| Wednesday, May 30, 2007
| THE MODERN REAL MAN
| In the past, it was easy to be a Real Man. All you had to do was abuse women, steal land from Indians, and find some place to dump the toxic waste.
But not anymore.
Society is much more complex today. We live with different threats and terrors. Robots are challenging us for spots on GM assembly lines. Women are demanding things like equality and respect/ And instead of merely having to protect themselves against gunslingers and poker cheats, men today face a far more sinister crowd of predators: IRS agents, uninsured motorists, meter maids, carcinogenic food additives and electronic banking machines.
So what, then, makes someone a Real Man today? What sets him apart from the average Joe who cant' find his car in the shopping mall parking lot? Or the joker who takes girl out on her dream date -- only to have the computer reject his credit card at the end of the meal?
How does he prove himself, now that things like barroom brawling, waging war, and baby-seal killing are frowned upon by polite society?
The answer is simple.
A Real Man today is someone who can triumph over the challenges of modern society.
Real Men, for example, do not cower and shake in the face of double-digit inflation.
Real Men do not worry about diminishing ozone layer.
Real Mean are not intimated by microwave radiation; they're not afraid to fly DC-10s, drive Corvairs or invest in the city of St. Louis municipal bonds.
In short, strength and bravery are still the hallmark of today's Real Man; but he's just found modern ways to show it.
Real Men carry cash. Never the American Express card.
Real Men don't buy flight insurance.
Real Men don't smoke low-tar cigarettes.
Real Men don't take guff from French maitre d's.
Real Men don't cry during the "Mary Tyler Moore Show".
Going further, today's Real Man is still interested in the Spartan, simple life. He still believes in "roughing it"; he doesn't own a shower massage, remote-control TV, or an electric blanket.
Real Men don't floss.
Real Men don't use ZIP codes.
Real Men don't have telephones in the shape of snoopy.
Real Men don't drive Volvos because they're supposedly safer; they don't have special jogging shoes or telephone answering machines. (Real Men, after all are secure enough to know that if it's important,people will call back).
Real Men don't itemize their tax deductions.
Real Men still pass in the no-passing lane.
A Real Man would never use a designated hitter. But this is only the tip of the modern Real Man's psyche.
Today's Real Man is intelligent and astute; he's nobody's fool.
Real Men know that things don't really go better with Coke; he's not really in good hands with Allstate; and weekends were -- in fact -- not made for Michelob.
Real Men understand that using Jimmy Connors tennis racquet will not improve a weak backhand; they realize that designer jeans, Paco Rabane and Ruinite on ice will not help seduce any women whose IQ is higher than the average number of a UHF television station.
Basically, today's Real Man is unaffected by fads or fashion.
Real Men don't disco.
Real Men don't eat brunch.
Real Men don't meditate, roll, practice Tai Chi, or use hair thickeners.
Real Men don't advertise in the Personals section of the Village Voice o=for female companionship.
Real Men don't play games with wine in restaurants; they don't sniff the cork and say things like: "Its a small, unpretentious, fruitty red, with ambitious overtones of Bordeaux" about a four-dollar bottle of Ripple.
Real Men don't need water beds, lava lights, musk oil, mirrors on the ceiling X-rated videocassettes, or Ravel's Bolero.
Real Men don't want Bo Derek.
Real Men don't use black condoms.
Real Men stop reading - and writing - letters to Penthouse when they're sixteen.
Real Men are secure enough to admit they buy Playboy for women.
Politically, Real Men today are, well, realistic.
They don't trust the French.
They don't rely on NATO.
They don't contribute to PBS.
They don't believe in bilingual education.
They don't belong to the National Riffle Association.
And Real Men don't believe in the United Nations.
("After 35 years," say Real Men, "all they've prove capable of doing is producing marginally attractive Christmas card".)
Unlike his predecessors, today's Real Man actually can feel things like sorrow, pity, love, warmth, and sincerity; but he'd never be so vulnerable as to admit them.
