Archive for June 2012

(Disclaimer: Currently the following product is a work of creative fiction, as much as the author wishes it was real.  This article is also a work of fiction.)

THE SENTINEL, June 30, 2012

Are you the absent-minded, careless, or scatterbrained type?  Do you spend more than five minutes a day searching for the household items you’ve misplaced?  Have you ever spent unexpected money on replacing a lost item?   

If you shamefully answered “Yes” to any of these questions, you can breathe a sigh of relief now. Rachel Hirschhaut, a second-year English and journalism major at Brandeis University and a self-proclaimed absent-minded genius, has discovered the solution to your problems, and it is called Retrace My Steps.   

The iPhone and iPad app, available at the budget-friendly price of $1.99, “uses the latest cutting-edge GPS satellite technology to calibrate the probability of where you might have left your lost item,” Hirschhaut says. 

The app is easy to use, tailored to the thought patterns of young people as well as their older and more forgetful counterparts.  After downloading the app, users can choose a few of the most commonly misplaced items, such as TV remotes, glasses, and car keys, and set their most frequent locations (usually the car, or rooms in their home) in their personalized settings. 

One of our reporters tested the app.  She was given the choice between three of the most common lost items, and pressed the button to choose car keys as her item.  The voice interface, which can be set to sound like any accent or actor’s voice, automatically turned on.  It first asked her if she left them in her purse, the most common and likely possibility, and it was correct.

Retrace My Steps does not protect people from a complete lack of common sense, but it can make daily life a little easier for people who lose things easily.      


Hi, this is Rachel Hirschhaut, and if you are reading this, I am…


I think I’ll begin with a David Letterman-style Top Ten List of reasons why I should create this blog:

-Because people tell me I have a unique voice and a lot to say. 

-Because I have a restless mind, and need a place to share all those epiphanies that hit me.

-Because I hear that self-publishing is now, more than ever, a legitimate way for writers

and even aspiring writers to put themselves out there.

-Because if Tina Fey and countless others published a whole book of random thoughts, why shouldn’t I start a similar type of blog? 

-Because college is a wondrous source of inspiration – the classes I’ve taken and will take, the people I’ve met, the ability to simply wake up and try something I’ve always wanted to try — and more.

-Because sometimes you never know how much influence you’ve had on someone until you read their writing, and I want to acknowledge the people who inspire me.

-Because writing is a lot like planting a seed and not knowing what it will grow into, and that is a beautiful thing.

-Because I am seeking a more meaningful writing outlet than Facebook or Twitter, and I want to reaffirm that meaningful writing and communication can be found somewhere in cyberspace.   

-Because who doesn’t want or need a little more humor and wisdom? 

-Why not?  (If anyone has a reason why I should not write, speak now.  No one?  Okay.) 

The Benjamin Franklin quote on the back of my high school literary magazine T-shirt (StageWrite, hooray!) says, “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”  But I say why choose one or the other?  I am trying to accomplish both in my life, and document it too, while reflecting and expressing my love for books, poetry, writing my own pieces, TV, arts, music, food, traveling, interesting people, society, the world, Jewish thought, and ordinary moments of inspiration.  This summer I am interning, working, traveling to California this weekend and probably somewhere new later on, and trying to fill that strange void between college semesters.  So who knows what this blog will evolve into?  Stay tuned.  (Cue the theme music and credits).


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Happy blogging!