Smart Toilet Paper Could Save Your Life

The next time you wipe yourself after doing your bathroom business, you might be holding some new clues about the future of your health. A number of companies are developing smart toilet paper that could possibly predict or detect more diseases than ever before.

The first one that just made news was announced by British scientists who said smart toilet paper could help fight obesity. Researchers said smart toilet paper is helping them understand the biological processes that create fat around the waist, better known as pot bellies.

The information was published in Nature Genetics. “It identifies the series of actions in the gut that fuel the build-up of fat around the waist. Fecal metabolome is a method that shows how the gut drives these processes and distributes fat.”

Doctors said that under the microscope, the stool samples revealed signs, or biomarkers, of internal fat around the waist.

Expect to be reading more about smart toilet paper and the diseases researchers can identify in the near future. Click here to read the Newsweek story.


We Went From A Riverboat With A View Of The Seine This Week ….

To Our Hotel With This View This Afternoon. Eiffel Tower To The Left.

I have to say I loved being that close to the water. We had three huge windows that were just inches higher than the Seine for a week. I could easily see the water from every angle in the room. I felt like I was floating on water all the time. Very dreamy.

“Influencers” Get The Biggest Salaries

Eiffel Tower With Dancing Lights

We are in Paris till Tuesday. I’m writing you on the last night of our Riverboat Cruise. It was an amazing week.

Now, for the topic of the day: “Influencers.”

The world has changed dramatically since we applied for jobs. Today, recruiters in the fields of entertainment, journalism, sports, modeling, art, real estate, philanthropy, and tech (and more) no longer just focus on education and experience. They want to know how many followers you have on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook.

The job seekers with the most social media “influences” could get the best jobs because they offer a built-in audience. Many job categories today are trying to reach larger audiences. If a candidate, with a million followers, applies for a job, he or she will likely get the position over everyone else. Companies want “influencers.”

It’s worth a lot of money to brands. One tweet from an “influencer” is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising.

Recruiters are using social media to scout fresh talent.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who has 106 million Instagram followers— is earning $1 million to promote his 2020 movie “Red Notice” on his social-media accounts. That’s in addition to the $20 million Universal Pictures is paying him to star in the movie.

The next time I hear a senior person say that social media is a waste of time, I will remind him or her, that there is some very serious money to be made online.

Back to the Riverboat……

Here are friends we made. I promised no names. They are not “influencers” and they want to stay that way.

Monet’s Garden

It was quite a treat today to visit the gardens of Claude Monet in the village of Giverny. He moved into his home in 1883 and died in 1926. Monet created the most extensive gardens that have been immortalized in countless paintings. It’s wonderful to know that Monet pursued gardening as much as he loved painting. Lucky man to have two amazing passions.

I took these photos with my iPhone. A lot of my friends take photos of flowers all the time. I never did. This was a great opportunity. I couldn’t pass it up. A number of people told me they waited a lifetime to see these gardens. It didn’t disappoint.

Amazon and The Synagogue Of Rouen

No, Amazon didn’t buy a French Synagogue. These are two different subjects I want to talk about today.

First Amazon. Be very careful about returning too many Amazon items. The company is cracking down on people who constantly return things. The Wall Street Journal just did a story about how Amazon is closing down phony customers. I suggest you read it so you don’t get a surprise rejection. Click here.

On to the Synagogue. AmaWaterways featured a Jewish Heritage tour today of Rouen. The city is about 90 minutes north of Paris. The temple we visited has been around since 1954. It was completely rebuilt after it was destroyed during WWII.

Only 250 families belong to this temple and most Shabbats only attract 10 to 20 people every Saturday. A Rabbi travels from Paris to Rouen to conduct services. About 700 members show up for the High Holy days.

The temple had one marriage and one Bar Mitzvah in the last three years. Most congregants prefer going to Paris because it’s easier for families to gather there.

One of the senior members of the temple met with us, showed us their Torah, and even blew the Shofar. AmaWaterways brings passenger guests to this temple every week. They also give a weekly donation of 50 Euros.

That’s what I call smart marketing.

Street art work in Rouen.

Normandy American Cemetery And Memorial

We spent the day paying tribute to our fallen soldiers. Omaha Beach, Normandy, France. Our river cruise, AmaWaterways, always plans a stop visiting Omaha Beach, Normandy, France on Memorial Day weekend.

