Wednesday, 7 December 2011

My Blog has Moved

I have moved my blog to a new url:

Come on over and join me.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Wanted: Internal Communications Specialist

1. Internal Communications: Implement the standards of internal communications in line with a Universal roadmap and priorities. Adapt internal communications to the current local requirements. Responsible for internal channels and memorable interactive events.

2. Change Management: Through internal communications support change management processes and programs coordinating them lightly and closely with the creative sources. Advocate and promote the development of an even state of mind. Support adapting and implementing abundance for all on Earth, worldwide binding principles, codes and standards, like Vision and Values, in such a way that they are understood and lived by all participants at all levels in the world. Build a close relationship with a mentor and guides to develop Internal Communication programs that will achieve a sustainable value contribution and build a strong internal conviction.

3. Brand Management: Manage the universal brand operationally on the inside and in close cooperation with yellow. Encourage internal and external communications and events that determine and increase beauty on the planet.

4. Messaging : Invite internal messaging that combines a cosmic “message house” material with local heart/mind messaging to co-create briefing materials that will dazzle and inspire. Design and teach with sketches, doodles and documents for various participating audiences to build message consistency and skill.

5. Stakeholders and Media Relations: Establishing and cultivating respectful relations with all beings seen and unseen, focusing on close proximity audiences. Able to be a spokesperson for love. Play and organize interviews, film and photo shoots in Cape-Town with key listeners, thought thinkers, decision makers and friends. Give prizes and thank you gifts.

6. Communications: Effective communications plan that works with ancient wisdom and the corresponding strength to apply universal love. Co-develop and communicate the availability of helpful tools and training for use in internal communication and offer to the world at large. Participate in nature walks with business associates and senior management. These plans should blend with virtues such as compassion, tolerance and patience and understanding.

7. Sustainability : Support gardens and people at one with the natural environment in the communication of sustainability strategy and activities.

8. Management: Facilitator of a team, mind, body and soul, bringing added value, sharing best practises and lessons learned, developing stories to be used in global communications channels. Start immediately.

From a Henkel headhunting ad.

Monday, 12 September 2011

The Purpose of Life is to be Happy

“I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy. From the very core of our being, we desire contentment. In my own limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the principal source of success in life. Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. The key is to develop inner peace.” - Christopher Howard

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Regain Control of Your Life

Regain control of your life and your results so that you can begin to live with passion, purpose and power.

How Hugs are Proven to Help Your Health: Have You Been Hugged Today?

Hugs certainly feel good, both on the giving and receiving end, and it turns out their effects are more than skin deep. A study by University of North Carolina researchers found that hugs increase the "bonding" hormone oxytocin and decrease the risk of heart disease.

Hugs are good for your heart, they lower blood pressure, and reduce stress, so make it a point to hug someone today.

In fact, when couples hugged for 20 seconds, their levels of oxytocin, released during childbirth and breastfeeding, increased. Those in loving relationships had the highest increases.

Meanwhile, levels of the stress hormone cortisol decreased in women, as did their blood pressure. Said lead researcher and psychologist Dr. Karen Grewen, "Greater partner support is linked to higher oxytocin levels for both men and women. However, the importance of oxytocin and its potentially cardioprotective effects may be greater for women."

Hugging for Your Heart
"Scientists are increasingly interested in the possibility that positive emotions can be good for your health. This study has reinforced research findings that support from a partner, in this case a hug from a loved one, can have beneficial effects on heart health," said Dr. Charmaine Griffiths, spokesperson for the British Heart Foundation.
Indeed, a previous study, also led by Grewen, found that hugging and handholding reduces the effects of stress. Two groups of couples were asked to talk about an angry event, but one group had previously held hands and hugged, while the others sat alone. It was found that:

• Blood pressure increased significantly more among the no-contact group as compared to the huggers.
• Heart rate among those without contact increased 10 beats a minute, compared to five beats a minute for huggers.

What's more, Grewen suggests that warm contact such as hugs and hand-holding before the start of a rough day "could carry over and protect you throughout the day."

Benefits of Touch Start Early
A hearty hug in the morning may help your loved one ward off stress all day.
Humans are clearly social animals, as evidenced by countless studies showing that those who have friends are healthier, as are people who are married.

We need social contact, and that includes touch, even beyond a couple's capacity. Take, for example, the fact that babies benefit from skin-to-skin contact with their mother with better physical development and positive bonding.

A telling example was a study of Korean infants in an orphanage. Those who received an extra 15 minutes of a female voice, massage and eye-to-eye contact, five days a week for four weeks, gained more weight and had greater increases in body length and head circumferences after the four weeks and at 6 months of age than children without the extra stimulation.

