September 28, 2006

At the edge of mental well-being

Conservatives and liberals, they even dream differently. 

Dream world a strange, scary place for liberals

A dream researcher from John F. Kennedy University in California has discovered fundamental differences between the dream worlds of people on the ideological left and the ideological right.

Among his findings, Kelly Bulkeley discovered that liberals are more restless sleepers and have a higher number of bizarre, surreal dreams -- including fantasy settings and a wide variety of sexual encounters. Conservatives' dreams were, on average, far more mundane and focused on realistic people, situations and settings.

"Conservatives seem to have more of a focus on the here and now and the material world whereas liberals, in contrast, seem to have a much wider sphere of imaginative activity," he said.

"They don't just dream about what is, but what could be or what they wish could be," Mr. Bulkeley said.

His research is being published in an upcoming issue of Dreams, a journal published by the American Psychological Association.
While some of my colleagues think my research reinforces the stereotype of repressed, uptight conservatives, it also shows that many liberals may he hanging on the edge of mental well-being," Mr. Bulkeley said. "There may be a lot of hidden distress and unpleasantness in the liberal mind."

"At the end of mental well-being" describes a lot of my liberal friends who believe that President Bush is the source of all the troubles in the world.

HT Tim Blair.

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September 25, 2006

Try Wize before you buy

How much do you believe in what companies say about their own products?

If you're like me, you take just about everything companies, experts, politicians, academics and government officials with a touch of salt and an ounce of skepticism.

Each year, the public relations giant Edelman publishes its Edelman Trust Barometer.  In the U.S., trust in a "person like me" has increased from 20% in 2003 to 68% in 2006.    Seems to parallel the growth in the blogosphere  doesn't it?

Experts may know much more about their chosen fields than you do, BUT I've found that the best advice about most things comes most often from other people speaking from their personal experience, not from experts.   

Aggregating both personal and expert product reviews  in an easily accessible format is the  core idea behind Wize,  It's a very good looking site, very easy to use.  They  us ea ranking system, giving each product a final score, called "Wize rank" by using collective wisdom for an unbiased product rating.

It's the best and easiest way to do product research for anything you're looking to buy.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:09 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

Who doesn't have a bank account?

Would you believe that 3 million of H&R's customers don't have bank accounts? 

How much they must spend in check-cashing fees.  H&R Block sees the need and the opportunity.

From Free Money Finance H&R Block is offering bank accounts

Overall, though, I'd say this is a net win for consumers/taxpayers. It helps people who don't have bank accounts get one, it speeds the time between filing and the refund being received, it saves people money in reduced ATM fees (which can be a killer, by the way), and, for those who HAVE to have a refund in two hours versus two weeks, it will save them money as well.

You can't beat Free Money Finance for money-saving tips, with especially great ones from their readers.

They continue to offer the best of financial advice.

1. Spend less than you earn
2. Invest  what you save.
3. Use the miracle of compounding interest. 

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:51 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

You are what you listen to

You are what you listen to, or at least it seems that a lot of stereotypes concerning music and socioeconomic class are true according to Science Daily.

Classical's Class and Rap's Bad Rap

Those with the most education were also the main fans of opera, classical music, and jazz.
One "clear pattern" to emerge was a clustering of antisocial tendencies among young fans of pop, rap, and rock. For example, 53% of hip-hop fans admitted to having committed a criminal act, compared to 18% of fans of musicals.

But at least they bathe and shampoo more than opera fans.

HT to Pajamas Media which is fast becoming a check and balance in our media world.

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September 22, 2006

"Give Birth to a Patriot"

What do you do when your nation is in the midst of demographic collapse ?

Via Tinkertytonk's Go Forth and Multiply, I learned

One Russian provincial governor gives workers the afternoon off  to go home and make a baby.

If you're lucky and your baby is born on June 12, Russia's Independence Day, you've given birth to a patriot and all sorts of prizes await.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:02 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

September 21, 2006

That pre-war feeling

For some time, I've been feeling in the air the sense of what it must have been like to be in Europe in 1938, so I was pleased to read this piece by Michael Novak.