All told, today's Real Man is probably closest to Spencer Tracy or Gary Cooper in spirit; he realizes that while birds, flowers, poetry and Small children do not add to the quality of life in the same manner as a Super Bowl and six-pack of Bud, he's learned to appreciate them anyway.
But perhaps there's one phrase that sums up his very existence, a simple declaration that he finds symbolic of everything in today's word that's phony, affected, limp, or without merit;
Real Men don't eat quiche.
Admittedly, this may seem - if you'll forgive the pun- a bit hard to swallow at first.
But think about it.
Could John Wayne ever have taken Normandy, Iwo Jima, Korea, the Gulf of Tonkin and the entire Wild West on a diet of quiche and salad?
(Source: Abstracted from the book"Real Men Don't Eat Quiche, A Guidebook to All That Is Truly Masculine" by: Bruce Feirstein)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 8:56 PM
| Monday, May 28, 2007
| DECORATION DAY (MEMORIAL DAY)
A war Memorial in downtown Highland Park, Illinois
Today, May 28, America is celebrating MEMORIAL DAY.
Let us return to history, and the place is Columbus, Mississippi, in the spring of 1866. The Civil War has been over for a year, yet Union soldiers still occupy the town. The fires of passion and prejudice that had consumed over 500,000 American lives between 1861 and 1865 still smolder in bitterness behind closed doors.
Jut outside Columbus is a cemetery where both Confederate and Union soldiers killed at the Battle of Shiloh are buried. On April 25, 1866, four young women pay a visit to the cemetery to tend the graves of lost loved ones and decorate them with memorial garlands of flowers.
After decorating the Confederate graves, the women walk over to a small plot where forty Union soldiers are buried. Gently they scatter Southern Magnolia blossoms on the Northern graves. The news of this unselfish, compassionate gesture spreads quickly and touches everyone. Newspaper editorials praise this act of reconciliation and urge the nation to come together to mourn both "the Blue and the Gray."
Soon in many small towns all over the country, people were gathering at Civil War cemeteries and holding commemorative or "Memorial Day" services. Afterward, there would be parades l;ed by a brass band, the volunteer fire brigade, and a review to honor America's veterans. Following the parade and patriotic orations, there would be a community picnic on the town common.
During the late 19th century, Decoration Day was a major American holiday and was celebrated with even more fanfare than Independence Day. This was because the Civil War had touched or altered nearly every one's life.
Even thous the country came together in spirit to honor America's war dead, the North and South still managed to commemorate independently. In 1868, General John A. Logan, commander in chief of the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic, a union veteran's organization), designated May 30 as Memorial Day, while the Daughters of the Confederacy held firm with the term Decoration Day and the date of April 26. Today, Memorial Day is recognized as a day of honoring all of those who fought wars and legally observed on the last Monday in May.
(Source:"Mrs. Sharp's Traditions" by: Sarah Ban Breathnach)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 2:40 PM
| Sunday, May 27, 2007
| STOP BEING A PEOPLE PLEASER
|Stepping into NO: The Basics
There are five basic steps to keep in mind to hone your ability to turn people down. As soon as you begin to apply them, you will start to feel justified saying NO and you will see results. You won't be able to say No to everything asked of you, nor will you want to, but you don't have to be an ever-accommodating Yes-person to be loved, respected and admired.
1. Make a list of your Yeses over the period of week.
If you are inveterate- Yes-person, the number will shock you. The acceptable number will be different for everyone. One request could send you into a tailspin, while it might take four or more to set off someone else. The real gauge is how pressure, tight for time, or recently you feel. Any negative reaction - Why did I agree? What was I thinking? What am I doing? I don't want to be available, I would rather be elsewhere - is the true measure.
2. Pay attention to how you parcel out your time.
If most of your time is monopolized assisting one friend, when will you see other friends? If family or job demands are high, what's left over for your own enjoyment? When your time is well managed, you'll keep some in reserve for what's most important to you.
