We are so excited for our friend, Jeff Shinabarger of Plywood People, who is releasing a book this March entitled More or Less: Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity. As part of the book launch, Jeff has created a series of videos illustrating the stories highlighted in the book. The first video, Enough Time, was released last week via Bearings. Check out the story on Bearings here.
An article surfaced this week and circulated throughout the Orange offices, that says research survey respondents found hot chocolate to taste better in an orange cup. (Respondents also like hot chocolate in cream-colored cups, but that’s no fun.) Hmm. I wonder if they’re on to something. Would cough medicines and liquid medications taste better in an orange cup too? This may be helpful advice for all of us during this brutal flu season.
Read the article here:
Scientists have discovered that an orange or creme-colored cup definitely makes chocolate taste better, while a white or red cup will not enhance the flavor. The discovery demonstrates once again that our taste buds are definitely influenced by the colors our eyes perceive.
Published in the Journal of Sensory Studies, the research by scientists at the Polytechnic University of Valencia and Oxford University involved 57 participants. They had to taste the same type of hot chocolate in cups of four external colors—white, creme, red and orange—and white interior. The results were clear: all of them thought the chocolate in the orange and creme cups was better than the others, even while it was the exact same type. Some even said that the chocolate in the creme cups tasted sweeter and was more aromatic. [MORE]
In this video, Google Engineer Matt Cutts describes how he tried something new for 30 days, each month of the year. Some of the things that he tried, he incorporated into his life, long-term. Others, like giving up sugar, he readily ditched on day 31. What would you like to try for 30 days? What’s stopping you? What have you got to lose?
Last fall, we were introduced to Kid President—the self-appointed voice of a generation. Not only is he funny, AND adorable, he’s got some good advice on how adults can be more awesome and help kids (and everyone) live a better story. In this video, he speaks with best-selling author Nick Hornby and receives advice on how to write a letter to Santa. There’s still three more days to get those letters in to “Santa”!
Many of us at Orange really enjoy photography—with the DSLR camera bodies and the lenses and the flash units. And some of us (Reggie Joiner) are quite good at it! A lot of the time, most of us use the camera we have most handy—our phone camera. We snap pictures with our phone, maybe run them through some sort of filter, then post them to one or 12 social media outlets. Mobile photography and sharing has exploded in the last few years. Especially at Christmas, many of us will be loading our online news feeds with photos of dinner plates, random gifts, babies wrapped in lights, or snow falling on Christmas day. Check out this infographic about mobile photography. It raises the question: Is photography dead? It doesn’t look like to me. It looks like it’s thriving!
How many paper towels do you use when you dry your hands? According to Joe Smith, it takes only one. In this video, Joe teaches us a simple procedure to cut down on paper waste with his “shake and fold” technique. I admit, after watching this, I can’t wash my hands without shaking and folding. And I wonder what other processes I could refine and trim up. Something to ponder for the weekend!
As a child, learning to tie your own shoe is one of those small milestones to parental independence. But did you ever stop to think that the way you’re tying your shoes is . . . WRONG? Enjoy this short TED talk by Terry Moore, and look around you—maybe there are other processes in your life where a new way of doing things would be refreshing.
I was talking to someone yesterday about good attributes a volunteer should have. Curious to see what the World Wide Web had to offer, I performed a couple of Google searches—one for “How to be a better volunteer.” The first post I happened to find was one on WikiHow, entitled: “How to Know When Not to Volunteer.” Interested, I clicked. And there, among the list of scenarios, I found that I had violated several: Offering to volunteer when I didn’t really have time; Volunteering for activities I didn’t have the temperament for; Volunteering just because a friend did; and the list continues.
You can read the first part of the article here and jump to the actual post on WikiHow. Have you ever volunteered when you “shouldn’t” have?
Volunteering is an important and essential contribution from all members of society to help others, ourselves and to keep life running smoothly. But it’s possible to overextend yourself and experience burnout. This article is not intended to discourage you from volunteering. Rather, it is about exploring those occasions when there exist very good reasons for not offering your volunteer services or when, at the very least, you need to vary your volunteer offer.
