Inspiration: Three Charities That Make A HUGE Difference…

“The life of a man consists not in seeing visions and in dreaming dreams, but in active charity and in willing service.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Inspiration: Three Charities That Make A HUGE Difference... As we give, so we shall recieve..... Every so often, we come across charitable individuals or organizations that remind us of why making even a small difference in the lives of others enriches us all. The three charities I selected today are amongst the best in the world because ...

Humor: Ten Signs To Quit The Silly Jokes…

“Sometimes I lie awake at night, and ask, ‘Where have I gone wrong?’ Then a voice says to me, ‘This is going to take more than one night.’” Charles M. Schulz Humor: Ten Signs To Quit The Silly Jokes... The joke blows up in your face... We’ve all been to one of those parties where the jokes crossed the line for some of the attendees as Uncle Joe, drunk out of his mind, is busy making jokes about everything and everyone. Yeah, ...

Reflections: Everything Is Energy…

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”  John Muir Reflections: Everything Is Energy... depiction of Newton's 3rd Law of Motion This week, Oprah‘s life lesson course tackles the law of Karma; at least, that is how some of us would interpret Lesson 24: Newton’s Third Law of Motion: ...

Fun Flower Facts: Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is a genus of flowering evergreen trees and shrubs with more than 700 species native to Australia. Trees can range from 33ft to over 200 ft in height. Many of the species have glossy leaves covered with oil glands. The trees are easily characterized by their fluffy flowers, which can be white, yellow, pink or red.  Interestingly, these flowers don’t have petals; they have showy stamens instead. As well, most species don’t flower until adult foliage starts to appear. These ...

Musings: Breathing Fire…

“Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience.” George Washington Musings: Breathing Fire… In The Heart Of the Fire… We took refuge from the cold The flames lifted gently Then spread like wicked weeds We reached for faith, hope, and courage Our conscience said add more We added prayer and peace… Then, breathing through the fire We headed out the door… More below! “The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” Ferdinand Foch Musings: Breathing Fire… In The Heart Of the Fire… We found ...

Rubbed Raw in Verona

Verona is a beautiful Italian city famous for someone who never lived there, as described by someone unlikely to have even visited Verona. Any guesses who I’m talking about? This should help: “But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and (?) is the sun.” Don’t have it yet? “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name; Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love And I’ll no longer be a Capulet. If you guessed Honey ...

Music Memories: Something There To Remind Me…

“Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.” Ludwig van Beethoven Music Memories: Something There To Remind Me… SADE Sade – Smooth Operator When Smooth Operator came out, I listened to it endlessly… It reminded me of a cad or two I’d met over the years… You know, the type that promised everything and delivered nothing… Need I say more? Enjoy the music. Reflect on your experiences and share them below… Come back later for more. “One good thing about music, when it ...

Reflections: Words Have Weight…

“Be careful of the words you say, keep them short and sweet. You never know, from day to day, which ones you’ll have to eat.” Anonymous Reflections: Words Have Weight... Be Mindful of what you say... Every day we engage in all sorts of conversations; casual and serious exchanges that are filled with thoughts, ideas, back talk, innuendo and even promises. We use words carefully and sometimes carelessly too. As we wrap up the year and, in some quarters, if tempers flare, ...

An April Fool’s Day Quiz

In each category, match the number of the statement with the letter of its author. (Answers at “For Fun” tab above.) Politics 1. It may be true that you can’t fool all the people all the time, but you can fool enough of them to rule a large country. 2. It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt. 3. A fool and his money are soon elected. 4. There was a time when a ...

Creative Book Promotions

Author Jennifer Miller promotes “The Year of the Gadfly” with a Novelade Stand A friend of mine alerted me to this most wonderful book promo idea, a “novelade” stand! Read the short article (which begins with a tweet) by clicking here. Sometimes–not often enough–books are used to promote other things. Click here for a unique case of hotel promotion using a particular book. Here’s a truly creative book trailer, for a book titled Goodbye for Now. Coming in November 2012 is the movie of ...

“Sugar Plum Fairy” – Played on Glasses of Water

“Sugar Plum Fairy” – Played on Glasses of Water

This time of year it’s extremely difficult to escape the ubiquity of Tchaikovsky’s holiday masterpiece, The Nutcracker. Perhaps the most familiar musical movement of that particular ballet is the “Sugar Plum Fairy” portion. Below is an incredible rendition of this holiday classic, which is played by two people entirely on water glasses as opposed to an orchestra. This unbelievable video is worth watching with your kids.

