Friday, 26 October 2007

Free Rice

Multi-tasking takes on a whole new meaning at this cool, charitable
website. "Free Rice", a sister site of Poverty.Com, allows people to
simultaneously sharpen their English vocabulary while helping to end world

Take the multiple-choice Vocabulary Quiz on FreeRice.Com to immediately
begin sharpening your mind and helping those in need. For every single
word that you get right, the website donates 10 grains of rice to the
United Nations World Food Program!

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch(HRW) is an international organization that is fiercely
dedicated to ending cruelty and inhumanity around the world. Every January
the non-profit releases its "Human Rights Watch World Report", a startling
annual review of the worldwide state of human rights.

Scroll through the site to read about human rights violations, practices,
improvements, and issues facing the people and nations of the world in
2007. Search by region or country to find current information on global
issues such as the genocide in Darfur, the war in Iraq, oppressive
governments in Burma, Turkmenistan, and North Korea, dictatorships in the
Middle East, and unfortunately many other brutal realities in China,
Russia, Africa, and nearly every other place on Earth. Be sure to read
some of the moving essays on the website, download a PDF of the report, and
learn how you can take action to prevent and stop the rampant abuse of men,
women, and children everywhere.

Friday, 5 October 2007


May your stuffing be tasty,
May your turkey be plump,
May your potatoes 'n gravy have not a lump,
May your yams be delicious,
May your pies take the prize,
May your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs.


Friday, 21 September 2007

Be the Change

Millions of people around the world are embracing the Web 2.0 phenomenon of
"Social Networking", creating profiles on popular sites like Facebook,
LinkedIn, and MySpace. Change.Org is a cool website that represents a bold
new step in online community-building, combining the exciting format of
virtual networking with the a higher purpose of charity and social activism.

The only important question to ask yourself while creating your personal
profile on Change.Org is "What Do You Want to Change in the
World?" Members of this pro-active website can meet people all over the
world who are working to protect Nature, prevent and fight diseases,
promote peace, change politics, and address other local and global
issues. Make a Difference!

Visit the website here

from Cool Tricks and Trinkets

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Are We There Yet?

Moms and "Mr. Moms" everywhere will want to bookmark this parent-friendly website. MomsMiniVan.Com is filled to the brim with "101 Car Travel Games & Road Trip Ideas for Kids" that will keep the little ones entertained during school runs, carpools, and family road trips.

Parents can browse through Mom's Minivan to find car games and ideas for toddlers, babies, and kids of all ages. With the help of fun games like String Finger, Car Bingo, and Counting Cows, those long trips to grandma's house will a lot more peaceful.

...from the Cool Tricks and Trinkets Newsletter

Friday, 7 September 2007

...three more quotations

The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.
- AA Milne

I think that God in creating Man somewhat overestimated his ability.
- Oscar Wilde

Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.
- Stephen King

Vintage Smoking Ads

These days it is common knowledge that smoking is a deadly habit, which
claims the lives of millions of people every year. Not too long ago,
however, smoking cigarettes was widely seen as a sign of sophistication,
sex appeal, and even good health!

"Truth in Advertising", a virtual gallery of vintage cigarette and tobacco
advertisements, demonstrates the extensive efforts of cigarette companies
and advertising agencies to sell such a preposterous and lethal
notion. The ads on this site are from a particular time period during the
1940's and 1950's, known as "The Age of Innocence", when the outlandish
marketing by tobacco companies included endorsements from medical doctors
and other jaw-dropping claims.

...from the Cool Tricks and Trinkets Newsletter

Thursday, 6 September 2007

School 1967 vs 2007

Scenario: Jack goes quail hunting before school, pulls into school parking lot with shotgun in gun rack.

1967 - Vice principal comes over to look at Jack's shotgun. He goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.

2007 - School goes into lock down, and FBI is called. Jack is hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.

1967 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up best friends. Nobody goes to jail; nobody is arrested; nobody is expelled.

2007 - Police called. SWAT team arrives. Johnny and Mark are arrested and charged with assault. Both are expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario: Jeffrey won't be still in class, disrupts other students.

1967 - Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by the principal. He returns to class, sits still, and does not disrupt class again.

2007 - Jeffrey is diagnosed with ADD and given huge doses of ritalin. Becomes a zombie. School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey has a learning disability.

Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.

1967 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.

2007 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy is placed in foster care and joins a gang. State psychologist tells Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself, and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has affair with psychologist.

Scenario: Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.

1967 - Mark shares aspirin with principal out on the smoking dock.

2007 - Police called. Mark is expelled from school for drug violations. Car is searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario: Pedro fails high school English.

1967 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college.

2007 - Pedro's cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English banned from core curriculum. Pedro is given a diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.

Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from 4th of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed.

1967 - Ants die.

