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How to have the most productive, most enjoyable, best year of your life... (without setting a single goal)
This new year, do something different: stop setting goals.
If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results, then making resolutions for another year is a sure-fire way to drive yourself crazy. I did it for years, and it got me nothing.
Resolutions are pipe dreams, and goals are a waste of time. They are designed to trick you into believing all you need to change your life is a plan.
But plans don’t work. Life is too chaotic and busy. For most of us, it’s impossible to stick to a list of goals for more than a few weeks, not to mention an entire year.
So how do you change your life?
By controlling what you can: your daily habits.
The Pointlessness of Plans
Most good things happen without a plan: friendships, falling in love, finding a job, and so on.
If you want to make your new year count, you’ll need to be intentional - not by setting goals, but by making space in your life for what really matters.
This was how I was able to get into shape, launch a blog, train for a half-marathon, get a book deal, and keep my day job this year - while loving every minute of it.
Most productivity systems focus on beginning with the “end in mind” and setting goals to get there.
Many are based on the assumption that in order to get what you want later, you have to give up what you want now. You work the plan, endure pain, and win.
But this is not the only path you can take.
I just finished one of the best years of my life, and most of it was completely unplanned.
How did I do it? By creating new disciplines I actually liked doing. I wasn’t only fixated on the end results; I also enjoyed the process.
This is the secret to a healthy, productive life and to making an impact on the world. Create good, sustainable habits that you enjoy, and you’ll end up with a life you can be proud of.
Instead of Goals
There is an alternative to setting goals that will bring you closer to the life you want. Focus on a few practices you can enjoy doing on a regular basis. The trick here is consistency.
These four helped me:
Get up early.
When the world wakes up, distractions abound. If you are going to focus on creating a new life for yourself, you’ll need to find the time. The best way to do this is to work while others are sleeping.
At first, I didn’t like waking up before the sun, but eventually my body adjusted and I began looking forward to the solitude.
The adage “under-promise and over-deliver” is a farce. It only propagates the status quo. Real difference-makers push boundaries.
They test, prod, and poke until something gives. You can do this, too, by saying “yes” to more things than you’re comfortable with.
Learn to stretch yourself. You might be surprised by what you’re actually capable of. Your confidence will grow, too.
Give away your time, money, services, and ideas. When you do this, you will get a lot more than you give. People will learn to trust you, and if you really help them, they will tell others about you.
This will build your reputation, and you will have more friends than you know what to do with. And as the saying goes, what goes around really does come around.
After a year of doing these things, I ended up with a life I couldn’t have imagined or planned for. And I had a blast doing it. So I’m going to do it all over again, without setting a single goal.
The best year of your life is within reach - if you are willing to give up on the craziness of plans and instead focus on creating new habits. The first step is to begin.
Talk to strangers.
Relationships are what make the world go round. This is true for your career, personal well-being, and inner life. When you meet new people, you make connections that can lead to all kinds of future breakthroughs.
Even when it’s uncomfortable, reach out and introduce yourself to new people. The worst they can say is “no.” Fortunately, many won’t.
I Have a Dream...
Only one in four Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. (Freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly, and petition for redress of grievances.)
And I find this one hard to believe: But 30% of Americans polled couldn’t recall what the Holocaust was.
Despite all of these, an astonishing 96% recognize the words “I have a dream.” Making it, undoubtedly, the most well-known speeches in modern-day.
The speech is so well known, I’d say, because it transcended colors, borders, and races and spoke to the human.
It was, of course, targeted at the blacks and those who supported the civil rights movement. But it also resonated with the timeless foundation of which the United States was constructed.
And King’s message reverberated far beyond the U.S. borders too. Because it spoke to the natural (and colorful) human desire to be free.
You know about the historic speech and the impact it made. You already know that it marks a huge turning point in the civil rights movement.
Five year old boy is a Piano Phenom!
This child piano prodigy will take your breath away. Five years old and already with so much talent. God truly has blessed this little boy!
Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=e3oNVmSaMsE
In case you haven't heard, or you are oblivious to the news of the day... America's 'Debt Limit' is now again the latest fabricated crisis in Washington.
Today is January 23rd... and your taxes are still going up... and our country is virtually bankrupt... and going $4 billion dollars deeper in the hole - each and every day. Yet Obama pretends all is well. Here's Obama's latest propaganda...
Here's Obama's "bull crap" for the week... 01/23/2015...
How to fix America's failed government
Obama gives lots of prepared speeches... falsely boasting about phony accomplishments and grand visions that go no where.
That's how corrupt politicians - with no ethics, no morals and no God - deceive the citizens.
But he hasn't fixed anything. In fact - he's just made things worse.
Here are some real fixes for America:
Term Limits... Amend the Constitution and impose term limits on members of Congress. The measure would call for a maximum of 24 years of service for lawmakers, with 12 years each in both the House and Senate.
Balanced Budget Amendment... A Constitutional rule requiring that the federal government cannot spend more than its income. It requires a balance between the projected receipts and expenditures of the government.
28th Amendment... Congress shall pass no law that does not apply to them also.
Secure Borders... with a sensible work visa to citizenship program and Flat Tax.
True Health Care Reform... where Health Care Systems, Dr.'s, and Health Ins. Companies must itemize and advertise publicly all costs in plain English, and also post their performance rating based on their level of care and service (True Free Market) or risk foreign competition being allowed in to lower prices.
Campaign Reform... Example: The top "3" primary winners are given "X" amount of money from a national campaign fund (tax payer funded). They can accept no other funds or favors (illegal) and must account to the dollar where the money went, they can spend it anyway they choose.
Five scheduled nationally televised debates... where the center piece is their master plan to improve the country. Now they enter the Office with a plan to execute and owing nobody any favors but the US Taxpayer.
True Tax Reform "FairTax"... a proposal to reform the federal tax code of the United States.
