The Illusion of Multitasking

• “Multi-taskers often think they are like gym rats, bulking up their ability to juggle tasks, when in fact they are like alcoholics, degrading their abilities through over-consumption.” —Clay Shirky

• “Fucking two things up at the same time isn't multitasking” —Dick Masterson

• “The heaviest multitaskers — those who invariably said they could focus like laser beams whenever they wanted — were terrible at various cognitive chores such as organizing information, switching between tasks and discerning significance.” —Clifford Nass, Stanford Univ.

New Yorker image

New Yorker image

• (Multitaskers are) “suckers for irrelevancy. Everything distracts them. They’re living and writing in a staccato world.” —Clifford Nass

• “We could essentially be undermining the thinking ability of our society. We could essentially be dumbing down the world.” —Clifford Nass

• (Researchers) “demonstrated that drivers using cell phones—even hands-free devices—were at just as high a risk of accidents as intoxicated ones.” —Maria Konnikova, The New Yorker

• “There is a tiny but persistent subset of the population—about two per cent—whose performance does not deteriorate, and can even improve, when multiple demands are placed on their attention. The supertaskers are true outliers.” —David Strayer paraphrased by Maria Konnilova

• "The flip side, of course, is that, for the ninety-seven and a half per cent of us who don’t share the requisite genetic predisposition, no amount of practice will make us into supertasking stars." —David Strayer paraphrased by Maria Konnilova

• "I can't do anything at once." —R. Chimes

• “Juggling is an illusion. ... In reality, the balls are being independently caught and thrown in rapid succession. ... It is actually task switching.” —Gary Keller

• “When we think we're multitasking we're actually multiswitching. That is what the brain is very good at doing - quickly diverting its attention from one place to the next. We think we're being productive. We are, indeed, being busy. But in reality we're simply giving ourselves extra work.” —Michael Harris

• “Do three things well, not ten things badly.” —David Segrove

• Above: Typical corporate overachiever in full multitasking mode  Art by Heroes of Might and Magic V

• Above: Typical corporate overachiever in full multitasking mode

Art by Heroes of Might and Magic V

Privacy Means Bupkis These Days

• “Privacy is not an option, and it shouldn't be the price we accept for just getting on the Internet.” —Gary Kovacs, Former CEO, Mozilla

• “I actually think most people don't want Google to answer their questions. They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next.” —Eric Schmidt

• “Anytime Facebook wants to change how it might use all that data about you, in any way, across any service it has within the Facebook ecosystem, all it has to do is change one privacy policy, tell you about it, and that's that.” —John Battelle, Tech journalist

• "Relying on the government to protect your privacy is like asking a peeping tom to install your window blinds." —John Perry Barlow, Writer/Activist

• "Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous?" —Al Gore

• "It's become something of a ritual - every year, Google publishes its year-end summary of what the world wants, and every year I complain about how shallow it is, given what Google really knows about what the world is up to." —John Battelle

 “"Eric Schmidt likes to point out that if you recorded all human communication from the dawn of time to 2003, it takes up about five billion gigabytes of storage space. Now (2012) we're creating that much data every two days.” —Eli Pariser 

Your One Wild and Precious Life

Screen shots from Harold Lloyd's 1923 film, "Safety Last"

Screen shots from Harold Lloyd's 1923 film, "Safety Last"

• “The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win you’re still a rat.” —William Sloane Coffin (later quoted by Lily Tomlin)

Art attributed to Banksy

Art attributed to Banksy

• “23 and 69 Are the Happiest Ages”  —headline from London School of Economics 2013

• “The individual's right to pursue his own vision of the best ratio of pleasure to pain (is) utterly sacrosanct.” —David Foster Wallace

Cartoon by Ian Stevenson

Cartoon by Ian Stevenson

• “Just choose a dead-end and chill out till you die.” —Homer Simpson’s career advice to Lisa on "The Simpsons" by Matt Groening

