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I am always getting recommendations and online links that I want to remember. This is totally a hodgepodge of links to various and sundry sites, product, services, etc, that I want to remember and would also love to share with my visitors.

Easy Money with Elisabeth Leamy Podcast

Easy Money is the show where we make money EASY —not hard. The show where we discover EASY ways to make more money, save big money and find unclaimed money. As your host, 13-time Easy Money Host Elisabeth Leamy in-studio talking about how to make more, save more and find unclaimed money. Emmy winner Elisabeth Leamy doesn’t ramble about the weather or her weekend. Instead, she guarantees that she’ll give you useful —hopefully juicy— information within 60 seconds of the show open. And the whole, packed podcast lasts just 20 minutes or so. Now that’s EASY!

The link address is: https://easymoneyshow.com/

FIR #83: The Problem With Magical Thinking

Chris Abraham and Frank Eliason join Shel Holtz for this week’s episode, commenting on the ongoing United Airlines crisis, continued interest in the new federated Mastodon social network, how PR would look without Twitter, Burger King’s subversive commercial that hacked Google Home and Wikipedia, and Burston-Marsteller’s ombudsman answer to fake news.

The link address is: https://firpodcastnetwork.com/fir-83-problem-magical-thinking/

FIR #64: That’S Not Our Shark!

Chris Abraham, Cindy Crescenzo, and Steve Farnsworth join host Shel Holtz to talk about Breitbart News’ call for a boycott of Kellogg’s after the cereal company pulled its ads, the suggestion that we should stop measuring employee engagement, PR’s ability to propel Virtual Reality into the mainstream, the need for brands and agencies to adapt to a voice-driven world (with Amazon Echo and Google Home becoming new means of searching and engaging), the latest from the fake news front, and much more.

The link address is: https://firpodcastnetwork.com/fir-64-thats-not-shark/

FIR #45: I’M An Influencer, Pay Me More!

Today’s panel features digital strategist and technologist Chris Abraham, Zeno Group EVP Frank Eliason, and Cision SVP Heidi Sullivan. Today’s discussion topics: Is the PR community going about influencer marketing all wrong? Is it earned or paid media? Medium could be the (or a) future of online publishing. Can we please stop treating Millennials like they’re an alien race? No matter how many times lists of transgressions are published, PR practitioners continue to piss off journalists. And much more, including Dan York’s report on Verizon’s acquisition of Yahoo!

The link address is: https://firpodcastnetwork.com/fir-45-im-influencer-pay/

FIR #15: The Open Web Vs. Content Silos

Welcome to episode #15 of For Immediate Release. This week’s panel includes digital communications consultant Chris Abraham, Thornley-Fallis Communications CEO and Inside PR co-host Joseph Thornley, and marketing technology specialist and business strategist Lynette Young. This week’s episode covers new FTC guidance on native advertising, Edelman’s restructuring, whether the end to a ban on broadcasting Radio Free Europe and Voice of America in the U.S. has led to PR assignments, the downside of workplace collaboration, and whether share buttons cause more trouble than their worth. Dan York’s Tech Report covers the malware attack on Hyatt, the inclusion of adblocking software in a computer manufacturer’s default browser, and the war of words between Medium founder Ev Williams and blogging pioneer Dave Winer.

The link address is: https://firpodcastnetwork.com/fir-15/

Chris Abraham of Gerris Digital on Digital Marketing, Earned Media, and Channeling Nina Martin

Chris Abraham of Gerris digital is a recognized leader in digital marketing and he joins us on Through the Noise for the second time to talk strategies nonprofits can employ to get their work out and get the word out too. He last joined us in June, 2015 so we’re pleased to chat with him again and see what’s changed since then. Pick up some useful strategies for getting more attention online and how to get the best kind of attention. What is earned media? Why should it matter to you? How can you earn it? If you’re asking these questions or wondering how you can harness the power of the internet to illuminate your mission, don’t miss this episode. Chris Abraham is a leading expert in digital: online reputation management (ORM), Internet privacy, social media marketing, and digital PR with a focus on blogger outreach, blogger engagement, and Internet crisis response. After growing up in Hawaii, Chris moved to the DC area almost 27-years ago, though he has detoured through the UK, Berlin, and Portland before returning to his home in Washington. Chris has been volunteering with local homeless kitchen, Miriam’s Kitchen, for over five years. Gerris is a virtual digital agency, bringing together some of the best global partners in online engagement, influencer marketing, blogger outreach, social media marketing, search engine marketing, online reputation management, content marketing, digital PR, training, and strategy. Our low overhead allows us to gladly serve startups, publishing, nonprofits, and associations.

The link address is: http://throughthenoise.us/mediacast/261-gerris-digital-chris-abraham/

Everything Is Online with Chris Abraham from Gerris Digital

How do you separate yourself when you are competing with everyone around the world? And how do you navigate yourself through all the “research” that’s available online? How can you seperate the real scientists from all the rest? Chris Abraham is a leading expert in digital: online reputation management (ORM), Internet privacy, social media marketing, and digital PR with a focus on blogger outreach, blogger engagement, and Internet crisis response. After growing up in Hawaii, Chris moved to the DC area almost 27-years ago, though he has detoured through the UK, Berlin, and Portland before returning to his home in Washington. Chris has been volunteering with local homeless kitchen, Miriam’s Kitchen, for over five years. Gerris is a virtual digital agency, bringing together some of the best global partners in online engagement, influencer marketing, blogger outreach, social media marketing, search engine marketing, online reputation management, content marketing, digital PR, training, and strategy. Our low overhead allows us to gladly serve startups, publishing, nonprofits, and associations.

The link address is: http://throughthenoise.us/mediacast/81-gerris-digital-chris-abraham/

Road Runners Club of America Membership

Annual membership in the RRCA, including insurance coverage, begins on December 31st at 12:00 AM and ends at 11:59 PM on December 30th of the following year. Clubs and events must renew their membership prior to December 31st and there is NO prorating of dues or insurance for late payments or for new members joining throughout the year. There are NO REFUNDS if a member cancels or dissolves an organization or event during the year. There are NO INSURANCE REFUNDS if any race activities including pre-race planning, pre-race marketing, and registration collection have occurred in the year, even if the race gets cancelled. Individuals and corporate members are renewed on an annual basis from date of joining. The Road Runners Club of America is the oldest and largest national association of running organizations dedicated to growing the sport of running since 1958. RRCA membership ​includes running clubs, training programs, running events, runners, walkers, coaches, sponsors, and supporters.

The link address is: http://www.rrca.org/membership

The Brian Pollack Fund

The Brian Pollack Fund has been established in Brian’s memory. The mission of the Fund is to raise money for programs that promote Brian’s dual passions for documentary filmmaking and exploring the outdoors through kayaking, hiking, and camping. Contributions will be dispersed to two different charitable efforts. One is the Brian A. Pollack Documentary Film Scholarship at University of California-Berkeley Journalism School to assist a documentary film student with expenses. Documentary filmmaking was a true passion of Brian’s. He was a storyteller and sought to shed light on difficult issues. When Brian was a student at UC Berkeley, he was awarded this type of scholarship. Through this scholarship, we hope to pay it forward on Brian’s behalf. The second charity is Outdoor Outreach, a non-profit organization in San Diego that brings disadvantaged youth to outdoor experiences like hiking, camping, kayaking, and surfing. Through this program, children learn outdoor skills and develop confidence and friendships. Experiencing the outdoors was another passion of Brian’s as he hiked, camped and kayaked all over the U.S. and countries throughout Europe and South America. He was an adventurer and felt happiest when he was surrounded by natural beauty. Brian loved and was beloved by his nieces and nephews and his friends' children and he enjoyed sharing his love of the outdoors with them.

