Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Here comes yet another drug

Isn't it amazing? Scientists have discovered a way to help people lose weight without changing their eating habits:

Australian scientists report weight loss breakthrough

What do you want to bet that in the end these new drugs will not work and may even harm individuals?

How about everyone re-learning to eat properly and to exercise regularly? We all need to look again at Dr. Atkins' teachings to realize that we are eating lots of bad stuff -- it is no wonder we are overweight! Worse yet, the heavier we are, the less we move. The less we move, the more stressed we are because we are overweight, and the more weight we gain. It is a well-documented vicious circle. So, here is my free non-drug recommendation to anyone that wants to lose weight:

1. Get advise from a nutrition expert. There are free websites that will help you with information. You can start with MyPyramid, then search for free nutrition advise. SparkPeople is a great community-based support group that can help immensely.

2. Exercise regularly: four or more times a week, 30 minutes each session. Something as simple as going for a walk will make a big difference. Again, there is plenty of help on and off line. Freetrainers can help with some exercise programs. There are tons of free demos on-line at YouTube. By all means, start slowly and build up a little at a time.

3. Find ways to control stress: Yoga, meditation, and exercise are all great ways of helping with life's strain on our body. In most communities there are free Yoga and other related classes. You can visit your local library and borrow books and/or videos about Yoga and meditation.

Of course, as a smart individual you should consult your family physician before enrolling in a new nutrition or exercise program, especially if you have medical conditions that could be affected by lifestyle changes. By all means, talk to your doctor before wasting money on pills for weight control.

And, just thinking allowed, if scientists are just discovering these new fat-burning enzymes, what are all the "diet" products in the market all about? :-)

Funny Desktop Wallpaper

Positive Attitude

John is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!"

He was a natural motivator.

If an employee was having a bad day, John was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up and asked him, "I don't get it!"

"You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"

He replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or...you can choose to be in a bad mood. I choose to be in a good mood.

Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or...I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it.

Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or...I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life."

"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested.

"Yes, it is," he said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood.

You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live your life."

I reflected on what he said. Soon hereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that he was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower.

After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, he was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back.

I saw him about six months after the accident.

When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins...Wanna see my scars?"

I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.

"The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter," he replied. "Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or...I could choose to die. I chose to live."

"Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked.

He continued, "...the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'he's a dead man'. I knew I needed to take action."

"What did you do?" I asked.

"Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me," said John. "She asked if I was allergic to anything 'Yes, I replied.' The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Gravity'"

Over their laughter, I told them, "I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead."

He lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.

Attitude, after all, is everything.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34.

After all, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Joy, Love and Laughter


As promised, here is the first of Andy Dooley's art/inspirational pieces to help you visualize a better today.




The words read:

Joy, love and laughter,
Isn't that what you're after?

You can have it all right now,
But you must stop asking how.

The universe will show you the way,
As soon as you get happy, and start to play.

Paint pictures of possibilities in your mind,
Then joy, love and laughter is what you will find!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Friendship

The Ubuntu Family

Anyone that knows me is aware that I am a BIG Linux supporter. But I have rarely mentioned Linux in my blog! If you are looking for a way to free yourself from the problems associated with Windows, then give Ubuntu (or one of the other versions that come from it) a try.

Ubuntu Home Page | Ubuntu
Ubuntu is a community developed, Linux-based operating system that is perfect for laptops, desktops and servers. It contains all the applications you need - a web browser, presentation, document and spreadsheet software, instant messaging and much more.

Plant a Tree for Free

Here is a way to help Earth get healthier — and it costs you nothing.

Thumb Up for Trees

Toastmasters, speeches, and coincidences

One of the extra-curricular activities I have been involved with for several years is Toastmasters. I am the founding President of my Club, and now I am serving my second term as President in the last four years. It continues to be an incredibly rewarding experience.

Amongst the many perks of being a Toastmasters is to meet excellent speakers. I recently "met" Andy Dooley via the great service of YouTube. Here is a link to his website:

Andy Dooley - Inspirational Humorist, Actor, Artist.

If you want to have a good laugh and get lots of inspiration on many areas of life I suggest visiting his site.

Andy has given me the OK to reproduce some of his work here, so expect to see some of that in the future.

Creepy?

OK, here is one that could be creepy -- we shall find out in a few years.

