• “ENJOY THE HERE AND NOW. Because, before you know it, you’ll have forgotten it.” Why memory fails as we get older has puzzled scientists and psychologists for centuries, but current consensus is generally that our memory is “like an organic rain forest where things are constantly dying off and proliferating, dominated by forgetting… in a process of constant renewal as we lose millions of brain cells each year and, with them, the connections & associations with people and moments in time.” What remains gets stored ‘long-term,’ but the lack of short-term ‘working’ storage “means people have more difficulty doing two things at once than concentration on one thing at a time.” Newest studies suggest that maintaining a healthy brain into advanced age can be helped by (1) melatonin which normalizes oxidative damage after middle-age; (2) frequent hydration, which balances sodium & potassium impacting cognitive abilities; (3) grapes, berries and red wine which provide resveratrol which lowers beta-amyloid levels; (4) omega-3 oils from fish, nuts, legumes which strengthen synapses; (5) increasing vitamin supplements and wild fish, while avoiding meat; (6) any type of physical exercise; and (7) perhaps most important, brain exercise from reading, thinking and/or continually trying new things. [INTELLIGENT OPTIMIST – July/Aug 13]
  • BUSINESS CONTINUITY MANAGEMENT IS THE TERM-DU-JOUR FOR CRISIS OR DISASTER PLANNING. Start- point is awareness that real-life crisis events require a plan that is broadly flexible, since events cannot be foreseen; also that social media is becoming the most “effective channel to employees, key 3rd parties, customers and stakeholders… to facilitate internal & external communication and recovery coordination efforts.” While companies have traditionally viewed such planning as “an insurance exercise or I.T. responsibility,” a new PriceWaterhouseCoopers study reports increasing “integration with overall risk management programs.” DCG has decades of expertise in this area and can assist you in developing flexible, cost-effective protection from crisis or disaster. [CSO MAGAZINE – Aug 8, 13]
  • KICKSTARTER FOR CLASSROOMS: Public school teaching is a demanding job and even tougher without resources. Many schools, from kindergarten thru high school, lack basic classroom materials due to budget cuts. From simple pencils & paper, to books or art supplies, to sports equipment or chemistry labs, kids can’t learn without materials. So many committed teachers, who earn meager salaries to begin with, “routinely use their own money to buy materials for their classes.” www.DonorsChoose.org is an online charity which focuses specifically on helping students in need. Teachers post project requests (just like Kickstarter) and donations (as little as $1) are funneled directly to the classes, with less than 7% administrative cost. It’s a simple way to lend an important hand to kids who need it the most – our country’s future. It’s a good cause and tax deductible. [VANITY FAIR – June 13]
  • ONE IN TWENTY PATIENTS DEVELOP INFECTIONS FROM LAX HOSPITAL HYGIENE, primarily from staff simply “failing to follow hand-washing guidelines 60% of the time… with sink visits occurring after rather than before patient contact.” According to Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, it’s the physicians, not the nurses, who are the biggest offenders. Another new study, reported in Medical Care, found that patients in ‘magnet hospitals’ (which nurses rank higher in categories like quality of care) are 14% less likely to die. Isn’t that wonderful? [MENS HEALTH – Sep 13]
  • IDENTITY THIEVES CAN EFFECTUATE FRAUD LITERALLY WITHIN MINUTES. A lost purse or wallet can provide access to cell phone, credit cards, banking, government records and a myriad of other documents which can make life miserable for people & families. A tip to mitigate the mess: As soon as possible, notify all three credit reporting agencies to place a ‘fraud alert’ on your name (Equifax: 800-5256285; Experian: 888-3973742; Trans Union 800-6807289). Also, if appropriate, the Social Security Admin fraud line (800-2690271). Then pray.
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: Conde Nast Traveler’s readers recently voted Oakland, CA the 3rd “World’s Unfriend- liest City.” Oakland lost the gold and silver slots to Newark New Jersey and Islamabad Pakistan. What an honor.

    Your Tax Dollars at Work: Federal records show an estimated $1.7 billion spent annually for maintenance on some 71,000 government buildings which are only partially occupied, plus 6,700 more which are completely vacant.

    “Never tell your troubles to anyone. Twenty percent don’t care, and the other eighty percent are glad you have them.”