I’m sure many of you have already come across this video but I thought I would put it up here just in case.

Common Craft has become well known for their videos that easily explain technological concepts. Twitter has just been added to their list. Hope you all can enjoy and now fully understand why I love this awesome application.

Yeah…I know, I know. If you’re like me you are moping around because you are where you are instead of being in Austin, TX hanging out with other bloggers and social media mavens at SXSW, the big event for film, music and social media. Well hopefully I can deliver a piece of happiness!

It seems like Mashable.com (shout out to Adam Hirsch from last week’s MashMeet DC!) is trying to include us outsiders by giving us the opportunity to grab some SXSW goodies!

And you can join the legion of Rock Band game fans if you win the grand prize. Awesome.

Check here for the link to the Mashable Rocks contest. Hat tip to Jess3 for the knowledge!

Did you remember to grab your morning cup of coffee this morning at the local shop? Have to get up and moving!

Does the sound of a Red Bull can being snapped open spark your senses and dilate your pupils? This is all I need to get through the rest of the afternoon!

Noticed it was approaching 1 a.m. and wanted to just read that last RSS feed? This won’t take long, besides it’s [insert popular blog here]!

Do these instances sound familiar? Was the Sandman composing a lullaby for you when these thoughts began to hit? Well don’t worry, you’re in good company. In a recent article on CNN.com, a survey from the National Sleep Foundation was taken that pointed out one-third of workers catch shut-eye on the job. Wow. First of all, I can only remember one time in my professional career where I was so tired that I actually contemplated falling asleep at my desk. Secondly, that has to be detrimental to your job security!

Not Enough Hours in the Day?

Let’s be honest, when was the last time you felt as though you had enough time to do the things you wanted to do in one day? It seems that from the moment the alarm jarrs us back to reality and we realize another day has begun, we grumble that the morning came too quickly. Whether you have a 9 to 5 (or more commonly an 8 to 6), living the life of a freelancer or toiling as an entrepreneur, work takes up a huge part of our day. The survey points out the fact that work days have gotten longer which means less “you time”.

Also, we are in a time now where work is all over the place. Even if we have a day job, alot of people are doing the slash career thing – working on projects after (or sometimes before) the regular job. Of course you’re sleepy but you have that side consulting gig that you are passionate about and need to come through on so that you can develop your credibility! If only you had one or two more hours, you could get it all done and get some rest…right?

Information Overload

The Information Era. The Digital Age. The Wired Generation. Yep, that’s what we’re living in and who we are and we love it don’t we? Answers to questions a mouse click away, family members around the world can meet up in cyberspace, blogs to read, comments to write – it almost seems like too much! But we tell ourselves we can handle it. As a matter of fact, I really think that in some cases, we feel like it’s a badge of honor that we stayed up the night before til 2 a.m. cranking out a blog post or clearing our feed reader. When was the last time someone told you something to that effect and you furrowed your brow and scolded them for not getting enough sleep? I rest my case.

We have so many electronic devices at our finger tips designed for “increased productivity” e.g. Blackberries, PDA/Smartphones, and laptops that are ultra-portable (yes, even in the bedroom – *tear*). But what about increased sleep production? Ever been startled from sleep by your Blackberry alerting you that someone sent an email at 2:45 a.m.? The fact of that matter is that it’s amazingly easy to get caught up in surfing the web, checking our electronic devices and even watching DVR’d television.

What’s the Problem?

From a recent USA Today article:

For years, sleep researchers have been preaching the dangers of lost sleep: People who are fatigued can’t pay attention to routine tasks, have trouble learning and are prone to a laundry list of health problems, from depression to high blood pressure.

New research suggests an added risk to losing sleep day after day: Humans and animals that have chronic sleep deprivation might reach a point at which the very ability to catch up on lost sleep is damaged, says Fred Turek, a sleep researcher at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

Basically, if you continue to get little amounts of sleep each night (sleep debt), your ability to make up that lost sleep is hampered.

By the end of two weeks, the people who had lost sleep at night said they no longer felt tired during the day. But test scores revealed a different story, according to the 2003 study published in the journal Sleep. The sleep-deprived group had trouble paying attention, had slower reaction times and developed impairments in memory, Dinges says.

