April 30, 2005

Not Tony Robbins Rules of Life

I happen to hate those emails that say if you don't pass on this message within 20 minutes YOU WILL have a VERY Unpleasant surprise.  I never pass them on.  If they are really good, I'll post them, like now.  Supposedly, it originated from Anthony Robbins. described on his website as the "world leader in personal and professional coaching" and certainly one of the most successful self-help speakers around.  But it's not from Tony Robbins.  Originally called Lotus Totus, someone apparently broke the chain and it's now called Lotus Touts which means exactly nothing.  People have been breaking this chain since 2002.

ONE. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
TWO. Marry a man/woman  you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as  important as any other.
THREE. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.
FOUR. When you say, "I love you," mean  it.
FIVE. When you say, "I'm sorry," look the person in the  eye.
SIX. Be engaged at least six months before you get  married.
SEVEN. Believe in love at first sight.
EIGHT. Never laugh  at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much.
NINE.  Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.
TEN.. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
ELEVEN. Don't judge people by their relatives.
TWELVE.  Talk slowly but think quickly.
THIRTEEN. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, "Why do you want to  know?"
FOURTEEN. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
FIFTEEN. Say "bless you" when you hear someone  sneeze.
SIXTEEN. When you lose, don't lose the lesson
SEVENTEEN.  Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; and responsibility  for all your actions.
EIGHTEEN. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
NINETEEN. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone.  The caller will hear it in your voice.
TWENTY-ONE. Spend some time alone.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:08 PM | Permalink

You don't slide up a slope

It's getting harder and harder to keep up when you're sliding down the slope. 

Genetic Mingling Mixes Human, Animal Cells

Particularly worrisome to some scientists are the nightmare scenarios that could arise from the mixing of brain cells: What if a human mind somehow got trapped inside a sheep's head?.....

In January, an informal ethics committee at Stanford University endorsed a proposal to create mice with brains nearly completely made of human brain cells. Stem cell scientist Irving Weissman said his experiment could provide unparalleled insight into how the human brain develops and how degenerative brain diseases like Parkinson's progress.


Stanford law professor Hank Greely, who chaired the ethics committee, said the board was satisfied that the size and shape of the mouse brain would prevent the human cells from creating any traits of humanity. 
Just in case, Greely said, the committee recommended closely monitoring the mice's behavior and immediately killing any that display human-like behavior.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:12 PM | Permalink

Round-up of Medical Studies

A quick round-up of some medical studies

Why napping is more important than ever, especially if, like me,  you stay up late and get up early.  Too little sleep could cause diabetes. 

Sustaining a gaze can make you more attractive. Sizing Up That Look of Love.  It used to be called a gleek, one of my favorite words, as in Gleeks for Geeks.  Or as Sophia Loren said, "Sex appeal is fifty percent what you've got and fifty percent what people think you've got."

Another reason for splendid salmon.  Mom's Diet May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk in Daughters.

Mothers who eat fish and other foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy and while nursing may reduce the risk of breast cancer in their daughters by as much as 40 percent, a new study of mice found.

Attention smokers:  Daily Aspirin, Ibuprofen cut chances for developing oral cancer by  50%.  If you're unlucky enough to have already developed lung cancer, and 170,000 do each year, plan your surgery for the summer, according to a Harvard study.

Those who had surgery in very sunny months and had a high intake of vitamin D were more than twice as likely to surpass the five-year survival mark as people who had winter surgeries and a low intake of vitamin D, the study found.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:08 AM | Permalink

April 29, 2005

Rules for Being Human

From the Questions and Answers blog, The Rules for Being Human.  I used to think of myself as a good student, but then when I realize there are some lessons I have to learn over and over again, I wonder.

1. You will receive a body.
You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period.

2. You will learn lessons.
You are enrolled in an informal school called Life.  Each day in this school, you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.

3. There are no mistakes, only lessons.
Growth is a process of trial and error. Experimentation. The "failed" experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately "works".

4. A lesson is repeated until learned.
A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it.  You can then go on to the next lesson.

5. Learning lessons does not end.
There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.

6. "There" is no better than "here."
When your "there" has become a "here," you will simply obtain another "there" that will again look better than "here."

7. Others are merely mirrors of you.
You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you either love or hate about yourself.

