1. The Big “O” – Oxytocin: This is the hormone of trust and “love.” It is a natural calming and feel good chemical. It connects and bonds people together and when released will evoke feelings of contentment, reductions in anxiety, and feelings of calmness and security. Simply touching, hugging, and interacting with loved ones can release Oxytocin and enhance intimacy.
Another surprising factor could be the amount of water vapor way up in the stratosphere, according to a new study out Thursday in the journal Science.
Water vapor, a potent, natural greenhouse gas that absorbs sunlight and re-emits heat, is “a wild card” of global warming, says the paper’s lead author, senior scientist Susan Solomon of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colo. Solomon was also a co-chair of one of the groups within the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that put out the definitive forecast of global warming in 2007.
In the Science paper, Solomon and her colleagues found that a drop in the concentration of water vapor in the stratosphere “very likely made substantial contributions to the flattening of the global warming trend since about 2000.”
While climate warming is continuing — the decade of 2000 to 2009 was the hottest on record worldwide — the increase in temperatures was not as rapid as in the 1990s.
The stratosphere is the layer of the atmosphere just above the troposphere, which is the layer of air here at the planet’s surface. (The troposphere goes from the surface up to about 8 miles, and the stratosphere is from about 8 to 30 miles above the surface.)
The decline in water vapor in the stratosphere slowed the rate of surface warming by about 25%, compared to that which would have occurred due to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, notes the study. Specifically, the planet should have warmed 0.25 degree F during the 2000s, but because of the influence of the water vapor, it rose just 0.18 degree F.
“We call this the 10/10/10 paper,” says Solomon. “10 miles above your head, there is 10% less water vapor than there was 10 years ago.”
Why did the water vapor decrease? “We really don’t know,” says Solomon, “We don’t have enough information yet.”
The findings are “surprising,” says Bill Randel, an atmospheric chemist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, who was not part of the study. He said it was surprising how big an effect such a very little change in stratospheric water vapor has had on the surface climate.
These fluctuations in water vapor could be part of a feedback loop. Although it’s known that water vapor in the troposphere increases as the climate warms — and is a major climate feedback that is well simulated in global climate models — in sharp contrast, models do a poor job of simulating water vapor in the stratosphere, according to the paper.
But Solomon points out this isn’t an indication that predictions on global warming are overstated: “This doesn’t mean there isn’t global warming,” notes Solomon. “There’s no significant debate that it is warmer now than it was 100 years ago, due to anthropogenic (man-made) greenhouse gases.”
And how will this water vapor affect future global warming? “We really don’t know the answer to this,” says Solomon. “If the water changes are due to the specific way the sea-surface temperature pattern looks right now, then it may well not be linked to the overall warming. It could just be a source of variability from one decade to another as the ocean pattern slowly changes. Or it could be linked to the overall warming of the tropics, in which case it could continue to ‘put the brakes on.’ Only time will tell, and more data.”
Contributing: Associated Press
(taken from the site earlytorise.com)
By Bill Glazer
You can (and should) always be different with your advertising. Because when you are… you accomplish your #1 goal.
GETTING NOTICED! OUTRAGEOUS doesn’t always mean getting wild (like me on the cover of my newest book, where I’m wearing a straightjacket). It can be as simple as changing the font in a letter you send to prospective customers so it looks like you wrote it with your own hand.
The clutter of advertising messages can be overwhelming to your prospect. But by cutting through it and understanding that there are only three possible responses — “yes,” “maybe,” or “no” — you have the best chance of getting a “yes” or “maybe” if you do something OUTRAGEOUS enough to get noticed.
For example, I owned some menswear stores before I became a marketing strategist. And to promote one of our sales, I decided to write a handwritten letter to my customers.
OUTRAGEOUS! But my letter was more than just handwritten. It appeared to have been written extemporaneously — with big letters and small, wildly drawn parentheses, scratch-outs, and hand-drawn arrows pointing to a side note. And it was on yellow legal pad paper.
Plus, get this — it was five pages! C’mon! No one sends out a five-page handwritten sales letter! No one! I mean, who would read it? Well, it turned out that lots of people read it. But more on the results later. First, take a look at the letter.
OUTrageous Produces Results From… EVERYONE
You might find it interesting to know that this five-page handwritten letter won the prestigious Multi-Media RAC Award at the 2002 Retail Advertising Conference.
But winning an award doesn’t pay the bills. Money pays the bills, and this advertisement was my most successful ever. In fact, from 1996 to 2006, I delivered 18 direct-mail campaigns per year, each and every year. That totals 180 different campaigns. While most of them were successful, the five-page handwritten sales letter printed on yellow paper received the highest response of any of them.
Who responded? Presidents of banks. Board members of Fortune 1000 companies. Accountants, doctors, and lawyers. They came to our sale because there was a piece of mail in their mailbox that could not be ignored.
It looked handwritten. It looked important. So when the bank president/doctor/lawyer came home from work, his wife gave him an envelope and she said (we were later told), “You’ve got to see this. It looks important.”
