A Wealth of Kid Hobby Ideas

A Wealth of Kid Hobby Ideas

Every young person needs a hobby. An interesting kid hobby will help children learn as well as keep them entertained for hours. It might even help them stay away from a bad peer group and stay out of trouble. Some kids might think of video games or TV as an appropriate kid hobby, but most parents would like to see their kids doing something more challenging or educational. A Wealth of Kid Hobby Ideas

A Wealth of Kid Hobby Ideas
A Wealth of Kid Hobby Ideas

A good kid hobby is playing a musical instrument. The guitar can often be self-taught from a book if a child has the interest, but for piano playing or other instruments, you will probably have to invest in lessons. Practice is, of course, an essential part of mastering any musical instrument.

Hobby Ideas

Another type of kid hobby is pursuing an art or a craft. Kids can learn to draw, paint, or make scrapbook pages. They can learn needle arts, such as embroidery, sewing, knitting or crocheting. Beginning carpentry is a very useful kid hobby that may turn into a career, or at least skills that will be used for a lifetime.
Tinkering around on gas engines or electronics is another kid hobby that can lead to useful skills.

There are all sorts of things that kids might like to collect for a hobby. Some of the more common collections are of stamps, coins, and rocks. Stamps are interesting because they can be from many different countries, becoming a geography lesson. Coins and stamps both are of historical significance, and encourage reading to learn more about different eras in history. Rock collecting as a kid hobby requires looking into science books.

Other collectibles include bean bag toys or figurines of a certain thing, such as owls, frogs, or unicorns.

Construction sets also make a good pastime for kids. Many people may think of these only as toys, but children who have grown up with these sets and added components to them down through the years can create some pretty impressive models. They are also gaining skills in reasoning and perception as they build.

Making model, such as cars, boats, and airplanes, has always been a popular kid hobby. If your child is interested in making models, be very encouraging in the beginning. Model car kits can be very complicated and require a great deal of precision. If your child’s first few creations leave a little bit to be desired, don’t laugh or scold, or he is likely to never want to try to make anything again! Get the easiest kit he is willing to make and then patiently help him as much as needed.

Many kids enjoy sports, making any athletic activity a great kid hobby. Soccer, basketball, and little league baseball all come to mind, but don’t forget about track and field events. Maybe your child would enjoy distance running or gymnastics. An active kid hobby will help your child stay in shape as well as make an interesting pastime.

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Tips for Peace and Harmony

Tips for Peace and Harmony

What do you like to do on family holidays? Go to the beach or spend a week in the country? Maybe you like camping or visiting relatives. Whatever you enjoy, family holidays are a chance for everyone in the family to get reacquainted and spend quality time together. It’s a chance for parents to really talk with their teens and find out what’s going on in their lives. It’s important to keep the communication lines open, and a family holiday is a good time to do that. Having a good relationship with their parents is one of the most important factors in keeping teens out of trouble. Tips for Peace and Harmony

Tips for Peace and Harmony
Tips for Peace and Harmony

Studies have shown that when families take holidays together, they are more likely to eat together and are less likely to argue. They do not watch as much television because they are involved in doing things together. Kids even report that their parents seem to act differently while on holiday.

While family holidays are a good time to connect with your kids, communication problems that are already there will not automatically disappear. Especially with teenagers it is important to listen and be flexible. Find out what the kids would like to do and eat and plan accordingly. While even teenagers need boundaries, it is important for parents to try to avoid needless confrontation. Explain why you make the decisions you do and show them positive attention.

Kids will appreciate being included in travel plans. There’s a good chance they will choose a theme park or the beach if those are among the options. Sometimes it works well for a teenager to take a special friend along on family holidays. While this might increase the parents’ load, the teen is likely to really appreciate it. Also, sometimes it works well for kids to go on holidays with their grandparents instead of their parents. Sometimes there is a special relationship here that can help kids open up and communicate about their concerns.

While on family holidays, if teens are uncooperative or behave improperly, try to deal with the problem in private. Teens are very aware of embarrassmant and it is needlessly mean to exploit this sensitivity. In fact, you might explain to the kids how their behavior embarrasses you, and they in turn might work harder at getting along and acting appropriately.