The atmosphere these days is marked by the same mists that those who were in Paris and Berlin in 1938 can still recall. The air was heavy with ominous feelings that war was about to burst on Europe, like a violent autumn storm, with jagged lightning and clattering thunder.

The whole continent was in denial. There would be peace, there had to be peace. But there was not going to be peace. One could feel it in the air.

It feels like
1938 all over again

Like many others, I have been following closely the words of our enemies. President Bush recited many of them in his speech on September 6: bin Laden, Zarqawi, Zawahiri. They have all seen Iraq as the central battle in this Third World War (counting the Cold War, it is the Fourth). They have said the whole Islamofascist dream of a Universal Caliphate, holding all of humankind in submission, hinges on this battle.

They are willing to wager everything in Baghdad and its surroundings. Either they will reap glory, triumph, and sure victory in Iraq, having humiliated the proud United States and shown what a phony it is — or they themselves will be deflated, humiliated, and put on the ashbin of this century. Here is where the line has been drawn.

I think that's why support for the Iraq war is increasing.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 6:29 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

My personal day of rage for the Pope

Another Muslim day of rage is scheduled for Friday to protest the Pope Bendict's speech at Regensburg.

Apparently, firebombing churches, kidnapping priests, murdering a nun, calling for the Pope's assassination, and announcing, as did Al Qaeda in Iraq, "We shall break the cross and spill the wine...God will (help) Muslims to conquer Rome...(May) God enable us to slit their throats," just didn't go far enough.

"Stop calling us violent or we'll kill you" seems to be the message being sent to us infidels by these jihadists of the Wahabbi strain.

Too many seem to be just fine with this message.  Like the New York Times which editorialized,

A doctrinal conservative, his greatest fear appears to be the loss of a uniform Catholic identity, not exactly the best jumping-off point for tolerance or interfaith dialogue....It is tragic and dangerous when one sows pain, either deliberately or carelessly. He (the Pope) needs to offer a deep and persuasive apology.

The New York Times would rather not talk about the demonstrable fact that forced conversions and the use of violence in God's name hinders real dialogue between Christians and Muslims.  The Times doesn't want to talk about Islamic violence and aggression because it might provoke more violence and aggression, maybe against them.    They censor themselves and would censor the Pope from saying what is true.  They behave, and too many Western leaders behave as if sharia law were already in effect as they submit to Muslim authority and intimidation.  That's called dhimmitude.

What are people so afraid of that they can't stand up for free speech and home truths?  Why are we not more outraged?  Like Pope John Paul, Donald Sensing says Be Not Afraid.

We hold the high ground - we believe in individual liberty, we believe in religious tolerance, we believe in women’s rights, we believe in a narrow window for the just use of war - and we should not be afraid to stand tall and to express our outrage at the insane reactions we are seeing across the Muslim world. In fact their actions prove the point made previously in Danish cartoons and the quote from Pope Benedict.

Enough Apologies writes Anne Applebaum in the Washington Post.
None of the radical clerics accepts Western apologies, and none of their radical followers reads the Western press. Instead, Western politicians, writers, thinkers and speakers should stop apologizing -- and start uniting....

Where's the reciprocity? 

nothing the pope has ever said comes even close to matching the vitriol, extremism and hatred that pour out of the mouths of radical imams and fanatical clerics every day, all across Europe and the Muslim world, almost none of which ever provokes any Western response at all. And maybe it's time that it should: When Saudi Arabia publishes textbooks commanding good Wahhabi Muslims to "hate" Christians, Jews and non-Wahhabi Muslims, for example, why shouldn't the Vatican, the Southern Baptists, Britain's chief rabbi and the Council on American-Islamic Relations all condemn them -- simultaneously?

These jihadists are bullies, gangster religionists and it's time to stand up and say so.    We don't have to abide by Islamist rules and they can't make us.  I pity those who are so mealy-mouthed that they can not say Enough already.  They live with shriveled soul in an internal and self-imposed state of dhimmitude, swearing allegiance to multiculturalism and political correctness and scorning those who are so unsophisticated as to be religious.     

