Monthly Archives: Noiembrie 2010

Hints for Remembering Better

1. Understand thoroughly what is to be remembered and/or memorized
2. Spot what is to be memorized verbatim. It is a good plan to use a special marking symbol in text and notebook to indicate parts and passages, rules, data, and all other information that is to be memorized instead of just understood and remembered
3. If verbatim memory is required, go over the material or try to repeat at odd times.
4. Think about what you are trying to learn. Find an interest in the material if you wish to memorize it with ease.
5. Study first the items that you want to remember longest.
6. Learn complete units at one time, as that is the way it will have to be recalled.
7. Overlearn to make certain.
8. Analyze material and strive to intensify the impressions the material makes.
9. Use concrete imagery whenever possible. Close your eyes and get a picture of the explanation and summary answer. Try to see it on the page. See the key words underlined.
10. Make your own applications, examples, and illustrations.
11. Reduce the material to be remembered to your own self-made system or series of numbered steps.
12. Represent the idea graphically by use of pictorial or diagrammatic forms.
13. Make a list of key words most useful in explaining the idea or content of the lesson.
14. Form a variety of associations among the points you wish to remember. The richer the associations, the better the memory.
15. Try making the idea clear to a friend without referring to your book or notes.
16. Actually write out examination questions on the material you think you might get at the end of the term. Then write the answers to your own questions. Since you now have the chance, consult the text or your notes to improve your answers.
17. Follow suggestions for reviewing. This is an important part of remembering.

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cider mills, apples, cinnamon, doughnuts, sweaters, jeans, boots, leaves, football, tailgate parties, pies, soups, stews, chili…those are what come to mind when I think of fall. The air turns nice and crisp and I am immediately reminded of fall in Michigan, with all of the beautiful leaves and the perfect weather to leave the house wearing jeans, a sweater, cute boots and a scarf. My all-time favorite outfit.

Another item that always comes to mind when I think of fall always puts a huge smile on my face. As soon as the first of October arrives, I immediately take out my fall decor from the storage closet and begin placing these beautiful little gems all around the house. I have quite the collection already and I’m always picking up more whenever I go to the store. What item might this be? The pumpkin, of course.

I love pumpkins. I love everything about them. I love their various colors, shapes and sizes. I love picking one at the local market, wrapping my arms around it and giving it a huge hug. I love the pumpkin guts. I love giving it a cute pumpkin face. I love placing a candle in it and watching its face come to life. I love everything about pumpkins and I cannot get enough of them.

Do you know what else I love about pumpkins? They taste great. Pumpkin can be added to a variety of dishes and, when completed, the finished product always looks and tastes exactly like fall…my absolute favorite season.

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

Bars
4 eggs
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Frosting
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 baking dish.
Mix the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin with a mixer until light and fluffy.
Pour flour, powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda into another bowl and mix.
Pour flour mixture into pumpkin mixture and mix until incorporated and smooth.
Pour the batter into the baking dish and level out the batter.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing from the dish or frosting.
Frost the bars when they have cooled – To make the frosting: Combine cream cheese and butter in a bowl and mix until smooth. Add the sugar slowly until you reach the desired consistency. Stir in the vanilla.

What is your favorite pumpkin treat to enjoy during the fall season?

Smart Fridge Is Your New Recipe Card

The Smart Fridge here is for those who have shunted cooking to a hobby and rely more on designer microwave meals. The idea is to give you a fridge that is intelligent enough to come up with a healthy recipe, depending on what you stock in it. Not only that, it guides you with vocal instructions, spoon by spoon, till you dish out the perfect-wholesome meal. A touch interface door glams up the appliance, creating the desire to own a piece that’s futuristic but may not be what you’re looking for!

Diference Of Love

21 Habits of Happy People

“Happiness is a habit – cultivate it.” ~ Elbert Hubbard

Happiness is one aspiration all people share. No one wants to be sad and depressed.

We’ve all seen people who are always happy – even amidst agonizing life trials. I’m not saying happy people don’t feel grief, sorrow or sadness; they just don’t let it overtake their life. The following are 21 things happy people make a habit of doing:

1. Appreciate Life

Be thankful that you woke up alive each morning. Develop a childlike sense of wonder towards life. Focus on the beauty of every living thing. Make the most of each day. Don’t take anything for granted. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

2. Choose Friends Wisely

Surround yourself with happy, positive people who share your values and goals. Friends that have the same ethics as you will encourage you to achieve your dreams. They help you to feel good about yourself. They are there to lend a helping hand when needed.

