Showing posts from October, 2016

What's the Most Tweeted Word?No, It's Not "Sex"

Quick.  What's the one word tweeted most?  No, it's not sex.  Or Hillary.  Or Trump.  It's a food.  And it's "coffee", followed by "pizza," then "beer."

Besides hinting at which foods are popular, tweets may reveal something about our health, according to Communities that expressed positive sentiments about healthy foods were more likely to be healthier overall.

Scientists at the University of Utah surveyed nearly 80 million Twitter messages - a random sample of one percent of publicly available, geo-tagged tweets - over the course of one year. They then sorted through the 4 million tweets about food for ones that fell on opposite ends of the health spectrum: tweets mentioning fast food restaurants, or lean meats, fruits, veggies or nuts.

Out of that top 10 list, only the fourth most popular food-related item, "Starbucks", fit into the fast food category. The seventh, "chicken", was the only one …

Wanna Win in November? Copy Your Opponent

I don't know about you but I have no intention of watching the debate tonight (I have my son's Open House at school so I have a ready-made excuse, if anyone asks).

But I've just had enough of all the hatred and spewing of vitriol and I can't wait for it all to be over.

Now a new study is saying that a linguistics trick could boost poll numbers.

A study of U.S. presidential debates between 1976 and 2012 found that matching certain aspects of an opponent's language can lead to a bump in the polls, according to

"Linguistic style matching," says a University of Michigan professor who led the study, has nothing to do with tone, cadence or the number of times one candidate interrupts the other. Nor is it about content—the nouns and regular verbs that make up "what" a speaker says.

It's much more subtle. Linguistic-style-matching zeroes in on so-called function words that reflect how a speaker is making a point. It refers to c…

Can You Be Worked to Death?

We've all complained.  "This job is killing me."  "I'd rather die than go back to work one more day in that office."  "My boss will be the death of me."

But what if it's true? 

A new study has found that high-stress jobs, with very little or no control, can actually land you in the grave early.

According to, previous academic research has found that having greater control over your job can help you manage work-related stress. But it's never suggested that it was a matter of life and death -- until now.

New research from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business finds that those in high-stress jobs with little control over their workflow die younger or are less healthy than those who have more flexibility and discretion in their jobs and are able to set their own goals as part of their employment.

The study of  2,363 Wisconsin residents in their 60s over a seven-year period found that for individuals in low-contr…

Partner Stressed? Here Comes the Pounds (For You)

Well, this is encouraging.  Did you know that when your partner is under stress, you gain weight?

Really.  Isn't that depressing?  But according to a new study, older adults gain weight when a spouse is stressed out.

Oh my. 

A new University of Michigan study looked at how the negative quality of marriage can be detrimental for weight gain—possibly leading to obesity—when couples 50 and older are stressed. The results varied by gender, reports.

The study specifically focused on chronic stress, which is an ongoing circumstance occurring for more than a year and threatens to overwhelm an individual's resources, such as financial problems, difficulties at work or long-term care-giving.

The sample included 2,042 married individuals who completed questions about their waist circumference, negative marriage quality, stress levels and other factors in 2006 and 2010. Couples were married for an average of 34 years.

Greater negative quality ties as reported by h…

Better Teamwork? Don't Group Propellorheads with Novelists

Guess what the key to a team is?  Design it around their learning style.

That's according to a new study, as reported at 

Past research on collective problem-solving has come to conflicting conclusions. Some studies have found that people collaborate best when they can communicate with all other group members, emailing or meeting to exchange ideas continuously. Other studies have found that working in smaller subgroups is better, with each member communicating closely with a few neighbors.

Striking the right balance between exploration (searching for new ideas) and exploitation (taking an idea and running with it) requires matching a particular group’s social learning style with the right type of network, the study finds.

I used to be in teams when I worked at a Fortune 500 company where everybody was pretty much a propellorhead and I was the one doodling in the margins.  Safe to say, I didn't prop…

Want to Enjoy Being a Leader? Get Political

I think we're all pretty much sick of politics (I know I am).  But experts are now saying that political skills are important to leadership.

Leaders skilled at influencing others may be happier at work, according to a Kansas State University researcher, as reported at

Andrew Wefald, associate professor in the Staley School of Leadership Studies, says political skill — the ability to build connections, foster trust and influence other people — is a fundamental quality of a transformational leader and being good at it can increase job satisfaction and engagement.

"Most people think of political skills as manipulative and negative but, basically, it is building connections with other people," Wefald says. "In a positive sense, politically skilled people foster supportive and trusting environments to benefit organizations and are going to be more transformational leaders, which will lead to higher job satisfaction."

Building connections with ot…

Want to Live Five Years Longer? Play Golf.

I've never had much use for it (though I do admit I like watching it on TV, the calming soft voices and the beautiful landscapes).  And plenty of business deals have been solidified on the course.  But golf to me is a boring sport.

However, it may be time to rethink this.  Studies are finding that you golf, you live.  Longer, that is.  Golf has been shown to increase life expectancy

Research conducted by Scotland's University of Edinburgh suggests golf can help your cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic health, according to CNN. 

"We know that the moderate physical activity that golf provides increases life expectancy," the cable TV network quotes Dr. Andrew Murray, lead researcher at the university's Golf & Health Project. "It can help prevent and treat more than 40 major chronic diseases such as heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, breast and colon cancer. "Given that the sport can be played by the very young to the very old, this demonstra…

Are You a Woman? Expect to be 'Derailed' In Your Career -- Sadly, Much More So, Than Men

If you're a woman, you're far more likely to get derailed long-term in your career than a man.

Don't get mad at me. That's what a new study says. 

It's not so much what you'd expect -- us leaving the work force to have children, then trying to get back in - as it's that old nasty thing -- gender bias.  And that old, be nice to everyone cliche.

I thought we got rid of that with the real possibility (please, God) that a woman is going to become president.

But it seems gender bias is alive and well.

In the study University of Florida management professor Joyce Bono examined a phenomenon called managerial derailment, where a seemingly up-and-coming manager gets fired, demoted, or doesn’t advance as expected. She found that supervisors can have subtle, even subconscious differences in expectations for the behavior of male and female managers, which can have costly consequences for women in the workplace, most notably the loss of mentorship, according to n…