The link address is: http://thebrianpollackfund.org/

The CBreeze Personal Cooling Accessory Fan for the Concept2 Indoor Rower by PS Sport

The CBreeze is a fan that can be installed on the Concept 2 indoor rower rowing machine. The fan directs the air back at the rower, making the workout much 'cooler.' Produced by PS Sport.

The link address is: http://www.ps-sport.net/nonathlon/

Borough Furnace: Handmade Iron Frying Skillets/Pans via Anthony Bourdain

These are the awesome iron skillets as shared via Anthony Bourdain. I want the 9" frying skillet. "The long handle of our 9" Frying Skillet dissipates heat, staying cool to the touch on the stovetop. Made from 100% recycled iron, each piece is hand cast and finished and comes to you pre-seasoned with organic flax seed oil (Kosher certified), or available unseasoned by special request." Borough Furnace is a metal casting workshop in Owego, NY. We make our products by hand in small batches, using a traditional casting process that has been updated for environmental responsibility. Founded in 2011, Borough Furnace is owned and operated by John Truex and Liz Seru.

The link address is: http://boroughfurnace.com

Rowing Seat Pad ProW High

The ProW has an innovative shape that relieves glute and upper hamstring pain and thereby helps improve your erg workout. This is the HIGH version – designed for athletes over 85kg. This model is most used by men, and mostly men above 85 kg because it is is higher and harder than the low ProW seat pad. It differs from conventional rowing seats in more ways: It has a ‘saddle’/projection in the middle and the holes are elliptical to create optimal pressure distribution from your pelvis. Further, the ProW has an opening for your tailbone and a projection at the back which helps to improve your technique. The projection simply makes it easier to sit up at the finish and transition from stroke to recovery phase. Designed by Danish lightweight international rowers it is recommended mainly for use on top of a regular Concept2 rowing seat. But it can also be taped to a seat in the boat using double sided adhesive tape (supplied). Manufacturer recommends allowing 3-5 training sessions to adapt and learn to use the seat. It reshapes to suit your body shape by 10-20% over time with frequent use. The material is smooth when new and the top surface rubs off with use making the seat non-slip. There is tape on the back of the seat for you to glue to the C2 which will help fix the seat until the surface material is fully rubbed off.

The link address is: https://www.rowperfect.co.uk/product/rowing-seat-pad-prow-high/

Tomtom GPS Adventure Watch Error

If you are shown the above error message, there are a number of things you can try: Make sure that the watch is fully snapped into the dock. Make sure that no pins are bent in the dock. Connect the watch directly to the computer. Do not use a hub. Try another USB port, or check that other USB devices work in the port. If possible, try a different computer to determine where the problem is. If these steps don't help then try a factory reset.

The link address is: https://us.support.tomtom.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/24594/locale/en_US

Black Diamond Magnum 16 Pack

The pack I love to run with. If I lost the other one I need to re-order this one! The big brother to the Black Diamond Bbee pack, the Black Diamond Magnum is a lightweight daypack for peak bagging, light-and-fast hikes and quick jaunts into the backcountry. Side stretch pockets and front compression webbing supplement the interior storage, and the bike light slot and trekking pole loop or ice axe loop make it equally suited for the commute and the mountains.

The link address is: http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en_US/hiking-packs/magnum-16-BD681166_cfg.html#start=1

Tom Bihn Medium Cafe Bag

The Medium is the original size of Cafe Bag, one of our most enduring designs. The Medium Café Bag is designed to help you carry and organize your everyday gear. Wear it cross-body or over the shoulder. The main, open-top compartment and front, zippered pocket of the Medium Café Bag are covered by an asymmetrical flap that closes with our distinctive offset Duraflex® Warrior buckle. The zippered pocket, which has one O-ring, spans the width of the bag. It's ideal for securing your wallet, checkbook, or other small items. It closes with a #8 YKK zipper. The back of the Medium Café Bag has a slanted, open-top pocket. It's great for storing papers, files, a magazine, or a newspaper. Inside the main compartment of the Medium Café Bag, you'll find four organizer pockets. Two of the pockets are sized for your cell phone/iPod or a small wallet, and two are sized for pens. The main compartment also has three O-rings, with an 8" Key Strap attached to one. (Additional and extended-length Black and Color Key Straps can be purchased separately.) The Key Strap is useful for keeping track of your keys (many folks leave their keys attached to the Key Strap). The Medium Café Bag rides on your shoulder with a 1-1/2" shoulder strap made of high quality nylon webbing. It features a low-profile shoulder pad with a grippy underside. The Medium Café Bag can also be carried by a webbing handle that is on the top/back of the bag. Available as an optional accessory is a removable waist strap so you can wear the Medium Café Bag bike-messenger style. Think the Medium Café Bag is too big? You're in luck! The Café Bag is also available in size Small. And if you're wondering which size is "the one", here's our guide to choosing the right size of Cafe bag.

The link address is: https://www.tombihn.com/collections/briefcases-and-messenger-bags/products/medium-cafe-bag?variant=45154882887

Stargazer Cast Iron 10.5 Skillet

Dimensions: 19.4 x 10.5 x 3.3 inches Weight: 5.2 pounds Our cast iron skillet in 10.5-inch size. This is an all-purpose, everyday, medium-sized skillet, comparable to a vintage size #8. For reference, you can fit 3 burger patties in it but it would be crowded. We offer our cookware in two finishes: bare and seasoned. Our bare skillet will arrive coated with oil and bagged to protect it from the elements. Just wash it and season it however you like. Our seasoned skillet has been seasoned by hand and will arrive ready to go, right out of the box.

The link address is: http://www.stargazercastiron.com/products/skt-105/

The Field Company Cast Iron Skillet Pan

The Field Company makes things that get better with time, better with care, better with skill, and generally speaking, better when experienced with others. We take things that used to be made well, or are simply no longer made, and then we make them again, with improvements and modifications as needed, the way we believe they should be made. We started with the perfect cast iron pan.

The link address is: https://fieldcompany.com/p/cast-iron-field-skillet/

Solidteknics Australia Cast Iron Skillet Pans

SOLIDTEKNICS is built on the premise that there are enough people like us who are tired of the waste and damage of the disposable consumer world, and are willing to think before they buy. To take personal responsibility for their purchasing decisions, and thereby influence corporate and governmental policy by 'voting with their wallet'. We believe in a more sustainable industry where cookware is not a disposable item, and is not coated with questionable synthetics for a little extra consumer convenience. We only want SOLID and healthy cooking tools that are designed to be the best of their kind in the world, and made with such quality and integrity that they will last for multiple generations and centuries.

The link address is: http://www.solidteknics.com/

Smithey Ironware Company Cast Iron Skillet Pan

OUR CAST IRON COOKWARE IS A MODERN ICON THAT YOU, YOUR FAMILY, AND FRIENDS WILL ENJOY AND RELY ON FOR GENERATIONS. BECAUSE YOU WILL USE YOUR SMITHEY IRONWARE FOREVER, WE SPARE NO EXPENSE IN CREATING A THOUGHTFUL, ENDURING, AND ARTFUL COOKWARE PIECE.

