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Mindconnection eNL, 2005-11-06

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

Sleeplessness Causes and Cures

At the end of last month, Daylight Wasting Time officially ended in those states inflicted with it. As a form of population control, DWT works well (traffic fatalities spike during the three weeks following each clock change). But there may be another benefit to it, too: It raises awareness of the effects of sleep deficiency.

While we can't fix the DWT problem itself (other than move to Arizona or hope mindless politicians will some day heed our cries to stop the insanity), we can deal with the underlying problem it exacerbates: Sleep deficiency.

If you've spent any time in corporate America, you know that many high level executives and celebrity CEOs brag about their long work days (little of which are spent doing any useful work). They speak of sleep deprivation as though it's a badge of honor. And you're probably familiar with stupid policies and incredibly dense wastes of money that seem rampant in corporations today. There is a cause and effect, here.

The Sleep Institute has found, through extensive study, that a person who is 20% sleep-deprived has the mental acuity of a drunk person. So with all of these hot shots running around 30% sleep-deprived, it should come as no surprise that Dilbert is a dead-on documentary--not a parody or exaggeration.

I'm not saying all corporations are immersed in stupidity and incompetence. I am saying that the macho culture which saddles us with sleep-deprived executives is a costly cross for all of us to bear. One of the first areas sacrificed in sleep deprivation is the brain's judgment center. This is why you have such things as Michael D. Eisner getting $830 million in "earnings" in the same year that Disney cites "financial difficulties" as an excuse for the failure to pay its "Imagineers" even one penny of the bonuses they earned. No person exercising anything remotely resembling good judgment would have gone along with that.

In your own experience, you have no doubt had a boss who just does one dumb thing after another, costing your company and fellow employees money and creating unnecessary stress. The root problem is nearly always that drunken stupor of sleep deprivation.

You do not have to be one of these idiocy-spewing, damage-spreading zombies. Our Sleeplessness Causes and Cures course is well-researched and just the ticket for those who want a good night's sleep to be the rule and not the exception.

How do you know if you need this course? Here's a quick quiz:

  1. Do you fall asleep almost as soon as you put your head down?
  2. Is it hard for you to get moving in the morning?
  3. Do you nod off in meetings at the office?
  4. Do you find yourself forgetting things during the day?
  5. Do you find it necessary to use an alarm clock for you to get up in time for work?
  6. Do you "catch up" on sleep over the weekend?

If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, it is seriously dangerous for you to drive a car--you are at a high level of sleep deprivation. You should get this course immediately. To begin your journey back to the land of the alert, click on the photo above.

Or use this link:

2. Brainpower tip

Get your rest! In addition to the sleep requirements mentioned above, you need rest in other ways. The brain is much like a set of muscles, and that gives us clues as to how to make best use of it.

One principle of maximum brainpower is "Vary your activities."

Now, here's an analogy. Your job is to carry twenty 100 lb bags of grain up a flight of stairs. This must be done within four days.

  • One approach is to carry the bags one after the other, until you're done. That means you'll exhaust the glycogen in the muscles of your legs and back, and be panting for breath halfway through this. Toward the end, you'll be staggering up those steps.
  • A smarter approach is to schedule this work so that you thread it in among your other activities. So, every hour or so, you grab a bag and run it up the steps. No problem. Using this second approach, you have plenty of energy for this job. In fact, you find it easier to do the last few runs than the first.

When you are faced with tough mental challenges, use this same approach. Sitting down and trying to do a massive task all in one session is simply overwhelming. Instead of slogging your way through a big task, focus intensely on one part of it at a time. You will find that your mental edge much sharper, that way.

3. Time Tip

We are going to address e-mail, again. Why? Because I have only scratched the surface so far. Rather than hit you with a huge article on e-mail, I am following the principle we just looked at in article #2 (above).

In this issue, we are going to look at another source of e-mail time savings. I've recently had to deal with one person who over-used Reply All and one who just could not seem to grasp this feature. Both folks probably cause huge wastes of time among their e-mail recipients, all the time. Like the daydreamer who drives no faster than 40 MPH on the onramp to the 65 MPH freeway, their actions cause problems for everyone but them.

