Friday, July 30, 2010

Dangers of Calcium Supplements




Calcium Supplements May Boost Heart Attack Risk


By Amanda Gardner, Health.com

Older people who take at least 500 milligrams of calcium daily may be at heart risk
According to a recent study, these folk are 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack
People taking calcium supplements should not stop without consulting their doctor

The millions of people who take calcium supplements to strengthen aging bones and ward off osteoporosis may be putting themselves at increased risk of a heart attack, a new study has found.

Older people who take at least 500 milligrams of calcium daily--less than the amount in a typical one-a-day calcium pill--are 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those who take no calcium at all, the study estimates.
But people taking calcium supplements should not stop without consulting their doctor, says John Baron, M.D. a professor of medicine at Dartmouth Medical School, in Lebanon, New Hampshire, and a co-author of the study. More research is needed to confirm and clarify the results, he says.

The modest benefit that calcium supplements have on building bone density and reducing bone fractures may not justify the heart risks for most patients, Baron and his colleagues suggest. Bone loss and fractures are a major health concern among older people.

Health.com: Body and Soul: Bone-Building Action

The findings, published in the journal BMJ, have some experts questioning whether calcium supplements should be used as widely as they are now, especially by elderly women, who suffer disproportionately from both heart disease and osteoporosis.

Sharonne Hayes, M.D., the director of the Women's Heart Clinic at the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota, says that in the past she did not discourage any of her patients from taking calcium supplements. Now, she says, she will try to determine whether her patients have a calcium deficiency before making a recommendation either way.

"Up until this point, there was no evidence of harm," says Hayes, who was not involved in the new research. "Now there needs to be a good reason to use [supplements]."


Health.com: Heart Trouble? 30 Herbal Remedies to Avoid

In the study, researchers combined data from 11 clinical trials in which patients were randomly assigned to receive calcium supplements or placebo pills. In all, the trials included nearly 12,000 people who were followed for an average of about four years. Most were women, and the average age was 72.

About 2.7 percent of the participants taking calcium had heart attacks during the trials, compared with 2.2 percent of those taking a placebo. This translated into an increased risk of between 27 percent and 31 percent, depending on how the researchers analyzed the data.


Health.com: Surprising Heart Attack Risks

Up until this point, there was no evidence of harm. Now there needs to be a good reason to use supplements.

Although the increase in risk associated with calcium supplements was small, it could represent a large number of additional heart attacks in the general population because of how many people take the supplements, the authors note.

Baron was surprised by the findings. "Calcium supplements have been widely used for quite a while," he says. "Other studies have suggested, if anything, that [calcium] might have a protective effect."

The findings do not imply that people should reduce the amount of calcium in their diet, Hayes stresses. Calcium is found in vegetables, fortified cereal, and dairy products such as milk and yogurt, which are an important source of vitamin D in addition to calcium.

"Calcium isn't bad," she says.

Health.com: 11 Foods for Healthy Bones

John Cleland, M.D., a cardiologist at Hull York Medical School, in the United Kingdom., says that calcium supplements are helpful for "very few" patients.

They may be beneficial for some children, some pregnant women and people with proven calcium deficiency (a relatively rare condition), says Cleland, author of an editorial accompanying the study. But, he adds, "there's no evidence for use in older people" who do not have calcium deficiencies.

Doctors should not recommend calcium supplements for patients with osteoporosis unless the patients are also taking an effective osteoporosis treatment, Cleland and his co-author conclude.

Health.com: Healthy Calcium-Packed Recipes

It's unclear how calcium supplements might increase heart attack risk. They may contribute to the hardening of arteries (atherosclerosis) by increasing calcium levels in the blood, or they may cause changes to blood flow. Hormone responses caused by calcium may also be involved, the study notes.

The study leaves several unanswered questions for future research. The researchers only included patients who were taking calcium supplements but not vitamin D supplements, for instance. That combination--often found in a single pill--is common and may have a different effect than calcium alone on heart risk, as vitamin D is believed to promote heart health.

   To learn more go to Health.com

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Making Pies

My mother has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease and often when I talk to her on the phone she doesn't even remember who I am, or anything about our life when I was growing up.  She does seem to have memories of her childhood and early life, however.  For this reason we have opted to let  her live with her sister, who she feels connected to,  and not near us.    I hope the memories she does have left  bring her comfort and help her through .

Someone who has commented on my posts recommended this song by Patty Griffin.    I thought it was very appropriate to my Mother's situation.   They also sent me the link to this video which  reflects the time period of my mother's life.   My mother  has always been an excellent pie maker and I wonder where her inner thoughts take her.  Maybe she's making pies.    

I guess the one thing we all have is our memories.   I feel sad for those who,  for whatever reason, have some of theirs stripped away.   

Thanks so much for recommending this song to me Bart. 


Life is Like a Cup of Coffee




Spirituality refers to an ultimate or immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of their being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” Spirituality is not  unique to religious people. All belief systems, even Atheism embrace spirituality.   To be spiritual is to connect with yourself and do what you know is right and good.   Feed your Spirit, the part of you that makes you human and connected to the world you live in.  

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Memories





What we remember from childhood we remember forever - permanent ghosts, stamped, inked, imprinted, eternally seen. ~Cynthia Ozick



A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen. ~Edward de Bono


I have memories - but only a fool stores his past in the future. ~David Gerrold


Memory is a crazy woman that hoards colored rags and throws away food. ~Austin O'Malley


Memory is a child walking along a seashore. You never can tell what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things. ~Pierce Harris



We do not remember days; we remember moments. ~Cesare Pavese


Memory... is the diary that we all carry about with us. ~Oscar Wilde


The leaves of memory seemed to make a mournful rustling in the dark. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow



One need not be a chamber to be haunted;

One need not be a house;

The brain has corridors surpassing

Material place.

~Emily Dickinson





Footfalls echo in the memory

Down the passage which we did not take

Towards the door we never opened

~T.S. Eliot


To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die. ~Thomas Campbell


Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains; another, a moonlit beach; a third, a family dinner of pot roast and sweet potatoes during a myrtle-mad August in a Midwestern town. Smells detonate softly in our memory like poignant land mines hidden under the weedy mass of years. Hit a tripwire of smell and memories explode all at once. A complex vision leaps out of the undergrowth. ~Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses


The two offices of memory are collection and distribution. ~Samuel Johnson


The difference between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant. ~Salvador Dali


Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it. ~Michel de Montaigne


It's surprising how much memory is built around things unnoticed at the time. ~Barbara Kingsolver


To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function of looking forward. ~Margaret Fairless Barber





Friday, July 23, 2010

You Raise Me Up

I put this song on my blog a long, long time ago done by Celtic Woman.   I love this song, it always touches me so deeply.     It is often used as a religious song, but it was not written as one.  It's inspiring in the way human love and caring are inspiring.   People connecting and helping each other in subtle ways that ultimately make a profound impact.   This is a beautiful version.    


Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Importance of Imagination



Imagination is like exercise for the mind. It enhances creativity, is helpful in reducing boredom, depression, and improving mental health. It expands the mind's potential and awakens the sleeping parts of the brain. For children it helps them to explore and define their world in a comfortable way. It opens paths for discovery, goal setting, planning of one's future, resourcefulness, understanding, and wisdom. Imagination is critical for the development of intelligence and creativity.

