Getting to the Point | The Exkalibur Newsletter | June 16, 2017

This week we’re Getting to the Point with some valuable insights from the business world along with fascinating stories from the worlds of psychology, science, health and politics.

This week’s Featured Article, Apply these 7 Criteria to Decide If You’ve Got a Great Idea … or a Dud, offers some practical guidelines to help you “separate the wheat from the chaff” when it comes to considering all of the opportunities that come your way. In our Business Brief, you’ll get an update on Moore’s Law, see how Silicon Valley is trying to save California’s water supply and how Apple is trying to help U.S. Manufacturing.

In the Do This segment, I’ve combined my experience as a radio talk show host with my lifetime media observations to offer you a way to evaluate media bias for yourself. Our Around the Web segment will help you tell the difference between talent and genius, how the need to be popular is affecting our culture, the impact of the opioid epidemic on legitimate pain management and how soon you might be wearing your own jet suit. I’ll also offer more tips on how to use your iOS devices (iPhones and iPads) in Under the Apple Tree.

Over the weekend, relax and watch a captivating Movie, with another riveting performance by Robert DeNiro and learn in the Wide World of Sports what the Golden State Warriors did to rise from the ashes of last year’s stunning defeat. You’ll get a laugh in our Humor segment as you contemplate your next massage, but in our What I’m Watching segment, you’ll need to keep it together as you watch Alex Honnold ascend El Capitan without ropes. You also don’t want to miss the latest novel from Scott Turow in What We’re Reading – Fiction.

Happy Father’s Day, Dads. It’s great being one, isn’t it?

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Everything We Do Can Be Found RIGHT HERE!

If it’s easier for you to access the content we publish every week in just one place, Getting to the Point is the place to go.

Every Friday, you’ll get not only fresh content to help you understand our world, you’ll also get access to our popular Monday Quote of the Week … as well as the article we publish every Wednesday to help you Become a More Effective Leader.

Remember that you can always access ALL of the quotes on our website to share them with your friends and colleagues.

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Apply these 7 Criteria to Decide If You’ve Got a Great Idea … or a Dud

As a leader, you’re constantly evaluating opportunities. Some come from careful planning, others simply fall from the sky. But no matter the source, there are always too many ideas and not enough time or resources.

So how do you decide which one’s worth pursuing … and which one will suck your time and get you nowhere?

Use These 7 Criteria to Help You Make the Right Decisions

Let me offer 7 Ways to Differentiate between a Lightning Bolt and a Bright Idea, a set of criteria you can apply to sort through all of these opportunities and get rid of those that bring with them a massive storm system.

By applying these criteria thoughtfully, you’ll avoid wasted energy and failed opportunities, and be sure you’re applying your limited resources to the opportunities that will make the greatest contribution to your success.

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More Great Tips for Your iPhone and iPad

Here are several more valuable tips and tricks to use on your IOS devices (iPhone or iPad):

  • Force pressing on the left of the screen and swiping into the middle of the screen opens app switcher on iPhone. Swiping all the way across puts you straight into the previous app.
  • In long press the compose button to bring up all your drafts.
  • 3D touch on the x at the top of notification center to clear all notifications.
  • One of my favorites … 3D touch on the tabs button in Safari to close all open tabs. No need to close them all one at a time.
  • Say “HeySiri” without even touching your phone. She’ll ask you what you want. You can ask the score of a ball game or for her to read off a phone number you want to call. Pretty cool, huh?

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The James Gaffigan wants to know why we pay for the chance to make ourselves completely vulnerable to strangers, while our face is stuck in a donut pillow.

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It’s No Wonder Respect for the Media is Lower Than Atlantis

From my days many moons ago as a radio talk show host, I learned that newspaper headlines, and the first few paragraphs of any article, never tell the full story. I also learned, on countless occasions, that media summaries of live hearings or congressional testimony were never reliable if you wanted the full story.

I thought I’d test that thesis to see if it still applies … it does and it’s even worse today … so I forced myself to listen to almost six hours of the testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee given by former FBI director, James Comey, and Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, over the last two weeks.

Admittedly, time and space is limited for newspapers and TV networks … all the more reason you should read their summaries with a critical eye. When I watched CBS, NBC and Fox, each of which bring a different perspective, none of them truly or fairly represented the essence of the testimony from either man.

Before you start, this article, Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence is one example of a New York Times article that Comey himself said was almost entirely false.

DO THIS if You Really Want to Understand Media Bias

Most of you won’t do this, but if you really want to understand … and see first hand how biased the media can be … in any direction … here’s what I found during my days as a radio talk show host.

Watch the Original Content

1- Choose a video source for either of these two recent events.

2- Set aside time to watch the testimony in full.

a. You can watch or read about former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee here or here, or

b. You can watch or read about Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee here or here

3- Pick any media articles you like. They’re everywhere, but you’ll find the broadest choice at the New York Times, LA Times or Washington Post.

4- Compare their actual testimony to any articles you’ve chosen.

I’m confident you’ll discover how the limitations of space and time, and the perspective of the press, results in articles that do not fairly represent what you watched in the live hearings.

You’ll let me know what you find, won’t you?

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Is There a Difference Between Talent & Genius?

