CHARITY: Season for Caring returns with more heart-wrenching cases. My story in Sunday’s Statesman (part of series): "At 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2006, 17-year-old Qusay Hussein was playing volleyball with three older brothers and their friends in a citywide match. Out of nowhere, a car pulled onto the ball court in Mosul, Iraq, just a few feet from Hussein. "I thought it was strange," Hussein, tall and broad-shouldered, says through a translator. "But cars could easily drive into the whole open area." The driver, an older man with rings on his fingers, Hussein recalls, smiled, then put his hand on the horn. That’s when the bomb exploded. "It felt like I flew as high as a building," Hussein says, shaking slightly. "I fell on my face. I tried to get up and felt something in my head. It was shrapnel. The side of my face was burning. I put my hands there and could feel the bones." His nose was gone. He couldn’t see. But he could hear shouting and screaming. Ten or 15 minutes later, he heard his mother’s and father’s voices. They raced to get Hussein and his brothers to medical care. They all lived. http://shar.es/DAml0(Essential series captained by Nicole Villalpando.)

MOVIES: Multi-gifted artist now branches out into movie acting. My story in Monday’s Statesman: "Some Austinites blithely apply the loaded term "Renaissance man" to blogger, musician, illustrator, neon artist — and now actor — Ben Livingston. "You say Renaissance man, I say dilettante with too much time on his hands," Livingston jokes. "I just do what I enjoy and people are magnetized to it." erhaps best known here for his innovative neon displays inside public spaces such as Bass Concert Hall and Austin Convention Center, as well as outside various local landmarks, Livingston recently made his movie acting debut in "The Cherokee Word for Water," a narrative feature that will be given a special showing at the smaller theater inside the Bullock Texas State History Museum on Thursday." http://shar.es/DA01o(A pleasure to get to know Ben better.)

MEDIA: Radioman is laughing with the stars. My story in Tuesday’s Statesman: "Jovial — sometimes outrageous — radio personality Ed Clements won’t dance, so don’t ask him. "In a lot of ways, I’m shy," says the anchor judge for Dancing with the Stars Austin, which returns Sunday to the Hilton Austin. "But once I get ahold of that microphone, it’s like on the radio, stuff just pops into my brain. Sometimes good, sometimes not. I feed off the excitement of the dancers and the crowd." He adds without pausing, "I have to admit there’s some good red wine, too." For years, Clements has held down the final and funniest position on the judging panel, which gives every contestant for the Center for Child Protection benefit a perfect "10" after some rosy praise and warm-hearted jokes from the judges." http://shar.es/DA0xu(This man cracks me up every time.)

HISTORY: Campaign to save Sneed House gains steam: My story in Saturday’s Statesman: "Bobby Cervantes is no longer forsaken in his campaign to save the historic Sneed property in Southeast Austin. After the American-Statesman shared his story about trying to preserve what remains of the Judge Sebron Sneed plantation, offers have poured in to help with preserving the ruined house and desecrated cemetery. "Knowing it’s possible to save and rebuild this home has re-lit my fire," Cervantes said of the three-story structure that was built in the 1850s and burned in the 1980s. The roof is gone, and weeds and brush cover the foundation. But the thick stone walls hint at what was an impressive home. Preservation architect John Mayfield said the house, at 1801 Nelms Drive, is salvageable. "My hope is that the developer will have a change of heart and donate the land and take a tax write-off," Cervantes said." http://shar.es/DAXnD(Bravo Bobby!)

IDEAS: Sell-out TEDxAustin Women conference convenes this week. My story in Tuesday’s Statesman: "Put a passel of powerful women in one room and you attract more of the same. Thursday’s all-day TEDxAustinWomen conference at Austin Music Hall — timed to coincide with 150 similar events around the world — grew from a predicted 150 people to a sell-out 300 guests because of proposed topics of local and global appeal. Also because of the intellectual star power of speakers such as Austin community leader Lynn Meredith, T3 president and CEO Gay Gaddis, Nike Basketball marketer Arturo Nunez, Andi Leadership Institute for Young Women director Jamie Horn, author and medical anomaly Lizzie Velasquez and sports broadcaster Yogi Roth. "Brave Starts Here" is the announced theme of the program of "ideas worth spreading." The 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. event will be streamed on the website http://www.tedxaustinwomen.com(Wish I could go!)