Kids will be happier on family vacations if they have snacks, drinks, and entertainment. Few kids enjoy a long ride in the car! Try to provide individual CD players or hand-held video games, and don’t forget to take plenty of bathroom stops. Sometimes kids enjoy the ride more if they can help you follow the map. This is an educational activity for them as well. By following these suggestions, your family holidays can make a happy memory.

 

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The Importance Of Celebration

The Importance Of Celebration

There are many important things in life. Learning, growing, loving, and exploring are all things that each person should take time for. Celebration is another thing that everyone should take time for. Celebration adds an excitement and a lot of fun to life. The Importance Of Celebration.

Celebration can happen for a variety of formal or informal reasons. Probably most people have gone to a celebration in honor of someone’s birthday, wedding, or the birth of a new baby. There is something deep inside hu…

There are many important things in life. Learning, growing, loving, and exploring are all things that each person should take time for. Celebration is another thing that everyone should take time for. Celebration adds an excitement and a lot of fun to life.

Celebration can happen for a variety of formal or informal reasons. Probably most people have gone to a celebration in honor of someone’s birthday, wedding, or the birth of a new baby. There is something deep inside humanity that loves to celebrate the best things in life. We love a good Christmas or Fourth of July celebration or other celebrations that mark special holidays or family traditions.
Celebration doesn’t have to be reserved for the biggest events or holidays of the year though. Because the majority of our days are spent doing trivial tasks like working or cleaning our homes, we all need things to look forward to. Celebrations of all kinds give us the excitement to keep making it through days that seem purposeless. Have you ever felt like life was a little too routine? I’m confident that by the time the next holiday or birthday celebration rolled around you were grateful for the change of pace.

Celebration allows us to relax and unwind in the midst of busy and crazy lives. We use celebrations as an excuse to gather with the friends and family that mean that most to us. We also enjoy celebrations because they allow us to remember the things in life that truly matter. As we celebrate, we allow the stresses of life to fall behind and we spend our time doing things we love with the people we love. There is something about a great celebration that reminds us of the purpose of our life and of the power of our closest relationships.

Think of ways to incorporate celebrations of all kinds into your life. Make a big deal out of birthdays, weddings, or anniversaries. Throw huge celebrations for Thanksgiving, Christmas or other holidays that are important to your religious beliefs. One of the biggest keys to getting the most out of life is to have celebrations for no real reason at all. Just invite your friends over, cook great food and spend a few hours playing games that cause laughter and build friendship.

Perhaps the best thing about celebration of any kind is that it makes our lives richer and more full.

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A Miracle Story about Adversity Fate and Joy

A Miracle Story about Adversity Fate and Joy

by Colleen Kettenhofen

Miracles happen! Discover how this must-read miracle story can help you with overcoming adversity, following your fate and finding joy. The grief of loss and the healing power of a puppy. The secret: sometimes we get what we need not necessarily what we “think” we want. A Miracle Story about Adversity, Fate and Joy

Miracles happen. This is a miracle story about what happens when we look for the lesson in every situation. After all, business and personal success is about attitude, overcoming adversity, and successfully managing change as well.

A Miracle Story about Adversity, Fate and Joy
A Miracle Story about Adversity, Fate and Joy

It was Easter, March 31, 2002 and I was on a hiking vacation with my husband in a California desert near where we lived. Our baby daughter, Caroline, was supposed to have been born on this date, but there were complications with the pregnancy and we lost her five months earlier on October 30. Three weeks later in November, we had put my 18 ½-year-old cat, “Baby,” to sleep. Needless to say, with all this adversity we needed a vacation.

It was now late October, 2002, and we were living in Atlanta, Georgia. We’d been contemplating adopting a dog, yet it didn’t seem right with our travel schedules. My husband was an airline pilot, and I was an international speaker. Still, I walked into an animal shelter having convinced myself I would “just look.” In the shelter was a calm, sweet-faced puppy, eight or nine weeks old, who caught my attention. Sensing our chemistry and trust, I did what you’re never supposed to do. I put my hand into her cage. While looking up at me with her big brown eyes, she licked my hand over and over. This innocent puppy was also highly intelligent and obviously knew how to sell herself. After many minutes, I pulled away and forced myself to walk towards the door. Already in love with her, I turned around, and there she was…still looking at me with those eyes.

