Leap Day Williams 30 Rock Episode

In a ranking of the top US holidays, Leap Day doesn’t even crack the top 30. Maybe it is because it only happens every four years. Or maybe because it is just an average day and not an actual holiday. Whatever the reason, February 29th isn’t typically described as “innovative”, “fresh”, or “brilliant.”

But those are the exact words used in reviews of 30 Rock’s Leap Day Williams episode.

Four years ago, the comedy series took something so simple, a non-popular holiday, and created an episode that has become one of the most popular in the show’s history. Their writers took an average day and spun it on its head, receiving positive reviews for its inventive script and the engaging performance by its guest stars.

When the show first aired in 2012, I thought it was one of the funniest things I’d ever seen. Any show where Tracy Morgan has to eat $50,000 worth of Japanese food in one day is right up my alley. Plus it included dumb quotes like “I don’t know a lot about business but he did an Internet and now the computers like him, and Wall Street is Google.”

Rather than worrying that people may find Leap Day boring, 30 Rock decided to just have fun. The episode featured made up Leap Day traditions including:

  • One must wear yellow and blue, unless you want to get poked in the eye. (In Boston, Jack says they stomp your foot and kick you in the knee. “Yankees suck. Go Pats!”)
  • A Santa-like character named Leap Day William who is the charitable top hat wearing old man character that comes out of the Mariana Trench every four years and trades candy for children’s tears
  • Watching the movie Leap Dave Williams, where Jim Carrey plays a lawyer who slowly starts turning into the “real” Leap Day William
  • And a lesson on the  the true meaning of Leap Day (“Real life is for March”).

Innovative, fresh idea, brilliant. Not words you’ll find describing the last day of a month. But 30 Rock showed it is possible to turn something mundane into something magical.

The episode ends with the “real” Leap Day Williams saying, “Well, I guess we’ve all learned something tonight about love and friendship, about taking chances, about the true meaning of Leap Day. But these lessons aren’t good just for every four years. No, they’re good every year because we should live every day as if it’s Leap Day and every Leap Day as if it’s your last. Oh, and if you should ever see an old man in a blue suit, busting out of the middle of the ocean, take the time to say, ‘Howdy’. It might just be worth your while.”

Mixed in all that nonsense is actually some pretty good advice.

More on 30 Rock’s Leap Day Williams episode

 

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February Recap

In case you missed a post or two this month, here’s a quick recap of what I wrote about during the month of February:

Questions I Asked –

Why Is The Iowa Caucus So Important? – I decided to answer this question rather than research Adele’s last name. See what I learned.

What Is The Longest Word In The English Language? – Does it really contain 189,819 letters?

Who Has The Most Instagram & Twitter Followers? – Check out the top 10 rankings for both social media platforms

Where Does The Phrase ‘Back To Square One’ Come From? – No one knows for sure, but here are 3 theories.

Things We Learned –

How to get others to think positively about you – The old saying goes, “you are what you eat.” Maybe it should be, “you are what you speak.”

A brand new way to lose weight – This weight loss strategy will do good for others at the same time.

I am not always productive – That is why I made up a new word.

What Gregg Popovich Told Draymond Green at the All Star Game – It is great advice we can all learn from.

We don’t have to play tennis in the dark – Find out what happened when I joined some buddies for friendly game of tennis.

How To Bounce Back From Rejection Like Michael Jordan – I might be the first person to compare rejection to that whip and nae nae song.

Fun With Numbers –

1 way to get my attention – It has to do with exploding heads.

1 great video you will watch more than once – Trust me, it is good.

1 more fantastic video – It has been said that things in life are not always awesome, but our response to them can be. Never has that been more true than with this video by Monty Williams.

How To Bounce Back From Rejection Like Michael Jordan

Have you been shot down by your longtime crush? Perhaps you were informed you didn’t get that dream job?  Maybe you were even told you couldn’t sit at the cool lunch table.

The popular adage states that there are only two things certain in life: death and taxes. I’d suggest adding a third one: rejection.

Rejection is like that whip and nae nae song. We hear it way more than we would like and once it is in our heads, we think we will never be able to get it out.

Not only is rejection an emotional pain, but to our brain, it feels like a physical pain. fMRI studies have shown that when we experience rejection, the same areas of our brain become activated as when we experience physical injury.

And not only that, but social pain has been shown to be more easily relived than physical pain. So not only does rejection hurt like a black eye, it makes us feel like we will get punched in the face any time we think back to that moment.

