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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Japanese TV: Human Tetris 6

I was so happy to find another installment online of the Japanese show, nicknamed 'Human Tetris'. I think this show is hysterical, and I love how more and more they are including things which help understand the show better, such as the illustrations of how the contestants could get through the cutouts. They are even using English words on some of the wall cutouts.

I wonder if they will add English subtitles? That would be awesome!

So, without any further ado, here is installment #6 of 'Human Tetris':

Video from aaaaaaa4000

Previous Installments:

Human Tetris #5
Human Tetris #4
Human Tetris #1-#3


This is a show I believe is called "Hyper" and features some of the 'Human Tetris' guys making shapes on a pegged wall with their bodies. I really wish there were English subtitles!

video from takaluv

Do YOU have a favorite Japanese show you would like to share?
Email me a link. If I like it I will post it here and give you credit for the lead.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Idaho Spuds a Fire Hazard

Photo by Chance Agrella
An interesting AP report coming out of Idaho, one of two states in the USA famous for potatoes: Idaho Fire Crew's Tater Tots Start Blaze.

I get the impression that Tater Tots Flambe' was not on the menu. *laugh*

As stated in the news item, I am sure firefighters and officials are embarrassed over this incident. But, a positive coming out of it is the reminder of just how easily a fire can start, and how careful we do need to be when cooking, and using the stove and oven.

Home fire safety tips given by the experts include installing, checking, and maintaining smoke detectors; having, checking, and maintaining fire extinguishers; keeping flashlights with fresh batteries handy; and having escape plans mapped out that include a meeting place away from the home.

At our house, we put in fresh smoke detector batteries twice a year: during both time changes. If I remember (which I admit I don't always), I test and clean all of our detectors monthly.

Each year, the extinguishers get checked. A local firefighter has a fire extinguisher refill business which is very affordable to use.

We also went through CERT training which taught us how to properly handle fire extinguishers and most effectively put out various types of fires. PASS is an easy-to-remember acronym for how to use a fire extinguisher. It stands for the simple instructions of: PULL the pin, AIM at the base of the fire, SQUEEZE the lever, and SWEEP from side to side.

Different extinguishers are for different types of fires. Knowing the difference is important when purchasing (and using) a fire extinguisher.

So what things do YOU do at your house in regards to fire safety?


Idaho Fire Crew's Tater Tots Start Blaze
. Associate Press. December 27th, 2007. 12:27 p.m. KSL News.

Fire Prevention. Home Fire Safety Checklist. Buffnet.

Using a Fire Extinguisher
. Fire Extinguisher 101.

Fire Extinguishing Agents. Fire Extinguisher 101.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Flowers for Christmas

About a week ago I was given a beautiful arrangement of flowers. I should have taken a photo of them. They are still holding up surprisingly well, though a few of the elements have died off, so it isn't a pretty a bouquet as when I first got it.

There are white carnations, pink and yellow (tiger?)lilies, baby's breath, an evergreen branch(?), some tall grass blades (?), some stems with multiple small white flowers along them, and some deep burgundy flowers with golden yellow centers -similar in appearance to daisies.

I am no florist, so please forgive my lame descriptions.

As I was working on other writing projects, I noticed the arrangement out of the corner of my eye, and I began reflecting upon how this is the first time I have ever been given flowers in the winter. I have received plants before, but never a bouquet of flowers.

I hate that cut flowers die so fast, but I admit there is something very uplifting and joyful about having fresh flowers around the house. In the spring when much of my yard is blooming, I have several weeks of fresh flowers in almost every room in my home.

I love the smell, and I love the sight of it!

So, if you need to take a small cheerful gift to someone, consider a bouquet of flowers. It is quite the pick-me-up, especially in the midst of a snowy winter's day.

When was the last time YOU got flowers, and what was the occasion?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

How Gulible Are You?

This quick true or false quiz about gulibility is from and tests beliefs in what the media bombards the public with on a daily basis.

Please take the quiz and post your results in the comment section here. Then, please give your review of the quiz: what did you like and dislike about it? How accurate do you think it is?

Here is my result:

Your GF score is 85.

FREE THINKER Welcome to the top 5%. You're a true free thinker and a person who is well informed about the reality in which you live. Although you may have been easily manipulated earlier in life, you eventually gained lucidity and developed a healthy sense of skepticism that you now automatically apply to your observations and experiences. You are endlessly curious about human behavior and the nature of the universe, and you have one or more lifestyle habits that most people would consider odd or unusual. You are not only of very high intelligence, you are also extremely creative in one or more areas (music, art, software development, inventing, etc.)

If you were in The Matrix, you would have taken the red pill, completed the combat training, and started fighting (and beating) agents from day one.

Your architects: You have cast off reality distortions taught to you by your parents, schooling, corporate advertising and government propaganda. You create your own beliefs based on what serves you best, without much regard for what the rest of the crowd is doing. You are guided by your own internal code of ethics (which may or may not agree with politically-correct ethical codes) rather than any pre-set system of ethics (such as from any one religion).

