Recovery Reader The March 2020
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FROM THE DESK OF Dan Larson
EXPLORING BUSINESS WITH PI ( Π )
As my children were growing up, my son (the math guy) would always be excited about March 14 each year.
He would rattle off so many digits of pi, sing The Pi Song, and of course, we had to have pizza on pi day. We talk of how everything comes full circle: first growing the pie, then having a slice of the pie, right? So it is in our businesses, too. We grow the pie, then get larger slices of the pie. We market our businesses, increase sales and receivables, and of course, get paid — it’s a circle. Several years ago, a quickly growing landlord exclaimed how excited he was about the many properties he had purchased and rented. However, one month, many of his tenants were VERY late on their rent, and HE had issues meeting all the mortgage commitments! One payment was “easy,” but 12 were not. Growing that pie also meant growing his receivable management. Luckily, we helped him correct those stray “digits” and keep his circle intact. We often talk of growing the pie. No matter how the business grows, the ratio will always be pi. That one late receivable or rent payment might seem minor right now, but in the pi of things, it is important to manage each digital ($) slice. If slices of your pi are losing digits, give me a call. We can calculate recovery and help keep your pi intact. And in that circle, there are infinite digits of opportunity and options.
HAVE YOUR PI AND EAT IT, TOO! Spend Time With Your Family on International Pi Day For thousands of years, pi (π) has been a source of inspiration and mystery. On March 14, International Pi Day, you can share that inspiration with your family! This holiday is often overlooked, but it’s actually a fantastic educational opportunity. Here are some fun ways to engage your kids’mathematical and creative curiosities.
SOLVING THE UNSOLVABLE
Pi is a constant number, meaning it continues for infinity — or does it?
That’s the question. Nobody has ever calculated the exact ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter; we just get new approximations. Your child might ask why we can’t find the answer with computers or your smartphone, but a Japanese mathematician used technology to help solve the mystery. In 600 hours and by using a HITACHI SR8000/MPP supercomputer, Yasumasa Kanada has revealed nearly 1.2411 trillion digits of pi, but the number still remains unresolved. For many, pi is a symbol for an essential truth: There are some things we can only get closer to knowing. Your child might be intrigued by the idea that every circle they’ve ever seen has an unsolvable mystery.
Math affects the real world and how we define it. There’s no better way to show this than with pi! Take a piece of string and measure the diameter of a circular object with your child. Use that length and multiply it by 3.14. If your child is old enough, they can do the math themselves. With the results, measure out a new thread of string, and place it in a circle around the object - Dan Larson
Have a great month and maybe an apple pie!
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you measured before. It should fit the circumference almost perfectly! Seeing how math concepts operate can help your child realize how tangible math really is and become less intimidated by it.
EXERCISING MEMORY WITH PI
You also might want to try teaching your kids the numbers of pi with “The Pi Song” on YouTube! Your child might even surprise themselves. One hundred digits of pi are included in the song, and it’s quite memorable, so you can see how many digits they can remember! It’s great practice for future quizzes at school about pi. Plus, rewarding them with circular treats like cookies or pie will make the activity even more fun. Baking makes any holiday more fun, but on Pi Day, it can even be educational. Bake a pie or pizza with your children to teach them the steps of baking, but emphasize the mystery of pi while you do it. No matter how big you make the pie or pizza, the ratio of the circumference to diameter will always be pi. Baking with your child has other benefits, as well! Cooking and eating, especially with loved ones, tend to create the most powerful memories because they evoke almost every function of our hippocampus, which is the part of our brain that specializes in our emotions, memories, and EXPLORING PI WITH PIE
the hormones that regulate appetite, digestion, and eating behavior. By spending time with your children in the kitchen for Pi Day, you might not only be influencing their mathematical and creative curiosity but also giving them long-term positive memories associated with that activity. If you ever feel particularly festive about National Pi Day, Amazon carries actual pi-shaped (as in the symbol π) baking pans and pizza slicers that might amuse your kids. If you get creative, you can spend Pi Day with your family in many ways and enjoy all of its mysteries, fun, and even a slice of pie.
BREAKING DOWN FACEBOOK What Is ‘Decentralization’ and How Will It Change Social Media?
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.
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
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. While decentralization offers solutions to some of the problems of social media, it’s an approach that requires cautious implementation. Only time will tell if decentralization’s benefits outweigh its risks.
That’s not to say there aren’t risks associated with decentralization. If unprepared, private
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DIGGING FOR THE TRUTH FOIA Lawsuits That Changed How Americans Participate in Democracy
Rosenfeld filed a second lawsuit in 2007 accusing the FBI of withholding information during former President Ronald Reagan’s presidency. Five years later, he was awarded $479,459 in attorney fees. Rosenfeld is known for having some of the longest-pending FOIA requests and has received over 300,000 pages of FBI documents since the 1980s. In a landmark FOIA settlement concluded in 2013, the federal government paid $1.2 million to settle a suit brought by several civil rights groups over the Secure Communities (SCOMM) Immigration and Customs Enforcement program. The litigation exposed a plan to create a multi-agency database focused on collecting DNA, a person’s gait, and iris scans. When evidence was uncovered during the litigation, governors of New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts tried to opt their states out of the program, but the Department of Homeland Security determined SCOMM THE SCOMM SCANDAL
The Freedom of Information Act, commonly referred to as FOIA, has been a crucial part of the democratic system for decades. It was designed to improve public access to governmental records, but unfortunately, it doesn’t always work as intended. In most cases, requests are only answered if a lawsuit is filed. Nevertheless, FOIA has had a crucial role in many high-profile legal cases. Here are a couple of the most significant ones in American history. California-based journalist Seth Rosenfeld has had some serious contention with the FBI. In 1985, he filed his first lawsuit against the FBI for ignoring his requests for information about the Berkeley protests of the 1960s. The case was eventually settled in 1996, and Rosenfeld was awarded $560,000 in fees. In their settlement agreement, the FBI agreed to be more thorough with FOIA requests. A JOURNALIST’S 16 YEARS IN COURT
mandatory, according to the Center for Constitutional Rights. The case also changed how the government is required to identify, collect, and produce data for all FOIA requests. Thanks to FOIA and these important cases, the people’s right to government information (and honesty) will continue to progress in America’s democracy.
Take a Break!
GREEN VELVET CHEESECAKE BARS
Inspired by AboutAMom.com
This St. Paddy’s Day, try taking a festive spin on a classic staple. If you have red velvet lovers in your family, they’re sure to love this equally decadent treat.
1. Heat oven to 350 F, and line a 9x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper. 2. In a large bowl, combine crumbs, butter, and food coloring. Press into the baking pan. 3. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar together. 4. Add eggs one at a time and stir in vanilla. 5. Pour mixture over the packed crumbs. 6. Bake for 40 minutes or until the center is set. 7. Let cool completely before adding sprinkles and slicing.
1 cup graham cracker crumbs 1 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs 1 oz green food coloring (gel works best) 3 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened 1 stick butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Green sprinkles, optional
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of Dan PAGE 1 Celebrating Pi Day With the Family PAGE 1 ‘Decentralization’ in Social Media PAGE 2 Influential Freedom of Information Act Lawsuits PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Green Velvet Cheesecake Bars PAGE 3 The Science Behind Gut Feelings PAGE 4 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.”
HEADS OR TAILS? The Scientifically Smarter Way to Make Business Decisions
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. 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. If the coin lands on heads and you feel relieved, then heads is the right choice. However, if 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. you aren’t consciously thinking 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. When you have to solve a problem, your basal ganglia start working on a solution, even if
Intuitive decisions are driven by two structures in your brain: the basal ganglia and the
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