It would replace all federal income taxes (including the alternative minimum tax, corporate income taxes, and capital gains taxes), payroll taxes (including Social Security and Medicare taxes), gift taxes, and estate taxes...
With a single broad national consumption tax on retail sales.
I'll use a corporate phrase "continuous improvement" ... if any of these don't work they can be eliminated.
It's far better to try than to stay with the failed process we have in place now.
Obama's 2015 state of the union is more bogus claims and lies... here's the reality from Rand Paul
For those of us who feel separated and distant from the American Dream, we don’t want be perpetually talked down to, forgotten, and left in perpetual poverty.
Many are discouraged that the “gifts” offered by liberals have not generated wealth, but rather perpetuated poverty. People want a way out - not fake concern and baubles.
The war on poverty is 50 years old, and still black unemployment is twice that of white unemployment. The black community is worse off under six years of Obama's lies.
Income inequality has worsened under this Administration, and tonight President Obama offers more of the same policies - policies that have allowed the poor to get poorer, and the rich to get richer.
Pitting one American against another - is not a pathway towards prosperity.
The President is intent on redistributing the pie... but not growing it.
He misunderstands that the bulk of America wants a bigger pie. They want to work and don’t want a handout - but a hand up.
Not only do we need new blood in Washington, we need a new way of thinking in Washington.
It is self-evident that the President and Congress are unable to do what every family in America must do - balance the budget.
President Obama is on course to add more to our national debt - than all previous presidents combined. We borrow a million dollars a minute. Our $18 trillion dollar debt has become an anchor.
Some economists argue that the burden of debt, costs us a million jobs a year.
I fear that this enormous burden of debt threatens our currency. I fear that another 2008-style panic is possible, and I fear that this degree of debt is an imminent threat to our national security.
You cannot project power from bankruptcy court. It does not make us appear stronger - when we borrow money from China - and send it to countries that burn our flag.
The hollowing out of our national defense comes from the advocates for unlimited spending and perpetual military intervention.
Hillary’s war in Libya is a prime example of acting without thinking. Libya is now a jihadist wonderland. Jihadists swim in our embassy pool. Our Ambassador is dead, and we are now more at risk from terrorist attacks than ever before.
The Middle East lives in the midst of a 1,000-year war between Sunni and Shia. Superimposed on the long war is a century-old war pitting a barbaric aberration of Islam against civilized Islam.
We are foolish to believe we will solve this puzzle.
We must defend ourselves and defend vital American interests, but we must not be deluded into believing that we can remake the Middle East in an image of Western Democracy.
At home, much of nation still suffers.
Dr. Martin Luther King spoke of two Americas. He described them as “two starkly different American experiences that exist side by side.”
In one America, people experienced “the opportunity of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in all its dimensions.”
In the other America, people experienced a “daily ugliness” that dashes hope and leaves only “the fatigue of despair.”
It is a noble aspiration and a moral obligation to make sure our fellow man is provided for, that medical treatment is made available to all.
But compassion cannot be delivered in the form of coercion.
President Obama’s fundamental promise... that if you like your doctor you can keep them - was a lie.
Obamacare, at its core, takes away a patient’s right to choose. Under Obamacare, patients are prohibited from choosing their doctor or their insurance.
Today, more Americans may have medical insurance, but Americans are now paying much more money - for worse care.
The relationship between doctor and patient is withering. Doctors are fleeing the profession they love. Hospitals are straining, closing, or refusing to accept Obamacare policies.
Everyone knows our health care system needed reforming, but it was the wrong prescription to choose more government, instead of more consumer choice and competition.
Obamacare restricts freedom and must be repealed!
The President tonight calls for higher taxes.
I believe we should do the opposite. I propose we cut everyone’s taxes, from the richest to poorest, and we cut spending at the same time.
Imagine a private stimulus fed by allowing you to keep more of your own money!
Some will ask, “But what of the safety net?”
I say: We will not cut one penny from the safety net, until we’ve cut every penny from corporate welfare!
So much of Washington’s inability to cut waste in government comes from them not doing their job. It has been several decades since Congress passed all the spending bills individually.
Instead, the spending bills are lumped together in something they call a “Cromnibus” that is thousands of pages long. They allow no amendments to cut wasteful spending.
Often the bill is plopped on our desk with only a few hours to review. No one, and I mean no one, is able to read what is in the bill.
To fix this, I will introduce legislation called “Read the Bills Act.” It mandates that Congress wait one day for each 20 pages of legislation.
Obama and Congress should also live under the laws they pass.
I will introduce a Constitutional Amendment - that Congress shall pass no law - that exempts Congress from the requirements of the bill.
We have set up a privileged class in Washington, and Americans are sick and tired of it.
These elites say, “trust us, we won’t violate your privacy.”
But when the Intelligence Director is not punished for lying to Congress, how are we to trust them? Are we to trust them to collect and hold every American’s phone records?
The Constitution is clear. Politicians should NOT collect this information without a warrant.
Warrants must be specific to an individual and there must be probable cause... before government is allowed to search any American’s documents.
The President created this vast dragnet by Executive Order - without Congressional authority. He should immediately end this invasion of our privacy.
We need to return to our founding principles and stand up for the entire Bill of Rights.
To defend the Bill of Rights, we must have a strong national defense. I believe national defense is the single most important, Constitutional obligation of our Federal Government.
We should have a military that is second to none in the world, and ready to defend us from all enemies.
To defend ourselves, we need a lean, mean fighting machine that doesn’t waste money on a bloated civilian bureaucracy.
The civilian bureaucracy at the Pentagon has doubled in the past 30 years, gobbling up the money necessary to modernize our defense.
Without leadership, our country is adrift - yet there is still much promise for the future of America.
Our future can include a road back to prosperity… back to respect at home and abroad.
