How I lost my 25-year battle against corporate claptrap

For nearly a quarter of a century, I have been writing columns telling business people to stop talking rot. For the same amount of time they have been taking no notice.

The first example I can find comes from 1994 when I wrote an article mocking ugly business jargon, arguing that language had got so stupid that the pendulum must soon swing back and plain talking about business would shortly reassert itself. The words I objected to back then? Global, downsize, marketplace and worst of all, the mathematically nonsensical “110 per cent committed”.

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Nasrudín estaba sentado a una mesa de un café observando a dos hombres al lado de un agujero en el camino.
“¿En qué estás pensando, Mulá?” le preguntó un transeúnte.
“En lo holgazana que es la gente. He estado sentado aquí durante cuatro horas, y jamás le he quitado los ojos de encima a esos hombres. ¿Puedes creer que durante todo ese tiempo, ninguno de ellos ha hecho trabajo alguno?”

Nasrudín estaba sentado a una mesa de un café

Reivindicando a los otros musulmanes









En una época en que las relaciones entre Oriente y Occidente parecen secuestradas por los fanáticos de ambos lados, recordemos la faceta más humana, compleja y sabia de la cultura islámica, que tiene una larga tradición de pensamiento sutil y avanzado, y está representada por el pensamiento sufí y los chistes de Nasrudín. Puede que los asesinos dominen los titulares, pero las noticias sólo cuentan ‘una’ verdad. Así que recuperemos el sentido común, autoconocimiento y humor; una receta digna de los mismos sufíes.

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Professor Keeps His Cool As Children Crash His Live BBC Interview

Nothing can break Professor Robert Kelly’s focus, apparently ― even two adorable kids who clearly just want it to be the weekend already.

He was discussing Friday’s ousting of South Korean President Park Geun-hye during a live TV interview with the BBC when a curious yellow-shirted child marches into his office.


Kelly, a political science professor at South Korea’s Pusan National University, brushes off the interruption and continues commenting while attempting to gently push the child out of the camera’s view.

But the parade of interruptions is just beginning.

A baby rolls through the doorway moments before a panicked woman bursts onto the scene. She rushes to wrangle the carefree kids away from Kelly.


“Pardon me,” Kelly tells the BBC anchor as the woman struggles to shepherd them out the door. “My apologies.”

No apology necessary. Thank you, sir, for this wonderful little nugget of TGIF joy.

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Laugh to Boost Your Immune Function


In my video below, I explored a study about how listening to Mozart can reduce allergic reactions. This reminded me of a similar study where researchers took a group of people with dust mite allergies and directed half of them to watch a Charlie Chaplin video and the other half to watch the Weather Channel. The researchers then injected all subjects with dust mite poop. In the subjects who watched the humorous video, their allergic response was significantly reduced and this reduction lasted for a matter of hours. This suggests that “the induction of laughter may play some role in alleviating allergic diseases.”

Is there a chance that it might suppress our immune system too much? No. In fact, if you have people watch a comedian for an hour, their natural killer cell activity goes up, compared to watching nothing. Their white blood cell count, the number of immune cells in their bloodstream, also goes up. The level of immune-boosting interferon and antibody production go up as well and even stay up the next day. So, your body is actually pumping out more antibodies because you saw a funny video the day before. In short, humor seems to offer the best of both worlds at preventing over-reactive allergic responses, while also boosting immune protection.

There is a catch, though. You actually have to laugh. And the more you laugh, the better your natural killer cell activity gets. Exposure to a humorous video without laughing did not significantly affect immune function. Those who didn’t physically laugh did not benefit. This reinforces that it is not the funny video that improved immune function, but our laughter in response. Natural killer cells play a significant role in viral illness and various types of cancer. So, being able to significantly increase the activity of these cells using a brief and non-invasive method could be clinically important the next time you have a cold or cancer.

Does this mean that the next time you go to the theater, you should choose the comedy over the tear-jerker? Not necessarily. Researchers took people with a latex allergy and had them watch a weather video versus a heart-warming drama. Because viewing the weather information video did not cause emotion with tears, it failed to modulate allergic responses. The tear-jerker, however, successfully reduced the allergic response, but only in those whose tears were actually jerked. So, when it comes to improving allergies, laughing and crying both work, if you actually do them.

Anything else you can do? Kiss! There’s actually a whole science of kissing, which sounds like a pleasant enough college major, until you realize it’s about all the diseases you can get. But if you take people with seasonal pollen or dust mite allergies and have them kiss someone in a room for 30 minutes, they have a significant reduction in their allergic reactions, for both the pollen and the dust mites. If you instead just have them hug for that 30 minutes, there’s no benefit. Bottom line: Kissing significantly reduced allergic responses in patients with both allergic rhinitis (runny nose and itchy eyes) or allergic dermatitis (like a rash). “Collectively these findings indicate that the direct action of love may be beneficial,” though evidently cuddling wasn’t quite direct enough.

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