Saturday, February 28, 2015

What Will Happen If You Boil a Cola?

This is an interesting experiment to show you visually how much sugar there is in soda.


"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul." - John Muir

This quote from John Muir, who was instrumental in setting up the US National Park System and the founder of the Sierra Club, closely mirrors a passage from Deuteronomy 8:3 -  

"Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord."

I think Muir was onto something. The word of God can often be heard most clearly when we are in nature, walking in the forest, or observing something of beauty. God speaks to us through music, art, and all things of beauty. Take the time to look at the beauty that is all around us, and hear God speak to you.

Read more about Muir on Wikipedia. John Muir was an avid writer of short stories, see: John Muir: Nature Writings

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

First Things First

Want to have a great life, have fun, and do the most good with your life?

A frequent answer to this question is to put "first things first", to do things in the proper order, and to follow your priorities. But what does this really mean?

The best answer I've found is to setup your daily activities following the 4-square principle.

Picture a square. One side is your physical self, the next side is your social self, the third side is your mental self, and the final side is your spiritual self.

What do you want to do? Living a 4-square life will help you get there. This is the "first thing" that you want to put first.

PHYSICAL: Take time to strengthen your physical body.

SOCIAL: Spend time with friends and family. Develop positive relationships.

MENTAL: Cultivate your intellect. Think. Get in-depth learning.

SPIRITUAL: Connect with a higher power regularly. Pray and meditate. Grow spiritually.

A common stumbling block in people's lives is being out of balance. Just like a snowboarder cannot be great without great balance, a person cannot become great without having their life in balance.

A life in balance helps you become the very best you can be, at whatever you are currently focusing on. With a life in balance you become the best athlete, student, musician, doctor, parent, or friend that you can possibly be.

Are you focusing too much on one side of the square? Do you spend too much time with friends while neglecting, for example, your mental development? Or, do you focus excessively on your mental studies, causing you to neglect your physical body?

- You need to be as healthy as you can be to be the best you can be.

- You need to have good friends and family relationships to be your very best.

- You need to think things through, to learn something in depth, and to develop your brain,

- Finally, you need to stay grounded by having a strong spirit, a strong connection to a higher power.

When you are in balance, something powerful happens. No longer does 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 equal 4. The synergy of developing each side of your life creates something awesome, something greater than the sum of its parts. Everything clicks.

When I get angry, frustrated, or dissatisfied with my life, I ask myself, am I in balance? Am I paying attention to the 4-square life? Invariably, a primary cause of my problem comes from being out of
balance. To this day, I actively work on staying in balance, and doing my best to live a 4-square life.

What does your "square" look like? Are you in balance?

This is the "first thing" that we need to prioritize. Putting "first things first" means living a 4-square life. This is our first and primary goal. By doing so, we can best love others, best serve others, and have the greatest fun and greatest rewards in life.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction in Breast Cancer

An interesting study recently found that mindfulness based stress reduction methods had a moderate to large effect on improving the stress in women with breast cancer.

Figuring out a good way to deal with stress, at all stages of life, appears to be healthy. It is not surprising that women with breast cancer who took specific measures to combat stress had a significant benefit.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Basic MYSQLI Commands

$mysqli = new mysqli($host, $user, $password, $database);

$query="SELECT * FROM table";
$result=$mysqli -> query($query);

$result=$mysqli -> query("SELECT * FROM table");
$row_cnt = $result -> num_rows;

--- or ---

$row_cnt = mysqli_num_rows($result);

while($row = $result -> fetch_assoc()){
    echo $row['column name'] ;

this assumes that "date" in the mysql table is a timestamp. This will select all entries made where the date was within the last 24h.

SELECT * FROM table WHERE date >= now() - INTERVAL 1 DAY;

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Poem

Caroling the Holy nights
with Rejoicing and Inspiration
we Sing of Thistle and white,
going to Mass At midnight,
Seeking eternal light.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Out of the Box Holiday Gifts: 5 Tips for Romance

The holidays are a time of love and romance. People take time to be with their loved ones and plan special activities designed to bring them closer together. For couples, the holidays can provide special opportunities for intimacy and growth in the relationship. One way to make your holiday season particularly special is by giving more than a materialistic gift. Instead of using a material item to demonstrate your love, why not try also giving an out of the box holiday gift? When you give an out of the box gift, no cardboard box or wrapping paper is used. Rather, it is a gift of your time doing something for and with your loved one. Here are some ideas to get you started thinking about that special gift you will give.
1. Make a lunch or dinner date. For couples still dating, this is done all the time. But for those of us who have been married for many years or decades even, a simple but special dinner date for just the two of you can help reconnect and recalibrate your relationship. Devote enough time to it and make it unique and memorable.
2. Take a day trip and spend enough time alone together to talk about your dreams and your life together. Go somewhere new and different.
3. Start an exercise program together with your partner. One good program to strengthen your relationship while strengthening your body is partner yoga. This is a gentle yet powerful way to make a positive life change together.
4. Find out what your partner's favorite novel is, and read it from cover to cover. Take notes if necessary to ensure you understand the deeper meanings contained in the book. Then surprise your partner by sitting down with them and discussing the book together. This shows your partner that you really want to understand them at a deep level, and that you care about things they find important.
5. Participate in a charitable event together. Decide together on what you'd like to do. Perhaps it involves giving money to your church, or helping out at the food bank. Make it a joint project that you both care about.
Are activities, done together, actual gifts? They can be, especially when you design the activity to be special and unique. Time is our most valuable asset, and giving it freely is a great demonstration of your love. We all know that love is not something that you can buy in a store and put in a box. Although sometimes we express love with things such as a necklace or necktie, making the time and the effort to include an out of the box holiday gift can make the season extra special and meaningful. These gifts from the heart can help bring more love into the lives of both old and young couples.
Published by Tom Heston MD 12/7/2011
Tom Heston MD is a Johns Hopkins trained physician who practices clinical medicine in the Pacific Northwest.