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Mindconnection eNL, 2005-06-25

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Please forward this eNL to a friend! Free bonus:$125 shopping spree.

In this issue:

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

1. Product Highlights

Travel and Eat Right
People ask me how I travel without eating fast foods. To the right, you will see a picture of Triple Delicious athletic bars (deleted in 2009 page review, due to product's being discontinued. See other bars here:

Unlike most bars, these are wholesome. I have looked at nearly every bar on the market, and this is the one I use and recommend. I will not eat the typical bar, but I will eat these.

OK, so they're not cheap. I have only two things to say about that:
  1. You get what you pay for. Those cheap bars that rot your teeth and pack on the fat are cheap for a reason. Triple Delicious bars use quality ingredients, so they aren't cheap.
  2. I'm offering our subscribers (and any pass-along readers) a limited-time deal on these: 10% off. Just buy a box and try them. At checkout, enter this coupon code (but not the quotes around it), and you get 10% off: MINDCENL-BAR10.This offer expires 30JUN2005--this coming Thursday.


2. Brainpower tip

Perhaps you've read about studies that say smoking hemp (called "marijuana" by the tobacco companies, who want to protect their oligopoly) reduces your IQ by 4 points. That may be true, but did you know that multitasking reduces your IQ by 10 points or more? To, in effect, boost your brainpower, don't do things that lower it! Here are some other things that lower your IQ:
  • Smoking cigarettes. What the tobacco companies don't say in their war on hemp is their product trumps that 4 point drop by a country mile. And smoking cigarettes, like venereal disease, is the gift that keeps on giving. Reduced blood flow to the brain, combined with copious quantities of carbon monoxide and benzene, permanently destroys brain tissue. The next time you look at a carton of cigarettes, think "lobotomy in a box." It's also "impotence in a box," but that's the subject of a different article.
  • Drinking sodas. We all know by now (or should, unless you've been hibernating somewhere) that sodas are osteoporosis in a can, esophageal cancer in a can, and diabetes in a can. Exception: "diet" sodas have not been proven to cause diabetes--however, they still make you fat. Now, we can also call sodas "stupidity in a can." Suppose you get a sudden case of "I don't give a sh--" and decide to abuse your body with a soda. You have just changed your body chemistry to an environment that slows down your brain. If you have a multi-soda-daily habit now, you'll have measurably more brainpower if you stop.
  • Arguing with people. Some folks claim they are intellectually stimulated by healthy debate. Therein lies the problem. Most of us don't debate--we don't follow the mutually respectful rules of debate. So instead of being intellectually stimulating, it's an exercise in self-defense in the face of feeling attacked or threatened. The human brain has evolved over thousands of years, and you can see this if you cut one apart. It's like a house that's been constantly added onto by the Clampett Family. You can see the progression of brain structures quite clearly. I was going to explain all this here, but did a quick search for a reference for folks who want to know more than a brief explanation can provide. See: Anyhow, when you argue, you retreat into the more reptilian parts of your brain--essentially disconnecting yourself from the higher-level, thinking part. This is why we say and do such stupid and hurtful things when we bicker with other people.
  • Dealing with bureaucrats. As government agencies and many other organizations bloat well beyond their maximum useful size, they become infested with parasites called "bureaucrats." These parasites serve no known purpose. They excel in frustrating people, throwing up roadblocks to progress, and generally wreaking havoc while pretending they are heroes. Dealing with these parasites nearly always triggers the effect mentioned just above. But also, their stupidity itself can be contagious. If you are forced to deal with these parasites, remind yourself that these parasites infest the organization you are dealing with. They are not the organization itself. State what you want, then ask the parasite if s/he is able to do this small thing or not. If the answer is no, then ask for his/her supervisor. Don't argue. Just say, "You told me you can't. I don't want to waste any more of your time. So transfer me now, please." If you engage with the bureaucrat, you will be taking a trip through stupidland. Get off that train before it heads down the tracks.
  • Watching television. We have machines to wash our clothes. They are called clothes washers. We have machines to wash our dishes. They are called dishwashers. We have machines to wash our brains. They are called televisions. You've heard "garbage in, garbage out?" Your brain is only as good as what you feed it. Put it on a diet of television, and you stuff it with disinformation, misinformation, non-information, and the constant message your life isn't fulfilled unless you are buying junk that you are better off not having. Interestingly, more and more people are realizing this and television viewership has been steadily dropping over the past few years. It wouldn't bother me a bit if it dropped to zero tomorrow.