• It can include a balanced budget and a simple, fair tax system.
• It can include a government that protects your rights and your security.
• It can include a stronger, better military, where our troops and veterans are valued and taken care of.
• It can include a plan to bring prosperity to our inner cities, and real justice to all Americans.
The path we are on now does not lead there. But there is time to change course.
This President tonight, and for the past six years, has had the wrong diagnosis for what ails our country.
People gather at the wreath laying ceremony at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall during MLK Day on Jan.19 in Washington, D.C.
Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle shows Pope Francis how to give the popular hand sign for "I love you" at the Mall of Asia arena in Manila, Philippines on Jan. 16.
Robby Gordon and Johnny Campbell of the U.S. take air as they drive for Speed Energy Racing HST Hummer on Jan. 13.
Yamaha rider Olivier Pain from France races on Jan. 13, during the motorcycle seventh stage from Iquique, Chile, to Uyuni, Bolivia, on Jan. 11.
Parents walk primary school students to school amid thick haze in Chiping County, Shandong province, on Friday.
China's meteorological administration issued a yellow smog alert early on Wednesday, predicting smog will persist in most parts of the country in the upcoming days, Xinhua News Agency reported.
American rock climber Tommy Caldwell pulls himself atop the ledge of the 3,000-foot vertical wall of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park in the glow of the afternoon sun, followed minutes later by Kevin Jorgeson.
A fisherman works aboard a trawler passing House Island in Casco Bay of Portland, Maine, where the temperature at dawn was minus-9 degrees, Jan. 8. Sea smoke is a fog formed by extremely cold air moving across warmer water.
The tradition of harvesting lake ice at a New Hampshire campground is off to a cold and early start.
Instead of refrigeration units, campers use lake ice packed into insulated ice houses that keep the blocks frozen through summer.
If the ice gets to 11 or 12 inches thick, up to 200 tons are removed. The 16-by-19-inch ice blocks weigh between 120 and 160 pounds each.
You miss 100% of the shots you never take. -- Wayne Gretzky
"Stab the body and it heals, but injure the heart and the wound lasts a lifetime." -- Mineko Iwasaki
"I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do." -- Robert A. Heinlein
"Stand for something... or you will fall for anything. Today’s mighty oak... is yesterday’s nut that held its ground." -- Rosa Parks
"Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man." -- Proverbs 3:3-4
Obama continues divisive attack on America's gullible citizens
The President obviously watched a different set of mid-term elections than the rest of the country did. He said that every single one of his policies was on the ballot; the American people rejected them – and him – overwhelmingly.
It’s amazing that after such a repudiation of his policies and programs, his first instinct was to pick a fight in last night’s State of the Union Address.
Three hundred billion dollars in new taxes?
He knows there’s no chance of such a bill passing either house of Congress; he’s simply being confrontational. It began the day after his historic drubbing in November.
He was quick to recognize the “2/3 of voters who stayed home.” The people who repudiated him at the ballot box are irrelevant to him.
Sadly... that's what most liberals in America have devolved in to... selfish, divisive, Godless critters. What happened the Democrats who actually care about our country.
Eat, drink and chew your way to beautiful teeth... and better health
There's one upside to dreading the dentist: That fear can motivate extra-faithful brushing and flossing.
But there are less angst-ridden ways to protect your mouth from tooth decay, gum disease, and your nerves from a close encounter with the drill:
Say no to bottled water.
You'll help save your teeth (and the planet) by not drinking bottled water because tap water has more enamel-protecting fluoride than most store-bought bottled waters.
Munch on apples and celery.
Both contain substances that fight gum disease. Plus, their rough, fibrous texture helps scrub away food particles as you chew, slightly brightening your smile.
Snack on low-fat yogurt.
It's good for your gums. Japanese researchers found that people who eat about 2 ounces of no-sugar-added yogurt a day are less likely to have severe gum disease.
Stock up on straws.
Just say no to soda! It doesn't do any part of you an ounce of good anyway. Try to sip sports drinks and cranberry, prune, and citrus juices through a straw to limit your teeth's direct exposure. Oh, and favor cranberry juice.
Ingredients in those tart little berries not only keep cavity-causing bacteria from sticking to teeth but also inhibit the inflammation of gum disease and put the kibosh on destructive enzymes linked to infection and decay.
Just choose diet cranberry juice to avoid the loads of sugar that decay-causing bacteria thrive on.
Can you trade in your teeth-whitening products for something green instead? Maybe.
Getting more greens in your diet - along with other veggies and fruit - could help thwart staining, write RealAge experts Michael Roizen, MD, and Mehmet Oz, MD, in their new book, YOU: Being Beautiful.
Protect and Destroy
Sure, cutting back on coffee may help, too. But why not make more trips to the produce aisle for extra insurance.
Apples, celery, and carrots act as natural stain removers, Drs. Roizen and Oz note in their book, while greens such as spinach, broccoli, and lettuce create a film over the teeth that serves as a stain barrier.
Get more look good, feel good tips in their book.
Stain Be Gone
Here are a few more tricks and tips for keeping your choppers gleaming and healthy:
Swish and sip some water after eating a couple of bites of foods known to stain teeth (like red wine, tea, blueberries, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, tomato sauce, and grape and cranberry juice).
Skip the bubbly beverages, even if they are diet.
Think "nature's candies." Go for sweet, natural treats that teeth love.
"American Sniper" triggers ideological battle between Conservatives and Liberals
The box-office smash "American Sniper" is a hands-down hit with audiences, but it's triggered a culture war in Hollywood -
With conservatives battling complaints by some liberals that the movie glorifies war and late Navy SEAL sharpshooter Chris Kyle.
Before the movie had even opened, journalist Max Blumenthal of Alternet.org tweeted:
The Tinseltown liberal knotheads pile-on heated up after the film's opening over the weekend...
