Category Archives: Dr. Seuss

tomurich

October 25, 2015

John 3:22-31  He must become greater; I must become less. v.30

I need not seek to be recognized.  I can give honor to God whether or not I’m openly appreciated by others.  A Christ-first attitude can subdue any petty jealousies
or unhealthy competition.

I’m feeling thankful and searching for ways I can give back from what little I have left to give.

john316

Here’s Why It’s so Important to Unplug ~ by Emma Bracy

Here’s Why It’s so Important to Unplug

It’s 2015, and there’s no denying it: We live in an era of hyper-connectivity. We are constantly being bombarded with information—text, image, and video sweep into our consciousness night and day, flowing at us from our many screens. We’re pinged for urgent emails and random miscellany alike. Every buzz has the potential to be the day’s most important message. Usually, though, it’s nothing.

No matter. Our devices are like technological extensions of ourselves, and as such, we have a really hard time putting them down.

RELATED: YOU NEED TO STOP TAKING YOUR SMARTPHONE TO BED

Young woman in a crowd checking her phoneFLICKR/SUSANNE NILSSON – FLIC.KR

Fifty-four thousand words: that’s how much textual information—in the form of digital content—is dumped on the average social media user per day.

When that measure is expanded to include emails, digital imagery, web browsing, and the like, it increases dramatically. According to a 2011 study reported by the Telegraph, we receive about 200 newspapers-worth of information everyday.

RELATED: HOW MUCH DO YOU CHECK YOUR PHONE EVERY DAY?

And how much information does the average person produce? About six newspapers-worth. Whether you’re sending messages via text or Tinder, it all adds up.

That same study also found that there were 295 exabytes of data floating around the world—that’s 29,500,000,000,000,000,000,000 pieces of information. Three-hundred and fifteen times the number of grains of sand on Earth. That was in 2011; we’ve no doubt surpassed that count by now. Talk about information overload.

WHAT DOES THAT DO TO OUR BRAINS?

Graphic of the brain MACROVECTOR – BIGSTOCKPHOTO.COM

“Our brains were never designed to be always on and permanently connected with the amount of stimuli that we get [today],” Max Blumberg, a research psychologist from Goldsmiths, University of London, said in a recent interview.

“Our brains haven’t evolved to handle that level of high activity yet,” he continued. “And that’s a problem.”

The science of how always-on technology impacts human behavior hasn’t been extensively explored—maybe because we’re still in the dawning of the information age. But some studies have been done, and the results are distressing. Researchers have found that social media might promote narcissism, smartphones could be causing insomnia, and screens seem to be making our kids less empathetic.

“Our brains will always be seduced by the high stimuli [of constant connectivity] because of the dopamine that it provides,” Blumberg explained in another interview. “It’s really similar to having ADHD.”

“People with ADHD, their big problem is that their cortex—the outer part of your brain that does the executive function like making decisions—doesn’t function in the way that it is supposed to,” he continued. “Unlike animals, who are distracted by every stimulus they encounter, human beings have the cortex, which is supposed to help them weigh up whether what they are currently doing is more important than whatever the new stimulus is—whether it’s a Facebook notification, phone call, or email.”

Essentially, we’re over-stimulating ourselves. Constant connectivity makes it hard to sustain attention on one task at a time. It can make us get all willy-nilly with our focus, giving our attention to whatever is right in front of us, without thinking about whether or not what is in front of us is truly worth our time. As a result, it’s harder to engage in deep thought, critical thought, and creativity.

Blumberg thinks this is going to have a serious impact on society:

“In fact, what I think we’re going to see is a society that is even more divided into the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’. And we’re already starting to see that the kids from richer backgrounds are really restricted in the amount of TV and internet that they are allowed to use because their parents who built these big companies know that that is what is required to be able to achieve such things, so those kids are going to end up building the big companies of the future.

“And the kids from poorer backgrounds, who are online all the time and have a very reactive brain, will end up being the consumers and customers of the other kids’ companies. There will be a huge market where people will buy anything because the brand is flashed up without having any critical thinking about it because their brains are not used to deep thinking.”

BUT THERE IS A SOLUTION.

joshua-tree-landscapeFLICKR/DON GRAHAM – FLIC.KR

Sounds pretty bleak, but there is a solution: Turn off. Unplug. Go on a digital detox.