3. Time Tip

I'm a big fan of scheduling tools. To do lists, the Outlook calendar, and good e-mail management practices are my primary tools for this. But some "experts" would look at my schedule and say I have a lot of wasted time. There are so many empty spaces!

That's because those folks are experts at process and not at results.

Consider this example from my experience. I run several Websites. I could just sit here all day and build pages. But, I don't do that. I take advantage of the gaps in my schedule just to "free associate" about things. And that's when I come up with killer ideas. Later, I implement those ideas. There's a big difference between being busy and being productive. The first is working hard, the second is working smart.

You are not a robot. You need time for those neurons to fire randomly and for thoughts to percolate. A Webmaster might do the following things to improve a Website (you can apply the same to whatever it is you do):

  • Take a walk.
  • Read a book.
  • Take a nap.
  • Visit other sites, noting one thing good and one thing bad about each one.

Notice, the first three have nothing to do with the actual work. By taking your attention off a given set of problems, you can allow your subconscious to work on those problems.

So, set some time aside just to think and explore. You will be amazed at how much time this saves you. You will be amazed at how much this allows you to make the best use of the time you do schedule.


4. Finance tip

This tip isn't for your daily finances. It's a contingency planning tip.
  • How would you manage your affairs if you were suddenly blinded? It could happen. A rock exiting a lawnmower travels at the same speed that a .357 Magnum bullet does exiting a pistol. Do you wear safety glasses when mowing, as your mower manual instructs you to? Do you protect your eyes if anyone is mowing within 100 feet of you in open yard space? Don't think this can't happen to you. It happened to me. I got it in one eye, but it's possible for a single rock to get both eyes. I'd rather spend the night at Michael Jackson's ranch than get hit in the eye again with a rock from a lawnmower.
  • What if you fell and hit your head, rendering you comatose for weeks?
  • What if you were falsely arrested, taken to a holding cell, and were not allowed any outside communications for six months (yes, this is happening in the United States)?

The above situations happen more often than we care to admit. As do other types of incapacitation. In such circumstances, how can you manage your financial affairs? The answer is you can't. So, you need someone to do that for you--an executor or agent. And, that person needs a way to access and use your financial tools and documents.

One answer is to keep these items (or copies) in a safe deposit box. That assumes that your designated person knows about the box and has legal access. What's the fix, here? Keep certain of these documents--your will, power of attorney, health-care proxy--in a location that is not just safe but also accessible. If you regularly engage an attorney, inquire about having the attorney hold these for you. But also keep a backup copy elsewhere--perhaps even at home. If you have passwords for online banking, etc., you will need to provide those also.

An executor is the person who discharges your estate (such as it is, right?) after your death. Do not elect a family member as your executor. Grief clouds people's judgment. Being an executor is also an extra heavy burden at that time. You can hire an attorney to do this ahead of time, and that's not as expensive as you might think.

An agent is someone who can act in your stead, with full authority. This person needs a document called a Power Of Attorney (POA). You should have an attorney draw this up for you. It needs to state the limits of your agent. Perhaps this person has POA over your checking account, but not your real estate. Make it clear.

Create a kit for your agent(s) and/or executor, so these people have everything they need to do what they are responsible for doing. Just walk through the various processes they will have to perform, and note what's needed. Then, put the kit(s) together so they have what they need. Here are some examples of what you'll need to provide:

