Monthly Archives: August 2014

13+ Secrets Personal Organizers Would Never Tell You for Free (Actually, 26)

March, 2014 | Michelle Crouch | rd.com/slideshows/personal-organizers-secrets-free/

1) Create 5 piles. When you’re organizing, you should sort everything into five piles: move to another room, donate, give to a specific person, throw away, and, finally, the “marinating” pile. Pack up the marinating items, and label the box with a date that’s six months to a year later. If you never open the box before that date, you can safely discard those items.

2) To make an organizing project go faster: Create rules about what you’re keeping and what you’re discarding. In your closet, for example, you can decide to give away any clothing that’s not between size x and size y, that’s stained, or that needs to be repaired. With periodicals, you can decide not to keep anything that’s more than a year old. Continue reading

How Clutter Affects Your Brain (and What You Can Do About It)

Mikael Cho | 7/05/2013 | lifehacker.com/how-clutter-affects-your-brain-and-what-you-can-do-abo-662647035

clutterBrain

A few years ago, I worked at a web design agency as a product manager. The part of the job I loved the most was working on product with our design team and clients. Unfortunately, this was only about 10 percent of the work that I actually got to do. The majority of the time, I was trying to control the constant flow of stuff–keeping track of meeting notes, searching for files, and trying to stay up-to-date with the latest technology news.

I was mentally exhausted. I’d get home feeling that I hadn’t really accomplished anything. Once I left the agency and started ooomf, I wanted to fix how I approached consumption in my life. Over the last few years, I’ve discovered ways to reduce the noise of stuff around me so I can focus on creation and have more time for the things that matter most. The last year has been the most productive of my life and I owe a lot of it to understanding the importance of decreasing how much I consume and coming up with ways to cut clutter.
How Clutter Happens

You collect things for a number of reasons–maybe you think you’ll need to use it later, it has sentimental value, or you spent good money on it so you feel you need to keep the item, even if you haven’t touched or used it in weeks, months, or years. You might be holding on to that book you bought a year ago that you swear you’ll read or those killer pair of shoes that you’ll bring out for just the right occasion.

But the reality is, you probably made a mistake in buying those things and it literally hurts your brain to come to terms with that fact. Researchers at Yale recently identified that two areas in your brain associated with pain, the anterior cingulate cortex and insula, light up in response to letting go of items you own and feel a connection towards:

brainPain

This is the same area of the brain that lights up when you feel physical pain from a paper cut or drinking coffee that’s too hot. Your brain views the loss of one of your valued possessions as the same as something that causes you physical pain. And the more you’ve committed emotionally or financially to an item, the more you want to keep it around. Continue reading

What Would It Take To Defund the Islamic State?

11 Year Old Child Bride Speaks Out Before Being Killed

 

The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and the President of Indonesia are uncomfortable with their heritage as presented on videos of beheadings and child-rapes live on the world’s computer monitors. 

In the unlikely event that they were serious about their discomfort, what would it take to defund the Islamic State? 

It controls oil production facilities capable of supplying it with the equivalent of $3 million daily.  

That is a hard asset, easiest to deprive them of. 

The softer asset of the bank notes they stole might be more difficult to deprive them of. 

What currencies did they steal? 

If they were specie of major international currencies, it could be difficult. 

If they were currencies of a smaller country, might it be simply a matter of devaluing or invalidating the stolen currencies? 

Study sheds light on damaging effects of marijuana among college-aged adults

eagnews.org/study-sheds-light-on-damaging-effects-of-marijuana-among-college-aged-adults/

NucleusAccumbens-AmygdalaAugust 13, 2014, at 2:13 PM | By Rachel Daly

As support for legalized recreational marijuana use increases, some have warned that there is presently little research indicating the effects of low to moderate use of the drug. However, the results of a small but sobering study released in April by several Boston-based researchers have shed light on the damaging effects of even casual use of the drug among young adults, according to the Society for Neuroscience. The results of the study may hold import for colleges and universities, which struggle perennially with Acrobat file binge drinking, drug use, and the subsequent host of Acrobat file negative decisions.

The study, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, which compared high-resolution MRI brain scans of recreational marijuana users aged 18 to 25 with those of nonusers, found significant abnormalities in the left nucleus accumbens and the left amygdala of marijuana users, even those who smoked just once per week. These regions of the brain are responsible for pleasure and reward, processing memory, emotional reactions, and the assessment of negative consequences.

Previously, the only existing studies on the subject had applied to those who smoked excessively—for example, once per day for approximately three years. This study targets those who smoke only a few times per week.

girlExhalingFrom a moral standpoint, Dr.Taylor Marshall has made a Thomistic argument against the use of marijuana, asserting that it inexcusably inhibits man’s most God-like faculty—rationality—thus diminishing users to the level of beasts. He distinguishes it from alcohol, the effects of which can be graduated, and from medical use of marijuana and similar drugs. He ultimately concludes that its use is immoral. Even his critics, who consider the effects of marijuana to be as graduated as those of alcohol, concede that the drug’s recreational use is not altogether benign.

