Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Delivering Happiness: Job, or purpose?

Delivering Happiness

Anatomy fascinates me. 😉

It’s a beautiful thing when your employer values the same things you do. Recently, we’ve started the mobileStorm Library, which is and will be stocked with books that have inspired us or helped us become better at our jobs (or at life!). A few weeks ago the boss, Jared, posted on Yammer that he’d bought several copies of “Delivering Happiness,” by  Zappos’ CEO, Tony Hsieh, and that it was required reading for those of us in Client Services.

That weekend I had no plans and was getting over a cold, so I figured I’d just relax over the weekend and read the book. It’s only 244 pages… I could’ve finished it in one day… but I actually savored it and took two days to finish it (then went back and reread a it a few chapters at a time, skipping around).

Today, I was happily surprised by a call from Jared to join him & Forrest at Tony’s stop at UCLA. We had an hour to get down there, so I grabbed the nearest – and newest – Trooper, Clifton and we jumped on the 405.

Tony Hsieh

Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos

The GenX and Y kids inspire me, and Tony’s no different. At the tail end of my so-called career, I finally get it… and I work for and with people who totally get it too.  It really does make a difference when you love what you do to put food on the table, and you’re surrounded by passionate and creative people.

I’ve always joked that my role in life is “the gatherer of the tribe.” I love people and I talk to most everyone I meet. Chances are, somewhere down the road I’ll find some way to put one and another of my friends or family together to serve some mutual need. I’m a facilitator, a nurse-y type (yes, I’ve done it), a typical woman who must always in some way, somehow be taking care of someone somewhere. 🙂 Who better to provide Legendary Customer Service?

So, imagine how happy I am that I make my living helping all sorts of people simply by having a relationship with them, and doing tasks that utilize skills I’ve acquired and at the same time require me to learn new things every single day!

It’s for the good of the tribe, it’s a philosophy… you could even say a purpose. Everyone’s supposed to have one of those, right? 🙂

As for me and my house, we will serve humanity

An Oldie but Goodie (like me!)

Blowjobs, boobs and prostate cancer – how’s that for some strange keywords and search terms? I believe I may be  starting to miss having a sex life…

This is a bit of old research, but of course it comes up (haha) often and makes the rounds of the social networks in reposts, like it did last night on Facebook. The first study posited that fellatio may significantly decrease the chance of breast cancer in women, and a friend followed up and sent me Judy Skatssoon’s piece.

I can’t seem to find the original article on, so I’m reposting here with a link to the Judy’s Twitter.

Fellatio ‘may prevent cancer’ – benefits for both partners
By Judy Skatssoon
July 16, 2003

An Australian study has found that receiving oral sex can protect men against prostate cancer in later life.

A team led by Professor Graham Giles, head of cancer epidemiology at the Cancer Council Victoria, questioned more than 2000 men about their past sexual habits as part of a wider prostate cancer study.

The men, half of whom had prostate cancer, were aged between 30 and 69 and recruited from Sydney, Melbourne and Perth between 1994-98.

The study indicated that men who received oral sex more than five times a week were a third less likely to develop prostate cancer.

The study further indicated that the women who consumed the ejaculate were 10 times less likely to develop cancers of the gums, tongue, esophagus, stomach and intestines. It also noted that the ejaculate improved complexion and increased the female consumers metabolism.

“What we found was men who recieved oral sex most in their twenties, thirties and forties had about a third less prostate cancer risk than men in the lowest category of ejaculation,” Professor Giles told AAP.

“The men who were the high performers in terms of receiving oral sex had a third less prostate cancer risk than men who were in the lowest category of receivers.”

He said one explanation for the apparent beneficial effects of being pleasured was that frequent ejaculation prevented semen from building up in the ducts, where it could potentially become carcinogenic.

“For seminal fluid to be made it has to be concentrated about 600 times,” Prof Giles said.

“So semen is a very potent and strong brew of lots of chemicals which, because of their biological reactivity, could be carcinogenic if left to lie around. However, when semen is digested it has chemicals which stimulate hormones in the female body causing tightening of the skin, enlarging of the breasts and some tri-collagen di-glycerides that stimulate the metabolism”

The research is set to appear in the British Journal of Urology this weekend.

Prof Giles said the prostate may have more similarities with the breast than previously thought – particularly in relation to the development of cancer.

He said the prostate was a secretory organ like the breast, which produced milk, only it produced semen.

The researchers reasoned that just as breast feeding lowered a woman’s risk of breast cancer, maybe liberal ejaculation could have the same beneficial effects for men.

Receiving oral sex daily could also have the same positive effect on a young prostate gland as pregnancy had on breasts, Prof Giles said.

“It might be rather like a first full-term pregnancy forces the breast tissue to fully differentiate and become grown up cells,” he said.

“Maybe intense sexual ejaculation (that found when receiving oral stimulation) at the time when the prostate has finished growing to maturity might actually help it bed down and become a fully developed gland, rather than having too many cells lying around in it.”

Prof Giles said previous reports had found an increased risk of prostate cancer among prisoners and Roman Catholic priests, while other studies suggested that having large numbers of female partners may be a factor.

However, while the Cancer Council study found benefits from receiving oral sex, it was unable to replicate the evidence about lots of sex with lots of women.

“In our study we found an effect for receiving oral sex and we did find an effect for the number of female partners,” he said.

