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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
~ Rudyard Kipling, 1935

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Secrets of Stress Management


Photo by Adrian Sampson Received via email. Dunno who to credit.

Stress Management - When explaining stress management to an audience, the lecturer raised a glass of water and asked:

"How heavy is this glass of water?"

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

The lecturer replied:

"The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it.

"If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance.

In each case, it's the same weight:

The longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.

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How to Pick a Ripe Pineapple

  1. Select a plump and fresh looking pineapple
  2. Shell color is not necessarily a sign of maturity or ripeness. A pineapple can be ripe when it is practically all green outside.
  3. Smell it. It should smell fragrant but not too sweet. Smelling too sweet may indicate the pineapple has begun to ferment.
  4. Fresh, green leaves in the crown are a good sign.
  5. The body should be firm, but not too firm. Avoid soft pineapples or ones containing soft spots.
  6. Bigger does not mean better tasting.
  7. A pineapple will not ripen any further get any sweeter after picking. It is sugar that makes pineapple sweet after ripe. The sugar comes from the conversion of starch reserves in the stump at the time of ripening.

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The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho - A Fable About Following Your Dream

The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream by Paulo Coelho is an absolutely beautiful story. I received the book as a gift from a dear friend many years ago. I'm sorry it took so long for me to read this enduring work of art.

The Alchemist tells the story of Santiago, a Spanish shepherd boy with dreams of finding treasure at the pyramids of Egypt. Pointing the way are gypsies, an alchemist, and mysterious omens. But it's the boy's trust and courage that propel his journey. With The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho crafted a true fable, filled with symbols and simple truths. It's a story about following your dreams, yes. But the fable's greater message is to pay attention to the "omens" of life -- the voice of spirit. Do that and your happiness is assured. Which isn't to say the journey is without suffering. But the Alchemist in the story says...

"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself"

I highly recommend this beautiful book, The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream.

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Why Drinking Too Much Water Is Dangerous

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.

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Funny Billboards

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...


Ikea's Idea of Stool Sample

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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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Escher In Frame

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Morality and Religion

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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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Shocked by National Enquirer Headline

I absolutely love this woman's reaction to the National Enquirer headline...But which headline was the cause? Katie colapsing before her wedding to Tom? Or Marie Osmond's suicide attempt? My enquiring mind doesn't really want to know.

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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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Andy Rooney on Atheism (Quote)

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It's All About the People - by Lynch & Worden


It's All About the People — This article by Doug Lynch and Jennifer M. Worden compares complex, "human-capital-intensive" services/businesses: teaching/education, luxury hotel, business consulting with the goal of taking what works in business and applying it to teachers/education. My take aways...

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So You Want To Convert To Buddhism


Buddism Introduction - Here's a nice summary or primer to Buddhism. Very friendly, accessible presentation; not advanced in any way, but I just found it pleasing and informative to read.

BTW, my favorite book introducing Buddism is Walpola Rahula's What the Buddha Taught.

So you want to convert to Buddhism

What the Buddha Taught

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What Really Happens in the Women's Restroom

One of the funniest things I've ever received by email (for my favorites, see ChiliCookOff and Letter from Camp and WhatHappensWhenYouStunGunYourself). My wife claims that parts of this restroom scenario really happen, and regularly.

I'm awfully glad I can pee standing up.

Subject: Visit to the Ladies Room

When you have to visit a public bathroom, you usually find a line of women, so you smile politely and take your place. Once it's your turn, you check for feet under the stall doors. Every stall is occupied. Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the stall. You get in to find the door won't latch. It doesn't matter, the wait has been so long you are about to wet your pants!

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Bombing for Peace is Like...

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2007 Screenwriters Strike - Explained!

TV Land strike - Matt Davies Blog
Perfect illustration of the Hollywood Exec's position in the screenwriters' strike.

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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.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is one fascinating guy. His two books Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable have been sooooo thought provoking AND entertaining.

I read both in the span of a couple weeks (way too fast) and am now reading each again. The concepts are deceptively simple on the surface...and then so deep. Their counter-intuitive nature makes it hard to grasp their significance in a 30-second sound bite.

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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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Happiness - A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill by Matthieu Ricard

Happiness by Matthieu Ricard - Started reading this a bit ago. Nice primer on Buddhism. Absolutely loved the book that traces a dialog with his father, The Monk and the Philosopher: A Father and Son Discuss the Meaning of Life.

Happiness does not come automatically. It is not a gift that good fortune bestows upon us and a reversal of fortune takes back. It depends on us alone. One does not become happy overnight, but with patient labor, day after day. Happiness is constructed, and that requires effort and time. In order to become happy, we have to learn how to change ourselves.

~ Luca and Francesco Cavalli-Sforza

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