Reply All over-use. In the one case, this person replied to the basic message of my e-mail, and everyone got a copy. So far, so good. But then he added additional topics that didn't concern most of the recipients. So now those folks had to either assume they were part of the new conversation or they had to ask for clarification.

Failing to use Reply All. A customer needed technical support. I work in sales, and the person I cc:d is the technical expert for this product. I had replied to the customer's initial inquiry and noted he needed to Reply All so our technical guru would get the messages and I would simply remain in the loop. But every time he wrote, he wrote only to me. This meant I had to forward the message to our technical guy and once again remind the customer who could provide the necessary assistance and how he could make sure that happened. With time zone differences, this also causes unnecessary delays.

When to use Reply All. Use this method only when three conditions are all met:

  • The message applies to everyone on the list ("the list" being the address of the recipients in the "To" and "cc:" fields).
  • Everyone on the list has given permission for everyone else on the list to have their e-mail address.
  • You agree that it's OK for any person on the list to respond to the entire list.

If your e-mail does not meet all three of the above conditions, then choose from:

  • Use Reply All, but delete those addresses to your message does not apply.
  • Use Reply All for that portion of your message which does meet all three conditions, and write a separate message for content that does not--sending it only to the appropriate people.
  • Use the bcc: method.

Sending e-mail properly--whether Reply All, cc:, or bcc:--simply requires a little planning and consideration. By reducing confusion and heading off potentially huge problems, it can save you--and everyone else--quite a bit of time.


4. Finance tip

As the holidays approach, people will be wasting enormous amounts of money on exchanging "gifts." By definition, an gift and an exchange are mutually exclusive. If you are giving, you are not expecting something in return.

So the typical holiday drill works like this:

  • Person A fights the crowds, invests huge amounts of time, and runs up the credit cards to obtain unwanted items to "give" to persons B, C, D, etc.
  • After the "gifts" are exchanged, everyone goes to the store and, without a receipt, stands in line trying to get a store credit or merchandise exchange.

There is no purpose served in this ritual. It does drive up our prices, because merchants pay a credit card fee for your initial purchase plus another fee if they put a refund on your card. Also, they have to pay someone to handle the returns, exchanges, store credits, etc. On top of everything else, many families get embroiled in holiday bickering with the very people to whom they "gave" a "gift." What's the point of "giving" a "gift" nobody wants, if you are just going to fight with that person, anyhow?

And the underlying assumption is that, even in America, people need even more stuff with which to clutter up their closets.

There are far smarter ways to use your time and money. For example:

  • Agree to spare each other the standing in line thing, both at the purchase stage and the return stage.
  • Actually give something. For example, give of your time. Maybe your old Aunt Freda doesn't need yet another scarf she hates or yet another ceramic knickknack she has to dust around. But she would be thrilled for someone to take her car in for servicing or for someone to move her furniture and appliances so she could dust behind them. Or someone to wash her windows so she can enjoy the sunlight....
  • Your niece and nephew really don't need yet another dumb video game that further isolates them from the human experience. If you want to give an actual gift, buy tickets to a local museum, zoo, or botanical garden. Think of something your sibling and his/her kids can do together.
  • Buy in the off season. A bit late in the year for this advice, but make an appt on your 2006 calendar for it. If you have kids, for example, don't load them up during the holidays with expensively wrapped junk they are going to abandon in two weeks. Instead, look for great stuff to be on sale during the spring and summer. Your kid needs a new bike? Buy it during the spring sales, so your kid can ride it all summer. Be sure to clearly communicate you aren't doing the Christmas (or Kwanza or whatever) thing, and discuss the pros and cons (don't lecture).
  • Great tip for husbands. Buying some expensive trinket at Christmas does not a romance make. If you truly want to give your wife a gift that has meaning, you need to make that a frequent thing--show you care, and do it often. Indulge her without doing so to satisfy some seasonal obligation.

    Does she want to feel pretty, but she foregoes buying those naughty undies because of the expense? Here's a great gift. Buy a $100 gift certificate from a lingerie store near you, and then take her there. On the spur of the moment, for no special reason.

