Wednesday, January 31, 2007

PECKING AWAY

Know when to press on and when to call it a day.

Do you know when to give up and when to keep trying? Former University of Alabama president, Frank Rose, used to tell a favorite story about a time, in the mid-1960s, when evangelist Billy Graham was invited to speak at an event in the university's football stadium. There were 18,000 people in attendance that evening. America's civil rights movement was well underway and the stadium crowd represented one of the largest racially integrated meetings ever held in the state.

As Rev. Graham was giving a message about easing racial tensions, a huge thunderstorm gathered overhead. Suddenly, lightening struck and a ball of fire seemed to emanate from the speaker's microphone and travel down the wire.

Graham immediately sat down. Then he leaned over and spoke to Alabama's legendary football coach, Bear Bryant. "Coach," he said, "you'd have stopped, too, if that lightnin' had hit you like
that."

Bear said, "No sir!"

"What do you mean?" asked Graham.

"Well," he said, "if I was down on the one-yard line, I wouldn't have stopped until I scored."

At that, Rev. Graham returned to the microphone and finished his talk.

Safety considerations aside, the story reminds us of one of life's important lessons. In most of what we do, there is a time to stop, but there is also a time to score; a time to pack it in, but also a time to complete the task. The woodpecker owes its success to the fact that it uses its head and keeps pecking away until it finishes the job!

Today, will you quit? Or will you keep pecking away?

From LifeSupport.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

“Food conditions the nature of the mind. Mind guides the thinking. Thinking results in action. Actions lead to commensurate or matching results and effects. This chain of action between the food we eat and the results of our actions highlights the fact that meat eating leads to beastly actions and the concomitant evil effects.”

Sri Sathya Sai Baba (Indian Spiritual leader, b.1926)

Monday, January 29, 2007

LEARN TO SPEAK THEIR LANGUAGE

Overcome language barriers to establish mutual understanding.

A woman was explaining her theory of putting her children to bed: "I never tell bedtime stories that begin with 'Once upon a time,'" she said. "If I really want to put them to sleep, I start off with, 'Now, when I was your age...'" It's nice to understand people so well that we know just what to say! Here is a mother who could speak her children's language.

The story is told of the most famous elephant in the world -- a huge, beautiful and gentle beast named Bozo. Children extended open palms filled with peanuts for the Indian elephant, who gently plucked them from little hands and seemed to smile as he ate his treats.

But one day, for some inexplicable reason, Bozo changed. He almost stampeded the man who cleaned his cage. He charged children at the circus and became incorrigible. His owner knew he would have to destroy the once-gentle giant.

In order to raise money for a new elephant, the circus owner held a cruel exhibition. He sold tickets to witness Bozo's execution and, on the appointed day, his arena was packed. Three men with high-powered rifles rose to take aim at the great beast's head.

Just before the signal was given to shoot, a little, stubby man in a brown hat stepped out of the crowd and said to the elephant's owner, "Sir, this is not necessary. Bozo is not a bad elephant."

"But he is," the man argued. "We must kill him before he kills someone."

"Sir, give me two minutes alone in his cage," the visitor pleaded, "and I'll prove to you that you are wrong. He is not a bad elephant."

After a few more moments of discussion (and a written statement absolving the circus of liability if the man should be injured), the keeper finally agreed to allow the man inside Bozo's cage. The
man removed his brown derby and entered the cage of the bellowing and trumpeting beast.

Before the elephant could charge, the man began to speak to him. Bozo seemed to immediately quiet down upon hearing the man's words. Nearby spectators could also hear the man, but they could not understand him, for he spoke a foreign language. Soon the great animal began to
tremble, whine and throw his head about. Then the stranger walked up to Bozo and stroked his trunk. The great elephant tenderly wrapped his trunk around the man, lifted him up and carried him around his cage before carefully depositing him back at the door. Everyone applauded.

As the cage door closed behind him, the man said to Bozo's keeper, "You see, he is a good elephant. His problem is that he is an Indian elephant and understands one language." He explained that Bozo was frustrated and confused. He needed someone who could speak his
language. "I suggest, sir, that you find someone in London to come in occasionally and talk to the elephant. If you do, you'll have no problems."

The man picked up his brown derby and walked away. It was at that time that the circus owner looked carefully at the signature on the paper he held in his hand -- the note absolving the circus of responsibility in the case he was injured inside the elephant's cage. The statement was signed by Rudyard Kipling.

People also become frustrated and angry when they are not understood. But great relationships are formed by parents who learn to speak their children's language; lovers who speak each other's language; professionals who speak the language of their staff and clients. When
people understand that YOU understand, that you empathize with their heartaches and understand their problems, then you are speaking their language! It is the beginning of true communication.

From Lifesupport.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

WHEREVER YOU ARE, BE THERE

When are you going to be your own operator?

A delightful story is told about a young man who applied for a job as a telegraph operator. He answered an ad in the newspaper and went to the telegraph office to await an interview. Though he knew Morse Code and was qualified in every other way, seven other applicants were also waiting in the large, noisy office.

He saw customers coming and going and heard a telegraph clacking away in the background. He also noticed a sign on the receptionist' s counter instructing applicants to fill out a form and wait to be summoned to an inner office for an interview. He filled out the form and sat down to wait.

After a few minutes, the young man stood up, crossed the room to the door of the inner office, and walked right in. Naturally the other applicants perked up, wondering why he had been so bold. They talked among themselves and finally determined that, since nobody had been
summoned to interview yet, the man would likely be reprimanded for not following instructions and possibly disqualified for the job.

Within a few minutes, however, the young man emerged from the inner office escorted by the interviewer, who announced to the other applicants, "Thank you all very much for coming, but the job has just been filled."

They were all confused and one man spoke up: "Wait a minute -- I don't understand. We've been waiting longer than he and we never even got a chance to be interviewed. "

The employer responded, "All the time you've been sitting here, the telegraph has been ticking out the following message: 'If you understand this, then come right in. The job is yours.'"

This man knew a valuable life-lesson that most people miss: Wherever You Are, Be There. If you're there physically, also be there emotionally. Be there mentally. Be there attentively. Be there as fully as you can.

It's about being present and fully alive in the moment. Wherever you are, be there. Give your full attention to others (is there really a better gift?). Give yourself fully to the task at hand or to the present moment. When you're completely present, you'll make the most
of every minute. And minutes lived fully add up to a life lived magnificently.

From Lifesupport.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

STOOP AND DRINK

Be humble to learn and ye shall attain knowledge.

Albert Einstein once arrived in London carrying his violin. After greeting him, an old friend asked, "You still play the violin, Albert?"

The mathematical genius nodded and said, "Yes, but not very well. My teacher says, 'The trouble with you, Mr. Einstein, is that you can't count.'"

He knew that he had much to learn if he were to play the violin well. So he approached his endeavor with a sense of humility, even to the point of laughing at his poor rhythm.

I heard of a hotel that has a water fountain in the lobby that is operated by an infra-red beam of light. When a thirsty person wants a drink, she simply bends down and the water automatically
turns on. There is a sign above the water cooler that reads, "Stoop and drink."

What a marvelous parable for a life attitude. Stoop and drink. Especially when drinking from the fountain of knowledge -- stoop and drink. Like Albert Einstein, wise people know that they can
only learn something new AFTER they realize two important points:
1) They do not yet know it all, and 2) There are others willing to teach. It is an attitude of humility...we stoop in order to drink.

One man says, "Every person I work with knows something better than me. My job is to listen long enough to find it and use it." He is not always the teacher. He figuratively stoops before his
employees by listening carefully to their ideas so he might drink from their knowledge.