3. Be Considerate

Accept others for who they are as well as where they are in life. Respect them for who they are. Touch them with a kind and generous spirit. Help when you are able, without trying to change the other person. Try to brighten the day of everyone you come into contact with.

4. Learn Continuously

Keep up to date with the latest news regarding your career and hobbies. Try new and daring things that has sparked your interest – such as dancing, skiing, surfing or sky-diving.

5. Creative Problem Solving

Don’t wallow in self-pity. As soon as you face a challenge get busy finding a solution. Don’t let the set backs affect your mood, instead see each new obstacle you face as an opportunity to make a positive change. Learn to trust your gut instincts – it’s almost always right.

6. Do What They Love

Some statistics show that 80% of people dislike their jobs! No wonder there’s so many unhappy people running around. We spend a great deal of our life working. Choose a career that you enjoy – the extra money of a job you detest isn’t worth it. Make time to enjoy your hobbies and pursue special interests.

7. Enjoy Life

Take the time to see the beauty around you. There’s more to life than work. Take time to smell the roses, watch a sunset or sunrise with a loved one, take a walk along the seashore, hike in the woods etc. Learn to live in the present moment and cherish it. Don’t live in the past or the future.

8. Laugh

Don’t take yourself – or life to seriously. You can find humor in just about any situation. Laugh at yourself – no one’s perfect. When appropriate laugh and make light of the circumstances. (Naturally there are times that you should be serious as it would be improper to laugh.)

9. Forgive

Holding a grudge will hurt no one but you. Forgive others for your own peace of mind. When you make a mistake – own up to it – learn from it – and FORGIVE yourself.

10. Gratitude

Develop an attitude of gratitude. Count your blessings; All of them – even the things that seem trivial. Be grateful for your home, your work and most importantly your family and friends. Take the time to tell them that you are happy they are in your life.

11. Invest in Relationships

Always make sure your loved ones know you love them even in times of conflict. Nurture and grow your relationships with your family and friends by making the time to spend with them. Don’t break your promises to them. Be supportive.

12. Keep Their Word

Honesty is the best policy. Every action and decision you make should be based on honesty. Be honest with yourself and with your loved ones.

13. Meditate

Meditation gives your very active brain a rest. When it’s rested you will have more energy and function at a higher level. Types of meditation include yoga, hypnosis, relaxation tapes, affirmations, visualization or just sitting in complete silence. Find something you enjoy and make the time to practice daily.

14. Mind Their Own Business

Concentrate on creating your life the way you want it. Take care of you and your family. Don’t get overly concerned with what other people are doing or saying. Don’t get caught up with gossip or name calling. Don’t judge. Everyone has a right to live their own life the way they want to – including you.

15. Optimism

See the glass as half full. Find the positive side of any given situation. It’s there – even though it may be hard to find. Know that everything happens for a reason, even though you may never know what the reason is. Steer clear of negative thoughts. If a negative thought creeps in – replace it with a positive thought.

16. Love Unconditionally

Accept others for who they are. You don’t put limitations on your love. Even though you may not always like the actions of your loved ones – you continue to love them.

17. Persistence

Never give up. Face each new challenge with the attitude that it will bring you one step closer to your goal. You will never fail, as long as you never give up. Focus on what you want, learn the required skills, make a plan to succeed and take action. We are always happiest while pursuing something of value to us.

18. Be Proactive

Accept what can not be changed. Happy people don’t waste energy on circumstances beyond their control. Accept your limitations as a human being. Determine how you can take control by creating the outcome you desire – rather than waiting to respond.

19. Self Care

Take care of your mind, body and health. Get regular medical check ups. Eat healthy and work out. Get plenty of rest. Drink lots of water. Exercise your mind by continually energizing it with interesting and exciting challenges.

20. Self Confidence

Don’t try to be someone that you’re not. After all no one likes a phony. Determine who you are in the inside – your own personal likes and dislikes. Be confident in who you are. Do the best you can and don’t second guess yourself.

21. Take Responsibility

Happy people know and understand that they are 100% responsible for their life. They take responsibility for their moods, attitude, thoughts, feelings, actions and words. They are the first to admit when they’ve made a mistake.

Begin today by taking responsibility for your happiness. Work on developing these habits as you own. The more you incorporate the above habits into your daily lifestyle – the happier you will be.

Most of all: BE TRUE TO YOURSELF.

The Twenty Healthiest Foods for Under $1

Food prices are climbing, and some might be looking to fast foods and packaged foods for their cheap bites. But low cost doesn’t have to mean low quality. In fact, some of the most inexpensive things you can buy are the best things for you. At the grocery store, getting the most nutrition for the least amount of money means hanging out on the peripheries—near the fruits and veggies, the meat and dairy, and the bulk grains—while avoiding the expensive packaged interior. By doing so, not only will your kitchen be stocked with excellent foods, your wallet won’t be empty.

