Saturday, August 27, 2011

German Westminster Chime - Video

Video of Early 1900's German Westminster Chime.

In this video you can watch the clock striking at 2:00 with clock doors open so you see all the mechanics of the chime. In the second part of the video you can listen German Westminster Chime striking the half hour with door closed. Enjoy!

Brought to you by Lisa.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Chimes on palaces and towers across the world.

Chime (bell instrument), an array of large bells, typically housed in a tower and played from a keyboard.

CHIME may refer to:

  • Zunich–Kaye syndrome, also known as CHIME syndrome, a rare combination of congenital birth defects
  • College of Healthcare Information Management Executives
  • Centre for Health Informatics and Multidisciplinary Education, part of University College London
  • The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, a novel telescope designed to study Baryon Acoustic Oscillations

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Archive

Joe, over at melting object, has a great idea about a webring for poor bloggers. "BrokeBlogs" and ">10kBlogs" (you know, less than 10k a year), are my two name suggestions. Any others? What about a webring for bloggers using retardedly slow computers? My power mac just isnt the tricked out machine she was 6 years ago. None the less, she keeps on putin. I wonder what 6 is in computer years? Surely there's an equation someone has come up with. Nevermind, I'll put a pencil to it and see what I can do. And why did I refer to my computer as a "she"?

The emperor of China asked a renowned Buddhist master if it would be possible to illustrate the nature of self in a visible way. In response, the master had a sixteen-sided room appointed with floor-to-ceiling mirrors that faced one another exactly. In the center he hung a candle aflame. When the emperor entered he could see the individual candle flame in thousands of forms, each of the mirrors extending it far into the distance. Then the master replaced the candle with a small crystal. The emperor could see the small crystal reflected again in every direction. When the master pointed closely at the crystal, the emperor could see the whole room of thousands of crystals reflected in each tiny facet of the crystal in the center. The master showed how the smallest particle contains the whole universe.

two things suddenly come to mind:
"some are empty
some are full
some are neither empty are full.
I'm flying through the sky"
The forest is immense and green. It extends over an areola the size of massachussets, with mountains rising above eyesight. From the edges one can hear the faint sounds of birds, though the direction from which the sounds come is impossible to tell. The forest is believed to be inhabitable due to incessant nausea that affects us all when looked upon.

The Transcendental Friend
I sit down on the chair and go on eating. For I like eating my father. It makes him think of the woman and repeat her words, which he taught to her: Whoever sits on the chair must want to stand. Whoever stands in the kitchen must want to fly. I could fly without effort if I stopped eating. But I go on eating and grow heavier and heavier. I wish I were made of raisins. In the language of raisins I say: do not call me by a place name. Do not give me women's shoes. It is the night of the festival of girls. My father gives me a women's spoon. I can't sleep when my bed smells of burnt venison. My father tells me he used to be a man. When he ate bread from the oven, he became a woman.

Cormac McCarthy: The Greatest Living American Writer
For many years he had no walls to hang anything on. When he heard the news about his MacArthur, he was living in a motel in Knoxville, Tenn. Such accommodations have been his home so routinely that he has learned to travel with a high-watt light bulb in a lens case to assure better illumination for reading and writing. In 1982 he bought a tiny, whitewashed stone cottage behind a shopping center in El Paso. But he wouldn't take me inside. Renovation, which began a few years ago, has stopped for lack of funds. "It's barely habitable," he says. He cuts his own hair, eats his meals off a hot plate or in cafeterias and does his wash at the Laundromat.

Questionable Quotes (Chief Seattle)
"How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?"
Though undeniably beautiful and moving, the preceeding speech was not even remotely authentic. Rather than issuing from the very real Chief Seattle in 1854, those moving words were written by a screenwriter in 1971.

Is human evolution finally over?
In addition, human populations are now being constantly mixed, again producing a blending that blocks evolutionary change...A generation ago, men and women rarely mated with anyone from a different town or city. Hence, the blending of our genes which will soon produce a uniformly brown-skinned population.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

The Top 10 Languages Spoken In The World

10. French

Number Of Speakers: 129 Million

Often called the most romantic language in the world, French is spoken in tons of countries, including Belgium, Canada, Rwanda, Cameroon, and Haiti. Oh, and France too. We're actually very lucky that French is so popular, because without it, we might have been stuck with Dutch Toast, Dutch Fries, and Dutch kissing (ew!).

To say "hello" in French, say "Bonjour" (bone-JOOR).

9. Malay-Indonesian

Number Of Speakers: 159 Million

Malay-Indonesian is spoken - surprise - in Malaysia and Indonesia. Actually, we kinda fudged the numbers on this one because there are many dialects of Malay, the most popular of which is Indonesian. But they're all pretty much based on the same root language, which makes it the ninth most-spoken in the world.