  • Asset list. Bank statements, brokerage statements, insurance policies, and so on.
  • Deeds and titles. Keep copies of real estate deeds, automobile titles, and any other property certificates clearly marked in your paper filing system. If you can scan and store these in your electronic system and burn a CD of these, all the better.
  • File locations. Where do you store your files, and what are their names? For both paper and electronic paper files, make a constant habit of cleaning them up and keeping them organized.
  • Financial records. Describe debts owed to you, debts you owe, credit card information, and so on.
  • Key contacts. List names and contact information for anyone you deal with for the care of your home, personal affairs, and business affairs. Who might these wonderful people be? Accountant, attorney, auto repair center, banker, business partners, computer shop, customers/clients, dentist, doctor, HVAC firm, insurance company, and pharmacist. Note: If you are dealing with the American Taliban, they do not accept death as an excuse. Find a competent tax attorney to handle affairs, if you have dependents they might come after.
  • Master list. You may not want to, or be able to, keep all of your documents in one accessible location. So, make a list of where things are. Give your agent(s) and/or executor this list now, while you are still able to.
  • Safe-deposit box information. Make a kit for this. Include a map (> from your home to where the box is, to save the other person time. Include a key you have actually tested in the lock. It's also a good idea to enclose a printout of a document authorizing this person to access your box--a nice touch is to embed that person's photo in the document.

All of the above become especially vital if you are a provider for your family. If you are a homeless person with a six-year crack habit, you probably don't need to worry about any of this.

5. Security tip

This will conclude the mini-series I've been running on secure driving. Well, most likely it will....

Many of these are things we've all been told but need to be reminded of. But some may be brand-spanking new to you. In any case, following all of these will help you stay safe in your motor vehicle. Then again--if you are a homeless person with a six-year crack habit, you probably don't need to worry about any of this unless you steal a car. And if you steal mine, I hope you wrap it around a telephone pole!

OK, back to serious information. Here are my tips:

  • Beware of intersections. Where do most collisions happen? Yep, at intersections. Makes sense, doesn't it? So, be extra diligent as you approach intersections. Scan ahead, and anticipate what other drivers are going to do. Keep your left foot over the brake pedal, but not on it--this is called "covering the brake." If you tend to "cover the gas" by mistake, then at least make sure you fasten your seatbelt at all times.
  • Keep to a two-second following distance. Now, if you do this, you will be an unusual driver. Most people tailgate. Even police, who know better, sometimes tailgate. The number one cause of collisions is not speeding. It's following too closely! What does this tell you? Put some distance between your car and the one in front of you. If you don't know how to judge a two-second following distance, that's a sure sign you are lacking an entire set of safe driving skills. Get thee to a nunnery. If that doesn't appeal to you, then sign up for a defensive driving course--your DMV can probably tell you exactly where to go for one. Bonus: Your insurance company should give you a discount for having taken one. If they don't, then switch to State Farm!
  • Stretch the following distance. If you're tired, it's wet outside, it's dark, or you just feel like it's going to be a bad day--add another second to that following distance. If the car in front of you is covered in bumper stickers, add another second--because there's a loose nut behind the steering wheel.
  • Chill out on distance. On a trip across I-80's infamous "black ice" stretch between Iowa City and Des Moines, I kept a 10 second following distance. I found it much faster to travel on the highway than in the ditch. Maybe it was just my perception, but it seemed to me the cars that were standing straight up in the ditches, rear bumpers buried and front tires five feet off the ground weren't going as fast than I was. If you slow down and keep your distance, you can safely drive on almost any surface.
  • Lose the tailgaters. This is a hard one. What do you do when someone is tailgating you? First, check your speed. Are you driving too slowly? Then speed up! Are you driving right at the speed limit? If it's a cop, slow down and pull toward the shoulder. If it's a motorist, tap your brakes to signal s/he's tailgating. Most people will take the hint and back off. Folks who don't take this hint are simply dangerous fools you can't do anything about. Get out of their way. As this fool passes you, speed-dial the police and call this in. Say you are reporting a dangerous and erratic motorist who appears to be on drugs and may be armed (that's all true). Report the license number, describe the car, and note the location and direction in which you are heading. That's how you get tailgaters off the road safely. You stay safe, you make the road safer for everyone, the cops get to break their dull routine, and you really put the arrogant tailgater in his place. What's not to like?
  • Road rage? Don't engage! Nobody cares who "wins" an argument on the road. The driver who is angry and abusive already has made it clear s/he doesn't respect you. So, you aren't going to win respect by "fighting back." Don't take a chance on ruining your car or losing your life. Instead, smile and wave. Get the license number, then hit the speed dial on your cell phone and report this person.
  • Blinded by the light? You're driving at night, and suddenly oncoming headlights seem laser-focused directly into your eyeballs. What should you do? Turn your head? No. You just need to avoid the glare. It won't last long. While they lights are aimed at you, look down a bit, rather than right at them.
  • Know your dash. It's amazing how many people aren't even looking out the windshield, because they are looking for a certain control in the dash. You may have learned all your controls and forgotten. Test yourself once a month.
  • Call smartly. Many experts advise not using a cell phone while driving. I think that's extreme and unnecessary. Here are my rules for cell phone use--adopt these or modify according to your own best judgment:
    • Program in any numbers you might need to dial. This makes dialing something you can do without diverting much attention from your driving. This assumes you have a phone that has a well-lit screen. If not, pull over to dial.
    • Use a headset. You need both hands for driving and operating controls, especially if you have a manual transmission.
    • Let the other party know you are in your car and moving. This alerts them you may need to totally leave the conversation and you can't focus heavily on it.
    • Keep chatting to a minimum. Conduct your business, then get off the phone. For example, call your host to say you are 20 minutes away. But don't call and just chat.
    • Keep all calls short. The longer you are on the phone, the more the call will draw your attention away from the act of driving.
    • Do not conduct serious business. One of the top salesmen I have ever met made this an iron-clad rule. If you try to drive and conduct serious business, you can't do either one well. Imagine blowing a big deal and wrecking your car at the same time. Now, imagine feeling relaxed and sealing the deal, then starting your car and driving home. Which way feels better?
    • Know when to hang up. If a police officer pulls you over, put the phone away. Ask permission before making a call--this shows courtesy to the officer, and will go a long way toward making the situation easier on you. If you are entering heavy traffic, tell the other party so and end the call--don't wait until you just about nail the driver in front of you. If the cell system drops the call, don't keep calling back.