When asked how to develop intelligence in young people, Einstein answered: "Read fairy tales. Then read more fairy tales". Fairytales and fantasies nourish the imagination and imagination supports our whole intellectual and psychological economy.


Imagination Quotes:

Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand. ~ Albert Einstein


You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. ~Mark Twain

You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. ~Jack London

They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. ~Edgar Allan Poe

The theoretician believes in logic and believes that he despises dreams, intuition, and poetry. He does not recognize that these three fairies have only disguised themselves in order to dazzle him.... He does not know that he owes his greatest discoveries to them. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Trust that little voice in your head that says "Wouldn't it be interesting if..." And then do it. ~Duane Michals,

Perhaps imagination is only intelligence having fun. ~George Scialabba

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see. ~Henry David Thoreau

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed. ~Albert Einstein

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. ~Carl Sagan

To imagine is everything, to know is nothing at all. ~Anatole France

You see things and you say Why? But I dream things that never were and I say, why not? ~George Bernard Shaw

Monday, July 19, 2010

I'm Younger Than That Now

My Back Pages
Bob Dylan


Crimson flames tied through my ears

Rollin’ high and mighty traps

Pounced with fire on flaming roads

Using ideas as my maps

“We’ll meet on edges, soon,” said I

Proud ’neath heated brow

Ah, but I was so much older then

I’m younger than that now

Half-wracked prejudice leaped forth

“Rip down all hate,” I screamed

Lies that life is black and white

Spoke from my skull. I dreamed

Romantic facts of musketeers

Foundationed deep, somehow

Ah, but I was so much older then

I’m younger than that now

Girls’ faces formed the forward path

From phony jealousy

To memorizing politics

Of ancient history

Flung down by corpse evangelists

Unthought of, though, somehow

Ah, but I was so much older then

I’m younger than that now

A self-ordained professor’s tongue

Too serious to fool

Spouted out that liberty

Is just equality in school

“Equality,” I spoke the word

As if a wedding vow

Ah, but I was so much older then

I’m younger than that now

In a soldier’s stance, I aimed my hand

At the mongrel dogs who teach

Fearing not that I’d become my enemy

In the instant that I preach

My pathway led by confusion boats

Mutiny from stern to bow

Ah, but I was so much older then

I’m younger than that now

Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats

Too noble to neglect

Deceived me into thinking

I had something to protect

Good and bad, I define these terms

Quite clear, no doubt, somehow

Ah, but I was so much older then

I’m younger than that now


Quotes: 


Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many. ~Author Unknown


Everyone is the age of their heart. ~Guatemalan Proverb


How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were? ~Satchel Paige


Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. ~Mark Twain


Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional. ~Chili Davis


Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice cream fall from the cone. ~Jim Fiebig


The years teach much which the days never knew. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been. ~Mark Twain, Following the Equator


The key to successful aging is to pay as little attention to it as possible. ~Judith Regan


Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes



Age is opportunity no less,

Than youth itself, though in another dress,

And as the evening twilight fades away,

The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow~


Some people, no matter how old they get, never lose their beauty - they merely move it from their faces into their hearts. ~Martin Buxbaum


None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm. ~Henry David Thoreau


When it comes to staying young, a mind-lift beats a face-lift any day. ~Marty Bucella


As a graduate of the Zsa Zsa Gabor School of Creative mathematics, I honestly do not know how old I am. ~Erma Bombeck


Never use the passing years as an excuse for old age. ~Robert Brault


The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been. ~Madeleine L'Engle


We are always the same age inside. ~Gertrude Stein


Old age ain't no place for sissies. ~Bette Davis


Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. ~Henry Ford


You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old. ~George Burns


It takes a long time to become young. ~Pablo Picasso


True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country. ~Kurt Vonnegut



Grow old with me! The best is yet to be. ~Robert Browning

Sunday, July 18, 2010

What's In A Names


"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
~William Shakespeare~

With all the new and "quirky" names being used these days it's interesting to see that the old standards seem to never lose favor.

According to the United States 2005 Census the top 300 most used names in the U.S. were as follows: 


