Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Trivia


Here’s a little Trivia for you. However, I can't guarantee the accuracy of all the points. :-)


The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue. 

It is impossible to lick your elbow.

"Stewardesses" is the longest word typed with only the left hand and "lollipop" with your right.

"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".

The words 'racecar,' 'kayak' and 'level' are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes).

There are only four words in the English language which end in "dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: "abstemious" and "facetious."

TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.

Book Without Letter "e" : GADFY, written by Earnest Wright in 1939 is a 50,000+ word book

(Still trying to lick your elbow?)

Monday, 29 December 2008

Family Matters


An elderly gentleman in Australia calls his son in New York and says, “I hate to ruin your day, son, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are getting a divorce; 35 years of marriage... and that much misery is enough! ”

“Dad, what are you talking about?’ the son screams.

“We can't stand the sight of each other any longer, ” the old man says. “We’re sick of each other, and I’m sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in UK and tell her!”

Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone. “Like heck they're getting divorced,” she shouts, ‘I'll take care of this. ”

She calls her father immediately, and screams at the old man, “You are not getting divorced. Don’t do a single thing until I get there. I’m calling my brother back from UK, and we’ll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don’t do a thing, DO YOU HEAR??” and she hangs up. 

The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. “Okay”, he says, “It’s all set. They’re both coming back for a visit and paying their own airfare!!!”

Moral of the story:
No man / woman is busy in this world all 365 days. The sky is not going to fall down if you take few days LEAVE and meet your dear ones. 

Sunday, 28 December 2008

A Push


            A man is in bed with his wife when there is a rat-a-tat-tat on the door. He rolls over and looks at his clock. It is half past three in the morning. “I’m not getting out of bed at this time,” he thinks, and rolls over. Then, a louder knock follows.
            “Aren’t you going to answer that?” says his wife. So he drags himself out of bed and goes downstairs. He opens the door and there is man standing at the door. It didn’t take the homeowner long to realize the man was drunk.
            “Hi there,” slurs the stranger. “Can you give me a push?”
            “No, get lost. It’s half past three. I am in bed,” says the man and slams the door.
            He goes back up to bed and tells his wife what happened, and she says, “Dave, that wasn’t very nice of you. Remember that night we broke down in the pouring rain on the way to pick the kids up from the baby sitter and you had to knock on that man’s house to get us started again? What would have happened if he’d told us to get lost?”
            “But the guy was drunk,’’ says the husband.
            “It doesn’t matter,” says the wife. “He needs our help and it would be the Christian thing to help him.”
            So the husband gets out of bed again, gets dressed, and goes downstairs. He opens the door, and not being able to see the stranger anywhere he shouts, “Hey, do you still want a push?”
            And he hears a voice cry out, “Yeah, please.”
            Still unable to see the stranger he shouts, “Where are you?”
            The stranger replies, “I’m over here, on your swing.”


Thursday, 25 December 2008

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Unusual Letter, Unusual Reply


              One morning, a company manager discovered an unusual letter from one of his employee. 

Dear Bo$$,

              A$ all of u$ have read from the new$paper$, the $ingapore economy ha$ come out of the rece$$ion. In thi$ life, we all need $ome thing mo$t de$perately. I think you $hould be under$tanding of the need$ of u$ worker$ who have given $o much $upport including $weat and $ervice to your company. I am $ure you will gue$$ what I mean and re$pond $oon. 

Your$ $incerely, 
$teven $oh 

              The next day, the employee received this letter of reply : 

Dear Steven, 

              I kNOw you have been working very hard. NOwadays, NOthing much has changed. You must have NOticed that our company is NOt doing NOticeably well as yet. NOw the newspapers are saying the world's leading ecoNOmists are NOt sure if the United States may go into aNOther recession. After the NOvember Presidential elections things may turn bad. I have NOthing more to add NOw. You kNOw what I mean. 

Yours truly, 
NOrman Tan
Manager

Monday, 22 December 2008

Beginning


              Imagine a marital artist, after years of relentless training, finally kneeling before his master in a ceremony to receive the coveted black belt. 
              “Before I grant you the belt,” his sensei (teacher) says, “You must pass one more test.” 
              “I’m ready,” says the eager student, expecting perhaps one more test of his physical agility and skill. 
               “You must answer the essential question, ‘What is the true meaning of the black belt?’” 
              The student answers, “The end of my journey, a well-deserved reward for all my hard work.” 
              The sensei waits for more. Clearly not satisfied, he finally speaks, “You are not ready for the black belt. Return in one year.” 
              One year later, the student again kneels before his sensei and hears the question, “What is the true meaning of the black belt?” 
              This time he answers, “It is a symbol of distinction and the highest achievement in our art.” 
              Still not satisfied, the master once again sends the frustrated student away. 
              A year later the student kneels for a third time in front of his sensei attain. Again, the master asks the question, “What is the true meaning of the black belt?” 
              This time the student answers, “The black belt represents not the end, but the BEGINNING, the start of a never-ending journey of discipline, work and the pursuit of an ever-higher standard.” 
              “Yes,” says the sensei with great satisfaction, “You are now ready to receive the black belt and begin your work.” 

              Isn’t it true that every major change in life is more of a BEGINNING than an ending? Graduation from school is not a time to quit learning; rather it marks the BEGINNING of the next level of learning. 
              Marriage and family are BEGINNINGS of new life-styles. And even death, the ultimate change in life, can be seen to be as much of a BEGINNING as birth. Every completion, every change, every accomplishment is simply the start of something new and, quite possibly, wonderful. You may arrive at a magic-like change. Is it an end? Or is it the start of a new beginning? 

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Tired Workers


Ever wonder why office staff are dead tired by the end of the day and companies require no further physical fitness programmes for their employees? Reasons being everyone gets enough exercise by:
Jumping - to conclusion 
Beating - around the bush
Running - to the boss
Going - around in circles
Dragging - their feet
Passing - the buck
Climbing - the walls
Wading - through paperwork
Pulling - strings
Throwing - their weight around
Stretching - the truth
Bending - the rules, and
Pushing - their luck too far

No wonder they are all tired at the end of a working day! 

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Don't Quit


When things go wrong as they sometimes will
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest, if you must - but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with it’s twists and turns
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out,
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow
You might succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
it seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt ,
And you never can tell how close you are
It may be near when it seems afar,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.


Wednesday, 17 December 2008

The Choice Is Ours


              Life is all about choices and the world revolves around choices made by people.