2007 - Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Homeland Security, and FBI called. Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism. The FBI investigates parents; siblings are removed from home; computers confiscated. Johnny's dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario: Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Heather. Heather hugs him to comfort him.

1967 - In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.

2007 - Heather is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces three years in state prison. Johnny undergoes five years of therapy.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Let Them Live Green!

Al Gore's startling film "An Inconvenient Truth", Leonardo DiCaprio's upcoming documentary "The 11th Hour," and millions of activists have all helped push Environmentalism and Global Warming to the forefront of our public discourse. "We Can Live Green" (WCLE) is an Earth-loving website that lives up to its name by acting as an online resource to help people who want to "go green".

"Creating a Healthy Planet…One Person at a Time" is the ambitious motto of the WCLE website, which makes it easy for pro-active people to become responsible consumers. Visitors will find a wealth of information about green living, including a Green Directory with categories on "Apparel", "Construction", "Dry Cleaning", "Office", "Pest-Control", "Restaurants" and other eco-friendly alternatives to everyday products and services

Visit the website here

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Lake Ontario Swim

Stephanie Hermans - Lake Ontario Swim

On August 9-10, 2007, I will be swimming across Lake Ontario, a 50.5 km swim, from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Marilyn Bell Park, Toronto, in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. My twin sister Sarah suffers from type 1 (juvenile diabetes) and through my swim, I hope to raise money to help support research directed at finding a cure for diabetes and its complications.

Over 200,000 Canadians are afflicted with juvenile (Type 1) diabetes - many of them children. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure and lower limb amputation and a leading cause of adult blindness, nerve damage and heart disease. It is the underlying cause of 50% of all heart attacks, and 5% of those who suffer strokes have diabetes. Insulin is not a cure.

Canada has the third highest occurrence rate of Type 1 diabetes in
children 14 years or younger in the world and the Type 1 diabetes occurrence rate is rising by 3 - 5% per year; the greatest rise occurring in 5 - 9 year olds.

Please visit my website here for more information about the swim and how to make a donation.

With your support, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation will
realize its mission: to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. Together we can make great strides in finding a cure for diabetes!

Thanks for your help!

Stephanie Hermans

P.S. Please pass on my e-mail and website to anyone you think might be interested in supporting my swim for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Friday, 3 August 2007

...Green Guides

Green has quickly become the color of a global movement; a symbol of
Environmentalism, Conservation, and Consumer Responsibility. Most people
genuinely want to "go green", but unfortunately action is too often
replaced by words because making such lifestyle changes can seem overwhelming.

Treehugger.Com makes it easy for people to practice what they preach, with
this great selection of online guides on "How to Green" your Electronics,
Electricity, Car, Office, Food, Clothing, Pet, and pretty much every other
aspect of daily life (including sex!). Check out the "TreeHugger's Green
Gift Guide", and then pick out one of the listed green guides and just do it!


Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Meteor Showers

There is something magical about a point of light suddenly streaking across the starry field of the night sky. Those shooting stars are actually not stars at all but meteors. Of the major meteor showers that return to our skies at the same time each year, the Perseid shower puts on the brightest dependable show on the night of August 11-12. This year's new Moon conditions are ideal for viewing. Make sure that you check the sky often after dark. The very best viewing will be after midnight.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Monday, 23 July 2007

First time Golfer...

A retiree was given a set of golf clubs by his co-workers. Thinking he'd try the game, he asked the local pro for lessons, explaining that he knew nothing whatever of the game.

The pro showed him the stance and swing, then said, "Just hit the ball toward the flag on the first green."

The novice teed up and smacked the ball straight down the fairway and onto the green, where it stopped inches from the hole.

"Now what?" the fellow asked the speechless pro.

"Uh... you're supposed to hit the ball into the cup," the pro finally said, after he was able to speak again.

"Oh great! Now you tell me," said the beginner in a disgusted tone.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Being Humble...

"It's hard to be humble," says an old country song, "when you're perfect in every way." Very few people, of course, actually think they're perfect in every way, but it can still be pretty hard to be humble, especially when you live in a society that encourages competition and individuality. Even in such a culture, however, humility is an important virtue. Learning to be humble is of paramount importance in most religions and spiritual traditions, and humility can also help you develop as a person and enjoy richer relationships with others.

Appreciate your talents. Being humble doesn't mean you can't be confident or feel good about yourself. Self-esteem is not the same as pride. Both come from a recognition of your own talents and qualities, but pride--the kind of pride that leans toward arrogance--is rooted in insecurity about them. Think about the abilities you have and be thankful for them.

Keep in mind that being humble has many benefits. Humility can help you be more content with your life, and it can also help you endure bad times and improve your relationships with others. It's also essential to being an effective learner. If you think you know it all, you won't be open-minded enough to seek out new knowledge. Humility is also, somewhat counterintuitively, an excellent tool for self-development in general. After all, if you feel superior, you have no incentive to improve. Most of all, being humble allows you to be honest with yourself.

