Julie Rath: Get a Killer Coat

Men's Style Tips: OuterwearDid you put together a great outfit today? That’s all well and good, but I gotta tell you: if your outerwear is bad news, it doesn’t matter what you have on under it. Your look is shot.

Your coat or jacket sets the tone for your look, so read on for how to bring it up to speed.

A lot of times my one-on-one clients know they need outerwear but don’t know where to start. There are a multitude of different types of these jackets, and it can be really confusing, especially if you’re shopping online (do you know what a “utility jacket” is???) To simplify your options, I’ve broken them down by length and given you samples for each. Click the links to see the samples.

Here’s what you have to choose from for Fall and Winter outerwear:

Waist length
Includes: bombervestleather and suede (usually this length, but they can also go to upper-thigh), denim (good for layering)

Upper-thigh length (length hits about where your hip creases when you lift your knee up)
Includes: parkafield jacketutility jacket (has four pockets on the front), shirt jacketpeacoatsporty shell-type jacket

Mid-thigh length
Includes: raincoatovercoat (here’s my rundown on how to shop for an overcoat)

Knee length
Includes: overcoatdressy/traditional raincoat

Of these options, it would be great if you owned one from each length category, but if you can’t swing that, try for one from each of two categories, preferably one with a dressy feel and one with a sporty feel. That helps add versatility so you aren’t wearing the same thing day in and day out.

And make sure the jacket or coat fits you properly. The seams should hit right on the edges of your shoulders, the sleeves shouldn’t go past your wrists, and it should fit trimly through the torso, but you should be able to button/snap it.


John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Sitting Alone

jyb_musingsI hate to admit this but sometimes when I am sitting alone at Panera Bread waiting for someone who is late meeting me for a business meeting, I don’t want to just sit there and look like I don’t have anything important to do –especially when everyone around me is talking to someone or working on their computer.

So while I am waiting for the person I’m meeting with to arrive I open my laptop and post things on Facebook But while posting something trivial on Facebook (like this post) I have a serious and thoughtful –even strained — look on my face so others will assume that whatever I’m doing is just as important as whatever it is that they are doing. And possibly even more important.

Josh Bowen: Are All Fruits Created Equal

joshAs children we were always taught to eat our vegetables and our fruits, that these held a certain superior nutritional value to all other foods. And how that could be true it does not come without the phrase, “this over that.”

For our entire existence on earth, we have been eating fruit. If you recall, apples were the cause of some pretty hairy stuff in the days of Adam and Eve. However, for the 21st century health and physique conscious individuals, some fruits may be better than others. So to take a stab at this conundrum I will look at certain fruits that could be better options than other fruits. But first..

I truly believe there are no bad foods, just better options. In certain cases it may be OK to eat certain things in other cases not so much. Also, generally speaking, most whole fruit would be a better option than most any processed food you can find in the grocery store. This article is about which are better options and show you that not all fruits are created equal.

There are litany of fruits available to us in all different categories. Lets look at the most well known fruits:

Apples are a great snack and provide the phytochemicals your body needs to ward off to disease and sickness. The old adage, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” may be overstated but it isn’t too far from the fruit. Another component of apples that may them great choices are the fiber in the skin. Fiber helps keep the digestive system “regular” as well as blunting the effect of insulin.

Probably the biggest associated with bananas is potassium. However, potassium can be attained from broccoli just as well as it can from bananas. If eaten too much, gastro-intestinal problems can arise. Also, very few grams of fiber in a banana.

Grapes are one of the biggest culprits of sugar overload. That’s why they make such delicious wine. If you love grapes, try and limit yourself to ten or twelve at a time. Naturally, raisins, the dried counterparts of grapes, have even more sugar which is used in the drying and preserving process.

Most people forget that these are a fruit. Avocados pack a ton of healthy fats so they are naturally higher in calories but the Omega 3 packed fat helps with inflammation and body fat loss. It is recommended to eat only half of one per day.

Dried Fruits
Dates and other dried fruit like figs, cherries, banana, and pineapple, contain a lot of sugar that is used to retain the flavor lost during dehydration. Dried fruit also loses a lot of its nutritional value during this transition, so whenever you can, try and find fruits in their original condition.

Some examples of fruit and their sugar content:
1 cup strawberries = 8g sugar
1 cup blueberries = 5g sugar
1 banana = 15-20g sugar
1 cup pineapple = 17g sugar

Moral to the story…chose strawberries and blueberries over bananas and pineapples.

