Friday, January 31, 2014

Are you 'binge working'? The question is deadly serious

Bob Sullivan, NBC News contributor
Jan. 23, 2014 at 1:26 AM ET
We're working long hours, sleeping less and pumping ourselves up with caffeine. It's a recipe for disaster.
Jeff Hutchens / Getty Images file

We're working long hours, sleeping less and pumping ourselves up with caffeine. It's a recipe for disaster.

More people are living a life marked by energy-drink-fueled all-nighters.

A toxic combination of digital leashes, the hypnotic effects of technology, economic anxiety, and caffeine is encouraging workers to push far beyond normal limits in the name of hard work.

It’s a costly trend. Consequences range from poor work and long unscheduled absences, to workers paying with their health, and in rare cases, their lives.

Take Mita Diran. The 24-year-old advertising copywriter worked for 30 hours straight just before Christmas, bragged that she was "still going strooong" on Twitter, and dropped dead within hours. The young Indonesian was the latest high-profile victim of what some are now calling "binge working."

Diran's story is eerily similar to that of Li Yuan, an ad writer at Ogilvy & Mather in China, whose heart stopped in May after similar bouts of overwork.

It's also similar to the sorry tale of Moritz Erhardt. He died after a three-day work binge at Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch office in London. Erhartdt was a 21-year-old intern, and apparently desperate to prove himself worthy of a full-time job in banking. The death has prompted the bank to take steps to ease the frantic working conditions for ambitious junior staffers.

To this sad list you might even add a Taiwanese gamer known only as Diablo, who died in 2012 after a 40-hour video game binge.

Ken Matos researches workplace trends at the Familes and Work Institute, a non-profit. He points out that a few binge working deaths certainly don't make a trend, but he cautions that they are "a canary in a coal mine." More widespread consequences, he said, will be reduced life spans and other health impacts for workers who no longer take breaks, even on nights and weekends.

"While dropping over dead at one’s desk is likely to be a rare event, experiencing negative health consequences and reduced lifespans, as a result of decades intense work lives with little opportunity for regular recovery, is a more likely possibility," Matos said.

Virtual overwork is just the most obvious representation of a larger trend. Americans, for example, now toil for eight-and-a-half hours a week more than they did in 1979. This phenomenon has sometimes been called “the Great Speed- Up,” as workers simply can’t seem to jump off the digital rat-wheel.

The effect has shown up in government data, which indicates that 35 percent of Americans worked on weekends in 2011. We’re working at night, too, ruining the potential for those eight hours of rest. A survey in 2012 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that almost a third of working adults get six hours or less of sleep a night.

Technology has a lot to do with it. Not very long ago, when a worker left the office at 5 p.m., there was simply no way to get work out of them until they arrived the next day at 9 a.m. No one would expect a response to an inquiry made at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon.

But technology's influence on the collapsing boundaries between work and life is subtle, too.

Matos points out that email has created a vicious cycle in most workplaces, with workers expecting instant responses from each other at all times -- no one wants to be the team member who blocked a discussion for an afternoon by not replying. What was designed as an asynchronous, one-way-at-a-time communication tool -- akin to old fashioned postal mail -- is now synchronous, instant communication, like a phone call. It's as if we were all trying to carry on hundreds of phone calls at once. It's enough to drive anyone crazy.

Or to make us sick.

A recent survey of medical research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology lays out the case against overwork:
•Long working hours have been found to be associated with cardiovascular and immunologic reactions, reduced sleep duration, unhealthy lifestyle, and adverse health outcomes, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, subjective health complaints, fatigue, and depression.

•There is increasing evidence to suggest the importance of midlife risk factors for later dementia. Furthermore, the link between cognitive impairment and later life dementia is clearly established.

It's not fair to blame technology entirely for the problem. Read Diran's tweets, and you hear a typical young worker who is half complaining, half bragging about her 2 a.m. nights at the office. Binge working is encouraged by many workplace cultures. One reason Matos says: Companies measure and reward the wrong things.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Glenn Beck Sorry? Ya Right!

