Greetings to the Clue Community!

Dr. Clue News: 
Hello again everyone!

What a busy couple of weeks it’s been for us here at Dr. Clue, with a great treasure hunt in North Beach/Chinatown on Wednesday, and a fantastic philanthropic “Bike Build” program yesterday in Charlotte, NC.  How gratifying to watch participants’ faces as they presented their newly constructed/decorated bikes to kids from the local Big Brothers/Big Sisters chapter.  Better yet, at least half a dozen adult participants wound up volunteering to become mentors for the kids!    Talk about a successful team building for both the company and the community!


And this from our client:  "Words cannot express my deep felt gratitude for the amazing gifts you gave us today. It was truly a 360 event - mental challenge, physical workout and
emotional check-in. This was so much bigger than me, you, our company. If one child gets matched to one mentor than this day will be truly priceless. This is a HUGE success!"

To learn more about our Puzzling Bike Build team-building workshop (for disadvantaged youth), click here.

We’re off to Banff, AB, Canada this week for a big treasure hunt — 170 people, all solving clues AND using Android Tablets.   Should be a blast!   Look for a full report next time.
—————————————————————————–In today’s issue of the Dr. Clue newsletter, we’ve got 4 more puzzles for you to solve, an icebreaker that will spice up your next meeting, and an article about the importance of low-tech connections.  Enjoy!

Dave Blum
Editor, Dr. Clue Icebreaker Newsletter

Interested in joining Dr. Clue’s affiliate program and making some passive income from your website?  Click here!

Frame Games

Last issue, we gave you these 3 puzzles:

Thanks to everyone who sent in a solution.  The correct answers were:

He’s bigger than life
Little did I know
Count your blessings

Honorable mentions go to our fastest solvers, including:

  • Jeff Bundy
  • Jan Frizzell
  • Donna Miller

However our First-to-Solve was Tyson Thomas.  Congratulations Tyson!

We also gave you some fun “trivia questions”.  Here are the answers, for your fun and edification. 🙂
1. Is there a 4th of July in England? Yes or No?
….Yes. It comes right after the 3rd

2. How many birthdays does the average man have?
…..One (1). You can only be born once

3. Some months have 31 days. How many have 28?
…..Twelve (12). All of them have at least 28 days.

4. How many outs are there in an inning?
…. Six (6). Don’t forget there is a top and bottom to every inning

5. Can a man in California  marry his widow’s sister?
….No. He must be dead if it is his widow

6. Take the number 30, divide it by 1/2, and then add 10.
What do you get?
…..  Seventy (70).  Thirty (30) divided by 1/2 is 60

7. There are 3 apples and you take two away. How many apples are you
Left with?
..Two (2). You take two apples .. therefore YOU have TWO apples.

8. A doctor gives you three pills and tells you to take one every half
an hour.   How long will the pills last?
……One hour. If you take the first pill at 1:00, the second at 1:30,
and the third at 2:00, the pills have run out and only one hour has passed.

9. A farmer has 17 sheep. All but 9 of them die. How many sheep are
…..  Nine (9). Like I said, all BUT nine die

10. How many animals of each sex did Moses have on the ark?
…… None. I didn’t know that Moses had an ark.

11. A butcher in the market is 5? 10 tall.  What does he weigh?
…..  Meat … that is self-explanatory.

12. How many 2 cent stamps are there in a dozen?
…Twelve (12). How many eggs are in a dozen? TWELVE …
it’s a dozen

13. What was the President’s name in 1960?
… George W. Bush (or whoever the current President is.  As far as I know, he hasn’t
changed his name.

14.  Stupendous, horrendous, tremendous and hazardous

This Week’s Puzzles:

2) Here are four more frame puzzles to challenge your brain cells.  As always, let’s see who can get them all the fastest and be named the “F2S” (first to solve).

Email your answers ASAP at:
Good luck!

This Week’s Icebreaker

“Spice of Life”

Set up:  Buy some green cardamom pods (a highly aromatic spice used in Asian cooking and curries), aniseed seed pods, and some cloves.

Process:  Distribute a pod or clove to each team member. (Alternatively you can give different spices to different people if you have them). Declare that spices like these are symbolic – they are small and natural, of relatively little monetary value, and yet have a remarkably powerful effect. They also have healing qualities — and being seeds they represent new life and beginnings.

Ask people do this calculation in their head to further concentrate the mind: Subtract your age from 90 and add two zeros to the answer. Divide that number in two. This is roughly how many weeks you have left on this Earth, assuming you live to a very ripe old age. If you smoke and don’t look after yourself, properly subtract 1,200 weeks (if you are very lucky). How quickly does a week pass by? Almost the blink of an eye…

Then ask the group to close their eyes, take a few slow deep breaths, and visualize…. (it’s a bit morbid but it does concentrate the mind somewhat): You are very close to the end your life – perhaps ‘on your deathbed’. You have a few minutes of consciousness remaining, to peacefully look back over what you achieved, and what difference you made in the world. And especially how you will be remembered.
So how do you want to be remembered? What did you do that mattered? What spice did you add to people’s lives? What was the spice in your life? What will you have done that will give you a truly good feeling at the end of your life? How can you best fulfill your own unique potential?
The point:  We rarely think about our lives this way: that we are only here for a short time, and that what really matters is beyond money, possessions, holidays, cars, and the lottery.

Thinking deeply about our own real life purpose and fulfillment helps us to align what we do in our work with what we want to do with the rest of our life.  This in turn creates a platform for raising expectations and possibilities about direction and development – pursuing personal potential rather than simply ‘working’ – and finding ways to do so within our work and our life outside it.

