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February 4, 2008

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  • Mike
    [Really Good Quotes A mind, once expanded by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions. - Oliver Wendell Holmes] [Subscribe to RGQ]
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 3, 2008
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      Really Good Quotes  "A mind, once expanded by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions." - Oliver Wendell Holmes
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      Greetings, Quotaholics:

      I've been an avid reader all my life and I've always loved books. Of course books have their disadvantages. For one thing, as any student can tell you, they are heavy and awkward to carry around.

      For years we've been hearing how the internet will replace the printed word. There's no doubt that newspapers and magazines are seeing the impact of people getting their news online. But for most of us the computer just can't replace books. It's just more convenient to carry a book and read wherever and whenever the mood hits us.

      So is there any chance that printed books will eventually give way to electronic books?

      What if you could electronically carry 200 books around with you, get instant access to new books, newspapers, magazines, and blogs all in a package that weighs about the same as a paperback book?

      At the risk of sounding like an advertisement, I'll tell you about a new gadget I've seen online. It's available from Amazon and it's called a Kindle.

      When I first heard of the Kindle it seemed like another electronic device that I could probably live without. After all, I've always been perfectly satisfied with my books. But this thing looks interesting.

      The biggest problem with electronic screens is the eye strain from the glare and reflection. Amazon claims to have solved that problem with a new type of display. They say is reflects light like ordinary paper and uses no backlighting. Since the screen is not lighted like most electronics it never gets hot.

      Their Kindle Store gives you instant access to newspapers like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, or foreign newspapers like Le Monde. You can subscribe to Time, Forbes, or Atlantic Monthly and get the current issue delivered the same day it hits newsstands. You can even access blogs like Slashdot, Boing Boing, The Onion, and Huffington Post. Most new books are $9.99 and newspapers and magazines start with a 14 day free trial.

      To access the Kindle store the unit comes with wireless access called Whispernet that works anywhere. It's not WiFi, so you don't need to search for a hotspot. Whispernet utilizes Sprint's national high-speed (EVDO) data network to wirelessly access Amazon. Surprisingly, there's no fee for the wireless connectivity so you never get a wireless bill.

      You can even email documents to yourself at a Kindle email address then access these documents with the Kindle. It is pre-loaded with The New Oxford American Dictionary, and has free built-in access to Wikipedia.org.

      I know that it's easy to get tempted by the latest gadget, but I'm really thinking about getting one of these. Does anyone in RGQ land have one yet? Do you know anyone who has used one? Does something like this appeal to you at all?

      Do you think books will ever be replaced by electronics? What are the historical implications of replacing books? We have books that are hundreds of years old, would we be robbing future generations of historic knowledge by putting books in electronic format? Is it possible that our electronically stored knowledge will store better and longer than books have?


      P.S. The RGCrew just got a little bigger. Cliff answered our appeals and will be formatting each issue.

      We need to point out that this is not the same Cliff that has been a frequent contributor. From now on we'll call him Cliff in Texas, and the new Cliff will simply be Cliff!

      Welcome aboard, Cliff. We appreciate you stepping up to help out.

      Isn't it worth $1 a month to you to keep RGQ in your mailbox?  Please click the link and direct your contribution to reallygoodquotes@....

      Today's Quotes

      "I may not be better than other people, but at least I'm different." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau, French philosopher and writer (1712-1778)

      "There is no more independence in politics than there is in jail." - Will Rogers

      "Every crowd has a silver lining." - P.T. Barnum, American circus entertainer (1810-1891)

      Today's Chuckle

      A Bedtime Story

      Mom and Dad were watching TV when Mom said, "I'm tired, and it's getting late. I think I'll go to bed." She went to the kitchen to make sandwiches for the next day's lunches, rinsed out the popcorn bowls, took meat out of the freezer for supper the following evening, checked the cereal box levels, filled the sugar container, put spoons and bowls on the table and started the coffee pot for brewing the next morning.

      She then put some wet clothes into the dryer, put a load of clothes into the wash, ironed a shirt and secured a loose button. She picked up the newspapers strewn on the floor, picked up the game pieces left on the table and put the telephone book back into the drawer. She watered the plants, emptied a wastebasket and hung up a towel to dry. She yawned and stretched and headed for the bedroom.

