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WEEKEND READER Vol1 #22

THOUGHTS ON ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY, SOCIAL JUSTICE & SECURITY

LONGEVITY GRAPH (2011 CIA FACT BOOK)

LONGEVITY GRAPH (2011 CIA FACT BOOK)

SECRETS OF A LONG LIFE

What gives a person a longer life expectancy? It is a question that does not have an easy answer. It seems every few years a new study gets published adding to the compendium of known reasons for longevity. However, based on what we know there are two major factors that contribute to having a longer life – genetics and lifestyle choices.

Behavior accounts for much of the improvement in the area of longevity. For instance, laws that impose heavy consequences on irresponsible activities such as driving intoxicated have prevented countless and unnecessary deaths. Popular culture have also contributed by making it “cool” to have “designated drivers,” which points to increasing awareness of the social consequences and the need for self-accountability.

Below is an advert from Prudential that identifies the common thread among those that live longer. It caught our attention because of the predominance of things that are essentially lifestyle choices. For the exception of few contingent factors, all can be affected by behavioral modifications and lifestyle changes.

1) Eat a Mediterranean diet
2) Drink a glass of red wine everyday
3) Enjoy gardening
4) Live on a mountain
5) You are a woman
6) If you work near indoor plants
7) You are Hispanic
8) Floss often
9) If you live in the country
10) Do lots of yoga
11) Are a married person
12) Have 4 or more children
13) If you occasionally indulge in dark chocolate
14) You are right-handed
15) If you get along with your mother
16) Have a younger mother
17) Have a name that starts with A
18) You have a pet

NOTE: We have not had a chance to review the studies that Prudential relied upon to reach these conclusions. We will endeavor to do so in a more exhaustive study in the future. But, it is simply fascinating to think that if you can make all those factors a part of your life you can expect to have a longer life. Take heed, it is more complex than that. But, it’s a good start.

THE CURIOUS SECRETS OF LONG LIFE

THE PIZZA HARRASSMENT CASE

Plaintiff Taylor Patterson was an employee of Domino’s Pizza. She filed suit after she complained about a manager sexually harassing her when they work on the same shifts, including making lewd comments and gestures and physically touching her breasts and buttocks. In her complaint she also alleged that the company had retaliated by reducing her hours from 4 days to 3 days. Eventually, the alleged offender, Renee Miranda, had self-terminated himself by not showing up at work. The complaint named Miranda (Manager), Sui Juris (Franchisee) and Dominos Pizza LLC (Franchisor) as co-defendants. The complaint invoked the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), sexual harassment, failure to prevent harassment, and retaliation. It also alleged intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault and battery and constructive termination.

Domino’s Pizza LLC is a franchisor with over 9,000 stores of which about 500 are owned by the franchisor. They have developed an effective business model for operating a pizza business. Through this business format system they require the franchisees to strictly follow the operational procedures and standards set forth on the franchisee-franchisor agreement. Dominos sought summary adjudication responding that they were not the employer or principal and, therefore, could not be held responsible under the doctrine of vicarious liability for an employee’s actions.

The lower court found that the Dominos did not control day-to-day operations or employment practices. The extent of the agreement between franchisee and franchisor related to standards that protect the brand – it’s public perception and the creation of a customer experience consistent with the company’s mission. It specifically did not include questions of termination on matters of the personal nature.

During appellate review, the court of appeals used the same standard of review used by the lower court but arrived upon the opposite conclusion. It found that Dominos was meddlesome on employee matters and reversed the lower court’s decision.

However, upon review, the California Supreme Court did not find an agency relationship that would make Domino’s culpable to the actions of Miranda. Relying on Cislaw v. Southland Corp. (1992) 4 Cal.App.4th 1284, the court held:

“The general rule is where a franchise agreement gives the franchisor the right of complete or substantial control over the franchisee, an agency relationship exists. [Citation.] ‗[I]t is the right to control the means and manner in which the result is achieved that is significant in determining whether a principal-agency relationship exists.”

Further:

“Nothing we say herein is intended to minimize the seriousness of sexual harassment in the workplace, particularly by a supervisor. (See State Dept., supra, 31 Cal.4th 1026, 1048.) Nor do we mean to imply that franchisors, including those of immense size, can never be held accountable for sexual harassment at a franchised location. A franchisor will be liable if it has retained or assumed the right of general control over the relevant day-to-day operations at its franchised locations that we have described, and cannot escape liability in such a case merely because it failed or declined to establish a policy with regard to that particular conduct. Our holding is limited to determining the circumstances under which an employment or agency relationship exists as a prerequisite to pursuing statutory and tort theories like those alleged against the franchisor here. The judgment of the Court of Appeal is reversed.”

PATTERSON V. DOMINO’S PIZZA LLC

JUNGLE WARFARE TRAINING

Every year the US Armed Forces conducts bilateral interoperability exercises with friendly nations. The exercises are meant to expose our uniformed men and women to conditions that are unique to different regions of the world. In the Asia-pacific region, for instance, operations are undertaken for geographies that may require amphibious landings on island chains and living in tropical rain forests for months at a time.

With smart phones and other technologies available, what are the chances of any of us being lost in a forest for more than a few days? It’s probably very slim. However, if on one of your adventures abroad you get lost and all those creature comforts you have grown accustomed to are somehow negated, these are things that you might have to rely upon until you are found.

In 1974, a Japanese intelligence officer of the Imperial Japanese Army – Hiroo Onoda – was finally coaxed out of the Philippine jungles to surrender, almost three decades after the end of WWII. He was one of the “hold-outs” of the war, Japanese servicemen who did not hear about the Japanese surrender in 1945 or refused to leave their posts until a new order was received from their superior officers. He and others like him subsisted on jungle skills to evade the local population and survive for that length of time.

Here are two clips featuring elements of the USMC (US Marine Corps) and PHILMARS (Philippine Marines) on the fine points of surviving in the hot and humid jungle environment.

THE 31ST MEU LEARNING JUNGLE SURVIVAL
USMC WITH PHILMARS ON JUNGLE SKILLS
THE HIROO ONODA STORY

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