             However, while we are free to choose, once we have made those choices, we are tied to the consequences of those choices. Choice is the cause; and the results we obtain are the effects of those choices made earlier. Our choice determines the consequences. 

              Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices. We are what we are because of the conscious and subconscious choices we have made.

              We may not be able to choose our lot in life, but we can choose how to handle our lot. Although we cannot choose our external circumstances, we can always choose how we respond to them and we can choose how we live our life. 

              We can live a full and happy life, or we can just exist in life, drifting on life’s shores. The choice is ours.


Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Coffee Is No Cure For Post-epidural Headaches


The claim: Coffee eases headaches from epidural injections.

The facts: Headaches can be an excruciating side effect of routine procedures that involve puncturing the middle and lower back, including spinal taps and anaesthetic injections like epidurals.
              Doctors and medical texts have long advocated a simple antidote: a cup of Java. One theory is that the caffeine narrows the cerebral blood vessels, which helps reverse the dilation of a blood vessel that occurs when a puncture causes cerebrospinal fluid to leak. Research, however, suggests it does not help.
              In 2007, researches at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona reviewed several randomised studies that looked at caffeine as a treatment for the condition, known as postdural puncture headache, and found no evidence that it worked.
              That echoed the findings of a separate study at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles, which found slim evidence supporting caffeine or another popular antidote – more fluid intake.
              Other studies suggest that the most effective treatment is one called epidural blood patching. It can invasive but it relieves headaches in 85 to 98 per cent of patients. It also helps when smaller needles are used.

The bottom line: Studies suggest caffeine is not an effective treatment for headaches caused by lumbar-puncture procedures like epidurals.

- The New York Times 

Monday, 15 December 2008

The Turtles


A turtle family decided to go on a picnic. The turtles, being naturally slow about things, took several hours to prepare for their outing. Finally the turtle family left home looking for a suitable place. During the second hour of their journey they found a place ideal for them at last! 

They cleaned the area, unpacked the picnic basket, and completed the arrangements. However, they discovered they had forgotten the salt. A picnic without salt would be a disaster, they all agreed. After a lengthy discussion, the youngest turtle was chosen to retrieve the salt from home. Although he was the fastest of the slow moving turtles, the little turtle whined, cried, and wobbled in his shell. He agreed to go on one condition: that no one would eat until he returned. The family consented and the little turtle left. 

Three hours passed and the little turtle had not returned. Five hours...six hours… later, the oldest turtle could no longer contain his hunger. He announced that he was going to eat and begun to unwrap a sandwich. 

At that point the little turtle suddenly popped out from behind a tree shouting, 'See! I knew you wouldn't wait. Now I am not going to go get the salt.' 

Moral of the story:
Some of us waste our time waiting for people to live up to our expectations. We are so concerned about what others are doing that we don't do anything ourselves. 

Sunday, 14 December 2008

An Effective Lesson


              According to a news report, a certain private school in Washington recently was faced with a unique problem. A number of twelve-year-old girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom. That was fine, but after they put on their lipstick they would press their lips to the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints. 
              Every night, the maintenance man would remove them and the next day, the girls would put them back. Finally, the principal decided that something had to be done. 
              She called all the girls to the bathroom and met them there with the maintenance man. She explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian who had to clean the mirrors every night. To demonstrate how difficult it had been to clean the mirrors, she asked the maintenance man to show the girls how much effort was required. 
              He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the toilet, and cleaned the mirror with it. Since then, there have been no lip prints on the mirror. 
              There are teachers, and then there are educators.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Success


If you think you are beaten, you are
If you think you dare not, you don’t
If you like to win, but you think you can’t
It is almost certain you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost
For out of the world we find
Success begins with a fellow's will
It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are
You have got to think high to rise
You have got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Curiosity


            Curiosity appears to be an innate drive that causes the human to follow a certain course of action. Formal psychology prefers to avoid labelling curiosity an instinct. Humans and less evolved beings are drawn to that which is not only unusual, but particularly impelling in the attention it arouses. However, if it were not for curiosity, we would never solve the mysterious, nor would we ever fathom the unknown. Curiosity also provides a safety factor in that it usually is accompanied by caution. The stranger is commonly approached with a readiness to flee or to ward off possible danger.

            But curiosity is not always accompanied by rationality. The exotic, the different, may attract, and, if there appears to be no cause for alarm, it is often accepted for what it appears to be. In this regard, many persons are drawn to the fanciful and become enmeshed in it, to their detriment.

- Source Unknown

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Thomas Kindade Painting


Some friends forwarded a couple of Thomas Kindade paintings to me. Brilliant works.




Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Garlic – Your Body’s White Knight


              Garlic has been hailed for its health-boosting properties for centuries.
              Not only does its pungent flavour add taste to dishes but garlic cloves are also believed to be effective against the common cold, be an effective aphrodisiac and, oh yes, what’s that legend about its ability to ward off vampires?
              The good news about garlic just keeps getting better. It has a mere 4 calories per clove, contains 45mg of calcium, 12mg of potassium, and more than 100 sulfuric compounds, said a report on website WebMD.
              That makes it powerful enough to wipe out bacteria and infection, which could explain why it was used to prevent gangrene in both world wars.
              Raw garlic, not cooked or dried, is the most beneficial for health.
              In clinical trials, the toxin-fighting staple seems to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and kill parasites in the body.
              Other immunity boosters include Brussels sprouts, cabbage, chives, kale, leeks, onions and shallots, all of which contain sulfuric compounds.

- Article taken from 'Mind Your Body' – a Straits Times supplement on Health 

Monday, 8 December 2008

Spaciousness


              Imagine taking a very small glass of water and putting into it a teaspoon of salt. Because of the small size of the container, the teaspoon of salt is going to have a big impact upon the water. However, if you approach a much larger body of water, such as a lake, and put into it that same teaspoonful of salt, it will not have the same intensity of impact, because of the vastness and openness of the vessel receiving it. Even when the salt remains the same, the spaciousness of the vessel receiving it changes everything. 

              We spend a lot of our lives looking for a feeling of safety or protection; we try to alter the amount of salt that comes our way. Ironically, the salt is the very thing that we cannot do anything about, as life changes and offers us repeated ups and downs. Our true work is to create a container so immense that any amount of salt, even a truckload, can come into it without affecting our capacity to receive it. 

