• NINE TIPS TO INCREASE YOUR HAPPINESS, FROM LATEST SURVEYS: Studies at Stanford found that (1)cycling at 50rpm for 15 minutes improves mood by 19%” and (2) “workers with an option for telecommuting are happier than their cubicle-bound counterparts.” Univ of Colorado researchers found (3) “people having sex at least weekly were 44% more likely to experience higher levels of happiness” than those celibate over the past year. Studies published in Journal of Personality & Social Psychology found (4) happiest workers do not “live by the clock or set arbitrary time limits on tasks,” and that (5) ten minutes daily of “mindful breathing can reduce negative thoughts to a significantly greater degree than letting your mind wander freely.” The journal of Emotion reports greatest increase in happiness for study participants who spent (6) “40 minutes several times a week in face time bonding with a pal.” British researchers say that (7)snacking on fruit instead of chocolate for 10 days shows a 32% decrease in anxiety,” that (8) “people with plants in their office experience more workplace positivity,” and (9) people who dance or listen to upbeat music for five minutes “felt 16% happier than at the start of the experiment.”  [MENS HEALTH – May 15]
  • RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS BETWEEN FOUNDERS AND/OR KEY EXECS are a leading cause of startup company failures, for the same reason as marriage failures: absence of clear guidelines, poor or lacking communication, incapacity to build trust, and lack of empathy. Stanford Business School now offers a course to would-be entrepreneurs where ‘The 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work’ is required reading. DCG has been facilitating, coaching, training and mediating partner relationships for decades. Failure to plan is planning to fail; let us help before your reality check bounces.
  • A STATE OF HYPER-PARTISANSHIP EXISTS IN AMERICAN POLITICS TODAY, mostly the result of an “ill-informed electorate, more tribal than ideological… Most understand that their side is good and the opposing side is bad, so it’s much easier to form emotional opinions… Elected officials and professional partisans reinforce the tribal tendency with overheated rhetoric, perpetual campaigns, negative ads and trying to build support within their own tribe… which demonstrates that hostility toward the opposition is acceptable, even appropriate.” Based on a study by Stanford & Princeton researchers, voters now “discriminate more on the basis of ‘party’ than on race or gender – extending beyond politics into personal relationships and behaviors, increasingly living in neighborhoods and likely to choose partners based on partisanship more than physical or personality attributes… Essentially, there are no undecided voters and everybody has picked a team. The only question is, do your guys vote or not?” [THE WASHINGTON POST – Apr 17, 15]
  • THE NEXT ELECTION WILL ACTUALLY BE DECIDED BY “JUST 10% OF VOTERS IN A HANDFUL OF SWING STATES… According to political scientists, the pivotal ballots will be cast mostly by ‘low-information voters’ who don’t follow politics closely and rely on vague, gut feelings… since presidential elections are not determined by what candidates do and say in the campaigns, but by a few tectonic factors: Is the economy on the upswing before the election? What’s the approval rating of the current occupant of the White House? Are swing voters so unhappy and pessimistic that they’re eager to toss out the party in power, or feel good enough about the country’s direction to stay the course?… This, after the two parties and their army of strategists and donors has spent about $5 billion to sway their votes… Ah, democracy. Inspiring, isn’t it?” [THE WEEK – Apr 24, 15]
  • TOP-LEVEL DOMAIN NAMES (like .com, .net, .biz) which are controlled by ICANN are being expanded to allow new domains such as .bike, .singles and .plumbing. But congressmen, the FTC and particularly Trademark holders are not happy with the intention to allow “.sucks” – which can be registered starting next month for as little as $10.  An Early Registration period has allowed people to “protect their brand against cyber-squatting or misuse of terms” but forcing companies (like Apple & Home Depot), celebrities (like Oprah & Taylor Swift) or non-profits to pay a cost of $185,000 per application and a $25,000 annual renewal rate in order to “prevent seeing the phrase ‘sucks’ appended to their name on the internet,” has “little or no socially redeeming value… is little more than a predatory shakedown scheme… and poses a costly threat to business.” That’s the world we live in.   [MANATT ADVERTISING LAW – May 1, 15]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: “More than 1/3 of children under age 1 have already used a cellphone or tablet device, according to a survey by pediatric researchers. About 36% had learned to swipe & scroll, and 15% had used apps.”

 Robot pets are almost here – truly remarkable engineering!  https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/M8YjvHYbZ9w?rel=0