      She stopped by the desk and wrote a note to the teacher, counted out some cash for the field trip, and pulled a textbook out from hiding under the chair. She signed a birthday card for a friend, addressed and stamped the envelope and wrote a quick note for the grocery store. She put both near her purse.

      Mom then creamed her face, put on moisturizer, brushed and flossed her teeth and trimmed her nails. Hubby called, "I thought you were going to bed." "I'm on my way," she said. She put some water into the dog's dish and put the cat outside, then made sure the doors were locked. She looked in on each of the kids and turned out a bedside lamp, hung up a shirt, threw some dirty socks in the hamper, and had a brief conversation with the one up still doing homework.

      In her own room she set the alarm, laid out clothing for the next day, straightened up the shoe rack. She added three things to her list of things to do for tomorrow. about that time, the hubby turned off the TV and announced to no one in particular "I'm going to bed," and he did.

      Life Sentences

      "Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire." - William Butler Yeats, Irish writer, dramatist and poet (1865-1939)

      "There are no strangers here; only friends you haven't yet met." - William Butler Yeats, Irish writer, dramatist and poet (1865-1939)

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      SciFi stories with an antihero who has some sort of mental powers have always captured my fancy. The new series on one of the cable networks, "The Dead Zone" is that type of fantasy and it always gets me thinking about the different "mental powers" that one could have.

      I was scanning the odd and strange news reports when I came upon an article about "remote viewing" and the newest testing program to prove it true. Whether or not that will ever happen remains to be seen. The fact that the testing is even being done suggests that there is enough prior data on the subject hinting at the possibility of such a power to warrant the time and expense of a testing program.

      Of all the possibilities; telekinesis, teleportation, remote viewing, clairvoyance, mind reading, etc, I've often wondered which is the most likely to be possible. Since mental activity is basically a persons brain sending electrical impulses from neuron to neuron, I'd bet on mind reading. Since the latest findings show that most people have the same brain activity when thinking of the same item, if you could detect someone's brain activity you should be able to know what they're thinking. If you think of the brain's electrical activity as an extremely low power radio transmitter and/or an extremely sensitive radio receiver, it seems possible.

      I'm glad, since that would be my choice of a mental power if I could have one. My second choice would be to be smart enough not to act like an idiot and embarrass myself in public. I have no idea how to train myself for the former, but I'm working hard on the latter. The first exercise is learning to keep your mouth shut and not pop out instant retorts as I am wont to do.

      If you could read minds, think of the very practical uses for that power. When bartering, you'd know how cheap you could get the item and you'd also know if there are any defects. There'd be no doubts about the dating game; you'd know if she'll say yes or no, or you'll know if he's going to ask or not. Think of safety on the highway. Tune in to the drivers ahead or on either side so you'll know ahead of time, even a fraction of a second, when they'll pull a stupid maneuver. Knowing when a politician is lying would be priceless also. Of course I've heard that this power is not really needed since it's easy to tell when a politician is lying, their lips move.

      Wouldn't it be great to know in advance if you can get a raise and how much to ask for? How about having a super edge in a game of "Texas Hold `Em"? How about a cop being able to read a suspects mind and know if they're guilty or not so they can ask the right questions to get a confession? Or even more importantly, know when the suspect is going to run or shoot?

      I am positive however, that having the power would never let a man understand a woman. The ladies seem to have the power of The Shadow (Lamont Cranston) going for them; they cloud men's minds.

      Wait, I think the power is coming to me. Right now most of you think I'm nuts!

      The Bad Sied

      Most Embarrassing or Scary Moment

      Patti's Parenthetical Past
      On this day in history, February 4, 1932: The Third Winter Olympic Games opening ceremony takes place at Lake Placid, New York. Modern Olympic Games began in 1894 with ice skating proposed as one of the events. However, ice skating was not part of the games until the 1908 Summer Olympics in London. Ulrich Salchow and Madge Syers won the individual titles.

