Thursday, November 30, 2006


[Photo: Porton by gdiazdeleon]

by Ruth Goring

Thank you for saving my soul.
When you brought it to me dark
& dripping, I wondered how
to be gracious. Your find,
my pain. I hadn't asked you to root
in those pipes--at least not
that deep. So here I stand
smiling & nodding feebly
while you scrub my soul under
running water, dry & polish it
tenderly, present it to me shining
like your eyes.

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[Photo by lookingforbeauty]

I believe you should always share a good thing, and I'd like to do just that.

I came across a beautiful picture blog and wanted to share it with you. The blog is titled, Pictorial, and features the photography of Sarah Julianne. Sarah lets her images do the talking, as she purposely does not publish verbal posts. She elegantly describes her site in the following quote:

"The reason I don't post any messages is because I wanted to create something totally free from bias and self satisfaction, if that's possible. I wanted to sway attention solely to the art without an explanation of it or without trying to 'convince' appreciation. I set Pictorial, intentionally, to let the art be self explanatory in hopes it would gauge a true and honest reaction. If they hate it, I want them to, vice versa."

Sarah's photographs are a wonderful mix of beauty, intrigue and provocation. Everyone will surely find something they love at Pictorial.

Monday, November 27, 2006

What's in a name?

[Photo: Pink world by tankawho]

Based on my site traffic, there has been a lot of interest in my previous post about Colorgenics. Therefore, I thought I would bring to your attention another web site that provides similar insight into your personality.

The purpose of the site is to provide an interpretation of the name you were given at birth using numerology. Click over to the site here. Enter your full name as it appears on your birth certificate in the box and click submit. Be sure to use the full name you were given at birth -- no nick names or name changes (including marriage).

I found the results to be quite accurate. Let me know what your experience is. Enjoy!

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Buddha with Thousand Hands

Enjoy this beautiful and haunting performance by the China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe. The choreography of the dance, Buddha with Thousand Hands, is breathtaking and awe inspiring. Even more amazing is that all of the performers are deaf and cannot hear the music! More information about the dance and the troupe can be found here.

Take a few minutes to relax and enjoy this wonderful performance. I promise that you will not be disappointed.

Buddha with Thousand Hands

Friday, November 24, 2006


[Photo: dhow by Farl]

My family and I drove up to Lake Lawn Lodge, on Lake Delevan in Wisconsin, for Thanksgiving dinner. When I was younger, my parents would often taken my brother and I there for a mini-vacation around Easter time. We also often made the trip for Thanksgiving dinner, as they always had a great buffet and the atmosphere was warm and cozy -- the perfect place to begin the holiday season! We haven't gone up there for a number of years, and I was excited that everyone agreed to go this year when I suggested it.

Unfortunately, it was a partially disappointing experience. Spending time with my family was great, but the Lake Lawn Lodge of my memories was gone. Little did we know, the lodge was renamed to Lake Lawn Resorts and is currently being redeveloped as a condo complex along the lake. They were beginning the construction process and were preparing to raze a number of the buildings. The lodge had lost most of its atmosphere, as many of the shops and rooms had been converted to offices. Holiday decorations were minimal. The dinner spread was still tasty, however, the number of patrons were minimal and the lodge was not bustling with energy. I had gone there in anticipation of reliving old memories, as well as making new ones. Instead, a chapter of my life closed and I will have to find satisfaction in looking forward to making new memories. What are some of your favorite family traditions (not necessarily holiday related), past or present?

If you could bring back any tradition that seems to have faded into the past, what would it be?

Question selected from The Conversation Piece 2.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


[Photo by bitmapr]

What is your favorite quote, saying or expression?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

[Photo: Family of Friends by iampeas]

The approaching holiday season is a time to reflect on and give thanks for the people and things that are important to us.

What are you most thankful for this holiday season?

Americans are often stereotyped as self-involved and materialistic, often losing sight of what is important in life. While there may be some truth to the statement, it most certainly does not characterize the American people completely.

The current political upheaval,
domestic and international, our country faces has overshadowed many of the great blessings America has been given, as well as many of the collective strengths of the nation's people. Therefore, I propose that in addition to giving thanks for our personal riches this season, we also reflect on what makes our country great and give thanks for our nation's blessings.

What should the American people be thankful for this Thanksgiving?
What do you believe characterizes the true essence of the American people?

Saturday, November 18, 2006


[Photo: dance with me Mr. Color by decadentyou]

Have you ever thought about whether your favorite color provides any insight into your personality? Do people with similar personality traits identify with similar colors?

Humans have long been influenced by color. We use colors to categorize ourselves (blue, pink), describe our moods (green, red, blue), and to influence our state of mind. Each of us finds certain colors life-giving, while finding others devitalizing. The colors with which we identify change as our life circumstances and outlooks on life change.

