Please forward this eNL to a friend!
shopping spree. (Some folks might really like it).In this issue:
- Product Highlights
- Brainpower tip
- Time tip
- Finance tip
- Security tips
- Health tip/Fitness tip
- Thought for the day
|Today's date, when rendered in the
format, reminds me of the CB radio era of a quarter century ago. While
10-4 officially means "yes," it can mean much more. With the
right inflection, "10-4 good buddy" was a message of
reassurance--what the speaker meant and what the other person heard was,
"I'm backing you up and we're gonna make it."
With that in mind, I just want to say
"10-4" to all my good buddies on this subscription list. We
live in stressful and confusing times. But I'm backing you up, and we're
gonna make it.
1. Product Highlights
|We're back with translators, again. I hadn't planned on
featuring these so soon, but Ann at Ectaco just told me that
SpeechGuard is finally available.
Ectaco makes some products that, by government mandate, are not
available to the public. Devices using SpeechGuard's technology are such
products. Until last week, you had to be the US Army to buy one of
That should tell you something about how powerful these things
are. If you live in a NATO country, we'd be happy to sell you one. We
can't also equip you with body armor or the latest military weapons. But
if you use this translator to avoid misunderstandings, you shouldn't
need those things!
No longer available.
But we do have Russian translators here:|
Languages to/ from English (with voice!)
- Voice output in German, Chinese, French,
Japanese, Russian, Spanish and Italian
- Search for single words or whole phrases
- Voice prompted navigation
- Offered topics include: Everyday Conversation,
Traveling, Transport, Hotel, Restaurant, Shopping, Bank and
Telephone, Sightseeing and My SpeechGuard
- User-defined topics and phrases can be added in My SpeechGuard
- MultiMedia Card slot (Card included) for
simplified content replacement and updates.
- Volume Control.
- Touch screen (320x240 pixels).
- Screen backlight.
- Built-in microphone and 2W high quality
- Password security.
- Auto Off function will shut off translator when
2. Brainpower tip
It helps to understand how your brain is rewiring
itself. With this knowledge, you can control that wiring to increase
performance--and avoid a
Last year, I reviewed a superb book called "The
New Brain." Read that review here: http://www.mindconnection.com/books/thenewbrain.htm.
Click the image for pricing and availability.
|Below is an official publicity release, which
should give you additional insight.|
The New Brain is the
story of technology and biology converging to influence the evolution of
the human brain. Once considered a mysterious, hidden organ locked
within our skulls, modern brain science now provides us with insights
about the brain that only a few decades ago would have been considered
the stuff of science fiction. We can now study the brain and how it
functions as we take a test, practice a craft, experience an emotion,
make a decision, or even tell a lie.
In The New Brain, Dr. Richard Restak guides
us through the frontiers of modern brain science and offers cautionary
but also optimistic thoughts on the direction of his work. He says that
in the era of the New Brain, it will be necessary to tread carefully,
lest we imprison ourselves in concepts that diminish, rather than
enhance, our freedom.
Dr. Richard Restak, a neurologist and neurophyschiatrist, is
clinical professor of neurology at George Washington Medical Center in
Washington, D.C. He has written the companion books to several PBS
specials on brain function, including The Secret Life of the Brain.
His last book, Mozart's Brain and the Fighter Pilot: Unleashing Your
Brain's Potential was a bestseller. An engaging science commentator,
Restak has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things
Considered, the Today Show, Good Morning America, and
the Discovery Channel. He lives and practices in Washington, D.C.
The following is an excerpt from the book The New Brain: How the Modern
Age is Rewiring Your Mind
by Richard Restak, M.D.
Published by Rodale Books; October 2004;
Copyright © 2004 Richard Restak, M.D.
No Time to Listen
As the result of our "make it quick"
culture, attention deficit is becoming the paradigmatic disorder of our
times. Indeed, ADD/ADHD isn't so much a disorder as it is a cognitive
style. In order to be successful in today's workplace you have to
incorporate some elements of ADD/ADHD.