Everyone we will ever meet knows something better than us -- our children and our parents; the woman who drives the bus and the receptionist who answers the telephone; the man who sweeps the floor and our neighbor next door. Those who realize that all the world has something to teach will never run short of opportunities to stoop and drink. And they will always be refreshed.

From LifeSupport.

Friday, January 26, 2007

29 HEALTHIEST FOODS ON EARTH

Taken from bellybytes.


The 29 Healthiest Foods on the Planet


The following is a "healthy food hot list" consisting of the 29 food that will give you the biggest nutritional bang for you caloric buck, as well as decrease your risk for deadly illnesses like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Along with each description is a suggestion as to how to incorporate these power-foods into your diet.

FRUITS

01. Apricots
The Power: Beta-carotene, which helps prevent free-radical damage and protect the eyes. The body also turns beta-carotene into vitamin A, which may help ward off some cancers, especially of the skin. One apricot has 17 calories, 0 fat, 1 gram of fiber. Snacks on them dried, or if you prefer fresh, buy when still firm; once they soften, they lose nutrients.

02. Avocados
The Power: Oleic acid, an unsaturated fat that helps lower overall cholesterol and raise levels of HDL, plus a good dose of fiber. One slice has 81 calories, 8 grams of fat and 3 grams of fiber. Try a few slices instead of mayonnaise to dress up your next burger.

03. Raspberries
The Power: Ellagic acid, which helps stall cancer-cell growth. These berries are also packed with vitamin C and are high in fiber, which helps prevent high cholesterol and heart disease. A cup has only 60 calories, 1 gram of fat and 8 grams of fiber. Top plain low-fat yogurt or oatmeal (another high fiber food) with fresh berries.

04. Mango
The Power: A medium mango packs 57mg of vitamin C, almost your whole-recommended daily dose. This antioxidant helps prevent arthritis and boosts wound healing and your immune system. Mangoes also boast more than 8,000 IU of vitamin A (as beta-carotene). One mango has 135 calories, 1 gram of fat and 4 grams of fiber. Cut on up and serve it over leafy greens. Bonus: Your salad will taste like dessert!

05. Cantaloupe
The Power: Vitamin C (117mg in half a melon, almost twice the recommended daily dose) and beta-carotene - both powerful antioxidants that help protect cells from free-radical damage. Plus, half a melon has 853mg of potassium - almost twice as much as a banana, which helps lower blood pressure. Half a melon has 97 calories, 1 gram of fat and 2 grams of fiber. Cut into cubes and freeze, then blend into an icy smoothie.

06. Cranberry Juice
The Power: Helps fight bladder infections by preventing harmful bacteria from growing. A cup has 144 calories, 0 grams of fat and 0 fiber. Buy 100 percent juice concentrate and use it to spice up your daily H20 without adding sugar.

07. Tomato
The Power: Lycopene, one of the strongest carotenoids, acts as an antioxidant. Research shows that tomatoes may cut the risk of bladder, stomach and colon cancers in half if eaten daily. A tomato has 26 calories, 0 fat and 1 gram of fiber. Drizzle fresh slices with olive oil, because lycopene is best absorbed when eaten with a little fat.

08. Raisins
The Power: These little gems are a great source of iron, which helps the blood transport oxygen and which many women are short on. A half-cup has 218 calories, 0 fat and 3 grams of fiber. Sprinkle raisins on your morning oatmeal or bran cereal - women, consider this especially during your period.

09. Figs
The Power: A good source of potassium and fiber, figs also contain vitamin B6, which is responsible for producing mood-boosting serotonin, lowering cholesterol and preventing water retention. The Pill depletes B6, so if you use this method of birth control, make sure to get extra B6 in your diet. One fig has 37 to 48 calories, 0 fat and 2 grams of fiber. (Cookie lovers - fig bars have around 56 calories, 1 gram of fat and 1 gram of fiber per cookie). Fresh figs are delicious simmered alongside a pork tenderloin and the dried variety make a great portable gym snack.

10. Lemons/Limes
The Power: Limonene, furocoumarins and vitamin C, all of which help prevent cancer. A wedge has 2 calories, 0 fat and 0 fiber. Buy a few of each and squeeze over salads, fish, beans and vegetables for fat free flavor.



VEGETABLES

11. Onions
The Power: Quercetin is one of the most powerful flavonoids (natural plant antioxidants). Studies show it helps protect against cancer. A cup (chopped) has 61 calories, 0 fat and 3 grams of fiber. Chop onions for the maximum phytonutrient boost, or if you hate to cry, roast them with a little olive oil and serve with rice or other vegetables.

12. Artichokes
The Power: These odd-looking vegetables contain silymarin, an antioxidant that helps prevent skin cancer, plus fiber to help control cholesterol. One medium artichoke has 60 calories, 0 fat and 7 grams of fiber. Steam over boiling water for 30 to 40 minutes. Squeeze lemon juice on top, then pluck the leaves off with your fingers and use your teeth to scrape off the rich-tasting skin. When you get to the heart, you have found the best part!

13. Ginger
The Power: Gingerols may help reduce queasiness; other compounds may help ward off migraines and arthritis pain by blocking inflammation-causing prostaglandins. A teaspoon of fresh gingerroot has only 1 calorie, 0 fat and 0 fiber. Peel the tough brown skin and slice or grate into a stir-fry.

14. Broccoli
The Power: Indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane, which help protect against breast cancer. Broccoli also has lots of vitamin C and beta-carotene. One cup (chopped) has 25 calories, 0 fat and 3 grams of fiber. Don't overcook broccoli - instead, microwave or steam lightly to preserve phytonutrients. Squeeze fresh lemon on top for a zesty and taste, added nutrients and some vitamin C.

15. Spinach
The Power: Lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that help fend off macular degeneration, a major cause of blindness in older people. Plus, studies show this green fountain of youth may help reverse some signs of aging. One cup has 7 calories, 0 fat and 1 gram of fiber. Add raw leaves to a salad or sauté with a little olive oil and garlic.

16. Bok Choy (Chinese cabbage)
The Power: Brassinin, which some research suggests may help prevent breast tumors, plus indoles and isothiocyanates, which lower levels of estrogen, make this vegetable a double-barreled weapon against breast cancer. A cup will also give you 158mg of calcium (16 percent of your daily recommended requirement) to help beat osteoporosis. A cup (cooked) has 20 calories, 0 fat and 3 grams of fiber. Find it in your grocer's produce section or an Asian market. Slice the greens and juicy white stalks, then saute like spinach or toss into a stir-fry just before serving.

17. Squash (Butternut, Pumpkin, Acorn)
The Power: Winter squash has huge amounts of vitamin C and beta-carotene, which may help protect against endometrial cancer. One cup (cooked) has 80 calories, 1 gram of fat and 6 grams of fiber. Cut on in half, scoop out the seeds and bake or microwave until soft, then dust with cinnamon.

18. Watercress and Arugula
The Power: Phenethyl isothiocyanate, which, along with beta-carotene and vitamins C and E, may help keep cancer cells at bay. One cup has around 4 calories, 0 fat and 1 gram of fiber. Do not cook these leafy greens; instead, use them to garnish a sandwich or add a pungent, peppery taste to salad.

19. Garlic
The Power: The sulfur compounds that give garlic its pungent flavor can also lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol, lower blood pressure and even reduce your risk of stomach and colon cancer. A clove has 4 calories, 0 fat and 0 fiber. Bake a whole head for 15 to 20 minutes, until soft and sweet and spread on bread instead of butter.



GRAINS/BEANS/NUTS

20. Quinoa
The Power: A half cup of cooked quinoa has 5 grams of protein, more than any other grain, plus iron, riboflavin and magnesium. A half-cup has 318 calories, 5 grams of fat and 5 grams of fiber. Add to soup for a protein boost. Rinse first, or it will taste bitter.