1. Oats
High in fiber and complex carbohydrates, oats have also been shown to lower cholesterol. And they sure are cheap—a dollar will buy you more than a week’s worth of hearty breakfasts.

Serving suggestions: Sprinkle with nuts and fruit in the morning, make oatmeal cookies for dessert.

2. Eggs
You can get about a half dozen of eggs for a dollar, making them one of the cheapest and most versatile sources of protein. They are also a good source of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which may ward off age-related eye problems.

Serving suggestions: Huevos rancheros for breakfast, egg salad sandwiches for lunch, and frittatas for dinner.

3. Kale
This dark, leafy green is loaded with vitamin C, carotenoids, and calcium. Like most greens, it is usually a dollar a bunch.

Serving suggestions: Chop up some kale and add to your favorite stir-fry; try German-Style Kale or traditional Irish Colcannon.

4. Potatoes
Because we often see potatoes at their unhealthiest—as fries or chips—we don’t think of them as nutritious, but they definitely are. Eaten with the skin on, potatoes contain almost half a day’s worth of Vitamin C, and are a good source of potassium. If you opt for sweet potatoes or yams, you’ll also get a good wallop of beta carotene. Plus, they’re dirt cheap and have almost endless culinary possibilities.

Serving suggestions: In the a.m., try Easy Breakfast Potatoes; for lunch, make potato salad; for dinner, have them with sour cream and chives.

5. Apples
I’m fond of apples because they’re inexpensive, easy to find, come in portion-controlled packaging, and taste good. They are a good source of pectin—a fiber that may help reduce cholesterol—and they have the antioxidant Vitamin C, which keeps your blood vessels healthy.

Serving suggestions: Plain; as applesauce; or in baked goods like Pumpkin-Apple Breakfast Bread.

6. Nuts
Though nuts have a high fat content, they’re packed with the good-for-you fats—unsaturated and monounsaturated. They’re also good sources of essential fatty acids, Vitamin E, and protein. And because they’re so nutrient-dense, you only need to eat a little to get the nutritional benefits. Although some nuts, like pecans and macadamias, can be costly, peanuts, walnuts, and almonds, especially when bought in the shell, are low in cost.

Serving suggestions: Raw; roasted and salted; sprinkled in salads.

7. Bananas
At a local Trader Joe’s, I found bananas for about 19¢ apiece; a dollar gets you a banana a day for the workweek. High in potassium and fiber (9 grams for one), bananas are a no-brainer when it comes to eating your five a day quotient of fruits and veggies.

Serving suggestions: In smoothies, by themselves, in cereal and yogurt.

8. Garbanzo Beans
With beans, you’re getting your money’s worth and then some. Not only are they a great source of protein and fiber, but ’bonzos are also high in fiber, iron, folate, and manganese, and may help reduce cholesterol levels. And if you don’t like one type, try another—black, lima, lentils … the varieties are endless. Though they require soaking and cooking, the most inexpensive way to purchase these beans is in dried form; a precooked can will still only run you around a buck.

Serving suggestions: In salads, curries, and Orange Hummus.

9. Broccoli
Broccoli contains tons of nice nutrients—calcium, vitamins A and C, potassium, folate, and fiber. As if that isn’t enough, broccoli is also packed with phytonutrients, compounds that may help prevent heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Plus, it’s low in calories and cost.

Serving suggestions: Throw it in salads, stir fries, or served as an accompaniment to meat in this Steamed Ginger Chicken with Asian Greens recipe.

10. Watermelon
Though you may not be able to buy an entire watermelon for a dollar, your per serving cost isn’t more than a few dimes. This summertime fruit is over 90 percent water, making it an easy way to hydrate, and gives a healthy does of Vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene, an antioxidant that may ward off cancer.

Serving suggestions: Freeze chunks for popsicles; eat straight from the rind; squeeze to make watermelon margaritas (may negate the hydrating effect!).

11. Wild Rice
It won’t cost you much more than white rice, but wild rice is much better for you. Low in fat and high in protein and fiber, this gluten-free rice is a great source of complex carbohydrates. It packs a powerful potassium punch and is loaded with B vitamins. Plus, it has a nutty, robust flavor.

Serving suggestions: Mix with nuts and veggies for a cold rice salad; blend with brown rice for a side dish.

