Seven Surprising Things Radio Guests Have Told Me Recently

IB Publisher Jody Glynn Patrick blends work and life in this very clear departure from both her column for In Business magazine, and the other bloggers. Awarded national recognition for her previous work as a newspaper columnist, she brings us all back "Closer to Home" with her insights and remembrances. A nice place to be "After Hours." Check back often! Read Full Bio
  1. Polar bears in the artic region are resorting to cannibalism because of the melting ice shelves, which severely limits their ability to hunt seals. This is unprecedented in their species. And if you think this unusually cool summer refutes global warming, Alan Capelle, director of Upper Iowa University, would like to help you learn all about global warming and changing climate conditions in a new class he’s teaching. That very phenomenon interrupts air and sea currents, and may, in fact, be the precursor of an ice age. Will the Florida and Eastern Seacoast be compromised, large portions submerged under the sea in as little as 20 years (or sooner?) Alan is very interesting, and is personally connected to the same scientists who are advising Obama. Bet he’s a good lecturer.
  2. You probably won’t see “happy cow” commercials for awhile. About 87,000 dairy cattle (give or take a herd) are being slaughtered now in the United States — including in Wisconsin. Already, as many as seven California dairy farmers have committed suicide over the situation. The worldwide decline in the dollar’s strength is affecting the total number of consumers, and the return on dairy for the milk producer is down across the world, including about a 19% drop in organic interest. Breeding heifers are in that mix of cows marked for slaughter. It’s 30-year low for farmers, and Wisconsin dairymen and women still have to produce feed, provide vet care, pay employees to help milk — and where’s the credit they’ve earned over the span of their farming years, now, when they actually need it? So says WTDY’s Fabulous Farm Baby, Pam Jahnke, a plain-speaking farm gal who left the bullcrap on her boots outside the studio door when she joined us for In Business with Jody and Joan. While Jahnke thinks we’ve likely hit bottom with regard to dairy losses, it’s going to take a year or so to back out of the recovery and in the meantime, she said, area dairy farmers “aren’t going to just turn happy, happy, happy, joy, joy, joy in six weeks.”
  3. Apoaequorin, a protein found in jelly fish, supposedly helps maintain calcium ion homeostasis, which helps control the proper balance of calcium ions within the cell. Calcium ions are responsible for millions of cellular reactions and are essential for brain cell health. The Prevagen® pill (sorry, FDA — did I say “pill?” It’s not a drug, it’s a “food additive capsule”) is manufactured by the local company Quincy Bioscience. I have agreed to take it as an experiment to see if it helps improve my memory. Company president Mark Underwood assured me he is not killing off all the jellyfish in the ocean to make his capsules; his scientists have come up with a synthetic process (he doesn’t like that word, though). No, I don’t have a medical reason for taking it, beyond “CRS” (Can’t Remember… Stuff). Like most people my age, I’d like a magic pill to improve my recall memory (Where did I put my car keys today?). It’s a bit pricy at $2 a pop (take one daily), but I’ll let you know in a later blog if I notice any effect after this cycle runs out. My first cycle was a freebie.
  4. A “sustainable business” no longer means one that will continue to show profits or even employ people beyond the present owner’s term. The expression now, in academic circles, means a business that is a good steward for generations to come, likely aligned with the environment and the public’s needs. If, that is, the business can outlive the recession and have enough profit to continue employing people…. The Madison area is taking the lead in defining sustainable businesses (actually, the UW is). Tom Eggert (UW-Madison School of Business) has built, with students, a conference around it. Meanwhile, however, he admits there is still lack of consensus from all of the stakeholders in and outside of the business as to what is meant by the keyword “sustainable.” Is a sustainable business a “green business” that cares about its carbon footprint? Maybe. Is it housed in a green building? Maybe, maybe not. Is it about recycling? Perhaps. Is it about creating culturally relevant products (whatever those are) — closer, maybe. Lots to think about. Meanwhile, most managers I know are trying to teach bank loan officers how their businesses work so they can get a loan to cover their assets and to keep the business alive or “sustainable” as defined by the old criteria — one that can keep enough market share to keep people gainfully employed.
  5. Morris Davis, one of my favorite returning guests, is from the UW-Madison’s Real Estate Department. He’s a guitarist in a rock band, too, and I think that’s cool. The recession is not over, he says. The best time to buy a house will very likely be January 2010. That’s when this former housing economist-turned-UW-professor (whose former federal job with The Fed was to brief Alan Greenspan) thinks the residential housing market will bottom out. And by the way, he does NOT think Obama’s plan to mitigate foreclosures is going to work — at all. Morris and his colleagues have come up with a new plan but he can’t get Wisconsin senators Kohl or Feingold to even listen to it. With 500,000 Americans facing foreclosure, “They don’t even seem to care,” he said. He is stunned that the smartest people in housing (who now work at the Boston Fed) are not being listened to right now, either. He’s stunned, stunned, stunned, which stuns us.
  6. Psychic Debbie Smoker, after an impromptu card reading for me on air, says my three choices from her Tarot deck reveals that “you’re really, really being asked to pay attention to what you do with your energy in the universe.” A project I’m working on should “come to fruition.” When she closed her eyes, my spiritual guide was revealed to her as a 60-ish year old woman standing to my left side. (Hi to you, too, Mom.) Let’s just say, Joan set up this surprise reading on air for me as a treat. The psychic said I should practice being “in the moment” when stressed, and that was good advice. While she was talking to me, I was not in the moment… I was thinking I could have been getting my dirty car washed during that hour. It’s no reflection on Debby; likely she’s cultivated her art of hypnosis, age regression, and card readings; I just wasn’t tuned in to her wavelength that day. Sometimes you feel like a psychic and sometimes you don’t, I guess. Sorry.
  7. The first step toward managing your own online reputation is to fill out a Google profile. I learned this from Web-techie-marketing consultant Natalie Schloesser, Uncharted Shores. It took me a full day to do it, because, still following her advice, I (1) first set up a Flickr account to manage my photos to upload them; (2) looked up and linked all of the related resources to help propel me up from the depths of the search options deep blue sea. Then I dutifully (3) set up a Ping account to enable me to post my personal blog, The Bereaved Parents Watering Hole, on multiple sites, creating a new one written for bereaved parents at (4) (the site is hard; great for technical geniuses) and (5) one on Blogger/Blogspot (more a site for blog beginners). She told me to then (6) post those blog addresses on free blog directories; you set up accounts with passwords for those, too, sigh. That took another hour. Now that’s all done, it’s time to (7) link the blogs and profile (with embedded Flickr pics) to social networking sites via my Facebook, Linked-in and Plaxo accounts. After I figure out how Ping really works, this should all be much easier. But I think I’m about to bring this project to fruition. Hey, wait a minute! Debbie Smoker WAS tuned into me!