    Once you're there, don't do the guy thing of looking at your watch or giving other clues you are impatient or bored or that she's wasting precious time you could be spending doing something else. She isn't there to conclude a transaction. She's there for the shopping experience. Don't interfere with that experience.

    Better yet, help her have that experience. Tell her you want her to tell you why she's selecting a particular item, and what she likes about it. Then, listen to her. Keep asking her to talk, and show you are interested (if you're not interested, then you have a basic "respect for her" problem--work on it). Do you know what she will value most? Yeah, the $100 is pretty nice. But the listening will be what warms her heart.

    Finally, don't act like you are embarrassed to be seen in a woman's lingerie shop. If you are there with your woman, there is nothing more manly. Think of it as part of the total process of making love.
  • Great tip for wives. We men like to buy our own gadgets, thank you. No matter how carefully you shop for something, it's going to be missing the one feature we really wanted (unless we have told you the exact model number and options we wanted and you bought exactly that). Either we won't use the device, or we're going to make an insensitive comment that will hurt your feelings. So, don't go there.

    While we men do appreciate input from on wardrobe, we generally like to buy our own clothes. We don't like loud ties, wildly colorful shirts, or pants that look like they belong in Prince's wardrobe. And we prefer simplicity. The bottom line is we want to look like men. The "guess what gender" look is something most of us just are not into. Period. So, don't go there.

    What is it men want? Women often say men have "one track minds." But they seem to forget this at "gift" time. Rather than buy us something we will deem deficient or buy us clothes make us feel like gay-bait, think in terms of working within the narrow needs of men. We are largely testosterone-driven hunters, at heart. Appeal to that. Now, you may be thinking I am talking about bedroom things here. Those are great, too, but that's not what I'm referring to.

    Wrong way: Hubbie hands you a catalog with some items circled, so you can fulfill your obligatory "gift giving." Yes, you avoid getting the wrong item. But you pass up an enormous opportunity. Rather than "check off the box," show you care.

    Right way: See the "Great Tips for Husbands" above and apply the same technique as a great tip for wives. Something to consider: We men like to be left-brained, detail-oriented "experts" on things. A guy may bore you to tears reciting all of the technical mumbo jumbo about a car, computer system, or some gadget he's buying. But show you're interested.

    The idea of listening to those details may seem like torture, but it makes him feel great to show off what he knows. If you can focus for just 90 seconds, you'll probably exhaust his supply of arcane trivia. If not, compliment him on his thoroughness and depth of knowledge on the subject. What he'll hear is "You are SO smart and capable!" Men love to hear that. When you say it in this context, it is a wonderful gift to him. At that point, you are free to change the subject.

To sum all of this up, the idea behind getting great results from your gift giving is to think of how to make the other person happy. If your "gift-giving" is just a matter of fulfilling some obligation, then it's really a waste of money.

5. Security tip

Just how safe are online transactions? From the aspect of the bank or merchant, they are just about bullet-proof. The security problems are on the consumer side. And that is where hackers break in, scammers get information, and con artists focus their attention.

So, what can you do? Here are some tips:

