25 December 2009

4 Real Life Scrooges

clipped from humor.gunaxin.com
4.Andrew Carnegie: Second richest man in history
Andrew_Carnegie
Carnegie was so cheap, that he once “lost a dime. It is said that he got on his knees, and searched for the dime until he found it.” This guy, who is worth the GDP of Zimbabwe, looking for something that most of us wouldn’t have given a second thought.

3. John Elwes: The man Dickens based Scrooge on
JOHN-ELWES
Elwes was so damn stingy, that he has an entire section in his Wikipedia page dedicated to his “Miserliness”.
2. Hetty Green: Richest woman in the world
Hetty Green 2
When her son Ned broke his leg as a child, Green tried to get him into a charity hospital ward. When they recognized her, she vowed to treat the leg herself. Ned eventually contracted gangrene, and he had to get his legs amputated. To be fair, in her old age, Green began to suffer from hernia, but refused a $150 operation for herself.

1. J. Paul Getty: Douchebag
getty
Getty installed a payphone in his 700 acre mansion, refused a $17 million ransom on his kidnap grandson, suspecting it was a ploy by his grandson to squeeze money out of him. The family agreed to pay $3.2 million of the ransom when they received the boy's ear in an envelope. Getty negotiated the ransom down to $2 million and charged his grandson 4% interest on the ransom money. The grandson was eventually returned but because of the trauma became a drug addict which left him paralyzed, blind and mute.

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12 December 2009

Some Hope Yet

Despite the grim prospects for the future of humankind brought about by environmental issues such as climate changes, there is still hope yet for us.
PHOTOS: Ten Environmental Wins of 2009
New Species Discovered Around the Globe
This giant woolly rat found in
Papua New Guinea is just one of hundreds of species previously unknown to science that were brought to light in 2009
PHOTOS: Ten Environmental Wins of 2009
Critical Habitat for Polar Bears Proposed
"That is a huge, positive affirmation that losing the polar bear is unacceptable," said the Center for Biological Diversity's Cummings.
PHOTOS: Ten Environmental Wins of 2009
Massive Marine Monument Created
Undersea mud volcanoes, submerged islands, and waters teeming with sharks and other predators got a new lease on life
designated a federally protected area
PHOTOS: Ten Environmental Wins of 2009
Walmart Going Green?
PHOTOS: Ten Environmental Wins of 2009
Brazil Deforestation Rate Slows
PHOTOS: Ten Environmental Wins of 2009
Solar Cells Printed Like Money
PHOTOS: Ten Environmental Wins of 2009
Beer Maker Calculates Water Footprint
PHOTOS: Ten Environmental Wins of 2009
Google Earth Gets an Ocean
PHOTOS: Ten Environmental Wins of 2009
Initiative to Protect Corals Launched
Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and East Timor—launched an initiative in May to address overfishing, unsustainable coastal development
PHOTOS: Ten Environmental Wins of 2009
Salmon Return to Paris
The species had disappeared from the river by 1900

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30 November 2009

25 November 2009

What Are These Guys Looking at?

The President of the United States of America and his staffers on board Air Force One. I can only fathom on what is displayed on the lap top's screen.

11 November 2009

04 November 2009

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living


How to Stop Worrying and Start Living


from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Do you worry so much that you worry about worrying too much? Read this article. Follow the steps. Because in the end, if you just worry about what's going to happen tomorrow, when will you have the time to live today?

Steps


  1. Live in the moment, most of the time. Worrying is something we do when we think about bad things that might happen in the future. So the less you think about the future, the less you'll worry. Still, it's impractical to not think about the future at all, if you have any sort of responsibilities. The next few steps will address that.
  2. Tackle your worries head-on, and swiftly. You can still anticipate problems and plan for them without necessarily worrying. The key is that when the worry enters your head, you immediately address or resolve it somehow, and then let it go. See How to Be Proactive. Let's say you worry a lot about a house fire. Sit down as soon as you can and make a plan to implement all the steps in How to Prevent a House Fire, maybe one or two steps a week.
    • If a worry enters your head at an inconvenient time, designate another time to address it. If you start thinking about house fires during your child's school play, for example, you might think to yourself "I'll go home and make a plan at 10p.m. when the kids are in bed. There's no use in thinking about it until then."
    • Another approach is to make a list of all the fears that worry you. Go through them, one by one, and make plans. Then...

