Tuesday, February 27, 2007

DailyOM: Echoes Of Happiness

from DailyOM.com

February 6, 2007
Echoes Of Happiness
Belly Laughs

As children, we laugh hundreds of times each day, delighted by the newness of living. When we reach adulthood, however, we tend to not allow ourselves to let go in a good belly laugh. Inviting laughter back into our lives is simply a matter of making the conscious decision to laugh. Though most of us are incited to laugh only when exposed to humor or the unexpected, each of us is capable of laughing at will. A laugh that comes from the belly carries with it the same positive effects whether prompted by a funny joke or consciously willed into existence. When our laughter comes from the core of our being, it permeates every cell in our physical selves, beginning in the center and radiating outward, until we are not merely belly laughing but rather body laughing.

Laughter has been a part of the human mode of expression since before evolution granted us the art of speech. Through it, we connected with allies while demonstrating our connection with people we didn't know. In the present, laughter allows us to enjoy positive shared experiences with strangers and loved ones alike. Yet solitary laughter carries with it its own slew of benefits. An energetic and enthusiastic bout of whole-body laughter exercises the muscles, the lungs, and the mind in equal measure, leaving us feeling relaxed and content. When we laugh heartily at life's ridiculousness instead of responding irritably, our focus shifts. Anger, stress, guilt, and sadness no longer wield any influence over us, and we are empowered to make light of what we originally feared. Laughter also opens our hearts, letting love and light in, changing our perspective, and enabling us to fix our attention on what is positive in our lives.

It is easy to laugh when we feel good, but it is when the world appears dim that we most need laughter in our lives. Our laughter then resonates through our hearts, filling the empty spaces with pure, unadulterated joy. We regain our footing in the moment and remember that no sorrow is powerful enough to rob us of our inborn happiness. When we understand that uninhibited laughter is the food of the soul, nourishing us from within, we know instinctively that life is worthwhile.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

'Infomania' worse than marijuana

Many workers are always on standby to react to incoming messages. Workers distracted by email and phone calls suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers, new research has claimed.
[read the article]

Friday, February 23, 2007

video game junkie

My son is a video game junkie. Maybe I should start a group called MADVG (Mothers Against Driven Video Gamers - I wanted the MAD of MADD to stay in there, but don't know if it makes for a lame acronym).

For four (?) years, he has played Runescape during nearly every bit of his free time at home, and who knows how much time he gets on it when he's at a friend's house. The RuneHQ site has lots of info about Runescape. He may even have access in the library when he stays after school (hey, maybe I could get the librarians to ban access . . .).

When I'm home (which isn't often these days, since I work full time 1000 miles away :-( and get home on weekends), I try to force him off after an hour or two straight, to go read, do a chore, hang out with me, run around outside, play his instrument, do scouts homework, etc (note, his physique hasn't suffered from this addiction, since he is also a soccer monster - at least we have that).

So, as I read this article, I am, yet again, seeking ways to have him get less interested. I don't know if we'll fix it while he and Husband are still in Rochester, NY. There's only one boy his age in our "neighborhood" (term used loosely because we live on a direct-line road into the city from a major highway, and most of the residents on our block are young professional renters). I have hopes that, when they join me in Melbourne, FL, the neighborhood we've chosen will provide him with lots of choices of kids to hang out with.

excerpt from the article:
The research found that games can provide opportunities for achievement, freedom, and even a connection to other players. Those benefits trumped a shallow sense of fun, which doesn't keep players as interested.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

How Do We Stop Genocide When We Begin To Lose Interest After The First Victim?

I got this link from my subscription to the e-newsletter SciTech Daily. The article is in Science Daily. Troubling, but I can see their point :-(

abstract: Follow your intuition and act? When it comes to genocide, forget it. It doesn't work, says a University of Oregon psychologist. The large numbers of reported deaths represent dry statistics that fail to spark emotion and feeling and thus fail to motivate actions. Even going from one to two victims, feeling and meaning begin to fade, he said.
[read the article]

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Stairs of Light

Alex Brown
February 1, 2007

The stairs of light are optional

If you choose to be optimistic
You ascend the stairs of light

If you choose to be miserable
You descend the dark stairs

Those stairs lead nowhere

At times, the stairs of light may be hard
But in the end is the right choice

For at the end of them is

A feeling of peacefullness
Inside of you

Saturday, February 10, 2007


So, my Dad is gone. During our visits with my parents we've visited a lot without words. I love you, Dad, and wonder where you are now. If you're "up there" I hope you will still come to visit without words.