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Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Solio Classic Hybrid Charger | EcoTech Daily

The Solio Classic Hybrid Charger is affordable, convenient and above all, looks extraordinarily cool. I ensure this gorgeous green gadget will draw attention like a puppy on a hot summer day. Solio is your power source on the go for all the other gadgets in your life.

Storing power from the sun or outlet, the Solio can charge your cell phone or iPod at about that same rate as a wall socket and have around 10 hours of power stored for multiple charges. It’s compatible with many portable devices and generates free and clean energy immediately, anywhere, anytime.

The Solio costs around $100, not bad for replacing your car charger and reducing your ecological footprint. Want more? Upgrade to the Solio Magnesium Edition, that has twice the power and also twice the cost.

Solio key features:

  • High capacity internal battery stores energy for up to a year
  • Adapter Tip System reduces waste and increases compatibility
  • Rechargeable from the wall or the sun
  • One hour of sun = 15 mins talk time or 40 mins of MP3 music
  • Durable and weather resistant
  • Elegant, ergonomic design
  • Light weight and easy to use
  • One Year Warranty
Check out it out at Solio.com, after all it may come in handy if your stranded on an island paradise…for your iPod that is (my cell phone would swim with the fishes).
The Solio Classic Hybrid Charger | EcoTech Daily
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2006 Smart Forfun2 Concept - Side - 1024x768 - Wallpaper

2006 Smart Forfun2 Concept - Side - 1024x768 - Wallpaper
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Girl_on_stairs.jpg (JPEG Image, 456x648 pixels)

Girl_on_stairs.jpg (JPEG Image, 456x648 pixels)
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Skills for Men - Things Men Should Be Able to Do - Esquire

A Man Should Be Able To:

1. Give advice that matters in one sentence. I got run out of a job I liked once, and while it was happening, a guy stopped me in the hall. Smart guy, but prone to saying too much. I braced myself. I didn't want to hear it. I needed a white knight, and I knew it wasn't him. He just sighed and said: When nobody has your back, you gotta move your back. Then he walked away. Best advice I ever got. One sentence.

2. Tell if someone is lying. Everyone has his theory. Pick one, test it. Choose the tells that work for you. I like these: Liars change the subject quickly. Liars look up and to their right when they speak. Liars use fewer contractions. Liars will sometimes stare straight at you and employ a dead face. Liars never touch their chest or heart except self-consciously. Liars place objects between themselves and you during a conversation.

3. Take a photo. Fill the frame.

4. Score a baseball game. Scoring a game is an exercise in ciphering, creating a shorthand of your very own. In this way, it's a private language as much as a record of the game. The only given is the numbering of the positions and the use of the diamond to express each batter's progress around the bases. I black out the diamond when a run scores. I mark an RBI with a tally mark in the upper-right-hand corner. Each time you score a game, you pick up on new elements to track: pitch count, balls and strikes, foul balls. It doesn't matter that this information is available on the Internet in real time. Scoring a game is about bearing witness, expanding your own ability to observe.

5. Name a book that matters. The Catcher in the Rye does not matter. Not really. You gotta read.

6. Know at least one musical group as well as is possible. One guy at your table knows where Cobain was born and who his high school English teacher was. Another guy can argue the elegant extended trope of Liquid Swords with GZA himself. This is how it should be. Music does not demand agreement. Rilo Kiley. Nina Simone. Whitesnake. Fugazi. Otis Redding. Whatever. Choose. Nobody likes a know-it-all, because 1) you can't know it all and 2) music offers distinct and private lessons. So pick one. Except Rilo Kiley. I heard they broke up.

illustration of a man using a magnifying glass to cook a piece of meat

Leif Parsons

7. Cook meat somewhere other than the grill.

Buy The Way to Cook, by Julia Child. Try roasting. Braising. Broiling. Slow-cooking. Pan searing. Think ragouts, fricassees, stews. All of this will force you to understand the functionality of different cuts. In the end, grilling will be a choice rather than a chore, and your Weber will become a tool rather than a piece of weekend entertainment.

8. Not monopolize the conversation.

9. Write a letter.

So easy. So easily forgotten. A five-paragraph structure works pretty well: Tell why you're writing. Offer details. Ask questions. Give news. Add a specific memory or two. If your handwriting is terrible, type. Always close formally.

10. Buy a suit.

Avoid bargains. Know your likes, your dislikes, and what you need it for (work, funerals, court). Squeeze the fabric -- if it bounces back with little or no sign of wrinkling, that means it's good, sturdy material. And tug the buttons gently. If they feel loose or wobbly, that means they're probably coming off sooner rather than later. The jacket's shoulder pads are supposed to square with your shoulders; if they droop off or leave dents in the cloth, the jacket's too big. The jacket sleeves should never meet the wrist any lower than the base of the thumb -- if they do, ask to go down a size. Always get fitted.

11. Swim three different strokes. Doggie paddle doesn't count.

12. Show respect without being a suck-up. Respect the following, in this order: age, experience, record, reputation. Don't mention any of it.

13. Throw a punch. Close enough, but not too close. Swing with your shoulders, not your arm. Long punches rarely land squarely. So forget the roundhouse. You don't have a haymaker. Follow through; don't pop and pull back. The length you give the punch should come in the form of extension after the point of contact. Just remember, the bones in your hand are small and easy to break. You're better off striking hard with the heel of your palm. Or you could buy the guy a beer and talk it out.

