Was It Blue Monday Or Not?

This morning I sent an e-mail which goes to people all over the world.

I opened with this paragraph –

“Yesterday morning Adam arrived at work and his computer failed to start. What a great way to get under way on what the media call Blue Monday. Goodness knows how they research these things but apparently we – the public at large – are at our lowest point in the whole year on the third Monday in January. My day turned out a bit dodgy also and I also played badly at badminton in the evening!”

To my surprise I got a couple of replies – both from across the pond in the US of A. One was balanced but one was quite hostile saying that I should maybe think before making references to Blue Monday. Basically they were pointing out that the third Monday in January is celebrated in America to the memory of Dr Martin Luther King.

A little taken aback I sent the same message to both –

“My apologies – that is the problem sometimes with world-wide messaging. I am of course referring to what the media in the UK is calling that Monday. Absolutely no disrespect meant and I admire Dr Martin Luther King greatly but was totally unaware that there was a specific day in the US to mark his life.”

But my curiosity had been aroused and as I had only seen headline references to ‘Blue Monday’ I realised I had quoted something as scientific fact without checking on my facts. Beware what you read in in the press or Wikipedia.

A search on Google – this is typical of news reporting about Blue Monday:

As CBS New York and other news outlets are reporting it, a British psychologist has developed an equation showing that the third Monday in January is the most depressing day of the year. (That very important and not at all made-up equation takes into account weather, debt, time since Christmas, time since screwing up on our New Year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and the feeling of a need to take action, according to a press release issued by the UK’s Mental Health Foundation in 2009. Science!) This morning, Blue Monday was a top trending topic on Twitter, just below Martin Luther King, Jr., Day and above the Golden Globes.

BUT – and here is the real point. It turns out that the founder of the formula – a Cliff Arnall of Cardiff University – for working out the gloomiest day of the year has questionable qualifications for putting forward the equation in the first place. Furthermore if you DO use the formula then the gloomiest day should be next Monday. Oh well!

If you want to see a real ding dong going on about the qualification of Mr Arnall then pop over to:
Brainduck’s Blog – http://brainduck.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/blue-monday-green-communications/

Great fun – eh!

Makes me nervous about writing anything.

It’s all onwards and upwards after next Monday – I am sure.

Miranda Was Great For My Health

I had some really good therapy yesterday evening – laughter therapy.

My son Tom arrived home from Uni last weekend and I introduced him to a sitcom I have been watching over the past few weeks starring Miranda Hart.  I had really enjoyed this crazy escapism when first seen but in fact found myself laughing out loud and enjoying more as we sat and devoured episode after episode courtesy of iPlayer.

I think Miranda is a kind of female version of John Cleese and much of the  comedy relies on side comments and pulled faces direct to camera in a true Frankie Howard style.  Anyway add to that the silly comments Tom and I were making to each other as we watched and my sides were aching.

The point is that this all occurred at the end of a frantic tense sort of day and yet I felt completely relaxed and refreshed as my head hit the pillow and drifted to sleep listening to my favourite music. ( my secret weapon for guaranteed sleep within minutes )

So I was really interested to read a blog today by Karen Brown a Hypnotherapist locally here in Bournemouth / Poole area.

Here is an excerpt from Karens Blog

The Link Between Laughter and Mental Health

Laughter can dissolve distressing situations:

Physiologically, you cannot feel anxious, angry or sad when you’re laughing.

Laughter helps you relax and re-charge your systems:

It reduces stress and increases energy, enabling you to stay focused and potentially accomplich more.

Humour Shifts Perspective:

This allows us to take a step back from the situation and helps us to see or view things in a more realistic light or less threatening light.  Psychological distance is created when we can adopt a humorous perspective, which can help us avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Go see the full article at:
http://www.karen-brown.co.uk/2009/12/raising-smiles-in-therapy/

Is Hostgator Just As Bad As The Hackers?

Hostgator – bless them – suspended this blog – this very site – once again. 

Why?

Well I have been sending phishing messages.   As if I would do that from a personal blog deliberately.

Why would I?  It is my blog and I care about this.

Am I being naive in thinking that Hostgator shares some responsibility for protecting me from this.  I am a client, a paying client and the answer to someone attacking my site is for them to say that I am a security risk and take my site down.
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A Techie Morning In My Google Reader

I have just let this blog evolve. I purposely didn’t write a tight description because to be honest I couldn’t rely upon myself to stick to one theme. Calling it a blog about ‘Life’ was as close as I could get.

Now that I am some way down the road though I can look at the content and see that it reflects more or less what my business life is about. I love techie things but am passionate about applying the cutting edge tech stuff with my real interest – healthy body and mind and self improvement of any kind.

I also notice that there is little about my domestic life – which is not deliberate as I am fairly open about all areas of my life – so maybe I will weave in a few more personal posts over the coming months.

But not today…..
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Lost Blog Posts Thanks To Internet Vandals

No posts since 21st October!!

Not so – all posts since then have gone – lost forever.

I went to make a post on this blog this morning only to find out the site had been suspended because of suspicious activity on the site. 

Despite making a more secure password and updating all my WordPress
plugins – those mindless people who create havoc out there by adding
phishing material on other peoples websites have struck again.  No I
take that back – they are not mindless
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Google Alert Can Spy For You

Google does have some great services and among them is Google Alert.

All you have to do is to tell Google what keyword phrases you want to be alerted to and they will send the information to your in box – hence the name of the service – clever huh!

I have been amazed how quickly information gets picked up – I know because of the speed it returns my own blog and article entries.

And here is my tip of the day –

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