“Genius has to be founded on major talent, but it adds a freshness and wildness of imagination, a raging ambition, an unusual gift for learning and growing, a depth and breadth of thought and spirit…” Brain Pickings

The Opioid Crisis Is Hurting People Who Really Need Them

There’s a lot to learn in The opioid crisis changed how doctors think about pain, namely that “the underlying drugs are often being prescribed for real reasons.

… there’s more to the crisis story than corporate pill dumping. Understanding how opioids became so ubiquitous in America requires understanding a fundamental shift that happened 30 years ago in how doctors thought about pain itself.

+ One more pain point is discussed in, Do family members have a right to know when a loved one overdoses on opioids?.

Popular Then? Popular Now? Maybe …

Does Our Popularity In High School Affect Us Later In Life?

It does. Quite remarkably in fact.

“In a new book — called, yes, ”Popular” — the psychologist Mitch Prinstein explores popularity with a scientist’s eye. Prinstein, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, argues that there are, in fact, two types of popularity and that we, as a culture, have settled on the more dysfunctional type. There is, he says, a better way.

“There’s something about the way we are regarded by others that changes our life trajectories quite meaningfully and substantially.”

Read the fascinating article, Cracking the Popularity Code.

How I built a jet suit

“We’ve all dreamed of flying — but for Richard Browning, flight is an obsession. He’s built an Iron Man-like suit that leans on an elegant collaboration of mind, body and technology, bringing science fiction dreams a little closer to reality. Learn more about the trial and error process behind his invention and take flight with Browning in an unforgettable demo.”

Kale Chips & Quinoa Soup? Not So FAST ….

In He wants to sell you a $300 ‘fasting diet’ to prolong your life. It might not be as crazy as it sounds, you’ll find yet another diet plan with an interesting scientific pedigree:

“It’s not every day, after all, that a tenured professor at a prestigious university starts peddling a mail-order diet to melt away belly fat, rejuvenate worn-out cells, prevent diseases ranging from diabetes to cancer — and, for good measure, turn back the clock on aging.”

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Is Moore’s Law Outdated? These Numbers Are Staggering!

You may recall that the tech industry has been driven for years by Moore’s Law – a prediction made by Intel (INTC, –1.28%) co-founder Gordon Moore in 1965 that chips could double in power every two years or less.

IBM, GlobalFoundries, and Samsung recently reported that:

” …they have found a way to make thinner transistors, which should enable them to pack 30 billion switches onto a microprocessor chip the size of a fingernail. Fortune

Is that more than how many angels you can fit on the head of a pin?

Who Cares About the Water Supply in California?



  • California is the country’s top agricultural producer, growing 2/3 of the nation’s fruits and nuts.
  • California also grows more than 1/3 of its vegetables.
  • The farms and ranches constitute a $54 billion annual industry.

Check out Silicon Valley’s Mission To Save California Ag From Dying Of Thirst.

The State of U.S. Manufacturing

In Apple’s Billion-Dollar Investment Provides A Blueprint For Us Manufacturing, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the tech giant is launching a $1 billion fund to invest in advanced manufacturing companies in the United States, announcing its first investment later this month:

“”By doing that we can be the ripple in the pond,“ Cook said. ”Those manufacturing jobs create jobs around them.”

+ “Advanced manufacturing, which generally describes processes that employ next-generation technologies (think 3-D printing and such) either in the final product or in the production process, has created one million jobs since 2010, even as overall manufacturing employment has been in a two-decade free fall.

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The Golden State Warriors Win It All Again!

Need I say more?

In 5 games, the **Golden State Warriors” won their 2nd NBA Championship in 3 years, overcoming the charging Cleveland Cavaliers.

Close to 1.5 million people reportedly attended the Victory Celebration & Parade yesterday in Oakland.

This article, ‘I’m Ready’: The Text That Started The Warriors’ Dynasty, explains how Kevin Durant emerged following the Warriors devastating loss to Cleveland in last year’s Game #7.

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Video of the Most Dangerous Rope-Free Climb Ever

If you’ve paid any attention to the death-defying climbing feats of Alex Honnold, you may cringe at his latest achievement on the **3,000 foot cliff known as El Capitan … without ropes!

+ On a related note, you might want to learn How to fall to your death and live to tell the tale.

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The Wizard of Lies

Robert DeNiro becomes Bernie Madoff in this HBO movie, which painfully chronicles the greatest Ponzi scheme in the history of American business.

It’s a powerful and fascinating tale, not at all diminished because the outcome is already known.

It’s also a grim reminder of the inestimable damage he did to investors and their families … not to mention the devastating damage to his own family.

It’s riveting. I doubt you’ll look away.

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Testimony by Scott Turow

It takes a talented writer like Scott Turow to tackle the theme of the Bosnian War.

In Testimony, his character, Bill ten Boom, … yes, that name is correct … investigates the murder of 400 members of a Gypsy refugee camp that has been brought before the International Criminal Court at the Hague in the Netherlands.

“Bill ten Boom has walked out on everything he thought was important to him: his career, his wife, Kindle County, even his country. Still, when he is tapped to examine the disappearance of an entire Gypsy refugee camp—unsolved for ten years—he feels drawn to what will become the most elusive case of his career.

While it’s obviously a fictional account, the story also educates us about a war that most people know very little about. Good stuff from Turow … as always!

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