With lame director Michael Moore tweeting "snipers aren't heroes," ... and so-called actor and comedian Seth Rogen comparing the movie to Nazi propaganda...
And some unnamed members of the Hollywood film academy telling the Wrap they wondered if Kyle had been a "sociopath," and if the movie was dangerous.
According to Bloomberg News, the anonymous Oscar voters claimed they'd been passing around an article by a Penn State professor for the New Republic that attacked the movie for lionizing Kyle.
Meanwhile, conservatives lined up against the liberal backlash with a pushback of their own - a rally that has attracted the support of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich and the PAC Move America Forward.
Bloomberg News reports Move America Forward has put out an appeal for audience support of the movie, promising for every donation of $100 or more, "we will send you a gift certificate to go see 'American Sniper' in theaters."
"With one donation you can help out our troops who really need your support, as well as treat yourself to a great Pro-Troop Movie Night!" the appeal says, Bloomberg News reports.
The culture war is playing out on cable TV as well, with liberal filmmaker Robert Greenwald's assessment of the movie as a "neocon fantasy" drawing the ire of former Pennsylvania congressman Patrick Murphy - a vet - on MSNBC, Mediaite reports.
When Greenwald opined that the film's message is "there is no good Iraqi except for a dead Iraqi," Murphy called his assessment an exaggeration that doesn't take into account how the movie also shows Iraqis who worked with Americans.
Greenwald said he was sickened at how "people in the movie theater were cheering after every time an Iraqi got shot."
The culture war over the war pic has even colored praise from actress Jane Fonda, a frequent target of veterans' disdain for her visit to Hanoi during the Vietnam war. Her tweet praising the film was immediately pounced on by some vets.
What I find pathetic… is you "radical" leftists who shoot your mouths off about Christians... but are too frightened - like the sissies you are - to criticize the Jihadists.
When Sharia law is imposed, you'll be required to wear a burka, and when you tell them, "I'm not a woman," they won't believe you either.
Americans voted on this debate with their pocketbooks. Patriotic Americans won that debate. The American Sniper was and is a huge success! Sorry, libs!
Kinda like the last elections?! The antagonizer loser liberals... just won’t stop being obnoxious!
The smell of rainfall was unknown, until MIT researchers discovered the reason
It’s something that everyone has noticed when stepping outside after the first rainfall: a distinct smell.
Scientists refer to it as “petrichor” or “a smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather.”
“Australian scientists were first to characterize this phenomenon of petrichor,” MIT said in a new video. “However, until now the mechanism for how that smell is released into the air was unknown.”
Using high-speed cameras, MIT researchers recorded rainfall hitting a hard surface. They then analyzed the footage frame-by-frame.
“The researchers observed that when a raindrop hits a porous surface, it traps tiny air bubbles at the point of contact,” the university said in a news release.
“As in a glass of champagne, the bubbles then shoot upward, ultimately bursting from the drop in a fizz of aerosols.”
“The researchers suspect that in natural environments, aerosols may carry aromatic elements, along with bacteria and viruses stored in soil,” it added. “These aerosols may be released during light or moderate rainfall, and then spread via gusts of wind.”
Cullen R. Buie, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the school, said he found it curious no one had solved this mystery before.
“Rain happens every day - it’s raining now, somewhere in the world,” he said. “It’s a very common phenomenon, and it was intriguing to us that no one had observed this mechanism before.”
Beth Hart & Jeff Beck
Kennedy Center Honors... Buddy Guy
Beth Hart & Jeff Beck perform "I'd Rather Go Blind" at the 35th Annual Kennedy Center Honors 2012 (December, 26 - CBS).
They also joined Bonnie Raitt on stage for the grand all star finale "Sweet Home Chicago". Honoree: Buddy Guy.
Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fALdOkf_eCM
Gospel according to Beaver Cleaver
by David Kowalczyk
'Sense' is a glowing sphere that watches over you while you sleep
Sense is a simple system that tracks your sleep behavior, monitors the environment of your bedroom and reinvents the alarm.
Let’s Talk About Sleep
We created Sense to be simple, uncomplicated and useful.
Sense is the first system that combines the insight of your sleep patterns with the data of the environment in your bedroom, including noise, light, temperature, humidity and particles in the air.
With Sense's Smart Alarm, it can even wake you up in the morning at the right point in your sleep cycle, to avoid that groggy feeling we all hate so much. All easily available via our iPhone and Android applications.
Sense Technology has enriched our lives in many ways. But it has its downside, and sleep is one of its biggest victims.
Sense uses technology so we can take back our sleep. Without imposing itself. Without intrusion.
Everything with Sense is designed to fade away and work in the background, letting you just sleep.
Sense's Sleep Score takes into account all of the sensor data and variables that it monitors to generate a score out of 100 for your previous night.
It looks at both the environment of your bedroom, such as disturbances during the night or whether your room was too bright for an ideal night’s rest, as well as how you actually slept yourself.
A pitch black room might boost your score by +10, but a car alarm going off repeatedly might lower it -20.
Sense will give you a breakdown of your score, begin to notice problem patterns and help you to fix whatever is preventing you from reaching 100 each night.
Who Is Sense For?
Survey after survey reports that most of us - as much as two-thirds - aren't getting enough sleep. Sense is for them. But Sense is also for more than them. Because millions think they're getting better sleep than they really are.
Sleep improves our memory and immune systems; it helps in weight management and dealing with stress; it makes us more creative and productive.
We've built Sense for anyone one who cares about those things... which is pretty much everyone.
What do you want from God?
Are you seeking great things for yourself, instead of seeking to be a great person?
God wants you to be in a much closer relationship with Himself than simply receiving His gifts - He wants you to get to know Him. Even some large thing we want is only incidental; it comes and it goes.
But God never gives us anything incidental. There is nothing easier than getting into the right relationship with God, unless it is not God you seek, but only what He can give you.
