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Not all who wander are lost
~ J.R.R. Tolkien

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David Graeber on Debt & Money

Saw David Graeber, author of Debt: The First 5,000 Years, on Up with Chris Hayes. He had an interesting perspective on debt. Within the current financial crisis, we tend to think this is something unique, that having such a high debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio never happened before. But it has...

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Where The Hell Is Matt? - 'Praan' Lyrics by Garry Schyman

I absolutely love everything about this video by Matt Harding and Melissa Nixon. The music is wonderfully haunting, the images and colors so uplifting, and the editing right on. It will make you smile...I promise.

Lyrics (with English translation) for the music, Praan by Garry Schyman, are below...

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Closeup Picture of Velcro



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Why Does Your Voice Sound Different on a Recording?

Why your voice sounds different on a recording - Timothy E. Hullar in Scientific American describes the reason. The sound of your voice reaches the inner ear by two paths:

  1. Sound conducted by air enters the auditory canal of the ear and impacts the eardrum, which transmits the sound down the middle ear and finally into the fluid filled spiral of the inner ear called the cochlea.
  2. Sound conducted by bone travels through the medium of bone and body tissue directly to the cochlea in the inner ear.

But there's a catch...

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If You're Guilty - Use Trial by Jury

Our Justice system is NOT a good method for finding the truth. If it were, in the O.J. trail we would expect all possible juries to produce the same verdict. But we know that is not true. We know a trial verdict always depends on the composition of the jury, which is why trial attorneys fight so vigorously during jury selection (and why our system has the double-jeopardy rule).

In this piece, famous atheist/biologist Richard Dawkins offers his analysis of our justice system. His conclusion:

"Should I be charged with a serious crime hereís how I want to be tried. If I know myself to be guilty, Iíll go with the loose cannon of a jury, the more ignorant, prejudiced and capricious the better. But if I am innocent, and the ideal of multiple independent decision-takers is unavailable, please give me a judge."

The bad thing about Dawkins' admission is that if he's ever charged, we'll easily be able to tell his guilt or innocence.

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Absence of Evidence? - Or Evidence of Absence?

There's a difference between an absence of evidence, vs. evidence of absence.

A medical test is performed on a person and comes out positive for cancer. The doctor presents this diagnosis and prescribes medical treatment. After the treatment is completed, the test is run again. This time the test comes out negative, the test offers an absence of evidence for cancer.

However, after the test results the doctor will sometimes say: "You are cancer free!" That declaration suggests the test is evidence for an absence of cancer. It is not. The tests are an absence of evidence for cancer. What?

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Air Force Memorial

Air Force Memorial

This memorial truly has The Right Stuff. Inspired by a military air maneuver called the "bomb burst," the Air Force Memorial insires flight, speed, and the heavens. It's a beautiful, "soaring" tribute to the men and women of the Air Force branch of the military. I look forward to more pictures in the near future.

I saw a PBS piece on the memorial. Didn't realize Ross Perot's son was involved in getting this created. I really want to see the work in person. I'm sure it would be emotional. I was unexpectedly moved when I visited the Vietnam memorial.

It's sobering, especially when you visit the database of Iraq Coalition Casualties or Beautiful Dead Girls. So many people died in these conflicts. War is hell...and takes from our society its best and brightest.

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The Judoka by W.D. Norwood

The Judoka by W.D. Norwood is a very special book in my life. I first read it many years ago, and find myself returning to it often. As a teen, I trained in Judo for a short while, but with the focus on "Judo" as sport. The practices were physical and focused on technique and competition. So I never considered that Judo was a "Way," in the Eastern sense. Reading The Judoka taught me different.

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Merrell Moab Ventilator - Lightweight Hiking Boots

I LOVE THESE BOOTS! - Lightweight, comfortable, durable. These Merrell Moab Ventilator lightweight hiking boots are great! I'm using them to hike around a local steep trail with lots of gravel and rocks. I feel very stable and, since they are so lightweight, my legs and feet don't feel so tired as compared to other, heavier boots. I'm very happy with my purchase, and would recommend them to friends and family.

I've tried waterproof (Gortex) boots. But the problem with waterproof boots is that they are hot to wear, and if they do get wet (from water entering over the boot's cuff), then it takes forever for them to dry out (a guy did a test, and the boots took 4 days to dry). In moderate conditions, these Merrell Ventilator boots should dry out overnight (again, a guy did a test).

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Miss Potter - Renee Zellweger as Beatrix Potter

Renee Zellweger as Beatrix Potter

Miss Potter - Renee Zellweger as Beatrix Potter - Wonderfully charming, touching, and emotional biographical film of the famous children's author Beatrix Potter. But this is not a childish film, though it starts out quite sweet as it sets up the Victorian period, Potter's family, and her personality as an imaginative artist and writer.

