Tag Archives: Expert

Giving Away Cool Information And Even Cooler Prizes

You can’t have a baby without having a pregnancy at least somewhere along the line. It might not be in the immediate family, but somewhere, somehow, there is a woman who is carrying the little dude about to enter your life.

Back in the dark ages when my wife, known to me then as She Who Must Be Handled With Extreme Delicacy, and I were pregnant with our first son, there wasn’t nearly the type of information, support or ability to understand what was going on with our growing, gestating spawn.

We had to read a very, very long book, and rely on a certain someone’s medical school training, to know what was going on with the little dude as he was growing. Heck, we didn’t even know if he was a little dude or a little dudette. Although we can’t blame that one on primitive technology as I didn’t want to know until the delivery.

Good thing we’ve moved out of those dark ages. These days, there’s a slab of the future we carry around in our purses or pockets. Sure we could go all out to start looking up stuff about pregnancy and when certain milestones occur, all that stuff. Or you could drive yourself crazy wondering if that cough is the symptom of some horrible disease pregnant women can get and it’s just waiting to pounce.

Or you could get smart. Not the TV show.

Earlier this week, I talked with someone who knows a little bit about offering pregnant couples a way to lessen the anxiety, while also upping the emotional connection between them and the gestating spawn.

Dr. Hansa Bhargava is the lead pediatrician for the WebMD online medical group.  She oversees the team of medical experts responsible for ensuring the accuracy, credibility, and timeliness of all content on WebMD FIT and Raising FIT Kids, and she blogs for these sites as well.

And the good folks at WebMD have a fantastic new iPhone app that you can download for free that tells you just about everything you need to know, all in one place, about being pregnant or dealing with someone who is.

“I’m very excited about it because I really feel like this app gives you not only the information you might want, but all the information a mom might need, all in one place,” she said.

Before the technos at WebMD started putting the app together, Bhargava said, the company surveyed more than 800 women and found that the number one thing they wanted was that the information about pregnancy needed to be mobile, that it needed to be as wrapped together as much as possible. In short, they wanted a doc in a phone.

“This app really delivers on those two counts as well as many others,” she said. “It’s trusted information. You know it’s doctor approved. It’s personalized so it can serve up information you might not know you need, depending on what week you are in your pregnancy.”

Okay, dudes. I’ve got a lot more good stuff to give you with Dr. Bhargava, but I’m going to have to ask you to come back for that tomorrow. For now, we’re at that point in the post when I give you stuff.

Gift Bag

The fine folks at WebMD have sent me a whole bunch of stuff and they want me to give it to one of you lucky readers. This is some prime baby stuff. There’s swaddling blankets:  SwaddleDesign Ultimate Receiving Blanket, a digital thermometer:  Vick’s Baby Rectal Thermometer, towel & washcloth:  Aden & Anais La Mer Towel & Washcloth, the most recent issue of the WebMD magazine, and more stuff from WebMD on pregnancy.

This, my friends, is a good deal. And, to win this lovely prize, along with a special treat direct from the heart of aDudesGuide.com, can be yours. All you have to do is send me an e-mail detailing — in 100 words or less — what you said when you first learned you were going to be a parent. On purpose. I’ll pick out a winner randomly and send along the goodies — and the special, secret treat from Barry and me, Richard. You need to get the e-mail to me no later than midnight March 27. That gives you dudes a good week to get working.

Back tomorrow with more from the good doctor and more on the giveaway.



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Does Being A Celebrity Make Smokey Bear Smarter Than The Average Bear?

by Richard

The US National Forestry Service is running another series of commercials on the radio, starring the voice of Puddy on Seinfeld. These days he’s going by his real name of Patrick Warburton, he of the very, very deep voice.

The commercials run with a high-voiced civilian calling the park service, represented by a smug-sounding Warburton, already acting like he knows more than you dudes ever will. The civilian talks about an encounter with Smokey Bear (notice there’s no the there. The Forestry Service is really harping on that for some reason.), who talks about how people cause nine out of ten wildfires.

