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. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Out of the Box Holiday Gifts: 5 Tips for the Brain

Sometimes the best gifts don't come in a box when it comes to helping a person improve their brain. Frequently, the best thing we can give is a brain exercise or workout. Do you have a friend or a relative that could use a good workout? Here are some out of the box gifts for them.
1. Give them an electronic puzzle that challenges their mathematical reasoning and numeracy. Sudoku games are frequently free to download to your computer or other digital device. If the person you are giving this gift to isn't that familiar with the technology, offer to download the Sudoku program onto their reader (computer or hand held).
2. Introduce them to a new card game. Does your friend know how to play bridge? Do they know the solitaire game Klondike? Learn how to play these games ahead of time, then sit down with your gift recipient and teach the game to them. Learning anything new and productive can be helpful to the brain.
3. Design a new menu for the home kitchen. Are there foods that you eat over and over again? Perhaps it is time to shake things up. Design a menu specifically to improve brain function. Typically, for most people this will involve more fiber and less sugar in their diet. But feel free to customize things as you see fit. There are a wide range of healthy diets. Adopt one that your family will enjoy and have fun with.
4. Sometimes the best thing you can give to help someone's brain is the gift of a good book. There are lots of free electronic books available. A good topic would be something outside of the person's comfort zone. Be sure that you have read the book. Then, give them the electronic version, and discuss the book together a few weeks later. Really get into the deepest meanings in the book. Find that gem of great wisdom, then discuss how you both can apply it to modern society.
5. Learn several jokes by memory, then tell your gift recipient all of them in a row, building up (hopefully) to a big and hearty laugh session. Then do it again a week later. Repeat frequently.
These out of the box gifts can be the perfect thing for holiday gift exchanges whether it be with family, with friends, or with your coworkers. These gifts all do not involve material items, but rather are gifts of pure thought and love. 
Published by Tom Heston MD
Tom Heston MD is a Johns Hopkins trained physician who practices clinical medicine in the Pacific Northwest.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Out of the Box Holiday Gifts: 5 Tips for the Health Nut

We all know that gift exchanges, while meaning well and having good intentions, sometimes don't get the results that everyone was hoping for. We all want to stay healthy, and so why not give the gift of good health to our family and friends? Certainly, good health doesn't come in a box, but we can often improve a person's heath dramatically by giving them a thoughtful, out of the box health gift. Here are some ideas to get you started designing all of the very unique and special gifts you will want to give.

1. Sign up your friend for a membership at the gym where you already have a membership. Or, if you don't yet have a membership, sign up the both of you. The gift in part is the gym membership, but the real gift only comes when you use it. So use it together. You both will get the physical health benefits, while building up a positive relationship at the same time.
2. What's better than vegan eating? At least, it is worth checking into. Take your gift recipient out to the best vegan cafe that you can find, or go to a regular place but make sure you both order vegan food. As you both are eating lunch, you can share with each other some health tips that you've learned over the years.
3. Go on several energizing and vigorous walks together with your friend with whom you want to give this gift. Talk about the joy of life and your fellowship with one another. Drink some healthy water on the way. Better yet, make this gift a gift of the month club.
4. Do some yoga exercises together, such as breathing exercises . These can be done just about anywhere, anytime. They involve meditation and can be very relaxing.
5. Play a game of chess together. You can find a free digital version for just about every device. Download it, figure out how the software works, then play a game with your gift recipient. Working and exercising your brain most certainly will improve your friend's health.
Out of the box gifts not only give personal health from one friend to another, they also can help improve everyone's environment by maximizing our material free exchange of gifts. Our trash cans won't fill up as fast and we will be less wasteful as we seek to rediscover the real meaning of our friendships, our community, our world, and beyond.
Give the Gift of Walking Together this Christmas

Published by Tom Heston MD on 12/6/2011
Tom Heston MD is a Johns Hopkins trained physician who practices clinical medicine in the Pacific Northwest.