Tidbits From The Web Tidbits From The Web...: Tidbits From The Web #58

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tidbits From The Web #58

Now that is a big ass hot dog...
Speaking of hot dogs...french fry coated!
So many deaths...so little due to swine flu...
Obviously he didn't pray against being lunch...
Google Earth numbers and punctuation...
Maybe we should read the inserts for the vaccine...
Kite surfing at its finest...
It was a golly good green harvest this year...
One of these guys is not like the others...
Ol dirty beaver...
What happened to the mighty US dollar?
Introducing artist Andrew Brandou...
You say you want a revolution...well you know...
The surgeons of tomorrow...microscopic...
How to open a bottle of wine...
Jobs...we don't need no stinkin' jobs!
The unraveling of US society...
Post-It Note Atari...
Is your cell phone a death trap?
Seducing the youth with vampires...
Keeping the time astronomically...
Game over Mr. Gore...
National Wildlife Federation pics of the year...
WHO are you?
How to eat a chicken wing...no meat spared!

Mind blowing technology...

Pranav Mistry demos several tools that help the physical world interact with the world of data -- including a deep look at his SixthSense device and a new, paradigm-shifting paper "laptop."

Today's Message

by Mark Victor Hansen

Life on a tightrope
Imagine a tightrope walker in circus. He is on a rope suspended a few feet above the straw covered floor. His purpose is to walk the rope from one end to other. He holds a long bar in his hands to help him maintain his balance. But he must do more than simply walk. On his shoulders he balances a chair. And in that chair sits a young woman who is herself balancing a rod on her forehead, and on top of that rod is a plate.

If at any time one of the items should start to drift off balance, he must stop until he can get all of them in perfect alignment again. For the tightrope artist doesn’t begin until all the elements above him are aligned. Only then does he move forward, carefully, slowly across the rope.

I suggest that life is very much a balancing act and that we are always just a step away from a fall. We are constantly trying to move forward with our purpose, to achieve our goals. All the while trying to keep in balance the various elements of our lives.

Getting out of Balance
Many of us get out of balance with regard to money. If we don’t have sufficient money, then our lives become a money chase. We constantly devote our energies toward improving our finances. In the process we tend to take energy away from our family, our mate, our spiritual and mental needs, even our health. More important, we don’t move forward toward our life purpose. We don’t proceed along the tightrope. Only when we get our finances straightened out can we spread our energies to all the other aspects of our life and proceed with our purpose.

Other areas of our life could be out of harmony. It could be our relationship with our wife or husband. It could be a spiritual emptiness that is gnawing at our insides. It could be lack of appropriate social contract. It could be illness. If any aspect of our life draws a disproportionate amount of energy, we have to shortchange the other aspects. This throws us off and we are unable to move forward on life’s tightrope until a balance can be reestablished.

Getting Balance

Our first priority, therefore, is getting our life in balance. We need to deal with any areas that are taking too much energy and put them in perspective align them so that we have energy available for all areas.

We need to create a balance of winning identities as father or mother, lover, husband, or wife, son or daughter, worker, participant, finisher and so forth. Only when each identity is fulfilled will that area be functioning and not overdrawing our energy.

But it doesn’t happen by itself. Achieving a balanced life is a choice that each of is continually makes second by second, thought by thought, feeling by feeling. On the one hand, we can simply exist. But on the other, we can choose to pack out seconds and create valuable minutes in all aspects of our lives.

It’s important here to understand that others cannot do this for us. I can be me and only you, you. No one can think, breathe, feel, see, experience, love or die for either of us. Inside, we are what we are. We all come into life without a map, an operating manual or a definition of ourselves, other then male or female. It’s up to us to balance all the different aspects of our lives. We can do to by pushing the “decide” buttons in our lives.

Making an Assessment
At first it’s important to stop and assess how we’re doing. We should look at all the various aspects of our life that we are constantly juggling, constantly trying to keep in balance. These include: marriage and family, finances, health, social contact, spiritual development, and mental growth.

Are we able to devote ample energy to all areas? Or are we tipped off to one side, unbalanced in one direction?


