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Fun With Words ~ Pronunciation Variations April 29, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
30 comments

Lumpus-MooseLearning to speak English is not intuitive.

Words spelled the same are often pronounced differently, and words spelled differently often share a common pronunciation.

Sound, bound, wound . . . but tuned, wound, swooned.

It’s hard to learn to read when we’re told, “just sound it out,” and the sounds are ever shifting . . . even for words spelled exactly the same:

1) The doctor wound the bandage around the wound.

2) The farmer used most of his acreage to produce produce.

3) The overflowing dump had to refuse to accept more refuse.

4) Each week, we polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead the way if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) There is no time like the present to present a present.

8 ) At the Army base, they painted a bass on the head of a bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) Invalid insurance will do the invalid no good.

12) The oarsmen had a row about how to row.

13) I won!  I am number one!

No matter how long we wonder and ponder, the pronunciation variations of the English language are apt to remain a mystery.

It’s why we love to write . . . right?

Aah . . . that’s better!

Feel free to share a few of your favorite English language idiosyncracies below!

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Drones: What Are They Good For? April 27, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Nature, Sustainable Living.
34 comments

Not just for “peeping Toms,” drones have a number of applications to improve things for the good.

Drones can be used for monitoring the health of farm fields, providing humanitarian aid, assisting first responders, conducting safety inspections of hard to reach places, surveying property damage for insurance claims, forecasting severe weather, and tracking poachers:

Drones have been a hot topic in the news for some time. Depending on what you’ve read, they’re devastatingly effective weapons of war, the next big threat to personal privacy, a revolutionary leap in video technology, or hazardous toys capable of chopping your fingers off.

To be fair, there’s a measure of truth to all those statements. But you might be surprised to learn that drones will soon affect our everyday lives in a host of useful ways. People are already using them to deliver fast food to hungry teens in Virginia, improve the productivity of Midwestern farms, and even protect rhinos and elephants in Africa from poachers.

To read more: 10 Ways Drones Are Changing Your World (Consumer Reports)

Aah . . . that’s better!

Choice Morsels To Chew On April 25, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Gratitude, Less IS More, Mindfulness.
30 comments

#1 Want to lose weight?  Chew MORE, Weigh LESS . . .

“Some preliminary research has found that chewing until “no lumps remain” increases the number of calories the body burns during digestion: about 10 extra calories for a 300-calorie meal. (Eating fast, on the other hand, barely burns any calories.) Chewing food more thoroughly also increases blood flow to the stomach and gut. By taking a little extra time for chewing, someone could theoretically burn about 2,000 extra calories each month, the study authors write.”


“Extra chewing also slows the pace of eating, which may be another reason why it’s so healthy. Meena Shah, a professor of nutrition at Texas Christian University, has looked into the effects of eating speed on meal size. She found that people who eat slowly tend to eat less. Slow eating may help people eat more mindfully and tune into their own feelings of fullness, she says.”

To read more:   Chew Your Food: Why Slow Eaters May Burn More Calories

#2 Want to temper your spending?

“Make it your goal to spend only on what you truly value, be it travel, special times with family, a hobby or entertainment.  And cut out the frivolous spending on what you don’t value.

“You’ll be amazed at how many things you can happily live without because you’re getting what you really want,” says personal finance expert Donna Freedman.”

“Frugality isn’t a punishment; it’s a positive commonsense approach to life.  So focus on value and quality [to you], not prestige or appearances [with others].”

To read more:  AARP Magazine, February/March 2017

#3 Want to take up yoga?

Choices abound!

“In Higher Self yoga, a monthly “ganja yoga” class that Goda owner Nathania Stambouli introduced in the fall: “We’re bringing together two great spiritual practices. Marijuana is a way of enhancing the experience.”

“Ah, yes, enhancing the experience. Of late, there’s been a fair amount of yoga-enhancing going on. It’s yoga with something extra on the side.

“Would you like beer with your yoga? There’s a class for that.

“Yoga in the buff? Manhattan’s Bold and Naked Yoga is precisely what it says it is.

“For yogis who prefer to bundle in down, there’s snowga — yoga with snowshoes.”

To read more:  Weed yoga, naked yoga, yoga with goats: Have we reached peak namaste?

#4 Having a tough time choosing between too many options?

“As a last resort, flip a coin.  “I don’t just look for heads or tails, says Berger.  “I think about how I feel about the toss.  If I’m sad that the coin landed on heads, I’ll go with the tails option.” ~ AARP Magazine, February/March 2017

That’s what BFF & I do ~>  Being mindful about how we feel about the final reveal of the coin toss clues us in to what we really want.

#5 Want to learn how to drive?  Fast?

