Random Facts of The Day.

Welcome to August! Some are getting ready to head back to school. Some are just trying to get the most out of what is left of their summer.

For no particular reason- here are some facts:

1. A chipotle pepper is just a dried and smoked jalapeño.

And an ancho chile is a dried poblano.

2. Sour Patch Kids and Swedish Fish have the same base.

Sour Patch Kids are just pumped into a different mold and finished with a sour coating.

3. “Double Stuf” Oreos don’t actually have twice the creme filling.
A math teacher crunched the numbers and concluded they only have 1.86x.

4. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos were invented by a janitor who was working at the Frito-Lay plant.

Richard Montañez pitched his idea to Frito-Lay’s CEO in 1976 and went on to become an exec VP at PepsiCo. There’s even a movie in the works about his story.

5. Cilantro and fresh coriander are the same thing. They’re just two different names to describe the same plant. (There are also coriander seeds — which come from the plant too, and you can find them whole or ground up into spices.)

6. Spam is named for the combination of the words “spice” and “ham.”


And not, as urban legend would say: Scientifically Processed Animal Matter.
7. Kit Kats are filled with broken Kit Kats. The Kit Kats that get damaged during production are crunched up into a paste, then given a ~second life~ inside other Kit Kats.

8. Rhubarb leaves are poisonous in large doses.

The raw leaves contain oxalic acid, among other things. And if you eat a TON of them — or several pounds worth — it can be lethal.

9. McDonalds nuggets come in four distinctive shapes.


This is “to ensure consistent cooking times for food safety in all McDonald’s restaurants”, according to McD’s.

10. Bananas are berries — and strawberries are not. Botanically speaking, that is.
11. Honey never goes bad. As long as you properly store it sealed and in a dry place.

12. Pound cake got its name because the original recipe contained one pound of each main ingredient. That’s four pounds (!) total — of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour.

13. Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kohlrabi all come from the same plant.


Brassica oleracea was selectively bred over hundreds of years to create dozens of very different vegetables.

14. Allspice isn’t actually a mix of other spices.Although it smells like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, Allspice is a fruit picked from a tree — then dried and sold either as whole “berries” or ground up into its own spice.

 
15. All Froot Loops technically taste the same, no matter what color they are.I still like the red ones best, FWIW. 🙃

16. Asparagus grows straight out of the ground.

17. In 2018, Nabisco redesigned its iconic animal crackers box after PETA flagged it.


The new design uncages the animals and puts them in the wild.

18. The biggest difference between jam and jelly? Jam is made with fruit — and jelly is made with fruit juice.

Jam is made with fruit, sugar, and often pectin (a thickener). Jelly is made with fruit juice, sugar, and pectin. Another way to remember it? Jam is chunky — it’ll have mashed fruit pieces in it; whereas jelly is a smooth spread.
19. Most raw oysters are still alive when you eat them. In fact, oysters are stored under very regulated conditions because once they die, they are no longer considered safe to eat.

20. Red, yellow, and green bell peppers are all the same vegetable. They’re just at different stages of development. Bell peppers also have more vitamin C than oranges.

21. Haribo green gummy bears aren’t lime or green apple flavored. (They’re strawberry.)

And the red ones, apparently, are raspberry. o.O

22. Loofahs — aka: shower scrubbers — are made from gourds.

Specifically: the (aptly-named!) sponge gourds and luffa gourds.
23. Tootsie Rolls start out as giant 13-pound logs that are then shaped down to their mini size.


And they’re still made using their original recipe from 1896.

Did one of these blow your mind?

What’s your favorite random food fact? Share in the comments!

Posted in Humor | 1 Comment

Hammocks are Overrated

Hammocks always seem like a fun idea in theory … until you have to get out of one.

In honor of the very random holiday known as National Hammock Day, we’ve rounded up 20 hilarious (and also quite random) tweets about hammocks.

Abby Heugel@AbbyHasIssues

1. Get in hammock.
2. Relax.
3. Try and get out of hammock.
4. Panic.
5. Don’t fight it and just accept that this is where you live now.

