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Mindconnection eNL, 2004-12-26

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 In this issue:

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

 Happy Post-Christmas!

1. Product Highlights

Get the new year off to a slimmingly good start
When do people put on the weight that haunts them all year? During the  Christmas holidays. Holiday binges, unless you do something about them, add fat that stays with you. You can do something about that with our fat loss supplements.

If you don't think you are too fat, you are probably wrong (see this month's health tip, below.). Most people are in denial about how fat they are. And because of that, they misapply whatever information they come across.

This means they stay too fat, and consequently place themselves into much higher risk categories for crippling diseases. Plus, they have other problems. Don't wait until your doctor says, "I'm afraid you have diabetes" before making an honest assessment of where you are (see this month's health tips, below) and taking positive action! The supplements at right will definitely help! Click the images for more information on each.

Fat Burners


2. Brainpower tip

The Sleep Institute has done exhaustive studies on sleep and related topics such as sleep deprivation. One of their findings was that a person who is 20% sleep-deprived has the mental acuity of someone who is drunk.

The Sleep Institute has found that it is normal to be this far sleep-deprived. This alone would explain the stupidity epidemic that has been ravaging society. Thus, you can be a comparative genius simply by not staying up late. Remember this on New Year's Eve.

Since I am slamming CEOs (actually referring to "celebrity CEOs," who are not representative of CEOs in general) in another part of this eNL, I may as well insert the other foot in my mouth here. It's long been a badge of honor among CEOs to brag about how many hours they work (read the business journals). They claim so many hours per day that the time for sleep is 6 hours or less. That means the typical CEO is performing as if more than just a little drunk. I would say what is really happening is they are overstating their workdays as part of showmanship (maybe to impress their boards of directors). Anyhow, it makes for a cute statistic.

Back to the message, here. If you want to improve your brainpower, get your sleep. It's that simple.

3. Time Tip

Just as many people acquire detritus--once useful things that now simply take up space-- in their closets, so many people continue to possess habits and rituals that no longer serve a useful purpose and now simply take up space in their schedules. And, likewise, many of us perform tasks that simply aren't needed. We could use the time thus consumed for other things.

How can you identify these parasitic vestiges of times past? One way is to keep a four-hour diary. Just pick a four-hour chunk of your day--for example, decide that you will track 0600 to 1000 next Wednesday. Carry a little pocket notebook and pen everywhere you go for that four hour period. Then, simply jot down the name of each task you do and how long it took you. The next day, look through the list. You may be amazed at how much time you could free up by making a few small adjustments. Here are some ideas:

  • Simply eliminate some tasks outright. For example, reading the newspaper is pointless (in my opinion, since they rarely get their facts right).
  • Scaling back some tasks. For example, that morning meeting that takes an hour can be reduced to 15 minutes if the meeting has an advance agenda, a purpose, and resultant assignments. Meeting reform can save huge amounts of time. Scale back and save! 
  • Adjusting some  tasks. For example, do you make your lunch each AM? Consider making batches weekly and refrigerating and freezing them. This gives you economies of scale.
  • Redesigning some tasks. For example, do you stop at the convenience store for coffee on your way to work? Save time by brewing your own while you're getting dressed.

You can think through most tasks in this manner to free up time in small chunks that add up. Work this four hour period thoroughly for a month, then pick a new four hour period to optimize.


4. Finance tip

What if you can't afford that fancy remodeling job but are still embarrassed by the worn look of your cupboards, doors, and cabinets? Here are some options:
  • Petition Congress to cut the costs of tax collection by 99.99% (abolish the IRS, collect federal taxes from the states), and reduce federal taxes to a reasonable level. The estimated savings would be roughly $8,000 per year per family. Likelihood of success? Do a Google search for "snowball in hell."
  • Do outstanding work, so you get a merit raise on par with what the CEO of your company gets for laying people off (oops--our CEO subscribers might not like that....). The estimated income boost to you would be at least $8 million per year. Likelihood of success? You are more likely to win a bet that you'll be growing tomatoes on the moon next month.
  • Fix only what needs fixing. Estimated savings for a typical home: About $8,000.

The winner? Fix only what needs fixing.

How to

What makes folks want to rip out their cabinets and pay a contractor to make their home uninhabitable for weeks at a time while tracking dog crap into their carpeting is seldom defective cabinets. It's almost always worn hardware and worn out finishing. So the cure here is to:

  • Replace the hardware on the cabinets, doors, and furniture. This gives everything a new look, if the wood is OK.
  • Fix the wood. Sand lightly and varnish--ask a paint shop for a varnish that helps restore the look. Sophir-Morris has an excellent varnish for this purpose: Interior Wood Stain, Contemporary Oak, 9927. You may want a different color, but start there. Don't use paint--it makes things look tacky. Varnish or stain, only.