DEAD AT 73

cancer



According to the test at OKCupid I will die at age 73 from cancer. My approximate passing date will be December 2032 according to the test. So, you know what my new goal is, right? I will make it to at least December 2035 -- just to beat the odds. More importantly, I shall not worry about this but will work everyday to keep myself healthy and fit.

Attacks on Oil Ships

As if the oil production situation was not bad enough, attacks by terrorists are driving the price of oil even higher. This is an obvious attempt to artificially hike the price of fuels to hurt developed countries that depend on them. Terrorists have everything to gain from these attacks. The immediate effect is to generate even more money for their supporters, thus enabling them to prepare even more terrifying acts of destruction. They are also managing to cripple our economies by affecting every aspect of life. And they are, most importantly, instilling fear and uncertainty into our life. This is, perhaps, potentially their biggest victory -- if we let them. As a global community, we need to speed-up the process of becoming energy-independent. We can no longer afford to be dependent on foreign oil. Individually, however, we must remain strong and show these barbarians that we will not honor their actions with fear -- we will move forward and find solutions that do not involve their oil. In the end, it will be better for the planet and a decisive victory over the forces of evil that simply will not allow peace to succeed.

In case you were wondering: politics

Just in case you were wondering were my political alignment is:

You are a

Social Liberal
(65% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(26% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Democrat




Link: The Politics Test on OkCupid.com: Free Online Dating
Also : The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Power of Now

Here's the most important thing to remember whenever you find yourself in a mad rush: what you really want, what you're really
after, is a quiet mind... a peaceable state of self reached only by
realizing there is no place more empowering for you to be than in the
present moment.

Live in the Real Place of Power

Food for Thought: What we earn, what we do

Life always presents us with interesting scenarios and those often provide opportunities for thought and learning. For example, several years ago after we'd moved into our new house, we had a new riding lawn mower delivered with a large attachment that hooks onto it and sucks the grass up and into a container. I think they called it a grass catcher...

Now, you have to know that I have, and I can't stress this enough: ABSOLUTELY NO MECHANICAL ABILITY WHATSOEVER!! So I did what any normal guy like me would do: I paid my then 14-year-old boy to put it together for me. He got ten bucks, I got a grass catcher - we were both happy!

An hour after giving him the task, he came into my office and announced that he was done. I promptly handed him ten bucks and he said, "I can't believe that I just got paid $10 for doing something I like to do." To which I said, "No, you got paid $10 for doing something I don't like to do."

Well, that got me to thinking about who gets paid what in our society. Think about it for a minute:

Doing things that others could do but don't want to do will get you paid very little. Things like garbage collection. That will get you $18-30,000 a year.

Doing things that others could do with a little effort and education but choose not to do will get you paid more. Things like tax preparation. That will get you $60-120,000 a year.

Doing things that others could do, but would require a lot of effort and education and so they choose not to do will get you paid quite a bit. Jobs like being an attorney or a doctor come to mind. That will get you $80-750,000 a year.

Doing things that others can't do but would like to do will get you paid a lot! Things like being able to dunk a basketball, hit a 95 mile an hour fastball over a fence or throw a football 60 yards to a man running a 4.2 forty come to mind. That will get you from $400,000 to $25 million a year.

Have you ever given thought to why you earn what you earn and how it is related to what others are able and/or willing to do? It is insightful because if you want to increase your revenue, you can just tweak what you provide to others based on what they are willing to pay for it.

Chew on that... I know I am.

You Are Made for Success!
Chris Widener

Reproduced with permission from the Chris Widener Ezine. To subscribe to Chris Widener's Ezine, go to http://www.chriswidener.com or send an email with Join in the subject to subscribe@chriswidener.com Copyright 2008 Chris Widener International. All rights reserved worldwide.

Chris Widener's EZine for this week

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Family News

OK, so some of you may be wondering why I have not posted any family news. And you have a good point!

We are doing quite well here. The kids are doing great in school and getting good grades. I have them both in soccer through Columbia United Football and I am coaching Noah's team this season. MacKenzie is in an all-girl's team. I will post some photos as soon as I can this week.

The kids and I have a nice routine going and it seems to work well. They are awesome at doing their chores to help me with house tasks. Nothing is perfect, but we are making it and having fun at it.

They love going out everyday and playing with friends in the neighborhood. They ride their bikes and play games and appear to be happy most of the time.