306 people are talking about this

EnvyDaTropic™@envydatropic

Not one to brag but I’d win gold if falling out of a hammock without spilling your drink was an olympic sport

144 people are talking about this

Mary Charlene@IamEnidColeslaw

In hell you can only have sex in a hammock

45 people are talking about this

Sophia Benoit

@1followernodad

*lying in a hammock, not yet worried about my exit strategy*

45 people are talking about this

Bec Shaw

@Brocklesnitch

when pigs do a comedy roast it’s called a hammock

See Bec Shaw’s other Tweets

Abby Heugel@AbbyHasIssues

I just got ten minutes of resistance training trying to get out of the hammock.

124 people are talking about this

G@GretaGirl22

when you fall asleep on the hammock and you get rope-marks all over you.

See G’s other Tweets

maura quint

@behindyourback

comfort can come from many things, like right now all I need is to be wrapped in a hammock, rocked violently and spoken to in rapid Spanish

See maura quint’s other Tweets

Aparna Nancherla

@aparnapkin

I had a falling out with a hammock

23 people are talking about this

space force syd@bbysquids

I fell through my hammock but I saved my smore

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter
5,713 people are talking about this

Amy Kaufman

@AmyKinLA

What to do when bored in Utah? Push each other on the hammock until you almost flip over. Suprisingly fun. http://tweetphoto.com/7124759

See Amy Kaufman’s other Tweets

Charlene deGuzman

@charstarlene

Should I buy a hammock for my stuffed animals or just face my actual problems

68 people are talking about this

Abby Heugel@AbbyHasIssues

I think the best part of being Spider-Man is that you could use your webs to make a hammock and take a nap.

187 people are talking about this

Amy Kaufman

@AmyKinLA

Why don’t I have a hammock to read innnnnnn

Embedded video

See Amy Kaufman’s other Tweets

kim monte 🏳️‍🌈@KimmyMonte

If you never want to hear from me again, put me in the middle of a hammock and walk away

See kim monte 🏳️‍🌈‘s other Tweets

Scaachi

@Scaachi

sometimes it is hard to feel like the company i work for isn’t a parody of itself when you see a pool donut in the shape of a hamburger leaning against the office hammock

See Scaachi’s other Tweets

Lili Reinhart

@lilireinhart

There is not a graceful way one can get into a hammock.

See Lili Reinhart’s other Tweets

Abby Heugel@AbbyHasIssues

My favorite extreme sport is trying to get out of a hammock.

32 people are talking about this

Scaachi

@Scaachi

the other day a raccoon strolled leisurely into our backyard in the middle of the day, jumped on our hammock, and then tried to steal one of @scottdeveau’s shoes.

feed the raccoons. they’re getting stronger. we won’t win.

See Scaachi’s other Tweets

JennyPentland@JennyPentland

*commissions one of those giant lord of the rings spiders to build me a hammock*

See JennyPentland’s other Tweets
Posted in Humor, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tweets About Airport

It’s a rare kind of person who actually enjoys going to the airport. Between the long security lines, flight delays, scarce food offerings and generally unhappy people, there’s very little to relish about the experience.

But at least you can laugh (and tweet) about it. We’ve rounded up 45 too-real tweets about the hell that is the airport.

Erin 🔥🧘🏻‍♀️🔥 Ryan

@morninggloria

It should be okay to boo people at the airport

917 people are talking about this

maura quint

@behindyourback

sitting here in the airport waiting to board my flight and there’s a goddamned bird in the terminal flying around by itself showing the fuck off

32 people are talking about this

christine teigen

@chrissyteigen

every time I go to the airport, my gate is the longest walk possible. If I’m gate 48, the gates start at 1. If I’m gate 1, the gates start at 48 and go backwards. What are these other gates in between even? Are these actors

6,453 people are talking about this

Aparna Nancherla

@aparnapkin

Aint no salad like an airport salad cuz an airport salad don’t food

507 people are talking about this

Alyssa Limperis@alyssalimp

The airport is a lawless place. 7am? Drink a beer. Tired? Sleep on the floor. Hungry? Chips now cost $17

85.5K people are talking about this

Lili Reinhart

@lilireinhart

In other news, a man was carrying a frozen lasagna through airport security this evening.

