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Posts Tagged ‘stress’

Friday Fun! (New Book Blogger/Bookstore Opportunity and Blog Tour Updates)

August 10, 2012 4 comments

Hello my lovely readers!

This was honestly a very long week for me.  Work has been very busy, and I had a couple of stressful personal situations come up.  No worries though. All is well now. 🙂

*knock on wood*

I’m glad I planned ahead and took a vacation day this week.  I went for a very long walk along the Charles just taking in nature and the sounds of summer around me.  Then I went home and baked muffins. By wisely taking downtime moments like this throughout the week, my stress levels weren’t quite so bad.

In any case, today I just want to let my fellow book bloggers know of a new opportunity.  Little Red Reviewer and her friend Darkcargo have taken it upon themselves to start an awesome project entitled Bookstore Bookblogger Connection.  This is entirely a labor of love in which they are attempting to match up book blogger reviews (currently of just scifi and fantasy) to bookstores to be add to their displays.  It’s good publicity for the book bloggers, and a neat new way for bookstores to find books to recommend.  See Little Red Reviewer’s announcement post here, and the official Bookstore Bookblogger Connection website here.

Finally the weekly update for the Waiting For Daybreak blog tour!  This week was slightly busier.

Ellie Hall graciously hosted a guest post in which I explain how the tagline for the tour, “What is normal?” relates to the book.

Eva’s Sanctuary interviewed me. Among other things, you can hear many more details about my busy medical librarian job.

Eva’s Sanctuary also offered a review, stating, “This is a unique zombie tale, but well worth the read. I think you will be quite surprised.”

Last but not least, today Lily Element posted a review, suggesting it to readers, “if you want something different and enjoy zombie books.”

That’s it for this week. Happy weekends all!

Body Language and Elections (Social Sciences Librarian Boot Camp 2012)

“Analyzing Participation of Voters in US Presidential Elections” Dr. Charles Stewart III, MIT

  • Recommends the book Southern Politics in State and Nation
  • Have elections gotten better since 2000?
  • Ideological claims amount to religious beliefs, not scientific beliefs.
  • Based on 2000 data between 1.5 and 2 million votes were lost to voting machines, 2 million to registration difficulties, and 1 million to voters getting frustrated on site and walking away.
  • All voting data for each state is online except for Massachusetts.
  • EAC–Election Assistance Commission
  • There has been real improvements in voting machines.
  • Recommends DataFerret (although, the website appears to be busted?)
  • We’re doing better at registering and counting votes, but do we feel better?  Although we’ve improved, Americans don’t believe it.
  • Recommends The Democracy Index: Why Our Election System Is Failing and How to Fix It

“Body Language” Dr. Joseph Tecce, Boston College

  • Extremes in body language and/or eye movement are red flags.
  • Negative feeling states always increase blink rate.
  • Positive feeling states always decrease blink rate.
  • Indicators of stress include: eye blinks, gaze aversion.
  • During the 2008 presidential debates, Obama blinked 62 times, and McCain blinked 104 times (per minute?)
  • Although we have no video of as high stress of a situation as a presidential debate of Romney, the current video of him on a panel shows a 16 blink rate.
  • Tecce predicts that Romeny and Obama are going to have a very close election.
  • Blink rate of televised presidential candidates during their debates predict 100% who will win, except in 2000.
  • Thus, we know that blink rate predicts the popular vote.
  • Social cue hypothesis: body language is not just a social cue, it’s an indicator.
  • You cant tell when someone is lying from one indicator, but it’s a good sign to be on alert.

“Forecasting Elections” Munish Puri, Recorded Future

  • Perspective is affected by the four p’s: perch, point of view, period, permanence.
  • When talking or writing about forecasting, it’s important to consider the point of view of the predictor.
  • political risk–how politics impact business
  • Make and falsify predictions by using: probability, impact, and time range.
  • Recommended tools to monitor and watch elections: Electionista, WaPo Modifiable Model, GooglePortal, Yahoo Clues
  • Insight big data can show us: signal, shift, blindspot, outlier, and flashpoints
  • Recommends Evernote and MindManager

 

Friday Fun! (Inception and General Busyness)

August 27, 2010 4 comments

Just a quick check-in today my lovely readers.  It’s a busy Friday!

I had a lovely week in spite of the rain at the beginning.  I actually found the cooler weather to be a nice relief, both to me and to my electric bill!  I went to see Inception this week, and while my friend and I would have had fun watching Joseph Gordon-Levitt in pretty much anything, the movie itself is truly great!  I loved following the plot during it, then thinking out all the possibilities after.  (I might possibly have lost some sleep doing just that).  I also really enjoyed the soundtrack.  I believe it’s by the same composer who did The Dark Knight.  In any case, it’s just as powerful.

