Monday, June 29, 2015

How to face your fear monster

On June 18th at there was an excellent brief article by psychotherapist Amy Morin titled How to Face Your Fears One Step at a Time and Conquer Your Anxiety Forever. She discussed using exposure therapy. Her article also appeared at

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Is cleaning a boring topic? Not at Don Aslett’s Museum of Clean!

If you ever are anywhere near Pocatello, Idaho, make sure to stop in Old Town and pay the $6 admission to see the Museum of Clean. Back in 1989 its founder Don Aslett wrote a public speaking book called Is There a Speech Inside You? He also has co-authored a whole shelf of books about cleaning, including, of course, The Cleaning Encyclopedia. Watch the brief AP and CBS videos about his museum and his mission spreading the gospel of clean. Then watch Don play Happy Birthday with a toilet plunger. 

I visited it on June 24, 2015 and Don gave me and three other visitors a tour. When you walk in the door you’ll see a pair of knights made from galvanized steel buckets, tubs, and furnace ducts. He has a wide variety of items - thousands of them. There are curiosities like a trash compactor from the Space Shuttle Discovery, a quilt made from vacuum cleaner bags, and a bunch of plungers for hand washing clothes in buckets called Mountain Maytags.

Down in the basement there are exhibits that include Sweeping, Dusting, and Mopping. There’s a totem pole made of mop buckets, and a Bad Mop Bouquet.

On the ground floor the museum has an amazing collection of vacuum cleaners, including the World’s First (powered) Vacuum, a 1902 horse-drawn monstrosity as large as a modern carpet cleaning van. There are whimsical sculptures, and vacuums marked Try Me. There are exhibits on Hand Laundering, a bunch of washing machines, and Ironing. At the upper right of the ironing display there even is a pair of pants stretchers for putting in a crease by just air drying. I dimly recall those from before I was ten years old, when permanent press fabrics were not common.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Five most common fears for younger Americans ages 16 to 34 are other drivers, public speaking, death, snakes, and spiders

On June 23rd the Ford Motor Company issued a press release mis-titled Younger Americans Fear Other Drivers More Than Death, Public Speaking, and Spiders, New Study Finds. It was about an online survey done between April 29th and May 4th by Penn Schoen Berland on a sample of 1000 people in the U.S. from Generation Y (ages 23 to 34) and Generation Z (ages 16 to 22).  

Results are shown above in a bar chart. (Click on it for a larger, clearer view). The five most common fears were other motorists driving dangerously (88%), public speaking (75%), death (74%), snakes (69%) and spiders (69%). For this sample size the margin of error is plus or minus 3.1%, so the difference between 75% and 74% is not significant.

The survey also covered driving situations. Those results are shown in a second bar chart .The five most common ones were snowy or icy roads (79%), maneuvering into a tight parking spot (75%), backing out onto a busy street (74%), monitoring blind spots (70%), and not knowing where I’m going (69%).

Ford’s press release displayed fuzzy thinking. Their title suggested the survey was about what people feared more, while the data actually described what more people feared.

Two opening paragraphs said:

“Public speaking just lost the top spot as the most feared task for younger Americans. Distracted, dangerous drivers are now the first concern for Millennial and Generation Z consumers, new research finds.

For decades, public speaking was America’s most anxiety-inducing activity. Now, dangerous drivers are more frightening than speaking in public, death, spiders and snakes – according to independent research company Penn Schoen Berland.”

Public speaking didn’t just lose the top spot. Back on March 19, 2001 Gallup released the results of a poll in an article titled Snakes Top List of Americans’ Fears. That article  had results from an earlier 1998 poll that also had snakes first. I discussed that article and results from other polls in an October 2012 blog post for Halloween titled Either way you look at it, public speaking really is not our greatest fear.

How do the Ford results compare with other recent surveys of young people? Back in 2014 I blogged about how a YouGov survey of U.S. adults found they most commonly were very afraid of snakes, heights, public speaking, spiders, and being closed in a small space. That survey also listed results for A Little Afraid, which can be added to those for Very Afraid to produce totals that ranked in the same order as those for Very Afraid. The YouGov survey listed results for different age groups, including one from 18 to 29. Those results are shown above in a bar chart. The top five fears were spiders (65%), snakes (61%), public speaking (58%), heights (50%), and being closed in a small space (47%).

