Tuesday 29 July 2014

Working in Montréal today --No sticky bits

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today.  In keeping with the last few weeks of changing it up to keep you guessing, it's right in line.

Question for you.. if you were witness to a person in cardiac distress, would you know what to do, and if you knew what to do, would you do it?

Now many of you may have leapt right in with a yes - yes.  But would it be true?  Would you remember where to put your hands, would you actually perform the chest compressions correctly and would you perform mouth to mouth?  Even if there was strange gooey - sticky bits on the victim's lips or ew.. The dreaded cold sore?

Good news!  There is a mouth free CPR method, actually it's called the hands only, but since it exists largely for the lip squeamish, I prefer mouth free.  it's also simple and You can learn it right away.

But before I continue a word from my lawyer.

Daniel is not a medical doctor nor practitioner, and although he has stayed at one, possibly two Holiday Inn Express hotels, his advice is provided only for amusement and entertainment purposes.  Yes, Janine, 37 years ago when he suggested that you pretend to be a nurse and he would be the doctor, it was all an act.  For you and all other readers, if you need actual medical advice, please see an actual medical practitioner.

Okay.. Finished?  On with the unsolicited advice.

The mouth free CPR method works like this.  And btw, this is a stripped down concise guide, and while the CPR guides have 8 or so steps, I believe that keeping it very simple will help you provide help.

Find a victim.  If one cannot be located, choking a passerby may help.  If they resist, explain that it's all for science and you are attempting to help them.

Attempt to wake the victim.  If they are not breathing of gasping for breath, call 911 or better, recruit a bystander to call 911 and stay by your side.  If you have no phones available, send someone to call 911 and report back to you.

Tilt the victim's head back and chin up, this will open the airway.  This step is absent from the 2010 hands only method published, but do it anyway.  Start chest compressions.  Forget about finding the bottom of the sternum and measuring up three fingers.  Just place the palm of your hand on the sternum directly between and inline with the nipples.  Place your other hand over your first with your fingers interleaved.

Now push down at least 2 inches. Release and let the chest rise.  Repeat.  The rate is about 100 per minute.  About 25 down/ups in 15 seconds.  Keep doing this until the victim wakes up or help arrives.  If you hear or feel a rib break or move, keep going.  Broken ribs are a good trade for being alive.

Simple.  And no lip locking and no sharing the sticky bits.

Have a good day. 

Thursday 24 July 2014

Working in Ottawa today --Stop the presses!

Follow up, today in The Toronto Star


Stop the presses!

I had punched out a Pulp this morning, effectively just phoning it in and settled back into my seat to read the rest of the newspaper.

When on page S6 of the Globe and Mail I saw a photo of Ben Etkin.   Ben passed away recently at the good long life age of 96 and was the father of my friend of 25 years or so, Dave.

The photo is accompanied by not only an account of Ben's accomplishments over the years, Order of Canada, Dean of Engineering at U of T, 11 or so patents, too many published papers to count, but also his team's involvement in helping bring back Apollo 13 back in April 1970.

NASA and the Apollo 13 manufacturer, Grumman, contacted Ben and his team to determine and calculate the method and forces required to jettison the lunar module from the command module just prior to re-entry.

A number of years ago Ben recounted that day and the tasks assigned to he and his team to me, and at the time he downplayed his team's role, as one team among many that were working out how to jettison the module as well as calculate the burn rate of the main engine.

What I read today is that it turns out that Ben's team was the only one.

Too bad that wasn't in the movie :)

Have a great day, check all of your numbers twice.

Thursday 17 July 2014

Working in Montréal today --Dopamine and why your dog ate your homework

Good morning folks,

As promised, I will be working in Montréal today.  Shout out to Kim, likely won't be in this morning bright and early, I know she was making DNS changes late last night for some converting hosting customers.  Although she may surprise me and be sitting at her desk when I do my 11th floor tour.

This morning I saw an article on procrastination from the University of Colorado at Boulder that looked interesting, but I figured there was time to read it later.


That's right kids, another episode of 'You and your Brain'.

Ever wonder why you put things off like going to bed, even though it's 3/4 past midnight and you have to get up at 6 AM for a flight to Montréal but these Financials look so damned interesting? 

um..  Uncle Daniel, aren't Financials so boring, they are the things that the snore sounds are made of?   Yes, they are, and please don't end sentences with prepositions.

Or how about in Psych class when that lab work on the Efficacy of Physical Torture on Mitigating Feelings of Resentment in Persons Suffering Delusions of Persecution was due, you still continued to play Donkey Kong?  (And No, surprisingly, it is not very effective).