“An 8-year-old East Palestine boy used YouTube videos to learn how to drive his father’s van to McDonald’s on Sunday.  When he pulled up to the drive-through window after ordering a cheeseburger he had been craving and intended to pay for using money he gathered from his piggy bank, the McDonald’s workers at first thought they were being pranked.

“The workers thought that the parents were in the back, but obviously they weren’t,” Koehler said.”

To read more:  Young driver gets help from YouTube

#6 Want to feel better?

Make someone else feel better:

“Make a difference in other people’s lives.  Even small acts of generosity can make you feel rich in spirit.” ~ AARP Magazine, February/March 2017

#7 Want to watch a heart-felt movie?

Check out Collateral Beauty (Will Smith, Helen Mirren, Keira Knightly, Ed Norton, Michael Peña, Naomie Harris, Jacob Latimore, Kate Winslet, etc.):

Love is in everything . . .
From a child’s laughter to the pain we feel when a loved one dies.
Love is THE why of it all.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Penis van Lesbian April 22, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Less IS More, People.
22 comments

A good looking man walked into an agent’s office in Hollywood and said “I want to be a movie star.” Tall, handsome, with experience on Broadway, he had the right credentials.

The agent asked, “What’s your name?”

“Penis van Lesbian.”

“Sir, in order to get into Hollywood, you will have to change your name.”

“I will NOT change my name! The van Lesbian name is centuries old, I will not disrespect my grandfather by changing my name. Not ever!!”

The agent said, “I’ve worked in Hollywood for years.  You’ll NEVER go far in Hollywood with a name like Penis van Lesbian! For sure you’ll HAVE to change your name or I won’t represent you.”

“So be it! I guess we won’t do business together!”

Five years later, the agent opens an envelope sent to his office.

Inside the envelope is a check for $25,000.

The agent is awe-struck, who would possibly send him $25,000?

He reads the enclosed letter . . .

“Dear Sir, Five years ago, I came into your office wanting to become an actor in Hollywood and you told me I needed to change my name. You told me I would never make it in Hollywood with a name like Penis van Lesbian.

Determined to make it with my God-given birth name, I refused.

After I left your office, I thought about what you said. I decided you were right. I had to change my name.  I had too much pride to return to your office, so I signed with another agent who quickly signed me with Walt Disney for a number of movies which have been very lucrative.

You were right.  I never would have made it without changing my name.

Thank you for your advice and please accept the enclosed check as a token of my appreciation.

Sincerely,

Dick van Dyke

HaHa . . . that’s better!

Source:  E-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

Walden ~> The Game, Not The Pond April 19, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Health & Wellness, Nature, Sustainable Living.
20 comments

I heard about this video game from Poets and Writers.

If you’ve got 45 minutes to commune with virtual Walden, this presentation by the game’s creator is a fascinating look at how and why she designed a video game modeled after Thoreau’s contemplative time On Walden Pond, where he concluded that it is not until we’ve met our innate and mundane needs for Food, Clothing, Shelter, and Fuel that we can turn our attention to inspiration, creation, and the more sublime and ephemeral aspects of life:

If you’ve got 13 minutes to wander in the virtual reeds, this clip will give you a glimpse of how Tracey has used gaming technology to slow “the quickening pace of life” allowing us to “play deliberately” and reflect, as Thoreau did, on how the choices we make change our relationship to nature and the sublime aspects of life:

If you only have a few minutes to walk in Thoreau’s footsteps and ponder his words and philosophy, this video game trailer will give you a sense of what “slow play” is all about:

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Following The “What Ifs” . . . April 17, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Less IS More, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
21 comments

Life is all about following the “what ifs” . . . isn’t it?

What if I moved away from crowds, noise, and congestion toward silence, serenity, and solitude?

What if I moved away from cold cloudy days toward warm tropical breezes under bright blue skies?

What if I moved away from perpetual busyness toward simplicity?

What if I ignored the yipping of border collies trying to keep me in line and steered my own ship following the call of my inner voice?

For some, drifting with the tides holds no appeal.  To them, my decision to “go with the flow”~ to rise and fall with the ebb and flow of life ~ sounds dull.

For me, it’s perfect.

Time to pause and reflect, to read and write, to pursue things that interest me without concern about accolades, awards, achievement, or recognition in the eyes of others.

Instead of being nervous or anxious about meeting external expectations, I am relaxed as I flow from one activity to the next.

Instead of acting with deference to the judgments of others, I happily assert my independence.

Instead of settling for societal mandates and consensus, I persist with what matters to me.

Instead of dreading the dawning of the day, I’m excited to be awake and aware of the infinite possibilities around.

Instead of being stuck like a square peg in a round hole, I can enjoy each custom-made niche.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Next up:  Thoreau had the write idea when he penned Walden.

