SPECIALIZING IN YOU
A Soldier’s Sacrifice HONORING THE ARMED FORCES
to civilian life six months before my unit went into Panama in December of ’88. I can’t begin to count myself among the heroes who truly put themselves in harm’s way. But the military awakened me to the enormity of dedication each of these individuals had and the degree to which they were willing to give up everything if it meant the safety and protection of their countrymen. Take the Revolutionary War, for example. Those “rebels” who signed the Declaration of Independence put not only their lives on the line, but their property, the well-being of their families, their honor, and their legacies. It’s no different with the men and women serving this very second in foreign lands all over the world. The Fourth of July, following right after Memorial Day, has had me thinking. There can be no doubt, America is truly a great country, but not just because of democracy, capitalism, and the rule of law. Sure, these concepts are the founding principles of our homeland, and they are a
When I joined the Army back in 1982, I wasn’t looking for anything more than a new challenge. I was a young guy, a fresh college graduate in the midst of a struggling economy, and I needed to find a path to follow. I’d always had a deep respect and admiration for those who protect our country, especially those I knew personally. My grandfather was a B-17 belly gunner who flew many missions over Germany during WWII, and my father was an airplane mechanic in the Air Force during the Korean War. Though I certainly found the challenges I was looking for, I can’t imagine there are many lifestyles more mentally, emotionally, and physically taxing than life in the armed forces during times of war. What I really think I gained was a more acute appreciation of the sacrifices those in the military (including their families) make for their country and for their fellow soldiers.
fantastic, powerful mechanism to promote life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But I believe that America became great, and continues to be great, because a relatively small percentage of the American people have chosen to be great by sacrificing for the rest of us. “Duty, honor, country” is more than a phrase. What it truly means is “blood, sweat, and tears,” especially for those folks that have been in the horrific throes of combat. Everybody, from politicians to corporations, gives a lot of lip service to veterans today, but unless you’ve been there on the front lines — and I haven’t — we can’t possibly appreciate the sheer magnitude of the sacrifices these soldiers and their families have made for our country. I believe that it’s important that we try, though. Whenever I meet a veteran, I look them right in the eye and give them a firm handshake. I tell them, with sincere gratitude, “Thank you for your service.” America became great, and continues to be great, because a relatively small percentage of the American people have chosen to be great by sacrificing for the rest of us.
I never saw combat. I was in parachute school during the Invasion of Grenada, and I returned
– Brad Johnson
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FOOD, FIREWORKS, AND AMERICAN VALUES
CREATE STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE WORK PERFORMANCE Every professional has those moments when they can’t seem to focus. No one means to waste time at their job, but it’s often a struggle to climb that hill when you have no motivation to do so. To get your work done, you need to come up with strategies that prevent you from wasting precious time in your workday. The repeat test is a great tool to see where you waste time in a day. Using a spreadsheet, make a column of numbers representing the hours of the day that you are awake. Your column may start at 6 a.m. and go as late as 11 p.m. After you have created the first column, create a second column that is considerably wider than the first. At the top of every hour, stop for 1 minute and consider how you spent the last hour. Jot down your notes in the second column next to the appropriate hour. You might write, “Department meeting accomplished very little. Twenty people in one room is too many.” Using this test is a great way to improve your own performance. If you noted that an hour was wasted, you have specific notes as to why. Use your notes to make changes in your routine so that you can create strategies that allow you to be productive.
Every American child is taught that we celebrate Independence Day to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Like all traditions, the celebrations that accompany the Fourth can seem like a matter of course, but they have a fascinating historical origin. One of our founding fathers, John Adams, envisioned what the celebration would look like even before the document had officially been ratified. On July 3, 1776, he wrote a letter to his wife, Abigail, where he described celebrations “with pomp and parade, with [shows], games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” It was only one year later that the first Fourth of July fireworks display was held in Philadelphia. Once the Revolutionary War ended in 1783, Independence Day began as a holiday in many parts of the country. Around this time, fireworks also became commercially available all over the young nation. In addition to fireworks, another integral part of Fourth of July celebrations is, without question, the food. From hot dogs and hamburgers to watermelon, there’s no better day to enjoy some all- American fare. And there’s no food more American than barbecue. Barbecue has been a Fourth tradition, especially in the South, for over a century. The Fourth of July, though, isn’t just about food and festivities. It’s also a day to remember the ideals our country was created to embody. Thomas Jefferson, the writer of the Declaration of Independence, certainly felt that the holiday was a time to reflect on these values. In the last letter he ever wrote, from his home at Monticello on June 24, 1826, he advocated that annual celebrations “forever refresh our recollections of these rights and an undiminished devotion to them.”