If you have only come as far as asking God for things, you have never come to the point of understanding the least bit of what surrender really means. You have become a Christian based on your own terms.
You protest, saying, “I asked God for the Holy Spirit, but He didn’t give me the rest and the peace I expected.”
And instantly... God puts His finger on the reason - you are not seeking the Lord at all; you are seeking something for yourself.
Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you…” (Matthew 7:7).
Ask God for what you want and do not be concerned about asking for the wrong thing, because as you draw ever closer to Him, you will cease asking for things altogether.
“Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:8). Then why should you ask? So that you may get to know Him.
Are you seeking great things for yourself? Have you said, “Oh, Lord, completely fill me with your Holy Spirit?" If God does not, it is because you are not totally surrendered to Him; there is something you still refuse to do.
Are you prepared to ask yourself what it is you want from God and why you want it? God always ignores your present level of completeness... in favor of your ultimate future completeness.
He is not concerned about making you blessed and happy right now, but He’s continually working out His ultimate perfection for you - “… that they may be one just as We are one…” (John 17:22).
Fred was at the doors of Heaven. Before allowing him entry, he was asked a number of questions. One of the questions asked was if he had done any good deeds.
Fred replied, "Yes, of course. I had chanced upon a gang of ruffians who had accosted a young girl. I ordered them to leave her alone but they just laughed.
So, I confronted the gang leader and asked him to get lost with his gang. When he would not listen, I gave him a punch right in his face, then another one into his ribs.
I kicked him, pulled his hair and announced, "If you care for your life, leave NOW!"
St. Peter was amazed by the courage of the man and asked him, "When did this happen?"
Fred replied, "Just a few minutes ago."
This morning the Academy Award nominations were announced. Meryl Streep once again was nominated. I thought she did a tremendous job as the Olympic wrestler. -- David Letterman
"The Lego Movie" was snubbed. I think that's a good idea. I don't think they want to encourage any motion picture based on a choking hazard. -- David Letterman
I want to wish everyone a happy Martin Luther King Day. Most people celebrated by taking the day off of work. Except for the Indianapolis Colts, who did that yesterday. -- Jimmy Fallon
The RNC released its first presidential debate schedule, which includes at least nine debates in different states across the country. As opposed to the Democratic debates, which will just be Hillary staring at her opponents until they burst into flames. -- Jimmy Fallon
During a conference yesterday, Pope Francis spoke about birth control and said that Catholics don't have to breed like, quote, “rabbits.” The Pope knew it was getting out of hand when he had to baptize babies with a hose. -- Jimmy Fallon
A new study revealed Vermont businesses could benefit financially by legalizing marijuana. And by Vermont businesses I mean specifically Ben & Jerry's. -- Conan O'Brien
One of the latest trends is Starbucks weddings. That occurs when the line at Starbucks is so long you actually have time to meet someone, fall in love, and marry while you're there. -- Conan O'Brien
A new study says that children are suffering bad health effects from eating too much pizza. The study was explained in a pie chart which children immediately tried to eat. -- Conan O'Brien
The IRS suggests filing early to reduce the chance that someone will steal your identity and file before you. Honestly, if somebody wants my identity so badly they'll file my tax return for me, go crazy. You can mow my lawn while you're at it, too. -- Jimmy Kimmel
A new survey shows that most people trust Google more as a source for current events than traditional news outlets. Traditional news outlets didn't believe the news until they Googled it. -- Seth Meyers
The coming digital age of medical care... and the cost-saving alternatives to the Obamacare fiasco
"I continue to see absolute chaos, confusion, disruption, anger, and fear caused by the fallout from the UN-Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare:
“And all the broken promises of keeping your doctor, your health plan, and not costing more that $2,500 per year.”
Great, you might be thinking. Another doomsday scenario. Just what I need!
But… hold on. This isn’t something to fret about.
There are other options...
One is, of course, medical tourism. Which is partly why I’m traveling halfway across the world. To show you just how simple (and fun) it can be.
[I’m on the plane, by the way. By the time you read this, I’m probably getting close to Tokyo.]
But if medical tourism just simply isn’t for you… don’t worry.
Out of the smoldering ruins of the current broken healthcare system, something new is arising. And it’s something pretty great.
Today, we update you on the bright side of our abysmal health care industry’s downward slope.
And why you should feel fine.
Telemedicine is the future of more efficient healthcare
Healthcare just recently jumped on the bullet train... in order to catch up with the 21st century economy.
Last year, we witnessed the early stages of this conversion with activity body trackers like Fitbit, Jawbone, and Nike Fuel.
But this is just the beginning.
Health care innovators and venture funds are having a field day on digital healthcare. By this time in 2016 we will hardly recognize our conventional annual doctor visit.
All this new digital technology will tear down hospital walls and bring the doctors right into our living room. And at a time and manner that is convenient to you.
And I almost forgot to mention: it will be much more affordable.
Telemedicine is quickly becoming a mature industry, and many of my friends aren’t even familiar with it. This is sure to change over the next few years.
Dr. Polil released his book, The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care, in 2012.
This is a great book if you want a deeper understanding of the digital technology changes that are now in works.
The person who best articulates the revolutionary changes in healthcare today, though, is Dr. Eric Topol.
His latest book is called The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine is in Your Hands.
This is also an excellent book, which details all the medical apps that you will download on your smartphone. These apps will provide instant access and be more affordable.
Dr. Bones would be jealous!
Yes, shout from the rooftop, “good things are coming!”
That’s right: “A new model of medicine is taking hold,” Eric Topol concurs in his book The Patient Will See You Now, one that is democratized - not difficult, but easy. The signs are everywhere!"
For example, you may recall a Seinfeld episode… where Elaine went to the doctor for a checkup, and was labeled a 'difficult patient' on her chart.
