From Dion in Idaho
Are you tired of all those sissy "friendship" poems that always sound good but never actually come close to reality? Well, here is a series of promises that really speaks to true friendship:
Anthony Robbins' Awaken the Giant Within - Picked this up some years ago. Actually found the ideas very helpful and insightful. I know many are turned off by Tony, but he knows his stuff and lives it. I'm hoping to jot down some notes from the book. My notes are organized by the book's chapters:
Superman Zach Braff suggested this song by Lazlo Bane for the Scrubs theme, and creator Bill Lawrence saw the logic. I think the original is a little slower tempo than what's used most of the time on the series.
Little Miss Sunshine - Not what I expected. Not a real comedy--my God, the movie opens with a sister (played by Toni Collette) heading to the hospital to pickup her brother (played by Steve Carell), who just failed a suicide attempt. It's the kind of film you almost feel strange about laughing at. What you are laughing at is objectively quite sad, but you laugh in spite of that. AND it's not because the characters are making fun of the situation--NO! The acting performances in this film feel amazingly genuine and real; the performances are top notch from the entire cast.
How to Save a Life by The Fray - Totally love this song...the melody, the refrain "How to save a life." First heard it on an episode of Scrubs but soon learned it was the theme for Grey's Anatomy. My musical tastes seem constrained to tunes used in TV and commercials. Sad, sad, sad.
Can't vouch that this really came from the Dalai Lama, but it's good advice.
1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three Rs:
- Respect for self
- Respect for others and
- Responsibility for all your actions.
Biomimicry by Janine Benyus - Fascinating idea--philosophy, really--that we should look to the existing designs of nature for "innovation."
Not that such an approach isn't being used. Look at how pharmaceutical companies develop compounds found in rainforests into new drugs.
But biomimicry as Benyus describes it is something deeper. It's about changing how we view ourselves in the world as much as how we seek out nature-inspired design.
|Running With Scissors - Quirky, weird, bizzaro...and true. It's like a cross between Royal Tenenbaums and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Based on Augusten Burroughs Running with Scissors: A Memoir, the film portrays the eccentric (often disturbing) teen years of Burroughs. Annette Bening, who plays Burroughs' biological mother, gives an authentic, daring performance, as does Brian Cox and the rest of the cast. Odd film, but worth watching.|
|The Fifth Element - Luc Bresson directs this quirky sci-fi flick with Bruce Willis and the totally adorable Milla Jovovich as Leeloo. Gary Oldman plays the evil nemesis. And Chris Tucker adds to the comedic weirdness of the film as the effeminate, flamboyant DJ Ruby Rhod. Strange, strange, strange...but it all works. Enjoyed it a lot.|
|Brothers Grimm - Terry Gilliam film NOT based on the true Brothers Grimm, but a mashup of their story elements. Visually very interesting and I liked Heath Ledger's performance. Kept my interest, but not a favorite film. Gilliam is quite creative, and I respect his vision. It just didn't draw me in very deeply. Worth seeing for the visual elements.|
Unhappy Meals by Michael Pollan Excellent article on nutrition, the food industry, and journalism....
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:
Jim Cramer Mad Money Stock Worksheet - It's embarrassing to admit, but I really get a kick out of Jim Cramer. While he's totally nuts on his CNBC TV show, Mad Money, he was much saner on his Real Money radio program. Unfortunately, the radio program is no longer on the air, though archives exist. In its place is a very good video on demand program where Cramer is interviewed by a columnist from his own TheStreet.com. Very insightful stuff with a reasonable delivery.
But about Cramer's Stock Worksheet in Jim Cramer's Mad Money: Watch TV, Get Rich. The book is short (less than 230 pages) and perhaps the best part is the Stock Worksheet, which outlines his approach to researching stocks -- or as he likes to refer to it, The Homework.
I found Senator Jim Webb's address enthralling. Why isn't this guy running for President? Perhaps he's too smart to go after the job. Below is a link to the video and a copy of the .
