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Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.
~ Mark Twain

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Torture and Collateral Damage - Jonathan Glover

In modern war, what is most shocking is a poor guide to what is most harmful.
~ Jonathan Glover

I read that quote by British philosopher Jonathan Glover in Sam Harris' book The End of Faith. Glover and Harris expose a moral oddity or failing. They argue that while our conscience is repelled by the torture of one person, that same conscience can somehow accept when a "precision bomb" causes "collateral damage." Yet the harm caused by the bomb is much greater than the harm caused by torture of one individual. How do we accept or discount that greater harm? Why do we focus on pain torture causes an individual? Surely, the pain, suffering (not to mention death) caused to the innocent by the anonymous bomb exceeds that of any torture chamber. Both acts are abhorrent. Why does our moral compass fail us?

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Creative Canine Crossbreeding

Creative Canine Crossbreeding - Here’s 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 doesn’t matter.
  • Collie + Malamute = Commute: A dog that travels to work.
  • Deerhound + Terrier = Derriere: A dog that’s true to the end.

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Information Diet

I started an information diet about a week ago, based on the advice in Timothy Ferriss' book Four-Hour Workweek. Gone from my diet are the usual reddit and digg snacks. No news on TV or radio or "the Internets", not even NPR. It's all too much information--too much noise--that clutters my mind AND interrupts my day.

It's the interruptions that are the time killer. I'm accomplishing so much more, both at work and home. At work, not because of reddit or digg, but because I'm focusing on not letting myself get interrupted by email or instant messaging. Instead, I set about a task, and complete it before checking email or replying (for the most part) to instant messages. It's worked extremely well. It's the interruption that kill productivity. Many think multi-tasking is a good and admirable thing. Bullocks! Multi-tasking reduces productivity (if that's an important measure) and greatly increases stress. Interruptions disorient you, take your attention away from your task, so that you have to waste time re-orienting yourself to where you left off. Nuts to that.

Here are a couple things Ferris said that really struck me...

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How to Avoid Jet Lag - A New Rule-of-Tum

Avoid jet lag - According to a Harvard animal study, the sleep-wake cycle can be reset by fasting for 12-16 hours. So to avoid jet lag, the researchers offered this rule-of-tum...

  1. Figure out when breakfast is served in the new timezone
  2. Don't eat for 12-16 hours before that time

Avoid eating for 12-16 hours - The Harvard study suggests that delayed eating helps reset the sleep-wake cycle, which could help reduce jet lag or adjusting to working a swing shift.


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Robert Kowalski - Heart Healthy Supplement Regimen

Found this in Robert Kowalski's website. Lists in detail the cholesterol fighter's current regimen of vitamin, mineral, and other supplements.

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Cave Bookcase - Design by Sakura Adachi

Cave Bookcase by Sakura Adachi - I love this idea and image. It does look like a cave in a bookcase--not that it looks that comfortable, but it's a visually jarring image because the smooth curves interrupt the straight vertical and horizontal lines. Sakura Adachi has designed a winner cave bookcase...expensive...but a winner.

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Truth About Shampoo and Conditioner

What makes your hair look bad after using shampoo without conditioner?

It's the water, not the shampoo.

To understand why, you need to know that hair has scales, like a snake. The scales lay flat in an acidic environment, making hair look shiny and healthy--which is why some recommend applying lemon juice to the hair. And the hair scales stand up in an alkali or base environment, making the hair look dry and dull.

What determines the acid/base environment is the water, not the shampoo. Public tap water has become "harder," more base, over the years. That causes your hair to be frizzy after washing your hair.

However, shampoo removes the natural oils from the hair, and this removal is what damages the hair by making it less supple and much more brittle. So you replace the natural oils with the oils in conditioners. It helps.

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Historically Hardcore ~ Fake Smithsonian Ads?

These ads were from a school project (per brobible.com). Very clever and funny.

