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Mindconnection eNL, 2005-08-07

Past issues

In this issue:

  1. Product highlights
  2. Brainpower tip
  3. Time tip
  4. Finance tip
  1. Security tips
  2. Health tip/Fitness tip
  3. Miscellany
  4. Thought for the day

1. Product Highlights

eBookman
Mindconnection has had an eBookman center for quite some time. You can see two eBookmans on the right: the 911 (no relation to NYC) and the 900. We also sell the 901 and quite a few accessories.

We added these to our translator line, because you can get translation software for the eBookman. We were surprised at just how high the demand is for these, though--so I wanted to make our readers aware that we carry them.

Discontinued. Updates made in 2009.

What is the eBookman? It's a small, inexpensive tablet-style device that allows you to use eBooks and MP3s. The first ones were just eBook readers, thus the "eBookman" name. But now they have some pretty impressive additional capabilities.

Use the electronic eBookman device as an e-book reader, as a linguistic assistant, or to upload MP3 music and books to your desktop. As an e-book reader, it's got a cult following--it's that good. Your eBookman features a large graphic screen. High resolution makes for natural smooth font appearance, and it’s easy on your eyes.

As a linguistic assistant, it will help you communicate with foreign partners, read memos, and translate business correspondence. Each of the seven bidirectional dictionaries (see chart below) has a word base of 520,000, and is built using the latest technology--that's a total of 3.64 million words!

2. Brainpower tip

Problems are not like wine and cheese. They don't get better with age. Reduce brainpower drain by solving them as early as possible. Problems do not go away on their own. Instead they grow to the point of being almost impossible to bear. For an example of this, look at the federal government. 'nuf said.

3. Time Tip

As I was preparing this issue, I wasted time in a way that is probably fairly common. I replied to an e-mail with incorrect information, looked up the correct information, then sent an e-mail with the correction. Notice, the steps are out of order. I don't know why I did it that way, but I will claim that I am totally beat from an exhausting day of climbing yesterday. Well, I am beat and I do need an excuse for doing something bone-headed....

Had I looked up the information first, I would have saved myself the additional time incurred by sending a second e-mail. But, it's not just my time wasted by making three steps out of two.

The other person will likely:

  • Read my wrong e-mail.
  • Look up the correct information.
  • Compose and send me a reply, which includes typing in the correct information that I already had.
  • Read my correction e-mail.
  • Send me a second reply.

Had I done things in the correct order, this whole seven-step process would have been reduced to three steps--none of which would take very long. Instead, we have more than twice as many steps plus duplication of labor.

I also had a thought that I could have called this person to say my first e-mail contained the wrong date. But that would probably just be an eighth step and one that would take at least 20 minutes--quick phone calls just aren't human nature.

  

4. Finance tip

While most Americans are in denial about the cost of gasoline, the fact remains this fuel is becoming an increasingly more noticeable budget item for the vast majority of US citizens. As demand for it ramps up in China by millions of new automobile drivers each month, the law of supply and demand is going to send gasoline prices only in one direction. Hint: It's not down.

It's interesting to note that Europeans are way ahead of Americans in fuel conservation. One reason why is they've had artificially high prices for many years, due to high fuel taxes. This is why Europeans drive standard transmission cars vs. automatic transmission cars in an 80:20 ratio, while Americans drive wasteful and costly automatic transmission cars vs. standard transmission cars in the exact opposite ratio.

How much do you spend on gasoline, right now? I read recently the average driver spends $100 a month. How would you like to reduce that to $15 a month? Or even less? Yes, this is entirely within your grasp. Here are some steps you can take toward that end:

  • Replace your vehicle. If you are in the market for a new car, get one with a standard transmission and an EPA rating of no less than 36MPG hwy. The Toyota Camry and several other standard gasoline engine cars (by Toyota and other manufacturers) easily do this--and better. You do not need a hybrid car to have great gas mileage.
     