Male Names &  Rank


JAMES 1

JOHN 2

ROBERT 3

MICHAEL 4

WILLIAM 5

DAVID 6

RICHARD 7

CHARLES 8

JOSEPH 9

THOMAS 10

CHRISTOPHER 11

DANIEL 12

PAUL 13

MARK 14

DONALD 15

GEORGE 16

KENNETH 17

STEVEN 18

EDWARD 19

BRIAN 20

RONALD 21

ANTHONY 22

KEVIN 23

JASON 24

MATTHEW 25

GARY 26

TIMOTHY 27

JOSE 28

LARRY 29

JEFFREY 30

FRANK 31

SCOTT 32

ERIC 33

STEPHEN 34

ANDREW 35

RAYMOND 36

GREGORY 37

JOSHUA 38

JERRY 39

DENNIS 40

WALTER 41

PATRICK 42

PETER 43

HAROLD 44

DOUGLAS 45

HENRY 46

CARL 47

ARTHUR 48

RYAN 49

ROGER 50

JOE 51

JUAN 52

JACK 53

ALBERT 54

JONATHAN 55

JUSTIN 56

TERRY 57

GERALD 58

KEITH 59

SAMUEL 60

WILLIE 61

RALPH 62

LAWRENCE 63

NICHOLAS 64

ROY 65

BENJAMIN 66

BRUCE 67

BRANDON 68

ADAM 69

HARRY 70

FRED 71

WAYNE 72

BILLY 73

STEVE 74

LOUIS 75

JEREMY 76

AARON 77

RANDY 78

HOWARD 79

EUGENE 80

CARLOS 81

RUSSELL 82

BOBBY 83

VICTOR 84

MARTIN 85

ERNEST 86

PHILLIP 87

TODD 88

JESSE 89

CRAIG 90

ALAN 91

SHAWN 92

CLARENCE 93

SEAN 94

PHILIP 95

CHRIS 96

JOHNNY 97

EARL 98

JIMMY 99

ANTONIO 100

DANNY 101

BRYAN 102

TONY 103

LUIS 104

MIKE 105

STANLEY 106

LEONARD 107

NATHAN 108

DALE 109

MANUEL 110

RODNEY 111

CURTIS 112

NORMAN 113

ALLEN 114

MARVIN 115

VINCENT 116

GLENN 117

JEFFERY 118

TRAVIS 119

JEFF 120

CHAD 121

JACOB 122

LEE 123

MELVIN 124

ALFRED 125

KYLE 126

FRANCIS 127

BRADLEY 128

JESUS 129

HERBERT 130

FREDERICK 131

RAY 132

JOEL 133

EDWIN 134

DON 135

EDDIE 136

RICKY 137

TROY 138

RANDALL 139

BARRY 140

ALEXANDER 141

BERNARD 142

MARIO 143

LEROY 144

FRANCISCO 145

MARCUS 146

MICHEAL 147

THEODORE 148

CLIFFORD 149

MIGUEL 150

OSCAR 151

JAY 152

JIM 153

TOM 154

CALVIN 155

ALEX 156

JON 157

RONNIE 158

BILL 159

LLOYD 160

TOMMY 161

LEON 162

DEREK 163

WARREN 164

DARRELL 165

JEROME 166

FLOYD 167

LEO 168

ALVIN 169

TIM 170

WESLEY 171

GORDON 172

DEAN 173

GREG 174

JORGE 175

DUSTIN 176

PEDRO 177

DERRICK 178

DAN 179

LEWIS 180

ZACHARY 181

COREY 182

HERMAN 183

MAURICE 184

VERNON 185

ROBERTO 186

CLYDE 187

GLEN 188

HECTOR 189

SHANE 190

RICARDO 191

SAM 192

RICK 193

LESTER 194

BRENT 195

RAMON 196

CHARLIE 197

TYLER 198

GILBERT 199

GENE 200

MARC 201

REGINALD 202

RUBEN 203

BRETT 204

ANGEL 205

NATHANIEL 206

RAFAEL 207

LESLIE 208

EDGAR 209

MILTON 210

RAUL 211

BEN 212

CHESTER 213

CECIL 214

DUANE 215

FRANKLIN 216

ANDRE 217

ELMER 218

BRAD 219

GABRIEL 220

RON 221

MITCHELL 222

ROLAND 223

ARNOLD 224

HARVEY 225

JARED 226

ADRIAN 227

KARL 228

CORY 229

CLAUDE 230

ERIK 231

DARRYL 232

JAMIE 233

NEIL 234

JESSIE 235

CHRISTIAN 236

JAVIER 237

FERNANDO 238

CLINTON 239

TED 240

MATHEW 241

TYRONE 242

DARREN 243

LONNIE 244

LANCE 245

CODY 246

JULIO 247

KELLY 248

KURT 249

ALLAN 250

NELSON 251

GUY 252

CLAYTON 253

HUGH 254

MAX 255

DWAYNE 256

DWIGHT 257

ARMANDO 258

FELIX 259

JIMMIE 260

EVERETT 261

JORDAN 262

IAN 263

WALLACE 264

KEN 265

BOB 266

JAIME 267

CASEY 268

ALFREDO 269

ALBERTO 270

DAVE 271

IVAN 272

JOHNNIE 273

SIDNEY 274

BYRON 275

JULIAN 276

ISAAC 277

MORRIS 278

CLIFTON 279

WILLARD 280

DARYL 281

ROSS 282

VIRGIL 283

ANDY 284

MARSHALL 285

SALVADOR 286

PERRY 287

KIRK 288

SERGIO 289

MARION 290

TRACY 291

SETH 292

KENT 293

TERRANCE 294

RENE 295

EDUARDO 296

TERRENCE 297

ENRIQUE 298

FREDDIE 299

WADE 300


Female Names and Rank


MARY 1

PATRICIA 2

LINDA 3

BARBARA 4

ELIZABETH 5

JENNIFER 6

MARIA 7

SUSAN 8

MARGARET 9

DOROTHY 10

LISA 11

NANCY 12

KAREN 13

BETTY 14

HELEN 15

SANDRA 16

DONNA 17

CAROL 18

RUTH 19

SHARON 20

MICHELLE 21

LAURA 22

SARAH 23

KIMBERLY 24

DEBORAH 25

JESSICA 26

SHIRLEY 27

CYNTHIA 28

ANGELA 29

MELISSA 30

BRENDA 31

AMY 32

ANNA 33

REBECCA 34

VIRGINIA 35

KATHLEEN 36

PAMELA 37

MARTHA 38

DEBRA 39

AMANDA 40

STEPHANIE 41

CAROLYN 42

CHRISTINE 43

MARIE 44

JANET 45

CATHERINE 46

FRANCES 47

ANN 48

JOYCE 49

DIANE 50

ALICE 51

JULIE 52

HEATHER 53

TERESA 54

DORIS 55

GLORIA 56

EVELYN 57

JEAN 58

CHERYL 59

MILDRED 60

KATHERINE 61

JOAN 62

ASHLEY 63

JUDITH 64

ROSE 65

JANICE 66

KELLY 67

NICOLE 68

JUDY 69

CHRISTINA 70

KATHY 71

THERESA 72

BEVERLY 73

DENISE 74

TAMMY 75

IRENE 76

JANE 77

LORI 78

RACHEL 79

MARILYN 80

ANDREA 81

KATHRYN 82

LOUISE 83

SARA 84

ANNE 85

JACQUELINE 86

WANDA 87

BONNIE 88

JULIA 89

RUBY 90

LOIS 91

TINA 92

PHYLLIS 93

NORMA 94

PAULA 95

DIANA 96

ANNIE 97

LILLIAN 98

EMILY 99

ROBIN 100

PEGGY 101

CRYSTAL 102

GLADYS 103

RITA 104

DAWN 105

CONNIE 106

FLORENCE 107

TRACY 108

EDNA 109

TIFFANY 110

CARMEN 111

ROSA 112

CINDY 113

GRACE 114

WENDY 115

VICTORIA 116

EDITH 117

KIM 118

SHERRY 119

SYLVIA 120

JOSEPHINE 121

THELMA 122

SHANNON 123

SHEILA 124

ETHEL 125

ELLEN 126

ELAINE 127

MARJORIE 128

CARRIE 129

CHARLOTTE 130

MONICA 131

ESTHER 132

PAULINE 133

EMMA 134

JUANITA 135

ANITA 136

RHONDA 137

HAZEL 138

AMBER 139

EVA 140

DEBBIE 141

APRIL 142

LESLIE 143

CLARA 144

LUCILLE 145

JAMIE 146

JOANNE 147

ELEANOR 148

VALERIE 149

DANIELLE 150

MEGAN 151

ALICIA 152

SUZANNE 153

MICHELE 154

GAIL 155

BERTHA 156

DARLENE 157

VERONICA 158

JILL 159

ERIN 160

GERALDINE 161

LAUREN 162

CATHY 163

JOANN 164

LORRAINE 165

LYNN 166

SALLY 167

REGINA 168

ERICA 169

BEATRICE 170

DOLORES 171

BERNICE 172

AUDREY 173

YVONNE 174

ANNETTE 175

JUNE 176

SAMANTHA 177

MARION 178

DANA 179

STACY 180

ANA 181

RENEE 182

IDA 183

VIVIAN 184

ROBERTA 185

HOLLY 186

BRITTANY 187

MELANIE 188

LORETTA 189

YOLANDA 190

JEANETTE 191

LAURIE 192

KATIE 193

KRISTEN 194

VANESSA 195

ALMA 196

SUE 197

ELSIE 198

BETH 199

JEANNE 200

VICKI 201

CARLA 202

TARA 203

ROSEMARY 204

EILEEN 205

TERRI 206

GERTRUDE 207

LUCY 208

TONYA 209

ELLA 210

STACEY 211

WILMA 212

GINA 213

KRISTIN 214

JESSIE 215

NATALIE 216

AGNES 217

VERA 218

WILLIE 219

CHARLENE 220

BESSIE 221

DELORES 222

MELINDA 223

PEARL 224

ARLENE 225

MAUREEN 226

COLLEEN 227

ALLISON 228

TAMARA 229

JOY 230

GEORGIA 231

CONSTANCE 232

LILLIE 233

CLAUDIA 234

JACKIE 235

MARCIA 236

TANYA 237

NELLIE 238

MINNIE 239

MARLENE 240

HEIDI 241

GLENDA 242

LYDIA 243

VIOLA 244

COURTNEY 245

MARIAN 246

STELLA 247

CAROLINE 248

DORA 249

JO 250

VICKIE 251

MATTIE 252

TERRY 253

MAXINE 254

IRMA 255

MABEL 256

MARSHA 257

MYRTLE 258

LENA 259

CHRISTY 260

DEANNA 261

PATSY 262

HILDA 263

GWENDOLYN 264

JENNIE 265

NORA 266

MARGIE 267

NINA 268

CASSANDRA 269

LEAH 270

PENNY 271

KAY 272

PRISCILLA 273

NAOMI 274

CAROLE 275

BRANDY 276

OLGA 277

BILLIE 278

DIANNE 279

TRACEY 280

LEONA 281

JENNY 282

FELICIA 283

SONIA 284

MIRIAM 285

VELMA 286

BECKY 287

BOBBIE 288

VIOLET 289

KRISTINA 290

TONI 291

MISTY 292

MAE 293

SHELLY 294

DAISY 295

RAMONA 296

SHERRI 297

ERIKA 298

KATRINA 299

CLAIRE 300



Thursday, July 15, 2010

Albert Camus



French novelist, essayist and playwright, who received the 1957 Nobel Prize for literature. Camus was closely linked to his fellow existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre in the 1940s, but he broke with him over Sartre's support to Stalinist politics. Camus died at the age of forty-six in a car accident near Sens, France. Among his best-known novels are The Stranger (1942) and The Plague (1947).