You must learn to rapidly process information,
function amidst surroundings your parents would have described as
"chaotic," always remain prepared to rapidly shift from one
activity to another, and redirect your attention among competing tasks
without becoming bogged down or losing time. Such facility in rapid
information processing requires profound alterations in our brain. And
such alterations come at a cost -- a devaluation of the depth and
quality of our relationships.
For example, a patient of mine who works as a
subway driver was once unfortunate enough to witness a man commit
suicide by throwing himself in front of her train. Her ensuing anguish
and distress convinced her employers that she needed help, and they sent
her to me. The hardest part of her ordeal, as she expressed it, was that
no one would give her more than a few minutes to tell her story. They
either interrupted her or, in her words, "gradually zoned
"I can't seem to talk fast enough about what
happened to me," she told me. "Nobody has time to listen
The absence of the "time to listen"
isn't simply the result of increased workloads (although this certainly
plays a role) but from a reorganization of our brains. Sensory overload
is the psychological term for the process, but you don't have to be a
psychologist to understand it. Our brain is being forced to manage
increasing amounts of information within shorter and shorter time
intervals. Since not everyone is capable of making that transition,
experiences like my patient's are becoming increasingly common.
"Don't tell me anything that is going to take
more than 30 seconds for you to get out," as one of my adult
friends with ADD/ADHD told his wife in response to what he considered
her rambling. In fact, she was only taking the time required to explain
a complicated matter in appropriate detail.
"The blistering pace of life today, driven by
technology and the business imperative to improve efficiency, is
something to behold," writes David Shenk in his influential book
Data Smog. "We often feel life going by much, much faster than
we wish, as we are carried forward from meeting to meeting, call to
call, errand to errand. We have less time to ourselves, and we are
expected to improve our performance and output year after year."
Regarding technology's influence on us, Jacques
Barzun, in his best-seller, From Dawn to Decadence, comments,
"The machine makes us its captive servants -- by its rhythm, by its
convenience, by the cost of stopping it or the drawbacks of not using
it. As captives we come to resemble it in its pace, rigidity, and
uniform expectations" [emphasis added].
Whether you agree that we're beginning to resemble
machines, I'm certain you can readily bring to mind examples of the
effect of communication technology on identity and behavior. For
instance, cinematography provides us with many of our reference points
and a vocabulary for describing and even experiencing our personal
While driving to work in the morning we
"fast-forward" a half-hour in our mind to the upcoming office
meeting. We reenact in our imagination a series of "scenarios"
that could potentially take place. A few minutes later, while entering
the garage, we experience a "flashback" of the awkward
"scene" that took place during last week's meeting and
"dub in" a more pleasing "take."
Of course using the vocabulary of the latest
technology in conversation isn't new. Soon after their introduction,
railways, telegraphs, and telephone switchboards provided useful
metaphors for describing everyday experiences: People spoke of someone
"telegraphing" their intentions, or of a person being
"plugged in" to the latest fashions.
In 1891 the Viennese critic Hermann Bahr predicted
the arrival of what he called "new human beings," marked by an
increased nervous energy. A person with "modern nerves" was
"quick-witted, briskly efficient, rigorously scheduled, doing
everything on the double," writes social critic Peter Conrad in Modern
Times, Modern Places.
In the 1920s, indications of modem nerves were
illustrated by both the silent films of the age, with their accelerated
movement, and the change in drug use at the time, from sedating agents
like opium to the newly synthesized cocaine -- a shift that replaced
languid immobility with frenetic hyperactivity and "mobility
Josef Breuer, who coauthored Studies on
Hysteria with Sigmund Freud, compared the modern nervous system to a
telephone line made up of nerves in "tonic excitation." If the
nerves were overburdened with too much "current," he claimed,
the result would be sparks, frazzled insulation, scorched filaments,
short circuits -- in essence, a model for hysteria. The mind was thus a
machine and could best be understood through the employment of machine
metaphors. Athletes picked up on this theme and aimed at transforming
their bodies into fine-tuned organisms capable, like machines, of
instant responsiveness. "The neural pathways by which will is
translated into physical movement are trained until they react to the
slightest impulse," wrote a commentator in the 1920s on the
"cult" of sports.