Daniel J. Levitin,* Ph.D., is the director of the Laboratory for Music, Cognition and Expertise at McGill University and author of the book “The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload.” According to him, unplugging is a practice, not just a one time special event. And it’s not as hard as you may think. He explained how to hit the reset button for your brain in an article for the New York Times last year:

“Every status update you read on Facebook, every tweet or text message you get from a friend, is competing for resources in your brain with important things like whether to put your savings in stocks or bonds, where you left your passport or how best to reconcile with a close friend you just had an argument with.

“If you want to be more productive and creative, and to have more energy, the science dictates that you should partition your day into project periods.”

Levitin suggests doing your daily activities (even digital ones, like social networking and emailing) at designated times. Your brain—and output—will be better for it.

“Increasing creativity will happen naturally as we tame the multitasking and immerse ourselves in a single task for sustained periods of, say, 30 to 50 minutes,” he wrote in the Times. And when you’re not plugged in? “Several studies have shown that a walk in nature or listening to music can trigger the mind-wandering mode. This acts as a neural reset button, and provides much needed perspective on what you’re doing.”

That’s helpful when the goal is being able to disregard a stimulus that isn’t that important. Even what might feel like doing nothing gives our brains the much needed break from technology required for problem solving and making an impact on the world. Levitin explains, “daydreaming leads to creativity, and creative activities teach us agency, the ability to change the world, to mold it to our liking, to have a positive effect on our environment.”

Picture of a guy using his phone before he goes to sleep MINERVA STUDIO – BIGSTOCKPHOTO.COM

Using unplugged time to pursue your hobbies or passions can have enormous benefits, too. Levitin says that “music, for example, turns out to be an effective method for improving attention, building up self-confidence, social skills and a sense of engagement.” You might want to reconsider those guitar lessons you’ve always wanted to take.

Music isn’t the only way. The ultimate goal is to increase our human potential, and to do that all we have to do is pause. Put down the iPhone, stop staring at the screen, and ignore the timeline for a bit.

RELATED: ONE APP IS TRYING TO UNDO YOUR SMARTPHONE ADDICTION

“Taking breaks is biologically restorative. Naps are even better,” Levitin concludes. “In several studies, a nap of even 10 minutes improved cognitive function and vigor, and decreased sleepiness and fatigue. If we can train ourselves to take regular vacations—true vacations without work—and to set aside time for naps and contemplation, we will be in a more powerful position to start solving some of the world’s big problems. And to be happier and well rested while we’re doing it.” So go ahead. Give yourself a vacation. You deserve it.

Guilty Without a Trial

Did you ever notice that simply making an accusation in the first place nearly completes the conviction?

Read On: Untreated Mental Illness

yourdrama

Worse Yet – These Same People are turning away from those they have literally condemned to skid row.

Read On: CBS: Dumped on Skid Row

And Also – They have now Poisoned their future and the the chances of recovery

Read On:  On-Line Dangers and Benefits

I´ve got 99 Words for Happiness, but the Germans only have One

I see the positive side of this in semantics as well.  All these American English words are based in Goodness. The word “Good” is based on several psalms and verses.  Some argue that it has roots in the word “God.”  Timothy 4:4 “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude;”

– See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/God,-Goodness-Of

The-Goodness-of-God

Mappalicious

In earlier posts, I´ve shared with you my personal feeling that Positive Psychology and the German language seem to be a bit of a mismatch, as my mother tongue is impoverished with respect to words describing positive experiences and states of being. Later on, I shared a study that is able to demonstrate that some languages are indeed happier than others – in that they are able to “hold” more positivity.

Today, I stumbled upon another piece of evidence pertaining to that matter. Below, you´ll see screenshots of the two most important translation websites in Germany. On the left, you can see the English words, a wide array positive states (of mind). On the right, the German translations are displayed. As you can see, all those English words are translated into the same German expression: Glück.

If Wittgenstein was right, and “The limits of my language means the limits of my world”, then having only a single…

View original post 50 more words

“You Don’t Have To Push – They’ll Fall In By Themselves” ~ Thomas E. Urich (Sr.)

I Used to Live with a Narcissist!!

UPDATED 17 May 2015 from an earlier post

In some ways, everybody is a narcissist.  A little bit of pride – a little bit of boast – a little bit of bravado.  These people were in Band in the public school system.  They were cheerleaders or majorettes.  They were on the football or basketball team.