1. Assess your life as it is now. Looking at ourselves as we really are is the first step in re-creating our lives. Do you feel physically exhausted, mentally stagnant, or find yourself without close relationships? Would you call yourself a workaholic? Do you feel a lack of spiritual alignment? If you answer yes to any of these questions, your life is probably out of balance.

2. Make a conscious decision to become balanced. Choosing reality as our basis of decision, is the second step to becoming balanced. Achieving balance allows us to reach our goals and our purpose in life while creating less stress to do so. A conscious decision to change is now in order.

3. Re-make that decision on a minute-to-minute schedule. We are all instant forgetters. Remember all those New Year resolutions? Renewing our decisions on a daily, minute to minute basis allows us to ease into change, instead of expecting things to change overnight.

4. Set goals in every area of your life. Set realistic goals in all areas of your life to assist yourself in remembering that your ultimate goal is balance. Your goal should cover:

a. Relationships, both at home and in the marketplace
b. Physical beingness
c. Spiritual alignment
d. Mental development
e. Your job
f. Finances

5. Be willing to take the risk. Being willing to assess ourselves and take the risk to change will not only enhance our lives, but you will feel more energy and an expanded awareness of what life is all about. Acknowledging that balance is essential, and recreating your life to encompass your decision is worth all the risk.

6. Make time to re-assess yourself on a daily basis. None of us can really know how well we are doing with change in our lives unless we are willing to re-assess our position. Don’t feel that your decisions are made in concrete, if something feels that it isn’t working, be willing to look at a new decision. Make time for yourself every day, in a quiet meditative state, to relax and “check yourself out”.

Raven Unmanned Aircraft System
AeroVironment’s Raven UAS is a lightweight solution designed for rapid deployment and high mobility for both military and commercial applications requiring low-altitude surveillance and reconnaissance intelligence. With a wingspan of 4.5 feet and a weight of 4.2 pounds, the hand-launched Raven provides aerial observation, day or night, at line-of-sight ranges up to 10 kilometers.

3D bio printer to manufacture human tissue and organs
Invetech, San Diego, CA developer of custom automation solutions for the biomedical market, says it has shipped the world's first production model 3D bio-printer. Organovo, San Diego, Calif., developers of the proprietary NovoGen bioprinting technology says it intends to use the device to provide bio printed units to research institutions investigating human tissue repair and organ replacement.
Full Article

Gourmet Library

While specialty food shops offer a wonderland of delicious and unique grub, some of the offerings can be a little over the average eater's head, like that crazy truffle oil, which tastes nothing like candy. Figure food out, then buy it, at Gourmet Library.
The new sibling of already successful WineLibrary, Gourmet's a foodie's wet dream web shop that'll also help guide the culinary-inept with lots of info, reviews, and informative videos on everything from hand-picked snacks to hard-to-find ingredients, which would actually be quite easy to find if you'd just slide the Sunny D to the side of your fridge. The schooling starts with each item's brief descrip, rounded out with straightforward info on its geographic origin, a list of ingredients, and processing methods; each product also gets its own video hosted by the connoisseurs behind the site, during which they taste and comment on everything from "awesome smelling, not hard, not overly salty" fennel salami, to Cerignola olives, which they tout as "sweet, meaty, and not super-briney". Deliciousness spans broad categories from Artisan Cheeses to Sauces & Spreads to Charcuterie, with each broken down into hyperspecific subsections (i.e., goat's milk/soft/sharp cheeses, salsas/jams/BBQ sauces, pate/meats/foie gras), with some of the more interesting finds including Jamaican jerk jack cheese, Corsican beer jelly, smoked alligator sausage, and Russian bologna, which has a first name, and it's Vladimir.
To get an advanced degree in pseudo-yuppiedom check Gourmet's wine-pairing section, which is quite a nice trick, but offers precious little on autumnal orchard fruit.
Impress everyone with the groceries you bag at GourmetLibrary.com

Quote of the Day

When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall, always.