The Belmont Club writes that the
aching void left by Western cultural and political leaders ... has emboldened militant Islamic preachers to cross boundaries they would have respected until recently. This erasure of cultural borders caused by the near total desertion of the frontier by the so-called opinion-leaders has invited the most reckless elements of Islam across and raised the risk of real clash of civilizations. As Lord Carey put it: "We are living in dangerous and potentially cataclysmic times". It is a time made perilous not only by the absence of moderate voices within Islam but by the even more conspicuous absence of any leadership among Western politicians.

The Pope was the first to say, using a 600 year old quotation, that violent jihad and forced conversions are inherently evil and he said it in the context of a dense and scholarly speech calling for a real, sincere dialogue between faiths using reason and abjuring violence.  He later apologized for the reactions to his speech but not for what he said. 

The Anchoress wrote 
Any intelligent human being understands that one does not - in the 21st century - publicly touch on the subject of Islamic jihad and religious compulsion, no matter how delicately or distinctively, unless one wants to deal with a reaction that is both primitive and intimidating, by a group demonstrably closed to dialogue.

And yet Benedict, clearly an intelligent man, has done so. He has, in essence, dared to say to Islam, “Is this really what you want to be doing, in this century? The rest of the world’s religions have put away the swords…how about we talk?”

Up to now, no one has come out and said that to Islam. The Pope is the first.

She says the quintessential question of our time that the Pope put on the table  is
“Okay, short of our surrender and our conversions, what is it going to take to get you folks to settle down?”

It may seem curious that the most forceful defenders of the Pope have been religious figures. 

Cardinal Pell in Australia said  
The violent reaction in many parts of the Islamic world justified one of Pope Benedict's main fears...They showed the link for many Islamists between religion and violence, their refusal to respond to criticism with rational arguments, but only with demonstrations, threats and actual violence.

In England, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey of Clifton defended the Pope's "extraordinarily effective and lucid" speech.
Lord Carey said that Muslims must address “with great urgency” their religion’s association with violence. He made it clear that he believed the “clash of civilisations” endangering the world was not between Islamist extremists and the West, but with Islam as a whole.

“We are living in dangerous and potentially cataclysmic times,” he said. “There will be no significant material and economic progress [in Muslim communities] until the Muslim mind is allowed to challenge the status quo of Muslim conventions and even their most cherished shibboleths.”

A close reading of the Pope's speech reveals why religious people are particularly well-qualified to speak first.  They understand both Reason and Faith.  Reason tempers what could be the savagery of religion. But  Reason alone is not enough because it restricts the human domain to what can be proven empirically.  By so doing, it narrows the scope of what it is to be human by resisting insight, understanding and the wisdom of the past.  The utter cluelessness of the New York Times and much of the mainstream media when it comes to religion and faith proves my point.

George Weigel in the LA times,  The Pope Was Right says   
The pope's third point — which has been almost entirely ignored — was directed to the West. If the West's high culture keeps playing in the sandbox of postmodern irrationalism — in which there is "your truth" and "my truth" but nothing such as "the truth" — the West will be unable to defend itself. Why? Because the West won't be able to give reasons why its commitments to civility, tolerance, human rights and the rule of law are worth defending. A Western world stripped of convictions about the truths that make Western civilization possible cannot make a useful contribution to a genuine dialogue of civilizations, for any such dialogue must be based on a shared understanding that human beings can, however imperfectly, come to know the truth of things. 

Oriana Fallaci, one of my heroes, said
The moment you give up your principles, and your values . . . the moment you laugh at those principles, and those values, you are dead, your culture is dead, your civilization is dead. Period.

When asked what contemporary leader she admired, Fallaci replied.

I feel less alone when I read the books of Ratzinger.  … I am an atheist, and if an atheist and a pope think the same things, there must be something true. It's that simple! There must be some human truth here that is beyond religion.