14. Chop down a tree. Know your escape path. When the tree starts to fall, use it.

15. Calculate square footage. Width times length.

illustrated instructions on how to tie a bow tie in six steps

Leif Parsons

16. Tie a bow tie.

Step 1: Make a simple knot, allowing slightly more length (one to two inches) on the end of A.

Step 2: Lay A out of the way, fold B into the normal bow shape, and position it on the first knot you made.

Step 3: Drop A vertically over folded end B.

Step 4: Double back A on itself and position it over the knot so that the two folded ends make a cross.

Step 5: The hard part: Pass folded end A under and behind the left side (yours) of the knot and through the loop behind folded end B.

Step 6: Tighten the knot you have created, straightening, particularly in the center.

illustration of man mixing a giant batch of martinis

Leif Parsons

17. Make one drink, in large batches, very well.

When I interviewed for my first job, one of the senior guys had me to his house for a reception. He offered me a cigarette and pointed me to a bowl of whiskey sours, like I was Darrin Stephens and he was Larry Tate. I can still remember that first tight little swallow and my gratitude that I could go back for a refill without looking like a drunk. I came to admire the host over the next decade, but he never gave me the recipe. So I use this:
• For every 750-ml bottle of whiskey (use a decent bourbon or rye), add:
• 6 oz fresh-squeezed, strained lemon juice
• 6 oz simple syrup (mix superfine sugar and water in equal quantities)

To serve: Shake 3 oz per person with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glasses. Garnish with a cherry and an orange slice or, if you're really slick, a float of red wine. (Pour about 1/2 oz slowly into each glass over the back of a spoon; this is called a New York sour, and it's great.)

18. Speak a foreign language. Pas beaucoup. Mais faites un effort.

19. Approach a woman out of his league. Ever have a shoeshine from a guy you really admire? He works hard enough that he doesn't have to tell stupid jokes; he doesn't stare at your legs; he knows things you don't, but he doesn't talk about them every minute; he doesn't scrape or apologize for his status or his job or the way he is dressed; he does his job confidently and with a quiet relish. That stuff is wildly inviting. Act like that guy.

20. Sew a button.

21. Argue with a European without getting xenophobic or insulting soccer.

Once, in our lifetime, much of Europe was approaching cultural and political irrelevance. Then they made like us and banded together into a union of confederated states. So you can always assume that they were simply copying the United States as they now push us to the verge of cultural and political irrelevance.

22. Give a woman an orgasm so that he doesn't have to ask after it.

Otherwise, ask after it.

23. Be loyal. You will fail at it. You have already. A man who does not know loyalty, from both ends, does not know men. Loyalty is not a matter of give-and-take: He did me a favor, therefore I owe him one. No. No. No. It is the recognition of a bond, the honoring of a shared history, the reemergence of the vows we make in the tight times. It doesn't mean complete agreement or invisible blood ties. It is a currency of selflessness, given without expectation and capable of the most stellar return.

24. Know his poison, without standing there, pondering like a dope. Brand, amount, style, fast, like so: Booker's, double, neat.

25. Drive an eightpenny nail into a treated two-by-four without thinking about it.

Use a contractor's hammer. Swing hard and loose, like a tennis serve.

26. Cast a fishing rod without shrieking or sighing or otherwise admitting defeat.

27. Play gin with an old guy. Old men will try to crush you. They'll drown you in meaningless chatter, tell stories about when they were kids this or in Korea that. Or they'll retreat into a taciturn posture designed to get you to do the talking. They'll note your strategies without mentioning them, keep the stakes at a level they can control, and change up their pace of play just to get you stumbling. You have to do this -- play their game, be it dominoes or cribbage or chess. They may have been playing for decades. You take a beating as a means of absorbing the lessons they've learned without taking a lesson. But don't be afraid to take them down. They can handle it.

28. Play go fish with a kid.

You don't crush kids. You talk their ear off, make an event out of it, tell them stories about when you were a kid this or in Vegas that. You have to play their game, too, even though they may have been playing only for weeks. Observe. Teach them without once offering a lesson. And don't be afraid to win. They can handle it.

29. Understand quantum physics well enough that he can accept that a quarter might, at some point, pass straight through the table when dropped.

Sometimes the laws of physics aren't laws at all. Read The Quantum World: Quantum Physics for Everyone, by Kenneth W. Ford.

30. Feign interest. Good place to start: quantum physics.

31. Make a bed.

32. Describe a glass of wine in one sentence without using the terms nutty, fruity, oaky, finish, or kick. I once stood in a wine store in West Hollywood where the owner described a pinot noir he favored as "a night walk through a wet garden." I bought it. I went to my hotel and drank it by myself, looking at the flickering city with my feet on the windowsill. I don't know which was more right, the wine or the vision that he placed in my head. Point is, it was right.

illustration of a man making a jump shot in pool

Leif Parsons

33. Hit a jump shot in pool. It's not something you use a lot, but when you hit a jump shot, it marks you as a player and briefly impresses women. Make the angle of your cue steeper, aim for the bottommost fraction of the ball, and drive the cue smoothly six inches past the contact point, making steady, downward contact with the felt.