12. Beets
Beets are my kind of vegetable—their natural sugars make them sweet to the palate while their rich flavor and color make them nutritious for the body. They’re powerhouses of folate, iron, and antioxidants.

Serving suggestions: Shred into salads, slice with goat cheese. If you buy your beets with the greens on, you can braise them in olive oil like you would other greens.

13. Butternut Squash
This beautiful gourd swings both ways: sometimes savory, sometimes sweet. However you prepare the butternut, it will not only add color and texture, but also five grams of fiber per half cup and chunks and chunks of Vitamin A and C. When in season, butternut squash and related gourds are usually less than a dollar a pound.

Serving suggestions: Try Pear and Squash Bruschetta; cook and dot with butter and salt.

14. Whole Grain Pasta
In the days of Atkins, pasta was wrongly convicted, for there is nothing harmful about a complex carbohydrate source that is high in protein and B vitamins. Plus, it’s one of the cheapest staples you can buy.

Serving suggestions: Mix clams and white wine with linguine; top orzo with tomatoes and garlic; eat cold Farfalle Salad on a picnic.

15. Sardines
As a kid, I used to hate it when my dad would order sardines on our communal pizzas, but since then I’ve acquired a taste for them. Because not everyone has, you can still get a can of sardines for relatively cheap. And the little fish come with big benefits: calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and B vitamins. And, because they’re low on the food chain, they don’t accumulate mercury.

Serving suggestions: Mash them with parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil for a spread; eat them plain on crackers; enjoy as a pizza topping (adults only).

16. Spinach
Spinach is perhaps one of the best green leafies out there—it has lots of Vitamin C, iron, and trace minerals. Plus, you can usually find it year round for less than a dollar.

Serving suggestions: Sautéed with eggs, as a salad, or a Spinach Frittata.

17. Tofu
Not just for vegetarians anymore, tofu is an inexpensive protein source that can be used in both savory and sweet recipes. It’s high in B vitamins and iron, but low in fat and sodium, making it a healthful addition to many dishes.

Serving suggestions: Use silken varieties in Tofu Cheesecake; add to smoothies for a protein boost; cube and marinate for barbecue kebobs.

18. Lowfat Milk
Yes, the price of a gallon of milk is rising, but per serving, it’s still under a dollar; single serving milk products, like yogurt, are usually less than a dollar, too. Plus, you’ll get a lot of benefit for a small investment. Milk is rich in protein, vitamins A and D, potassium, and niacin, and is one of the easiest ways to get bone-strengthening calcium.

Serving suggestions: In smoothies, hot chocolate, or coffee; milk products like low fat cottage cheese and yogurt.

19. Pumpkin Seeds
When it’s time to carve your pumpkin this October, don’t shovel those seeds into the trash—they’re a goldmine of magnesium, protein, and trace minerals. Plus, they come free with the purchase of a pumpkin.

Serving suggestions: Salt, roast, and eat plain; toss in salads.

20. Coffee
The old cup-o-joe has been thrown on the stands for many a corporeal crime—heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis—but exonerated on all counts. In fact, coffee, which is derived from a bean, contains beneficial antioxidants that protect against free radicals and may actually help thwart heart disease and cancer. While it’s not going to fill you up like the other items on this list, it might make you a lot perkier. When made at home, coffee runs less than 50¢ cents a cup.

Serving suggestions: Just drink it.

Although that bag of 99¢ Cheetos may look like a bargain, knowing that you’re not getting much in the way of nutrition or sustenance makes it seem less like a deal and more like a dupe. Choosing one of these twenty items, or the countless number of similarly nutritious ones, might just stretch that dollar from a snack into a meal.

The Mimic Octopus

Via Marginal Revolution comes this amazing video of the mimic octopus, a recently discovered chameleonic octopus which lives near Indonesia and Malaysia:


We’ve all encountered amazing examples of mimicry before – butterfly mimicry comes to mind – but, as the scientists who discovered the octopus write in their paper, the mimic octopus is unusual in its use of „dynamic mimicry”:

[D]ynamic mimicry has the unique advantage that it can be employed facultatively, with the octopus adopting a form best suited to the perceived threat at any given time.

A great example of the weirdness and intelligence of the octopus.

60 Ways To Make Life Simple Again

When we were young life was easier, right? I know sometimes it seems that way. But the truth is life still is easy. It always will be. The only difference is we’re older, and the older we get, the more we complicate things for ourselves.

You see, when we were young we saw the world through simple, hopeful eyes. We knew what we wanted and we had no biases or concealed agendas. We liked people who smiled. We avoided people who frowned. We ate when we were hungry, drank when we were thirsty, and slept when we were tired.

