 2011. Find her Twitter feed here.


Nina Mehta is a designer for Pivotal Labs in San Francisco, Calif. A 2007 graduate of Indiana University, Nina interned for Amnesty International, Macrovision, the Indianapolis Star, software company RockMelt, Inc. and served as a Poynter Fellow. She returned to the Star upon graduation but was laid off a year later. She then returned to Indiana for grad school and to serve as assistant editor of Majority Report, a publication of that institution’s Office of Women’s Affairs. She spent her 2010 Christmas break traveling with a colleague in Botswana, observing how folks in emerging countries use computers and software. On her way home, she dropped by an old friend who was consulting in Johannesburg.


Nina earned her master’s degree in May 2011, spent time that summer working in Mountain View, Calif., Tokyo and San Francisco and started at Twilio later that year. She moved to her current position in 2013. Find Nina’s web site here, her blog here and her Twitter feed here. Nina turns the big three-oh today.


Josh Moore is a grad student at the American University College of Law in Washington, D.C. A 2011 graduate of Western Kentucky University, Josh served as editor-in-chief of the College Heights Herald. He spent three years as copy desk chief of the Messenger-Inquirer of Owensboro, Ky., before quitting in 2014 to return to school. He hopes to graduate in 2017.


Mandi Keown Peebles is a public relations specialist for Kruhu Branding, Design and Creative Agency in Augusta, Ga. A 2002 graduate of the College of Charleston, S.C., Mandi spent two years as a budget analyst for the S.C. House of Representatives before becoming an account executive for Ocozzio business consulting of Augusta. She also spent three years as director of communications and advocacy development for the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce. She joined Kruhu in 2011. She’s one of the few communications professionals I’ve ever run into from my tiny home town of McCormick, S.C. In fact, her stepfather is my own former stepfather (in South Carolina, if you’re not related, we’ll find a way to make you related). Find Mandi’s (really funny) blog here.


Jay Small is president of Informed Interactive — which creates content for a chain TV stations and newspapers around the country — and based in St. Paul, Minn. A 1984 graduate of Southern Illinois University, Jay started out as a copy editor and designer for the Sun and Daily Herald of Biloxi, Miss., and then the News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Ind., where he became design director. In 1988, he moved to the Rocky Mountain News, eventually becoming art director. In 1991, he was hired as art director of the Indianapolis Star and, four years later, became that paper’s general manager of online services. He worked for a Minneapolis-based consulting firm for a couple of years an then rejoined news media with Belo Interactive in 2001. In 2005, he became managing director of content operations for newspapers for E.W. Scripps Co. of Knoxville, Tenn., where he oversaw editing design and interactive for the entire chain. In 2009 he earned an MBA in business administration from Kennesaw State University. He spent two years as president of Cordillera Interactive — which owns Informed Interactive — and then moved to Informed in 2012. Jay also runs his own consultancy on the side. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here.


Jana Thompson is an English teacher at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Ill. A graduate of Northern Illinois in DeKalb, Jana worked for the Northwest Herald in that same city before returning to NIU in 2011 as an English teacher. Jana turns 39 today.


Bill Walsh is a copy editor for the Washington Post. A 1984 graduate of the University of Arizona, Bill worked as a reporter and editor for the Phoenix Gazette before moving to the Washington Times in 1989. He left in 1997 as chief of the Times’ copy desk and leaped to the Post — where he’s worked for nearly 19 years since.


However, you might know Bill better as the author of books about grammar:

Find Bill’s web site here and his Twitter feed here.


Suzanne Yada is a web and social media strategist via her consultancy, YadaCreative, based in Berkeley, Calif. A 2004 graduate of the College of the Sequoias in Visalia, Calif., Suzanne spent four years as a copy editor for the Visalia Times-Delta before heading to San Jose State for a degree in journalism. She served as social media director for the Public Press of San Francisco, managing editor of the Global Media Initiative — in London and Paris — and as a reporter for the Spartan Daily. She graduated in 2010 and interned at the San Jose Business Journal before joining the Center for Investigative Reporting as a senior web producer. She produced two projects that were judged to be finalists for a Pulitzer prize, but was laid off in 2014. Find her company’s Twitter feed here.


Suzanne also writes and records music. Find samples and buy her CD here. Or, better yet, go here to pledge to support her efforts to record her work and to create more.

Find her personal web site here and her personal Twitter feed here.

Garrett, Nina, Mandi, Suzanne, Bill, Jana, Jen, Josh, Jon and Jay share a birthday with actors Jonah Hill Feldstein (better known as Jonah Hill), Michael Badalucco, Nicole de Boer, John Benedict Hillerman and Charlie Callas; musicians Christopher Mark Robinson (of the Black Crowes), David Roland Cook, Joanna Noëlle Blagden Levesque (better known as JoJo), Stephen William “Billy” Bragg, Alan Parsons and George Peter John Criscuola (better known as Peter Criss of Kiss); director George Roy Hill; TV producer Richard Anthony “Dick” Wolf; models Lara Catherina Stone and Jillian Grace; sports greats Richard Joseph “Rich” Gannon, Jack Leroy Christiansen (both football), Aubrey Lewis Huff III, Cecil Celester Cooper and David Wright (all three baseball); tire dealer Harvey Samuel Firestone; alleged spoon-bender Uri Geller and politicians Harry Flood Byrd Jr. and George Ervin “Sonny” Purdue III.

In addition, today is Mudd Day, Games Day, National Sangria Day, Poet Laureate Day, National Human Solidarity Day and the World Day for Prayer and Action for Children. Seriously.