8. What you make of your life is up to you.
You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.

9. Your answers lie inside you.
The answers to Life's questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen and trust.

10. You will forget all this.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:44 PM | Permalink

My favorite Italian joke

It takes an Italian man to make a woman feel like a woman

On a recent transatlantic flight, a plane passes through a severe storm..The  turbulence is awful, and things go from bad to worse when one wing is struck by lightning. One woman in particular loses it. Screaming, she stands up in the front of the plane. "I'm too young to die," she wails. Then she yells,

"Well, if I'm going to die, I want my last minutes on earth to be memorable! Is there ANYONE on this plane who can make me feel like a WOMAN?"

For a moment there is silence. Everyone has forgotten their own peril.  They all stared, riveted, at the desperate woman in the front of the plane. Then an Italian man stands up in the rear of the plane. He is gorgeous: tall, well built, with dark brown hair and hazel eyes. He starts to walk slowly up the aisle, unbuttoning his shirt.
....one button at a time.
........No one moves.
........He removes his shirt.
.......Muscles ripple across his chest.

.......She gasps... ........

He whispers: "Iron this, and get me something to eat...."

Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:19 PM | Permalink

The Science of Happiness

Time to get happy, and not just because it feels good.  Happy People Make for Healthy People

a strong sense of well-being and happiness may help boost biological systems, ultimately helping to lower the risk for developing a range of illnesses down the road. And they emphasized that this happiness-healthiness pathway appears to be a direct mind-body link that is independent of lifestyle choices, such as exercise, smoking and drinking.

The person best known for studying happiness is Martin Seligman who, as the new President of the American Psychological Association in 1998, brought a new vision and a new goal - studying what makes people happier.  Mental health is more than the absence of disease.  "It should be something akin to a vibrant and muscular fitness of the human mind and spirit," as described in Time magazine's cover story on The New Science of Happiness (Jan 9, 2005).

Seligman has found three components of happiness.
1. pleasure- we all know about what feels good.
2. engagement.  - the depth of involvement with one's family, work, romance and hobbies .
3. meaning - using personal strengths to serve some larger end.

Of those three roads to a happy, satisfied life, pleasure is the least consequential, he insists: "This is newsworthy because so many Americans build their lives around pursuing pleasure. It turns out that engagement and meaning are much more important."

It strikes me that most people don't even get to the meaning part until they are about in midlife.  A child can feel pleasure, but not engagement or meaning.  Engagement becomes possible in adulthood while maturity brings meaning.  There is a continuing path of development through adulthood.  In the second half of life, the search for meaning and purpose become our principal drivers.

Our birth right as Americans is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  The science of happiness is global and part of the Business of Life.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:44 AM | Permalink

April 27, 2005

Do what you love

If you've only heard "Do what you love and the money will follow" Curt Rosengren at Worthwhile gives us the fuller, more accurate quote.

Do what you love, work really, really hard, be patient, be persistent, be open, work really, really hard so more and the money will follow

That sounds right. But how do you know when you're in the second "work really, really hard", closer to the end than the beginning?
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:48 PM | Permalink

April 26, 2005

Unhealthy lifestyles

Only 3% of Americans live a healthy lifestyle reports the Wall St. Journal today on a study published today by the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The study measured four factors considered indicators of a healthy lifestyle.
non-smokers.......................................  76%
healthy weight....................................  40%
eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables.. 23%
exercise 30 min, 5 times/week.........  22%

2 out of 4...........34%
3 out of 4...........14%
4 out of 4............ 3%

Lead researcher and epidemiologist Mathew Reeves was "shocked" at the results, compiled using survey data of more than 150,000 Americans by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  "We aren't asking anyone to climb Mt. Everest here."

Those over 65 did the best with an overall 4%
Those 35 to 44 did the worst with an overall 2.5%

How do you rank?

  Unhealthy Lifestyle

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:12 PM | Permalink

April 25, 2005

Why detail matters

Dervala is a happy new employee.    They gave her beautiful new notebooks with this inscription

This is my notebook. A collection of my thoughts, ideas, some other people’s thoughts, some good stuff, some useless stuff. All written down, mostly scribbled, some stuff that I can no longer read, in an attempt to preserve a brilliant moment in time. (Or, at the time, I thought it was a brilliant moment.) I got this notebook from Stone Yamashita Partners. They always feed me. They’re the kind of office that allows dogs. They believe in the power of good thinking to invoke change. And so do I.

