7 Habits Of Grateful People

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that in order to achieve contentment, one should “cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously.”

Turns out Emerson — who explored the meaning of a good life in much of his work — wasn’t far off when it comes to what we now know about counting one’s blessings. Research is continually finding that expressing thanks can lead to a healthier, happier and less-stressed lifestyle.  – – – more- – –

via 7 Habits Of Grateful People.

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GRAMMAR: Is the Pluperfect Tense Endangered?

Is the pluperfect tense endangered?  I fear so.  More and more I notice the simple past replacing it.  Now, the past tense
is relatively easy, but some people do not know how to handle an event that occurred before a past event.  I hope that these people do not believe all past actions happened yesterday and really do understand that stuff may have happened the day before yesterday — perhaps even the day before the day before yesterday.  Good grammar at least indicates that one knows these realities in life.

In the example below (which happens also to be in the subjunctive mood, but that’s another matter), the correct verb is
“had never occurred.”

EXAMPLE: “As indicated by the Heisman Pundit, eight quarterbacks are currently ahead of Miller in the race. This is understandable after Miller missed nearly three full games in September with an MCL injury. If the injury never occurred, perhaps momentum could have carried Miller to New York even without gaudy numbers.”   ( See http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/jeremy-fowler/24248215/ohio-states-braxton-miller-hoping-for-late-heisman-push

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Why academic disciplines are like frats.

I wasn’t a frat guy in college. I was pretty much the opposite of a frat guy. But as I’ve slowly come to understand more about my own discipline, and the workings of academic life in general, I’ve come to believe that most of our professional communities operate pretty much the same way that frats do.

Bear with me here. As we all know, a credential alone is not enough to be accepted within and achieve professional success within an academic discipline. Access is tightly socially controlled. Just as the Greek organizations that some of our undergraduates participate in are defined largely by social gatekeeping mechanisms, so too are academic disciplines defined. A discipline is not only a grouping of a topic or subject of expertise, but also a social grouping, defined as much by who it excludes from its ranks as who it includes within them. Down to the individual level.  —more—

via Why academic disciplines are like frats..

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GUEST BLOG Picking their Battles: Why the Failing War on Drugs Needs More Press


