But Can It Print Your EOB Statement?

Scientists are closing in on perfecting a technology that will allow doctors to “print” new organs for ailing patients – organs made using their very own genetic material.  Unlike organ transplants where there is a very real probability that – in spite of steps taken to find a well-matched donor – the recipient’s body may reject the donated organ, this new process actually fabricates a replacement organ using genetic material from the recipient.  Using an organic “printer” and some concoction of stem cells and other amazing stuff, the new technology known as “bioprinting” promises to enable the production of organs other body parts veritably on demand.  Right now, the technology is still in its infancy.  But they have been successful in printing veins and other circulatory tissues.  Read the full photo essay at Wired magazine online.  What I want to know is will the ink cartidges be as expensive as the ones I use in my printer?

The Inside Info on What Hiring Managers Want

Healthcare Career Hiring ManagerOne of my other jobs involves working with thousands of staffing companies.  As a result, I have regular contact with hiring managers across the United States.  When I saw this article in US News entitled, “21 Things Hiring Managers Wish You Knew”, I was impressed with how spot on it was.  Hiring managers have seen it all when it comes to people’s ideas of what is appropriate behavior in the pursuit of that “perfect job”.  If you’re about to embark on a job hunt, with your Allen School diploma in hand, have a quick read of this piece so you can get some idea of what hiring managers are looking for in today’s difficult employment environment.  Remember, there are 6 job seekers for every available job today.  So it pays to be as well prepared for the critical interview process as you can be.  Never before has it been so important!

A Day Worth Celebrating – Happy Chocolate Day

First consumed by ancient Mayans in South America in a drink form laced with chili peppers and vanilla, Cacao beans (the primary ingredient in chocolate) were enjoyed for their unique properties for millenia.  It wasn’t until July 17, 1550 that Europeans got wise to the awesomeness of chocolate.  Read this interesting piece from Wired magazine on the origins of chocolate as we all know it today and celebrate my favorite new global holiday, “Chocolate Day” by hoisting your favorite kind of cocoa laced treat along with me!

Happy Fourth of July – Time to BBQ Properly!

Well, it’s time again to celebrate American independence and I hope everyone has a healthy, happy, safe Fourth of July. I think of many things when I consider Independence Day. From liberty and justice, to fireworks, family and most importantly, Barbecue! I love me some barbecue and there is no more appropriate holiday to “cook-out” in celebration than the 4th of July. Many folks do not know the subtle but undeniable difference between grilling (like what you do to hot dogs and burgers) and actual barbecue which involves the slow, smoky roasting of pork, chicken, brisket, etc. So have a look at this article by Craig “Meathead” Goldwyn to learn the secrets of meats, properly smok-i-fied to fall-off-the-bone perfection. Enjoy!

The Future is Now!

How about the Terrafugia Transition?  This vehicle, newly approved by the Federal Avaiation Administration brings to life the fantastic dreams of the “flying car” we all entertained as kids.  With traffic growing ever more problematic in large cities, this new vehicle promises to rise above the gridlock – literally.  Now all I need is $194,000 so I can buy one and soar to the grocery store. Flying Car Video – Terrafugia @ Yahoo! Video

How To Explain “Holes” in Your Work History

Beach ComberWe’ve all had periods of unemployment.  We’ve all had to take time away from career pursuits, whether it was to tend an ailing loved one, return to school/training, deal with personal problems, support a family member’s struggling business or become a quasi-homeless beachcomber in an exotic tropical locale.  Whatever the reasons, inevitably, we end up with a gap in our history which can be a glaring weakness on your resume.  In interviews, it can be awkward trying to call attention away from the gaps.  How should you explain where you were when you weren’t working for 11 months? Take a look at this excellent article from The Savvy Networker wherein it is explained exactly how to address these holes in the resume.