Here's another reason.

On my first day, two months ago, my SY[P] co-workers gave me a neat stack of San Francisco guidebooks and a household address book that they’d filled with notes on opthalmologists, florists, car repair shops, hikes, plumbers, restaurants, dentists, and babysitters. This streak of inventive empathy, made elegantly tangible, runs through the culture from the stationery cupboard to the client presentations. It’s what makes them excellent, and it makes me glad they found me.

More in Detail matters.   

They got me at the notebooks.  I'm even more impressed after reading what Stone Yamashita does. 

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:58 PM | Permalink

Nevermind

You know those extra five or ten pounds that everyone wants to lose?  Forget about it.

People who are modestly overweight have a lower risk of death than those of normal weight according to several recent studies while being underweight is 25% more dangerous than being "normal" weight.

Sandy Szwarc crunches the numbers and finds that the

new CDC analysis has just come out which found that overweight and obesity may actually have been associated with only 25,815 extra deaths in 2000. That 400,000 figure was off by 374,185 deaths -- or 1450%!

David Brooks is very happy

Since I read about this report a few days ago, I haven't been able to stop grinning.

I've been happy because as a member of the community of low-center-of-gravity Americans, I find that a lifetime of irresponsible behavior has been unjustly rewarded. If this study is correct, I'll be ordering second helpings on into my 90's while all those salad-munching health nuts who have been feeling so superior in their spandex pants and cutoff T-shirts will be dying of midriff pneumonia and other condescension-related diseases.

Aristotle is right again.  Moderation in all things should be your guide

Posted by Jill Fallon at 6:11 PM | Permalink

E-mails not as much fun

Are we distracting ourselves to death?  E-mails hurt IQ more than pot is the finding of a recent survey of 1100 Britons. Workers distracted by phone calls, e-mails and text messages suffer a greater loss of IQ that a person smoking marijuana and don't have anywhere near as much fun.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:20 AM | Permalink

April 23, 2005

Men are too emotional

Seems as if women make fewer investing mistakes  while men are TOO EMOTIONAL and so make more investing mistakes according to a recent survey by Merrill Lynch.

Hannah Grove, chief marketing officer at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers says this about women investors -  Women have the potential to be better investors.  They learn from their mistakes, they are less likely to repeat mistakes, they're very realistic about their weaknesses and they have good habits

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:55 PM | Permalink

April 22, 2005

Harmful Air Cleaners

Consumer Reports that ionizing air cleaners often create significant levels of potentially harmful indoor ozone.

People with asthma or respiratory allergies are especially sensitive to indoor ozone, an irritant that can worsen asthma, deaden sense of smell, raise sensitivity to pollen and mold, and may cause permanent lung damage

These are the cleaners  that failed safety standard tests and should be returned for a refund.
Brookstone Pure-Ion V2; Sharper Image Professional Series Ionic Breeze Quadra S1737 SNX; Ionic Pro CL-369; IonizAir P4620; and Surround Air XJ-2000.

Top performers that passed the tests were:

The top-performing Friedrich C-90A, an ionizing electrostatic precipitator model, is very effective and emits little ozone. Another fine performer that emits little ozone is the Whirlpool 45030, which is a HEPA-filter model.

Why not just open your windows for a while.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:54 PM | Permalink

Redesigned Pill Bottle

The drugstore prescription bottle can be outright dangerous.  According to a study by Target, some 60% of prescription drug users have at some point taken their medications incorrectly.

Deborah Adler's grandmother took her husband's medication by mistake.  So, Deborah, a graduate student at the School for Visual Arts, decided to revamp the standard bottle as her thesis project, called Safe Rx.  The Perfect Prescription details how Deborah  dealt with the problems of inconsistent labeling, poor color combinations, confusing numbers, the tiny type, and the curved shape. 

  Old And New Prescription Bottles  click to enlarge.

The redesigned pill bottle has an easy ID, an information hierarchy, it's upside down to save paper, color-coded rings for different family members, an info card that's hard to use, and clear warnings.