A new puppy sounded wonderful, except that it didn’t seem to fit into the lifestyle of an airline pilot and international speaker who traveled. And my husband kept telling me how much attention puppies require. Still, my gut feeling was that it was fate. We were supposed to have her. I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I was going back to the Peachtree City animal shelter later the next morning to visit.

The next day at a garage sale, two smiling women walked up to me holding a puppy. As I looked more closely, I realized this was the puppy. The same one I’d been thinking of adopting. They placed her in my arms and said, “Would you like to adopt her? She’s from the Peachtree City animal shelter. We can’t have anymore pets, but she had only two hours to live. And we’ve named her Joy because she’s already brought such joy to our lives.”

Joy fit perfectly in my arms as she gazed up at me with those puppy-dog eyes. There was an inexplicable connection and incredible bond. I wanted to talk to my husband first, even though I had a feeling he’d say yes about her this time. They even offered to pet sit her for free.

Later that day, lunching with a friend, she said, “My gosh, Colleen, it’s fate. You’re supposed to have that puppy! Let’s go see Joy tonight.” We drove to their home and as we pulled in the driveway, my friend shrieked, “Oh Colleen, it’s fate, it’s fate!” I had no idea what she was talking about. She pointed to the car in front of us in the driveway, and in huge letters was a bumper sticker that simply read, “FATE.” How many more “signs” did I need?! The family explained to us that night that their son had died unexpectedly a year earlier, that this was his car, his bumper sticker, and that he’d always believed in fate. They believed it was fate that I was supposed to have Joy. This was a miracle story about overcoming adversity, following fate and literally finding joy.

After playing with this happy puppy named Joy, I went home empty-handed that night. I needed to read some inspirational literature, and really think this over. After all, I wanted to make certain this puppy would be with us forever. As I pulled out this little book with its daily word message, I gasped. In big letters, the word of the day was JOY. It was fate! The next day my husband and I brought our bundle of “Joy” home. On Caroline’s anniversary, October 30, 2002, there I was with Joy sitting in my lap riding in the car. And it was the only place she would sit. She refused to be anywhere but my lap.

My ex-husband and I are no longer together. Joy is a healthy 47 lbs, happily living in Portland, Oregon with me and her big cat brother. Pacific Northwest scenery is gorgeous. There’s lots of family history here and many large fenced dog parks. My mother’s cousins love to pet sit Joy since I still travel as a motivational speaker and author. They have a spacious backyard and a wonderful dog of their own.

Miracles happen. The lesson of this miracle story is that eventually, even through adversity, everything has a way of working out. Especially if we will roll with the punches, trust our gut, and follow our fate. Often, we get what we need, not necessarily what we think we want. Joy has literally given me pure joy. She is a miracle of love. A miracle story.

 

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The Burning Bush

The Burning Bush

Terrorism. The U.S rightly attacked Afghanistan when they refused to give up Bin Laden. For this, I have to trust that the Americans knew what they were doing, since they were involved with setting up Bin Laden and Afghanistan in the first place. That does not, however, give them the right to bite the hand that feeds them. The Burning Bush