2,341 people are talking about this

Anna Kendrick

@AnnaKendrick47

Why do I buy cooking magazines in airports? I might as well be buying porn. I get all excited but there’s nothing I can do about it.

4,022 people are talking about this

Mara “Get Rid of the Nazis” Wilson

@MaraWilson

There is absolutely no reason to be using your skateboard indoors at an airport

132 people are talking about this

Aparna Nancherla

@aparnapkin

There is rude then there’s Airport Rude

144 people are talking about this

kim monte 🏳️‍🌈@KimmyMonte

“oh you’re thirsty? good. we’re $9 now, you stupid fuck” – bottles of water at an airport.

72 people are talking about this

christine teigen

@chrissyteigen

Too many people link the word “airport” with “barefoot”

198 people are talking about this

Jim Gaffigan

@JimGaffigan

Wow. NEWARK AIRPORT does a fantastic impression of HELL.

948 people are talking about this

claire@cloxic

me: has never done cocaine
me walking through airport security: oh god what if i have cocaine in my bag

38.7K people are talking about this

Scaachi

@Scaachi

Laguardia is a great airport if you’ve recently been held hostage by large rats and just need a quiet place to eat some off-brand Sbarro’s.

57 people are talking about this

wikipedia brown ||| abolish ICE.

@eveewing

me walking to the front of the boarding line at the airport

Embedded video

697 people are talking about this

Lesley Nneka Arimah@larimah

TSA Agent: Anything sharp or dangerous in here?

Me: Only if you fear the written word 😏 😏 *finger guns*

TSA: 😐

Me: 😬

TSA: 🤨

Me: No, ma’am, nothing sharp or dangerous.

112 people are talking about this

〰 Just Linda 〰@LindaInDisguise

I can help you get through airport security 30% faster – just get in any line other than the one I am in.

28 people are talking about this

Erin 🔥🧘🏻‍♀️🔥 Ryan

@morninggloria

The official seal of LaGuardia Airport is a sad family eating sadwiches on the floor

238 people are talking about this

Michael Ian Black

@michaelianblack

I will always admire anybody confidently strutting through the airport wearing a neck pillow.

148 people are talking about this

Seth Rogen

@Sethrogen

At the airport today, I asked my TSA agent how he was doing, and he said “just working at the TSA, where dreams go to die.” So everything is great.

11.9K people are talking about this

Ken Jennings

@KenJennings

Florida : ballot design :: New York : airport design

62 people are talking about this

Mindy Kaling

@mindykaling

When someone asks for a ride to the airport 🔪

View image on Twitter
398 people are talking about this

Aparna Nancherla

@aparnapkin

People who wear cute outfits to the airport, what are you doing

167 people are talking about this

Lili Reinhart

@lilireinhart

The time between getting to the airport and actually getting on the plane is the worst. So close to a nap, and yet so far. 😴

1,964 people are talking about this

Erin 🔥🧘🏻‍♀️🔥 Ryan

@morninggloria

People ordering Frappuccinos at an overwhelmed airport Starbucks at 6:30 am should automatically be placed on the no-fly list

358 people are talking about this

Elizabeth Hackett@LizHackett

Two guys in the airport bar are amazed a margherita pizza has no alcohol in it and they’re the reason you can’t leave bags unattended.

129 people are talking about this

Mindy Kaling

@mindykaling

Never felt as forsaken as I did from 2:30 to 4am at JFK airport

78 people are talking about this

Tracie Tom@tracietom

I just took out a second mortgage on my house in case I get hungry at the airport tomorrow.

204 people are talking about this

dadpression@Dadpression

My favorite person at this airport is the little girl who keeps yell-insisting: “It’s not a bag, it’s my suitcase!”

18 people are talking about this

Aparna Nancherla

@aparnapkin

i just heard a TSA agent say “i mean there’s passion & then there’s love” & shortly after, my chia pudding was confiscated, this has been another episode of airport

416 people are talking about this

Lilly Singh

@IISuperwomanII

Waiting for my flight in this airport like…

Embedded video

568 people are talking about this

Chelsea Nachman

@chelseanachman

the most unrealistic thing about love actually is that someone will pick you up from the airport

39 people are talking about this

wikipedia brown ||| abolish ICE.