The new design for prescription drug bottles set to debut at Target on May 1.  How many people will switch their prescriptions to Target just because of the better, more elegant, more readable design? Peter Davidson at Thinking will.    The redesigned pill bottle is an outstanding example of how good design adds value to customers, just what Virginia Postrel writes about in The Substance of Style.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:44 PM | Permalink

While I was gone.

While I was gone.

A new pope was elected.  Many are horrified that the new pope is Catholic.
Free beer in pope's hometown.

Mysteries of unpopped popcorn explained in the bookofjoe in hulls to blame.  The scientific study will be published in the journal Biomacromocolecules, apparently the key is the "pericarp" .  Joe kindly provides a tip on to make the best popcorn in a microwave and it's cheap too.

President Bush rides a Trek bike.  So does Lance Armstrong who's going to retire at the end of this year's Tour de France.  Biking Bis keeps me on top of all the best biking news.

  Biking Biz

Friendly plumber - A new site for plumbing home improvement and repairs

Via Life Over 50
Chili, Broccoli help prevent cancer, report in Medline Plus
Pessimism Raised Dementia risk, report in Medline Plus

More to come.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:16 PM | Permalink

Animal Gratitude

In the course of verifying or debunking claims, Snopes.com often brings to light something I've missed like this great photo of a grateful Doberman kissing a fireman who just put out a house fire in Charlotte, Virginia.

  Animal Gratitude

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:21 PM | Permalink

Back Home

It's really quite extraordinary how dependent we all have become on our computers and the free and easy availability of the Internet.  What was only imagined twenty years ago has become essential.  It really came home this past week when I've been without my laptop.  It began freezing just as I was about to finish a long and lengthy post. 

(To reboot, I lost the post, which was a shame because it was a REALLY good one on Blink, the new book by Malcolm Gladwell.  A great book, a delightful read and if you knew all the other really smart and incisive things I had to say about it you'd be impressed, but I've forgotten them now.)

Time for my back-up laptop.  WHAT!  I never turned it off, the battery is completely drained, it won't boot up.  So there I was two dead laptops. Luckily, I back up files every week to Firelight, a separate disk drive, so I knew my files were safe.  But you can't access them without a computer. Fortunately, there's an Apple store nearby and they took both, packed them up, shipped them out, and both came back working yesterday.

Having my powerbook working is like coming home after a long trip.  A sigh of relief, instant relaxation, a new appreciation of all that I've come to take for granted, and hours and hours just surfing and catching up on all the news, opinion and blogs I've missed in this past week.

So what did I learn?

I'm real happy that I do regular back-ups. 
Turn-off the back-up laptop until you need it. 
I wish I had kept my current working files on a USB stick
The local library - bless them - has computers you can use for 45 minutes to check important email.
Mail piles up.  I've hundreds to go through.  A lot of deleting today.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:49 PM | Permalink

April 15, 2005

Announcement

Jill would like to announce that due to some technical difficulties she will be unable to post for a short spell. The problems are being worked on and with luck Jill will be back "on the air" by next weekend.

I will update this post in the event this changes.

Posted by Brian at 6:45 PM | Permalink

April 14, 2005

Spirituality May Slow Alzheimer's

Research suggesting that a rewarding spiritual life may help slow the devastation of Alzheimer's disease was presented to the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.

This is the first study to actually attempt to look into a relationship between spirituality and religiosity and Alzheimer's disease," Kaufman said. "We did not specifically look into the mechanisms, and we certainly need to replicate these results and do a larger study."

Vincent Corso, a former priest who is now manager of spiritual care and bereavement services for Visiting Nurse Service of New York Hospice Care in New York City, said he was not surprised by the findings, however preliminary.

People who are connected with a spiritual presence in their life, whether it takes the shape of a family member, close friend, support network, meditation or yoga, have a sense of peace and probably, by extrapolation, longevity," he said. "What's important to people is how much they're able to connect with the people around them. If that creates a feeling of well-being, then that aids in the healing process.

