Dilbert and IBM - Since I'm now working at IBM (me and about 340,000 others), I found a special affinity for this cartoon, which was passed around by a co-worker. The fact he cc'd our manager with the cartoon tells loads. So from my experience, IBM isn't (always) this way :)
Watched Tristan and Isolde recently, and have to say I was disappointed. It's such an important and seminal story in literature, I really hoped for a wonderful treatment from producers Ridley and Tony Scott. But with Kevin Reynolds directing, it turned out a bit too much like Robin Hood: The Prince of Thieves (another Reynolds film).
Sophia Myles was wonderful, but I wasn't much impressed with the portrayal by James Franco. He was great in the fight scenes, but the rest of his performance seemed rather one dimensionally sullen. In short...
Michael Berg is the father of Nicholas (Nick) Berg, the young businessman who in May of 2004 was captured by terrorists in Iraq and beheaded. The terrorists videotaped the beheading and distributed the tape via their website. News services reported on the contents of the tape, showing the preamble of statements by Berg (and the terrorists?), but stopping short of broadcasting the actual beheading. However, besides the video, a still image of a terrorist holding up Bergs decapitated head has circulated widely on the Net.
Mark my words, Sasha Pieterse is gonna be a star.
Saw her in a second season episode of Fox's medical drama series House. In the episode, simply called Autopsy, the (then) nine year-old actress played a nine year-old terminal cancer patient, and gave a performance well beyond her years. Second time I've seen it, and again was choked up by her portrayal. Powerful stuff.
South African born Sasha Pieterse's talent totally reminds me of the Sixth Sense phenom, Haley Joel Osment. I wonder if she'll be picked up for any heavy roles as Osment was. Doubt there's much to pick from, but if I were a screenwriter, watching her performance would have inspired me to write something just for her. What a talent.
Sasha Pieterse will be a star.
Recently watched Steven Spielberg's Munich with Eric Bana. It's a long film, about 2 hrs. 45 min. Eric Bana was great, as were all the other actors, but I was particularly by the , though she was in only a few scenes.
Turns out she's a very well respected Israeli actress. I get it. She was perfect, communicating the whole/soul of her character in seconds. Her name...well, she seems to go by a few. The movie credits her as Ayelet Zorer, but I've seen Zurer and variations of Ayelet too. Her middle name seems stable and is "July." Maybe it was because she was one of the few women who appeared in the film, but I found her performance right on, rich and textured. All in probably less than five or ten minutes of screen time.
This site is quite lengthy, so below are some notes I took while reading through the website pages. Notes are not complete, but a good taste. I really found this website helpful in understanding depression and options for treating the condition/disease.
Stress Management - When explaining stress management to an audience, the lecturer raised a glass of water and asked:
"How heavy is this glass of water?"
Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
The lecturer replied:
"The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it.
"If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance.
In each case, it's the same weight:
The longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.
Arrived via cousin Kelly.
God created the Heavens and the Earth and populated the Earth with broccoli, cauliflower and spinach, green and yellow and red vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.
Then using God's great gifts, Satan created Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and Krispy Creme Donuts. And Satan said, "You want chocolate with that?" And Man said, "Yes!" and Woman said, "and as long as you're at it, add some sprinkles." And they gained 10 pounds. And Satan smiled.
And God created the healthful yogurt that Woman might keep the figure that Man found so fair. And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat, and sugar from the cane and combined them. And Woman went from size 6 to size 14.
Can you read this?
Fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid, too. Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 precnet plepoe can. i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!
As long as the first and last letter are correct, we can read just about any scramble of letters...
It's become my literary inspiration.
Sara Ivanhoe Yoga - Watched an excellent instructional video, Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies with the beautiful and poised Sara Ivanhoe. Very well produced and directed (except for the annoying sound effects used to highlight tips, note, and warnings). Ivanhoe comes across so clear, effective, and genuine. She'd make a wonderful television anchor. Top notch. Further, it looks like the DVDs produced by Anchor Bay share excellent production values and information.
The DVD goes through 12 basic poses, describing each clearly and simply. I never found the format boring or tedious. Useful tips sprinkled throughout kept the presentation interesting, yet you get full yoga session by watching the presentation. Very effective format and structure. Hate to say it, but these Dummies products tend to be pretty good.
Anyone interested in the ocarina must visit the Songbird Ocarina website. The fellow that put the website together sells his handmade ocarinas (and other hand flutes), but he also provides history, videos and audio files on him playing, tips, sheet music, etc. I quickly got the sense that this guy loves what he does, which made paying the price for one of his ocarinas much easier to accept.
Brian Hester invited his mother over for dinner. During the course of the meal, Brian's mother couldn't help but keep noticing how beautiful Brian's roommate, Stephanie, was.
Mrs. Hester had long been suspicious of a relationship between Brian and Stephanie, and this had only made her the more curious.
Over the course of the evening, while watching the two react, Mrs.Hester started to wonder if there was more between Brian and Stephanie than met the eye.
