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Could TV watching be good for us?

I recently wrote a post citing a study that reading fiction makes a person more empathetic because they can imagine themselves in the position of the characters they are reading about. These skills then become transferable to a person's real life when they interact with others. How about other forms of fiction, however, such as watching a TV drama? We have long been told that watching TV rots our brain, but could TV actually be good for us?

Some studies suggest that TV could indeed be good for us, though to be fair most of these studies are cited by Bustle and HuffPost, so make of them what you will. The most convincing argument I could find for why TV watching is good for us is that TV watching helps decrease levels of cortisol - the hormone associated with stress - especially in women. Researchers speculate that this is because TV watching is a passive activity that gives people a break from their over-scheduled days. This ability to disengage and de-stress actually makes us mo…
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Influence People

Today we continue exploring Dale Carnegie's book How to Win Friends and Influence People.  The first part of this two series post was on How to make friends which you can check out by clicking the link below:

How to make friends

The other portion of this text is about influencing people.  If you'd like to read all the points that Dale Carnegie suggests, wikipedia does a nice job of laying it out in an easy to read format in the link below.

While Mr. Carnegie lists out twelve key points to winning people over to your way of thinking, I'd like hone in on a few of his points that in my opinion are the most important.  I think because these points feel so counterintuitive that it becomes difficult to understand how these points could be valid.

Nonetheless, I would like to share my thoughts with you on these few ideas and pair them with a brief anecdotal.  Then you can be the judge and determine its merits or…

An Ice Cream Binge Across America

For those of you who read my post about the science of ice cream making, you already know how much I enjoy making and eating ice cream. In her book, Sweet Spot: An Ice Cream Binge Across America, Amy Ettinger claims that the average American eats twenty-two pounds of ice cream a year. I bet I eat at least twice that. For an ice cream and book reading enthusiast, such as myself, Amy Ettinger's book, Sweet Spot: An Ice Cream Binge Across America, would seem to be the perfect combination of my two great loves.

Ettinger shares some interesting histories that I had not known before, such as the fact that the United States Food and Drug Administration considers ice cream a potentially hazardous food item because it "accounted for 2, 594 illnesses between 1990 and 2009, mostly from contaminated eggs or spoiled milk" (Ettinger 56). Ice cream is apparently so hazardous that some historians, according to Ettinger, contend that American President Zachary Taylor died after eating a…

How to make friends

How to make friends and influence by Dale Carnegie is one of the most influential books of all time.  Much like the title suggests, it is a self-help book that provides a mindset and strategies to make friends and influence people.  As an exploration of this text, we are going to do a two-part series on Carnegie's book, with today's post focusing on making friends.

I found out about this book when I was reading an interview on Barbara Cocoran.  The founder of the Cocoran Group and current panelist/investor on Shark Tank.  In the interview she mentioned that the last book she had read was the aforementioned text.  She stated that this book was her guide to interacting with people and with making sales.

I must admit that even in my own life I have incorporated parts of this book into my interactions.  In addition, as a person who has gone through leadership training programs, I am shocked at how much of his teachings are incorporated into the modern educational leadership progr…

Special Friday Post - My Yahoo Portfolio Experience - Part 1

If you have read the Koo Review before then you know that we are avid readers.  I have especially been interested in finance and investing as of late, as well as some marketing.

One of the key items I've learned from reading TheIntelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham were strategies on how to invest in the stock market.  I created a Yahoo Portfolio account to track five companies that I found on the 52 week low list that I would have picked back on July 14th to invest in.  
I purchased 100 shares of each company (to keep things simple).  My focus was:
1) Large cap companies. 2) A history of steady dividend payments. 3) Consistent positive net income for the past three years. 4) An established brand 5) The company sold or produced something that I understood
So as you see below this is how our portfolio did after three weeks.

So while it was not all great, you can see that the total gain was $558 as of August 4, 2017 at 10:45 a.m.
I'm really excited that this portfolio is movi…

Review on the Purple Cow - Transforming your business by being remarkable by Seth Godin

The Purple Cow by Seth Godin is a book on marketing, and focuses on the modern day environment.  Godin believes that the traditional methods of advertising are broken and ineffective.  He defines traditional advertising as companies that follow the P's of marketing: Pricing, Promotion, Positioning, Packaging, Pass-Along, Permission, and Publicity.  Godin believes that the key to successful advertising is by creating a remarkable product.  The metaphor that he uses for a remarkable product is a purple cow.

The idea is that a purple cow is unheard of, and therefore it is a remarkable thing.  Godin believes that modern day marketing tactics should focus on just one P, the purple cow.

Godin then provides cases in which remarkable products launched companies to the forefront of their industries.  An example is Google.  It is a website that has a slot where you can type in text and two buttons.  One of the buttons is completely arbitrary.  Yet, it has become the lead search engine and…

The Science of Ice Cream Making

Anyone who knows me knows that ice cream is one of my favorite things in the world. I love it so much that a few years ago I asked my husband for an ice cream maker for my birthday and began making ice cream in my home. Before I started making ice cream, I did not know how much science and trial and error were involved in the process. The science comes from learning about things like food stabilizers, which I discuss below, while the trial and error involves experimenting with the right quantity of ingredients to achieve your desired flavor.

For those who have never made ice cream before, it is a more time consuming process than one would think, usually taking place over the course of two days. Ice cream requires many egg yolks (usually a minimum of 5 or 6). This means that first the eggs need to be separated and then they need to be tempered. Tempering is a process by which a food is gradually introduced to heat without really being cooked. In the case of ice cream, you usually heat…