Sunday, November 16, 2014

Intelligence Plus Character - That is the Goal of True Education

Hear me live each Saturday as the Host of The Reading Circle with Marc Medley on gobrave.org and WP88.7 FM. I also invite you to follow The Critical Thinker on Twitter @thinkcritical01.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Never Underestimate the Power of a Smile

Never underestimate the power of a smile. Southwest Airlines has figured that out in one of their latest advertising campaigns created by GSD&M.
"You can't charge for smiles. That's probably why Southwest Airlines is still giving them away. Enjoy your flight with Southwest today."
Think about when you have achieved your desired results when interacting with someone else. Was it when you were mean, angry or your face looking like cracked ice? Or was it when you were smiling? Think about the last time you had great customer service. Was the person smiling and polite or grumpy and mean? According to Sarah Stevenson in her post There’s Magic In Your Smile as a guest blogger for Cutting-Edge Leadership
"Scientist and spiritual teachers alike agree that the simple act can transform you and the world around you. Current research (and common sense) shows us that a smile is contagious. It can make us appear more attractive to others. It lifts our mood as well as the moods of those around us. (Merci, Colette.) And it can even lengthen our lives."
Interestingly, there are many people who for whatever reason refuse to smile. If you have ever dealt with one of these people, then you know it is not a fun experience. So lift your mood, the moods of those around you and possibly live longer. SMILE. You are invited to hear me live on Saturdays at 6 a.m. ET on gobrave.org as the host of The Reading Circle where I'll be smiling on the air. You are also invited to follow The Critical Thinker on Twitter @thinkcritical01.  

P.S. I love the ad as the actress has a beautiful smile. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Actor David Figlioli's Facial Expressions in Geico TV Ad Epitomizes THE CRITICAL THINKER


Since viewing the latest GEICO TV Spot, 'Horror Movie: It's What You Do,' the facial expressions of actor David Figlioli as the chainsaw killer are what come to my mind every time I see or hear something stupid, crazy or bizarre that someone has done. In fact, this blog THE CRITICAL THINKER was created because of silly things that we overlook and take for granted that I as the creator seek to have readers think about; to ask the question, "Does that make sense to me/you?" The following description of the ad is provided by MARKET ME NOT:
“If you’re in a horror movie you make poor decisions. It’s what you do.” A group of kids in running from a murderer in the middle of the woods when they stumble upon an old cabin. “Let’s hide in the attic. No, in the basement.” One woman starts breaking down into tears “Why can’t we just get in the running car?!” She is dismissed as crazy “Are you crazy?! Let’s hide behind the chainsaws.” They agree “Yea, smart.” They run behind the chainsaws but don’t notice the murderer standing behind them. The murderer gives them a look as if he can’t believe how stupid these kids are. They finally notice the murderer and run off “Head for the cemetery!”


Actor David Figlioli 
It's this look by the murderer portrayed by Mr. Figlioli that for me makes the ad. It is this look that epitomizes this blog, THE CRITICAL THINKER; It's that "You've got to be kidding me," or as the description above says,  the look "As if you can’t believe how stupid this is," look. With everything that occurs on a daily basis locally, nationally and globally, I find myself making that face quite frequently, just not as well as Mr. Figlioli does in the commercial. He doesn't have to say a word and you know exactly what he is thinking.

As I have written posts for THE CRITICAL THINKER since its inception, it has been Mr. Figliloli's facial expression shown in the GEICO ad that has been on my face as I write each Critical Thinker post and now that I have a visual, it will certainly be the epitome of the things I write about and challenge you to think about as you read each blog post. I take my hat off to The Martin Agency, Inc. for their creativity as in my opinion the ad is spot on. Something to critically think about.

I invite you to listen to me live each Saturday at 6:00 a.m. ET on gobrave.org and WP88.7 FM as the host of The Reading Circle with Marc Medley and to follow me on Twitter @thinkcritical01.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

For Us Soda/Cola Junkies, Stevia Could Be Good News!

