Sunday, February 16, 2020

Humpback Whale Caught in Fishing Net Video-The Need for Biodegradable Products

The whale is a majestic animal that reflects closely our abilities to clean up the ocean and improve upon our environment. Watching this video you can see how beautiful a creature it is as it swims under water and leaps into the air (I've seen dolphins out there). In this case the netting is stuck to the face causing the animal distress. To my boating friends I would say keep an eye out for this whale and if you see it call the Coast Guard. Sounds like a good discussion this week for my sailing club. You can consider trailing at a significant and safe distance to guide authorities.

I'm a little engaged in the boating community and from what I have experienced about the personalities involved they love seeing these animals survive and thrive in their natural habitats. Once I called Sea World to inform them of an injured Sea Lion limping around in the bay. They do a great job coming out and taking a look at injured sea animals. Sometimes you can send them a videos to look at so they can assess the injury remotely. In the case of my hurt friend it looked as though it was all fat injured and to keep an eye on him.

It does open up the question of the products we use and how they impact our environment. Personally, I believe that as our climate puts pressure on us we will continue to adapt and use cleaner sources of energy, biodegradable products like nets that breakdown after their natural use lifetime, solar power, etc..... We can't really make that happen until the market creates more demand for those products and industry finds cheaper ways to manufacture them (There is a huge market waiting for solutions on a global scale).

As an example, there is a restaurant in Ocean Beach that uses paper straws. Awesome idea but they are not as functional as the damaging plastic ones.  Once a company can produce a straw that functions as good as the plastic ones and are still biodegradable and sell at a comparable price they will have a lot of eager customers in this new generation. It would be irresponsible to not switch with everything being equal. 

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Aligning Curriculum to Industry Needs for Market Ready Graduates

There is much debate in higher education where we plan to go to ensure our curriculum is meeting marketing growth opportunities. We presented these findings to colleagues in the industry at IACBE. On a national scale if we were to create a way of aligning education to industry needs, while not neglecting the mind broadening purpose of higher education, I think it would improve overall supply of technical and intellectual skills available within the market. Greater pools of talent can better match growth opportunities as companies look for qualified workers.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Rock Climbing for Upper Body Strength

Rock climbing is something I have been getting into lately. There is a goal in my mind  to achieve 5 years down the road.  A mound of stops from A to Z due to the extreme conditions like oxygen depletion and freezing wind that can knock you off of a mountain. In my experience, setting goals is one of the best ways to get in shape. In this case my upper body strength will need to improve for extended periods of exertion. I cannot think of a better sport for muscle building than rock climbing.

From a technique standpoint you can see that this person has experience and skill. He is trying to get as flat as possible against the wall in an effort to limit energy waste and falling. Indoor rock climbing gyms are great places to practice as you start easy and build to higher levels. The video shows the climber getting stuck and unable to reach the next level where he can secure a better grip and leverage.

The amount of body strength needed is amazing. Legs are your primary and your arms are your secondary support. There is almost no way to use only upper body strength for that long of a time. Even when you are experienced the body reaches its limit as seen by his muscle shake. Can't get much of a better body workout than this.

On my list within the next year is Ice Climbing in Munising Michigan. I may need this skill set if I plan on achieving my goal. If you are interested in checking out ice climbing you can read about it HERE. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Program To Connect Veterans to STEM Fields Passes Congress

The “Supporting Veterans in Stem Careers Act” is an attempt to connect veterans to higher paying science oriented careers. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. You can read more about the history of the bill as it moved through Congress HERE. It is an attempt to provide opportunities for veterans who are trying to obtain jobs with high-paying growth fields (something like 30%) where workers are in shortage but also where future opportunities are likely (At least from current market projections). 

You may also want to read the transcripts. "Business leaders have expressed concern that the STEM skills shortage will impact their ability to develop new technologies and to grow their companies" the report said (U.S. Congress, January 27, 2020). We are trying to transition into a new data technology era and it seems like a positive way to help veterans continue to serve their country in new ways. These are the types of people who have the courage to learn new skills and apply them to national growth through meaningful careers. 
Transcripts of the even Here.

SUPPORTING VETERANS IN STEM CAREERS ACT; Congressional Record Vol. 166, No. 17 (House of Representatives - January 27, 2020). Retrieved

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell Provides Semi-Annual Economic Outlook February 2020

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell provides a semi-annual report to Congress today highlighting key aspects of the economy (02/11/2019). I didn't have a chance to dig into the meaning of the report but can say that it looks fairly positive from his perspective. There is more needed in improving access to opportunities for people currently struggling to move up the economic ladder. Perhaps some of that improvement will come through a willingness of companies to hire less skilled labor and train them for higher performance. This might improve transition to a high skilled economy while helping people take steps to improve the market value of their labor.