I too feel less alone with Pope Benedict as the Defender of Faith and Reason and Western civilization.    "How many battalions has the Pope?" Joseph Stalin once famously asked.  None of course, except for the stalwart Swiss Guards.  Would that all those who believe in simple human truths stand behind him and condemn and shame all those who believe, support or excuse violent jihaadism.  Thus concludes my personal day of rage for the Pope.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:56 PM | Permalink

September 19, 2006

Fish as Canaries Protect Drinking Water

Ever since I worked at the Department of Interior, I've been fascinated by the use of bio organisms and processes to solve problems.

Canaries were taken into coal mines as a safety precaution against the odorless, colorless, tasteless methane gas which can explode when mixed with coal dust.  Canaries, far more susceptible to the methane gas, would die when even small amounts were present, and thus alert the miners.

Now the small fish known as bluegills, bream or sunfish are being used to monitor the drinking water supplies for the cities of San Francisco, New York and Washington.

When a fish becomes a canary
"Nature's given us pretty much the most powerful and reliable early warning center out there," said Bill Lawler, co-founder of Intelligent Automation Corporation, a Southern California company that makes and sells the bluegill monitoring system. "There's no known manmade sensor that can do the same job as the bluegill."

Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:32 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

September 18, 2006

Emotions in blood

I've written about Masuro Emoto's extraordinary photographs of water crystals
as they are affected by the thoughts, intentions and prayers of the people viewing the water in What is the Shape of the Water Within You.

I've been watching to see if any scientist could or would test his hypothesis by attempting to replicate his results.  So far none to my knowledge have even tried.

Rebecca Marina, a spiritual healer and energy therapist,  is not the traditional, creditable scientist I was hoping for.  Nonetheless, her photographs of the effect of emotions at the cellular level are quite remarkable.   

I must add that I have found EFT, a process in which you tap on certain points on your body that correspond to the Chinese meridians has remarkable effects on unresolved emotional issues.  EFT is simple, free, fast and effective and involves no drugs.  More and more psychotherapists are using EFT in their practices because of it often works where nothing else will.  Here is the main site for EFT.

Here are photographs of her blood showing the effect of her emotions at the cellular level.

Before and after photos of "blood cell clumping"

Blood cells, sadness, love, fear

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First, second and removed

The best explanation for the difference between second cousins and first cousins once removed I have ever read comes from the Answer Girl.

The "first" and "second" designation refers to how many generations back you share an ancestor.
"Once removed" and "twice removed" refer to whether or not you and the relative are members of the same generation. Nick and Chuck are sons of my first cousin Marie Louise, so they're once removed from me; they are second cousins to my children, Chris and Claire.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:00 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

September 17, 2006

Technology addiction

Speaking of cell phones, 8 out of 10 adults are so addicted to their mobile phones, they can't turn them off during sex.  Hooked on handsets.

Most of the 18 to 40 age group said a mobile has improved their lives ....A quarter of the 16,500 questioned said they would feel isolated if they lost their mobile and nine per cent said would be unable to carry on normally.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:26 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

When buying a new cellphone

When purchasing a cellphone and a new Bluetooth headset, DO NOT, in your haste to gather up all the trash and get it on the curb for pickup the next day, THROW OUT the box the cell phone came in.

Even if you saved the receipts, the contract, the directions,  the numerous alerts assuring you that your brain won't be fried using a cellphone and the rebate form, you will lack the ESSENTIAL element to get the $50 back on your purchase -- the bar code from the package, photocopies not accepted.

You will feel stupid.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:19 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

September 16, 2006

On Simplicity

John Maeda is called the Master of Simplicity.    A computer scientist, a graphic designer, and a professor at the MIT Media Lab, he's begun a blog called, what else, Simplicity.

His philosophy of life is an example. 

When you're younger: 
Do More. Think Less.
When you're older: 
Do Less. Think More.

Hat tip to 37 signals who excerpts segments from Maeda's new book, The Laws of Simplicity.

Complexity implies the feeling of being lost; simplicity implies the feeling of being found.

Nobody wants to have only simplicity. Without the counterpoint of complexity, we could not recognize simplicity when we see it…Simplicity and complexity need each other.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:49 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

September 15, 2006

Cleopatra "even more fascinating"

Neferititi was actually a fascinating aging beauty

Cleopatra was not a young hottie, but a mature beauty, a woman of a certain age.  She had wrinkles on her neck and bags under her  eyes according to a new examination of the famous bust.

