Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Take This Awareness Test

A friend sent me this video the other day; and, I find it fascinating. It's easy to miss something you're not looking for. Check out this video which is a British ad to start seeing cyclists:The narrator asks, "How many passes does the team in white make?"

When we focus on something we are told to focus on, sometimes we miss other things in the picture that may or may not be important. We need to learn to focus on our goals and do whatever it takes to achieve them. That can be difficult if we have attention deficit disorder, a learning disability, a brain injury, or any other one of a number of issues that affect our ability to focus.
The fascinating part is once we see something we missed the first time, there is no way we can look at the problem the way we first saw it.

This reminds me of a great quote by Oliver Wendall Holmes. Click on the image to make it larger:

Please feel free to comment on what you saw in this video, or the quote.



Friday, March 14, 2008

Effective Listening

Last Saturday I got to hear another speaker friend do his thing. I've known Kit Welchlin since 1991, and haven't seen him for several years. I was giving two breakout sessions for the annual Metro ECSU's Winning Strategies Conference for paraprofessionals, and I saw Kit's name on the agenda; so, I decided to go out early and listen to Kit do the keynote. I'm glad I did.

The title of Kit's address was Problem Solving & Decision Making Through High Impact Communication. I discuss problem solving, decision-making and communication all the time; so, I wanted to hear what he says about those three issues. I wasn't ready for the high energy/impact he let rip for about an hour. It was a great presentation with many highlights.

His list of 14 Characteristics of Effective Listening I've posted here really hit me. Simply click on the image to make it larger:

I love listening to other speakers, especially when they are saying many of the same things I say. It reinforces to me I'm doing the right thing and I'm on the right path. I especially like #7 which simply states, "Ask Questions."

I wrote an entire chapter on asking questions in PreTeen Power which was published in 1997. I'm rewriting it for I'm Not Done Yet. Stay tuned, I'm working on it.



Friday, March 7, 2008

Animals Under The Sea

I've talked about change before and how fast it is happening. I've also addressed how much we are learning and how fast we are learning it. Most notably, Karl Fisch discusses change in his two videos I wrote about in my November 20, 2007 post entitled "The Fischbowl."

A friend just sent me this video by David Gallo and his work in the oceans of the world. It's a fascinating video. I encourage you to check it out:

The highlight of the video for me was at the end when the octopus managed to basically "shape shift" itself to blend into it's surroundings to protect itself.

One statement he made screamed out to me when he said, "We have only explored about three percent of the oceans."

If we are just beginning to learn what lies beneath the surface of the oceans, what will we learn in that other 97%?

If you want to learn more by watching many amazing videos on change, new ideas, learning, growth and many other fascinating topics in eight very different themes which are: arts,
business, entertainment, culture, design, science, technology and global issues. I encourage you to visit the TED website by clicking here.

I know I'm going to be checking out more of the videos. I'm sure there is a good deal of material for speeches that just needs to be explored.



Saturday, March 1, 2008

"Who thought of that?"

Alexander Fleming once stated: “When I woke up just after dawn on September 28, 1928, I certainly didn’t plan to revolutionize all medicine by discovering the world’s first antibiotic, or bacteria killer.” Fleming would write later, “But I guess that’s exactly what I did.”

Fleming was the first to realize moldy bread in a Petri dish had medicinal value and he is considered the person to have discovered Penicillin. To learn more about him and his discovery, click here. It will take you to his entry in Wikipedia. It is interesting reading.

I learned of the drug Urokinase when I had my lungs fill up about 90% full of blood in 1984. The condition is called pulmonary emboli. (Emboli is plural for embolism. I had many embolisms). They told me Urokinase helps to break up the blood clots in my lungs. They also told me it came from human fetal urine. My thought was, “How do they get it?”

Medicinenet.com says this about Urokinase:

USES: This medication is a protein (enzyme) which works to break up and dissolve blood clots which can block arteries. It is used in the treatment of very serious blood clots in lung blood vessels (pulmonary embolism).

Modern Western medicine is a wonderful thing, and has saved my life on several occasions. My doctors constantly amaze me with what they know and how they find new treatments for the numerous maladies I seem to attract.

I just learned about another drug I have had to use on a good number of occasions. It’s called Heparin. Heparin is used as a blood thinner they often use to keep my blood from clotting when I’ve had to have an IV for one reason or another.

I learned one of the major suppliers of Heparin in America is China. I also learned it comes from the lining of intestines of pigs! I thought to myself, “Who thought of that?”

Unfortunately, right now, we have a problem with our Chinese Heparin. The New York Times recently ran this story on the manufacture of Heparin in China. I find it fascinating and disturbing. You can read it by clicking here. I find the picture very disturbing as well.

I don’t know if I’ll feel very comfortable about my Heparin the next time my doctor says to me, “We’re going to use some Heparin now, Mike.”

I know many medical breakthroughs have been accidental. I also know many people have devoted their lives to medical research, and billions of dollars have been spent, and will continue to be spent, trying to find all sorts of things like the cure for cancer, and stem cell research to find the cure for paralysis, to name just two. Who knows how those two problems will be solved? I sure hope they keep trying to find the solutions!