The Burning Bush
The Burning Bush

It is what happens hereafter that should give us all pause for concern. Many times, causes or wars are pure in their infancy, but grow into new animals. This did not take long, as America turned towards Saddam and started accusing him of aiding and harboring terrorists. The U.S had not even put a serious effort into destroying the Al-Quaida before turning to face a new enemy. Once they created, twice. Saddam was put into pwer by the United States, and backed for decades by the US. They were always aware (and some believe partially responsible) of the crimes they now have charged him with. In essence, King George outright fabricated a reason to go into Iraq and finish the job his father started. Why? Simple. America did not see God after the Gulf War. Oil companies cried foul when they could not broker deals with Iraq and profit from their huge oil reserves. Since the U.S would already be in the middle east, why not kill two birds with one stone? In searching for weapons of mass destruction, the Americans used weapons of mass destruction to slaughter any Iraqis who got in their way.
How could the people let this happen? People are influenced by the media, who in turn are influenced by profit. The Americans provided first-hand coverage of the war as long as the media respected certain conditions about the reports they aired. Among those conditions were that no negative press towards the events can be presented by those reporters. Both the American and British governments worked together to create a climate of fierce propaganda. To oppose the war against Iraq was to spit on the faces of all those who died in 9/11.
To turn against the soldiers today, would be to repeat that same evil against the veterans of Vietnam. The media imposed a subtle form of censorship towards any anti-war stories in order to keep good standing in the eyes for the American and British governments. Most people rely on mainstream coverage to get all their information. The many mainstream are owed by the few of the upper class. Businessmen that stand to lose since Bush would refuse any contracts to be given to any country (and companies) that did not participate in the war.
While most of the Iraqi people seemed happy to be rid of a dictator, their joy quickly changed to apprehension, then anger as the American’s continue to stay and occupy their land. They no longer saw the difference between Saddam’s tactics to stay in power, and the Americans that stormed their city daily, and their temples, rounding up and killing Iraqi’s. The irony here is that in attacking Iraq under the pretense of curbing terror, the Americans have added to the threat. The Al-Quaida have openly contacted rebel groups, as they help them mobilize against the U.S and their new puppet regime. Saddam was a dictator. People like Saddam could never allow an organisation like Al-Quaida to survive in Iraq, as it could pose a threat to his power. With Saddam now removed, the Al-Quaida has more opportunity to plant operatives in Iraq. With more and more Iraqi’s being killed either directly or indirectly as a result of the American intervention, Al-Quaida will also be able to add more members than they could of beforehand.
King George will now have to make his next moves very carefully. If he continues to pursue his middle east agenda, he will easily plunge us all into the next World War. We do not have to sit idly by. The first act would be to get informed. Learn about what is going on. The internet offers a wealth of instant information. Never just trust one source. People cannot help but to taint facts with opinion. Here is a great site that can get you started on other aspects of King George’s own reign of terror.

 

by Gary Whittaker.

 

 

 

 

 

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HAPPY VACUUM HOLIDAY

Happy Vacuum Holiday

Create a Vacuum Day just might leave you in an empty void. We found no factual information or records about this day. So, we can only speculate to its cause. Date When Celebrated : Always February 4 / Happy Create a Vacuum Holiday. Happy Vacuum Holiday

HAPPY CREATE A VACUUM HOLIDAY
HAPPY CREATE A VACUUM HOLIDAY

Theory #1: A hard working housewife, frustrated over her vacuuming chores, declared a day to commemorate the chore of vacuuming. The hole in this theory is that the day would likely be simply called “Vacuum Day” or “No Vacuuming Day”. Why include the word “Create” in the title? This led us to……..

Theory #2: A (mad!?) scientist created this day to celebrate the creation of a vacuum during laboratory work. But, isn’t this routine scientific work!? We think so. Therefore, it led us to…………..

Theory#3: Someone desperately in need of a simpler life, conceived this day. They wanted to create a vacuum that would suck all of the daily work, chores and clutter out of their life. If only for one day, they would be freed to enjoy the simple life of leisure. Now, here’s a theory that really makes sense for today!

However you choose to commemorate this day, we hope it’s a good one!

 

1. As the originators were creating a vacuum in their laboratory, the records were caught up in the void.

2. The originators were vacuuming their home, and the papers were sucked up along with the dust bunnies.

Vacuum Cleaner, types and how they work

The basic principle on which a vacuum cleaner operates is called “suction”. Suction again works on the fundamental concept of pressure. For example, when you sip Coke through a straw, the pressure on the mouth end of the straw is reduced as a result of which the pressure at the inserted end of the straw increases and Coke flows. This is the simplest implementation of a suction mechanism.

The same suction mechanism is what makes a vacuum cleaner work. Only, it is not such a simple implementation of suction mechanism. This article deals with workings of different kinds of vacuum cleaners based on certain principles of physics.

The internal structure of a vacuum cleaner is very simple although it looks a little complicated from the outside. It is made up of six essential components. First is the inlet, the point from where the vacuum cleaner sucks up the debris and dust from your home or office. This end of the vacuum cleaner usually has a host of accessories shaped in various ways to help you clean. Second is the exhaust, a vent built into vacuum cleaner either to jet out the air coming in through the inlet due to suction, or to suck air when you use the vacuum cleaner in the “blow” mode. Third is an electric motor which helps to produce suction. Fourth, is a fan to start and keep the suction mechanism running. Fifth is a porous bag to collect and filter the sucked air of dust and debris that you have collected through the inlet. Last is the housing or the cabinet in which all these components are arranged in an efficient manner to facilitate the efficient usage of the vacuum cleaner. To use the blow mechanism of your vacuum cleaner, the fan has to rotate the other way. Many vacuum cleaners have this feature built in.