As we grew older our minds became gradually disillusioned by negative external influences. At some point we began to hesitate and question our instincts. When a new obstacle or growing pain arose, we stumbled and a fell down. This happened several times. Eventually we decided we didn’t want to fall again, but rather than solving the problem that caused us to fall, we avoided it all together.

As a result, we ate comfort food and drank alcohol to numb our wounds and fill our voids. We worked late nights on purpose to avoid unresolved conflicts at home. We started holding grudges, playing mind games, and subtly deceiving others and ourselves to get ahead. And when it didn’t work out, we lived above our means, bought things we didn’t need, and ate and drank some more just to make ourselves feel better again.

Over the course of time, we made our lives more and more difficult, and we started losing touch with who we really are and what we really need.

So let’s get back to the basics, shall we? Let’s make things simple again. It’s easy. Here are 60 ways to do just that:
Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing. (Oscar Wilde)

1. Don’t try to read other people’s minds. Don’t make other people try to read yours. Communicate.
2. Be polite, but don’t try to be friends with everyone around you. Instead, spend time nurturing your relationships with the people who matter most to you.
3. Your health is your life, keep up with it. Get an annual physical check-up.
4. Live below your means. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need. Always sleep on big purchases. Create a budget and savings plan and stick to both of them.
5. Get enough sleep every night. An exhausted mind is rarely productive.
6. Get up 30 minutes earlier so you don’t have to rush around like a mad man. That 30 minutes will help you avoid speeding tickets, tardiness, and other unnecessary headaches.
7. Get off your high horse, talk it out, shake hands or hug, and move on.
8. Don’t waste your time on jealously. The only person you’re competing against is yourself.
9. Surround yourself with people who fill your gaps. Let them do the stuff they’re better at so you can do the stuff you’re better at.
10. Organize your living space and working space.
11. Get rid of stuff you don’t use.
12. Ask someone if you aren’t sure.
13. Spend a little time now learning a time-saving trick or shortcut that you can use over and over again in the future.
14. Don’t try to please everyone. Just do what you know is right.
15. Don’t drink alcohol or consume recreational drugs when you’re mad or sad. Take a jog instead.
16. Be sure to pay your bills on time.
17. Fill up your gas tank on the way home, not in the morning when you’re in a hurry.
18. Use technology to automate tasks.
19. Handle important two-minute tasks immediately.
20. Relocate closer to your place of employment.
21. Don’t steal.
22. Always be honest with yourself and others.
23. Say “I love you” to your loved ones as often as possible.
24. Single-task. Do one thing at a time and give it all you got.
25. Finish one project before you start another.
26. Be yourself.
27. When traveling, pack light. Don’t bring it unless you absolutely must.
28. Clean up after yourself. Don’t put it off until later.
29. Learn to cook, and cook.
30. Make a weekly (healthy) menu, and shop for only the items you need.
31. Consider buying and cooking food in bulk. If you make a large portion of something on Sunday, you can eat leftovers several times during the week without spending more time cooking.
32. Stay out of other people’s drama. And don’t needlessly create your own.
33. Buy things with cash.
34. Maintain your car, home, and other personal belongings you rely on.
35. Smile often, even to complete strangers.
36. If you hate doing it, stop it.
37. Treat everyone with the same level of respect you would give to your grandfather and the same level of patience you would have with your baby brother.
38. Apologize when you should.
39. Write things down.
40. Be curious. Don’t be scared to learn something new.
41. Explore new ideas and opportunities often.
42. Don’t be shy. Network with people. Meet new people.
43. Don’t worry too much about what other people think about you.
44. Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven, and likeminded.
45. Don’t text and drive. Don’t drink and drive.
46. Drink water when you’re thirsty.
47. Don’t eat when you’re bored. Eat when you’re hungry.
48. Exercise every day. Simply take a long, relaxing walk.
49. Let go of things you can’t change. Concentrate on things you can.
50. Find hard work you actually enjoy doing.
51. Realize that the harder you work, the luckier you will become.
52. Follow your heart. Don’t waste your life fulfilling someone else’s dreams and desires.
53. Set priorities for yourself and act accordingly.
54. Take it slow and add up all your small victories.
55. However good or bad a situation is now, it will change. Accept this simple fact.
56. Excel at what you do. Otherwise you’ll just frustrate yourself.
57. Mature, but don’t grow up too fast.
58. Realize that you’re never quite as right as you think you are.
59. Build something or do something that makes you proud.
60. Make mistakes, learn from them, laugh about them, and move along.

Oh, and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. They’re free and better than anything money can buy.