Recently in Lessons Category

PP_HappyEater_IMG_3315.jpgSuicide Girls' advice columnist MissTruthHurts, a.k.a. Gotha Stewart, a.k.a. Carrie Borzillo-Vrenna, has the perfect animal treat for Halloween: Vampire Bloodsicles. In fact our furry friends love 'em so much, why save them for Halloween? Indeed MissTruthHurts whips them up every Wednesday for the delectation and delight of the residents of SoCal's wild and exotic animal refuge, the Wildlife Waystation.

Click HERE to find out how they prepare these paw lickin' good treats.

Help a fellow vampire out on Halloween! Make a donation to the Wildlife Waystation, and help keep Baxter the Bobcat, Miss Montana the Bear and Thibeault the Tiger in treats!

Sex And The Kitty

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

DM_Kitty_506013.jpgWGCW-TV in Savannah, the local home of Sex And The City, is going where many network and cable stations fear to tread. The CW Network affiliate is airing PETA's controversial Sex And The Kitty public service announcement next week to help raise awareness for animal family planning. The humorous ad, which shows kitties getting jiggy, has been banned by MTV and most networks for being "too steamy."

PETA warns that one unspayed female cat can produce 36 cats in just one and a half years, and an unneutered male can father limitless litters of kittens. Over 2.4 million unwanted kitten are born each year. Most Will be put down.

Do not click HERE if you are easily offended.

Impatient Karma

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

DM_Instant Karma.jpgThis photo illustrates rather graphically a point I once made to my stepson, that you should always be nice to people because you never know when you'll meet them again. According to the rules of karma, it may wait until a next life to get back at you if you don't play nice, but these days it often works a little faster than that.

Of course you should always be nice to people. Period. But when you're explaining this concept to a teenager, whose eyes glaze over as you explain the finer points of being a good member of the human race, appealing to their self-interest can help drive the point home.

In this case, my stepson (who, it should be noted, is now much older and wiser) thought it was a good idea to break up with his girlfriend via text message. Exploiting the brevity of the medium, he sent two words to this poor, unsuspecting girl: "You're Dumped."

I tried explaining that this might not have been the most tactful approach. I asked him how he would feel if a girl did the same thing to him. And I offered alternative lines (to be used strictly in person) that would get the message across, but in a much nicer way: You're too good for me. I feel we're growing apart. I'm not sure what I want right now, so don't feel it's fair on you to continue this relationship. Etc.., etc...

Thanks to his teenage years, this appeal to his better nature was met with rolling eyes, so I decided to change tactics. I explained to him that the older you get the more you realize how small the world really is. The friend you shunned at school may turn out to be your new boss, and the girl you dumped by text message may turn out to be the heart surgeon who literally has your life in their hands one day.

Seeing this picture, brought memories of that life lesson back. In this fast paced world, karma doesn't always wait until the next life to bite you in the proverbial ass.

DM_High Shoes2_11536780.jpg

With Sex And The City's Carrie Bradshaw taking to the New York streets again in her skyscraper high Manolo Blahnik shoes, it's time to learn an essential equation which could turn stiletto wearing into a science as well as an art.

The equation was formulated after a SITC-loving publicist, working at London's Institute of Physics, pondered the physical limitations of Bradshaw's stiletto shoed feet (or should that be feat?).

"I sat there thinking: How can she wear heels that height? There must be some kind of formula that says you can only go so high before you fall over," Dianne Stilwell recalls.

A colleague, Professor Paul Stevenson, of the University of Surrey, came to her aid, formulating an equation that would answer Stilwell's curiosity. (It should be noted, that when he's not pondering the physics of stilettos, Professor Stevenson turns his mind to more traditional scientific pursuits, such as researching nuclear structure theory.)

The equation he came up with to explain the secret of stilettos was:
H=Q x (12+3S/8).

In this equation H represents the height of heel, S represents the length of the shoe in terms of UK shoe sizes (a limitation given that Carrie may not know this), with Q representing a variety of sociological factors.

The key to this equation, is the value of Q, which takes into account the probability that wearing the shoes will turn heads (P), the number of years experience you have wearing high heels (Y), the cost of the shoes in British pounds (L), the time in months since the shoe was the height of fashion (T), and the units of alcohol consumed (A), and is defined by the following sub-equation: Q=[P •(Y+9)•L]/[(T+1) •(A+1)•(Y+10) •(L+£20)].

It should be noted that the equation only applies to stilettos, since shoes with wider heels are much sturdier. Professor Stevenson also feels that before publishing his work in a scientific journal of record he should find a way to express within the equation the curve of increased pain that higher heels induce.

If you’d like to give Professor Stevenson's formula a whirl before purchasing your next pair of shoes, click HERE for an international shoe size conversion chart and HERE for a currency converter. However, those who are more spiritual than scientific may want to achieve balance in their stilettos by tweaking their root chakra. If that’s your chosen stiletto-heeled footpath, click HERE.

DM_TOT_10158256.jpgWe've all experienced it. You're in mid-conversation and all of a sudden you forget a word or name. It's on the tip of your tongue, you've used the word numerous times in the past, but for some inexplicable reason you just can't recall it.

Surprisingly, a new study reveals that you should stop right there, since straining to recall something in this way may actually reinforce the "mistake pathway," making it more likely to happen again.

In the study, which was published in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, a group of thirty students were asked to perform word retrieval exercises. They were given a series of definitions, and had to come up the corresponding words.

They were then asked do indicate whether or not they knew the answer, or if it was on the tip of their tongue (TOT). If the answer was TOT, students were given either 10 or 30 seconds to recall the answer. In follow up tests performed two days later using the same set of definitions, those given more time to recall the answers in the previous test were more likely to get stuck again.

