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Showing posts from February, 2009

Donut Pop Quiz

Dear Members and Constituents,
I have a multiple choice, fill-in the blank exercise for you this morning. I was considering an essay but, c'mon! who wants that on a Friday morning? Ready? Here it goes:

The world is ____________________________.
(a) Good to me
(b) A big lump of dispassionate rock, water and air
(c) Always on the brink of a catastrophe
(d) A stage (and we are the actors)
(e) Other _______________________

I think your answer to this simple rhetorical question would reveal whether you are cheerful, pragmatic, paranoid, narcissistic (perhaps a Shakespeare fan) or a trouble maker. Regardless of your answer (that is between you and yourself), today the world has conspired with Rich Law (donut boy) to bring the sweet aroma of donuts to my desk. So come on down and choose from one of the 60 donuts available for your consumption. I promise you, no trick question and there is no wrong answer.

Happy Friday!

Fun With Donuts

Dear Members and Constituents,
What makes something "fun"? Does freezing your buns off, bruising your body while defying death and pushing yourself to exhaustion constitute fun? When put that way, it does not sound like all that much fun, yet, I must admit I had fun skiing yesterday. Different people have different ideas of fun and the same person can have fun in ways that may appear to be polar opposites (e.g. I also enjoy being warm, uninjured, rested and nowhere near death -- say watching a movie). Princeton's Wordnet defines it as "activities that are enjoyable or amusing". This seems to miss the mark for me, because it begs the question, what is enjoyable and/or amusing? While subjective definitions abound, I'm not sure I've stumbled upon a universal blanket definition for fun that would describe it objectively. Is a smile involved? Is there a center of the brain that needs to be active? Does adrenaline play a role? Is there something that is fun fo…

I'm not Superstitious

Dear Members and Constituents,
Superstition is defined as an irrational belief arising from ignorance or fear. No one wants to be called irrational, ignorant or fearful... so why are people superstitious? How do superstitions get started? I suppose it goes something like this:
(1) Man walks under ladder.
(2) Paint bucket spills on his new suit.
(3) Man starts proclaiming to the world it is bad luck to walk under ladder.

Superstitions generally revolve around luck. Good luck (finding pennies, horseshoes, four leaf clovers, the number seven) and bad (stepping on cracks, black cats, breaking mirrors). There are old superstitions handed down from time immemorial and there are new ones sports fans and gamblers alike create anew every year. Somehow, Friday the 13th has gotten an especially bad rap in the world of superstition. I think it's time to change that. After all, Friday is a day when the weekend is calling at your door and donuts are waiting for you at my desk. And 13, well, that'…

No Waiting for Donuts

Dear Members and Constituents,
What makes a marketing campaign successful? I bet getting a huge response to your Super Bowl ad is on most people's short list (for those who have a short list anyway). As I drove my family home from Denny's early Tuesday morning, I could not help but wonder how the folks at corporate would gauge their success. Would they count the number of free grand slams served and compare them to the number of breakfasts served on a normal Tuesday? I'd wager they had a ten-fold increase. The line was, after all, out the door. By that criteria, however, my family and I would not be counted. You see, waiting an hour to be seated was too long, even for a free meal. How do you account for a four-year-old's disappointment? How do you model the effect of a six-year-old's groggy pout after having been dragged out of bed at 6:00 am with the promise of hot meal? I'll tell you this, while my family has great unaided recall of the Denny's brand name …