Disregard the Naysayers

Anyone who has tried to do something outside of the expectations of those around them knows how dispiriting it can be to be told, “you’ll never succeed”.  Take it from the US national soccer team who has been categorically panned by the international sports community as having “no chance to achieve” in the World Cup.  Well, again, our US team is proving the naysayers wrong.  Today, in a storybook, last minute ending fit for a Hollywood movie script, the US team pulled it out against a heavily favored Algerian squad to advance in World Cup tournament play.  So remember this team of underdogs when folks tell you that you cannot start a new career in a new field midway through life.

How Job Loss Can Lead to Untold Riches

Clearly, it won’t happen this way to everyone.  But there is a lesson to take from the story of Bob Croak, the man responsible for making “Silly Bands” a household name.  You see, Croak was a bar owner/operator who ran afoul of the law.  As a stipulation of the judgment against him, he was ordered to refrain from being in the alcohol sales business.  In effect, he was pushed out of his career.  Did this sink him?  Did he end up destitute and living beneath an overpass?  No.  Quite the contrary, he struck off in a new direction and ultimately discovered what would become 2010’s hottest kiddie craze, the ubiquitous “Silly Bands”.  If you haven’t seen the colorful silicone bands in different shapes that adorn the wrists of nearly every American kid from ages 4-14, you should get your eyes checked.  Croak is sitting atop a toy empire and is making far more money than he ever could as a bar owner.  The moral of this story — especially for those who decided to enter the field of medical billing and coding after losing their jobs in other fields — is that the loss of a job is not always a negative occurrence.  Sometimes, unscheduled changes on the career path are just what a person needs to give them the time and space to explore entirely new horizons.  Sometimes, those horizons are at the edge of successes beyond their wildest dreams.

Do What You Love and Success Will Follow

Okay.  I know we usually keep the content on this blog toward the highbrow end of the spectrum.  But I felt like being a little silly today.  View this awesome video of a two year old Brazilian boy who Sambas better than I ever will.  Beyond the cuteness factor and the giddiness of propagating a viral video sensation, it occured to me that this kid’ll probably grow up to be a professional dancer.  And if he doesn’t, it’ll be a shame because he could make a fortune doing something he so obviously enjoys.  So let that be the lesson from today’s blog post.  Continue to study hard and develop your skills in this area you’ve chosen.  If you truly love the work, you will most definitely succeed.

Mindfulness: Take Time to Think Amid the Rush

I had a teacher once who taught me the value and rewards of mindfulness.  Mindfulness is a concept from eastern religion that simply involves the act of living in the moment and maintaining the clarity of though that so often is hard to achieve.  As we live our frenetic modern lives, with work, family, online study and 24/7 connectivity through ever improving social and communication technologies, it is hard to ever take a moment to fully focus on the task at hand.  When the task at hand is something important like driving safely on the freeway or something really important like interacting with the ones you love, mindfulness is key to avoiding unpleasant consequences.  It also has the positive benefit of helping one achieve positive goals with less strife and effort. This teacher of mine wasn’t a school teacher or spiritual figure.  Rather this teacher was someone I encountered in my personal struggle to change my relationship to my own body.  Learning to be mindful about my thoughts, words and actions (especially about eating and exercise) helped me to become significantly healthier than I had been.  Lately, I had fallen out of the practice of mindfulness in my affairs and have seen the predictable return of some unhealthy results.  But today, I have made the decision to again focus on being mindful in all aspects of life and I feel good about what this refocus will mean for me.  I thought it would be valuable for me to share some basic info on mindfulness to readers of this blog, as much for their own benefit as for my own.  Read this excellent, brief description of what mindfulness means and how it benefits mind and body, written by Soren Gordhamer; an author who counsels individuals and groups on ways to live with less stress and more effectiveness in our technology-rich lives. He has been featured in various media, including GQ Magazine and Newsweek.com, and has taught classes on stress reduction to such diverse populations as youth in New York City juvenile halls, trauma workers in Rwanda, and to staff at Google.