Research in behavioral psychology has found that people invariably choose colors that directly associate with their current physical state and psychological needs. Current research topics include the manner in which light and sound frequencies affect the human psyche and its capacity for change. Paul Goldin is one of these researchers, and has developed a simple computer test, The Colorgenics Profile, to demonstrate that the colors which resonate with a person at that time are directly correlated to that person's current life circumstance and frame of mind. When taking Goldin's test, one is asked to choose among eight standard colors in the order of personal preference. The order in which one chooses the colors is analyzed and a brief personality profile is generated.

I found the results to be pretty accurate and am curious to know what your experience is. Goldin's test can be found here. Please click over, take the test (I promise it's very quick, about 30 seconds), and then use the comments to report on whether the results rang true for you!

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Game Shows

[Photo: competition by Andre Bernardo]

Seems like the new prime time force to be reckoned with is the game show -- Deal or No Deal, 1 versus 100, Show Me the Money. Personally, I find most, if not all, of these new shows quite contrived and much prefer the original game shows of decades ago -- Sale of the Century, Press Your Luck (No Whammies!), Let's Make a Deal. Perhaps, I am giving these classic shows more credit than they deserve, as I fondly associate them with my childhood and my grandmother. However, that made me wonder, has anyone been a game show contestant? On which show? What was your experience like? Did you win anything (a lifetime supply of Campbell's soup and laundry detergent?)?

And for the rest of us wanna-be contestants...

If you could be a contestant on any game show, past or present, which would it be? Why?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Happy Holidays?

[Photo: Happy Holidays by Kazze]

Does the politically correct wish, "Happy Holidays," offend you? There have been a couple stories in recent news regarding a number of retail establishments' return to the use of "Merry Christmas," instead of "Happy Holidays," due to consumer backlash. However, one retailer in particular decided to stray from the pack, recently asserting that it will continue to use "Happy Holidays" in advertisements in efforts to respect and encompass all of the traditional holidays celebrated at the end of the year.

Today, I received an email urging me to "take action" against this retailer by contacting them in order to express my discontent with their socially conscious decision! Although controversy regarding holiday greetings is not new, I have never been able to wrap my mind around the short sighted motivations behind such protests. The fundamental principles on which America was founded -- tolerance and diversity -- seem to have gotten lost in translation. Why must a retailer in America -- "the land of the free" -- adopt a specific religious tradition in order to conduct controversy-free business?

Protests and upheval regarding a holiday greeting do not appear to celebrate the true and intended spirit of the religious holidays soon to be celebrated. Rather, the efforts are mere attempts to force religious convictions and traditions on others, demonstrative of intolerance. In my opinion, and as Sam Harris points out in The End of Faith, efforts to strengthen religious diversity and accentuate religious differences are a waste of human time and energy. Religious diversity serves as a divisive roadblock, claiming unproveable tenets as absolute truths. Differences in opinion regarding intangible concepts mask humans' ability to identify with each other at the most base level -- we are all human beings. If allegiances to the unknown can be shed, all that is good in religion, such as ethics and spirituality, can be cultivated in order to foster a global human community. Only then can Peace on Earth reign.

Friday, November 10, 2006

1 or 10?

[Photo Execution by cenz]

Guest-post time again. Hi :)

Back in high school, we went on a class trip to one of those ropes courses, designed to build confidence amongst an existing team (classmates, co-workers, etc). Apart from the exhaustion and the rope burns, one of my takeaways from the trip was a question the guide posed to the group while we walked from one course to another. It's one I've asked folks about since then; one that very often yields very different answers. It's important to note that there isn't really a "right" answer here, just the one that rings most true to you. So. Some setup, and eventually the question..

You're alone, travelling through the jungle. Hidden back within the dense forest, you happen upon a village. The villagers are pleased as punch at your arrival. Their leader welcomes you to join them for an event later that evening, graciously inviting you to be the guest of honor.

But, there's something afoot.

Before you ever arrived, a crime had been committed by an unidentified villager. According to the village's history and custom, in cases where there was no suspect in such a crime, 10 people at random are selected from the inhabitants of the town. The 10 are to pay for the crime that the unknown person committed. One of the 10 may have done it. It's possible that none are guilty at all. But as a deterrant, they use this method to help prevent future crime, since you'd never know who will subsequently pay the price for any errant-action (possibly yourself?, your loved ones?, your neighbor?).

The event that evening, is the execution of their custom. Ordinarily, the local guard would be responsible for dispatching the 10 random folks selected from the populace. But, tonight, is different. There's a guest of honor present!