Lots of journalists thoughtlessly parroted the title from the Ford press release. MotorWeek said Young Drivers Fear Other Drivers More Than Death, and said Young drivers fear other road users more than death and spiders. They and others who communicate about the auto industry are hereby awarded honorary membership in Journalists Asleep at the Wheel (JAW).

Back in February 2014 I blogged about Busting a myth- that 75% of people in the world fear public speaking. The 75% for public speaking in this new Ford survey likely will get spread around as if it applied to the whole world, but it instead apples to just about half of the U.S., as shown above.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Getting one of your favorite TV episodes wrong

This week I was reading Paul R. Brown’s 2015 book, Entrepreneurship for the Rest of Us and on page 123 I saw the following story highlighted in a gray box:


We all like confirmation that something we believe is correct. I got mine, for this chapter, from my favorite antihero, Homer Simpson of The Simpsons.

After realizing that he has lived half his life and doesn’t have much to show or it, Homer, in one of my favorite episodes, is inspired by Thomas Alva Edison and sets out to become an inventor.

Not surprisingly, given that this is Homer, most of his inventions - a horn that sounds every three seconds when everything is perfectly okay, a musket that women have to aim at their face to apply makeup - are profoundly lame. But in the midst of creating these dumb ideas, Homer inadvertently comes up with a good one.

While he was pondering his next invention, Homer would lean back in his chair... and promptly fall over. This happens repeatedly. To solve the problem he creates a chair with two hinged legs on the back, making it impossible to tip over backward. VoilĂ ! A new invention is born.

If Homer Simpson can turn a problem into an innovative solution, so can you.”

But, that’s not how that episode, The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace, really ends. Instead:

“His hopes are destroyed when he notices his poster of Edison, which shows Edison sitting in the same type of chair, indicating that he has already invented Homer's untippable chair. Bart points out that the chair is not featured on a list of Edison's inventions, and that maybe no one knows he invented it.”

So, Homer goes to sneak into the Edison Museum to smash Edison’s chair with the electric hammer that he really invented. He changes his mind, but accidentally leaves the hammer behind. On the TV news the Simpsons see that both the chair and the electric hammer have just been discovered at the Edison Museum, and are expected to generate even more money for Edison's already wealthy heirs.

That ending illustrates what is known as The Matthew Effect (Matthew 25:29) which tells us that life isn’t fair. The the King James version says:

“For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken even that which he hath.”

Before you put a story in a book or a speech, it is important to double check and see that you got it right. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Visualizing emotional equations with PowerPoint or flipcharts

One of the ways adults think about and deal with their emotions is by naming what they are feeling. As Yoda said in The Empire Strikes Back,

“Named must your fear be before vanish it you can.”

Back in February 2012 I read a book review post on Bob Sutton’s blog titled Chip Conley’s Emotional Equations: A Leadership Self-help Book You Will Love (Even If You Hate Self Help Books). Rather curiously the U.S. version of Chip’s Emotional Equations book is subtitled Simple truths for creating happiness + success while the UK version is subtitled Simple formulas to help your life work better. Chip has explained his ideas in a two-minute book trailer and an 18-minute talk at Stanford.

Last month I finally borrowed a copy of Emotional Equations and began to skim through it. Chip listed a bunch of equations that describe relationships between emotions. But I was surprised to find how much less visual his thinking style was than mine. Chip just wrote out those equations as words. I’m a fan of Jessica Hagy’s Indexed cartoons, so I was expecting to see some schematic x-y charts or Venn diagrams. So, I opened up PowerPoint and tried making some simple charts for Chip’s equations that involve addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. (You also could draw them as flip charts).


The easiest sort of equation to visualize is one like:

Curiosity =  Wonder + Awe

This positive statement can be shown by adding a couple of line segments and three brackets:

There also are negative statements like:

Regret = Disappointment + Responsibility


Remorse = Regret + Guilt

which can be put together to produce:


A negative statement like:

Despair = Suffering - Meaning

also can be shown using line segments and brackets:

Chip said that once he realized that suffering was the constant and meaning was the variable, he could put his attention on the meaning, grow that, and reduce the despair.