Albert Camus was born in Mondovi, Algeria, into a working-class family. Camus's mother, Catherine Hélène Sintés, was an illiterate cleaning woman. She came from a family of Spanish origin. Lucien Auguste Camus, his father, was an itinerant agricultural laborer. He died of his wounds in 1914 after the Battle of the Marne – Camus was less than a year old at that time. His body was never sent to Algeria. During the war, Catherine Hélène worked in a factory. She was partly deaf, due to a stroke that permanently impaired her speech, but she was able to read lips. In their home "things had no names", as Camus later recalled. But he loved his mother intensely: "When my mother's eyes were not resting on me, I have never been able to look at her without tears springing into my eyes."

In 1923 Camus won a scholarship to the lycée in Algiers, where he studied from 1924 to 1932. Incipient tuberculosis put an end to his athletic activities. The disease was to trouble Camus for the rest of his life. Between the years 1935 and 1939 Camus held various jobs in Algiers. He also joined the Communist Party, but his interest in the works of Marx and Engels was rather superficial. More important writers in his circle were André Malraux and André Gide.

In 1936 Camus received his diplôme d'étudies supérieures from the University of Algiers in philosophy. To recover his health he made his first visit to Europe. Camus' first book, L'ENVERS ET L'ENDROIT (1937), was a collection of essays, which he wrote at the age of twenty-two. Camus dedicated it to his philosophy teacher, Jean Grenier. The philosopher Brice Parain maintained that the little book contained Camus' best work, although the author himself considered the form of his writings clumsy.

By this time Camus' reputation in Algeria as a leading writer was growing. He was also active in theater. In 1938 Camus moved to France. Next year he divorced his first wife, Simone Hié, who was a morphine addict. From 1938 to 1940 Camus worked for the Alger-Républicain, reviewing among others Sartre's books, and in 1940 for Paris-Soir. In 1940 he married Francine Faure, a pianist and mathematician.

During WW II Camus was member of the French resistance. From 1943 he worked as a reader and editor of Espoir series at Gallimard publisher. With Sartre he founded the left-wing Resistance newspaper Combat, serving as its editor. His second novel, L'ÉTRANGER (The Stranger), which he had begun in Algeria before the war, appeared in 1942. It has been considered one of the greatest of all hard-boiled novels. Camus admired the American tough novel and wrote in The Rebel (1951) that "it does not choose feelings or passions to give a detailed description of, such as we find in classic French novels. It rejects analysis and the search for a fundamental psychological motive that could explain and recapitulate the behavior of a character..."

The story of The Stranger is narrated by a doomed character, Mersault, and is set between two deaths, his mother's and his own. Mersault is a clerk, who seems to have no feelings and spends afternoons in lovemaking and empty nights in the cinema. Like Dostoevsky's Raskolnikov from Crime and Punishment (1866), he reaches self-knowledge by committing a crime – he shoots an Arab on the beach without explicit reason and motivation – it was hot, the Arab had earlier terrorized him and his friend Raymond, and he had an headache. Mersault is condemned to die as much for his refusal to accept the standards of social behavior as for the crime itself. "The absurd man will not commit suicide; he wants to live, without relinquishing any of his certainty, without a future, without hope, without illusions, and without resignation either. He stares at death with passionate attention and this fascination liberates him. He experiences the "divine irresponsibility" of the condemned man." (from Sartre analysis of Mersault, in Literary and Philosophical Essays, 1943) Camus himself argued that there were few points of contact between his notion of the Absurd and Sartrean existentialism.

In the cell Mersault faces the reality for the first time, and his consciousness awakens. "It was as if that great rush of anger had washed me clean, emptied me of hope, and gazing up at the dark sky spangled with its signs and stars, for the first time, the first, I laid my heart open to the benign indifference of the universe." Luchino Visconti's film version from 1967 meticulously reconstructed an Algiers street so that it looked exactly as it had during 1938-39, when the story takes place. But the 43-year-old Marcello Mastroianni, playing 30-year-old Mesault, was considered too old, although otherwise his performance was praised.

In 1942 also appeared Camus' philosophical essay LE MYTHE DE SISYPHE. It starts with the famous statement: "There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. Deciding whether or not life is worth living is to answer the fundamental question in philosophy. All other questions follow from that." Camus compares the absurdity of the existence of humanity to the labours of the mythical character Sisyphus, who was condemned through all eternity to push a boulder to the top of a hill and watch helplessly as it rolled down again. Camus takes the nonexistence of God granted and finds meaning in the struggle itself.

"A novel is never anything but a philosophy put into images," Camus wrote. He admired Sartre's gift's as a novelist, but did not find his two sides, philosophy and storytelling, both equally convincing. In an essay written in 1952 he praises Melville's Billy Budd. Melville, according to Camus, "never cut himself off from flesh or nature, which are barely perceptible in Kafka's work." Camus also admired William Faulkner and made a dramatic adaptation of Faulkner's Requiem for a Nun. In 1946 Camus spent some time in New York, and wrote: "I don't have a precise idea about New York myself, even after so many days, but it continues to irritate me and seduce me at the same time."

In 1947 Camus resigned from Combat and published in the same year his third novel, LA PESTE, an allegory of the Nazi occupation of France. A small town is abruptly forced to live within narrow boundaries under a terror - death is loose on the streets. In the besieged city some people try to act morally, some are cowards, some lovers. "None the less, he knew that the tale he had to tell could be one of a final victory. It could only be the record of what had had to be done, and what assuredly would have to be done again in the never-ending fight against terror and its relentless onslaughts, despite their personal afflictions, by all who, while unable to be saints but refusing to bow down to pestilences, strive their utmost to be healers."

Before his break with Sartre Camus wrote L'HOMME RÉVOLTÉ (1951), which explores the theories and forms of humanity's revolt against authority. The book was criticized in Sartre's Temps modernes. Camus was offended and Sartre responded with a scornful letter. From 1955 to 1956 Camus worked as a journalist for L'Express. Among his major works from the late-1950s are LA CHUTE (1956), an ironic novel in which the penitent judge Jean-Baptiste Clamence confesses his own moral crimes to a strager in an Amsterdam bar. Jean-Baptiste reveals his hypocrisy, but at the same time his monologue becomes an attack on modern man.