There were not, however, on the swim team.**

There is a difference.  A healthy amount of confidence not to be confused with self-worship or idolatry of a greater being or of a tuba or even a greater devotion to nothing. Or not.

I Love Me

I Love Me

WEIRE2

I Think

Sometimes people don’t even realize what they are doing.  They are so wound up that they become insensitive to what is actually going on around them.  They think evil is at work and they become so offensive (in a blindly stupid sort of way) that they begin to produce actual evil themselves.  They have been “hooked” by Satan.  Or Facebook.  Same thing.

Twitter to the Rescue!

Every kid on this city block has two facebook identities.  And one of them is a cop.  The other one has one leg missing (not a military vet but a bassoon player who fell out of the 3rd floor dorm window) and plays Angry Birds at least 3 hours every day.  Twitter Users – on the other hand – are flying across the country to a gig in a small town of sheep-herders and/or riding in a helicopter in Iraq with Lance Armstrong.

There is a big difference.

Tim Dick

Tim Dick

Facebook users get too narrow.  They think they are on a virtual soapbox that a Liberal Mayor from AnyTown Democrat USA proclaimed as Rainbow Required Reading Month has etched into your psyche and sealed it with hummus.  I see a trail of cashew crumbs (ignored by fuzzy cats) leading to a calcified pet drinking fountain next to the refrigerator – and next to that a stack of Sunday inserts dating back to The Hindenberg.  Focus.  Come on, people.

I really don’t care about your opinions because they are so beautifully displayed like a magical desktop publishing program from AOL using technology developed by Xerox in 1977.  Give it up. There are real IT people making real advances in computer wizardry who have to re-certify their skills every 6 months let alone try to get Pagemaker to run on X-Box.  Shut Up!

I'm a freaking Genius

I’m a freaking Genius

You know the ones.  They are smarter than you are because they listen to NPR.  They don’t drink alcohol.  Ever.  They are so broad-minded that they check only Snopes to form the basis of their doctoral dissertation and they have just re-modeled their kitchen to the tune of $16,000 and they don’t  cook but 4 times a year.  Gluten free.

It is a real disorder.  And 99% of you nut cases don't have it!

It is a real disorder. And 99% of you nut cases don’t have it!

Get a Grip on Yourself

If a person decides to engage in a creative writing experiment – a new form of entertainment which I will term “TXT Comedy” for lack of a better acronym (for now) – and it produces reactions like the threats of a SWAT Team coming to your house while you are away on vacation  – it is not because you are stupid, it is because you have placed your mind somewhere the sun does not shine.

Help Is Available

Please Remember God Loves You.  Whether you believe in Him or not – that is your freedom of choice and I won’t try to force legislation to make you bake me a Masonic birthday cake with swastikas on it – and enjoy Life and Be Yourself.  Don’t judge others.  And eat a balanced diet of grains that will return your bowel movements to normal and help divert your attention away from me for a bit.

**Apologies to my high school teacher buddy John Wieck (wherever you are) who was not the guy responsible for making so many of my graduating classmates’ homosexual in later life.  I’m okay with that.  Just ask Paco at Grand Coney.

 

When In The Land of Weird Do As They Do

I Used to Live with a Narcissist

UPDATED 17 May 2015

In some ways, everybody is a narcissist.  A little bit of pride – a little bit of boast – a little bit of bravado.  These people were in Band in the public school system.  They were cheerleaders or majorettes.  They were on the football or basketball team.

There were not, however, on the swim team.**

There is a difference.  A healthy amount of confidence not to be confused with self-worship or idolatry of a greater being or of a tuba or even a greater devotion to nothing. Or not.

I Love Me

I Love Me

WEIRE2

I Think

Sometimes people don’t even realize what they are doing.  They are so wound up that they become insensitive to what is actually going on around them.  They think evil is at work and they become so offensive (in a blindly stupid sort of way) that they begin to produce actual evil themselves.  They have been “hooked” by Satan.  Or Facebook.  Same thing.

Twitter to the Rescue!

Every kid on this city block has two facebook identities.  And one of them is a cop.  The other one has one leg missing (not a military vet but a bassoon player who fell out of the 3rd floor dorm window) and plays Angry Birds at least 3 hours every day.  Twitter Users – on the other hand – are flying across the country to a gig in a small town of sheep-herders and/or riding in a helicopter in Iraq with Lance Armstrong.

