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The more I think about it, the more I realize there is nothing more artistic than to love others
~ Vincent Van Gogh

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7 Ways to Build a Creative Attitude

Creative Attitude - Found these suggestions about becoming more creative in blog post: 9 Attitudes of Highly Creative People. I distilled the original list of nine tips into seven. Not terribly profound, but good reminders.

1. Curiosity
Learning to ask ‘why’, ‘what if’ and ‘I wonder…’ are great questions t build into your life if you want to be a more creative person.
2. See Problems as Interesting and Acceptable
Instead of seeing problems as obstacles and unacceptable, see problems as natural, normal and fascination.

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8 Bad Words

8 Bad Words - Found this video by Trevor Crook kinda informative and funny--not George Carlin funny by any means, however...

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Will Marre - Christmas Message - American Dream Project

Will Marre Christmas Message - I received this by email on Christmas Eve day from Will Marre of the American Dream Project. I find Marre such a genuine voice of humanness. He doesn't hide his flaws, is always questioning, and always finds an inclusive perspective on often divisive topics. I see that he was brought up Catholic, attended 12 years of Catholic school, but seems to have adjusted his Catholic faith...Perhaps that's why I can relate to him so well.


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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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If GM Built Cars Like Microsoft Builds Software

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:

"If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon."

In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued this press release...

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Steps for Avoiding Swine Flu - H1N1 Virus

Received via email. Seems like sensible advice, and none of the steps would hurt.

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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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He Who Cast the First Stone...Probably Didn’t

Escalating violence is natural - Fascinating NY Times piece by Daniel Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard, and author of Stumbling on Happiness. In this article, Gilbert explains how our faulty human perception in a tit-for-tat exchange can lead to escalating violence. Apropos of the Middle Earth...uh, Middle East conflicts between Israel and Hezbollah, the civil war in Iraq, and so many other conflicts...

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Poem from a True Friend

From Dion in Idaho

Are you tired of all those sissy "friendship" poems that always sound good but never actually come close to reality? Well, here is a series of promises that really speaks to true friendship:

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Kinoki - Detox Foot Pads

Kinoki Detox Foot Pads - What a bizzare idea...foot pads to remove toxins from inside your body.

A more plausible product would be detox anal pads.

I don't see how the Kinoki Detox Foot Pads could possibly work. But for $19.95 plus shipping, I can get all the pads I want FOR LIFE!

Yes! All I have to do is pay $9.95 shipping and handling for each additional set of pads. $10 bucks for S&H. Amazing Randi fans was not convinced by claims about Kinoki Detox Foot Pads. One reader had this explanation of how the pads "work".

I wonder how long this company will last. Below are some detox foot pads offered via Amazon that are cheaper.

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Black Swan - by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Had Nassim Taleb been born in any other period, he would have certainly been put to death.
~ Carine Chichereau, co-translator of TBS.

Black Swan and Nassim Taleb - Listened to Nassim Taleb on KQED's Forum program, and the ideas about randomness and luck drove me to his recent book, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable.

A read it once, then started over, this time going a bit slower, trying to commune with his counter-intuitive ideas and wonderfully illustrative thought experiments. This books is such a colorful pallet of ideas that somehow connect without falling into a grand theory or trite advice. Indeed, that's part of the Taleb's message in The Black Swan. That theories are contrived and can lead us to a false sense of security or doom. Skeptical empiricism reigns over theory, narrative, and other often misguided simplifications.

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Hell Explained by Chemistry Student

Rec'd from email chain

HELL EXPLAINED BY CHEMISTRY STUDENT

The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term.

The answer by one student was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

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Rules For Drawing Cute Animation Character

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Happiness - A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill by Matthieu Ricard

Happiness by Matthieu Ricard - Started reading this a bit ago. Nice primer on Buddhism. Absolutely loved the book that traces a dialog with his father, The Monk and the Philosopher: A Father and Son Discuss the Meaning of Life.