When Camus heard, that he had won the Nobel Prize for Literature, he stated publicly that he would have voted for Malraux. At the time of his death, Camus was planning to direct a theater company of his own and to write a major novel about growing up in Algeria. Several of the short stories in L'EXILE ET LA ROYAUME (1957) were set in Algeria's coastal towns and inhospitale sands. The unfinished novel LA MORT HEUREUSE (1970) was written in 1936-38. It presented the young Camus, or Patrice Mersault, seeking his happiness from Prague to his hometown in Algiers, announcing towards the end of the book "What matters – all that matters, really – is the will to happiness, a kind of enormous, ever-present consciousness. The rest – women, art, success – is nothing but excuses." In LE PREMIER HOMME (1994), the story of Jacques Cormery, Camus charted the history of his family and his lycée years. The manuscript was found in the car, a Facel Vega, in which he died on January 4, 1960.


Albert Camus Quotes: 

In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.


I know of only one duty, and that is to love.


Alas, after a certain age every man is responsible for his face.


A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world.


Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.


Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.


Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.


But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?


Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.


Integrity has no need of rules.


It is normal to give away a little of one's life in order not to lose it all.


Man is the only creature that refuses to be what he is.


Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.


Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear.


Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.


The need to be right is the sign of a vulgar mind.


Truly fertile Music, the only kind that will move us, that we shall truly appreciate, will be a Music conducive to Dream, which banishes all reason and analysis. One must not wish first to understand and then to feel. Art does not tolerate Reason.


We always deceive ourselves twice about the people we love - first to their advantage, then to their disadvantage.


We are all special cases.


We call first truths those we discover after all the others.


You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.


You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.


Don't Know How I Got Here

 Taylor Mitchell

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Another Interesting Woman


Calamity Jane


Martha Jane Cannary Burke, better known as Calamity Jane (May 1, 1852 – August 1, 1903), was a frontierswoman, and professional scout best known for her claim of being an acquaintance of Wild Bill Hickok, but also for having gained fame fighting Native American Indians. She was a woman who also exhibited kindness and compassion, especially to the sick and needy. This contrast helped to make her a famous and infamous frontier figure.

Biography

Early life: 1852 – 1876

Calamity Jane was born on May 1, 1852, as Martha Jane Cannary in Princeton, Missouri, within Mercer County. Her parents, Robert W. and Charlotte Cannary, were listed in the 1860 census as living about 7 miles (11 km) further northeast of Princeton in Ravanna. Martha Jane was the eldest of six children, having two brothers and three sisters. In 1865, Robert packed his family and moved by wagon train from Missouri to Virginia City, Montana. Charlotte died along the way in Black Foot, Montana in 1866 of "washtub pneumonia". After arriving in Virginia City in the spring of 1866, Robert took his six children on to Salt Lake City, Utah. They arrived in the summer, and Robert supposedly started farming on 40 acres of land. They were there only a year before he died in 1867. Martha Jane took over as head of the family, loaded up the wagon once more, and took her siblings to Fort Bridger, Wyoming Territory. They arrived in May 1868. From there they traveled on the Union Pacific Railroad to Piedmont, Wyoming.

In Piedmont, Martha Jane took whatever jobs she could to provide for her large family. She worked as a dishwasher, a cook, a waitress, a dance-hall girl, a nurse, and an ox team driver. Finally, in 1874, she found work as a scout at Fort Russell. During this time period, Jane also began her on-and-off employment as a prostitute at the Fort Laramie Three-Mile Hog Ranch.

From her autobiography of 1896, Martha Jane writes of this time

"In 1865 we emigrated from our homes in Missouri by the overland route to Virginia City, Montana, taking five months to make the journey. While on the way, the greater portion of my time was spent in hunting along with the men and hunters of the party; in fact, I was at all times with the men when there was excitement and adventures to be had. By the time we reached Virginia City, I was considered a remarkable good shot and a fearless rider for a girl of my age. I remember many occurrences on the journey from Missouri to Montana. Many times in crossing the mountains, the conditions of the trail were so bad that we frequently had to lower the wagons over ledges by hand with ropes, for they were so rough and rugged that horses were of no use. We also had many exciting times fording streams, for many of the streams in our way were noted for quicksands and boggy places, where, unless we were very careful, we would have lost horses and all. Then we had many dangers to encounter in the way of streams swelling on account of heavy rains. On occasions of that kind, the men would usually select the best places to cross the streams; myself, on more than one occasion, have mounted my pony and swam across the stream several times merely to amuse myself, and have had many narrow escapes from having both myself and pony washed away to certain death, but, as the pioneers of those days had plenty of courage, we overcame all obstacles and reached Virginia City in safety. Mother died at Black Foot, Montana, 1866, where we buried her. I left Montana in Spring of 1866, for Utah, arriving at Salt Lake City during the summer."

Accounts from this period described Martha Jane as being "extremely attractive" and a "pretty, dark-eyed girl." Martha Jane received little to no formal education and was literate. She moved on to a rougher, mostly outdoor adventurous life on the Great Plains.


Acquiring the nickname

Martha Jane was involved in several campaigns in the long-running military conflicts with Native American Indians. Her unconfirmed claim was that:

"It was during this campaign that I was christened Calamity Jane. It was on Goose Creek, Wyoming where the town of Sheridan is now located. Capt Egan was in command of the Post. We were ordered out to quell an uprising of the Indians, and were out for several days, had numerous skirmishes during which six of the soldiers were killed and several severely wounded. When on returning to the Post we were ambushed about a mile and a half from our destination. When fired upon Capt Egan was shot. I was riding in advance and on hearing the firing turned in my saddle and saw the Captain reeling in his saddle as though about to fall. I turned my horse and galloped back with all haste to his side and got there in time to catch him as he was falling. I lifted him onto my horse in front of me and succeeded in getting him safely to the Fort. Capt Egan on recovering, laughingly said: 'I name you Calamity Jane, the heroine of the plains.' I have borne that name up to the present time."

However, it may be that she exaggerated or completely fabricated this story. Even back then not everyone accepted her version as true. A popular belief is that she instead acquired it as a result of her warnings to men that to offend her was to "court calamity". One verified story about "Calamity Jane" is that in 1875 her detachment was ordered to the Big Horn River, under General Crook. Bearing important dispatches, she swam the Platte River and traveled 90 miles (145 km) at top speed while wet and cold to deliver them. Afterwards, she became ill. After recuperating for a few weeks, she rode to Fort Laramie, Wyoming, and later, in July 1876, she joined a wagon train headed north, which is where she first met Bill Hickok, contrary to her later claims.

Deadwood and Wild Bill Hickok: 1876 – 1881

Calamity Jane accompanied the Newton-Jenney Party into the Black Hills in 1875, along with California Joe and Valentine McGillycuddy.