21. Wheat Germ
The Power: A tablespoon gives you about 7 percent of your daily magnesium, which helps prevent muscle cramps; it is also a good source of vitamin E. One tablespoon has 27 calories, 1 gram of fat and 1 gram of fiber. Sprinkle some over yogurt, fruit or cereal.

22. Lentils
The Power: Isoflavones, which may inhibit estrogen-promoted breast cancers, plus fiber for heart health and an impressive 9 grams of protein per half cup. A half-cup (cooked) has 115 calories, 0 fat and 8 grams of fiber. Isoflavones hold up through processing, so buy lentils canned, dried or already in soup. Take them to work, and you will have a protein packed lunch.

23. Peanuts
The Power: Studies show that peanuts or other nuts (which contain mostly unsaturated "good" fat) can lower your heart-disease risk by over 20 percent. One ounce has 166 calories, 14 grams of fat and 2 grams of fiber. Keep a packet in your briefcase, gym bag or purse for a protein-packed post-workout nosh or an afternoon pick me up that will satisfy you until supper, or chop a few into a stir-fry for a Thai accent. See also: The Nut Case

24. Pinto Beans
The Power: A half cup has more than 25 percent of your daily requirement of folate, which helps protect against heart disease and reduces the risk of birth defects. A half-cup (canned) has 103 calories, 1 gram of fat and 6 grams of fiber. Drain a can, rinse and toss into a pot of vegetarian chili.

Low fat Yogurt
25. The Power: Bacteria in active-culture yogurt helps prevent yeast infections; calcium strengthens bones. A cup has 155 calories, 4 grams of fat, 0 grams of fiber. Get the plain kind and mix in your own fruit to keep calories and sugar down. If you are lactose intolerant, never fear - yogurt should not bother your tummy.

26. Skim Milk
The Power: Riboflavin (a.k.a. vitamin B2) is important for good vision and along with vitamin A might help improve eczema and allergies. Plus, you get calcium and vitamin D, too. One cup has 86 calories, 0 fat and 0 fiber. If you are used to high fat milk, don't go cold turkey; instead, mix the two together at first. Trust this fact: In a week or two you won't miss it!



SEAFOOD

27. Shellfish (Clams, Mussels)
The Power: Vitamin B12 to support nerve and brain function, plus iron and hard-to-get minerals like magnesium and potassium. Three ounces has 126 to 146 calories, 2 to 4 grams of fat and 0 fiber. Try a bowl of tomato-based (and low fat) Manhattan clam chowder.

28. Salmon
The Power: Cold-water fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna are the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce the risk of cardiac disease. A 3-ounce portion (cooked) has 127 calories, 4 grams of fat, 0 fiber. Brush fillets with ginger-soy marinade and grill or broil until fish flakes easily with a fork.

29. Crab
The Power: A great source of vitamin B12 and immunity-boosting zinc. A 3-ounce portion has 84 calories, 1 gram of fat, 0 fiber. The "crab" in sushi is usually made from fish; buy it canned instead and make your own crab cakes. See also: Fish and Seafood Recipes

Copyright © BellyBytes.com. All rights reserved.

BLOOMING FLOWER

It takes time and resources for a flower to bloom. With ample amount of water, sunlight, nutrients and not to mention the atmospheric gases involved like carbon dioxide, the bloom is a wonderful sight to behold. The same can be said about a person. It takes time, nourishments and lots of tender loving care for the successful development of a person to reach the highest potential of growth.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A SECRET TO FAILURE

Learn patience in waiting.

We live in an age of instant gratification. We are not accustomed to waiting. Yet.we do find ourselves waiting from time to time.

* You may be waiting for an answer to a difficult problem. Or
waiting for guidance around a business decision or interpersonal
problem.
* You may be waiting for a situation to change before you can
move ahead.
* You may be waiting for somebody else to complete his or her
task before you can act.

We are not accustomed to waiting and most of us don't like to wait. We feel helpless.

You may remember how it felt to wait for Christmas when you were a child. I recall one Christmas when I was about four years old. I waited forever for Christmas to come. I couldn't sleep the night before in anticipation. When I awoke Christmas morning I quietly crept downstairs to the large Christmas tree to gaze at the presents there.

We celebrated the holidays with my extended family - grandparents, aunt and uncle, cousins, parents, brothers. It was a rule that we waited until everybody was gathered together before presents were passed out. I waited half the morning for the grown-ups to wake up. Then I waited for them to shower, dress and eat. I didn't think I could wait any longer!

When the family was assembled around the tree, it was announced that we would have a special visitor that day.and we would have to WAIT for him to come! I waited some more.

Finally, the visitor arrived. It was Santa Claus. And he said he'd be passing out presents that year. My uncle usually passed out presents, but he didn't seem to be around so my four-year-old mind accepted the arrangement without question.

Santa first handed a present to one of my cousins. In our family, we waited for each person to open their gift before the next present was passed out, so I found myself waiting once again. Santa Claus passed a second gift to another cousin. I waited some more. The third went
to my grandmother. The next to my brother. Another present was handed to one of the adults to open.

I couldn't stand the waiting any longer. When I thought nobody was looking, I grabbed one of the presents and began to open it. Santa quickly snatched it away from me. "You should wait your turn!" he reprimanded. Imagine that! Being scolded by Santa Claus! I was hurt
and dismayed. I burst into tears, which seemed the only appropriate thing to do.

I decided two things that Christmas:

First, I decided that I did not like to wait patiently.

Second, I decided that I did not like Santa Claus very much.

How are you at waiting? Waiting is difficult for children, but adults can practice better waiting skills. They can learn HOW to wait, whether they are waiting for a few moments or for an event far in the future.

As I've matured, I've learned one of the great secrets of failure: impatience.

An old proverb says, "Don't pick apples while they are green. When they are ripe, they will fall off the tree." As I've grown older, I've learned the value of waiting until the apples fall off the tree. Great events of life cannot be rushed, and all good things will come to fruition in their own time.

I've also learned that Santa isn't such a bad guy.


From Lifesupport.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

SPEED BUMPS IN LIFE

It is common to encounter speed bumps in our lives. The important thing is, do we turn back or go over it? The easy way out is to turn back and return to where we came from. But that is like giving up before we even tried. Thus, we must fervently move forward to overcome the occasional speed bumps in our lives so that we can look back and have no regrets in the future.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A GAME ANYONE CAN PLAY

Helpfulness Brings Happiness.

The most miserable people live in their own little worlds of isolation. They do very little for others and rarely have much fun.

I heard of one older gentleman who was considered by the townspeople to be both rich and thrifty. His austerity earned him the reputation of a miser. When he died, everyone expected the authorities to find money stashed everywhere in his home. All they found were a few gallon cans filled with coins.

It came out that he had used most of his money to help put needy young students through college. And the coins filled his pockets as he walked down the streets of the business districts looking for cars whose parking meters had expired. When he found one, he would drop in
a coin. One of his neighbors commented, "That explains why he looked so happy and contented!"

Of course! People who go out of their way to help others will always be happy.

When I lived in Denver, I decided to do the same thing. I always have more coins in my pockets than I need, so whenever I parked on a busy street I noticed the parking meters around me. If one was expired, I put in a coin.

Then I learned something disturbing. It is illegal to do that in Denver! (The government found a new way to take a bit of fun out of my life....) Once I learned that I was breaking the law, I quit looking for meters to feed. And I lost that extra bit of joy I used to receive every time I anonymously aided a fellow motorist.

I have moved away from Denver now and I just might go back to feeding an expired meter from time to time. I don't know how the city council feels about my little gifts to unsuspecting drivers, but I know how it feels to be unavoidably late returning to a parked car, and worrying
about whether the meter has run out. And if I have to look over my shoulder before I deposit a coin, then somehow I think that may be more fun! It can be a game: do something good and don't get caught!

