A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
~ Greek proverb
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.
That Inner Warmth - I absolutely love this Leanne Lim-Walker self-portrait, which was featured on a Popular photography magazine cover. Something about the composition, light, and beautiful face keeps pulling me back to this image.
Do look at the full-sized original. Really cool effect. Everyone I've showed this to says the same thing...
The middle photo freaks me out!
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:
I'm an unusual man, at least in one sense: I love movies adapted from Jane Austen novels.
Note, I've never actually read a Jane Austen novel.
I just like the movies...Well, most of them.
In his book The Black Swan, Nassim Nicholas Taleb discusses the following question with Umberto Eco, who happens to possess a rather significant, personal library.
- Is the value of a library in the books you've read or in the books you have not read?
Most people are disappointed to learn that Eco hasn't read most of the books it contains. Eco feels precisely the opposite. To him, the value of the library lies in the unread books--the books yet to be discovered.
Which is why he continues adding to his collection. So to Eco (and Taleb), the library's value lies in its undiscovered volumes, which echo's Shakespeare's line about the "undiscovered country."
But others answer the question differently...
Jon Stewart's solution to economic crisis - While interviewing Lawrence Lindsey, author of What the President Should Know, Jon Stewart's shares his solution for the economic crisis: Instead of paying bail out money to banks, pay the money to consumers, who will pay it to the banks to help reduce the consumers' loan debt. That way everyone (except for taxpayers) wins: the banks get the money AND consumers gets debt relief.
Lindsey, a finance savvy guy, sort of agrees, but argues that paying the consumers rewards consumers for bad behavior ("Oh, I can get a loan and get money from the Government to pay it off"). As Stewart quickly pointed out, same can be said for the banks.
Practice does NOT make perfect - Scientists believe that striving to consistently repeat a physical action (like shooting a basketball free-throw or serving a tennis ball) is unnatural. Our bodies and brains are simply not designed to repeat the same motion in the same way over and over again. Variation invariably sneaks in, and the culprit for the inconsistency is the brain. It simply won't let you perform the same action in an identical way over and over again.
So the lesson is not to focus on the same physical action but the same outcome. Slight variations in form are a good thing and more natural to the body. Keep you eyes on the prize, not on perfect, repeatable form.
According to psychologist Steven Hayes, happiness is not normal. He came to this conclusion sometime after his first panic attack.
Hayes experienced the panic attack during a heated psychology department meeting at the University of North Carolina, where he was an assistant professor. This first attack led to others, and soon Steven Hayes felt panic attacks coming on at the slightest provocation: eating in a restaurant or even going grocery shopping could set off an episode. During lectures, he was often physically unable to speak to his class, so he frequently showed documentary and research films--though his hands shook so badly, he was barely able to thread the projector (this was pre-video days).
To remedy his condition, he turned to the most popular therapy approach he knew of, cognitive therapy. As a therapist, he had access to most recent research and tried a variety of approached within the cognitive therapy umbrella. However, no matter what technique he tried, they all made this symptoms worse, not better.
What is wrong with this picture?
Men Not Needed to Create Sperm - Finally, proof that the male of the species is superfluous: scientists at the University of Newcastle have created human sperm cells from female embryonic stem cells. Coming research....I didn't intend that pun...will focus on creating sperm from female bone marrow, a less controversial source.
But this technique would only produce a female egg, right?
Actually, current efforts won't produce a viable egg at all. Before that can happen, the researchers must figure out a way to induce the cells to undergo meiosis, which would give the diploid cells the correct amount of genetic material.
Creative Canine Crossbreeding - Hereís 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 doesnít matter.
- Collie + Malamute = Commute: A dog that travels to work.
- Deerhound + Terrier = Derriere: A dog thatís true to the end.
Stress Management - When explaining stress management to an audience, the lecturer raised a glass of water and asked:
"How heavy is this glass of water?"
Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
The lecturer replied:
"The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it.
"If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance.
In each case, it's the same weight:
The longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.
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:
Good start. Will the idea catch on? As long as it sells soap, I doubt that they care. How cynical is that?
"The Way" - Lyrics - by Fastball - I don't know what the hell this song is about...I read on 365.com that "Tony Scalzo wrote the song after reading a news article about an elderly couple who had disappeared in Texas. He imagined they were ran off on their own romantic trip. Later the real couple was found at the bottom of a canyon. Their RV had veered off the road killing them."
Caffeine Curve Graph by Tom Edwards - Same curve applies to a sugar induced high -- or any other high for that matter -- though the time frame may need adjusting...
Water Kills More Kids Than War - UNICEF Poster
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.