In 1876, Calamity Jane settled in the area of Deadwood, South Dakota, in the Black Hills. There, she became friends with, and was occasionally employed by Dora DuFran, the Black Hills' leading madam. She became friendly with Wild Bill Hickok and Charlie Utter, having travelled with them to Deadwood in Utter's wagon train. Jane greatly admired Hickok (to the point of infatuation), and she was obsessed with his personality and life. After Hickok was killed during a poker game on August 2, 1876, Calamity Jane claimed to have been married to Hickok and that Hickok was the father of her child (Jane), who she said was born on September 25, 1873, and who she later put up for adoption by Jim O'Neil and his wife. No records are known to exist which prove the birth of a child, and the romantic slant to the relationship might have been fabrication. During the period that the alleged child was born, she was working as a scout for the Army. At the time of his death, Hickok was newly married to Agnes Lake Thatcher. However, on September 6, 1941, the U.S. Department of Public Welfare did grant old age assistance to a Jean Hickok Burkhardt McCormick (name of her third husband), who claimed to be the legal offspring of Martha Jane Cannary and James Butler Hickok, after being presented with evidence that Calamity Jane and Wild Bill had married at Benson's Landing, Montana Territory, on September 25, 1873, documentation being written in a Bible and presumably signed by two reverends and numerous witnesses. The claim of Jean Hickok McCormick was later proved to be spurious by the Hickok family. (Rosa, Joseph- "They Called Him Wild Bill")[4][5][6][7] Jane also claimed that following Hickok's death, she went after Jack McCall, his murderer, with a meat cleaver, having left her guns at her residence in the excitement of the moment. However, she never confronted McCall. Following McCall's eventual hanging for the offense, Jane continued living in the Deadwood area for some time, and at one point she did help save several passengers in an overland stagecoach by diverting several Plains Indians who were in pursuit of the stage. The stagecoach driver, John Slaughter, was killed during the pursuit, and Jane took over the reins and drove the stage on to its destination at Deadwood. Also in late 1876, Jane nursed the victims of a smallpox epidemic in the Deadwood area.


Final years: 1881 – 1903

In 1881, she bought a ranch west of Miles City, MT, along the Yellowstone River, where she kept an inn. After marrying the Texan Clinton Burke, and moving to Boulder, she again tried her luck in this business. In 1887, she had a daughter, Jane, who was given to foster parents.

In 1893, Calamity Jane started to appear in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show as a horse rider and a trick shooter. She also participated in the Pan-American Exposition. At that time, she was depressed and an alcoholic. Jane’s addiction to liquor was evident even in her younger years. For example, on June 10, 1876, she rented a horse and buggy in Cheyenne for a mile-or-so joy ride to Fort Russell and back, but Calamity was so drunk that she passed right by her destination without noticing it and finally ended up about 90 miles away at Fort Laramie.

By the turn of the century, Madame Dora DuFran was still going strong when Jane returned to the Black Hills in 1903. For the next few months, Jane earned her keep by cooking and doing the laundry for Dora’s brothel girls in Belle Fourche. In July, she travelled to Terry, South Dakota. While staying in the Calloway Hotel on August 1, 1903, she developed pneumonia and died at the age of 51. It was reported that she was on board a train where she had been drinking heavily, and became very ill. The train's conductor carried her off the train and to a cabin where she died soon after. In her belongings, a bundle of letters to her daughter were found, which she had never sent. Some of these letters were set to music in an art song cycle by 20th century composer Libby Larsen called Songs From Letters.

Calamity Jane was buried at Mount Moriah Cemetery (South Dakota), next to Wild Bill Hickok. Four of the men who planned her funeral (Albert Malter, Frank Ankeney, Jim Carson, and Anson Higby) later stated that since Hickok had “absolutely no use” for Jane while he was alive, they decided to play a posthumous joke on Wild Bill by giving Calamity an eternal resting place by his side.

Autobiography

"Calamity Jane", as she would become known, lived a very colorful and eventful life but often claimed questionable associations or friendships with notable famous American Old West figures, almost always posthumously. For example, years after the death of Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer, she claimed that she served under him during her initial enlistment at Fort Russell, and that she also served under him during the Indian campaigns in Arizona. However, no records exist to show that Cannary was assigned to Fort Russell, and she did not take an active part in the Arizona Indian Campaigns; she was tasked with subjugating the Plains Indians.



The Meaning of Life Doesn’t Matter

You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life. ~Albert Camus


Life may have no meaning. Or even worse, it may have a meaning of which I disapprove. ~Ashleigh Brilliant



Jack Palance: "Do you know what the secret of life is? One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and everything else don't mean shit."

Billy Crystal: "Yeah, but what's that one thing?"

Jack Palance: "That's what you've got to figure out."  ~From the movie City Slickers


I read this on a blog this morning. It’s written by a young man who is 28 years old:


The Meaning of Life Doesn’t Matter
by Tynan


“One of the questions I tend to get is what I think the meaning of life is. I never have a good answer because I’ve never tried to answer the question. And I’ve never tried to answer the question because I don’t think that it matters.

As children we’re conditioned to do what we’re supposed to do. That makes sense, because five-year-olds probably aren’t well equipped to decide when to go to school or the dentist. The problem, though, is that we stay in this “supposed to” mode way too long. It becomes a habit and a way of life.


To me, figuring out the meaning of life is just an extension of figuring out what you’re “supposed to do”. Except, of course, that it can’t be figured out. Humans have been trying forever and no one’s gotten it yet. Odds are that you won’t either.


And the reason it hasn’t been figured out is that there isn’t a meaning to life, other than the meaning you give it. And that’s a good thing.


I don’t believe in a higher power, a higher purpose, or life after death. No spirits or souls. Some people, maybe those who are too conditioned to the “supposed to” way of life, find that depressing.


I find it liberating. It brings what we can all agree we have– a life– to the forefront, cuts away the distraction, and gives us the responsibility to figure out what to do with it. It makes life a blank canvas rather than a color by numbers cartoon.


One of the best skills you can develop is the ability to completely ignore what you’re supposed to do, and do what you think is best. That’s not to say that these things don’t overlap; you’d probably agree that driving the way you’re supposed to down a one way street is a good idea. The idea isn’t to be a contrarian, it’s to disregard “supposed to” entirely.


So that’s my advice to people looking for the meaning of life. Make your own meaning by doing what you think is best. Follow that advice and I doubt you’ll have many regrets on your deathbed.”


Monday, July 12, 2010

Joy Revisited

This is one of the most beautiful and recognizable pieces of music ever written. 
Beethoven's "Ode to Joy". 



Life, believe, is not a dream

So dark, as sages say.

Oft a little morning rain

Foretells a pleasant day.

~Charlotte Bronte, "Life," 1846



Do not judge men by mere appearances; for the light laughter that bubbles on the lip often mantles over the depths of sadness, and the serious look may be the sober veil that covers a divine peace and joy. ……………..Edward Chapin


We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.............Helen Keller


I've grown to realize the joy that comes from little victories is preferable to the fun that comes from ease and the pursuit of pleasure. …………Lawana Blackwell


The joy of a spirit is the measure of its power. …………Ninon de Lenclos


There is an alchemy in sorrow. It can be transmuted into wisdom, which, if it does not bring joy, can yet bring happiness. ………Pearl Buck


Learning to live in the present moment is part of the path of joy. ……..Sarah Ban Breathnach


Real joy comes not from ease or riches or from the praise of men, but from doing something worthwhile. ……..Sir Wilfred Grenfell


Things won are done; joy's soul lies in the doing. …….William Shakespeare


Joy is the feeling of grinning on the inside. ……..Dr. Melba Colgrove

Perspective

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tennessee Williams


This painting is of staggering quality for a painter of any age. Now consider that Tennessee Williams created this masterpiece at the young age of fourteen. From when he was eleven until he was seventeen he was bedridden with different ailments thus allowing him few luxuries other than to paint. This "Tropical Scene" was done where he convalesced in the Florida Keys and it was beauty like this that "kept him alive and gave him hope for all those years". Widely regarded as the greatest American playwright, Tennessee Williams is the only playwright ever to have had five plays being performed on Broadway at the same time.