I finished my final project for my summer session online class, although I still have a bit of forum discussion left to do before it’s officially over at the end of this week.  Naturally, my fall online class starts earlier than Simmons–this week to be exact, so I’m getting a bit of an overlap.  I have a scheduling strategy though, so thus far I’m not too stressed about it.  This semester is my final semester of my MLIS program, and I’m going to be so incredibly happy to be done.  I’m not looking forward to my face-to-face class at all.  It’s cataloging, which I’ve put off for last for a reason.  (I really hate the technical services aspect of librarianship), but it needs to be done, so I’m planning on grinning and bearing it, haha.

Two of my friends are also moving this week, so I’ve been helping them when I can.  Last night they crashed at my place as they had a one night apartment gap.  This weekend I’ll be cooking a special dinner to help ease the stress for them and also helping clean their previous apartment in preparation for the security deposit check by the landlord.  It’s busy, but it’s always nice hanging out with them, even if it is working on something or just them sleeping on my couch.  (I have a couch that’s very disproportionately large for my apartment.  It’s amazing).

How about you guys?  Has the busyness of fall started to catch up with you or are you still in summer relaxation mode?  What are your stress management strategies?

The Joy of Doing Less During the Holidays

December 22, 2009 Leave a comment

No doubt about it, the holidays are a busy time of year.  There’s presents to buy and wrap, parties to go to, people to see, travelling to do, baked goods to make, decorating to do, and more.  If you’re at all like me, it can all add up to stress.

Looking back on last week, I see that I did a lot of things that should have been fun, but I was so stressed out that the stress over-shadowed the parts I should have been enjoying.  I was constantly plotting to make it to everything (not to mention to stay awake) instead of just enjoying the moment.  I realized this yesterday, and worked to make my week this week less stressful, but thinking about it this morning, I remembered a blog post from one of my favorite zen blogs, Zen Habits, entitled The Lazy Manifesto: Do Less. Then, Do Even Less.

The jist of it is that minimalism isn’t just about what stuff you own.  Minimalism is also about doing less and enjoying it more.  I think the benefits of this are easy to see if you just think about the last time you were distracted doing one activity out of a worry to get to the next one on-time.  Now imagine if the first activity was the only one you were doing that day.  See how that works?

If you live in the moment and enjoy it to the fullest, you don’t need to hyper-schedule yourself.  Instead of going to every single holiday party, choose two for the month to go to and really go all-out at them.  Don’t be afraid to tell friends or family no, you can’t come, you don’t have time, even if you don’t have time just because you want to spend that evening at home baking cookies and watching Christmas specials.

I really like this idea of doing less, but doing it to your fullest.  I think as Americans we have the tendency to overschedule ourselves for god only knows what reason.  Maybe some lingering Puritan philosophy about idle hands being the devil’s plaything.  Regardless, there is such a thing as doing too much during the holidays, so don’t be afraid to say no and limit just how many festivities you partake in.  Partake in fewer to a more full extent.  I think you might wind up surprised at how truly festive you’ll feel.

Friday Fun! (Merry Chrismukkah!)

December 18, 2009 4 comments

What a busy week it’s been!  Full of good and bad stress.  Thankfully mostly the good kind.  Unfortunately stress of any kind can make me act kinda wonky, so…..sorry about that.

Over the weekend I visited my family in Vermont.  My nephew is 2 and has reached the “why” stage of development.  My brother and sister-in-law have grown a bit tired of it, but I gotta say I thoroughly enjoyed answering all of his “why’s” to the fullest extent.  Of course, I only was around him for a portion of 2 days, lol.  My aunt and uncle (who my dad lives with) were very hospitable, and I drank much wine.  My dad gave me housewarming money which was fairly promptly used to buy a toaster and a rice cooker.  They haven’t arrived yet, but they’re bright red and appear to be entirely awesome.

Monday was my presentation of my final team project for this semester of grad school, which means I am officially on winter break! Yayyyyyy!!!  I already got my grades, and they were both just fine and dandy.

This week I hosted a Chrismukkah gathering for my group of lesbian friends (I call them “The Lesbians,” and yes they are just fine with that.  In fact, they kinda love it).  I had my first attempt at making latkes.  I used the vegan sweet potato latke recipe from this month’s issue of Vegetarian Times magazine.  I was doubtful that substituting pureed sweet potato for egg would work, but by golly it did.  The latkes tasted great, although I need to work on figuring out the appropriate cooking time.  There aren’t the helpful bubbles that you get with regular pancakes, so a few got a bit, erm, burnt.  We lit the menorah (and I am proud to say that I can now sing the prayer), and we watched Claymation Christmas.  If you have never seen Claymation Christmas I hereby order you to go find it on Youtube.  It is quite trippy.  The Lesbians surprised me by giving me a crock pot!  This means you may be hearing about my vegetarian crock pot cooking adventures in the future.

You guys were totally going to get an adorable picture of my kitty snuggled up in wrapping paper, but I didn’t get a chance to download them to my computer.  I swear these Friday posts will have pictures eventually.

I hope everyone’s holidays are going well.  Try to enjoy and stay stress-free!