Meanwhile, experts had hoped that Vitamin E or Aricept might slow the progression of Alzheimer's but neither showed any benefit according to a trial, the results of which are also being presented to the American Academy of Neurology

Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:06 PM | Permalink

Slavery in my home town

For those who think that slavery was so two centuries ago, a Saudi princess was arrested yesterday on forced labor charges. Full details at Solomonia

The wife of a Saudi prince was arrested yesterday for allegedly forcing two Indonesian housekeepers to work for her family at homes in Arlington and Winchester for meager wages over nearly two years.

A federal grand jury indicted Hana F. Al Jader on 10 counts of forced labor, domestic servitude, and other immigration offenses, alleging that she hid her servants' passports and work visas and threatened they would be harmed if they failed to perform the work.

Jader, a 39-year-old Saudi national married to Prince Mohamed Bin Turki Alsaud,
shuffled into US District Court in Boston yesterday in handcuffs and shackles, wearing a black leather jacket and copper-polished fingernails...

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:04 PM | Permalink

Strict about laundry

I don't think you have to go this far.

Arnold Schwarzenegger burns his children's dirty clothes if they leave them lying about.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:36 PM | Permalink

Medical grab-bag

A grab-bag of new health/medical news

A little-known protein called Fra-1 appears to control the malignancy of brain cancer cells and could be a new target for drugs to fight a wide range of tumors.

Electricity delivers a gene to fight melanoma.  Now being readied for clinical trials is a new form of gene therapy in which electricity is used to open skin pores and deliver an immune-boosting gene.

Cell phones won't raise brain tumor risk. Danish researchers examined phone records stretching back 10 years.

Light therapy as effective as anti-depressants in treating seasonal and just regular
blues.

Statins seem to help stroke patients.  After a stroke, statins seem to reduce brain damage

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:28 PM | Permalink

April 13, 2005

More on Find a Human

I must update the Find A Human post if only to correct the impression I was under  - and the impression I gave -  that this site was maintained by Intuit.  It's maintained by a HUMAN - one Paul English in fact.  Thanks, huzzahs and kudos to  Paul and all the others who've added to it.

You can access the "find a human a list" here.  Better yet, add to the sum total of human happiness by adding your own entry  if you've found a way to find a human .

Posted by Jill Fallon at 6:48 PM | Permalink

Accumulation of Riches

One of the most successful of life and success coaches is Brian Tracy.    He calls the law of accumulation one of the greatest success principles.


This law says that everything great and worthwhile in human life is an accumulation of hundreds and sometimes thousands of tiny efforts and sacrifices that nobody ever sees or appreciates. It says that everything accumulates over time. That you have to put in many, many, many tiny efforts that nobody sees or appreciates before you achieve anything worthwhile. It's like a snowball. A snowball starts very small, but it grows as it adds millions and millions of tiny snowflakes and continues to grow as it gathers momentum. 

What you want to accumulate, bit by bit, are the three things we all want more of.

1. Knowledge.  Learn what you need to learn.
2. Money.  Save it.  Every day.  Fortunes come from the accumulation of hundreds and thousands of small amounts of money.
3. Experience.  Successful people have more experience because they take more risks and are willing to make more mistakes.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:55 PM | Permalink

Female Midlife Crisis

We all know that stereotypical view of the midlife crisis involving men, new cars and young blondes.  Turns out, the facts surrounding midlife crisis today are quite different.  When Sue Shellenbarger,  the Work and Family columnist for the Wall St Journal had hers, she realized "The midlife crisis is a cliche -- until you have one." 

The shock of recognition led to an overwhelming reader response which in turn led her to begin collecting stories for her new book, The Breaking Point: How Female Midlife Crisis is Transforming Today's Women.

Some excerpts from her column on the Female Midlife Crisis (WSJ subscribers only, sorry)

Dozens told heartfelt tales of pain, upheaval, rebirth and transformation in middle age, and said they had no idea other women were experiencing the same thing. My comic tale had touched a hidden nerve. Clearly, millions of midlife women had reached a crisis stage -- a time when old values and goals no longer made sense to them.
.........
A startlingly high number of women have experienced what they consider a
midlife crisis, broadly defined as a stressful or turbulent psychological transition that occurs most often in the late 40s and early 50s.

By age 50, even more women than men are reporting a turbulent midlife transition -- 36.1% of women, compared with 34% of men -- according to research by Elaine Wethington, a Cornell University associate professor, based on a subset of the giant 6,432-person MacArthur Foundation "Midlife in the United States" study of Americans' well-being at midlife.