I started a new job with the same company and I am working to become an application developer (programmer). This is something I have wanted to do for many years. I confess I had not expected the complexity of programming language and system interactions that I have encountered, but I believe I am beginning to grasp some of the main concepts. The programming I did in the past and what I am going to do in the future are very, very different. Taking on this challenge has given me a very new perspective on the intricacies of the computer world and a humbling appreciation for good programmers everywhere.

First Yoga Class

Yesterday I attended my first Yoga class at the YMCA -- it was awesome! :-) Because I have never done Yoga before, I joined the Gentle Yoga class with Ellen. She is a great instructor that really cares for the well-being of her students. I will be back, that is for sure!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Information Overload

I recently came across this blog entry: Career blogger Toni Bowers cites a new report that claims 2008 to be the year of information overload, and your familiar Reply All button is one of the biggest contributors to lowered productivity. Toni writes, "You should resist the lure of the Reply All siren. Because if you don't, the group then has to read 29 other responses like 'Sure does!' and 'Thanks for sharing!'"

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but "information overload" has been with us for years now! I agree that the "Reply All" button has been misused by many email users. But information overload is not limited to excessive email — it is everywhere! Drive on any road in the USA and you are bombarded by information from billboards and ads on just about every object including other cars. And if you are driving and listening to the radio, then you are being assaulted by commercials there too! And information overload is present in our mail boxes, our web browsers, stores, and nearly everything we do. It is rather maddening if you stop to think about it — and perhaps we should not stop to do just that or risk our mental health!

Freedom and Jeff

I think you will really enjoy this story. I received it from a dear friend in an email, but here is a website showing the information.

Amazing Eagle Story - Freedom & Jeff

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Your Tax Rebate Check -- Is It a Loan?

Now that Tax Return filing is over for most of us in the USA, here is some interesting information about the imminent tax rebate promised by Congress.

There is some interesting reading at MSN.com concerning the so-called incentive money coming to most US taxpayers in May. It turns out that this may simply be an advance on your 2008 tax refund (due you in 2009).

Details On Tax Rebates

In other words, the government is robbing Peter to pay Paul – a politically-motivated strategy to improve the economy in an election year.

Just thought you all would like to know.

30+ Useful Websites You Probably Didn't Know About

Here is a nice collection of websites that are actually useful!

30+ Useful Websites You Probably Didn't Know About

Putting the Past Behind Us

Our task, if we want to be free human beings -- if we want a life in which we no longer carry around with us "what he did," "what she didn't do," "what never worked out" -- begins with discovering that there can be no real freedom for us until we understand the nature of the tyranny of the past that still lives within us. And one of the main areas of this unchallenged dictatorship that still holds us captive is... our inability to forgive.

Stop Clinging to the Pain that has Passed!

May 3 is Shutdown Day

Last year I signed up for this no-effort challenge to unplug ourselves from cyberspace and computers. This year, May 3 is the day designated as Shutdown Day.

Shutdown Day

Can we survive the day without computers? I believe we can! The kids and I will have soccer most of the day -- then we will plan some fun activities. Maybe sometime at a park -- some fitness activities -- a movie -- time reading at the library.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Death by Dust-off (and all is real)

A friend sent me an email claiming that a teenager had died from inhaling Dust-off. I thought it was an urban legend — but it is not:

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Dust Off Death

A Google search confirms that this is a real threat:

dusting dust off - Google Search

Websudoku — One of my favorite pages

U.S. History in Your Wallet

Here is a link to an article from Lissa Coffey from "Family Everyday:"

U.S. History in Your Wallet

It is a fun article for anyone that has young kids!

New Gas Symbol

3 Ounces — Small Changes, Big Impact

The following article by Ron White illustrates perfectly why small changes in our life make the greatest benefit to us and our futures. I took the liberty of highlighting the most important part of the article.

3 Ounces

by Ron White

I love baseball.

I love going to a game alone, with friends or watching it on TV. I can talk baseball for hours or even reading about it is interesting for me. Therefore, it should be no surprise that I play on a softball team. I am a decent fielder; however, I take tremendous pride in my hitting. One season there was only one at bat that I did not get on base. In other words, I either received a walk or made a hit 29 out of 30 at bats. At the risk of sounding boastful that is an extremely impressive statistic!