34. Dress a wound. First, stop the bleeding. Apply pressure using a gauze pad. Stay with the pressure. If you can't stop the bleeding, forget the next step, just get to a hospital. Once the bleeding stops, clean the wound. Use water or saline solution; a little soap is good, too. If you can't get the wound clean, then forget the next step, just get to a hospital. Finally, dress the wound. For a laceration, push the edges together and apply a butterfly bandage. For avulsions, where the skin is punctured and pulled back like a trapdoor, push the skin back and use a butterfly. Slather the area in antibacterial ointment. Cover the wound with a gauze pad taped into place. Change that dressing every 12 hours, checking carefully for signs of infection. Better yet, get to a hospital.

man holding jumper cables over his head

Leif Parsons

35. Jump-start a car (without any drama). Change a flat tire (safely). Change the oil (once).

36. Make three different bets at a craps table. Play the smallest and most poorly labeled areas, the bets where it's visually evident the casino doesn't want you to go. Simply play the pass line; once the point is set, play full odds (this is the only really good bet on the table); and when you want a little more action, tell the crew you want to lay the 4 and the 10 for the minimum bet.

37. Shuffle a deck of cards.

I play cards with guys who can't shuffle, and they lose. Always.

38. Tell a joke. Here's one:

Two guys are walking down a dark alley when a mugger approaches them and demands their money. They both grudgingly pull out their wallets and begin taking out their cash. Just then, one guy turns to the other, hands him a bill, and says, "Hey, here's that $20 I owe you."

39. Know when to split his cards in blackjack.

Aces. Eights. Always.

40. Speak to an eight-year-old so he will hear. Use his first name. Don't use baby talk. Don't crank up your energy to match his. Ask questions and wait for answers. Follow up. Don't pretend to be interested in Webkinz or Power Rangers or whatever. He's as bored with that shit as you are. Concentrate instead on seeing the child as a person of his own.

41. Speak to a waiter so he will hear.

You don't own the restaurant, so don't act like it. You own the transaction. So don't speak into the menu. Lift your chin. Make eye contact. All restaurants have secrets -- let it be known that you expect to see some of them.

42. Talk to a dog so it will hear.

Go ahead, use baby talk.

43. Install: a disposal, an electronic thermostat, or a lighting fixture without asking for help. Just turn off the damned main.

44. Ask for help.

Guys who refuse to ask for help are the most cursed men of all. The stubborn, the self-possessed, and the distant. The hell with them.

45. Break another man's grip on his wrist. Rotate your arm rapidly in the grip, toward the other guy's thumb.

46. Tell a woman's dress size.

47. Recite one poem from memory. Here you go:


When you are old and gray and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

--William Butler Yeats

48. Remove a stain. Blot. Always blot.

49. Say no.

50. Fry an egg sunny-side up. Cook until the white appears solid...and no longer.

illustrated directions on how to build a campfire

Leif Parsons

51. Build a campfire.

There are three components:

1. The tinder -- bone-dry, snappable twigs, about as long as your hand. You need two complete handfuls. Try birch bark; it burns long and hot.

2. The kindling -- thick as your thumb, long as your forearm, breakable with two hands. You need two armfuls.

3. Fuel wood -- anything thick and long enough that it can't be broken by hand. It's okay if it's slightly damp. You need a knee-high stack.

Step 1: Light the tinder, turning the pile gently to get air underneath it.

Step 2: Feed the kindling into the emergent fire with some pace.

Step 3: Lay on the fuel wood. Pyramid, the log cabin, whatever -- the idea is to create some kind of structure so that plenty of air gets to the fire.

52. Step into a job no one wants to do. When I was 13, my dad called me into his office at the large urban mall he ran. He was on the phone. What followed was a fairly banal 15-minute conversation, which involved the collection of rent from a store. On and on, droning about store hours and lighting problems. I kept raising my eyebrows, pretending to stand up, and my dad kept waving me down. I could hear only his end, garrulous and unrelenting. He rolled his eyes as the excuses kept coming. His assertions were simple and to the point, like a drumbeat. He wanted the rent. He wanted the store to stay open when the mall was open. Then suddenly, having given the job the time it deserved, he put it to an end. "So if I see your gate down next Sunday afternoon, I'm going to get a drill and stick a goddamn bolt in it and lock you down for the next week, right?" When he hung up, rent collected, he took a deep breath. "I've been dreading that call," he said. "Once a week you gotta try something you never would do if you had the choice. Otherwise, why are you here?" So he gave me that. And this...

53. Sometimes, kick some ass.

54. Break up a fight. Work in pairs if possible. Don't get between people initially. Use the back of the collar, pull and urge the person downward. If you can't get him down, work for distance.

55. Point to the north at any time.

If you have a watch, you can point the hour hand at the sun. Then find the point directly between the hour hand and the 12. That's south. The opposite direction is, of course, north.

56. Create a play-list in which ten seemingly random songs provide a secret message to one person.

57. Explain what a light-year is. It's the measure of the distance that light travels over 365.25 days.

58. Avoid boredom. You have enough to eat. You can move. This must be acknowledged as a kind of freedom. You don't always have to buy things, put things in your mouth, or be delighted.

59. Write a thank-you note.

Make a habit of it. Follow a simple formula like this one: First line is a thesis statement. The second line is evidentiary. The third is a kind of assertion. Close on an uptick.

Thanks for having me over to watch game six. Even though they won, it's clear the Red Sox are a soulless, overmarketed contrivance of Fox TV. Still, I'm awfully happy you have that huge high-def television. Next time, I really will bring beer. Yours,

60. Be brand loyal to at least one product. It tells a lot about who you are and where you came from. Me? I like Hellman's mayonnaise and Genesee beer, which makes me the fleshy, stubbornly upstate ne'er-do-well that I will always be.