• Below: Mary Oliver reads her short poem that includes the animated phrase above:

Memory, I Know You're In There

john grimes memory forgetfulness   

• “Forgetfulness is a form of freedom.” ―Khalil Gibran

• “Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in? I think that's how dogs spend their lives.” —Sue Murphy

• “I love you when I forget about me.” —Joni Mitchell

• Below: Watch an amusing animation of former Poet Laureate Billy Collins' "Forgetfulness"

• “We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget” —Joan Didion

• “People change and forget to tell each other.” —Lillian Hellman

• “The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.” ―Friedrich Nietzsche

thx John Kouletsis

thx John Kouletsis

• “Remember your humanity and forget the rest” —Albert Einstein

• “Can you really forgive if you can't forget?” —Sarah Jessica Parker

• “Cinema should make you forget you are sitting in a theater.” —Roman Polanski

• “Clinton lied. A man might forget where he parks or where he lives, but he never forgets oral sex, no matter how bad it is.” —Barbara Bush

• “Isn't elegance forgetting what one is wearing?”—Yves Saint Laurent

• “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” —Maya Angelou

• “Life must go on; I forget just why.” —Edna St. Vincent Millay

 • “Promise me you'll never forget me because if I thought you would I'd never leave.” —Winnie the Pooh/A. A. Milne

Is Flying Fun Yet?

john grimes cartoon

• "We'll be boarding in about five airline minutes." —comedian David Steinberg (thx Leah Garchik)

• "If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with two small children, decide now which one you love more.” —Southwest flight attendant

• Watch mesmerizing world air traffic animation (Zurich School of Applied Sciences / Airboyd): 

• Learn (someone's) airline lingo (Reader's Digest):

> Blue juice: Water in the toilet 
Crotch watch: Seat belt check
> Crumb crunchers: Kids 
Deadheading: Airline employee flying as a passenger on company business
> Gate lice: People clustering at gate right before boarding 
> George: Autopilot
Landing lips: Applying lipstick before landing
> Pax: Passengers
> Spinners: Late-boarding passengers without seat assignments who spin around looking for seats
> Two-for-once special: Bumping once on first contact, then landing smoothly
> Working the village: Attendants working in coach

• Watch and listen to this U.S. air traffic animation (NASA/Airboyd):

• Factoids (Tristan Rayner,

> “If the oxygen masks drop down, you only have about 15 minutes of oxygen from the point of pulling them down ... more than enough time for the pilot to take us to a lower altitude where you can breathe normally.” —@jezalenko

> "Planes get hit by lightning (almost once a year) ... The last crash attributed to lightning was in 1967." —Lightning Technologies

> “Pilots don’t get the same meal and can’t share in case one makes them sick (from food poisoning).” –@Wrestlingisgood

> “When a plane is landing at night, they dim the interior lights in case you need to evacuate upon landing … your eyes are already adjusted to the darkness so you’ll be able to see better once outside the plane.” —@bonestamp

> “The air you breathe on an airplane is ... clean air from the atmosphere (taken in through the engines) compressed to a normal atmospheric pressure, and fed through a complicated heating/cooling system. That’s why planes have very dry air – there’s no moisture in the air at nine kilometres above sea level, but modern planes try to add moisture via humidifiers ... The air leaves the airplane via a small hole in the back of the fuselage.” –@virgadays

• "Today’s planes are ... pressurized so you only feel like you’re about 6,000 to 8,000 feet above sea level ... numb your taste buds, making food taste blander ... Salty and sweet tastes are significantly impaired in the air. Bitter and umami (savory) tastes survive better." —Julie Beck, “Why Airline Food is So Bad,” Atlantic

• "If black boxes survive air crashes, why don't they make the whole plane out of that stuff?" —George Carlin

• Breaking News: "United flight diverted after passengers fight over legroom"