As all of us are aware, a vacuum cleaner works on electricity. Once it is plugged and turned on, the electric motor comes on and rotates the fan. The fan has angular blades, made specifically at a certain angle. Once the fan starts running, the blades push the air towards the exhaust outlet. When this process begins the air pressure increases in front of the fan and reduces behind the fan. This drop of pressure creates a suction or partial vacuum. As air always moves from high pressure areas to low pressure areas, the ambient air tries to move into the low pressure area or the partial vacuum, rushing in through the inlet port. As long as the fan is working and the inlet is open, a constant flow of air is created moving in through the inlet and out through the exhaust via the porous bag.

This constant stream of air running through the inlet can be harnessed using various attachments provided by the manufacturer of the vacuum cleaner. By attaching these various kinds of noses with a flexible pipe to the inlet, the vacuum cleaner can be directed to the dust or debris in various nooks and corners of the house or office. Due to the force of the air, dust and debris gets sucked into the vacuum cleaner. This air mixed with dust and debris after entering the vacuum cleaner has to pass through the porous bag which filters out the air but retains the dust and debris. Thus the cleaning operation is completed by accumulating the dust and debris in the porous bag. This bag can later be taken out and cleaned or disposed of after a few uses.

Vacuum cleaners are of various types. The first generation of vacuum cleaners were invented in mid 1800’s which were hand operated. They had bellows through which the suction was created manually. Electric vacuum cleaners came into vogue in early 1900’s but were generally viewed as luxury items for many years.

A very popular version of the electric vacuum cleaners is the central vacuum cleaner. This system has a large fan outside the house or office and has various vents connecting through the walls. A flexible pipe can be attached to any of these vents to clean the area. The dust is collected in a large canister outside the house and can be emptied and cleaned as per convenience, a few times a year.

There is a wet/dry vacuum cleaner available for the purpose of cleaning solids as well as liquids. In these kinds of vacuum cleaners the collection method is a little different, since liquids cannot be stored in porous bags. Usually external buckets are used.

A recent version of the traditional vacuum cleaner is called the cyclone vacuum cleaner. This variation does not have a porous bag collector. It has a maze of spiral pipes through which the air is passed, as a result of which the dust and debris in the air experiences a centrifugal forces and falls away from the air, collecting inside the cylinder.

This is not the end of technology; we would see more innovative designs of the vacuum cleaner that has become a part of every household in the years to come.

Happy Create a Vacuum Holiday

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Happy Australia Holiday

Happy Australia Holiday

Australia Day is a national holiday in Australia, celebrating national pride and culture, and an opportunity to recognize and enjoy accomplishments. Many Australians use this day to explore and learn more about their national identity and culture. Date When Celebrated : always January 26th

Happy Australia Holiday
Happy Australia Holiday

A Popular Australian Supercross Rider

When many think of supercross motorcycle racing, a number of names quickly come to mind. Two of those names include Ricky Carmichael and Jeremy McGrath. Unfortunately, this often leaves out of number of other popular and well performing supercross riders. One of those riders includes Chad Reed. Although he may not be as well known as Ricky Carmichael or Jeremy McGrath, he has earned to right to be known as a popular supercross motorcycle rider.

What is unique about Chad Reed, when compared to other professional supercross motorcycle racers, is that he is not American born. Instead, Reed was born in Australia. In fact, that is where he got his start in supercross motorcycle racing. Fortunately, for Chad Reed, supercross motorcycle racing is just as popular in Australia as it is in the United States. After successfully winning the Australian Supercross Championship, Reed made the move to the European Supercross Series.

Not long after his move the European Supercross Series, Chad Reed finally made the move to the United States; a move that he had been dreaming of since his rise in supercross popularity. Once in the United States, Chad Reed joined Team Yamaha. During this time, he was crowned the East Coast Supercross Champion. The East Coast Supercross Championship would not be the only highlight of Chad Reed’s career, in fact, he went on and still continues to rack up the wins.