Which just underscores the importance of lighting.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:43 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

Rao's Rules

Long before Harvard began teaching Happiness, soon to become the most popular introductory class there, Columbia was offering a course in the Meaning of Life.

"Creativity and Personal Mastery by Srikumar Rao aims at nothing less than to help each student "discover your unique purpose for existence".    The "perennially oversubscribed" course is demanding, requiring extensive reading and time-consuming exercises.  Now, he has a book covering much of the same material.

"Are You Ready to Succeed? Unconventional Strategies to Achieving Personal Mastery in Business and Life" (Srikumar S. Rao)

It's the Ivy League version of Rick Warren's A Purpose-Driven Life, a book that has sold an astonishing 20 million copies,    People have an huge hunger for meaning and purpose in their lives.  I've read Rao's book and I think it's quite good.  If you want to get full value, be prepared to do the exercises.

Said Professor Rao who is considered a "life-long resource" for his students.

"At business schools, the vast majority of students don't have a clue what they really want to do."

"They're in business school for a number of reasons -- the most important one is economic security, they want to go out and make a ton of money, they want to be in a prestigious company."

However, many are also wary of the long hours and intensely competitive environment typical of post-MBA employers such as investment banks, he notes.

"My basic thesis is that work hours are getting longer and longer and more grueling. But if you don't get up in the morning with your blood singing at the thought of what you do, if you're not really into your life, then you're wasting your life. And life is short."

This can come as a shock to the traditional MBA student, many of whom have progressed seamlessly -- and successfully -- through school, university and the start of their business career.

"Just the thought that someone comes out and puts it so boldly is like getting hit in the face with a wet fish," Rao says. "They off and think about it, and they say: 'By golly, he's right!'"

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:33 AM | Permalink

More fish oil please

Fish oil could potentially save more lives than cardiac defibrillators, devices used to revive individuals whose hearts have stopped beating and to prevent and treat life-threatening heart arrhythmias, researchers estimate in a new report.

Increased dietary fish oil may prevent many deaths

Splendid salmon again. 

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:32 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

September 14, 2006

Sisters or lesbians

Should sisters who live together and who looked after their parents and two aunts receive the same inheritance tax benefits as a lesbian couple?

Treat us like lesbians, say sisters in tax fight

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:29 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

September 13, 2006

The Best Time to Buy

From Money magazine, the best time to buy everything.

Wine in the fall, champagne in December, airplane tickets on Wed, grocery shop on Sunday evening.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:52 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

Super color vision for women only

Only a woman can be a tetrachromat, one who can see four distinct ranges of color instead of the three most of us live with.

Some women may see 100 million colors, thanks to their genes.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:48 PM | Permalink

You're 100. Take the day off

He was forced to take a day off when he turned 100.

He had planned to mark his 100th with a pint at his local but colleagues arranged a VIP tour of Chelsea's Stamford Bridge stadium, where he will be presented with a shirt with 'Buster 100' on the back.

Buster said: "Boredom is a big killer. I went back to work as I like to keep active. If I didn't work I would become the most miserable sod you have ever come across so I don't want to stop working."

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:02 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

The Death of Childhood

In London, a group of renowned psychologists, academics, teachers and authors say that action is needed now in order to prevent the death of childhood.

Junk food, TV and the Internet are poisoning childhood
The 110-strong lobby group wrote a letter to the Daily Telegraph asking that the Government intervene before children suffer irretrievable psychological and physical damage.

They say politicians have failed to appreciate how damaging the modern world has become to children's development.
They wrote: "We are deeply concerned at the escalating incidence of childhood depression and children's behavioural and developmental conditions
Studies found that cognitive skills in 11-year-olds were two to three years behind the average levels of 15 years ago.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:00 AM | Permalink

Act as if

Sometimes the only way you can be brave is to act as if  you were brave.

We are better actors than we know.  By acting as if we were brave or kind or gentle or careful, we ease ourselves into being brave, kind, gentle and careful.