Have a terrific birthday, all! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Saturday, Dec. 19

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to three wonderful visual journalists…


Dan Buettner is the founder of Port 80 Productions of Des Moines, Iowa, a company that creates custom web-based software. A graduate of Grinnell College in Iowa, Dan worked for a company called Outsell, Inc., and then spent several years as IT manager for the Des Moines Register. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here.


Brian Cleveland is a multiplatform editor for the Washington Post. A 1997 graduate of the University of Missouri, Brian spent four years as a copy editor for the News Tribune of Duluth, Minn., before joining the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., in 2005 as a copy editor. He was promoted to chief of the Pilot’s copy desk in 2007 but left in 2011 to join the Post. Find his Twitter feed here. Brian turns 37 today.


Dan Taylor is a freelance comic book writer in Orange County, Calif. You might know him as the writer and co-creator of the web comic — and occasional print collections — Hero Happy Hour.


A graduate of California State University in Long Beach, Calif. Dan spent two-and-a-half years as an editor with IDW publishing before going it alone. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here.

Brian, Dan and Dan share a birthday with actors Jacob Benjamin “Jake” Gyllenhaal, Alyssa Jane Milano, Amy Rose Locane, Marla Lynne Sokoloff, Jessica Steen, Jennifer Beals, Timothy L. Reid, Cicely Tyson and Robert Michael Urich; musician Walter Anthony Murphy Jr.; magician Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos (better known as Criss Angel); sports greats Reginald Howard “Reggie” White, Warren Carlos Sapp, Randall Cornell McDaniel, Jason Steven “Jake” Plummer, Robert Lawrence “Bobby” Layne (all five football), Kevin Edward McHale (basketball) and Albert William “Al” Kaline (baseball); paleoanthropologist Richard Erskine Frere Leakey, WABC-TV news anchor Lizabeth Aimee “Liz” Cho; talk show host David Susskind and former Soviet leader Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev.

Have a totally great birthday, folks! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Friday, Dec. 18

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to six talented visual journalists…


Bill Baker is the owner of Bakedmedia Inc., a 3D animation and multimedia studio based in Owings, Md. A 1977 graduate of the Pensacola School of Liberal Arts, Bill spent a couple of years as a jet mechanic in the U.S. Marines before joining the News Star World of Monroe, La. He worked for the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, the Detroit News and then USA Today before moving to Knight-Ridder Tribune graphics in 1988. He eventually became animation director for KRT’s News-In-Motion unit, producing graphics for TV news. He founded Bakedmedia in 2002. Find his Twitter feed here. Bill turns 56 today.


Suzanne Behnke is a grad student at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and a legislative clerk. A graduate of Wartburg College, Suzanne spent three years as a reporter and copy editor for the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier before moving to the Des Moines Register in 2000. There, she coordinated special sections and managed the copy desk. Suzanne left the Register in 2009.


Don Morris is assistant art director for the Tampa Bay Times of St. Petersburg, Fla. A 1986 graduate of the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., Don joined the Times in 1988 and has worked there ever since, as a reporter, illustrator and art manager. In addition, he’s freelanced for such clients as Red Bull, Turner Broadcasting, Coca-Cola, Chick-Fil-A, Smithsonian magazine and the Wall Street Journal. Find samples of his work via his agent.


Neal Pattison is executive editor of the Everett, Wash., Daily Herald, in the northern suburbs of Seattle. A 1974 graduate of Ohio University, Neal spent four years as assistant city editor of the Arizona Republic and the Phoenix Gazette before moving to the Spokesman Review as assistant managing editor. He spent ten years in Spokane before becoming managing editor of the Albuquerque Tribune in 1992 and then assistant managing editor of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 1996. He served as president of the Society for News Design in 1997, spent two years as a journalist in residence at American University in D.C. and then moved to Everett in 2007. Find Neal’s Twitter feed here.


Diego Sorbara is a copy editor on the foreign copy desk of the New York Times. A graduate of the University of Missouri, Diego spent a year-and-a-half on the copy desk of the Rocky Mountain News before moving to the Times in 2008. Find his Twitter feed here.


Francie Williamson is regional news editor for the Gazette of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A 2000 graduate of the University of Missouri, Francie spent two years as a designer for the Sun News of Myrtle Beach, S.C. and then two more years as a copy editor at the Press Herald in Portland, Maine. She moved to the Savannah (Ga.) Morning News in 2004 and then to the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa in 2007, where she was page one editor. She moved up the road to Cedar Rapids in 2010 as copy desk chief and took on her current duties in 2014. Find her Twitter feed here. Francie turns 36 today.

Francie, Suzanne, Diego, Neal, Bill and Don share a birthday with actors William Bradley “Brad” Pitt, Kate Noelle “Katie” Holmes, Raiford Chatman “Ossie” Davis, Raymond Allen “Ray” Liotta and Elizabeth Ruth “Betty” Grable; musicians Keith Richards, Shawn Randolph “Randy” Houser and Christina Maria Aguilera; wrassler Steve James Anderson (better known as Stone Cold Steve Austin); sports greats Don Lee Beebe (football), Charles Oakley (basketball) and Tyrus Raymond “Ty” Cobb (baseball); former Mythbusters co-host Kari Elizabeth Byron; painter Paul Klee; South African activist Stephen Biko; Russian leader Ioseb Besarionis dze Dzhugashvili (better known as Joseph Stalin); Austrian leader Franz Ferdinand; movie critic Leonard Maltin and director Steven Allan Spielberg.