Indonesia is a fascinating place; a nation made up of over 13,000 islands it is the sixth most populated country in the world. Malaysia borders on two of the larger parts of Indonesia (including the island of Borneo), and is mostly known for its capital city of Kuala Lumpur.

To say "hello" in Indonesian, say "Selamat pagi" (se-LA-maht PA-gee).

8. Portuguese

Number Of Speakers: 191 Million

Think of Portuguese as the little language that could. In the 12th Century, Portugal won its independence from Spain and expanded all over the world with the help of its famous explorers like Vasco da Gama and Prince Henry the Navigator. (Good thing Henry became a navigator . . . could you imagine if a guy named "Prince Henry the Navigator" became a florist?) Because Portugal got in so early on the exploring game, the language established itself all over the world, especially in Brazil (where it's the national language), Macau, Angola, Venezuela, and Mozambique.

To say "hello" in Portuguese, say "Bom dia" (bohn DEE-ah).

7. Bengali

Number Of Speakers: 211 Million

In Bangladesh, a country of 120+ million people, just about everybody speaks Bengali. And because Bangladesh is virtually surrounded by India (where the population is growing so fast, just breathing the air can get you pregnant), the number of Bengali speakers in the world is much higher than most people would expect.

To say "hello" in Bengali, say "Ei Je" (EYE-jay).

6. Arabic

Number Of Speakers: 246 Million

Arabic, one of the world's oldest languages, is spoken in the Middle East, with speakers found in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt. Furthermore, because Arabic is the language of the Koran, millions of Moslems in other countries speak Arabic as well. So many people have a working knowledge of Arabic, in fact, that in 1974 it was made the sixth official language of the United Nations.

To say "hello" in Arabic, say "Al salaam a'alaykum" (Ahl sah-LAHM ah ah-LAY-koom).

5. Russian

Number Of Speakers: 277 Million

Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin, and Yakov Smirnoff are among the millions of Russian speakers out there. Sure, we used to think of them as our Commie enemies. Now we think of them as our Commie friends. One of the six languages in the UN, Russian is spoken not only in the Mother Country, but also in Belarus, Kazakhstan, and the U.S. (to name just a few places).

To say "hello" in Russian, say "Zdravstvuite" (ZDRAST-vet-yah).

4. Spanish

Number Of Speakers: 392 Million

Aside from all of those kids who take it in high school, Spanish is spoken in just about every South American and Central American country, not to mention Spain, Cuba, and the U.S. There is a particular interest in Spanish in the U.S., as many English words are borrowed from the language, including: tornado, bonanza, patio, quesadilla, enchilada, and taco grande supreme.

To say "hello" in Spanish, say "Hola" (OH-la).

3. Hindustani

Number Of Speakers: 497 Million

Hindustani is the primary language of India's crowded population, and it encompasses a huge number of dialects (of which the most commonly spoken is Hindi). While many predict that the population of India will soon surpass that of China, the prominence of English in India prevents Hindustani from surpassing the most popular language in the world. If you're interested in learning a little Hindi, there's a very easy way: rent an Indian movie. The film industry in India is the most prolific in the world, making thousands of action/romance/musicals every year.

To say "hello" in Hindustani, say "Namaste" (Nah-MAH-stay).

2. English

Number Of Speakers: 508 Million

While English doesn't have the most speakers, it is the official language of more countries than any other language. Its speakers hail from all around the world, including the U.S., Australia, England, Zimbabwe, the Caribbean, Hong Kong, South Africa, and Canada. We'd tell you more about English, but you probably feel pretty comfortable with the language already. Let's just move on to the most popular language in the world.

To say "hello" in English, say "What's up, freak?" (watz-UP-freek).

1. Mandarin [Chinese]

Number Of Speakers: 1 Billion+

Surprise, surprise, the most widely spoken language on the planet is based in the most populated country on the planet, China. Beating second-place English by a 2 to 1 ratio, but don't let that lull you into thinking that Mandarin is easy to learn. Speaking Mandarin can be really tough, because each word can be pronounced in four ways (or "tones"), and a beginner will invariably have trouble distinguishing one tone from another. But if over a billion people could do it, so could you. Try saying hello!

To say "hello" in Mandarin, say "Ni hao" (Nee HaOW). ("Hao" is pronounced as one syllable, but the tone requires that you let your voice drop midway, and then raise it again at the end.)

Tips to Overcome Fear of Public Speaking

Do your knees feel like Gumby's when you have to get up and speak in front of a group? Do you feel like the next words out of your mouth are going to be the dumbest words ever uttered by a human?