61. Cook bacon.

Lay out the bacon on a rack on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

illustration of a man talking on the cell phone and holding a baby with one hand

Leif Parsons

62. Hold a baby.

Newborns should be wrapped tightly and held against the chest. They like tight spaces (consider their previous circumstances) and rhythmic movements, so hold them snug, tuck them in the crook of your elbow or against the skin of your neck. Rock your hips like you're bored, barely listening to the music at the edge of a wedding reception. No one has to notice except the baby. Don't breathe all over them.

63. Deliver a eulogy. Take the job seriously. It matters. Speak first to the family, then to the outside world. Write it down. Avoid similes. Don't read poetry. Be funny.

64. Know that Christopher Columbus was a son of a bitch. When I was a kid, because I'm Italian and because the Irish guys in my neighborhood were relentless with the beatings on St. Patrick's Day, I loved the very idea of Christopher Columbus. I loved the fact that Irish kids worshipped some gnome who drove all the rats out of Ireland or whatever, whereas my hero was an explorer. Man, I drank the Kool-Aid on that guy. Of course, I later learned that he was a hand-chopping, land-stealing egotist who sold out an entire hemisphere to European avarice. So I left Columbus behind. Your understanding of your heroes must evolve. See Roger Clemens. See Bill Belichick.

65-67. Throw a baseball over-hand with some snap. Throw a football with a tight spiral. Shoot a 12-foot jump shot reliably.

If you can't, play more ball.

68. Find his way out of the woods if lost. Note your landmarks -- mountains, power lines, the sound of a highway. Look for the sun: It sits in the south; it moves west. Gauge your direction every few minutes. If you're completely stuck, look for a small creek and follow it downstream. Water flows toward larger bodies of water, where people live.

69. Tie a knot.

Square knot: left rope over right rope, turn under. Then right rope over left rope. Tuck under. Pull. Or as my pack leader, Dave Kenyon, told me in a Boy Scouts meeting: "Left over right, right over left. What's so fucking hard about that?"

70. Shake hands. Steady, firm, pump, let go. Use the time to make eye contact, since that's where the social contract begins.

close up of an iron pressing a shirt

Leif Parsons

71. Iron a shirt. My uncle Tony the tailor once told me of ironing: Start rough, end gently.

72. Stock an emergency bag for the car.

Blanket. Heavy flashlight. Hand warmers. Six bottles of water. Six packs of beef jerky. Atlas. Reflectors. Gloves. Socks. Bandages. Neosporin. Inhaler. Benadryl. Motrin. Hard candy. Telescoping magnet. Screwdriver. Channel-locks. Crescent wrench. Ski hat. Bandanna.

73. Caress a woman's neck. Back of your fingers, in a slow fan.

74. Know some birds. If you can't pay attention to a bird, then you can't learn from detail, you aren't likely to appreciate the beauty of evolution, and you don't have a clue how birdlike your own habits may be. You've been looking at them blindly for years now. Get a guide.

75. Negotiate a better price. Be informed. Know the price of competitors. In a big store, look for a manager. Don't be an asshole. Use one phrase as your mantra, like "I need a little help with this one." Repeat it, as an invitation to him. Don't beg. Ever. Offer something: your loyalty, your next purchase, even your friendship, and, with the deal done, your gratitude.

Skills for Men - Things Men Should Be Able to Do - Esquire
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State Of The PS3: A $260 Loss Per PS3 For Sony?

According to some number-crunching by the Guardian, Sony might actually be losing more money per PlayStation 3 sold than its figures show.

A look at Sony's recently-announced financials show a significantly improved condition for the company's PlayStation business year over year. Sony's game division lost $1.2 billion on the year - last year, though, that number was over $2 billion.

So the company's clearly closing an internal gap. Its own figures, however, seem to show $130 lost on each PS3 it ships. The Guardian, however, points to the profitability of the PSP and continuing strength of the PlayStation 2 to paint a different picture. From its article:

"On Sony's own figures, the games division made a loss of $130 for each PlayStation 3 shipped. Let's assume that it's making pots of money on the PSP and the PlayStation 2: the PS2 is now hugely profitable and still sells more games than anything else. These two platforms could easily have made a profit of $1.2bn in the year. In that case, the total PS3 loss would have been $2.4bn shared between 9.24m PS3 consoles, or $260 per PS3 — including any attached Sony games."

Is Sony losing $260 on every PS3 it ships? [The Guardian]

State Of The PS3: A $260 Loss Per PS3 For Sony?
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Comcast to buy social network company Plaxo - Philadelphia Business Journal:

Plaxo Inc., which operates an online address book and a social network called Pulse, said Wednesday it has agreed to be acquired by Comcast Interactive Media for an undisclosed sum.

The company, which employs 50, will operate as an independent unit and remain based in Mountain View, Calif.

Comcast Interactive Media is the Internet business unit of Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ:CMSCA,CMCSK), the Philadelphia-based cable-television, Internet, phone and media company.

Plaxo said it already hosts the online address books of Comcast Web mail users and will work with Comcast to bring social networking capabilities to the portal Comcast operates for its high-speed Internet customers, and to such Comcast Interactive Media properties as Fancast and Fandango, and TV sets.

Comcast to buy social network company Plaxo - Philadelphia Business Journal:
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GameRush Entertainment : Nintendo: Wii shortage is no hype ploy : News

With the North American release of Wii Fit expected to spark a boom in demand for the Wii next week, Nintendo has maintained that the shortage of its console is not a result of the company artificially manipulating the flow of product into the market.