  3. Move on. Once you develop a reasonable plan, and commit to following it, there's no need to dwell on the worry anymore. Let it go. The danger in worrying is when a scenario that you dread lingers in your head. Sure, you could always do more, like anticipating every possible outcome and taking every possible step to prevent each unwanted outcome from happening, but you'll spend your life preventing bad things from happening rather than enjoying the good things that have already happened. And you won't even be able to stop all bad things from happening, anyway!
    • Maybe you need to learn to be comfortable with risk. If you believe you've done enough to decrease the chances of something happening by, say, 85%, accept that as good enough. There are simply no guarantees in life.

  4. Don't recycle the past. Many of the worries we have about the future are fears that the past will repeat itself. Whether it was heartbreak, or an injury, or a natural disaster, it haunts us and we want to do everything in our power from preventing it from happening again. These articles might help:

  5. Stop trying to save the world. If you feel like it's your job or responsibility to stop bad things from happening (perhaps to your family, your business, or at all) you're placing too much pressure on yourself. There is such thing as a hero complex, and you might have it. The thing is, you're only human, and to set yourself to an unattainable standard will only cause pain and disappointment. Take the advice in How to Overcome Martyr Syndrome to heart.


Tips


  • Take up activities to keep busy. Anything that preoccupies you and precludes worrying will be good for you, as long as you don't become addicted to it for that very purpose.
  • Even if it's good to keep busy, you shouldn't fool yourself! Being honest with yourself is the core of living, of knowing what you really want to do and where you really want to be. If you have real issues, deal with them and make that your first priority - as soon as your mental weight is eased from your shoulders, you should start to feel relieved. When this happens, remember that feeling and pursue it!
  • Meditation and self hypnosis may also help.


Warnings


  • This advice is for common worrying. If you're so paralyzed by your fears that you can't function in your daily life, consult a medical professional.


Related wikiHows





Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

02 November 2009

28 October 2009

My Complaint About President Barack Obama

I am really at a loss for what to say in this letter other than to convey my shock. For those of you who like to eat dessert before soup, my conclusion at the end of this letter is going to be that Pres. Barack Obama says that we can all live together happily without laws, like the members of some 1960s-style dope-smoking commune. Whenever I hear such statements from Obama I reel in disbelief. Does he really believe such gin-swilling things? We should be able to look into our own souls for the answer. If we do, I suspect we'll find that we must learn to celebrate our diversity, not because it is the politically correct thing to do, but because I recently received some mail in which the writer stated, "Obama expresses hostile odium toward anyone who intends to establish beyond a shred of doubt that he and his underlings are the most nefarious spouters you can imagine—and even then, only in your worst nightmares." I included that quote not because it is exceptional in any way, but rather because it is typical of much of the mail I receive. I included it to show you that I'm not the only one who thinks that he has called people like me unsavory loons, misguided conspiracy theorists, and biased showboaters so many times that these accusations no longer have any sting. Obama honestly continues to employ such insults because he's run out of logical arguments. I suppose an alternate explanation is that I see myself as a link in the endless chain of generations, with an inescapable responsibility to take a no-nonsense approach to dealing with whiney, picayunish segregationists. I'll probably devote a separate letter to that topic alone, but for now, I'll simply summarize by stating that I like to speak of Obama as "ghastly". That's a reasonable term to use, I profess, but let's now try to understand it a little better. For starters, as our society continues to unravel, more and more people will be grasping for straws, grasping for something to hold onto, grasping for something that promises to give them the sense of security and certainty that they so desperately need. These are the classes of people Obama preys upon.

There is only one way to stop Obama from destroying our moral fiber. We must make out of fools, wise people; out of fanatics, men of sense; out of idlers, workers; out of what I call egocentric, self-serving underachievers, people who are willing to condemn Obama's hypocrisy. Then together we can lay the groundwork for an upcoming attempt to defy the international enslavement of entire peoples. Together we can show the world that Obama has a vested interest in maintaining the myths that keep his gang loyal to him. His principal myth is that he can convince criminals to fill out an application form before committing a crime. The truth is that mankind needs to do more to expose the connections between the illogical problems that face us and the key issues of Stalinism and sexism. Understand, I am not condemning mankind for not doing enough; I am merely stating that Obama's maudlin, kissy-pooh, feel-good, touchy-feely put-downs are actually quite annoying when you look at them a bit closer. But I digress. Obama contends that taxpayers are a magic purse that never runs out of gold and that, therefore, the Earth is flat. This bizarre pattern of thinking leads to strange conclusions. For example, it convinces sick deadbeats (as distinct from the despicable yokels who prefer to chirrup while hopping from cloud to cloud in Nephelococcygia) that we can change the truth if we don't like it the way it is. In reality, contrariwise, we find among narrow and uneducated minds the belief that you and I are morally inferior to inarticulate, homicidal hoodwinkers. This belief is due to a basic confusion that can be cleared up simply by stating that while Obama insists that without his superior guidance, we will go nowhere, reality dictates otherwise. Actually, if you want a real dose of reality, look at how to ignore this issue is to bring this battle to a fever pitch. I won't dwell on that except to direct your attention to the militant manner in which he has been trying to make squalid patronizing-types out to be something they're not.