3. Get your priorities straight.
Who has first crack at you without your feeling burdened or anxious? A child? A boyfriend? A girlfriend? A spouse? A boss?
4. Know your limits - start to define them if you don't.
They can be emotional or physical or both, but there's a point at which your line is crossed. How much of other people's problems can you tolerate without feeling drained? How long are you willing to put up with one-way friendships with you always on the giving end? Because you're not a trained therapist, decide how personal you're willing to be and what kind of requests make you uncomfortable. On the physical side, when does your stamina give out? What requests are too taxing? To stay healthy your body and mind require rest to rejuvenate, and if you don't set limits you won't get it.
5. Give control to others to ease responsibilities.
When you don't trust others to be in charge or to get things accomplished, you wind up agreeing to and doing far more than your share of what someone else could be doing. Eliminating the need to run things yourself to be sure they turn out the way you like them relieves much of the pressure you put on yourself.
Rarely is a request as straightforward as it appears, and many of the difficulties you'll face in responding are complicated - at least it feels that way. You could fear damaging a friendship, hurting a parent's feelings, disappointing a boss, having a child say, "I hate you". Yet the more often you refuse, the more quickly you'll learn that the fallout is less extreme than you imagine. Once you accept these realities, the easier it is to say NO.
A word of caution: Do not gild your NO with a lie or pad it with lame excuses. That's counterproductive because in all likelihood you will feel guilty about your fabrications and that's precisely what you are trying to avoid.
(Source: "The Book of NO" and Stop People-Pleasing Forever" by Susan Newman, Ph.D.)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 5:24 PM
| Sunday, May 20, 2007
| TALKING ABOUT FRANCE
Does your home or school have WALLPAPER? The French came up with this idea about 500 years ago. Many other cool inventions have also come from France. About 200 years ago, a man named Andre-Jacques Garnerin created the first PARACHUTE.
In 1816, a French man named Rene Laennec came up with the idea of the STETHOSCOPE. This tool allows doctors to listen to people's heart beats.
In 1824, a man from France created a special kind of writing that allows blind people to read. It uses groups of raised dots that stand for letter of the alphabet. This amazing invention is called BRAILLE. Its creator, Louis Braille, was only 15 years old when he came up with the idea!
In 1864, a French scientist named Louis Pasteur figured out a way to make milk last for a long time before it spoiled. His idea is still used today called PASTEURIZATION.
Two French men, Joseph-Nicephore Niepce and Louis Daguerre, invented PHOTOGRAPHY more than 150 years ago. About 100 years ago, a man from France named Leon Gaumont figured out a way to make SOUND MOVIES. But it took many years for his invention to get popular. Until then all movies were silent!
In 1942, two men, Emile Gagnon and Jacques Costeau, invented a special equipment that allows people to swim underwater for a long time. This invention is called SCUBA GEAR.
French people really love to eat cheese. Some of the famous types of cheese that come from France are BRIE and CAMEMBERT. French people also enjoy CREPES, pancakes that are rolled up and filled with different types of yummy food. Another tasty French dish is the SOUFFLE, a puffy dish made of eggs and other ingredients.
Many other famous kinds of food also come from France. One food that you've probably eaten is FRENCH TOAST. Another is a buttery, flacky roll called a CROISSANT. Croissant is the French word for "crescent". Croissants got their name because they are crescent shaped, just like the moon!
Take a look around your kitchen at home. Many of the things you'll see there originally came from France. For example, people in France came up with the idea of the CORK BOTTLE TOP more than 450 years ago. Today, many bottle tops are made of plastic or metal. The French invented the COFFEE POT about 200 years ago. In 1954, they also came up with the idea of the TEFLON frying pan. Teflon is a special material that is very easy to clean because food does'nt stick to it. Another important cooking tool is the FOOD PROCESSOR, which was invented in France about 30 years ago.