Reading his mom's thoughts, Brian volunteered, "I know what you must be thinking, but I assure you Stephanie and I are just roommates."
About a week later, Stephanie came to Brian saying, "Ever since your mother came to dinner, I've been unable to find the beautiful silver gravy ladle. You don't suppose she took it, do you?"
Brian said, "Well, I doubt it , but I'll send her a e-mail just to be sure."
Guggulsterone from Guggul Tree Sap - This is an older (2002) article on the medicinal and chemical properties of a substance found in the sap or resin of the Asian Indian Guggul tree. The compound, called guggulsterone, (where?). The FXR receptor controls bile levels (and production) in the liver. By blocking the FXR receptor, the guggulsterone compound , thus . That's my best understanding from the article. May need more research. Sounds like the guggul sap is available in health food stores, particularly in India, where it's been used for the last 40 years to treat heart disease. Another "natural" remedy.
In his critique of the Oscars, actor/economist Ben Stein points out...
Whoa. Got my attention.
I think he may be right, though I didn't see the whole awards show (Stein admits he didn't watch it all either). Even so, I had very mixed feelings about his comments. Yes, as he observes...
Cited on reddit.com. Original post off of craigslist.org. Very sad statement.
WARNING - The following content is not suitable for children, WILL offend sane people, and may cause nausea. I'm serious! This is horrific, ugly stuff. But it does make a strong statement about the degenerates in our society, which may include this poor social worker...and me for posting this here. The truth hurts.
I've bumped into variations of this parable in many places. May help us recognize when our energies are not...productive.
A man is flying in a hot air balloon and realizes he is lost. He reduces height and spots a man down below. He lowers the balloon further and shouts: "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised my friend I would meet him half an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."
The man below says: "Yes. You are in a hot air balloon, hovering approximately 30 feet above this field. You are between 40 and 42 degrees N. latitude, and between 58 and 60 degrees W. longitude."
"You must be an engineer," says the balloonist.
"I am" replies the man. "How did you know."
Steven Wright - Here's another emailed bit of humor. It's by Steven Wright, whose biography consists of the following:
Below is a brief description included with the email. I'm not sure who wrote that part or about the "scientist" part, but Wright sure has a unique way of viewing the world. Enjoy!
Lord of War - What a bizarre film. Lord of War tells the story of an arms dealer, played by Nicolas Cage, whose business begins modestly with the sale of a single Uzi. Then comes the fortuitous fall of the Soviet Union and his business opportunities quickly expand. The film makers claim the situations depicted in the film were inspired by actual events. Indeed, a follow up documentary included on the DVD contains interviews with think-tank types and NGO administrators that claim as much. But I found this film perplexing.
I was reading The Soul's Code: In search of Character and Calling by James Hillman. In lieu of a preface, he presents a small collection of quotations. Here are my favorites.
~ Joseph Chilton Pearce, Evolution's End
~ Pablo Picasso
~ Robertson Davies, Fifth Business
~ C. G. Jung
And this by Nabokov is...beautiful
~ Vladimir Nabokov, Speak, Memory
Memory and Forgiveness - I'm reminded of the book The Singularity Is Near, where author Ray Kurzweil forecasts that computers will match the processing power of the human brain by mid-century or 2050.
Kurzweil predicts we will be able to "download" skills, as represented in The Matrix. Think of that. But will it be any better than our current approach? Will we forget the skill as we do now and require multiple "downloads" to keep it up? Or is one download enough? I suppose it depends on the process of forgetting...and our process of storing information...So many questions.
Received this from a Port-a-gee from Arkansas.
After their 11th child, an Alabama couple decided that was enough as they could not afford a larger bed.
So the husband went to his veterinarian and told him that he and his cousin didn't want to have any more children.
The doctor told him that there was a procedure called a vasectomy that could fix the problem but that it was expensive. "A less costly alternative," said the doctor, "is to go home, get a cherry bomb, (fireworks are legal in Alabama) light it, put it in a beer can, then hold the can up to your ear and count to 10"
The Alabamian said to the doctor, "I may not be the smartest tool in the shed but I don't see how putting a cherry bomb in a beer can next to my ear is going to help me."
"Trust me," said the doctor.
So the man went home, lit a cherry bomb and put it in a beer can. He held the can up to his ear and began to count...
The Wiki Way: Quick Collaboration on the Web by Bo Leuf and Ward Cunningham.
Been looking for this book for quite a while now. As with Hidden Connections, I found it at a used bookstore today.
I first encountered the wiki way on Wikipedia.org, where anyone--even me--can edit and add articles. I started a few stubs, enjoyed watching them evolve, even when my precious writing was updated. Almost always, the evolution of the articles made them better. Of course there comes a point of diminishing returns.