You may want a contractor to do just this work (vs. a complete remodeling job). That's not a bad approach.

If you're going to do this work yourself, keep some things in mind:

  • Use quality hardware, and replace the whole set. It looks goofy if you have a shiny new knob and tarnished hinges on a door.
  • Preparation is crucial to a good stain or varnish job. Get a book on this--don't just wing it. Worried about the time it takes to read 15 or so pages that will prevent a costly mistake? Consider how much per hour you are making vs. having a contractor do a complete remodel job.
  • Don't try to economize on supplies like sandpaper, brushes, or stain sponges. These are cheap. Buy plenty, and replace frequently rather than try to squeeze the last penny's worth of use out of them.
  • Guard against spills. Many DIY (do it yourself) types showcase their industriousness and independence with telltale stains on carpets, walls, and other surfaces. Don't try to go cheap and then spend hundreds or thousand of dollars cleaning or replacing ruined carpet.
  • Watch where you work. Opening cans on your kitchen counters and washing brushes in your kitchen sink can lead to replacing these. Spend a little extra time walking, rather than saving time by ruining.

5. Security tip

I'm continually amazed at the number of people who phone Mindconnection wanting to place an order over the phone because they fear giving their credit card information over the Internet.
  • Fact: All credit card transactions go over the Internet (they are processed electronically in data centers). If you don't trust the 128-bit encryption that the US Navy was unable to break after six months of trying with a supercomputer, then don't use a credit card.
  • Fact: Phone calls are not secure, unless you have a secure phone (which you might have, if you are working in the Pentagon or some other exotic venue). Anything you say over the phone can be "harvested." Giving your credit card number over the phone carries millions of times the risk that typing it into a secure browser does. And it's going to go over the Internet anyhow.
  • Fact: Using your credit card in person carries the risk of someone with a video camera (portable or otherwise) watching over your shoulder and copying (stealing) the information. If you give your card to a waiter or other person who takes it out of your presence, you risk photocopying or photographing. And it's going to go over the Internet anyhow.

What you have to do is look for "https" in the URL when you are on the transaction page. Also, look for a little lock or key symbol in one corner of your browser. But, don't think that by adding an insecure intermediary layer you will somehow boost security.


6. Health tip/Fitness tips

How important is it to get rid of excess fat, and how much of this do you have?

Scary Facts

  • Every 10 lbs of extra body fat is an order of magnitude risk factor for prostate cancer (men). CLA is a known risk mitigator for prostate cancer, plus it helps you lose fat.
  • As you get fatter (men and women), your risks of diabetes, osteoporosis, heart failure, and cancers of all types increase.


Here are benchmarks to give you a rough indication of whether you need to reduce the amount of fat in your body. Adjust for your own height--if you are shorter, you should be lighter.  Note that most people who think they have a large frame are nearly always small-framed (according to the definitions of each).

Men: If you are 6'0" with a medium frame and weigh more than 160 lbs, you are probably too fat.

Women: If you are 5'5" with a medium frame and weigh more than 115 lbs, you are probably too fat. 

Skinfold pinch test

This is not to see how tall the skinfold is, but how thick it is. We'll use the suprailliac method. To find your suprailliac, put your left index finger on the point of your right hipbone and move up one inch. While standing, pinch the suprailliac skinfold between your left thumb and forefinger. Pull the skin and underlying fat up away from the muscle. What you have between your fingers gives a pretty good indication of your body fat percentage.

Because skin thickens with age, you really need an age-adjusted chart for this. But, here are some benchmarks:

Men Women
  • Age 25: 8 mm or 0.3 in.
  • Age 40: 12 mm or 0.5 in.
  • Age 50: 16 mm or 0.6 in.
  • Age 25: 18 mm or 0.7 in.
  • Age 40: 22 mm or 0.9 in.
  • Age 50: 25 mm or 1.0 in.

As you can see, the "pinch an inch" test is not right for most people. And this table is not showing "skinny," but is showing something more liberal. At age 44, my pinch test is 2.5mm.

Can't measure this easily? Buy a skinfold caliper.

 7. Thought for the Day

Are you thinking of a New Year's Resolution? If so, is it something vague like "be a better person" or "lose weight?" Instead, make it a well-articulated goal that you can actually achieve. For example, "Say one nice thing to someone each day" or "change my body fat percentage from 18% to 16% by March." Goals must be measurable and achievable. When you make your New Year's Resolution, decide how you're going to measure the achievement of that resolution.


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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