Best Facts of the Week - Page 6

"Human intelligence may do more harm than good on an evolutionary scale" -Stephen Hawking. Why does he feel that way?

If only I had known this in high school, I could have used it as an excuse not to study. Stephen Hawking, delivering his famous lecture “Life in the Universe” in 1996, explained how we are entering into a new age of evolution and why intelligence may not be an evolutionary advantage to humans.

Hawking explains how biological evolution began very slowly through natural selection of random mutations. What he calls the “Darwinian phase” of evolution took approximately 3.5 billion years of slow and steady progress.

Next (now) we have entered into a phase of what Hawking calls “external transmission,” meaning we are not directed by the DNA inside of us but rather by the information outside of us. Language and particularly the recording of the written word beginning some 10,000 years ago, has allowed human progress to grow by leaps and bounds. Maybe too quickly for our own good.

Where this intelligence is dangerous is that we still have the same primitive instincts and aggressive impulses as we did in caveman days, only now we are cavemen with nuclear weapons and the scientific advancements to create genetically engineered viruses. “There is no time,” he says, “to wait for Darwinian evolution to make us more intelligent and better natured.”


Do you hate your job? You are not alone! 71% of people do—but why?

How excited are you to get to work in the morning? How passionate are you about what you do? The chances are that you hate it! A new Gallup survey show that 71% of workers are "not engaged" or "actively disengaged" from their work.

Now we can understand why customer service is so bad. Nobody really cares! More people are voluntarily leaving their jobs than three years ago. Good news is it means they are not being laid off or being fired. Bad news is it means that employees are discouraged, disillusioned, and uninspired.

Beefing up incentives to make them stay is not really going to do the trick, which is usually the first thing managers and HR professionals across corporate America think of when they see such statistics. But I would not want to drag myself out of bed early on a Monday morning just because I can get a free soda or a free lunch at a canteen that serves nothing I like anyway.

People want to be inspired! They want to feel they are going somewhere and they want to work toward a higher purpose. They want to feel good about themselves and their management. That will require better communication, not more perks.


The average child today knows how to use a mouse and play a video game better than they can ride a bike or swim!

It's offical: we've entered the age of technology. Those of us who are constantly reminded by grandpa Smithers down the street that 'back in my day' was a better time and that all of us 'whipper snappers' are ruining society may finally be presented with a definition to 'we didn't have any of these fancy-pants gizmos when I was a lad.'

Modern children, because of their early immersion into the world of technology, have slowly become more and more unable to do simple physical activities that have been relished and made sport for ages. Almost immediately after birth we are monitored and attached to devices and technologies.

Children grow up with the option of staying inside and avoiding activities such as riding a bike that might harm them. It isn't then surprising to find out that most of them will choose the safer path. 69% of kids know how to use a computer mouse before they can tie their shoelaces. 58% know how to play a computer game before they learn how to ride a bike. That is over half of the population of children that has fallen to the complacency of advancing technologies.

Lesson to take away? Invest in your child's exo-cyber life! Otherwise, what will your kid do if one day we don't have electricity or internet?


Some awesome lists!

People were so scared of Stalin that it cost him his life! Find out how

A little fear can help keep your underlings in line, loyally waiting at your every beck and call. A lot of fear, however, can be very detrimental to your health. Such was the case with Joseph Stalin, leader and dictator of the Soviet Union from the mid 1920s all the way through 1953—the year he died.

Stalin's personal physician recommended he step down from the leader position for health reasons after constant dizzy spells and high blood pressure plagued the dictator. Unhappy with the bad news, Stalin had the doctor arrested and accused him of involvement in the "Doctor's Plot". Stalin's people soon learned not to cross him, even with their personal opinion.

Stalin retired to his bedroom on March 1, 1953, giving strict orders not to disturb him the next morning. Stalin didn't emerge from his room at the usual time, but the guards didn't dare knock on the door. At 10 p.m., The Deputy Commandant of Kuntsevo entered the room to check on him and saw him laying on the floor, clothes soaked in stale urine. He had cerebral hemorrhaging, commonly known as a stroke. Stalin died a few days later on March 5.

Fear can go a long way—all the way to your death bed in Stalin's case!


The original Ronald McDonald creator and personality was fired before his character got national recognition. Here's why

Oscar Goldstein, a former Washington, D.C. McDonald's franchise owner, was in some trouble when NBC cancelled his sponsored show Bozo's Circus in 1963. Bozo would regularly make appearance at his McDonald's, drawing in huge crowds. Since the show was now cancelled, Goldstein had to come up with a new mascot to entice his customers to return.

Goldstein met with the star of Bozo's Circus, Willard Scott, and hired him to recreate a new clown for the franchise. Willard Scott got a costume made by a marketing company, created the name Ronald McDonald, and began making appearances at Goldstein's restaurant in Washington D.C.

As McDonald's prepared for their national campaign to introduce Ronald McDonald to America, they fired Willard Scott, deeming his weight as the reason for termination. McDonald's felt that in order to sell hamburgers, shakes, and fries (generally, unhealthy food) to the American people, they needed a thinner mascot who appeared in shape. A thinner clown personality was hired, the campaign began, and business sky-rocketed. Scott moved on from the incident and continued to find success through books and television. He also later became the weatherman for NBC's Today Show.



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