Over 41% of people have some fear or anxiety dealing with speaking in front of groups. People who have this fear can experience all kinds of symptoms: Sweaty palms, accelerated heart rate, memory loss and even difficulty in breathing.

Everyone, even experienced speakers, has some anxiety when speaking in front of a group of people. This is perfectly normal. The best way to deal with this anxiety is to first acknowledge that this fear is perfectly normal and you are not alone. To reduce your fear, you need to make sure you properly and thoroughly prepare yourself before you speak. Proper preparation and rehearsal can help to reduce this fear by about 75%. Proper breathing techniques can further reduce this fear by another 15%. Your mental state accounts for the remaining 10%.

Few suggestions you should use to overcome your speaking anxiety. The first and most important of all is preparation. I like to think of it as the 9 P's: Prior Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance of the Person Putting on the Presentation.

10 steps you can take to reduce your speech anxiety.

1. Know the room - become familiar with the place in which you will speak. Arrive early and walk around the room including the speaking area.
Walk from where you will be seated to the place where you will be speaking.

2. Know the Audience - If possible, greet some of the audience as they arrive and chat with them. It is easier to speak to a group of friends than to a group of strangers.

3. Know Your Material - If you are not familiar with your material or are uncomfortable with it, your nervousness will increase. Practice your speech or presentation and revise it until you can present it with ease.

4. Learn How to Relax - You can ease tension by doing exercises. Sit comfortable with your back straight. Breathe in slowly, hold your breath for 4 to 5 seconds, then slowly exhale. To relax your facial muscles, open your mouth and eyes wide, then close them tightly.

5. Visualize Yourself Speaking - Imagine yourself walking confidently to the lectern as the audience applauds. Imagine yourself speaking, your voice loud, clear and assured. When you visualize yourself as successful, you will be successful.

6. Realize People Want You To Succeed - All audiences want speakers to be interesting, stimulating, informative and entertaining. They want you to succeed - not fail.

7. Don't apologize For Being Nervous - Most of the time your nervousness does not show at all. If you don't say anything about it, nobody will notice. If you mention your nervousness or apologize for any problems you think you have with your speech, you'll only be calling attention to it. Had you remained silent, your listeners may not have noticed at all.

8. Concentrate on Your Message - not the audience. Your nervous feelings will dissipate if you focus your attention away from your anxieties and concentrate on your message and your audience, not yourself.

9. Turn Nervousness into Positive Energy - the same nervous energy that causes stage fright can be an asset to you. Harness it, and transform it into vitality and enthusiasm.

10. Gain Experience - Experience builds confidence, which is the key to effective speaking. Most beginning speakers find their anxieties decrease after each speech they give.

Thursday, August 3, 2006

More Sex, Fewer Strings

Summers are made for the sort of passionate yet casual romance that burns bright and fizzles out just before things get too serious. "The season has a natural beginning and end to it," says April Masini, author of Date out of Your League, "and the heat conjures up all kinds of steamy possibilities." Here's how to make sparks fly without getting burned.

"Flings let both of you retain your independence more than in a normal relationship," says Nancy Pina, author of The Right Relationship Can Happen. "If she really thinks it's short-term, she won't call you every day, won't talk about the future as much, and will make plans without you." You, of course, should do the same.

If you harp on the expiration date--"Just so you know, this isn't anything serious"--your message will backfire. "No woman wants to be reminded that you're not in it to win it," says Logan Levkoff, Ph.D.(c), a sex educator in New York City. Give her subtle signals that you're flying solo: Go stag to a wedding or invite a buddy when your parents come for dinner.

"You have to harness the heat if you want something memorable," says Levkoff. So seduce her on your rooftop. Or have sex in the woods. "She'll feel safe, because you're not just a one-night stand, and she won't feel as if she's ruining a long-term relationship by being kinky."

She's leaving for another city or you're moving on? Instead of letting the relationship fizzle or pulling away from her emotionally, charge through to the end. "It gives you both a sense of closure and makes it easier to move on," Pina says.

Source: Men's Health, Jul/Aug2006

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Sex and the Perfect Getaway

FOR A NEW COUPLE, THERE'S NO BETTER TEST OF COMPATIBILITY than that fateful first trip. There's much to be learned from seeing your sweetiemunchkins removed from her network of coping mechanisms and creature comforts. You may uncover negatives, like her packing 11 pairs of shoes for a weekend upstate. You may also discover a charming quality, like how cuddly she gets after one umbrella drink.

