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February 22nd, 2011

Writer's Block: Ride the lightning

Should people who are sentenced to life in prison be allowed the death penalty as an option, and why?

No.
They deserve to suffer for taking a life from the world.
Let them rot.
Let them die of old age knowing their life was wasted sitting in jail.
Don't give them the luxury of being put out of their pain.
 This verse by Lewis Carroll is remarkable for more than its melancholy:

Advice From Somewhere

 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. Please 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;
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.

Douglas Adams Quote

Useful Dog Tricks performed by Jesse

1. The only person that can ever truly make you happy is yourself. Stop depending on everyone else.


2. People lie, stuff happens. Don’t take it too personally.


3. Want people to think you’re amazing? Start believing you are, and then they will too.


4. Smiling is the ultimate anti-depressant. Smile and laugh out loud, it doesn’t look stupid, I promise.


5. The world is never just black and white, right or wrong, one way or another. Try and see things from as many points of view as possible.


6. "Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final"
— Rainer Maria Rilke


7. Have empathy.


8. Gossip, problems of the past, events you cannot control, negative thoughts and negative people; time spent on these is time poorly wasted.


9. When you're jealous or find yourself filled with hate for someone/something, stop. The only person its hurting is you.


10. Although the newest, most expensive material things may make you feel as if you’re a better person, they won’t hold you at night or listen to you when you need it. Make sure your priorities make sense.


11. Step outside your comfort zone- it’s when you’ll really feel alive.


12. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, the people who really matter, don’t mind


13. Let your emotions out sometimes, humans have them for a reason.


14. Celebrate the things you have. Think only positively of the things you don’t (but would like to have) and they too will come.


15. Love unconditionally ♥.

Random Facts

1. Though it’s rarely used, the word used to reference half a computer byte is a “nibble.”


2. Cashews are actually a fleshy fruit. The nut that we eat is actually the seed which grows on the outside of the fruit.


3.  The only letter of the alphabet that does not appear in any of the U.S. territory or state’s name is “Q”.


4.  The eye chart with the big “E” on top is called a Snellen Chart.

 
5. Dimples may be cute, but they are an inherited genetic flaw. They are caused by a fibrous band of tissue that connects the skin to an underlying bone.


6. Worcestershire sauce was invented accidentally by Brits trying to recreate the flavors in Indian food.



7. During childbirth scenes in movies and sitcoms, infant actors are smeared with cream cheese and red jam for an authentic “just born” look.



8. Underneath the striped fur of a tiger, its skin is also striped.


9. Mock turtle soup does not actually contain turtle, its main ingredient is an entire cow’s head.



10. Jupiter has 63 moons.



11. Why is bubble gum pink? When it was invented, pink was the only food dye on hand.


12.  A Barbie doll is sold about every 3 seconds.


13. Nintendo, the popular video game company, was actually founded in 1889 as a playing card company.


14. Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were born on the exact same day.



15.  All dogs are the same species, meaning that (notwithstanding the obvious physical challenge) a Chihuahua and a St. Bernard could procreate.

16. It’s estimated that Elwood Edwards is heard some 64,000,000 times per day. He’s the voice behind America Online’s “Welcome” and “You’ve Got Mail.”


17. Human arms have 32 bones each, while human legs only have 30.

:D

Latin Phrases

 It’s a matter of taste and style, but not long ago American writers attempted to demonstrate their credentials to the world by including Latin and French phrases within works. A dash of Latin was expected of the moderately educated throughout the Western world.




annus mirabilis - wonderful year

arbiter elegantiae - judge of the elegant; one who knows the good things in life

bona fides - good faith; credentials

carpe diem - sieze the day; enjoy the present

casus belli - cause justifying a war

caveat emptor - buyer beware

cui bono? - for whose advantage?

de facto - of fact; it is

de gustibus non est disputandum - no disputing tastes; there is no accounting for taste

Dei gratia - by the grace of God

Deo gratias - thanks to God

Deo volente - God willing

dis aliter visum - it seemed otherwise to the gods

Dominus vobiscum - Lord be with you

dulce et decorum est pro patria mori - sweet and seemly it is to die for one’s country

ecce homo - behold man

ex cathedra - with authority

ex more - with or according to customs

exempli gratia - for example (e.g.)

genius loci - spirit of the location

hic et ubique - here and everywhere

hinc illae lacrimae - hence, those tears

humanum est errare - to err is human; human is to err

id est - that is (i.e.)

in extremis - at death

in hoc signo vinces - by this sign, you conquer

in loco parentis - in place of the parent

in medias res - into the middle of things; the heart of the matter

in omnia paratus - prepared for all; ready for anything

in perpetuum - forever; perpetually

in propia persona - in person; in one’s own life or words

in statu quo - as things were

in toto - entirely; in total

ipso jure - the law itself

jure divino - Divine law

labor omnia vincit - labor conquers all things; effort results in victory

laborare est orare - to work is to pray

laus Deo - praise God

loco citato - in the location cited

loquitur - he speaks

mens sana in corpore sano - of sound mind in a healthy body

meum et tuum - mine and yours

modus operandi - mode of operating

morituri te salutamus - we who are about to die, salute you

motu proprio - of one’s own accord; on your own

multum in parvo - there is much in little

nemo me impune lacessit - no one attacks me with impunity

nil admirari - wondering at nothing

nolens volens - willing or not

Nota Bene - note well; pay special attention to

omnia vincit amor - love conquers all

opere citato - in the volume cited; in the book cited

otium cum dignitate - leisure with dignity

passim - here and there

pater patriae - father of his country

pax vobiscum - peace be with you

persona non grata - unwelcome person

primus inter pares - first among equals

pro bono publico - for the public good

pro Deo et ecclesia - for God and the Church

pro forma - as a matter of form; standard

quod erat demonstrandum - which was demonstrated; that which was shown

requiescat in pace - rest in peace

sic - thus; so it was

sic passim - so throughout

sic semper tyrannis - thus always to tyrants

sine die - some day; not a particular time

sine quo non - without which, nothing; it is essential

tempus fugit - time flies

timeo Danaos et dona ferentes - I fear the Greeks, even when they bear gifts

verbatim et literatim - word for word, letter for letter





Now, even if you were not fortunate enough to take Latin in school, you possess enough to impress some editors and readers. Use these phrases wisely… and sparingly.