So she tried going to another doctor... but the 'difficult' annotation was transferred, along with her records. Some funny stuff!
“If Elaine wanted to have her skin rash assessed today,” Topol writes, “all she would have to do is take a picture of it with her smartphone and download an app to process it.”
All you do is upload the pic in the app and a computer algorithm - which has already been proven to be more accurate than most doctors - will deliver a diagnosis via text.
“The text,” Topol goes on, “would include specific next steps, perhaps treatment with a topical ointment or a visit to your dermatologist for further assessment.
Elaine could then download one of many apps to see ratings of the dermatologists near her home. That way, she can avoid dealing with 'difficult' doctors - and more easily find one she likes.
“The difference between these two scenarios represents the essence of a new era of medicine,” says Topol.
“We are embarking on a time when each individual will have all their own medical data and the computing power to process it in the context of their own world.
“This will set up a tectonic (or “tech-tonic”) power shift, putting the individual at the center stage. No longer will 'MD' stand for medical deity.”
New business startups are declining... that's a problem, because most new jobs start here
"This economy is never truly coming back - unless we reverse the birth and death trends of American businesses," says Jim Clifton, CEO of the Gallup polling firm.
Mr. Clifton is getting a lot of clicks today via Breitbart and Drudge. "We are behind in starting new firms per capita," he writes, "and this is our single most serious economic problem."
Uhhh... We're not sure where Mr. Clifton has been the last six months. Back in July, we published the same chart he's talking about now - showing businesses are now going defunct - faster than they're coming into existence...
This is important because the Kauffman Foundation has demonstrated that new businesses - less than five years old - are the real job creators in the United States.
"When new businesses aren't being born," Clifton goes on, "the free enterprise system and jobs decline. And without a growing free enterprise system, without a growing entrepreneurial economy, there are no new good jobs.
"That means declining revenues and smaller salaries to tax, followed by declining aid for the elderly and poor and declining funding for the military, for education, for infrastructure - declining revenues for everything."
Gee, wasn't there a documentary a few years ago that made the same point?
"The government ended the calendar year with a deficit of $488 billion," says this morning's Wall Street Journal, "$72 billion less than the 2013 tally, according to data from the U.S. Treasury...
The deficit in 2014 was just under 3% of GDP, using the most recently available figures for the size of the economy. That's below the average since the 1980s."
Hmmm... We're looking at other data from the U.S. Treasury that show the national debt totaled $17.352 trillion on Dec. 31, 2013... and $18.141 trillion on Dec. 31, 2014.
That's a $789 billion increase in the national debt. Just a wee bit more than the "official" deficit of $488 billion, no?
Anyone in the private sector who tried to use Obama's phony accounting methods would be doing time in Club Fed...
For the record: The feds are once again making things up with their fantasty deficit numbers.
Artist combines GIFs and graffiti for ultimate masterpiece that is best appreciated online
You might think you’ve seen it all when it comes to daring art pieces, but you have to check out these masterpieces, which are unlike anything you have ever viewed before.
Artist Insa combines graffiti artwork and GIFs that can only be seen online. He calls it GIF-iti.
Here’s how he does it: He paints an already cool mural on a wall, photographs it, then repaints a slightly different mural on the same wall and photographs it again.
Then, through the power of the GIF, it comes to life! If you think those look incredible, Insa took to the skies to create his most epic GIF-iti to date.
He painted his trademark “Looking for Love” murals on the ground in Rio de Janeiro, and the outcome is the world’s largest GIF!
This is actually satellite imagery taken from 431 miles above the Earth. You can take a look at how a team of 20 went to work to make the out-of-this-world GIF-iti happen in this YouTube video.
His inspiration to flip the script on traditional art is simple.
He says, “The Internet has kind of changed our view on art, and I wanted to cross both worlds and make work that existed in online space even more than it existed in the real space.”
You may have noticed that you never see Insa’s face in the video. He says he prefers to keep his anonymity, adding, “I think artwork can speak a lot louder if it’s not narrowed by the identity of the artist.”
That’s so “Banksy” of you, Insa!
Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXtSnq-Nvro&feature=player_embedded&x-yt-ts=1421782837&x-yt-cl=84359240
Animals taking a ride
These animal buddies know the best way to get a good friend, is to be a good friend.
As the song lyrics go... "So, come on and take a free ride, free ride...
Come on and take it by my side"
Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jc8mXDNQXo4&feature=player_embedded
7 Day Free Trial @ Chemistry.com.
Thought for the day...
Sunshine, Vitamin D... and your health
A warm sunny day… what could feel better? Yet the warm sun on our skin that we all crave gets a lot of bad press from the medical establishment.
Far from being a source of illness that will kill you before your time, the sun is your best hope to live longer and prevent illness.
Did you know, for example, that people living in places that get more of the sun's UV radiation have the lowest incidence of cancer?
That doesn't mean sunlight lowers the "risk" of getting cancer. Getting sunlight keeps people from getting cancer.
Studies show sunlight prevents skin cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer… and it lowers rates of leukemia, breast cancer, bladder cancer and lymphoma. I could list many more.
Part of the sun's protective power is that its UV rays "turn on" several processes in the body that lengthen telomeres.
Most doctors don't know this because they've been misled into believing that sunlight is generally harmful and can even kill you. But they're years behind the research.
Here are just a few of the amazing ways sunlight helps your body grow younger:
1. In one study, researchers found that the sun's ultraviolet rays lowered blood pressure. In another study, scientists discovered that ultraviolet rays promoted fat loss.
Now here's an interesting thing that was not mentioned in the summaries of these studies, but is something you should know.
Both studies found that sunlight causes the body to release nitric oxide.
What neither study noted... is that nitric oxide activates telomerase, the enzyme that rebuilds telomeres, those tiny tips on your DNA that regulate how young and healthy your body acts.
