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In the world, what counts more than talent, what counts more than energy, concentration, commitment, or anything else is kindness....And all the big words--virtue, justice, truth--are dwarfed by the greatness of kindness.
~ Stephen Fry

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Fred Clark's Unusual Obituary

I didn't know Fred Clark, but after reading this obituary, I wish I had.

Frederic Arthur (Fred) Clark, who had tired of reading obituaries noting other's courageous battles with this or that disease, wanted it known that he lost his battle as a result of an automobile accident on June 18, 2006.

True to Fred's personal style, his final hours were spent joking with medical personnel while he whimpered, cussed, begged for narcotics and bargained with God to look over his wife and kids.

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Beyonce "Bidet" CD

Beyonce Bidet CD - What the hell were Beyonce's marketing people thinking? B' Day?



Bidet - bi-'dA
A bathroom fixture used especially for bathing the external genitals and the anal region

About the last thing I think about when admiring Beyonce is...well, actually...

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30 Funny Statements Heard in Court

Funny Words in Court - From a little book called Disorder in the Court: Great Fractured Moments in Courtroom History. Here are about 30 things people actually said in court, word for word.

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Tips for Christians Battling Evil Atheists

This appeared on a Google group Atheism vs. Christianity under the title: Christians: Tips To Doing Battle With Evil Atheists. I actually thought this was pretty compassionate advice...Am I whacked?

  1. Remember that they are people, just like you are. Contrary to what you may have been led to believe, they are not some lower life form we share this planet with.
  2. More than likely, they are smarter than you are. This can be difficult to come to grips with, but it does appear to be true and is a claim that is actually supported by the Bible (1 Corinthians 1:18-31)
  3. Statistically, they are also as moral, if not more so than you are. While it is a good thing that they generally are highly moral, it is a shame that we, who often times claim the moral high ground, seem unable, or unwilling, to match our words with our lives.

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Hack Windows XP Home To Windows XP Professional

Hack to Change Windows XP Home to Windows XP Professional

Enable the features found in Windows XP Professional on your Windows XP Home Edition installation with this hack. It will allow you to turn your Windows XP Home CD into a Windows XP Professional CD.

Note: If your Windows XP CD does not contain Service Pack 2, you might want to Slipstream Your Windows XP CD first as you will not be able to upgrade an installation after using the CD.

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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.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is one fascinating guy. His two books Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable have been sooooo thought provoking AND entertaining.

I read both in the span of a couple weeks (way too fast) and am now reading each again. The concepts are deceptively simple on the surface...and then so deep. Their counter-intuitive nature makes it hard to grasp their significance in a 30-second sound bite.

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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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Aurora Borealis - Superb Time-Lapse Video ~ Terje Sorgjerd

Wanna experience what the Aurora Borealis is like?

Watch this incredible video by Terje Sorgjerd.

The Aurora on Vimeo

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Nassim Nicholas Taleb - Investment Advice

In Fooled by Randomness, Nassim Nicholas Taleb teases us with the idea that we can take advantage of black swan events in our life and in our investments. I say tease because he's very short (pardon pun) on specifics in my reading. I want to try to flesh out the ideas as best I can.


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Bill Fenton Pulls 15 Pranks in Department Store

Absolutely hilarious! I can just see this guy wandering around a Target (or Wal-Mart?) store, stirring up mischief during the holidays. Worthy of Punk'd, Psyched, etc. Who is this Bill Fenton? I want to know so I can get out of his wake. Merry F***ing Christmas!

The following letter was sent to Mrs. Fenton, a long-time patron of a local Target store. After receiving this letter, she vowed that she would NEVER take her husband shopping with her again!


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Why Home Alarm Systems Fail

Home Alarm Systems - Home Security Specialist Mike Jagger wrote an excellent critique of one typical home alarm system installation, explaining along the way why so many home alarm systems are useless. As he concludes:

"[This] system...offers absolutely zero security value. It's only purpose is to allow an alarm company to collect a monthly monitoring fee and hope the client does not figure out how misplaced their trust in the company was."

Ouch! The weaknesses are easy to spot - once you know what to look for. And the vulnerabilities are basically driven by this fact...

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George Carlin - On Aging


George Carlin

George Carlin on Aging - Received this by email. Totally hilarious and, as per George Carlin, so very insightful. Carlin's wisdom grows with age.

George Carlin on Aging

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions. "How old are you?" "I'm four and a half!"

You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key. You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead. "How old are you?" "I'm gonna be 16!" You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16!

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When Our Diet Goes Ape - The Evo Diet

Nine volunteers, with a reality TV camera crew taping, decided to go ape with their diet (sometimes called the EVO diet). For 12 days the volunteers avoided all processed foods and ate only from a generous ration of fruits and vegetables -- a diet of the apes.

The results: Blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels dropped significantly for all.

What they ate: 2,300 calories of fruit, vegetables, nuts and honey

Typical 3-day Rotation included:

  • Broccoli, carrots, radishes
  • Cabbage, tomatoes, watercress
  • Strawberries, apricots, bananas
  • Mangoes, melons, figs, plums
  • Satsumas, hazelnuts

Interesting stories of the volunteers' experiences.

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Ben Franklin - Advice on the Choice of a Mistress

Benjamin Franklin's very funny...and sensible...advice to a young man seeking a mistress over marriage. Franklin's argument speaks to the value of experience over youth. Is the argument as compelling today as it might have been in 1745? And who was the young man Franklin addresses?

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Startling Honesty from Israeli Professor


Ze'ev Maoz

Ze'ev Maoz's editorial struck me as incredibly brave. For an Israeli to opening admit such a point of view...But why should I label this act as brave? Would it be brave in the U.S.? No. People express their dissent about U.S. government policy all the time--we stage protests, heckle, post blog entries.

Is Israel any different?

I admit ignorance. I guess I have this impression (false?) that the government of Israel dislikes dissenters AND can make their lives uncomfortable. Is that true? I need to dispel my ignorance here. I just don't know the truth about the culture, the Israeli society. I'd like to learn. Given the current conflict in the region, I need to learn.

The first paragraph of Maoz's editorial startled me:

"There's practically a holy consensus right now that the war in the North is a just war and that morality is on our side. The bitter truth must be said: this holy consensus is based on short-range selective memory, an introverted world view, and double standards..."

Ouch!

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Aeroscraft Air Ship

Aeroscraft Air Ship - I find this a fascinating idea, a cruise ship for the skies. NY Nerds posted this picture with commentary. I thought it was a joke...and it may be...but it's still an interesting idea. A fighter jet it ain't, but the available space per passenger would beat the hell out of the airline's current cattle-car offerings. Also, could it be a fuel saver--relying on the helium (or hydrogen?) as lift?

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Band of Brothers

I'm awed by the opening theme of Band of Brothers. Composed by Michael Kamen, it's haunting, uplifting...it expresses the emotional range of the nine-plus hour film in just a few minutes. The story goes that Kamen was working on the score for some piece of shlock (can't remember what), couldn't get anywhere, and was approached or referred by Hanks to do Band of Brothers. Hanks knew Kamen from the miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, which Hanks produced and Kamen scored.

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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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(This has gotta be the) Good Life ~ One Republic ~ Lyrics & Video


LOVE this song...

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Can You Read This?


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.

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