The positive equation:

Authenticity = Self-Awareness x Courage

can be expressed by showing Authenticity as a rectangular area:



A positive equation like:

Happiness = (Wanting what you have)/(Having what you want) 

can be expressed by showing a quotient of two areas:


I’m not sure how to express this one, or even if it makes good sense:

I think these little PowerPoint charts help describe his equations. What do you think?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Slip-ups, bloopers, and outtakes

When there is a slip-up in a presentation being recorded, you get a blooper or outtake that can be removed by editing. The blooper also can be used to remind that we aren’t really perfect. On June 1st Diane DiResta posted a YouTube video and then blogged about some of her bloopers. She also has another very brief video of her recovering from one.     

Sometimes a slip-up produces a useful innovation. Venerable Los Angeles restaurant Philippe the Original claims that back in 1918 the french dip sandwich resulted from a counterman accidentally dropping the roll top (or roast beef sandwich) into the gravy trough. The customer said he was in a hurry, tried it, and liked it. 

On April 1st I blogged about Phil Plait’s first ten videos for Crash Course Astronomy, and embedded his video of outtakes. There are lots of other humorous videos with Crash Course Outtakes. One of my favorites is the 2012 one from World History. It is Not Suitable for Work (NSFW), since at 3:10 John refers to “a long-ass time.”

Six others are:  

Anatomy & Physiology #1

Biology & Ecology

Chemistry #1

Government and Politics #1


Psychology #1

The sign was derived from a Caution slippery sign at Wikimedia Commons and a banana peel at Openclipart.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Snakes are the most common fear for Canadians, followed by heights and public speaking

On June 8, 2015 the Canadian Cancer Society issued a press release about an online survey they had done by Angus Reid to go with their Fearless Challenge fund raising campaign. It was titled Snakes and ladders top list of Canadians‘ fears, just don’t ask them to speak publicly about it. They polled 1500 adults.

As shown above in a bar chart, the five most common fears were snakes (40%), heights (34%), public speaking (33%), spiders (31%), and natural disasters (30%). (Click on the chart for a larger, clearer view). There was not a link to the detailed results. But, the Toronto Sun had more results for women and men in an article they mis-titled Snakes are Canadians’ greatest fear: Survey.

As shown above in a second bar chart, the four most common fears for women were snakes (46%), a tie between natural disasters (40%) and spiders (40%), mice/rats (38%), and a tie between heights (37%) and public speaking (37%).

As shown above in a third bar chart, the five most common fears for men were snakes (33%), heights (31%), public speaking (28%), spiders (21%), and a tie between natural disasters (20%) and tight spaces (20%).

All the fears for women were much more common than those for men. Snakes were feared by 46% of women and just 33% of men, and spiders by 40% of women and just 21% of men. Note that public speaking was not the most common fear overall (ranked 3rd), for women (ranked 4th), or for men (ranked 3rd).

An image of a garter snake came from Wikimedia Commons.  

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Is there an Institute of National Health?

On June 6th I blogged about Playing Whack-A-Vole with a misattributed and bogus statistic at Statistic Brain (attributed to the U. S. National Institute of Mental Health). On June 9th at LInkedIn Pulse Jennefer Witter generated a new variation of that silliness in her article titled Can We Talk? Tips on Public Speaking  by claiming instead that:

“According to the Institute of National Health, 74% of people have a fear of public speaking.”

I never heard of them before. But in Paris there is an even more impressively named Institute of National Health and Medical Research. There also is a Swedish National Institute of Public Health.

Jennefer ends the article by plugging her The Little Book of Big PR. I hope the tips in there include to check sources and proofread before posting an article or a press release.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Don’t annoy us by reading your PowerPoint slides

If you use your PowerPoint slides just as on-screen notes for a presentation, then you will irritate the audience because they always can read faster than you can talk. You also might turn your back and lose eye contact with them.

Dave Paradi did six Annoying PowerPoint Surveys. The most common annoyance was speakers reading their slides. For his 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013 surveys  ~2/3 to ~3/4 of participants were annoyed, as shown above. I have previously blogged about PowerPoint Flaws and Failures: Survey of Common Flaws and Annoyances. A long magazine article from 2012 I discussed also surveyed what annoyed audiences. It found that presenters reading their slides was the third most common flaw, but the second most annoying one. 

By using the Presenter View a speaker can instead paraphrase that text and put it in notes that only he can see. But. if he has properly rehearsed he won’t need to look at them. 

This post was inspired by a recent infographic from SlideGenius that only mentioned Dave Paradi's 2013 survey.   

The image was adapted from a 1908 Puck magazine cartoon about If Moses came down today found at the Library of Congress.   

