Technology Forecast 2018

Here are Andy Blumenthal’s technology forecast and priorities for 2018.


1. Medical Computing – Continue the significant progress and solve the great illnesses of Cancer, Parkinson’s, ALS, Alzheimers, and so many other horrible and debilitating diseases. Along with longevity, we need to alleviate human suffering and create a higher quality of living for all people.


2. Environmental Computing – Develop more and better clean technologies that can eliminate the Great Plastic Garbage Patch and other heart-breaking garbage dumps and environmental disasters around the world–clean up, breakdown, recycle, and create a more sustainable and beautiful planet for everyone to enjoy.


3. Quantum Computing – Achieve the ultimate processing power and speed of quantum computing to enable us to solve the greatest of mankind’s problems including WMD, and cyber security threats as well as the overcome the transportation and colonization challenges to reach, explore, and settle the depths of outer space.

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Chocolate Turkey Delight

So this is the kind of dessert turkey that will sweeten your Thanksgiving dinner.


Gobs and gobs of white, milk, and dark chocolate.


And they actually shaped it all like a turkey.


Sort of cute, but also sort of sugary disgusting, no?


Generally, I’m not a huge fan of eating turkey either.


Maybe when they boil it in oil, and it’s cooked through and through, it actually comes out juicy and not so bad.


But give me a nice piece of beef, and I’ll be your pal forever!


A colleague who was a veterinarian and worked inspecting meat plants overseas told me some things about the cleanliness though that made my skin crawl.


“The cleanliness outside of the U.S. is WAY DIFFERENT than here!”–and not in a good way.


Even in places that do maintain clean facilities and healthy animals, the way that “they make the sausage” sounded so unappetizing.


It made me think of all those PETA and other commercials that show the chickens and other caged birds in those crowded and filthy (and diseased) conditions…even aside from the cruelty, it’s enough to make you cringe.


He said they mash the meat until it’s like just a pink paste that gets shot into the tubes for hot dogs and things like that.


“It looks disgusting!”


Also, they put parts of the animal in that are basically leftover meats from the head and other parts of the animal that did NOT sound desirable at all. 


I’m thinking to myself…FROM THE HEAD.


Uh, no more hot dogs for me, thank you.


I think that I’ll stick with a nice steak or burger or something KOSHER and palatable.


You can have your turkey and your sausage and eat it, but not me! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Mechanisms for Coping With Stress

Just reflecting on the day off today on helpful ways for being resilient and coping with day-to-day stress. 


1. Teamwork – Remember you’re not alone and you can rely on your colleagues/teammates at work and your family/friends at home to work with you, help you, and also be a support. Together, when you distribute the weight, the load is lighter and more manageable for everyone doing the lifting! 


2. Work-Life Balance – Listen, all work and no play is good for no one. When you create a healthy balance in your own life–professional, emotional, intellectual, social, physical, and spiritual–then you will be more balanced, holistic, and better able to manage the ups and downs in any one or more areas of your life. The whole of you is larger than the sum of the parts!


3. Perspective – You’ve got to maintain a healthy perspective and attitude in life. All is not doom and gloom. Not every setback is catastrophic. There is good and bad in everything. And we need to use the challenges in life as learning and growth opportunities. Also, remember that there are many others in even worse shoes than us and their fortitude and seeing it through can be an inspiration to us. At the end of the day, look at the bright side–we all have so much to be grateful for, and every moment of life is a blessing!


4. Sense of Humor – When all else fails, a sense of humor can sometimes be the savings grace of the moment. When you’re looking out over the abyss and you are seeing things dark and maybe quite ugly…perhaps, you can find in yourself, in others, or from a moment in time, something ridiculous or absurdly funny to think back on and laugh to yourself a good, strong, and healthy laugh!


5. Faith – No matter what…G-d is always there for you. Always watching. Always guiding. Always caring and loving you. You can have faith that whatever He does for you is ultimately for your best. The G-d of your forefathers/mothers, the G-d who created you, the G-d who sustains you every moment of every day will not abandon you in your time of need. If you have faith, He will protect and save you and after your amazing life’s journey eventually comes to an end, He will bring you home to reunite with Him!


On my Bar-Mitzvah, now many years ago, my father gave a speech and he said to me from the prayers, be strong and remember:


“The L-rd is with me, I will not fear!” (or in Hebrew “Adonai li v’lo ira”)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Begone With Daylight Savings Time

Daylight saving time is one of those ideas that should be relegated to the dustbin of history. 


It serves no functional purpose and is actually a negative for society overall. 


Originally devised to have longer daylight in the Summer months by moving the clock forward an hour, it was also thought to save electricity by having more daylight.


However, research on the energy savings have had at best mixed results and the extra hour of sunlight in the evening in Summer with sunset extending to after 9 pm is necessary why???


Let’s face it…it is stupid to move the clocks twice a year “springing forward” in the Spring and “falling back” in the Fall. 


Aside from the nonsense of actually having to move the clocks, it is disruptive and unhealthy to our sleep and other bodily patterns–was anyone else up too early for work this morning and hanging around until it was actually time to go in?


