Inspire Your Heart With Art Day

Every day of my life with my artist son, Alex Walker makes me feel inspired. I invite you to “walk”  through Alex’s website and view his incredible art.  Amazing doesn’t describe the half of it.

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Alex finds inspiration in everything around him, including the family dog Melky, who looks a bit “inspired” by this portrait of a friend’s dog.

I’d like to encourage you to support local artists in your own community. Art truly is life-changing.

Blood Donation

First, let’s say this, if you’re healthy and able, you should donate blood. Every 2 seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. And of those nearly 36,000 units of red blood cells needed annually over 20% will go to children. Much of today’s medical care relies on a steady supply of healthy blood.

Only 37% of the total population is eligible to give blood and of that only about 10% do.  Donating blood takes about an hour (from the time you sign in, until the time you leave).  The fluid is replaced in your body in hours, the red blood cells in about 4 weeks and the iron lost in about 8 weeks.  Read more facts here. And if this post got you excited to donate then click here to see where you can give.

National Puzzle Day

Jigsaw puzzles haven’t been around as long as you’d think, and the origins of them was the result of practical need – teaching children, specifically, England’s King George III’s children geography. Engraver and cartographer, John Spilsbury, of London is believed to have produced the first jigsaw puzzle around 1760, using a marquetry saw. Originally known as “dissections” they were produced by mounting maps on sheets of hardwood and cutting along national boundaries. You can almost hear King George’s children’s governess saying something like “Children, here are the English territories”. And imagine her “dumping” the many pieces on the table and assembling them one by one.

What inventor Spilsbury probably never imagined is that one day jigsaw puzzles would become so incredibly popular and affordable.  Or that the jigsaw puzzle would one day used as therapy for Alzheimer patients. Read on for more interesting “puzzling” facts.

 

Data Privacy Day

Data privacy debates and laws will continue to evolve throughout the world, so it is important that you know your rights and responsibilities. The trust-eroding effects of weak privacy protection on our economy are clearly reaching measurable proportions. As recently noted with the massive Yahoo security breach that may cost them their $4.8 billion deal with Verizon. Read more

Please take time to read through this white paper that notes not only federal law but the individual 50 states and international law.

Punching The Clock

A federal judge in Texas dealt the critical blow to the Department of Labor’s plan to change to Fair Labor Standard’s Act which would require exempt salaried employees who work more than 40 hours per week time-and-a half overtime pay if they made less than $47,476 per year. Interesting statistics from The Workforce Institute survey noted that, “63% of employees surveyed claimed they would work off the clock even if it were against company policy”. 

Spouses Day

Why yes, I’ve been married to my lovely wife Christy since she was, well, that’s not how one stays married. And I am a very fortunate man that has done better than I deserve in that department.  So how does one stay married forever?  Here is some interesting advice from two famous divorce lawyers across the pond (they take those high profile divorce cases worth millions of pounds), Janet Clegg and Hilary Browne Wilkinson.  The advice is on point, and their references to “rows” instead of “arguments” and “tiffs” instead of  “nagging” make this article entertaining too.

Pay Equality In Hollywood

Or anywhere for that matter.  According to the AAUW (American Association of University Women) the current pay gap between men and women is about 80%, or women earn about 80 cents on the men’s dollar. However that all changes when you take a look state by state.

The state of California sits at 86% statistically according to the AAUW study, however from those Sony hacked e-mails back in 2015, it appears Hollywood is at more like 30 cents on the dollar. In a recent interview with Marie Claire (February 2017 issue), Oscar winner, Natalie Portman reveals how she felt when she realized “No Strings Attached” co-star, Ashton Kutcher was paid 3 times as much. “ I wasn’t as pissed as I should have been” said Portman.  Read about the interview here.

As of January, 2016, California has been under the “Fair Pay Act,” which enables employees to freely ask their employers how their wages compare to others in comparable positions, including those at different physical locations of the same company.  I wonder how Hollywood is handling that one?

Volkswagen Emission Scandal

Volkswagen has agreed to pay $4.3 billion to consumers, plus an additional $154 million to California for violating its clean air laws, making it the biggest fine ever levied by the government against an automaker.  They admitted installing software in diesel engines on nearly 600,000 VW, Porsche, and Audi vehicles in the U.S. that activated pollution controls during government tests and switched off in real-world driving.  The software allowed the cars to spew harmful nitrogen oxide at up to 40 times above the legal limit.  The scam includes over 11 million vehicles worldwide.

Volkswagen Arrest

Six high-level Volkswagen employees from Germany were indicted in the U.S., however only one has been arrested, Oliver Schmidt, during a recent visit to Miami.  It is doubtful the other 5 will face the courts in the U.S. since German law generally bars extradition of the country’s citizens except within the European Union. Read more

Handwriting Analysis

Graphology is the study of handwriting and handwriting analysis, and is now an accepted and increasingly used technique for assessment of people in organizations. Considered to be an effective and reliable indicator of personality and behavior, graphology has become a useful tool for many organizational processes including: recruitment, interviewing and selection, team-building, counseling, and career-planning.  Here’s a cool chart of some basic “graphology” indicators.

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Many court cases have included elements of handwriting analysis over the years.  We have seen it most recently with the case of Robert Durst. Durst is the billionaire real estate mogul who has slipped in and out of law enforcement’s cross-hairs since the disappearance of his first wife in New York, back in 1982. After the murder of his neighbor in Texas, and death of friend, Susan Berman, the District Attorney’s office has employed handwriting analysis as one of the links in this decades long case. Durst’s bizarre case inspired the HBO documentary “The Jinx”, and is currently being tried in Los Angeles.

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So what does your handwriting say about you?

Wild Horse Sanctuaries

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit expressed skepticism about the management of the Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory in Modoc County, due to the Forest Service shrinking the territory by about 25,000 acres in 2013.  The plan put forth in 2014 would support roughly 200-400 horses rather than the actual 1,900 that are there.  Read the details of the hearing to see how the outcome for the horses.

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For a realistic, entertaining, and at times heartbreaking look at the wild horse issues in the U.S. there is an incredible documentary you can view.  Here’s a look at the trailer.

You can view the entire movie here if you liked what you saw in the trailer.