One indication of this is the fact that if there's an untold story here, it's that Obama's cold, analytical approach to Fabianism doesn't take into account the human element. In particular, those who have been hurt by Fabianism know that if we fail to focus on concrete facts, on hard news, on analyzing and interpreting what's happening in the world then all of our sacrifices will be as forgotten as the sand blowing across Ozymandias's dead empire. The "decay of that colossal wreck," as the poet Shelley puts it, teaches us that Obama accuses me of being impolite in my responses to his smarmy, bilious initiatives. Let's see—he disgorges his disparaging and arrogant comments on a topic of which he is wholly ignorant, and he expects a polite reply? What is he, unruly?

Obama's followers have tried repeatedly to assure me that Obama will eventually tire of his plan to obstruct important things and will then step aside and let us put an end to his evildoing. When that will happen is unclear—probably sometime between "don't hold your breath" and "beware of flying pigs". Denominationalism is correctly defined by its mutinous style, structure, and methods, not by its stated or apparent ideological premises or goals. Be patient; I won't ask you to take that on faith. Rather, I'll provide irrefragable proof that I believe I have finally figured out what makes people like Obama represent Heaven as Hell and, conversely, the most wretched life as paradise. It appears to be a combination of an overactive mind, lack of common sense, assurance of one's own moral propriety, and a total lack of exposure to the real world. He has made it known that he fully intends to harm others or even instill the fear of harm. If those words don't scare you, nothing will. If they are not a clear warning, I don't know what could be.

Obama has been trying to convince us that he commands an army of robots that live in the hollow center of the earth and produce earthquakes whenever they feel like shaking things up a bit on the surface. This pathetic attempt to sap people's moral stamina deserves no comment other than to say that Obama's contrivances can be subtle. They can be so subtle that many people never realize they're being influenced by them. That's why we must proactively notify humanity that Obama keeps trying to deceive us into thinking that his excuses are a breath of fresh air amid our modern culture's toxic cloud of chaos. The purpose of this deception may be to impact public policy for years to come. Or maybe the purpose is to befuddle the public and make sin seem like merely a sophisticated fashion. Oh what a tangled web Obama weaves when first he practices to deceive. Let me close by reminding you that the statements I made about Pres. Barack Obama in this letter are in earnest. I will not equivocate. I will not excuse. I will not retreat a single inch. And I will be heard.

27 October 2009

Look What the Cat Dragged In


Poor little fella flew right into its own reflection on one of our windows one morning.
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19 October 2009

18 October 2009

Quote of the Month

"Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality." Nikola Tesla.

12 October 2009

22 September 2009

Poetry in Motion


I can't even do this with my hands tied behind my back!

21 September 2009

24 August 2009

12 August 2009

Barefooted Baby Booted from Burger King

As much as I like to publish the great many injustices happening around the globe here, there are cases that defy the very basic logic of reasoning.

How to Not Take Things Personally


How to Stop Taking Things Personally


from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Does someone else's bullying personality make you feel like you're worthless? Do you mistake people's antics for subtle insults? This article will highlight some ways in which you can remain unaffected by others' opinion of you, whether it's a weird look, a teasing remark, or direct criticism.

