Sunday, February 24, 2013

Jet Lag Again and Again

As I get ready to head for the airport for a flight from the west coast to the east of the US,  Harriet Edleson’s New York Times article , Battling Jet Lag, caught my eye.   I know that even the upcoming, reasonably short flight  - LA to Baltimore - will leave me a bit fuzzy and forgetful.  I read the article hoping to find some new tip that would help me cope.   (

Along with the usual advice to avoid alcohol and eat lightly was:  Know yourself.  Know how the flight,  change of time will affect you.   Everyone experiences some diminished mental capacity.  How do you minimize the potential problems that can result?  Are you better off sleeping through the flight or working?  Do you sleep when you get to your destination stay up until it’s bedtime at your destination?  Everyone’s answer is different.  

While I didn’t find a new tip it did remind me of the one that helps me.  It’s creating a “To Do Upon Arrival “ list.   I write it as soon as the flight’s airborne.  I cover things I need to do immediately and for the first day or two.  I know my brain will be fuzzy when I land.  With list in hand, that’s not a problem..  It makes it less likely that I’ll forget to take the map when heading to a new destination via the metro, forget where I put my passport or miss an important call.  And yes, I do it when I’m heading home.  Jet lag doesn’t just touch us in a new environment.  

What’s your tip for coping with jet lag?  Share it and I’ll post a list.  Maybe there’s something special that can help us all.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The happiest place is ?

This month Afar magazine ( had a report that they titled The Pursuit of Happiness.  They wrote about the Gallup Poll that surveys citizens of 150 countries to rate their overall quality of life.  The results showed people in Denmark were happiest and those in Togo, the least.  (the US was #11).  Other researchers, at the New Economic Foundation  found that in their survey, the Happy Planet Index, (  found different results.  Costa Rica ranked # 1 and most of the countries in the top 10 were from Latin America.  

Was that a new reality or did the culture of these countries with a communication pattern that says one should  always say something positive, shape the responses?  That’s a question discussed in a December by the Huffington Post(   What do these surveys tell us about planning, running countries, where we should live?    We still wonder - who are the happiest people? 


Sunday, February 10, 2013

February 10, 2013 marks the beginning of a new year – the Year of the Snake. According to the website this will be a year for “steady progress and attention to detail” and that people born under this sign are “thoughtful and wise.”   Further that “Ancient Chinese wisdom says a Snake in the house is a good omen because it means that your family will not starve.”

No matter the designation of the year – 2012 was the year of the Dragon – some elements of the new years celebration are unchanged from year to year.  Most interesting to me are the foods associated with the holiday.  Foods to bring good luck, good health, prosperity. 

Noodles represent long life, spring rolls good fortune as their appearance suggests gold bars,  and fish, with head and tail still attached, symbolize a good beginning and end for the year ahead.

Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines have adopted another Chinese New Year food tradition:  the A salad with 27 ingredients that are mixed by those celebrating together – tossing the food into the air to bring good luck.  At this moment its good to play with your food!

No matter where we are, what holiday we are celebrating, sharing food is a special part of the event.   Having the food that is considered to bring luck whether it’s a flying salad, mandarin oranges, dumplings or rice cakes is lovely way to make a statement to all those sharing a meal:  We wish you a healthy, prosperous new year. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Millions and millions of people watching

Finally Super Bowl Sunday has arrived.  The day that American football fans watch two teams play for a championship in an event titled The Super Bowl.   It’s a game that generates endless conversation and articles about the teams, players, and coaches.  Millions of words are written about what food fans will consume while watching the game and what commercials will be the most exciting. 

Literally millions of people (mostly in North America) will watch the game. Last year the Super Bowl set a new record for TV viewers:  111.3 million.  That’s a big number for a “local” game, one that involves only teams from one country – the US.  
But that's a small number compared to those for other major sporting events that draw participants from around the world. 700 million people watched the 2010 World Cup and approximately 4 BILLION viewed the opening ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics. .  The men’s World Cricket Cup 2011 drew a smaller but still impressive 67.6 million to their TV screens, 16.9 million tennis fans watched finals at Wimbledon and 2.2 million tuned in to the 2012 Ryder cup, the US/Europe golf competition.

Whatever your sport or team you watch you’re not alone.  Millions and millions of people around the world will see the same games, at the same time.  And it makes me wonder -    Can cheering for the same sport, maybe the same team,  be the link that enables us to connect with people across the borders, both virtual and real?