@eveewing

this woman at the airport got mad that people didn’t stack empty bins in the security line and started exclaiming “LAZY!!! LAZY PEOPLE!!!” to no one while furiously reorganizing them

before you ask, yes she was

303 people are talking about this

Scaachi

@Scaachi

a little known fact is that if you stand in front of the gate at the airport for 45 minutes your flight will board and leave faster

65 people are talking about this

Elizabeth Hackett@LizHackett

My hobbies include: watching families in the airport and deciding what music goes under the movie trailer for the bad vacation they’re just starting.

72 people are talking about this

Bim Adewunmi@bimadew

the thing about dogs that are working at the airport wearing patches that read ‘I AM WORKING. DO NOT PET’ is that they are very fucking pettable.

43 people are talking about this

keely flaherty

@keelyflaherty

a man in the airport accidentally dropped his heavy luggage on my leg. he said “oops” & i said “oh sorry!thank you” & those are the two genders

121 people are talking about this

sloane (sipihkopiyesis)

@cottoncandaddy

can’t stop thinking about the time I watched a woman try to put her dog through the airport security scanner and the tsa agent picked it up and was like “ma’am no”

3,901 people are talking about this

wikipedia brown ||| abolish ICE.

@eveewing

Hi, I am the recreational airport walker! I don’t have anywhere in particular to be. I just like to come here to the airport and stroll around at a leisurely pace while remaining blissfully unaware of my surroundings. I like to stretch my arms all the way across the escalator and

91 people are talking about this

wikipedia brown ||| abolish ICE.

@eveewing

Me when the TSA agent disrupts my very carefully orchestrated ornate system for putting items on the x-ray belt

View image on Twitter
See wikipedia brown ||| abolish ICE.’s other Tweets

Lilly Singh

@IISuperwomanII

Dear airport security, can you make up your mind. Does my bag go in the tray or not?!

569 people are talking about this

Scaachi

@Scaachi

look i know you’re all very excited about the footy ball but the AIRPORT is a BAD PLACE for LARGE GROUPS OF PEOPLE to SUDDENLY ERRUPT IN FRANTIC SCREAMS

108 people are talking about this

Natalie@jbfan911

me before going through security at airport: what if i accidentally have a gun

46.5K people are talking about this

Chelsea Nachman

@chelseanachman

tsa security agent: wow, that’s a lot of rings!
me: haha yeah
tsa: are you married?
me: nope !
tsa: well, what are you going to do when you get married?
me: MAYBE I WON’T EVER GET MARRIED !!!!!! THEN I WOULDN’T HAVE ANYTHING TO WORRY ABOUT!
tsa: …. have a nice day

View image on Twitter
See Chelsea Nachman’s other Tweets

christine teigen

@chrissyteigen

Can you imagine just setting off the smoke detector in your house and not caring for hours because that is the Miami airport

Posted in Humor | Leave a comment

VOTE for a GYMNAST

As a former gymnast and a current coach there is one thing I have learned. How to bounce back from failure.

For every skill I learned I had dozens if not hundreds of failed attempts. I failed, I made corrections and adjustments and tried again. I was NOT blindly trying again and again. I listened to those around me and put the information to good use. As a coach errors are much more costly. You have athletes and other coaches who are listening to your advice.

You need to listen to coaches who have been there before. You need to learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others. You need to formulate a plan with a goal knowing that you are going to need to make adjustments along the way. Working with your athletes there will always be some give and take. Some pushed back pretty hard. You needed to let them into the process.

In politics a candidate is going to make mistakes. If they were a gymnast, they know how to make corrections and adjustments and be able to move on.

An elected official is also going to need to make adjustments. They may be elected in a weak economy and work tirelessly to turn it around. If they are successful, they are faced with a new set of problems.

There are few sports that prepare a child for a life as a CEO or a politician.