Although Chad Reed rocketed to superstar status with supercross racing, it hasn’t always been easy sailing. For instance, in 2003, it was anticipated that he would win the championship. This is because he won a large number of races, when compared to the other top competitors. However, Reed was unable to hold off his competitor, Ricky Carmichael. During the last round of the championship, he ended up loosing the championship to this other popular and highly recognized supercross motorcycle racer.

Once again, in 2006, Chad Reed suffered disappointment at the hands of Ricky Carmichael. After suffering a painful shoulder injury, he was unable to race at the best of his ability. Despite this painful injury, he was still able to successfully compete in supercross racing. In fact, he almost won the 2006 championship, but, once again, the championship went to Ricky Carmichael. Although Chad Reed did not win the AMA Supercross Championship as he had intended to do, he did come in a close second. It is reported that he only lost by two points.Reed currently resides in Date City, Florida with his wife. In the off-season, he enjoys participating in water sports, playing blackjack, and golfing. It has been said that he doesn’t necessarily consider supercross motorcycle racing as a job. He enjoys racing because of the sport and it is something that he loves doing everyday of his life.

That online website is the place to go if you are looking for more information on this popular supercross rider. In addition to more information on his personal life, as well as his supercross career, you can also find links to official autographed merchandise. Whether you want a piece of autographed history or just a plain old shirt, you can find what you are looking for online. What better way to look stylish and support your favorite rider at the same time?

Happy Australia Holiday!

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Happy National Buttercrunch Holiday

Happy National Buttercrunch Holiday

Buttercrunch lovers, today is your day. It’s National Buttercrunch Day. Today you can enjoy buttercrunch ice cream, candy, or anything buttercrunch. Happy National Buttercrunch Holiday. Date When celebrated : Always January 20

buttercrunch
buttercrunch

Spend the day with one of your favorite snacks. Make it your personal goal to have something with buttercrunch at each meal, and as a snack. Tomorrow, you can return to the diet.

Origin of National Buttercrunch Day:
Without a doubt, this day was created by an individual or group that just loves Buttercrunch. Perhaps, they were so busy enjoying their favorite treat, that they failed to document their creation and get the crunchy credit!

There is no evidence to suggest that this is truly a “National” day, which requires an act of congress.

 

Butter Crunch 2 Ways

Print
Adapted from Candy Recipes & Other Confections by May B. Van Arsdale and Ruth Parrish Casa Emellos.

Author: TheSpicedLife
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: candy
Ingredients
The base of the candy:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 hefty pinch of salt
1 T light corn syrup*
First Optional Topping
6 oz semi sweet chocolate, chopped (John’s family used chocolate chips; I used plain chocolate)
Approx. 1 cup chopped pecans (I used a tad more)
Second Optional Topping
6 oz good quality milk chocolate, chopped
Approx. 1 cup chopped roasted, salted peanuts (I used a tad more)
Several pinches (to taste) of good quality, coarse sea salt

 

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Happy Thesaurus Holiday

Happy Thesaurus Holiday

Thesaurus Day celebrates the birthday of the author of Roget’s Thesaurus. Peter Roget was born on this day in 1779. Happy Thesaurus Holiday / Date When Celebrated: Always January 18

Happy Thesaurus Holiday
Happy Thesaurus Holiday

The Thesaurus has been an invaluable reference book for hundreds of years. Students and writers use it to improve the quality of their literary work. Do you remember how the book works? After High School, many of us forget. If you have forgotten, you’re in good company.

The Thesaurus lists synonyms (words with the same or similar meaning) for words. It allows you to avoid repetition in writing and speeches. It also lists antonyms…words with opposite meaning.

Enjoy today appreciating the value of the Thesaurus. If you haven’t seen it in a while, take a moment to browse through it.

Origin of Thesaurus Day:
We know that Thesaurus Day was created to honor Peter Roget, the author of Roget’s Thesaurus. We fully expected to find a book company, or the folks at thesaurus.com to claim to be the originators. However, we did not find the originator, or the date of origin for this special day. Perhaps it was one of the millions of people who appreciate the value of this reference book.

