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Fun with Words: Parka, Park, Parkay September 27, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Word Play.

Frog-CircusParka n  1 :  a thick hooded jacket used for visiting the local park in the dead of winter when the wind chill is 40 below 2 : a very warm jacket  with a hood

Not to be confused with Parkay : a rather vocal  margarine that claims to taste like butter

Parka —> Parkay

Dilbert: Pregnant Pause September 26, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, People, Word Play.

I visited Dilbert to find the “useless block of wood” strip.

Before finding it, I stumbled into this clip which had me laughing until I cried . . .

Talk about a pregnant pause.

Related posts:  Marketing Manipulation ~ DilbertThe Inner Path To Peace

Quick Quiz: Powers of Observation September 26, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, People.

How observant are you?

Are you able to recall details of items you see every day . . . without refreshing your recollection by examining them?

Souldipper forwarded this link to me last week.  Thank, Amy.

It’s a simple quiz, but the average person only gets 7 out of 25 questions correct . . .  

Are you above average???

Put on your thinking cap.  No cheating.  No looking around for clues.  No getting out of your chair. 

Look deep . . . the answers lie within. 

Powers of Observation:  A Quiz About Things You See Every Day

No rules.  Just write!

What a Drama Queen! September 26, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Music & Dance, People.

200px-RealMotherGooseDrama 101 provides a shift in vantage point to students, allowing them to see the world through the eyes of the characters they play on stage.

As they step out of their own skin, and into an assigned role, they open their minds to other people, other cultures, and other perspectives.

Creating sets and costumes allows their inner artist to appear and take the reins.  Some are inspired to pick up a pen and give playwriting a shot.

In musicals, they get to test their smooth moves and their vocal chords.

Actors learn to enunciate and project themselves from the stage to the back row of the theatre.  Instead of standing timidly on the sidelines, they must face stage fright (and fear of rejection) head on and tell it to take a hike.

Music, drama, singing, dancing, public speaking, playwriting, and set design allow students to experiment with life and expand their view of the world from the mundane to the magical.

Next time someone accuses you of being a drama queen . . . exit stage left.

Related post:  Good Grief, Charlie Brown (poeticinteraction)

Who Killed The Electric Car? September 25, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Sustainable Living.

The thought-provoking documentary, Who Killed The Electric Car (2006), reveals what auto manufacturers and oil companies already know ~ clean,  green technology is available.  

Drivers who leased EV-1 electric cars in the 1990’s loved the fast, quiet, and eco-friendly cars. 

In response, General Motors ceased production, and crushed the cars. 

After California eliminated the zero emission mandate, GM terminated the existing leases, collected the EV-1 cars already on the road, and destroyed them, citing lack of consumer demand as its rationale. 

Hmm . . . that’s odd. 

People who leased the cars from GM told filmmakers they loved the EV-1, and begged to keep them.  When they offered to buy the cars, GM refused their offers, terminated the leases, and crushed the cars.

That doesn’t sound like lack of consumer demand to me.

A more plausible explanation, and one explored in the film: GM abandoned production of its electric car, the EV-1, because (1) automotive dealers make BIG money from the maintenance required on internal combustion engines, and (2) Big Oil pushed GM to bury the product. 

This film offers a sobering look at how big business bands together to put profits above the planetary concerns that should be pre-eminent in everyone’s minds. 

Aren’t these profit-hungry executives concerned about the world they’re leaving to their kids and grand-kids?

Apparently not.

Did lack of consumer demand or conspiracy to maintain the status quo stall  EV-1 production?  

You decide.   For a sneak preview:  Who Killed The Electric Car?

* * * * *

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has a Hybrid Center set up to track consumer spending patterns.  Guess what?  The demand for electric vehicles exceeds the supply:  2011 Nissan Leaf Sold Out

In related news:  UPS Expands its Hybrid Fleet in Texas

The Other Side of Alzheimer’s September 24, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.

170px-Maes_Old_Woman_DozingThe receptionist looked up at the elderly gentleman pacing in front of her desk, “Yes, sir?”

“I’m in a bit of a hurry.  Any idea how much longer?”

“It shouldn’t be much longer.  The doctor is with another patient, but you’re next on the list.  Do you have another appointment to keep?”

“Yes.  I’m going to the nursing home to eat breakfast with my wife.  I have breakfast with her every day at 9 am.”

“That’s nice.  How is she doing?”

“She’s fine, I guess.  She’s been there a while.  She has Alzheimer’s disease.”

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.  Will she be upset if you’re a bit late arriving?”

“No, probably not.  She no longer knows who I am.  She hasn’t recognized me in over five years.”

“And you still go every day, even though she doesn’t know who you are?’

He nodded, a gentle smile lifting the corners of his mouth, “She doesn’t know me . . . but I know her.”

* * * * *

Inspiration:  The Notebook

Wild America ~ Alaska! September 24, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Nature.

