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Shared joy is double joy. Shared sorrow is half sorrow.
~ Swedish Proverb

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Friendship - The Laws of Attraction

Best Friends - This article by Karen Karbo is fascinating, especially to a shy guy like myself. It describes how and why some friends become "best" friends, and how those close relationships are maintained...or not.

"The conventional wisdom is that we choose friends because of who they are. But it turns out that we actually love them because of the way they support who we are."

Friends that support our dominant social identity (parent, student, superhero) tend to be the strongest. So if I think of myself as a superhero first, my best friends will likely be those that support that identity, usually superheros themselves but not necessarily. Non-superhero friends can support my superhero identity, too.

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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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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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Worst Breakfast Ever

Take a gander at the total fat, saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol content in this mother of a breakfast from Swanson. It's called the Hungry Man All Day Breakfast--sure to give you arteriosclerosis.

I'll take two.


Swanson Hungry Man All Day Breakfast

Worst Breakfast Ever

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What It Feels Like Being Shot

What It Feels Like to Be Shot - Found this on Google answers. It was written in response to a question about what happens to a person if he is shot. Does he fly back from the bullet's force and drop dead/unconscious like a rock, etc. (as portrayed in movies)? Or does the victim writhe in agony as he bleeds out? The answer is...very sad.

My name is Jesse (online name Danny Bishop). I myself was shot--in the chest--on November 27th, 1994, at point-blank range with a .22" magnum revolver (single-action, convertable--to.22" LR with alternate cylinder). The bullet was likely 40-grain; the type: .224 caliber high velocity (WMR--Winchester Magnum Rimfire, MAxiMag), with a nominal muzzle velocity of 1,550 fps, from a likely 6.5" handgun barrel (applied pressure, point blank: 324 foot pounds per sq. inch). I can tell you--not from watching it happen--but from actually experiencing it, exactly what it was like...


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Men's Rules

Rec'd this from my wife...Go figure.

Men's Rules - We always hear the rules from the female side. Now here are the rules from the male side.

Please note…these are all numbered "1" on purpose!

  1. Breasts are for looking at and that is why we do it. Don’t try to change that.
  2. If you think you’re fat, you probably are. Don’t ask us.
  3. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.


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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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Chuck Norris Supports Bible as Textbook in Public Schools

Chuck Norris
Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris Advocates Bible as Textbook - I was quite surprised to to see this ad with Chuck Norris. In the ad, Norris and his wife advocate using the "bible as a textbook" in our public elementary and high schools.

I see the merits of studying the bible from an academic perspective. Such an academic study would discuss the good and bad ideas that can be found in the bible, review the history and context in which the books of the bible were written, and examine the many difficulties with translation.

However, in reviewing the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools website, I see that such academic ideals are not what Norris is advocating. Norris and the council want a Sunday school approach to bible study. They hope those Sunday school sessions will help heal the moral ills of our culture. Noble cause. But is the bible the best book for this? I don't think so.

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Snow Falling On Cedars - Cinematography Masterpiece


Snow Falling on Cedars

Saw an absolutely beautiful film last night, Snow Falling on Cedars. The cinematography by Robert Richardson is simply exquisite -- every frame a fine photograph. And masterful editing by Hank Corwin knitted the abstract poetry of images into a compelling storyline, which included many flashbacks and dream sequences. It could have been a disaster, but the level of craftsmanship on this film was extremely high. Director Scott Hicks (Shine) orchestrated a nuanced work of art that deserved its 5 Oscar nominations and many other awards.

The acting in this movie was equally magnificent, with delicate, subtle performances by Max von Sydow, James Cromwell, Richard Jenkins (Six Feet Under), Ethan Hawke, and Yauki Kudoh (Memoirs of a Geisha). I particularly like Kudoh's performance, and that of Anne Suzuki who played her Hatsue character at a younger age. Sydow was also fantastic, and I love Richard Jenkins -- would like to see more of this guy.

Adapted from the international bestselling book Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson, the film is an experience in itself. Definitely worth viewing.

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Creating Border Around Images in Photoshop

Using the Basic Stroke

  1. Open an image in Photoshop
  2. Click Select and then All
  3. Select Edit and click Stroke
  4. In the dialog box, select width, color, and other options for border
  5. Click OK

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New Alphabet for Boomers

Rec'd from email chain

The New Alphabet for Boomers - A is for Apple, and B is for Boat, That used to be right, but now it won't float! Age before Beauty is what we once said, but let's be a bit more realistic instead.