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dan Fogelberg Dead of Prostate Cancer at Age 56

One of my favorite singer/songwriters, Dan Fogelberg, passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday, December 16, 2007 after battling with prostate cancer. He was diagnosed in May of 2004, but by that time it was already at an advanced stage.

On his website, when he was first diagnosed, news about his condition was posted, along with a personal letter from him to men about getting a Digital Rectal Exam (DRA) and Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) each and every year. He noted that while the medical community advocates these tests begin at age 50, men with a family history of prostate cancer should begin screenings at age 40.

More information about prostate cancer may be found at the following links:

Prostate Cancer Foundation
National Cancer Institute
The United States National Library of Medicine
The Mayo Clinic

The importance of regular screenings cannot be stressed enough. Please, gentlemen, do yourself and your loved ones a huge favor and have these tests done every year. You mean everything to someone.

UPDATE [12-19-07]:
One day after the passing of Dan Fogelberg, the news was released that singer/songwriter Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills, and Nash has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He is scheduled to undergo surgery on his 63rd birthday in January.

More about this update may be found on MSNBC: Rocker Stephen Stills Battles Prostate Cancer by Reuters

And now, last but certainly not least, a musical goodbye to a talented man who touched and inspired so many with his gift:

Farewell Sweet Music Man

Video from YouTube user lotalutz

What was YOUR favorite song by Dan Fogelberg?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Joe Namath: 42 Years to a Degree

Photo by Aleksandar Momirovic
This AP report on FOXnews, Football Great Joe Namath Earns College Degree 42 Years Later is an example of one of the types of stories I love to read. At this stage in his life, the 64-year-old retired athlete would certainly not need to finish his degree in order to obtain employment. He, and the others before him, such as 90-year-old grandmothers, who finish or obtain their degree or diploma when they really don't 'have' to, are a true inspiration to me.

Its not as easy in the later years of life to study, learn, and keep up with the demands of schooling and test-taking. To go back and tackle the challenge, out of personal drive rather than need, is a beautiful thing.

For some, the challenge includes family responsibilities, finances, health, and time which limit what they can do or have prevented them from finishing.

There are many grants and scholarships available for many different people and situations. Not all are limited to financial need. One great place to look is Fastweb. After a free registration and profile are completed, the system will regularly email you information on matching contests, grants, and scholarships. Another source to check out is a website: College Scholarships. At the site, you just look for the right category, click on a link or two, and get directed to the information for how to apply for that particular scholarship. There is no need to register with College Scholarships.

If you do not have your degree or diploma, what would it take for you to finish it?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Chess Wiz for President? Not in Russia

I first became acquainted with chess master Garry Kasparov when he was interviewed by Bill Maher in 2007. Though I recognized him by name, I had no knowledge of him other than his chess wizardry prior to that interview.

Watch the short interview here:

video from YouTube user KLbrezhnev

From that interview and the others I have seen and read since, I have discovered a man who is not only obviously highly intelligent, but a man who is brimming with common sense and candor. He has an amazing sense of humor, as well. Mr Kasparov has many fine leadership qualities, and I believe would create, as president of Russia, a better alliance between the USA and Russia.

However, Mr. Kasparov has also been a very vocal critic of current Russian President Vladimir Putin which has resulted in hardships for him and his family. Though Russian official deny harassment of Mr. Kasparov and his family, there is an unmistakable trail of persecution coinciding with his outspokenness, and increasing with the announcement of his intent to run for president. Due to the harassment which has caused him, like many others, to be unable to meet the requirements of official candidacy, he has withdrawn his bid for president. More about this may be viewed online in this Washington Post article by Peter Finn.

It is a true shame that politics has become not a simple matter of opposing viewpoints and beliefs representing different groups of people, but a means of harassing anyone who would dare to go against the grain.

More about Garry Kasparov may be seen in the following video clips:

WSN TV Interview

With Charlie Rose

On 60 Minutes, Part 1

On 60 Minutes, Part 2

So, what is YOUR take on Putin, Kasparov, and Russian politics?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Have a Holly Jolly Eely Christmas?

This Reuters report is fascinating and a little on the odd side. The man who came up with this idea is definitely creative!

A Japanese inventor has created a way to utilize an electric eel to light up a Christmas tree. Since the eel is a common food in Japan, one has to wonder once Christmas is over if the eel will become New Year's dinner.

All joking aside, while there is potential to find ways to use eel power, it may not prove practical in the long run - and just be more of a 'fun' way to power various things such as Christmas lights.

A short video showing the set up is available with the article at the MSNBC website.

What do YOU think?

Laptop Lunches and Bentos

Laptop Lunch System. Photo from Laptop Lunches.Com

A sweetheart of a friend has been mentioning Laptop Lunches in her blog and it got me interested in finding out more. I am just 'getting my feet wet' in this new trend, but I admit it is fascinating to me. I love the organizational and nutritional qualities, as well as the efficient use of food/ingredients.