“The fact is that we have put far more product on store shelves worldwide than our competitors. The difference is that in a very short time we have far outpaced their total sales,” said Dervin Camden of Nintendo of America.

According to Camden, it’s easy for some consumers to arrive at the conclusion that the Wii shortage is intentional when “competitors’ systems fill the shelves” and Nintendo’s console remains scarce.

“The Wii console has effectively expanded the video game market by re-defining what it means to be a gamer. Millions of people who never before picked up a controller or who had sworn off gaming years ago are trying the Wii and becoming fans,” Camden said.

“There is no benefit to Nintendo in not having enough product on the shelves to allow everyone who wants one to be able to buy one, which begs the question, ‘Why don’t you just make more?’ Please understand that the Wii console is a complex electronic device featuring one-of-a-kind components from different suppliers around the world. Many things factor into our being able to effectively increase assembly and shipment of a product without compromising quality control.”

“We are doing all we can to get as much product as possible into stores,” he said.

GameRush Entertainment : Nintendo: Wii shortage is no hype ploy : News
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J.C. Penney's first-quarter profit falls 50 percent - Dallas Business Journal:

Weak consumer spending cut first-quarter profits at J.C. Penney Co. Inc. by half, and the retailer said it expects difficult conditions for the rest of the year.

The Plano-based department store chain said earnings fell to $120 million, or 54 cents per share, from $238 million, or $1.04 per share, a year ago.

Total sales for the quarter declined 5 percent to $4.13 billion from $4.35 billion.

Analysts were expecting earnings of 50 percent per share on revenue of $4.17 billion, according to Thomson Financial.

Sales at stores open at least a year fell 7 percent. Although sales were weak across all categories, the best sales were in men's apparel and family footwear, with continued softness in most home categories and fine jewelry. Sales were strongest in the Northeast and Central regions.

Internet sales rose 9 percent, compared with an 18 percent increase in last year's first quarter.

"Our financial performance in the first quarter was clearly impacted by the weakened consumer environment," said Chairman and Chief Executive Myron E. Ullman III in a statement.

"Looking ahead, we will continue to take the necessary actions to align our business plans with the expectation that conditions will remain difficult for the remainder of 2008," Ulllman added.

J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) forecast second-quarter earnings of 38 cents per share, with sales declining in the low-single digits. Same-store sales are expected to fall in the mid-single digits.

The company plans to manage its inventory through "appropriate pricing actions" and reducing future merchandise commitments. In addition, it plans to curb its store opening and renovation plans to cut costs. The company also has been trying to win customers by introducing new lines aimed at teens.

J.C. Penney operates 1,074 department stores in the United States and Puerto Rico and also sells merchandise through its Web site and catalog.

J.C. Penney's first-quarter profit falls 50 percent - Dallas Business Journal:
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Gandhi’s Top 10 Fundamentals for Changing the World

Gandhi’s Top 10 Fundamentals for Changing the World“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”

“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problem.”

“If I had no sense of humor, I would long ago have committed suicide.”

Mahatma Gandhi needs no long introduction. Everyone knows about the man who lead the Indian people to independence from British rule in 1947.

So let’s just move on to some of my favourite tips from Mahatma Gandhi.

1. Change yourself.

“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”

“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world - that is the myth of the atomic age - as in being able to remake ourselves.”

If you change yourself you will change your world. If you change how you think then you will change how you feel and what actions you take. And so the world around you will change. Not only because you are now viewing your environment through new lenses of thoughts and emotions but also because the change within can allow you to take action in ways you wouldn’t have – or maybe even have thought about – while stuck in your old thought patterns.

And the problem with changing your outer world without changing yourself is that you will still be you when you reach that change you have strived for. You will still have your flaws, anger, negativity, self-sabotaging tendencies etc. intact.

And so in this new situation you will still not find what you hoped for since your mind is still seeping with that negative stuff. And if you get more without having some insight into and distance from your ego it may grow more powerful. Since your ego loves to divide things, to find enemies and to create separation it may start to try to create even more problems and conflicts in your life and world.

2. You are in control.

“Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”

What you feel and how you react to something is always up to you. There may be a “normal” or a common way to react to different things. But that’s mostly just all it is.

You can choose your own thoughts, reactions and emotions to pretty much everything. You don’t have to freak out, overreact of even react in a negative way. Perhaps not every time or instantly. Sometimes a knee-jerk reaction just goes off. Or an old thought habit kicks in.

And as you realize that no-one outside of yourself can actually control how you feel you can start to incorporate this thinking into your daily life and develop it as a thought habit. A habit that you can grow stronger and stronger over time. Doing this makes life a whole lot easier and more pleasurable.

3. Forgive and let it go.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

“An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”

Fighting evil with evil won’t help anyone. And as said in the previous tip, you always choose how to react to something. When you can incorporate such a thought habit more and more into your life then you can react in a way that is more useful to you and others.

You realize that forgiving and letting go of the past will do you and the people in your world a great service. And spending your time in some negative memory won’t help you after you have learned the lessons you can learn from that experience. You’ll probably just cause yourself more suffering and paralyze yourself from taking action in this present moment.

If you don’t forgive then you let the past and another person to control how you feel. By forgiving you release yourself from those bonds. And then you can focus totally on, for instance, the next point.

4. Without action you aren’t going anywhere.

“An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.”

Without taking action very little will be done. However, taking action can be hard and difficult. There can be much inner resistance.

And so you may resort to preaching, as Gandhi says. Or reading and studying endlessly. And feeling like you are moving forward. But getting little or no practical results in real life.

