Are We a Society of Over-Reactors Or is This the New Normal?

Are We a Society of Over-Reactors Or is This the New Normal?

Are we a society of over-reactors?  As I scroll through my Twitter feed this morning, I’m trying to figure out how I feel about the Best Picture announcement.  I do not need to recap, as everyone with access to TV or internet knows what happened.  But watching the reactions, it lead to me wonder if we are a society of over-reactors, or if this is now “normal”?  In this scenario someone effed up.  No question about it.  But who effed up, and what happened isn’t necessarily important.  In my opinion, the way we react to said eff up is more telling.  I can completely relate, though.  I think I am a classic over-reactor in certain situations.  But I don’t typically react on social media.

I wanted to write a post about over-reacting, not because of what happens in the news every day, but because I don’t think we are aware that we are doing it.  The world reacted to Warren Beatty announcing the wrong winner for Best Picture last night.  And we saw this last year with Steve Harvey.  A lot of the reaction is in good fun, and dies down after a news cycle or so, but I think this type of reaction speaks volumes about our ability to handle situations.  Are we conditioned to over-reacting? Or do we just not realize we are doing it?

Again, I think I am a classic over-reactor.  I mostly let things fester internally, when they may not actually be an issue.  … Read the rest

Is 3-D Printing For Personal Use No Longer The Future?

Is 3-D Printing For Personal Use No Longer The Future?

makerbot 3d printer3-D printing, to me, still sounds like something out of the future.  It’s a hard concept to grasp if you think about it.  In order to manufacture something, you physically need to make the parts and assemble it.  But not any more.  With 3-D printing, you can give your printer the design and instruction, press print, and you will have your product.  Ok, I’m over simplifying, I know.  But that’s kind of what it does.  We have a couple of these at work, and they are mostly used to teach people how to use them.  And I can only imagine what today’s youth will think of next.

3-D printing has huge benefits to the medical community.  There are stories of doctor’s being able to patch up a heart using this technology, essentially saving a person’s life.  A company has used 3-D printing as a way to make skin. While this is solely for cosmetics use, the benefits can be seen in the medical community also.  A prosthetic limb can be made cheaper using 3-D printing.  Taking money out of the equation when it comes to our health care.  We are also seeing benefits to people needing hip or knee replacements.

prosthetic hand

Small medical devices like hearing aids are being produced using 3-D printing.  Traditionally, these types of devices would be made by making a cast of your ear.  From there, a person would make the device by hand, which could take up to a week.  … Read the rest

“Paw-Ternity” Leave: Companies That Provide Paid Leave for New Pet Owners

“Paw-Ternity” Leave: Companies That Provide Paid Leave for New Pet Owners

woman and dog

I was watching the news this morning and I heard something that I couldn’t imagine to be true.  Maybe it was an “alternative fact” I thought.  With so much fake news, its hard to decipher what is accurate any more.  So I did some digging, and it turns out that this is in fact legitimate.  What is it you, ask?  A Scottish brewery is giving paid leave to its employees who adopt a new puppy, and its being called “paw-ternity” leave.  Now, I don’t want to offend the dog lovers out there, but I have a hard time with this.

In some countries (or industries), women have a hard enough time getting enough maternity leave to adequately care for their child.  Now, I know that a new puppy can  be extremely challenging.  There is an enormous amount of training that goes into those first few weeks, but should we liken this to a parental leave?  Again, I don’t want to offend, and maybe it’s just the way that it is worded. But it doesn’t sit well with me.  Pets have been shown to provide health benefits to the people who own them, so maybe there is value in allowing a leave to help get them settled. But where do you draw the line?  Is it just for puppies, or do you allow new cat owners the same leave?  Does the idea of a paw-ternity leave offend new parents?

In Ontario, new parents (of either gender) are entitled to a one year leave after your child is born.  … Read the rest

Is Added Sugar Hiding in Some of Your Favourite Foods?

Is Added Sugar Hiding in Some of Your Favourite Foods?

strawberry and sugar spoon

I have been trying very hard to avoid sugars lately.  A few years ago, I was able to cut it out of my coffee completely.  That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy coffee with sugar now and again, but overall, it’s not part of my morning routine.  In fact, I’ve been able to cut out a vast amount of added sugar from my diet.  Great news, right?  Well it is, but then I started to wonder about the foods I’m eating and how much sugar is hidden?  And the answer will likely shock you.  Side note – I am not talking about natural sugars found in fruits and some vegetables.  I’m talking about sugars that are added into a product to make them more palatable.