  • Don't respond to "phishing" ploys. No bank or reputable merchant will send you an e-mail telling you to "click here" to update your personal information. Such e-mails tend to direct folks to "lookalike" sites. But if you look at the URL, it won't say (for example) It will be something like Rather than follow a link, just go to the site (where you conduct business) by the normal route, and use your normal log-in.
  • Don't use toolbars or other "free" junk that is supposed to enhance your online experience. Most of these are simply spyware (or, like government bureaucrats, parasites). Some are keyloggers that report back your passwords and other information.
  • Eliminate spyware. You can find reviews of anti-spyware tools at and at Buy two (not just one) programs, and you'll cover yourself. I have eight--because I wanted to try all of them. They are inexpensive, but you don't need to buy more than two. Run these daily. FYI, the Microsoft antispyware tool is not that great. It misses a lot of stuff, and it's also parasitical to your system. I won't install it again (until it's part of Windows Vista, at which point I won't have a choice). Names to consider: Pest Patrol, Alluria, Spysweeper, and Spyware Doctor. Also, run a good registry cleaner. I have tested several of these, and I like RegSupremePro the best. This isn't really a security issue, but your computer will boot faster, be more stable, and run better with a cleaned-up Registry.
  • Don't use obvious passwords. Things like your name, birthdate, address, etc., are useless. Try to come up with a password that does not contain any real words. Use a mix of upper and lower case, and a mix of letters and numbers.
  • Use multiple passwords. You may have, for example, a standard password you use on low-risk sites. If you join a chat room, for example, there's a different level of financial risk compared to your online banking. So a password of suZ9eQ1 would be fine for the chat room. But use a different--and much longer--password for your online banking (e.g., something like 9yKbLP88G3qA7). If you find tracking passwords to be a total hassle, use a password tracking utility that encrypts these on your hard drive (see for a decent utility of this type).
  • Use "insertable" (not "removable") password storage. Store your passwords in a text file that you save onto a USB thumb drive that you physically insert only long enough for you to retrieve the needed password. With such a short presence in your computing system, this file is unlikely to ever be found by a hacker. A sweet bonus of this is you can copy and paste the needed password, thus eliminating the keystrokes that would otherwise disclose your passwords. Label this USB device and attach it via a string or other device, so you don't lose it.

6. Health tip/Fitness tips

In the USA, the six leading causes of death in the US are, in order:
  1. Heart disease (we covered this in the previous issue).
  2. Cancer.
  3. Stroke (basically, same causes as heart disease).
  4. Chronic lower respiratory disease.
  5. Accidents.
  6. Diabetes.

In this issue, we are going to address a particular chronic lower respiratory disease: pneumonia. If you don't think it's serious, then keep this in mind: Each year, four million Americans contract pneumonia, and 62,000 Americans die from it. Each year. There are only six diseases that kill more Americans.

Many of our readers are from other countries, and I apologize for not having a statistical breakdown for you. But this is no doubt important in your country, as well.

How can this disease kill so many people? Well for one thing, its early symptoms fool many people into thinking they have a cold or a flu. By the time they realize something is seriously wrong and they seek medical intervention, the disease has reached the advanced stages (sort of like government bureaucracy). By that time, it's well-entrenched and very difficult to cure (sort of like government bureaucracy).

What is pneumonia?

By definition, it's a disease characterized by inflammation or hardening of lung tissue, accompanied by water in those tissues and/or in the lung cavities. This differs from government bureaucracy, which is a disease characterized by hardening of the head.

Where does pneumonia come from?

It all starts when you inhale things other than air into your lungs: viruses, bacteria, fungus, or tax forms, for example. These things then begin to cause inflammation and other problems, resulting in pneumonia.

You can get pneumonia very easily, if you are in the hospital. So, if you have a hospital stay coming up, ask about pneumonia prevention.

But primarily, pneumonia is a social disease! Other people can transmit it to you. Maybe you inhale fine droplets from a sneeze, wheeze, or cough--or that cretin who spits on the sidewalk.

You can transmit pneumonia from surfaces to yourself if you touch your mouth or eyes after touching door handles, pens, phones, and other things people touch. Shaking hands is another way to pick up pneumonia-causing bugs.

Note: Wash your hands before using the restroom, if you've touched other people. Your urine is sterile, so washing afterwards does nothing to protect you (but you should do it anyhow). Washing before is the only way to protect yourself from putting public germs on your private parts.

Once you get a viral infection, your immune system is busy fighting it. This means fewer resources are available for protecting you from bacteria. The bacteria then inflame the lungs, and you get pneumonia.


Fortunately, we can spot pneumonia. If you have any of the following symptoms, make an urgent appointment for treatment:

  • Chest pain that gets worse when you inhale. This is quite serious. Run, don't walk, to the phone and make an appointment for that day or the next.
  • Coughing up green or yellow sputum. This is a sure sign of an infection, and it frequently is an infection in one or both lungs. Don't mess around if you have this symptom. It's not "just a cold."
  • Chills and a fever. Duh. This means you aren't well.
  • Shortness of breath. Let's see. You have a progressive disease and already you are finding it hard to breathe. So, when do you seek medical attention? ASAP, or when you can't take another breath?