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Donations


              A local United Way office realized that it had never received a donation from the town’s most successful lawyer. The person in charge of contributions called him to persuade him to contribute. 
              “Our research shows that out of a yearly income of at least five hundred thousand dollars, you give not a penny to charity. Would you not like to give back to the community in some way?’’
              The lawyer mulled this over for a moment and replied, “First, did your research also show that my mother is dying after a long illness, and has medical bills that are several times her annual income?’’ 
              Embarrassed, the United Way rep mumbled, “Um...no.” 
              “…or that my brother, a disabled veteran, is blind and confined to a wheelchair?’’ 
              The stricken United Way rep began to stammer out an apology but was interrupted, “…or that my sister’s husband died in a traffic accident,’’ the lawyer’s voice rising in indignation, “leaving her penniless with three children!?’’
              The humiliated United Way rep, completely beaten, said simply, “I had no idea...”
              On a roll, the lawyer cut him off once again: “… so if I don’t give any money to them, why should I give any to you!?”

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Meet Molly



She's a grey speckled pony who was abandoned by her owners when Hurricane Katrina hit southern Louisiana. She spent weeks on her own before finally being rescued and taken to a farm where abandoned animals were stockpiled.

While there, she was attacked by a pit bull terrier and almost died. Her gnawed right front leg became infected, and her vet went to LSU for help, but LSU was overwhelmed, and this pony was a welfare case. You know how that goes.

But after surgeon Rustin Moore met Molly, he changed his mind. He saw how the pony was careful to lie down on different sides so she didn't seem to get sores, and how she allowed people to handle her. She protected her injured leg. She constantly shifted her weight and didn't overload her good leg. She was a smart pony with a serious survival ethic.

Moore agreed to remove her leg below the knee, and a temporary artificial limb was built. Molly walked out of the clinic and her story really begins there.

'This was the right horse and the right owner,' Moore insists. Molly happened to be a one-in-a-million patient. She's tough as nails, but sweet, and she was willing to cope with pain.

She made it obvious she understood that she was in trouble. The other important factor, according to Moore , is having a truly committed and compliant owner who is dedicated to providing the daily care required over the lifetime of the horse.

Molly's story turns into a parable for life in post-Katrina Louisiana. The little pony gained weight, and her mane finally felt a comb A human prosthesis 
designer built her a leg.

The prosthetic has given Molly a whole new life, Allison Barca DVM, Molly's regular vet, reports.

And she asks for it. She will put her little limb out, and come to you and let you know that she wants you to put it on. Sometimes she wants you to take it off, too. And sometimes, Molly gets away from Barca. 'It can be pretty bad when you can't catch a three-legged horse,' she laughs.

Most important of all, Molly has a job now. Kay, the rescue farm owner, started taking Molly to shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centres. Anywhere she thought that people needed hope. Wherever Molly went, she showed people her pluck. She inspired people, and she had a good time doing it.

'It's obvious to me that Molly had a bigger role to play in life, Moore said. 'She survived the hurricane, she survived a horrible injury, and now she is giving hope to others.'

Barca concluded, 'She's not back to normal, but she's going to be better. To me, she could be a symbol for New Orleans itself.'

This is Molly's most recent prosthesis. The bottom photo shows the ground surface that she stands on, which has a smiley face embossed in it. Wherever Molly goes, she leaves a smiley hoof print behind.






Friday, 5 December 2008

Even This Will Pass Away


Once in Persia reigned a king
Who upon a signet ring
Carved a maxim strange and wise
When held before his eyes
Gave him counsel at a glance
Fit for every change and chance
Solemn words, and these were they
“EVEN THIS WILL PASS AWAY.”

Trains of camel through the sand
Brought him gems from Samarkand
Fleets of galleys over the seas
Brought him pearls to rival these
But he counted little gain
Treasures of the mine or main
“What is wealth?” the king would say
“EVEN THIS WILL PASS AWAY.”

Mid the pleasures of his court
At the zenith of their sport
When the palms of all his guests
Burned with clapping at his jests
Seated midst the figs and wine
Said the king, “Ah, friends of mine
Pleasure comes but not to stay,
“EVEN THIS WILL PASS AWAY.”

Woman, fairest ever seen
Was the bride he crowned as queen
Pillowed on the marriage-bed
Whispering to his soul, he said
“Though no monarch ever pressed
Fairer bosom to his breast
Mortal flesh is only clay
“EVEN THIS WILL PASS AWAY.”

Fighting on the furious field
Once a javelin pierced his shield
Soldiers with a loud lament
Bore him bleeding to his tortured side
“Pain is hard to bear;” he cried
“But with patience, day by day
EVEN THIS WILL PASS AWAY.”

Towering in a public square
Forty cubits in this air
And the king disguised, unknown
Gazed upon his sculptured name
And he pondered, “What is fame?”
“Fame is but a slow decay!
“EVEN THIS WILL PASS AWAY.”

Struck with palsy, sore and old,
Waiting at the gates of gold
Said he with his dying breath
“Life is done, but what is Death?”
Then as answer to the king
Fell a sunbeam on his ring
Showing by a heavenly ray
EVEN THIS WILL PASS AWAY.”

- Theodore Tilton


Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Transparent Butterfly


The Transparent Butterfly comes from Central America and is found from Mexico to Panama. It is quite common in its zone, but it not easy to find because of its transparent wings, which is a natural camouflage mechanism.

A butterfly with transparent wings is rare and beautiful. As delicate, as finely blown glass, the presence of this rare tropical gem is used by rain forest ecologists as an indication of high habitat quality and its demise alerts them of ecological change.

Rivalling the refined beauty of a stained glass window, the translucent wings of the Glasswing butterfly shimmer in the sunlight like polished panes of turquoise, orange, green, and red.

All things beautiful do not have to be full of colour to be noticed. In life that which is unnoticed often has the most power.







Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Tongue Map Is Inaccurate


The claim: Tongue is mapped into four areas of taste.

The facts: High school textbooks call it the tongue map – that colourful illustration that neatly divides the human tongue into sections according to taste receptors. There is the tip of the tongue for sweet, the sides for sour and salty and the back of the tongue for bitter. But recent studies show that while scientists still have much to learn about receptors, the map, at least, is wrong.
              What is known is that there are at least five basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and the most recently discovered, umanmi.
              This last flavour, which means “savoury” in Japanese, can be detected in miso, soy sauce and other Asian foods, particularly those that contain monosodium glutamate. And scientists suspect that there are receptors for other flavours as well.
              In a study published in the Journal Nature in 2006, a team of scientist reported that receptors for the basic tastes are found in distinct cells and that these cells are not localized but spread throughout the tongue.
              Other studies suggest that some parts may be more sensitive to certain flavours, and that there may be differences in the way men and women detect sour, salty and bitter flavours.