However, as sometimes occurs in every aspect of life, I went into a slump the very next season. During this season, I went 6 consecutive at bats without a hit or a walk. I even struck out once swinging! It was very frustrating for me. I quickly became the worst hitter on the team. I was embarrassed and didn't know what to do and then I remembered Ernie Banks....

Ernie played baseball in the 1950s and he lightened his bat by 3 ounces. He went from hitting 19 homes runs to 45 home runs all because of 3 ounces! So I took a cue from Ernie Banks and that next season I lightened my bat by 3 ounces. It was AMAZING! I began clobbering the ball all over the field. I finished the season on a hitting tear.

How much is 3 ounces? Very little... but a lot. Is your life in a slump? If it is, my guess is not because you need a major overhaul. Ninety-five percent of the time, dramatic changes can be seen with just minor tweaking. The difference between $50,000 and $500,000 a year may be the result of minor improvements. If you are not getting your desired result... ask yourself, 'Is there anything that I can change just a little in my daily routine to see dramatic results?' Perhaps, a 20 minute daily workout, better time management reading a book a week or some other idea.

Sometimes a small change is all that it takes. You may be surprised how much 3 ounces is!


Ron White

Reproduced with permission from the Ron White Ezine. To subscribe to Ron White's Ezine, go to http://www.memoryinamonth.com or send an email with Join in the subject to ronwhite@yoursuccessstore.com Copyright 2008 All rights reserved worldwide.

Memoryinamonth.com | Memory Expert Ron White's Ezine

Hope for the Future (Cancer Treatment)

I cannot even begin to tell you the joy I felt when I read the article Cancer Therapy Without Side Effects Nearing Trials. For anyone that has endured conventional cancer treatment (chemotherapy and/or radiation) or has witnessed their loved ones suffer through such barbaric procedures, I am convinced this new technology cannot come a day too soon!

Imagine a world in which women do not have to be disfigured simply because they have breast cancer. Imagine a world in which people no longer have to be poisoned to near-death levels to fight cancer.

Please imagine a world in which patients no longer have to be burned so badly by local radiation that their skins are blackened as if they had been in a fire.

That, and more, is what this new treatments will offer to thousands of patients — and not a moment too soon! The trauma that children, women and men everywhere will be spared from is beyond belief.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Internet Infrastructure and Greed

A number of websites this week carried stories of imminent service changes coming to Internet users. The 'Net is beginning to experience the strain from a variety of sources. First, high bandwidth usage is starting to take its toll on the infrastructure. This is caused by downloading large files (CDs, DVDs, large programs, large software updates), and web content that is rich in graphics, flash presentations, etc. Second, the number of broadband users has increased substantially in the last few years. Third, the infrastructure has not been updated or updated quickly enough. Fourth, ISPs may have been extremely greedy in their business models. There are probably other factors we could consider. For years I have been of the opinion that we are misusing Internet resources by switching websites and email from content to fluff. As a website designer I will never opt to have a flash introduction on my websites. I also opt to keep all emails as text only. That saves a huge amount of bandwidth. My philosophy is that just because we can do something does not mean we should do it. The 'Net infrastructure issue in the USA is a complete disgrace. This country is behind many others in upgrading and improving the pathways we use to communicate in cyberspace. And that leads me to believe the reason for this lack of improvement has to do with greed. I suspect companies that provide access to the Internet have been enjoying above average profits by not adding to the system anymore than they absolutely had to. Now they want users to pay more for services that are currently included in the basic packages they sell. They also want to add more capacity and for users to pay even more for such. Why, I wonder, can other countries offer more Internet speed at a lower cost to consumers? I believe it all comes down to greed.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Secrets for a Long Life

A dear friend of mine sent me this in an email today. Enjoy the reading, the humor and the lessons!

This is a wonderful piece by Michael Gartner, editor of newspapers large and small and President of NBC News. In 1997, he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. It is well worth reading, and a few good chuckles are guaranteed.

My father never drove a car. Well, that's not quite right. I should say I never saw him drive a car. He quit driving in 1927, when he was 25 years old, and the last car he drove was a 1926 Whippet.

"In those days," he told me when he was in his 90s, "to drive a car you had to do things with your hands, and do things with your feet, and look every which way, and I decided you could walk through life and enjoy it or drive through life and miss it."

At which point my mother, a sometimes salty Irishwoman, chimed in: "Oh, bull----!" she said. "He hit a horse."

