Posts filed under ‘Fun’

Friday Fun: Sleeping your way to the top

[Note: this was a Toastmasters speech I gave last year, slightly revised for your reading pleasure.]

It has long been suspected, but scientific studies prove it: Sleeping around the office is a great way to make it to the top.

If you don’t believe me, consider this: A study released by the National Sleep Foundation says that taking afternoon naps increases your productivity.

A Survey of American workers supports this finding with 40% reporting that daytime drowsiness prevents them from doing their best work.

But Napping doesn’t just improve our productivity, it may even save our lives.

Consider this: Fatigue has widely been cited as a contributing factor to both the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl accidents. The Pepsi syndrome? I think not. The ambien syndrome, maybe… You know a few well-placed nap rooms at our nuclear facilities could make the difference between active workers and radioactive workers.

Sleep deprivation has also been cited as a contributing factor to numerous railroad accidents. Engineers need to spend less time on their feet and more time on their… caboose.

There are many studies that show a marked loss of alertness in the afternoon. Did you know that more accidents occur between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. than in any other 2 hour span? And when you consider how many drunk people are bumping into things at 2 am on Saturday night, that’s a truly sobering thought.

So on one the hand we have the possibility of sleepy employees and train derailments and nuclear destruction, and on the other hand we have alert employees and an attentive, productive workforce. And yet Nap enthusiasts still find employer resistance to catching a little cubicle snooze. Why?

Why why, why?

Because the poor, sweet, gentle, nap has been unfairly stigmatized as the luxury of the rich or the indulgence of the lazy. This was probably epitomized in the classic Seinfeld episode when George Costanza worked so hard to conceal his dirty little napping secret: A nap chamber custom built into his desk. But as dumb and lazy as George Costanza was, he knew enough to avoid the stigma of the nap!

Unfortunately, the taint of napping in the workplace is all too real, so nap rooms may not soon be coming to an office near you.

But fear not fellow dozers, nodders, sleepers, and snoozers, all is not lost! Recent research in the field of creativity suggests that a mere BREAK in the “attentive activity” can lead to clearer, more creative thinking.

Scientists who have spent millions of dollars and years of their lives studying the phenomenon call this an “incubation hypothesis.” You and I call it “taking a break.”

According to the “incubation” hypothesis, it is best if we incubate once or twice a day for a period of 10-20 minutes and we should engage in no activity during this incubation. The incubations’ only function is to divert our attention from work, thus releasing our minds. We are thereby enabled to freshly engage in our tasks and do better creative problem solving when we return from the “incubation”.

I think Archimedes would wholeheartedly agree with the incubation hypothesis. In Greek probably, but he’d agree.

You remember the story of Archimedes? Eureka! Archimedes made a major scientific discovery while soaking in the tub. It’s suggested that Isaac Newton discovered gravity while lounging under an apple tree. And Frederick Banting, who dreamed how insulin could be used to control diabetes – and won the Nobel prize for his discovery-would certainly agree that a little shut-eye can work wonders.

So why do most employers still frown on napping and slacking? Maybe nappers need to get the research into the hands of a good PR firm. I can see the billboards now: Save a life, take a nap.

There is at least one major American company seems to get it. Google!

Google permits their employees to spend 20% of their time on non-work related activities. Stacy Sullivan, Google’s HR Director says,

“We want to take as much hurry and worry out of people’s lives as we can, because a relaxed state of mind unleashes creativity. Everybody’s on flextime here, so we don’t reward face time or working super-long hours. We just measure results.” And as we all know, the results at Google have been pretty good. Hey, maybe George Costanza had it right after all… Maybe sleeping our way to the top really is the way to go.

I will leave you to ponder: To drowse or not to drowse, That is the question.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a great deal of work to do so I’d better get back to my desk and, uh, nod off?

[Sleepy Penguin photo courtesy of: http://flickr.com/photos/slightlynorth/1583420981/ Some rights reserved]

January 30, 2009 at 1:48 pm 7 comments

Friday Fun … the best band name for librarians

If you were in a band with a bunch of other librarians, what would you call it? Would you refer to your profession in the title?

Personally, if I were to be in a rock band with fellow librarians, I would go with:

The Dewey Decibel System

If it were an alternative band, I think it would favor:

Mending Potter’s Spine

So, let’s have a little fun this Friday; what are some great band names you can come up for the profession?