Luckily for us, there is a surefire way to bounce back from rejection. To find out how, check out the new article I wrote Fulfillment Daily. You’ll see why we need to look no further than the great Michael Jordan.

How To Bounce Back From Rejection Like Michael Jordan – Fulfillment Daily

 

Where Does The Phrase ‘Back To Square One’ Come From?

When a sports franchise is floundering, it is common for them to trade or sell off their best players. Blowing up the team in the short term to acquire valuable pieces for the long term is a popular, but not full proof, plan.

When a team decides to take this action, it is said that they are going back to square one. Until now, no mention of square position had been mentioned. We don’t hear about the Phoenix Suns stalling on square 57 or the New York Yankees taking a stroll past square 142.

We only hear about square one.

Wonder Why Wednesday: Where Does The Phrase ‘Back To Square One’ Come From?

The phrase “back to square one” has been around for sometime, but the exact origin of this saying is uncertain. However, there are three widely reported suggestions as to the phrase’s beginning. Let’s take a look at all three:

BBC Football Broadcasts

Before television, people listed to something called the radio. Picture it as Podcasts’ grandpa that was played by a wooden box the size of a toaster. In the 1920s and 30s, British football and rugby radio announcers would help explain the play-by-play by mentally dividing the field into numbered grids to represent the position of the action. Square one was right in front of the home team’s goal. When there was a goal kick by the home squad, the announcers would describe the play as being back at square one.

Board Games

One of the earliest recorded usages of this phrase comes from a 1952 edition of the Economic Journal, where it reads: “He has the problem of maintaining the interest of the reader who is always being sent back to square one in a sort of intellectual game of snakes and ladders.

The object of the game of Snakes and Ladders (or Shoots and Ladders) is to progress up a board full or numbered squared until you get to the very top square. Any player who falls on a square with a snake (or shoot) on it is sent backwards, sometimes having to even go back to the beginning, or square one.

Hopscotch

For those scotch-hoppers out there, you may be familiar with the popular playground game that is played on a course of numbered squares. The game begins as one player throws a rock or some type of marker on to one of the squares. The player then tries to hop through the grid while avoiding the square containing the marker. The goal is to continue around the course and retrieve the marker on the way back to the beginning square…square one.

 

 

Sources: Grammar-Monster, Phrases.org/uk & KnowYourPhrase.com

Powerful Words From A Grieving Husband

It has been said that things in life are not always awesome, but our response to them can be. Never has that been more true than with the video below.

Last week, Oklahoma City Thunder assistant coach Monty Williams’ wife Ingrid was killed in a car crash. Her car was struck head-on by a vehicle that lost control and crossed into her lane. The other driver died as well.

I can’t imagine what Monty and his five children are going through. They lost a mother, a wife, a best friend and so much more. If anyone has the right to be angry it is Monty Williams.

But rather than being angry, Monty chose to forgive.

“Everyone is praying for me and my family, which is right, but let us not forget that there were two people in this situation. And that family needs prayer as well, and we have no ill will towards that family,” Monty said at his wife’s memorial service on Thursday.

“That family didn’t wake up wanting to hurt my wife. Life is hard. It is very hard, and that was tough, but we hold no ill will toward the Donaldson family,” Monty continued. “And we, as a group, brothers united in unity, should be praying for that family because they grieve as well.”

This past week was not awesome for the Williams family…but Monty’s response has been.

If you have 7 mintues to spare, check out the entire video below featuring Monty’s eulogy. It is filled with true emotion from a grieving man who shows compassion, faith and may other traits we can learn from.

We Don’t Have To Play Tennis In the Dark

The other night I met some friends to play tennis. The local high school at which we play has 10 fairly nice courts, so even when the weather is nice out, like it is now, there is usually an open court or two to choose from.

When I parked, I was the first from our group to arrive and I noticed that 6 of the courts had their lights on while four of the courts were dark. The 6 lit up courts were all being used players. And oddly enough, one of the dark courts was also being used.

Getting out of my car, I could hardly see the man and woman playing on the dark court, so I can’t imagine how they were able to see the ball.

I figured something must have happened and the lights on those four courts were broken. Either that or this couple were some kind of tennis ninjas and didn’t need no stinkin’ lights.

As someone who is not a tennis ninja, and very much needs light to do basically anything, I figured my only choice was to wait to see if one of the lit courts opened up.

