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True greatness is measured by how much freedom you give to others, not by how much you can coerce others to do what you want.
~ Larry Wall, Creator of Perl

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10 Things Your Casino Won't Tell You

Key points of the original Smart Money article, which explores each statement in more depth. Interesting, but no real surprises; just good reminders for casino junkies (who won't listen anyway).

  1. "The house always wins, and it's now winning more."
  2. "There's nothing complimentary about our comp cards."
  3. "Our ATM machines are the real one-armed bandits."

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Why I Hate Beauty

"Men are barraged with images of extraordinarily beautiful and unobtainable women in the media, making it difficult for them to desire the ordinarily beautiful."
~ Michael Levine, Why I Hate Beauty

Why would this be so? Because of how the contrast effect influences our perception of beauty. To explain, suppose I see a super beautiful woman. A short time later I see a woman of average beauty. Because I saw the super beauty first, I would likely rate the average beauty as less beautiful than if I saw the average beauty first. The contrast created by seeing the super beauty first influences my perception, making me judge the average beauty (seen second) as less beautiful than I normally would.

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Which Bush Sucks More?


Ward Sutton 'Which Bush Sucks More?' Cartoon

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MRSA - Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus - Research

MRSA - Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus - Saw a 60 Minutes piece on MRSA, the antibiotic-resistant strain of staph. It's spread by person-to-person contact, and vulnerable to only one antibiotic--the antibiotic of last resort--vincomycin. And doctors expect this "superbug" to soon develop a resistance to that sole, remaining weapon. What do we do? More research. They hope for a vaccine, and other antibiotic treatments are expected on the horizon. Will this happen fast enough?

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Resveratrol - Why Red Wine Extends Life - French Paradox

Resveratrol - 60 Minutes recently ran a piece about Resveratrol, a compound produced by certain plants (like red wine grapes) when they are under attack by bacteria or fungi. Some think resveratrol is the explanation for the French paradox, the observation that the French have a low incidence of heart disease, despite a diet rich in saturated fats. To explain the paradox, some researchers pointed to the relatively high red wine consumption of the French. As red wine studies progressed, researchers isolated a compound in grape skin called resveratrol.

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Swimming with a Hundred-year-old Snapping Turtle

Swimming with a Hundred Year Old Snapping Turtle

By Freya Manfred

I spy his head above the waves,
big as a man's fist, black eyes peering at me,
until he dives into darker, deeper water.
Yesterday I saw him a foot from my outstretched hand,
already tilting his great domed shell away.
Ribbons of green moss rippled behind him,
growing along the ridge of his back
and down his long reptilian tail.
He swims in everything he knows,
and what he knows is never forgotten.
Wisely, he fears me as if I were the Plague,
which I am, sick unto death, swimming
to heal myself in his primeval sea.

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25 Worst High School Essay Analogies

Rec'd via email...a couple times. Popular and funny list of analogies used in high school essays. I think some of them are pretty inventive.

  1. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.
  2. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.
  3. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
  4. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.
  5. Her hair glistened in the rain, like a nose hair after a sneeze.

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Beyond Positive Discipline - Howard Glasser's Transforming the Difficult Child

"A child's feeling of self-esteem is centered on the experience for which he/she is noticed most intently."
~ Howard Glasser

Beyond Positive Discipline - Howard Glasser -In his parenting book Transforming the Difficult Child: The Nurtured Heart Approach (co-written by Jennifer Easley), Howard Glasser describes some brilliant ideas that apply to parenting ALL children, not just "difficult" children.

What is the favorite toy of all children?

Their parents.

And children quickly learn that parents (their favorite toy) will focus a lot of attention on them when they do something wrong.

Think about it. Don't you put a lot of energy and attention on your children when they do something bad?

What about when they do something good?

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Atheists - Believe in One Less God


There's a logic here that I cannot deny.

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer gods than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all other other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
~ Stephen F. Roberts

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Why Fat People Always Feel Hungry

Why Fat People Always Feel Hungry - I've been reading a lot about diets and obesity, and I've finally come to some conclusions which have been corroborated in Gary Taubes' paradigm-shattering book, Good Calories, Bad Calories.

The body regulates fat metabolism very precisely in ALL people--fat, lean, and in-between.

