Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Duct tape gets rid of warts - now we both know

In last week's Best-of episode of NPR's 'Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!' NBC news anchor Brian Williams was asked a series of questions about duct tape - the worlds most useful product.

Turns out it's also better than cryotherapy at removing warts. Here's how to do it, and a link to the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine studies in 2002 that confirmed the treatment.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Outrage - it's what people expect

Many people take their sports very seriously - particularly those on the national professional level. And you'd think that the quarterback of an NFL team would be at the top of such a list.

When asked if he was angry, shocked or embarrassed by turning over the ball 4 times (costing his team 28 points, and the game), Giants' quarterback Eli Manning responded with, "Just disappointed."

Now, in addition to being upset about losing the game on such a poor performance, many fans are even more furious at him because he isn't feeling more - that he isn't caught up in the wave of emotion that has swept over them.

The thing is that Eli Manning has never been one for big emotions - not after important games where he's played superbly, nor after dismal ones. I think this is one of his best qualities.

Who would you want in tough situations - an even-keeled guy that could keep a clear head, and not get confused by his emotions, or an erratic one that's subject to wide swings depending on the moment? (remember how quickly Howard Dean lost his elect-ability after his scream/rant in the '04 primary?)

In the long-run, it doesn't pay to have big mood swings anyway.
After all, we don't really know what's going to happen next as a result of an event (as is well illustrated by a Chinese parable).

Friday, November 23, 2007

How are you feeling?

Part of releasing stress is being able to identify what you're feeling. I've found that keeping both a short and long list of feeling words nearby is extraordinarily helpful.

One game I sometimes play is to figure out what action would need to happen to trigger a feeling, and then either try to make it happen, or pretend that it did (the body can't tell the difference between real and imagined events anyway).

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

More on how to sleep better

Without proper sleep, you are much more susceptible to stress, lowers cognition rates, and makes us more vulnerable to illness (cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity).

So what can you do about it? Turns out some very simple steps... (in addition to those already mentioned)

- From NYTimes article:
Curing Insomnia Without the Pills

"The behavioral strategies for better sleep are deceptively simple, and that’s one reason why many people don’t believe they can make a difference. One of the most effective methods is stimulus control. This means not watching television, eating or reading in bed. Don’t go to bed until you are sleepy. Get up at the same time every day, and don’t nap during the day. If you are unable to sleep, get out of bed after 15 minutes and do something relaxing, but avoid stimulating activity and thoughts.

So-called sleep hygiene is also part of sleep therapy. This includes regular exercise, adding light-proof blinds to your bedroom to keep it dark and making sure the bed and room temperatures are comfortable. Eat regular meals, don’t go to bed hungry and limit beverages, particularly alcohol and caffeinated drinks, around bedtime.

Finally, don’t try too hard to fall asleep, and turn the clock around so you can’t see it. Watching time pass is one of the worst things to do when you’re trying to fall asleep."

Monday, November 5, 2007

Write or Wrong?

Whichever side you fall on with the Writers' Guild strike, there's one thing that you must agree with - it may or may not affect my appearance on Letterman.

Considering that Late Show has gone to re-runs (no one to write Top 10 lists), it may be a while until my segment airs. Since there's no way for me to know one way or another what will come of it, all I can do is shrug, and proceed with the implied understanding that I'll make the best of whatever happens. (after all, I still have the subtle satisfaction that my life is awesome)

But you guys didn't come here to read that - you want Letterman-style entertainment! ith that in mind - I provide my first Top 10 list...

Top 10 things I learned from taping a Late Show segment:
10. A camera crew does not mean a celebrity is in the vicinity
9. Food is not provided at shoots
8. Arrive early
7. Be prepared to wait
6. Share meaningful content within seven second or risk being cut-off
5. Sit on the tails of your jacket - it'll help you sit up straight
4. New Yorkers will be so oblivious to a camera setup that they'll walk in the three feet between camera and actors
3. Check your zipper
2. Let the comedian be the funny one - they dislike being upstaged
1. Take everything with a grain of salt - it's a comedy show afterall