The bottom line: Receptors for different tastes are not confined to certain parts of the tongue.

- The New York Times 

Monday, 1 December 2008

The Pretty Lady


Once upon a time a big monk and a little monk were travelling together. They came to the bank of a river and found the bridge was damaged. They had to wade across the river. There was a pretty lady who was stuck at the damaged bridge and couldn't cross the river. The big monk offered to carry her across the river on his back... The lady accepted. 

The little monk was shocked by the move of the big monk. 'How can big brother carry a lady when we are supposed to avoid all intimacy with females?' thought the little monk. But he kept quiet. The big monk carried the lady across the river and the small monk followed unhappily. When they crossed the river, the big monk let the lady down and they parted ways with her. 

All along the way for several miles, the little monk was very unhappy with the act of the big monk.. He was making up all kinds of accusations about big monk in his head. This got him madder and madder. But he still kept quiet. And the big monk had no inclination to explain his situation. 

Finally, at a rest point many hours later, the little monk could not stand it any further, he burst out angrily at the big monk. 'How can you claim yourself a devout monk, when you seize the first opportunity to touch a female, especially when she is very pretty? All your teachings to me make you a big hypocrite '

The big monk looked surprised and said, 'I had put down the pretty lady at the river bank many hours ago, how come you are still carrying her along?' 

This very old Chinese Zen story reflects the thinking of many people today. We encounter many unpleasant things in our life, they irritate us and they make us angry. Sometimes, they cause us a lot of hurt, sometimes they cause us to be bitter or jealous. But like the little monk, we are not willing to let them go away. We keep on carrying the baggage of the 'pretty lady' with us. We let them keep on coming back to hurt us, make us angry, make us bitter and cause us a lot of agony. 

We should ‘let go of the pretty lady’ immediately after crossing the river, that is after the unpleasant event is over. This will immediately remove all our agonies. There is no need to be further hurt by the unpleasant event after it is over.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Isn't It Nice


              Two delicate blossoms of Southern femininity, one from Mississippi and the other from Texas, were conversing on the porch swing of a large white-pillared mansion. The Mississippian said, “When my first child was born, my husband built this beautiful mansion for me.” 
              The Texan lady commented, “Well, isn’t that nice?” 
              The lady from Mississippi continued, ‘’When my second child was born, my husband bought me that fine Cadillac automobile you see parked in the drive.’’ 
              Again, the Texas lady commented, “Well, isn’t that nice?” 
              The first woman boasted, “Then, when my third child was born, my husband bought me this exquisite diamond bracelet.’’ 
              Yet again, the Texas lady commented, “Well, isn’t that nice?” 
              The first woman then asked her companion, “What did you husband buy for you when you had your first child?”
              The Texas lady replied, “My husband sent me to charm school.” 
              “Charm school!’’ the first woman cried. “Land sakes, child, what on Earth for?’’ 
              The Texas lady responded, “So that instead of saying, ‘Who gives a crap,’ I learned to say, ‘Well, isn’t that nice?’’’

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Time


Time like tide waits for no man. Even as you finish reading that sentence and perceive the message it conveys, it would have perhaps taken you about five to eight seconds. And those precious seconds are gone from your life forever. Irretrievable.

This fact can be quite frightening to us if we can fully understand the implication of what it means to lose every second of our life without making full use of them or gaining something beneficial in return.

We have somehow taken this fact for granted, like we did for so many other things in life. We have let each day passes by followed by weeks, months and eventually years. We’ve all grown older each day, but we may not necessarily have grown wiser.

- Author Unknown

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Effect Of Soya On Cholesterol.


Here we go again. More studies and reports on the Soya. Please refer to my earlier post on September 22,(under Health), "Soya - Good or Bad for Health". 

The claim: Soya can lower cholesterol

The facts: Soya foods have been credited with all sorts of health benefits, but perhaps none as appealing as this assertion.

              The notion was cemented in 1999, when the United States Food and Drug Administration allowed companies to claim that 25g of soya protein a day, in a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, “may reduce the risk of heart disease”. The agency evaluated studies and concluded that soya protein could cut cholesterol.
               However, studies since have raised doubts. In 2006, an American Heart Association advisory panel reviewed a decade of studies and determined that soya products had no significant effects on “good” cholesterol or HDL, or triglycerides (fat in the blood), and little or no ability to lower “bad” cholesterol or LDL.
               Another study, published in August in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that consuming 24g of soya protein daily had no “significant effect on plasma LDL” in people with mildly elevated cholesterol.
               However, another line of research shows that soya seems to help when combined with foods low in fat and high in fibre.

The bottom line: There is evidence soya can improve cholesterol, but the jury is still out.

- The New York Times 

Monday, 24 November 2008

Ripples On The Pond


My grandfather took me to the fish pond on the farm when I was about seven, and he told me to throw a stone into the water. He told me to watch the circles created by the stone. Then he asked me to think of myself as that stone person. 

“You may create lots of splashes in your life but the waves that come from those splashes will disturb the peace of all your fellow creatures,” he said. “Remember that you are responsible for what you put in your circle and that circle will also touch many other circles. You will need to live in a way that allows the good that comes from your circle to send the peace of that goodness to others. The splash that comes from anger or jealousy will send those feelings to other circles. You are responsible for both.” 

That was the first time I realized each person creates the inner peace or discord that flows out into the world. We cannot create world peace if we are riddled with inner conflict, hatred, doubt, or anger. We radiate the feelings and thoughts that we hold inside, whether we speak them or not. Whatever is splashing around inside of us is spilling out into the world, creating beauty or discord with all other circles of life. 

- Source Unknown

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Loving You…


If I can’t be generous and supportive, I’ll at least try not to stand in your way. Loving you means wanting you to grow.

I won’t put my problems onto you. You have enough problems, I’m certain, and you don’t need mine. My love should simplify your life, not complicate it.

I don’t always have to be right. I can accept the fact that you are right as often as I am. Loving is sharing with each other. If I already know I’m right, I’ll never profit from your insight.

I don’t have to be perfect, nor do you. Love is a celebration of our humanness, not our perfection. I don’t want to change you. 

If I want you in my life, the best thing for both of us is for me to accept you as you are. After all, love is moving forward together in mutual growth.

I don’t need to place blame. Since I’m an adult who makes decisions based upon personal experience, there is no one to blame for a poor decision except myself. Love puts the responsibility where it belongs.

