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  • The Central Line-DTL Party

  • Ellen Ramia, M.H.A.
    Project Manager

    So what is a DTL (drink coffee, talk, learn) party? It’s awesome! Each person finds a topic they are either extremely passionate about, or always wanted to give a speech on.

    For example, I would much rather give a speech on:

    Why milk should be poured first instead of cereal first

    with the 3 main topic points of:

    1) No soggy cereal ever because you finish eating the cereal on top of the milk and refill with crunchy cereal

    2) You get way more servings of cocoa puffs which you’re coocoo for

    3) When you get to the end you’ve eaten so much cereal that your milk is now chocolate milk and way more chocolate than if you had just done one serving of cereal first mmmm.

    Post your quirky passionate topic below and imagine yourself giving the awesome speech you’ve always wanted! Next time you’re nervous about public speaking, remember this amazing feeling and apply it, this is a great icebreaker! We might reach out to you to actually give this speech who knows!

    Submitting means you’re entered to win a $25 gift card, winners will be chosen randomly and not on basis of how quirky their post is 🙂

    Jill Ni, CMSS
    Project Manager

    Scuba Diving!

    It’s Finding Nemo in A Whole New World, Under The Sea



    Kevin Buckowski
    Project Manager

    As a former organic chemist, there is nothing more than I like than performing a good extraction….. and caffeine. Luckily, making my own coffee at home can provide the best of both worlds! Today, I wanted to share with you a little secret from the coffee world: How to make the world’s best cup of coffee!

    The TLDR version!

    Grind Size: Varies depending on brew method but in general, the longer the water will be in contact with the coffee, the larger you want your particles of coffee.

    • Examples: French Press = Coarse, Pour Over = Medium, Espresso = Fine.

    Golden Ratio: 55 grams of coffee to 1000ml of water (1 gram of coffee to ~18ml of water)

    Water temperature: 200F +/- 5

    Extraction Time (how long the water contacts the ground coffee): Espresso: ~25 seconds. Pour Over: ~3-4 minutes. French Press: ~4-5 minutes.

    Still doesn’t taste quite right? Use these guidelines!

    • If your coffee was sour: Increase Brew Time, Decrease Water Temperature, or use finer grind size
    • If your coffee was bitter: Decrease Brew Time, Increase Water Temperature, or use a coarser grind size.

    Resources: http://www.scaa.org/?page=resources&d=brewing-best-practices


    Happy Coffee-ing!

    Jamileh Atallah
    Chief Scribe

    Let’s talk CouchSurfing. Ever heard of it? Basic concept: I crash on your couch, you crash on mine.

    It’s this awesome online community of travelers who share a similar mindset. A couple basic points of it include

    • Traveling does not have to be expensive
    • One of the best ways to get to know a place is to get to know locals

    I’ve hosted, been hosted by, and adventured with a lot of wonderful couchsurfers and have met some incredible people!

    Joshua Guilland
    Chief Scribe

    Blood donation.

    I got a shirt for donating that says ‘Texas’ and ‘American Donor’ in granite lettering and it has a star in the middle that is also an American flag. I like to time how long it takes me to donate and compare to others because anything good can be made better through the magic of competition and boasting.

    Why you should donate blood:

    -You get as many snacks and drinks as you want afterward. I recommend V8 or cranberry juice in order to keep the balance of Red within your body constant.


    -Donating blood is great social signalling- it proves that: you care about others enough to give something that you unequivocally feel the loss of, you are less frail than others and free of certain bloodborne pathogens, and you aren’t a fraidy-cat in at least one way.  These can also be phrased as boasts (“Oh, I really just do it to level the playing field for normal humans…”).

    -People donating blood has no substitute, saves lives, and within your blood type no one can do more than anyone else. You and Bill Gates are equal in your capacity and responsibility to donate blood.

    -Unlike many other forms of charity it is hard to make the case that people who receive donated blood would be better off without it or would be more efficiently served by an alternative intervention.

    -It’s super easy and doesn’t take much time compared to the impact.  Just google a place, drink a little water, and go there.

    Make fun of a friend for being too chicken to donate blood today!

    Tre Hellwig, CMSS
    Chief Scribe

    One of my favorite movies is Meet the Robinsons!