A Non-Writer’s Guide to Improving Your Everyday Writing

by Ann Roscopf Allen

At the beginning of every semester I’ve ever taught college writing, at least one student in the class will issue the disclaimer, “I’m a terrible writer.” That student seems to think he or she is incorrigible, hopeless, a lost cause with the written word. The poor kid was probably just the victim of too much red ink from some past English teacher. Almost without fail, I find that that student has a lot of promise as a writer and needs only a little tweaking of his or her writing. Educated people will judge you by how you write, so polishing your writing is worth the effort. Improving your everyday writing requires time, determination, and a forgiving spirit, but anybody can do it.
1. Pay attention. Have you ever bought a car and then suddenly noticed how many other cars just like yours are out on the roads? Plainly stated, you notice what you pay attention to. Good writers pay attention to words, written and spoken. Tune in to the language “wavelength” and discover what you can learn.
2. Surround yourself with words well spoken. Pick out someone you admire whose speech you would like to emulate. Listen to talk radio or watch C-SPAN or other television shows that deal with ideas. But choose your language models carefully. The fact is that we write what we hear in our heads, and what we hear in our heads is what we surround ourselves with.
3. Read, read, read. The best writers are those who have read a lot. Reading almost any kind of prose can help you improve your writing. If you like sports, don’t limit yourself to the box scores: read the sports columnists. Read the editorial pages of major newspapers, or seek out not just the news but the feature articles, especially in Sunday papers. These writers are published not just because they have something to say, but because they say it well. Immerse yourself in good writing.
4. Pull your grammar book off that dusty shelf. If you threw away your last grammar book from school, go buy another one. If you have questions about the correct form of a sentence, use that book to research the problem and the answer. Grammar is not rocket science, so don’t be intimidated by it. As quirky as English can be, a lot of grammar is actually quite logical. You don’t have to memorize everything in the book: just use it when you need it. I’ve found that many writers have only one or two basic grammar issues that they’ve never had explained to them. Figure out what your misunderstandings are, and you’re halfway to their resolution. Ask a knowledgeable friend for help, if you want.
5. Use your dictionary regularly. Don’t depend on spell check. Spell check can be a safety net before you send out a piece of writing to your boss, but train your brain to become your spell checker. Make a list of words you regularly misspell (spell check can tell you what they are). If you hear a word you are unfamiliar with, look it up to see how it is spelled. Become curious about words. This is why a dictionary can be so important: you not only can learn the correct spelling of words, but you can learn how they are used in different contexts. You can even discover a word’s roots, which might help you make sense of its meanings and spelling. Spell check just isn’t enough.
6. Use your thesaurus sparingly. A thesaurus is a great tool for reminding you of words you already know how to use, but if you are unfamiliar with a word or have never heard or read it being used, don’t use it. There is no more obvious giveaway that a person doesn’t have a clue than a person regularly misusing big words. Write to express, not to impress.
7. Keep it simple. Unless you make your living as a novelist or poet, your main purpose in writing is probably to communicate an idea clearly and concisely so that others understand it. Before you send out a memo or letter, write what you mean to say in plain English, as if you were writing it to your best friend. Then read it as if you are the recipient of that memo or letter – did you leave something out that is necessary to understanding your point? Is there a sentence that doesn’t make sense? Reduce your sentences to their simplest possible form, and then add whatever details are necessary to make your meaning clear. This is not a license to be rude – etiquette, common courtesy, and protocol are necessary. But writing your idea for another person to understand doesn’t require unnecessary complexity or ten dollar words.
8. Use the active voice, not the passive voice. “John hit Paul” (active) is a stronger sentence than “Paul was hit by John.” Of course, it depends on whom you want to emphasize, the “hitter” or the “hittee”. Sometimes you may want to be intentionally vague: “Mistakes were made” (but you don’t want to state by whom, or maybe you don’t know). The passive voice is perfectly grammatical; just determine what your intention is and use the active voice whenever possible.
9. Use strong verbs, and its corollary, write in complete sentences. You can make your writing clear by focusing on the action in the sentence. One strong verb carries more punch than a long string of adverbs.
10. Make sure your pronoun references are clear. Will your reader be able to figure out which “she” you mean, Linda or Connie? What is “it” – a plan, an idea, a dog? The antecedent of the pronoun, the word that comes before to which the pronoun refers, needs to be obvious to avoid misunderstanding.
11. Be careful with punctuation. It has been said that punctuation marks are like traffic signals, indicating when you should stop or pause in your reading. Maybe. But more punctuation doesn’t necessarily make your writing any clearer. Here’s where your grammar book can come in handy. Remember that punctuation marks themselves don’t carry any meaning. If your words don’t already describe some strong feeling, an exclamation point isn’t going to help. Overusing exclamation points is unprofessional.
12. Forgive yourself and others. You are going to continue to make mistakes, and so will even the best writers around you. Publishing houses have copy editors for authors who make millions of dollars writing books, because everyone who writes occasionally makes mistakes. It’s just a matter of degree: are your mistakes constant or occasional? So if you write something that you or someone else notices is ungrammatical or misspelled or incomplete, correct it, get over it, but don’t give up on yourself.
You want your first impression to be a good one, whether it be how you look or how you write. Learning to improve your everyday writing is a long term proposition and one that requires work, but if it’s what you really want, it’s worth the time and the effort.