In addition, today is International Migrants Day, Underdog Day, Arabic Language Day, Answer the Telephone Like Buddy the Elf Day and National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. Seriously.

Have a wonderful birthday, y’all! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Thursday, Dec. 17

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to five wonderful visual journalists…


Alejandro Banuet is chief creative officer for Publish88 in Monterrey, Mexico. A 1989 graduate of the University of Monterrey, Alejandro spent four years as a designer for el Norte in Monterrey and then three more years as design editor of Reforma in Mexico City. In 1999, he became design manager at el Sol, an afternoon tabloid in Monterrey and stayed there for nearly 12 years. He left newspapers in 2011. He also teaches infographics at his alma mater. Find Alejandro’s Twitter feed here.


John Grippe is a news page designer for the New York Times. A 2002 graduate of Gannon University, John spent nine years with the Times-News of Erie, Pa., before moving to the Times in 2012. Find his portfolio here and his Twitter feed here.


Amber Guffey is copy desk chief for the Globe-News of Amarillo, Texas. A 2006 graduate of the University of Central Florida, Amber spent two years as calendar editor for Orlando Weekly before joining the News Messenger of Marshall, Texas, as night editor in 2008. She moved to Amarillo in 2010 as a copy editor and page designer and was promoted to assistant copy desk chief in 2011. She was promoted to chief in 2013. Find her blog here and her Twitter feed here. Amber turns 32 today.


Adam Rogers is senior production editor for the Daily Sun of the Villages, Fla. A 2010 graduate of Youngstown State University in Ohio — where he worked on the student newspaper and radio station — Adam has worked at the Daily Sun for more than five years. Find his portfolio here. Adam turns 29 today.


Doug Strahler is an instructor at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. A 2005 graduate of that same institution, Doug earned a master’s degree from Syracuse in 2006 and a doctorate from Duquesne in 2014. He’s also taught classes at Syracuse and at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse. He spent a year with VLN Partners of Pittsburgh, which sets up online lessons for school districts and then signed on with Slippery Rock in 2010. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here. Doug turns 33 today.

Adam, Amber, Alejandro, John and Doug share a birthday with actors William James “Bill” Pullman, Milica Jovović (better known as Milla Jovovich), Sean Patrick Thomas, Ernest Lee “Ernie” Hudson, Eugene Levy, George Lindsey and Dave Madden; musicians Arthur Fiedler, Ryan Key (of Yellowcard), Neil Christopher Sanderson (of Three Days Grace) and Michael Edward Mills (of R.E.M.); sports greats Chase Cameron Utley (baseball), Bradley Ernest “Brad” Davis (basketball), Paula Jane Radcliffe (marathon runner), Emmanual Dapidran “Manny” Pacquiao (boxer-turned-politician ); religious leader Jorge Mario Bergoglio (now known as Pope Francis); novelist Erskine Preston Caldwell; TV chef Jeffrey Adam “Duff” Goldman; magazine publisher Robert Charles Joseph Edward Sabatini (better known as Bob Guccione); accused WikiLeaks leaker Chelsea Manning (formerly known as Bradley E. Manning); wrongfully accused Atlanta Olympic park security guard Richard A. Jewell; TV newsman Christopher John “Chris” Matthews and New York Times columnist William Lewis Safire.

In addition, today is Wright Brothers Day, Clean Air Day, National Re-Gifting Day and Free Shipping Day. Seriously.

Have a truly fabulous birthday, folks! Best wishes!

Birthday for Wednesday, Dec. 16

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to four superlative visual journalists…


Monday, Nate Bloomquist started his new job as a news and sports designer and copy editor for the Chicago Tribune. A 2003 graduate of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill., Nate spent a year with the Press-Gazette of Green Bay before joining the Northwest Herald of Crystal Lake, Ill., in 2005. He moved to the Quad-City Times of Davenport, Iowa in 2006 as a front-page designer. He also covered auto racing. From time to time, I’ve written about his alternative story form pages — like this one on the presidential inauguration or this one on a golf tournament or this one on the Beatles or these from earlier this year about the Super Bowl. Find his portfolio here and his Twitter feed here.


Réhann Coetzee is editor of @myFiets, a new digital Afrikaans-language biking magazine. A freelance journalist in Johannesburg, South Africa , Réhann  is also national director of AMiD — the Association of Motorcycle Importers and Distributors — and director of the Think Bike Safety awareness campaign. His wife, Tarina Coetzee, is a freelance designer and editor. Find his Twitter feed here.


Jody Collins is night editor for the Orange County Register in Santa Ana, Calif. A 1998 graduate of Whittier College, Jody worked as a reporter or editor for the Napa Valley Register and the Long Beach Press-Telegram before moving to a page one design position for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group in 2009. She was named assistant editor of the Long Beach Register when that paper was launched in 2013 and moved to the OC Register in 2012.


Matthew Vann is a designer for the EO Media Group in Salem, Oregon. A 2008 graduate of New Mexico State University, Matthew also spent time at the American News of Aberdeen, S.D., the Sun-News of Las Cruces, N.M., and the Round Up, also of Las Cruces. He joined the Times-News of Twin Falls, Idaho, in 2010 as a copy editor and designer. He was promoted to copy desk chief in July 2013 but left for Oregon a month later. Find his portfolio here. Matt turns 33 today.

