Archive for the ‘Inspirational’ Category

A Decade of Web Milestones

August 11th, 2012 No comments

Here’s a neat article from Template Monster on the (brief) history of web design.  Blast through a decade of developments in less than five minutes of your day.

Template Monster’s Decade of Web Milestones

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The Battle of the Ice Mound

August 5th, 2012 No comments

A great story from the island where many of my ancestors grew up.  It describes the capture of the H.M.S Dauntless off the coast of Maryland, on the Chesapeake.  Well done Joseph Stewart!

The Capture of the H.M.S Dauntless

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20 Amazing Mathmeticians

August 3rd, 2012 No comments

Another great post by Business Insider.  Never thought of Maxwell as a photographer, though.

Twenty Mathemeticians

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The Advantage of Being Awestruck

August 2nd, 2012 No comments

A wonderful video by Jason Silva on the biological advantage of being awestruck.  Enjoy

The advantage of being awestruck

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Timeline of a Breastfed Baby

August 2nd, 2012 No comments

This is more than a five-minute post.  But it is a really interesting article, especially for us, new parents. 🙂

Timeline of a Breastfed Baby – Alpha Parent

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Optimist International

June 29th, 2012 No comments

Thanks to the Richardson Optimist International Club for letting me speak yesterday evening.

Optimist International

What a fantastic creed you have!

The Optimist Creed

Promise Yourself …
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.


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15 Maps that Explain the World

June 25th, 2012 No comments

Great post on BI for those who love data and infographics:

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Six things I do need – A second comment about the future of our economy

September 6th, 2011 No comments

Last month I wrote about things I don’t need.  You can view those comments here if you like.  Today, I’m going to write about things that I do need.  Things that will make life better.

  • I need to know that my children are safe when I’m not around.
  • I need to know that my elected officials are doing what I elected them to do.
  • I need to know that my government is acting in the long-term interest of the country and its people.
  • I need to know that the people in charge are strong enough to make the tough decisions, even when it hurts.
  • I need to see that we act with compassion for our neighbors and our communities.
  • I need to see that we offer a helping hand to people that need one.

For  too long, it has paid, at least in the US, to act in one’s own interest to the detriment of others.  There have always been people willing to do this.  I don’t think they’re going to change very easily.  Certainly not on their own.

However my impression is that these people, the selfish ones, now have way too much power.  The checks and balances that were built into our government have been subverted.  New technologies allow those with a public voice to have much more influence than they ever have in the past.  Our leaders play homage to democratic structures and ideals, yet behind the scenes they serve only themselves.

As our economy continues to shift, (I think we’re all agreed that it is shifting) we need to change in positive ways.  And this change must be a deliberate one, with a positive intent.

The needs listed above are collective needs.  One person can’t control any of them directly.  But in my opinion, one person can make a difference.  I therefore post this for myself, as a personal challenge:

What can I do today that will make things better for everyone?


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The day I made a difference

September 4th, 2011 No comments

At some point in our life, almost all of us wonder about our ability to make a difference in the world.  This is a personal story that seems to show that we can.

I was at the University of Maryland (quite a while back now), attending classes.  I was walking between buildings, and was annoyed that yet again, the person in front of me had not even bothered to hold the door for me, despite my close proximity.

Now I’m not particularly thin-skinned, and my annoyance was actually due to the fact that no one on campus ever bothered to hold doors, rather than being due to the actions of whoever  it was in front of me at the time.  In a campus with 30,000 students, there were always people in front of you and behind you between classes, and for some reason common courtesy had been lost.

Then and there, I resolved to hold the doors for everyone behind me, even if they were 20 feet away.  I would be friendly and considerate to my fellow students, irregardless of how I was treated by others.

And things changed.

Literally within weeks, I found people holding the door for me, even when I was several paces behind.

Now you can argue it was my imagination.  You can argue I was biased to see a positive result.  But I’m an engineer, and I can be pretty good at examining data when I want to.  And I’m convinced things changed.

You might also argue that something else happened at the same time to cause the change, and that my action was purely coincidental.  And you could be right.  But in my mind, for the rest of my life, I will continue to believe that what I do makes a difference.  And I’ll act accordingly.

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Think you know what is dangerous? Check out these common ways to die.

August 27th, 2011 No comments

The reality of what is likely to be fatal might surprise you.  Some things seem REALLY scary, but, at least according to this page, don’t actually occur very often.  Too bad they don’t specify their sources.

Common Ways to Die

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