FLATTMANN FILES “Quality Is No Accident”
FROM THE DESK OF Grady Flattmann
January is the time for New Year’s resolutions. Losing weight is at the top for most people. But how about avoiding distracted driving? Did you know that distracted driving accounts for about 25 percent of all motor vehicle crash fatalities? Nine people in the U.S. are killed each day as a result of crashes involving a distracted driver. Wow. Of that statistic, teens have been the largest age group involved. Car crashes are the No. 1 teen- killers in the U.S. Take that in for a moment. Almost all of us do it. Our phone dings, and we glance toward it for a moment. If it’s something important, we may find ourselves focusing on the message instead of the most important thing … driving.
SHERLOCK HOLMES’ 164 TH BIRTHDAY! ‘E lementary , M y D ear W atson .’
Here are a few tips I’m going to try this year:
1. Put your phone on airplane mode when you are driving, especially short distances.
The most beloved of all fictional detectives, Sherlock Holmes, celebrates his 164th birthday this month. It’s speculated that Holmes would have been born on Jan. 6 of 1854, and fans across the globe gather each year on this date to observe his “birth.” People don their pipes, top hats, and long coats and, with a chorus of “The game’s afoot,” settle down for a weekend marathon filled with novels, short stories, movies, and TV shows. The character Sherlock Holmes was created by author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who finished his first novella in 1886, called “A Study in Scarlet.” Although Doyle is best known for his four novels and a handful of short stories about the private detective Holmes and Dr. John Watson, it wasn’t his life’s goal. Doyle wanted to become a historical novelist and wrote several novels of the genre which were admired in his time but did not receive the same attention as Holmes. The author became so disgruntled with Holmes and his popularity that he finally killed the beloved character in 1893. But due to the public’s overwhelming reaction, Doyle grudgingly brought him back in the early 1900s. One of the most noticeable characteristics of Holmes’ character is his ability to use observation to solve cases. Through reasoning and scrutiny of the people and areas around him, Holmes solves seemingly impossible mysteries. These characteristics were inspired
2. Ask someone else to check your phone if it rings or dings.
3. Connect your device to your car.
Let’s all make the roadways safer for ourselves and for each other. Happy New Year!
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by a professor Doyle met while attending medical school, Dr. Joseph Bell. The professor impressed on the students how important observation was when diagnosing a patient. Bell also enjoyed picking a student from his class and guessing their particular profession based only on observation and inductive and deductive reasoning. Over the years, Holmes has influenced the creation of a number of characters in our modern world, including Dr. Gregory House from“House” and Spock from“Star Trek.” While many individuals enjoy the plethora of characters and shows inspired by Sherlock Holmes, there are also plenty of outright remakes, from“Sherlock” starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman to classics such as “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” starring Jeremy Brett and David Burke. To this day, fans continue to drink up the phenomenon Doyle created.
isn’t his canon birthday. Doyle never mentions an exact year or date. In fact, in all Doyle’s works, Holmes’age is mentioned only once, and that is in“His Last Bow,”Holmes’final adventure. The detective is described as“a tall, gaunt man of 60.”From this, fans deduced that, since the book is set in 1914, Holmes must have been born in 1854. But why Jan. 6? The date was decided by a dedicated fan, renowned journalist, and novelist Christopher Morley. Morley started the largest organization for Holmes fans, known as the Baker Street Irregulars. He speculated that Holmes’birthday was on Jan. 6 because Holmes references
William Shakespeare’s play“The Twelfth Night” twice within one story. Morley wrote an article in the U.S. magazine“Saturday Review of Literature,”which was published on Jan. 6 of 1933. In it, he proposed that Holmes’birthday was on the twelfth day of Christmas — Jan. 6. Ever since, fans across the world have dedicated this day as Sherlock Holmes’birthday.
Although fans may come together to celebrate the birth of their favorite detective on Jan. 6, it
Balance Born out of Hardship The Origin of the Pilates System
When most people think of Pilates, they think of the exercise trend that was the butt of a hundred ’90s sitcom jokes. In reality, this system of stretches and workouts is a great option for people of all ages looking to stay active, tone their muscles, and improve their balance, all with minimal space and equipment requirements. One need only look at the history of Pilates to understand how this century-old discipline has helped shape exercise science today.
KNOWLEDGE THROUGH ADVERSITY In this internment camp, the system that would eventually become Pilates was developed. Because of the constraints of captivity, Joseph had to devise exercises that didn’t rely heavily on equipment and could be performed in tight, confined spaces. To this day, Pilates remains one of the most flexible, scalable fitness methods around. The techniques first developed by Joseph Pilates are still practiced today, helping thousands of people develop their core postural muscles, gain better fitness, and improve their balance. As a result of his forward-looking techniques and steadfast spirit of personal development, Joseph Pilates remains an inspiring figure in the world of physical fitness.
UNLIKELY BEGINNINGS The man for whom the Pilates system is named, Joseph Pilates, was no stranger to health challenges. Born in Germany in the late 19th century, Joseph suffered from both asthma and rickets, making any form of physical activity difficult. But rather than shy away from exercise, he enthusiastically followed his father into gymnastics, later picking up bodybuilding and martial arts. Instead of being held back by his body, Joseph made it his life’s mission to help himself and others live healthy lives. Eventually, he would begin developing his own fitness theories.
LIGHT IN A DARK TIME Joseph became a known quantity in the fitness world, going as far as training Scotland Yard officers in self-defense after moving to England in 1912. Then the First WorldWar broke out. Despite having worked closely with English law enforcement, Joseph’s nationality was enough to land him in an internment camp alongside fellow German citizens. As the world was consumed by the bloodiest conflict it had ever seen, the young fitness instructor did what he did best: He helped those around him get stronger and healthier.