Now A's for arthritis; B's the bad back,
C is the chest pains, perhaps cardiac?
D is for dental decay and decline,
E is for eyesight, can't read that top line!

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Pride and Prejudice - 2005 Version Review

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.

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Van Morrison Opens The Rolling Stones


The Rolling StonesVan Morrison opened for The Rolling Stones at the Oakland Coliseum. A full moon complemented a gorgeous November night. Van's voice sounded as good (or bad) as it does in recordings he did 20-plus years ago. Wild Nights, Bright Side of the Road. Awesome set. However, Morrison was out of place performing in the Oakland coliseum....Seemed like he was just warming up at the end. Morrison's natural environment is after-hours in a smokey pub; I'd love to see him perform at 2 AM in a Dublin pub after proper intoxication. That's when we'd see some action, some soul. But still, it was great to see the 60-plus year-old legend. How many more performances are in that man?

And the Stones -- The Rolling Stones! Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood, and Charlie Watts. Absolutely fantastic. Mick is amazing -- how can Mick be 63 and jumping around like a spastic schoolboy? His energy (and limberness) must baffle scientists. Compared to Morrison's aged and stiff body, Mick appears to have some fountain of youth elixir coursing through him.

"I'll have what he's having."

We got some satisfaction.

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7 Ways to Build a Creative Attitude

Creative Attitude - Found these suggestions about becoming more creative in blog post: 9 Attitudes of Highly Creative People. I distilled the original list of nine tips into seven. Not terribly profound, but good reminders.

1. Curiosity
Learning to ask ‘why’, ‘what if’ and ‘I wonder…’ are great questions t build into your life if you want to be a more creative person.
2. See Problems as Interesting and Acceptable
Instead of seeing problems as obstacles and unacceptable, see problems as natural, normal and fascination.

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Ben Stein Remembers President Gerald Ford

Ben Stein wrote a beautiful obituary/eulogy for President Gerald Ford. His closing is just priceless, and I have to quote it here. Stein said that President Gerald Ford was...

..."A Ford, not a Lincoln, but what a glorious Michigan-made vehicle of the human spirit."

Perfectly Stein, the quote balances humor with an honest sentiment of respect. Well done Ben!

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Andrew Henry's Meadow - by Doris Burn


Andrew Henry's Meadow - My favorite book from early childhood. Doris Burn's illustrations are seared into my memory. Fond feelings swell in me whenever I pick up my old, tattered copy--which I still read after so many years.

Just found out they re-released the book--a 40th anniversary edition--so it's available at Amazon.com (link below). I may have to pick up a copy...for another young boy.

Andrew Henry's Meadow by Doris Burn

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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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Suze Orman Will and Trust Kit


Suze Orman Will and Trust Kit - Here's a good intro to will, estate and trust law. Still should have a lawyer review your documents to be safe. I found it very easy to go through and understand. She has a lawyer narrate much of the text and provides excellent summaries of the main points to consider when putting together a will and living trust.

Includes all necessary forms, and seems to perform online updates. For a relatively simple estate, I think the Suze Orman Will and Trust Kit is a winner.

Suze Orman Will & Trust Kit (CD-ROM)
*NEW Suze Orman Will & Trust Kit Online Version (CD-ROM)

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Across The Universe - Beatles Musical with Evan Rachel Wood

Jude and Lucy
Jude and Lucy
Across the Universe

Across the Universe - Directed by Julie Taymor, Across the Universe is a classic "boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy finds girl" story--all presented as a musical containing 33 class Beatles songs. I'm not usually drawn to musicals, but the familiar and catchy Beatles tunes quickly got my attention. From there, the ensemble cast of young actors/singers (including Evan Rachel Wood from King of California) brought something genuine and earnest to the often psychedelic storyline that knitted together lyrics from Dear Prudence to Why don't we do it in the road.

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There Is No God - by Penn Jillette

Penn Jillette and God - If you are devoted to any religion, even in a small way, you will surely be provoked by Penn Jillette's (of Penn and Teller) essay for the NPR program, This I believe.

But even if you have agnostic or atheistic tendencies, you will probably still be provoked. Let's face it. Penn Jillette is a provoking guy with a lot to say. Here are some excerpts from his essay There Is No God...

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