The link address is: https://smitheyironware.com

Oversized Extra Large Ledger Book

EXTRA LARGE LEDGER BOOK Thousands of Companies, Universities, and Institutions Worldwide have Chosen our Ledger Book as their Standard for Documenting their Most Important Information. When you buy a Extra Large Ledger Book, You Should Know that Every Detail of Your Ledger Book was Specifically Designed to Protect and Built to Last a Lifetime. LOG-120-CCS-LC (Oversized Five Column)

The link address is: http://www.logbookstore.com/extra-large-ledger-book

The Screw Shoe Screw Screw For Running on Packed Snow and Ice

Do you run on packed snow and ice? Are you tired of slipping and falling? The Screw Shoe is one solution to the problem! By inserting some screws into the bottom of your shoes you will be able to run in the worst conditions. The process is quick, easy and costs next to nothing:-)

The link address is: http://skyrunner.com/screwshoe.htm

Killspencer Parachute Bag 2.0

PARACHUTE BAG 2.0 $ 45.00 Color: Orange Parachute Size SHOE BAG LAUNDRY BAG LARGE ACCESSORY BAG SMALL ACCESSORY BAG DETAILS + DIMENSIONS MADE IN U.S.A.: Our PARACHUTE BAG 2.0 is tear resistant and collapsible, perfect for separating your shoes, laundry, jewelry, and other small accessories inside the Weekender or Duffle. - Repurposed U.S. Air Force Military Parachute - Light-weight, tear resistant, and collapsible - Paracord drawstring and leather pull tab - KILLSPENCER leather logo Small Accessory Bag (single lined) 5” W x 7.5” H Large Accessory Bag (single lined) 8.5” W x 11” H Shoe Bag (single lined) 12.5" W x 20" H Laundry Bag (single lined) 20” W x 26” H WEIGHT: Approximately .15 lbs

The link address is: https://killspencer.com/collections/parachute

Hunter Cycles Shred Pack

Northern California frame builder Rick Hunter teamed up with Porcelain Rocket to create the ultimate no-BS fanny pack. Perfectly sized to fit a phone or compact camera, lightweight shell, and a beer (accommodates four 12 oz cans, if that’s how you roll), this is your beer and lunch rides pack. It’s water resistant, with a waterproof zipper, and clocks in at approximately 3L. Plenty of companies dance around the function of their fanny packs. Not Hunter, which proudly claims its offering capable of “holding four 12-ounce cans.” But the Shred Pack is more than just a beer Sherpa. A waterproof zipper, internal key loop and divider, and three-liter carrying capacity make it a multi-functional carry.This bag was made for Rick Hunter, the owner of Hunter Cycles based on his imagination by Scott Felter, who is the owner of Porcelain Rocket and the originator of the custom frame bag, creates this waist pouch called “Shred Packs”. The material used for this bag is the same from Porcelain Rocket bike pack : light and durable cordura nylon. It is coming with a water repellent zipper, internal key loop, and completed as a tough bag. You can carry your supplementary food, cell phone, wallet, beer cans, and any other valuable goods in it and it’s coming with an internal key loop so that you can hook your keys inside bag. If you have things you don’t want to put in your saddle bag neither frame bag, this is a very handy bag you can carry things you always want to be around. Also, you can use this bag wearing on your shoulder and going out for your shopping or even your traveling as well. Approx. Dimension: 11.5 x 4 x 4 inch Handmade by Porcelain Rocket in Alberta, CANADA

The link address is: https://huntercycles.bigcartel.com/product/hunter-shred-packs

Black Pioneer 8 Hip Pack

Meet our classic Hip Pack, redesigned. Our latest take on this revived accessory is slim, simple, and stylish as all get out. The Pioneer 8 features 2 compartments and a fully adjustable sewn in belt for ease of use. Carry your phone, keys and essentials by your side. It can also fit your collection of pens, a small camera, dice pouch, you name it. Whether you're out on the town, festival hopping or riding on a lazy Sunday, the Pioneer 8 Hip Pack implores adventure at every turn. Dimensions: 8" wide x 2.5" deep x 4" tall Capacity: 90 cubic inches (1.5 liters) Weight: 7oz (199 grams) Belt Fit Size: 30" - 46" Features: Made from rugged 1000 denier CORDURA® Nylon Fully adjustable belt Water resistant DWR finish on exterior Handmade in Portland, Oregon with a lifetime warranty Extra long zipper ties

The link address is: https://northstbags.com/collections/hip-packs/products/pioneer-8-hip-pack-black

Topo Designs Quick Pack

Whether you wear it cross-body or around your waist, our Quick Pack is a well-built, secure bag for travel (or running errands around town… or biking the perfect downhill line). With a spacious, padded main compartment, the Quick Pack is big enough to carry your essentials, while bottom compression straps keep the bag from getting bulky. Our Quick Packs are handmade in Colorado.

The link address is: https://topodesigns.com/products/hip-pack

Topo Designs Classic Duffel

Our Classic Duffel is simple on the outside but beautifully lined with coated nylon pack cloth on the inside. The spacious, 42 L duffel features interior zippered pockets for holding smaller items, and a detachable shoulder strap is great for carrying the duffel to your hotel (or running through the concourse). FEATURES 1000D Cordura® fabric outer Internal organization pockets Natural leather handle and lash tabs Heavy-duty seatbelt strap handles YKK Made in the USA zippers Heavy-duty metal hardware SPECS Materials: 1000D Cordura® fabric outer, coated pack cloth liner Dimensions: 24”l x 12”w x 12”h Volume: 2712 cu. in./ 42 L Weight: 35.5 oz. Made in USA

The link address is: https://topodesigns.com/collections/new-arrivals-bags/products/duffel-24

Topo Designs Messenger Bag

We used sturdy, 1000D nylon and added plenty of pockets — from an internal vertical zip pocket on the flap to a large zippered back panel pocket (for external laptop storage or easy access to snacks). The horizontal daisy chain webbing on the bag’s body has a reflective band for extra visibility and is the perfect place to clip a bike light. FEATURES Top flap access to main compartment Dual closure system with g-hooks and hook and loop material Water resistant truck tarp liner Padded internal sleeve fits most 15" laptops Internal vertical zip pocket on flap Internal water bottle straps Small front zippered pocket with key clip Large padded zippered back panel pocket Horizonal daisy chain webbing with reflective band Padded removable and adjustable shoulder strap Heavy-duty plastic hardware YKK waterproof zippers with paracord pulls Reinforced top carry handle Bottom compression straps. Our Messenger Bag is built to be tough. It features a water resistant truck tarp liner, waterproof YKK zippers and a dual closure system with g-hooks and hook and loop material. A padded internal laptop sleeve means this bag is equipped for bike commutes to school or work, and internal water bottle straps ensure the secure carry of your bottle. Bottom compression straps keep the bag from getting too bulky, and the padded adjustable shoulder strap is removable so it can be comfortably worn regular or goofy.

The link address is: https://topodesigns.com/collections/new-arrivals-bags/products/messenger-bag

Tablet Mount for Concept2 Indoor Rower Model C, D

For use on the Concept2 Model C or D Indoor Rower, the tablet mount will hold your iPad or tablet securely in place while you are rowing. See below for tablet cradle sizing.,

The link address is: https://shop.concept2.com/accessories/657-tablet-mount-for-indoor-rowermodel-c-d.html

Chris Abraham on Muck Rack

Muck Rack is the new standard in public relations software. Easily search for journalists, monitor news, and build reports. Say hello to your one-stop, relationship-building platform and goodbye to outdated media databases: Muck Rack’s search engine lets you discover and pitch relevant journalists in a much more targeted way than legacy media databases. Building and sharing media lists has never been easier, and since they’re automatically kept up-to-date you can finally stop spending time maintaining old media contact lists. Chris Abraham, digital strategist and technologist, is a leading expert in digital: search engine optimization (SEO), online relationship management (ORM), Internet privacy, and online public relations with a focus on blogger outreach, blogger engagement, and Internet crisis response.