(Note:  as facilitator, do not ask people to reveal or talk about their dreams unless they want to. The exercise is still a powerful one when people keep their dreams and personal aims to themselves.)

This type of visualization exercise is also important in helping people to take more control of their lives and decisions – becoming more self-reliant and more pro-active towards pursuing personal dreams and potential, instead of habitually reacting to work demands and assumptions.

(With thanks to

———————————————————————-Featured Article

(Editor’s Note:  I was moved by this recent NY Times article and wanted to share it with you.  See my comments afterwards.  DB)

How Not to Be Alone

(Editor’s note:   I found this in the Times a few days ago and was very impressed–and moved.   Please see my comments afterwards. DB)

(reprinted from the NY Times, June 8, 2013)

A COUPLE of weeks ago, I saw a stranger crying in public. I was in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood, waiting to meet a friend for breakfast. I arrived at the restaurant a few minutes early and was sitting on the bench outside, scrolling through my contact list. A girl, maybe 15 years old, was sitting on the bench opposite me, crying into her phone. I heard her say, “I know, I know, I know” over and over.

What did she know? Had she done something wrong? Was she being comforted? And then she said, “Mama, I know,” and the tears came harder.

What was her mother telling her? Never to stay out all night again? That everybody fails? Is it possible that no one was on the other end of the call, and that the girl was merely rehearsing a difficult conversation?

“Mama, I know,” she said, and hung up, placing her phone on her lap.

I was faced with a choice: I could interject myself into her life, or I could respect the boundaries between us. Intervening might make her feel worse, or be inappropriate. But then, it might ease her pain, or be helpful in some straightforward logistical way. An affluent neighborhood at the beginning of the day is not the same as a dangerous one as night is falling. And I was me, and not someone else. There was a lot of human computing to be done.

It is harder to intervene than not to, but it is vastly harder to choose to do either than to retreat into the scrolling names of one’s contact list, or whatever one’s favorite iDistraction happens to be. Technology celebrates connectedness, but encourages retreat. The phone didn’t make me avoid the human connection, but it did make ignoring her easier in that moment, and more likely, by comfortably encouraging me to forget my choice to do so. My daily use of technological communication has been shaping me into someone more likely to forget others. The flow of water carves rock, a little bit at a time. And our personhood is carved, too, by the flow of our habits.

Psychologists who study empathy and compassion are finding that unlike our almost instantaneous responses to physical pain, it takes time for the brain to comprehend the psychological and moral dimensions of a situation. The more distracted we become, and the more emphasis we place on speed at the expense of depth, the less likely and able we are to care.

Everyone wants his parent’s, or friend’s, or partner’s undivided attention — even if many of us, especially children, are getting used to far less. Simone Weil wrote, “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” By this definition, our relationships to the world, and to one another, and to ourselves, are becoming increasingly miserly.

Most of our communication technologies began as diminished substitutes for an impossible activity. We couldn’t always see one another face to face, so the telephone made it possible to keep in touch at a distance. One is not always home, so the answering machine made a kind of interaction possible without the person being near his phone. Online communication originated as a substitute for telephonic communication, which was considered, for whatever reasons, too burdensome or inconvenient. And then texting, which facilitated yet faster, and more mobile, messaging. These inventions were not created to be improvements upon face-to-face communication, but a declension of acceptable, if diminished, substitutes for it.

But then a funny thing happened: we began to prefer the diminished substitutes. It’s easier to make a phone call than to schlep to see someone in person. Leaving a message on someone’s machine is easier than having a phone conversation — you can say what you need to say without a response; hard news is easier to leave; it’s easier to check in without becoming entangled. So we began calling when we knew no one would pick up.

Shooting off an e-mail is easier, still, because one can hide behind the absence of vocal inflection, and of course there’s no chance of accidentally catching someone. And texting is even easier, as the expectation for articulateness is further reduced, and another shell is offered to hide in. Each step “forward” has made it easier, just a little, to avoid the emotional work of being present, to convey information rather than humanity.

THE problem with accepting — with preferring — diminished substitutes is that over time, we, too, become diminished substitutes. People who become used to saying little become used to feeling little.

With each generation, it becomes harder to imagine a future that resembles the present. My grandparents hoped I would have a better life than they did: free of war and hunger, comfortably situated in a place that felt like home. But what futures would I dismiss out of hand for my grandchildren? That their clothes will be fabricated every morning on 3-D printers? That they will communicate without speaking or moving?

Only those with no imagination, and no grounding in reality, would deny the possibility that they will live forever. It’s possible that many reading these words will never die. Let’s assume, though, that we all have a set number of days to indent the world with our beliefs, to find and create the beauty that only a finite existence allows for, to wrestle with the question of purpose and wrestle with our answers.

(Editor’s note: According to a recent Time magazine article, this current generation (the Millennials) are becoming more and more obsessed with celebrity, as social media allows everyone to be a star — reporting to the community even their smallest movements and their most mundane thoughts.   Along with this self-focus comes a rise in narcissism and a diminishing of empathy towards others.   For all the benefits of texting, phoning, facebooking, and instagramming, I believe we need to be wary about the negative impact today’s hi-tech communication may be having on our relationships and our connections with others.   If you get used to avoiding difficult conversations potential conflict, you soon become used to avoiding ALL in-person conversations.  So here’s my pitch: put down your phone and have lunch with someone this week; drink a cup of tea together!  Look into someone’s eyes rather than your game of Angry Birds.   Walk in someone else’s shoes rather than living in their blogs.  Make contact!  Do it now.)

As always, thank you for being a part of the Dr. Clue Community!

Dave Blum, Editor, The Dr. Clue Friday Icebreaker newsletter

Feel free to contact us at 707-566-7824 with your thoughts and comments,
or email Dave personally at