(Remember, this is nitric oxide (NO) ... not your dentist's laughing gas. That's nitrous oxide.)
NO is a compound produced naturally by cells in the walls of your blood vessels. It allows them to "breathe easy" and let your blood flow freely.
I happen to know from my research into telomeres that NO increases the activity of telomerase. It extends the life of blood cells. The same is true in the other direction. Block NO production and telomeres get shorter.
2. You might already know that sunlight gets turned into Vitamin D in your body. But did you know that vitamin D also increases telomerase?
One study looked into the health records of more than 2,000 women, and found that women with the most vitamin D had the longest telomeres. And the women who took vitamin D supplements had longer telomeres that the women who didn't.
3. Sunlight also encourages your skin to make melanin, a natural sunscreen which gives your complexion its color. And there's a relationship between how much melanin you have in your skin and the length of your telomeres.
When melanin becomes concentrated in a small area, it darkens the skin. This process keeps skin cells younger.
Cancer experts studied 1,800 women ages 18 to 79. The researchers compared the telomere length of the white blood cells of these women with more melanin-rich areas to the white blood cells of women without them.
There are two reasons they looked at white blood cells. The first is they are your body's "guardians" against biological enemies. They fight off diseases and infections that can age you.
The second is that telomere length of white blood cells is also often used to extrapolate general telomere length and health.
Women who had more areas of melanin-rich skin had the longest telomeres. These women's white blood cells ranged from six to seven years younger than the women who had a less melanin.
4. Another way sunlight protects and lengthens telomere is through melatonin. I've discovered that for anti-aging, it's the expression of telomerase that truly makes melatonin so potent.
The sun's rays tell the brain's pineal gland when to produce melatonin and how much of it to make. Turns out telomeres have receptors that "listen to" and "talk to" the hormones in your body, including melatonin.
In just one example, researchers gave melatonin to both young and old rats. They all had significant increases in telomerase and significant decreases in oxidative stress.
This suggests that melatonin is not only a powerful antioxidant but also boosts telomerase expression.
It's very simple: increasing melatonin levels helps cells get younger.
5. Melatonin also helps regulate production of another vital hormone called HGH, or human growth hormone. HGH helps stimulate telomerase to rebuild telomeres.
So you can see why it's so important to get healthy doses of sunlight.
If you haven't spent a lot of time in the Sun, start out gradually. If you're fair-skinned, go outside for about 20 minutes a day. If you have a darker complexion, then you can push it to about an hour.
As your skin begins to tan, you can spend more and more time in the sun. That's because your skin has begun producing melanin. This hormone acts like a natural sunscreen to protect you from burning.
I'm not a fan of slathering on sunscreen. Many of them contain toxic or cancer-causing chemicals. Chemicals that have been banned in other countries.
Sunscreens also block the sunlight so it can't stimulate nitric oxide and vitamin D, blocking the telomere benefits of the sun. If you're worried about being in the sunlight for a long time, then use a natural sunblock like zinc oxide cream.
Many drugs can make your skin extra sensitive to ultraviolet light. Like antibiotics, antihistamines, chemotherapy treatments, and common painkillers. So ask your doctor or pharmacist if your drugs are sun-friendly or not.
The next economic recession is brewing... and once again, the government has created the bubble
The next financial collapse, already on our radar screen, will not come from hedge funds or home mortgages - turning our attention back to an approaching crisis.
Problem is, that's where financial regulators are looking for a potential crisis... because that's where the last two happened.
You've heard the expression about "generals fighting the last war?"
The same mistake is made in financial circles. The last two global meltdowns, in 1998 and 2008, are cases in point.
Case Study No. 1:
In 1998, Russia defaulted on its debt - triggering huge losses at the hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management.
They were losing hundreds of millions of dollars per day. Total losses over the two-month span were almost $4 billion. But that wasn't the most dangerous part.
Their losses were trivial compared with to the $1 trillion of derivatives trades they had on our books with the biggest Wall Street banks.
If LTCM failed, those trillion dollars of trades would not have paid off and the Wall Street banks would have fallen like dominoes. Global markets would have completely collapsed.
They negotiated a bailout with the Federal Reserve and the 14 biggest U.S. banks: They got $4 billion of new capital from Wall Street, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates and the situation stabilized.
The regulators vowed never to let it happen again.
They ordered banks to monitor their hedge fund exposures more closely, improve their legal documentation and require more collateral to secure the performance on open trades.
Which did absolutely squat to prevent...
Case Study No. 2:
When the Panic of 2008, they were surprised that problems were not in hedge funds but in something new - subprime mortgages.
The mortgage market collapse quickly spun out of control and once again brought global capital markets to the brink of collapse.
After the 2008 debacle, regulators again set out to fight the last war. They made mortgage lending much safer...
By requiring larger down payments, better documentation, proof of income, proof of employment and higher credit scores before a home loan could be made.
But once again, regulators today are fixing the last problem and totally ignoring the next one.
The next financial collapse, will come from junk bonds, especially energy-related and emerging-market corporate debt.
Total corporate debt issuance for energy exploration between 2009-2014 works out to $5 trillion.
That's a problem... with the loans made on the assumption of oil at $80-110 and oil now at [checking our screens] $45.94.
Meanwhile, companies in emerging markets have issued dollar-denominated debt to the tune of $9 trillion.
That's a problem... with a slowing global economy and a strong dollar.
The result, is a $14 trillion pile of corporate debt - that cannot possibly be repaid or rolled over - under current economic conditions.
If default rates are only 10% - a conservative assumption - this corporate debt fiasco will be six times larger than the subprime losses in 2007.
The good news for investors is that this fiasco will not happen overnight. Hey, don't say we never look for silver linings around here...
The first hints of the September 1998 crisis came more than a year earlier, when Thailand ran into trouble.