6. Health tip/Fitness tips

In a recent phone call with Howard Jacks (who has been mentioned here before), we had a hard time understanding each other because of uncontrollable laughter. What got us going were some observations we'd shared about widespread misperceptions of the Chinese here in the USA.

China's culture goes back thousands of years. Many things we enjoy today were invented in China. It's a powerhouse nation that has gone through some rough times in recent centuries. But, they were an advanced culture with all the trappings--including the arts--while Europeans were sleeping under the stars and hadn't yet built any cities.

The idea that "Chinese medicine" is inferior or useless is an idea that can reside only in an ignorant mind. It's laughable. Which is why Howard and I were in hysterics.

One of the more recognized forms of Chinese medicine is acupuncture. Until recently, this was not well-respected by the western medical establishment. One reason for this lack of acceptance is acupuncture is based on "meridians of energy." Interestingly, Westerners who got their butts kicked by Chinese martial artists working with these same meridians began studying Chinese martial arts. But, that's another story.

Now Western science has revealed those meridians were something Westerners simply failed to understand--and the Chinese were right all along. Imagine that. With only a 5,000 year lead, they knew something we didn't. Will wonders never cease?

Acupuncture can treat far more than pain or addiction, though in the USA you'll find acupuncture used mostly for just those two things. Allergies, asthma, depression, hay fever, and migraines also respond well to acupuncture. The cure rate for smoking addiction is 80%. While cancer cures smoking 100%, most people would prefer acupuncture even though the cure rate is lower.

So, how do you know you are getting competent acupuncture and not subjecting yourself to some quack's guesswork? Look for certification. One certifying body is the  National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Look them up at

7. Great Offers

These are some items that you may find interesting. I sorted through hundreds of such offers to come up with some that looked worth checking into. This is my list. I've posted their ad copy just as it is, but made a bulleted list:
  • The Classic IQ Test is the most thorough and scientifically accurate IQ Test on the Web. Previously offered only to corporations, schools, and certified professionals — it's now available to you. It's free, private and developed by PhDs. Click Here
  • University of Phoenix Online The nation’s leading online accredited university. Click Here
  • Diminish Cellulite - Free Trial Click Here
  • Receive a $50 gift card & free 30-day trial when you try Star Club Rewards. Members get exclusive discounts & save up to 50% on shopping, dining, travel, movies & entertainment. Click Here
  • Get paid to take online surveys and make $5 to $75 per survey! Click Here

8. Thought for the Day

If you want to leave another person absolutely stunned, simply listen to that person with your full attention. Can you remember the last time you did this? The last time someone fully listened to 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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