Therapeutic touch has also been shown to reduce stress and pain among adults, and reduces symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, such as restlessness, pacing, vocalization, searching and tapping.

Time to Get, and Give, More Hugs
"U.S. couples aren't very touchy feely in public," says Tiffany Field of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Medical School. This is a shame as touch also releases two feel-good brain chemicals, serotonin and dopamine. Yet, according to Field's studies of U.S. and Parisian cafes, French couples spend three times more time touching than American couples.

So what are we waiting for? Grab your partner, friend or family member and give them a hug today. And if you're really feeling bold, check out the first link below and treat your significant other to a special treat tonight.

Recommended Reading
The Amazing Benefits of Massage and Different Types of Massage Explained
How to Drop the Drama and Master the Art of Loving Simply in Seven Easy Steps

Source: SixWise

Monday, 5 September 2011

The American Banker and the Mexican Fisherman

The American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.

Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, "Only a little while."

The American then asked, "Why didn't you stay out longer and catch more fish?"

The Mexican said, "With this I have more than enough to support my family's needs."

The American then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life."

The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing; and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat: With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor; eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles and eventually New York where you will run your ever-expanding enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?"

To which the American replied, "15 to 20 years."

"But what then?" asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said that's the best part. "When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions."

"Millions?...Then what?"

The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Monday, 25 July 2011

Fear and Love Cannot Occupy the Same Space

LifeShift101 Tips: "Fear and Love cannot occupy the same space (mental focus) at the same time. Fear also has no intrinsic reality (form) Other than the biological flight or fight response, it is a mental construct. This is a key to it’s release..

By simply focusing all our attention on something we are grateful for when anxiety has us in it's grip, we can literally alter our physiology and emotional state."
~ HT

Friday, 22 July 2011

Rob Lowe Quote on Children

I love what Rob Lowe said about children:

"First they're yours they they're the world's."

Thursday, 21 July 2011

The Glass Jar

There are many versions of this story so here is mine:

A famous teacher sat in front of a group of new students. He placed a large glass jar on the table. He looked at the students but said nothing.

Then out of a bag he took ten rocks and began placing them, one by one, into the jar until there was no more room in the jar. When the jar was filled to the brim with rocks, he asked his students:

"Is the jar full?"

They all agreed that it was.

The teacher then took some pebbles from another bag and carefully poured them into the jar around the rocks until no more pebbles would fit. He again asked the group,

‘Tell me, is the jar now full?’

The students said, yes, this time it was definitely full. At that point, the teacher opened a third bag, this time full of fine sand and began to pour it into the jar. He filled up any empty spaces between the large rocks and the pebbles until no more sand would fit in the jar.

He turned to the group and said, “Tell me, is the jar now full?” No one dared to answer.

The teacher said nothing and turned to the floor to pick up a jug of water. He took the jug and carefully poured the water into the jar. He turned to the group and asked, “Tell me, is the jar now full?”

There was silence. He turned to find a small pile of fine dry salt. He carefully dissolved it into the water, around the sand, the pebbles and the rocks until no more salt could be dissolved in the water. Once again he asked the group, “Tell me is the jar now full?”

“Yes,”’ said the teacher. ‘Now the jar is full. What do you think I’ve been trying to demonstrate to you?’ He invited the group to consider the meaning of his story. How did they interpret it? Why had the teacher told it? There were as many interpretations as there were people in the room. The teacher listened to each person. He reflected that each person interpreted the experience through their own particular and unique perspective through which they understood the world.

Then he gave his own interpretation that the jar represents our life so it is up to you how you choose to fill it. The rocks represent the most important and long-lasting ie family, health, your mission, your passion. The pebbles are the projects such as work, education, home. The sand is everyday routine and chores. The water represents the flow of activity and the salt is the extra we can take on when the important has been looked after.

We have to make a solid foundation with the large rocks first because if we fill the jar first with sand, there won’t be any room for the rocks. Likewise, we should prioritize our time with the meaningful rather than all the small insignificant things we do every day. Focus on the important.

What are the plans we postpone, the adventures we never have, the loves we let go by? Ask which are the large, solid rocks that keep our passion alive in us and put them into your jar of decisions now, because very soon there will be no room for them.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Some Will Hear

Some will hear, but not listen.
Some will listen, but not understand.
And some will understand, but not act.
Some will act and still not understand,
Some will understand and be still!!
And, the Wise will be Still and Learn...