Everyone is allowed to play.

From LifeSupport.

Monday, January 22, 2007

WHAT DO YOU NEED?

Learning to live.

Do you know what you really need? I'm not talking about material things. I mean, what do you need to make your life all you want it to be?

Author Stephen Covey says that people all share four basic needs: the need to live, to love, to learn and to leave a legacy.

We need to live. Not just to breathe but to live life fully. Dr. Philip Humbert asks, "What remarkable, extraordinary and amazing things will you do with this wild and wonderful miracle, your one and only life?"

We need to love. We also need to be loved. As anthropologist Margaret Mead puts it, "One of the oldest human needs is having someone wonder where you are when you don't come home at night."

We need to learn. And not only for a few years when we are young. We must be life-long learners who never stop growing, never cease to improve. For when we no longer grow, we stagnate. And when we stagnate, we die.

Finally, we need to leave a legacy. It is a basic desire to want our lives to count for something. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: "To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a little bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to
know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."

These are four needs that must never be neglected. Live fully, love completely, learn constantly and leave something worthwhile behind. It is the path to success. And to joy.

From LifeSupport.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

NOURISHMENTS

Everyone needs constant nourishments. Food and water to sustain the physical body. Yet, sometimes we forget nourishments for the mind and soul. Take some time daily to do some soul searching. Meditate to quiet the mind.

SPRINKLE JOY

"Sprinkle joy," said Ralph Waldo Emerson. And at least one little creature seems to do just that.

There is a small bird in the northwest part of the United States called the ouzel, or the American Dipper. This unusual bird lives around fast rushing water, sometimes nesting behind water falls. It has been seen flying in and out of white water rapids of mountain rivers that crash and splash through steep and rocky canyons. It loves the violent, noisy, chaotic life of the rugged river environment.

And through it all, it sings! When rain falls in sheets, when wind blows in a violent fury, when other birds huddle in sheltered nooks against the rage of the storm, the dipper frolics in the tempest and blissfully sings.

Don't you love to be around people like that? People who don't wait for circumstances to change or for happy times to come before they laugh and sing? People who can be happy in the confusion and chaos of life?

These people do not expect life to make them happy. Nor do they spend time looking for joy - instead, they decide to give it away. Like that remarkable little bird, they can be found in the midst of life's turbulence, enthusiastic and hopeful.

These resilient people teach us an important lesson about survival. They show us that people who "sprinkle joy" grow stronger. Sprinkled joy immunizes them against despair during difficult and tumultuous times. They actually weather storms better because of a lifetime habit of approaching difficulties with a glad heart.

JOY - it's not just for the birds.

From LifeSupport.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

ADVICE THAT RINGS TRUE


Learn to follow essential advice when the opportunity beckons.

An efficiency expert once concluded his lecture with the comment, "Please don't try these techniques at home."

"Why not?" he was asked.

"I used to watch my wife prepare breakfast and wondered why she made so many trips to the table carrying only one item at a time," he replied. "One day I asked her, 'Wouldn't it be quicker and more efficient if you organized yourself to carry several things to the table at once?'"

"Did it work?" he was asked.

"Oh, yes, it worked," the expert replied. "It used to take my wife twenty minutes to prepare breakfast. Now I do it in seven."

Not all advice is readily received. And sometimes it is not heard the way it was intended. But neither should all advice be followed; rather, wisdom learns to separate kernels of truth from weeds.

Some advice worthy of consideration, though, comes from one of the richest people in the United States, offered to 380 high school students in Omaha, Nebraska. Here are five suggestions multi-billionaire Warren Buffett gave his audience:

1. Avoid credit cards. If you are going to make progress, you will not do it by borrowing at 18 to 20 percent interest.

2. Develop integrity, which guides intelligence and energy. Buffett said he looks for these three qualities in hiring people. "If they don't have the first one, integrity, the other two will kill you."

3. Establish good habits, picking people to admire and following their example, while learning to weed out attributes that are not admirable. "If you do that," he admonished, "two or three years from now you'll find out the person you admire most will be yourself."

4. Learn about companies before investing in them; do not rely on someone else's advice.

5. Choose professions for love of the work, not money.

My "Internet" friend, Alan Hillman, who sent this list, adds an excellent comment: "I believe the same advice is true for all of us, even someone like me who is about to enter my sixth decade of life. Seven years ago I decided to do what I loved most - loving people. Since that time my cup has slowly been filled and is now flowing over the brim with love. Simultaneously, while seeking humility and significance, I lost pride and prominence. In the meantime, I became debt-free and have a high six-figure net worth.

"During those seven years I have had several mottoes. Probably the most significant one is: If you are not loving life, you are not living love."

Some advice just rings true. The wise will follow.

From Lifesupport.

Friday, January 19, 2007

HAVE YOU STOP AND SMELL THE FLOWERS RECENTLY?

Take a breather or two now and then to gather up your thoughts and composure to realign yourself towards your objectives so that you won't stray too far away from it.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

TIGER THE CAT: FEELING TRAPPED?

Let the situation conquer you or react to counter the situation?

THERMOMETERS AND THERMOSTATS

Standby and watch or react to counter? You decide.

Do you know the difference between a ther­mometer and a thermostat? A thermometer simply measures the temperature. It doesn't do anything about it.

A thermostat measures the temperature and then responds. If the temperature is too high, a thermostat may shut off the heat. If the temperature is too low, a thermostat may trigger heat to turn on. It measures temperature and it does something about it.

While a thermometer is a passive tool, a thermostat is an active tool. They both experience the temperature, but a thermostat responds.

Some people are like thermometers - they passively allow what may harm them to just hap­pen. They have problems and difficulties and they believe there isn't anything that can be done about it. They feel helpless as they watch life happen. They feel as if they have no power.

Others are more like thermostats. When they are faced with difficulty, they kick into action. They believe that something can be done; a solution can be found; a hurt can be healed. They respond; they make decisions; they go into motion.

Advice columnist Ann Landers said, "If I were asked to give what I consider the single most useful bit of advice for all humanity, it would be this: expect trouble as an inevitable part of life. When it comes, hold your head high, look it squarely in the eye, and say, 'I
will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me.'" In other words, re­spond courageously and creatively.

Do you know that you can be bigger than any trouble that comes your way? If you have be­come stuck because you feel frightened or helpless, it is time to respond. It is time to go into motion. It is time to activate your faith. When you become big­ger than your problem, it cannot defeat you.

Today - will you be a thermometer or a thermostat?

From Lifesupport.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

SO YOU MADE A MISTAKE?

Make sure you learn from your mistakes to make them worth while.

The obituary editor of a city newspaper was not one who would admit his mistakes easily. One day, he got a phone call from an irate subscriber who complained that her name just appeared in the obituary column. "Really?" was the calm reply. "Where are you calling from?"

There is no shame in making mistakes. They are an important and necessary part of learning.

A young man came in for an interview with his manager. "Tell me," the young man asked her, "how did you become so successful?"

"Two words," she said.

"And what are they?"

"Right decisions."

He asked, "How did you make right decisions?"

"One word -- experience."

"And how did you get experience?"

"Two words," she said.

"And what are they?"

"Wrong decisions."

In order to profit from our mistakes, we have to get out and make some. And so long as we keep making different ones each time, we're learning and growing!

Are you feeling badly about a mistake you recently made? Then decide what you will do differently next time, make amends if necessary, forgive yourself and move on.

Are you afraid of taking a necessary risk for fear of making a mistake? Remember, even poor choices can be marvelous opportunities for learning. For it is through those wrong decisions that we will learn to make right decisions.

So make those mistakes. Make them boldly! In the end, they will make you better. And if you make enough, you'll become the best you can be!

