Saturday, September 13, 2008

Daily Discoveries April 2006

April 30, 2006

10 Natural Ways to Reduce Stress and Strengthen Your Immune System! (Includes a recipe for Banana Strawberry Power Smoothie)

"Top Ten Ways to Avoid Stressing Your Joints" An article written for knitters but gives good general advice for proper use and health of wrists.

"Adultery: 5 Reasons Not to Cheat on Your Spouse" article written by minister Paul Davis. Excerpt:

"Men compliment your wives and affirm their beauty and exceptional qualities. The more you affirm women the more they open up like a flower unto you."

This morning on the radio program "Handle on the Law" Mr. Handle mentioned the following saying:

"Life is hard, but it is harder when you are stupid."

Check out some great articles written by Bill Handle on numerous legal issues. Sample titles in this free archive are WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COPYRIGHTS AND TRADEMARKS? and DOG BITES.

How about some good lawyer jokes and wacky lawsuit stories?

Inspiring poem of the day:

by Edgar A. Guest

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must--but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns.
As everyone of us sometimes learns.
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow--
You might succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup;
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.

Recent eBook Release from Project Gutenberg:

For Every Music Lover
A Series of Practical Essays on Music

What about this verse from the New International Reader's Version?

"The Word became a human being. He made his home with us. We have seen his glory. It is the glory of the one and only Son." -John 1:14

This is a "shocking" way to put this into English. What an imagination stretcher, God walked here in a flesh and bone body. Wow, that is VERY DEEP.

April 29, 2006

Yesterday, Brendon J., one of my private music students asked me, "Does cracking your knuckles give you arthritis?" Here is the answer I came up with on It is item #3 from this article: Medical Myths Debunked

Today is the birthday of Duke Ellington born in 1899. This first piece of music he wrote was called "Soda Fountain Rag" in 1915 at the age of 16. Click Ellington, Duke - Soda Fountain Rag (Sequenced By ChartChai .mid (6749 bytes) to listen. Duke Ellington said,

"A problem is a chance for you to do your best."

"Roaming through the jungle of “oohs” and “ahs,” searching for a more agreeable noise, I live a life of primitivity with the mind of a child and an unquenchable thirst for sharps and flats." -from Music Is My Mistress, Doubleday

Click here for more Duke quotations:

Article by William Lee Miller, PhD , University of Virginia: Thinkin' Like Lincoln: Life Lessons from Honest Abe:

Thinkable for today: "Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom." -Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Excerpt from A Brief Biography of the Life of Coleridge:

"Coleridge's mind delighted in far wandering over the
fields of thought; from a boy he took intense delight in dreamy
speculation on the mysteries that lie around the life of man. From a
boy also he proved his subtleties of thought through what Charles
Lamb called the "deep and sweet intonations" of such speech as could
come only from a poet."

Complete texts of Christian Fiction books. Good summer reading for your teenager?

Voice of America News in Special English. Easy to understand news spoken at two-thirds the speed of standard English. Uses a core vocabulary of 1500 words with no idioms. Perfect for non-native English speakers, also perfect for children and as a school resource. Go here for daily download: Go here for daily text and audio homepage: . Tip: native English speakers can listen at higher speeds with Windows Media Player 10's "Play Speed Settings". Click here to download a free Windows Media Player version 10:

Want to shop online? Trade Me is New Zealands's No.1 place to buy and sell online. Currently 6,510 people online and 652,072 items for sale. Very clean and crisp webpage design.

Recent book release from Project Gutenberg: The Training of a Public Speaker (1920) Excerpt:

"The power of eloquence to move and persuade men is universally
recognized. To-day the public speaker plays a vital part in the solution
of every great question and problem. Oratory, in the true sense, is not
a lost art, but a potent means of imparting information, instruction,
and persuasion."

Recent book release from Project Gutenberg:

A Book of Natural History, Young Folks' Library Volume XIV Picture is from the chapter on Llamas.

April 28, 2006

Today is the birthday of James Monroe, the 5th president of the United States. The capital city of Liberia was named after him (Monrovia). He was the third U.S. president to die on July 4th. Read his state of the Union speeches here:

Today is the birthday of Harper Lee born in 1926. She wrote a book that sells more than 1 million copies every year entitled "To Kill a Mockingbird". This website, A Student Survival Guide, has been set up to be an annotation to the text of the novel (annotations are notes that explain things). As you travel through the site, you'll find more than 400 annotations to help you get more out of your reading.

A Study Guide for To Kill a Mockingbird can be found here:

A helpful Glossary of Literary Terms can be found at

Full text to A Handbook of Rhetorical Devices by Robert A. Harris. This book contains definitions and examples of more than sixty traditional rhetorical devices, all of which can still be useful today to improve the effectiveness, clarity, and enjoyment of your writing.

1062 Vocabulary Words. Here is a list of practical vocabulary words that will enable you to read with better understanding and write with greater accuracy. Unlike lists that emphasize strange and impressive words that few people actually use, this list emphasizes words that are useful for your functional vocabulary. For your convenience, each word has been linked to definitions at

Thinkable for today: "By a long journey we know a horse's strength; so length of days shows a man's heart." -Chinese Proverb. A small collection of 126 Chinese Proverbs can be found here:

James Henry Neel Reed, known as Henry Reed, was born on April 28, 1884, in the Appalachian Mountains of Monroe County, West Virginia. From the Library of Congress:

Reed was a master fiddler, banjoist, and harmonica player whose amazing repertoire consisted of hundreds of tunes, as well as multiple performance styles. Henry Reed learned the overwhelming majority of his tunes by ear and retained them by memory. Henry Reed's recordings and Alan Jabbour's transcriptions of them reveal a complex syncopated bowing style used by fiddlers from Virginia to Texas in twentieth-century recordings. Many people use sheet music to learn tunes Reed most likely acquired by attentive listening. See the sheet music for nineteenth and early twentieth-century tunes such as "My Little Girl," "Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder," and "Arkansas Traveler".