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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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Why It's Better to Be the Boss

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Madonna Magdalene by Kim Garcia


Madonna Magdalene

Madonna Magdelene Poetry - Kim Garcia, a dear college friend, has recently published a book of poetry titled Madonna Magdalene. I just ordered my copy and will report later on my impressions. In the meantime, my anticipation is teased by these reader comments...

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Favorite Music Videos

Most are from the 80's

Take on me - A-Ha!

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He Who Cast the First Stone...Probably Didn’t

Escalating violence is natural - Fascinating NY Times piece by Daniel Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard, and author of Stumbling on Happiness. In this article, Gilbert explains how our faulty human perception in a tit-for-tat exchange can lead to escalating violence. Apropos of the Middle Earth...uh, Middle East conflicts between Israel and Hezbollah, the civil war in Iraq, and so many other conflicts...

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Jeremy Brett - Bio Notes

Jeremy Brett's performance as Sherlock Holmes generated a worldwide fan base for Brett. Jeremy Brett (born Peter Jeremy William Huggins) died in 1995 of heart failure related to a childhood case of rheumatic fever (and smoking). Some say he died from prolonged grief after the death of his second wife in 1985. In The New York Times obituary, Mel Gussow wrote: "Mr. Brett was regarded as the quintessential Holmes: breathtakingly analytical, given to outrageous disguises and the blackest moods and relentless in his enthusiasm for solving the most intricate crimes." Below are a few more details found on Wikipedia about Jeremy Brett's life and death...

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Even One Fatty Meal Affects Arteries

Just one meal of saturated fat can inflame the inner lining (endothelium) of blood vessels. This reduces the vessels' ability to expand and increase blood flow. Further, the inflammation can lead to lesions or cracks between the cells in the vessel lining, which are repaired by the body using cholesterol (oversimplification). When bad cholesterol (LDL) is used for the repair, plaque buildup and arteriosclerosis can result. When good cholesterol (HDL) is used for the repair, plaque buildup is less likely.

Just one meal of high saturated fats can reduce good cholesterol (HDL) levels. Conversely, one meal of unsaturated fats can increase good cholesterol (HDL) levels.

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Adam and Eve, God and Satan

Arrived via cousin Kelly.

God created the Heavens and the Earth and populated the Earth with broccoli, cauliflower and spinach, green and yellow and red vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.

Then using God's great gifts, Satan created Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and Krispy Creme Donuts. And Satan said, "You want chocolate with that?" And Man said, "Yes!" and Woman said, "and as long as you're at it, add some sprinkles." And they gained 10 pounds. And Satan smiled.

And God created the healthful yogurt that Woman might keep the figure that Man found so fair. And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat, and sugar from the cane and combined them. And Woman went from size 6 to size 14.

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Woman at St. Peters Square - by Michael Ging

Woman St. Peters Rome - Michael Ging - The more I looked at this photo of a woman in St. Peters, Rome, the more moved I felt. Michael Ging has created quite a stunning effect. Reminds me of photos by W. Eugene Smith. Had to share it here:

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Infinity of Mega Pixels by Sébastien Perez-Duarte

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Hidden Connections - by Fritjof Capra


Fritjof Capra

Hidden Connections - I read The Turning Point and The Tao of Physics by Capra many years ago. And his Uncommon Wisdom which is excellent. But I sort of lost track of him. Then I happened upon this Hidden Connections in a used bookstore. It's not very old (2002). Focuses on sustainability. I guess it's a followup to his The Web of Life, which I haven't read. Plan to read this one. Looks right up my alley. Capra is an interesting writer to me, though his strength is in dialogue, starting and sustaining a conversation (something more than an interview). Uncommon Wisdom was so fascinating in that respect, filled with his dialogues with brilliant minds from a broad spectrum of disciplines.

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Jake Shimabukuro - AWESOME! Ukulele Virtuoso

Jake Shimabukuro Ukulele - Totally cannot believe this guy. Virtuoso is the right word and his instrument is the ukulele. Astounding! Below are some links to interviews, websites, videos featuring Jake. All worth visiting.

Ukulele Virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro

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