Although his formal name was Thomas Lanier Williams III, the name by which he is famous is that of "Tennessee Williams". He was dubbed with that nickname by college friends because of his father being from Tennessee and his southern accent. William is best remember for his plays including A Streetcar Named Desire (1948), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955), The Glass Menagerie (1945) and The Night of The Iguana (1961).

Tennessee Williams was a very talented and interesting man.    You can read all about him and his life at:



Quotes from Tennessee Williams and his work:


All cruel people describe themselves as paragons of frankness.


All your Western theologies, the whole mythology of them, are based on the concept of God as a senile delinquent.


Don't look forward to the day you stop suffering, because when it comes you'll know you're dead.


Enthusiasm is the most important thing in life.


For time is the longest distance between two places.


Hell is yourself and the only redemption is when a person puts himself aside to feel deeply for another person.


I can't stand a naked light bulb, any more than I can a rude remark or a vulgar action.


I have found it easier to identify with the characters who verge upon hysteria, who were frightened of life, who were desperate to reach out to another person. But these seemingly fragile people are the strong people really.


In memory everything seems to happen to music.


Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going.


Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.


The only thing worse than a liar is a liar that's also a hypocrite!


The strongest influences in my life and my work are always whomever I love. Whomever I love and am with most of the time, or whomever I remember most vividly. I think that's true of everyone, don't you?


The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks.


There is a time for departure even when there's no certain place to go.


To be free is to have achieved your life.


I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.


We are all sentenced to solitary confinement inside our own skins, for life.


What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it's curved like a road through mountains.

World's Smallest Fruit


The world's smallest fruit is naturally created by the world's smallest flowering plant, genus Wolffia, a part of the duckweed family., the smallest of which are the Australian Wolffia angusta and the Asian/African Wolffia globosa.


The plant itself measures about 1 mm long and the fruit is no bigger than a grain of salt.

A dozen plants would easily fit on the head of a pin and two plants in full bloom will fit inside a small printed letter "o."


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Change

Painting
The Change by Suzanne Cheryl


He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery. ~Harold Wilson


If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it. ~Mary Engelbreit

It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory. ~W. Edwards Deming

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. ~Victor Frankl

Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine. ~Robert C. Gallagher

If you're in a bad situation, don't worry it'll change. If you're in a good situation, don't worry it'll change. ~John A. Simone, Sr.

They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom. ~Confucius

Change always comes bearing gifts. ~Price Pritchett

Just because everything is different doesn't mean anything has changed. ~Irene Peter

The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind. ~William Blake

You can avoid having ulcers by adapting to the situation: If you fall in the mud puddle, check your pockets for fish. ~Author Unknown

Time, which changes people, does not alter the image we have retained of them. ~Marcel Proust

Stubborness does have its helpful features. You always know what you are going to be thinking tomorrow. ~Glen Beaman

If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies. ~Author Unknown

What you have become is the price you paid to get what you used to want. ~Mignon McLaughlin

Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower


Friday, July 9, 2010

Steal This Movie

I did not see this movie but came across this song taken from it.    Everyone has done this song, and this is just one more very good version.   The song is "My Back Pages" by Bob Dylan.

Movie Plot:

Five years after Yippie founder Abbie Hoffman goes underground to avoid a drug-related prison sentence, he contacts a reporter to get out the story of the FBI's covert spying, harassment and inciting of violence they then blame on the Left. The skeptical reporter interview's Anita, Hoffman's wife, a single mom on welfare in New York City; Hoffman's attorney, Gerry Lefcourt; and others. As they talk, we see Hoffman's career in flashbacks, from early civil rights organizing through the trial of the Chicago Eight. While underground, as mental illness takes its toll, he meets Johanna Lawrenson, and an odd family develops: Abbie, Anita, their son, and Johanna. Will vindication ever arrive?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Unconditional Love

Unconditional:  not limited : absolute, unqualified; without conditions or reservations;


Unconditional love is a term that means to love someone regardless of the loved one's qualities or actions. The paradigm of unconditional love is a mother's love for her newborn.

Unconditional love is often used to describe the love in an idealized romantic relationship. It may sometimes also be used to describe love between family members, comrades in arms and between others in highly committed relationships.

Unconditional love is a side-effect of nirvana.




“The power of unconditional love. I mean, there is no power on earth like unconditional love. And I think that if you offered that to your child, I mean you’re 90 percent of the way home. There may be days when you don’t feel like it, it’s not uncritical love, that’s a different animal, but to know you can always come back, that is huge in life. That takes you a long, long way. And I would say that every parent out there that can extend that to their child at an early age, it’s going to make for a better human being.”  Warren Buffett


“The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others, but ourselves as well"  Elisabeth Kubler-Ross


“Love is supreme and unconditional; like is nice but limited” Duke Ellington


“Whatever they grow up to be, they are still our children, and the one most important of all the things we can give to them is unconditional love. Not a love that depends on anything at all except that they are our children.”  Rosaleen Dickson


“The only love worthy of a name is Unconditional”  John Powell


“The greatest gift that you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance.”  Brian Tracy

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Bob's Your Uncle




"Bob's your uncle"  is a commonly used expression mainly in Britain, Ireland and Commonwealth nations. Typically, someone says it to conclude a set of simple instructions to mean, "and there you have it," or "you're all set." For example, "To make a ham sandwich, just put a piece of ham between two slices of buttered bread, and Bob's your uncle."

You tack it onto a set of instructions that are meant to lead to an easy solution:

Question: How do I make this work?

Answer: Put Tab A into Tab B, turn this little screw, and Bob’s your uncle!

Question: Can you direct me to the Green Man?

Answer: Carry on to the corner, turn right, go past the greengrocer’s, turn right again, and Bob’s your uncle!


Etymology

One theory regarding the origin of the phrase is that it refers to Lord Frederick Roberts (1832-1914. 1st Earl Roberts, Roberts of Kandahar). Roberts was an Anglo-Irish soldier, born in India, who fought and commanded in India, Abyssinia, Afghanistan and South Africa. Roberts was one of the most successful commanders of the Victorian era and was cited for numerous acts of gallantry. His finest hour was perhaps the lifting of the siege of Kandahar in 1878 in which he marched a force of 10,000 men over three hundred miles from Kabul, winning a battle and successfully lifting the siege. Well respected amongst his men, Roberts was affectionately referred to as 'Uncle Bobs'. Generally meaning 'all will be well', and often used to indicate a successful outcome, the phrase "Bob's your uncle" was a term originally used by Roberts's men to boost confidence among the ranks and imply that all would be well under his command.

Another explanation is that phrase dates to 1887, when British Prime Minister Robert Cecil, Lord Salisbury decided to appoint Arthur Balfour to the prestigious and sensitive post of Chief Secretary for Ireland. Lord Salisbury was Arthur Balfour's uncle. The difficulty with that explanation is that—despite extensive searching—the earliest known published uses of the phrase are from 1932, two from 1937, and two from 1938. (See these and other quotes in American Dialect Society list archived posts by Stephen Goranson.)