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Happiness Quote

Happiness is like a butterfly, which when pursued is just beyond your grasp, but which if you will sit down quietly may alight upon you. (Hawthorne)

Friday, 29 April 2011

Coronation Chicken Recipe for the Royal Wedding

I know it's corny but here is a recipe for easy Coronation chicken which I am making today, the day of the royal wedding of Prince William & Kate Middleton.

Quick and easy - you'll never go to the sandwich shop again. This recipe has a decidedly citrus twist, but feel free to embellish however you'd like - add sultanas, peppers, pineapple, nuts, spring onion, etc.

100g (4 oz) mayonnaise
75g (3 oz) mango chutney
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 dessertspoon lime zest
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
500g (1 1/4 lb) skinless, boneless chicken breast fillets - cooked and diced

Preparation method
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, chutney, curry powder, lime zest, lime juice and salt. Add chicken and toss with the dressing until well coated. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Use half mayonnaise, half crème fraîche for a lower fat version of this recipe.

Source: All Recipes

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Top 10 Bad Things That Are Good For You

Article by Heather Whipps / Source: Live Science and Mind Power News

Beer quells heart disease and chocolate staves off cancer? Though often tagged with a disclaimer, studies that tell us to eat, inhale and generally indulge in "bad stuff" is music to our ears. So go ahead and enjoy these bad-for-you remedies — everything in moderation, as they say — until the next study inevitably overturns the research.

BEER: The newest bad kid on the block, beer has long been overshadowed by its healthier alcoholic cousins. While no one's suggesting you switch that glass of antioxidant-rich Pinot Noir for a tall glass of lager—there's still that beer gut to worry about—new research has suggested that moderate beer intake can actually improve cardiovascular function. Now if only a scientist will discover the health benefits of ballpark franks and chicken wings. Heaven.

ANGER: If you're one of those people who tends to bottle things up, only to explode ... don't hold it in so long. Studies show that bursts of anger here and there are good for the health, and can be an even more effective coping mechanism than becoming afraid, irritated or disgusted. Anger, like the consumables in this list, however, is best in moderation: stay angry for long periods of time and you'll be plagued with a host of health issues, like blood pressure, sleep disorders and lung damage.

COFFEE: Java is one of the most debated substances around. Is it good for you? Is it bad for you? Both? The consensus, now anyways, seems to favor those who enjoy their morning jolt—unrelated studies claim coffee is a major source of antioxidants in our diet and can help lower your risk of diabetes. Something in the beans is also thought to ease the onset of cirrhosis of the liver and pancreatitis, good news for those who like to party hard all night before their morning caffeine boost.

LSD: We're definitely not in the business of advocating drug use. But check out this interesting science: In heavy drinkers, small doses of LSD have been thought to help bypass the rock-bottom stage of alcoholism and prevent relapses. These studies—some decades old—were done in closely monitored, clinical settings; many patients haven't had a drink in the many years since. It's an interesting finding that needs a lot more investigation, and not a remedy that should ever be tried at home. Meantime—and this may come as no surprise—a recent study of 36 volunteers who took an LSD-like drug in a lab setting had them reporting mystical experiences and behavior changes that lasted for weeks.

SUNLIGHT: Exposure to the sun's rays is necessary to survive, but can also kill you in gross, cancerous quantities. Asthmatics, at least, could benefit from measured doses of ultraviolet rays, according to scientists. Sunlight suppressed the immune reactions that cause asthma in some lab studies with mice and could be used to treat humans afflicted with the disease in the future. And sunlight—even if indirect, such as on a shaded porch—is known to boost the mood. Extra sunlight can help office workers avoid afternoon drowsiness, a recent study found. There's still no excuse to head outside and bake, however.

MAGGOTS: They're creepy, slimy and altogether ooky, but maggots can save your life. These squirmy larvae are science's newest wonder-cure and were approved in 2003 as the Food & Drug Administration's only live medical device. Placed on serious wounds, maggots mimic their "wild" lifestyle and munch on bacteria and dead tissue, stimulating healing and helping to prevent infection.

MARIJUANA: It's medicinal, we swear! Marijuana, often associated with memory loss, is ironically now being hyped as a way to stave off the ultimate form of memory loss—Alzheimer's. Recent studies on mice suggest that anti-inflammatories found in the drug prevent the clumping of brain proteins, one major cause of the disease. So when should you start preventative therapy? We suggest waiting for the human studies to wrap up.

RED WINE: A crucial ingredient in the diets of the world's heart-healthiest populations—like those Bordeaux-guzzling French—red wine has long been known to have potent anti-cancer and artery-protecting benefits. The key, some studies indicate, is an antioxidant found specifically in the skin of red wine grapes, called resveratrol. The latest studies even link resveratrol to greater endurance, a reduction in gum disease and Alzheimer's. White wine, which is fermented after the skins are removed, is less beneficial according to some studies.

