By Dan Jewel
February 05, 2001 12:00 PM


What’s black and white and reading e-mails from all over? D.C.’s new pandas

Too bad those paws don’t work too well with computers. Because kids of all ages are e-mailing giant pandas Tian Tian (top) and Mei Xiang by the hundreds to celebrate their Dec. 6 arrival from China. Visitors to can compose “Panda-Grams” for delivery to the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., joining such fan grams as these:

•”Hi, funny bears…don’t eat too much.”

•”I love you both and want to meet you. I was adopted from China and I have a stuffed Panda.”

•”Hi, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian. I know you don’t know me, but I don’t know you too! What is it like to be a Panda? You proply don’t want to be a human. Almost everyone is mean to me.”

•”A warm and friendly welcome to the cutest couple in whole Washington!”

•”Hello, little round cute ones. Welcome to our country. I hope your stay is a pleasant one.”

•”Hey guys welcome to the neighberhood. Please, no loud partys.”

My Favorite site

Jane Clayson

Whether at work or play, the cohost of CBS’s The Early Show finds answers at Ask Jeeves (, the Q&A-format search engine. “I can ask Jeeves what to get my girlfriends for Christmas,” she says, “and it gives you ideas. You can ask Jeeves for a card, and it’ll send holiday e-cards. I want to know where a restaurant is, and it’ll give how to find it–and link me to reviews.” She has also turned to the site for a little last-minute prep. “We had Destiny’s Child on the show,” says Clayson, “and I went on to find some information on the group.” Isn’t that what a research staff is for?

Internet Manners

How can I politely request a friend use spell-check when e-mailing me? His e-mails have so many errors they can be hard to read.

While sending error-riddled e-mail is stinky etiquette, offenders can get huffy about complaints that smack of superiority. Don’t impugn his manners or education, just explain: I know you’re busy, but spell-check makes e-mail easier to read.”

I work as a corporate recruiter and regularly e-mail job openings to potential candidates. Is this considered spam?

Headhunters don’t always play by Marquis of Queensberry rules–but if recipients didn’t request these mailings, they’re spam: bad manners, bad business and possibly illegal. Switch to a newsletter wanderlusting workers can voluntarily sign up for.

A Site for the Ages

Ah, the pitfalls of live TV. Alexis Abramson was demonstrating items meant to improve the lives of the elderly on NBC’s Today when her talking scale started to nag. “It wouldn’t stop,” she recalls. “So as we were working through the rest of the products, you kept hearing ‘five pounds two ounces…five pounds two ounces.’ ”

Abramson’s Atlanta-based business, Mature Smart, sells large-print books, talking clocks, easy-to-handle remote control devices and the like through “It’s my goal,” she says, “to create a barrier-free society for seniors.” Abramson, 33, began Mature Smart in ’96 with a $50,000 loan from her parents. These days, her mother, Phyllis Abramson, 59, handles public relations and her grandmother, Rose Holtzman, 88, writes an inspirational column, “Grandma Rose,” on the site. “We’ve always been a close family,” says Holtzman. Guess her relatives never got her a talking scale.

Click and Get it

Eat Chocolate, Save the World

Through Feb. 3, fans of stars and sweets alike can bid at on boxes of Ethel M valentine’s chocolates autographed by a slew of celebs. Among the signing stars: Paul Newman, the Duchess of York, Sisqé, Geena Davis, Reggie Jackson, David Cassidy and Tony Curtis (left). All proceeds go to children’s charities.