If you have a former gymnast running in your district- they deserve a second look

Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

The 7 BIGGEST Failures of Trumponomics

Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress keep crowing about the economy, when in reality Trumponomics has been a disaster. Here are its seven biggest failures:

1. Trump promised to bring down America’s trade deficit “as fast as possible.” Instead, the trade deficit has hit an all-time high. The United States is now purchasing more goods and services from the rest of the world than we sell abroad than at any time in history.

2. As a presidential candidate in 2016, he said he could completely eliminate the federal debt in eight years. Instead, the federal debt has exploded thanks to Trump and the GOP’s $1.9 trillion tax cuts for the wealthy and corporationsThey’re already using the growing debt to threaten cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. 

3. He promised to boost the wages of American workers, including a $4,000 pay raise for the average American family. Instead, wages for most Americans have been flat, adjusted for inflation. Meanwhile, over the same period, corporate profits have soared and the rich have become far richer, but the gains haven’t trickled down.

4. His administration said that corporations would invest their savings from tax cutsInstead, corporations spent more money buying back shares of their own stock in 2018 than they invested in new equipment or facilities. These stock buybacks provide no real benefit for the economy, but boost executive bonuses and payouts for wealthy investors.

5. He promised a tax cut for middle-class families. Instead most Americans will end up paying more by 2027.

6. He promised to keep jobs in America and crack down on companies that ship jobs overseas. Instead, his tax law has created financial incentives for corporations to expand their operations abroadTrump’s trade wars have also encouraged companies like Harley Davidson to move production overseas. 

7. He promised to “drain the swamp” of Washington lobbyistsInstead, he’s put them in charge of health, safety, and environmental protections—which has endangered most Americans while increasing corporate profits even further.

The real recipe for economic growth is to invest in Americans—in their health, education, job training, and infrastructure.

But Trumponomics has exploded the deficit, hurt ordinary Americans, and lined the pockets of the wealthy and corporations.

Don’t let Trump and Republicans claim otherwise.

Posted in Politics | Tagged | Leave a comment

Iceland

Legend (probably a false legend) has it Iceland was named by some sneaky Vikings who, in a quest to keep it all to themselves, tried to hide the fact that their new settlement was actually a lush, green wonderland worthy of envy from the entire Nordic world.

Indeed, Iceland is so striking beautiful — and quirky, and romantic, and adventurous — that we can’t say we blame them.

Here’s why you should go there, too.

1. The Blue Lagoon will heal your soul.
This steamy outdoor spa (where the water is 98 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit, naturally!) also offers in-water massages and a swim-up bar.
blue lagoon

2. You can stand inside a waterfall.
Seljalandsfoss is also a great place to view the northern lights through a curtain of glittering mist.
seljalandsfoss

3. In fact, waterfalls are everywhere.
Take Hraunfossar for example– it’s a series of streams that gurgle out from cracks in a craggy lava field, leftover from when a volcano erupted under a glacier.
hraunfossar

4. There are probably elves in Iceland.
But really: just last year, highway construction screeched to a halt after elf activists protested in an effort to protect the elves’ forest homeland. In a survey, 62 percent of Icelandic respondents said they think it’s possible elves actually exist.
iceland forest

5. There are probably also aliens.
What is that firey orb descending upon the Icelandic town of Akureyri, you ask? Aliens. It’s probably aliens.

6. You can scuba or snorkel between continents.
The North American and Eurasian tectonic plates and the South American and African continental plates converge in an epic underwater meet-up at the Silfra ridge. Whether you’re floating above or diving to the floor of this underwater canyon, it’s a wild feeling to be in two places at once… just ask Alex Mustard.
northern lights thingvellir

8. Nobody leaves voicemails in Iceland.
The option to leave a long, boring message still exists, but many locals saythey’ve never received or left a voicemail in their lives. Pretty much all Icelanders are related, so they probably figure they’ll just see each other at dinnertime anyway.
phone iceland

10. They’ve taken hot dogs to a whole new level.
Icelanders typically toss lamb in the mix, thus deepening the link’s flavor. They call these creations pylsur and top them with sweet mustard, ketchup, raw onions, deep-fried onions and remoulade. Or you can ditch almost all the condiments and order your pylsurClinton style,” the way our former president did when he visited in 2005.
pylsur

