Friday, June 22, 2012

How many times a day do you move your head?

Every day that I travel to work, I drive about 2 miles through a city. In parts of the drive, I have to stop at every street and look to make sure that no traffic is proceeding or pedestrians crossing. Thus, I have to look back and forth several times before cautiously proceeding.

When traffic is heavy, I may have to wait a minute or two before the coast is clear. It is then that I have thought to myself:

How many times a day do I move my head?

Silly as this thought is, I've marveled at the durability and reliance of the human body.  Whether we are walking, talking to someone, eating, driving, playing a sport, getting dressed or whatever, we are continually moving our heads.

We move our head constantly, and, it never breaks.

To answer my question, I decided to estimate how many times a day I (and others I guess) move my head. At first, I thought that it is moved about once each second while we are awake. To confirm this, I went outside and sampled my theory using 2 rules. First, I defined moving the head as moving its position from one spot to another (up, center, down, left, right, nodded, etc). Second, I used a stopwatch to time folks involved in various activities.

Surprisingly, I found that most people move their head once every 2.5 to 3 seconds on the average. The head is moved more rapidly when people are talking to each other and crossing the street. But, it is moved less frequently when reading or looking at a computer terminal.  After several hours of watching, I compiled my notes and averaged the head movements. It is then that I discovered the 2.5 to 3 second interval.

Knowing this, I was able to estimate that people move their heads:
  • 20-24 times a minute
  • 1,200 - 1,400 times an hour
  • 14,400 - 17,208 in twelve hours
  • 28,800 - 34,416 times in a day. (that's my answer)
  • 10,512,000 - 12,614,400 per year.
We take certain mobility functions like this for granted. But just think, what a marvel the human body is. As our heads move about 25,000 times a day, our arms, legs, eyes, and fingers are also moving. All at the same time. And even with all this simple movement, the muscles responsible for these functions rarely break and keep working!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Mr. Obama: Delivering campaign speeches do not make the U.S. economy stronger.

A week ago last Friday, President Obama remarked that the "private sector was doing fine"1 when speaking about the U.S. economy. This set off a fire storm of criticism by Republicans. So, hours later, he attempted to revise his statement and stated "it is absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine".2

While we realize the contradictory nature of these two statements were said to appease the voting public, the first was given to misrepresent the economical state of the country, and the latter given to appease his critics.

However, we believe the statements following his attempted clarification are more important and deserve a critical review. Mr. Obama stated:

"Listen, it is absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine.  That's the reason I had the press conference.  That's why I spent yesterday, the day before yesterday, this past week, this past month, and this past year talking about how we can make the economy stronger."2

Having documented the President's weekly schedule in our blog, The Traveling Fundraiser, we immediately knew that this was a false statement and another brash attempt to deceive the American public who pays his salary, housing, health care, and travel and entertainment expenses.

The truth is that Mr. Obama did not spend the day before his speech, nor that of 2 days before, nor that of the week before working on the economy. 

During that period, he had been traveling the country, appearing in multiple fundraising events, for the sole purpose of receiving campaign donations for his re-election campaign.  Lets look at the week:
  • Friday, he delivers the statement
  • Thursday, he attended a fundraiser in Los Angeles, then flew to Las Vegas and spoke about college affordability
  • Wednesday, he flew from DC to San Francisco and attended 2 fundraisers. Then he flew to Los Angeles and attended 2 more fundraisers
  • Tuesday, he had no public schedule
  • Monday, he flew to New York City and spoke at 3 campaign events
  • Sunday, he hosted a reception at the Ford's Theatre
  • Friday, he flew to Minneapolis MN, toured a facility, read his "to do list" and attended 3 campaign events. The, he flew to Chicago IL and participated in 3 more campaign events.
Thus, when he said that he: "spent yesterday, the day before yesterday, this past week" talking about how we can make the economy stronger, what he really meant to say was that:

He (President Obama) was delivering campaign speeches for the sole purpose of soliciting donations to be spent in his re-election campaign.

The sad reality is that in the week before he implied he was working on the economy, he actually visited 6 different cities and attended 14 different fundraising events.

Yes, he may have spoken about how he could make the economy stronger, but, the speeches made at campaign events are simply political rhetoric targeted at like-minded audiences willing to give the President money.