And it’s not only people’s bodily cycle that gets messed up, but animals too. One of my colleagues complained this morning about their dog needing to go out for their walk early this morning–apparently, the dog didn’t get the message about daylight savings time. 


Time is not something to mess with–it should be stable like the other natural cycles of good ‘ol Mother Nature–that we depend on as the “Laws of Nature!”


We don’t change the number of days in December from 31 to 32 (taking it from perhaps October, which we can easily cut back on to 30 or 29 days) to extend the joyous holiday and  the shopping season which is good for economy.


We also don’t mess with the number of days of the week–perhaps, for example, we should shorten the week from 7 to 6 days, so that we can have a more frequent rest cycle and rejuvenate our bodies and minds more frequently. Who wouldn’t vote to get rid of Mondays and just start the week with Tuesday instead. 


Change is a good thing when it actually has a net benefit to society and it is more than negligible, but continuing to move around the dials on the clock, just because someone woke up one day with another cockeyed idea is not something to keep repeating.


It’s time to recognize the bad idea for daylight savings time for what it is and restore stable time like a tick-tock that we can all set our watches consistently to. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Yom Kippur Diet Plan

Yom Kippur Diet.jpeg

So Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar is a 25-hour day of repentance, prayer, and fasting. 


This last Yom Kippur, someone mentioned to me that some people take the idea of fasting and apply it to dieting during the year by doing a 3-day fasting. 


Uh, that sounds pretty severe and maybe even a little dangerous. 


But it got me thinking that on Yom Kippur we fast for a day and then eat a meal, so why not do that daily for dieting. 


Just subsist on one main meal a day–basically limiting intake of food to a few hours in the evening. 


This made sense to me as a moderate way that I could stay focused and disciplined without any food for about 20 hours at a time, but still give myself something to look forward to with a proper, natural dinner–almost like a natural give and take that I believe I could live with (at least for a good while). 


I thought let me give this a try!


And I did. 


First without drinking or eating. 


Then I rethought this after a few days and getting parched, and said just drink zero-calorie drinks, but no food or caloric intake during the day until the meal at the end of the day. 


And I’ve been doing this now since Yom Kippur 2 weeks ago. 


I have actually lost almost 10 pounds in that time and feel great. 


It hasn’t been hard–except for one day when the synagogue had a mega Bar Mitzvah kiddish/luncheon and I sat there and didn’t have a thing!


But otherwise, I go to work and all my activities, including working out–sometimes twice a day–and without any food.


It seems to be working. 


While previously, I stayed completely off any carbs, and still gained weight–now, I allow myself to eat everything (kosher) at dinner and am losing!


I wonder if I am on to something with this new “Yom Kippur Diet.”


I pray to Hashem that I’ve discovered something good and healthy here and am committed to seeing it through. 


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

There Is Always A Bigger Fish

Fish.jpeg

So as we are about to enter Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year…


I want to share a very important lesson that I came across again this year. 


The lesson is:

No matter how big a fish you think you are, there is ALWAYS a bigger fish out there.


You may have position, title, money, status, and all the trimmings, but someone with more of this and that and the other thing (and overall power) can come along at any time–at G-d’s decree–and swallow you right up.  


I connect this to the 2nd day of Rosh Hashanah when it is customary to go and cast bread (symbolic for our sins) into a natural body of water, so the fish can eat them up–and in a spiritual sense we throw away our sins and cleanse ourselves of our wrongdoings over the last year–let the fish have them. 


And like the fish eating our sins, I think another more powerful person can come and swallow us up and even spit us out (like Jonah and the Whale)–we are all fallible and mortal. 


We are made from dust and we go to dust, and my dad would joke to clean up the mounds of dust under my bed!


As we enter the New Year, may Hashem have mercy on us and bless us, and may we have peace, health, and prosperity, and may we be written in the Book of Life.


Oh yeah, and may no fish big or small come against us to cause us distress or harm–G-d is the Almighty Protector–Amen! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Wide Load @McDonald’s

Wide Load.jpeg

I took this photo passing a McDonald’s. 


It just seemed so perfect.


With this SUV parked right between the McDonald’s arches.


And on the SUV are two red warning flags sticking out from the sides with a sign on top that says: 

“Wide Load” 

And in the McDonald’s window is a smiley face and a $2.99 Happy Meal special. 


With the “fast food” unhealthy eating culture that McDonald’s has so long represented, what is there really to smile about except the cheap fixings. 


If you eat at McDonald’s too much or too long then like Morgan Spurlock in the documentary “Super Size Me,” who ate nothing but McDonald’s for 30 days and gained almost 25 pounds and felt crappy…unfortunately the sign “Wide Load” may be descriptive of what can happen.   


This isn’t a dig at McDonald’s per se (there are many fast food joints and things that we know aren’t necessarily good for us)…moderation in life is really key. 


Healthy eating, exercise, mindfulness, work-life balance, and generally taking good care of yourself is not just a nice to have, but important to our well-being.


Genetics aside, it’s the “Battle of the Bulge,” and it’s a lifelong pursuit to be healthy 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)