The French came up with the original ideas for many vehicles that you may see. For example, more than 300 years ago, some people in the French city of Paris came up with the basic idea for a BUS. And about 200 years ago, a French doctor invented the AMBULANCE. Both the bus and the ambulance were driven by horses. But also around 200 years ago, a French man named Nicolas Cugnot invented the first road vehicle to move under its own power. His invention was called the STEAM CARRIAGE. When he tried to drive it crashed into a wall and overturned. Still some people think it was the worl'ds first car.
Several kinds of air travel were also invented in France. For example, Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier launched the first HOT-AIR BALLOON. More than woo years ago. It was the first time people had ever been able to fly. A hot air balloon is hard to control. That's because it will go only where the wind takes it. So in 1852, a French inventor came up with a way to attaching a motor to a balloon. He has invented the FIRST AIRSHIP. It wasn't a plane, but it was close.
People in France did'nt come up with the idea for the airplane, but they did invent the first SEAPLANE. A seaplane is a kind of aircraft that lands on water instead of on a runway. It was invented in 1910 by a French pilot name Henri Fabre. The French also helped create the WORLD'S FASTEST PASSENGER AIRPLANE. It is called the CONCORDE jet, and it was invented in 1976 by people from France and England.
No one knows exactly who invented PAINTING. But the oldest paintings in the world are found in the walls of a cave in France. They are more than 30,000 years old. The French came up with the idea for BALLET more than 400 years ago. Today, this popular kind of dance is performed in theaters around the world.
The FRENCH HORN was invented in France about 400 years ago. Today, musicians all over the world use this marvelous instrument.
About 500 years ago, people in France invented the kind of PLAYING CARDS we use today. These cards are divided into four suits: spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs. Around the same time, the French invented TENNIS. Back then, the game was played only by the King of France and his best friends.
On April 1, some people celebrate APRIL FOOL'S DAY by playing practical jokes on each other. Many people believe this holiday began in France nearly 450 years ago. Another French Holiday takes place in July 14. This is called BASTILLE DAY, and it celebrates a revolution that happened in France in 1789.On Bastille Day, there are parades, speeches, and fireworks. French restaurants in other parts of the world often have special events on that day.
French people are famous for making and wearing beautiful fabrics and clothes. For example, people in France came up with the idea of LACE about 700 years ago. HIGH-HELLED SHOES were invented in France more than 400 years ago. In those days, men wore these shoes. Today it's usually women who wear high heels. More than 300 years ago, people in France came up with the idea of wearing NECKTIES. The first neckties were called Cravats. The French invented SUITS. The original suits were created more than 200 years ago. Back then, men ofter wore suits to ride horses. Today, both men and women often wear suits when they to work.
(Source: Abstracted from the book: "Look What Came From France" by: Miles Harvey)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 9:19 PM
| Saturday, May 19, 2007
| U.S. NURSE LACK WORST IN 50 YEARS
|The United States is in the midst of its longest and worst nursing shortage in 50 years.
Nearly half of all nursing jobs will be unfilled by 2020 according to some estimates.
"If these predictions are fully realized, almost one out of two New Jersey patients will not have an RN to care for them when they need nursing care," the New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing declared in a report to Gov. John Corzine last yer.
In a scramble of nurses, hospitals are establishing stronger links to nursing schools. They're recruiting foreign nurses, with the Philippines as the largest source for New Jersey.
They're luring older nurses back to the profession by offering higher salaries and better schedules. "Everyone has been doing all kinds of creative things to get nurses to come back to the workforce, at least on a part time basis", says Aline Holmes, a senior vice president of the New Jersey Hospital Association and a nurse herself.
For hospitals, making sure their nurses don't burn out -- most recent nursing grads across the nation leaves their jobs after two years -- also has become a must.
These programs are working. Nurses in their 50s are returning to the workforce, attracted by good salaries even for part time work.Most surprising, though, are educated people in their late 20s and 30s who decide to become nurses.