You can read about his report HERE

Federal Reserve. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System before the Committee on Financial Services U.S. House of Representatives February 11, 2020. Washington D.C.: Jerome Powell. Retrieved

Monday, February 10, 2020

Your Personality Based on Your Coffee Type

Thousands of times I walked through offices and never once thought about how the coffee type one drinks says something about their personality. The type of products we pick are often a reflective of our needs and self-image. The video does mention a survey but didn't see a referral to where you can find more information on the study. Next time you see someone making coffee you might think about how their personality is associated with how they like their coffee. 😬

Monday, February 3, 2020

GR Tourism Industry Worried About Future-Discusses Impact of Pure Michigan

More discussion on Pure Michigan and tourism within the state. This video provides a perspective from Grand Rapids.

Friday, January 31, 2020

GM's President Mark Reuss Discusses $2 Billion in Electric Investments

The market is changing and shifting and GM just got on board with global consumer trends in a big way! Self-driving and electric cars are going to change the market in fundamental ways as other types of technologies follow suit. A growing trend over the past few decades increased the demand for renewable energies and cleaner cars. The technology and investment interests seemed to have matched at this time on our path to a more efficient data driven way of existence. This transition may be a good thing for Michigan as investment dollars move into a changing industry. It is an opportunity for the U.S. to draw in more interest and secure Michigan as next generation vehicles. There may well be a much much bigger market than automobiles a decade or so down the road as alternative clean forms of energy hit a very large up coming global middle class.

When large companies like GM invest this much capital into an area, they plan to be there for a while. They are geographically "invested" so to speak and will likely encourage their suppliers to invest as well (a type of pack investing). These suppliers may not have any choice if they want to continue to supply to these large manufacturers. Thus the system engages in a type of butterfly effect of innovation.

Furthermore, under a boon scenario we may find other global manufacturers following suit; albeit a little bit smaller. Who knows? Other large automotive manufacturers may find that the want to compete and so something similar thereby creating synergy. Synergy occurs when companies that are geographically centered compete and collaborate in a way that they enhance each other and make quick innovations in a kind of "race".

If synergy of development can be found growth with explode (in theory) as all of the resources of the system are brought into to match innovative capacity. Resources move, adjust, sift through, and enhance all of the systems through the physical and social intellectual capital of the area. Detroit has the basic infrastructure build off of older manufacturing models and this could lead to a higher local platform if multiple companies invest at once in a big way.

 Industries that use similar technologies also need to access to specialized human capital, networks of similar businesses, and innovative opportunities through shared resources. For many companies, finding places where the right environment exists where they can nestle into existing business networks to increase break-out sustainability is important. Thinking like a system can change the dynamics.

We often think of production as something the company did in isolation. Not so. There success is in relation to all of the elements and networks being ready to accept rapid growth. It is people and their abilities that put these resources and structures together in a way that build powerful companies and at times empires. We are a type of mound building species that constructs just to reach to the stars (Think of the next generation of space shuttles will look like and how commercialization is going to rely on more renewable solar type energies to increase reach. Could Detroit meet that need in 30 years?).

The question investors might want to ask is , "What other electric businesses might use some of the same technologies, infrastructure and skills GM will need?" Perhaps electric motorcycles, bikes, scooters, robots, etc, etc.... Companies conduct their own analysis of their prospects. It is their function to improve shareholder wealth while still contributing to the advancement of society. Matching opportunities and attracting companies that need access to those resources is a great way to bring back manufacturing.

1. Are there other large manufacturing companies that are willing to do something similar to GM? They do need to stay competitive so it is likely others are thinking about further investments.

2. Are there other types of foreign and domestic companies that may find the infrastructure and environment (finance, political, education, etc...) ripe for their manufacturing capitalism?


Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Selecting Gifted Students for Advanced Placement in Higher Education

Advanced intelligence is often associated with what society calls gifted thinking that leads to new ideas and ground breaking research that tackles problems in novel ways. Such problem solving is often based in multiple standpoints and cognitive leaps that seam to reach towards logical intuition. The term gifted is often misunderstood and has a lot of cultural mysticism conceptually blended with it. To some it means genius and to others it could mean peculiar. The selection and enhancement of the gifted can lead to greater development of society. Moving beyond standard assessment occurs when we consider the thinking patterns of this population and find better methods of selecting them. Colleges that can discover gifted intelligence and place them into advance programs not only do themselves a favor but contribute to the development of society through contributions to intellectual capital.

Let's try and understand what gifted intelligence and thinking patterns mean. While there are lots of physiological advantages (a few disadvantages) to being gifted, it is an inherently different way of existing that is specifically unique to that population. Some of the biggest difference is in the way in which the gifted experience their environment, make decisions, and solve problems based fundamentally on the increased intake of the senses. The biological difference in sensory perception creates fundamental shifts in deep seated thinking patterns that push for constant redevelopment throughout the course of one's life. Understanding the underlining structure of thinking and the meta-cognitive ability of this population is helpful as an identification tool.

Does Selection and Enhancement Help Society?

First, we kind of need to know why they should be identified and whether or not it has any real beneficial. The world is a difficult place that doesn't do well accepting differences in people. There are racial, religious, national, educational, income, and a umpteen differences between people. In some cases these are profound differences while in most cases these are only superficial perceptions. The gifted are physiologically and often psychologically differentiated from their peers in a way that can make it awkward interacting with some people. This is likely why they seem to push societal norms.

