Book Review: Brain Rules

2014 Book Goal: 52 (mostly non-fiction)
2014 Books Read: 67 (91% non-fiction)

Brian RulesJohn Medina’s book brain rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School was not what I expected.  After reading so much about diet and the effect on growth, learning and  happiness – I guess I was stuck in that mold.  brain rules instead takes a look from a developmental standpoint and examines what environments best serve a productive brain.

Medina is a developmental molecular biologist and in this book, he tears down some popular  beliefs when he states that our current school environment is possibly the worst setting for learning.  He claims that there are 12 rules which when followed are the key ingredients to a fully developed brain.

The big one he starts with is #1 Exercise Boosts Brian Power.  When you exercise, your brain is bathed with a chemical called BDNF that is like Miracle Grow for your brain.

Another one that I found intriguing was the single biggest indicator of success in academics was not exercise, not getting enough sleep, but growing up in an emotionally stable environment.  The takeaway is that teaching your child French before they are 2 will not make him a genius, going home and loving your husband and/wife will!

This is not only a really good read full of interesting information, but will remain on my bookshelf as a resource.  It is a book I will refer back to.

Finally, I have some scientific support to my assertion that I need a standing desk in my new office… now I’m considering a treadmill desk.  Give this one a read!

by Chris Doelle

Ep 6 – Facebook company pages are a waste

There are a lot of unknowns in the world of marketing. How do you know what you should be doing? Are you even asking the right questions?  This is a series I created of short actionable marketing insights.

YouTube version is here – the podcast can be found on my Fresh Media Works site

The Marketing Drive Podcast can be found on iTunes too! (CLICK HERE)

Transformed into suckage

transformerI just watched Transformers: Age of Extinction and boy was it bad. Even the cool effects couldn’t turn this film into something worth watching.

Director, Michael Bay basically threw up all over the screen for 165 minutes. Even Mark Wahlberg couldn’t earn this flick any stars.  I am not even going to mention the writer, because you can’t call what he did writing.

This is garbage. I never thought I would say it, but I’ve officially seen the worst movie ever. Yes ZERO stars!

It is not even worth the words I have given it here.

By Chris Doelle

Facebook @ Work… LinkedIn Killer?

facebook at workThe buzz around Facebook’s professional social media platform is once again firing up.  It was mentioned a few months ago and not a lot happened, but now it appears to be close to launch.

The immediate cry of “LinkedIn Killer” was heard across the Internet… but let’s take a look at that.

Yes, Facebook has roughly 1 billion MORE users than LinkedIn, but the it is viewed as a bastion for cat pictures, grandmas checking on young’uns, selfies at the park, what I ate for lunch photos and countless cute and/or fail videos.  It is not seen as a place for business people to congregate.

In fact, back in Episode 6 of The Marketing Drive, I came out and said Facebook company pages are a waste!

LinkedIn controls the mind space of a networking site for business.   It has a huge advantage in being the first big fish to market.

I will definitely be signing up and playing around in Facebook @ Work when it launches… not because I think it is going to take over that segment of the social media world, but because it is my business to know what works and doesn’t work for my clients.
What are your thoughts?
by Chris Doelle

Is Google Spam-phoning you?

new-google-logo-300x131I generally don’t complain about things… but I have to break that habit because I’m getting steamed.  I have gotten at least a half dozen phone calls from someone claiming, “This is a notice from Google.  To save your Google listing, you must act now or your listing will be deleted.”  I am paraphrasing the messages, but they are all very similar.

It is unlikely that the calls are actually coming from Google. I expect they are just some scammy little companies trying to feed on people’s fear to sell some service of theirs.

I have hit the button to talk to a representative just to hear their pitch.  They say that your Google listing has not been claimed and that they can help.  I tell them that not only has it been claimed years ago, but that if they do not remove my number from their call list, I will sue.  That usually gets an apology or just a quick disconnect.

I have also had five of my clients call me in a panic when they were called with the same scare.    I will suggest to you the same thing I told them.  Do NOT buy into any scare about losing your Google listing… that is just cheap fear-mongering.