CHOCOLATE: Chocolate lovers rejoice: study after study lately has touted the magical benefits of the indulgent treat, which is packed with the antioxidant flavonols that prevent certain cancers and keep your arteries from clogging. The most recent news? These powerful chemicals may even increase blood flow to the brain, warding off dementia. Just stick to the highest cocoa content possible—the bars packed with sugar don't help your health one bit.

SEX: Scientists have found that the benefits of sex go beyond immediate, ahem, gratification and satisfying the goal of procreation. Besides the obvious evolutionary purposes, we can all take pleasure in the news that having sex is an easy way to reduce stress, lower cholesterol and improve circulation throughout the body. As if you needed another excuse.

Note from Antonia:
I have never taken any drugs other than when medically prescribed. I have never smoked anything. I therefore do not advocate marijuana or LSD but am simply re-publishing this article which arrived in my inbox. Oh and who said sex was a bad thing?

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Blonde Joke

A blonde walked into a store to buy curtains.

She went up to the salesman and said, "I want those pink curtains to fit my computer screen.

The salesman mentioned, "Computers don't need curtains."

The blonde replied, "Hellooo…. I have windows!"

Friday, 22 April 2011

Why is it Good Friday?

Today is Good Friday, the day when we remember Christ being crucified. Why is Good Friday referred to as “good”? What the Jewish authorities and Romans did to Jesus was definitely not good (Matthew 26-27). However, the results of Christ’s death are very good.

The name may be derived from 'God's Friday' in the same way that good-bye is derived from 'God be with ye'. The simplest explanation is that the day is truly good because in Christ’s death, the barrier of sin between God and his people was broken through redemption by the death of Jesus Christ.

Other Names for Good Friday
The Anglo-Saxon name for Good Friday was Long Friday, due to the long fast imposed upon this day. The day is also known as Black Friday or Sorrowful Friday. In the Eastern orthodox Churches, it is known as the "Great Friday".

History of Good Friday
The Good Friday date is one of the oldest Christian holidays, with some sources saying that it has been observed since 100 AD. It was associated with fasting during the early years of its observance and was associated with the crucifixion around the 4th century AD.

A Public Holiday in Some Countries
Good Friday is a most holy day to remember Christ’s crucifixion before his rising from the dead on Easter Sunday. It is a public holiday in the UK, one of only two days when shops and businesses are closed, the other being Christmas Day. The same applies in Sweden, Denmark and Norway,

Good Friday is a public holiday in many countries with a strong Christian tradition ie Australia, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, the Caribbean countries, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Germany, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, the Philippines, Mexico and Singapore. Also in 11 of the United States of America.

Ireland, a predominantly Catholic country, prohibits all alcohol from being sold on Good Friday. Banks and public institutions are closed but it is not an official bank/public holiday.

The Service of Darkness/Tenebrae
The Service of Darkness, known as the Tenebrae is celebrated in some Western Churches. During this ceremony the lights in the church are slowly dimmed marking the darkness that covered Earth upon Christ’s death. The Tenebrae ends with a loud noise known as the strepitus. This loud noise is used as a symbol to mark several sounds that are noted in scripture. They are: Jesus’ final cries, the earthquake at his death, the shutting of his tomb and the second earthquake when he rises from the dead. The purpose of the Service of Darkness is to recreate the betrayal, abandonment and agony of the events leading up to, and the death of, Christ.

As Jesus faced death literally, he needed God's help to save him from the world. Jesus' words from the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" echo the human experience of seeking a reality beyond death (Matthew 27:46).

For Christians, Good Friday is a time to be with Jesus in his time of suffering and wait with him in hope of God's promise, eternal life to all who believe. The "good" in Good Friday reflects the Christian hope of resurrection and new life in Jesus, foreshadowing Easter Sunday, when Christians believe that God resurrected Jesus from the dead.

Lutheran tradition
In the Lutheran Church from the 16th to 20th century, Good Friday was the most important holiday and abstention from all worldly works was expected. It was a prime day to receive the Eucharist but in the mid-20th century, this moved to Maundy Thursday.

Not on a Friday for All Churches
Baptist, Pentecostal and many non-denominational churches do not observe Good Friday, regarding it as a papist tradition, and observe the crucifixion on the Wednesday to coincide with the Jewish sacrifice of the Passover Lamb, the Lamb being Jesus for the Christians. A Wednesday crucifixion allowed Jesus to be in the tomb “for three days and three nights” (Matthew 12:40) rather than two nights if on a Friday. John’s Gospel gives Jesus’ death on Thursday.