Monday, June 8, 2015

An avalanche of posts from SlideGenius at the Public Speaking Network group on LinkedIn

About a month ago I noticed that CEO and founder Rick Enrico of SlideGenius was posting content from their blog. I have indicated post dates on their blog after the titles.

27 days ago he posted a single item:
Presentation Ideas from Ancient Greece: Explaining Ethos 
May 8, 2015

24 days ago he posted five items:   
Frank Sinatra: Make Your PowerPoint Presentations Sing 
May 12, 2015
3 Secrets to Make Numbers Interesting in Sales Presentations 
May 13, 2015
Consider the Eyes: White Space in Great Presentation Design 
May 14, 2015 
Use Neutral Facial Expressions in Professional Presentations 
May 14, 2015
Use Two Types of Charts for Business Presentations 
May 14, 2015

20 days ago he posted two items:
Craft Your Corporate Presentations into a Great Story 
May 15, 2015
Three Powerful Ways to End Your PowerPoint Presentation 
May 18, 2015

18 days ago he posted three items:
How to Introduce Your Product for Sales Presentations 
May 19, 2015
You Need a PowerPoint Specialist: Here’s Three Reasons Why 
May 19, 2015
The Perfect Font Combo for PowerPoint Presentation Designs 
May 20, 2015

16 days ago he posted two items:
Bringing Passion into Your Professional Presentation 
May 20, 2015 (he listed this twice on this day)
Canons of Rhetoric: Applying Invention to Presentations 
May 21, 2015

12 days ago he posted an absurd eleven items (four a 2nd time):
The Perfect Font Combo for PowerPoint Presentation Designs 
May 20, 2015 (a 2nd time)
Three Powerful Ways to End Your PowerPoint Presentation 
May 18, 2015 (a 2nd time)
4 Ways to Gain Self-Esteem Like a Presentation Expert 
May 18, 2015
You Need a PowerPoint Specialist: Here’s Three Reasons Why 
May 19, 2015 (a 2nd time)
How to Introduce Your Product for Sales Presentations;
May 19, 2015 (a 2nd time)
How to Maximize Eye Contact for Presentations 
May 21, 2015 (he listed this twice on this day)
Canons of Rhetoric: Applying Invention to Presentations 
May 21, 2015
4 Tips to Make Your Presentation Clear and Concise 
May 22, 2015
Applying the Rule of Thirds to Your PowerPoint Presentation 
May 22, 2015
PowerPoint Storyboard: A Powerful Way to Share Your Ideas 
May 25, 2015
Consistency: The Key to an Effective Sales Presentation
 May 26, 2015

7 days ago he posted six items (one blog post for a 2nd time, and one for a 3rd time):
The Perfect Font Combo for PowerPoint Presentation Designs 
May 20, 2015 (a 3rd time)
PowerPoint FAQ: Five Common Slide Design Questions You’ve Always Wanted to Ask
May 25, 2015
Fix Design Annoyances for Great PowerPoint Presentations 
May 26, 2015
Consistency: The Key to an Effective Sales Presentation 
May 26, 2015 (a 2nd time)
Plan Ahead to Avoid PowerPointless Presentations 
May 27, 2015
How Not to Depend on Your PowerPoint Presentation Scripts 
May 29, 2015

6 days ago he posted one item:
INFOGRAPHIC - A PowerPoint survey shows that 72% of audience members find it annoying when a presenter reads his slides out loud

2 days ago he posted one item:
3 Tips for a Direct and Conversational Business Presentation 
June 4, 2015

Over 30 items in less than a month is an average of more than one a day, when one every two or three days would be reasonable. But 11 in a day and including 4 repeats seems like outrageous overkill given that he has plenty of blog content to work with.

It shows an inability to make decisions that you’d expect from a confused child rather than a mature adult. Perhaps it is time to take the advice he delivered last October in a post titled Second Chance: Overcoming a Negative First Impression.  

Two Puck magazine images were adapted from Look out, there, boys! and Dull at the Library of Congress.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Remembering George Biddle

Back in graduate school four decades ago I didn’t just learn from professors. Other staff also taught lessons. In 2012 I blogged about Learning clear communication from a storeroom clerk.

In the mail I just got the Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) News for Spring 2015 from that department at Carnegie Mellon University. On pages 6 and 7 was a memorial article titled Remembering George Biddle, 1928 -2014. George was supervisor of the MSE machine shop, located down on the next to bottom level of Doherty Hall. The article included reminisces from three department heads, a dean, and three former graduate students.