      In 1932, the United States hosted their first Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, New York when the snowfall at Big Pines, California was inadequate. During the Depression, there were scant funds for sports. Only 17 nations could afford to send teams. There were 231 men and 22 women who participated in the Olympics. There were 14 events in 4 different sports and 3 demonstration sports. The US took a total of 12 medals (6 gold, 4 silver, 2 bronze) and first place for the Games. Norway was second with 10 medals (3 gold, 4 silver, 3 bronze) and Canada came in third with 7 (1 gold, 1 silver, 5 bronze). The Games were scheduled to end on February 13, but lasted for two extra days due to poor weather conditions.

      "Women's figure skating has always been a big draw at the Winter Olympics. A lot of people here in the United States are still unfamiliar with the sport." - Jarvis Bowers

      "The U.S. could win eight or even nine medals in snowboarding alone. It's hip. It's youthful. There are a lot of activities in the Winter Olympics that don't appeal to the younger demographic." - Tracy Anderson

      "The Winter Olympics used to present a promotional challenge. Now there's speed, danger and an Olympic team that is more identifiable to a more diverse cross-section of America." - Mike McCarley
      Kids' Weird Words, The Date from Hell, How I Met My Mate

      Kirsten's Krazy Kaleidoscope

      Email Kirsten

      Last Wednesday felt like the windiest day in the history of the world. As I was walking to the bus stop, I felt like a Canadian version of Dorothy, about to be picked up by the wind and carted off to the Land of Oz. Later that morning, I took a break to get some coffee from the Tim Hortons across the road from where I work. At least, that was the plan. It didn't quite work out that way, because as I left my building, a bunch of policemen yelled at me to get back inside. When I got to a place where I could look out of the window, I saw that the police had closed off a section of Yonge Street. It transpired that the wind had blown down some large panes of glass from a nearby high-rise construction site. The road remained closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic until the police were satisfied that no-one would be decapitated by falling glass.

      I realise that the police were just doing their jobs, watching out for people's lives and stuff, but they cut off my access to Tim Hortons. I was able to get my coffee elsewhere, but it just wasn't the same. Without Tim Hortons, life just doesn't feel right. The coffee there is good, it is cheaper than anywhere else, and in winter you get it in really cool cups with pictures of snow on them.

      Coffee is important to me in the way that oxygen is important to other people. I have one of those programmable coffee machines that starts brewing the coffee ten minutes before my alarm goes off in the mornings. I have my first cup of the day when I wake up, and my last while I'm in the subway on the way home from work.

      Someone I work with recently told me that all of this coffee was not good for me. I decided to do a bit of research, and expected to find dozens of websites listing coffee as a risk factor in things like cancer and heart disease. To my surprise, I discovered that coffee is not only a factor in causing these conditions, but it actually may be a factor in preventing them. According to a website devoted to promoting coffee as a healthy beverage, coffee can reduce the risks of heart disease, some types of cancer, Alzheimer's Disease, Type Two (Adult Onset) diabetes, and a number of other things. This information is backed up by Web MD, Wikipedia, and Harvard Health Publications, among many others.

      This is not to say that coffee is all good. The most well-known negative side effect of coffee is its role in disrupting sleeping patterns. It can cause constipation and stain our teeth. Coffee does contain oils that are associated with increased cholesterol levels, but paper filters trap these oils, so coffee brewed using this method is safe.

      Research has shown a link between excessive coffee drinking and stillbirth. Four cups a day or less during pregnancy is regarded as "safe" coffee consumption. Expectant moms who drink eight cups a day or more are at 220% more risk than non-drinkers. Interestingly, during each of my pregnancies, I was not able to tolerate coffee at all. I could not drink it, I could not smell it, I could not be anywhere near it. It just goes to show that Mother Nature gives us some built-in warning systems.

      So now that I know that coffee might be extending my life, I can drink it without feeling guilty.

      Kaleidoscopically yours,

      Tim's Tales

      Tip of the Day

      When slicing a hard boiled egg, try wetting the knife just before cutting. If that doesn't do the trick, try applying a bit of cooking spray to the edge. - Peggy in Tonawanda, New York


      Got a full boat, and a new contributor who didn't sign his/her name!

      Next opening line...
      On my next trip abroad I will take...