  • Reduce your required driving. There are many ways to do this. For example, relocate to an urban area (or at least close to work). Millions of residents of Chicago, NYC, and other large urban areas pay $0 per month for gasoline, $0 per month for car payments, and $0 per year for maintenance costs--because they don't own cars. Many of them carry driver's insurance for those few times per year they drive a rental car on vacation or company business. Another way to reduce driving is to telecommute--if you can get your boss to agree to one day a week, you will reduce your commuting costs by 20%. If the telecommuting is "no go," how about working four 10 hour days?
     
  • Reduce your optional driving. Combine trips--which means plan your trips. How many trips do you make, per week--other than work? Don't go to the grocery store in the AM, the bank in the afternoon, and the hardware store in the evening. Hit all three on the same trip. If this doesn't seem very exciting to you, then make a game out of seeing how few trips you can take each week and reward yourself for improving your score.
     
  • Allow extra time. What happens when you are running late? You drive faster. This consumes more fuel. So if you know your destination is 15 minutes away, allow 20 minutes for the trip and also some time for finding a parking spot. You will arrive more relaxed, and on less fuel.
     
  • Turn off the music. Listening to music, especially certain kinds of music, will cause you to drive faster. Why do you need music to drive? Driving is not a dance competition. Enjoy the silence in today's noisy world, or listen to recorded books so your driving time gets put to brainpower-building use.
     
  • Think of new ideas. The list here is just the beginning. If you make a habit of looking for ways to reduce your fuel consumption, guess what? You will find them. And you'll find ways that make sense for you. I personally do not want to live in an urban area--but I do enjoy living in nearby suburbs (most of the urban "go to" places are within 12 miles of my home, and the suburban "go to" places are quite a bit closer than that). So, my tip about choosing an urban area--not appropriate for me--may not be appropriate for you, either. Or maybe you don't want a small fuel-efficient car because you need one vehicle that can double as your work truck. What I wanted to do here is spur you on to thinking of things on your own. Get the fuel reduction mindset, and the ideas will come.


5. Security tip

We recently had a murder in my small, "crime-free" suburb. This was only a few weeks after a B&E and attempted knifing (which was thwarted by a baseball-bat wielding husband). The police here used to joke about the lack of crime in our area. Those days are gone.

The place where you live can suddenly experience a wave of violent crime--maybe it already has. To keep your home secure for your loved ones, guests, and yourself, you need to think "this can happen to me." Because it can. Plan accordingly. Hey, let's do that now. Here's a practice exercise that will help you choose the plan that's right for you:

Suppose there is a violent crime near where you live. And suppose it's a grisly murder, and the perpetrator is still at large--thus, you are at risk and in very real danger. What should you do? Here are some possible options. Please consider each one carefully.

  1. Get a restraining order. Criminals who violate every other law might obey a restraining order. Though the average compliance rate is near zero, maybe you will get lucky.
  2. Practice dialing 911 until you can't move your arm anymore. Become really good at it.
  3. Buy fresh doughnuts every day and set them on your porch to attract cops. Consider doing this twice a day.
  4. Practice "passive resistance." Remember Little Johnny who got the snot beat out of him repeatedly in grade school because he practiced "passive resistance?" This option works only in conjunction with Option E, below.
  5. Hope the killer feels guilty after killing you and decides to stop. This option works well with Option D, and may protect your loved ones. Let me know how it turns out.
  6. Keep a loaded pistol and/or shotgun ready, and stay qualified to use it. Save yourself, your family, and any possible future victims.


Here are some notes on dialing 911:

  1. Phone lines are very easy to cut. They are routed in thin plastic cable, not armored cable. An ordinary pair of kitchen shears will do the trick. So will simply a single hard tug of a bare hand.
  2. 911 isn't even available where I am, so it's not an option for me.
  3. If 911 is an option for you, how many minutes will it take for the police to drop their doughnuts, get to where you are, and disarm the attacker? Will that exceed the number of minutes the attacker needs in which to kill you? (Hint: Of course not--you will be dead when the police arrive. But at least there will be a nice recording of the call).