So, to really get where you want to go and to really understand yourself and your world you need to practice. Books can mostly just bring you knowledge. You have to take action and translate that knowledge into results and understanding.

You can check out a few effective tips to overcome this problem in How to Take More Action: 9 Powerful Tips. Or you can move on to the next point for more on the best tip for taking more action that I have found so far.

5. Take care of this moment.

“I do not want to foresee the future. I am concerned with taking care of the present. God has given me no control over the moment following.”

The best way that I have found to overcome the inner resistance that often stops us from taking action is to stay in the present as much as possible and to be accepting.

Why? Well, when you are in the present moment you don’t worry about the next moment that you can’t control anyway. And the resistance to action that comes from you imagining negative future consequences - or reflecting on past failures - of your actions loses its power. And so it becomes easier to both take action and to keep your focus on this moment and perform better.

Have a look at 8 Ways to Return to the Present Moment for tips on how quickly step into the now. And remember that reconnecting with and staying in the now is a mental habit - a sort of muscle - that you grow. Over time it becomes more powerful and makes it easier to slip into the present moment.

6. Everyone is human.

“I claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal. I own, however, that I have humility enough to confess my errors and to retrace my steps.”

“It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”

When you start to make myths out of people – even though they may have produced extraordinary results – you run the risk of becoming disconnected from them. You can start to feel like you could never achieve similar things that they did because they are so very different. So it’s important to keep in mind that everyone is just a human being no matter who they are.

And I think it’s important to remember that we are all human and prone to make mistakes. Holding people to unreasonable standards will only create more unnecessary conflicts in your world and negativity within you.

It’s also important to remember this to avoid falling into the pretty useless habit of beating yourself up over mistakes that you have made. And instead be able to see with clarity where you went wrong and what you can learn from your mistake. And then try again.

7. Persist.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Be persistent. In time the opposition around you will fade and fall away. And your inner resistance and self-sabotaging tendencies that want to hold you back and keep you like you have always been will grow weaker.

Find what you really like to do. Then you’ll find the inner motivation to keep going, going and going. You can also find a lot of useful tips on how keep your motivation up in How to Get Out of a Motivational Slump and 25 Simple Ways to Motivate Yourself.

One reason Gandhi was so successful with his method of non-violence was because he and his followers were so persistent. They just didn’t give up.

Success or victory will seldom come as quickly as you would have liked it to. I think one of the reasons people don’t get what they want is simply because they give up too soon. The time they think an achievement will require isn’t the same amount of time it usually takes to achieve that goal. This faulty belief partly comes from the world we live in. A world full of magic pill solutions where advertising continually promises us that we can lose a lot of weight or earn a ton of money in just 30 days. You can read more about this in One Big Mistake a Whole Lot of People Make.

Finally, one useful tip to keep your persistence going is to listen to Gandhi’s third quote in this article and keep a sense of humor. It can lighten things up at the toughest of times.

8. See the good in people and help them.

I look only to the good qualities of men. Not being faultless myself, I won’t presume to probe into the faults of others.”

“Man becomes great exactly in the degree in which he works for the welfare of his fellow-men.”

“I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.”

There is pretty much always something good in people. And things that may not be so good. But you can choose what things to focus on. And if you want improvement then focusing on the good in people is a useful choice. It also makes life easier for you as your world and relationships become more pleasant and positive.

And when you see the good in people it becomes easier to motivate yourself to be of service to them. By being of service to other people, by giving them value you not only make their lives better. Over time you tend to get what you give. And the people you help may feel more inclined to help other people. And so you, together, create an upward spiral of positive change that grows and becomes stronger.

By strengthening your social skills you can become a more influential person and make this upward spiral even stronger. A few articles that may provide you with useful advice in that department are Do You Make These 10 Mistakes in a Conversation? and Dale Carnegie’s Top 10 Tips for Improving Your Social Skills. Or you can just move on to the next tip.

9. Be congruent, be authentic, be your true self.

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

“Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.”

I think that one of the best tips for improving your social skills is to behave in a congruent manner and communicate in an authentic way. People seem to really like authentic communication. And there is much inner enjoyment to be found when your thoughts, words and actions are aligned. You feel powerful and good about yourself.

When words and thoughts are aligned then that shows through in your communication. Because now you have your voice tonality and body language – some say they are over 90 percent of communication – in alignment with your words.

With these channels in alignment people tend to really listen to what you’re saying. You are communicating without incongruency, mixed messages or perhaps a sort of phoniness.

Also, if your actions aren’t in alignment with what you’re communicating then you start to hurt your own belief in what you can do. And other people’s belief in you too.

10. Continue to grow and evolve.

”Constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position.”

You can pretty much always improve your skills, habits or re-evaluate your evaluations. You can gain deeper understanding of yourself and the world.

Sure, you may look inconsistent or like you don’t know what you are doing from time to time. You may have trouble to act congruently or to communicate authentically. But if you don’t then you will, as Gandhi says, drive yourself into a false position. A place where you try to uphold or cling to your old views to appear consistent while you realise within that something is wrong. It’s not a fun place to be. To choose to grow and evolve is a happier and more useful path to take.

If you like this article, please give it a thumb up in Stumbleupon or a vote at Digg. Thanks a lot! =)

Gandhi’s Top 10 Fundamentals for Changing the World
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Jonathan Mead » The Art of Self Loving; a Puja to Yourself

Self Love; a Puja to Yourself

In my past I’ve had a lot of failed relationships. I was never able to understand why these relationships failed until I took a closer look at myself. I realized that I was seeking approval and love from my partner, before I found it within myself. I was looking for something from someone else that only I could give myself. The more I realized the importance of finding validation within me, I begin to take steps to love myself more fully. Flaws and all.