This commonsense application of a truism we all know is making its way into corporate management."The Art of Japanese Management: Applications for American Executives" (Richard Tanner Pascale, Anthony G. Athos)

From Richard Pascale's book Delivering Results:
"People are much more likely to act their way into a new way of thinking, than think their way into a new way of acting.

via O'Reilly Radar

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September 12, 2006

Reborn Indeed

This is extraordinary, wonderful news.  A sleeping pill can temporarily revive people in a permanent vegetative state to the point where they can have conversations.

The Guardian report, Reborn
We have always been told there is no recovery from persistent vegetative state - doctors can only make a sufferer's last days as painless as possible. But is that really the truth? Across three continents, severely brain-damaged patients are awake and talking after taking ... a sleeping pill. And no one is more baffled than the GP who made the breakthrough. Steve Boggan witnesses these 'strange and wonderful' rebirths

For three years, Riaan Bolton has lain motionless, his eyes open but unseeing. After a devastating car crash doctors said he would never again see or speak or hear. Now his mother, Johanna, dissolves a pill in a little water on a teaspoon and forces it gently into his mouth. Within half an hour, as if a switch has been flicked in his brain, Riaan looks around his home in the South African town of Kimberley and says, "Hello." Shortly after his accident, Johanna had turned down the option of letting him die.

Three hundred miles away, Louis Viljoen, a young man who had once been cruelly described by a doctor as "a cabbage", greets me with a mischievous smile and a streetwise four-move handshake. Until he took the pill, he too was supposed to be in what doctors call a persistent vegetative state.

BBC report.

Update: Jamias Cascio at Open the Future poses some ethical and legal questions
But what about people who have "pulled the plug" on loved ones in persistent vegetative states in recent years? Do they read this news with the horrible realization that the now-dead partner or relative might have been saved with a $5 pill? What are the legal implications? The first use of zolpidem as an anti-PVS treatment was seven years ago, and has been replicated now dozens if not hundreds of times. Could a lawyer for family members opposed to the termination of care for a PVS patient sue the family members who chose to do so, and win?

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:16 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

Why pray

Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor describes the value of prayer in today's world.

I believe, naturally, that we must teach each other the art, the necessity, the obligation and the beauty of prayer.

Prayer is man’s way of saying “yes.” Yes to the universe and to his creator. Yes to life and its meaning. Yes to faith, to hope, to joy, to beauty, to love. A beacon to the lost wanderer, Jacob’s letter to the dreamer in search of dreams. A window to the soul, prayer is what is most indispensable in our passage on Earth. Consolation or compensation to some, sublimation to others, prayer also means power and adventure.

You say prayers hoping that whatever you ask has been received and understood. It also communicates its lasting faith in the power of prayer. Prayer was the shortest way to reach out for answers to misfortune. It was enough to pray, to pray well, for men or women to reconcile themselves with destiny and to receive some happiness, some peace, either as gift or as reward.

To pray is to measure what one has and what one lacks, what one is and what one wishes to be, to accept what one is given and given back. Without this ability, we are deprived of an essential dimension. To be closed to prayer is more punishment than sin, for prayer may contain its own reward.

Prayer and study are both given to us to lift ourselves to higher spheres. They are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, they complement one another.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:53 PM | Permalink

Multitasking is Not Paying Attention

More evidence that multitasking doesn't work, so why do so many bosses insist on it?

From the WSJ's Cubicle Culture

Multitasking, a term cribbed from computers, is an information age creed that, while almost universally sworn by, is more rooted in blind faith than fact. It's the wellspring of office gaffes, as well as the stock answer to how we do more with less when in fact we're usually doing less with more. What now passes for multitasking was once called not paying attention.


Employers continue to seek out jugglers despite decades of research showing that humans aren't great multitaskers. (And in the case of distracted driving, we're downright dangerous.)

"Multitasking doesn't look to be one of the great strengths of human cognition," says James C. Johnston, a research psychologist at NASA's Ames Research Center. "It's almost inevitable that each individual task will be slower and of lower quality."