"Well," my father said, "there was that, too."

So my brother and I grew up in a household without a car. The neighbors all had cars -- the Kollingses next door had a green 1941 Dodge, the VanLaninghams across the street a gray 1936 Plymouth, the Hopsons two doors down a black 1941 Ford -- but we had none.

My father, a newspaperman in Des Moines , would take the streetcar to work and, often as not, walk the 3 miles home. If he took the streetcar home, my mother and brother and I would walk the three blocks to the streetcar stop, meet him and walk home together.

My brother, David, was born in 1935, and I was born in 1938, and sometimes, at dinner, we'd ask how come all the neighbors had cars but we had none. "No one in the family drives," my mother would explain, and that was that.

But, sometimes, my father would say, "But as soon as one of you boys turns 16, we'll get one." It was as if he wasn't sure which one of us would turn 16 first. But, sure enough , my brother turned 16 before I did, so in 19 51 my parents bought a used 1950 Chevrolet from a friend who ran the parts department at a Chevy dealership downtown. It was a four-door, white model, stick shift, fender skirts, loaded with everything, and, since my parents didn't drive, it more or less became my brother's car.

Having a car but not being able to drive didn't bother my father, but it didn't make sense to my mother. So in 1952, when she was 43 years old, she asked a friend to teach her to drive. She learned in a nearby cemetery, the place where I learned to drive the following year and where, a generation later, I took my two sons to practice driving. The cemetery probably was my father's idea. "Who can your mother hurt in the cemetery?" I remember him saying more than once.

For the next 45 years or so, until she was 90, my mother was the driver in the family. Neither she nor my father had any sense of direction, but he loaded up on maps -- though they seldom left the city limi ts -- and appointed himself navigator. It seemed to work.

He retired when he was 70, and nearly every morning for the next 20 years or so, he would walk with her the mile to St. Augustin's Church. She would walk down and sit in the front pew, and he would wait in the back until he saw which of the parish's two priests was on duty that morning. < /FONT> If it was the pastor, my father then would go out and take a 2-mile walk, meeting my mother at the end of the service and walking her home. If it was the assistant pastor, he'd take just a 1-mile walk and then head back to the church. He called the priests "Father Fast" and "Father Slow."

After he retired, my father almost always accompanied my mother whenever she drove anywhere, even if he had no reason to go along. If she were going to the beauty parlor, he'd sit in the car and read, or go take a stroll or, if it was summer, have her keep the engine running so he could listen to the Cubs game on the radio. In the evening, then, when I'd stop by, he'd explain: "The Cubs lost again. The millionaire on second base made a bad throw to the millionaire on first base, so the multimillionaire on third base scored."

If she were going to the grocery store, he would go along to carry the bags out -- and to make sure she loaded up on ice cream.

As I said, he was always the navigator, and once, when he was 95 and she was 88 and still driving, he said to me, "Do you want to know the secret of a long life?" "I guess so," I said, knowing it probably would be something bizarre.

"No left turns," he said.

"What?" I asked.

"No left turns," he repeated. "Several years ago, your mother and I read an article that said most accidents that old people are in happen when they turn left in front of oncoming traffi c. As you get older, your eyesight worsens, and you can lose your depth perception, it said. So your mother and I decided never again to make a left turn."

"What?" I said again.

"No left turns," he said. "Think about it. Three rights are the same as a left, and that's a lot safer. So we always make three rights."

"You're kidding!" I said, and I turned to my mother for support "No," she said, "your father is right. We make three rights. It works." But then she added: "Except when your father loses count."

I was driving at the time, and I almost drove off the road as I started laughing.

"Loses count?" I asked.

"Yes," my father admitted, "that sometimes happens. But it's not a problem. You just make seven rights, and you're okay again."

I couldn't resist. "Do you ever go for 11?" I asked.

"No," he said " If we miss it at seven, we just come home and call it a bad day. B e sides, nothing in life is so important it can't be put off another day or another week."

My mother was never in an accident, but one evening she handed me her car keys and said she had decided to quit driving. That was in 1999, when she was 90.

She lived four more years, until 2003. My father died the next year, at 102.

They both died in the bungalow they had moved into in 1937 and bought a few years later for $3,000. (Sixty years later, my brother and I paid $8,000 to have a shower put in the tiny bathroom -- the house had never had one. My father would have died then and there if he knew the shower cost nearly three times what he paid for the house.)