Most of us learn, that we should forgive others when they stray from human kindness and respect for others, but when it comes to Fox News and its shills, especially, Glenn Beck, I'm sorry, I don’t believe these types could ever alter their deep-seated callousness and therefore, do not deserve any type of forgiveness. Actually, I think Glenn Beck is playing a role (something very familiar to Beck) for personal gain. Please watch the video I made of this jerk some 3 years ago… Talk about a leopard’s spots… thinkingblue

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

85 Top Richest People In The World;

Have more wealth than the bottom half (3 ½ B) people on Earth.
More Here:

Think about it, can you imagine owning so much wealth that you may be richer than some countries.
I know I can’t.
All my life I’ve barely scraped by, trying not to allow a fear, take over my being, that one day there might not be enough money to pay bills and buy food and clothing for my family and me.
Most people share that angst… but apparently, there are human beings that have no idea how debilitating this stress can be, their only pursuit is to acquire more because enough can never be enough. After they achieve unthinkable wealth, their next insatiable hunger transfers to, amassing great power, the way only human beings can.
I really can’t seem to wrap my mind around being so excessively affluent that a measly 85 individuals who belong to the multi billionaire club, can possess the same amount of capital as three and half billion folks.
Why don’t they sense shame? I guess, they believe they are so far from the madding crowd that they no longer are a part of the human struggle.
Living up there, high above the survival of everyday life, in their ivory tower of privilege, allied with the king and queens of old, they dwell in a different world.
I have come to the conclusion that it must feel innate for these individuals, as though they evolved to this place, of euphoric utopia to live an almost supernatural life, never having shame, empathy, or guilt, only bliss.
What a ‘Big Fall’ awaits them when the old equalizer creeps up upon them and they must give way to a superior force called death, just like the rest of us. 

PS: Someone's wealth does not evoke any kind of envy within me; riches are not the result of a genetic factor which writers, artists, musicians, etc., seem to be born with (and I can't help but feel an adoration for it). Although there may be present some sort of talent or ruthlessness within the brain cells of the wealthy that help them to stockpile moola, it's not natural born or innate.
Morrie Schwartz once stated: “Maybe death is the great equalizer, the one big thing that can finally make strangers shed a tear for one another”

In search for the perfect quote I came across this one from Yahoo Answers: Why is death called "the great equalizer"? (finalds2)
(Shannon) answered
Because, regardless of your income, nationality, sex, age or any other factor, every human being still has that one thing in common: we all die. No matter where you may have come from or what you may have done: you're going to die and that makes everyone, in the end, equal.
(Too bad suffering can’t be equal.)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Slumber My Darling by Stephen Foster

The love we feel for our children goes deeper than any words, any description; I believe, Stephen Foster's lullaby "Slumber My Darling" is the closest one could get to illustrating that kind of unconditional love.
I don't know why it is but some human beings can personally feel the essence of human sorrow and soul wrenching love that comprises, what is known as, “The Human Condition” better than anyone else.
I believe people like Foster go through unbelievable sorrow themselves, carrying the burden of empathy for other’s heartbreak.
A talent such as Stephen Foster's, which produces art that has no time limitations, and helps us, generation after generation, endure the pain, that comes from simply being alive in this existence we call life. This is why Stephen Foster will forever go on living through his compassionate art and his command of the written word.
More from this wonderful site:
No Walls. No Limits. No Boundaries.

The human condition encompasses the unique features of being human.
It can be described as the unalterable part of humanity that is inherent and innate to human beings and not dependent on factors such as gender, race or class. It includes concerns such as the meaning of life, the search for gratification, the sense of curiosity, the inevitability of isolation, or awareness regarding the inescapability of death.

"Losing a child is like losing your soul. You may put on a front for the world but, inside, you are dying." Unknown

"Sorrow makes us all children again -- destroys all differences of intellect. The wisest know nothing." Ralph Waldo EmersonAmerican author

Sunday, January 19, 2014

MLK Day and Bigotry

Not too many years back, a neighbor (Republican) in the rural, neck of the woods, where I live, was very angry... Why, you might ask? Because of MLK day, her housekeeper told her, she could not come to work (January 20th) in order to attend MLK observance, in and near her church. Paraphrasing, Ms Republican's response: ‘My (N word) maid is leaving me in the lurch today so she can celebrate her (N word) holiday.’ I know this is but one ignoramus’ response, yet; it’s one that I witnessed and believe it ubiquitous (permeating) throughout GOP land. thinkingblue
PS: For the Corporate Personhood, this day is just another capitalistic opportunity…
‘Jan. 19, 2014, 7:22 a.m. EST‘I have a … deal’? How retail hijacked MLK Day
The civil-rights icon now used to sell clothing, parties and cocktails

Income Inequality and the Sinking of the Titanic

This PBS video was so interesting, especially when it reported that the sinking of the Titanic gave the greatest exposure of income inequality during the beginning of the 20th century. The highest loss of life came from the second and third class passengers while the wealthy, first class had the best chance of escaping death. In other words, those with money were in the best location on the ship for survival (upper decks) and those with the least amount were located on the lower decks and were literally locked-down by gates in the third class compartments, so they could not escape to the top where the lifeboats were stored. It makes me wonder if we are not cruising upon a Titanic today. Those with wealth at the top flourish while those at the bottom, who cannot get by, perish.thinkingblue
Please watch the video at this link:

The Titanic was carrying 2,223 passengers on board when it sank, and out of those 1,517 died. The guests were split into first, second, and third class, and the higher classes had an advantage when it came to boarding lifeboats and being closer to the top of the deck where the lifeboats were being deployed. In addition, a locked gate that separated second and third class sections inhibited the escape of many third class individuals.
As a result, of all of these factors, there were as many deaths in the third class as the first and second classes put together. Most of the Titanic survivors were women, children, or members of the higher class within the Titanic.
As far as actual numbers go, 130 first class passengers died, 166 second class passengers died, and 536 third class passengers died. Most of the third class women and children died and most of the first and second class women and children lived. The highest casualty rate aboard the titanic was men. There was a strict women and children first rule when it came to boarding the lifeboats.

Titanic disaster: class division and inequality. One hundred years has anything really changed?

This is my 100th blog post on WordPress and the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic on her maiden voyage. To commemorate both of these anniversaries, I decided to write this blog around the theme of this maritime disaster. A topic that still evokes passion today, as it did back then in the previous century. It is the subject of class: social class and the huge inequality between rich and poor; the divide of wealth against poverty, privilege against opportunity, social fortune against hardship.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

FIRST THEY CAME... Save Net Neutrality

If Corporate America wins on this, we will all return to the extreme Zombie state, that we were once a part of... No more critical thinking, (unless you can do it in secret) just the clicking of remote buttons to watch dumb-downed commercials (and news) while going back to total isolation from like-minded, THINKING people, like the ones who post on my Facebook page.

I don’t know about you but that makes me glad I’m old and not long for this Earth.

FIRST THEY CAME...“First they came …” is a famous statement and provocative poem attributed to pastor Martin Niemoller (1892–1984) about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis' rise to power and the subsequent purging of their chosen targets, group after group…
PS: If we keep allowing Corporate America to diminish our freedoms, (very) soon we will all be slaves to their greedy corrupt appetites.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Global Climate Change 101

Without any doubts, I realize that the Man-made Global Climate Change Deniers are hard-wired to believe science is full of mythical unreasonableness, enabling them to concoct the thought that all scientific study mirrors the cartoon and animation workmanship of a Disney Studio. In their gullible glory, they believe that scientists sit around all day and say to each other, “oh, to make this new discovery logical we will just add this made-up lie to the component, pass it on as fact, and scare the bejesus out of the hoi polloi, while also stopping corporations from making more money.” Not only is ignorance not bliss, it’s lethal. thinkingblue

Thursday, January 09, 2014

It Came From Outer Space!

Actually, NASA's Kepler mission came from Earth and was put into Outer Space.
If you wish to have a mind-altering experience, watch the PBS Nova program... "Alien Planets Revealed" So much to learn, so little time, but collectively...
The Sky Really Is The Limit!
The (below) video is called Alien Planet and shows how NASA would explore such a planet if found with their future space technology.
It also gives some educated opinions regarding the likelihood of alien life, and how we could study such life forms by some of the greatest scientists and astronomers in the world.
I hope you enjoy the video.
Take care..,
Equalification (youtube channel)

Monday, January 06, 2014

Republicans Abandoning Human Evolution

Of course, they (Republicans) choose not to believe in Human Evolution, what else would you expect from devout Knuckle-Draggers? (It's almost as if they are stuck in the Neanderthal stage of Human development (BTW some science suggests, they went extinct) and just can't help themselves.)
It's true, ignorance doesn't only reside in the land of Republicans but they sure have a helluva lot of uneducated, uninformed and unenlightened inhabitants that watch Fox News all day instead of reading science. thinkingblue

Why Republicans Don't Believe In Evolution Anymore 

The Power of Words To Manipulate

Very poignant video that illustrates how words will manipulate you, even when it's for the good, you still have been skilfully handled. Hello Frank Luntz! thinkingblue
Frank I. Luntz , is an American political consultant, pollster, and Republican Party strategist. His most recent work has been with the Fox News Channel as a frequent commentator and analyst, as well as running focus groups during and after presidential debates. Luntz's specialty is “testing language and finding words that will help his clients sell their product or turn public opinion on an issue or a candidate.” He is also an author of business books dealing with communication strategies and public opinion. Luntz's current company, Luntz Global, LLC, specializes in message creation and image management for commercial and political

