As an inspiration for the new year, please take some time and read Rudyard Kipling's poem, If. Here is the first part:
If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or, being hated, don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
I have updated the EGO template with some new features. [Editor's note: A nice upgrade of the layout will occur during next year. It will be a top of the line thing and the perfect "icing on the cake". For a "mysterious" clue, read my post, WARCRAFT...]
The New England Patriots team is still going strong... I learned to enjoy watching American football during my studies in New Hampshire. Right now, I am wearing a sweater with the text: Super Bowl XXXVI Champions New England Patriots.
The drink, a Chinese take on English tea-drinking traditions, is brewed in a long cotton "sock" or filter resembling a beige pantyhose, rather than a female undergarment itself.
Over the decades, pantyhose milk tea has become a city-wide institution, craved daily by regular Hong Kongers as well as film stars and tycoons who flock to the city's best tea-diners. (Reuters, 12/27/07.)
1. Put the yeast in a bowl and mix it with the lukewarm water, sugar, and salt. 2. Add olive oil and flour in batches, and make it into a dough. 3. Put a cloth over the bowl and let the dough rise for about an hour. 4. Take out the dough and cut it into pieces. 5. Roll out the dough. 6. Put the pizza pie on a cookie sheet.
* 1 onion, chopped * 2 garlic cloves, chopped * 2 tablespoons olive oil * 2 tablespoons tomato puree * 1 can of crushed tomatoes * 1 teaspoon sugar * 1/2 teaspoon oregano * 1/2 teaspoon basil * salt and black pepper
1. Heat olive oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic. 2. Then the ingredients are "soft," add sugar, tomato puree, crushed tomatoes, oregano and basil. 3. Let the sauce simmer for about 15 minutes. 4. Add some salt and black pepper.
1. Add the tomato sauce, cheese, and the toppings on the pizza pie. 2. Put the baking plate in the oven for circa 15 minutes at 275 degrees Celsius.
[Editor's comment: Which is your favorite pizza restaurant / chain? We have Pizza Hut here in Sweden, but I haven't tested in Gothenburg yet. Cyrano Bistro is one of my favorite pizza places in Gothenburg. Back in America, I went to Pizza Hut, Domino's, Papa John's and Donatos. ]
Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn. To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demiglace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living. (Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential, page 70.)
Many of our readers rightfully pride themselves on their rationality and objectivity. Certainly, they bristle at the thought of irrationality affecting their lives, or worse, being accused of irrationality by others. And yet, most every one of our readers persist in at least one form of irrationality: the mindless obeisance to a tradition: the American dining etiquette.
Clearly, human beings possess two hands. But, to place one hand aside and engage in the disturbing and hindering process of transferring one utensil from one hand to the other, over and over again, while neglecting a perfectly useful hand – smacks of irrationality. Two things are striking about this habit. It clearly violates European etiquette – brought to Europe by the Greeks - that tells you to keep both hands above the table wielding gracefully knife and fork. European etiquette is objective as it is well reasoned out to make the most effective use of hands and utensils at a table setting. Secondly all Americans eat the American way (black, yellow, red, white) which is amazing if you think of the different ethnic origins, cultures, and value systems. (The Irrational Exhuberance of American Dining Etiquette by Harry Roolaart. 2005.)
[Editor's comment: I have a funny memory from the first time I had pizza in college and I asked for a fork and knife. My fellow classmates looked at me in a strange way... They informed me to eat the pizza slice directly with my hand.]
What then is the philosophic meaning of New Year's resolutions? Every resolution you make on this day implies that you are in control of your self, that you are not a victim fated by circumstance, controlled by stars, owned by luck, but that you are an individual who can make choices to change your life. You can learn statistics, ask for that promotion, fight your shyness, search for that marriage partner. Your life is in your own hands. (Capitalism Magazine, 01/01/04.)
After reading Jean Moroney's newsletter, The Thinking Directions Occasional Update #19 ("To resolve or not to resolve"), I am not really sure that I am ready to make new resolutions until I have resolved more things on my old lists. You could test the resolution by asking the following questions:
Is the goal concrete and specific?
Which steps should you take in order to achieve the goal?
What do you have to cut from the list of old activities, replaced with this new goal?
The deeper problem was that I experienced a conflict between doing administrative work for the business, and doing intellectual work to develop my ideas, which is what really interests me. When I used willpower to do more administrative work, it generated even more administrative work—work which then took me away from thinking and development. (Thinking Directions, 01/19/06.)
I am still still struggling with cleaning my desk and going through my to-do lists. I will get that done, sooner or later...
Hobbies: Develop my blogging to a higher level, with regular talk radio shows. [Editor's comment: According to Dane Carlson's Business Opportunities Weblog, EGO blog is at moment worth about $50,000. Time to monetize my blog! ;)] Try to do something with my interest in spicy stuff. In combination with a healthy dietary supplement, start to exercise more, e.g. taking long walks listening to inspirational speeches. [Editor's note: Do you have suggestions on listening devices and internet sources for audio material?]