I can give up expectations. To wish is one thing, to expect is another. One brings hope, the other can bring pain. Love is free of expectations.

To love is the greatest of human experiences and sooner or later we all realize that without it life is empty and meaningless. 

Love is always worth the effort, even if it brings confusion, uncertainty and pain in the process. A loving relationship should be a celebration all its own. 

- Leo Buscaglia 

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Today


This is another one from my scrap book - one of the many articles I collected 

              The past is over. It is finished. It has brought you to where you are right now. You can learn much from it. You can carry its experiences with you always. Yet you cannot go back. 
              You cannot relive the past. You can do something much, much better. You can make your life from this point on the best that it can be. 
              Today is a new day with even more possibilities than any day that you’ve ever known in the past. Today is your opportunity, here and now, real and ready. 
              If you think you’re too old or too late or too this or too that, you’re absolutely wrong. You're precisely in the right spot, at the right time, to make a real, positive difference in your life and in the world around you. 
              Today is the best opportunity anyone could ever imagine, because what you do with today is completely up to you. 
              Make it the best day ever! 

- Source Unknown 

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

More Water May Not Help Skin


 The claim: Drinking lots of water is good for your skin.

The facts: By now, the old saw about drinking eight glasses of water a day has been thoroughly debunked. However, a similar adage about excess water and healthy skin persists, even though there is no evidence that drinking anything more than recommended amounts of water is particularly beneficial to skin.
              A 2007 study on the effects of water consumption did show that drinking 500ml of water, about two cups, increased blood flow to the skin. A good sign, but there was no evidence that it reduced wrinkles or improve complexion.
              Dr. Margaret E. Parson, a spokesman for the American Academy of Dermatology, said: “if we are eating and drinking what we should, our bodies are healthier and therefore our skin as well.”
              Her advice? Always wear sunscreen, avoid cigarettes and eat well.

The bottom line: There is little evidence that excess water helps the skin.

- The New York Times 

Monday, 17 November 2008

A Farmer And His Frogs


              A farmer came into town and asked the owner of a restaurant if he could use a million frog legs. The restaurant owner was shocked and asked the man where he could get so many frog legs! The farmer replied, “There is a pond near my house that is full of frogs - millions of them. They croak all during the night and are about to drive me crazy!” 
              So the restaurant and the farmer made an agreement that the farmer would deliver frogs to the restaurant five hundred at a time for the next several weeks. 
              The first week, the farmer returned to the restaurant looking rather sheepish, with two scrawny little frogs. The restaurant owner said, “Well...where are all the frogs?” 
              The farmer said, “I was mistaken. There were only these two frogs in the pond. But they sure were making a lot of noise!” 

              Next time you hear somebody criticizing or making fun of you, remember it’s probably just a couple of noisy frogs. Also - remember that problems always seem bigger in the dark. Have you ever laid in your bed at night worrying about things which seem almost overwhelming - like a million frogs croaking? Chances are pretty good that when the morning comes, and you take a closer look, you’ll wonder what all the fuss was about. 

Sunday, 16 November 2008

The Mystery-Lover


A mystery-lover take his place in the theatre for opening night, but his seat is way back in the theatre, far from the stage. 

The man calls an usher over and whispers, “I just love a good mystery, and I have been anxiously anticipating the opening of this play. However, in order to carefully follow the clues and fully enjoy the play, I have to watch a mystery close up. Look how far away I am! If you can get me a better seat, I’ll give you a handsome tip.” 

The usher nods and says he will be back shortly. 

Looking forward to a large tip, the usher speaks with his co-workers in the box office, hoping to find some closer tickets. With just three minutes left until curtain, he finds an unused ticket at the Will Call window and snatches it up. 

Returning to the man in the back of the theatre, he whispers, “Follow me.” 
The usher leads the man down to the second row, and proudly points out the empty seat right in the middle. 

“Thanks so much,” says the mystery-lover, “This seat is perfect.” He then hands the usher a quarter. 

The usher looks down at the quarter, leans over and whispers, “The butler did it in the parlour with the candlestick.”

Saturday, 15 November 2008

You Are A Survivor


If sometimes you feel disappointed and angry at fate’s cruel ways.
If sometimes you feel life is unfair, as you struggle through trying days.
If sometimes you’re tempted, when fate knocks you down, and you don’t wish to get up anymore;
If you feel that it’s no use to stay in the game, to struggle and win as before . . .

Remember! You are a survivor! You will make it – somehow;
Don’t look too far ahead for tomorrow, just get through this day . . . live for now!
Remember that with each new tomorrow, you will leave some troubles behind;

With every sunrise a new day is dawning and feel certain on this day you’ll find . . .
That life is not always so cruel, the days, not at all times so long;
For after the storm comes a rainbow, and after the pain . . . comes a song!

- Author Unknown


Thursday, 13 November 2008

Wars


Not all wars are fought with guns and ammunition. All wars, however, are fought with thoughts and words, whether written or spoke. We are at war in our hearts long before we express it with arms. The place to abolish wars, then, is in your hearts. The politicians and soldiers only materialize or manifest the wars that already exist in their and our hearts. 

If we must fight then let us fight with all our hearts and all of our might! Let us utterly destroy the enemy with vicious attack. Let us search and kill every true enemy, namely; hatred, envy, jealousy, selfishness, vanity, covetousness, cruelty, and mistrust. These diabolical enemies are hiding now in your heart and in my heart and are so cleverly disguised! Once they are annihilated, we can invent our dream of peace. 

- Chris. R. Warnken 

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

White Peacocks


              They say that if you see a white peacock spread its feathers, you will have good luck. Take a good look, and may I wish you luck - plenty of it. :-) 
              Beautiful shots, beautiful birds, simply breath-takingly beautiful!








Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Class Reunion


The much awaited day for the class reunion came and went – on the 8th of November.

There were about 25 of us, including 3 teachers. There was a lot of catching up to do, and a lot of brain and mind racking, trying to remember who is and/or was who. All have 'grown up' - of course, and some of them are quite successful in their own fields.

It was really good to be able to catch up with old classmates and teachers after all these years. Alas, the evening passed so quickly. Although the gathering was extended for another hour, there was still not enough time to catch up with everyone. 

Of course, it was difficult to catch up with so many people in one evening – especially after 38 years! Anyway, I would say everyone had a good time down memory lane, and the organizing committee had hoped that more will participate in future gatherings. 