The Changing Rhythm of Life
In 1931 the historian James Truslow Adams
commented, "As the number of sensations increase, the time which we
have for reacting to and digesting them becomes less . . . the rhythm of
our life becomes quicker, the wave lengths . . . of our mental life grow
shorter. Such a life tends to become a mere search for more and more
exciting sensations, undermining yet more our power of concentration in
thought. Relief from fatigue and ennui is sought in mere excitation of
our nerves, as in speeding cars or emotional movies."
In the 60 years since Adams's observation, speed
has become an integral component of our lives. According to media critic
Todd Gitlin, writing in Media Unlimited, "Speed is not
incidental to the modern world-speed of production, speed of innovation,
speed of investment, speed in the pace of life and the movement of
images -- but its essence . . . Is speed a means or an end? If a means,
it is so pervasive as to become an end."
In our contemporary society speed is the standard
applied to almost everything that we do. Media, especially television,
is the most striking example of this acceleration. "It is the
limitless media torrent that sharpens the sense that all of life is
jetting forward -- or through -- some ultimate speed barrier,"
according to Gitlin. "The most widespread, most consequential
speed-up of our time is the onrush in images -- the speed at which they
zip through the world, the speed at which they give way to more of the
same, the tempo at which they move."
In response to this media torrent, the brain has
had to make fundamental adjustments. The demarcation between here and
elsewhere has become blurred. Thanks to technology, each of us exists
simultaneously in not just one here but in several. While talking
with a friend over coffee we're scanning e-mail on our Palm Pilot. At
such times where are we really? In such instances no less is
involved than a fundamental change in our concept of time and place.
3. Time Tip
|Don't lose sight of your real purpose.
If you are the most efficient person in the world and yet the sum of
your efforts defeats your larger purpose, your time is simply wasted.
Think about this experiment, and apply the lessons to your own life.
A group (let's call them ACME) did a study at a seminary. This
involved seminary students (seminarians), each approached separately.
The seminarians were to give sermons on the Good Samaritan.
Not all of our readers are from Western culture, so here's a summary
of that story (which is from the New Testament). In the time of Christ,
people who lived in Samaria were deemed low-lifes by the mainstream
folks. If you've read redneck jokes, you get a feel for how Samarians
were thought of in those days. An injured man lay by the side of the
road, and all of the "good" people walked past him and left
him there. But, a Samaritan stopped and gave the man extensive
At the seminary, ACME called each of the seminarians one at a time.
"Sorry, there's been a scheduling error. We need you to give your
sermon ten minutes from now. You'll have to hurry to make it here in
Without exception, each of the seminarians walked around, or stepped
over, an actor hired by ACME to play an injured man in need of
This was an object lesson. The seminarians were so caught up in
meeting an obligation to talk about helping a stranger that they
neglected to live the very words they were supposed to speak.
How well do you manage your time?
- As a parent, do you yell at your kids to get them to soccer
practice on time?
- As a husband, do you snarl at your wife for making you late to the
play you are taking her as a treat?
- As a wife, "correct" your husband when he (unlike most
men, unfortunately) "helps out" with domestic chores such
as cooking, cleaning, vacuuming, and so on?
- As a spouse, do you let yourself get out of shape so you are less
attractive to your mate?
- As an employee, do you undermine your relationship with your boss
in any of the hundreds of ways people find to do this?
- As a boss, do you undermine morale by forgetting they are people
who need your leadership, example, and support?
- As a neighbor, do you get into petty disputes with your
neighbors--thereby devaluing an important aspect of your home?