Nate, Matthew, Jody and Réhann share a birthday with actors Hallee Leah Hirsh, Benjamin Bratt, Harry Bernard “Ben” Cross, Krysten Alyce Ritter, Anna Katherine Popplewell and Liv Johanne Ullmann; musicians Tramar Dillard (better known as rapper Flo Rida), William Frederick “Billy” Gibbons of ZZ Top, Göran Bror “Benny” Andersson of Abba and Ludwig van Beethoven; sports greats William “the Refrigerator” Perry (football), William Oliver “Billy” Ripken (baseball), Trevor John Immelman (golf), John Berry “Jack” Hobbs (cricket) and Benjamin “Frank” Deford III (sportswriter); TV producer Steven Ronald Bochco; anthropologist Margaret Mead; TV journalist Lesley Rene Stahl and authors Noël Pierce Coward, Jane Austen, Philip Kindred Dick and Arthur Charles Clarke.

In addition, today is Barbie and Barnie Backlash Day and National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day. Seriously.

Have a terrific birthday, y’all! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Monday, Dec. 14

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to eight superlative visual journalists…


Will Alford is senior director of content and audience for Cox Media Group and based in Atlanta, Ga. A 1995 graduate of the University of Florida, Will spent a year as a copy editor and designer for the Fort Pierce/Port St. Lucie (Fla.) Tribune and then two years as a page designer and night editor for the Scottsdale Progress/Mesa (Ariz.) Tribune. He moved to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 1998 and served as the paper’s product design chief until Cox consolidated its production work into hubs in 2012. That August, Will was named Cox’s manager of new product and business development. He was promoted to his current position in 2014. Find Will’s Twitter feed here.


Jerry Allegood is a freelance writer based in Greenville, N.C. A 1972 graduate of Francis Marion College in Florence, S.C., Jerry spent 35 years as the eastern North Carolina correspondent for the News & Observer of Raleigh. He retired in 2008. Jerry turns 66 today.


Toni Guagenti is a communications, social media and crisis management manager and consultant via her company, the Guagenti Group. A 1990 graduate of the University of Maryland, Toni spent four years as a state house reporter and a senior editor for the Carroll County (Md.) Times before joining the Virginian-Pilot in 1997. She worked as a community news reporter, teen editor, editor of the Pilot’s weekly TechTalk section and coordinator of the Pilot‘s work with local TV channel 13, WVEC. After the Pilot laid her off in 2009, Toni worked as a proposal writer for ICI Services Corp. of Norfolk, Va. She took on communications duties for the office of Virginia Beach mayor Will Sessoms‘ office in 2011 and social media management for Norfolk mayor Paul Fraim in 2013. Toni turns 48 today.


Ian McLean is a teacher-librarian for an elementary school in Penrith, New South Wales, Australia. A 1988 graduate of the University of Sydney, Ian earned a master’s degree from the University of Technology — also in Sydney — and has worked as a teacher or teacher-librarian, off-and-on, for the past 30 years. He spent four years as editor of the NSW Department of Education and Training’s professional journal, Scan. His professional learning blog, Booked Inn, was nominated for an award in 2011. Ian also blogs about Star Trek and science fiction.


Miranda Mulligan is creative director of digital at National Geographic. A 2002 graduate of the University of Miami, Miranda interned for Ocean Drive magazine and the Philadelphia Inquirer and taught a graphics class at Ball State University before earning her Master’s degree from that institution in 2006. She then interned at the Sun-Sentinel of Ft. Lauderdale before starting work at the Virginian-Pilot that fall. The Pilot promoted her to multimedia presentation editor in 2009. She moved to Boston in 2010 to become digital design director for the Boston Globe. The relaunch of the “responsive” — a project she oversaw in 2011 — was a tremendous success, making her a huge rock star in the digital news world. In 2012, she moved to the Knight Lab at Northwestern University as executive director. She moved to National Geographic earlier this year. Find Miranda’s Twitter feed here.


George Rorick is a longtime news artist, graphics editor and visual journalism instructor. A 1960 graduate of Eastern Michigan University, George spent 12 years as an artist, illustrator, photographer and ad sales rep for the News-Palladium and Herald-Press of Benton Harbor, Mich. In 1972, he moved to the Denver Post, where he was promoted from artist to art director. He became art director of the Lansing State Journal in 1974.

Around 1980, George became involved in the startup of USA Today, which launched in 1982. He assured himself a spot in visual journalism history by creating the original USA Today weather page. In 1985, he became graphics director of the St. Petersburg Times and, a year later, became assistant managing editor for graphics of the Detroit News. In 1988, he took over directorship of what was then known as the Knight-Ridder/Tribune Graphics Network, creating KRT’s groundbreaking News in Motion animated graphics studio.

Throughout many of these years, George taught graphics classes around the country and especially at the Poynter Institute in St. Pete. George left KRT in 1999, spent a year as a consultant at el Mundo in Madrid and then joined the Poynter faculty full-time in 2000. George retired in 2004 and was honored in 2005 with a lifetime achievement award from the Society for News Design.


Kiersten Schmidt is a Roy H. Park Fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, worrying on a Master’s degree. A 2010 graduate of the University of Miami, Kiersten served as sports editor of the school’s yearbook, the Ibis, and worked an internship with the Cape Cod Times of Hyannis, Mass. She spent a year as a designer and copy editor with the Northwest Florida Daily News and the Panama City News Herald in Florida before moving to the Gannett Design Studio in Asbury Park, N.J., in 2011 as a sports designer. She shifted over to the Newark, N.J., Star-Ledger in 2013 as lead sports designer. She left to go back to school this past fall. She hopes to graduate in 2017. Find her web site here, her NewsPageDesigner portfolio here and her Twitter feed here. Kiersten turns 27 today.