Happiness does not come automatically. It is not a gift that good fortune bestows upon us and a reversal of fortune takes back. It depends on us alone. One does not become happy overnight, but with patient labor, day after day. Happiness is constructed, and that requires effort and time. In order to become happy, we have to learn how to change ourselves.

~ Luca and Francesco Cavalli-Sforza

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Creative Canine Crossbreeding

Creative Canine Crossbreeding - Here’s what you get when you cross a......

  • Collie + Lhasa Apso = Collapso: A dog that folds up for easy transport.
  • Spitz + Chow Chow = Spitz-Chow: A dog that throws up a lot.
  • Maltese + any other breed = Maltese Cross
  • Pointer + Setter = Poinsetter: A traditional Christmas pet
  • Kerry Blue Terrier + Skye Terrier = Blue Skye: A dog for visionaries.
  • Great Pyrenees + Dachshund = Pyradachs: A puzzling breed.
  • Irish Water Spaniel + English Springer Spaniel = Irish Springer: A dog fresh and clean as a whistle.
  • Pekingnese + Lhasa Apso = Peekasso: An absract dog.
  • Labrador Retriever + Curly Coated Retriever = Lab Coat Retriever: The choice of research scientists.
  • Newfoundland + Basset Hound = Newfound Asset Hound: A dog for financial advisors.
  • Terrier + Bulldog = Terribull: A dog that makes awful mistakes.
  • Bloodhound + Labrador = Blabador: A dog that barks incessantly.
  • Malamute + Pointer = Moot Point: Owned by.... oh well, it doesn’t matter.
  • Collie + Malamute = Commute: A dog that travels to work.
  • Deerhound + Terrier = Derriere: A dog that’s true to the end.

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25 Signs That You Are Grown Up

Signs You've Grown Up - Here are my favorites from this perenial email:

Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you - That's a funny transition that I've seen coming for some time...very weird in some cases, think mother-in-law.

Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as "dressed up - I fight this one everyday.

Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of one - Sad, so sad, but true.

You go to the drug store for ibuprofen and antacid, not condoms and pregnancy tests - My list of medication has increased significantly recently, which is VERY bothersome. I never used to take anything, and now I'm comparing prices and buy in bulk at Costco.

You read this entire list looking desperately for one sign that doesn't apply to you and can't find one to save your sorry old ass - Yep, all the way...shame, shame, shame.

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Get the Most From Your Statin


Get the Most from Your Statin - Everyday Health reports that when and how you take your statin can influence its effectiveness and absorption.

  • Mevacor - Take with food. This almost doubles the amount of medication absorbed into bloodstream.
  • Mevacor, Pravachol, Zocor, Lescol - Take with your evening meal. These statins block a one of the liver's key cholesterol-making enzymes, and that enzyme is most active at night.
  • Crestor, Lipitor - Take at any time, as these statins stay in the body and bloodstream long enough that you can take them any time.
  • Pravachol - If on other medications, try Pravachol, which is less likely to interact with other medications than other statins.

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Dove Ad Campaign for Real Beauty


Real Women Have Curves

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:

"92% of girls want to change at least one aspect of their appearance. Dove believes all girls deserve to see how beautiful they really are and is committed to raising self-esteem in girls everywhere. That's why we created the Dove Self-Esteem Fund."

Good start. Will the idea catch on? As long as it sells soap, I doubt that they care. How cynical is that?

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Which Bush Sucks More?


Ward Sutton 'Which Bush Sucks More?' Cartoon

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An Old Dog, a Leopard, and a Monkey

Received this from my sister by email. Cute...I'm gonna go watch the Westminster dog show!

A wealthy old Gentleman decides to go on a hunting safari in Africa, taking his faithful, elderly dog named Killer, along for the company.

One day the old dog starts chasing rabbits and before long, discovers
that he's lost. Wandering about, he notices a leopard heading rapidly in his direction with the intention of having lunch.

The old dog thinks, "Oh, oh! I'm in deep doo-doo now!" Noticing some bones on the ground close by, he immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the leopard is about to leap, the old dog exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious leopard! I wonder, if there are any more around here?"

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