Problem Solving Flow Chart - I love the potentially infinite loop...Can you find it?
Warning: Use of profanity makes this content not suitable for children.
Durex Condom Ads - Condom ads that are safe for work. Very clever.
House of D by David Duchovny - Just watched a marvelous film written and directed by David Duchovny titled The House of D. It tells two stories: one of a 13 year-old boy coming of age in New York in the early 70's; the second of a 40-something man trying to remember his painful past and share it for the first time with his wife and his own 13 year-old son.
It's a wonderful, touching film, though I was left wanting in one respect. I wanted to know more about the struggle of Tommy, the man. How had his past affected him as an adult? We only see the result after 30 years.
But if telling that story meant taking anything away from the story of 13 year-old Tommy...then I accept the gap. That storyline hooked me to the core.
New Think - In this classic, Edward de Bono presents an accessible, practical handbook on how to generate new ideas or lateral thinking. His original book Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step is excellent, but a bit difficult to get through. New Think is quite the opposite. It's an easy, informative read. Below are my notes.
New Think by Edward de Bono
Below are notes from Edward de Bono's book New Think.
Hallucinogenic drugs alter our perceptions, the direction of our gaze, our focus. Many drugs alter perceptions. Funny. Altering perceptions is the goal of lateral thinking, too. Techniques of lateral thinking are like hallucinogenic drugs. And this, the 100th birthday of LSD's creator, Albert Hofmann.
Is the way we try to solve a problem, part of what makes the problem difficult to solve?
Training Whales - I found information on training a killer whales some time ago. It's a popular topic for parenting sites--and with good reason. Some of the 'lessons' we learn from training killer whales are very helpful to consider when teaching our kids.
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...
The Worthless Peons (also known as Ted's Band or the Blanks) are an a cappella group made up of hospital employees from different departments in the TV series Scrubs. The Worthless Peons are played by The Blanks, a real-life a cappella band made up of Sam Lloyd (who plays Ted), George Miserlis, Paul F. Perry, and Philip McNiven. The Blanks album, Riding the Wave, features guest performances from Bill Lawrence and members of the Scrubs cast.
I wonder if this the Riding the Wave album made any money...
Funny Billboards - Some of these billboards are hilarious. God! I hope they're photoshopped and not real...though I could see Ikea actually doing this one...
The drug dichloroacetate (DCA) appears to target cancer cells, causing them to die. It's potency as a cancer killing agent has been tested in tissue cultures and, just recently, in mice -- all with very promising results.
Problem is, this drug has been used for many years to treat rare metabolic disorders and is not patentable as a cancer treatment. Without patent protection, the pharmaceutical industry has no interest in investing millions in clinical trials, even though the drug's impact on cancer could be profound.
Healthcare Private or Public - Yes! Magazine published something of an expose regarding the debate on private versus publicly funded healthcare titled: Has Canada Got the Cure? Written by Holly Dressel, the story expands upon the following disturbing statistic:
The U.S. and Canada had similar life expectancy and mortality rates up until about 1970. After 1970, the numbers began to diverge. Currently, Canada has a longer life expectancy and lower mortality rate as compared to the U.S.
~ Yes! Magazine
What changed in Canada? In 1970, Canada began its publicly funded healthcare program. As the article concludes:
This graphic from the article displays data from the World Health Organization, CIA, and Centers for Disease Control.
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)|
Drinking Too Much Water - Jennifer Strange died from drinking too much water. The fact she drank it during a contest to win a Nintendo Wii video game system -- "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" -- made her death especially tragic...and newsworthy.
How could you die from drinking water?
Basic physiology and osmosis. The kidneys can only process so much water over a given time. If you drink more water than the kidneys can process, your blood dilutes. The diluted blood creates an imbalance (more salt in the surrounding cells than in the blood). To relieve that imbalance, water from the blood starts entering the salty cells. This causes the cells to swell.