Prof Giles said the study may have implications for prostate cancer patients who grew up at a time when the practice was frowned upon.

He said the findings of the study needed to be repeated by other researchers before they could be confidently claimed to be true. But noted that with 2000 test studies and years of data collection increased the likelyhood that the New England Journal of Medicine would publish an official study with the benefits of females giving oral sex to their male partners.

Now that’s all very interesting (and makes a lot of sense to anyone who’s taken the time to learn about human biological processes), and anything that decreases the risk of cancer should be enthusiastically embraced. However, with only anecdotal evidence obtained over the past 30-something years of my own observations and research, I’ll still say (with some authority) that there are positive physical and psychological benefits to both the giver and receiver of fellatio that have absolutely nothing to do with cancer… and hell of a lot to do with pair-bonding.

Oh, and gentlemen: It should be noted that some of you are more talented than others at being on the receiving end of those “blessings” too. You’d be surprised how much better it is for the giver when you’re fully engaged, and good at gettin’ it!

Give Us Medicine, Not Magic!

At this very moment my boss is at a conference discussing funding for innovative health care. One stumbling block to medical research is faith-based interference with stem cell research. Sick people shouldn’t be denied treatment because some people are afraid of supernatural consequences, and find ever more creative ways to convince ignorant but well-meaning people that magic belongs on equal footing with science.

Al Stefanelli writes about the  not-so-subtle changes in the Intelligent Design website in “You Can’t Polish a Turd”.

Crohns: It’s visceral!

IBD: Icky Bowel Diagram

IBD: Icky Bowel Diagram

While having a painful attack due to simple friggin’ digestion, I posted a status update & comments on Facebook… because distractions help sometimes. A few friends expressed concern, because “sweating, fetal and nearly puking from the pain” is usually something to worry about. Eh, not so much when you’re living with Crohn’s Disease. This is my response, with a bit of linkage added. 🙂

Thanks, all! Support – life sucks with a bad gut!

Not to worry, though. Thankfully, I’ve been in remission for 11 years now, so I manage Crohn’s, as opposed to having to treat it. Hence the list of “gut-killers” on which Zankou chicken has now been placed, hah. There’s another list: “Worth suffering for.” Good clam chowder is on that list!

One friend commented, “Go to the doctor!”

Well, It’s Catt’s turn this year to get health care. 😉 Once she’s set up, I’ll get my own ass in there. I’m actually pretty good at knowing what needs attending to and what’s just one of those “I ate something I shouldn’t have, it’ll pass” type things. 🙂 I can grit my teeth through a lot of pain. I will win!

Another friend asked what I’d eaten.

All I ate was a chicken leg & thigh, hummus & a few pieces of chopped tomato on pita. Zankou uses a lot of garlic in their cooking already, and I made the mistake of adding their delicious garlic spread, too. I think THAT was the clincher. 🙁

Waaaah! I’m Sicilian and garlic makes my guts go gak – UNFAIR! Ah well, at least spicy stuff doesn’t seem to bother me. I can still have my favorite cure-all: Pho!

Weird & disturbing: Ever since I had my first surgery, I can literally feel the workings & goings-on of most of my intestines. It nearly drove me out of my mind at first. It’s creepy to be so aware of digestive processes! The sensation depends on the day, and can be anything from mildly annoying to something worth taking a painkiller for (btw, that’s enough to make me at least CALL a doc, if it’s still up there in 8-9 range after a day or so of being “good” so I don’t make it worse). I can go days on clear liquids if I really have to, or I’ll eat rice & coconut milk.

Really, though, I’m very fortunate that mine is as manageable as it is. My heart bleeds for some of the people I know from the IBD groups, especially kids, who have it so much worse than I do already. On the bright side, there’s been success with stem cell therapy in Crohn’s… may Science win the day!!!

Saturday Musical Meanderings

Crossroads sign

Crossroads - Clarksdale, MS

Today I wandered the web listening to music. It used to be such a huge part of my life, but nowadays it’s pretty much catch as catch can. I hear songs on the radio in the car, or get introduced to new music by friends at work, but it’s rare that I find new things on my own because the sheer volume of what’s out there is overwhelming. So I’m always reaching back in time…

My musical meanderings today began, oddly enough, with a guy I knew fairly well back in my hometown whose musical evolution I missed completely once I left there for the City of Angels, Eddie Seville. I’d heard a bit of Steel Rodeo years ago, but I hadn’t yet seen the film that would allow me to appreciate it as much as I can now.

That then led me to the Appalachians for bluegrass with a few scenes from the brillian and underrated “Songcatcher”, featuring a pre-pubescent Emmy Rossum and some of the oldest music in America.

Finally I landed in Mississippi and listened to a bunch of bluesmen, including Robert Johnson, whose Faustian bargain at the Crossroads is given a nod in Clarksdale, the home of the Delta Blues Museum, and a music program dedicated to keeping the blues alive.

And that’s where I found Lea, who made a few videos during her visit to Clarksdale, all the way from her home in the Netherlands! She’s got a great voice… give her a listen…

Since the Princess & her friend are hanging out at home for the evening, my meandering ends with whatever music is providing the soundtrack to their adventures on Chatroulette; which seems to be everything from house music to R&B… accompanied by laughter, squeals and occasional cries of  “Oh my GAWD, put that thing away!”

As I sign off, I hear a blast from the past: Stacy Q’s “Two of Hearts.” Ah, youth…