Nov 30, 2012


File:Pessimist - Punch cartoon - Project Gutenberg eText 19127.png
"The pessimist borrows trouble;
the optimist lends encouragement." 

- William Arthur Ward

Which are you???

Nov 29, 2012

In Allentown PA today for meeting...

Short one-day trip to the Allentown PA area for a meeting.  Got in last night around 10 PM and will be home tonight around midnight...

Nov 28, 2012

What is a Strength?

The definition of "a strength", based on the work of psychologist Martin Seligman, is a behavior that is:
•Executed effectively
•Broadly used in a variety of situations or settings
•Lasting in its effects over time
•Consistent in producing positive outcomes
•Valued for its intrinsic worth, as well as its positive outcomes
•Not specific to one culture
•Harmonious with, rather than opposed to, other strengths

Nov 27, 2012


"The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: decide what you want." 

- Ben Stein

Nov 26, 2012

Chris Isaak!!!

File:Chris Isaak.jpgWe are in Indianapolis today, after watching Chris Isaak last night.  Back to our regular programming tomorrow :o) 

Nov 24, 2012

Nov 23, 2012


"Who thinks it just to be judged by a single error?"
- Beryl Markham

Nov 21, 2012

Nov 20, 2012

Bamboo Billboard!

Last year L.A.-based artist Stephen Glassman, who has apparently been making bamboo art installations for two decades, made a small-scale art project called Urban Air that involved a miniature billboard-bamboo setup. After it got some attention, leading billboard-maker Summit Media agreed to donate billboards in busy areas of Los Angeles for the first prototype.
It works by removing the advertisement-ready facade and retrofitting a billboard’s metal husk to contain planters, live bamboo and a watering system. The installation includes environmental sensors and is connected to wifi.
A new Kickstarter project [love the kickstarter connection, I may investigate] is trying to raise $100,000 to hire all the electrical and structural engineers needed to build it. The goal is a bamboo billboard kit that could be installed anywhere.
Imagine if, instead of advertisements screaming about taxes and abortion and Obamacare, we were bathed in soothing placards of calm. Americans are exposed to 5,000 advertisements a day, as Treehugger points out--so this sounds like a welcome reprieve. You can learn more about the project here.

Nov 19, 2012

Don't Be Angry!

File:Angry Penguin.svg
Anger arises when someone or something has not fulfilled expectations, an injustice has been done, someone has attacked oneself or one's idea or property, or when things are not happening fast enough or slow enough.      

We become reactive. We lose our temper. The degree to which we "lose it" and the nature of our behavior is influenced by the degree to which we are mindfully aware of our thoughts, speech and actions, our ability to control ourselves and the significance of the perceived threat.  

Reactive behavior gets in the way of accomplishing objectives and does damage to relationships. What can we do to avoid anger and, if we can't avoid it, what can we do to moderate its effects (how can we learn to not react)?

Managing Anger
While eliminating anger by cutting its root causes may be possible it is most practical to learn to effectively manage anger when it does arise.   

To manage anger understand its source, recognize and acknowledge it and then step back from the feelings and choose a course of action.  

The source of anger is within. It may be triggered by external events but its cause is internal. This is clear when we remember times when we became angry about something that at other times did not "make us angry." This understanding makes it possible to look inside and manage anger without blaming it on anyone or anything else. We don't need to change the world around us. We have to change ourselves.

Admitting to anger is difficult for some people. But difficult or not it is necessary. Unacknowledged, anger may be suppressed, resulting in physical and psychological issues, including gastrointestinal and breathing problems. Suppressed anger tends to build up and then burst out in overreaction to a minor incident.

What does anger feel like to you?  Where in your body does it manifest?  Is it a tightening of the stomach or jaw; a change in the breath?  The earlier in its arising you recognize it, the more likely it is that you can avoid reacting to it.   

The next step after recognition and acknowledgement is acceptance. In accepting anger we go beyond simplistic notions that experiencing anger is sinful or bad. Experiencing anger is part of being human.  

Identifying with anger, "being angry", and acting anger out are unskillful and can be controlled.

Choosing a Response
With anger understood as a self generated emotion, recognized and accepted the next step is to decide what to do about it.  

One choice is to explore its source in oneself. Seeing the underlying cause in oneself cuts the root of the anger and eliminates or at least makes the feelings manageable. Ask "What am I bringing to this situation?" 

But there is the external the trigger. Someone has done something that has "made you angry". Do you just let it pass while you manage the anger by yourself?  

Maybe that is the best thing to do. Perhaps the threatened belief or mental model is not one you want to keep. Maybe the person whose behavior got you angry didn't mean anything by it. Maybe the perceived injustice is unavoidable. By fully experiencing and seeing the internal source of your anger you can let it go. It is not suppressed, it passes. Like everything else, anger is temporary. Of course, you can feed it and make it last for years, but how effective is that as a strategy?