If you have any doubts about your Google listing, shoot me an email and I will give you the skinny – just ignore these losers.

by Chris Doelle

Book Review: Grain Brain

2014 Book Goal: 52 (mostly non-fiction)
2014 Books Read: 66 (91% non-fiction)

Grain BrainThe book Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers by David Perlmutter, MD is an eye-opening book.  First, let me say that it is dense.  There is a lot to absorb (which is why I am rereading it right after I finished.) Between this book, Wheat Belly by William Davis MD, the gluten-free revolution and the whole paleo movement… nobody seems to have anything good to say about grains.

The whole concept makes a lot of sense.  As the world has moved more and more toward factory farming, the nutritional values of our foods have dropped dramatically.  The premise of this book is that all the grains – including the so-called ‘whole’ grains, carbs and sugars are responsible for a large number of maladies.  The most prevalent problem is the damage that is being done to our brains on a regular basis.

Again, the material makes some pretty wild assertions and at times gets pretty deep.  It is for that reason that I am going to reread the book.  I still can’t decide if I am a grain brain convert or not… let’s just say now I am intrigued but skeptical.  The recommendation by Mehmet Oz doesn’t really add any credence to the claims in my book. (pun intended)

by Chris Doelle

12 Monkeys – the SyFy series

Okay, so the SyFy remake of the brilliant Terry Gilliam film Twelve Monkeys (I rated 9 starts IMDB) is set to begin its life as a television series in January of 2015.  At first blush, I thought, “way cool!  I loved that film!”  I wonder though…

I checked out the trailer on YouTube:

I still think it looks like it will be mildly entertaining.  The production value appears pretty lame (typical of SyFy) and because it follows the film so completely, I wonder how you make it a series that lasts past just a few episodes unless you really streeeeeetch the storyline – or maybe have side adventures each week.

Look one of my all-time favorite science fiction television series is Quantum Leap and they had the episodic thing down pat.  While this one doesn’t look nearly as fun as QL, I will give it a chance.  That is a lot more than the trolls on YouTube are doing.

I ready so many reviews of the trailers saying things like, “Why?”  “OMG NO NO NO!!!”  “What a lame ripoff of a great movie” etc. etc.

What do you think?

by Chris Doelle

Book Review: Escape

2014 Book Goal: 52 (mostly non-fiction)
2014 Books Read: 65 (91% non-fiction)

escape carolyn jessopCarolyn Jessop’s book Escape is just the latest in the reading I have done about the Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) and the atrocities and crimes of the cult leaders and (sometimes) members.  I have a hard time understanding what makes a person think they have the right to manipulate and dominate another person.  Like a wreck on the side of the road, I am drawn as a moth to a flame every time I hear of an account.

This book reiterates a lot of what I have read.

The main theme behind all of them is the oppression of the women and children of the religion.  These so-called leaders take advantage of their positions as elders and leaders of the church.  They take something that should be positive and useful and turn it into something evil and manipulative.

Jessop’s story is not a whole lot different than accounts of other FLDS women survivors.  Her tack is quite a bit different however than Rebecca Musser’s (The Witness Wore Red) While Musser focused on the fight – the battle to expose and hunt down the “prophet” leader and the ensuing legal wranglings, Jessop’s book spent much more time explaining what happened prior to her escape.

The detail she goes into about the emotional and physical abuse by her high-ranking husband is shocking.  Her daily abuse as an unloved polygamist wife was hard to read at times.  What is more shocking is the involvement of other sister-wives in that degradation, humiliation and manipulation.  If you assume that all the women in the FLDS are victims, this book sets that incorrect assumption straight.  Just as the power of male hierarchy corrupts, so too the hierarchy of being a favored wife or child leads to abuses.

The less powerful men of the sect are also victimized as young men are kicked out of the group as they grow to an age of being able to compete for the affection of the young men these vultures prey upon.  Adult men are also made to give over all they have to the prophet and his cronies  in order to assure their place in Heaven.  It is sickening.

As a cautionary tale against those type of psychopathic, manipulative predators, this is an excellent read. If the only thing you take from this is a distaste for religion, then you miss the point of the book entirely.  Just as the Reverend Jim Jones, the Branch Davidians and the ____ were nutjobs, the FLDS is nothing more than a cult.

by Chris Doelle