The link address is: https://muckrack.com/chrisabraham

PURPLE Project for Democracy

Purple is a non-partisan coalition, campaign and movement. We span the breadth of American society to rediscover and recommit to our democratic values and institutions. It begins this November with a media and education campaign of unprecedented scope that will illuminate and dramatize the many glories of American democracy. WHY WE NEED TO ACT Some 23% of American millennials say that democracy is a “bad way” or “very bad way” to run the country.* More than 29% of the public recently expressed support for either a “strong leader” or “army rule”.** From 2017 to 2018, US citizens’ trust for government, business, non-governmental organizations and the free press plummeted 37%.*** Among 1400 young adults asked about the importance of democracy, only 39% said “absolutely important.” **** HOW WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE No matter the politics of the day, American democracy demands participation, and suffers amid indifference and mistrust. The fall Purple campaign will be the leading edge of a movement to promote and reward citizen engagement in our communities at every level. Choose an analogy: Are we a refresher course, reminding us of how a democratic society functions? Yes. Are we a playlist of content that tells the American story? Yes. Are we engineers, aspiring to nothing less than a new social norm for active citzenship? Yes. Are we a marriage encounter, helping us simply to fall in love with our democracy again? Yes. Maybe that above all. Along the way, we are literally building a brand, a Purple banner of proud participation to be hoisted by the many organizations and individuals already committed to the mutual goal of restoring faith in the American Way. That bears repeating: restoring faith in the American Way. There is hardly in the world a more pressing need. And there is surely no more worthy goal.

The link address is: https://www.purplefordemocracy.org/

Katana of Paris Crossed High Pouch

Very cool side bag that the guy at Starbucks had that was the perfect side back from the company called Katana from Paris

The link address is: http://www.katana-paris.com/en/catalog/men-soft-calf-leather-crossed-high-pouch

Mark Rosenzweig SharkNinja Founder

Mark Rosenzweig is the founder of SharkNinja, a position he has held since 1994. SharkNinja is a pioneer in innovative cleaning solutions and small household appliances. Mark was born in Montreal, Canada, to a family that has been in business for a hundred years. This third-generation businessman turned out to be a natural-born tinkerer. He became an innovator, a disruptor, an inventor, a creator, and an entrepreneur. In 1991 Mark graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School. Following graduation, Mark moved to Los Angeles to work in the entertainment industry including positions at Sony International Television and UTA. In 1994 Mark returned home and joined his Canadian family’s sewing business, Jolson Corp, as a sales manager. Jolson Corp. was founded in 1954 in Montreal by Mark’s grandfather and grandmother, Benjamin and Miriam Jolson, who sold domestic sewing machines through a Canadian dealer network. In the late 1970s, Mark’s mother and father expanded that household sewing machine business to include industrial sewing machines that they sold to the Canadian apparel manufacturing industry. Mark had a passion for innovative small appliances and was looking for opportunities to create his own entrepreneurial venture that could manufacture and sell products throughout Canada and the United States under his own new brand name that he could control and build loyalty for. Mark kept tinkering with appliances, inventing revolutionary appliances at home which were designed to replace the same cheap sweepers and steamers that really hadn’t changed much since they were invented. He wanted to actually disinfect with cleansing steam instead of relying on toxic chemicals. Mark’s thoughts were that after a proper cleaning, a baby should safely be able to play on the kitchen floor, free from toxins. This belief drove him to create revolutionary solutions that were both extremely effective and built to last. With help from his parents, Max and Aviva, he founded Euro-Pro, a company whose goal was to create innovative and exciting products consumers would love and talk about. The first products sold were under the Euro-Pro brand and included domestic ironing systems made in Italy and then quickly followed by steam presses, domestic sewing machines, and food processors. Sales for the first full fiscal year of Euro-Pro (1996) reached almost $1 million dollars. Euro-Pro North America then expanded to include vacuum cleaners sold under the “Shark” brand as well as heated kitchen appliances using unique high-performance blending blades under the Euro-Pro and Bravetti brands. Euro-Pro’s products developed a large audience and acceptance through a powerful media and infomercial strategy Mark innovated. High-quality products were sold to retail partners at the same time they appeared on national television infomercials and shopping networks. Mark was the host telling the brand and product stories. By fiscal 2000, sales reached $100 million dollars and then $250 million by fiscal 2003. Between 2003 and 2006, Mark’s brother, Stanley Rosenzweig, Harvard MBA, 1991, who had significant experience with larger multinational companies that marketed and manufactured small appliances under proprietary brand names, joined him at Euro-Pro with the goal of helping Mark move the business from Montreal to Boston and to assist restructuring and bringing it to the next level of success. In 2007, with his father Max’s help, the very successful line of Shark steam mops was developed as well as a “no loss of suction” vacuum technology, propelling Euro-Pro gross sales to reach over $400 million US dollars by the end of fiscal 2009. Mark’s good friend, and new partner, Mark Barrocas, a very successful veteran executive at private equity-backed companies, joined Euro-Pro in fiscal 2009 as President. Together, “Mark and Mark” successfully focused on innovative product development and high-quality manufacturing, adding Ninja kitchen appliances and a full line of vacuum cleaners, eventually reaching gross sales of over half a billion US dollars in the fiscal year 2010 and $1 billion in the fiscal year 2013. By the end of 2017, SharkNinja employed over 1,000 associates, added robotic vacuums and heated ninja appliances, and reached sales of almost $2 billion. Outside of his professional work, Mark enjoys supporting various philanthropic organizations and is specifically interested in assisting new medical research at Mass General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and with the American Heart Association. Mark stays active with biking, skiing, tennis, and currently resides in the Boston area and loves to spend time with family.

The link address is: https://markrosenzweig.com/

Scott Rifkin is an Entrepreneur and Doctor of Internal Medicine based in Baltimore, Maryland

A recognized entrepreneur and innovator in healthcare, Scott Rifkin, MD, has more than 25 years of experience as a physician and healthcare executive. In addition to founding and serving as the Chairman of Provider Partners Health Care, he is the founder and managing partner of Mid-Atlantic Health Care (MAHC), a modern post-acute care company that owns and manages one of the largest nursing home chains in the region. As co-founder and CEO, Scott Rifkin oversees the operations of Mid-Atlantic Health Care’s 21 skilled nursing facilities. Under his leadership, Mid-Atlantic has developed partnerships with hospitals and skilled care providers to improve patient health outcomes and overall population health. This includes a focus on innovative strategies to reduce unnecessary re-hospitalizations and return patients to a home setting when possible. Provider Partners Health Plan provides Medicare insurance for skilled nursing patients. The company rewards operators who provide better care with improved revenue. Better care leads to lower hospital usage and lower costs. Operators that participate improve their care demonstrably. Real Time Medical Systems provides an intuitive and simple to use platform for hospitals, insurers, and skilled nursing organizations allowing them to dramatically reduce hospitalizations. By using the daily data in the EMR we are able to find and address key interventional moments and truly prevent health problems. Our partners have seen 25 - 50% reductions in admissions to acute care. We now serve over 500 SNFs and health systems in the U.S. Scott Rifkin also founded Real Time Medical Systems, a cutting edge provider of medical data mining software, and Five Star Physicians, which provides high quality healthcare providers to skilled nursing facilities. Scott Rifkin is a graduate of the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and George Washington University School of Medicine. Scott Rifkin has more than 30 years of experience in the practice of internal medicine and clinical healthcare management. He earned his medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine, is certified in Internal Medicine and practiced medicine in Maryland for 20 years. In addition, Scott Rifkin served as the emergency medical director to numerous SNFs looking for assistance in various quality of care issues, and founded AmericasDoctor.com, which was sold to Essential Group, Inc. Scott Rifkin serves on the Board of the Baltimore Zoo, the Health Facilities Association of Maryland and the Pennsylvania Health Care Association. Since founding Mid-Atlantic Health Care in 2003, Scott Rifkin has founded three novel startups with ties to Mid-Atlantic Health Care. National Post-Acute Healthcare manages bundled payment programs and is an approved convener of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (“CMMI”)’s Model 3 Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Program (‘BPCI”). The company also creates and manages post-acute SNF networks for hospital systems. Five Star Physician Services employs 50 providers who provide services to skilled nursing facilities. Lastly, Real Time Medical Systems (RTMS) creates predictive analysis and decision support tools that provide data-driven, analytical insights to clinical decision makers and care providers — ensuring care improvements and financial gain for skilled nursing facilities.

