Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Great inspiration from "I Live Inspired"

Chris Deutsch and Robert Foster, two American entrepreneurs are the founders of I Live Inspired, a website that sends out daily text messages carrying inspirational quotes authored by motivational experts in self-help, parenting, and business.

In October, Deutsch and Foster walked 100 miles through evocatively named cities in Indiana. The journey took them from Hope to Buddha and on to Bloomington, where the Dalai Lama was scheduled to attend a series of events at Indiana University and the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center (TCC).

Deutsch and Foster did a symbolic, mindful walk to draw some attention and see if we could get a meeting that way with the Dalai Lama. It worked. The day the two arrived in Bloomington, they were granted a session with the Dalai Lama.

"We call them pilgrims," said Lisa Morrison, TCC's public relations director.

Deutsch and Foster were given permission to send out pre-approved quotes from the Dalai Lama. In return, they're donating to TCC 75 percent of the proceeds generated from the Dalai Lama-themed text messages.

Now their holiday dream is to meet Al Gore in order to include quotes from former vice president and recent Nobel Peace Prize laureate in their fledgling website.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Lower grades among the sleep skippers

A survey of 120 students at St. Lawrence University, a small liberal arts college in northern New York, found that students who have never pulled an all-nighter have average GPAs of 3.1, compared to 2.9 for those who have. The study, by assistant professor of psychology Pamela Thacher, is to be included in the January issue of Behavioral Sleep Medicine.

A second study by Thacher, a clinical psychologist, had "extremely similar" results showing lower grades among the sleep skippers.

Many college students, of course, have inadequate or irregular sleep, for reasons ranging from excessive caffeine to poor time management.

Dr. Howard Weiss, a physician at St. Peter's Sleep Center in Albany, said the study results make sense.

"Certainly that data is out there showing that short sleep duration absolutely interferes with concentration, interferes with performance on objective testing," he said.

Some night owls do get good grades, of course, which may be explained by circadian rhythms, Weiss said. Circadian rhythms can be tracked through body temperature and hormonal transmissions.

Some people have different 24-hour body clocks than others, and may do better depending on class and testing times, Weiss said.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

WIFI in the sky

The New York Times is reporting that airlines will start testing in-flight Internet connectivity as early as next Tuesday. This is good news for business travellers for whom the Internet has become a vital tool for success. For leisure travellers and others, it offers a new horizon to deal with the boredom and lack of productivity that comes with air travel.

Both JetBlue and American Airlines will be kicking things off with free email and instant messaging on its planes- JetBlue is only offering e-mail and IM connectivity, while American has plans for full 'Net access—and will only initially be available on certain flights, both represent a significant step towards full online connectivity at 35,000 feet.

It's still not clear how much Internet access would cost on either airline. There seems to be some confusion on this point, with some people claiming that the service will be free, while others say it'll cost $10. That $10 figure is actually drawn from a Reuters story from last August.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Selling Peace

Imagining Peace in Darfur. Make Love, Not War

Bret Dey writes, In March 31, 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono appeared at a Vienna press conference in a bag large enough to hold the two of them closely together, hidden from the glare of the camera flashes. Inside the bag, they claimed to be eating chocolate cake. Perplexed, the press asked questions and John and Yoko explained that the bag represented total communication. “When you’re in a bag, you can’t be judged by the color of your skin, the length of your hair, your age or any other attributes.”

38 years later, peace is still not an easy commodity to sell when you are dealing with Sudan that is alleged to have committed genocide, more than 250,000 killed and as many as 2.5 million are thought to have been displaced as of October 2006.

John Lennon realized that his high-minded art projects and chants of “Give Peace a Chance” were simplistic. And, to him, that was exactly the point. “We’re trying to sell peace, like a product,” he said on The David Frost Show. “We’re trying to sell peace the way people sell soap or soft drinks.”

This is what the African Union is preparing to do. Renegotiate the Darfur Peace Agreement, an agreement designed to explore, explain and communicate what peace is about hoping that affected parties will sign on to it.