From LifeSupport

Monday, January 15, 2007

Sunday, January 14, 2007

HEROES EPISODE 1



Episode 1 of the amazing series "Heroes".

Saturday, January 13, 2007

HORSE RAISED BY DOGS THINKS HE'S A DOG


A horse raised by dogs think he's also a dog. Interesting video clip.

FIDEE THE CAT: SLEEPIN ON THE JOB

Dont get caught sleeping on the job! Rest if you have to!

Friday, January 12, 2007

WEIRD AL YANKOVIC: WHITE AND NERDY MTV


Cracks me up every time I hear this. Better than the original? You bet!

They see me mowin' my front lawn
I know they're all thinkin' I'm so
White and nerdy

Think I'm just too white and nerdy
Think I'm just too white and nerdy
Can't you see I'm white and nerdy
Look at me I'm white and nerdy

I wanna roll with the gangstas
But so far they all think I'm too
White and nerdy

Think I'm just too white and nerdy
Think I'm just too white and nerdy
I'm just too white and nerdy
Really, really white and nerdy

First in my class here at MIT
Got skills, I'm a champion at D&D
M.C. Escher, that's my favorite M.C.
Keep you're 40, I'll just have an Earl Grey tea
My rims never spin, to the contrary
You'll find that they're quite stationary
All of my action figures are cherry
Stephen Hawking's in my library

My MySpace page is all totally pimped out
Got people beggin' for my top eight spaces
Yo, I know pi to a thousand places
Ain't got no grills but I still wear braces
I order all of my sandwiches with mayonnaise
I'm a wiz at Minesweeper, I could play for days
Once you've see my sweet moves, you're gonna stay amazed
My fingers movin' so fast I'll set the place ablaze

There's no killer app I haven't run (run)
At Pascal, well I'm number one (one)
Do vector calculus just for fun
I ain't got a gat, but I got a soldering gun (what?)
Happy Days is my favorite theme song
I could sure kick your butt in a game of ping pong
I'll ace any trivia quiz you bring on
I'm fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon

Here's the part I sing on...

You see me roll on my Segway
I know in my heart they think I'm
White and nerdy

Think I'm just too white and nerdy
Think I'm just too white and nerdy
Can't you see I'm white and nerdy
Look at me I'm white and nerdy

I'd like to roll with the gangstas
Although it's apparent I'm too
White and nerdy

Think I'm just too white and nerdy
Think I'm just too white and nerdy
I'm just too white and nerdy
How'd I get so white and nerdy

I been browsin', inspectin' X-Men comics
You know I collect 'em
The pens in my pocket, I must protect them
My ergonomic keyboard never leaves me bored
Shoppin' online for deals on some writable media
I edit Wikipedia
I memorized Holy Grail really well
I can recite it right now and have you R-O-T-F-L-O-L

I got a business doing websites (websites)
When my friends need some code, who do they call?
I do HTML for 'em all
Even made a homepage for my dog, yo
I got myself a fanny pack
They were havin' a sale down at The Gap
Spend my nights with a roll of bubble wrap
Pop, pop - hope no one sees me gettin' freaky

I'm nerdy in the extreme
Whiter than sour cream
I was in AV club and glee club
And even the chess team
Only question I ever thought was hard
Was "Do I like Kirk or do I like Picard?"
Spend every weekend at the Renaissance Faire
Got my name on my underwear

They see me strollin', they're laughin'
And rollin' their eyes cause I'm so
White and nerdy

Just because I'm white and nerdy
Just because I'm white and nerdy
All because I'm white and nerdy
Holy cow, I'm white and nerdy

I wanna bowl with the gangstas
But oh well, it's obvious I'm
White and nerdy

Think I'm just too white and nerdy
Think I'm just too white and nerdy
I'm just too white and nerdy
Look at me I'm white and nerdy

LOVE LETTERS: AN ANIMATED PROPOSAL


A special dedication to my good friend, Transformer Scholar Anonymous Ideologist who will be getting hitched this year. Congratulations and good luck my friend!

WHO IS LANDING YOUR PLANE?

Time to take charge of your life?

I heard a funny story: A small plane with an instructor and student on board hit the runway and bounced repeatedly until it came to a stop. The instructor turned to the student and said, "That was a terrible landing you just made."

"Me?" replied the student. "I thought you were landing!"

That story may not be true, but it is true to life. Do you know who is landing your plane? Let me explain.

Who is landing your plane when it comes to values?

Bill McCartney coached the University of Colorado football team for several years. He shocked the sports world when he resigned at the apex of his career. They were more stunned by his reason for stepping away. The reason he gave for quitting was that he wanted to spend time
with his wife and with religious pursuits. He showed the world who was landing his plane.

Sports writers struggled to understand. "What man gives up such power and prestige?" they asked. And there was a certain amount of power and prestige. Because of McCartney's leadership, the team achieved national prominence. The college and professional football world knew the name Bill McCartney.

"Put another way," writers also asked, "what man walks out on a $350,000-per-year contract with 10 years remaining so that he can spend time with his wife and his God?"

Writers used words like "radical" and "out of his head." They didn't get it. But Bill McCartney, in deciding to turn his back on a promising career, showed us that money does not have to drive major decisions, and we can choose to honor those things that matter.

Do you need to take charge? Maybe it's time to land your own plane.

From Lifesupport.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

KASHEWS THE CAT IN CAMOUFLAGE

We are all different. With different opinions, views and personalities. Have you found the place where you can blend in naturally?

PRICKLY CATERPILLAR: LOOK BUT DONT TOUCH

We are all drawn to beautiful things in life. We easily tend to judge a book by its cover. But there are certain things that we must admire from afar. For if we get too close, we might get hurt by them. Be disciplined and learn to act in moderation.

A BEAUTIFUL HEART

A beautiful mind and a beautiful heart leads to a beautiful life.

One grandfather quipped about his grandchildren: "My grandkids are four and six. The Pulitzer Prize winner is four and the brain surgeon is six."

Parents and grandparents are understandably proud of the quick minds and impressive talents of their little ones. But let me tell you about another quality, perhaps even more important, found in a little girl named Skylar.

I received a letter recently from a grandmother who told me about her four-year-old granddaughter Skylar. Ever since Skylar learned of Disneyland from TV, she saved her nickels and dimes in a piggy bank in hopes of visiting there someday. Her parents surprised her with a trip when she was four, however, and didn't even require her to use her own money!

When Skylar returned it was Christmas time. She decided to buy presents with her savings. But she also learned from announcements on TV about a local homeless shelter called "The Road House." She repeatedly asked her mother what "homeless" meant and why those children needed coats and warm clothes. She couldn't seem to get the homeless off her mind. (Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone had that problem?)

Her mother took her to the store to buy presents. Instead of buying for herself or her family, however, she decided to purchase a warm coat, socks, gloves and crayons for a little girl in the shelter. She also wanted to buy a doll (a "baby," as she called it), but when she discovered she didn't have enough money, she left the doll behind.

When Skylar got home, she lined up her own much-loved "babies" and chose one she thought another child could also love. The baby went into a box with the other items she bought that day.

She was so excited waiting for Christmas! Skylar was not thinking about Santa Claus or the presents she would be getting. She was thinking about going to the shelter and giving her carefully selected gifts to a homeless child.

On Christmas Eve she and her family drove to the shelter where Skylar presented her Christmas box to a grateful little girl. She was so filled with joy at truly helping someone else, that her family has decided to make the journey to the homeless shelter an annual tradition.

"Perhaps it's good to have a beautiful mind, but an even greater gift is to have a beautiful heart," says Nobel Laureate John Nash ("A Beautiful Mind"). A beautiful heart is that gift...that leads us...into the beauty of giving.