A more probable theory is that it derives from the slang phrase "All is bob," meaning that everything is safe, pleasant or satisfactory. This dates back to the eighteenth century or so (it’s in Captain Francis Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue of 1785). There have been several other slang expressions containing bob, some associated with thievery or gambling, and from the eighteenth century on it was also a common generic name for someone one didn’t know. Any or all of these might have contributed to its genesis.

Usage

In some places in Britain, "Bob's your uncle" is also a way of saying "that's great!" or "you've got it made!" and is used as an expression of jubilation at good fortune. It is used thus in the Alastair Sim film Scrooge, a version of the classic Dickens story A Christmas Carol, where a reformed Ebenezer Scrooge confronts his housekeeper, Mrs Dilber, on Christmas morning. He gives her a guinea (£1.05 in that era, and equivalent to about $100 today) as a Christmas present, and announces he will significantly raise her salary. In a burst of excitement the housekeeper responds, “Bob’s yer uncle! Merry Christmas, Mr Scrooge, in keeping with the situation!”. However, this may be an anachronism, as A Christmas Carol was first published by Dickens in 1843 and as outlined above the expression (in the later film) was not in use at that time.

In certain regions of Canada the expression is frequently shortened to simply “Bob”. For example, "To make a ham sandwich, just put a piece of ham between two slices of buttered bread. Bob.”

We’ll probably never really know the origin of this delightful expression. It’s lack of discernible sense suggests an origin in the folk etymology that causes a misheard foreign word or phrase to dwindle into pronounceable English nonsense. For example:


hocus-pocus: a scrambled version of Latin Hoc est corpus meum, “this is my body,” words from the Catholic Mass

kickshaw: English approximation of French quelque chose, “something” (A kickshaw is a doodad, a whatnot, a thingamajig, a something or other.)

Smackover: Arkansas place name thought to be from French chemin couvert, “covered way”

love: tennis score notation(meaning “zero”, from French l’oeuf, “egg” (the shape of a zero resembles that of an egg)


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Karma


Karma in Indian religions is the concept of "action" or "deed", understood as that which causes the entire cycle of cause and effect) originating in ancient India and treated in Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh philosophies.

'Karma' is an Indian religious concept in contradistinction to 'faith' espoused by Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), which view all human dramas as the will of God as opposed to present - and past - life actions. In theistic schools of Hinduism, humans have free will to choose good or evil and suffer the consequences, which require the will of God to implement karma's consequences, unlike Buddhism or Jainism which do not accord any role to a supreme God or gods. In Indian beliefs, the karmic effects of all deeds are viewed as actively shaping past, present, and future experiences. The results or 'fruits' of actions are called karma-phala.

There are many ways to say and express this same concept, here are just a few:

Karma
1. A distinctive feeling, aura, or atmosphere.

2. The idea that one gets what they deserve.


What goes around, comes around
1. The status eventually returns to its original value after completing some sort of cycle.

2. A person's actions, whether good or bad, will often have consequences for that person.


To come full circle
1. To make a complete change or reform.

2. To complete a cycle of transition, returning to where one started after gaining experience or exploring other things.


Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.
1. Every decision has consequences; a person's actions will come back to him.


No matter how it's expressed, it all comes back to You.  







Monday, July 5, 2010

All Things Peeps

Peeps have become an obsession in our culture. Think of any life situation, real or imagined, and someone has “peeped” it. Even movies, books, all media, politics, EVERYTHING! It’s all been “peeped” All you need to do is type the word peeps in your browser and you’ll find thousands of entries; search images and it’s the same. Peeps even has an official website. http://www.marshmallowpeeps.com/




A little info about Peeps:


Peeps

Peeps are marshmallow candies, sold in the US and Canada, that are shaped into chicks, bunnies, and other animals. There are also different shapes used for various holidays. Peeps are used primarily to fill Easter baskets, though recent ad campaigns tout the candy as "Peeps - Always in Season". They are made from marshmallow, corn syrup, gelatin, and carnauba wax.

Peeps are produced by Just Born, a candy manufacturer based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Peeps were introduced nationally in 1958 by Pravin Pant Sr., a Nepali immigrant. When Just Born acquired Rodda Candy Company in 1953, they automated the process (originally the chicks were formed by hand) and mass-produced them. The yellow chicks were the original form of the candy — hence their name — but then the company introduced other colors and, eventually, the myriad shapes in which they are now produced.

Just Born has expanded its product line to include bats, pumpkins, and ghosts for Halloween; hearts for Valentine's Day; eggs for Easter; trees, gingerbread men, snowmen, the word "JOY", and stars for Christmas; and red, white, and blue chicks and stars for the 4th of July.

Although the original Peeps were standard marshmallow flavor, some of the newer flavors include chocolate mousse (bunnies for Easter, cats for Halloween, reindeer for Christmas), strawberry and vanilla (hearts for Valentine's Day), cocoa (cats and bats for Halloween), sugar cookie (gingerbread people for Christmas), and orange (eggs for Easter).

In 2009, Just Born expanded the Peeps product line further by introducing Peeps Lip Balm in four flavors: grape, strawberry, vanilla, and cotton candy. The first Peeps & Co. store opened in November 2009 in Prince George's County.



In cooking


Peeps can be used as ingredients in desserts such as marshmallow crisp treats, fondue, and s’mores. Peeps can also be put into mugs of hot cocoa; the confectionery will float upright until the heat causes them to dissolve. Although they are made of marshmallow, it is difficult to toast Peeps over a campfire, as the sugar coating tends to burn, becoming unpalatable. However, with careful exposure to flame, the surface of a Peep can be caramelized to form a glossy shell.

One way to eat Peeps is to "age" them by leaving an open package in a cupboard for weeks or months. Another is to eat them frozen.

Peeps can be eaten after being heated in a microwave. This is often done in conjunction with "Peep Jousting", a game in which two Peeps are placed in the microwave with toothpicks stuck in them. The Peeps expand in the microwave, the player whose Peep pierces the other Peep gets the honor of eating both hot and gooey Peeps.


Contests and competitions


An annual "Peep Off" is held in Maryland on the first Saturday after Easter, when Peeps are greatly discounted. The first such event was arranged by Shawn Sparks in 1994, and had only six participants. Dave Smith started Sacramento's record holding annual Peep Off after contacting Jack Eidsness, a participant in the first Peep Off, with a question about it, through Mr. Eidsness' Peep-themed website. Peeps are often added into non-traditional menu items. Brian Beecher and Crystal Carlsberg incorporated peeps into their award winning dessert grilled cheese sandwich, the "Cake and Mivens," which won the 2008 Grilled Cheese Invitational in Los Angeles.

The Seattle Times has an annual contest of Peeps used in photos. The St. Paul Pioneer Press was the first newspaper to hold an annual Peeps diorama contest and receives hundreds of entries every year. The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and other newspapers also hold a Peeps diorama contest every Easter.

The Universal Record Database has a number of world records that involve Peeps.


Indestructibility


Peeps are sometimes jokingly described as "indestructible". In 1999, scientists at Emory University performed experiments on batches of Peeps to see how easily they could be dissolved, burned or otherwise disintegrated, using such agents as cigarette smoke, boiling water and liquid nitrogen. They claimed that the eyes of the confectionery "wouldn't dissolve in anything". Furthermore, Peeps are insoluble in acetone, water, diluted sulfuric acid, and sodium hydroxide. Concentrated sulfuric acid seems to have effects similar to the expected effects of sulfuric acid on sugar


And the ultimate Peep Show