Newspaper Headlines - Found these at Funny Pages. They are all hopefully inadvertent. Some very funny. Some take a while to get what's wrong. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Death causes loneliness, feeling of isolation
- Never withhold herpes from loved one
- Farmer bill dies in house
- Organ festival ends in smashing climax
Photoshopped Celebrity Faces - What is wrong with this picture?
Absolutely brilliant!!! This woman nails the situation on the head:
DO READ her original post: A Peaceful Marriage is Not Always 50/50
Soccer Kid - Totally cute video I found on YouTube titled Soccer Kid. Works in any language. No translation required...
Love this image by Karyn Sigurdsson. She titled it Portrait of a Father...which I think is perfect.
Nine volunteers, with a reality TV camera crew taping, decided to go ape with their diet (sometimes called the EVO diet). For 12 days the volunteers avoided all processed foods and ate only from a generous ration of fruits and vegetables -- a diet of the apes.
The results: Blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels dropped significantly for all.
What they ate: 2,300 calories of fruit, vegetables, nuts and honey
Typical 3-day Rotation included:
- Broccoli, carrots, radishes
- Cabbage, tomatoes, watercress
- Strawberries, apricots, bananas
- Mangoes, melons, figs, plums
- Satsumas, hazelnuts
Interesting stories of the volunteers' experiences.
Serious warning from post off CraigsList.org. Is there more truth to this than we care to admit?
WARNING - This post contains some mild sexual content.
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...
As a driver, Wayne Gerdes is schizophrenic - one moment he's driving like an old lady, the next like Michael Schumacher. He's a maniac on a mission, getting 59-plus miles per gallon with an unmodified Honda Accord. However, it's not the car that generates the great mileage; it's the driver. Wayne's driving philosophy can be summed up with two of his favorite driving techniques...
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...
Perfectly Stein, the quote balances humor with an honest sentiment of respect. Well done Ben!
I call this a Cactus Pacifier. God help the sick S.O.B. who came up with this idea...
War is a cowardly escape from the problems of peace.
~ Thomas Mann
When it comes to the public perception of Bush's Iraq policy, I think much of the U.S. population has been guilty of playing the crowd in the Emperor's New Clothes. Bush said Iraq was an imminent threat, building a nuclear bomb, connected to al Qaeda and the 911 attacks. And many agreed with Bush's declaration, saying, "Yes, Emperor, attacking Iraq is a great solution to terrorism." But since the election, many realized that their friends and neighbors no longer saw what Bush saw, they no longer believed Bush's statements about the war and Iraq; public opinion shifted...we finally woke up. I only wish that Iraq was a fairy tale and that there could be a happy ending.
Reduce Stress - Long lists usually give me a headache, but not this one. Here's an excellent list of 52 stress reducing tips from the National Headache Foundation.
- Turn needs into preferences. Our basic physical needs translate into food, water, and keeping warm. Everything else is a preference. Don't get attached to preferences.
- Be prepared to wait. A paperback can make a wait in a post office line almost pleasant.
- Have a forgiving view of events and people. Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world.
- Take a lunch break. Try to get away from your desk or work area in body and mind, even if it's just for 15 or 20 minutes.
Drug-eluting Stents Reduce Collateral Vessel Growth - New study indicates that drug-eluting stents may obstruct the heart's natural ability to form small collateral blood vessels - . For patients with coronary artery blockages, these vessels normally help supply blood to areas starved by artery blockages. The drug-eluting stents appear to hinder this natural, healing process.
Rec'd by email from Ami....Could all these "facts" be true?
- 315 entries in Webster's 1996 Dictionary were misspelled.
- On average, 12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents, daily.
- Most lipstick contains fish scales (eeww).
- If you have three quarters, four dimes, and four pennies, you have $1.19. You also have the largest amount of money in coins without being able to make change for a dollar (good to know.)
- Guinness Book of Records holds the record for being the book most often stolen from Public Libraries.
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.
How to Import Large MySQL Data Files
One Step: Use BigDump
I've been so frustrated at the file size limits for uploading large MySQL data files, and BigDump is the answer. Works like a charm.
More details below...