Saturday, March 28, 2009

Chicago Goes Dark

Chicago is one of several cities around the globe participating in earth hour, one hour to raise awareness about our enormous energy consumption. So 8:30 rolled around and we lit the candles and spent a full hour with no noise, no lights and no electric.

This is the second year we have done it and it's kind of nice... and quiet. Last year we read a bit and talked. This year the little girls were in bed with candles for night lights, Stacey was exercising, Raegan talked on her cell phone with friends and I chilled by candle light.

They say that Chicago energy use during the hour dipped about 5% which amounts to 850,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. It's a drop in bucket, but still a good reminder of how much energy we use and how everyone's efforts could help us do some good for the God-given gift of our planet.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Does Getting Angry Make You Angrier?

There was a time when the trend to deal with anger was to LET IT OUT! But like so many counseling fads, studies have shown that the opposite is true. It seems that anger begets anger. And when we act out on that anger, it actually feeds our anger which produces more... well, you get the idea. Here is an excerpt from the story.

Anger seems to be the emotion of the moment. The president says he's angry.
Members of Congress say they're angry. The public, we're told, is angry. But
should angry people act out how they feel? The popular idea is that venting your
anger helps get rid of it. There's even a woman in San Diego who makes money
helping people do that. But now, psychologists are saying that venting does more
harm than good.

So next time you get angry, don't punch the wall or go into the forest for a primal scream...try taking a deep breath and chillax.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Oodles of Doodles

It was Psychology of Learning (or maybe Psyc of Memory, can't remember) circa 1989 and for the first time a professional (my prof) told our class that doodling is a good thing. Whew! After all of those years of chicken scratch art, I finally felt free to do what came natural during boring classes, lectures, sermons etc. ... DOODLE!

But now it is official. I heard on NPR last week that in a recent study in England, they have shown that doodling actually keeps the brain from daydreaming which is much more distracting than doodling. And the doodlers recalled 30% more information that was given than non-doodlers.

And I believe it. When I was living in Cleveland we eliminated lines on the back of the bulletin and actually put "notes and doodles" on the back. It encouraged "doodle listening" and a little creative expression as well.

So next time you find your mind wondering as you are listening to someone drone on and on... grab a pencil and paper and doodle away.

Monday, March 23, 2009

March Madness + John 3:16 = Security Guard

It's not the 70's anymore. Remember the rainbow-haired guy with the John 3:16 signs at all of the major sporting events? Watch this video of a guy trying to do the same thing at a March Madness game. Maybe he should have put "sponsored by AT&T" at the bottom.

**if you can't see the video click HERE.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Mother of all Newtube Mixes

Here we have technology + creativity + a LOT of time on your hands...

**if you can't see it, click HERE.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Remembering Patrick

I grew up knowing very little about St. Patrick except that I had better wear green on March 17th or risk being pinched. Then in the late 90's I read an excellent book by Thomas Cahill called How the Irish Saved Civilization and all of that changed.

Patrick grew up in Britain and as a teenager was kidnapped by the barbaric Irish and forced into slavery. Living in isolation as a slave for 6 years, he one day was guided by God's hand to trek 200 miles to his freedom.

The story could have ended there and we would consider it a miraculous tale. But Patrick decides that his time with the lowly Irish was not finished. God gave him a dream that the Irish people were begging for him to return. And with no schooling and the label of a slave on the run, he returned to Ireland to eventually become the most celebrated Irish legend.

And Cahill's book talks of how Patrick "saved" the Irish and it was the Irish who worked at keeping mankind's greatest writings and treasures in tact during the dark ages. And when the time came, they reintroduced them to a world that was was ripe for understanding, thus saving civilization as we know it today.

There is a prayer called St. Patrick's breastplate that is attributed to him, though probably written after he died. Either way it is a fitting tribute nonetheless to a man who overcame so many obstacles to bring the light of salvation to the people of Ireland and affect the rest of the world. We read it on Sunday and it is a good reminder of deep spiritual reality. Happy St. Patrick's Day.

I bind unto myself today the strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same the Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this today to me forever by power of faith, Christ’s incarnation;
His baptism in Jordan river, His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spic├Ęd tomb, His riding up the heavenly way,
His coming at the day of doom I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power of the great love of cherubim;
The sweet ‘Well done’ in judgment hour, the service of the seraphim,
Confessors’ faith, Apostles’ word, the Patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord and purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today the virtues of the star lit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life giving ray, the whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free, the whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today the power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch,
His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin, the vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within, the hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh, in every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan’s spells and wiles, against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles, against the heart’s idolatry,
Against the wizard’s evil craft, against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave, the poisoned shaft, protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name, the strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same, the Three in One and One in Three.
By Whom all nature hath creation, Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation, Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Theeeeere baaaaaaack...

Leave it to U2 to change the world of concerts as we know it. You want some creative steroids? Click the pic.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Some Good News Please!

Bryan Williams of NBC was getting as tired as everyone of the negative pall cast over every newscast. So he asked if people could send him some good news. Was there any good news? They were overwhelmed with the response! It is good to know that despite what we hear, there is still a LOT of good going on out there.

Being optimistic can sometimes be difficult, but the alternative to hope isn't pretty. Thank you Bryan for finding some light in dark times.

Know Thy Limits...Boost Creativity

Wired in my opinion is one of the intelligent creative mags out there. The current issue has an article about how design limits can actually enhance the creative process. A designers worst words to hear are "do whatever you want" because it gives no parameters, no limits. Here is a quote...
...designers understand the power of limits. Constraint offers an unparalleled opportunity for growth and innovation.
In these times when all of us need to look at doing more with less, this is a great reminder.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

The good doctor would have been 105 today. And even this evening my children picked out a Dr. Seuss book for bedtime. We love Seuss and to honor him (wish I had the time to make a weird rhyme here), here are a few of my Seussian favs (and a few not-so)...

Funniest Seuss line-
About Mr. Grinch- "The three words that best describe you are, and I quote: 'Stink. Stank. Stunk.'"

Saddest Seuss story-
The Lorax

Most Inspirational story-
Oh, The Places You'll Go!

Hardest to read to the kids-
Fox in Socks (please NO!)

Statement book-
Tie between The Lorax and The Sneetches

Fav to read to kids-
Green Eggs and Ham (it never gets old)

Fav rhyming book-
There's a Wocket in my Pocket

Most creative-
Oh the Thinks you can Think!

Most Un-Seuss-like-

The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins

One that Seuss shouldn't have written-
The Cat in the Hat comes back

Book that I wish HE could have finished himself-
Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!

So there it is. Happy birthday Dr. Seuss. The world is a better place because of your creative brilliance.