Catholic Traditions on Good Friday
Good Friday is noted and celebrated in many different ways throughout the world. Catholics mark the day by attending church and reliving the fourteen Stations of the Cross although it is not a public holiday. The Stations of the Cross are areas throughout the church that show the events that took place leading up to, and including, Christ’s crucifixion, death and entombment. No mass is celebrated but churches are often draped in black eg in Belgium.

Another tradition is to venerate, or honour, the cross by kissing a crucifix. On Good Friday, the altar in the Catholic Church has no decorations and the candle, which always burns to note God’s presence, is unlit. This is the only day that God is considered not present in the church and the only day in the Catholic Church in which a mass is not celebrated.

The day is solemn and a general air of sadness is felt in many towns and villages. Many Christians in Poland fast on dry bread and roasted potatoes. Egg decorating is also part of the Easter preparations in Poland and many other countries.

In Spain, it is another solemn day, part of "Semana Santa" (Holy Week).

Hot Cross Buns
In many English-speaking countries, it is traditional to eat warm 'hot cross buns' on Good Friday. Hot Cross Buns with their combination of spicy, sweet and fruity flavours have long been an Easter tradition.

Delia Smith’s Hot Cross Bun recipe

Hot Cross Bun recipe and other Easter treats for children

The pastry cross on top of the buns symbolises the cross that Jesus was killed on.

Hot Cross Buns nursery rhyme c.1798
Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!

One a penny two a penny - Hot cross buns
If you have no daughters, give them to your sons
One a penny two a penny - Hot cross buns

Hot Cross Bun Ceremony
At the London Pub, The Widow's Son, a Hot Cross Bun Ceremony takes place each Good Friday. In the early 19th century, a widow who lived on the site was expecting her sailor son back home for Easter and placed a hot cross bun ready for him on Good Friday. The son never returned, but undaunted the widow left the bun waiting for him and added a new bun each year. Successive landlords have kept the tradition going after the pub was opened.

It is traditional to eat fish on Good Friday instead of meat.

Cramp Rings
From the reign of Edward III to that of Mary Tudor, monarchs used to bless a plateful of gold and silver rings every Good Friday at the Chapel Royal, within St. James's Palace. By rubbing the rings between their fingers, the royal touch was believed to cure cramp and epilepsy. The custom was abolished during the reign of Elizabeth I.

Good Friday superstitions
There are a number of superstitions relating to Good Friday:

A child born on Good Friday and baptised on Easter Sunday has the gift of healing.

Many fishermen will not set out for catch on Good Friday.

Bread or cakes baked on this day will not go mouldy.

Eggs laid on Good Friday will never go bad.

The planting of crops is not advised on this day, as an old belief says that no iron should enter the ground (i.e. spade, fork etc.).

Hot cross buns baked on Good Friday were supposed to have magical powers. It is said that you could keep a hot cross bun which had been made on Good Friday for at least a year and it wouldn't go mouldy.

Hardened old hot cross buns are supposed to protect the house from fire

Sailors took hot cross buns to sea with them to prevent shipwreck.

A bun baked on Good Friday and left to get hard could be grated up and put in some warm milk to stop an upset tummy.

Having a hair cut on Good Friday will prevent toothaches the rest of the year.

No shedding of blood should take place and no work undertaken with hammer, nails or wood.

Try to arrange your affairs to die on Good Friday so that you are rewarded by going straight to heaven without spending any time in Purgatory.

Finally, there is a British superstition that laundry should never be washed on Good Friday, based on a folk legend that a washerwoman mocked Christ on his way to the crucifixion by either throwing dirty water over him or hitting him in the face with wet laundry.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Brain Foods for Memory

Here's the scoop on brain foods. Like you, I've always heard that certain brain foods can help you think better and improve memory. There are several types of foods that can protect your brain, improve how well it works and even build new brain cells.

First, let me clear up a common myth: yes, you can grow new brain cells as an adult! The myth that your brain stops growing is false. Lots of new research proves that your neurons (brain cells) can put out new branches and make new connections no matter what your age.

Of course, all cells need nutrients to grow. So including brain foods in your diet gives your brain the building blocks it needs. More neurons and connections in your brain equals a stronger memory and a mind that simply works better.

1. Healthy Fats - Build Your Brain

Much of a brain cell's structure is made up of what are called "healthy fats". The most important of these are the Omega-3 fatty acids. As your brain repairs itself and grows new neurons, it needs an abundant supply of Omega-3s from your diet.