1. Stop offering to volunteer if you do not have the time. If you cannot devote the necessary time, don’t say that you can. You create problems for other volunteers when you cease turning up or rarely turn up. It is also disruptive to have your absences occur at key moments when you said you’d do something but were unable to follow through. It’s better not to offer at all than to let someone down. This is especially important if you have signed up to visit nursing home residents. Lonely elderly people will quickly come to depend on your visits and won’t understand if you stop showing up.
2. Decline if you are already over-committed to volunteering. If you are already on a parent’s board, and making cookies for each bake sale, and helping adults to learn English in addition to working full-time, you may be starting to spread yourself too thin. Do not feel obliged to take on more, even if somebody asks. Volunteer overload is not good for you, your family or your work colleagues and it certainly isn’t good for the volunteer organization that can’t rely on your attendance because you’re overbooked. You may explain to the asking organization why you cannot extend yourself at the time, and remind them that you are open to volunteering in the future, when your current obligations have been met. However, you do not owe any explanation whatsoever. You can simply say “I am not available.”
3. Avoid volunteer activities for which you don’t have the temperament. Don’t become a volunteer firefighter if you’re afraid of fire or you lack physical fitness. Don’t become a volunteer health assistant if you faint at the sight of blood. Don’t volunteer in your child’s science classroom if you don’t relate well to children. Let others take the roles that you’re not suited for. Hunt around for roles better suited to you. Or tell the volunteer organization what your skills are and let them find a position better suited to your aptitude and interests. It’s far more helpful to devote a few hours to doing something that you can do well rather than volunteering many hours towards something you’re not suited for. [MORE]
Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki building the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on “How to Know When Not to Volunteer.” Content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons License.
We’re all looking for new ways to do things simpler, faster, and more efficiently. LifeHacker.com is a great website filled with articles about new tips, tricks, and discoveries that helps us do all of those things. One of their categories is called Tip Box and is a round up of reader tips ranging anywhere from how to create a smartphone dock to keeping hairbrushes clean. Ever wanted to know how to effectively and easily peel a tomato? LifeHacker.com can tell you. Ever wonder why you procrastinate and how to stop it? LifeHacker.com can help you. Wanna build a stand up desk this weekend? LifeHacker.com has the instructions.
There is a myriad of articles about simple fixes to common issues, and for those needing a challenge, there are even complex computer scripts to help solve everyday computing matters. There are even articles about parenting tips for those of us who need a simpler way of keeping track of homework, projects, appointments, and extracurricular activities.
Get over to LifeHacker.com and educate yourself. And if you’re using LifeHacker.com already, let us know what your favorite tips and tricks have been. What have you learned that saves time, energy, sanity, or money?
If you’ve been around Orange for any amount of time, you will have noticed that we’re big on reading. Each Wednesday on this blog, we offer a book study of a book based on the current YouLead leadership curriculum topic, and within the curriculum we offer two book previews a month.
With all of the great books out there to read, especially the ones we want other members of our staff to read, buying hardcover and softcover books can get pricey. That’s why we were stoked to learn about Amazon’s Kindle accounts that allow up to six Kindles to be registered to an account, all sharing the same credit card. Kindles are e-book readers for e-books, magazines, blogs—basically any digital media. Kindle also utilizes a software component compatible with Microsoft Windows, iOS, BlackBerry, Mac OS X (10.5 or later, Intel processor only), Android, webOS, and Windows Phone. With all of these options, your team members should be able to access the “community” Kindle account with little or no problem.
Our 252 Basics staff recently began sharing Bible commentaries across two accounts so that everyone can stay on the same page (pun absolutely intended) for content discussions, ideas and observations. They wanted to study from the same sources. Purchasing individual commentaries for each of them would get expensive, and sharing two or three copies could become frustrating if they were never available to use. The Kindle App allows them to have the commentaries right on their computer to use when they need them.
We recommend that one team member be in charge of the account and credit card, and all purchases pass through that one gatekeeper on the account. With a little bit of organization, you will be able to grow your staff by providing leadership articles, books and blogs via this unique form of media.