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Putting the ‘Pain’ in Champagne Spontaneously Ejecting Cork Causes Lawsuit
For many people, preparing for the New Year’s countdown is the most exhilarating part of the holiday season. You tune your TV to the Times Square ball drop, hand out party hats, confetti, and noisemakers, and meticulously line up some champagne flutes. What’s left to do? Pop open the champagne! There are many partiers who pop the cork with enthusiastic and careless abandon, while others point the bottle away from their faces and anxiously twist the cork until they hear those bubbles surge to the surface. Turns out, while the latter practice may be slightly less fun, it’s certainly the safer approach. On April 8, 1978, Charles J. Murray was injured when a natural cork stopper spontaneously ejected from a bottle of previously unopened Almaden Blanc de Blancs champagne and struck him in the left eye. He was preparing to serve the bubbly to a party of 40 people, so he placed 12 bottles on a rolling cart and removed the foil and wire retainer from three or four bottles — including the one that eventually injured him. Once he started to roll the cart toward the guests, the cork shot out of the bottle all on its own. Due to the severity of his injury, Murray sued Almaden Vineyards, Inc., National Distillers and Chemical Corporation, and Carbo, Inc., alleging that they were responsible because they failed to include a proper warning label on the bottle. The defendants, however, argued that the cork stopper
did not and could not spontaneously eject unless Murray had handled the bottle improperly. The case was argued by both sides for two years, but eventually, Murray won. Almaden Vineyards now prints the following on its bottles: “WARNING: THIS BOTTLE IS UNDER PRESSURE. THE STOPPER WILL
EJECT SOON AFTER THE WIRE HOOD REMOVAL. TO PROTECT AGAINST INJURY TO FACE AND EYES, POINT AWAY FROM SELF AND OTHERS WHEN OPENING.” When it comes to bubbly-induced mayhem, the greatest potential trouble lies in the eye of the beholder — literally. With an estimated velocity of 60 miles per hour, uncontrolled corks do in fact fly faster than the blink of an eye. To avoid having to explain a not-so- fashionable eye patch at work on Monday, handle those fizzy drinks with care.
Take a Break!
2 large or 4 medium chicken thighs
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 4 tablespoons water
3 pounds bok choy, cut into 3–4-inch ribbons
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. In large pot, boil three cups of water. Add chicken and reduce to simmer, cooking for 30 minutes. Remove chicken and let cool. Once cooled, remove skin and bones, chop, and set aside. Reserve the cooking liquid. 2. In a large skillet over high heat, heat vegetable oil. Once simmering, add bok choy and cook for 1 minute, stirring throughout. Add half of reserved cooking liquid, cover skillet, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Transfer bok choy to a plate. 3. Add remaining cooking liquid and chicken to the pan, maintaining high heat. Heat chicken, then add oyster sauce, sugar, cornstarch-and-water mixture, sesame oil, and bok choy. Season to taste, toss together, and serve over rice.
Aquarius Capricorn Champagne Fireworks
Freezing January Martin Luther King Jr. Midnight
NewYear Pig Resolution Toast
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of Grady PAGE 1 Who Is Sherlock Holmes? PAGE 1 The Origin of Pilates PAGE 2 Watch Out for Rogue Champagne Corks This Year PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Chicken Chop Suey PAGE 3 Put MLK Jr.’s Message of Love Into Practice PAGE 4
A MESSAGE OF UNIVERSAL LOVE Commemorating MLK Jr.
In many of his speeches and sermons, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke about love. He wasn’t talking about the romantic kind, though. King often used the term “agape,” an Ancient Greek word used to refer to the unconditional love of God for man, to talk about universal love for all people, regardless of race, religion, or circumstance. We commemorate King on Jan. 21. It’s a celebration and aNational Day of Service, so take the opportunity to honor King’smessage of universal love. Here are threeways to put agape into practice. 1. PAY A VISIT TO A HISTORICAL SITE. Immerse yourself in King’s message 2. EDUCATE YOURSELF AND OTHERS ABOUT THE STRUGGLES PEOPLE HAVE FACED. this month by visiting the places where these historic events occurred. Our nation is full
Angelou’s “I KnowWhy the Caged Bird Sings,” or Rebecca Skloot’s “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” 3. SHARE THE MESSAGE OF NONVIOLENCE AND GIVE BACK TO YOUR COMMUNITY. At the center of King’s message was the principle of nonviolence. Consider how you can advocate for nonviolence in your community. You could donate your time or money to a local shelter for victims of abuse, or volunteer your home to foster abandoned pets. If you’re part of a PTA or another school organization, encourage students to put an end to bullying. The Mix It Up program has anti-bullying lessons and activities that support King’s message. Take some time to reflect on Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision this month and take part in the universal message of love. Don’t we all want more of that?
Learning about the experiences of others cultivates empathy. When you interact with someone across cultural or subcultural boundaries, it helps to reduce prejudice.
of opportunities to become better acquainted with the birth of the civil rights movement, from the King Center in Atlanta, Georgia, to Selma, Alabama, where
Promote positive interactions in your community by hosting a film night or book club focused on the civil rights movement. You can feature a movie like “Selma” or “13th.” For a book club, select an autobiography or biography that puts yourself in someone else’s shoes, like Maya
protest marches were held in 1965. After all, if we don’t know our past, we are doomed to repeat it.
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