The best sources of Omega-3 fats include cold-water fish such as salmon and albacore tuna. Other foods with Omega-3 are canola oil, soybeans, walnuts, wheatgerm, eggs, and flaxseed oil.

Recent studies have shown that Omega-3 vitamins can greatly improve memory and attention in some people.

2. Antioxidants - Protect Your Brain

As we age, substances in our bloodstream known as "free radicals" attack and break down our brain cells. If you don't fight this, you are likely to experience age-related memory loss when you get older.

Fortunately, there are a lot of foods that contain a helpful substance called "antioxidants". These antioxidants merge with the free radicals in your blood and make them harmless. So it pays to eat lots of antioxidant foods every day.

Good sources of antioxidants include tea (especially green tea), blueberries and other berries, red grapes, tomatoes, broccoli, garlic, spinach, carrots, whole grains and soy.

3. High-Tyrosine Proteins - Spark Your Brain

Besides neurons, your brain also includes important chemicals called "neurotransmitters". Neurotransmitters are the messengers that carry brain signals from one neuron to the next. You may have a great brain structure, but if your supply of the different neurotransmitters is insufficient your brain won't function properly.

Some components of neurotransmitters, such as tryptophan, can't be made within the body but must be consumed directly from your diet. Others such as tyrosine can be made by the body but still require the right foods in your diet.

The best neurotransmitter-building foods for boosting alertness, energy, and concentration include seafood, meat, eggs, soy and dairy products.

4. Water - Hydrate Your Brain

As you probably know, most of your body is water. It is very easy to not consume enough water and become dehydrated. Being even slightly dehydrated decreases your mental energy and can impair your memory.

Drink at least three or four liters of water a day. I like to carry around a one-liter bottle and just fill it up whenever I pass a water fountain.

5. Vitamins & Minerals - Brain Building Blocks

Certain vitamins and minerals are also important building blocks for your brain. You definitely want to avoid any kind of vitamin deficiency. The best way to do so is to supplement with vitamin and mineral tablets.

The most important for brain function are Vitamins C, B12, and B6. So take a Vitamin C supplement daily and consider taking a B Complex vitamin along with it.

Some important minerals for brain building include Iron (for women, especially) and Calcium. Deficiencies of either of these have been shown to impair learning.

An easy way to get most of your most important vitamins and minerals is to simply take a multivitamin each day. Also consider a fish oil capsule (for Omega-3 fatty acids), a 1,000 mg Vitamin C tablet and a B Complex vitamin.

Make sure you always take your vitamins with food and not on an empty stomach. Not only will you avoid a stomach ache, but vitamins and minerals need to combine with food in your digestive system or they will be to a large degree wasted.

6. Fiber - Regulate Your Fuel Supply

Fiber is a suprising brain food, but an important one. Okay, fine, it's not really a "food". But fiber does help your brain function at its best. The reason is that fiber helps slow the absorption of sugar from your diet.

Your brain operates 100% on sugar. But the trick is that the sugar must be delivered in a very steady stream and in the proper amount or your brain gets overwhelmed. Eating enough fiber slows your digestion and results in the sugar in your food being delivered into your bloodstream gradually.

Foods containing healthy amounts of fiber include dried fruits (such as raisins, dates, prunes, and apricots), vegetables (such as green peas, broccoli, and spinach), peas and beans (such as black-eyed peas, lima beans, and kidney beans), nuts and seeds (such as flaxseed and almonds), whole fruit (such as apples with the skin, oranges, avocados, kiwi, and pears), and whole wheat grains (such as barley, brown rice, and the various whole wheat pastas and cereals).


So there you have it. To keep your brain healthy and your memory at its best, simply start eating foods from all of these groups on a regular basis.

Slowly replace the high-sugar, high-fat foods in your diet with these healthy brain foods. Not only will your brain and memory benefit, but your body will, too. I guarantee you will notice a difference!


The Samurai Asks the Zen Monk for Advice

From Paulo Coelho's blog:

A Samurai who was known for his nobility and honesty, went to visit a Zen monk to ask him for his advice. When the monk had finished his prayers, the Samurai asked,
"Why do I feel so inferior? I have faced death many times, have defended those who are weak. Nevertheless, upon seeing you meditating, I felt that my life had absolutely no importance whatsoever."

"Wait. Once I have attended to all those who come to see me today, I shall answer you."

The samurai spent the whole day sitting in the temple gardens, watching the people go in and out in search of advice. He saw how the monk received them all with the same patience and the same illuminated smile on his face.