The first big one, which I think is obvious is pop.  Or soda if you’re American.  It’s obvious because it’s just sugar water.  But I think people think that a diet version is ok.  It’s still sugar, just a different kind.  This was a hard one for me to cut out, but I started gradually in the summer.  My body was likely craving the sugar, but I was actually craving the flavour.  I didn’t just want water with my meals.  My compromise?  Flavoured sparkling water.  While sparkling water has never been a favourite of mine, I have come to enjoy Perrier and some of it’s flavours.  I’m still able to get that taste that I crave, but no sugar.  … Read the rest

Are We Too Reliant on our Smart Phones? Or Are They Beneficial to our Health?

Are We Too Reliant on our Smart Phones? Or Are They Beneficial to our Health?

tablet technology

I don’t remember exactly when, but it seems like technology has been a part of my life for a very long time.  We had a computer when I was growing up.  Granted, it was extremely primitive, but I could play games and do basic word processing.  And we had a gaming console.  As I got older, we started to have more tech gadgets around the house.  My parents had a large cell phone.  Not quite a Zach Morris phone, but definitely up there.  And then when I turned 17, I got my own.  It was an old school Motorola.  All I could do was talk on it.  But it was all the rage at the time.  These days, however, you can’t walk down the street without bumping into someone using a smart phone.  Literally.

So, the question I want to pose is – are we addicted to our smart phones?  And is that really a bad thing?  When I first started to think about this question, I started to think of all the negative ways that our phones affect our lives.  But just as quickly, the positive things started to come to mind.  Let’s explore some of them.

smart phone

  •  We are constantly connected to the world around us.

This could be a pro or a con.  Being connected means that we can get information faster.  We can access news or weather, or sports scores immediately.  We don’t have to sit by our phones at home to get news from family or friends.  … Read the rest

Making the Commitment to Build more Meaningful Relationships in Your Life

Making the Commitment to Build more Meaningful Relationships in Your Life

hands

Relationships can be difficult.  I’m not just talking romantic relationships, but all relationships.  Friends, coworkers, family and neighbours – all can be challenging. How you choose to deal with the situations that arise will help you to build meaningful relationships.  Or maintain a balance, if that’s all you want or need.  We can’t choose our family, and sometimes we have no choice in who we work with or live next to.  So the only people we actually get to “choose” to have relationships with are friends and romantic partners.  And we don’t always choose wisely on those fronts.  Sometimes we choose based on an immediate need.  Maybe you just broke up with your boyfriend and you’re determined to get into another relationship.  Immediately.  So you pick the first guy that comes along and gives you a little bit of attention.  Maybe not a good idea.

But the same can be said about friends.  After my last break up, I was spending more time with my fun friends who liked to go out drinking, and were supportive of my newly single adventures.  I found myself distancing myself from my friends who were in relationships and not for any specific reason.  Other than they just seemed to not “fit” into my lifestyle any more.  Or maybe they distanced themselves from me.  It’s hard to know.  How do you maintain a relationship with someone with whom you have fundamental differences? And should you if it’s that difficult?  … Read the rest

How Being More Productive Can Make You More Organized.

How Being More Productive Can Make You More Organized.

To Do List

One of my goals for 2017 was to be more organized.  I can be extremely hard on myself, so I’m probably doing better than I think.  The one area that I am excelling at is cleaning up after myself more.  No, I’m not a slob, but I tend to just let everything be until I’m “ready” to clean.  In order to be ready, I need a solid hour to put everything in it’s proper place and scrub the kitchen and bathroom.  Instead, I’ve been cleaning up after cooking or before I leave for work in the morning.  It seems to be making a difference overall.

My decision to be more organized this year was mostly because I felt scattered.  I have had a lot going on over the last year or so, and I couldn’t seem to keep things together.  I was forgetting appointments or things I had scheduled, despite using a calendar or making notes.  It was literally in one ear and out the other.  I also couldn’t seem to find things when I needed them.  My mom would ask to borrow something, and I wouldn’t know where to even start.  It wasn’t just my physical space that was disorganized, it was my mental space as well.

Is organization closely linked to productivity?  In my opinion, I think it is.  For me, it’s the idea that there isn’t enough time to do everything I want or need to do.  And there’s no real way to get more time.  … Read the rest