In closing, just like in any food group, there will be better options that some. Remember not all sugar is created equal either. A pineapple is much better than a candy bar, even they may have similar sugar counts. BUT it does not mean you should eat pineapple all day every day. True enough, it would be packed with vitamins and minerals a candy bar wouldn’t, plus it would have more water content thus leading to more satiety than a candy bar. However, the amount of calories could be lessened by eating a strawberry than a pineapple.

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Voice Mail

jyb_musingsI am not a doctor but am impressed with my doctor’s voice mail message and am going to start using part of it for my new voice mail message.

“Hi. This is John Brown. I’m not in right now but if you will please leave your name and number I will get back to you as quickly as possible. If this is a true emergency then hang up and immediately go to the nearest emergency room. Thank you.”

Lauren Mayer: Why Leftist Humor Is Easier

Pundits and comics alike have posited all sorts of theories as to why there is a more robust culture of political humor on the liberal side.   Is it that liberals take themselves less seriously so are less open for ridicule? Or is the media quicker to pounce on right-wing mistakes?  Are liberals more educated and wittier? Or is it that the entertainment establishment is run by liberals who won’t give a platform to more conservative viewpoints?  Do liberals see more nuances in issues? Or is the culture of ‘political correctness’ stifling outrageousness on the left?
In this site’s spirit of bipartisanship, I’d like to suggest a more random theory that is nonjudgmental and assigns no blame or evil to either side – Liberals simply haven’t yet come up with anyone to compete with the most colorful rightwing figures.

Face it, it takes no particular wit, or media bias, to have immense fun with characters like Donald Trump and Michele Bachmann.  Who can compete with that?  Elizabeth Warren is newsworthy but she’s just not that funny, and it’s been years since we had a comedy candidate like Kinky Friedman (who ran for governor of Texas in between gigs with his band, “The Texas Jew-Boys”).

And when it comes to comedically inspiring figures, no one can top Sarah Palin, and in fact she topped her own very colorful record at the recent Iowa Freedom Summit.  Her oratory was almost a song in itself – so here’s a musical setting of mostly verbatim quotations.

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Mind Tricks

jyb_musingsMind tricks I use to improve my mood

If I am getting flustered, music always seems to help. Especially a song with a melody and title like “Feelin’ Alright” by Joe Cocker.

Listening to Joe Cocker’s “Feelin’ Alright” always helps me feel more “alright” too.

And if listening to the song alone isn’t enough, I look at the pictures of Joe Cocker on the two album covers of “Feelin’ Alright” and remind myself that this apparently is what “Feeling Alright” looks like. And if I look more “alright” today than Joe does on these two album covers, then I am probably feeling even better than just “alright” right now and just don’t know it.

Erica and Matt Chua: The Best of Shanghai in 3 Days

rriving in Shanghai at the end of our 14 week trip through China was a respite from the chaos and a fantastic end to our China adventure.  Having battled spitting swarms of Chinese people throughout the country, arriving in the modern, state of the art train station was like being beamed on to another planet.  Looking around I felt the same way Dorothy must have felt when she first arrived in the Land of Oz, wide-eyed and amazed.  Public transport was simple and the people were as helpful as the munchkins, which made getting around almost as easy as following the yellow brick road.

Where do I begin with the praise for Shanghai?  It is the largest city in China and the largest metro area in the world, yet remains shockingly clean.  This may not sound like a huge feat, but if you have ever seen crowds of Chinese people you would  understand why it is so hard to keep the streets spotless.  All the spitting, indiscriminate throwing out of trash and the complete disregard for any kind of cleanliness leads to clogged sewers and horrible smells throughout the rest of China.  But not in Shanghai, the streets are buffed to a shine and I didn’t experience any vomit inducing smells walking down the streets.

Shanghai is also the most westernized city in China.  Shanghai’s basketball team produced NBA sensation Yao Ming, the Grand Theater gets musicals such as Cats and you can buy cheese.  We even went to an Italian buffet in Shanghai, what a treat!  Beyond the creature comforts of Western ways we enjoyed conveniences such as faster internet, better signage and more English speakers.  The influence of the West also brought larger shopping malls, taller buildings and excellent public transport (well, I can’t necessarily attribute all those things to the west, they were appreciated nonetheless).