Monday, 10 November 2008

Write In The Sand Or Carve In The Rock


              A story tells that two friends were walking through the desert. At a specific point of their journey, they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face. 
              The one, who got slapped, was hurt, but without anything to say, he wrote in the sand: “TODAY, MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE.” 
              They kept on walking, until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who got slapped and hurt started drowning, and the other friend saved him. When he recovered from the fright, he wrote on a stone: “TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE.” 
              The friend who slapped, and later saved his best friend, asked him, “Why, after I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, and now you write on a stone?” 
              The other friend, smiling, replied: “When a friend hurts us, we should write it down in the sand, where the winds of forgiveness get in charge of erasing it away, and when something great happens, we should engrave it in the stone of the memory of the heart, where no wind can erase it.”

Sunday, 9 November 2008

The Conductor


              A little old lady is on a bus, buying a ticket from the bus conductor, fumbling in a voluminous bag for the correct change. After fifteen minutes the conductor becomes so enraged that he hits her on the head with the ticket-dispenser, and the poor old dear dies instantly. 
              Not surprisingly, he is convicted and put on death row. Just before he is to be electrocuted, his last request is for twelve pounds of bananas, which he devours. 
              They strap him into the chair, flip the switch, and he just sits there, smiling. According to tradition, this is considered a reprieve from God and he is freed. 
              Somehow he gets his old job back, and he is happily dispensing tickets when he sees a girl stick her gum on the back of a seat on the bus. Enraged, he lunges out with the ticket dispenser, breaking the offender’s neck and killing her. 
              Again, he is convicted and sent to death row. He again eats the twelve pounds of bananas, and lo and behold, the electricity does not harm him. 
              This time the executioner cleans the contacts, makes him sit in a bucket of water, he tries everything - but the conductor will not die. So again, he is set free.
              Amazingly he regains his job. It takes him one day to lose his temper and beat to death a young boy who starts to chew his bus ticket. 
              He returns to death row, eats the bananas, and survives the electrocution. At this point, the executioner, can take no more - his professional pride has been hurt. Before setting our friend free again, he asks him his secret – “What is it with the bananas?” 
              “Oh, the bananas have nothing to do with it,” replies our friend. “I’m just a bad conductor.”

Friday, 7 November 2008

Life Cannot Be Counted In Candles ...


I got this off a Birthday card from Hallmark 

Life cannot be counted in candles …

… or measured in number of years, it is counted in small joys and good times and laugh lines, as well as in heartaches and tears. 

… but in things done with effort and pride – with dreams followed boldly and hopes kept alive – in times when we have failed – but tried. 

… or measured in years that have flown – it is counted in kindnesses, close friends, and loved ones, and in all the sweet blessings we have known.

Monday, 3 November 2008

The Power Of Words


              A group of frogs was travelling through the woods, when two of them fell into a deep pit. All the other frogs gathered around the pit. 
              When they saw how deep the pit was, they told the unfortunate frogs they would never get out. The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit. The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead. 
              Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and simply gave up. The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and suffering and just die. He jumped even harder and finally made it out. 
              When he got out, the other frogs asked him, “Why did you continue jumping. Didn’t you hear us?” The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time. 

              This story teaches two lessons: 
              1. There is power of life and death in the tongue. An encouraging word to someone who is down can lift them up and help them make it through the day. 
              2. A destructive word to someone who is down can be what it takes to kill them. Be careful of what you say. 


Sunday, 2 November 2008

The Case


A lady about eight months pregnant got on a bus. She noticed the man opposite her was smiling at her. She immediately moved to another seat. This time the smile turned into a grin, so she moved again. 

The man seemed more amused. When on the fourth move, the man burst out laughing, she complained to the driver and he had the man arrested. The case came up in court. The judge asked the man (about twenty years old) what he had to say for himself. 

The man replied, “Well your Honour, it was like this: When the lady got on the bus, I couldn’t help but notice her condition. She sat under a sweets sign that said, ‘The Double Mint Twins are Coming,’ and I grinned. Then she moved and sat under a sign that said, ‘Logan’s Liniment will reduce the swelling,’ and I had to smile. Then she placed herself under a deodorant sign that said, ‘William’s Big Stick Did the Trick,’ and I could hardly contain myself. BUT, Your Honour, when she moved the fourth time and sat under a sign that said: ‘Goodyear Rubber could have prevented this Accident,’ I just lost it.” 

“CASE DISMISSED!”

Saturday, 1 November 2008

A Special Day


Today, I turned 50! That’s half a century! Wow!

No, there won’t be a big party, nor a big celebration. Like all previous occasions, events etc…the day was duly noted mentally but not celebrated. I think the only time I celebrated anything at all was when I turned 21 – the day I became an adult. After that, for some reason, I haven’t been able to summon the ‘Celebrative Spirit’. 

Perhaps it is because I am a firm believer that each day of our lives is as important as the other. Therefore, there is no need to celebrate a particular day in the year. And of course there is the popular notion that if you are rich, and can afford to live it up, you can party everyday. So there is no need for an excuse to party. 

There is probably one other underlining consideration. I do not like these emotional highs. It is no fun to fall back to earth with a thud after the party or celebration is over. I also find that instead of celebrating the occasion, I think more of the passing away of the other – be it the year, or season – and I find myself saddened. 

Whatever the reason or rationale behind it, I guess I am one of those who are not into celebrations. Every day is another day to me!

However, well meaning friends have invited me out for dinners and drinks the past week. Tonight will be another dinner and drinks evening. So I think that’s plenty of celebration.

It is also exactly a year ago – this day, that I started my blog. I hope whoever has the affinity to read it benefited from my blog, in some small ways. That will be satisfaction and reward enough for me. 

Cheers!

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Temperature Falls, Heart Attacks Rise?


The claim: Changes in weather can spur heart attacks.

The facts: It sounds contrary to what common sense would suggest. However, a link between the onset of cold weather and heart attacks has been hypothesized for some time, with an array of possible culprits: inflammation from common colds, the stress and indulgence of the holiday season and higher blood pressure from narrowed blood vessels.
              Only in recent years have epidemiological studies looked for a connection and most have found one.
              In 2004, for example, a group of British scientists used data from the World Health Organization to look at changes in weather and heart attack rates in women over 50 in 17 countries on four continents.
              Their study found that a temperature drop of minus12.7 deg C was associated, in general, with a 7 per cent increase in hospital admissions for stroke and a 12 per cent rise in admissions for heart attack.
              Another study in France looked at 700 admissions over two years. It found that in people with hypertension, the risk of suffering a heart attack doubled when the temperature fell below 25 deg C.
              Most studies have had similar findings. But one, by Canadian scientists, that looked at heart attack rates and Chinook winds in Calgary – which can cause temperatures to swing wildly – found no relationship.