7 Questions With an Author: Greg Wientjes, Ph.D.

This is my weekly series titled 7 Questions With an Author... where I pose seven questions to an author and then share their unedited answers here. Today's author is a Standford University Ph.D. holder, Greg Wientjes. Greg currently conducts research in the area of collaborative teaching and learning in online digital environments. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. Greg is also the cofounder and CEO of University Post, Inc., an Internet content ...

4 Tips to Help Your College Kids Cope

Photo Credit: Creative Commons – Je_suis_le_morse This is a guest post from Mariana Ashley who’s a blogger and freelance writer for www.onlinecolleges.net. She offers advice for choosing the perfect online program for prospective students and parents, welcoming comments at [email protected] If you’d like to write for The Daily ReTORt, check out the guidelines here: ====================== Heading into the New Year, colleges across the nation are reporting a rise in mental health cases. Depression leads the pack of campus diagnoses (along with allergies and other common ailments), and ...

Clean Laundry??? - A Guy's Perspective.....

Laundry: Clean or Dirty??? Men and women have different standards about "cleanliness." I'm not sure if it's nurture or nature - but there seems to be a clear difference between where guys and gals fall along the sanitary spectrum. This fact came to light during a discussion with my seven-year old girl as she was getting ready for bed. At the foot of her bed were three nightgowns from the past three nights - and she was getting a “fresh” nightgown out ...

Caught With My Pants Down

A disquieting thought visited me last night while I was in the bathroom with my defenses down — along with my pants. In my mind's eye I saw a quick flash of a bottomless pit producing some pretty scary echoes (Believe me it was much worse than it sounds.). I bravely closed my eyes as the image melted away and I came face to face with a silent wall of nothingness — that place of pure potentiality, where both terror and ...

Not Every Curse is a Curse, Nor Blessing a Blessing…

Broken leg x-ray - hidden blessing? I learned a lot from my grandfather growing up, including the single most important lesson in my life – which I wrote about here. However, another profound insight he gave me, that I continually lean on as an adult, is this following bit of wisdom: “Things are not as bad or great as they first seem.” Those 11 words are packed with profundity and truth that I see proven on a regular basis. I recently read a fable ...

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It’s Here

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This was a labor of love. It brought me much closer to my Great Grandfather, Charley Dobyns. This book is loosely based on his life. My mother told me stories over the years about her Grandfather. He was a man of pioneering stock. He was a horseman and enjoyed the country life. I met him only once. I must have been about five years old. I can see him and my Great Grandmother telling us …

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The Prince in the Underworld

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Shevata felt underwhelmed by one of the most unassuming men she had ever seen. The tall, balding man strolled in with quiet confidence, wearing a button down shirt and trousers, with no weapons. Other than taking directions from the demon that led him inside, he seemed completely unafraid. He motioned to the chair in front of her desk. “May I?” She nodded and he sat, crossing his legs. …

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Weekly Writing Challenge: The Golden Years

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What are the Golden Years? Have you ever wondered where the term Golden Years originated from? The blockqoute above tells us. However, when I think of Golden Years, I imagine being bathed in light as I lollygag on a private beach. After years of serving our fellow men and women, the fortunate amongst us might get a golden watch or parachute – a way to retire in style …

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Weekly Writing Challenge: The Object Of Desire…

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“And so it is, that both the Devil and the angelic Spirit present us with objects of desire to awaken our power of choice.” Rumi Weekly Writing Challenge: The Object Of Desire… was not the pastoral farm Once upon a time, a humble farmer and his ambitious wife were on their way to a Farmers Market in …

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King Robert After the Games

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King Robert Baratheon stands before the lead Gastar characters Shevata and Zermon awaiting judgment for the afterlife. Will Hell be his future? “Zermon, I disagree with this. King Robert Baratheon wasn’t perfect but he doesn’t belong down here in Hell, especially before you in final judgment. Let me speak to him first.” The large demon handed her …

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Gastar and Greyjoy

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The Bastard of Bolton has Theon Greyjoy in a bad way in “A Song of Ice and Fire” and “Game Of Thrones.” Let’s see if the lead characters in the Gastar novellas can help Theon out a bit. “Are you kidding me?” Zermon lumbered behind Shevata as she turned the lock of the gate behind the …

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The KIngslayer’s Application

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The infamous “Kingslayer” Jaime Lannister continues to deal with his reputation with the lead character in the Gastar novellas: “Get these out of here.” Shevata handed a tall, slender wingless demon a heavy ledger dripping blood. “No more contracts! You idiots actually write them in blood, which is impractical for ink, it smears, drips, and Zermon …

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