From Lifesupport.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

100 YEARS MTV BY FIVE FOR FIGHTING


A very meaningful and touching song for all of us.

I'm 15 for a moment
Caught in between 10 and 20
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are
I'm 22 for a moment
She feels better than ever
And we're on fire
Making our way back from Mars
15 there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to lose
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live
I'm 33 for a moment
Still the man, but you see I'm a they
A kid on the way
A family on my mind
I'm 45 for a moment
The sea is high
And I'm heading into a crisis
Chasing the years of my life
15 there's still time for you
Time to buy, Time to lose yourself
Within a morning star
15 I'm all right with you
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live
Half time goes by
Suddenly you’re wise
Another blink of an eye
67 is gone
The sun is getting high
We're moving on...
I'm 99 for a moment
Dying for just another moment
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are
15 there's still time for you
22 I feel her too
33 you’re on your way
Every day's a new day...
15 there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to choose
Hey 15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

THE WORK OF THE HEART

A worthy piece worth reading from Lifesupport.

For several years I have saved a touching piece written by teacher, Beth Nelson. She reminds us of the satisfaction gained by doing the "work of our hearts."

Let me give children the healing knowledge
That there is a better way, a more beautiful way
To live each day of their lives.
A physician I am not, but healing is part of my profession.

Let me give some child hope for eternity,
Peace in this life, confidence in what will come.
I am not a member of the clergy, but faith is part of my
profession.

Let me give children a feeling of justice,
A sensitivity for right and wrong;
A love of truth and abhorrence of evil.
A legal advisor I am not, but justice is part of my profession.

Let me bring children relief from pain of disappointment and
disillusionment;
A remedy for dissolving personality;
An escape from the ravages of self-pity;
A psychologist I am not, but the healthy mind is part of my
profession.

Let me give children a balance between an appreciation of their
cultural heritage,
And an enthusiastic participation in the human family,
And anticipation for the world of tomorrow.
For I am a teacher.

To some, teaching may be a job; to others, a means to a greater end. One person may think he merely lays bricks; another understands that he is helping to build a hospital. Who among us cannot find a higher purpose in our work?

Michael Bridge beautifully says, "When our eyes see our hands doing the work of our hearts, the circle of creation is completed inside us, the doors of our souls fly open, and love steps forth to heal everything in sight."

TWI THE DOG: STANDING FIRM

Everyone faces challenges everyday. Whether its a small task of nourishing your garden or deciding on critical business choices, these challenges must be overcome with a positive and firm attitude. Hence we must learn to stand firm to face challenges everyday rather than to cower and worry about them.

WHEN LOVE IS FOR REAL

Sincerity comes straight from the heart. Taken from Lifesupport.

Two lovers were talking and she said to him, "I don't have a lot of money. I don't have a brand new sports car and a yacht like Lisa Turner, but I love you with all my heart."

He said to her, "I love you, too. But tell me more about Lisa Turner." Tennessee Williams might have said that he had "all the sincerity of a bird-hunter's whis­tle."

If love is anything, I believe it must be genuine. It must be sincere.

That word "sincere" has some interesting roots. I'm told it comes from the ancient marble quarries of Rome. Apparently, unscrupulous stone dealers covered the marble's imperfections with wax. The practice eventually became illegal, as the Roman Empire certified that all marble must be "sine cera" or "sincerus," meaning without wax -- genuine. So, to be sincere is to be genuine. And love, at its best, is likewise "free of deceit," or genuine.

Genuine love is for real. And it's the stuff whole and happy lives are built on.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

KASHEWS & FIDEE: SHARING IS CARING

No one can live alone in this world. We all depend on others in one way or another. Thus instill the spirit of sharing so that all may benefit from the spirit of caring.

CREATING AN OPPORTUNITY

Have you been creating opportunities for yourself lately? Steve Goodier tells more at Life Support.

A little boy wanted a taste of molasses from the large barrel by the door of an old-fashioned country store. He slid a box beside the barrel, stepped up on it and leaned over the rim as far as possible, stretching out his finger to­ward the sweet goo below. He stretched and strained and toppled headfirst into the barrel.

Dripping with molas­ses, he stood up, lifted his eyes heavenward and was heard to utter, "Lord, help me to make the most of this fantastic oppor­tunity!"

A quality that some people possess is the ability to take whatever life gives them and turn it into an opportunity. David Boren must be such a man. The Oklahoma politician learned from pro­fessional pollsters that he would most likely lose his gubernatorial bid, and lose it big. The profes­sional polling agency he hired reported his strength to be about two percent of the population.

His first reaction was to quit. But he finally decided to turn his bad news into an opportunity. He told his listeners, "I had a professional poll taken and it shows I've got great potential for in­creasing my support!"

That sounded a whole lot better than it was! But he eventually won the election and served as governor of the state of Oklahoma.

Will you accept the creative challenge to take what life gives you and turn it into an oppor­tunity? If so, watch out! Something exciting just might happen!

FINAL FANTASY X-2 OPENING SCENE

Here is a good eye candy: The opening scene to Final Fantasy X-2. Enjoy!

Monday, January 8, 2007

VICTIMS AND FIGHTERS

Your actions and reactions dictates the outcome of life.

Gretchen Alexander is sightless. But she refuses to allow her blindness to limit her life activities. She enjoys archery, golf, softball, sailing and water-skiing, as well as a number of other activities that those of us who are sighted have yet to learn.

She also speaks to groups about living life fully. When speaking to a group of high school students, she was once asked if there was anything she wouldn't try.

"I've decided to never sky-dive," she answered. "It would scare the heck out of my dog."

Why do some people rise above their problems and live life fully, while others become defeated? Merle Shain explains it this way: "There are only two ways to approach life, as a victim or as a gallant fighter. And you must decide if you want to act or to react...."

When discouraged, a victim reacts, perhaps in pain or self-pity. But a fighter acts. A fighter makes a decision to change that set of circumstances that left her or him discouraged. Or a fighter decides to accept those circumstances with grace and move ahead anyway. A fighter decides to act with courage. A fighter takes responsibility for his or her happiness. No matter how afraid, a fighter refuses to give in to the most defeating of all human emotions – helplessness.

A victim reacts. A fighter acts. It's your decision. It's a decision about whether you will live your life fully and with courage or whether you will be forever defeated by harsh circumstances. Make it well, for it may be one of the most important decisions you ever make.

Will you be a victim or a gallant fighter?

SKY NEWS: BORAT UK MOVIE PREMIERE

Here's a Sky News clip covering the UK premier of Borat the movie. In the words of Borat "Very nice! I like!".

BORAT DOWN UNDER

Borat sighted down under( in Australia)! For those unfamiliar with him please get more info here.

THE CORRS "ONLY WHEN I SLEEP" UNPLUGGED MTV

The Corrs is one of my favourite group of all time. Here is a great mtv for all to enjoy.

ONE LIGHT

Be the light of hope in small gestures rather than none at all.

Imagine an artist painting a winter scene. She depicts a white, frozen ground and evergreens draped in snow. Her hand brings the day to a close as she paints night falling on the canvas. In the deep shadows of dusk, she has painted a grim, log cabin, barely visible to the casual observer.

Then she dips her brush in yellow paint and, with a few quick strokes, places a brightly burning lamp in one of the cabin's windows. Warm rays dance on white snow, now made brighter by the light. The lonely lamp wholly changes the tone of the picture, replacing feelings of dark and gloom with warmth and security.

Edith Wharton has said that there are two ways of spreading the light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. Sometimes we are candles. We shed light of love and hope. We shine encour­agement into dark souls. Or we illuminate with in­sight.

But sometimes we reflect the light. We are mirrors to enable others to see the light of their own goodness and beauty. And when we have no other light of our own, we are mirrors which re­flect a greater Light.