Anton Vermeulen is graphics editor for Huisgenoot, South Africa’s highest-circulation magazine (a close second is You, the English-language version of Huisgenoot) and based in Cape Town. A 1996 graduate of North West University, Anton spent 12 years as a graphic artist for Media24 newspapers in Johannesburg, most recently its large Sunday national papers, Rapport and City Press. He moved to Huisgenoot in 2010. Find his Deviant Art gallery here and his Twitter feed here. Anton turns the big four-oh today.

Kiersten, Anton, Miranda, Toni, Ian, George and Jerry share a birthday with actors Vanessa Anne Hudgens, Tammy Blanchard, Paul Finley Zaloom (better known as Beakman), Theodore “Ted” Raimi, Anna Marie “Patty” Duke, Lee Ann Remick, Moritz “Morey” Amsterdam and Frances Elizabeth Bavier; musicians Charles “Charlie” Rich and Lindley Armstrong “Spike” Jones; agent-turned-movie-producer Michael Ovitz; sports greats William Joseph “Bill” Buckner, Craig Alan Biggio (both baseball), Charles Louis “Charley” Trippi, Ernest “Ernie” Davis (both football), Stanley Roger “Stan” Smith, Patty Schnyder (both tennis), Joseph Brian Gay (golf) and Alan Dennis Kulwicki (auto racing); World War II hero James Harold “Jimmy” Doolittle; astronomer Tycho Brahe; apothecary Michel de Nostredame (better known as Nostradamus) and TV news producer Donald Shepard Hewitt.

In addition, today is Green Monday and Monkey Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, all! Have a terrific birthday today!

Birthdays for Sunday, Dec. 13

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to two wonderful visual journalists…


Rachel Kugelman is a designer and illustrator for the Gannett Design Studio in Asbury Park, N.J. A 2009 graduate of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, Rachel moved to the Asbury Park Press in 2011. Find her web site here. Rachel turns 30 today.


Sajeev Kumar T.K. is visual editor of Kaumudi, a 150,000-circulation Malayalam-language daily in Kerala, India. TKSajeev is probably better known, however, as the creator and proprietor of NewspaperDesign, a social networking site that specializes in newspaper design in India. He is also director of Region 19 of the Society for News Design. Find his Twitter feed here. Sajeev turns 49 today.

Rachel and Sajeev share a birthday with actors Steven Vincent “Steve” Buscemi, Eric Marlon Bishop (better known as Jamie Foxx), Johnny Whitaker, Arthur Christopher Orme (better known as Christopher Plummer) and Richard Wayne “Dick” Van Dyke; musicians Theodore Anthony “Ted” Nugent, Thomas Matthew DeLonge Jr. (of Blink-182), Samuel Stephen “Steve” Forbert, Amy Lynn Hartzler (better known as Amy Lee) and Taylor Alison Swift; music journalist Leslie Conway “Lester” Bangs; TV personality John Hamilton Davidson; sports greats Gary Wayne Zimmerman (football), Rex Ryan (football coach), Ferguson Arthur “Fergie” Jenkins (baseball), Rick Yutaka “Rickie” Fowler (golf) and Michael Todd Tirico (announcer); World War I hero Alvin Cullum York; First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln and politicians George Pratt Shultz, Ben Shalom Bernanke, Thomas James “Tom” Vilsack and Herman Cain.

In addition, today is Pick a Pathologist Pal Day, World Choral Day and Worldwide Candle Lighting Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, you two! Have a fabulous birthday today!

Birthdays for Saturday, Dec. 12

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to four excellent visual journalists…


Monica Evanchik is a freelance online art director and project manager based in New York City. A 1986 graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art, Monica worked as an artist for Polo Ralph Laren and as an art director for Digital Image Design before signing on with ABC News’ web operation in 2000. She moved to the New York Times as a multimedia producer in 2003. She left the Times in 2009 and has worked with the American Society of Magazine Editors. She also teaches at Farmingdale State College. Find her web site here and her Twitter feed here.


Olya Kharitonova is a designer and user experience specialist for Strength in Members, an agency that focuses on web projects for nonprofits. Originally from Minsk, Belarus, Olya is a 2011 graduate of Ohio University. She served internships at Cleveland magazine, at a law office and as a marketing assistant in the lifelong and distance learning department at Ohio U. Olya moved to the University of Colorado and earned her master’s degree in 2013 after serving as a research assistant in Steve Outing’s Digital News Test Kitchen. She joined Strength in Numbers in 2014. Find Olya’s web site here. She turns 27 today.


Cindy Driver Loman is life and community news editor of the News & Record of Greensboro, N.C. A 1984 graduate of the University of Richmond, Cindy spent a year as a features writer for the Stuart (Fla.) News and three years as assistant features editor for the Fort Pierce News Tribune before moving to the News & Record copy desk in 1988. She moved to community news in 1998 and then to team development coordinator in 1999. She became community news editor in 2006.


Malenga Wa Mlima Meru is a sub-editor — a copy editor — for the Nation Media Group and the East African in Nairobi, Kenya. He’s worked there for eight years. He also writes poetry. Find Mwiti’s AuthorsDen page here and his Twitter feed here.