11. You can go INSIDE a VOLCANO.
At Thrihnukagigur, you’ll plunge almost 400 feet into the multicolored magma chamber of a volcano that erupted 4,000 years ago. Sound too scary? You can see it via helicopter, too.
thrihnukagigur

12. There’s no need to fear incest.
Ever worried your lover might turn out to be your fourth cousin twice removed? Don’t fret; there’s an app for that.
iphone

13. Strokkur geyser explodes like clockwork.
The Churn” erupts every five to 10 minutes, shooting water up to about 100 feetin the air.
geyser iceland

14. Iceland gets credited as having “the largest banana plantation in Europe.”
It’s not the case, but the rumor probably started when those crafty Icelanders tried sticking a bunch of banana plants in greenhouses. And because bananas don’t grow in much of Europe (the Canary Islands are a major exception, so they’re probably the true winners of the banana crown of Europe) — voilà! Quirky modern myth is born! The remains of that failed experiment are now part of a small indoor banana farm at the agricultural university.
iceland banana

15. You can whale watch, humanely.
There are 23 types of whales in the waters around Iceland, meaning you’re more than likely to spot some of those fantastic fins. Pick a boating company that’s committed to letting whales have their space.
whale watching iceland

16. Iceland has already mapped your dream road trip for you.
While driving the Golden Circle, you’ll pass a couple of geysers, a national park with the largest natural lake in Iceland, and Gullfoss, the country’s most famous waterfall. Try completing the Golden Circle in a super jeep or snowmobile.
gullfoss

17. Watching veggies grow is a “thing.”
Iceland is dark and cold for much of the year, but tomatoes grow merrily under artificial light at Friðheimar. The environmentally-friendly greenhouses yield about one ton of produce per day, and you can tour them to watch the magic in action. If that’s not impressive enough, see Friðheimar’s horse show in 14 different languages.
friðheimar

18. The Faroe Islands are right at your fingertips.
This little fairytale archipelago lies halfway between Iceland and Norway. This means it’s just a hop, a skip, and a quick flight to islands full of fishing, bird watching, lighthouses, and the most precious medieval churches you ever did see.
faroe islands

19. Sometimes, Iceland looks like another planet.
But guess what? Mount Kirkjufell is actually on the planet of Earth!
166990434

20. The sun also shines at night.
For about three months each year, the sun sets for only a niblet of time each day, and the sky is bright for a full 24 hours. This means you can play golf, hit a concert, or run a marathon in the middle of the “night.”
midnight sun iceland

21. It’s one of the best countries to catch the Northern Lights.
Thingvellir National Park — the picturesque field where leaders of yore decided laws in an open-air forum — is today recognized as both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best places to see aurora borealis.
northern lights thingvellir

22. In Iceland, your view from the window seat could turn out as art.
…that’s if your seat mate happens to be a photographer as skilled as Andre Ermolaev.
pan

23. Hallgrímskirkja is not your typical church.
It’s ornate out front yet simplistic inside. There’s beautiful live music and an organ with over 5,000 pipes. Your ticket will support local charities (if you visit at a certain time), and — wait for it — an elevator rockets you about 250 feet up the church’s tower for an astounding view of Iceland’s capital city.
hallgrímskirkja

24. Icelanders make fish soup stellar.
Maybe it’s the fresh Nordic seafood, or maybe it’s the splash of sherry. Either way, who knew fish soup could be delicious? Order a warm bowl on a cliff overlooking the ocean.
143384332

25. Breiðafjörður.
We can’t pronounce it either, but it’s beautiful.
breidafjordur

26. James Bond has graced the glaciers.
Iceland’s glaciers and glacial lagoons have set the scene for “Batman” and multiple 007 movies.
iceland glacier

27. Puffins!
puffins iceland

Posted in Travel | Leave a comment

The Art of Doing Nothing

busy-doing-nothing1

The Italians have a concept for piddling around known as “La Dolce Far Niente,” which means- the sweetness of doing nothing. As a frequent traveler to Italy I learned about this the hard way.  I was in Italy  for work and visiting family and I just felt that every minute of every day needed to be filled with something. Whether I was in the gym coaching, outside of the gym planning, visiting cousins or site seeing, I made sure my day was full.

img_4326My Zio (uncle) pulled me aside and said, “Tony- you Americans seem to LIVE to WORK. You work yourself to the bone during the week so that you can work harder around your house on the weekend. Here in Alatri, the town in Italy where my family lives, we Work to Live. We do enough work to provide for our families but we make sure we have time to do nothing.” La Dolce Far Niente. 