For some, the world can be bleak and cold. They feel frightened, lonely and even hopeless. But it's true that no amount of darkness can extin­guish the light of one, small candle. You?

Sunday, January 7, 2007

LONDON TRAIN TRIP TO BRIGHTON TIMELAPSE

I used to take this train from Brighton to London on my way to Liverpool during my undergraduate studies in the UK. The real trip duration should be around 30Mins-45Mins. Enjoy this amazing timelapse video:

EFFICIENT WAY OF FOLDING A SHIRT

Check this out! A nice and helpful video for us all on how to fold a shirt efficiently.

TWI THE DOG: GOTTA LET LOOSE AND STRETCH OUT

All work and no play make us all pretty stressed out sometimes. Learn to pace yourself accordingly and stretch out your legs now and then to let out some 'steam' before it gets the better of you.

THREE POWERFUL WORDS

It takes a great man to stand for what is true, it takes a greater man to admit his own mistakes.

A funny story is told about General George Patton from his World War II days. He once ac­cepted an invitation to dine at a press camp in Africa. Wine was served in canteen cups but, obvi­ously thinking he was served coffee, Patton poured cream into his cup. As he stirred in sugar, Patton was warned that his cup contained red wine and not coffee.

Now, General Patton could never, never be wrong. Without hesitating he replied, "I know. I like my wine this way." And he drank it!

I relate this story because I see something of myself, and perhaps most of us, here. It is diffi­cult to admit mistakes. It is hard to admit when we are wrong.

Three of life's most difficult words to say are, "I was wrong." But they are also three of the most powerful words we can utter. "I was wrong" breaks down barriers between people. It brings estranged people together. And it creates a climate where intimacy and love may flourish. You may be surprised at how positively many people re­spond to the words, "I was wrong"!

Naturally, it is a risk. But to admit when you are wrong is not to confess that you are a "bad" per­son. Simply an honest one. And true friends will appreciate you for it.

Whole and happy lives are built by people who have learned the power of intimacy, in part, through the use of the words "I was wrong."

Saturday, January 6, 2007

FIDEE THE CAT: STAYING AWAKE

We all must take good care of our body. For in health we can accomplish more. Never underestimate what wonders a good night's rest can provide. It's a whole lot easier than trying to stay awake after a sleepless night!

DECISION IS DESTINY

Choose wisely for whatever you choose is yours to keep.

Mommy, what happens when a car gets too old and banged up to run?" a little girl asked.

"Well," her mother said, "someone sells it to your father."

I think I have bought a couple of cars like that! Like most people, my life is punctuated by decisions that did not turn out the way I'd hoped. But we cannot always be expected to make the best decisions. Sometimes we simply don't have enough information. And other times, there just isn't a good decision anywhere to be found! All we can really do is make decisions the best way we know how and act on them. Things change only when decisions change.

Before his rise to political fame, Maryland Congressman Kweisi Mfume walked a path of self-destruction. He dropped out of high school. A few years later, he robbed a pedestrian in order to join a street gang. Mfume spent the following years drinking and troublemaking with the gang.

A turning point came one summer night when he abruptly decided he could no longer continue on his present course. He decided to earn his high school equivalency certificate and later graduated magna cum laude from Morgan State University in Baltimore. He then went on to earn a graduate degree at Johns Hopkins University.

When Mfume ran for Congress in 1986, his opponents tried to use his old mistakes against him. But his achievements since he left a troubled past behind captivated an electorate who voted him into office by an overwhelming 87 percent. He was on a collision course with total failure until he made a decision.

What changes your life is not learning more, though education is important. What changes your life is making decisions - the best decisions you can make - and acting on them. It's been accurately said: "Your decisions determine your direction, and your direction determines your destiny." Or put another way, "The decisions you make… make you."

SHINOBI LIVE ACTION MOVIE MTV

This is a fantastic MTV from the live action movie Shinobi: Heart Under Blade. The song is titled "Heaven" by the popular Japanese artist Ayumi Hamasaki. Enjoy the clip and go watch the movie already!

TOUGH SHELL


Most of us experience life as a roller coaster ride, with its unpredictable ups and downs. We all need to have "tough shell" perseverance to see us well through the downs so that we may reach the ups again. Hence forth lets build ourselves with "tough shell" mentality and will power to endure the rough moments.

Friday, January 5, 2007

A LAUGH A DAY

Sometimes laughter is really the best medicine.

"She who laughs, lasts." At least that was Theresa of Avila's philosophy. Theresa, a Spanish nun who founded the reformed order of the Carmelites in 1562, used to look for novices who knew how to laugh, eat and sleep. She believed that if they ate heartily, they were healthy; if they slept well, they were more than likely free of serious sin; and if they laughed, they had the necessary disposition to survive a difficult life.

Abraham Lincoln must have also known that laughter is good medicine. In writing about Lincoln's Civil War years, author Richard Hanser says that on September 22, 1862, the War Cabinet was summoned to the White House for a special session. Lincoln was reading a book as everyone came in. Secretary of War Stanton later said this of the meeting: "Finally the president turned to us and said, 'Gentlemen, did you ever read anything of Artimus Ward? Let me read a chapter that is very funny.'"

The president then read aloud a skit called "Highhanded Outrage at Utica." Stanton was furious, but Lincoln read on and, at the end, he laughed heartily. "Gentlemen," he asked, "why do you not laugh? With the fearful strain that is upon me day and night, if I did not laugh, I should die. And you need this medicine as much as I do." It was at this same session that the president pulled a paper from his tall hat and read aloud the now immortalized Emancipation Proclamation.

He's right -- we may likely die without frequent and sustained doses of laughter. After all, they who laugh, last.

Have you had your belly laugh today?

UNRELEASED ROBOTECH THE MOVIE TRAILER

Robotech used to be what early anime adopters dream about in the 90s. It was way ahead of its time. Here's a trailer to Robotech The Movie that was never released.

FEELING OUT OF PLACE

Don't we all feel out of place sometimes? We just got to pull through and explore more places until we find our haven on Mother Earth.

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS MOVIE TRAILER

Another movie worth checking out.

FILLING UP YOUR LIFE

Do some soul searching to seek out happiness.

We can live a long time without thinking about such things as "meaning" and "purpose" in life. But happy and healthy living requires that we visit these words from time to time

I have heard that Ralph Barton, a cartoon­ist of a former generation, left this note pinned to his pillow before taking his life: "I have had few diffi­culties, many friends, great successes; I have gone from wife to wife, and from house to house, visited great countries of the world, but I am fed up with inventing devices to fill up twenty-four hours of the day."

Whatever psychological problems may have afflicted him, Ralph Barton suffered from an empty life. He tried to fill it up -- with relation­ships and things and busyness. He was no doubt successful in his work. And probably well liked. His problem was that he felt his life had no meaning.

Educator Morrie Schwartz helps us put meaning into our lives. In Mitch Albom's audio book TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE (Grand Haven, MI: Nova Audio Books, Brilliance, 1997), he chronicles the final months of Morrie's life, as his former teacher slowly dies of Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS). Morrie, that irrepressible lover of life, says this: "So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half asleep even when they are busy doing things they think are im­portant. This is the product of chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to lov­ing others, de­vote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating some­thing that gives you purpose and meaning."

Do you want to be happy? Do you want a life that matters? Then fill it up with loving and caring for those around you! I guarantee, it will never seem empty again!

Thursday, January 4, 2007

LOSING THE DEAD PART

A lesson worth repeating time and time again.

I am discovering that many people want, above all else, to live life fully. But sometimes the past prohibits our living and enjoying life to the ut­most in the present.

A schoolteacher entered his room a few minutes early and noticed a mealworm labori­ously crawling along the floor. It had somehow been in­jured. The back part of the worm was dead and dried up, but still attached to the front, living part by just a thin thread.