Scientists agree that while the study examined only a small sample, its results encourage deeper study and a greater dissemination of information. “There is this general perspective out there that using marijuana recreationally is not a problem —that it is a safe drug,” said co-author of the study, Anne Blood, in a News.Micarticle. “We are seeing that this is not the case.”

It is yet to be seen whether the expected growth in research on the topic may begin to curtail some of the marijuana use that has been on the rise since the mid-1990s.

Beulah Bondi’s prayer at the return of her son whom she supposed dead

BeulahBondisPrayer

From “Of Human Hearts” (1938). James Steward is a selfish son who accepts his mother’s aid for becoming a successful surgeon, without any real gratitude. President Lincoln, the closest thing to God in the American pantheon, calls the surgeon to Washington, chastises him for his selfishness and commands him to write to his Mother (Bondi) every week or face court-marshal. Here is her prayer at the return of her son whom she supposed dead:

We thank Thee, Father, for this and all Thy bounty.
Teach us to avoid the pitfalls of prejudice, pride and vanity.
Give us strength to aid the helpless, give our hearts unselfishness.
Teach us mercy, humility and charity.
Make us thoughtful of the meek, the sick, the unfortunate, the needy.
Make our humble lives a reflection of Thy grace.
These things we ask in Thy Name. Amen.

Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard To Find”

The grandmother didn’t want to go to Florida. She wanted to visit some of her connections in east Tennessee and she was seizing at every chance to change Bailey’s mind. Bailey was the son she lived with, her only boy. He was sitting on the edge of his chair at the table, bent over the orange sports section of the Journal. “Now look here, Bailey,” she said, “see here, read this,” and she stood with one hand on her thin hip and the other rattling the newspaper at his bald head. “Here this fellow that calls himself The Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed toward Florida and you read here what it says he did to these people. Just you read it. I wouldn’t take my children in any direction with a criminal like that aloose in it. I couldn’t answer to my conscience if I did.”

Bailey didn’t look up from his reading so she wheeled around then and faced the children’s mother, a young woman in slacks, whose face was as broad and innocent as a cabbage and was tied around with a green head-kerchief that had two points on the top like rabbit’s ears. She was sitting on the sofa, feeding the baby his apricots out of a jar. “The children have been to Florida before,” the old lady said. “You all ought to take them somewhere else for a change so they would see different parts of the world and be broad. They never have been to east Tennessee.”

The children’s mother didn’t seem to hear her but the eight-year-old boy, John Wesley, a stocky child with glasses, said, “If you don’t want to go to Florida, why dontcha stay at home?” He and the little girl, June Star, were reading the funny papers on the floor.

“She wouldn’t stay at home to be queen for a day,” June Star said without raising her yellow head.

“Yes and what would you do if this fellow, The Misfit, caught you?” the grandmother asked.

“I’d smack his face,” John Wesley said.

“She wouldn’t stay at home for a million bucks,” June Star said. “Afraid she’d miss something. She has to go everywhere we go.”

“All right, Miss,” the grandmother said. “Just remember that the next time you want me to curl your hair.”

June Star said her hair was naturally curly.

The next morning the grandmother was the first one in the car, ready to go. She had her big black valise that looked like the head of a hippopotamus in one corner, and underneath it she was hiding a basket with Pitty Sing, the cat, in it. She didn’t intend for the cat to be left alone in the house for three days because he would miss her too much and she was afraid he might brush against one of her gas burners and accidentally asphyxiate himself. Her son, Bailey, didn’t like to arrive at a motel with a cat.

She sat in the middle of the back seat with John Wesley and June Star on either side of her. Bailey and the children’s mother and the baby sat in front and they left Atlanta at eight forty-five with the mileage on the car at 55890. The grandmother wrote this down because she thought it would be interesting to say how many miles they had been when they got back. It took them twenty minutes to reach the outskirts of the city.

GoodManHardFindFAMILYThe old lady settled herself comfortably, removing her white cotton gloves and putting them up with her purse on the shelf in front of the back window. The children’s mother still had on slacks and still had her head tied up in a green kerchief, but the grandmother had on a navy blue straw sailor hat with a bunch of white violets on the brim and a navy blue dress with a small white dot in the print. Her collars and cuffs were white organdy trimmed with lace and at her neckline she had pinned a purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet. In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady.

She said she thought it was going to be a good day for driving, neither too hot nor too cold, and she cautioned Bailey that the speed limit was fifty-five miles an hour and that the patrolmen hid themselves behind billboards and small clumps of trees and sped out after you before you had a chance to slow down. She pointed out interesting details of the scenery: Stone Mountain; the blue granite that in some places came up to both sides of the highway; the brilliant red clay banks slightly streaked with purple; and the various crops that made rows of green lace-work on the ground. The trees were full of silver-white sunlight and the meanest of them sparkled. The children were reading comic magazines and their mother and gone back to sleep. Continue reading