 

Why Slacking Off Pays Off . . . April 15, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Less IS More, Life Balance, Mindfulness, Travel & Leisure.
16 comments

I’ve long been a proponent of the phrase “less is more,” which I find applicable in situations too numerous to count.

And now I’ve found a new application for the phrase.

Turns out that LESS work often results in MORE creative output.

Don’t believe me?

Check out this article ~ Darwin Was A Slacker And You Should Be Too

From the article:

Figures as different as Charles Dickens, Henri Poincaré, and Ingmar Bergman, working in disparate fields in different times, all shared a passion for their work, a terrific ambition to succeed, and an almost superhuman capacity to focus.

Yet when you look closely at their daily lives, they only spent a few hours a day doing what we would recognize as their most important work. The rest of the time, they were hiking mountains, taking naps, going on walks with friends, or just sitting and thinking.

Their creativity and productivity, in other words, were not the result of endless hours of toil. Their towering creative achievements result from modest “working” hours.

From writing to research, from science to music, from athletics to art, top performers benefit from deliberate practice followed by deliberate rest and downtime.

World-class performance doesn’t come after 10,000 hours of practice, as Malcolm Gladwell claimed:

“It comes after 10,000 hours of deliberate practice, 12,500 hours of deliberate rest, and 30,000 hours of sleep.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

The cited and linked article is excerpted from Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

Drops of Good April 13, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
30 comments

For years, I’ve had a Gratitude Basket . . . it’s encouraged me to focus on things in my life for which I’m grateful.

They can be simple things ~ a blue sky, the laughing of ducks on the lagoon, or the whisper of the wind through palm fronds.

They can be big ticket items ~ BFF’s cataract surgery restoring him to 20/20 vision, my brother and sister-in-law’s excellent oversight of mom, or my niece’s wedding which caused family and friends to convene in Orlando the week before Christmas.

They can be ephemeral in nature ~ feeling light-hearted and bright, allowing  joy, vitality, and peace to surface from within, or sharing happy, enthusiastic, amusing, and upbeat moments with new friends.

They can be celebrations of mini-milestones ~ finishing the taxes, losing weight, finding the perfect swimsuit, or  winning BIG BUCKS at Bridge (“Woo Hoo!  First Place . . . $8!”).

This week I started a new practice, Drops of Good, to remind me to be mindful of moments & acts of Generosity and Connection between the citizens of this marvelous planet.

As with my Gratitude Basket, these Drops of Good can be big or small, ephemeral or physical, on-going or one time deals . . . like a HUG.

They can be something I’ve done for others or something others have done for anyone else on the planet, including plants, animals, or the environment.

Drops of Good add up ~> “A bucket is filled drop by drop.”

Do not overlook any good actions, thinking they are of no benefit; even tiny drops of water in the end will fill a huge vessel.  ~ The Buddha

Celebrating the myriad moments of Generosity and Connection around us points us in the right direction ~> UP!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Earth Optimist Summit 2017 in D.C. April 11, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Nature, People, Sustainable Living.
12 comments

The Smithsonian, along with a network of collaborators, is hosting the first-ever Earth Optimism Summit from April 21-23 ~ and you’re invited!

Earth Optimism celebrates a change in focus from problem to solution in the area of global conservation with an unprecedented gathering of thought leaders, scientists, environmentalists, artists, civic leaders and international media, featuring public discussions, storytelling sessions, exhibition spaces and more!

Here’s the Schedule of events & speakers:  Schedule

Proceedings of the summit will be live streamed for the public, and community events will occur around DC.

In addition to the DC summit, sister events will take place around the world.

To learn more:  Earth Optimism Summit, April 21 – 23

Aah . . . that’s better!

Medicare Part G April 8, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Humor, Joke.
23 comments

If you are a senior senior citizen who needs Long-Term Care, but Medicare says there is no Nursing Home bed for you, what do you do?

Opt for Medicare Part G!

The plan gives anyone 75 or older a Gun (the “G” Part!) and one bullet. To qualify for Part G benefits, shoot one worthless politician.

The higher up the ladder the better.

After you are convicted, you will be sent to prison “for life” where you will receive three meals a day, a roof over your head, central heating and air conditioning, cable TV, a library, a gym, and all the health care you need.

Need new teeth? New glasses?  A new hearing aid?
No problem.  They are all covered.

As an added bonus, when your kids and grandkids come and visit, you no longer need to cook, clean, or do laundry for them!

Better still ~> because you are a prisoner, you won’t have to pay any more income taxes!

Tax day . . . Schmacks day!

And, who will be paying for all of this?

The same government that can’t afford for you to go into a nursing home.

Is this a great country or what?

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  E-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

Now that you have solved your senior Long-Term Care problem, go enjoy the weekend!