April 11, 2008 at 11:14 am 44 comments

My First Year in Lines (Pete)

Taking a cue from Kathryn Greenhill’s meme, here are the first lines from the first posts for each month this year. (The fun thing about this, is I forgot ever having written most of it. So if I ever repeat myself, that’s why!)

January: Thanks to Amy for tagging me in the “Five Things” meme.

February: Check out this amazing video,”Web 2.0… the Machine is Us/ing Us,” created by Michael Wesch, Assistant Cultural Anthropology Professor at Kansas State University.

March: Zuula (http://www.zuula.com) is a newish metasearch engine that I’ve been enjoying.

April: Maria Palma over at “Customers are Always” recently posed the question, “What would make you stay loyal to a supermarket?”

May: I had the mind-blowing pleasure of attending Imagination to Transformation, the Mid-Atlantic Library Futures Conference, on Monday and Tuesday.

June: File under, “Tootling one’s own horn” In this case mine.

July: A few months ago I started taking Improv classes in Philadelphia on Monday nights.

August: As requested, here’s the link to the Wiki that supports the Magical Mystery Tour: http://librarygarden.pbwiki.com

September: If you get any invites from Quechup, delete them immediately.

October: David Lee King has offered up a new song/video Social Digital Revolution.

November: In my last post on The Human Touch I discussed how a warm, caring human being trumped a crappy, highly inconvenient system.

December: I started a little meme on Twitter on Thursday, which David Free picked up on and posted about over on his blog, David’s Random Stuff.

December 19, 2007 at 4:39 pm

Friday Fun: #1 Song the Day You were Born


A friend just sent me this fun site: The #1 Song on this Date in History.

It is easy to use and you can have lots of fun looking up what was #1 on the day you were born, the day you got married, or any other occasion.

For me, the #1 song on the day I was born was “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” by The Righteous Brothers. I have also looked up the #1 songs for everyone in my family. It is fun! Give it a try!

I think I am going to incorporate this site in to my Introduction to the Internet class (I just happen to be updating it this month). The song lists go back to 1890 so even older adults will be able to find their #1 song and it will be a fun exercise for practicing mouse skills, following links and scrolling.

So, now we can all share — What was the #1 song on the day you were born? (then we can all have fun guessing what year it was!)

June 8, 2007 at 9:38 am 4 comments

Marie’s 8 Things

In the interest of being a member of the LG team, here goes my 8 revelations. Warning to all, the below is (almost) totally unrelated to librarianship. Abandon hope all ye who enter here!

1. If you have ever heard me speak, you may be surprised to learn that I had a bad lisp as a kid. My speech therapist advised me to take up public speaking to help overcome the lisp. Now I have a passion for public speaking and have had a career in teaching/librarianship (from Kindergarten through Doctoral courses and every grade level in between) and can’t get enough of either.

2. Following from the above, I admit that the famous YA advocate Mary K. Chelton, of Queens College, has (affectionately I hope!) dubbed me a “great big ham.” It fits.

3. After the lisp removal, I wore braces for 4 years in HS. Yuck! Today kids wear trendy colored braces in JH which are a status symbol of sorts. Not so then, when I endured being called “tin grin,” “can opener mouth,” (and worse unpleasantries that shall remain nameless). I must say, however, that this horrific experience made me a better person, especially later, when I was a school librarian with zero tolerance for vicious name calling or bullying.

4. Acting again on the advice of my speech therapist, I got involved in radio and had my own late night show for 4 years on the College of NJ (then Trenton State College) radio station, WTSR. My air name was “Me” and I played blues and rock n’ roll.

5. At WTSR (still WTSR 91.3 FM to this very day) I recollect that I once had a mad crush on another DJ whose show followed mine. I later found out he was gay (sigh). I should have known better, as his air name was “Peter Pan.” You can’t make this stuff up.

6. I am totally untalented when it comes to athletics, but I’ve been: an assistant cheerleading coach (to purge my intense dislike of cheerleaders, acquired in HS, see #3 above), a girl’s softball umpire, a scouting assistant to a HS football coach, and a choreographer for a HS production of Oklahoma.

7. I have never had the urge to do the following: ski, sky-dive, skateboard, bungee jump, or surf. But I have parasailed in Acapulco, ridden a motorcycle, refinished loads of antiques, and driven from NJ to Houston to cheer the Rutgers football team to its 1st bowl victory ever in the Texas Bowl last December.