Note to men: don't think you can tough it out until it gets better. You can't. So be smart, not macho.


The standard prevention protocol is a flu shot. Here's my take on that, and you can make your own decision. Gamma globulin is an essential immune system component. Ask your doctor if a person with low gamma globulin is at high risk for sickness. Mine is so low that when I have a blood test, I get a phone call. Not from the office staff, but from the doctor himself, earnestly imploring me to come in immediately for further testing. The standard fear is I have cancer or some other horrible disease. But I have had low gamma globulin since birth (I have news clippings about this--interesting story). Yet, I have not been sick since 1971. In all that time, I have not had one flu shot.

Why do I avoid flu shots? I guess I'm just not into the mercury thing. These shots contain brain-damaging mercury, which helps explain a lot that's wrong with America today.

Personally, I don't think people contract pneumonia because of a mercury deficiency. I think the reason why people get sick is they consistently make bad choices in nutrition, sleep management, exercise, and stress management.

If someone like me--who spent most of his toddling time in the hospital because of an immune system deficiency he still has--can go 35 years without getting sick, then it seems we all have a lot of power to eliminate sickness from our lives. There are two aspects to this:

  1. Knowing what choices to make.
  2. Making them.

In addition to living a healthy lifestyle, you do have to recognize that the body isn't perfect and things happen. Pay attention to your limitations. Use common sense. For example, don't lie down right after eating. Doing so increases the risk of acid reflux, which damages your esophagus (which is why we have a soda-driven epidemic of esophageal cancer, these days). Give your stomach half an hour to digest things. This allows gravity to keep stomach acid out of the lungs. Also, don't eat large meals. Six small ones per day not only helps prevent the flu, but also diabetes--killer number six.

Wash your hands before eating. Keep your fingers out of your body orifices--eyes, ears, mouth, etc.

Treating pneumonia

Don't try to self-treat pneumonia. Seek medical attention right away. Then, learn as much as you can about pneumonia, and your case in particular. Look for solidly foot-noted articles on it, not unsubstantiated opinion. And stay on top of your condition.

Recognize that your doctor is probably going to prescribe antibiotics. Ask for a pharmacological review on this. Ask about interactions with other drugs or supplements you may be taking, and about interactions with foods.

You will, in all likelihood, find out that your doctor knows very little about the actual medication. So when you go to the pharmacist to pick up your prescription, ask again. The amount you need to know probably isn't much, and your pharmacist probably knows everything that's important to know.

Take your meds as prescribed. Don't take more or less, and don't stop taking them as soon as you feel better. There are sound medical reasons for this advice, such as the fact that you need to completely kill off the infecting agent or it'll just come back. Only this time, it'll be resistant to the antibiotic that would have cured you and now you need to subject your body to yet another antibiotic. All antibiotics are poisons--that's how they work. Don't make your doctor keep poisoning you--simply follow instructions, so that won't happen.

If your pneumonia is severe, your physician may recommend treatment that is more aggressive than a bottle of pills. You may object and want a second opinion. Be aware that time is of the essence, here. You can go on oxygen therapy, spirometer therapy, intravenous drugs, or whatever, while you are seeking that second opinion. If your doctor wants the aggressive treatment, that's a sign that waiting could mean death. So, don't wait.

Throughout this process, stay informed. Ask your doctor what you can do to speed recovery. Keep in mind that one goal will be to keep water out of the lungs. So, you'll want to avoid positions that permit draining into the lungs. An upright position is such a position--because of the way the lungs and various passages are oriented. Ask also about using an inversion table to "empty" the lungs for a few seconds at a time. I have an inversion table, and it's great for my back. I can see that as an additional therapy, if I ever get fluid in the lungs.

Most of all, stay physically fit. Healthy lungs are inherently more able to bounce back from pneumonia. A fit body is far less likely to succumb in the first place. See for free information on fitness.

7. Miscellany

  1. Please forward this eNL to others.

  2. This issue's factoid: When you sneeze, all bodily functions stop-- even your heart!

  3. See: Special Offers (expired link now removed).

8. Thought for the Day

Sickness rarely happens. It's nearly always the result of a string of bad decisions.


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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