You can come up with many other examples and
situations. Remember that when you sacrifice the larger goal to meet
immediate needs, you are usually shooting yourself in your proverbial
foot. Take better aim.
4. Finance tip
|It's easy to get
caught in the trap of saving money at any cost. Here are some examples
from real life. Think of the lessons here, and see what you can apply to
your own thinking.
- Bob thought it cost too much to hire a termite
control firm. So, he told his neighbors they were foolish. But when
Bob started seeing holes in his drywall, his wife put her foot down
and made him call in a pest control service. Instead of a $900
prevention bill, Bob was faced with a tab that ran close to $17,000.
- A manufacturing plant was part of a corporation
driven by quarterly earnings. One month, they decided not to buy
$140 worth of water treatment chemicals. Within days, equipment
started shutting down. Repairs cost about $15,000. Lost sales neared
half a million dollars.
- Calvin's PSA (prostate specific antigen) level
rose sharply, a few months after surgery for prostate cancer. His
doctor recommended an aggressive drug to wipe out the cancer. A
second doctor concurred. But, Calvin's tab was going to be $200 a
month for 10 months of treatment. Calvin is a veteran. So, Calvin
looked into having the Veteran's Administration (VA) take over his
care. It took five weeks for him to get a VA examination and the
resultant prescription. Calvin bragged about how much money he
saved. But in five weeks, the cancer had aggressively spread
throughout his body. Calvin "saved" $400 by not getting
the medication until he was on the VA medication plan. But he lost
something far more valuable.
- George had come up through life the hard way,
and had paid for his own education at a community college--resulting
in a 2-year degree. When his two children each reached college age
(four years apart), George told them they'd be better people if they
paid their own way through college. But even with their
scholarships, they needed some financial support for room and board.
George would not provide this. So, the kids had to go to community
college, and then later go to night school to finish their Bachelors
degrees. This had a profound effect on their earnings. Years later
when George was faced with financial hardship, he turned to his
children for help. They each explained their own financial
condition, and the older child reminded George that their earning
power was less than half of what it would have been if George had
made a different decision years ago.
- Gina needed to replace the tires on her car.
She had looked at high-performance radials, and was considering
buying those. But, her boyfriend talked her out of it. In fact, he
talked her into buying some "bargain" tires at a discount
outlet. They went out to eat to celebrate the cost-savings. Three
months later, Gina's cheap tires failed to grip on a curve and then
failed to stop her as she hit a cement embankment.
- Maria had severe allergies. She read about 3M's
Filtrete Air filters, and asked her husband Bob to buy that style.
In fact, she insisted on it. Bob agreed to do this, but then balked
at the price. He could get fiberglass filters for 97 cents each, but
these other ones were $14. When Maria would ask about the filters,
Bob would always say he'd taken care of it. She trusted Bob and
didn't check. Until a friend came over and they discussed filters.
Her friend said there was something wrong, because she could see
dust on the furniture and dust in the sunbeams. "I have those
filters at my house, and I don't see that dust." They looked at
the furnace filter, and found it was the cheap fiberglass kind. The
ductwork on the "clean" side was full of dust.
Money Bob saved by violating his wife's trust: $13.
Cost to repair: 6 months of unneeded medication, $250; Professional
duct cleaning, $450; Maria's needless suffering, no price.
Largest single cost: The divorce.
5. Security tip
When we think of
"security," we normally think in terms of protecting physical
assets from theft or harm. But, there's another aspect to security that
is perhaps more important.
recent exposure of Dan Rather to be the disinformation-spreading, biased
fraud that most of us know he always has been, I think it's pretty clear we need to
guard against thieves of the mind.
first line of defense, you need to limit your exposure. In combat, you
limit your exposure to enemy fire. In the battle for minds, you need to
do the same thing.
