Blog Posts

Here are a selection of blog posts on a variety of subjects that I have prepared for a variety of clients.

3 Reasons to Walk Everyday

Walking. What could be easier? Although it sounds simple, taking a daily break to walk can yield great benefits for your productivity and your health.

A growing body of studies support researcher Dr. James Levine's declaration that sitting is the new smoking. In response to this, desk-bound professionals should be looking for ways to sit less during their work day.

Going for a walk, even a short one, is a perfect way to do this. Walks make life better in the short term too, along with the long term health benefits. Let's see why.

1. Walking relieves stress

In general, exercise is great for relieving stress. There are further benefits from walking though, versus say hopping on a treadmill or stationary bike, especially if you go outside.

Walking outdoors, especially in green spaces, produces a kind of meditative state that's an antidote for stress. So a nearby park makes a perfect destination, if there's one around.

2. Walking enhances creativity

Even if you can't get outside, taking a stroll will help you to be more creative. In a study at Stanford, at least 80% of every group studied gave more creative responses while walking than while sitting.

This means that getting up and moving is a good way to get past being stumped by a problem. Walking provides a literal change in perspective and gives the subconscious brain a chance to work on solutions.

3. Walking improves your mood

The positive impact of walking on mood has been demonstrated for individuals with serious illness and depression, but it's just as effective for treating a plain old bad day.

Happiness is a medicine all of its own. It's been shown to improve health and boost job performance. Of course, nobody needs scientific evidence to know that it's better to be happy.

So, what are you waiting for? Now is the perfect time to begin establishing your daily walking habit. Your body and your brain will thank you.

What's Up With CBD?

Alongside the usual THC percentage, you’ve probably noticed an increasing number of strains at your local dispensary labeled with a CBD percentage as well. In fact, menus now commonly include an entire section focused on CBD, including a full range of concentrates, edibles, and extracts. So, you may be wondering, “What’s up with CBD?”

Cannabidiol–the full name for CBD–is the second most prevalent cannabinoid found in the flowers of the marijuana plant, behind THC. While THC typically gets the most attention, interest in CBD is growing, because it provides significant medical benefits without some of the perceived drawbacks of using THC. Some states are even approving the medical use of CBD extracts while other marijuana products remained banned entirely.

Common arguments against cannabis include its intoxicating nature, its negative effect on memory, and its impairment of motor abilities. But none of these apply to CBD. It is not intoxicating by itself, and has actually been shown to counter the anxiety and impairment associated with THC. The two chemicals actually work together synergistically to produce a smoother, more balanced high.

When used alone as an extract, CBD is an effective medicine for many of the symptoms traditionally treated with marijuana. It dulls pain, soothes nausea, and calms nerves–all without a debilitating high. CBD extracts are even being used as a holistic option for treating cancer, and while further study is certainly needed, many find this a welcome alternative to harsh treatments like chemotherapy.

With all that in mind, you’re ready to decide whether or not to try that “CBD Enhanced Lavender Haze” or those CBD capsules next time you’re shopping at a dispensary. These strains do tend to come at a premium, since they are relative newcomers to the scene. However, you might find that the unique addition of CBD is just what you’ve been looking for.

April Fools Day: Decide Now to Play or Pass

While no one is absolutely sure where or how it began, April Fool’s Day has doubtlessly become the Western world’s favorite day for pranks. It seems that no organization is too large or serious to turn down a shot at the fun, with major publications, corporations, and even government officials playing along. That said, a small business can still pull a gag that goes viral, though maybe not for right reasons.

Sizing Up

On April 1st, 2010, Starbucks announced via their blog that they would introduce two new beverage sizes in response to customer demand for more choices. The new sizes, Plenta and Micra, would expand the current offerings at either end, with volumes of 128 ounces and 2 ounces, respectively. Recognizing the potential impact of the KFC bucket-esque Plenta cups on municipal waste services, the announcement even recommended a variety of reuses for them, including as a rain hat, perennial planter, or yoga block.

These “suggested usage options” are about the only hint of foolishness among the otherwise straight faced announcement. And not everyone got the hint. One commenter on the Starbucks website reveals that the customer demand is no joke, saying, “I LOVE the idea of a cup size larger than a Venti, but 128oz, seriously!!! … The human stomach should not even be able to hold that much.” There may have been a few customers genuinely disappointed after attempting to order a Plenta or Micra sized espresso drink, but this prank will be remembered for gaining big attention by having a bit of ultimately harmless fun.

Dropping the Ball

Just last year, in 2016, Google kept to its annual tradition of releasing an April Fool’s feature for one of their products. While not always the case with Google’s Spring shenanigans, this year’s gag was done in ‘reverse’, meaning that the apparently ridiculous feature was actually released to the public for a limited amount of time. The ‘Mic Drop’ functionality turned out to be a show stopper, however.

Again appealing in a roundabout way to a real desire of their customers, Google had built a new button into Gmail designed to give users the last word in an email thread. Pressing the orange ‘Mic Drop’ button showing up right next to the usual blue ‘Send’ button would add a mic dropping cartoon gif to the outgoing message and hide all future replies. Or as Google described it in their announcement blog post, "Everyone will get your message, but that's the last you'll ever hear about it. Yes, even if folks try to respond, you won't see it."

Not everyone got the memo, it seems, and a software bug caused the feature to be activated even in some cases where the user didn’t press the new button at all. Unintended mic dropping in serious and business oriented communications quickly became problematic social media buzz, as seen in this exemplary tweet from @tomscott, “We’ve defaced some of your messages and hidden the replies, and you probably have no idea why! LOL, April Fool!” Google quickly deactivated the feature and issued an apology via their blog, but the damage was already done.

Play or Pass?

If you are considering pulling an April Fool’s Day prank on your customers, the time to start planning is now. Properly planning for and executing your gag could mean the difference between having some honest fun, and doing something that’s both unfunny and regrettable. Consider the potential impact of a successful stunt before investing too much. Are you well connected with a devoted social following to spread the word about your awesome antic? If not, it might be best to save your energy for fooling with family, friends, and co-workers on this April 1st.