Daily Archives: January 2, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons: Peter Potamus & So-So – Fe Fi Fo Fun

The first Saturday morning of the new year, is there anything better than a starting it off with a hippo, a monkey and a giant?

Pass me the corn flakes.

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Filed under Peter Potamus, Saturday morning cartoons

President Obama’s Weekly Address: 1/2/10 The Fight Against Al Qaeda

The President discusses the recent attempted act of terrorism on the Christmas day flight to Detroit, and his broader strategy to fight Al Qaeda.

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Filed under Al-Qaeda, President Obama, st, terrorism, terrorist attacks, weekly address

A Message for the New Year from President Obama

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Filed under New Years message, President Obama

Brains of Liberals, Conservatives May Work Differently

Hat tip to my good friend and former clamdigger Jim Purcell for sending this my way, it allowed me to discover the tips for making New Year’s Resolutions in the previous post.

Does brain function for liberals and conservatives occur differently, creating set differences? The editor at Psych Central says there is research that points to the answer being ‘yes’.

My mother always told me that I was special, now I know why:

Research published over the weekend shows that brains of liberals and conservatives may be constructed and work differently.

In a study likely to raise the hackles of some conservatives, scientists at New York University and the University of California, Los Angeles, found that a specific region of the brain’s cortex is more sensitive in people who consider themselves liberals than in self-declared conservatives.

The brain region in question helps people shift gears when their usual response would be inappropriate, supporting the notion that liberals are more flexible in their thinking.

“Say you drive home from work the same way every day, but one day there’s a detour and you need to override your autopilot,” said NYU psychologist David Amodio. “Most people function just fine. But there’s a little variability in how sensitive people are to the cue that they need to change their current course.”

The work, to be reported today in the journal Nature Neuroscience, grew out of decades of previous research suggesting that political orientation is linked to certain personality traits or styles of thinking. A review of that research published in 2003 found that conservatives tend to be more rigid and closed-minded, less tolerant of ambiguity and less open to new experiences. Some of the traits associated with conservatives in that review were decidedly unflattering, including fear, aggression and tolerance of inequality. That evoked outrage from conservative pundits.

The latest study showed “there are two cognitive styles — a liberal style and a conservative style,” said UCLA neurologist Dr. Marco Iacoboni, who was not connected with the latest research.

Linda Skitka, a professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said it’s possible the liberals in the recent study appeared more flexible than the conservatives because the population was skewed.

“We’re more likely to find extreme conservatives in the U.S. than extreme liberals,” she said….

Read more >>> Here

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Filed under Brain Functions, Conservatives, Liberals, PsychCentral.com

6 Steps to Making New Year’s Resolutions That Work

I like most, start the new year out by making a few resolutions to better myself and like others those resolutions to loose weight, start or finish a household project or to do some volunteer work, never seem to work out the way I hoped that they would. My personal schedule or family obligations always seems to get the better of me.

At this time I haven’t yet made any personal resolutions for the new year but when or if I do, I think that I will follow the advice given below from the good people at PsychCentral .

They explain 6 very good common sense steps to making and keeping those New Year’s Resolutions that we all find so hard to make and keep.

Good Luck with yours!

PSYCH CENTRALIt’s that time of year again when people plan to attend a New Year’s Eve party with friends and family, and then resolve to do something better or different next year.

It’s also the time of the year many people make resolutions that are bound to fail.

But they don’t have to. People sometimes make resolutions that will be impossible to keep. Making realistic, simple resolutions can lead to a greater chance of success in the upcoming year.

According to previous research, we know that nearly 40 percent of people set the goal of starting to exercise, while 13 percent want to eat better. Nearly 7 percent say they want to reduce their consumption of alcohol, drugs, caffeine or to quit smoking. These are all reasonable goals. So how does a person find success with them?

1. Be realistic in your goals.

Choose one goal, then break it down into smaller, more manageable bits. For example, if you want to save $1,000, think about it in terms of saving $20 per paycheck. That makes your goal less intimidating. Every time you save some money, praise yourself. Rewarding yourself for every positive step will help you have the confidence you need to hang in there.

2. Start with a plan and stick to it

Studies show that people who make impulsive resolutions are less likely to stick to them. Think about what is most important to you and create strategies to deal with the problems and setbacks that will come up as you move towards your goal. Tracking your progress will help as well; the more you monitor and praise yourself, the more likely you are to succeed.

3. Team up with a friend or loved one

Make a list of your goals and share them with a friend or loved one. You are now accountable to two people: yourself and the other person. You will also get a sense of satisfaction from helping your friend accomplish his or her goals, too. Such an informal pact can help hold your feet to the fire when you feel discouraged or want to give up — they can offer you some encouragement and support (and you can do likewise).

4. Look at the bright side and allow yourself mistakes

Focusing on the positive side of things will give you more energy and enthusiasm to pursue your goals. People who believe that they can succeed are more likely to do so. For example, praise yourself for losing five pounds, but don’t punish yourself for gaining one back. You will reach your goal more easily if you accentuate the positive. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t accomplish the small goals you set for yourself, or if one day you “fall off the wagon” or mess up. Remind yourself that every day is a new day and an opportunity to try again.

5. Think of resolutions as opportunities to try new things

Resolutions are a time of the year not only to try and “fix” the problems in your life, but also to try out a new way of being, a new activity or hobby, or a new attitude. Resolutions should not seem like punishments; if you try to make them fun, you will be more likely to stick with them. If your goal is to be healthier, try going for a 10-minute walk before work and enjoying your neighborhood. Think of January first as a chance to adopt a healthier lifestyle, not as the start of a period of denial

6. Try, try again

If you don’t succeed at first, don’t be discouraged. Not many people are able to reach their goals on the first try. Try again! There’s no shame in not succeeding on our first try and although it may be a little discouraging, it doesn’t have to be an excuse to stop.

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Filed under New Year's Resolutions