While I was surveying the landscape, trying to see which court had the sweatest players, so I could predict which game would finish first, another car pulled up. Two young guys got out of the car and walked right over to a light pole. They hit a button and instantly ambient light filled the four, previously, dark courts.

My first thought was, “why didn’t I think to do that?” But then the thought, “why didn’t the man and woman think to do that” came to my mind as the couple who had been playing in the dark thanked the two guys for turning on the light.

Turns out, they were not tennis ninjas at all. They were simply playing tennis in the dark.

Maybe this was their first time playing tennis and they didn’t want anyone to see how bad they were, so they hid in the cover of darkness. Maybe they are afraid of buttons and saw the light pole but couldn’t bring themselves to touch it. Or maybe, like me, someone before them had been playing the dark and they just assumed that the lights were broken and never thought to look for light.

This got me thinking about the times we approach a situation and blindly accept the circumstances laid out before us. The details are not as we would expect, or like, and we figure they are like that for some reason and there is nothing we can do about it.

We see others in the darkness and assume we too must play without light.

Thankfully for us, there are some people out there who look for light. They do not accept the situation without looking for a solution first. They teach us that, tennis ninjas or not, we can take action to improve what we see before us.

Embrace Success

Prior to Sunday’s NBA All–Star Game, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich gave Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green some pretty good advice:

“I was the first one (from the West) announced,” Green said, “and I was standing next to him (Popovich), and coach said, ‘Man, did you hear what Drake just said? He said this is the game with the 24 best players in the world. You’re one of those guys. Embrace it all, because you never would have thought that when you were at Michigan State, and I never would have thought that when I was coaching Division II, but we’re here.’” Green told MLive.com

Popovich began his career at Pomona-Pitzer College and Green was considered an undersized forward who few considered a future NBA star. Now each of them are at the top of their field. Each worked hard to get there and has been rewarded.

Popovich didn’t say to flaunt the success and he didn’t tell Green to call each person who doubted him and ask, “how ya like me now?” He simply said to embrace the success. This perspective is something we should all remember.

Amateurductive

There are many days where I feel like a great planner but poor do-er. My to do list is jammed packed and I have enough pens and sticky notes to make a Staples salesman jealous, but I just do not produce enough results.

During days like those, I feel amateurductive. Maybe beginnerductive or collegelevelductive, but definitely not PROductive.

And I am not talking about being one of those people who say there are just not enough hours in the day. My amateurductive days are filled with plenty of hours. In fact, adding more hours would just be adding wasted time.

My intentions are pure. I plan to do big things, but I do little.

I used to think that the way to break out of being amateurductive was to take on a big task. Something like clean the entire house or write a 50,000 novel. Surely, that would help me carpe the rest of my diem, right?

Wrong. To someone feeling amateurductive, tackling a giant task is like asking a pop warner football players to tackle Cam Newton. Not gonna happen.

Instead I need to focus on being dabblerductive. Rather than try to ramp up to pro, I need to start to dabble. I may never clean the whole house, but I can dabble with a few dishes. I may not write 50,000 words, but I can dabble with a blog post or two.

Some days, I may be a poor do-er but I can still be a decent dabbler.

 

What Is The Longest Word In The English Language?

Yesterday I wrote about the power of using a few good words. After I posted that, I started to think about how the power of a word has little to do with its letter count.

For instance, in most cases, choosing to use the word “odd” makes more sense than using “phantasmagorical” even though the latter has 13 more letters.

Which got me thinking…

What Is The Longest Word In The English Language?

There is much debate over what the longest word is. The dispute has to do how often the word is actually used and whether or not the word is in the dictionary.

The chemical name of titin, the largest known protein, contains 189,819 letters (Methionylthreonylthreonylglutaminylarginyl…isoleucine), but it is just a technical word that is not found in common dictionaries.

The longest word in any of the major English language dictionaries is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, a 45 letter word that refers to a lung disease contracted from the inhalation of very fine silica particles, specifically from a volcano.

The longest non-technical word in commonly found in dictionaries is flocci­nauci­nihili­pili­fication. 29 letters long, it is defined as “the act of estimating something as worthless.”

When it comes to words that are frequently used in normal text, deinstitutionalization and counterrevolutionaries, each 22 letters long, wear the crown.

One computer study took over a million samples of normal English text and found that the longest word a person will encounter on an everyday basis is uncharacteristically, at 20 letters.

 

What’s the longest word that you frequently use? Let me know if the comments section below.