It was upsetting to realize what happened on these beaches 74 years ago. Today, it is a seaside resort like any other ocean, vacation spot around the world. Life moves on no matter who gets hurt. Eliot and I spent time visiting about 50 of the 147 Jewish soldiers that died. Approximately 10,000 soldiers were killed.

I could only capture some of the Jewish headstones. It will be interesting to see if any DigiDame reader actually knows someone posted here. Not likely.

Visiting Honfleur

We visited Honfleur today, a city in northern France’s Normandy region. It’s where the Seine river meets the English Channel. The Vieux-Bassin (old harbor), lined with 16th- to 18th-century townhouses, has been a subject for artists including Claude Monet and Eugène Boudin. The town is also known for its caramel. Yes, we ate a few.

The last two photos were taken in a nearby town. We hiked about 1000 feet up to see the beach below. The backs of my legs are aching tonight, but I can see how hiking can become a passion if you are in good shape. I was huffing and puffing but I made it.

Enjoy the photos.

It’s Getting Late

Eliot and I, along with our friends. Myra and Gary, went to see this movie last Saturday night in Miami. It wasn’t a great movie but it was an important one.

It reminded all of us to stop postponing our joy. I also think if that means getting out of your comfort zone, do it. We are on a Riverboat on the Seine with a 100 people who are mostly 60 plus. There are a few younger ones, but 95 per cent are our age.

I can’t believe some of the things I heard many of these seniors do.

1-Bike tours that target 30 plus miles a day.

2-Volunteer work in the poorest areas of Mexico.

3-Chaperones on local school tours.

4-Hiking trips around the world.

5-Securing jobs as virtual assistants.

6-Docents at neighborhood museums.

It just has been two days and I am amazed at the stories I have heard. I feel like this can be the start of some new adventures. It’s time to shake things up.

Your Sleep Position Tells A Lot About You

In the last few years, Eliot and I spend more time in hotel beds than we do in our own. I have thought a lot about the position I use to get a good night sleep. I don’t think I need to describe my pose, but I did make a conscious decision a few years ago to give myself great comfort when I hit the pillow.

I personally want to separate myself from the world when I fall asleep, so the pillow and sheets I use partially block me from seeing anything in the room. I just concentrate on myself and things that make me happy. Eliot falls asleep in five seconds, I take five minutes. There must be something to our madness.

WebMD recently contacted me for the story below to give them some input about my sleep habits. I’m not sure they used any information I offered. They spelled out the story in pictures. I hope that this story can help some of you achieve better zzzzzzz.


We Made It To Paris

This is our second trip to Paris this year. Both are quasi business related, but I have to admit we have plenty of time for both work and fun. I must say that Eliot and I feel totally comfortable here, like it’s our second home. Everyone is friendly and accommodating.

The whole shtick about the French refusing to speak English is not true anymore in Paris. The entire city is filled with people from all over the world, speaking hundreds of different languages. Most folks just want to get along and make a decent living.

We are also very lucky that we have friends who live here so we get to see what life in Paris is really like. They eat tons of bread, butter, and pastries, and still stay thin. Eliot and I had olive bread today with chunks of big olives inside, and it was divine.

Now, on to the great tech news. Many of the telephone carriers are now offering inexpensive international phone, text and data plans. For $10 a day, my iPhone works like I was home in the United States. I am in constant communications with my office, and I can work remotely from anywhere in the world. I never had access like this before.

Making a call right in the street without having to seek out a WiFi area is so liberating. Thank you Verizon. Other carriers have it too. Thank you Howard Stark for making me aware of this service.

Verizon has TravelPass. The minute I arrived in Paris, I received the welcome text below. It’s a whole new world.

Staying Old in a Young Business

Robin is far right.

My girl friend Robin Raskin wrote a brilliant piece for Huffington Post on what it’s like to be old in a young person’s business..I wanted you to read it because some of you are starting to take part-time jobs in environments that are mostly populated by people that are in their 20s, 30s and 40’s.

Life can be fun at your new job, but beware, office life is very different from the days when we were the stars. Here are a few tips that will keep you happy and satisfied. It works. Listen to Robin.

