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Mindconnection eNL, 2002-12-08

In this issue:

  1. Featured product
  2. Brainpower tip
  3. Finance tip
  4. Health tip
  5. Fitness tip
  6. Thought for the day


1. Featured product

I love posters, don't you? I just framed two for my own home, yesterday. You can buy poster frames pretty cheaply, or you can order posters already framed.



2. Brainpower tips

If something seems incredibly complex, that doesn't mean it is. Here are some tips for tackling seemingly complex subjects:

  • Find a metaphor. For example, people studying electrical engineering often use water pipe analogies.

  • Break it down into its component pieces. For example, most software programs have six to ten menu categories in a toolbar across the top. 

  • Ask a subject matter expert for a sixty-second summary. This gives you the view from 60,000 feet, so you can see the whole picture and the major pieces.

  • Get books and tapes on the subject. When using a book, use a highlighter to show you the key concepts. Keep in mind that most books contain 80% filler for marketing reasons.

  • Take a course related to the subject. Mindconnection offers many courses, without the filler.


3. Finance tips

Some "investment gurus" are saying "stocks are cheap." Well, there are always cheap stocks in any market. But this fact has no relevancy to investment decisions. The Price-Earnings ratios on stocks are still generally way too high, though some are reasonable. The P/E isn't the only measure involved in the decision-making process, but it is an important one.

Buy stocks based on:

  • The P/E is in line with historical averages for that industry.

  • The Board is not captive. E.g., its members are not company officers.

  • The CEO has articulated a clear vision of what the company does and where it is heading.

  • You understand the company and its products.

  • You understand you are buying partial ownership in a business, not betting at the track.

Keep in mind that Dr. Greenspan erred when he propped up the dotcom mania some years ago to disguise the insanity of the Clinton economic policies. We will bear the cost of Clintonism for many years to come, and many folks are not willing to wait that long. Approach any investment with caution, as the shortcut crowd is always willing to risk your money to bail themselves out. In this eNL, I have made many derogatory statements about Bill Clinton. That is not out of any political bent or ideology. It is merely a matter of seeing stupidity for what it is and trying to find a way to cope with the results of it. Back in the middle of the Clinton "economic boom," I kept saying the only thing "boom" about it was the sound we would hear when it all fell apart. Now folks can see I was being realistic.

It all boils down to this: capitalism requires capital. If you take capital out of the market or apply capital to poor business models, the market suffers. We had three record-size tax increases during the dark days known as the Clinton years. Tax increases remove capital from the economy. On top of that, we had Greenspan manipulating the money supply in the wrong direction (see "Pop Goes the Chairman," and article that appeared in Worth Magazine, which has been discontinued. Copies may be available at your library) and the SEC being hamstrung into not stopping crime in corporate board rooms. What could you expect, other than economic disaster? There is no other possible result. To folks who still think the world is flat and Bill Clinton was good for the economy, I have one word for you: layoffs. We have had record layoffs every year since 1995, which was three years after Clinton took office. Economic patterns usually emerge about three years after a policy change. Coincidence? I think not.

Thanks to international problems, economic problems in the USA would have emerged, even if Clinton had not been so incompetent. However, those problems would not have the severity or the recovery costs now imposed on us.

Invest on the basis of investment quality, not an expected "economic recovery." The latter isn't likely any time soon.



4. Health tip

With the pagan festivities coming into full swing at this time, many of us will be in situations where the abundance of poison-laced "food" and the pressure to eat it are both enormous. The result of succumbing to this is increased obesity, increased arterial plaque, and other such things that we don't normally aspire to obtain. Here are ways to save yourself:

  • Eat before going to a party or dinner. This way, you are not satisfying hunger with junk.
  • Have a few hard and fast rules. For example, no flour products and no booze. Skipping these two items alone will typically prevent the accumulation of 10 pounds of body fat for the typical holiday season part-goer. To get rid of that much fat, you would have to do 35,000 sit-ups. You do the math, here, and see if you have that kind of time.
  • Hold your own party, and give it a theme such as "Healthy Holidays." Send out a list of healthy items. Be sure to mention that marketing hype doesn't apply--fat-free foods are not healthy. Good items include raw fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
  • Hold an event that doesn't promote sitting around eating pretzels or other such poison. For example, rent a roller rink on a weeknight. Or, just have everyone meet there if you aren't going to have a big crowd.
  • Hold a holiday health contest, and invite all of your friends who might otherwise engage in unhealthy habits. They'll get the idea, even if they don't participate, that you don't find working toward sickness nearly as enjoyable as working toward health. What metrics should you use to determine the winner? Buy Body for Life if you can't come up with something on your own. Just don't make it "most weight lost" or some other goal that invites unhealthy behavior. 
  • Say no to office "holiday treat" activities. Claim you are concerned about diabetes, if people get in your face about it. After all, the typical fare at these activities is directly responsible for the 5-fold increase in the percentage of Americans with adult onset diabetes over the past 40 years.



5. Fitness tip

Do you want great-looking pecs? Women and men alike look better with good pecs, so the answer must be yes. Here are some tips:

  • When doing bench presses, try to pinch your shoulder blades together. If you cannot lift the weight in this position, cut the weight in half and work on your form for the next 3 weeks. Then, and only then, add weight. You will see a net increase in size after the first month.

  • Vary your routine. For example, if you normally do 3 sets of bench pressing 8 reps, change to this. Do one set of as many as you can do (if you can do more than 10, you are not using enough weight). Then, rest only 10 seconds before starting the next set. Rest 10 seconds. Then, do more until you can complete the set. Rest 20 seconds, and start your next set. Do 4 sets, not 3. Stretch between sets.

  • Do not work other muscle groups on chest days. The chest muscles require an enormous amount of recovery resources after being worked. Unless you work them like a wimp. Rest your chest muscles at least 3 or 4 days between chest workouts. Any less than that means you are not doing this right.

  • Stretch your chest muscles and your entire rib cage the day after a chest workout.

  • Stand up straight. Most people have a slouch, which is bad for a long list of reasons. Pull your shoulders back. This thrusts your chest up, making it look larger. For women, the effect is far more effective than anything a Wonder Bra can produce.

  • Stay lean. A lean tummy makes your chest look larger, and it helps you maintain good posture. Free information is at

  • Do squats. This is the mother of all exercises. The deadlift is a close second. Squats cause your body to reach its optimum hormonal state for lean tissue development and fat loss. Do them twice a month. You don't have a weight set or gym membership? No problem--practitioners of Shotokan Karate incorporated squats into their training for hundreds of years without the benefit of such equipment. Think about how they might have done this. Then, "Go thou and do likewise."

  • Do squats! If you do no other exercise, the squat will improve your chest by virtue of the hormonal improvements alone. If this doesn't make sense to you, let me explain how $100,000 race horses train. Their trainers simply walk them around a training ground--running the horse is prohibited because of risk of injury. The hormonal changes from this exercise produce enough muscle for the horse to be poetry in motion. People get much less of a hormonal response than horses, but the same mechanism is at work. The squat will get you there.


6. Thought for the Day

Listen to yourself when you talk to people. Are you talking all about you, or are you showing an interest in them? Which way do you think makes others feel good about interacting with you? Don't be a boor during at holiday gatherings--be a person others feel respected by. You will be amazed at how this pays off for you.


Wishing you the best,

Mark Lamendola


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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