As the teacher studied the strange sight of a poor worm pulling its dead half across the floor, a little girl ran in and noticed it there. Pick­ing it up, she said, "Oh, Oscar, when are you going to lose that dead part so you can really live?"

What a marvelous question for all of us! When are we going to lose that dead part so we can really live? When are we going to let go of past pain so we can live fully? When are we go­ing to drop the baggage of needless guilt so we can expe­rience life? When are we going to let go of that past resentment so we can know peace?

Have you been dragging something that is dead and gone around with you? Are you ready to "lose that dead part so you can really live"?

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM TRAILER

This is one movie I can't wait to watch! Meanwhile enjoy the trailer!

LIVING FROM YOUR HEART

Importance to live life sincerely.

Confucius said, "To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness." Sincerity and earnestness are vital components of character. Part of it is to simply say what you mean and mean what you say!

"I adore you," the young man said to his girl. "I need you; I can't live without you; I love you."

She pushed him aside saying, "John ... I don't want to get serious."

John replied, "Who's serious?"

Like Tennessee Williams might say, he had all the sincerity of a bird hunter's whistle. Saying what you mean and meaning what you say is vital, but there is another important part to living a genuine and whole life: that is to LIVE what you say. Make your actions and your words the same. Living what you say is at the heart of sincerity.

Louis (Satchmo) Armstrong was a superb jazz musician who also knew how to entertain. Satchmo used to say that what he played was life. He believed that his whole life, soul and spirit was to blow that horn. When he made music, it came from his heart. And it spoke to our hearts. Any life can be great when it is lived fully and sincerely from the heart.

Let your whole life, your whole soul and your whole spirit sing in harmony. It is a matter of saying what you live and living what you say. For when your words harmonize with your actions, you are living from the best part you -- from your heart. And the sincerity of your life will forever touch the hearts of others.

TWI THE DOG: YOU WATCH MY BACK I WATCH YOURS

Everybody needs a helping hand now and then. Open up your soul and you'll be amazed just who your secret guardian angel might be.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

TIGER THE CAT: PATIENTLY WAITING

We all must learn to wait patiently. Use the extra time to slow ourselves down, take in a deep breath and just let go of all our worries for a while.

PUBLIC DOMAIN TORRENTS: THE LAST MAN ON EARTH

Here's an interesting movie on public domain. Enjoy.

IMDB: http://imdb.com/title/tt0058700/
By night they leave their graves, crawling, shambling, through empty streets, whimpering, pleading, begging for his blood!

KASHEWS THE CAT: HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU!


Sometimes we just got to find time to slow down and look around us. We might just even surprise ourselves with what we find!

SPIRIT OF LOVE

Rekindle the Spirit Of Love within us all.

Henry Drummond has said, "The moments when you have really lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love." Here is a story (possibly apocryphal, but powerful nevertheless) about a man who acted in the spirit of love and what he consequently learned.

The story comes from Zig Ziglar's book, SEE YOU AT THE TOP (Pelican Publishing Co., 1982). He tells about an old man who stood on a Virginia riverbank many years ago. He was waiting to cross the river and, since it was bitterly cold and there were no bridges, he would have to "catch a ride" to the other side. After a lengthy wait he spotted a group of horsemen approaching. He let the first one pass, then the second, third, fourth and fifth. One rider remained. As he drew abreast, the old man looked him in the eye and said, "Sir, would you give me a ride across the river?"

The rider immediately replied, "Certainly." Once across the river, the old man slid to the ground. "Sir," the rider said before leaving. "I could not help but notice that you permitted all the other men to pass without asking for a ride. Then, when I drew abreast, you immediately asked me to carry you across. I am curious as to why you didn't ask them and you did ask me."

The old man quietly responded, "I looked into their eyes and could see no love and knew in my own heart it would be useless to ask for a ride. But when I looked into your eyes, I saw compassion, love and the willingness to help. I knew you would be glad to give me a ride across the river."

The rider was touched. "I'm grateful for what you are saying," he said. "I appreciate it very much." With that, Thomas Jefferson turned and rode off to the White House.

Ziglar reminds us that our eyes are the windows of our souls. Then he asks a pointed question: "If you had been the last rider, would the old man have asked you for a ride?"

A good question! For it is said that others will know us by our love. Some will see it in the things we do and some in the things we say. And a few perceptive souls, like the old man, may catch a glimmer of a loving and generous spirit in the expression of kind eyes.

However it shows, may you be known by your love.

TRULY LISTENING

A notable reminder to always be ready to listen.

I believe it was Phyllis Diller who said, "We spend the first twelve months of our children's lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve telling them to sit down and shut up."

When I recall my grandmother, I often remember the day she did NOT tell me to sit down or to shut up. Instead, she listened to me -- truly listened. And what a difference it made!

I was about eight years old and happened to be casually talking with her. I mentioned that it seemed to me that I could not breathe as well as before. It also seemed to me that many adults operated on an assumption that goes something like this: if there is no blood or smoke, then there's no problem. So I was surprised when she said, quite seriously, "Here, let me see."

I was even more surprised when she bent down and stuck her finger in my nose! That should not have caught me off guard, though, because my grandmother was blind. She "saw" with her hands.

"It doesn't feel right," she said. And a week later the doctor confirmed that I needed surgery and eventually my closed septum was reopened.

Over the years, I've noticed that other people remember their grandmothers fondly by recalling the aroma of home-baked cookies or remembering sitting in her lap while she read stories. I remember the day she stuck her finger in my nose. And I recall it with gratitude!

Bill Cosby has said so accurately, "If you listen carefully to what a child is saying to you, you'll see that he has a point to make. So I listen. And I answer them just as seriously as possible."

That sounds like a great way to treat children of all ages.

BASILISK ANIME

I've just finished watching the whole series of Basilisk, a cool anime about ninja battles. The animation quality is top notch with superb portrayals of secret ninja arts and human emotions. I highly recommend this anime. Well here's a little taster in the form of the (Un)Official trailer in English.

TRANSFORMERS THE MOVIE TRAILER

This is for all Transformers fans out there. Enjoy!

THE SMILING GAME

Important words of wisdom to remind us all to SMILE again and again.

It's been said that a smile is the lighting system of the face, the cooling system of the head and the heating system of the heart. But a smile is also a powerful weapon against toxic attitudes of all kinds.

Lisa Gurnsey, of Portland, Oregon, wrote to me about a man whose smile quite literally changed her life: "I was having a horrible day -- hating my job, tired of the weather, tired of trying to keep up on bills, and just completely stressed out. I stopped at the post office in the morning and, as I was entering, an older business man commented to me that it was going to be a good day and life shouldn't be as bad as I make it look. I glared at him and simply said, 'I wish it was Friday.'

"I felt better about my day when I left the post office...that man's smile and comment, although irritating at first, made me think.

"The second time I ran into the man I went out of my way to say 'Happy Friday' to him and to smile. I saw him a few more times and always he was cheery and 'made my day.'

"I looked for him around Christmastime to give him a card and explain how his kind words and smile that very first day made me regroup my thinking and realize I didn't have it so bad. But I have not seen him at the post office since then. I look every morning...I go at different times to see if I can catch him. Maybe he retired, maybe he is ill. I think to myself, 'I wish I had thanked him for being a kind person.' I can honestly say this man changed my life. I will work to spread that same feeling to those I see in need of a smile."

Speaker Josh Hinds makes this suggestion: "Play the smiling game in your daily life. See how many people you can get to smile back at you. Keep score and tally the results at the end of each day."

That sounds like a game we can all play. The rules are simple. There are lots of winners. And who knows...you may even "make" someone's day -- even if that someone is you!

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