To protect your mind,
take a close look at your sources of "information." If their
agenda seems to be proselytizing rather than informing, you have
identified a mind-thief. Employ the proper security measures to limit
your exposure. This means shutting off the television (which is called
the boob tube for a reason), unsubscribing from propagandist "newspapers"
such as the New York Times, and
disengaging from conversations with people who want to tell you what's
wrong with the world and how they would fix it if only someone would
recognize their genius and put them in charge.
this sound radical? Are you thinking, "But if I don't watch
television and don't read the newspapers, how will I get information? How will I
stay in tune with current events?"
your answer. Suppose you want to find out how to get to a particular
place--perhaps a store, a home, or a museum. You know your buddy Bill
can't give decent directions to save his life, and nearly every time
you've used his directions you have been off course for hours or gotten
lost in the bad part of town. Now, are you better off asking Bill for
directions or not? The answer is obvious. Since Bill gives you wrong
information you should not pay attention to his information at all. Get
it from another source.
Sometimes, there is
no accurate source of information. So what? Does this mean you should
get whatever source is available so you have a wrong opinion or even a
stupid one? There's no
law saying you need an opinion on anything. So, rather than be
misinformed, manipulated, brainwashed, and so on--simply don't go there.
do not do yourself a service by using newspapers or television as
sources of information. Newspapers are good for advertisements,
comics, and crossword puzzles. But, you should not expose your mind to
misinformation by reading the "news articles" (take the same approach folks
take to those magazines that get opened at the center and turned 90
degrees--don't read the articles!).
"news" is even worse than newspaper "news," because
it uses more sensory paths to get misinformation into your brain. You
don't need this. Don't put up with it.
brain is the only one you have. Don't expose it to thieves who will be
only too happy to steal your ability to have an accurate view of what's
going on in the world.
6. Health tip/Fitness tips
|We are rapidly approaching the
mainstream holiday season. Now, I don't mean any disrespect to the
Jewish and others among us, as you have already engaged in some
holidays. It's just that Halloween, Thanksgiving (USA), and Christmas
are the big three at this time of year in the USA.
And, what happens during these times?
by overeating. The average American gains 10 pounds of fat each decade,
and nearly every ounce of that is during the holidays!
|What's a body to do? See
the little piggy image up to your right? Or the link just above? This is
a behavior modification course developed by a licensed psychologist. It
gets at the root of overeating.
Is overeating a bad thing? Well, yeah. For an average man, every 10
pounds of body fat is an order of magnitude risk factor for prostate
cancer. Women have similar concerns for other diseases.
It takes 3500 calories to make a pound of body fat, and you can
easily get that in a single holiday meal. But, you'd have to run on a
treadmill in the time you'd normally take working at your job the entire
next week to burn that pound back off. So, what will it be? Five minutes
of discipline or 40 hours of mindless exercise? This should be an easy
decision, but there are reasons why most people find it impossible to
make the logical choice. This course will help you do that.
The key is to stop the calories on the intake side. If you are
carrying extra fat, you've already proven you need help doing this. And
this course is your magic bullet to shoot that particular turkey (no pun
Get this course now, so you are prepared when temptation strikes.
7. Thought for the Day
Some people "roll with the
flow" and others take charge to make things happen. Are you letting
events dictate your actions, or are you going through life with purpose,
determination, and a sense of empowerment?
Wishing you the best,
The views expressed in this e-newsletter are generally not shared by criminals, zombies, or brainwashed individuals.
Except where noted, this e-newsletter is entirely the work of Mark Lamendola. Anything presented as fact can be independently verified. Often, sources are given; but where not given, they are readily available to anyone who makes the effort.
Mark provides information from either research or his own areas of established expertise. Sometimes, what appears to be a personal opinion is the only possibility when applying sound logic--reason it out before judging! (That said, some personal opinions do appear on occasion).
The purpose of this publication is to inform and empower its readers (and save you money!).
Personal note from Mark: I value each and every one of you, and I hope that shows in the diligent effort I put into writing this e-newsletter. Thank you for being a faithful reader.
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