Thursday, November 27, 2008


As I watched the lead in to this years NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade. I was struck by how much time television now spends telling us what we are going to see, maybe a little history of the event, and the obligatory "man on the street" interviews. Then when the parade starts watching it on TV is nothing like watching it in person. As the director sequences the 5 - 15 second shots.

I remember a TV game show that was great in its day, but seems not to fit in with our modern idea of good television. It was called Concentration and in its glory days it accomplished with simple tools and low tech ingenuity things that now require a room full of digital effects editors and a full staff of pyrotechnicians. The star of the show was not the host, nor even the contestants it was the game board. A 5 by 6 grid with the initial face of each block showing a number. The game was played simply by calling two numbers in hopes of matching a prize. When matches occurred then a piece of the puzzle was revealed.

I was talking with a coworker the other day about a recent trip that I had taken. Then we started talking about sports venues Fenway Park, Gillette Stadium, and a local one Harbor Park. The stories tended to focus on people who had been injured because they were not concentrating on the moment. One injury was a lady who was reading a book at a ball park in seats just off of the 3rd baseline. Another was the high number of balls that go into the stands in Norfolk and the danger posed to persons who are not paying attention to the game.

This problem carries over into other areas of our lives and other activities. We've all seen people doing weird things while driving (shaving, applying makeup, reading, making calls, or even texting) often just an annoyance sometimes these extra activities cross over into dangerous to self and or others.

The ability to concentrate ones attention on a task, is critical to success. Some jobs have a heavy penalty for lack of concentration. In my "day" job for example it is a very good idea to live by this simple rule one hand for the ship, one hand for yourself. If you don't follow this rule you may find yourself on the floor in pain because the ship took a roll that you didn't expect.

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