In this issue:
Product Highlight |
Brainpower | Finances | Security | Health/Fitness | Miscellany | Thought for the Day
1. Product Highlight
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2. Brainpower tip
If you read the literature on thought, intelligence, information processing,
and the human brain, you find all of these are pointing toward a remarkable
development in our society. People are diverging into two very different
groups. They are doing this because the human brain is plastic, adapting to
The two groups are text-based people and video-based people.
They are starkly different in many ways. To me, the most important way is in
how they process information. Before I dig into that, I'll tell you an
interesting statistic is that less than 15% of Americans are text-based
people. That number is shrinking each year.
Text-based people can think and communicate in the abstract. They can
handle ideas, develop an argument, and carry on a detailed conversation.
These are great abilities, but the downside is text-based people take longer
to process information, reach a conclusion, and carry on a conversation.
Video people become impatient with text-based people, often urging them to
"get to the bottom line."
Video-based people think and communicate in the discrete, rather than the
abstract. They accept or reject an idea based on subjective factors rather
than objective analysis (which takes too long for them). Their information
world consists of the impressions they get from images and sound bites. They
can move very quickly through massive amounts of information, because they
don't take time to examine the information. One of their great drawbacks is
they lack the ability to vet information--if it's there, "it must be true."
So, they don't know if they are dealing with reality or not.
Whether you consider one or the other superior depends on your frame of
reference. If you value speed over accuracy, video is for you.
Some people like to savor their food, ensuring it's prepared and
presented correctly. Others like to wolf it down after loading it up with
sugar (and/or its variants, such as ketchup).
My personal opinion is that video-based people give up what makes them
distinctly human: the ability to reason (they can think, but not reason).
Reams of research show that the human brain changes its physical
structure dramatically to permit the skill of reading to take place. It has
a very different structure from one that passively sips at information (as
does the video brain). A person aware of the difference can tell which kind
of brain a person has in the first minute of a conversation.
My personal opinion is the text-based brain is far better than the video
brain and should be cultivated to strengthen its impressive abilities. We
can teach a dog to watch television. We cannot teach one to read. In which
direction do you want to go?
Researchers aren't yet flatly stating that people who choose to be
video-based are taking an evolutionary step backwards. But do we really need
Your brain is your best asset. Take care of it. Read often and read
material that is substantive.
3. Finance tip
More economic bad news all the time, but there is some good news. People
have been packing away money, and as of 01DEC 2008 Americans had $10
trillion sitting in money market accounts and savings deposits.|
have been spending less and saving more, even with the huge tax burden
they bear. This past Christmas, the usual spending wasn't there (partly
due to the huge tax burden).
This may save the economy, and here's why: Govt debt has sucked $9
trillion out of the economy and this savings has provided $10 trillion.
Obama has said he plans to burn up another $1 trillion, so that nets
out at zero. But if the savings continue the economy could recover
despite the best efforts of the govt to wreck it because banks will have
capital to lend out. And that means more jobs (assuming CONgress takes a
breather from its anti-job regulatory frenzy and the millions of petty
bureaucrats in charge of destroying businesses decide to cool their
heels a bit).
It's possible that Obama won't be the last US president, after all.
4. Security tip
Beware the "posing as an authority" scheme. This
comes in all shades. For example:
"This is Sergeant Murphy from the Yourtown Police
Department. We have a VISA credit card here with your name on it. Do you
have a card with the number 555....?"
"No, I don't."
"Can you read me the last four digits of the card
you do have?"
"Sure, Officer. They are 1234."
"Uh, that matches another card I haven't asked you
about yet. Can you read the first four digits of that card?"
Eventually, the mysterious Sgt Murphy gets the
entire number from you. Or, maybe not--Sgt Murphy just gets a boatload
of other information from you and no credit card information. The
Yourtown PD doesn't have a Sgt Murphy. This scheme is commonly used to
milk information about you.
"This is Doctor Smith from the County Morgue.
Am I speaking to Mrs. Jones?"
"We have a body here and need to identify it.
A piece of paper was in the pocket with your number on it."
Oh, geez, this must be real. After all, it
is the morgue calling. And a dead body! If they know the name of
your child or elderly parent, they can really sink the hook. This
scheme is commonly used to milk you for information about a third
In this scheme, an accomplice calls later in
the day or even stops by your home (or office) in person. This
accomplice poses as a detective. Perhaps this pseudo-sleuth claims
to be with an insurance company or the Department of Homeland
Security. The really creative ones allege to represent the fraud
department of a corporation or bank.