"We know this is how the brain works, it reinforces whatever it does. So [the study results] completely make sense," says researcher Karin Humphreys of McMaster University in Ontario. "But at the same time, it's so counterintuitive to how we feel, we should learn from all our mistakes."

So next time, rather than torturing yourself with the prolonged anguish of attempting to recall an evasive word, save yourself the frustration and just go look it up on Google. You'll be doing yourself (and your friends) a favor.

From 0 To Debt Hell In Six Seconds

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

DM_Debt_3211912.jpgI've never subscribed to the philosophy of debt, which seems to be one of the leading sources of misery in the Western world. I've always valued the peace of mind that zero debt gives me far above the stuff that going into debt allows me to buy.

I'm not naive, I know for some it's hard to escape debt since a minimum wage hardly covers even the necessaries of life (which is obscene, and a whole other story). But most of us do have a choice: A new car and new debt vs. keeping your old car, and your peace of mind. A new flat screen TV and new debt vs. keeping your old tube TV, and your peace of mind. It's a question of values, and what you value more.

Americans are tempted and brainwashed into debt from a very early age, with credit and debit cards marketed to kids, and obligatory student loans ensuring that we embark on our adult lives chained and enslaved by our society of debt.

We all know to stay away from loan sharks, but few question the wisdom of "respectable" institutionalized debt, such as car loans, which are likely to be our biggest monthly expense after rent or mortgage payments.

We're conditioned to believe we can have the car we "deserve" now, rather than merely the one we can afford. Worse still, we are told if we don't drive the "right" car it'll harm our personal and job prospects, the “right” car for our social group inevitably being one that’s more expensive than we can really afford.

This form of corporate-driven peer pressure is truly insidious. Few realize that by subscribing to this philosophy, and something as seemingly innocuous as a modest monthly car payment, they may well be trading in their future financial security.

Do the math. If you saved up and bought a more modest used car cash down, and put the $400 a month the average American spends on their car payments in a high yield mutual fund that earns 12% annually, after 30 years you'd have a nest egg of well over $1 million.

So what does that BMW say about you now? Is the luxury car company really selling you "sheer driving pleasure" or "sheer debt forever?"

Profound Furlosophy

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)


It's easier to live your life in balance when you've got four legs rather than two, so we love the nuggets of inspiration offered up by Dahrma the Cat. For more furlosophy and to check out the moggy's cartoon eBook go to:

This is very funny. Every woman at some point has had to treat a patient with this baffling and troublesome condition.

If player fails to load, click HERE to view video.

The Stuff of Life

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

DM_STUFF_9600991.jpg"You can't take it with you," is a platitude that's often wheeled out when referring to wealth and earthly possessions. But the meaning of this worn out phrase is driven home at the point when you have to clear out an elderly or recently deceased person's home. All the things that they saved for best and never used, are sent to be used daily by strangers via Goodwill, and often the only footprint left from such precious life is the trinkets that are left behind.

Having been brought up by parents who grew up during World War II when commodities were scarce, I was always taught to treasure and value my possessions. Perhaps too much. My books were treated with such reverence that they appeared as if unread, my toys always looked like new, and everything was carefully and neatly put away in cupboards and draws.

When I grew up and left home, my things began dictating my life as I struggled to move my vast collection of stuff around with me. In a sense I became entombed by my things, as opposed to the pharaohs who entombed themselves with their things. But unlike the pharaohs, when I chose to move on to my next life across the Atlantic here in America, I had to leave the things I'd grown over-attached to behind. This separation from my stuff of life, though painful at the time (since it also represented stability and security), was the most freeing experience. It's one that has profoundly changed my life.

I vowed I would never again accumulate enough stuff to entrap me. It's enough to go through life weighed down with emotional baggage, without physical things adding to your load. And now, after my Granny moved into care at the start of this year, I'm seeing that the burden of her stuff has been passed on to my parents to bear. Every spare day my Mother and Father make the two hundred mile round trip to the place my Granny once called home. They spend their days there sorting through rooms full of stuff, making piles for family members, Goodwill and the trash collector. How sad, that in the twilight of my Granny's life it's her things that demand the bulk of their attention. But it's work that has to be done since the house she can no longer afford alongside nursing home fees must be cleared in order for life to move on.

Moving to America gave me a unique perspective on how much stuff actually gets in the way of life. The only things I miss from the stuff I left behind in England is my music collection. Not the physical vinyl, paper and plastic of my records and CDs, but the melodies and lyrics that made up the soundtrack of my young life. With any new music now compressed into MP3s, the most valuable possession to me is the data in my computer's hard drive, which also contains photographic memories and echoes of my thoughts, such as the words that are printed here. I often joke that my computer's memory is an extension of my mind, and my mind and my computer's carefully stores memories (which are religiously backed up) are the only two things that I really wouldn't care to lose.

Tips On How To Avoid The Accumulation of The Clutter of Life

  • Rent if possible, don't buy.
  • If you do buy, once you've stopped using it, pass it on.
  • If you're only likely to use something once, see if you can borrow one first. Or go halves and share an item with a friend, that way you're not only sharing the cost but the storage responsibility.
  • Think before you buy. Do you really need it? Where will you put it?
  • If the answer to either of the above is "no" or "don't know" then leave it in the store. You need your money more than Walmart.
  • Buy fair trade or from charity, or at least ethically sound, stores. That way, when you do spend money, it's not just paying for stuff, but is improving other people's lives too.
  • You don't live in your own museum. Use and enjoy the stuff you do have. Everyday is a “best” day.

Men Can Be Feminists Too

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

Men can be feminists too! Just ask Larry David. (Click HERE to view video.)