 

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Happy Nothing Holiday

Happy Nothing Holiday

This day is an “un-event”. The expectation is that we do not create or otherwise promote this day. In other words, we do nothing. And, to say anything more would contradict the purpose of this day. Happy Nothing Holiday. Date When Celebrated : Always January 16 th. National Nothing Day is quite simply… a day for nothing.

Happy Nothing Holiday
Happy Nothing Holiday

Celebrate this day by doing….nothing. Of course, that assumes that doing nothing is okay with your boss.

Origin of National Nothing Day:
All we know about this day, is that it was created in 1973 by newspaperman Harold Pullman Coffin.

Other than that, we understandably found nothing about this day.

There is no evidence to suggest that Nothing Day is truly a “national” day, which requires an act of congress.

 

Nothing Ever Stays The Same

by Graham and Julie

Nothing ever stays the same. On the one hand we despise change yet on the other we don’t want to stagnate and become boring. Yet our habits keep us locked into a course of action day after day, year after year. The way we think, the way we behave, the way we experience things, the way we react to incidents, all are dominated by our habits. They are so strong that most of do not even know what they are. Whatever our habits are they keep us fixed in a particular perspective or behaviour. They stop us reaching our potential.
Our habits are basically involuntary acts we perform unintentionally and without thinking. We just are them. Yes. We are our habits. Whether, you lack confidence, find it difficult to make decisions, always arrive late for an appointment, can’t say no …, feel lonely, feel stupid, think others always know best…… these are all habits. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that you can change. Change is based on choice. Once you realise what your habits are, you have more chance of changing them. It may not be easy. It may be painful, sometimes. But it is also fun and rewarding because you are changing your life. You are opening yourself to see the possibilities of your potential. What you are capable of.
History shows us that there are four key ingredients to successfully change habits:
Reflection, Realisation, Resolve and Sustained Effort.
In other words all you have to do is imagine you are the gardener of your life:
Reflect on the state of your garden.
Realise what are weeds and what are flowers.
Remove the weeds
Replace the weeds with flowers and make a sustained effort to keep the garden clear of weeds you don’t want.
So. What is the largest weed in your garden? Which habit causes you most pain?
What is keeping this weed in place? What stops you from pulling it out?
Look at all the obstacles and think of the best method for eradicating the weed. Remember some weeds do not come out at first pull. They leave a little root behind. Some are better killed off with weed killer rather than a tortuous pull. Look for the best method for your weed.
Now, what flower would you like to plant in its place? What behaviour would you like to put in instead of the habit? You will need something because all of us that have changed habits are aware of the need for a transitory behaviour. A good example is giving up smoking. The transitory behaviour is either: something to do with your hands, instead of holding a cigarette; gum to chew when you would light a cigarette or a sweet to pop into your mouthy when you feel like a cigarette.
So what flower would you like to put in place of your weed?
The next phase is the key to success.
For all gardeners the next phase is the most easy and yet the most difficult. Make a sustained effort to keep the weed out of your garden. This is the key. It is so easy to say I’ve done it and walk away. Sustained effort can also be called zeal and enthusiasm. Be passionate about clearing your weed. Tell others what you are doing. Avoid incidents that would automatically set the weed off. Keep looking at your new flower. Have zeal and enthusiasm for your new flower. Keep focussed on the flower Make a sustained effort to keep the new flower watered and the area around it free from weeds. Nourish it. Fertilise it. Talk to it. Gradually the new flower will blossom and the old weed disappear. Remember: Nothing ever stays the same.
Good Luck
Graham and Julie

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