The Bottom line: Mixed, but most studies suggest that heart attacks rise when the temperature falls.

- The New York Times 

Monday, 27 October 2008

Giving


              A young man, a student in one of our universities, was one day taking a walk with a professor, who was commonly called the student’s friend, from his kindness to those who waited on his instructions. As they went along, they saw lying in the path a pair of old shoes, which they supposed to belong to a poor man who was employed in a field close by, and who had nearly finished his day’s work. 
              The student turned to the professor, saying: “Let us play the man a trick: we will hide his shoes, and conceal ourselves behind those bushes, and wait to see his perplexity when he cannot find them.” 
              “My young friend,” answered the professor, “we should never amuse ourselves at the expense of the poor. But you are rich, and may give yourself a much greater pleasure by means of this poor man. Put a coin in each shoe, and then we will hide ourselves and watch how this affects him.” 
              The student did so and they both placed themselves behind the bushes close by. The poor man soon finished his work, and came across the field to the path where he had left his coat and shoes. While putting on his coat he slipped his foot into one of his shoes, but feeling something hard, he stooped down to feel what it was, and found the coin. Astonishment and wonder were seen upon his countenance. He gazed upon the coin, turned it around, and looked at it again and again. He then looked around him on all sides, but no person was to be seen. He now put the money into his pocket, and proceeded to put on the other shoe; but his surprise was doubled on finding the other coin. His feelings overcame him; he fell upon his knees, looked up to heaven and uttered aloud a fervent thanksgiving in which he spoke of his wife, sick and helpless, and his children without bread, whom this timely bounty, from some unknown hand, would save from perishing. 
              The student stood there deeply affected, and his eyes filled with tears. “Now,” said the professor, are you not much better pleased than if you had played your intended trick?” 
              The youth replied, “You have taught me a lesson which I will never forget. I feel now the truth of these words, which I never understood before: “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.”

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Plant Lets Its Blog Do The Talking


             I find this interesting. I am one of those who wondered if plants have ‘feelings’, ‘emotions’, and ‘consciousness’. It would seem that they do – if the following is authentic. 

            It is a wonder how they managed to come up with a gadget to measure, read, and record a plant’s emotions. The wonder of technology – I guess. Too bad the blog is in Japanese. I would have liked to follow the blog.

              It has long been accepted that talking to plants can help them flourish, but have you ever wondered what they would say in response? Well, a plant in Japan has its own blog that may help you understand.
              Midori-san is a 40cm potted “sweet-hear plant” sitting on a cafĂ© counter in Kamakura, near Tokyo. Midori means green in Japanese.
              It blogs every day with the help of a sensor that measures the electric signals on the surface of its heart-shaped leaves. The signals are sent to a computer, which uses an algorithm to translate the data and other factors such as weather and temperature into Japanese.
              The words are automatically posted on Midori-san’s blog http://plant.bowls-cafe.jp/index.php 
              A posting on Oct 16 read: “Today was a sunny day and I was able to sunbathe a lot … I had quite a bit of fun today.”
              Said Mr Satoshi Kuribayashi, a researcher involved in the project at Japan’s Keio University: “We were initially interested in what plants are feeling and what they are reacting to that we can’t see.”
              He said he hopes that in the future, the blog will reflect even more accurately Midori-san’s feelings.

- Reuters 

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Two Days Of Freedom


There are two days in every week about which we should not worry – two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension. One of these days is Yesterday. 

With its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains, yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed. We cannot erase a single word said. Yesterday is gone!

The other day we should not worry about is Tomorrow. With its possible adversities, its burdens, its large promises and poor performance, tomorrow is beyond our immediate control. Tomorrow’s sun will rise, whether in splendour or behind a mask of clouds, but it will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in tomorrow, for it is yet unborn.

This leaves only one day ... Today. Any person can fight the battle of just one day. 

It is only when you and I add the Yesterday and Tomorrow that we break down. It is not the experience of Today that drives people mad – it is remorse or bitterness for something which happened Yesterday and the dread of what Tomorrow may bring. 

Let us, therefore, live but one day at a time!

- Larry Bielat 

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Grape Juice vs Red Wine


The claim: Grape juice has the same benefits as red wine.

The facts: By now, the cardiovascular benefits of a daily glass of wine are well known. However, many teetotalers wonder whether they can reap the same rewards from wine’s unfermented sibling.

              Grape juice may not provide much buzz, but you can still toast to good health when it comes to its ability to avert heart disease.
              The substances believed to provide much of red wine’s heart benefits – resveratrol and flavonoids – are also found in grape juice, especially the variety made from red and dark purple Concord grapes.
              Independent studies have found that like alcohol, grape juice can reduce the risk of blood clots and prevent LDL, or bad cholesterol, from sticking to coronary arteries, among other cardiac benefits.
              One study, conducted by scientists at the University of Wisconsin and published in the journal Circulation, looked at the effects of two servings of Concord grape juice a day in 15 people with coronary artery disease. After two weeks, the subjects had improved blood flow and reduced oxidation of LDL. Oxidised LDL can damaged arteries.
              Other studies in humans and animals, including one last year in the journal Atherosclerosis, have shown that daily consumption may lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Beware though: some varieties of juice have sugar and artificial ingredients.

The bottom line: Studies suggest that some kinds of grape juice may provide the cardiac benefits of red wine.

- The New York Times 

Monday, 20 October 2008

Enough Is Enough


              A long time ago, there was an Emperor who told his knight that if he could ride on his horse across as much land as possible, then the Emperor would give him the area of land he had covered. 
              Sure enough, the horseman quickly jumped onto his horse and rode as fast as possible to cover as much land area as he could. He kept on riding and riding, whipping the horse to go faster and faster. 
              When he was hungry or tired, he did not stop because he wanted to cover as much area as he could. It came to a point where he had covered a substantial area but he was exhausted and was dying. Then he asked himself, “Why did I push myself so hard to cover so much land area? Now I am dying and I only need a very small area to bury myself.” 

              The above story is similar to the journey of our Life. We push very hard everyday to make more money, to gain power and recognition. We neglect our health, time with our family and to appreciate the surrounding beauty and the hobbies we love to do. 
              One day when we look back, we will realize that we don’t really need that much, but then we cannot turn back time for what we have missed. 

