Business, Psychology, Society, Uncategorized

The Personal Touch

so happy smiling cat

so happy smiling cat (Photo credit: [puamelia])

I’m currently enjoying my week off but on Monday I did have to go to the bank to pay the only bill I don’t pay by Direct Debit and also pay some money in to my account.

As I’ve written about before I’m no fan of the new automated paying-in and bill paying machines with which I have a difficult history, so as the bank was quiet I went to a teller without being dragged back to the machine this time.  I said good morning and so on and told the lady what I wanted to do, she then told me that I could do the same using the machines, I told her in a round-about way that the machine and I are not on amicable terms at the moment.

She glanced at her screen after I’d put my card in the reader and smiled, saying “one thing the machine can’t do is wish you a Happy Birthday.”

Which gave me a smile and a warm feeling inside which technology just can’t match.

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Proxies for reality: Fact-based films and their mythmaking potential

Media Myth Alert

The Sunday “Outlook” section of the Washington Post usually is such a ZeroDarkThirty_posterjumble of thumbsucker essays and middling book reviews that it deserves just passing attention.

What made yesterday’s “Outlook” an exception was an engaging critique of Zero Dark Thirty, the controversial new movie about the CIA’s years-long hunt for terror leader Osama bin-Laden.

The critique, written by former CIA official Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., suggests anew the mythmaking capacity of fact-based films. “Inevitably,” Rodriguez writes of Zero Dark Thirty, “films like this come to be seen by the public as a sort of proxy for reality.”

And that’s especially troubling because, as Rodriguez also points out:

“One of the advantages of inhabiting the world of Hollywood is that you can have things both ways.” Publicity for Zero Dark Thirty emphasizes that it rests upon careful research, Rodriguez notes; at the same time, the film’s screenwriter, Mark…

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Where is The Kindness Anymore? I Can’t Seem To Find It

Talin Orfali Ghazarian

A Week ago my great friends and I were planning what to do this weekend and make it a girls night out that we hadn’t done in a while, and so we decided to go see a movie called “Identity Thief” with Melissa McCarthy and it was such a funny movie, and then we decided to go to a restaurant and just have some fun, relax, talk and catch up with each other. It was such a beautiful night, where I just relaxed, enjoyed, had a great laugh, basically what I needed tonight to be with my beautiful people.

Now, as we sat down, we ordered off the menu, got our meals,  had our meals, and just talked This elderly man was getting out of the restrooms very slowly and was frail and we were situated in a way where we couldn’t go and assist him, and so basically these…

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Cutting Corners is Not A Way To Succeed

Talin Orfali Ghazarian

In this life there are so many businesses and companies that have been lacking in some things and one of them are cutting corners meaning that they mostly care about making money and increasing their bank accounts rather than thinking about the client, buyer, customer, passenger. It is a terrible thing to cut corners, to make cuts here and there, the quality of material’s have significantly gone down, as well as other important things that keep a business afloat and they should think about quality before quantity. I know as life goes on products, materials and the way companies work is disintegrating and its hard to find reliability anymore and good honest workers.

There are great honest workers out there, but there are some who slack off, who do not want to do the work, who cut corners, and don’t take extra care in the work they do and it…

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Don’t Be Discouraged – Always Look Forward

Talin Orfali Ghazarian

In life when were going through life, a lot of people if not all people want to be a number of things when they grow up, they have ambitions, dreams, and talents. Everyone has different skills, needs, qualities, potential, and personal goals to attain and fulfill in life. Unfortunately some do not get to enjoy, fulfill and succeed in life because their lives were cut short and its a terrible thing.  Everyone has great qualities about themselves, and sometimes some peoples progress, and going to the next step takes a lot longer than others, but never be and let others discourage on how slow a progress you are making. At least you have continual progress that is not stopping and you are trying your best and doing your best. Always look forward in life. I know things in life happen without you least expecting it, traumatic and tragic things can…

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Losing Our Emotion — Is it Now Cool to be a Flatliner?

~ Iconicallyrare ~ The Tailored Life

There is a noticeable decline in the amount of emotion we use when we communicate with each other. It seems that somehow, there is an accepted perception that showing feelings of sentimentality, passion, hurt, and shame is…embarrassing (even weak).