Let's be truthful here. During that time, the President did not work for and with the country to try to improve the bleak economy. Instead, he took advantage of the perks of his office and used our tax dollars to pay for his lavish fundraising travels.

Attending campaign events and delivering speeches is not really working. While it is indeed time consuming, tedious, and tiring, it is not part of the official duties of the elected office. When a President, such as this one, boldly declines to work for the improvement of the economy and fiscal stability of this country, his attempts to mislead the public by misrepresenting his activities will later become important issues for the voting public.

Total combined fundraisers held for reelection committee and 
party committee in third and fourth years of first term.3

  1. Remarks by the President
  2. Remarks by President Obama and President Aquino of the Philippines after Bilateral Meeting
  3. Obama Is Spending an Unprecedented Amount of Time Fundraising: Scandal?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Have security leaks damaged Obama's trustworthiness?

Sometimes, our political leaders must do the right thing and take a stand to protect the national security of our country. Such is the case of Dianne Feinstein, who is normally a very liberal Senator. However, she, along with 3 other legislators, has taken a hard stance in an effort to investigate and stop the recent public leaking and publication of our sensitive security measures. For this, she should be commended.

At issue are "two New York Times front-page articles about President Obama's 'kill list' and the US governments cyberattacks in Iran's nuclear facilities".1

Apparently, the information presented was known only to a small handful of decision makers. Critics have alleged that only White House personnel were present in the formulation of these plans, and that the intention of the leaks are to portray the President as a tough military leader. Yesterday, a  spokesman discredited these assertions, and today, Mr. Obama denounced any White House involvement.

At present, it is unclear how the New York Times obtained their information, but bipartisan congressional leaders are joining forces to investigate this matter. The President has indicated he will investigate as well.

During the 5 weeks, the President has distanced himself from the executive duties of his office. In those 25 weekdays, Mr. Obama has been fundraising outside of DC for 9 days, and posted no public schedule (aside from 1 or 2 daily briefings)  on 5 days.  This means that he only worked 11 of the 25 days. In addition, he was involved with the G8 and NATO summits on 2 of the 11 days. Except on days that the President is traveling, he rarely schedules meetings before 10AM. (We intentionally eliminated weekend days).

Thus, we can see that Mr. Obama appears to spend little time on national affairs.

But, from his recent news conferences and announcements, we know that he has been working on other matters (such as contraception, education, taxation, etc) although these are not on his public agenda.

Thus, it is possible for him to have been involved in the formulation of the 'kill list' and the cyberattacks. In and of itself, the creation and implementation of these covert operations are not being questioned. By and of themselves, they may be applauded. But, such involvements or operations must not be publicized.

Now, because of the NYT disclosures, the problem the Nation faces is one of trust.

The world looks for the United States for leadership. But, if leadership means the public disclosure of our sensitive actions, then that leadership cannot be trusted in future operations. Since trust is crucial for maintaining the success of international relationships, Ms. Feinstein ( are stepping up to repair the damage.

However, the President suffers a larger problem. While no one questions whether he should have been involved in these operations, his initial silence casts doubts about his association with the leaks:
  • if he was directly involved in the disclosures, then his judgement and confidentiality will be lost
  • if he did not know about the operations, then his lack of leadership and involvement will be confirmed and his reputation will be stained.
  • if he was involved in the operations and one of his confidants disclosed the information, then his judgement of individuals will be questioned
Unfortunately, the  publication of the New York Times articles has severely damaged the reputation of the President. No matter what he or his spokesman says, a shadow of doubt will remain.

Hopefully investigation will reveal that an unrelated individual (not the President or White House staff) inadvertently learned of the covert operations and independently leaked the information to the New York Times. The President has stated he too will pursue an investigation of the leaks and hopefully he will identify the source.

Lastly, one must ask why the New York Times published these articles in the first place. Did they think the stories would help the President? Were they given permission to publish the articles? Did they want to hurt the President or the country? Really, it's hard to imagine their motive.

  1. Dianne Feinstein, Saxby Chambliss Promise To Crack Down On National Security Leaks
  2. 5 leaks that have Congress steamed
  3. Pattern of White House Leaks Threatens Nation’s Security
  4. The 'leak' wars

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