Zio went on to explain that Italians may wonder home after a few hours of working to take a little nap, they may be inspired by a nearby cafe and sit down to have a glass of wine, or they may just go home and make love to their wife. Although it may be a bit unrealistic for some of us to just cut out of our jobs in the middle of the day to go take a nap, the scene was still compelling.

The mobile age has made us connected and available 100% of the time. How many times have I answered a work e-mail while waiting in line at the grocery store? How many times have I worked through lunch or started my work day with my first cup of coffee? Is it really necessary? What is the cost? The idea of no longer running on a treadmill of activity from morning workout to work, running home to make dinner, continuing to do paper work and reports while watching something on TV with my wife sitting a few feet away also engrossed with work. We have to make a PLAN and schedule a walk together.

Thoreau spoke of this in Walden when he said, “When I go out of the house for a walk, uncertain as yet whither I will bend my steps, and submit myself to my instinct to decide for me, I find, strange and whimsical as it may seem, that I finally and inevitably settle south-west, toward some particular wood or meadow or deserted pasture or hill in that direction.”

How different would our quality of life be if we made time throughout the day to experience la dolce far niente? Instead of using our free moments to catch up on some stupid reality tv, instead of checking our email one last time to see if anyone else is needing us to do something, instead of using our free time to check our bank accounts or pay that cell phone bill- What if we just did nothing?

All the noise-  facebook,  twitter, reality TV, the latest and greatest no-one-can-get-in-there-without-calling-a-month-ahead restaurant…it all fades away when we can just do nothing. What surfaces is life- our feelings at the moment (whether it be grace or despair), our ego vanishes and our true self emerges.

What if instead of facebook, emailing, DVR catching up, video gaming tonight- you just did nothing? What if instead of saving up 7 vacation days out of 365 to finally enjoy life, you spread those out in hours among each day? What if you didn’t look at Saturday/Sunday as your only day to cut loose and chill out?

Maybe you sit and read a book. Maybe you stare out the window or balcony and listen to your favorite musician. Maybe you learn how to whistle…meditate…stretch…lounge…or (gasp!) nap. What can you do today to begin doing nothing? By giving the brain ‘downtime’ we can improve mental health and allow ideas to incubate.

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A Tribute to Notre Dame

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In the late 90’s and early 2000’s I was spending a great deal of time coaching at international competitions.  I was lucky enough to have been able to travel to Paris in 3 or 4 back to back to back years for competitions and was EXTRA lucky that my daughter was able to travel with me.

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Following the competition we stayed at a hotel very near Notre Dame. We would walk by it 3 or 4 times a day.

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On one occasion as we walked by Maddie noticed a man feeding birds. He would hold out his hand and little birds would land on his hand as he fed them. For Maddie, this was magic. She held out her hands but no birds came near her. The gentleman that was feeding the birds gave her a small piece of bread and showed her how.

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The look of delight on both their faces when she fed the birds from her hand was amazing.

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I wouldn’t say this man was homeless but he certainly was underprivileged.  I think he was happy to just NOT BE INVISIBLE. That someone took the time to interact with him.

A day or so later Maddie and I were having breakfast and I noticed that she had taken a croissant and put it in her pocket. I knew she was going to be feeding the birds that day. That afternoon as we approached Notre Dame she asked if she could buy a Crepe. She ordered a ham and cheese crepe but didn’t even take a bite.

As we walked in front she went up and handed her crepe to the “bird man”. His smile lit up the day. Then Maddie proceeded to feed the birds.

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I was so proud of her. Thinking beyond just her needs and desires.

A year later we were back in Paris.

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As we walked by Notre Dame, Maddie reached into her pocket, pulled out a croissant for the birds and an apple for the “bird man”.

