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So open up and say, Aha! That's the Piehole Way.



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Man vs. machine.

July 12th, 2017

Technology can be both a blessing and a curse. We are in an age where technology is constantly evolving, but more often than not, we overlook the potentially negative aspects of this rapid development to focus on the convenience factor. Technology has improved our lives in many ways, but we have to stop and think: what are the limits to this newfound discovery? Because modern technology, such as texting, is so new, we don’t know the power it can hold on us as a society.

We often use technology without thinking about the effect it could be having on us as a society. When we are bored, or want to avoid talking to a stranger, we often form the habit of pulling out our phones to dismiss making a connection, rather than having an actual conversation. This type of interaction has become so familiar that we don’t pay attention to what it could be doing to us socially. Are we using technology to escape our lives, rather than actually living in the moment?

The Huffington Post notes that technology could be ruining our ability to communicate in terms of how texting is impacting our social skills at the price of convenience. Is getting your statement across a minute or so quicker worth losing our ability to communicate face to face? As time passes and technology use gains more of our time and energy, it makes us wonder what the world will look like it ten years. Even now, you can look around the room in a crowded restaurant and see couples eyes locked on their screens, and children playing games on devices in the middle of dinner, rather than talking to their family. At some point we have to make a conscious choice to put our phones away and not let good old-fashioned conversation slip away. We should be viewing our daily conversations as “quality over quantity”, rather than the quickest way out.

Technology provides an outlet to stay connected in ways we never thought possible in the past, as well as a platform to express ourselves. It improves our lives in many ways, but it’s all in how it is used that makes a difference. Be conscious about how much screen time you use in a day, and put your phone away to have a meaningful conversation with the person in front of you. Overall the pros and cons of technology can be heavy on both sides, but in the end, we have to decide on our own if the benefits outweigh the risks. What are your thoughts; do you think technology is a blessing, or is causing society to lose value in face-to-face conversation?


What’s love got to do with it?

June 28th, 2017

Everyone’s been there, an awkward first date where you are trying to determine if you feel a connection with the person sitting across from you. What if there was a simpler way for you to make that decision within a matter of minutes, just by answering a few questions?

A study conducted by AsapSCIENCE, reported by Business Insider, determined that asking a series of 36 questions could create a connection that was solid enough to invoke the feeling of love. Sounds crazy, right? The science behind these questions proves that they might be on to something. The results determined that the questions lead to a strengthened emotional attachment to the person you share the responses with.

 

Here’s a little excerpt of the question list for context:

They start with using lighter questions on a surface level:

– Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

– Would you like to be famous? In what way?

– What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

 

As you get warmed up, the questions get deeper:

– If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

– What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

– What do you value most in a friendship?

From there the questions veer on the side of very personal, but in this case that is where the connection begins to come together:

– Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling …”

– Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share …”

– If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.

 

For many, these 36 questions would seem too invasive and personal on a first date. Asking these (rather long) questions to someone you just met could be seen as over the top, but is there some truth behind this study? Have we been fumbling around on first dates for years when falling in love with a stranger could be this simple, or is it all an illusion? What’s the harm in putting this theory to the test? Your date will either run for the hills, or you could potentially find your soul mate. If you already have a significant-other, test these questions out on them and see if you are really as compatible as you think you are. Try it out for yourself and see if there is any truth behind this science. If nothing else you will definitely get to know the person you are exchanging these answers with on a deeper level.


Young at heart.

June 14th, 2017

Lauretta Taggert of St. Paul, Minnesota gives new meaning to the phrase ‘young at heart’ by becoming an exercise instructor at age 100. While most of us accept the trials of aging, Taggert attributes her vitality to a positive attitude and never letting her hair grow gray.

How often do we get caught up on the mundane day-to-day tasks and forget to enjoy life? Lauretta reminds us that we can live life to the fullest, no matter what our age may be. As a society, we have become obsessed with anti-aging and looking and feeling younger. The media tells us that we have to stop the hands of time in order to feel confident in ourselves. Millions of dollars are poured into marketing campaigns every year on the latest anti-aging creams that are supposed to ‘rewind the clock’, but is that really what we want to do?

We have lost respect for aging and the wisdom that comes with it. The more time we spend on earth, the more we grow from the past and develop into better people. Should your life be defined by your biological age, or how young you feel? At what point do we loose ourselves in this fixation with youth, and forget how beautiful aging really is?