On the other hand, confronting behavior that gives rise to anger may be the better choice. Often there is no good reason to be a victim or to remain passive in the face of injustice.  

If action is the better choice then take action consciously. Reactive behavior is generally less effective than responsive behavior. Use the energy aroused by your anger to fuel clear thinking and skillful action rather than to just be expressed unconsciously based on your habitual way of dealing with anger.  

Your habitual way may be denial, passive aggressive or aggressive. You may seethe and plot over time or react immediately. But, are you going to get a result that is beneficial to yourself and the others involved?

Break your habits. Decide on the right course of action for the situation.  

If your intention is to do no harm to others, to seek optimal resolutions to conflicts and build healthy and lasting relationships, then the right course of action will help to achieve those ends.

Unfortunately, we see all too many examples of people who just vent their anger because they can't bear the pain it brings them, or who must get even, righteously destroy the wicked, or protect some idea or belief. Just look around at the anger that is vented on the streets of Pakistan, Egypt and Libya over an affront to Islam or the murder of doctors who work at abortion clinics by Christians in the U.S. Look too at your behavior and the behavior of people you know in your work place or personal relationships.  

What is your choice, to understand, recognize, accept and skillfully manage anger or to react?

© 2012 Pitagorsky Consulting 

Nov 17, 2012

HexLithium Crystals

Does not have the same ring to it as DiLithium, but interesting non-the-less.

File:USS Enterprise NCC-1701 (Überholt).svgWe have not been able to venture out very far into space.  One of the main reasons for that is that space is so frustratingly massive. Voyager 1 is the fastest man-made thing ever, but 10.5 miles per second is a piffling fraction of the speed of light. Even getting to one of our nearest neighbours, Mars, would take six to eight months using conventional spaceship engines.
Ideas like warp drives are still theoretical, and unlikely to be seen within our lifetimes. However, it might be possible to cut that trip to Mars down to as few as three months using a form of fusion fuel — “dilithium crystals.” Yep, just like Star Trek.
It’s not quite the same, of course. In the sci-fi series, the crystals are a rare substance that the crew spend an inordinate amount of time searching for, and their engines can use it to travel faster than the speed of light. This engine, currently under development at the University of Hunstville by a team working in collaboration with Boeing, NASA and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, would by comparison be about twice as fast as the best current technology.
According to Txchnologist, General Electric’s online tech magazine, this fusion reactor would be fueled by “a few tonnes” of deuterium (a heavy isotope of hydrogen) and lithium-6 (a stable molecule of lithium) in a crystalline structure — hence the “dilithium crystal” claim.
When the deuterium and the lithium-6 are forced together under high pressure they undergo a fusion reaction — a process which they’re still trying to turn into a net producer of energy. While fusion isn’t yet a viable fuel source, recent developments in the field seem to indicate that we can’t be far away.
The engine, dubbed the “Charger-1 Pulsed Power Generator”, would be constructed in space along with the rest of the spaceship to avoid the tricky engineering difficulties of getting all that delicate fusion equipment up through the atmosphere — just like the International Space Station. Once ready, the reactor would be engaged, and millions of amps are passed through super-thin lithium wires in 100 nanosecond pulses — this could generate up to three terrawatts of power. Those wires vaporise into plasma, which is collapsed onto the core of deuterium and lithium-6, inducing a fusion reaction.
The energy from that would be forced out the back of the ship in a so-called “z-pinch” using a “magnetic nozzle”, a component which the team are also developing. The engine’s potential top speed? Over 100,000km/h. That’s roughly the same speed at which the Earth orbits the Sun.


Nov 16, 2012

Click to Find Your Water Source!

Condensation, evaporation, precipitation… yes, all these “-ations” have something to do with where your water comes from.

But even if you understand the basic science behind the water cycle, do you really know the source of the water that flows from your tap? According to a 2011 Nature Conservancy poll, 77% of Americans don’t know where their water comes from.

Now there’s a remedy for that: The Nature Conservancy has created an interactive map of the drinking water sources for 493 cities across the globe, including 27 of the largest cities in the United States. If you are one of the 414 million people around the world living within these areas, you can now hop online and click around to find which rivers, lakes and streams supply water to your tapCheck it out.

Appreciate each person’s effort and give this feedback in a frequent and timely manner. This allows employees to value their progress. This is often more energizing than any one-off bonus.

We found that if you look at the condition of the land that supplies water to 27 of the largest cities in the U.S., these lands are made up of:
8% urban/suburban lands;
15% agricultural lands;
37% protected lands;
41% private, undeveloped lands.