In a few sentences - Digestion of carbs and sugars leads to insulin secretion. Insulin secretion tells your body to store fat in fat cells. Insulin secretion also prevents your body from releasing fat from fat cells. You cannot lose weight (burn fat) with insulin in your bloodstream.

In other words - Insulin prevents your fat cells from releasing fat. So if you reduce your blood insulin levels (through low-carb eating), you enable your body to burn fat. But if you keep insulin levels high (through high-carb eating), you absolutely CANNOT burn fat.

The model 1 below explains why people get fat and why fat people constantly feel hungry.

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Maple Tree in Fall 2006


Fall Colors - This gorgeous shot was taken at the Japanese Gardens in Portland, Oregon--our old stomping grounds. Happy Fall Harvest everyone!

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Unhappy Meals

Unhappy Meals by Michael Pollan Excellent article on nutrition, the food industry, and journalism...A recipe for poor health.

Food advice can be summed up:

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

  • By food it means whole fruits, vegetables.
  • By not too much it means eat until you're 80% full -- control your portions and never stuff yourself.
  • By mostly plants it means eat more leafy vegetables and less grains and seeds--but focus on diversity.

Some helpful corollaries:

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Social Worker Finally Snaps

Cited on reddit.com. Original post off of craigslist.org. Very sad statement.

WARNING - The following content is not suitable for children, WILL offend sane people, and may cause nausea. I'm serious! This is horrific, ugly stuff. But it does make a strong statement about the degenerates in our society, which may include this poor social worker...and me for posting this here. The truth hurts.

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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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Hooters "Breastaurants" - Got NO Milk!

Hooters Breastaurants - Got NO Milk! - I pulled into a motel late one night, and had a craving for a bowl of Cheerios. I had the cereal, but no milk. The front desk referred me to the Hooters Breastaurant next door -- the only eating establishment within walking distance. So I march in, trying not to ogle at the Hooters girls attending homesick businessmen. I finally get the attention of a Hooters waitress and make my request...

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Keep Me In Your Heart (for a while) - Warren Zevon - Lyrics

The Wind - Warren Zevon

This would have been a good song for my mom's "momorial." Maybe I can have it for mine.

Shadows are falling and I'm running out of breath
Keep me in your heart for awhile

If I leave you it doesn't mean I love you any less
Keep me in your heart for awhile

When you get up in the morning and you see that crazy sun
Keep me in your heart for awhile

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Spiral Fantasy - Fractal Art Contest Winner


Fractal Art Contest Winner Spiral Fantasy

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Shadows of Angmar - Hints, Cheats, Advice, Guides - LOTRO

Shadows of Angmar - LOTRO - Here's a funny story. I was invited by some old high school buddies to play LOTRO. I'd never played before, but they said just bring my computer, and they'll set me up.

So I show up, and as I step into the house, I notice a bunch of big computer monitors (21 inchers, I find out later), ethernet cables running everywhere, and huge computer desktop PC boxes. Plus, these guys had headsets, special keyboard/joystick devices, and enough snackfood to satisfy a class of 12-year-olds.

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Iraq Reckoning - Peter Oborne - Documentary

Dispatches - Iraq Reckoning - Wow! Iraq Reckoning is an absolutely riveting analysis/critique/documentary of Iraq war from British reporter, Peter Oborne.

In Iraq Reckoning, Oborne reports how Bush/Blair went into Iraq without a plan for post-war Iraq. Interviews with former officials confirm this. The opinion that Saddam was "evil" seemed justification enough to invade the country for both Tony Blair and George Bush.

Oborne then describes how soldiers fought a losing battle with local insurgents and terrorists for control of the country--or more accurately, regions of the country. At first Baathist party members were shunned, thrown out because of their ties to Saddam. Now they are being welcomed back into the governing fold, at least in Baghdad. Why?

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How to Best Absorb Coenzyme Q10


Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ), also known as ubiquinone, is a natural, fat-soluble antioxidant produced in the body. Some reports claim that statins (Crestor, Lipitor, etc.) interfere with the liver's natural production of Coenzyme Q10, reducing quantities by up to 40 percent. As a result, some suggest statin users take supplements of Coenzyme Q10, but warn that absorption varies. Here's some help I found on eHow for how to best Absorb Coenzyme Q10.

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