I also learned about clear communication in writing from George. The first time I went to submit a drawing of an assembly, George pointed out that I had forgotten to put tolerances on the dimensions. He said that if he gave this to Tony Whelan, then Tony would do exactly what I’d said and make it as precisely as possible - to the nearest 0.0001 inch. That likely was not either what I needed or wanted to pay for. You could always depend on George for practical advice to help improve a design - making it easier to machine and assemble, and less expensive by using parts that already were mass produced and “off the shelf.”

One gizmo I remember seeing was the hot-filament microscope used by Jack Shegog and Gerhard Derge to study dissolution of calcium oxide in steelmaking slag by carefully watching a single droplet under a stereomicroscope. 

Recently I was reading David Brook’s book The Road to Character (which you can preview at Google Books) and found that item #7 of his Humility Code described George:

“Character is a set of dispositions, desires, and habits that are slowly engraved during the struggle against your own weakness. You become more disciplined, considerate, and loving through a thousand small acts of self-control, sharing, service, friendship, and refined enjoyment. If you make disciplined, caring choices, you are slowly engraving certain tendencies into your mind. You are making it more likely that you will desire the right things and execute the right actions. If you make selfish, cruel, or disorganized choices, then you are slowly turning this core thing inside yourself into something that is degraded, inconstant, or fragmented. You can do harm to this core thing with nothing more than ignoble thoughts, even if you are not harming anyone else. You can elevate this core thing with an act of restraint nobody sees. If you don’t develop a coherent character in this way, life will fall to pieces sooner or later. You will become a slave to your passions. But, if you do behave with habitual self discipline, you will become constant and dependable.”  

The painting of a thistle by Fidelia Bridges came from Wikimedia Commons.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Playing Whack-A-Vole with a misattributed and bogus statistic

 On March 30th I blogged about Floating fear statistics with no visible support and lamented that vague claims based on a silly web page at Statistic Brain keep popping up. It’s like playing a game of Whack A Vole, where just as you hit one pesky rodent on the head another two pop up.

On May 4th at Jack Mize spread it it again in an article titled 5 Steps to Getting Your Way onto the Speaking Circuit. He said that:

“....according to data from the National Institute of Mental Health, 74 percent of all Americans have some measure of fear when it comes to public speaking. “

Quoting a statistic that you have not followed back to its source actually is a pretty good way to get chased off of the speaking circuit for doing superficial research.

But, that mythical 74% also showed up in May 26th article titled Chair City Toastmasters sharpen communication skills by Debbie Hightower at which claimed:

“According to the National Institute of Mental Health, as many as 74 percent of people suffer from some form of speech anxiety.”

Sometimes I have been successful by commenting, like when Dawn Mentzer mentioned it in a March 31st blog post on Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

What’s pushing your buttons? Tales of keyboard troubleshooting

ComputerWorld has a blog called Shark Tank with short stories about information technology (IT) troubleshooting. Their Shark Tank title is much older than the business pitch TV show that began in 2009. They had a bunch about keyboard problems. Some are very brief jokes, but others are longer and more convoluted. 

On May 28th there was one titled Well, you know how wild those library parties get. A high level manager had her laptop connected to a docking station with an external keyboard. When she pushed those keys no input appeared. Instead windows on the external display just kept flying around. So, she asked for help, but their technician found that the keyboard looked ok. Then he opened the laptop and found the real problem. There were lumps of confetti on its keyboard, leftover from a birthday party held the previous day. The lid of the laptop had been pushing the confetti, which kept pushing some keys down.  

On June 7, 2013 they had another longer Sherlock Holmes style story called Aha! where all the keys on a second keyboard were being pushed down and making a personal computer (PC) beep continuously. That was because the had user kept his old PS/2 keyboard flipped upside down to use as a stand, so his newer USB keyboard was at exactly the right height for touch typing. To thoroughly clean his desk he had disconnected and moved his desktop PC. When he put everything back he’d accidentally plugged in both keyboards.