    You know, the one with the smart, driven orphan who travels to the future to find his parents only to find his true purpose in life!  Well if you haven’t(<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>you should</span>) the main message of the movie is that no matter what, keep moving forward!

    This message can have many meanings, but the one I embrace the most is to improve on everything!  If you bring this idea to work, you not only look to benefit yourself, but those around you and who will follow behind you!  As our central objective, we provide a service to improve the care of the patient.  So by optimizing, innovating and expanding what you do, you can ultimately impact far more than just those you have direct contact with.

    Use this idea to address issues at your sites and find a way to touch everyone you work with!  You are capable of changing the world, just Keep Moving Forward!

    Arman Salim
    Chief Scribe

    One of my favorite exercises is the humble pull-up! Not only is it great for working your back muscles, it is a complex movement that also hits the core, arms, and shoulders. Many people think that they are doing it correctly, but are lacking on technique which prevents them from getting the most out of each rep.

    How to do it correctly:

    Start by hanging on the bar with an overhand grip shoulder-width to slightly more than shoulder-width apart. This is the starting position referred to as the passive hang. The first movement should be to engage the middle back muscles. To do this retract your shoulder blades. This position is referred to as the active hang. It should feel like you are trying to do a pull-up without bending your arms.  From there, keep your elbows tucked (close to your body) and aim to get the bar to your upper chest. Finally, slowly lower yourself down, minding not to drop into your joints. Return to the active hang position first before relaxing to the passive hang position.

    What not to do:

    Do not use accessory muscles or momentum to get yourself up to the bar. This is bad technique and you will not target your back muscles effectively. Similarly, make sure you have a full range of motion and are not simply only focusing on the top-half or bottom-half of each rep. Start all the way at the bottom and move all the way to the top. Finally, make sure you are pulling evenly with each arm. Do not overcompensate with one half of your body. This can lead to injuries and muscle imbalances.

    How to do it really well, the fine points:

    Leg placement is key. Avoid having your legs too far back. It is best to keep your knees in front of your body, whether you have bent knees or straight legs. This is to avoid posterior pelvic tilt which can lead to lower back issues. Tighten your core. By tightening your core you avoid swaying and help focus the exercise where it needs to be, on your back. Finally, at the top of the pull-up try to puff your chest out. This helps prevent rounded shoulders (which can lead to injury) and helps tighten the back muscles further.

    Pull-ups are a great complex exercise to help tone and build muscles in the back, core, and arms. I hope you found this short article helpful!

    Danielle Rodgers
    Project Manager

    Can we take a minute to talk about gifs?

    I’ve found that it is becoming more difficult to express myself without the use of a gif. Feeling frustrated? There’s a gif for that. Feeling sarcastic? There’s a gif for that as well. Feel like smashing your computer screen with a keyboard but don’t want just say “I feel like smashing my computer with my keyboard?” You guessed it, there’s a gif for that as well.

    Serious moment… is it a soft g as in “giraffe,” or is it a hard g as in “gum?” It stands for “Graphics Interchange Format” so you would think it’s pronounced with a hard g as in “graphic” yet somehow there is still an argument…

    Regardless of its pronunciation, if you want to show the world how you’re truly feeling, and you just can’t seem to find the right words… try a gif!

    Codi Allen
    Project Manager

    Personally, I’m a HUGE fan of early bedtimes. There is nothing better than being in bed before 9:00 PM… except being in bed before 9:00 PM with fresh linens. Don’t get me wrong. I’m also not your “early bird gets the worm” or “we’re burning daylight”, morning person…

     Image result for night owl early bird

    …but there is endless coffee to handle that.

    Supporting Evidence:

    • Because science
    • My pillows and blankets have accepted me as one of their own.

    My grandmother approves this message. 

    Side note: Also a huge fan of communicating via gifs (and I prefer the hard “G”)

    Lacy Franks
    Chief Scribe

    I would love to talk about the 2 minutes rule! 

    Basically the 2 minute rule is that if something will take you 2 minutes or less just do it now!

    I started doing this about a year ago and I will never go back. I definitely can be a procrastinator at times at this trick as really helped me stay more on top of my life. I think of it as a way to be nice to my future self. Sure I don’t want to take out the trash now, but future me will not want to take it out any more so I might as well do myself a favor and do it now not later!

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