The article also shows a few tips on how to NOT lose your precious sleep:

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the National Sleep Foundation and other sleep experts offer these tips on getting a good night’s sleep:

  1. Do not stay up late to talk on the phone or surf the Internet.
  2. Keep computers and TVs out of the bedroom.
  3. Stick with a regular bedtime.
  4. Avoid food or drinks with caffeine, especially at night. Such stimulants can keep you awake.
  5. Don’t stay up all night to cram for a big work project or to finish homework if you’re in school.
  6. Avoid vigorous exercise within a few hours of bedtime.

The Ultimate Increased Productivity

This is a problem folks. I was talking to a friend today about how I’ve been keeping an eye on her because of her ultra busy schedule and lack of adequate rest. I especially think that those of us who might be so overbooked with school, work, side work and trying to maintain a social life, will think that “after this is done, then I can sleep”, are just fooling ourselves. One thing I’ve realized is that life never gets less complicated as you grow older. It just doesn’t. YOU have to make the time for yourself to recharge and refresh. The technology doesn’t have to sleep, but you do. That’s my take on “increased productivity”.

Hello Blog World!

I am very honored to be a special guest on my hubby’s blog. I’m not a member of the blog world, but I see that Andre is having fun and I’m very grateful to everyone who has and still supports him.

I’m going to talk about my experience at a gym called Crossfit in Alexandria, VA. A co-worker of mine has been a member there for 6 months and has lost 55 lbs! She looks amazing. You can actually see her in action here. Let me just start off by saying that Crossfit is NOT your average gym (Gold’s Gym, WSC, etc). Navy Seals and other military groups train there, so it is definitely no walk in the park. As far as I know, there are only 2 trainers who are willing to help you push yourself and do things that you never thought you could do. Their definition of Crossfit is “a strength and conditioning system built on constantly varied, if not randomized, functional movements executed at high intensity.” This means that you will do a lot of high-intensity workouts in a short period of time, and you will very rarely, if at all, do the same workout twice. The key is to constantly give your body a challenge so that it will never get used to any exercise. They are not as concerned about you losing weight as they are about how you are improving your performance. For example, if you lose weight during your process, that’s great, but if you can lift 45 lbs one week and then in a few months lift 65 lbs, that’s even better!

There is nothing fancy about this gym. When you first walk in, it’s just one big room with equipment along the perimeter and a large space in the middle to actually do workouts. They also have a very large blackboard in the front where they list the specific workouts that you’re going to do and your personal time of how long it took to complete a workout. Hopefully I didn’t scare anyone by mentioning that Navy Seals train there because the trainers are very cool guys, so no one is going to be in your ear screaming at you to PUSH HARDER!!! GIVE ME 50 MORE NOW!!!!

Personally, I do not work well in an environment like that, but to them, writing your timed workout on the board for everyone to see is enough to push you to compete against yourself. This is not the kind of gym where you just walk in and do your own thing, you have to work with a trainer because they are very dedicated to showing you how to do workouts the right way, emphasizing on good posture and core strength. They’re not going to just put you on a machine and tell you to push. Anyone can do that. Most of their workouts don’t involve any machines at all.

My co-worker invited a group of girls to check it out this past Saturday. I was interested because I feel like I’m always battling with my weight. A couple of years ago my previous job started a weight club and I just decided that I was going to make a change and seriously start to lose weight. I was working out 4-5 times a week and eating very low carbs. I lost about 25lbs in 3 months. Not to put a damper on marriage, but when my wonderful hubby proposed and the wedding plans began, let’s just say the number of workouts gradually decreased, my love for burgers and French fries increased. I’ve recently started to get back into the gym, and after seeing my co-worker’s before and after picture, I had to check it out!

After a discussion of what they are about, we did a warm up (jumping jacks, stretching), then we started doing squats. This means that we did as many squats as we could in 20 seconds, then rest for 10 secs, over and over again. This lasted for about 4 minutes. After about the 2nd set, I was ready to walk out. Unfortunately, I did more lunges than I have ever done, 2 days before trying out Crossfit, so my thighs were extremely sore before we even got started *tear*

Next, they set up about 5 different stations: squats with 20lb weights in each hand, pull ups, tire jumps, squats with a kettlebell, and the row machine. We did 2 rounds of each station, one minute per station. It may not seem too bad for those who work out regularly, but after doing regular squats first and having your legs literally feel like Jello, it was extremely hard to do the rest.