The older we get, the excitement we once felt as children when our birthday arrives becomes replaced with dread and fear. Why is that? Very few people get to celebrate a 100-year mark on this earth like Lauretta, so why not celebrate every year that we are given the chance to make more memories? With every year that passes we gain more experiences that make our journey complete, and that should be celebrated. We get to choose what we do with our life, so let’s make the most of it. Take the time to do the things that make you happy, and never forget to stay young at heart. In the words of Charles Dickens, “To a young heart everything is fun.”


Is working from home still the future of business?

June 7th, 2017

A flexible work environment is currently one of the most valued aspects of a job. Employees want to be able to work from home, make their own schedules, and find harmony in work-life integration. In recent years, many companies have made a transition to more flexible work schedules and an increased number of remote employees in hopes of cutting office costs, boosting moral and productivity, and attracting new talent. Although many companies have had success, some are finding there are unforeseen downfalls to this latest business trend.

IBM recently announced they’re discontinuing their popular program that allows employees to work remotely. Ironically, IBM was a pioneer of remote work technologies and structures, so the announcement was surprising to many of its remote employees. IBM believes that bringing employees back to the office will improve collaboration and accelerate the pace of work, and they’re not alone. “IBM may be part of a broader rethink of remote work under way at large companies, as corporate leaders argue that putting workers in the same physical space hastens the speed of work and sparks innovation,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

However, as these companies implement such decisive actions against the remote work trend, they’re taking a risk. Especially when other large companies, such as Aetna, are drastically expanding their work-from-home programs. Many employees, especially younger talents, list flexible work schedules and the ability to work from home as one of their most desired job benefits, putting these companies at risk of missing out on new talent.

However, while employee satisfaction and morale are certainly important, companies must find a balance that ensures work processes are as productive as possible. And while technology allows us to accomplish a lot, it simply doesn’t replace a human connection. Collaboration and communication are more fruitful and productive in person. There’s so much you get out of an in-person meeting that simply doesn’t yet translate on an email, phone call or via Skype, such as body language and the collective energy of progress. So while a remote job position is convenient, it may be a dying trend of the past, instead of the future of business as predicted.


Opinions are like assholes.

May 24th, 2017

Eduardo Salles is a realist illustrator known for creating brutally honest, yet often funny and ironic, comics about modern life. His illustrations bring to light the harsh realities of our society – from brutal truths about social media to the reality of humanism and relationships today. In the illustration below, Salles perfectly summarizes five of today’s popular social media sites on signs with a single sentence. For example, the Twitter sign says, “We are offended by everything.” However, the last sign he includes is not about a social media site; it’s about the “real world”. This real world sign appropriately says, “Your opinion does not matter.”

Everyone with a social media account has a platform to share their opinions with the masses; it doesn’t matter whether those opinions are solicited and/or valuable. And while people have always been vociferous on social media, it seems the forceful sharing of opinions has only increased as a result of the 2016 presidential election. But how does that practice and attitude translate into our “real world” lives?

With people spending an increased amount of time on social media sites, the line between the “real world” and the social media world may be blurring. It seems as though many people have adopted the idea that they should get to express their opinion and have their personal needs met in both worlds. We’re especially seeing this more in the workforce. CEOs, HR executives and company leaders have expressed frustration with younger employees feeling entitled to sharing their opinions and having their demands met, despite their lack of experience and seniority. Companies are experiencing pressure to constantly work collaboratively, solicit employee input, and meet employee demands. While this can be a positive tactic in some cases that increases employee retention rates, there has to be a line drawn at some point. Employees need to understand that an office isn’t equivalent to a Twitter account. The harsh reality is, their opinions don’t always matter. Everyone cannot always have a ‘seat at the table’ and the opportunity to share an opinion – nothing would get accomplished. Everyone disagreeing and sharing opposing viewpoints on social media has certainly not been productive or positive, so why would anyone think it would work well in the real world?

American musician Allan Sherman said it best… “They sit there in committees day after day, And they each put in a color and it comes out gray. And we all have heard the saying, which is true as well as witty, That a camel is a horse that was designed by a committee.”

So while interacting in the world of social media… share away! But if we want to be productive in the real world it’s time to accept that “opinions are like assholes, everyone has one” and sometimes they just don’t matter.