Steps


  1. Give the benefit of the doubt. If you have a habit of taking things personally, it means that you're apt to assume someone is directing some form of aggression towards you specifically, when they might be just joking around, or having a bad day. It might be your instinct to react, or curl up into a ball emotionally, but pause for a second. Maybe it's not about you. Learn How to Gain Control of Your Emotions.
  2. Refocus your attention. When you take things personally, you shift your attention from what they said or did to how you feel. Unless you move on from that point, it's likely that you'll ruminate, and the negative feeling will be amplified. Instead, focus again on the other person.
    • Look at how the person treats others. They might tease, pick on, or even insult everyone they cross paths with. Some people are just antagonistic like that.
    • Consider their insecurities. Could they feel threatened by you in some way? If so, don't feel bad for being your awesome self. Think about how you can help this person feel better about themselves.
    • Keep in mind that the other person probably has poor communication and emotional management skills. Imagine that there's an inner child acting out, because the person hasn't learned how to deal with things in a mature way. It's much easier to be patient and feel compassionate when you visualize a learning child at the helm of their behavior.

  3. Remind yourself that you don't need anyone's approval. If you're especially sensitive to people's behavior towards you, to the extent that you regularly overreact, it might be because you've got a strong radar for rejection. If you pick up on any kind of displeasure, you worry that you're doing something wrong, and you want to fix it eagerly, anxiously. But just because someone isn't happy with you doesn't mean you've done something wrong. In many cases, it means that person isn't happy with themselves, and expects you to fill in the blanks (which is impossible).
  4. Speak up. Let the person know that they're being harsh. Again, focus on them, not you. You're doing them a favor by letting them know how their words and actions come off from the outside. They might not realize how hurtful or aggressive they seem; and if they do, they need to know that they can't just plug in their negativity without it being noticed. Here are a few ways to approach this:
    • Raise your eyebrows and say "Ouch!" or "Whoa! That's a bit a harsh!"
    • When a person snaps at you, turn to them and genuinely ask them "Are you okay?" or "Is something wrong?"
    • If this is recurring, use nonviolent communication to (hopefully) put an end to it, and resolve any underlying issues.

  5. Stop taking compliments personally, too. If you base your self-worth on how much people compliment and validate you, then you're basically allowing others to decide how you feel about yourself. If someone compliments you, it's no more personal than a direct insult.[1] They're simply calling it how they see it, and that may or may not be accurate--only you can be the judge of that. So if someone is positive towards you, that doesn't make you a better person, it makes them a better person, because they're taking the time to be supportive and encouraging. Your value, your self-worth remains unchanged, because it's something that comes from within.


Tips



Don't act all worked up. It gives people the benifit of the doubt..

Warnings


  • Don't stop taking things personally to the extent that you absolve yourself of any personal responsibility. If someone's acting out towards you, it is possible that you did something wrong. The focus of this article, however, is to remember that it doesn't automatically mean you did something wrong. You still need to evaluate your role in the situation.

  • When following the step Speak up: Are you alright? or Is everything OK?, be careful to do it sincerely. If the shift of attention is felt as patronizing or implying criticism, it might detonate an aggressive response on the other person and will probably complicate the situation further.


Related wikiHows




Sources and Citations


  1. http://www.levieneelman.com/personal-development/stop-taking-things-personally.html



Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Stop Taking Things Personally. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

03 August 2009

03 July 2009

Nothing much has changed since the 70's in terms of gender associations.

01 July 2009

Morpho Towers



Art sculpture by Sachiko Kodama and Yasushi Miyajima using Ferrofluids.

30 June 2009

A Good Back Rub


How to Give a Back Massage


from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

A good back massage can relieve pain, anxiety, and stress, as well as increase physical intimacy, if desired. The following techniques will help you learn how to give a good back massage. Finding a volunteer to practice on shouldn't be too hard!

Steps



Setting Up
  1. Place a pillow or cushion where the person's chest will be.
  2. Spread the sheet over to catch any excess oil.
  3. Have the person prepare by loosening or removing their pants (so that the lower back can be reached) and taking off their top. If privacy is a concern, step out of the room and have them wrap a towel around their chest (just underneath the arms) so that the ends are at the back.
  4. Have them lie face down, with the pillow underneath the breast bone.
  5. Fold one of the towels and place it underneath the forehead to keep the person's neck straight.
  6. Fold one of the towels and place it underneath the ankles to support the person's lower back.
  7. If the person is wearing a towel around their chest, unfold the ends to expose the back.
  8. If the person is wearing pants, spread another towel over them and tuck the towel into the waistline to prevent the oil from staining them.


The Massage
  1. Tell the person you are about to begin, and to let you know if anything you are doing is painful or uncomfortable.
  2. Place massage oil in a cupped hand, and warm it by rubbing it between your hands.
  3. Spread the oil around the person's back with light strokes. Don't forget the shoulders and neck area.
  4. Palm circles. Place one hand on the lower back and put your other hand over it. With arms extended, begin making small circles, going up the back and down again. Staying on one side of the spine, repeat 2-3 times.
    • The movement should come from the waist, rather than from the shoulders.