The link address is: https://scottrifkin.org/

Roger Wolfson J.D., M.A.

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Roger Wolfson has risen to positions of prominence in the fields of entertainment, politics, news, and law. He is a professional television and film writer who has written for five network TV series. He currently runs a TV series on Crackle about the U.S. Embassy in Rome, and has sold eight original television series of his own, to studios including Sony, ABC, CBS, Universal Cable Productions, and A&E, and to networks including CBS, Bravo, and Lifetime. He has been staff for four U.S. Senators, written speeches for presidential candidates, been Vice President of Channel One News, founded his own strategic consulting firm, and worked as a civil rights attorney. As a writer, Wolfson arrived in LA in January of 2003. By July he was a staff writer on Ed Zuckerman and Paul Attanasio's CBS series, "Century City," starring Viola Davis. His episode, "To Know Her," became the first episode aired after the pilot. Wolfson then wrote for "Law and Order: SVU." During that time, he traveled across Ohio as a surrogate speaker for John Kerry's Presidential campaign. Wolfson went on to write for "The Closer,” where his episode "Fantasy Date" garnered Kyra Sedgewick her first Emmy Nomination. He went on to write for TNT'’s "Saving Grace,” starring Holly Hunter, and USA's “Fairly Legal.” Wolfson has developed TV series with producers Neal Moritz, Dennis Leary, Charlize Theron, Meryl Poster, Peter Tolan, and “Heroes” creator Tim Kring. He currently serves as speechwriter for Senators, presidential candidates, public figures, and CEOs. He has written speeches for the Democratic National Convention, for the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington, for Ted Talks, and has written funding pitches for major corporations. Wolfson's first political job after law school was on Senator Joe Lieberman's Governmental Affairs Subcommittee. Next, Senator John Kerry made Wolfson the youngest Legislative Assistant he'd ever hired, and his first official speechwriter. Wolfson wrote or helped write dozens of speeches for Kerry, plus the first bill in Congress to outlaw cop-killer bullets, and multiple amendments to the Health Care Reform Act and the Welfare Reform Act. Wolfson also wrote Kerry's amendments to the Rescissions Bill that successfully restored $14 million for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services and $100 million for the Safe and Drug Free Schools Program. Wolfson managed Kerry's successful efforts to win $90 million of funding for Youthbuild. Wolfson then became Chief Education Counsel for Senator Paul Wellstone, which meant simultaneously serving as Labor Committee Staff for Senator Ted Kennedy. Wolfson helped reauthorize virtually every major federal education law, from the $5 billion Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to the $12 billion Workforce Investment Act. During consideration of the $52 billion Higher Education Act alone, Wolfson developed thirteen major amendments to the law. He also wrote the first federal funding bill for Charter Schools. At the age of 32, Wolfson left the Senate, as one of the few staffers ever to work for (at the time) the most prominent Liberal, Moderate, and Conservative Senators in the Democratic Party. He has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, NBC, and AirAmerica, and has lectured to forty different major organizations, bar associations, unions, and think tanks. He partnered with Oscar-winning producer Bruce Cohen and Oscar-nominated songwriter Bird York to create campaign ads. During the 2006 Writers Guild elections, Wolfson was a strategist for the Writers United” slate of candidates for board, and subsequently volunteering to help media operations for the Guild during the 2007-8 strike. He also was one of the earliest bloggers for the Huffington Post. As an attorney, Wolfson has worked for Littler, Mendelson, the largest labor law firm in the world, and Lieberman, Segalof, and Wolfson, the firm his mother and Senator Lieberman founded. At the time when he served as Vice President of Channel One News, it was the sole news program watched by a third of all American teenagers every school day. Wolfson has also taught screenwriting at Johns Hopkins University. While earning his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Wolfson served as Associate Editor of the University of Pennsylvania Comparative Labor Law Journal. He earned a Masters in Writing from Johns Hopkins and a Bachelors in Theater from Vassar, with highest academic honors. He is a graduate of the WGA Showrunners Training Program, and a (currently inactive) member of the bars of New York, Connecticut, Washington, DC, and the U.S. Supreme Court. While living on a ’42' Catamaran, which he sailed most of the way from New York to Los Angeles in 2003, Wolfson began offering a free series of lectures, salons, and concerts to the Los Angeles Community. In 2011, he migrated those events to an amphitheater he built alongside his house. The LA Times ran a front page, column one article about his events in June of 2013. Since 2012, Wolfson has held a volunteer appointment in Mayor Eric Garcetti's administration, as Commissioner of Animal Services for Los Angeles.

The link address is: https://www.roger-wolfson.com

2007 Google Apps Case Study: Abraham Harrison manages a successful virtual business using Google Apps Premier Edition

I was doing some searches on Google about Abraham Harrison, my first digital PR agency, and found this amazing old gem from 2007. AH was an earliest adopter of Google Apps and Google wrote a case study about the agency. I was living in Berlin at the time. 2007 Google Apps Case Study: Abraham Harrison manages a successful virtual business using Google Apps Premier Edition Capture of Case Study Business To many traditional PR, ad and marketing agencies, the Internet is just another medium, but to Abraham Harrison, it’s another culture – one that calls for a completely new approach to marketing. Abraham Harrison specializes in everything from blogger outreach to influencer identification, brand protection and social media consulting for clients like Friendster, Deutsche Telekom, and T. Rowe Price. “Ten percent of the people in the world influence the other 90 percent in terms of purchases and other decisions. What many companies do not realize is that the people who are tipping the scales are increasingly the world’s online denizens, and they may not have fancy titles,” explains CEO Mark Harrison. Approach When it comes to running its own business, Abraham Harrison remains true to its Internetcentric roots. Besides the two founders, the team consists of 14 contractors spread across the United States, Europe, India, and Africa, who often change location for extended periods. Solution Whether they’re vacationing in the Alps or living on the island of Mauritius, Abraham Harrison employees stay in touch and collaborate using Google Apps Premier Edition. “I plan to move from Washington D.C. to Berlin for a while, but it really doesn’t matter because of our virtual work environment based on Google Apps,” says president and COO Chris Abraham. “Google Apps gives us a structured, integrated way to stay connected and collaborate.” “The integration and functionality of Google Apps just keeps getting better. For instance, I’m always amazed when someone sends me an email from Microsoft Outlook or another application and it gets inserted as an event on my Google Calendar.” Abraham initially made the decision to use Google Apps based on Gmail’s spam protection, generous storage quotas, and usability. Although Gmail was the initial attraction, the Abraham Harrison team quickly embraced Google Apps as an integrated communication and collaboration system. The company uses Docs & Spreadsheets to help staff track hours as well as create and collaborate on strategy documents and other client materials. Google Calendar allows everyone to work flexible hours while still staying coordinated, despite being spread across ten time zones. Using Google Talk, employees exchange insights during conference calls, much like passing notes across a table to share ideas. And Gmail benefits that the company hadn’t expected are becoming apparent; for example, Abraham Harrison is often brought in to work on accounts under the auspices of larger marketing, PR or ad firms, and Google Apps makes it easy and automatic for the firm to send out perfectly branded email addresses ([email protected]). “The integration and functionality of Google Apps just keeps getting better,” says Abraham. “For instance, I’m always amazed when someone sends me an email from Microsoft Outlook or another application and it gets inserted as an event on my Google Calendar.” Several employees also access Google Apps not just on their PCs, but also from mobile phones and other devices like the BlackBerry. “I can be out hiking in the Alps, and still stay in touch on the work front,” says Harrison. Results For Abraham Harrison, Google Apps Premier Edition has raised staff productivity to a new level. Using Google Apps communication and collaboration tools, the firm’s team of relationship marketing experts can work together from around the world to produce results for clients. “Google Apps are beautifully designed, and have definitely been a factor in our rapid expansion,” says Harrison. “We’re big Google fans, and look forward to even bigger and better enhancements to Google Apps.” “Google Apps are beautifully designed, and have definitely been a factor in our rapid expansion.” --Mark Harrison, CEO About Google Apps Google Apps is a suite of applications that includes Gmail, Google Calendar (shared calendaring), Google Talk (instant messaging and voice over IP), Google Docs & Spreadsheets (online document hosting and collaboration), Google Page Creator (web page creation and publishing) and Start Page (a single, customizable access point for all applications). Google Apps offers editions tailored to specific customer needs, including the Standard Edition (ideal for family domains), Education Edition (K-12 schools, colleges, and universities) and Premier Edition (businesses of all sizes). Visit www.google.com/a for more information.