Olya, Cindy, Malenga and Monica share a birthday with actors Jennifer Connelly, Mayim Bialik, Mädchen Amick and Emanuel Goldenberg (better known as Edward G. Robinson); musicians Francis Albert “Frank” Sinatra, Marie Dionne Warwick, Sheila Escovedo (better known as Sheila E.), Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero (better known as Connie Francis), Joseph Goreed (better known as Joe Williams), Shelton Hank Williams (better known as Hank Williams III) and Bob Dorough; artist Edvard Munch; supermodel Bridget Hall; TV host Robert William “Bob” Barker; sports greats Tracy Austin (tennis), Cathleen Roxanne “Cathy” Rigby (gymnastics), Johan Ramon “Ervin” Santana (baseball), Haywood Franklin Jeffires, Jose Rafael Septien (both football) and Emerson Fittipaldi (auto racing); former New York mayor Edward Irving “Ed” Koch; legendary law enforcement official Buford Hayse Pusser and comic book artist Daniel S. “Dan” DeCarlo.

In addition, today is Gingerbread House Day, International Shareware Day, National 12-Hour Fresh Breath Day, National Cocoa Day, Poinsettia Day and the Day of the Horse. Seriously.

Best wishes, all! Have a wonderful birthday today!

Birthdays for Friday, Dec. 11

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to a pair of wonderful folks…


Karl Gude is a journalism instructor at Michigan State University. One of the better infographics brains in the known universe, Karl spent the better part of three decades as a graphics director for United Press International (1979-1985), the New York Daily News (1985-86), the National sports daily (1989-1991), the Associated Press (1986-1989 and 1991-1995) and Newsweek magazine (1999-2006). Find examples of Karl’s infographics work here and of his fine art work here. His series of instructional videos is especially notable: Check out this one on how to draw butts:

Because, after all, you never know when this type of assignment will come up.
Find Karl’s Twitter feed here.


Artie Apple is a maintenance foreman with CSX railroad in Augusta, Ga. A huge sports star for Long Cane Academy in McCormick, S.C. way back in the early 1990s, Artie played two years of college football and also was a heck of a motorcycle racer in his younger days. He also has two gorgeous daughters — neither of whom I can believe inherited any of our family genes. My theory: They’re both aliens from the planet Cute. My “baby” brother turns 43 today.

Karl and Artie share a birthday with actors Monique Imes (better known as Mo’Nique), Hailee Steinfeld, Terry Ann “Teri” Garr, Donna Jean Miller (better known as Donna Mills) and Ron Carey; musicians Jermaine LaJaune Jackson, Brenda Mae Tarpley (better known as Brenda Lee), Rosita Delores Alverío (better known as Rita Moreno) and David Gates (of Bread); heiress Christina Onassis; sports greats William Lee “Willie” McGinest Jr. (football) and Javier Pedro Saviola Fernández (soccer); writer Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn; physicist Max Born; radio host Bill Cunningham and politicians John Forbes Kerry, Thomas Emmet “Tom” Hayden and Fiorello Henry LaGuardia.

In addition, today is International Mountain Day and Official Lost and Found Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, you two! Have a terrific birthday today!

Birthdays for Thursday, Dec. 10

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to three wonderful visual journalists…


Phyllis Bailey is a wire editor for the Gannett Design Studio in Nashville, Tenn. A 1981 graduate of California State University, Long Beach, Phyllis spent four years as a reporter for the Des Moines (Iowa) Register and two years as a reporter and copy editor for the Times of Trenton, N.J. She became a copy editor on the metro desk of the Milwaukee Journal in 1989 and moved to the St. Petersburg Times in 1992. She left that paper after 19 years as a senior copy editor and designer and started work in Nashville in 2012. Find her portfolio here and her Twitter feed here.


Matt Erickson is assistant editor for, part of USA Today’s sports media group. A 1997 graduate of Eastern Illinois University, Matt immediately joined the the Times of Munster, Ind., and worked there for 13 years as a designer and, eventually, director of presentation and visuals. He spent time as a regional director for the Society for News Design and coordinated the SND annual contest in 2005. Matt left the Times in 2010 to strike out on his own as a freelance sportswriter specializing in coverage of Mixed Martial Arts. He spent a year or so working with and joined in 2012. He also sells prints of amazing urban landscape photos he’s been taking with a technique called High Dynamic Range. Find his gallery here and my write-ups of his photo work here and here. This year, he even sold a photo to be used on a book cover.


Find his Twitter feed here. Matt turns 40 today.


Tim Thorsen is senior editor at Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers of Stuart, Fla. A 1995 graduate of the University of South Carolina, Tim spent two years as a sports editor and designer for the Reporter-News of Abilene, Texas, before moving to Corpus Christi as assistant sports editor. In 2002, he moved to the Post and Courier of Charleston, S.C., as a news designer. He slid over to sports copy editor and designer in 2004, became 1A editor in 2007 and was named night news editor in 2011. He moved to Florida in 2012. Find his portfolio here and his Twitter feed here. Tim turns 42 today.

Phyllis, Matt and Tim share a birthday with actors Raven-Symoné Christina Pearman, Michael Clarke Duncan, Kenneth Charles Branagh, Susan Hallock Smith (better known as Susan Dey), George Young Newbern, Emmanuelle Sophie Anne Chriqui, Bobby Dan Blocker, Mary Leta Dorothy Slaton (better known as Dorothy Lamour); TV chef Robert William “Bobby” Flay; comedian Greg Giraldo; sports greats Matthew Garrett “Matt” Forté (football), Gonzalo Gerardo Higuaín (soccer) and Robert Bowlby Blake (hockey); poet Emily Elizabeth Dickenson, politician Rod R. Blagojevich and TV newsman Chester Robert “Chet” Huntley.

In addition, today is Human Rights Day, Jane Addams Day, Dewey Decimal System Day and Nobel Prize Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, all! Have a truly great birthday today!

