Two Doors

When you are coming in or out of a building and there are two adjacent doors, do you use the one to your right or to your left?

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Why Now?

Every week I listen to the Hidden Brain podcast produced by NPR. It uses psychology to look at current events and how implicit bias affects us all.

As a woman and someone who worked as an actor on and off for 10-years, I found myself compelled to share this week’s episode rather than prattling on about something else today.

From Hidden Brain’s site:

Nearly a quarter-century ago, a group of women accused a prominent playwright of sexual misconduct. A Boston newspaper published allegations of sexual harassment, unwanted touching and forced kissing. For the most part, the complaints went nowhere.

In 2017, more women came forward with accusations. This time, everybody listened.

On this episode of Hidden Brain, we explore the story through the lens of social science and ask, “Why Now?”

What has changed in our minds and in our culture so that allegations of sexual harassment and assault are being taken so much more seriously than they were in prior decades?

A note for listeners: This story includes descriptions of sexual harassment and assault. It may not be suitable for all listeners.

You can find the podcast HERE

Ask Me About My Birkenstocks

Shoes: Arran by Birkenstock

I have owned two pairs of Birkenstock sandals in my life. The first were the Arizona style. The ones you think about when you think about Birkenstock sandals. They were brown leather with two buckles over the top of the foot. Then, last year, I bough a pair of their Mayari style sandals. These were fancier with silver metallic leather straps that cross over the big toe. After wearing them for a whole summer season while also sporting amazing sandals by Dansko, Taos, and Vionic from time to time, I fell madly in love with my Birkenstock sandals.

Over the years my feet have gone from normal to a hot mess. There is an enormous bunion poking off my left foot which has positioned my toes dramatically to the left. On my right foot, I have another bunion, but thankfully it is not as severe. And to top it all off, I have arthritis in my feet.

The podiatrist talked me into buying proper, supportive, non-summer shoes (which I did not have), and I decided to check out Birkenstock for some closed toe shoes.

To my surprise, Birkenstock has stepped up their fashion game and I ended up buying three pairs of shoes. I went a bit crazy and bought two pairs of Dansko shoes as well, but more about that another day.

Every time I wear a pair of my Birkenstock shoes, I get at least one compliment. When I tell the admirer that the shoes are Birkenstock shoes, they don’t believe me.

Consumers still widely think that Birkenstock shoes are sensible, unfashionable shoes for old people or new age hippies. And to be fair, you can still find some of those sensible styles. However, there are now tons of fun, fresh styles to choose from that will keep your feet happy while still looking stylish.

Birkenstock shoes will put you back at least $180, but the investment is worth it. Healthy feet are happy feet!

The Sanctity of Human Life

This is not an article about abortion. It’s about the killing of unarmed American citizens by the police.

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Montgomery County, MD Police Chief Tom Manger: Officer Safety Is Very Important, And So Is Everyone Else’s Safety

Wexler:  “Tom, what was your takeaway from the Scotland trip?”

Chief Manger:  “It made me realize a couple of things. One was that our use-of-force training, our defensive tactics training, are so wrapped around one issue—the fear of the gun, and the gun culture we have in the United States—that it permeates everything we do in terms of training. It also made me realize that there are some cultural issues in American policing that we may need to rethink. All of us have heard a sergeant tell us in roll call, “The most important thing is that you go home safe today.” And when you hear that over and over again, it almost gets to the point where we are thinking that our safety is more important than anything else, or that other people’s safety is not as important as ours. In Scotland, the culture is that the police officer’s safety is in fact very important, but it’s no more important than the safety of everybody else among the public. They have this notion of the sanctity of life, which is something that we are talking about more than we did 20 or 30 years ago. I think we’ve got to emphasize to our cops that their safety is important, but so is the safety of the public and the people that they’re dealing with, and our goal should be that everybody goes home safely at the end of the day.”

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169 No Grilling in Prospect Park!

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A few weeks ago a campaign started to end grilling in Prospect Park. Click HERE to view the petition.

The petition claims:

There is just TOO MUCH SMOKE!

Many of the “designated sections” where barbecuing is currently permitted are nearby to:

  • residential areas, where homes become full of smoke
  • the ball field, where children play baseball and soccer,
  • the 11th St and Prospect Park Southwest playgrounds, and
  • the Parkside park entrances and the park drive where hundreds if not thousands of people walk, jog and bike. 

As a resident of an area that borders this park, I was angry when I saw this petition covered by the local news. The side of the park I live on has the most grilling activity. It also is the lower-income side of the park as well. Where I live, people do not have backyards and treat Prospect Park as if it were their backyard. And guess what? I treat it like my backyard too (when I actually get my butt over there).

On the weekend, the park is full of families having parties and hanging out. I get jealous at times seeing these families gathered in the way that my family used to gather at North Park in Pittsburgh. They are having a great time, hurting no one, and for no reason do I think the grilling aspect of it should end.

Do I think the park needs to provide more cans for people to dispose of their charcoal correctly? Absolutely. Do some residents need to do a better job of cleaning up after themselves? Absolutely. But do we need to shut the grilling down? No.

One of my classmates (a lifelong resident of Brooklyn) forwarded me THIS counter-petition, which I signed.

Let’s keep Brooklyn family oriented for all!

 

 

 

340 Heated Luxuries

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There are two fountains like the one pictured above, outside of the building I spend my weekdays in. When the temperature dips below freezing, there is a haze that comes off the fountains (also in the picture above). I assumed they are heated, which seems ridiculous, so I asked the security guard.

Fun and Totally Useless Fact: The fountains are kept at a constant 40 degrees throughout the winter to prevent freezing.

A few years ago, one of the heaters broke and the fountain froze over. The maintenance staff had to go at it with ice picks and carve all the ice out of the fountain. Then they had to carry the blocks of ice and dump them in the street. The next day, 6 of the workers who had to clear out the fountain, quit their jobs.