Applying the findings to the 42-million-member generation of U.S. women who are nearing or in middle age, defined as about 38 to 55 years old,
more than 15 million women will have, or are already having, what they regard as a midlife crisis -- about equal to the entire populations of Colorado, Massachusetts and Minnesota combined.

This pattern of female midlife crisis is emerging now because, to put it simply, women are different today. For the first time in history, women not only face more of the kind of stresses that tend to bring on midlife crises, but they also have the financial muscle, the skills and the confidence to act out their frustrations and resolve them. In a sense, women are having midlife crises now because they can.
---
Here's what women said after their midlife crisis which should give millions heart.

Without exception, the women who made big midlife changes said that if given the chance to do it all again, they would embrace new undertakings even more wholeheartedly. Every one of the women who entered fully into midlife crisis, taking risks and exploring new opportunities, was enthusiastically glad that she had. Their only regrets were in failing to start sooner or to take more chances.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:09 PM | Permalink

April 12, 2005

Communion of Saints

All my life I've been entranced by the idea of the Communion of Saints.  If you were raised Catholic, you know what I mean. But, I've never explored it as throughly or with as much success as Dawn Eden, a convert to Catholicism.  I saw it as a beautiful idea, she saw them as friends.  A quite remarkable story, Saints Alive.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:56 AM | Permalink

April 10, 2005

First Business

All too often the dailyness of our lives obscures life's very majesty.   

Our  inter-connection and inter-dependency on others is so deep we don't see it.  Whether its our food, sown, grown, and prepared for our consumption, our clothes made and sewn half a world away, our trash, removed and recycled far from our eyes, the people in factories that make our cars, our planes and trains, the researchers who find new ways to cure disease, making our lives healthier and longer, all those entrepreneurs who have brought us the technology we now can not live without, the people who entertain us, write for us, explore for us, pray for us. 

The numbers of people that have added to, supported or changed our lives is larger than we can comprehend.  In this dizzying interdependence, the golden rule -treating others the way we want to be treated - the greatest and simplest moral precept seems the only way to live.

Each of us must grown and develop our moral sense and character and that, I believe, is the first and most important business of our lives.  I've long believed that our personal character is our greatest wealth, one like education that can never be taken away.  Personal character is what we depend on to get us through life's most difficult times.  Growing through life and not just going through life is the point and there is no point in life where we can not grow more, we just can't grow backwards.    What Rumi wrote:

No mirror ever became iron again;
No bread ever became wheat;
No ripened grape ever became sour fruit.
Mature yourself and be secure from a change for the worse.
Become the light."

We hear and read in countless places that the time to learn about financial fitness is when you're young, so you can start saving, investing and giving early and reap the benefit of compound interest and long-term growth.  Youth is also the time to begin to develop a moral character , a fact intuitively grasped by millions of families who may not be believers but who insist on some sort of religious education for their children, if only to imbue with a moral sense.

The story that Varifrank relates in Robert the Counter shows what a profound effect some crippled children have on the students who came to work with them.    Such a lesson is never forgotten and the students are richer by far.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:01 PM | Permalink

April 8, 2005

Compare Hospitals

The Department of HHS now provides a tool to compare hospitals in your area.  You can find all the medicare-certified hospitals say or how they compare in treatment for heart conditions with other hospitals in the area,  for example.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:43 PM | Permalink

What Really Matters

Have no doubt, meaning and purpose is BIG.  The extraordinary success of a Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren which to date has sold over 20 million copies.

Bill Jensen has a new book out called "What is Your Life's Work".  I've been reading excerpts he he's made available  on line, and already there are whole paragraphs I want to quote.  Normally, I would post this on Legacy Matters, but since this is also about work, here it goes.

From the introduction:

Put simply, this book is about what we learn about ourselves when we teach our loved ones, especially our kids, what matters and about the powerful need we have to leave something behind -what we want to be remembered for.

Bill has spent his career listening to people,  collecting stories and studying how we work.
To jump start insightful conversations, he used to ask "What really matters here?"   That is until the economy took a nosedive, no one wanted to rock the boat, everyone wanted to keep their job.  So he changed the question,


"What is the single most important insight about work that you want to pass on to your kids? Or to anyone you truly care about?"