The Historic American Sheet Music collection presents 3,042 pieces of sheet music drawn from the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University, which holds an important, representative, and comprehensive collection of nineteenth and early twentieth century American sheet music.

Anyone need a Movie Terminology Glossary? Find one here at:

Top 10 Visual Effects Movies of All Time (Measured by highest grossing):

How about a totally random article from Wikipedia?

Newly available book, etext from Project Gutenberg: The Life of George Washington, Vol. 3 (of 5), Commander in Chief of the American Forces During the War which Established the Independence of his Country and First President of the United States:

Do some serious online speed-reading and knowledge crunching with a free text-to-speech program like ReadPlease or my first choice, TextAloud, free for 30 days at

April 27, 2006

Today is the birthday of Ulysses S. Grant. The "Personal Memoirs of General U. S. Grant" can be found here: . Also find an easy to understand, concise explanation of the "Causes of the Mexican War" from Grant's memoirs here.

Today is also the birthday of Mary Wollstonecraft, author of Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) Following is an excerpt from the brief biography of her life found at the beginning of this edition:

"She had acquired a facility in the arrangement and expression of
thoughts, in her avocation of translator, and compiler, which was
no doubt of great use to her afterward. It was not long until she
had occasion for them. The eminent Burke produced his celebrated
"Reflections on the Revolution in France." Mary full of sentiments
of liberty, and indignant at what she thought subversive of it,
seized her pen and produced the first attack upon that famous work.
It succeeded well, for though intemperate and contemptuous, it was
vehemently and impetuously eloquent; and though Burke was beloved
by the enlightened friends of freedom, they were dissatisfied and
disgusted with what they deemed an outrage upon it."

She later in life married William Godwin the author of "Political Justice" among other works.. She gave birth to a daughter who became the wife of author Percy Bysche Shelly.

Following is a sample from a philosophical essay by William Godwin entitled "On Intellectual Abortion " from "Thoughts on Man, His Nature, Productions and Discoveries" :

"One of the most unquestionable characteristics of the human mind
is the love of novelty.
Omne ignotum pro magnifico est. We are
satiated with those objects which make a part of our business in
every day, and are desirous of trying something that is a
stranger to us. Whatever we see through a mist, or in the
twilight, is apt to be apprehended by us as something admirable,
for the single reason that it is seen imperfectly. What we are
sure that we can easily and adequately effect, we despise. He
that goes into battle with an adversary of more powerful muscle
or of greater practice than himself, feels a tingling sensation,
not unallied to delight, very different from that which would
occur to him, when his victory was easy and secure."

Check out a huge collection (19,000+ entries) of Latin Quotes and Phrases with helpful English translations.

Check out the Video Vault at Guinness World Records online. This is wild stuff!

April 25, 2006

150 Sonnets of William Shakespeare- Complete text with analysis and translation into contemporary English:

The Story of a Holocaust Survivor, Lou Dunst.

"I was seven years old in 1933 when Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany."

Report of Clara Barton, "America's Relief Expedition to Asia Minor Under the Red Cross."

Ripley's Believe it or Not Daily Comic Strip with Curious and Interesting Facts and People.

Quotation from discussion on marketing: "Publish, publish, publish or perish, perish perish." Source:, Brain Brew Radio Show, April 13, 2006

Descriptive Poem written April 25, 2006:

Raining in Baton Rouge

The droplets land on the pavement
making thousands of tiny splash explosions.
The carved parking lot
slopes toward the drain
so gravity can do it’s trick,
sucking every molecule down
Into the maze of underground waterways.
The lightning flashes,
like angels taking pictures in the sky.
The glow of the lights in the store
make it look warm inside.
The curb is cracked
and a chunk is broken off
like a cookie in a child's hand.
The grass blades are taking their showers
raising their blade-heads toward the sky,
allowing the dust to fall off their bodies.
Like a giant sprinkler system,
the clouds attack the whole city at once.
Then everything is clean
Apparently soap is not necessary.

by Kevin Woolsey

April 18, 2006

Today is the 100th anniversary of one of the worst natural disasters in American history--the earthquake of 1906 in San Francisco. This city was the busiest port on the Pacific and was enjoying a booming economy with many new factories, office building, hotels and lovely mansions. Here is a detailed description of the devastation:

"Most of the people of San Francisco were asleep at 5:13 o'clock this morning when the terrible earthquake came without warning . . . At first the upheaval of the earth was gradual, but in a few seconds it increased in intensity. Chimneys began to fall and buildings to crack, tottering on their foundations. The people became panic-stricken, and rushed into the streets, most of them in their night attire. They were met by showers of falling bricks, cornices, and walls of buildings. Many were crushed to death, while others were badly mangled. Those who remained indoors generally escaped with their lives, though scores were hit by detached plaster, pictures, and articles thrown to the floor by the shock."
-New York Times, April 18, 1906

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