Without proper guidance their skills are wasted and buried under the inaccurate expectations of culturally anchored ideas of "success". Minority gifted are minorities of minorities while even wealthy gifted may feel like "fish out of water". Most of this population think about issues differently and often "out of step" with friends and family. Being outside the bell curve means they have little positive validation of their experiences through others. Selecting them, even when they hide their talents, is helpful for encouraging them toward constructive activities that can have beneficial effects on society.

First, let us understand the meaning of advanced intelligence. Spelling, long prose, math problems, etc... are only data points that could indicate advanced intelligence. They are not the sole measurements in and of themselves. A person who has little education could have advanced intelligence as highlighted by the gathering of wisdom and knowledge throughout their lives to create new integrated selves that can be applied to complex problem solving. They just didn't have access to education and resources that make them "sound smart" on an IQ test. Being educated at an Ivy league school, or your local community college, or trade also does not indicate intelligence. It often simply indicates access to resources and social class.

We may want to delve deeper into how information is processed and how it comes to its own conclusions.....

Giftedness and Metacognition:

Outward behavior is a sign of inward thinking. Understanding how the Gifted think further increases the chance they will be discovered and guided to constructive paths.  Dr. Steinberg from Yale believed that metacognition was a better approach of assessment versus psychometric assessments. The way in which a person thinks is a clearer indication of high intelligence when compared to other models and measures ofbunderstanding (Sternberg, 1981). Their thinking depth and pattern reflects their neural networks and root understandings about life.

To make an assessment we will need to delve deep into the way the gifted think from an elemental level. Metacognition, or thinking about thinking, is one sign that a person's perspective and reflective abilities are high enough to create the potential for advanced thinking. It is a method of viewing problems by creating broad strategies based on the category of problem. They can then mix and match strategy to category. Unlike, normal people who use existing methods the gifted often reach to the end of that thinking and then make a cognitive leap to the next platform of understanding by expanding those thinking structures.

The Structure of Gifted Thinking:

A measure of general intelligence is based on a Triarchic Theory that states that highly developed people can use practical, creative and analytical approaches to solve problems. This population is unique and can switch through different modes of thinking to view problems from multiple angles and methods. Perspective changing allows them to see a problem from radically different vantage points to select those strategies that seem to make the most sense.

Underneath all cognition are elemental components that compose basic structure of thinking. Metacomponents allow us to plan, monitor and evaluate information (Vinney, 2019). It is an overriding ability to master one's environment through accurateordering of very root knowledge components (Intelligence, nd). These components can be adjusted, reconnected, disconnected and applied to solve a problems.

We learn these components throughout our lives. Some of us learn faster than others but almost all of us continue to learn. An overriding framework impacts our way of processing information and reacting to stimuli in our environment. Most of what they do is likely to be subconscious as it is the core of more complex thought processes. As an adaptive species the way in which these components help create thought and action that makes a big difference in survival.

Can You Select Advanced Thinking Students?

It is very possible to select advanced thinking students based on how they interpret information and solve problems. The strategies they employ to tackle problems, cross checking multiple perspectives, and the utilization of innovative flow. Specifically one may want to look for people who make cognitive leaps and find new ways of solving problems that may be unique but still logically supported.

There is no reason why they can't be selected online in much the same was as they are selected on the ground. Similar skill sets will apply to problem solving in a number of different physical and virtual environments. The difference being that in the online world there is a higher data foot print now that the Internet is part of our daily lives. Online schools, assessments, and activities can highlight the potentiality for advanced thinking.

From an educational standpoint, it is entirely possible to create problems and activities that require new and unique solutions. Those that provide similar previously learned answers when compared to those who provide new answers will be of importance. Isn't even so much who wrote the best report or who has the most colors in the display. It is that they created a logically supported new way of resolving a business problem (or any problem).

While it is difficult to say where the future of Higher Education will go it is likely that there will be many more self-reflective assessments that develop the whole person. Some of these are going to indicated advanced potential. It is up to the higher education institution to start these previously undiscovered and underperforming candidates for advanced education that lets them master their gift(s).

Heylighen, F. (ND). Gifted People and their Problems.

Intelligence (nd). State University. Retrieved December 17,2019

Shore, B. M., & Dover, A. C. (1987). Metacognition, Intelligence and Giftedness. Gifted Child Quarterly, 31(1), 37. Retrieved from

Sternberg, R. J. (1981). A Componential Theory of Intellectual Giftedness. Gifted Child Quarterly25(2), 86–93.

Vinney, C. (2019). Understanding the Triarchic Theory of Intelligence. Thought Co

Sunday, January 12, 2020

A Recession Caused by Consumer Debt?

Consumer debt has steadily over the past few decades. As with all big pools of debt there is a chance of market changes and corrections. A little video for people who like economic stuff below. While this is anecdotal, a marina manager shared some knowledge on how during The Great Recession of 2007 a lot of boats got abandoned because there was no cushion for people.