The link address is: https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en//a/help/intl/en/admins/case_studies/pdf/abraham_harrison_cs.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3TDzB-GBioK-QjntrzhdXBBFWpQ8kBFL4CN0RRCzylb0mKxXv9GH-GvCk

History Preservation Associates

WWII leather flight jackets, army field jackets, military chino trousers, selvage-denim jeans, chambray work shirts, and loop-wheeled sweatshirts are but a few items we specialize in; items that outfitted a nation on a rendezvous with destiny. We have been fascinated with this clothing from the first half of the 20th century for as long as memory serves; indeed, many commonplace articles of clothing dating to “The Good Old Days” (1930's – 1950's) are considered iconic today. Our interest is driven by the totality of an item - design, aesthetics, production methods and materials, historical context, and association with those who defined an item’s use. Through the toils of achievement and serious sacrifice during desperate moments that would make history, once-ordinary garment styles of often-simple design are now recalled as extraordinary. And, for a rarified few garments, it is the perfection of design as worn by men of grit at places now forever synonymous with a generation that elevates these select garments to iconic status. Today, producing vintage-style garments that are assembled with quaint components following near-antiquated production techniques on bygone machinery helps capture the full experience – the experience that cannot be separated from the vintage garments and that cannot be fully realized by cutting corners all the while claiming product integrity and authenticity. When true vintage-style and vintage-inspired apparel is correctly recreated, it's not just nostalgia for nostalgia's sake. It's clothing of distinction for individuals inspired by style and driven by their own unique personalties. Alas, this distinctive style doesn't come cheaply. And for those who relish total emersion in the vintage experience, the cost of admission is secondary. Since 1989, we have sought our wares from among some of the best manufacturers of vintage-style and vintage-inspired clothing known around the world. When we see how our leathers crease and age, how the cottons bleed color and fade, or how the new-old-stock zippers loudly sing along their tracks, it is evidence of our success in resurrecting a part of the forlorn experience we seek. Should you elect to honor us with your quest, we will do our utmost to provide you with best-looking, best-fitting experience from among the many we offer.

The link address is: https://www.historypreservation.com/

Unicomp EnduraPro Black Buckling Spring USB

EnduraPro Black Buckling Spring USB The EnduraPro is the UltraClassic with an integrated pointing stick mouse. The pointing stick is better known as Trackpoint® which is IBM’s trademarked name for a pointing stick located between G, H,& B keys on the keyboard. The pointing stick is an idea perfected by IBM and Lexmark; and owned by Unicomp since it was patented in 1996. The EnduraPro is the perfect solution for space constrained work environments. The EnduraPro is available in Raven Black with a USB interface; and only available with buckling spring technology.

The link address is: https://www.pckeyboard.com/page/product/UB40PGA

Facts v feelings: how to stop our emotions misleading us: The pandemic has shown how a lack of solid statistics can be dangerous. But even with the firmest of evidence, we often end up ignoring the facts we don’t like by Tim Harford

