The Bay Area Beacon
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What We Value What Spring-Cleaning Really Means to Darrell
experiencing headaches from grinding their teeth or may want to
waste extra paper. Plus, I get to peek at some of the things they've been learning the last school year. Spring-cleaning must be an ordinary concept to dentists, right? Every day, you have patients come in for their appointment and experience their own "spring-cleaning." As a dental lab, our process is equally straightforward. Once we have your impression in our lab, we soak it in disinfectant to kill any germs because we need to start our work clean. Then, we go through the process of making the restorations for our doctors and patients. In the final step, we use a machine that cleans custom dental products with hot steam before the final delivery. No restoration leaves our lab without first completing our thorough hot-steam cleaning process. Historically, I’ve noticed that around this time of year, patients start caring about more than just their teeth cleaning. Often, they're already thinking about their appearances before summer, vacations, or all the athletic activities they want to try while the weather is warmest. So, right after your patient's teeth cleaning appointment, quickly check in with your patient about any concerns they may be having and to discuss any needed treatments. They might even need special custom-made appliances if they want to prevent their teeth from shifting or to whiten their teeth. If your patients participate in sports, they may need extra protection to keep them safe. They may be
I don't know about you, but to me it seems the year is already going fast. It's March! As a dental lab owner, spring- cleaning doesn't really creep up on me; it's a daily endeavor. But as a dad, it catches me by surprise all the time. I suppose this process is hardly exclusive to this season. Every month, my family cleans out the house and donates unused goods. My wife is extremely diligent about the way she organizes our home, and for the most part, I love her way of picking up around the house. We have a house rule: If we don't use it for a year, we donate it or throw it out. This makes me more frugal when it comes to spending on "trendy" stuff. Before making a purchase, I ask myself, "Will we still use this in a year?" I rely on my wife to keep our home tidy and in order, and she does an amazing job. The only problem is I really like to hold on to some things. My oldest daughter long ago grew out of her soccer cleats and shinguards from when she played soccer at 5 years old. They're so small, and she's a freshman in high school now, so I keep them in my office at work. It really brings back memories when I see them while working here at the lab, and it reminds me why I am working so hard. But I had to steal them before my wife donated them. It's a silly push and pull in the Lee household. I've even managed to take my daughters' old school notebooks and papers. I need spare scratch paper in this job sometimes, and it's just a shame to
prevent wearing down their teeth
further. At Berkeley Dental Laboratory, we enjoy helping you make sure your patients are comfortable, safe, and confident. Whether they need a crown, night guard, sport guard, bleaching tray, or an ortho retainer, we will help you give the best care to your patients so they have a great positive experience during their appointment with you. Marie Kondo was really onto something. Tidying up isn't about throwing things away; it's about realizing what you value and holding onto that. My daughters no longer play any ball sports (although we might enroll our youngest, who happens to turn 5 this month!). Now, all our four daughters do competitive dance. Our three oldest daughters just competed in their first competition of the season at the Art of Movement dance convention in Santa Clara. By the time you read this, they will have already competed in their second competition in San Jose. Who knows, I might take all their dance shoes afterward. To my wife, if you're reading this, I'm joking! Just don't go in my office at work. I hope all of you have a great start to your spring. See you next month!
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What Is ‘Decentralization’ and How Will It Change Social Media? BREAKING DOWN FACEBOOK
IS EMAIL CLUTTER DRAGGING YOU DOWN? Improve Productivity by Cleaning Up Your Inbox
Nowadays, getting locked out of your Facebook account often means losing access to your Spotify, Tinder, or any of the other sites you can sign into through Facebook. The amount of personal data social media has access to grows all the time, and it can affect your private and professional network. Thankfully, a few tech CEOs, such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, believe social media decentralization could give users greater control over their personal information. Social media decentralization was once a pipe dream for activists, but Dorsey has recently revealed his hopes for redesigning his social media software to put the power back in the users’ hands. Zuckerberg also admitted in a Harvard interview that decentralized software is “quite attractive.” Currently, Facebook and Twitter live in relative anarchy. Their sheer size makes them nearly impossible to audit or manage, which makes falsified information and propaganda infamously easy to pass around. This anarchy also makes it much easier to conceal illegal activity. In an age where identity theft, financial fraud, and selling user information are more digital than ever, it’s important that users and businesses alike have full confidence in the security of their online pages where clients interact with them — especially if information, goods, or services are exchanged. A decentralized system could split the massive, unregulated wilderness of Facebook and Twitter into user-managed “neighborhoods.” Rather than relying on one centralized server that holds over 2.45 billion users, businesses and individuals could host their information on their own computer. This would give businesses and individuals much greater control over their information and how they share it. That’s not to say there aren’t risks associated with decentralization. If unprepared, private hosts could be left defenseless against hackers. Some critics even suggest that a push to decentralize could just be an attempt by Twitter and Facebook to dodge responsibility by moving data off of their own servers.