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Men's Rules

Rec'd this from my wife...Go figure.

Men's Rules - We always hear the rules from the female side. Now here are the rules from the male side.

Please noteÖthese are all numbered "1" on purpose!

  1. Breasts are for looking at and that is why we do it. Donít try to change that.
  2. If you think youíre fat, you probably are. Donít ask us.
  3. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.

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Such Sweet Sorrows

A Father's parting words to his son, about to leave for college. Beautiful sentiment...I know these will be my feelings on the day my son leaves for college.

Sweet Sorrows by Jerry B Jenkins

If link dies, read cached copy below.

And so it has come down to this: You're going. Really going.

Oh, you'll be back. It isn't as if I will never see you again. But when you return, you will come as a guest. For all practical purposes, you are gone for good.

Though you'll always remain in my heart and remain a member of our family, nothing will be the same. You are now your own person, making your own decisions, disciplining or not disciplining yourself.

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How Men and Women Shower

How Men and Women Shower - Totally love this short video explaining/demonstrating the differences in how men and women take a shower. Cute, funny, safe-for-work.

How Men and Women Shower

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What Really Happens in the Women's Restroom

One of the funniest things I've ever received by email (for my favorites, see ChiliCookOff and Letter from Camp and WhatHappensWhenYouStunGunYourself). My wife claims that parts of this restroom scenario really happen, and regularly.

I'm awfully glad I can pee standing up.

Subject: Visit to the Ladies Room

When you have to visit a public bathroom, you usually find a line of women, so you smile politely and take your place. Once it's your turn, you check for feet under the stall doors. Every stall is occupied. Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the stall. You get in to find the door won't latch. It doesn't matter, the wait has been so long you are about to wet your pants!

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Dick and Rick Hoyt: A Unique Father and Son Story

Dick and Rick are Team Hoyt

Dick and Rick Hoyt - When Rick Hoyt was about to be born, the umbilical cord got wrapped around his neck, depriving his soon-to-be-born body of oxygen. Initially, doctors told the new parents their son was a vegetable, with no higher brain function. But the parents didn't believe it; they saw signs of life and intelligence in their son. Sure enough, the doctor's discovered they were wrong. Rick did have higher brain function. However, the lack of oxygen did deprive Rick of the ability to control his muscles, leaving him essentially a quadrapalegic.

The story of Team Hoyt began when Rick found out about a fundraiser for a friend. The fundraiser involved running, and wheelchair-bound Rick told his Dad he wanted to participate so he could help his friend. So father Dick Hoyt ran with his son, rolling him around the track, raising money for Rick's friend. After the run, Rick told his Dad that running made him feel free for the first time. Inspired by his son's statement, Dick took Rick running, swimming, bicycling, climbing--anything he wanted to do, Dick found a way to share it with his son and help him feel free. It's an amazing story of a father and son's courage, determination, and love.

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Ultimate Swiss Army Knife

Wenger's Swiss Army Knife Monstrosity

It contains 85 tools--every tool currently available on Wenger Swiss Army Knives--is 9-inches wide and weighs 2 pounds. Need to find out what it costs. Even more, I wonder if this is a load of &^%$#. Call me gullible...


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Video: Johann Lippowitz Mimes Natalie Imbruglia's Torn

David Armand as "Johann Lippowitz" Mimes Natalie Imbruglia's Torn - Here's a fascinating and funny video performance of Torn by Natalie Imbruglia with mime/sign language assistance from David Armand (Johann Lippowitz). I was very impressed with how Natalie and Johann integrated their talents. Armand's Lippowitz character could have easily stolen the show, but Natalie managed to "get into the act." Excellent.

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How to Train a Killer Whale

Training Whales - I found information on training a killer whales some time ago. It's a popular topic for parenting sites--and with good reason. Some of the 'lessons' we learn from training killer whales are very helpful to consider when teaching our kids.

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Paramount's Great America - Ain't So Great

  • Poorly managed in general (food concessions and parking especially)
  • Disinterested employees
  • No magic, bland spirit or feel about the park
  • Criminally negligent parking lot pedestrian management
  • Theme Park without a "Theme"*

* Great America has changed hands many times. Current Parmount owner sprinkles a very few movie artifacts and posters around the park, but little else.

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Four Day Work Week - 16 Reasons It's a Good Idea

The Four Day Work Week: Sixteen Reasons Why This Might Be an Idea Whose Time Has Come - This article from theoildrum.com makes the argument that a four day work week would have at least 16 benefits to each of us and our economy. Written by Kyle Saunders (associate professor of political science at Colorado State University) the article gives some detail and statistics for each reason, so do read the original article, but the points below give the gist.

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