The technique of evaluating productivity and committing to change is not new, but it has yet to gain popularity. In 2013, Harvard Business Review researchers asked 15 business executives to make themselves more productive by thinking consciously about how they spend their time. Each executive was able to dramatically increase their productivity by cutting desk work by an average of 6 hours a week and meeting time by an average of 2 hours a week. One executive, Lotta Laitinen, a manager at If, evaluated her time and chose to abandon meetings and administrative tasks in order to spend more time supporting her team. It led to a 5 percent increase in sales by her unit over a three-week period! Try the Repeat Test for a few days to see how it feels for you. At the very least, you will gain immediate insight into the ways that you use your time. If you keep at it, the test will give you a valuable record of how you spent your week, month, or year.
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Everything Old Is New David Sax’s ‘The Revenge of Analog’
other hand, the one thing that your digital camera can’t do is take photos on physical film. And if that’s what you want, then you’re going to use an analog film camera. The companies Sax examines are bringing the past into the present. And they’re using digital tech — including crowdfunding and the latest social media marketing — to sell analog products. Sax puts it best. “Reality is multicolored,” he writes. “It smells funny and tastes weird … and the best ideas emerge from that complexity, which remains beyond the capability of digital technology to fully appreciate.” “The Revenge of Analog” is a must-read for anyone trying to understand one of the most powerful consumer trends today. It also has solid advice for tapping into the trend via marketing to make analog fever work in your favor.
Why are kids who are too young to remember cassettes obsessed with vinyl? Why are magazines thriving in the digital world? Why do “real things” matter? These are the questions that drove David Sax to research the recent resurgence of analog technology — a project that led to his superb new book, “The Revenge of Analog.” Sax begins by acknowledging that digital technology, from iPhones to MP3s, has changed how we live. “But,” he writes, “digital’s gain was not without sacrifice.” He saw this sacrifice early on, at a dinner party that fizzled when everyone was more interested in their phones than each other. Enter “analog,” defined simply as “the opposite of digital.” Instead of 1s and 0s, analog has physical presence. Instead of hitting a button to send information to an iPod, which then sends information to your speakers, you set a needle into a groove on a record — and let simple physics do the rest. Many analog devices don’t require electricity, never mind the internet. A mechanical typewriter is analog. Your laptop is decidedly not. And here’s the twist: Analog is more popular than ever. Sax describes walking down the street in the middle of the digital age and finding thriving analog businesses like film photography, handmade watches, fountain pens — the list goes on. Sax takes a look at all these industries and more in this book, concluding that the analog-digital dichotomy is not a question of replacement. Yes, you can now do everything your old camera can do with a digital one. On the
• In 1945, a chicken dubbed “Miracle Mike” survived for 18 months without a head.
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• In 2013, a man named Darren Baldwin was let go from his job at a stress-ball factory. His reaction? Punching his boss in the face. • A dentist named William J. Morrison invented cotton candy in 1897. It was originally called “fairy floss.”
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• Have heart: There is enough pressure in the average person’s heart to squirt blood up to 30 feet.
We have all the free sudokus you need! 400 new sudokus every week. Make your own free printable sudoku at www.PrintMySudoku.com
• There are 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the average human body — enough to wrap around the world 2.5 times!
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INSIDE This Issue
A Soldier’s Sacrifice page 1
Food, Fireworks, and American Values The Repeat Test page 2 David Sax’s ‘The Revenge of Analog Did You Know? Sudoku page 3
This Month in History page 4
This Month in History THE DISAPPEARANCE OF JIMMY HOFFA
At first glance, any American can tell you what happened on at least one day in July history. (I’ll give you a hint: It’s after July 3.) Instead, how about a pleasant jaunt down a dark lane, filled with mobsters, fraud, and murder? You’ll find all that and more in the fascinating story of Jimmy Hoffa, who disappeared on July 30, 1975. Jimmy Hoffa was born in 1913 and became an important union activist in his 20s. By the time he was in his 40s, he had become the national vice president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), which became the largest union in the U.S. But he had to step on a few toes to get there.
was convicted of attempted bribery, jury tampering, and fraud (basic mob stuff). He was sentenced to prison, but he struck a deal with President Richard M. Nixon for a presidential pardon if he resigned from the union. At 2 p.m. on July 30, 1975, Hoffa visited the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox Restaurant in Bloomfield, Michigan, near Detroit. He told his friends he was there to meet with two mafia leaders. After 30 minutes, a frustrated Hoffa called his wife from a pay phone to say he would wait for a few more minutes. He hung up the phone and was never heard from again. Wild speculation has surrounded his disappearance. After several decades and thousands of leads, including some from former friends and associates, the Hoffa case remains unsolved. One theory commonly retold in pop culture is that Hoffa was killed and stuffed in an oil drum that was buried under Giants Stadium in New Jersey, as several ex-mobsters claimed in a 1989 Playboy article. However, when the stadiumwas demolished in 2010, the FBI searched for remains and found none. You may know what happened on July 4, 1776, but we’re afraid you may never know what happened to Jimmy Hoffa. Forty-two years later, the FBI claims that the investigation is ongoing.
Little is known about Hoffa’s mafia activity during several decades, but in 1964, he
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