You Can't Teach An Old Dog New Tricks
You can't teach an old dog new tricks
…Or can you?
Below are some paintings done by 104-year-old, Edith Mattson. Now I’m not sure which definition of “old” is meant for this 15th Century saying, but I’m going to go ahead and assume that Edith would fit in to that category.
Please note: I am only allowed to say this because Edith is my great grandmother.
This past year at age 103 Edith moved in to a personal care home (or what she would call, an “all inclusive resort”). With a clean room, cooked meals and daily activities, including painting. Having never painted before she thought she would give it a try and let me tell you, this “new trick” of hers was very impressive.
After seeing her first painting I instantly began peppering her with questions in disbelief. How could someone who was born in 1910 be able to create these masterpieces (okay, that may be a bit of a stretch, but it’s better than what I could do). Well it turns out that there is an instructor that helps them create the outlines…but the rest of it is all hers!
For the record, Edith wasn’t the only one to prove the age-old saying wrong. Mythbusters has also debunked the saying by proving that old dogs (in this case, Alaskan malamutes, Bobo and Cece) can indeed be taught new tricks.
"Can't Teach Old Dog New Tricks : Discovery Channel." Discovery Channel. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2014.
Jelly beans, chocolate and Peeps, oh my!
With another Easter and Passover under our loosened belts, I thought it would be nice to reminisce about the traditions that surround these holidays and how they can bring significant meaning to our lives.
One of my oldest memories of Easter is of the ginormous stuffed bunny the Easter Bunny brought for me when I was around six. This thing was soft like silk, cotton candy pink and life-sized. It was literally taller than me. But more so than the gifts and candy, I remember the delicious scents of Brown Betty bubbling over and the turkey glazing in Gramma Harriet’s black enamel roasting pan, the kind with the little white speckles. And it wouldn’t be Easter without homemade, ooey-gooey perogies smothered in onions and butter now would it? My absolute favourite part of the meal had to be Gramma’s lasagna. With dinner complete and cleanup underway, the kids would all settle in on the couch or their respective spots on the floor and watch The Sound of Music. Always.
Maybe you celebrate with a big brunch at your favourite Aunt and Uncle’s place, or perhaps you order in Chinese food? Whatever the tradition, I’d be willing to bet it involves food in some way. And chocolate.
Now that I have children of my own, it’s very important to me that I build fond memories of family holidays for my kids. We celebrate Easter by waking up at the crack of dawn, having an egg hunt, and seeing what the Easter Bunny put in our baskets! He always leaves a trail of bunny poo (raisins) and some half-eaten carrots to which the kids yell out, “Look! He was really here!” We then put on our Sunday Best and head to Mass, followed by breakfast at The Original Pancake House. I want my kids to look back and remember happy times with family, delicious family recipes, and yearly traditions they can carry on with their own kids one day.
To me, holidays like Easter and Christmas are a chance to connect on a deeper level with family and friends, an opportunity to tell them with words, exactly how I feel. To give to others and expect nothing in return. There are lessons to be learned and polite manners to be displayed. It’s a time for gathering around a table for the simple reason of being together. And in this crazy hazy world we live in, any excuse to slow down and celebrate family is a good one.
What are some of your fondest family traditions? What from your childhood gatherings gives you the warm fuzzies?
Facebook's Declining Page Reach
Analysis done by Social@Ogilvy on more than 100 brand Facebook pages
Facebook announced almost a month ago that it was further reducing the organic reach of Page posts to only 1% – 2%. The decline started a few months ago, when it made an algorithm change to its News Feed, impacting what users saw. Pages immediately felt the effects, as organic reach per post suddenly declined to approximately 6%. But to go even further to only 1% - 2% has many marketers mad, and wondering whether Facebook is the right medium to reach their audience.
As a Page admin for one of our clients, the change has been more than frustrating. We’ve worked hard with our client to grow their Facebook page, and worked hard to develop content relevant to our audience. And it hasn’t all been done for free – our client is no stranger to sponsoring posts and buying ad space on Facebook.
Users have actively chosen to engage with our client’s brand by Liking their Facebook page. They want to know what’s going on and want to dialogue with our client’s brand. So what now? I’ve been reading plenty of articles, researching, and doing a lot of trial and error to figure out how to engage our audience again. But time will tell what works and what doesn’t!
The Death of the Checkout Line?
Who likes to stand in line for the privilege of buying something? How many times have you just walked away when the lineup was too long? Ever walked into a store, seen the lineup, and walked right back out again?
While many stores like to keep the human touch at the retail checkout, technology and smart phones are moving us away from the lineup. Check out the Apple Store near you. Just about every sales person on the floor is also a cashier. You bring your product to them, or ask someone to get it, and they check you out over their iPhone and email you the bill.
And, I'm sure that right at their fingertips, they have your entire purchase history, very useful in offering me something that they already know I would be interested in. I haven't seen them do this at the Apple Store, but I bet they are setting up for near field communications (NFC). See this post for more on NFC.
Long cashier lineups cause stress, anxiety and even bouts of rage —and it can stay with you for hours. The last thing that commissioned sales people want to see is their hard-earned sale balking at the lineup and abandoning the purchase. And who wants to abandon their purchase after spending all of that time being sold? Lineups used to be a fact of life, but now people can find other options.
Mobile payments on the floor will stop those sales slipping out the door. You see a move in that direction at Costco, where they will scan your items while you are in line, and then you merely pay at the till. Kroger, a US grocery chain, has installed infrared cameras that track the number of customers in line by their body heat. Software tells managers how many cash registers are needed now and in a few minutes from now. They have reduced average waiting times to 26 seconds. But I'd bet that their labour cost is up.
Migrating over to mobile payments will only make it easier for retailers to bridge that gap between retail outlet and online shopping. It will help build stronger relationships between sales person and customer and it will help keep shopping gratifying by taking away the mind-numbing exercise of waiting in line.