While multitaskers seem to be accomplishing a lot, they are in most cases literally just going through the motions. It is easy for our brain to schedule many different tasks, one after the other. And we'll gamely set out doing those tasks, some of which require little extra brain input and some of which require a lot. As a result, says Hal Pashler, director of the Attention and Perception Laboratory at the University of California, San Diego, "your mouth can be moving while your brain is elsewhere."

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:21 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

Golden Girls at Yaddoo

New ways to grow older at  New Rentals that Aim to Age with Creativity.

Like the Burbank Senior Artists Colony the NYT reporter likens to Golden Girls meets Yaddoo.

They sing, they dance, they paint, they create their own movies and radio shows.

We’re thinking beyond the problems of aging to its potential,” said Dr. Gene D. Cohen, the director of the Center on Aging, Health and Humanities at the George Washington University Medical Center. “What’s emerging is a very talented group of people who are an under-recognized national resource.”

The colony is the brainchild of Tim Carpenter, the founder of More Than Shelter for Seniors, who grew up near Yaddo, the New York artists’ community. Mr. Carpenter recruited an advisory board sprinkled with actors to hone the concept and drew an initial core of tenants, ages 55 and older, through local arts organizations. No tryouts or portfolios are required, but the artistic ambitions of residents transcend the flutophone or macaroni-glitter-and-glue crowd.

Like a challenging painting, life at the arts colony has become an exercise in perspective. “You meet yourself,” she said. “You find out who you really are.”

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:42 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

September 11, 2006

Advice to College Freshman

The Old Professor gives this advice to college freshmen at Tom McMahon's, who is better known as the creator of the s "damaged and brilliant" 4 square world.

On the first day of class he asks them a question. "What would you be doing if you were not in College?" They reply that they would be working in a retail store, construction, or at the paper mill in their hometown. "So you would be working 40 hours a week? Is that correct?" he says. They answer in the affirmative. He then goes on to guarantee that if they will work a 40-hour week in college, they will be successful. He asks them to "work" in their academic pursuits 8 hours a day, five days a week, with evenings and weekends off. The 40 hours must be spent either in class or in study time. He explains that if they would get up at 7 a.m., eat breakfast, and either attend class or study from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with an hour off for lunch, they would have every evening off to socialize. They would also have their weekends free. He knows that this will work. He also knows that they won't take his advice.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:07 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

September 10, 2006

The Case for Marriage

Ask Mom says it's far better for men than women

Financially, socially, sexually, men benefit from marriage.  Married men are healthier and have better, more satisfying careers.  Most convincingly, married men live far longer than not-married men.

Women usually don't have to be sold on the idea of marriage.  Genetically we are programmed to find a man, follow him around like a puppy, then volunteer with cheerful innocence to be nursemaids and slaves for the children that result.  Strange, because for women, marriage is statistically a bad career move and a consumer of personal "happiness".  Married women are less healthy than single women and live no longer. Yet women seek marriage, congratulate their friends for it and idealize it in many ways.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:08 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

September 9, 2006

Brave Woman Forced to Quit

A German lawyer who specialized in women's rights and who campaigned against forced marriages and honor killings,  who survived two physical assaults including one shooting, was finally forced to quit because of constant Muslim death threats to herself and her young daughter.

Muslim Death Threats Force Woman Lawyer to Quit.

Speaking in English, she said of honour killings and Muslim women in Germany: "And I think that more than 50 percent live in such a situation of fear of honor killings or to be killed. Many of my clients, I am working as a lawyer here in Berlin and I make family and criminal law, many of my clients, women, they say they are feared to divorce because their men say, "If you divorce, if you go to court to divorce, I will kill you."

"So we have a very high number who are very silent, who stay home and don't go out, don't ask for divorce, because they are in fear of being killed because of honor."

She has attacked Germany's bland acceptance of "multiculturalism", and has said that it keeps Muslim women in slavery, rather than forcing the Muslim community to adhere to the same standards as other people living in Germany.