Friday, January 03, 2014

No Korea's Capital Punishment By Dogs

This comes at you, right out of the Dark Ages, Kim Jong-Un one very mentally sick psychopath and a serious threat to the eradication of human torture on this planet, literally threw his uncle to the dogs. This story is probably the proverbial “Tip of the Iceberg” of  what this monster does to the people of North Korea, the evil he can inflict, possessing the power to point his disgusting finger, accuse someone who he believes has betrayed him (or maybe he just doesn’t like) and have him/her murdered. Which is what he so blatantly did to a North Korea executive heavyweight, who also happened to be a member of his family (and for all the world to see). One can only imagine the horrible fate that awaits the peons? A Google search on the most vicious executions throughout history gave me this website, click it if you dare:
Many of these savage executions occurred long ago, during medieval times. I speculate that if Kim Jong-Un could get his way, this horrendous human method of barbarism would become the chosen technique for Capital Punishment everywhere death sentences were legal. Just think of the kick the Tea Party leaders would get out of that. thinkingblue
PS: If you find that it’s just too hard to believe that anyone could commit such a disgusting heinous act as feeding human beings, alive, to dogs (even for Kim Jong-Un) you’re not alone. Read Below:
Did Kim Jong Un Feed His Uncle To 120 Dogs? Be Skeptical
January 03, 201412:58 PM

If you’ve done much Web surfing today you’ve probably come across a headline such as this one from NBC News:
“Kim Jong Un’s executed uncle was eaten alive by 120 hungry dogs: report.”
We’ll get to the reasons to be suspicious in a bit. First, here’s the short history of that tale about the North Korean leader and his uncle, Jang Song Thaek:
On Dec. 12, the same day the world heard that Jang had just been tried and executed for alleged crimes against the state, the relatively small Hong Kong newspaper Wen Wei Po claimed Jang had been “stripped naked and thrown into a cage” to be killed and eaten by 120 dogs.
Twelve days later, The Straits Times of Singapore pointed to the story, adding that Wen Wei Po also claimed the execution by dogs had been supervised by Kim himself and witnessed by 300 senior North Korean officials.
Then this week, the “month-long rumors … inexplicably re-emerged,” as Japan’s NK News says. Why now? It adds that “Christopher Green, international editor at The Daily NK warned that mainstream media organizations had a tendency to reprint sensationalist stories on North Korea with little regard for truth.”
Ah, the truth. That brings us to the debunking.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Jesusland, Internet Memes Don't Always Get Noticed.

This is the first time I’ve heard of this (meme circulating since 2004), which is remarkable to me because I started to blog in January of 2005 due to the reelection of George W. Bush (I thought I saw all the negitivity there was about that election). George W Bush, the most (or one of the most) inept presidents’ we have ever had, still could not be taken out of office by the Democrats, during a legal ELECTION? It was devastating to those who call themselves freethinking liberals but also it hurt the ones who identify with the ignorant on the red side of the mythical Jesusland map. Because of Dubya's reelection (a weak man under the control of his puppet master, Cheney) our country had been brought to its knees. Common Sense had to wait until Barack Obama came on the scene and through all the shenanigans the Republicans could pull to take away voters’ rights, through all odds, he was elected and we-the-people (even the uninformed) had a chance to witness the return of the sanity (or the illusion of) it once possessed. thinkingblue


Town to town
broadcast to each house, they drop your name
but no one knows your face
Billboards quoting things you'd never say
you hang your head and pray

for Jesusland

Miles and miles
and the sun goin' down
Pulses glow
from their homes
You're not alone
Lights come on
as you lay your weary head on their lawn

Parking lots
cracked and growing grass you see it all
from offices to farms
crosses flying high above the malls
A longer walk

through Jesusland
The Jesusland map is an Internet meme, created shortly after the 2004 United States Presidential election, which satirizes the red/blue states scheme by dividing the United States and Canada into "The United States of Canada" and "Jesusland". The map implies the existence of a fundamental political divide between contiguous northern and southern regions of North America, the former including both the socially liberal Canada and the West Coast, northeastern, and north-Midwestern states of the USA, and suggests that these states are closer in spirit to Canada than to the more conservative regions of their own country. The Freakonomics blog opined that the map reflected the "despair, division, and bitterness" of the election campaign and results.

The original image was created on November 3, 2004 by G. Webb, a poster on, an Internet message board for fans of the work of Jeff Minter. It quickly became an internet meme, which The New York Times described as an "instant Internet classic".