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Month: April 2017

What’s The Deal With Airline Food?

And why do so many comics bring it up?  Yes, airline food sucks.  But airline food is supposed to suck.  Subtleties of flavor have no place past the boarding gate.  And this isn’t uniquely my argument.  It’s science’s.  People who care enough to study this nonsense have found that our perception of taste changes well before we reach cruising altitude.  The different air pressure and humidity levels onboard combine to stunt our taste buds’ ability to distinguish between sweet and salty.  That high in the air, even our favorite foods would disappoint us.

So really, anyone looking for a quality meal who is foolish enough to go looking for it at 30,000 feet perhaps deserves what’s coming for them.  And anyone who thinks the quality of the meal is even important deserves the gluten-free option.

Let’s not lose sight of just how complicated air travel really is.  Among the myriad of logistical concerns, keeping food fresh and safe to eat becomes a high priority.  Making it delicious does not.  On commercial flights, pilot and co-pilot are actually required to eat entirely different meals, thus reducing the possibility of both succumbing to food poisoning.  A huge majority of the time, neither meal is contaminated, though we can safely assume they’re both awful.

The lousy quality of airline food is not only to be expected, but it is also absolutely, demonstrably fine.  Of all the factors that make for a good flight, concerns such as the structural integrity of the aircraft, the expertise of the pilot, the absence of both terrorists onboard and of inclement weather in the neighboring skies take top priority.  Then come lesser questions of convenience and comfort, which of course include the food.  But even then, it pales in comparison with other factors.

Aren’t we all happier travelers when the flight crew is friendly, or at least attractive?  When our seatmates are attractive, or at least hygienic?  And when the toilet facility is hygienic, or at least in working order?  We all want no turbulence, no crying babies, no over-packers trying to stuff their oversized carry-ons into the overhead compartments above our heads.  We want ample light, ample leg room, ample entertainment options.  And we especially want the snacks we bought at the airport before boarding, anticipating the in-flight offerings to suck.

Is there anything original left to say about culinary letdowns up in the air?  Or should we lay the topic to rest?  Two Stand Up NY interns (and obvious experts on the subject) weigh in:

Creative Blocks: How to Break Through


Photo by Pixabay



If creativity is your bread and butter, there’s nothing worse than a creative block. It can be all-consuming and unbearably frustrating. The worst part is that it all comes down to our brain taking itself hostage. Intellectually we know there is a way to break through, but that might appear to be easier said than done. Once you recognize that it’s all in your mind, you are on the road to busting through a creative rut.


Here are some excellent methods to push through and get your creativity flowing again.


Change Your Surroundings

Your workspace environment can be a big factor in creative blocks. Lighting, noise, interruptions, the arrangement of your desk. These are major contributors to stalled creativity, so changing your surroundings can be the perfect recipe for breaking through. Maybe you move to a different chair, go outside or to a coffee shop to work, or you change the decor and atmosphere of your workspace. You’ll be surprised at how these small tweaks can reap big results.


Flip the Script

Quite often we can be our own worst enemy, especially when it comes to a stalled imagination.

It’s like a dog with a bone. The more you try to force your brain to give up the goods, the further your creativity is out of grasp. Try reconsidering your approach. Does it have to be the best answer? The perfect answer? Perhaps you are trying to be too logical or practical. Another option is to try thinking from a totally different perspective. To use a cliched phrase, it’s time to think outside the box a little. Try to imagine how you would approach the situation if you were in a different profession or from a different era.


Make Play a Priority

Play is not just for children; it’s for everyone, and it has the power to unleash all sorts of creativity. Play has been known to inspire innovation, creativity, and productivity, and the act of play can take on a variety of forms. It can be hanging out with friends for happy hour, playing card games or video games, enjoying dress up with your kids, or even painting or drawing. Play allows you to tap into your creativity from a back door. Once that door opens, all kinds of great ideas can begin to form.


Movement is Essential

Acts of physical exertion, light or strenuous, can help you make inroads in unlocking your brain. Taking a walk, going for a run, or just dancing around the house for a bit will force your brain to change its focus to the mechanics of movement. Once your mind is distracted with exercise, your subconscious can take the opportunity to come out to play, pouring out a host of ideas. Alternatively, if you regularly exercise, this is the perfect opportunity to lace up and get active. The endorphin release will relax you and help increase the flow of thought.


Lend a Hand

Sometimes getting outside your head and helping someone else with their studies or creative struggle can help you see your problems with a new perspective. Consider offering your services as a tutor to a young person. Watching them grasp a new subject or seeing their love for their own artistic endeavor grow–be it writing, painting, or another medium–will be inspiring. And whether you’re tutoring as a volunteer or getting paid for your help, you’ll feel good about what you’re doing, and those good feelings might be just what you need to back to work on your project.


Rest is the Great Equalizer

We all know that sleep is an essential part of our lives. The body must have sleep to function.

The restorative properties of sleep benefit body and mind, so a tired brain is going to keep limping along until it has a chance to go on autopilot. A good night’s sleep might be the only thing standing between you and an aha moment.



Larry Mager