If we can reduce using a tool to habit then we no longer need to think about the tool and can concentrate on the task.
~ Jef Raskin
Dick and Rick Hoyt - When Rick Hoyt was about to be born, the umbilical cord got wrapped around his neck, depriving his soon-to-be-born body of oxygen. Initially, doctors told the new parents their son was a vegetable, with no higher brain function. But the parents didn't believe it; they saw signs of life and intelligence in their son. Sure enough, the doctor's discovered they were wrong. Rick did have higher brain function. However, the lack of oxygen did deprive Rick of the ability to control his muscles, leaving him essentially a quadrapalegic.
The story of Team Hoyt began when Rick found out about a fundraiser for a friend. The fundraiser involved running, and wheelchair-bound Rick told his Dad he wanted to participate so he could help his friend. So father Dick Hoyt ran with his son, rolling him around the track, raising money for Rick's friend. After the run, Rick told his Dad that running made him feel free for the first time. Inspired by his son's statement, Dick took Rick running, swimming, bicycling, climbing--anything he wanted to do, Dick found a way to share it with his son and help him feel free. It's an amazing story of a father and son's courage, determination, and love.
My apologies to the billion plus people of Chinese descent, this post (from an email) is in very poor taste and culturally insensitive...but it made me laugh :)
This entry contains a sister's memories of stories her brother told of his experiences during WWII. Someone in the family transcribed her account into an email, and I've posted it here. With the Iraq war, I expect our family will have more such stories. Very sad. The horrors of war. I think I would have made a miserable soldier.
I wish my wife would read this list. I saw a documentary on PBS about De Beers that totally turned me off to supporting this industry in any way. Liz Stanton has summarized much of the ugly side of this beautiful gem.
Also see Apollo: Real diamonds "grown" in a machine.
Found this fantastic photographer who creates awesome images of kids. Her Flickr name is "Martha," and her images are so clean and timeless. She's super talented, has a great eye for expression and clearly understands the nuances of light and exposure. Amazing work. This is the photo that caught my eye, but she has so many other amazing shots.
"Martha" simply creates gorgeous images of kids. Do have a look.
Signs You've Grown Up - Here are my favorites from this perenial email:
Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you - That's a funny transition that I've seen coming for some time...very weird in some cases, think mother-in-law.
Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as "dressed up - I fight this one everyday.
Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of one - Sad, so sad, but true.
You go to the drug store for ibuprofen and antacid, not condoms and pregnancy tests - My list of medication has increased significantly recently, which is VERY bothersome. I never used to take anything, and now I'm comparing prices and buy in bulk at Costco.
You read this entire list looking desperately for one sign that doesn't apply to you and can't find one to save your sorry old ass - Yep, all the way...shame, shame, shame.
"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."
Why Organic Milk Lasts Longer than Regular Milk - The difference lies NOT in the source of the milk but in how it's processed.
LTLT Pasteurization - The pasteurization process commonly used with regular milk is called "low temperature, long time" (LTLT) pasteurization, which heats the milk to 145 degree F for at least 30 minutes. The temperatures used in LTLT pasteurization do NOT kill all the bacteria in the milk, but do kill enough to keep it safe for a week or so.
UHT Pasteurization - The pasteurization process commonly used with organic milk is called ultrahigh-temperature pasteurization (UHT) and heats the milk to 280 degrees F for 2-4 seconds. UHT pasteurization kills all bacteria in the milk.
Why not use UHT for Regular Milk? Besides killing all bacteria, UHT pasteurization destroys some of milk's vitamins (a small amount) and alters some proteins in the milk so that it cannot be used for making cheese.
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...
Durex Condom Ads - Condom ads that are safe for work. Very clever.
- I was the best man at the wedding. If I'm the best man, why is she marrying him?
- It's amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper.
- What is a date really, but a job interview that lasts all night? The only difference is that in not many job interviews is there a chance youíll wind up naked.
- You know you're getting old when you get that one candle on the cake. It's like, "See if you can blow this out."
- Men want the same thing from their underwear that they want from women: a little bit of support, and a little bit of freedom.
- Dogs are the leaders of the planet. If you see two life forms, one of them's making a poop, the other one's carrying it for him, who would you assume is in charge.
Olin Shivers wrote an acknowledgements section to his Scsh Reference Manual that worried his friends.
Acknowledgments should be filled with Thank you's and Couldn't have done it without you's. Olin Shivers acknowledgments section thanked no one. In fact, his acknowledgments section explains why people did NOT deserve his thanks, people like his parents, his graduate students, his colleagues. It's a rant only a mother could forgive...or maybe not.
Love this image by Karyn Sigurdsson. She titled it Portrait of a Father...which I think is perfect.
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.
Perfect Power Naps - Sara Mednick, a napping specialist, offers these suggestions on taking power naps:
Power Nap Hints
- Recognize you're not being lazy; napping will make you more productive and more alert after you wake up.
- Nap in the morning or just after lunch; human circadian rhythms make late afternoons a more likely time to fall into deep (slow-wave) sleep, which will leave you groggy.
Bad Faith Economics - by Paul Krugman - Nobel Prize Laureate for Economics Paul Krugman rebutts conservative Republican arguments against President Obama's economic stimulus plan. In his New York Times editorial, Krugman's declares that Republicans are arguing in "bad faith." Below is a summary with some added commentary...
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...
Surface Protein TRPA1 Increases Pain After Surgery Anesthesia - Studies in mice suggest that certain commonly used anesthetics activate the TRPA1 surface protein on nerve cells. When activated, the TRPA1 protein increases or intensifies feelings of pain after waking up from surgery. Anesthesiologists may try to use medications that don't activate TRPA1.
As I think over my experience of watching Pan's Labyrinth, I am struck by tone of the acting, the set and costume work, the story...and the purpose of myth.