If we don’t have an adequate amount of self love, we’ll likely search for it somewhere outside ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with seeking love from others. Seeking ourselves, or our sense of self-worth in that love, is the problem.

Love must first come from within. No matter how much others praise, love or admire us, unless we feel that way on the inside, we’ll end up rejecting their love. If we don’t love ourselves, it’s hard for us to imagine how anyone else can love us.

How can we cultivate love within us? Just as we show our loved ones regular acts of love, we too need to show ourselves loving actions.

In India, they have a practice called a puja. A puja is a devotion to the gods. It can be an offering of food, incense, flowers, or a prayer, anything that can be interpreted as a sign of love. We can also use a puja or act of devotion, to show ourselves love. Remember, love is a verb.

Here are some suggestions for making a puja to yourself:

1. Go on a self-date.

Spend some time alone with yourself. Don’t think about what you need to do the next day or the cleaning up you need to do around the house. Just be fully in the moment and enjoy yourself.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Take yourself out to a movie. Be adventurous and pick a movie you wouldn’t normally see. You might be surprised at how much you enjoy the change of pace.
  • Go to lunch at your favorite restaurant, sit and people watch.
  • Go to a local caf� and bring a good book with you. Enjoy a cup of chai or tea and just relax.

2. Journal.

  • Write a gratitude journal entry. List all of the things you’re grateful for in your life. Try going beyond the obvious thing such as your job, your house and your car. Are you grateful for your breath, existence, love, the sun, your mistakes?
  • Let go. Take a moment to list all the mistakes you’ve made and forgive yourself for them. What are some of the things others have done to wrong you? List them and forgive them.
  • Achievements and success. What are some of your greatest achievements? What are you most proud of in your life? We have a tendency to focus more on our shortcomings then our success. It’s important that we recognize our achievements and celebrate our success.

3. Do something special for someone else. This may sound opposite to all the other advice here, but we often feel the best about ourselves when we do something selflessly for others.

4. Go for a drive, blare your music. Simple, yet wonderful.

5. Buy yourself a trinket. Or an ice cream cone, or an ice cream cone trinket. The focus isn’t on spending money, it’s about doing something special for yourself.

6. Get outside. Go for a long walk or bike ride to a nearby caf� or just around your neighborhood. This is my personal favorite, it helps me clear my head and gain perspective in my life. I also like to go for presence walks, where the only thing I’m focused on is the present moment. You’ll think you’ve never seen a flower before.

6. Turn off the lights and light some candles, burn some incense if you’re inclined. Drink a glass of wine, coffee, or tea, read a good book, or watch a good movie. Look at old photographs and reminisce.

7. Sing to your plants. Just kidding (or am I?)

8. Give yourself the spa treatment. We don’t have to go to the spa to find relaxation; we can create it in our own home. Here are a few examples:

  • Aroma therapy. Take a ceramic cup and pour some hot water in it. Now put 2-3 drops of essential oil such as peppermint, lavender or jasmine in your water. Put a tower over your head, forget everything and just breathe.
  • Take a mini-vacation. Close your eyes and imagine yourself anywhere you’d like to be in the world. Imagine the most calming relaxing place. Go online and use pictures if it helps you. The point is to bring yourself into a state of relaxation.

I hope you enjoy these simple suggestions for making a puja to yourself.

What do you do to show yourself love?

Jonathan Mead » The Art of Self Loving; a Puja to Yourself
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Your Life Sucks Because You Expect It To Suck (and 10 Ways to Improve It Right Now) | ijerad.com

Contrary to popular belief, you are in control of our life. You may believe, based on what you have been taught, that other people have at least some control over your destiny.

We want you to understand that this is not the case…unless you allow it to be.

You may have learned to expect life to be difficult, limiting, and unrewarding. Now is your chance to unlearn that, grow, and succeed.

The following list will help guide you through taking back control over your life. It’s a lot of information so I would suggest printing it out or bookmarking it so you can return on a regular basis and remind yourself what you are trying to accomplish.

1. Don’t Exist to Survive, Exist to Flourish

Everyone has basic survival needs. It is important that you seek to meet your needs and then strive to move beyond them.

So many people get caught up in meeting their needs that they stop after that small accomplishment. It’s paycheck to paycheck. We pay the rent, we pay the bills, we buy the food, we buy the clothes, we borrow for our pleasure and we go back to work. The money comes in, the money goes out, and the names are changed to protect the innocent.

An ant works all day and at the end of the day it’s still an ant and it’s still working. In order to break from the habits of the ant, you simply need to choose to do so. Don’t let life happen to you; you need to happen to life.

Get out of debt, get an emergency fund, generate more income, save for your retirement, and build wealth.

2. Don’t Allow Other People’s Limits To Control You

Your expectations of life were developed as a child. Your beliefs and views of the world depend on how your parents, grandparents, friends, and teachers interacted with you.

Some people think that they will never be rich or treated fairly because of their skin color. Others think they need the government to help them get ahead because their parents thought they needed the government. One friend told you that being rich was simply good fortune; that you had to win life’s lottery in order to make it. Your uncle told you that it’s impossible to live comfortably without borrowing money.

These people have set limits on you and you are allowing those limits to control your life.