The first hints of the September 2008 crisis - the really obvious ones - came more than a year earlier -
When a European bank froze three investment funds exposed to U.S. subprime and Jim Cramer was screaming on CNBC for the Fed to "open the discount window!"
This new junk debt fiasco, started in the summer of 2014 but will not reach its peak until 2016 or later.
Even companies and countries with dim prospects often have enough cash on hand to make payments for a while... before they actually default.
This Week's Government Goofs & Goofballs
An Independent & unbiased accounting of our government & political mischief
Hacking into the Pentagon
You need to be careful when you’re online. A lesson the U.S. government discovered this week… yet again.
"Cyber-jihadists" launched another social media attack against the “great infidel.”
And no matter what the government does to try to prevent this from occurring again, we can expect more such attacks in the future…
The U.S. Army alone... has over 2,000 links to feeds on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and other such sites.
That’s a lot of targets to pick from.
So what exactly happened?
The Pentagon got hacked on Monday... but what was revealed is only the tip of the iceberg.
It didn’t even last an hour.
On Monday morning, Islamic State sympathizers took control of U.S. Central Command’s Twitter and YouTube accounts… and began releasing internal military documents.
Fortunately for the government, the published documents were labeled “For Official Use Only,” rather than the more classified “Top Secret.”
Still, we weren’t meant to see them.
After some mad scrambling, the Pentagon quickly wrestled back control from the hackers… And everything returned to normal.
Above: This is what the U.S. Central Command’s Twitter page looked like after they were hacked.
But as Mark Thompson wrote in Time magazine on Tuesday, this event highlights a key problem facing the intelligence community.
“The U.S. government’s preoccupation with secrecy,” he writes, “has its downside: When nearly everything is classified, it can be harder to protect real secrets.”
Thompson offers us a metaphor.
“Think of the government’s penchant for secrecy like an iceberg,” he says.
“What’s showing above the water line is that tiny share that’s classified Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret...
But underwater - where, strangely, you can’t see - are more than 100 different designations that boil down to ‘Don’t let the public see this.’”
He doesn’t need to tell us this… We’re all too aware… Because late last year, a CIA insider revealed exclusively to us - details of a top-secret meeting he participated in.
The event occurred at the Pentagon’s Applied Physics Laboratory.
What was the meeting about?
How the power elite can maintain control - in the event of a total collapse of the U.S. dollar.
All the top brass were present: representatives from the intelligence community, the Treasury Department, the Fed, and Wall Street.
If you haven’t been “briefed,” you need to see this immediately.
What’s planned is downright scary.
We haven’t seen this story in the mainstream media. So we suggest you read this urgent letter right now and see for yourself what those who pull the strings have in store for you.
Senate Republicans advance Keystone bill... but something conspicuous and corrupt happened during this vote, now that Mary Landrieu is gone
More than thirty Corrupt Senate Democrats on Monday voted against the idea of starting work on a bill to approve the Keystone oil pipeline...
Even though no Democrats at all objected when a similar vote came up in November, when considering the bill was seen as a way to keep Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) in the Senate?
The Senate voted 63-32 in favor of a motion to take up the bill, and every “no” vote came from a Democrat or an Independent.
With that vote, the Senate confirmed what everyone already knew -
That back in November, Democrats didn’t object to the bill due to the purely political reason of trying to help a fellow Democrat who ended up losing her election anyway.
In November, Landrieu had just failed to win a majority to keep her Senate seat, and was forced into a runoff election against two Republicans.
Landrieu immediately pushed for a Senate vote on Keystone as a phony way to show leadership on energy policy, and to fake she was not beholden to Senate Democratic leaders.
It was a slightly awkward couple of weeks for Democrats, but they let her try her plan. When the the Senate had to vote on whether to proceed to the bill, a vote wasn’t even needed - Democrats agreed unanimously to take it up.
It didn’t matter much for Landrieu. In the final vote, Democrats required that 60 votes would be needed to pass it, and it failed 59-41. It was, however, an example of how politics can trump policy.
Today, with no floundering Democrat to save, corrupt Democrats were able to vote on the issue cleanly, and dozens voted it down.
Clearing this procedural hurdle means the bill is likely to pass the Senate at some point in the coming weeks.
Unlike their Democratic predecessors, Republican leaders have said they would allow several amendments to the bill, and the final vote will only need 51 votes to pass.
But the 63 votes seen Monday is four short of the 67 needed to override President Barack Obama’s criminal veto threat.
Below are the Democratic senators who changed their mind on the procedural vote...
And apparently only voted against the bill today because there was no political reason for supporting it (all but Peters were in the Senate last year):
Bob Menendez (N.J.)
Cory Booker (N.J.)
Tammy Baldwin (Wis.)
Richard Blumenthal (Conn.)
Barbara Boxer (Calif.)
Maria Cantwell (Wash.)
Ben Cardin (Md.)
Chris Coons (Del.)
Diane Feinstein (Calif.)
Jeff Merkley (Ore.)
Amy Klobuchar (Minn.)
Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.)
Martin Heinrich (N.M.)
Mazie Hirono (Hawaii)
Tim Kaine (Va.)
Al Franken (Minn.)
Dick Durbin (Ill.)
Pat Leahy (Vt.)
Ed Markey (Mass.)
Sherrod Brown (Ohio)
Barbara Mikulski (Md.)
Chris Murphy (Conn.)
Patty Murray (Wash.)
Bill Nelson (Fla.)
Gary Peters (Mich.)
Jack Reed (R.I.)
Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
Brian Schatz (Hawaii)
Chuck Schumer (N.Y.)
Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.)
Debbie Stabenow (Mich.)
Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.)
The way a liberal thinks is “if it’s good for me, screw the country” ...
Whereas a Constitutional conservative follows the mantra of...
“If it’s good for my country … we need to vote consistently for the lesser of two evils - until the message is sent - that we will accept no more BS."