At nightfall, when everyone had gone, he demanded, "Now can you teach me?"

The master invited him in and lead him to his room. The full moon shone in the sky, and the atmosphere was one of profound tranquility.
"Do you see the moon, how beautiful it is? It will cross the entire firmament, and tomorrow the sun will shine once again. But sunlight is much brighter, and can show the details of the landscape around us: trees, mountains, clouds. I have contemplated the two for years, and have never heard the moon say: why do I not shine like the sun? Is it because I am inferior?"

"Of course not", answered the samurai, "the moon and the sun are different things, each has its own beauty. You cannot compare the two."

"So you know the answer. We are two different people, each fighting in his own way for that which he believes, and making it possible to make the world a better javascript:void(0)place; the rest are mere appearances."

Monday, 21 February 2011

A Rhyme To Remember English Monarchs

These are little rhymes to try to fix historical dates in one’s mind. They make no pretence to poetry. They are purely practical. They are mainly in sequence of date, and are mostly concerned with English/British history.

English / British Historical Doggerel by Dr. Donald Stevens

The Celts were first, the Romans next,
The Saxons then by Danes were vexed.
Then Danes not long, then Normans came,
But England kept its Saxon name.

-- o0o --

King Will-i-am of Normandy,
The sons he had were only three,
Robert, Red William, and Henry One,
Came Henry Two when they were done.
Robert, he stayed in Normandy,
And never England’s King was he.

-- o0o --

In the Forest that’s New
Rufus the King, someone slew
(We don’t know who);
In one and one and nought and nought,
And Henry One to the throne was brought.

-- o0o --

(William Rufus, the Red William in the preceding rhyme,
shot by an arrow in the New Forest, in 1100.)

-- o0o --

In ten ninety-nine, Crusaders go,
Godfrey of Bouillon at the head of them,
To attack and vanquish every foe
And take by force Jerusalem.

-- o0o --

Eleven hundred and thirty-five,
Henry One is not alive.
Stephen says that he is King.
Matilda says another thing;
“If nephew Stephen had never been,”
Said she, “Then I would be the Queen.”
As both of them felt rather sore,
They decided to have a Civil War.

-- o0o --

(Stephen was the nephew of Henry I)

-- o0o --

Eleven hundred and fifty-four,
Stephen the King, he was no more,
When he was definitely dead,
Henry the Second was King instead.

-- o0o --

Hen. Two wedded Eleanor of Aquitaine,
By this the half of France to gain.

-- o0o --

(Hen. = Henry, of course)

-- o0o --

Richard, the King with the Lion’s Heart,
Decided quite early to depart
To fight the Muslims and conquer them,
And so retake Jerusalem.

-- o0o --

John, son of Henry and Eleanor,
Was disliked by the Pope and many more;
The Magna Carta in twelve fifteen,
Because the Barons were very keen,
Was signed reluctantly by John
The Island of Runnymede upon.

-- o0o --

Ned One was good, Ned Two was not,
Ned Three found he a war had got
A war with France that lasted near
A hundred year.

-- o0o --

(The three Edwards & The Hundred Years’ War)

-- o0o --

Lancaster’s Rose was red,
The Rose of York was white,
Because they couldn’t agree on the colour,
They both decided to fight.

-- o0o --

In one and four and eight and five
Henry Tudor (whose rose was red)
Won at Bosworth, and stayed alive
When Richard of York was certainly dead.

-- o0o --

Two Henrys, followed by poor little Ned,
The Mary and Liz when Ned was dead.

-- o0o --

The Tudors: Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI,
Mary, Elizabeth)

-- o0o --

In fourteen hundred and ninety-two,
Columbus sailed the ocean blue,
He sailed to America from Spain
And then, of course, sailed back again,
And Ferdinand and Isabella
Thought he was a splendid fella.

-- o0o --

Philip the Second of Spain
Caused a lot of pain
By the imposition
Of the Inquisition.

-- o0o --

In fifteen hundred and eighty-eight
The Spanish Armada met its fate.

-- o0o --

Great Liz had neither daughter nor won,
So cousin James from Scotland came,
And a new dynasty was begun,
The Stuarts was its name.

-- o0o --

In one and six and one and one,
The Authorised Version at last was done.