The reason we put things off is due to the way that our Prefrontal Cortex processes information and the effects of dopamine on our brains.  When we do enjoyable things, we get a small doses of dopamine run through our brain, not only giving us a feel good feeling, but it actually changes the neuron connections making the behaviour more likely to be repeated.

When we allow our decision making process to run on auto-pilot, we allow it to make decisions that may not be in our best long term benefit.  When we consciously examine the information, time constraints, sleep requirements, consequences of our decisions, then we still may procrastinate, but have then really no one to blame but ourselves.  Although many have blamed their dog for eating their homework.

I did read enough of the article to see that the researchers suggested that persons that procrastinate may be predisposed to also be impulsive and distracted by things --Squirrel!

Hmmmm?  Oh yes, but I suggest that the problem may be often related to time perception that doesn't quite jive with reality, that is, often it may seem like there is an abundance time available for all tasks, bit there simply is not.

Either way, I read the Financials wrote a reply but did not send (I write many emails that I do not send, it's very cathartic), posted my submissions for a management meeting today, wrote an email to a customer, one to a supplier, one to a staff member, got some sleep, and here I am.

Although prior to finishing this last sentence was distracted by the checkered shirt worn by the guy in 1C, it reminded me of a tablecloth we had when I was a kid. That or the seat cover my neighbour had on his '73 Vega.

Ok, Pulp is done.

Have a great day.  Now go finish that report.

Wednesday 16 July 2014

Working in Ottawa today --I'll keep an ear out for you

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Ottawa today.  Montréal tomorrow and Toronto on Friday.

You may consider today's Pulp as a bonus edition, and I ask you to judge its thinness by that measure.

Today while on my way to the airport, the gal on the radio mentioned something about travel tips and should I be listening to the radio later in the hour I could hear them.

I won't be, so I can't.

Now what did occur to me is that I don't need to hear the broadcast as at a very basic level, all travel tips are exactly the same.  So I wondered, is there some travel or driving tip that has a high probability of never being uttered before?

I came up with one.  Often I have observed other drivers performing personal grooming tasks whilst in their driver's seat, you have surely observed as well.

The lipstick and eyeshadow gal in the next lane, the guy shaving with the cigarette adapter powered electric razor in the express lane of the 401.

Hey Varouj, it was that Andrew guy that used to perform Smart1 work for you in the 90's shaving.

All of these dangerous, yes.  From a pay attention to the road perspective.  From a personal injury.. meh.  Probably won't lose an eye from a lipstick smear if she clipped the bumper of the car ahead.

But it occurred to me that the most dangerous personal grooming activity my result in deafness or even a brain injury...

Never clean your ears with a Q-Tip while driving.

I am reasonable certain that if you examine the box of Q-Tips that you will not see a warning, "Do not use while driving or operating heavy machinery." and I ask, Why not?  Do the product liability folks at Q-Tip simply not care?  This dangerous practice must stop, and that stopping starts here.

Yes, grammatically that seemed awkward, but nonetheless, it remains.

Please pass this public service announcement forward.  The hearing you save could be a loved one's.

Have a great day.  

Wednesday 9 July 2014

Working in Edmonton --Sitting, the new smoking

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Edmonton for the next few days and then will bounce off Kelowna on the way back and build and then destroy some Lego towers with my Grandson Ethan.

Oh, shout out to Diego in porting, nice seeing you in Pearson

So after a few weeks without writing anything at all Uncle Daniel, what have you got for us

Well, I have something... Sitting, the new Smoking!

Eh?  Yes.  I first heard this from Jon, son of David, I think he said, "Sitting is the new smoking" -- you didn't expect him to have said something different than the tag line did you?

Off I went to prove or disprove the statement.  I found 2 studies (one Aussie and one U.S.) and numerous articles all linking a sedentary lifestyle with heart disease, disability, increased susceptibility to cancer and diabetes

According to Mayo Clinic endocrinologist Dr. James Levine, spending more than 6 hours a day sitting increases blood pressure and places you at a greater risk for heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression, and some types of cancer (colon, lung and womb cancer).

The Aussie study tied the sedentary activity (or lack thereof) to socioeconomic factors which effectively placed those lower on the food chain more susceptible to the risks.  The U.S. study showed a 46% greater chance of disability in daily activity for each hour per day spent in sedentary activity.

So what are we to do?  For many of us we sit at our desks plugging away over a keyboard for hours on end, and then sit through endless meetings pouring over the minutia of business life.  The answer is stand up.   Really. Stand up.  Tilt your monitor up, stretch out the phone cord, stretch your legs.

Have a meeting?  Go to the next floor rather than phoning and how about walking meetings instead of over coffee?  The increased circulation and fresh air will make the thoughts clearer too.  And when you are at home at the end of the day?  Walk.  Ride your bike, do some gardening.

Have a great day.  Don't just sit there.