Fresh graduates enter the workplace at salaries ranging from $57,000 to $70,000 a year. But there are still aren't enough nurses being trained. Last year, the 24 nursing schools in Jersey graduated a total of 2,200 registered nurses. Workforce experts estimate that New Jersey needs to graduate 5,600 nurses a year to avert a nursing shortage in 2020.
The problem is there aren't enough nursing teachers. "Our nursing schools are bursting at the seams", say Geri Dickson, executive director of the New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing at Rutgers University. "But because they dont have enough teachers, they're also turning away qualified applicants".
(Source: Filipino Reporter May 18-24 '07 issue)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 1:38 PM
| Sunday, May 13, 2007
| MOTHER'S DAY
In 1907, Anna Jarvis
, proposed that a day be set aside for children to pay tribute to their mothers. However, when Miss Jarvis organized this annual remembrance, the original commemoration was for a mother who had passed on into loving memory.
In an effort to ease her grief, Miss Jarvis (1864-1948) arranged for a special memorial service to be held honoring her mother, providing five hundred carnations -- her mother's favorite flower -- as corsages.
For seven years Miss Jarvis campaigned vigorously to create a national holiday honoring mothers, winning many influential supporters, from suffragists to politicians. On May 8,1914
, Woodrow Wilson declared the second Sunday in May "MOTHER'S DAY
", urging an annual "public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country".
This quickly degenerated into a commercial hoopla that distressed Ann Jarvis greatly, and the poor lady spent the rest of her life arguing in letters, phamplets, and editorials that the holiday had been intended to inspire simple loving gestures "through some distinct act of kindness, visit, letter, gift or tribute to show remembrance of the mother to whom general affection is due
". Unfortunately, Miss Jarvis gave birth to an idea that, like children, grew up differently than Mother might have wished.
(Source:MRS.SHRAP'STRADITIONS by Sarah Ban Breathnach)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 10:52 AM
| Friday, May 04, 2007
| BAMBOO:THE MOST USEFUL PLANT IN THE WORLD
|Consider, if you will, a specied of bamboo called Phyllostachys Bambusoides. This plant blooms once every 120 years and then dies. We know from ancient Chinese records that P. bambusoides flowered in 919, and that it has flowered at roughly the rpescribed intervals ever since. In between it produces asexually by sending up shoots from undergroung rhizomes. The fact that it reproduces faithfully according to a 120 year-old clock is wonder enough. But even more curious is that all specimens of P. bambusoides, bloom together, controlled by the same clock, no matter where in the world they grow or when they sprouted. Thus, in the late sixties, the last time the plants of this species flowered, they did so simulataneously in China, Japan, England, Russia and the United States.
Bamboo is the most useful plant known to man. The Japanese alone have discovered more than 1,500 ways to use the bamboo that grows profusely in their country. The asthmatic's labored breathing can be calmed with a bamboo potion, and a bamboo salve will soothe irritated skin. Bamboo is delicate enough to be shaved into phonograph needles yet strong enough to form cables and dams. When THomas Edison was looking for a proper filament for this first electric light bulb in 1880, he tested more than 6,000 materials before settling on charred fibers from the common Japanese madake bamboo. (Remarkably, the first bulb still burns today, in the Smithsonian Institution)....
In Central America a major threat to bamboo comes from cattle grazing. After a stand has bloomed and died, the young shoots of the next generation are completely unprotected. Cattle then eat everything in the area. And you lose your bamboo.
One animal species that could wiped out by the loss of bamboo in its habitat is the giant panda of China. The panda's chief threat continues encirclement of the animal's final refuges. For the moment, however, the threat is not of man's making, but of nature's. The giant panda eats between forty and ninety pounds of bamboo a day. Approximately one-quarter of the 1,000 wild pandas of China are threatened with strvation because their favorite food, the arrow bamboo, has begun a once-in-decades flowering cycle in which the edible adult plants wither and die. It will be several years before the new plants that spawned mature.
(Source: ALMANACE OF THE ENVIRONMENT /The Ecology of Everyday Life by: Valerie Hamrs and other Audubon writers)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 12:23 AM