For us soda junkies, the announcement by both Pepsi and Coca-Cola that they are now going to offer a version of their respective products with Stevia as in ingredient instead of sugar, could be good news. If you have been following The Critical Thinker you may remember when I announced that my physician, Dr. Karen Young took my daily Pepsi's/Coke's away from me to prevent me from becoming a diabetic. Diabetes runs in my family and when Dr.Young observed that my A1C level was creeping up, she took preventative measures to keep me medicine free and from becoming a diabetic. The measures we put in place such as more exercise and dietary changes such as eliminating sugars, carbohydrates, and starches from my diet worked. At my February appointment, I was weighing 178 pounds and when I returned in May I had lost 20 pounds and was now 158. Dr. Young could not believe that I had lost 20 pounds that quickly. She said "I know you didn't lose 20 pounds since the last time we met?" I smiled and said, "Oh yes I did," and she said "You must have been taking in a whole lot of sugar each day."  My A1C numbers were back in normal range and she was correct as I was eating a half pint of Haagen-Daz Coffee ice cream per evening for dessert along with my daily Coca-Cola or Pepsi with lunch and dinner. I did not mention the cookies,doughnuts, Cheetos, Snickers, etc. etc. I consumed as a grab-and-go.

I know by now you are saying where is he going with this?  Good question.When Dr.Young informed me that I would have to eliminate sugar from my diet, she did offer me a couple of alternatives. She said that I could drink unsweetened iced tea, Diet Coke/Pepsi or water. She also said that I could use Stevia or Truvia as a sweetener. So of course, I did my research on stevia. According to WebMD, stevia is a natural, no-calorie sweetener, made from a South American plant that has been around for centuries, hence the green color in the labeling of both the Coca Cola Life and Pepsi True cans. I also
began reading a book that I shared with you in an earlier post titled SALT, SUGAR, FAT by Michael Moss revealing stunning facts about the food industry; facts that will make you mad and cause you to change your shopping and eating habits.  I learned that our being addicted to sugar is intentional and by design. So I guess the folks at Pepsi and Coca-Cola may have read SALT, SUGAR, FAT and made the move to offer a cola with stevia instead of sugar and high fructose corn syrup. For us soda junkies, the substitute of stevia for sugar has the potential to be good news.

Now after having read SALT, SUGAR, FAT and having discussions with Dr. Young, I made some significant dietary changes eliminating most if not all "junk foods;" however, I still drink an occasional diet cola, but I don't like the taste of Aspartame, Saccharin, and Sucralose and I am hoping stevia will be healthier and tastier. I use stevia to sweeten my unsweetened iced tea and I actually like the taste; that is why I am excited about it now being in Pepsi or Coca-Cola. So while Coca-Cola Life and Pepsi True are not on the market yet, I am looking forward to them being made available and I will be one of the first people in line to trial it. Now if I can just get Haagen-Daz to follow suit and offer a Haagen-Daz Coffee ice cream with stevia in it instead of sugar. I can only hope.  Hear me live each Saturday morning at 6 a.m. ET on gobrave.org as the host of The Reading Circle with Marc Medley. Also you are invited to follow me on Twitter @thinkcritical01 or @readingcircle01.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Am I The Only One Who See Signs Such As These As Odd?

Am I the only one who see signs such as these as odd? Wouldn't one think that what the signs are asking you to do or not do be common sense? Why would we throw trash in a toilet? Why wouldn't we wash our hands after having used the lavatory? It has been and is still amazing to me that we need signs like this not for a children's bathroom, but in adult bathrooms. I guess common sense really is not that common. Something to critically think about. Oh, and be sure to wash your hands after using the toilet and place trash in the appropriate receptacles. Hear me live each Saturday at 6 a.m. ET on gobrave.org and WP88.7 FM. You are also invited to follow The Critical Thinker on Twitter @thinkcritical01.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

YOU HAD ONE JOB!

I don't have to write a dissertation for this post, but suffice it to say that if our students don't obtain a desire to read, write, think, count and speak and our teachers don't find a way to teach in a manner that pulls reading, writing, thinking, counting and speaking out of our students, we are going to have what we see in the photo much too much. Our students must discipline themselves and understand the connection between their education and their present/future.

As parents and educators we must help our students/children develop discipline in everything that we teach. In my home, even the manner in which one squeezes the toothpaste from the bottom instead of squeezing it in the middle of the tube is a matter of teaching discipline and doing a job right. I don't ever want any of my own children or the children I serve in my school to ever be told that he/she had only one job and you screwed that up (I'm sure that's the sentiment behind the commentary). I'm also sure that if we were to place a caption at the bottom of the photo, we could finish the sentence started with the top caption of "YOU HAD ONE JOB and you...........(fill in the blanks). Our children must be willing to learn and our parents and teachers must be willing to teach and not just teach, but to teach excellence. Something to critically think about.

You are invited to listen to me live each Saturday at 6 a.m. ET on WP88.7 FM and for those of you who are not in the northern NJ area on gobrave.org as the host of The Reading Circle. You are also invited to follow me on Twitter @thinkcritical01.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Look What WE'VE Created!