15 Styles of Distorted Thinking

 1. Filtering: You take the negative details and magnify them, while filtering out all positive aspects of a situation. A single detail may be picked out, and the whole event becomes colored by this detail. When you pull negative things out of context, isolated from all the good experiences around you, you make them larger and more awful than they really are.


2. Polarized Thinking: The hallmark of this distortion is an insistence on dichotomous choices. Things are black or white, good or bad. You tend to perceive everything at the extremes, with very little room for a middle ground. The greatest danger in polarized thinking is its impact on how you judge yourself. For example-You have to be perfect or you're a failure.


3. Overgeneralization: You come to a general conclusion based on a single incident or piece of evidence. If something bad happens once, you expect it to happen over and over again. 'Always' and 'never' are cues that this style of thinking is being utilized. This distortion can lead to a restricted life, as you avoid future failures based on the single incident or event.


4. Mind Reading: Without their saying so, you know what people are feeling and why they act the way they do. In particular, you are able to divine how people are feeling toward you. Mind reading depends on a process called projection. You imagine that people feel the same way you do and react to things the same way you do. Therefore, you don't watch or listen carefully enough to notice that they are actually different. Mind readers jump to conclusions that are true for them, without checking whether they are true for the other person.


5. Catastrophizing: You expect disaster. You notice or hear about a problem and start "what if's." What if that happens to me? What if tragedy strikes? There are no limits to a really fertile catastrophic imagination. An underlying catalyst for this style of thinking is that you do not trust in yourself and your capacity to adapt to change.


6. Personalization: This is the tendency to relate everything around you to yourself. For example, thinking that everything people do or say is some kind of reaction to you. You also compare yourself to others, trying to determine who's smarter, better looking, etc. The underlying assumption is that your worth is in question. You are therefore continually forced to test your value as a person by measuring yourself against others. If you come out better, you get a moment's relief. If you come up short, you feel diminished. The basic thinking error is that you interpret each experience, each conversation, each look as a clue to your worth and value.


7. Control Fallacies: There are two ways you can distort your sense of power and control. If you feel externally controlled, you see yourself as helpless, a victim of fate. The fallacy of internal control has you responsible for the pain and happiness of everyone around you. Feeling externally controlled keeps you stuck. You don't believe you can really affect the basic shape of your life, let alone make any difference in the world. The truth of the matter is that we are constantly making decisions, and that every decision affects our lives. On the other hand, the fallacy of internal control leaves you exhausted as you attempt to fill the needs of everyone around you, and feel responsible in doing so (and guilty when you cannot).


8. Fallacy of Fairness: You feel resentful because you think you know what's fair, but other people won't agree with you. Fairness is so conveniently defined, so temptingly self-serving, that each person gets locked into his or her own point of view. It is tempting to make assumptions about how things would change if people were only fair or really valued you. But the other person hardly ever sees it that way, and you end up causing yourself a lot of pain and an ever-growing resentment.


9. Blaming: You hold other people responsible for your pain, or take the other tack and blame yourself for every problem. Blaming often involves making someone else responsible for choices and decisions that are actually our own responsibility. In blame systems, you deny your right (and responsibility) to assert your needs, say no, or go elsewhere for what you want.


10. Shoulds: You have a list of ironclad rules about how you and other people should act. People who break the rules anger you, and you feel guilty if you violate the rules. The rules are right and indisputable and, as a result, you are often in the position of judging and finding fault (in yourself and in others). Cue words indicating the presence of this distortion are should, ought, and must.


11. Emotional Reasoning: You believe that what you feel must be true-automatically. If you feel stupid or boring, then you must be stupid and boring. If you feel guilty, then you must have done something wrong. The problem with emotional reasoning is that our emotions interact and correlate with our thinking process. Therefore, if you have distorted thoughts and beliefs, your emotions will reflect these distortions.


12. Fallacy of Change: You expect that other people will change to suit you if you just pressure or cajole them enough. You need to change people because your hopes for happiness seem to depend entirely on them. The truth is the only person you can really control or have much hope of changing is yourself. The underlying assumption of this thinking style is that your happiness depends on the actions of others. Your happiness actually depends on the thousands of large and small choices you make in your life.


13. Global Labeling: You generalize one or two qualities (in yourself or others) into a negative global judgment. Global labeling ignores all contrary evidence, creating a view of the world that can be stereotyped and one-dimensional. Labeling yourself can have a negative and insidious impact upon your self-esteem; while labeling others can lead to snap-judgments, relationship problems, and prejudice.


14. Being Right: You feel continually on trial to prove that your opinions and actions are correct. Being wrong is unthinkable and you will go to any length to demonstrate your rightness. Having to be 'right' often makes you hard of hearing. You aren't interested in the possible veracity of a differing opinion, only in defending your own. Being right becomes more important than an honest and caring relationship.


15. Heaven's Reward Fallacy: You expect all your sacrifice and self-denial to pay off, as if there were someone keeping score. You fell bitter when the reward doesn't come as expected. The problem is that while you are always doing the 'right thing,' if your heart really isn't in it, you are physically and emotionally depleting yourself.

Mali Monkey Playing with a Dachshund Puppy

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