Robin Raskin

“Youth can not know how age thinks and feels. But old men (and women) are guilty if they forget what it was to be young.” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I’ve thought about writing this piece for the last two decades which means I am not getting younger. But now that no amount of hair dye, gym time, or makeup does the trick, it’s time for me (and many of you) to fess up. For those of you who were pioneers in the world of technology, congratulations, you are now old people in a young person’s business. Can you survive in a world where a cloud is no longer a cumulus in the sky and an incubator isn’t just for chickens and babies?

Understanding age and ageism in a young person’s world is going to take some effort, some humility, and some crafty thinking. Here’s my to do list for growing old after forty years in the tech business.

1. Try new tech, even if you screw it up: When I began writing about tech, you could screw up in the comfort of your home; no one was the wiser. Today, social networking (a likely place to screw up) makes your errors totally transparent. Get over it. If you haven’t used Instagram or SnapChat, you need to try it. If you haven’t tried to navigate VR, you must. And you must summon the same child-like sense of wonder you did when you first typed Ctrl+Alt+Del.

My thirty-something kids call me out when I mix up my messaging systems, my photos show up upside down, or my voice to speech texts are laden with the word PERIOD spelled out. I accidentally stick lines of thumbs up emoji into every chat, and my touch typing is a lot faster than my texting. But I do it and am deprecating about my often very public screw ups.

2. Humor ‘em: They take life very seriously, as you did when you needed to prove yourself to the world. Remind them that to screw up is human (and probably machine-like, too).

3. Laugh about the culture divide: I love my young assistant to death, but when I give her a list of “to dos” and she tackles them in the order she sees fit, I’m apoplectic. “When I give you a to do list, it is not a pick list,” I tell her. We laugh and move on. We also have honest discourses about everything from corporate dress to politics. I love every minute of it.

4. Dole out a complement: Would it kill you to say something like “that’s such a novel idea” or “I love your thinking” to a twentysomething? At least complement them on their rapid fire texting or their ability to divvy a Venmo tab. You may be wiser, but chances are they’ve got more mobile dexterity.

5. Don’t bring up the good ole days more than once a week: Seriously, they weren’t so great (okay, the pay and benefits were better). But files got lost on hard disk drives, user interfaces were inscrutable. In contrast, new technology is more inclusive for many more people. If you survived the early days of technology, you’ve earned your badge to tell your story. Just not too often.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask: What is an ICO? Or what’s the difference between an incubator and an accelerator? I’m not familiar with that acronym. Asking questions is not a sign of idiocy; it’s a sign of interest. Asking for help is a skill that takes a while to develop in young employees, and you need a refresher course as you get older.

7. You are what you wear: I’m not saying you need to be a walking advertisement for the connected lifestyle, but you won’t be taken seriously if you don’t cart around the tools of your trade. Think of it like your business card, only more expensive. Super lightweight notebook, late model cell phone, appropriate looking laptop bag, etc. Start weaning yourself from quaint practices like paper business cards.

8. Collaborate: No one in the tech business toils in an ivory tower anymore. There are so many group project trackers, calendar add-ons, voting systems, video conference tools, shared documents and collaborative tools that you’ll probably want to enter a nunnery, but get proficient. Dropbox, GoogleDrive, Trello, MS One Drive, Zoom… just to name a few. If you’re going to do business in the tech world, you’re going to have to be fluent in collaborating with them on the platform of their choice.

9. Cultivate your persona: You have earned the right not to wear khakis and black t-shirts. You cultivated a look from a different era. To my older friends: Think Iris Apfel or Donna Karen —two icons who’ve kept their status in a young person’s industry. Guys, I’m afraid you’ll still be stuck with the khakis, but lose the suit (unless you’re Vint Cerf or Graydon Carter).

10. Add to your diversity checklist: The world has changed since I was the only woman in the tech room, and there’s room for lots more. Seek out diversity and you’ll expand the rather limiting world you knew in the early days of tech.

11. Never be complacent: Survivor badges are a reality show myth. You need to earn the respect of your industry every day. Riding on your laurels? It’s not part of the the new DNA.

Robin Raskin is founder of Living in Digital Times (LIDT), a team of technophiles who bring together top experts and the latest innovations that intersect lifestyle and technology. LIDT produces conferences and expos at CES and throughout the year focusing on how technology enhances every aspect of our lives through the eyes of today’s digital consumer.

You can also click here to read Robin’s Huffington Post article.