Don't fake humility. Pretending to be humble isn't the same as being humble, and often people who pretend to be humble do it in order to seek out praise. Other people will recognize this, and even if you fool some, you won't derive the same benefits as you would through actually developing humility.

Friday, 13 July 2007

Eat Your Vegetables!

There is never a shortage of nutritional regimes, fad weight programs, and
health crazes out there, most of which contradict one another. However,
the one thing that every dietary messiah, eating planner, nutritionist,
doctor, and culinary consultant agrees on is that vegetables are indeed
very good for you.

FruitsAndVeggiesMoreMatters.Org is a great resource for anyone who is
trying to switch gears from brownies to broccoli, with a host of useful
tips on how to select, prepare, cook and store fresh produce. Whether your
motivation is to heal your body and promote longevity, or simply to lose
weight, it is pretty much universally recognized that fruits and vegetables
are an essential part of any healthy diet. So eat your veggies!!!

Visit the website at Fruits and Vegetables More Matters

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Friendship Is...

The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him with his friendship.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, 2 July 2007

Pet Rules

To be posted VERY LOW on the refrigerator door - nose height.

Dear Dogs and Cats,

The dishes with the paw print are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note, placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge and try to pull the door open. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years -- canine or feline attendance is not required.

Friday, 22 June 2007

A Keeper...

A farmer had some puppies he needed to sell. He painted a sign
advertising the 4 pups. And set about nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard. As he was driving the last nail into the post, he felt a tug on his
overalls. He looked down into the eyes of little boy.
"Mister," he said, "I want to buy one of your puppies."
"Well," said the farmer, as he rubbed the sweat off the back of his neck,
"These puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of money."
The boy dropped his head for a moment. Then reaching deep into his
pocket, he pulled out a handful of change and held it up to the farmer.
"I've got thirty-nine cents. Is that enough to take a look?"
"Sure," said the farmer. And with that he let out a whistle. "Here, Dolly!" he called.
Out from the doghouse and down the ramp ran Dolly followed by four
little balls of fur. The little boy pressed his face against the chain link
fence. His eyes danced with delight. As the dogs made their way to the fence,
the little boy noticed something else stirring inside the doghouse.
Slowly another little ball appeared, this one noticeably smaller. Down the
ramp it slid. Then in a somewhat awkward manner, the little pup began
hobbling toward the others, doing its best to catch up....
"I want that one," the little boy said, pointing to the runt.
The farmer knelt down at the boy's side and said, "Son, you don't want
that puppy. He will never be able to run and play with you like these other dogs would."
With that the little boy stepped back from the fence, reached down,
and began rolling up one leg of his trousers. In doing so he revealed a
steel brace running down both sides of his leg attaching itself to a
specially made shoe. Looking back up at the farmer, he said, "You see sir, I
don't run too well myself, and he will need someone who understands."
With tears in his eyes, the farmer reached down and picked up the little
pup. Holding it carefully handed it to the little boy.
"How much?" asked the little boy.
"No charge," answered the farmer, "There's no charge for love."
The world is full of people who need someone who understands.

Thursday, 14 June 2007


Member of Parliament Mike Lake says the sasquatch should be protected as an endangered species.

He presented a petition
from his constituents asking "to establish immediate, comprehensive
legislation to effect immediate protection of Bigfoot." Lake agrees
that Bigfoot should be added under Canada's Species at Risk Act.
(Vancouver Province newspaper)

...That's hardly necessary: their population count is exactly the same as it always has been

...Let's hope that we don't find any oversize footprints in those sandtraps next week

...Ol' Duffer

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Points to Ponder

1. The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674

Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water.

2. The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

2 more Thoughts...

The only service a friend can really render is to keep up your courage by holding up to you a mirror in which you can see a noble image of yourself.
- George Bernard Shaw

The road to happiness lies in two simple principles: find what it is that interests you and that you can do well, and when you find it, put your whole soul into it...every bit of energy and ambition and natural ability you have.
- John D. Rockefeller III

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Spring Thought

Life is sometimes like a walk through a cow-pasture. One has to watch their step. But every spring, those pretty purple posies pop up in the midst of all the cow pies, providing a real lift to the spirit. I guess my thought is simply this. Focus on the crocus!

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

The Weather

"If you watch a game, it's fun. If you play at it, it's recreation. If you work at it, it's golf." - Bob Hope

From the Old Farmer's Almanac

April and May will be much warmer than normal from southwest Ontario to Toronto, with unseasonably hot temperatures in early to mid-May. Temperatures will be near normal elsewhere. Rainfall will be slightly above normal in the west and below normal elsewhere.

Summer will be slightly cooler and drier than normal, on average, with the hottest temperatures in mid- August.

September and October will be cooler than normal, on average, with precipitation near normal in the east and below normal in the west.