He continued to walk daily -- he had me get him a treadmill when he was 101 because he was afraid he'd fall on the icy sidewalks but wanted to keep exercising -- and he was of sound mind and sound body until the moment he died.

One September afternoon in 2004, he a nd my son went with me when I had to give a talk in a neighboring town, and it was clear to all three of us that he was wearing out, though we had the usual wide-ranging conversation about politics and newspapers and things in the news.

A few weeks earlier, he had told my son, "You know, Mike, the first hundred years are a lot easier than the second hundred." At one point in our drive that Saturday, he said, "You know, I'm probably not going to live much longer."

"You're probably right," I said.

"Why would you say that?" He countered, somewhat irritated.

"Because you're 102 years old," I said.

"Yes," he said, "you're right." He stayed in bed all the next day.

That night, I suggested to my son and daughter that we sit up with him through the night.

He appreciated it, he said, though at one point, apparently seeing us look gloomy, he said: "I would like to make an announcement. No one in thi s r oom is dead yet"

An hour or so later, he spoke his last words: "I want you to know," he said, clearly and lucidly, "that I am in no pain. I am very comfortable. And I have had as happy a life as anyone on this earth could ever have."

A short time later, he died.

I miss him a lot, and I think about him a lot. I've wondered now and then how it was that my family and I were so lucky that he lived so long. I can't figure out if it was because he walked through life, Or because he quit taking left turns."

Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about those who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would most likely be worth it.

Researchers uncover black holes across the Internet

This is an interesting article on how fragile the Internet can be.

TG Daily - Researchers uncover black holes across the Internet

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Corrupted Politics?

There is no doubt that politics in this country have taken a turn for the worse in the last few decades. I encourage you to watch this video and see if you would feel comfortable with Hillary Clinton as President of the United States.

Hillary Uncensored

By the way, have you registered to vote? Are you informed on the issues? Have you made it a point to schedule time to vote in November?

The World Clock

Here is an interesting website that has some eye-opening numbers to reflect on about our world.

World Clock

The "Who Cares" Philosophy (or learning to take risks)

Just Put Me On the Air
by Ron White

It was May 2000 and I was in the seminar business and discouraged. His name was Mr. Palmer and he was a 75 year old wealthy real estate mogul and my mentor.

"Mr. Palmer, I am so down. I have made so many mistakes and my business is in pieces."

"Ron, I make mistakes everyday... because I Do Something everyday."

I looked up from my drink and saw Mr. Palmer smiling. He then asked, "Do you follow me?"

I did. Loud and clear. He was saying, "Who cares if you made some mistakes. Mistakes only signify action and that is much better than inaction."

It was barely 12 months later and I knew I could break a memory record listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. It was set by a man who memorized 27 numbers in 1 minute and 21 seconds. I knew I could beat that. Although, I never had. I persuaded FOX television to let me attempt it on live television.

My best friend Brian helped me practice all week. He would call out 28 random numbers and at the same time he held a stopwatch and clocked me. It was very frustrating. Not once did I get it right.

Brian asked me, "You do realize you are going on FOX this week and you have never gotten this right. Are you sure you want to do this? It is live TV."

"I will get it right when it counts." I said, nervously hoping I was right.

The day before the show aired the FOX producers had me come to the studio to practice and I didn't get it right then either. The producers looked at me and said, "You don't have to go on tomorrow, if this is something you can't do."

My response without hesitation was, "Just put me on the air." She sighed and shook her head as if I was about to bring down the entire FOX network if I failed. What the producers didn't understand is that I now lived my life by the Mr. Palmer philosophy and that philosophy says, "Who Cares!"

March 1, 2001 the FOX host read out 28 digits and I nailed it with 6 seconds to spare! I had never gotten it right, however when it was clutch I nailed it! In baseball terms it was the bottom of the ninth, the bases were loaded, down by three runs with two strikes and I knocked it out of the park. The amazing thing is that I had never done it before!

My friends, family, neighbors and the bank teller all high-fived me that day. Eight years later, I still get speaking engagements because of that 1 minute and 15 seconds of my life.

If I had given into inaction and fear, I wouldn't have much of the income that I do today. And if I had failed, according to Mr. Palmer... "Who Cares!!"

