Quoted – Sorry, friends, it’s Lent

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Sorry, friends, it’s Lent

For some Christians, giving up Facebook has become the chosen form of self-denial

Third-grade teacher Margaret Plasmier asks her students in religion class to think about the sacrifice of Jesus and use him as a model during Lent to decide what they could do without and what they can do for someone else.

She hopes her Immaculate Heart of Mary Schoolstudents will become better people because of the discipline of sacrificing something, and she hopes the same for herself.

So she’s given up Facebook.

And she’s not alone. A random survey of readers and friends found dozens who had forsaken the social networking site until Easter, raising the question: Is doing without Facebook the 21st-century spiritual equivalent of fasting?

Traditionally, fasting and other sacrifices are undertaken by Christians to prepare themselves for Holy Week, which commemorates the sorrow of Jesus’ death and the glory of his resurrection on Easter.

Many people choose to give up a vice or luxury — candy, sodas, movies, snacks, smoking — and use the money or time to help someone else.

And these technologies will evolve in unexpected ways, says Scott Testa, professor of business administration at Cabrini College, in Radnor, Pa.

“We’ve only touched the surface in terms of functionality,” he says.

Today’s Facebook, he says, is like Pong — the early and simple tennis-like video game. Look how sophisticated video games have become, Testa says.

“It will be interesting to see 100 years from now how all this will change us,” he says.

He believes the positives will far outweigh the negatives, though, he says, people will need to use the technologies wisely.

http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20100328/LIFE/3280312

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Quoted – Sales rise, retailers optimistic – The Chronicle

Sales rise, retailers optimistic

By LOU WILIN

Retailers report stronger Black Friday sales this year than last year and they are cautiously optimistic about the rest of the Christmas season.

“So far, so good,” said Debbi Baker, store manager of Christopher & Banks, a women’s clothing store at Findlay Village Mall. “My Black Friday was better (than last year’s).”

David Lazar, store manager of Elder-Beerman at the mall, was cheerier.

“We are happy. We are very, very happy,” with Elder-Beerman’s sales numbers last weekend, he said.

National and regional research companies reported slight sales increases last weekend from a year ago.

In Ottawa, Walmart Manager Shane Sidle is patient.

“Things have been steady, steady with last year,” he said. Sales will probably strengthen in the 10 days before Christmas, Sidle said.

“The last couple of years, that is how it has been,” he said.

The recession has lowered retailers’ sales expectations, and rightly so.

“Consumers are very leery about spending money over the holidays,” said Scott Testa, business administration professor at Cabrini College, Radnor, Pa.

Retailers are coping by spreading out the shopping season. Christopher & Banks at the mall got its Christmas season inventory in early November, three weeks earlier than usual, said Baker, the manager. She even got resort wear, outfits women will wear on trips in the next season. Baker does not usually see those until mid-December.

“They kind of bulked me up, and whatever I have got, it has to go,” she said.

In Fostoria, Kmart Assistant Manager Bridget Weslow said the store’s layaway policy “is what is keeping people coming in.”

Testa said people this year are seeking more practical gifts, like tires, tools and car wax instead of, say, jewelry.

But flat screen TVs and video game systems are still hot items, Sidle said.

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