- Mahatma Gandhi


A man was hanged for saying what was true.
-- Italian Proverb

In every generation there has to be some fool who will speak the truth as he sees it.
-- Boris Pasternak

Whiskey & Gunpowder
By Bill Jenkins
December 11, 2009
Pylesville, Maryland, U.S.A.

Paper Addicts

The world is not yet ready to give up its addiction to paper currency. Actually, the world may be getting a snoot-full of it, but governments are not. You see, paper currency has an unbelievably strong attraction for governments. Do you know what it is? Do you wanna know?

It’s elastic. And, boy, oh boy, can it stretch. You see, if governments cannot operate under paper money, they can’t inflate the currency. If they can’t inflate the currency, then they can’t spend with reckless abandon. Perhaps you’re asking yourself what rising prices have to do with government spending. And if you haven’t been around this bar much… that’s a very good question. So let me sum it up quickly.

The basic theory of government operation as it is taught in school and propounded by the media is that the government spends money to provide us services that we would be unable to provide ourselves. To pay for those services, they extract from us, you guessed it, TAXES.

STOP! Wait! Don’t you believe it!

The amount of taxes collected here in the United States last year would not have been enough to fund Social Security and Medicare. It’s hard to believe, but true. So where does all the money come from to pay for the infinite number of other expenditures of the federal government?

How do they pay for schools? Not just the aging and dilapidating buildings, but the books, supplies, teachers and the massive bureaucracy? How do they pay for the military… guns, tanks, soldiers, computers, jets, ships, submarines and planes? How do they pay for the Senate, House, Supreme Court, president, Secret Service, CIA, FBI, NSA, NASA, DOJ, DHA, HUD, DHS, ATF, IRS? Not to mention welfare programs of multitudinous varieties, college grants and national parks. How do they pay for all this? By means of two devices about which the man on the street knows little.

The first is through bond and Treasury auctions. We — as in “we the people’ — sell these instruments to people who believe that we are a good risk. Then we pay them to let us borrow their money. Of course, borrowing money costs money… it’s never free. But when a country borrows more than it takes in by taxation, because it is spending more than it takes in by taxation, the result is a growing debt problem, which never gets paid down. So how can the United States, or any country, continue on this cycle of never-ending borrowing? Not to worry, my friend. Because here is where the second device comes into play.

Countries begin paying off their debt with money that they “print.” It is commonly called monetizing the debt. It’s not hard to understand, but they try to make it hard. When you’re stealing from your citizens, it is better if they don’t know it. If you make the example and the problem personal, it all falls into place.

If I had a nearly endless source from which to borrow, some deep-pocketed uncle for instance, I could borrow from him indefinitely, as long as I could pay him back in money that I printed myself. If he did not know the money I gave him was fake, or if he just didn’t care, I could continue that scam in perpetuity. I could borrow millions… billions… TRILLIONS! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Technically, I could only borrow from him until he was out of money. Right? Well, no… not exactly. If he had creditors who would take my fake money as real money, he would never have to stop lending. Until someone held his “wallet to the fire.” That is essentially what is happening. Only it is our Uncle Sam who is doing the borrowing. Then he prints his own money and uses it to pay his bills to his creditors around the world. Up until recently, our creditors had to take it. Because we had the bully power to force it on them. Plus since all the countries in the world were doing the same thing, our funny money was considered the best. That gave it some sort of intrinsic value.

But now there are currencies more valuable than ours. And now we do not have the military firepower to force it on others. Some feel that means that the whole jig is up. If our paper money is refused, then everyone’s paper money will be refused. But just because our government has spent us into trouble and is trying to make it worse with bigger and bigger spending projects from stimulus to healthcare doesn’t mean that the other major economies of the world are ready to throw in the towel. Indeed, if they can hang on, they will, because perhaps they will move into the position of world’s reserve currency and can produce prosperity out of nothing, all while impoverishing their citizens and neighbors.

Thus this will be but another round in dumping the dollar. The other currencies will look out for themselves. And playing those currencies could mean more currency option opportunities for us.

Bill Jenkins

Peace, love and happiness...until next time...

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