And it was important. OUTRAGEOUSLY important! Now think about that. People who you would think would not respond to five pages of UGLY handwriting responded. These are educated, professional, affluent people — and they responded to a handwritten sales letter.
Whenever I do a presentation at a seminar and show many of my OUTRAGEOUS examples to attendees, one or two of them always come up to me afterward and say… “While what you showed us was great, my customers won’t respond to that kind of advertising. They’re too sophisticated for it.”
No, they’re not! If it’s interesting, people will respond to it. Everyone responds to OUTRAGEOUS advertising. That’s exactly why I wrote my recent bestselling book about OUTRAGEOUS advertising. Ninety-nine percent of small-business owners and entrepreneurs are dissatisfied with the results they get from their current advertising. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Remember, EVERYONE responds to OUTRAGEOUS advertising.
OUTRAGEOUS Ideas Are Everywhere
Once I started developing the concept of OUTRAGEOUS advertising, I was always looking for opportunities to use it. Mostly because it works. But partly because it’s fun.
I often view my vacations as marketing opportunities. For example, when my wife and I were on vacation in Greece, I had a picture snapped of me on a donkey. I put it on a postcard and sent it to the customers of my menswear stores and the members of the Glazer-Kennedy Insider’s Circle.
One of my best marketing campaigns stemmed from a cruise my wife and I took to Alaska. Prior to the cruise, I saw a postcard of the ship with Alaska in the background. I liked it. I thought it would be a nice thing to send to my customers.
But first, I wanted to OUTRAGEOUSLY personalize it. So on the front of the postcard, I wrote this: “Even when I’m on vacation, I’m thinking of you…” Then, atop the cruise ship, I drew a little stick figure with an arrow pointing to it that said “ME.”
And on the back of the postcard, I put a coupon for $10 off any purchase with a “respond by” date.
I had 10,146 customers. So I went to my printer and had them print up 10,146 of these postcards. I had the cards addressed and stamped. But since I was actually headed to Alaska, of course I wanted them to have an Anchorage postmark.
When my wife and I arrived at our hotel in Anchorage, I went up to the desk clerk and asked if I could mail postcards there. She smiled and said, “Sure.” So I reached down and picked up my box of 10,146 postcards. I smiled back and said, “I wrote them all last night — and my arm is killing me!”
Needless to say, we all had a big laugh. And when my wife and I returned home from our cruise, I found out that the postcard campaign had been a huge success. As I said… OUTRAGEOUS advertising not only works, it is fun! In fact, it became the most enjoyable and fun thing I ever did in my business.
Try it and see for yourself. [Ed. Note: Bill Glazer is one of the top marketing strategists in the world. Together with the legendary Dan Kennedy, he provides money-making advice to hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs and business owners in every imaginable category. Bill has the unique ability to combine proven and effective direct-response marketing strategies with OUTRAGEOUS advertising that cuts through the clutter, gets noticed, and gets results. – JIM FREY
Washington (CNN) — Jan. 25, 2010 -President Obama proposed nearly doubling the child care tax credit for middle-class families Monday, the latest administration initiative meant to reassure Americans nervous about the slow pace of the economic recovery. The proposal is one of five new recommendations from the president’s Middle Class Task Force, which was established one year ago this week. It comes as an increasingly populist White House struggles to regain the political advantage among swing independent voters who have flocked to the GOP in recent elections in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia. “The middle class has been under assault for a long time,” Obama said in remarks delivered near the White House. “None of these steps alone will solve all the challenges facing the middle class,” he said. “But hopefully, [they] will re-establish some of the security that’s slipped away in recent years.” Specifically, Obama will push to increase the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit rate from 20 percent to 35 percent for families making under $85,000 a year. Families making from $85,000 to $115,000 also would see an increase in their tax credit, the statement said. – JIM FREY
In between frames (from Seth Godin’s blog)
Scott McCloud’s classic book on comics explains a lot more than comics.
A key part of his thesis is that comic books work because the action takes place between the frames. Our imagination fills in the gaps between what happened in that frame and this frame, which means that we’re as much involved as the illustrator and author are in telling the story.
Marketing, it turns out, works precisely the same way.
Marketing is what happens in between the overt acts of the marketer. Yes you made a package and yes you designed a uniform and yes you ran an ad… but the consumer’s take on what you did is driven by what happened out of the corner of her eye, in the dead spaces, in the moments when you let your guard down.
Marketing is what happens when you’re not trying, when you’re being transparent and when there’s no script in place.
It’s not marketing when everything goes right on the flight to Chicago. It’s marketing when your people don’t respond after losing the guitar that got checked.
It’s not marketing when I use your product as intended. It’s marketing when my friend and I are talking about how the thing we bought from you changed us.
It’s not marketing when the smiling waitress appears with the soup. It’s marketing when we hear two waiters muttering to each other behind the serving station.
Consumers are too smart for the frames. It’s the in-between frame stuff that matters. And yet marketers spend 103% of our time on the frames.
Posted by Seth Godin on January 20, 2010
- Jim Frey