Besides being clean and westernized, which I cannot emphasize enough how much we appreciated these two things, Shanghai is also a fabulous city.  Many travelers told us that it wasn’t worth spending more than three days maximum and offered only a short list of attractions.  However, we found ourselves very comfortable in Shanghai and were happy to stay for a week and had no trouble filling our time.  If you only have three days for Shanghai, below is what I would recommend.

DAY 1:

50 Moganshan Arts District

I really enjoyed the art scene in Shanghai, we visited 50 Moganshan Arts District, which featured cutting edge Chinese artists expressing themselves in a variety of mediums.  There were unique paintings, excellent photographs and all the artists were happy to chat about their work.

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Erica and Matt Chua: The Best of Shanghai in 3 Days

Basketball and post game class acts

jyb_musingsI have had the privilege several times in the past year of being around Jack “Goose” Givens on a business matter.

Our fist interaction was through an email introduction that asked me if I knew Jack Givens and copied him. I responded, “Are you kidding me? I’ll never forget the night back in 1978 when Jack Givens and I combined for 41 points and UK won the NCAA championship.” And then added, “Of course, Jack was on the basketball court that night and I was just one of 20,000 fans in the stands –but it was a great night for both of us.” 

That was how I knew “Goose” Givens. 41 points and the cover of Sports Illustrated. Oh, and baseball enthusiasts are quick to point out that those 41 points was without the 3 pointer.

But that was a long time ago. I can’t say I know Jack Givens well…but after a few brief interactions I have become less impressed with Jack Givens the UK basketball star a lot more impressed with Jack Givens the smart and savvy businessman, the community and civic leader, and just all around great and gracious guy.

I am glad I have gotten to see the “other” Jack Givens. Without the UK uniform. The post-game Jack Givens. Who in his personal and professional life regularly posts the equivalent of 41 point games –and has been quietly doing so for a very long time now.

The record Jack Givens has compiled off the court since his NCAA Championship game is more impressive to me than his making the cover of Sports Illustrated for one amazing night.

And, by the way, has also been done without the 3 pointer.

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Starbucks

jyb_musingsJust went through Starbucks drive-thru and ordered “A grande ice Chai tea latte without a chocolate chip cookie; please.”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t understand that last part” came back the answer.

“Well, every day I order a grande Chai tea latte and you all always ask me if I’d like to add a chunky chocolate chip cookie with it and I say no. Just thought I would take care of it all on the front end today.”

She laughed. Hand it to Starbucks. Their folks do seem to have a cheerful disposition and good sense of humor.

Saul Kaplan: Tech is Destroying the Line Between Manufacturing and Services

In his State of the Union Address, President Obama made a big deal about manufacturing jobs as a central part of his economic vision for the country. “Our first priority is making America a magnet for new jobs in manufacturing”, he proclaimed. I support the president’s aim and passion to revive manufacturing, but to accomplish it we first have to jettison industrial era thinking. The industrial era and the 7.1 million manufacturing jobs lost in the U.S. from 1979 to 2012 aren’t coming back. We must create new 21st century manufacturing jobs that leverage what America is great at, creativity and innovation. Manufacturing will grow in the U.S. when we accelerate the use of technology to increase productivity, enable new business models designed for mass customization and unleash the manufacturers in all of us.

To begin, we need to recognize that manufacturing isn’t an industry sector, it’s a capability with plenty of opportunity for innovation. We take industry sector definitions for granted. As if industries were clubs with exclusive admission criteria and secret handshakes only revealed to companies that agree to play by understood rules. The industrial era was defined by clearly delineated industries, making it easy to identify which sector every company was competing in. It was all so gentlemanly really, as if competition was governed, like boxing, by a code of generally accepted Marquess of Queensberry rules. Companies were all assigned a numerical Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code (now North American Industry Classification System, or NAICS) identifying which industry sector they fit in to.

Saul KaplanThose days are over. Industries don’t work that way any more, the industrial era isn’t coming back. Is Google a manufacturer or a service provider or both? Their acquisition of Motorola Mobility and U.S. production of the Nexus Q home media player suggest Google is serious about building manufacturing capability. Is Apple a manufacturer or a service provider or both? It’s hard to tell the difference between a manufacturer and a service provider and the distinction is limiting. Today the lines are blurring. Think iPod. Apple didn’t bring the first MP3 player to the market. It changed the way we experienced music by delivering on a value proposition that bundled product (iPod) and service (iTunes). Apple didn’t view the competition as other product manufacturers. Apple is a market maker not a share-taker.

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Saul Kaplan: Tech is Destroying the Line Between Manufacturing and Services

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