Birthday for Wednesday, Dec. 9

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to Ryan Tipps, editor of Smith Mountain Laker, a bimonthly magazine in Smith Mountain Lake, Va.


A 2000 graduate of Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind., Ryan spent four years with the Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Ind., before moving to the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Va. He moved on to the Roanoke Times in 2007, with his wife Gretchen Tipps, who also made the move from the Pilot to the Times. Ryan edited wire copy, metro copy and the travel page. He eventually became night news production team leader. He also writes and edits for, a web site devoted to Division III football. In 2014, Ryan earned a master’s degree in agriculture and life sciences from Virginia Tech University. He left newspapers earlier this year. He and Gretchen own Cherry Lane, a Certified Naturally Grown farm specializing in blackberries, sour plumbs and four types of garlic. Find Ryan’s Twitter feed here.

Ryan shares a birthday with actors John Gavin Malkovich, Felicity Kendall Huffman, Michael Dorn, Simon Maxwell Helberg, Lloyd Vernet “Beau” Bridges, Judith Olivia “Judy” Dench, Richard Vincent “Dick” Van Patten, Issur Danielovitch (better known as Kirk Douglas), Margaret Hamilton and Douglas Elton Fairbanks Jr.; musicians Marie-Josée Riel (better known as Emjay), Frank Edwin Wright III (better known as Tré Cool of Green Day), Neil James Innes, Kara Elizabeth DioGuardi, David Kersh, Jakob Luke Dylan and Donald Clark “Donny” Osmond; comedians John Elroy Sanford (better known as Redd Foxx) and Henry Zuckerman (better known as Buck Henry); talk-show host Sean Morton Downey Jr.; politicians Thomas Phillip “Tip” O’Neill Jr. and Thomas Andrew “Tom” Daschele; sports greats Richard Marvin “Dick” Butkus, David D. “Deacon” Jones, David Roy Akers (all three football), Thomas Oliver Kite Jr. (golf), Kurt Steven Angle (wrestling) and McKayla Rose Maroney (gymnastics) and writers John Milton and Joel Chandler Harris.

In addition, today is Cremation Day, Weary Willie Day and International Anti-Corruption Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, Ryan! Have an excellent birthday today!

Birthdays for Tuesday, Dec. 8

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to three excellent visual journalists…


ArLuther Lee is a content strategist for Arlubic Design of Atlanta, Ga. A 1997 graduate of the University of Florida, ArLuther spent four years at the Fort Myers News-Press and then another two years at the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel before moving to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2003 as a designer and copy editor. He left newspapers earlier this year.


Therese Shechter is an award-winning filmmaker specializing in quirky, humor-tinged documentaries. She spent ten years as associate graphics editor and a features art director of the Chicago Tribune before leaving newspapers to go work for Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Productions in New York City. She’s now on her own as an independent filmmaker, having made I Was A Teenage Feminist and How I Learned to Speak Turkish. Her most recent projects both premiered in 2013: How to Lose Your Virginity and SlutWalkNYC. Learn more about the Trixie Films operation here. Find Therese’s design portfolio here. Find her Twitter feed here.


Woody Vondracek is a graphic artist in Youngsville, N.C. A former mechanic for Eastern Airlines, Woody spent several years at the Miami Herald and then the News & Observer of Raleigh. His big claim to fame, though, was as a poster artist during the art deco revival of Miami’s South Beach in the 1970s and 1980s. Find his web site — and order copies of his prints — here.

Arluther, Woody and Therese share a birthday with actors Teri Lynn Hatcher, Kimila Ann “Kim” Basinger, Wendell Pierce, Ian Joseph Somerhalder, John Arthur “David” Carradine, James Gordon MacArthur and Maximilian Schell; musicians James Douglas “Jim” Morrison, Sinéad Marie Bernadette O’Connor, Onika Tanya Maraj (better known as Nicki Minaj), Corey Todd Taylor (of Slipknot), Gregory Lenoir “Gregg” Allman and Samuel George “Sammy” Davis Jr.; comedians Samuel Burl “Sam” Kinison and Clerow “Flip” Wilson Jr.; director Richard O. Fleischer; fitness guru Bob Greene; painter Diego María de la Concepción Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodríguez (better known as Diego Rivera); sports greats Philip Rivers (football), Michael Cole Mussina, Vernon M. Wells III (both baseball), Dwight David Howard (basketball), Drew Doughty (hockey), Amir Khan (boxing) and Ryan Joseph Newman (auto racing); inventor Eli Whitney; political commentator Ann Hart Coulter, Popeye creator Elzie Crisler “E.C.” Segar and cartoonist/writer James Grover Thurber.

In addition, today is Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, folks! Have a wonderful birthday today!

Birthday for Monday, Dec. 7

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to Erica Howard, marketing and special events coordinator for Florida State University, Panama City.


A 2006 graduate of the University of Central Florida, Erica spent six years as a copy editor and page designer for the Panama City News Herald. When Freedom Communications sold the paper to Halifax in 2012, she became slot editor. She left the paper in 2013 to take her current position. Find her portfolio here. Erica turns 31 today.

Erica shares a birthday with actors Emily Jane Browning, Jeffrey Wright, Nicholas Caradoc Hoult, Edna Ray Gillooly (better known as Ellen Burstyn) and Tadeusz Wladyslaw Konopka (better known as Ted Knight); musicians Harry Foster Chapin, Thomas Alan “Tom” Waits, Dominic James Howard (of Muse), Aaron Charles Carter, Sara Beth Bareilles and Louis Prima; sports greats Larry Joe Bird (basketball), Terrell Eldorado Owens (football), Johnny Lee Bench, Constantino “Tino” Martinez, Yasiel Puig Valdés (all three baseball), John George Terry (soccer) and Luke Campbell Donald (golf); linguistics professor Avram Noam Chomsky; Sears co-founder Richard Warren Sears and Sweet ‘N Low inventor Benjamin Eisenstadt.