A note on Option F came from a "pre-reader" of this eNL. He said to combine Option C with Option F, so you have witnesses. Interesting approach.

Well, I don't want to influence anyone's decision on which of the above options to choose from.  :) You'll have to reach that decision yourself, by applying common sense and good judgment. You may decide Option C is too much of a health risk, because it may lead you to accidentally eat a hydrogenated-oil-rich doughnut. If so, I'm OK with that.

 

6. Health tip/Fitness tips

Perhaps you read the editorial by Dr. Healy in the latest issue of US News and World Report. She was the head of NIH, at one time. Given the culture of the medical profession, this must have been frustrating for her. In her editorial, she spoke of the intense bias against "alternative" medicine. Yes, she says, there's quite a bit of quackery. But the blind bias also eliminates forms of medicine that do what our allopathic system cannot do and does not even try to do.

One form of "alternative" medicine is massage. We all know it improves circulation. But did you know it also increases the  levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which helps you relax? And at the same time, it reduces levels of stress hormones like cortisol (which damages your mucles and joints)? Yep, it sure does.

Not all massage is the same. For example, there's Swedish massage (gentle pressure and broad strokes to relax muscles) and there's shiatsu massage (finger pressure on key points). And there's also the kind of "massage" you get when you file your taxes, but let's not go there....

Massage therapists are licensed in 33 states, in an effort to guarantee a minimum competency level. What are some conditions that a skilled massage therapist can successfully treat? Here's a partial list:

  • Anxiety. This seems quite logical, doesn't it? Massage reduces the effects stress hormones and the anxiety that goes with them.
     
  • Back pain. Most back pain is due to improper spinal alignment, which results in imbalanced muscle tightening. Massage loosens the muscles, and allows the spine to go back into alignment. Of course, attention to posture and a regular program of developing postural muscles will prevent the problem in the first place. In this application, massage is more allopathic in nature.
     
  • Inflammation. Inflamed tendons can really hurt. Tendons, however, have a poor blood supply--so they don't heal quickly and don't quickly lose inflammation. Prolonged inflammation can result in long-term damage. Gentle massage around the affected tendons can help overcome the blood supply issues.
     
  • Tension headaches. Many companies provide massages in their offices, and we also see massages at airports. What's up with that? Well, what's up is these massages tend to make tension headaches go away--thereby reducing sick days, nasty tempers, and negativity while increasing output and productivity. Of course, reducing needless meetings, senseless performance appraisals, and pointless travel would prevent most of these headaches to begin with.

How can you find a qualified massage therapist? Check your Yellow Pages, of course. But also, ask your chiropractor or "regular doctor" for a referral. Check out the American Massage Therapy Association http://www.amtamassage.org.



7. Miscellany

  1. Please forward this eNL to a friend. Or an enemy, I don't really care. Just forward it!
     

  2. Special deal for eNL readers: Get$20 off any purchase of 2 items or more, if the subtotal is $100 or more. This applies to all items in the Mindconnection store at http://www.mindconnection.com. This is one of those very rare times that we are using the coupon field for an actual price discount (we have it there for other types of adjustments). If you've wanted to bolster your career with some very helpful courses that you can study at your own pace, now's the time to get started. This coupon is goodfor the next five days only. You'll find a coupon field in checkout. There, just enter this code: SPECIAL20DOFF. If you somehow miss that and complete the order, don't worry about it--just forward your e-mail confirmation (which comes instantly to you) with a note that you want your discount.
     

  3. This issue's factoid:  Alfred Hitchcock didn't have a belly button.

8. Thought for the Day

It's not what you know, but how you use it that counts.

 

Wishing you the best,

Mark Lamendola
Mindconnection

Authorship

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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