Relationships: Keeping in touch with friends from my trips to around the world, e.g., Hungary. Down the road - when all the "pieces of the puzzle" are in place - searching for the right one... [Editor's note: Maybe I will find my future romantic partner on the dance floor? I have "two left feet," but I want to take dance lessons someday... I got very inspired by the documentary on Herräng Dance Camp.]
This New Year's, resolve to think about how to make your life better, not just once a year, but every day. Resolve to set goals, not just in one or two aspects of life, but in every important aspect and in your life as a whole. Resolve to pursue the goals that will make you successful and happy, not as the exception in a life of passivity, but as the rule that becomes second-nature. (Vernon County Broadcaster, 12/26/07.)
This Day in History informs me about Charles Darwin's discoveries on board the ship HMS Beagle, starting on December 27, 1831. [Editor's comment: I wonder if the schools in Kansas have a special class on this day...]
"Sweden is suffering from a national panic syndrome," said David Eberhard, a Stockholm psychiatrist who is writing a book about what safety has come to mean to the Swedish national psyche. "And the consequence of this is that we've become safety junkies."
The first sign of backlash against an ever-safer Sweden came in 2004, when the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet set off a furor with a profile of the Danish psychologist Bent Hougaard, who had coined the term the "curling parent." The reference is to the sport of curling, played on ice, in which players frenetically sweep the ice to remove any obstacles in the way of a heavy stone gliding toward a target. Modern parents, the article suggested, similarly remove all obstacles for their children, depriving them of the important insight that difficulties and dangers are natural parts of life. (International Herald Tribune, 01/24/06)
[Editor's comment: What is the term for "curling parents" in other countries?]
Do you want to help me achieving a new milestone before the end of 2007? The blog is reaching for 200,000 visits. My traffic has dropped recently and nowadays I have about 50 visits per day on average. [Editor's note: As a comparison, InstaPundit has about 200,000 daily visitors.]
2005 - I finished an advanced vocational education and training course called International Project Coordinator.
2006 - I started Blue Chip Café & Business Center together with two partners. It has been a hard struggle with the start-up company. The current board of directors have decided to regroup the resources and focus on the core business and develop the business plan. We are standing at the gateway to success and therefore interested in getting in touch with international businessmen for our future franchise concept.
The Spirit of Achievement is a fitting reminder that in America, the country that comes as close to Ayn Rand's capitalist society as any nation ever has, we have transformed the December holiday season into a celebration of happiness and prosperity. Stroll through the grand lobby of the Waldorf-Astoria, admire its palatial decor and its lavish holiday decorations, and count your ... achievements. (Forgotten Delights, 12/21/07.)
I can't imagine that TOC's leadership would be eager to remind its donors of the old boondoggle -- unless attempting to change the name, perhaps in conjunction with the supposedly impending movie of Atlas Shrugged. (If that happens, it'll be worse than you think: imagine DVD inserts for more information from The Atlas Society and a bonus feature of commentary on Objectivism from David Kelley.) Of course, changing the name of your organization twice in less than two decades is no way to inspire confidence in your donors. In fact, it suggests that you don't have the slightest idea what you're doing. Perhaps that's why the first name change (from Institute for Objectivist Studies to The Objectivist Center) was announced with much fanfare, whereas this second name change seems to be sneaking in the back door. (NoodleFood, 05/08/06.)
Cut the artichokes in four pieces. Pour olive oil in a bowl. Grate the lime and put the green peel in the bowl together with the pressed lime juice. Cut and mince the garlic, add black pepper and salt. Cut the chile pepper and add the pieces in the bowl. Let the dish marinate for several hours.
What goes better with a hot cup of latte? It's skin at Coffee Nation, a small town coffee shop located in Salem, OR, where the baristas serve hot lattes in bikinis. According to Adam Marshall, founder of Coffee Nation, plans are on the table to expand into other areas through franchising. (Badgett's Coffee eJournal, 12/08/07.)
With an air of theatricality, fun and fantasy—battling the Vatican-ish Magisterium's minions—The Golden Compass recalls everything from Pirates of the Caribbean and Escape from Witch Mountain to The Lord of the Rings. But it lacks cohesion, as if it's mandated to include each literary invention without regard to intelligibility. The Golden Compass lets the needle spin around and around. (Box Office Mojo, 11/30/07.)
Right now, I am still at the first stage to collect all my stuff and put in the in-basket. I have put inbox, file (someday / maybe), reference and project labels on big cartons. I have to clear my desk and and my "short-term-memory" once and for all. And then I have to try to stay in the right workflow (collect, process, organize, review and do).
This report has virtually foreclosed the possibility that President Bush will use military force against Iran before he leaves office--even if he wants to do so. Even in this day and age, when Congress no longer has the courage to declare war on our enemies and cedes the initiative on the use of force to the commander in chief, the president still has limits on his power. He must at least have significant support in Congress before he launches any new military assault--and this report will wipe out any such support for strikes against Iran. (Real Clear Politics, 12/06/07.)
[Editor's note: I have to paraphrase Michael Ledeen's slogan: "Faster, Please!" with replacing the kind word with a strong word... "Faster, Dammit!" I usually don't use harsh and swear words, but you have to speak up, before it is to late...]