Do you cringe every time you open your email, preparing yourself for a barrage of unanswered messages? If so, then it’s time to take tidying up your inbox more seriously because poor organization results in far worse problems than simply missing out on happy hours with coworkers. According to psychology professor Susan Krauss Whitbourne, mental and physical clutter can impede productivity. It may also have long-term effects on our ability to process information. One University of Toronto researcher has even found evidence that mental clutter may worsen age-related memory loss. Since most people can cite their digital inbox as a source of stress, starting there is a big step toward organizing your mind and your life. Plus, you can declutter it in just one hour by following these steps. 1. Sweep away the junk. Begin by going through your emails from oldest to newest and deleting anything you know you won’t need. When you see an email you want to delete, search to find others from that sender — it’s likely there are multiple you can trash right away. 2. Categorize necessary messages. Create folders to organize the remaining emails. You might use a time-based system, like “First Quarter of 2020,” or descriptive names, like “Receipts” and “Current Projects.” Choose a system that works for your personal preferences. 3. Respond to urgent emails. Have unanswered emails that can’t be filed away? Use the two-minute rule: Immediately respond to anything that will take less than two minutes to answer. For the ones that need more effort, put them on your to-do list and schedule a time on your calendar to respond. 4. Maintain a healthy email habit. Now that your inbox is in a manageable state, develop habits to keep it that way. Check your inbox when you get to work and follow the steps above. Once a week, set aside a few minutes to sort through and organize anything you missed. The more time you devote to decluttering your email first thing, the more time you’ll have to accomplish bigger and more important goals.
While decentralization offers solutions to some the problems of social media, it’s
an approach that requires cautious implementation. Only time will tell if decentralization’s benefits outweigh its risks.
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Is That Picture Worth $1,000? How to Avoid Copyright Infringement for Your Business
or guarantee the image’s use as-is without further alteration. In other instances, ask the photographer, designer, or artist for permission to use the image and agree to include a watermark or a link to their website. Find and use free images instead. Several websites, such as Pexels, Pixabay, and Morguefile, provide hundreds of photos for businesses to use for free and without worry of copyright infringement. Creative Commons is also a great resource to consult. This nonprofit provides free licenses and tools that make copyright material easy to understand. You may need to meet some agreements under a Creative Commons license, but afterwards, you can access and use numerous photos.
We’ve all heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” and for businesses, this is especially true. Images used on a website and in marketing materials contribute to a specific vision and encourage customers to buy into a service or product. However, obtaining and using those images requires much more than a quick search on Google. To make the biggest splash while avoiding heavy penalties that can tank your business, follow these tips when searching for images. Presume all images are protected by copyright. Never assume that an image you find while browsing the internet is free to use. It may be easy to download one you like and use it on your website, social media account, or blog, but it can have devastating consequences. Someone who wrongfully uses copyright material worth at least $2,500 may face up to five years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines according to federal statute. Play it safe by assuming every image or photograph you find online is protected by copyright law. Always ask permission for use. Even if an image isn’t under copyright, you still might not have permission to use it. Find the source of the image, and inquire about using it for your own business. The image itself may have certain conditions you need to meet before you can use it. For instance, a licensing agreement may require you to pay a fee, give credit to the original creator, HAVE A Laugh
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Inside This Edition
From Life to Lab: How Darrell Improves Your Patients' Experiences
‘Decentralization’ in Social Media
Productivity Lagging? Check Your Inbox! Avoiding Copyright Infringement for Your Business
Have a Laugh
The Science Behind Gut Feelings
Heads or Tails? The Scientifically Smarter Way to Make Business Decisions
about it. If you make a conscious decision that agrees with the subconscious solution of your basal ganglia, your brain gives off a subtle reward. The decision doesn’t have to be logical to feel right — that’s your gut feeling. However, if the conscious and subconscious parts of your brain don’t agree, your insula detects the discrepancy and registers a threat. It’s the “I have a bad feeling about this” response. Fabritius and Hagemann note that gut feelings “represent the most efficient use of your accumulated experience.” According to the authors, flipping a coin is the best way to really listen to your basal ganglia and insula. Your subconscious brain has already made a decision; flipping a coin helps you test your intuition about each option.
You have two options in front of you. They both sound great, are backed by research, and could transform your business for the better, but you can only choose one. Which do you commit to? When you’re faced with two equally worthwhile options, science says the best way to make a decision is to flip a coin. When you flip a coin, you’re not really leaving the decision up to chance; you’re actually calling on your intuition to guide you. The practice is often regarded as unscientific, but there’s a lot of research to support making intuitive decisions. Friederike Fabritius and Hans W. Hagemann, authors of “The Leading Brain: Neuroscience Hacks to Work Smarter, Better, Happier,” explain how we develop that “gut feeling.” Intuitive decisions are driven by two structures in your brain: the basal ganglia and the insula. The basal ganglia are connected to movement and building habits. The insula, part of the cerebral cortex, becomes engaged when you experience pain, feel love, listen to music, or even enjoy a piece of chocolate. Neuroscientists believe the insula is responsible for self-awareness, particularly for recognizing changes in your body.
If the coin lands on heads and you feel relieved, then heads is the right choice. However, if the coin lands on tails and
you’re uncertain or want to flip again, then that’s your intuition saying the other option is the better choice. So, the next time you’re caught in a pickle, grab the nearest quarter and put your intuition to the test.
When you have to solve a problem, your basal ganglia start working on a solution, even if you aren’t consciously thinking
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