The civilian says something along the lines of, “I didn’t know that.” To reinforce that we should listen to Smokey’s advice, the Warburton character says, “That’s why Smokey’s famous, and you’re not.”

Yeah, seriously. They’re actually saying, not that we should listen to Smokey’s advice because he has long years of experience in the area of preventing wildfires, but because he is famous.

Do what the famous individual says, not because she is right, but because she is famous. As if being known by a lot of people, say, for being in a lot of movies, makes you some sort of expert on, say, insecticides on the skin of apples. I mean, no one would panic and start removing apples from school cafeterias just because some actress got out in front of a camera and said they were bad.

And Congress would never bring in celebrities to testify before a committee for no reason other than that they want the star power to gain attention.

Is our country really that shallow? Do we really equate fame with expertise, with knowledge?

Sadly, the answer is yes.

The equation runs something like this: If people know you, then you must know stuff and we should listen to you.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t run like this: You’ve studied your area of expertise for many years and are familiar with the ramifications of the situation, so we listen to you. Nope. If you’re that guy, then the people who don’t agree with your opinion start talking about how unqualified you are to talk and, besides, you’re just some pointy-headed scientist.

But that’s a whole other post about how people actually think you can believe the facts you want to believe and that makes your conclusion true, since it aligns with what you believe.

The takeaway is this: Don’t believe something just because someone famous says it. Do your own research. Listen to the experts, not the amateurs.

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Happy Birthday, Dad!

by Richard

Today (well, today as I write this, but yesterday as you read this) is a rather huge day. Richard E. Jones turns 70 on this day. Wait, you’re saying, but you don’t look a day over 30. (Since I’m guessing what you’re saying, I’m also guessing you think I’m devilishly handsome and very young looking.) That’s true. But, the deal is, my name isn’t original.

I’m the fourth in a line of Richard E. Joneses. It’s my dad, known to most folks as Dickey, who’s reached the big 7-0. Really, I can’t believe it. The man is amazing.

He’s still working, still traveling, still using his “vast storehouse of general knowledge” (and his vast storehouse of specific experience and expertise) to educate others from Florida to Texas to California and country after country over the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. When I was growing up, 70 was old, one foot in the grave and one foot on a bag’s worth of loose marbles. Every year, every day, my dad helps to put the lie to that myth.

He’s a lucky man, really. He’s got a wife who loves him, children who not only still call him on their own initiative, but actually look forward to talking to him, friends and colleagues who like and respect him, a job he loves, and a place he loves even more. I feel like a public relations shill here, saying something he paid me to say, but it’s all true. The man is smart as all get out, the only person I know who can beat me at general-knowledge trivia (though I’m waiting for dementia to really kick in and then I’m going to challenge him to a game of Trivial Pursuit), and more kind and generous than we deserve.

Basically he’s who I want to be when I grow up.

I’ve already patterned a lot of my life after him, whether he or I knew it or not. Despite the fact that he was a busy doctor building up his practice and reputation, my dad was either at most of my sports games or coaching me at those same sports. I think we know where I stand on the subject of coaching the young dudes. He always made sure that he did what was right, no matter if someone was watching. He not only encouraged me to hold contrary opinions to his, but he helped me sharpen my debating skills while learning to defend my point of view.

Arguing as a family sport. Who knew?

Not to say that he was a perfect dad when I was growing up. Oh, no. I can’t tell you the number of stories I’ve got locked inside my brain, emotional scars too horrible to bring to the light of day, from him letting his freak flag fly when I was a young dude. (What can I say? He was a hippie and proud of it.)

I’ll not go into it now, but, oh, when he’s enfeebled and brain-ially infirm, oh, the stories I’m going to tell.

But that day’s not here now. Or yet. Right now, he’s still a smiling, vibrant patriarch, who loves nothing more than a good sunset, a good meal of Thai food, a good bottle of wine, some good conversation and a nice episode of Jeopardy. Well, what did you expect? He is 70, after all.

Happy birthday, Dad!

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