In addition to Pearl Harbor Day, today is National Cotton Candy Day and International Civil Aviation Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, Erica! Have a wonderful birthday today!

Birthdays for Sunday, Dec. 6

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to eight top-notch visual journalists…


David Anesta is design team leader for the Gannett Design Studio in Asbury Park, N.J. A 2000 graduate of the University of Miami, David spent two years as a designer for the Prague Post, two more as a designer for the New York Post and then two more yet at the Boston Herald before moving to the Sun Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale in 2006. He joined Gannett in 2011, working as a features design team leader in Asbury Park, becoming creative director in the Nasville studio in 2013, spending a year as consumer experience director for the Tennessean and then moving back to Jersey in October. Find his portfolio here and his Twitter feed here.


Eric Ebert is a technology application analyst for US Bank in Minneapolis, Minn. A 2006 magna cum laude graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, Eric spent a year as a cops reporter for the West Central Tribune of Willmar, Minn., before moving to the Green Bay Press-Gazette in 2007 as a copy editor and designer. He was promoted to presentation director in 2008. Eric left the Press-Gazette in 2010 to join Sport Ngin of Minneapolis, which designs marketing web sites for professional and amateur sports teams and leagues. He moved to US Bank in 2013. Eric turns 32 today.


Charmaine Engelsman-Robins is a freelance writer, photographer, artist and marketing consultant in Sarasota, Fla. A product of the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota and the Ringling College of Art and Design, Charmaine spent 10 years as a music columnist for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and a contributing editor for Sarasota magazine. She’s also worked as a contributing editor and photographer for Attitudes magazine.


Alan Jacobson is the creator of Teen Tribune and Tween Tribune, daily news sites geared toward youngsters and classrooms and now owned and operated by the Smithsonian Institute. A 1978 graduate of the Philadelphia College of Art, Alan is also a news design consultant based in Norfolk, Va. His latest venture helps web sites examine their potential profitability. Find his Twitter feed here.


Tina Luster is a communications manager for the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau near San Francisco, Calif. A 1984 graduate of Oklahoma State University, Tina spent seven years as editor of the Weekender — an entertainment weekly that served California, Arizona and Nevada — before moving to State Farm in 1997 as regional communications coordinator. She spent a year-and-a-half as a designer for the Napa Valley Register and then signed on in her current gig in 2007.


Johnn-Grant Munro is head of design for die Burger, an Afrikaans-language daily in Cape Town, South Africa. A 2003 graduate of the University of Stellenbosch, Johnn worked as a visual journalist for Eikestadnuus before moving to die Burger in 2004. He served as a layout artist for corporate content, then became the same for the main paper and moved to assistant chief sub editor in 2006. He was named the paper’s chief layout artist in 2008 and moved into his current position in 2014. Find his Twitter feed here. Johnn turns 36 today.


Caitlin Rother is a writer of true crime books, based in San Diego and an instructor at UCSD. A 1984 graduate of Cal Berkeley, Caitlin earned a master’s degree from Northwestern University in 1987 and then spent a year each at the Springfield-Union News, the Los Angeles Times and the L.A. Daily News before signing on with the Union-Tribune of San Diego. She worked there for 13 years as an investigative reporter before leaving the newspaper world in 2006. Caitlin’s the author of ten books, including seven with a “true crime” bent. I’ll Take Care of You was released in January and Then No One Can Have Her came out last month.


In addition, her one novel — Naked Addiction – was released in 2014.


Find Caitlin’s web site here and her Twitter feed here.

Megan Tkacy is a designer for the Lee Enterprises hub in Munster, Ind. A 2011 graduate of Eastern Illinois University, Megan interned for the NextMedia radio group of Waukegan, Ill., and then spent year designing for the GateHouse hub in Rockford. She moved to the Lee hub in 2013. Find her entertainment blog here and her Twitter feed here.

Eric, Megan, Tina, Charmaine, David, Johnn-Grant, Caitlin and Alan share a birthday with actors Janine Loraine Gauntt (better known as Janine Turner), Noel Anthony Clarke, Thomas Edward “Tom” Hulce, Wallace Maynard “Wally” Cox, Margaret JoBeth Williams, Agnes Robertson Moorehead and Lillie Louise “Lynn” Fontanne; musicians Peter Lawrence Buck (of R.E.M.), David Warren “Dave” Brubeck and Israel Gershowitz (better known as Ira Gershwin); comedian Steven Alexander Wright; director Judd Apatow; comedian-turned-director Wil Shriner; animator Nicholas Wulstan “Nick” Park; poet Alfred Joyce Kilmer; politician Andrew Mark Cuomo; Civil War Gen. John Singleton Mosby; AIDS victim Ryan Wayne White; sports greats Alberto Contador Velasco (bicycling), Lawrence Robert “Larry” Bowa, Gary Lamell Ward, Stanley Camfield Hack (all three baseball), Otto Everett Graham Jr. and Jonathan Paul “Johnny” Manziel (both football); photojournalist Alfred Eisenstaedt; editorial cartoonist Douglas Nigel Marlette and Craigslist founder Craig Alexander Newmark.

In addition, today is National Pawnbrokers Day and St. Nicholas Day. Seriously.

Have a wonderful birthday today, all! Best wishes!