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Churches like Notre Dame are not just a building to worship in. They are the center of the city. A place that brings people together. The acts of kindness do not only happen inside the walls. It doesn’t need to be a church. It can be your town square. The Lincoln Memorial, The Western Wall. It is your heart that makes it special.

Take a moment today and do something nice for somebody. Just because it is the right thing to do.

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Beyond The Summer Of Love, ‘Get Together’ Is An Anthem For Every Season

My morning ritual involves coffee and listening to NPR. Specifically NHPR. I catch up on the news and listen to specific reoccurring pieces like STORY CORP. Recently they have been featuring songs that have become AMERICAN ANTHEMS. (Not to be confused by the 1986 gymnastics movie).

This morning they were playing the 1967 song “Get Together” by the Youngbloods. Although I am FAR too young to remember the song on the radio, I know the song from its appearance in many movies and even in commercials. I have heard the song thousands of times. But today, I really listened to the lyrics.

Love is but a song to sing
Fear’s the way we die
You can make the mountains ring
Or make the angels cry
Though the bird is on the wing
And you may not know why
Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now
Some may come and some may go
We shall surely pass
When the one that left us here
Returns for us at last
We are but a moment’s sunlight
Fading in the grass
Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now
If you hear the song I sing
You will understand (listen!)
You hold the key to love and fear
All in your trembling hand
Just one key unlocks them both
It’s there at your command
Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

We live in a very divided time. The talking heads on TV will tell you it is the most divided time in America. That we live in the most violent time. The politicians just want to frighten you. The TV producers need you be afraid NOT to watch their news programs. Programs that tell you how to feel and instead or giving you the news they tell you their version of the news.

The facts are- We are NOT living in the most divided time. We have more in common with each other than we have differences. We all want a better life for our children. We all want clean air to breath and clean water to drink. We all have a quest for knowledge to fill whether it is under the sea or in outer space. These needs do not care about your language, your race, your religion, your sexual preference or how much money you have.

 

FROM THE NPR PIECE

In 1967, the Vietnam War was raging. The Youngbloods’ lead singer, Jesse Colin Young, remembers, “Back then we were all subject to the draft. That made everything more life and death. And hope is what comes out of that song.”

Young was a folk singer and guitarist with two albums under his belt when he met guitarist Jerry Corbitt on the folk scene in Cambridge, Mass. They put The Youngbloods together in New York City with drummer Joe Bauer and multi-instrumentalist Lowell Levinger, known as Banana. The band rehearsed in Greenwich Village’s Café au Go Go when there wasn’t a show happening, and that’s where Young first heard “Get Together.”

“It was a Sunday afternoon and I was walking through the Village and thought, ‘Oh, the Go Go’s gonna be dark. I’ll call the band; we can rehearse,’ ” Young recalls. “I walked down the stairs and it turned out to be an open mic. I thought I would turn around and go home. But Buzzy Linhart was onstage singing ‘Get Together.’ That song just stopped me in my tracks.”

Young says it was the lyrics that really grabbed him. ” ‘Love is but a song we sing / Fear’s the way we die.’ Wow — the human condition in two lines.”

The lyrics grabbed Lizz Wright, too: The jazz and gospel singer recorded “Get Together” in 2004 for her album Dreaming Wide Awake. She’s a fan of one verse in particular:

If you hear the song I sing
You will understand (listen!)
You hold the key to love and fear
All in your trembling hand
Just one key unlocks them both
It’s there at your command


“It’s so clear, and the imagery is fantastic,” Wright says. “In our uncertainty, in our not fully knowing, we are still holding so much power and choosing to learn by love or to learn by fear as we go. And I just love how this verse puts it back in our in our court as individuals.”

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Greta Thunberg nominated for Nobel Peace Prize and other TED news — TED Blog

The TED community is brimming with new projects and ideas. Below, a few highlights. Youth climate change protests kick off across the world. Students from 112 countries skipped school in mid-March to join climate activist Greta Thunberg’s School Strike for Climate demanding government action on climate change. The global event was part of the Fridays…

via Greta Thunberg nominated for Nobel Peace Prize and other TED news — TED Blog

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