The pandemic has shown how a lack of solid statistics can be dangerous. But even with the firmest of evidence, we often end up ignoring the facts we don’t like by Tim Harford By the spring of 2020, the high stakes involved in rigorous, timely and honest statistics had suddenly become all too clear. A new coronavirus was sweeping the world. Politicians had to make their most consequential decisions in decades, and fast. Many of those decisions depended on data detective work that epidemiologists, medical statisticians and economists were scrambling to conduct. Tens of millions of lives were potentially at risk. So were billions of people’s livelihoods. In early April, countries around the world were a couple of weeks into lockdown, global deaths passed 60,000, and it was far from clear how the story would unfold. Perhaps the deepest economic depression since the 1930s was on its way, on the back of a mushrooming death toll. Perhaps, thanks to human ingenuity or good fortune, such apocalyptic fears would fade from memory. Many scenarios seemed plausible. And that’s the problem. An epidemiologist, John Ioannidis, wrote in mid-March that Covid-19 “might be a once-in-a-century evidence fiasco”. The data detectives are doing their best – but they’re having to work with data that’s patchy, inconsistent and woefully inadequate for making life-and-death decisions with the confidence we would like. Details of this fiasco will, no doubt, be studied for years to come. But some things already seem clear. At the beginning of the crisis, politics seem to have impeded the free flow of honest statistics. Although the claim is contested, Taiwan complained that in late December 2019 it had given important clues about human-to-human transmission to the World Health Organization – but as late as mid-January, the WHO was reassuringly tweeting that China had found no evidence of human-to-human transmission. (Taiwan is not a member of the WHO, because China claims sovereignty over the territory and demands that it should not be treated as an independent state. It’s possible that this geopolitical obstacle led to the alleged delay.) Did this matter? Almost certainly; with cases doubling every two or three days, we will never know what might have been different with an extra couple of weeks of warning. It’s clear that many leaders took a while to appreciate the potential gravity of the threat. President Trump, for instance, announced in late February: “It’s going to disappear. One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.” Four weeks later, with 1,300 Americans dead and more confirmed cases in the US than any other country, Trump was still talking hopefully about getting everybody to church at Easter. As I write, debates are raging. Can rapid testing, isolation and contact tracing contain outbreaks indefinitely, or merely delay their spread? Should we worry more about small indoor gatherings or large outdoor ones? Does closing schools help to prevent the spread of the virus, or do more harm as children go to stay with vulnerable grandparents? How much does wearing masks help? These and many other questions can be answered only by good data about who has been infected, and when. But in the early months of the pandemic, a vast number of infections were not being registered in official statistics, owing to a lack of tests. And the tests that were being conducted were giving a skewed picture, being focused on medical staff, critically ill patients, and – let’s face it – rich, famous people. It took several months to build a picture of how many mild or asymptomatic cases there are, and hence how deadly the virus really is. As the death toll rose exponentially in March, doubling every two days in the UK, there was no time to wait and see. Leaders put economies into an induced coma – more than 3 million Americans filed jobless claims in a single week in late March, five times the previous record. The following week was even worse: more than 6.5m claims were filed. Were the potential health consequences really catastrophic enough to justify sweeping away so many people’s incomes? It seemed so – but epidemiologists could only make their best guesses with very limited information. It’s hard to imagine a more extraordinary illustration of how much we usually take accurate, systematically gathered numbers for granted. The statistics for a huge range of important issues that predate the coronavirus have been painstakingly assembled over the years by diligent statisticians, and often made available to download, free of charge, anywhere in the world. Yet we are spoiled by such luxury, casually dismissing “lies, damned lies and statistics”. The case of Covid-19 reminds us how desperate the situation can become when the statistics simply aren’t there. When it comes to interpreting the world around us, we need to realise that our feelings can trump our expertise. This explains why we buy things we don’t need, fall for the wrong kind of romantic partner, or vote for politicians who betray our trust. In particular, it explains why we so often buy into statistical claims that even a moment’s thought would tell us cannot be true. Sometimes, we want to be fooled. Psychologist Ziva Kunda found this effect in the lab, when she showed experimental subjects an article laying out the evidence that coffee or other sources of caffeine could increase the risk to women of developing breast cysts. Most people found the article pretty convincing. Women who drank a lot of coffee did not. We often find ways to dismiss evidence that we don’t like. And the opposite is true, too: when evidence seems to support our preconceptions, we are less likely to look too closely for flaws. It is not easy to master our emotions while assessing information that matters to us, not least because our emotions can lead us astray in different directions. We don’t need to become emotionless processors of numerical information – just noticing our emotions and taking them into account may often be enough to improve our judgment. Rather than requiring superhuman control of our emotions, we need simply to develop good habits. Ask yourself: how does this information make me feel? Do I feel vindicated or smug? Anxious, angry or afraid? Am I in denial, scrambling to find a reason to dismiss the claim? In the early days of the coronavirus epidemic, helpful-seeming misinformation spread even faster than the virus itself. One viral post – circulating on Facebook and email newsgroups – all-too-confidently explained how to distinguish between Covid-19 and a cold, reassured people that the virus was destroyed by warm weather, and incorrectly advised that iced water was to be avoided, while warm water kills any virus. The post, sometimes attributed to “my friend’s uncle”, sometimes to “Stanford hospital board” or some blameless and uninvolved paediatrician, was occasionally accurate but generally speculative and misleading. But still people – normally sensible people – shared it again and again and again. Why? Because they wanted to help others. They felt confused, they saw apparently useful advice, and they felt impelled to share. That impulse was only human, and it was well-meaning – but it was not wise. Before I repeat any statistical claim, I first try to take note of how it makes me feel. It’s not a foolproof method against tricking myself, but it’s a habit that does little harm, and is sometimes a great deal of help. Our emotions are powerful. We can’t make them vanish, and nor should we want to. But we can, and should, try to notice when they are clouding our judgment. In 1997, the economists Linda Babcock and George Loewenstein ran an experiment in which participants were given evidence from a real court case about a motorbike accident. They were then randomly assigned to play the role of plaintiff’s attorney (arguing that the injured motorcyclist should receive $100,000 in damages) or defence attorney (arguing that the case should be dismissed or the damages should be low). The experimental subjects were given a financial incentive to argue their side of the case persuasively, and to reach an advantageous settlement with the other side. They were also given a separate financial incentive to accurately guess what the damages the judge in the real case had actually awarded. Their predictions should have been unrelated to their role-playing, but their judgment was strongly influenced by what they hoped would be true. Psychologists call this “motivated reasoning”. Motivated reasoning is thinking through a topic with the aim, conscious or unconscious, of reaching a particular kind of conclusion. In a football game, we see the fouls committed by the other team but overlook the sins of our own side. We are more likely to notice what we want to notice. Experts are not immune to motivated reasoning. Under some circumstances their expertise can even become a disadvantage. The French satirist Molière once wrote: “A learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant one.” Benjamin Franklin commented: “So convenient a thing is it to be a reasonable creature, since it enables us to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to.” Modern social science agrees with Molière and Franklin: people with deeper expertise are better equipped to spot deception, but if they fall into the trap of motivated reasoning, they are able to muster more reasons to believe whatever they really wish to believe. One recent review of the evidence concluded that this tendency to evaluate evidence and test arguments in a way that is biased towards our own preconceptions is not only common, but just as common among intelligent people. Being smart or educated is no defence. In some circumstances, it may even be a weakness. One illustration of this is a study published in 2006 by two political scientists, Charles Taber and Milton Lodge. They wanted to examine the way Americans reasoned about controversial political issues. The two they chose were gun control and affirmative action. Taber and Lodge asked their experimental participants to read a number of arguments on either side, and to evaluate the strength and weakness of each argument. One might hope that being asked to review these pros and cons might give people more of a shared appreciation of opposing viewpoints; instead, the new information pulled people further apart. This was because people mined the information they were given for ways to support their existing beliefs. When invited to search for more information, people would seek out data that backed their preconceived ideas. When invited to assess the strength of an opposing argument, they would spend considerable time thinking up ways to shoot it down. This isn’t the only study to reach this sort of conclusion, but what’s particularly intriguing about Taber and Lodge’s experiment is that expertise made matters worse. More sophisticated participants in the experiment found more material to back up their preconceptions. More surprisingly, they found less material that contradicted them – as though they were using their expertise actively to avoid uncomfortable information. They produced more arguments in favour of their own views, and picked up more flaws in the other side’s arguments. They were vastly better equipped to reach the conclusion they had wanted to reach all along. Of all the emotional responses we might have, the most politically relevant are motivated by partisanship. People with a strong political affiliation want to be on the right side of things. We see a claim, and our response is immediately shaped by whether we believe “that’s what people like me think”. Consider this claim about climate change: “Human activity is causing the Earth’s climate to warm up, posing serious risks to our way of life.” Many of us have an emotional reaction to a claim like that; it’s not like a claim about the distance to Mars. Believing it or denying it is part of our identity; it says something about who we are, who our friends are, and the sort of world we want to live in. If I put a claim about climate change in a news headline, or in a graph designed to be shared on social media, it will attract attention and engagement not because it is true or false, but because of the way people feel about it. If you doubt this, ponder the findings of a Gallup poll conducted in 2015. It found a huge gap between how much Democrats and Republicans in the US worried about climate change. What rational reason could there be for that? Scientific evidence is scientific evidence. Our beliefs around climate change shouldn’t skew left and right. But they do. This gap became wider the more education people had. Among those with no college education, 45% of Democrats and 23% of Republicans worried “a great deal” about climate change. Yet among those with a college education, the figures were 50% of Democrats and 8% of Republicans. A similar pattern holds if you measure scientific literacy: more scientifically literate Republicans and Democrats are further apart than those who know very little about science. If emotion didn’t come into it, surely more education and more information would help people to come to an agreement about what the truth is – or at least, the current best theory? But giving people more information seems actively to polarise them on the question of climate change. This fact alone tells us how important our emotions are. People are straining to reach the conclusion that fits with their other beliefs and values – and the more they know, the more ammunition they have to reach the conclusion they hope to reach. In the case of climate change, there is an objective truth, even if we are unable to discern it with perfect certainty. But as you are one individual among nearly 8 billion on the planet, the environmental consequences of what you happen to think are irrelevant. With a handful of exceptions – say, if you’re the president of China – climate change is going to take its course regardless of what you say or do. From a self-centred point of view, the practical cost of being wrong is close to zero. The social consequences of your beliefs, however, are real and immediate. Imagine that you’re a barley farmer in Montana, and hot, dry summers are ruining your crop with increasing frequency. Climate change matters to you. And yet rural Montana is a conservative place, and the words “climate change” are politically charged. Anyway, what can you personally do about it? Here’s how one farmer, Erik Somerfeld, threads that needle, as described by the journalist Ari LeVaux: “In the field, looking at his withering crop, Somerfeld was unequivocal about the cause of his damaged crop – ‘climate change’. But back at the bar, with his friends, his language changed. He dropped those taboo words in favour of ‘erratic weather’ and ‘drier, hotter summers’ – a not-uncommon conversational tactic in farm country these days.” If Somerfeld lived in Portland, Oregon, or Brighton, East Sussex, he wouldn’t need to be so circumspect at his local tavern – he’d be likely to have friends who took climate change very seriously indeed. But then those friends would quickly ostracise someone else in the social group who went around loudly claiming that climate change is a Chinese hoax. So perhaps it is not so surprising after all to find educated Americans poles apart on the topic of climate change. Hundreds of thousands of years of human evolution have wired us to care deeply about fitting in with those around us. This helps to explain the findings of Taber and Lodge that better-informed people are actually more at risk of motivated reasoning on politically partisan topics: the more persuasively we can make the case for what our friends already believe, the more our friends will respect us. It’s far easier to lead ourselves astray when the practical consequences of being wrong are small or non-existent, while the social consequences of being “wrong” are severe. It’s no coincidence that this describes many controversies that divide along partisan lines. It’s tempting to assume that motivated reasoning is just something that happens to other people. I have political principles; you’re politically biased; he’s a fringe conspiracy theorist. But we would be wiser to acknowledge that we all think with our hearts rather than our heads sometimes. Kris De Meyer, a neuroscientist at King’s College, London, shows his students a message describing an environmental activist’s problem with climate change denialism: To summarise the climate deniers’ activities, I think we can say that: (1) Their efforts have been aggressive while ours have been defensive. (2) The deniers’ activities are rather orderly – almost as if they had a plan working for them. I think the denialist forces can be characterised as dedicated opportunists. They are quick to act and seem to be totally unprincipled in the type of information they use to attack the scientific community. There is no question, though, that we have been inept in getting our side of the story, good though it may be, across to the news media and the public. The students, all committed believers in climate change, outraged at the smokescreen laid down by the cynical and anti-scientific deniers, nod in recognition. Then De Meyer reveals the source of the text. It’s not a recent email. It’s taken, sometimes word for word, from an infamous internal memo written by a cigarette marketing executive in 1968. The memo is complaining not about “climate deniers” but about “anti-cigarette forces”, but otherwise, few changes were required. You can use the same language, the same arguments, and perhaps even have the same conviction that you’re right, whether you’re arguing (rightly) that climate change is real or (wrongly) that the cigarette-cancer link is not. (Here’s an example of this tendency that, for personal reasons, I can’t help but be sensitive about. My left-leaning, environmentally conscious friends are justifiably critical of ad hominem attacks on climate scientists. You know the kind of thing: claims that scientists are inventing data because of their political biases, or because they’re scrambling for funding from big government. In short, smearing the person rather than engaging with the evidence. Yet the same friends are happy to embrace and amplify the same kind of tactics when they are used to attack my fellow economists: that we are inventing data because of our political biases, or scrambling for funding from big business. I tried to point out the parallel to one thoughtful person, and got nowhere. She was completely unable to comprehend what I was talking about. I’d call this a double standard, but that would be unfair – it would suggest that it was deliberate. It’s not. It’s an unconscious bias that’s easy to see in others and very hard to see in ourselves.) Our emotional reaction to a statistical or scientific claim isn’t a side issue. Our emotions can, and often do, shape our beliefs more than any logic. We are capable of persuading ourselves to believe strange things, and to doubt solid evidence, in service of our political partisanship, our desire to keep drinking coffee, our unwillingness to face up to the reality of our HIV diagnosis, or any other cause that invokes an emotional response. But we shouldn’t despair. We can learn to control our emotions – that is part of the process of growing up. The first simple step is to notice those emotions. When you see a statistical claim, pay attention to your own reaction. If you feel outrage, triumph, denial, pause for a moment. Then reflect. You don’t need to be an emotionless robot, but you could and should think as well as feel. Most of us do not actively wish to delude ourselves, even when that might be socially advantageous. We have motives to reach certain conclusions, but facts matter, too. Lots of people would like to be movie stars, billionaires or immune to hangovers, but very few people believe that they actually are. Wishful thinking has limits. The more we get into the habit of counting to three and noticing our knee-jerk reactions, the closer to the truth we are likely to get. For example, one survey, conducted by a team of academics, found that most people were perfectly able to distinguish serious journalism from fake news, and also agreed that it was important to amplify the truth, not lies. Yet the same people would happily share headlines such as “Over 500 ‘Migrant Caravaners’ Arrested With Suicide Vests”, because at the moment at which they clicked “share”, they weren’t stopping to think. They weren’t thinking, “Is this true?”, and they weren’t thinking, “Do I think the truth is important?” Why can’t we agree on what’s true any more? Instead, as they skimmed the internet in that state of constant distraction that we all recognise, they were carried away with their emotions and their partisanship. The good news is that simply pausing for a moment to reflect was all it took to filter out a lot of the misinformation. It doesn’t take much; we can all do it. All we need to do is acquire the habit of stopping to think. Inflammatory memes or tub-thumping speeches invite us to leap to the wrong conclusion without thinking. That’s why we need to be calm. And that is also why so much persuasion is designed to arouse us – our lust, our desire, our sympathy or our anger. When was the last time Donald Trump, or for that matter Greenpeace, tweeted something designed to make you pause in calm reflection? Today’s persuaders don’t want you to stop and think. They want you to hurry up and feel. Don’t be rushed.