      Hints:  There's a great rhyming dictionary at http://www.rhymezone.com/
      Limerick rules.  http://freespace.virgin.net/merrick.sheldon/limerickrules.htm 

      Submit Opening Line
      Submit Limerick

      've been watching the latest debate
      They talked about our sorry state
      It has always been my hobby
      to watch the candidates lobby
      I'm afraid of our fate. - Anonymous
      I've been watching the latest debate
      for this nonsense I've stated up rather late
      The newest ones is rather cute
      but I find that point rather moot
      I fear for my favorite candidates fate. - Anonymous
      I've been watching the latest debate
      They want us to trust them with our fate.
      They can talk the talk
      But they can't walk the walk
      Still, they're hoping we'll take their bait. - E. Cole Aye
      I've been watching the latest debate
      All it does is make me irate.
      They promise us all things
      And swear there are no strings
      My intelligence they desecrate. - E. Cole Aye
      I've been watching the latest debate
      Each claims that only they can conflate.
      "We together should love
      And hate talk be above."
      While their opponents they berate. - E. Cole Aye
      I've been watching the latest debate
      It was about the best way to date.
      One said you must woo her.
      Second said to use liquor,
      Then just drag her home by her nape. - E. Cole Aye
      I've been watching the latest debate
      (Around our table there were eight)
      Each person fought tough
      As to what's the right stuff:
      Does red or white wine go with fish bait? - E. Cole Aye
      I've been watching the latest debate
      Starring the latest Playboy Playmate.
      I'm not sure what she said
      Cause she wore just a thread
      And she really knew how to gyrate. - E. Cole Aye
      I've been watching the latest debate
      On what's the best food for my plate.
      Red mead, chicken, or fish
      I only have one wish
      That fatty me not gain too much weight. - Anne Onimous
      I've been watching the latest debate
      On how much money I should donate.
      Though not persuasive
      Lots they want me to give.
      Instead, I think I'll expectorate. - E. Cole Aye
      I've been watching the latest debate
      On how much food to put on my plate
      I think I'll just die
      They won't allow me pie.
      I don't like the portions they dictate. - Anne Onimous
      I've been watching the latest debate
      To each other they seemed to relate
      It was such a love fest
      It's no more a contest
      I thought those two were ready to mate. - E. Cole Aye
      I've been watching the latest debate...
      I thought, "My God, what a waste"
      We're back in the same boat
      Once again we'll be forced to vote
      For another second rate candidate. - Rick in Roanoke
      I've been watching the latest debate...
      Please tell me how I can relate.
      They all are so clueless
      Their platitudes useless
      And one of them will be our fate.
      I've been watching the latest debate;
      All the candidates, I'm beginning to hate.
      They rant and they rave,
      On lots of issues, they just cave.
      Have we any hope, or is it too late? - Bonnie in Louisiana
      I tried to pretend, but it shows
      My face's too small for my crooked nose.
      Though I ice it each day
      It still looks like Norway.
      I think the whole thing just blows. - Anne Onimous
      I tried to pretend, but it shows
      I just look terrible in clothes.
      I guess I'll run free
      And you'll see all of me
      And where all this running leads, who knows? - Anne Onimous
      I tried to pretend, but it shows
      When the sun does set, my skin glows.
      From a dare by my niece
      I ate my timepiece
      It contained radium, I suppose. - Anne Onimous
      My boss had an angry look in his eye
      I refused to share a French fry.
      'Stead of getting raggin'
      He really got even.
      He forced me to exercise. - Anne Onimous
      My boss had an angry look in his eye.
      He told me that I soon would die.
      He loosened his tie,
      Grabbed his sword samurai,
      Then charged at me, yelling "banzai!" - Anne Onimous
      Reader Comments

      Re: Electromagnetic Fields

      I have seen statistics that show a rise in brain cancer from cell phone use and similar exposure, but not to epidemic levels. I had a friend in the business of building RF-shielded houses, and I think his family was getting a hundred times more damage from worry than from the stray rays they worried about.