That was pretty much it, but it felt like I just ran a marathon! I’m having some trouble walking today, but I don’t think it would have been so bad if I hadn’t done too many lunges 2 days before. I seriously thought of joining, but the location would not work out for me to attend about 3 times a week. I would recommend becoming a member for those who are tired of the corporate gym experience and really want to push themselves to try something new. From the stories I’ve heard, members have gone from thinking that they could not possibly do an exercise, (“So why bother trying?”) – to eventually trying it out and actually doing what they thought was impossible. Sorry if I’ve rambled on for too long, I just didn’t want to leave anything out. I guess I don’t know the proper blog writing etiquette. To check out videos to actually see what it’s like, please check out www.crossfitalexandria.com. I was very inspired and I hope you will be too!

~Hope

I’m a proud member of the Metropolitan Washington Public Health Association (MWPHA) and as most of you know, a big advocate for health education and public health efforts. Especially in the Washington, DC area where HIV/AIDS and poverty are pressing issues – we need to count on local talent to lead initiatives and generate great ideas.

I know, you’re probably thinking: ‘That’s great Andre, but what does that have to do with us?’

Well….I wanted to let you all know that the MWPHA is opening up their leadership committees to new positions for 2008 and going forward! If you or anyone you know is interested in making a difference in the area through health education and public health initiatives, please let me know by dropping me an email. I would be more than happy to send you more information!

Another exciting part is that I’m currently being nominated for one of the positions! Hopefully I can bring some insight to the group on the useful tools of social media and spreading the word on issues that impact all of our lives.

For more information on this wonderful organization, please hop on over to www.mwpha.org

Last night I had the distinct pleasure to attend my second DC Tweet Up meeting (with more people than the first DC Tweet Up/Social Media Club event I went to). This was also my first DC Media Makers meetup, hosted by the wonderful Jill Foster.

We had a great agenda of events which included a plug for PodcampDC (I’m going!) and the Women Who Tech telesummit (I’m obviously not going!). Andy Carvin spoke about NPR’s upcoming user-generated video project that focuses on voting and Tac Tacelosky of SmokeFreeDC (yay public health initiative!) talked briefly about his own video project based on family.

Finally our keynote speaker was the well-respected Stowe Boyd who writes at StoweBoyd.com. He gave some great insight into the relationship of how social tools being used today can be compared to innovations of yesteryear – phones on office desks and more recently corporate email and instant messaging. These technologies were once frowned upon and even deemed useless when they first came on the scene. However, all three developments have become effective tools of business and are mainstays in our daily lives.

Stowe went onto mention that tools such as Twitter, will continue to evolve into new, productive tools for our lives. Those of us who have been early adopters will not only be ahead of the curve when that happens, we will also be able to set the standard and help propel others into a new age of beneficial digital living!

I’m telling you, this kind of thinking really gets me going! I have finally found a way to engage myself into 2 of my passions – technology and people interaction. It was awesome to finally meet the lovely @koa (Kenya) and @Suki_MHC05 (Suki)! Good times had by all – can’t wait until next time!

Pictures coming soon

So right now I’m writing on Day 2 of my new job at the awesome New Media Strategies in Arlington, VA. From the name of the company, I’m thinking you web savvy consumers can guess what we do here – that’s right folks, we work with new/social media!

Ever since I caught the social media bug about 2 years ago, I have been voraciously reading blogs (and creating a blog!), writing down ideas, notes, and fully absorbing any and all strategy about this space that I could get my hands on. Needless to say, I am very passionate about this area of web technology and online communications. For those who know me pretty well, they know that I am an information geek. When I get an interest in something, I will make it my duty to learn as much as possible on it and (sometimes to the dismay of others) try to share it with as many people as possible! One of the things I tell my younger family members in junior high or high school, is that “once you know, no one can tell you I told you so” – so with that in mind, I try to learn as much as possible in life.