The link address is: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/sep/10/facts-v-feelings-how-to-stop-emotions-misleading-us?CMP=share_btn_tw%20

Intension Design Tripod Standing Desk

Designed in California and made from baltic birch and aircraft grade aluminum, the Intension Design Tripod Standing Desk is an adjustable, portable and multifunctional desk designed for working from home or on the go. Adjustable - The desk can be adjusted to any height between 1.8 ft and 4.8 ft, tall enough to be a standing desk for anyone under 7 ft! The angle of table can also be adjusted to be flat or at an incline. Portable - Weighing only 4.5 pounds, the desk can assembled within seconds and even fits into a bag! No tools needed. The desk is perfect for anyone who’s traveling, working in tight spaces or looking for a change in scenery. Multifunctional - Although designed to be a standing desk for those working from home or on the go, the desk has become popular amongst teachers, fitness enthusiasts, artists and more. The ability to setup your desk at any height, angle or location, makes it perfect for online classes, videos calls, art and other activities.

The link address is: https://www.intension-design.com/tripodtable

Taotronics Muscle Massage Gun Deep Tissue with 10 Speed Levels 6 Heads

Ultra-Long Work Time: 6 rechargeable batteries, each with a capacity of 2600mAh, to run 4hrs on a full charge, and bring a standby time up to 10hrs; auto shut-off after 15mins of continuous use to protect against overheating 10 Adjustable Speeds: 24W high-torque motor produces 1400 to 3200 strokes per minute to reach tissue as deep as 12mm to increase blood flow for effective post-workout muscle relief 6 Specialty Massage Heads: Interchangeable heads in 6 shapes to target specific muscle groups for faster recovery; easy and quick to remove and affix massage heads in seconds Quiet Operation: Adopts 24V brushless motor and high quality bearing for an almost drop-dead silent massage to use in the office or gym without causing a disturbance Practical Travel Case: Comes with a PU travel case to keep all the parts in perfect order, making it easier to store Your Go-To Massager Built to deeply relieve muscle soreness and accelerate post-workout recovery with the 10 adjustable speed levels and 6 massage head attachments. 24V brushless high-torque motor Low operating noise 15min auto shut-off 6 massage head attachments 10 adjustable speed levels 6 x 2600mAh rechargeable batteries Technology Enhances Life TaoTronics, a flagship brand under the Sunvalley group, is dedicated to providing superior-quality, reasonably priced electronic products that improve the lives of our customers. We strive to develop, innovate and focus on utilizing the latest technology into easy-to-use devices.

The link address is: https://www.taotronics.com/products/tt-pca003-muscle-massage-gun

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