Wikipedia ~ Bear (in Public Domain)

We recently watched an IMAX movie about Alaska, and another about Bears, and learned some interesting things:

* Animals, even full grown Grizzly Bears, enjoy playing.

After chasing a moose away, a bear jumped into a lake and started splashing around . . . exactly like a human toddler during bath time.

* Bears use varied approaches to snatch salmon racing upstream.

Nothing is wasted, as nearby gulls clean up anything the bears leave behind.

* Only one out of 100 salmon survive long enough to spawn.  Once they spawn, they die, never again returning to the sea.  The decaying bodies of dead salmon enrich the water to help other species thrive.

* During the nine month winter, 4,000+ eagles congregate at the one place in Alaska which ensures their survival ~ on the banks of the only river which, due to geothermal heat, does not freeze over.

* Polar bears spend time play fighting on the edge of the sea, until it freezes over, as they wait for the seal harvest to begin.   Their sense of smell is so acute that they can detect a seal from twenty miles away.

Wikipedia ~ Sea Otter (in Public Domain)

* Sea Otters and Fur Seals are able to withstand frigid temperatures due to the thickness of their fur ~ with 800,000 strands per square inch. In order to maximize its insulating properties, they wash it using motions similar to those of the hair washer at your favorite beauty salon!

* Seals on the beach play with each other, somewhat awkwardly, before dancing and playing in a beautifully choreographed underwater ballet.

Curious, they approached the underwater camera, engulfing it with their mouths, as if being asked to “Open Wide” by an unseen dentist.

And, if you go . . .

Kayaking around glaciers, during the short summer months, poses hidden hazards . . . ice chunks, as tall as 30-story buildings,  drop off without warning, creating massive waves.

Thar she blows!

Wild America . . . long may she  live.

Kumala Vista & Tongo Tongo September 23, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Music & Dance.

Wikipedia ~ Djembe (in Public Domain)

Forty years ago, I learned three “African” songs from Billy Gibson, and his brothers, Keith and Kevin.

The words and the beat stayed with me, even though I have no idea what the lyrics mean (if they mean anything at all).

I hope I’m not cursing at the world  when I sing them.

Today, at lunch, we watched Samantha Brown on a beach in the Honduras  enjoying some African songs.  These two songs came to mind.  Enjoy!

Kumala Kumala Kumala Vista
Kumala Kumala Kumala Vista
Oh no no no no Ka-Vista
Oh no no no no Ka-Vista
Eenie meanie jak-o-lini
Oo wah-la wah-la meanie
Eenie meanie sol-a-meanie
Oo wah-la wah
Beat to the O Ko Ko Ko Ka-Vista
Bah Bah Shhh . . . Bah Bah Shhh . . .

I found this version on line (with a little help from Cindy & Linda).  It’s not exactly the way I learned it, but it’s close:

Here’s the second, which might (or might not) refer to Tongo, Ghana:

Tongo, Tongo Chim-i-nee Bah Bah-yo Chim-i-nee Bah Bah-yo
Ooh, Ah Lay Ooh, Ah Lay
Molee-kal-o-way Molee-kal-o-way

If any of my friends from Africa (or elsewhere) know what I’m singing about, feel free to translate.


Yes, my spell checker did go crazy with this post.  Thanks for asking.

Harvest Moon September 23, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Music & Dance, Nature.

Tonight’s the Harvest Moon . . . the perfect night for dancing in the Moonlight.

And in the light of Jupiter.

It’s the first full moon of Fall for those above the equator, and the first of Spring for those below.  So, kick off your shoes, grab a partner, and head outside to enjoy the Harvest Moon.

If you need some additional inspiration:

Related post:  Starry Night ~ Celestial Events This Week * Stellar Insights

Hidden Messages in Water September 23, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Magick & Mystery, Nature.

For a fascinating look into the innate intelligent of water at the molecular level (both standing alone and in plants, animals, and us!), check out Hidden Messages in Water by Masuro  Emoto.

The book delves into how the molecular structure of water changes depending upon whether we bathe it in positive or negative vibrations.

When Emoto placed an identical mixture of water and rice in identical jars, the mixtures  responded differently to soothing sounds (classical music) vs. jarring sounds (heavy metal):

Jarring sounds resulted in moldy rice.

Soothing sounds resulted in fermented rice (think Saki).

Imagine a similar process going on inside you.

How toxic are your thoughts?

Emoto also used high-speed photography to capture images of frozen water at the molecular level.

During his six-year study, he observed changes in the molecular structure which depended upon the messages sent to the water both verbally and in written form.

Water which received positive messages of love and gratitude  transformed into gorgeous snowflake clusters.

Water which received negative messages became chaotic and fragmented.

If thoughts can do that to water . . . imagine what our thoughts can do to us.

No rules.  Just write!

Related Posts:  If We Could Talk to the Animals (AgriGirl’s Blog)