They had several stories about keys sticking because of burrs left on an edge from the plastic molding process. One from  February 23, 2007 was titled Some Trade Secrets Should Remain Secret. The secret was  a “drop test” - dropping the keyboard on the desk from a height of a couple inches usually would pop that key back up. Then that keytop could be popped off with a screwdriver, and the offending plastic protrusion easily sanded off with an emery board. A secretary who he told about the drop test next tried dropping her entire PC, and destroyed the hard drive. Almost the same story was told earlier on March 19, 2004 as The second thing they teach is not to kid users. Another story from December 27, 2012 was titled Luckily, modern keys are too cheap to have springs. It told about back in the 1970s the “drop test” was spread around a manufacturing plant. If two inches didn’t work, they tried four, or six, or even more. They had a rash of keycaps and springs flying around.

There also was one from November 6, 2014 titled Sorta gives ‘know your users‘ a whole new meaning. The IT guy at a small manufacturing plant was busy developing software for order entry. At 12:30 PM he got a very upset phone call from their order entry clerk. Her PC had just begun beeping continuously. He asked her if she was eating lunch, and she said she was. Well then, he said, please take your sandwich off the keyboard.  

The funniest one from back on October 1, 2001 was titled It doesn’t work that way. That user had insisted her PC was asleep and actually snoring. When the technician arrived he saw that there indeed was a long string of Zs on the display. There also was a notebook on the desk with a protruding corner that was sitting on the Z key. He leaned over the front of the case and shouted “Wake up” while surreptitiously nudging the notebook away. Problem solved! 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Idaho is the state that gets the most sleep

I saw a May 3rd article in the Idaho Statesman titled Idaho is the best-rested state in the nation according to sleep survey which said that:

“In Idaho, if you snooze, you win. The state was ranked number one in the nation for best-rested, according to a recent survey by Sleep Number.

Idaho residents sleep about 7.12 hours a night, and though that's lower than the recommended 8, it still comes out far ahead of the nation's average of 6.7 hours a night, according to the survey.

Idaho was just above New Hampshire and Vermont for best sleep. Neighboring states Oregon and Montana also made it into the top-five for super-snoozers. The state with the least sleep was Georgia where residents only got 6.09 hours of sleep a night, according to the survey.”

The May 1st Business Wire press release about that survey is here. Inflatable mattress maker Sleep Number did some extremely clever marketing by doing both a national survey of about a thousand people and a set of of surveys of about a hundred people in each state (and the District of Columbia). Their press kit included a Infographic and Fact Sheet Gallery covering every state, so it was very easy for newspapers and radio stations to find relevant numbers and mention the Sleep Number name. Except for a hyphen between best and rested, the title of the Idaho Statesman article is identical to that for the Infographic on Idaho.

How do the states compare? The bar chart shown above lists the 25 states (and D.C.) with the most sleep. (Click on it to see a larger, clearer version). Idaho was first with 7.12, Vermont 2nd with 7.06, Montana 3rd with 6.95, Oregon 4th with 6.94, and Kansas 5th with 6.9. Another chart, shown below lists the other 25 states with the least sleep. 

But, we weren’t really the best rested state. The survey also listed the average number of hours for restful sleep. The bar chart shown above lists the 25 states (and D.C.) with the most hours of restful sleep. Delaware was first with 6.47 hours, followed by Utah with 6.45 and Idaho with 6.36. Then came Texas with 6.33 and New Mexico with 6.16. Another chart, shown below lists the other 25 states with the least hours of restful sleep.  

Each infographic for a state opens with a statement that:

“Americans average 6.7 hours of sleep a night, much lower than the recommended eight.”

But, the current recommendation from the National Sleep Foundation actually is a range from seven to nine hours, and that 6.7 hours is just 0.3 hours (a mere 18 minutes) lower than recommended. The National Sleep Foundation has also done a series of annual Sleep in America surveys. Page 18 of their 2015 one about Sleep and Pain said of adult Americans:

“They reported sleeping 6.9 hours on work days and 7.6 hours on free days resulting in an average of 7.1 hours across the week.”

Also, page 7 of their 2005 survey on Adult Sleep Habits and Styles reported similar averages of 6.8 hours per night on weekdays, 7.4 hours on weekends, and 6.9 hours overall.

I looked elsewhere and found a May 11th post by Jeff Davidson on his Interruption Management blog which mistakenly claimed that in 2012 Travelodge had done a study about different professions. But, his web address for it contains a 2007 date, which is confirmed by the original May 1, 2007 press release from the UK. Curiously Jeff’s June 7, 2007 post on another blog got the date right.

The image was adapted from a painting by John Everett Millais at Wikimedia Commons.