This "Who Cares!!" philosophy that I learned from Mr. Palmer, not only causes me to risk in my life. It also makes me a fun speaker. I am not on the platform wondering what everyone thinks. I am having a Blast and it comes through. And you know what? People buy into what I am saying because they can tell it is really me and not a phony persona. However, they only see that because I believe in the "Who Cares!!" philosophy of Mr. Palmer.

I encourage you to live your life by the "Who Cares!!" philosophy and be willing to make a fool out of yourself (even if it means being on live television in front of the world). If you are willing to do that... I can guarantee you massive success even if you fail in your initial goal.

Ron White

Reproduced with permission from the Ron White Ezine. To subscribe to Ron White's Ezine, go to http://www.memoryinamonth.com or send an email with Join in the subject to ronwhite@yoursuccessstore.com

Copyright 2008 All rights reserved worldwide.

Blogging Notes

I recently did a massive catch-up of items that I have been meaning to blog about — and there is a lot more coming! I have depended on a program called I w.bloggar for quick entries to my blog. However, I have switched to a Firefox extension called ScribeFire that allows me even more ways to quickly blog items of interest. Here is a comparison of several blogging tools:

Offline Blog Editing Tools

Here is another comparison done by LifeHacker:

Blogging: Desktop blog editor comparison

Microsoft has a few recommendations on how to blog safely. These suggestions are as accurate for children as for adults:

Blogging Safety: Tips to Protect Kids Online - Microsoft Security

The threat of identity theft or worse is real — so please be safe!

Happy blogging!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Be a Person Who Practices Non-Situational Integrity

by Denis Waitley

Integrity, a standard of personal morality and ethics, is not relative to the situation you happen to find yourself in and doesn't sell out to expediency. Its short supply is getting even shorter, but without it, leadership is a fa├žade. Learning to see through exteriors is a critical development in the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Sadly, most people continue to be taken in by big talk and media popularity, flashy or bizarre looks, and expensive possessions. They move through most of their years convinced that the externals are what count, and are thus doomed to live shallow lives. Men and women who rely on their looks or status to feel good about themselves inevitably do everything they can to enhance the impression they make - and do correspondingly little to develop their inner value and personal growth. The paradox is that the people who try hardest to impress are often the least impressive. Puffing to appear powerful is an attempt to hide insecurity.

In the Roman Empires' final corrupt years, status was conveyed by the number of carved statues of the gods displayed in people's courtyards. As in every business, the Roman statue industry had good and bad sculptors and merchants. As the empire became ever more greedy and narcissistic, the bad got away with as much as they could. Sculptors became adept at using wax to hide cracks and chips in marble and most people couldn't discern the difference in quality.

Statues began to weep or melt under the scrutiny of sunlight or heat in foyers. For statues of authentic fine quality, carved by reputable artists, people had to go to the artisan marketplace in the Roman Quad and look for booths with signs declaring sine cera, which translates in English to mean, without wax. We, too, look for the real thing in friends, products, and services. In people, we value sincerity, from the words, sine cera, more than almost any other virtue. We expect it from our leaders, which we are not getting in our political, media, business and sports' heroes for the most part. We must demand it of ourselves.

Integrity that strengthens an inner value system is the real human bottom line. Commitment to a life of integrity in every situation demonstrates that your word is more valuable than a surety bond. It means you don't base your decisions on being politically correct. You do what's right, not fashionable. You know that truth is absolute, not a device for manipulating others. And you win in the long run, when the stakes are highest. If I were writing a single commandment for leadership it would be, "You shall conduct yourself in such a manner as to set an example worthy of imitation by your children and subordinates." In simpler terms, if they shouldn't be doing it, neither should you. I told my kids, "clean up your room," and they inspected the condition of my garage. I told them that honesty was our family's greatest virtue, and they commented on the radar detector I had installed in my car. When I told them about the vices of drinking and wild parties, they watched from the upstairs balcony, the way our guests behaved at our adult functions.

It's too bad some of our political and business leaders don't understand that "What you are speaks so loudly that no one really pays attention to what you say." But it is even more true that if what you are matches what you say, your life will speak forcefully indeed.

It's hardly a secret that learning ethical standards begins at home. A child's first inklings of a sense of right and wrong come from almost imperceptible signals received long before he or she reaches the age of rational thought about morality. Maybe you're asking yourself what kind of model you are for future generations, remembering that people are either honest or dishonest, that integrity is all or nothing, and that children can't be fooled in such basic matters. They learn by example.