There is a big difference.

Tim Dick

Tim Dick

Facebook users get too narrow.  They think they are on a virtual soapbox that a Liberal Mayor from AnyTown Democrat USA proclaimed as Rainbow Required Reading Month has etched into your psyche and sealed it with hummus.  I see a trail of cashew crumbs (ignored by fuzzy cats) leading to a calcified pet drinking fountain next to the refrigerator – and next to that a stack of Sunday inserts dating back to The Hindenberg.  Focus.  Come on, people.

I really don’t care about your opinions because they are so beautifully displayed like a magical desktop publishing program from AOL using technology developed by Xerox in 1977.  Give it up. There are real IT people making real advances in computer wizardry who have to re-certify their skills every 6 months let alone try to get Pagemaker to run on X-Box.  Shut Up!

I'm a freaking Genius

I’m a freaking Genius

You know the ones.  They are smarter than you are because they listen to NPR.  They don’t drink alcohol.  Ever.  They are so broad-minded that they check only Snopes to form the basis of their doctoral dissertation and they have just re-modeled their kitchen to the tune of $16,000 and they don’t  cook but 4 times a year.  Gluten free.

It is a real disorder.  And 99% of you nut cases don't have it!

It is a real disorder. And 99% of you nut cases don’t have it!

Get a Grip on Yourself

If a person decides to engage in a creative writing experiment – a new form of entertainment which I will term “TXT Comedy” for lack of a better acronym (for now) – and it produces reactions like the threats of a SWAT Team coming to your house while you are away on vacation  – it is not because you are stupid, it is because you have placed your mind somewhere the sun does not shine.

Please Remember God Loves You.  Whether you believe in Him or not – that is your freedom of choice and I won’t try to force legislation to make you bake me a Masonic birthday cake with swastikas on it – and enjoy Life and Be Yourself.  Don’t judge others.  And eat a balanced diet of grains that will return your bowel movements to normal and help divert your attention away from me for a bit.

**Apologies to my high school teacher buddy John Wieck (wherever you are) who was not the guy responsible for making so many of my graduating classmates’ homosexual in later life.  I’m okay with that.  Just ask Paco at Grand Coney.

 

Just Who Are The Don’t We Boys?

BIOS

JOE ANDERSON (“Boys”)

Joe Anderson is an award-winning comedian, director and writer.

dwb 2013 about joeHe won an MTV Comedy Competition, spent two years touring with The Second City improv comedy theater recently wrote and starred in the play “Shoot Faster, Dear Brother, I’m Dying!” A hilarious play about the Civil War. Obviously. Lawrence Bommer, reviewer for the Chicago Reader and ChicagoTheatreBlog.com called the play, “A remarkable feat – worthy of Mark Twain” and “Two hours of pitch perfect parody.” Anderson also co-wrote the feature film “America’s Most Haunted” – soon to be available everywhere!

AJ SCHRAEDER (“We”)

A.J. Schraeder is an odd ball comedian, podcaster, and man child from Greensboro, NC.

dwb 2013 about ajHe became a regular in the dive bar of professional comedy in 2003 when he joined the award winning improv troupe “The Idiot Box”, and ever since, he’s been blasting AC/DC on comedy’s outdated jukebox, drawing hilarious phallic shaped graffiti on comedy’s bathroom walls, pushing lame dive bar analogies, and putting a hell of a lot of quarters into comedy’s golden-tee arcade machine. In addition to his sketch comedy adventures with the Don’t We Boys, he performs regularly with the nerd centric comedy team “Mon Frere”, produces the regular podcast “Unstoppable Failure” with his brother Al-don, and his award winning one man show “Thunderstood” has been performed in comedy festivals across the country.

Scott Erickson (“Don’t”)

Scott Erickson is an actor, music artist and “entertainment entrepreneur” who founded both a production company in 2010 and an independent record label 2011.

dwb 2013 about seanKnown primarily for his work as a producer of film and video, like the world-famous Grand Rapids LipDub, he is also the creator of Renovation Raiders on HGTV.

Sadly, however, he has grown weary of the corporate grind, clients’ gobble-dee-gook and all the competitive hoopla.

Scott has yearned to return to his first love of acting and entertaining his audience for years, and now–in becoming the best third member of The Don’t We Boys–he will fulfill his destiny and grow ever more powerful, assuring his plans of world domination and the dissolution of money and all governments.