You can identify a limit that has been set on you every time you find yourself thinking negatively about a situation or goal. Work to identify each limit as it presents itself and then conquer the limit by proving it wrong.

Free yourself from the control of other people’s beliefs.

3. Don’t Manufacture or Invite Pain

Do you believe that life has to be difficult? My Aunt always told me, “Life’s a bitch and then you die.” (I’ve conquered the limit she set on me, by the way).

Sometimes we invite pain because we don’t feel comfortable without it. Pain is at least a sign that you’re still alive, right? But does it help us or hold us back?

Life does not have to be hard. It’s really only as hard as you want it to be.

Say this to yourself a few times: I don’t owe anyone anything and I am not responsible for others. We bring pain on ourselves when we feel that we need to repay that which was given to us as a gift, or when we try to take responsibility for others.

Stop brining unnecessary pain on yourself.

4. Fix Yourself, Don’t Affix Blame

Be accountable for your past, present, and future. Whatever has happened thus far is your fault and whatever is going to happen in the future is also your fault.

If you affix blame and live life as a victim, you will stay a victim forever. Victims do not realize dreams and goals, proactive people do.

Besides, blaming doesn’t fix anything, only action does. If you want to improve your life, you have to take responsibility for it.

5. Forgive Others To Release Their Control Of You

Face whatever has been done to you in the past, recover from it, and then forgive.

When you fail to forgive, you allow the unforgiven person or thing to control you forever. It will be a constant weight hooked to your ankles that you choose to drag around for your entire life. Notice I said you choose to drag it around. You choose to drag it because you can also choose to break the chain at any time.

Face it, accept it, recover from it, and forgive. You will never find freedom without forgiveness.

6. Think Positive Of Yourself and Your Life

Cultivate an indomitable spirit. Believe you can and will succeed.

Make a list of positive statements about yourself and read them everyday.

Do not make excuses or put yourself down in conversations with others or with yourself. And analyze the people you come in contact with on a regular basis. Are these negative people or positive people? Your friends should support you and lift you up, not depress you and drag you down to their level.

And when someone compliments you, say thank you. That’s important. Many people receive compliments and respond with, “oh well, I’m really not…”.

Believe in yourself and others will believe in you.

7. Suppress Drama and Embrace Reality

If you notice, the drama queens always have drama in their life. Drama doesn’t find them, they find the drama. That’s because drama is a choice.

It’s also important to understand that drama limits you. It is a tool of victims. The more drama you allow in your life, the more you will lose sight of your goals. Drama does not create progress, it forbids it.

If you are around people who always experience drama of one type or another, think about distancing yourself from that person. You don’t need the baggage that comes with constant drama.

8. Fulfill Your Own Wants and Needs

Many people are caught up in putting other’s first. It is ingrained in a lot of us during childhood. Let your friends go first, serve the guests first, hold the door for others, etc. So when it comes to true needs and wants, we often transfer those learned behaviors and suppress ourselves.

Instead, start putting yourself first when you really want to or need to. If you are asked to work an extra day but you really feel like you need to spend some time with your family, don’t agree to work. If someone asks you what you want, don’t answer in generalizations or tell them it doesn’t matter, think about it and tell them what you really want.

Make your own wants and needs a number one priority.

9. Leave the Past Where it Belongs

The past is just that–the past. What happened in the past does not necessarily allude to what is going to happen in the future.

Each new career, new relationship, and new friendship have their own unique potential. If you were let down in the past, you can’t let that affect your present and future. They aren’t the same.

If you live in the past, you will constantly live in a self fulfilling prophecy. It’s the title of this article. Your life will suck because you expect it to suck. It’s that simple.

10. Realize that the Enemy is You

We have met the enemy, and he is us.

In order to conquer the outside, you must first conquer the inside. Look to yourself. We hold ourselves back more than anyone else has the power to. When you realize this is the reality you will find it easier to deal with your issues and make progress toward your goals.

Which of the ten points do you feel you need the most work on?

Your Life Sucks Because You Expect It To Suck (and 10 Ways to Improve It Right Now) | ijerad.com
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Marriage Is Not 50/50

Marriage Is Not 50/50

I hate it when I hear married couples say things to each other like, "It's your turn," or "I did it last time." Even before I was married, hearing exchanges like this made me feel really uncomfortable. They reminded me of how my sister and I would argue over chores, and I most certainly didn't want to marry my sister. Hearing people say, "Marriage is a 50/50 relationship" didn't sit well with me either. Then one day the thought hit me:

Marriage isn't 50/50, it's 100/100.

The 50/50 mindset is self-seeking. It's when we say things like, "I did the dishes last time, so I don't to have do them this time." And whenever you are asked to do more than your share, you are tempted to be put out. 100/100, however, carries a whole different perspective. Instead of being focused on what you give with your half and what you get from hers, you are solely seeking to satisfy her needs. You'll still both take turns, but not because it's your right, but because you're submitting to each other's love. And 100/100 keeps no record of who did what last. This is yet another way of answering the question, "How have I shown my wife that I love her today?"

There are many times when it is my turn to do the dishes, but because I have something else I need to do (like this very post, for example), my wife goes ahead and does them. We don't keep track, we just keep working at 100%.

When we are focused on each doing only our own half we are centered on where my job ends and hers begins. But marriage is about teamwork, and what team ever got anywhere with the players only giving fifty percent? If we want to succeed in marriage, both sides have to give it their all, all the time.

Marriage Is Not 50/50
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