It is saddening to hear that a brave woman such as this, prepared to stand up to the sexism, oppression and violence at the heart of Islam, has been so let down by the German system. Her message of the evils of multiculturalism, coming from a woman who knows about multiculturalism from the inside out, is a stark reminder to all the bland leftists who think they are "doing good" by encouraging "Muslim culture". To do so is, as Seyran states, to suppress women who would otherwise be full and equal members of our societies.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:53 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

The Right Shoes

Sneakers, the one item every woman should keep at the office just in case. 

Right Shoes may be key to mass evacuation.

a study of the Sept. 11 evacuations showed women's shoes had an impact on getting people out of the World Trade Center in a timely manner.

"Just walking four, five, six flights of stairs, you better have the right shoes," the mayor said.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:33 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

Jilted bride turns it around

Kudos to the woman who, upon learning that her fiancee was cheating on her, nixed the wedding and turned the would-be reception into a charity benefit. 

Jilted bride turns wedding into charity
I'm really just trying to turn it around and make something positive out of it," said Kyle Paxman.

Paxman, 29, had planned to celebrate her nuptials at the Basin Harbor Club on Lake Champlain on Saturday. When she found out about her fiance, she called off the 180-guest wedding and the four-year relationship.

She and her mother canceled the band, photographer and florist, but learned they would not be reimbursed for the reception and block of rooms they had reserved. So they turned the reception into a benefit for the Vermont Children's Aid Society and CARE USA, an international relief organization that aims to combat poverty by empowering women.

With resiliency like that, Kyle's going to do just fine.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:19 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

That Little Old Lady with a Gun

He thought he had found an easy mark in the woman in a wheelchair.  He bent over to grab the chain around her neck; she grabbed her pistol and shot him in the elbow.     

Margaret Johnson,  applauded across the country,  is no victim because she took responsibility for protecting herself seriously.

Woman in wheelchair on way to gun practice shoots mugger.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:01 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

"Life Debt" of Donor Conceived Children

Some women who want a child resort to sperm from anonymous donors with little thought as to how the lives of their children will be effected.

What seemed to be an easy answer for the mother has created a complex "life debt" for the children, burdening them in unexpected ways as they struggle to make sense of their genetic heritage. 

Buffalo Girl, herself donor-conceived, gives voice to the complex personal narratives of such children.

How would you feel having 45+ unknown half-siblings.

the more dispersed your genetic kin the more extraordinary the numbers of them, the more confused, overwhelmed, alienated and experimental your life feels.

Donor as Genetic Parent
From Wendy Kramer, founder of the Donor Sibling Registry
I am afraid that a child brought up being told that their donor did nothing more than donate a "cell" may not fee fully able to express their own true thoughts, curiosities and feelings on the matter.
We have also heard story after story of donor conceived kids and adults connecting with their donor relatives, either half siblings or donors, and it being a profound and meaningful experience. These people are definitely acknowledging avery important genetic bond. Please parents, allow your kids to decide for themselves. Please do not set it up that somehow they will think they are hurting or betraying you to be curious about or value this genetic piece of themselves.

Living with the Pain of Not Knowing.
Katrina: "I don't have a dad and I never will."
Steve Chenevy: "Prices daughter, Katrina is now 17."
Katrina: "..and there is a lot of anger involved….I don't support anonymous donations for several reasons. First and foremost is the mental health of the offspring." "I don't understand the concept of a dad ....

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:57 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

Drink Juice

Another reason to drink juice and bypass the soft drinks.

Juices May Reduce Alzheimer's Disease Risk. 
In a large epidemiological study, researchers found that people who drank three or more servings of fruit and vegetable juices per week had a 76 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease than those who drank juice less than once per week.

The study by Qi Dai, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of Medicine, and colleagues appears in the September issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:48 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

September 1, 2006

Gone Sightseeing

I forgot to tell you all that I'm taking a break at least until after Labor Day, probably until September 8 or 9.  I'm doing a lot of traveling and sightseeing from Denver to Boulder to San Francisco to Seattle. 

Since I want to stay outside in the last of the summer weather, I 'm taking a vacation from the virtual world until I can come back refreshed and renewed.

You all get outside too and enjoy the end of summer.  Like life, summer seems endless and then it flies by before you know it.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:47 PM | Permalink | TrackBack