BAM! The floodgates opened. A happy accident: Changing my question to something much closer to home, "Why do we do what we wouldn't want our kids to do?  Which of our mistakes should they not repeat?" unleashed completely new conversations.

Jensen than asked them to put their thoughts on paper: "Write a letter to that loved one.  Or keep a journal -a work diary."  ..." Something magical happened.  They got back more than they gave."....A work diary for others ends up being a tool for self-discovery."

Some astonishing facts:
• 75% of us are disengaged from our jobs
• 75% of all employees are now searching for new employment opportunities
• 83% of us wish we had more of what really matters in life."

You can pre-order the book at Amazon
HT to Curt Rosengren at Occupational Adventure who alerted me to the free downloads.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:11 PM | Permalink

April 7, 2005

All in one tracking

Here's a handy bookmark -PackTrack-  to track ALL your packages -UPS, FedEx, DHL and more.

HT.  Ken Leebow at Blogging About Incredible Blogs

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:03 PM | Permalink

April 6, 2005

Guys' Rules

A passalong well worth reading -  Rules of Guys

We always hear "the rules" from the female side. Now here are the rules from the male side. These are our rules! Please note... these are all numbered "1" ON PURPOSE!

1. Learn to work the toilet seat.
You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

1. Sunday sports. It's like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.

1. Shopping is NOT a sport. And no, we are never going to think of it that way.

1. Crying is blackmail.

1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work!
Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!

1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

1. A headache that lasts for 17 months is a problem. See a doctor.

1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days.

1. If you won't dress like the Victoria's Secret girls, don't expect us to act like soap opera guys.

1. If you think you're fat, you probably are. Don't ask us.

1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.

1. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

1. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.

1. Christopher Columbus did not need directions and neither do we.

1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

1. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.

1. If we ask what is wrong and you say "nothing," we will act like nothing's wrong.  We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

1. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, expect an answer you don't want to hear.

1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine...Really.

1. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball, the shotgun formation, or monster trucks.

1. You have enough clothes.

1. You have too many shoes.

1. I am in shape. Round is a shape.

1. Thank you for reading this. Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight; but did you know men really don't mind that? It's like camping.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:18 PM | Permalink

April 1, 2005

Breast Cancer: Good News

Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, president of the American Council on Science and Health wonders why there is so little reporting of an already-existing drug which, if taken daily, might dramatically reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Dr. Peter Goss from Harvard is leading a group of US and Canadian scientists to recruit thousands of women at high risk of breast cancer to participate in a study of aromatase inhibitors.

this class of drugs — which includes Astra Zeneca's Arimidex and Pfizer's Aromasin — has already been shown, as Dr. Goss puts it, to "profoundly" reduce the risk of recurrence in women who have already been diagnosed and treated for breast cancer — and to do so with fewer side effects than an earlier drug, Tamoxifen. Arimidex decreases the chance of cancer developing in the other breast by almost 80 percent.
UPDATE: If you had been reading the Cancer Blog, you would already know this and more
Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:49 PM | Permalink

More dryer lint

One of those strange factoids lodged forever in my brain is that Madonna loves to clean out the lint trap in her dryer.  I remember this from an interview years ago, but apparently Madonna talked about her dryer lint again last summer in People magazine. Why on earth, cleaning out that soft stuff should be so deeply pleasurable is beyond me, but I'm with Madonna on this one.

That dryer lint is also a favorite of birds building their nests, so put some out right along side your bird feeder, so the birds can make nice cozy nests this spring.

The Wall St Journal reported Friday that  dryer lint makes great kindling, plus it's nice and light to carry if you're hiking or camping.

Too much lint not cleaned out, can indeed cause fires,  The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports almost 15,000 clothes-dryer fires, resulting in 300 injuries and $90 in property damage each year.

Joe is on the case, though.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:30 PM | Permalink

ID theft resolution service

MetLife, one of the nation's largest insurers is rolling out a new program this week to provide free help in resolving cases of identity theft for all its policy holders of homeowner insurance  reports Security Awareness for Ma, Pa and the Corporate Clueless.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:54 PM | Permalink