Ok, enough with the lecture.

I am super stoked to be here working with my buds Leslie Bradshaw and Brian Devine, who not only know their stuff when it comes to the Web, but they are also really cool in real life. But…don’t tell them I told you that, I don’t want them to get big heads…

Folks, this qualifies me as a poster boy for getting your dream job. If you work hard and keep pursuing the goals that you have for yourself, things fall into place.

Thanks to all my Twitter buddies for all the congrats. And now if you will excuse me, I must break out into my secret victory dance one more time…

Recently I wrote about the website OnDayOne and how I was excited that this existed for people to become even more involved in speaking up about how the President began their term.

I just posted my Idea suggestion for the website – obviously focused on some aspect of health.

As an advocate for public health education, I would want the President to boost publicity about the National President’s Challenge – a nationwide physical fitness program aimed at getting kids, teens and adults living healthier. This year will be the 52nd year of the Program, started by Eisenhower and it’s no secret that the country is in need of a fitness/healthier lifestyle boost. Let’s unite the country in good health!

You can find the post here on the site. Some pretty interesting ideas have been posted and hopefully you can also join in. Web technology is enabling us all to do so much, I love it.

So last night I ventured out to Falls Church, VA to the infamous Viget Labs to attend the February Social Media Club DC meetup.

I had an absolute blast! It was fun to finally meet people I’ve connected before through social media like Jill Foster, Shashi and the video-tastic Jonny Goldstein!

The speaker for the night was Aaron Brazell of TechnoSailor fame – he spoke about how to take your blog to the next level, the big leagues. Some of the things I learned as a new blogger is that despite the great designs and visual effects that pull you in as a reader, content must be KING (thanks Qui). Without quality writing, people will most likely flip through, shrug and keep moving onto another one of the thousands of blogs in the ‘sphere.

I’ve made it a personal promise to make sure I blog regularly and with relevant content. Just like everything else, it takes hard work and dedication, but I’m so passionate about this stuff – it’s not even funny.

We had guest cameos via video from Problogger’s Darren and Chris Brogan. It was awesome.

If you’re in the DC area and are interested in this thing we call social media, come on out next month!

For more coverage of the event, The Buzz Bin and Shashi also wrote some reviews. And here is last night’s event recorded with YouTube slideshow of the presentation deck.

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**UPDATE** Contest prize is a $25 Amazon Gift Card! (Does that make you want to think of a suggestion??)

Recently on my many adventures and interactions on Twitter, I came across an individual who alerted me to something that has been on the back burner of my mind for a week or so. Basically it was brought to my attention that the name of my blog, Antibio.tech, might give people the idea that my blog’s content focuses on defacing the biotech world – which is far from the truth.

Back in late September when I was racking my brain to come up with a name for my blog, I settled on this one thinking that it was kind of clever (antibiotic + tech), encompassing a solution for an ailment and the ‘tech’ as a twist to show the focus on technology. But alas, 5 months later, it seems that I will go ahead and think of another name. The last thing I want people to think when they see the name of my blog is that it is against the biotech field.

So with that said, I’m planning to hold a contest to find the new name of my blog! That’s right folks, harnessing the power of the social web, I’m going to try to find a user friendly name for my blog that focuses on the intersection of health/well-being and technology (personal tech and social media).

What I need you to do:

  1. Think about some good names for the blog that would make YOU want to come over here
  2. Place the suggestions in the comments on this post
  3. Let others know who may be interested in staying healthy in the digital age

After I guess a week or so, I’ll gather together the suggestions and then create a Top 3 list of the suggestions that I like and will put them in a survey for folks to vote on. Trying not to make this too deep or complicated, just want to find something good that I can stick with.

A few things to help – I am aiming for the blog to:

  • Point out new and effective technologies that can help in living a healthier life
  • Expand upon my thoughts on the social media world and how the new digital age/social web era affects the quality of our lives
  • Highlight health news items that may affect your day to day life
  • Create a community of people who are invested in their quality of life, for the rest of their life
  • Have fun while informing!

Okie dokie, thanks in advance for your participation and I will be coming up with some sort of reward to the chosen name!

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