Look what we've created! Curious as to what we've created?  Visit the following link to learn of what we've created! http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/nfl-athletes-in-trouble-with-the-law/

I know many of you are scratching your head and asking the question, what does this writer mean by "What We've Created?" That's a fair question; however, the intent of this blog is to encourage you to pause and think about something that is often overlooked or taken for granted. The birth of the blog was based on the overlooked or the taken for granted variables that may be contributing to or causing things to occur, hence the title "The Critical Thinker." In this particular instance with so many of our athletes finding themselves in deep trouble, I lay part of the responsibility on us, the average everyday so called "fanatic," or "fan" for short. 

We've created what is manifesting in our athletes today by making them feel (current) and having made them feel (past) as if they were and are entitled to do whatever they would like to do to whomever they would like to do it to at a very early age, once we've recognized that they have athletic ability. There's no need in denying this because we do. Athletics, many times at the expense of academics are hailed even in the places where academics are supposed to be the priority; our schools and universities. Don't believe me? Take a cursory look at your high schools, colleges and in some instances elementary schools at what gets the most emphasis and attention. Is it the championship spelling bee or science fair teams or the championship basketball or football teams? Who receives the most public accolades, the gifted and talented student or the gifted and talented athlete?  I think you get the picture (at least I hope you do). 

The younger the athlete begins playing his/her sport, the longer time he/she has to nurture and cultivate his/her feeling of entitlement and the longer we doting parents, coaches, athletic directors, scouts have to feed into it. Oh yes, our athletes feel that they are entitled to do whatever and however they please just because they can play ball.

I was serving as a school administrator a few years ago at an elementary school where our basketball team was undefeated; our star player actually felt that he was entitled to his female classmates giving him oral sex. He felt that this came along with his being the "star player." Now mind you, this was eighth grade. EIGHTH GRADE!!!! This young man was bold enough to share with his teacher that he was not worried because he could not get a sexually transmitted disease (STD) from oral sex. Can you imagine?!! This is a true story and an illustration of what I am writing about concerning our athletes with this sense of entitlement or privilege because they can bounce, run, hit, kick, swat, or anything else you can do with a ball or puck. This young man described above is not alone. 

Our professional athletes are finding themselves in trouble because they have always had their way as they navigated their way from the pee wee leagues to the professional leagues, and we as the parents, coaches, teachers, athletic directors, scouts, etc. etc. let it happen, thus creating the monsters that we have today. Take a look at the litany of trouble we find our athletes in, ranging from shoplifting to murder. Current and former multi-million dollar players losing it all because somewhere along the way everything they did whether good or bad received a "pat on the back", "a wink," or a "smile," because they were talented athletes. Where do you think the stories about "Basket weaving 101" is derived?

Now let me be clear. I am not absolving or making excuses for the personal responsibility of these men and women; however, we must stop and think about the role we contributed to their believing what they believe. This worshiping of athletes and entertainers for that matter has got to stop by us the "fanatics (fans)." Athletes and entertainers are human beings like anyone else. The major difference is, they are seen by a whole lot of people and are paid a whole lot of money for performing their job. Who are the people watching them and paying all of this money?  US. Who is idolizing and worshiping these people? US. We must get our sense of perspective and priority in order. 

So while we may be judging or pitying Ray Rice; Jonathan Dwyer; Greg Hardy; John Boyett; Ausar Walcott; Aaron Hernandez; Jovan Belcher; Da'Quan Bowers; Titus Young; Josh Brent; Jimmy Smith; Chad Johnson; Aaron Berry; Marshawn Lynch; Dez Bryant; David Diehl; Michael Vick; Plaxico Burress; Eric Naposki; Christopher Owens; Raheem Brock; Cedric Benson; Onterrio Smith; JaMarcus Russell; Randy Moss;Pat McAfee; Shaun Rogers; Kenyatta Jones; Najeh Davenport; Aqib Talib; Kenny Britt; Luke Driscoll; Louis Murphy; Johnny Jolly; Mike Vrabel; Tyrell Johnson; etc. etc. etc. ..............(believe it or not, this is not an exhaustive list). We really need to take a look at how we contributed and continue to contribute to this madness. Something to critically think about. 

You can hear me live each Saturday morning on WP88.7 FM and web streamed around the world on www.gobrave.org as I host The Reading Circle. You are also invited to follow on Twitter @thinkcritical01. 

P.S. Hot off of the Press - This just in....."Rex Chapman arrested for allegedly stealing $14,000 in merchandise from Arizona Apple Store"   Rex Chapman is a former NBA Guard.