Category Archives: Totally Unrelated

Is everybody really working for the weekend?


Loverboy’s “Working for the Weekend” pops into my head dozens of times a year–no exaggeration. The older I get, the larger my soft spot for 80s rock grows. Once, when I was a naive young pup, there was a time when I thought nothing musically positive came out of 80s pop. For me that was college. I suppose I was just being contrary for the sake of being contrary, which I can always be counted on to do. But I also think the decade between ages 15 and 25 is perhaps the most formative period for one’s musical tastes. As soon as the 80s ended, I turned 15. So in a way, I was destined to cast off the oppressive synthesized shackles of Talking Heads, Thompson Twins, Ah-Ha, and the like, and immediately embrace whatever came next.

That’s when Grunge (I decided to capitalize it because it deserves the same treatment as the Internet), pre-80s classic rock, blues and jazz entered my life. So I stopped listening to 80s music and completely switched gears. Which isn’t to say that all the music in the 90s was good. It most decidedly was not.

(Coincidentally, Ricky Martin is on Jay Leno tonight debuting the new single from his MUSICA+ALMA+SEXO album. He just barely made it into the 90s, releaseing La Vvida Loca in 1999 to kick off the Latin Explosion that included J. Lo, Enrique, Shakira, and others. Remember our brief, 2-year love affair with Latin music? It came right after our brief love affair with big band swing. Zoot Suit Riot, anyone?)

Now the pendulum has swung back the other way and I’m listening to Loverboy a little more than the average guy should. But I’m cool with that. And tonight it’s got me thinking about working on nights and weekends.

The prevailing notion seems to be that working harder is a sure way to get promoted. But I’m here to tell you: it’s not. There’s a big difference between working harder and working better.

Who knows someone who sends a group email every night at 11:30PM? And let me guess–that email could have been sent during the day. Same thing goes for Saturdays and Sundays. I’m going to think a little about exactly who that person is, what they’re trying to accomplish, and how (if at all) working on the weekends really makes sense. I’m not sure it does.

There’s no such thing as a Brontosaurus


I'm not the sauropod you think I am

I’m generally pretty open-minded when it comes to learning new things and challenging my world view.

Generally.

But when it comes to the memories of my youth, I have a hard time letting go. Or rather, it’s difficult for me to discover that what I thought was one thing is, in fact, quite the opposite. For example, I recently learned that Over the Top Howard the Duck was a terrible movie. I vowed never to watch The Goonies again so I don’t ruin the memory of the five total days of my life I spent watching Mikey, Chunk, and Mouth worry about hitting the wrong note or they’ll all B-flat. Continue reading

The Framingham Heart Study


I was reminded today of the Framingham Heart Study, which was commissioned to identify the common contributing factors associated with cardiovascular disease. So-named because the study closely followed the health of 5200 people from the town of Framingham, Massachusetts, the study uncovered many of the risk factors (in fact, it coined the term “risk factor”) about which we now slap our heads and say “well, duh!” For instance, some major findings:

  • Smoking increases the risk of heart disease
  • High cholesterol (LDL), high blood pressure, and obesity all increase the risk
  • HCL cholesterol and exercise reduce the risk

I found all that information on http://www.framinghamheartstudy.org–I admit some research was needed before writing today. But what’s semi-buried in the long list of discoveries is the following:

Based on evaluation of a densely interconnected social network of 12,067 people assessed as part of the Framingham Heart Study, network phenomena appear to be relevant to the biologic and behavioral trait of obesity, and obesity appears to spread through social ties.

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Holiday Throwdown: Election Day vs. the Fourth of July


I’m a nerd for elections, so to me Election Day is like Christmas  Halloween  Flag Day the Fourth of July for others.  I know the Fourth celebrates the approval of the Declaration of Independence, and represents our 13 original colonies’ freedom from Britain, etc., but I like Election Day even more, and think it should be a national holiday.  This year in Minnesota, without a state-wide Federal position up for grabs, the excitement isn’t the same, but I’m nonetheless energized.

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