They accuse you of being complicit in a fraud,
and their evidence is a wire trace that reveals you spoke with so
and so for 17 minutes and 31 seconds (the first crook who milked you
for information). To clear this up, they just need a photocopy of
your driver's license or some other document.
We are all terrified of the IRS. And with good
reason, as indicated by mountains of evidence. Even the name of this
organization is a potent weapon. Clever criminals who choose not to have a career in the IRS
itself now go around posing as IRS agents for a Do It Yourself
criminal career. They'll show up at your
home or business and run the same scam as the detective folks or as
the regular IRS employees do. They
rely on the terror that "I'm with the IRS" strikes in the hearts of
people and use that to commit a heist.
In all of these scams, the victims feel compelled
to spill their guts. That's because the scammers reach into people's
emotions. Telling you your child is in the morgue or you are under
investigation by the IRS is definitely going to get your pulse racing.
When people pull these scams in person and show you official-looking
documents, you can easily be hornswoggled.
These people are easy to defeat:
- If it's a phone call, get their number tell
them you'll call them right back. Then, look up the name of the
agency and go through the switchboard.
- If it's a visit, do not let them in your
home. Tell them you have an urgent call and need to conclude it. Ask
them if they can wait just five minutes, and promise you aren't
going anywhere. Call the agency they said they are with, and verify
that agency sent someone to your home. If it's a federal agency and
they can't confirm your visitors ar with that agency, dial 911 and explain that
someone is trying to break into your home. While on the phone, exit
your home and lock your door behind you. Wait for the squad car to
As we said in the previous issue, do things on a "need to know" basis. That's a primary principle of
Preparation is another key. Do you
have a terrorist protection specialist (tax attorney) already on
retainer and already set up with your information and Power of Attorney?
If not, you are playing a very risky game. Assuming you'll never have
terrorist problems because you are innocent isn't smart.
If you're the Secretary of the Treasury or the
Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, you get a free pass for
cheating on your income taxes. But regular citizens can be destroyed
regardless of their actual tax situation.
5. Health tip/Fitness tips
Now that we are past the end of year holidays, people
are looking at their bulging bellies and wanting to slim down as warmer
months approach (apologies to readers in Australia and New Zealand, who
have opposite seasons).
Americans gain, on
average, 10 pounds of fat during November and December of each year. I
find this amazing. My picture at right was taken in early December. I'm
48 and, no, I'm not "naturally lean." In fact, I have a genetic disadvantage
in the "battle of the bulge."
Having a lean body is largely a matter of maintaining proper food choices and
consistently practicing portion control. There is no magic to this. Only
But if you did manage to bloat out some fat cells,
what should you do? Many people go on crash diets, and that's a huge
mistake. One of the popular ones right now is the intermittent fasting
diet. Read about it here:
That diet, like all of the other "miracle diets,
doesn't work in the long run. Don't do it.
Rather that go on a special diet, make sustainable changes such as:|
- Reduce portion size. Just a little, and you'll see results. Drop
100 calories from each meal, and that's 600 calories less per day.
In six days, you will lose a little over one pound of fat. In two
months, you'll have lost the typical holiday bulges if you are
facing that particular problem.
- Greens instead of grains. The American diet is way, way too
reliant on grain. You probably would be shocked if you started
recording all the wheat you eat. To overcome this, make a rule of
eating green instead of grain. That includes cereals, breads, and
other flour products. Try it for one month, and watch the fat come
off. Then, add back in a reasonable amount of grain. Remember, corn
is a grain and not a vegetable.
- Eliminate or reduce liquid calories. Fruit juices, sodas, and
other calorie-dense beverages make a huge difference in how much fat
your body accumulates. Eliminate sodas completely, as they are
horrendous on your health.
- Eat on a schedule. This prevents binges and mindless eating. If
it's not time to eat, don't eat. No matter how hungry you are.
- Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus
every two weeks or it will digest itself. CONgress produces lots of
mucus every day, and gives you indigestion by consuming your earnings.
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7. Thought for the Day
It's not what you say but how you listen that determines how other
people feel about you.|
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!).
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