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In absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.
~ Unknown

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Bitter Acknowledgments of Olin Shivers

Olin Shivers wrote an acknowledgements section to his Scsh Reference Manual that worried his friends.

Acknowledgments should be filled with Thank you's and Couldn't have done it without you's. Olin Shivers acknowledgments section thanked no one. In fact, his acknowledgments section explains why people did NOT deserve his thanks, people like his parents, his graduate students, his colleagues. It's a rant only a mother could forgive...or maybe not.

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Relative's of War

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.

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Great Photography Means Going To The Edge

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). If you want to create great photographs, you have to go to the edge.

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Scarlett Johansson as Cinderella - by Annie Leibovitz

Gorgeous series of images by the ever creative portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz. This image of Scarlett Johansson as Cinderella is just one of about seven photos from the Stars in Wonderland series by Annie Leibovitz.

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The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho - A Fable About Following Your Dream

The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream by Paulo Coelho is an absolutely beautiful story. I received the book as a gift from a dear friend many years ago. I'm sorry it took so long for me to read this enduring work of art.

The Alchemist tells the story of Santiago, a Spanish shepherd boy with dreams of finding treasure at the pyramids of Egypt. Pointing the way are gypsies, an alchemist, and mysterious omens. But it's the boy's trust and courage that propel his journey. With The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho crafted a true fable, filled with symbols and simple truths. It's a story about following your dreams, yes. But the fable's greater message is to pay attention to the "omens" of life -- the voice of spirit. Do that and your happiness is assured. Which isn't to say the journey is without suffering. But the Alchemist in the story says...

"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself"

I highly recommend this beautiful book, The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream.

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18 Ways to Trick Your Body

Tricking Your Body? - I found this Men's Health article a bit misleading, if not silly...But it had some interesting kernels.

1. If your throat tickles, scratch your ear.

"When the nerves in the ear are stimulated, it creates a reflex in the throat that can cause a muscle spasm," says Scott Schaffer, M.D., president of an ear, nose, and throat specialty center in Gibbsboro, New Jersey. "This spasm relieves the tickle."

2. Use right ear for conversation and left ear for music.

Can't hear what's being said. Researchers at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine say you should lean in with your RIGHT ear, which recognizes speech better.

On the other hand, if you are trying to identify a piece of music, lean in with your LEFT ear. The left ear is better at sensing (recognizing?) music tones.

3. Need to pee but no toilet nearby? Think about sex.

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Kari Byron of MythBusters Links


MythBuster Kari Byron

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...

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How to Import Large MySQL Data Files

How to Import Large MySQL Data Files

One Step: Use BigDump

I've been so frustrated at the file size limits for uploading large MySQL data files, and BigDump is the answer. Works like a charm.

More details below...

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Med Student's Decision Tree for Choosing Specialty

Choosing Medical Specialty - Medical Students must choose a medical specialty at some point, and here is clever decision tree to help.

Med Student's Decision Tree for Choosing Medical Specialty

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Bush Butt Probed - Cheney in Charge

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4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris

Four Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss - Status-quo shattering book. I read it through once, and am starting over. The concepts are simple. Deferred living (retirement) is the worst kind of insurance. Live now. Forget abstract goals. Go for what excites you. In fact, go for specific, unreasonable goals that excite you. There's too much competition for the mediocre goals. Less competition for the unreasonable goals (John Nash was wrong; in a pick-up bar, everyone is pursuing the 8's, not the 10's.)

Ferriss makes a four hour workweek seem attainable. It takes discipline. It takes a low information diet and focusing on two principles or laws...

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Evaporative (Swamp) Coolers - Research

Evaporative or swamp coolers are an energy efficient alternative for cooling air during a summertime heatwave. They work on a simple principle: when water evaporates, it takes a little bit energy (heat) away with it. This creates a cooling effect like the one we experience when our sweat evaporates.

Evaporative or swamp coolers use this cooling effect to create and distribute cool air in a room or home. However, as those on the U.S. East Coast know only too well, evaporative cooling doesn't happen when the air is already saturated with water vapor--a condition we call high humidity. And high humidity doesn't just occur outside; a home, room, or even the inside of a car (during an amorous escapade) can become highly humid. Because of this, rooms cooled by evaporative coolers need to be well ventilated. Without ventilation, evaporative coolers will turn your home or room into a humid sauna. Below are more tips and info...

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Mary McHugh Mourns Her Slain Fiance

Mary McHugh mourns her slain fiance, Sgt. James Regan, a US Army Ranger killed in Iraq, at Arlington National Cemetery May 27, 2007.

This photograph by John Moore (Getty Images) won 1st place for Feature Photos in the 2007 Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar Contest.

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If I a Gun and Two Bullets...

This line from The Office (U.S. version) cracks me up every time.

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Dear God, I have a question

Dear God, I have a question - Here's a charming collection of letters kids have written to God, letters with their questions of the creator. Here are a few samples...

Dear God, Are you really invisible or is that just a trick?
~Lucy

Dear God, Did you mean for giraffe to look like that or was it an accident.
~Norma

Dear God, Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why don't you keep the ones you got now?
~Jane

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Morphing Women in Art

Morphing Women in Art

Fascinating....

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30 Funny Jerry Seinfeld Quotes

  1. I was the best man at the wedding. If I'm the best man, why is she marrying him?
  2. It's amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper.
  3. What is a date really, but a job interview that lasts all night? The only difference is that in not many job interviews is there a chance you’ll wind up naked.
  4. You know you're getting old when you get that one candle on the cake. It's like, "See if you can blow this out."
  5. Men want the same thing from their underwear that they want from women: a little bit of support, and a little bit of freedom.
  6. Dogs are the leaders of the planet. If you see two life forms, one of them's making a poop, the other one's carrying it for him, who would you assume is in charge.

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Where Does the Money Go? - Moyers Interview with Bittle & Johnson

Where Does the Money Go? - In their book Where Does the Money Go - Your Guided Tour to the Federal Budget Crisis, Scott Bittle & Jean Johnson explain in understandable terms where the U.S. government spends YOUR tax dollars.

In an interview with Bill Moyers, Bittle and Jean reveal that the U.S. Government has spent more money than it received in taxes for 31 of the last 35 years. Meaning, that in good times and bad, the U.S. Government is spending more than it brings in. No company, no household, no government can spend more than it receives without consequences. Companies and households go bankrupt (or get a government bail out). The government simply borrows and prints more money, which eventually leads to a financial crisis (inflation, currency collapse, etc.)

Some think the spending problem would be solved if we left IRAQ. Not so....

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Snow Falling On Cedars - Cinematography Masterpiece


Snow Falling on Cedars

Saw an absolutely beautiful film last night, Snow Falling on Cedars. The cinematography by Robert Richardson is simply exquisite -- every frame a fine photograph. And masterful editing by Hank Corwin knitted the abstract poetry of images into a compelling storyline, which included many flashbacks and dream sequences. It could have been a disaster, but the level of craftsmanship on this film was extremely high. Director Scott Hicks (Shine) orchestrated a nuanced work of art that deserved its 5 Oscar nominations and many other awards.

The acting in this movie was equally magnificent, with delicate, subtle performances by Max von Sydow, James Cromwell, Richard Jenkins (Six Feet Under), Ethan Hawke, and Yauki Kudoh (Memoirs of a Geisha). I particularly like Kudoh's performance, and that of Anne Suzuki who played her Hatsue character at a younger age. Sydow was also fantastic, and I love Richard Jenkins -- would like to see more of this guy.

Adapted from the international bestselling book Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson, the film is an experience in itself. Definitely worth viewing.

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Bombing for Peace is Like...

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