To remind myself of my responsibility to live without wax, with sincerity and integrity, I took the liberty of re-writing Edgar A. Guest's poem, "Sermons We See" to apply to setting an example as a real winner for my children and grandchildren.

I'd rather watch a winner, than hear one any day. I'd rather have one walk with me, than merely show the way. The eye's a better pupil and more willing than the ear. Fine counsel is confusing, but example's always clear. And the best of all the coaches are the ones who live their deeds. For to see the truth in action is what everybody needs. I can soon learn how to do it, if you'll let me see it done. I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run. And the lectures you deliver may be very wise and true. But, I'd rather get my lessons by observing what you do. For I may misunderstand you and the high advice you give. But there's no misunderstanding how you act and how you live. I'd rather watch a winner, than hear one any day.

Hey, politician, business leader, motion picture producer, television actor, rock star, sports star. Hey mom, hey dad. Don't tell me how to live. Show me by your actions. You're my role models.

Action Idea: When you talk to others, beginning right now, don't try to impress them by talking about your accomplishments. Let your actions speak for you. Ask more questions.

Denis Waitley



The above was sent to me in an e-newsletter and I wanted to share it with you.

Optimist vs Pessimist

I just came across this quote and wanted to share it with everyone.

"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in very difficulty." -- Winston Churchill

A Free-thinkers simple philosophy

When there is no greed, there is no sorrow.
When there is no sorrow, there is no sickness,
When there is no sickness, there is no death.
When there is no death there is no fear.
When there is no fear, there is no need for money.
When there is no need for money, there is also no need for greed.
When there is no greed, there is no sorrow.

SOURCE

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Great Catch-up Effort — 2008 Edition

And here are the 2008 posts I just entered to get caught up:

Happy New Year!
One Laptop Per Child (OLPC)
U.S. Bankruptcy
The Week the Women Went
Education Pays?
Giving to Our Youth
Education Pays? — Part 2
Artificiality
Laws, Laws, Laws

Enjoy!

The Great Catch-up Effort — 2007 Edition

Many of you may not know this, but every week I assemble a newsletter for the free help website called protonic.com. Every week I write an editorial for the newsletter, and it has been my intention to post those thoughts in my blog. Tonight, I have finally caught up in publishing all pertinent comments from 2007. Each entry was posted with the correct date of insertion as if I had posted it here concurrently with the newsletter. If you are interested in reading these comments, they are listed below:

Lessons Learned
Our Word, Our Legacy
Shake On It?
Technology and Our Legal System
Shutdown Day
Defining Our Mission in Life
Self-Improvement Resources
Five Things That Should be Taught in School
The State of Cyberland
Tragedy at Virginia Tech
The State of Open Source
7 Keys for Joyful Living!
Cryptome
FUD: Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt
Is Vista the New Windows ME?
Tesla Motors: Hope for the Future
Microsoft's Deals with Linux Vendors
The AirCar
Protect Your Data!
Technology's Usefulness
We are being cheated — The Hot Fuel Effect
Corporate Customer Service
Birthdates
Microsoft Embraces Open Source?
Johnson & Johnson VS Red Cross
How much is too much?
Multi-tier Greed
More Stupid Corporate Greed
Microsoft's Failed OOXML Standard
Stallman's Challenge
Is It Illegal?
Free Public Transportation
Perspectives
More on Perspectives
One More on Perspectives
The Use of Censorware
Backups and Restores in a Microsoft World
The End of the Oil Age
Of Police States and Greed
Freedom of Speech
Entertainment vs. Freedom
Good for Canada!
Merry Christmas
2007 Ends, 2008 Starts

Although some of these entries have to do with computer technology, many of them relate to civil rights, self-improvement, freedom of speech, and many other subjects.

My next post will list the 2008 Edition entries. :-)

Government Priorities

I came across a story about a subcommittee of the U.S. Congress conducting a virtual meeting in Second Life. It is very interesting that our congressmen are involved in aspects of technology such as Second Life. However, it bothers me that we are spending time and money on this type of subject. As long as words such as hunger, poverty, homelessness, and cancer are still part of our daily vocabulary, we cannot focus on things like Second Life. It is time to refocus our energies on priorities that make a real difference to humankind.