Once I learn more, I am sure I will post more, but in the meanwhile, first, I will share the best sites I have found so far:

Laptop Lunches Product Website

Lunch in a Box by Biggie
Laptop Lunches Discussions on Flikr

And secondly, I will ask YOU for YOUR laptop lunch and Bento tips, tricks, etc. What got YOU into them, and what do you like best and least about them? Where is the best place to buy all the stuff you need, and what are YOUR best laptop lunch meals and recipes?

Monday, December 10, 2007

How Monopoly® Saved Lives

I just finished reading this story, How Board Game Helped Free POWs by Brian McMahon, and I admit, big baby that I am, my eyes are tearing up at the undeniable patriotism, courage, and love that was involved in creating this special version of the Monopoly® game for soldiers.

I am so grateful for people such as these who get involved, at tremendous risk to themselves, and do 'the right thing'. Any one of these people, organizations, or companies could have refused to participate, thus potentially ending any chance of the plan succeeding. Any one of these people, organizations, or companies could have spilled the beans and ruined the plan. Everyone involved took incredible chances: risking their safety, their lives, and their businesses.

I love stories like this one! What amazing people - true heroes.

I can't help but wonder, in today's seemingly self-serving and lawsuit-happy society, would such a thing occur again?

What do YOU think?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Japanese Cooking

This is unlike any other 'cooking show' you have ever seen! I thought it was pretty creative, although you have to be very familiar with cooking, and especially Japanese cooking, to really 'get it'.

If anyone speaks Japanese and can offer a translation of the conversation afterwards, please do so - it looks just as funny and interesting as the sketch itself - or maybe even more so.

Video from YouTube user simplydream

Friday, December 7, 2007

How's Your Vocabulary?

Photo by Chance Agrella

Over on one of my favorite blogs ( by Deborah Ng) she took a humor break and listed a few fun sites. One was this quick vocabulary quiz. Results are given by letter grade - just like in school.

To Take the quiz: How's Your Vocabulary? (Quiz)

My Results:

***Your Vocabulary Score: A***
Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!
You must be quite an erudite person.

Actually, it would have been terribly embarrassing if I had scored anything less as I have a Master's Certification in English Vocabulary!

Please take the quiz and leave your input about it here. How did you do? Were you surprised by the results?

Happy quizzing!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Downside of Visualization

I have a few philosophical disagreements with the popular 'visualize it and it will happen' theory.

1- Not everything works for everyone, and not everyone is visual. Some people have better results from tackling goal-achievement with other methods. To espouse 'visualization' as the be-all and end-all of success is incorrect.

2-Far too many people get stuck on the 'visualization' part and neglect the 'get off yer toochis and do something' part. They seem to get some twisted idea that if they just think about it enough it will happen. That is not reality, and it is a crock.

3- Despite all we wish for, hope for, visualize, and do, sometimes we still do not get what we want. That is life, and we need to learn how to be flexible and roll with the punches. Sometimes we need to change our goals.

If visualization helps you achieve your goals -fab! It is awesome that you have found the means to help you in all you strive for.

But you need to recognize that it is not the answer for everyone, and it does get heavily distorted into something it is not. It is not a 'miracle cure' for anyone or anything - you still have to actually DO something.

Life is not a Disney fairy tale - wishing doesn't make things come true.

Beans are not the Only Musical Food Around

I was checking out the latest additions to my subscriptions on YouTube when I saw a link to this video:

The Vegetable Orchestra
(*NOTE: around midway through the sound gets a little obnoxious. Just bear with it for a few seconds - it does get amazing again!)

Video from YouTube user vegetableorchestra

Even my teenager was captivated by this music and the means by which it was produced (no pun intended).

So, if they played in your town, would you go see them?
How much would you be willing to shell out to do so (lame pun intended that time)?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Tis the Season for Giving - the Challenge

Photo by Neal McQ
I was surprised last night by a Secret Santa visit. We had a need of something, and someone found out and left it at our home.

I know of several other people in recent days who have also been shown the same kind of love and charity.

I know it should be a feeling we have all year long, but the best way to start is one step and one day at a time.

So, my challenge to you is to find someone every day you can serve or give to in some way. It doesn't have to cost money or take a lot of time. It can be anything.

A smile at a grouchy store clerk along with a friendly 'Hello' can be all it takes to change their day. Opening the door for someone behind you, or paying for the meal of the person behind you in the drive-thru (I have done that a couple of times and it rocks!)

When you make homemade goodies, share some with neighbors, the elderly, or homebound. Call a friend or loved one you haven't talked to for a while. Send a card anonymously to someone who is grieving or struggling with challenges. Rake someone's leaves or shovel their snow (anonymously).

It can be anything for anyone. Just do SOMETHING.

Then let us know what it has been like for you to undertake the challenge. Please also share any ideas and tips you have for things others can do as part of this challenge.

Good luck and thanks for participating!

If you are too shy to post it here, but would like to share, privately send me your story or tips/ideas and I will post them, minus your name.
Copyright © 2008 - 2011 Daniella Nicole. All rights reserved.