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Which One To Go


Boss, to four of his employees: “I’m really sorry, but I’m going to have to let one of you go.” 
Black Employee: “I’m a protected minority.”
Female Employee: “And I’m a woman.” 
Oldest Employee: “Fire me, buster, and I’ll hit you with an age discrimination suit so fast it'll make your head spin.” 
To which they all turn to look at the helpless young, white, male employee, who thinks a moment, then responds: “I think I might be gay.”

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Night Urination Cuts Bladder Cancer Risk


              Don’t fret if you are one of those people who always need to get up and ‘go’ during the night. It might be good for you.
              People who wake up at night to urinate are less likely to develop bladder cancer, Dr Debra Silverman of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, and her colleagues have found. They said that both men and women who urinated at least twice at night were at 40 to 50 per cent lower risk of developing bladder cancer.
              Their findings suggest that frequent urination may be protective because it reduces the amount of time the lining of the bladder is exposed to cancer-causing compounds in urine.
              Research in animals and some small studies in humans have suggested that frequent urination may reduce bladder cancer risk, Dr Silverman and her team noted in the International Journal of Cancer. To investigate the relationship on a larger scale, they compared 884 men and women who had recently been diagnosed with bladder cancer with 996 healthy people.
              The more a person urinated at night, the researchers found, the less likely he or she was to have bladder cancer. This effect was seen no matter how much water a person drank.
               Smokers who didn’t urinate at night were seven times more at risk of bladder cancer than non-smokers, but smokers who did urinate during the night cut their risk in half.
              Drinking water showed an independent effect on bladder cancer risk. People who consumed at least 1.4 litres of water daily and who urinated at least twice nightly were at 80 per cent lower risk compared to those who drank less than 0.4 litres daily and didn’t urinate at night.
              Night-time urination may be more protective because this is the period when people typically go the longest without voiding, the researchers said. However, if confirmed, innovative approaches will be needed to translate their findings into meaningful prevention of bladder cancer deaths.

- Reuters 

Monday, 13 October 2008

Four Seasons


              There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.
              The first son went in Winter, the second in the Spring, the third in Summer, and the youngest son in the Fall.
              When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.
              The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted. The second son said no, it was covered with green buds and full of promise.
              The third son disagreed. He said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen.
              The last son disagreed with all of them. He said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfilment.
              The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had seen but only one season in the tree’s life.
              He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season, and the essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up.
              If you give up when it is Winter, you will miss the promise of your Spring, the beauty of your Summer, fulfilment of your Fall.
              Don’t let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest. Don’t judge life by one difficult season.
              Persevere through the difficult patches and better times are sure to come.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

The Hired Killer


              Tired of constantly being broke, and stuck in an unhappy marriage, a young husband decided to solve both problems by taking out a large insurance policy on his wife (with himself as the beneficiary), and arranging to have her killed.
              A ‘friend of a friend’ put him in touch with a nefarious underworld figure, who went by the name of ‘Artie’. Artie explained to the husband that his going price for snuffing out a spouse was five thousand dollars. The husband said he was willing to pay that amount, but that he would not have any cash on hand until he could collect his wife’s insurance money.
              Artie insisted on being paid something up front. The man opened up his wallet, displaying the single dollar bill that rested inside. Artie sighed, rolled his eyes, and reluctantly agreed to accept the dollar as down payment for the dirty deed.
              A few days later, Artie followed the man’s wife to the local Safeway grocery store. There, he surprised her in the produce department, and proceeded to strangle her with his gloved hands. As the poor unsuspecting woman drew her last breath and slumped to the floor, the manager of the produce department stumbled unexpectedly onto the scene. Unwilling to leave any witnesses behind, Artie had no choice but to strangle the produce manager as well. 
              Unknown to Artie, the entire proceedings were captured by hidden cameras and observed by the store’s security guard, who immediately called the police. Artie was caught and arrested before he could leave the store.
              Under intense questioning at the police station, Artie revealed the sordid plan, including his financial arrangements with the hapless husband. And that is why, the next day in the newspaper, the headline declared: 

            “ARTIE CHOKES TWO FOR A DOLLAR AT SAFEWAY”

Friday, 10 October 2008

A Poem


I know a road that leads into a city
Also a lane that finds a cooling stream
Where ferns may look down at their green reflection
And sway with the winds and dream

I know a path that leads into a forest
Lined with purple shadows of the night
While poplars bend somewhere along a hilltop
Ringing their silver bells in quick delight

I know a trail that dances over hill-tops
Reaching high for clouds that sail the blue
But best I know a path that leads me homeward
A lane that takes me home to friends - and you.

- Author Unknown

Thursday, 9 October 2008

A Time To Live


Someday, we will all die, that’s a law of life, and there is nothing we can do about it. But while we live, did we live? Or did we just occupy space while we went through the motions of living? Did we truly enjoy our lives or did we manage to passively endure the dull moments?

Did we see the beauty in everything around us, share with our friends, love our work, or were we so obsessed with worry that life could not enter into our troubled minds?

Too often, we are content to sit back and do nothing, to let time pass us by.

Living means that we must live each day to the full – to forget our past errors and disappointments and our future uncertainties. We must live constructively so that time and again a smile might break through the pain.

Finally, whatever we want to do in life, we must do it now, for procrastination is a malady that can hinder our progress in life. So, Start living now. We end our lives in this world the moment we give up living – even when we are still alive!

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

The Invisible Cold Busters


              Can you fight off a cold? It is possible, but you might never know it, said Dr. Jonathan Jacobs, an infectious disease specialist at the New-Presbyterian Hospital.
              He said that it is not possible to know at any point, when you feel a cold coming on, whether it will progress to a full-blown one.
              There is the issue of different levels of viral loading and not all of the people who have just some of a cold virus get the disease, he said.
              “In fact, for most infectious disease, including tuberculosis, most of the those exposed do not come down with a particular symptom,” he said. “The body would take care of it without your even knowing about it.”
              Even if symptoms have appeared, there are still individual responses to individual organisms, he said.
              Colds involve hundreds of viruses, not just one organism. Your response is based on your past history: Have you had previous exposure to the virus? Do you have antibodies that might be recalled to help fight this particular infection?
              There is probably also a genetic factor.
              For most infections, Dr. Jacobs said, the genetic mechanism is not well understood, but, with some viral diseases, some people are known to be less susceptible because of the way their genes are expressed, that is, producing or not producing a particular protein.

- The New York Times