So I played with installing various wikis, including Wikimedia (wikipedia's engine) and PmWiki, the PHP script running this wiki. Wikimedia was a monster. Huge resource hog, database driven. PmWiki was relatively resource light, no database, flat file, which at first I disliked, but as I read the developer's reasons for choosing flat file, I bought into the idea. In fact, I've become very enthusiastic, in large part because updates are a breeze. I have a Drupal blog that is MySQL driven, and version updates are a nightmare--mostly because of the damn database.
Hidden Connections - I read The Turning Point and The Tao of Physics by Capra many years ago. And his Uncommon Wisdom which is excellent. But I sort of lost track of him. Then I happened upon this Hidden Connections in a used bookstore. It's not very old (2002). Focuses on sustainability. I guess it's a followup to his The Web of Life, which I haven't read. Plan to read this one. Looks right up my alley. Capra is an interesting writer to me, though his strength is in dialogue, starting and sustaining a conversation (something more than an interview). Uncommon Wisdom was so fascinating in that respect, filled with his dialogues with brilliant minds from a broad spectrum of disciplines.
This entry contains a sister's memories of stories her brother told of his experiences during WWII. Someone in the family transcribed her account into an email, and I've posted it here. With the Iraq war, I expect our family will have more such stories. Very sad. The horrors of war. I think I would have made a miserable soldier.
His name is Rufus and he's a beauty contest winner. Rufus has won the 130th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Michelle Kwan 2006 Olympics - How sad is this, on so many levels? One, for Emily Hughes, who could have been preparing for her Olympic appearance, but now gets pulled into the games as a last minute replacement for Kwan. And for Kwan, jeez! The girl won't be getting her gold, though, to be honest, her chances were slim. She's had such an impact on skating, but it surely hurts in her marrow that she doesn't have an Olympic Gold medal.
Jim Lampley, the NBC Sports anchor, put it this way:
Buddism Introduction - Here's a nice summary or primer to Buddhism. Very friendly, accessible presentation; not advanced in any way, but I just found it pleasing and informative to read.
BTW, my favorite book introducing Buddism is Walpola Rahula's What the Buddha Taught.
|What the Buddha Taught|
Richard Dawkins and Religion - In this thought provoking article, Richard Dawkins, a Darwinian evangelist who wrote the controversial classic The Selfish Gene, offers an unflinching reductionist view on the origins and value of human religion.
I currently believe that we, as humans, need hope, faith, love, mystery, and a belief in God. Is there really a God or not? We cannot know for sure, so in a way, the answer doesn't matter. What matters is: Do you live a better life believing in God? Does it hurt to believe in God?
Kari Byron - I was shocked at the traffic generated with my blog post MythBusters Lost Experiments. After a little investigation, I was able to determine most visitors arrived at the post via a Google search of "Kari Byron". Since then, I've learned there is a die-hard following of this perky and very smart red-head. So I assembled this list of links related to Kari Byron. Of course, I have no interest in this wonderful lass born in 1974. I do this as a service to my fellow MythBusters fans...
Yet another fantastically funny email. I wonder if the story behind this has any truth.
For all of us who feel only the deepest love and affection for the way computers have enhanced our lives, read on. At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated:
In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued this press release...
While watching Creative Outdoor Photography (a photography workshop DVD by outdoor photography masters Galen Rowell and Frans Lanting), I was reminded where images for great photography are found.
Galen Rowell only touched on it in the workshop, but I think it was actually a strong part of his life philosophy (Rowell died in a plane crash in August 2002). , you have to go to the edge.
I found his name while reading The Judoka, by W.D. (William) Norwood. On page 85 he paraphrases a quote from Norman O. Brown:
- W.D. Norwood paraphrase of Norman O. Brown sentiment
From what I've learned, Norman O. Brown was a respected philosopher who lived a long life, though he did have Alzheimer's disease.
I wonder if W.D. Norwood is still alive. The literati / Judoka wrote a wonderful book and shared a bit of wisdom.
Life is accelerating by me. The NY Times quote:
How the hell do you do that?
Update: The campaign has gone into second gear. I saw a commercial featuring young girls (pre-teens, early teens) who didn't like something about themselves, their freckles, their hair, etc. Dove calls the campaign Uniquely Me, and the goal is to eliminate low self-esteem (due to appearance?) in girls and, utlimately, women. From their website:
Good start. Will the idea catch on? As long as it sells soap, I doubt that they care. How cynical is that?
I found religion!
(Link outdated. Read cached copy below.)
Timothy Treadwell Grizzly Man - I recently watched a commercial-riddled presentation of Grizzly Man on the Discovery Channel. Aside from the fact commercials interrupted the flow of the film every five minutes at times, this documentary about “grizzly man” Timothy Treadwell remained powerful and intimate.
For 13 summers, Timothy Treadwell communed with Alaskan grizzly bears. During his last five summers, he videotaped his experiences, structuring the footage for a documentary. However, he was not able to finish the project because during his last visit he and his girlfriend were killed and eaten by a grizzly.