      Personally, I have never owned a cordless or cellular telephone, partly on the notion of "better safe than sorry." However, I have had major sleep disturbances, in part from being woken by the 'phone and fax machines. I think that having friends and other distractions so present in the bedroom could easily lead to sleeping only in short bursts, when exhausted. To sleep well, I have to feel sure that the only people who can reach me are the few who are most trusted. - Bob of the North

      With dangers to people from electromagnetic fields, I wonder about power station workers.

      I once visited an aluminium smelter where the guide had a handful of paperclips (slide ons) which he held in his hand and they stood up on end and arranged themselves end to end along th magnetic field. He and fellow workers should be dead by now. - Ray, Gold Coast, Australia

      I think there are other things causing sleep interruption, some of them related to cell phones (although not caused by cell phones) and some not. People who work all day then carry their cell phone home so they can work all evening, plus check their email all evening just in case something comes up are working all the time, they don't relax their minds enough to stop thinking and go to sleep.

      At the same time that cell phone use has been on the rise, the cost of living is rapidly increasing while wages are stagnant or declining, people that used to have a good job with benefits are working two part time jobs for no benefits, foreclosures are at an all-time high, savings are at their lowest point since the great depression and credit card debt is at a record high. These things aren't related to cell phone use, but they happened concurrently to the rise in cell phone use and they would certainly cause people to lose sleep.

      Saying there is something in the cell phone itself that is causing sleep disorders seems to be ignoring other obvious contributors to the problem. I wonder just how much effort was made to rule out the obvious before looking for the exotic. - Lisa in Denver

      Cell phones are dangerous to your health if they are used in moving automobiles by the driver. - Lucille

      Your "submit comment" link doesn't work, but that may be my problem what with losing my hard drive and all my settings Wednesday.

      Mike said: I don't know anyone who doesn't own a cell phone these days.

      Hi Mike. My name is Tim. Nice to meet you.

      Now there are reports that cell phones might interfere with sleep.

      Do you think? You're so worried about your cell phone ringing to tell you of an emergency that you don't realize it can wait until morning. Life worked before cell-phones. It isn't an emergency. What you cause by your lack of sleep could cause one. - Tim (wearing a tin-foil hat).
      [Tim, you remind me of a guy I knew in Santa Fe.  Cell phones weren't very popular then but I'm sure he wouldn't allow one near him now.  Back then his concern was microwave ovens.  Not only did he not have one, he wouldn't let his tenants have them either.  If he had heard of your foil hat he probably would have been wearing one too!  By the way, if I wear one of your hats will I still hear the voices?]

      Re: Paranormal Psychology

      Nancy L in Ohio wrote: One morning, I woke with a start from an awful dream. I had been out in space looking downward towards the Challenger shuttle flying up from Earth, and saw flames licking along the side of the space vehicle. I wrote a note about it to NASA, and several days later got a letter from them, thanking me for my report, and telling me they had received hundreds of letters and phone calls with similar reports.

      Sorry if I am dense, but did you actually write to NASA or was that also part of the dream? - Peggy in Tonawanda, New York

      Re: Marriages


      New York court recognizes gay unions
      NEW YORK (UPI) -- A New York appellate court has granted the same recognition to out-of-state marriages of gay couples as heterosexual couples married outside of New York.

      New York State does not permit homosexual couples to marry. The state does permit the voluntary extension of healthcare benefits to same-sex couples, however.

      The court said Friday this means gay marriages meet the state's "marriage recognition rule," The New York Times reported Sunday.

      The court said the state's longstanding recognition of out-of-state marriages and a Court of Appeals decision permitting legislation acknowledging same-sex marriages means "in our view, the Court of Appeals thereby indicated that the recognition of plaintiff's marriage is not against the public policy of New York."

      "This is a victory for families, it's a victory for fairness and it's a victory for human rights," Donna Lieberman of the New York Civil Liberties Union told The Times.

      The case involves the Canadian marriage between Patricia Martinez and Lisa Ann Golden. Martinez sued her employer, Monroe Community College, for denying health benefits to Golden following their marriage.

      The couple entered into a civil union in Vermont in 2001. (Copyright 2008 by United Press International) This news arrived on: 02/03/2008

      Bruce, More fuel for the debate/discussion - Dora in Denver

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