by Claire Goodman
It’s a topic that the Government is reluctant to bring up, despite its rearing its ugly head in the free press for decades: the failed War on Drugs. The recent decriminalization of marijuana and an increasingly informed public indicate a shift in popular opinion — that is “if” popular opinion truly ever condemned the widespread usage of soft drugs. Conservatives and liberals even have the statistical evidence to actually agree on this one, just as they do regarding the economy and job growth — whether or not they will is another matter, but the current Administration is missing out on an opportunity to tackle an issue which will merit them a small surge in popularity, direly needed after the recent GOP shutdown.
The Real Issue
This isn’t just about the statistical evidence supporting how the criminalization and attempted stigmatization of substances such as marijuana/cannabis have failed, or how the States incarcerate the highest population in the world for what is, in reality, minor drug usage. It’s about the call to battle for a different kind of demon — one which has been wreaking havoc on lives across the country and around the globe for decades.
According to a recent report published by The International Centre for Science in Drug Policy, the economic infrastructure of hard drugs like cocaine and heroin is changing — now more than ever, they are accessible and feasible to the greater public. With price cuts of approximately 60% to 90% worldwide and the purity of some of these substances increasing as much as 161%, for both consumer and supplier, the drug trade is a success story — delivering quality goods for a better rate, signifying a larger consumer base and ease of distribution, thus more profit.
As for its opponents, the gimmick is clearly failing, and everybody knows it. It’s not just about mis-guided policies which place marijuana in the Schedule I Substance category —  the same melting pot as LSD and heroin. It’s about how younger generations perceive drugs as a whole; the argument is that when pot is technically akin to heroin under the mantra “all drugs are BAD,” then a naïve user will equate the relatively harmless effects of marijuana (dependent on various factors such as strength, dosage, frequency, and psychological makeup) with what they might expect from taking a harder substance, failing to distinguish the potentially fatal line between the two.
This is Legal?
While European countries with progressive approaches to marijuana experience lower drug-related crime rates and enjoy an overall harmonious societal balance, others continue to tread an uphill battle in their attempts to take the edge off the supposed scourge of illegal substances. What particularly defies the “logic” of mis-classifying marijuana is the lack of focus on extremely dangerous substances known as “legal highs” in the UK. Claiming to simulate the effects of both hard and soft drugs, granting the illusion that the user can enjoy the same experience without the risks involved, these products are deadly —  composed of ingredients which even lab technicians are at a loss to identify.
Sold in “head shops”, these are legal because they are sold with the label “not for human consumption.” Once a law is passed prohibiting a specific type or brand, the manufacturer merely changes one or more ingredients and puts it back out on the market, making it virtually impossible to combat. With names like “Fairy Dust”, “Groove Love”, “Smileys”, and “Pink Champagne,” the younger demographic perceives these as mystical and harmless, and little information is available to instruct users on how to take them without resulting in an overdose. Last year alone, 52 lives were claimed by such misuse. It’s simply a matter of time before the US suffers a similar crisis.
Getting it Right
Rather than dealing with defeatist terminology like “the War on Drugs is failing” (indicative of disillusionment and even apathy regarding Government policies) what needs to be said is that “the Drug War is winning,” pressing for a more urgent, pro-active counter attack. Economically, politically, culturally and socially, hard drugs are no longer for the elite, the ravers, the experimental, the depressed, or the psychedelically-inclined. They are part of a core which threatens the fabric of a stable society, tearing individual lives apart and usurping the family sphere.
Getting to the source and cutting off distribution lines and demobilizing dealers is a tough but effective method, as well as increasing access to education on the home front in regards to locally-produced substances with devastating consequences like crystal meth. It’s about putting out the support which is so essential for helping families to get their lives back on track one step at a time, in a way that is accessible and empowering by offering comprehensive rehabilitation programs on a nationwide scale and giving hope to drug users, who need to know that they have a chance for a future — one without a criminal record (in the appropriate context) to hold their prospects back. With several organizations already setting these steps into motion, once backed with the full support of the Government the power shift between hard drugs and the general public will change dramatically.
Fewer incarcerations, fewer mis-managed resources, more help for drug addicts, and a better educated generation will result in a positive economical and social change, and it doesn’t have to incorporate dismissing the risks of soft drugs entirely, but through decriminalization they can be sourced ethically and become monitored for safety while hard drugs are examined and treated on a more intensive basis. It’s time to set things right, channel our resources effectively, and start picking our battles with more discretion – for the sake of this generation and the next.



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1 Danny Powell – You think rolling out a website is bad: 1930s…

You think rolling out a website is bad: In the 1930s President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act on August 14, 1935, establishing a three-person Social Security Board to administer a program of old-age retirement benefits based on a persons earnings history. The collection of payroll taxes was to begin on January 1, 1937, and the Board had to be prepared to keep records of the earnings on which those taxes were paid. So, the Board had less than 17 months to set up a recordkeeping system unparalleled in history. This would be a daunting task even if everything went smoothly, which of course it did not.   — more —

via 1 Danny Powell – You think rolling out a website is bad: 1930s….

This is a very long, but good history of the travails of setting up Social Security in the 193o’s  and down through the the 1950’s.  The Tortoise passes this on as a testimony to the steadfast dedication to the making of the Social Security Administration and maintaining it today.  Thanks, Danny



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Saturn, Earth Shine in Amazing New Photo by NASA Probe – Yahoo News

422e13ed-9855-4bc2-80c1-ecb216b32e36_5903737573_85cb94e42c_o“In this one magnificent view, Cassini has delivered to us a universe of marvels,” Carolyn Porco, who leads Cassinis imaging team at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo., said of the new image in a statement from NASA. “And it did so on a day people all over the world, in unison, smiled in celebration at the sheer joy of being alive on a pale blue dot.”

via Saturn, Earth Shine in Amazing New Photo by NASA Probe – Yahoo News.


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Healthcare.gov and CGI Federal: The patient person’s guide to becoming a tech billionaire.

131106_BIL_SergeOdin.jpg.CROP.promovar-mediumlargeA classic tortoise, he has constructed an impenetrable shell for CGI that weathers such blows with ease. This year, the 63-year-old Godin celebrated becoming a billionaire. — more —

via Healthcare.gov and CGI Federal: The patient person’s guide to becoming a tech billionaire..

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