A  flatliner is a more recent term that is used to describe a person who expresses himself through emotionless communication through:

1) matter-of-fact texts and emails,

2) robotic responses by companies during a crisis, and

3) benign stone-faced speakers at press conferences dealing with controversial topics.

And so aside from the sensationalism we see in the media today, the other end of the spectrum is pressure to deal with life on a personal and professional level without showing signs of being moved emotionally. As flatliners adopt the philosophy that the purse strings and the ego are best protected by staging”Spock-like” attitudes and  Dragnet–“Just the Facts Ma’am ”  approaches…

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Caught in a Copyright Net

Catherine Sherman

This is the offending photograph that was pulled from a POD (Print on Demand) site.  I dared to include the Space Needle in my Seattle Skyline. This is the offending photograph that was pulled from a POD (Print on Demand) site. I dared to include the Space Needle in my Seattle Skyline.

The Seattle Seahawks won the 2014 Super Bowl. Maybe that woke up some other Powers-That-Be in Seattle, because the Space Needle entity has come down on little designers who used the Space Needle in their designs on a commercial Print-on-Demand (POD) site I use. (“Super Bowl” might even be a copyrighted phrase.)  I got the dreaded emails telling me of “copyright infringement” on six products all using the above photograph.

The Space Needle is a copyrighted structure, so it can’t be featured in photographs and art, but it can be included as part of a skyline. It’s such an essential part of the skyline, it seems wrong to be so restrictive in its use. I knew that I couldn’t feature the Space Needle as…

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Health, Psychology, Tech, Uncategorized

I’m Still Here – Clutter and Creative Block

4888018The last time I posted to the blog was New Year’s Day and no I haven’t been suffering from a hangover that long.  I was actually suffering from a really persistent cold for the first few weeks of the year which also stopped me going out on New Year’s Eve and this left me feeling bunged-up both physically and creatively.

Colds and the like cause my brain to seize up too, it just wants to watch stuff on TV, coming out in sympathy with the rest of my body saying “look, we’re busy getting rid of this infection you were daft enough to inhale, go watch some QI”.  Anything that isn’t particularly taxing, basically.

Since then however the impulse to write has eluded me and thanks to an article by Mikael Cho on Lifehacker I’ve found out why.  It’s something I’ve thought about before but also didn’t get around to writing about – information overload.

This blog should have quite a narrow remit, it’s about how we cope with modern life; how technology affects us in positive and negative ways; behaviours particular to the 21st century and other stuff about life in 2013 2014.    However, instead of thinking about issues to write about I scour blogs and news sites for things that are relevant, or rather I should do, and it shouldn’t take too long to do, an hour a day should be enough time to skim a few blogs and the news, then move on to the WordPress reader and read posts from the blogs I follow.

I don’t though because I procrastinate, and I do that because I’m afraid of having too much information coming at me.  As the Lifehacker article points out this stream of information actually blocks your brain from getting into the creative mood and formulating an article.  This is why I’d sit down and find that I couldn’t think of anything to write.

I should have known this simply by comparing today to the last time I wrote a complete novel.  It was the summer of 2000 – yes, Two Thousand.  I wrote the book in six months, writing on Sunday mornings, and whenever the mood took me.  There was no internet available to me and only five TV channels.  Research for the book took place at the local library where I read travel books on Italy to get a feel for the locations.  The important thing was that it was the only thing I was doing, I could let my brain focus on one subject, one story, I had no other stories arriving by the hour vying for attention, taking my attention away.

Between news reader apps, Facebook, Twitter etc we are confronted with a constant flow of words and pictures that have to be rapidly consumed and forgotten else you end up with a backlog that more resembles a tidal wave.  You then have the choice of either taking a week off work to catch up (why do you think I’m writing this on a Wednesday morning two days after my birthday) or just taking a deep breath and deleting/throwing out everything you haven’t read (remembers big stack of magazines with “read later” articles hidden behind the sofa).

I’d already started to limit what information I’d add to my future articles notes, defining the scope of what I want to write about, bringing me back to the one story in effect, and as the Lifehacker article says this is an important step.

Clutter is both physical and mental, both affect how you live your life, the important thing is not to let it affect you negatively.