As their guest, they bestow upon you, a choice. An opportunity to determine the fate of the 10 that were selected. You are given a rifle, and told you may choose to kill any one of the 10 you wish. If you do, the remaining 9 will be allowed to return to their families, saved by your involvement. You may also decline the honor, and they'll continue on with the event as originally planned, saving none of the 10 by your non-involvement.

The question: 1? or 10?

Is it morally right (to you) to choose 1 to save 9? Or morally right to not get involved at all, leaving the members of the guard responsible for whatever orders they carry out?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


[Photo: VOTE! The Whole World is Watching by cobalt123]

Did you vote on Tuesday? Why or why not?

I pose the question without any judgemental motivation. Given the current political upheaval, scandals and speculation, I am just curious to know why people did or did not choose to cast a ballot today. Is voting more important now than ever because, as the title of the photo states, the whole world is watching us?

Myself, I voted. However, the choice was not entirely my own, for reasons I won't elaborate on. If it was entirely up to me, I probably would not have gone to the polls, as I really do feel powerless, not usually siding with either of the major party candidates. Although, I am beginning to realize that it is just as important to cast a vote for the under dog, as any progress towards change is a step in the right direction.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

The Perfect Weapon

[Photo: put every weapon down, plant the flower by Bash Linx]

Imagine that a perfect weapon existed. This weapon would eliminate collateral damage, ensuring that only the intended target is "hit." Essentially, the lives of innocent bystanders and surrounding property would be left intact, untouched. Now imagine the uses of a perfect weapon. Who would use such a technology and how? Would it be used in an "ethical" and "moral" manner?

Sam Harris, in the book The End of Faith, poses this contemplation. He argues that ethical leaders would choose to use perfect weapons in a much different manner than their counterparts. He asserts that although perfect weapons eliminate collateral damage, unethical leaders would still opt to employ these weapons against innocent people. Harris notes that George Bush and the ramifications of the "war on terror" have been compared to the atrocities committed by the likes of Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and Hitler. However, he argues that a major difference between Bush and these men is their respective ethical groundings, highlighted by considering how each would choose to use a perfect weapon. Would the strategy in Iraq have been different had Bush had access to perfect weapons? Would efforts have been made to avoid the deaths of civilians? How would bin Laden or Hussein use a perfect weapon?

If a perfect weapon existed, do you believe that its use is more ethically grounded than current warfare technology? Do you believe that such weapons would be used for "good" instead of ""bad"? Do you believe that Bush's moral character is what distinguishes him from other leaders that have a history of perpetuating violence and death?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Opinion Poll

In keeping with the spirit of my previous post, consider this question:

If you had to develop one question for a national opinion poll, what question would you most want to pose to the American public?

[Photo: freak 3 - harlekin by pixelspin]

Question selected from The Conversation Piece 2.


I am excited to welcome Tina from Recommended as our tenant for the week! Tina's blog showcases the best of internet's hidden gems. She describes her site as "a virtual gallery of ideas, an online showcase of beautiful applications, a collection of curiosities, a vast archive of links and [her] playground." Recommended is interesting, fun and informative. And, Tina was nice enough to have Bold Contemplations as her own guest a few weeks ago.

Be sure to click over and pay her a visit!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


[Photo: Freedom awaits by _KoAn_]

I am currently reading Sam Harris' book, The End of Faith. In it, he asserts that human kind is quickly moving towards self-destruction, with religious convictions and the atrocities committed in the name of religion, as its impetus. He believes that the only way to prevent monumental disaster is to shed our allegiances to the intangible and unproveable concepts of god and religion and move towards the dominance of rational thought and critical thinking. Although I don't agree with all of Harris' opinions, I am finding the book very thought provoking. I plan on offering a number of his ideas and concepts for reflection in a series of upcoming posts.

Many of the issues addressed by Harris are obviously relevant to the USA's "war on terror." It has been clearly related by the powers that be that in order for our country to remain free and safe, we must fight the "enemy" -- Muslim fundamentalists. This rhetoric, and the measures taken in its support, has most definitely further ostracized the US from the global community and has caused much animosity toward Americans. Government officials assert that the cause of anti-American sentiment is jealousy -- jealousy of our "democratic" process, our freedom and our riches. However, is jealousy really at the core of the world's distrust of America? Or, is our foreign policy and callousness at the root of the problem?

I came across an excellent quote in yesterday's Chicago Sun Times, which adeptly addressed this issue:

"The world distrusts [America] not because we are rich and free.... They distrust us because we are deaf and blind, because we too often don't understand and make no effort to understand."
--Cardinal Francis George

Do you agree? Can the US change the way it is perceived in the global community? How? Or, has too much damage been done?

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