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A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.
~ James Joyce

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Marc LeRoy Roach - Obituary

My cousin Marc Roach was a kind, gentle, and adventurous man--the kind of person who, after you met him, you'd say, "Damn, I want to get to know that guy better!" Sadly, none of us will have that opportunity. Below is the obituary written by his father LeRoy--with kibitzing/editing from his brother Mike.

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Power Nap Basics from Sara Mednick

Perfect Power Naps - Sara Mednick, a napping specialist, offers these suggestions on taking power naps:

Power Nap Hints

  1. Recognize you're not being lazy; napping will make you more productive and more alert after you wake up.
  2. Nap in the morning or just after lunch; human circadian rhythms make late afternoons a more likely time to fall into deep (slow-wave) sleep, which will leave you groggy.

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Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim ~ Helpful Links

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5 Ways to Beat a Hangover

Five ways to beat a hangover - Most hangover symptoms stem from alcohol's diuretic effect, which can to dehydration. Dehydration can lead to common hangover symptoms like dry mouth, headache, and dizziness. In addition, alcohol can also irritate the stomach lining and cause nausea and stomach cramps in some people. To reduce or prevent these symptoms, have a look at these hangover prevention/reduction tips:

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Infinity of Mega Pixels by Sébastien Perez-Duarte

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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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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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I Need Forgiveness

Forgiveness - As a former Catholic, I have experienced the sacrament of reconciliation. It begins with confessing your sins to a priest. After hearing your confession, the priest will usually offer some advice and penance. After that, the priest will declare you absolved or forgiven by God.

During my junior high and high school years, I was a fairly devout Catholic, and I found this reconciliation experience incredibly powerful. After confession, I had a clean slate and felt pure. What a marvelous feeling, especially for a guilty Catholic boy.

I remember a particularly powerful experience. During a high school retreat, we had the opportunity to ask forgiveness from any classmates we had sinned against. In essence, we asked forgiveness directly from those we'd wronged. WOW! I took this very seriously, and went up to a guy I had really hated...He was a big, strong, jock, and I really didn't like him...I can't remember why now...

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Ron Mueck Sculptures

Ron Mueck's sculptures faithfully reproduce the minute detail of the human body, but play with scale to produce disconcertingly jarring visual images.
~ From Ron Mueck Wikipedia entry

Ron Mueck is an Australian hyperrealist sculptor whose work with the human body and all its flaws is absolutely mesmerizing. If you've seen Mueck's work, experienced it, you'll never forget it. It's not that the sculptures are beautiful or of beautiful subjects; most of the subjects are fairly ordinary or even ugly. But it's the realism, the play with scale both large and small, and the nudity that demands your attention.

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What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Smoking?

Stop Smoking! - Just Quit! - Wade Meredith has written a stellar blog post: What Happens to Your body if you stop smoking Right now? Totally fascinating. The timeline he lays out is just too important not to share. Do see the original post by Wade Meredith at HealthBolt.net. If for some reason that is not available, read the cached copy below.

In either case, be sure to see this alternate version. Also see this What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Smoking Chart.


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Russell Crowe's Eulogy for Steve Irwin, Crocodile Hunter


Russell Crowe's Eulogy for Steve Irwin

Russell Crowe Eulogy Steve Irwin - When I heard that Steve Irwin, the Crododile Hunter, had been killed by a sting-ray, I was shocked and saddened. As news coverage of his death swelled, I was somehow comforted to learn that so many others felt the same....Who knew this wacky, passionate Aussie had such an impact on so many people?

Russell Crowe, a good mate of Irwin's, gave such a touching eulogy at the memorial service for Steve Irwin, a service that was televised around the world. I've transcribed Russell's words below. Truly moving. Here is the video...

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Dora the Explorer Aquapet Sex Toy?


Dora the Explorer Aquapet

What exactly is Dora exploring with this toy?

Dora the Explorer Aquapet - This is an actual child's toy listed (until recently) on Amazon. Looks like a sex ed. prop gone wrong. What were the Dora the Explorer toy designers thinking when they created this?

In my defense, my wife thought the same thing when she saw the toy. So did Dave Barry! And his readers made these comments about Dora's Aquapet Toy

Looks like Amazon has already pulled the Dora the Explorer Aquapet product.

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Calvin and Hobbes - Surest Sign of Intelligent Life

Brilliant comic from Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes comic...One of my favorites.

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My Bird Watching List


Photo by Len BluminCalifornia Quail - THIS is the bird that got me hooked on birding. Spotted one in a tree on 17-mile drive near Monterey, California after puzzling over the queer call I was hearing. Gorgeous bird. Quite distinctive and easy to identify. Not much of a flier--very rapid wing beat. 6/30/2008. Spotted another in Sunol Regional Wilderness (Maguire area) perched on a post, just like this picture. 7/6/2008.

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Yoga Anatomy - by Leslie Kaminoff - Review

Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff lets you literally see under the skin of common yoga poses. But the strength of this book lies in how it infuses lessons on anatomy with a core focus on breath and gravity. Through wonderfully detailed illustrations and easy-to-understand text, Yoga Anatomy depicts the skeletal and muscular anatomy of many common yoga asanas.

From breathing to standing poses, Kaminoff (with illustrator Sharon Ellis) helps you see how each muscle is used--and how slight alterations can enhance (or reduce) the effectiveness of a pose. With these images and explanations, it becomes clear how the spine, breathing, and body position are all fundamentally linked in the journey to find a balance point between breath and gravity.


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Unified Theory of Heart Disease - by Linus Pauling

The story of coronary artery disease (CAD) begins with where artery blockages occur and where they don't. Typically, blockages occur in the coronary arteries on the outer surface of the heart. However, blockages are not often found in arteries or veins in any other part of the body (though carotid blockages are becoming more common). Furthermore, the CAD blockages do not naturally occur in other species. What's different about the coronary arteries of the human species that make them vulnerable to heart disease?

To explain the difference, Linus Pauling posited a theory, his Unified Theory of Heart Disease. Pauling observed that the CAD blockages occur in areas of high mechanical stress. Due to their location, these arteries are subject to continuous squeezing, pulling, and tugging from the ceaseless contractions of the heart. Like a garden hose that's repeatedly compressed or squeezed, this mechanical stress has the potential for causing damage. Normally, the body quickly repairs that damage, and in most other mammals (those that do not naturally suffer from CAD), the repair is seamless. In humans, however, the repeated repair process leads to CAD. Why?

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What Movie Rating Would You Give Your Life?

What Movie Rating Would You Give Your Life? - If you had to assign a movie rating to your life, what would it be? Is your life R rated? G rated? Do priests live G rated lives?...I guess some have NC-17 sins.

As recipes for life, the movie rating system takes on a whole new meaning...

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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...

Source

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No More Wallet Butt - The ALL-ETT - World's Thinnest Wallet


ALL-ETT - No More Wallet Butt!!

No More Wallet Butt - ALL-ETT - Thinnest Wallet - Recently found and bought this extremely thin wallet -- the ALL-ETT.

  • Weighs less than half an ounce.
  • Has an empty thickness of about 1/32 of an inch.

I love my ALL-ETT! It's not a minimalist wallet by any means--it holds all the credit cards, cash, receipts, and other crap I routinely carry.

Fully loaded, the ALL-ETT is about as thick as my old wallet was empty.

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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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