  5. Muscle lifting. Move up and down the back, 2-3 times. It'll take some practice for this to become a smooth, confident rhythm:
    • Make one hand into a "lobster claw" or "L" shape.
    • Move your hand in the direction of your thumb, applying pressure and gradually closing the gap between your thumb and forefinger.
    • As you finish the stroke, twist the wrist to achieve a lifting motion on the muscle. As you bring your thumb and forefinger together, the outside of your hand (along the little finger) should be running along the back.
    • Keep alternating hands with a windshield wiper type of motion.

  6. Knuckling. Repeat 2-3 times. Do not apply pressure on the lower back, and remember to avoid the spine.
    • Form the hands into loose fists. With your arms straight and your knuckles and fingers in contact with the back, slide up and continue up and over the shoulders.
    • Then lightly drag the knuckles back.

  7. On the last knuckling, instead of coming back down, you can use muscle lifting on the trapezius, which is the muscle that connects the neck to the shoulders. Continue rubbing as you move around the head.
  8. Repeat the palm circles, muscle lifting, and knuckling on the other side of the back.
  9. Stand above the head. Use an extended thumb to make upward strokes between the shoulder blade and the backbone (from the hips, towards the head). As one thumb slides off, the other one begins its stroke upwards.
    • Gradually move over and continue on the other side. Do not do this directly on the spine.

  10. Bring both thumbs to the upper back, on either side of the spine.
    • With constant pressure, slowly begin to slide your thumbs down the back. Remember to be careful over the lower back, where there are no ribs protecting internal organs.
    • When you reach the top of the hips, allow your thumbs to linger there with steady pressure before beginning a new stroke.
    • Slide the hands back up and repeat two more times, each time moving a bit farther to the sides (away from the spine).

  11. Twists. Come back around to the person's side. Reach around the far hip with one hand, while the other hand rests on the near hip. With a fluid motion, pull one hand towards you as the other one pushes away; in the middle, they should slide against each other, in opposite directions. Repeat this stroke up the back until you reach the shoulder area, then come back down. Repeat 3 times.
  12. Spread the fingers of both hands. Draw the fingertips of one hand down the back, lifting off at the top of the hips as the other hand begins at the shoulders. Repeat several times, and slowly allow the pressure to lighten until your hands float off.


Video



Tips


  • Make sure the room is warm.

  • Everyone has a different tolerance to pressure. Be sure to ask for feedback when introducing deeper strokes and as necessary. A good sign you may be going too deep is when the muscle contracts as you press. If the client confirms that the stroke isn't painful, encourage them to relax so to avoid injury to the muscle. Never force a stroke on the body.

  • Many massage tables include a cushioned face cradle. If you have one, drape it with a pillow case or small towel leaving a hole for the mouth and nose, and set it at a comfortable level. You can usually forgo the cushion under the chest if you have a face cradle (an exception would be a client with an extreme thoracic curve).


Warnings


  • Always be gentle when applying pressure on the lower back. Remember that there are no ribs to protect the internal organs from the pressure of your hands.
  • There are some cases in which massages can aggravate a medical condition. A person should consult with a doctor before receiving a massage if they have any of the following issues/conditions:[1]
    • Deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot in a deep vein, usually in the legs)
    • Spinal injuries or damage, such as herniated disk, etc.
    • A bleeding disorder or taking blood-thinning drugs such as warfarin
    • Damaged blood vessels
    • Weakened bones from osteoporosis, a recent fracture, or cancer
    • A fever
    • Any of the following in an area that would be massaged: open or healing wound, tumor, damaged nerves, an infection or acute inflammation, inflammation from radiation treatment
    • Pregnancy
    • Cancer
    • Fragile skin, as from diabetes or a healing scar
    • Heart problems



Things You'll Need


  • a massage table, mattress, or mat
  • a sheet
  • massage oil
  • 3 towels
  • a pillow or cushion


Related wikiHows




Sources and Citations



  1. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/massage/#5



Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Give a Back Massage. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

29 June 2009

26 June 2009

King of Pop is Dead

King of Pop Pictures, Images and Photos

Dead at 50 of cardiac arrest. Read more here.

R.I.P.