-- o0o --

In sixteen hundred and five
All in Parliament alive
Were hoped by rebels soon to die
By being blown into the sky.
(The Gunpowder Plot)

-- o0o --

Jas. and Chas., then Noll and Dick,
Then Chas. and Jas., and Bill came quick.
(James I, Charles I, Oliver Cromwell, Richard Cromwell,
Charles II, James II, who lasted only three years, and was
replaced by William of Orange from Holland)

-- o0o --

James the Second was Charlie Two’s brother,
Because, of course, they had the same mother.
(Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I)

-- o0o --

Two years when deaths were rather higher:
Sixty-five Plague and Sixty-Six Fire.
(1665, 1666)

-- o0o --

It begins with W and ends with M,
And England was ruled by both of them.
(WilliaM: W = William; M = Mary)

-- o0o --

When the eighteenth century began,
We had a Queen whose name was Anne
She began her reign with Number Two,
But by Fourteen, her reign was through,
And Cousin George came quickly over
From Hanover.
(Anne: 1702-1714)

-- o0o --

Frederick really should have been King.
But he was killed by a silly thing,
Down he went in a fatal fall
Hit on the head by a cricket ball.
So it was that George number Three
Became the King instead of he.

-- o0o --
Source: Homeschool

Monday, 14 February 2011

Shit Happens

Have you seen this poster? It is available from Amazon for £4.99: Humour Posters: Shit Happens - Quotes - 91x61cm

Humour Poster: A funny take on the famous saying 'Shit Happens'; an insiders view on how various religions and ideologies approach the saying; some samples: (1) Protestantism: "Shit happens; Amen to that." (2) Agnosticism: "Can you prove that shit happens." (3) Jehovah's Witness: "Knock, knock, shit happens."


TAOISM - "if you understand shit, it isn't shit"
HINDUISM - "this shit happened before"
CONFUCIANISM - "Confucious say 'shit happens'"
BUDDHISM - "shit will happen to you again"
ZEN - "what is the sound of shit happening?"
ISLAM - "if shit happens, it is the will of Allah"
SIKHISM - "leave our shit alone"
JEHOVA'S WITNESS - "knock. knock. shit happens"
ATHEISM - "i don't believe this shit"
AGNOSTICISM - "can you prove that shit happpens?"
CATHOLICISM - "if shit happens, you deserve it"
PROTESTANTISM - "shit happens, amen to that"
JUDAISM - "why does shit always happen to us?"
ORTHODOX JUDAISM - "so shit happens, already"
TELEVANGELISM - "send money or shit will happen to you"
RASTAFARIANISM - "let's smoke this shit"
HARE KRISHNA - "shit happens rama rama"
NATION OF ISLAM - "don't take no shit"
NEW AGE - "visualize shit happening"
SHINTOISM - "you inherit shit of your ancestors"
HEDONISM - "i love it when shit happens"
SATANISM - "sneppah tihs"
CAPITALISM - "this is MY shit"
FEMINISM - "men are shit"
EXISTENTIALISM - "what is shit, anyway?"
SCIENTOLOGY - "if shit happens, see Dianetics p.137"
MORMONISM - "excrement happens" (don't say shit)
BAPTISM - "we'll wash the shit right off you"
MYSTICISM - "this is really weird shit"
VOODOO - "shit doesn't just happen - we made it happen"
DISNEYISM - "bad shit doesn't happen here"
COMMUNISM - "let's share the shit"
MARXISM - "you have nothing to lose but your shit"
PSYCHO-ANALYSIS - "tell me about your shit"
DARWINISM - "survival of the shittiest"
AMISH - "modern shit is useless"
SUICIDAL - "i've had enough of this shit"
OPTIMISM - "shit won't happen to me"
TREKISM - "to boldly shit where no-one has shat before"
SHAKESPEAREAN - "to shit or not to shit, that is the question"
DESCARTES - "i shit, therefore i am"
FREUD - "shit is a phallic symbol"
LAWYERS - "for enough money, I can get you out of shit"
ACUPUNCTURIST - "hold still or this shit's gonna hurt"
DOG - "i just shit in your shoe"
CAT - "dogs are shit"
MOUSE - "oh shit! a cat!"
POLITICALLY CORRECT - "internally processed,
nutritionally drained, biological output happens"
EINSTEIN - "shit is relative"
FAMILY GATHERING - "relatives are shit"
MATERIALISM - "whoever dies with the most shit, wins"
VEGETARIANISM - "if it shits, don't eat it"
FATALISM - "oh shit, it's going to happen"
ENVIRONMENTALISM - "shit is biodegradable"
AMERICANISM - "who gives a shit?"
STATISTICIAN - "shit is 84.7% likely to happen"
HIP-HOP - "motherfuck this shiznit, beeatch!"
TANTRISM - "fuck this shit"
CYNICISM - "we are all full of shit"
SURREALISM - "fish happens"
WICCA - "you can make shit happen but shit will happen to you three times"