8. I have had drinks with Umberto Eco at Erica Jong’s apartment. Read more about this story from my husband Gary’s point of view at his website (note the photo credit for the picture of Gary with Umberto!)

June 5, 2007 at 8:11 pm 8 comments

Amy’s 8 Things

(Hmmm I kinda like the sound of that)!

So I have been tagged here and on the PML blog – do I have to come up with 16 things or should I just refer you there!? ;-) EDIT: Okay I managed to come up with 8 more – if you’re really bored or interested check them out! ;-)

Well, I’ll do 8 here and then see what happens:

1. I like to keep my fingernails really short because I can’t stand typing on the keyboard with long ones. I spend so much time typing that it really is an issue for me and I can now hardly stand for them to be much longer than the very end of the tips of my fingers. This is okay though because I also pretty much prefer them this way and like the way they look. I also like to paint them dark red.

2. When I was little we had a tire swing in the backyard, hanging from a very large, old tree. I used to play outside on that tire swing all by myself for hours! One thing I would do was to “broadcast” my own radio show while I swung around (weird).

3. I have worked in the following places: a 5 & 10 store; CVS; a Mail Boxes, Etc. (no, it wasn’t a UPS Store back then); a Manhattan publishing company; the Clifton (NJ) Public Library; and now at the Paterson (NJ) Free Public Library. It NEVER occurred to me to become a librarian, not even once, for one second, even though I went there ALL THE TIME, until about the year 2001.

4. I used to have a really weird habit of washing my feet before I went to bed. I just hated the idea of putting dirty feet into my bed. I don’t know why I used to do that, and I don’t really know exactly when or why I stopped doing that.

5. I don’t really like to cook. My husband doesn’t really like this fact about me.

6. I have never, ever, ever smoked a cigarette. Not even one puff once to try it. Never.

7. The first car I ever owned, which I bought myself, was a used Nissan Sentra. Stick shift. I didn’t know how to drive stick. I couldn’t even drive the car home myself. While learning to drive it, I once drove it right through the garage door! The only person who finally succeeded in teaching me how to drive that thing was a friend of my mom’s. She was also my brother’s Pre-K teacher and also then became a librarian!

8. I used to be a soccer superstar!

And, I’m not tagging anyone else. I hope that won’t bring me 8 million years of bad luck or something…!!??!?

May 31, 2007 at 12:55 pm 6 comments

8 Things (Janie)

Since our entire blog has been tagged (and since I have been too overwhelmed lately to post), this is a good reason to play along with the 8 random things meme. Posts of substance are in the works, I just need a few more hours in my days.

1. In 7th grade I wanted to be a cruise director like Julie on The Love Boat. The funny thing is that being the program coordinator at a public library is very similar in many ways, so I guess I achieved this aspiration.

2. My first childhood pet was a goldfish named Goldie. Apparently I was not terribly original when it came to names as a child because I also had a teddy bear named Bear-Bear and a doll named Dollie.

3. I am terrified of bats. This fear is not without reason, but the story is too complex for this post.

4. I used to be able to sing along to the entire soundtrack of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and can still make it through all of the Time Warp without prompts.

5. I have read every single book by Margaret Atwood, some more than once.

6. I am happiest when I am at the family cottage in the Kawartha Region of Ontario. I could happily spend my entire summer on the lake with nothing but a pile of books, jigsaw puzzles and a canoe or kayak.

7. My family is planning a trip to Disney World this September. The last time I was there was in 1975, the year that Space Mountain opened and it was a really big deal. My husband has not been there since 1977 and this will be Alex’s first trip. I hope it is not 30+ years before we go again.

8. I think Parker Posey is absolutely brilliant and many of her films are among my all time favorites. Party Girl should be required viewing in library school. In fact, when it first came out I was in library school and about 40 of us went to theatre to see it together — including the dean of the school and several professors.

Now my turn to tag. I think this meme requires 8 people to tag, so I am going to tag Pop Goes the Library and all of their blogging team (that takes care of 5 with one) as well as Helene Blowers, Karen Schneider, and Christopher Harris (who was an undergrad at HWS when I worked there as a Reference Librarian… makes me feel old).

May 31, 2007 at 12:15 pm 8 comments

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