"When you travel, your companion is in your space all the time," says Patti Britton, Ph.D., author of The Art of Sex Coaching. "This kind of proximity magnifies everything: the sore spots and the sweet spots, the good, the bad, and the ugly."

U.S. couples go on 155 million romantic getaways every year. While some of these couples will end up necking in the lost-luggage office, others will find themselves at the precipice of an enchanting waterfall, arguing about who should carry the binoculars. Your journey should start With our step-by-step guide to travel for twosomes.

Step 1 Start smart
Don't be too ambitious too soon. "Early in a relationship, a shorter trip is more prudent," says Linda DeVillers, Ph.D., author of Love Skills: A Fun, Upbeat Guide to Sex-cessful Relationships. Long trips raise expectations, cost more, and represent a commitment. Unless you have a very good feel for her, put a 3-day cap on your maiden voyage.

Do: Spend a weekend in Vegas.

Don't: Go on a 2-week elk hunt.

Your best bet: Pick a spot that's no more than 4 hours away--half a day of livid silence on the way home is not fun. And opt for a place with plenty of activities to choose from. This way, if she's not a golfer, she can hit the spa while you hit some balls.

Step 2 Discuss great expectationsNo, not the Dickens classic (although it's quite good). Talk about what you both want from the trip before you pack a bag. "This conversation doesn't have to be some big emotional thing," says Susan Moynihan, editor in-chief of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons magazine. "It can merely be a discussion of your dream vacation. She can say, 'I want to lie on the beach all day, then go have cocktails.' Then he can say, 'That would drive me crazy. I want to go kiteboarding all day, then go have cocktails.' Don't make an issue out of it. It's okay to have different interests. Other than cocktails, obviously, which are nonnegotiable."

Do: Have a lighthearted, enjoyable chat about your vision of the ideal trip.

Don't: Make it a tense summit meeting.

Your best bet: Meet someplace fun but quiet and keep the conversation casual. Concentrate on your expectations. Do you want to see the sights or spend the day on the beach? Must you spend every minute together, or can you split up for a few hours? How much time are you going to spend in the room (hint, hint)? What about shopping?

Oh, and one final do: Make sure you establish what the trip means. If you think you're going skiing and she thinks you're going to propose, things might turn ugly.

Step 3 Don't follow the reader
Many relationships have a natural leader who winds up making most of the decisions. If you just thought, Yeah, that's me, you're the one. If you just thought, Yeah, that's her, she's the one. Take this into account when planning, so neither of you winds up being dragged along on the other's dream vacation.

Do: Embrace democracy!

Don't: Expect her to understand when you skip the butterfly gardens because you want to get a good spot at the swim-up bar.

Your best bet: Identify the leader in your relationship. As a man, there's a strong possibility you are the leader. If this is the case, make absolutely sure your shy gal chooses her fair share of activities. Give her all the time she needs and encourage her to express her likes and dislikes. If she's reluctant to do this or gives you the ol' "Let's just do what you want to do," use your leadership abilities to coerce her into expressing herself. In other words, order her to give you orders!

Step 4 Don't mess around with money
Joy Davidson, Ph.D., the author of Fearless Sex, once went to Venice with a companion on a meals-included package. When she suggested exploring Venice's restaurants, "he couldn't stand the idea of wasting that money. I knew we had different outlooks on money before, but this really highlighted it. We ended up having a huge fight and spending most of our time apart."

Be frank about finances and split costs as equally as possible without allowing them to dominate the experience.

Do: Work out a system ahead of time.

Don't: Insist on being "The Man" and paying for everything.

Your best bet: "The best way to deal with it is to divide the payment by days," says Davidson. "For example, he pays for everything on Monday, she pays for everything on Tuesday, and so on. You'll end up spending roughly the same amount, but you won't have money overshadowing the good times every time you're presented with a bill."

Step 5 Go solo for an hour
You love your lover, but you also love it when she goes away for a while, right? "It's important to create some alone time in a way that's sensitive to your partner," Britton says.

Do: Go for an hour's jog on the beach.

Don't: Blow the day playing blackjack.

Your best bet: Take the pressure off. Split up, then reconnect to compare notes. Individual enthusiasms can be arousing. Or relax together with a room-service meal. Not every moment has to be life-changing.

Step 6 Steam up the hotel room
Hotel sex is one of the not-so-secret pleasures of travel. "There's a lack of responsibility in a hotel room," says Britton. Be irresponsible.

Do: It.

Don't: Not do it.

Your best bet: Pack something surprising in your suitcase--a toy, a DVD, or lingerie, DeVillers says: "It creates anticipation."

GRAPH: On vacation, she'll try (almost) anything

By: Connolly, Chris, Men's Health, Jul/Aug2006