"A  woman and a man  — both seated in the “Economy Plus” section of the aircraft, which already comes with extra legroom — were  at each other’s throats because the man attached a “knee defender” device to his seat , preventing the woman in front from reclining." —Abby Phillip,  Washington Post 

"A woman and a man — both seated in the “Economy Plus” section of the aircraft, which already comes with extra legroom — were at each other’s throats because the man attached a “knee defender” device to his seat, preventing the woman in front from reclining." —Abby Phillip, Washington Post 

• Final factoids (Reader's Digest):

> If you’re a nervous flier, book a morning flight. The heating of the ground later causes bumpier air, and it’s much more likely to thunderstorm in the afternoon. —Jerry Johnson, pilot

> The smoothest place to sit is often over or near the wing. The bumpiest place is in the back.

> You'll never hear, "One of our engines just failed. What they’ll say instead: 'One of our engines is indicating improperly.' "

> For most people who get sick after air traveling, it's not because of what they breathe but because of what they touch.

• Laugh with comedian Brian Regan:

Why Women Mate

John Grimes cartoon (autobiographical) •

John Grimes cartoon (autobiographical) •

• “It isn’t enough to love; we must prove it." — St. Therese of Lisieux  (thx2 happiness project)

• Above: Custom paintings of a couple's recorded wedding vows expressed as audio waveforms - ©aimee weaver

• Above: Custom paintings of a couple's recorded wedding vows expressed as audio waveforms - ©aimee weaver

• "If there is such a thing as a good marriage, it is because it resembles friendship rather than love." — Michel de Montaigne

• Above: "Business Time" — hilarious romantic video-tune by Flight of the Conchords (28m+ views)

• “About one in five relationships starts online.” — Sam Yagan, co-founder of OkCupid

"Why Women's Hands and Feet Get Colder than Men's" (excerpt below):

"It’s the hands, face and feet that tend to be coldest and that’s partly because they’re exposed, but it’s also because the body will sacrifice these extremities to keep the internal organs warm.

That’s why our hands turn white, and even blue, in the cold, and why those who survive extremely cold conditions lose fingers and toes to frostbite. However, in some people — typically women — this process can go haywire, causing their blood vessels to shut down even from a minimal amount of cold.

‘We know from studies that if you lower people’s temperatures by placing them in cold air, vasoconstriction happens more quickly in women,’ says Professor Tipton. ‘The blood flow to skin is shut down sooner and more intensely than in men, and afterwards it takes women longer to warm up.’ 

So even though women may feel the cold more than men, it’s their skin temperaturenot their core body temperature — that’s colder

Indeed, a study of 219 people published in The Lancet in 1998 showed that while the body temperature of the women who were studied was on average 0.4 f hotter than the men, their hands were 2.8 f colder. This is partly due to hormones

In women, the female hormone oestrogen regulates the peripheral blood vessels; high levels of this hormone make them more sensitive to temperature. As a result, a woman’s temperature will vary during her menstrual cycle as oestrogen levels rise and fall."  Chloe Lambert,

Tech-No-Love Fail

fizzdom humorist alice kahn's tech-no-love iPhone customer service tech support smart phone

• "It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity."
—  Victor Salva

• "Men have become the tools of their tools."
Henry David Thoreau

• "Bill Gates is a very rich man today... and do you want to know why? The answer is one word: versions." — Dave Barry

grimes cartoon tech support

• Watch SNL's mockery above of whiny smartphone users.

• Fizzdom's animated quote is by humorist Alice Kahn, author of several books capturing the Northern Cal zeitgeist of the 70s and 80s, including "My Life as a Gal," "Multiple Sarcasm," "Fun with Dick and Bree," and "Lunch at Cafe Ridiculous." featured on Huffington Post is featured in tech-journalist Larry Magid's article on Huffington Post, highlighting today's post "Celebrating Cesar Chavez" and Friday's post "Colbert Denies War On Women." A five-minute audio interview of John Grimes follows the article.