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How to pick a truly great book

September 30, 2009 --

By Erika Weisensee,
Milwaukie book lover

Take it from an avid reader and member of two book clubs, there are a lot of great books out there. When I turn the last page and read the last words of a really good book, I am always sad that the experience is over. On the flip side, it is really disappointing to commit your time to a book that drones on—a book that by page 50 makes you wonder, “Why am I reading this? Will it get any better?”

So how do you choose a great book? Well, it’s easier than you think, but don’t just rely on best sellers lists and book reviews. Here are some ideas for finding literary magic:

Read the full article and discuss it »

How drinking and smoking affects couples

September 29, 2009 --

Habits May Keep Couples Together or Tear Them Apart

(HealthDay News) — Marriages can be at risk when one partner is an excessive drinker and/or smoker, but the other isn’t, researchers say.  However, when their drinking and/or smoking habits are similar, both partners remain relatively satisfied with their marriage, according to the study published in a recent edition of the journal Addiction.  Researchers tracked 634 newly married couples for seven years, and at their first, second, fourth and seventh wedding anniversaries, the couples completed questionnaires about their marital satisfaction.

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The love and loss of stylish resorts

September 28, 2009 --

by Cathy Rae Smith
founder of Culture Magazine

There are places in this vast world of ours that simply cause me to linger and soak in the beauty. One of those places is the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. It is resort style that harkens back to the glamour age of ocean liner travel. Built in 1927, it has served as a welcome haven to a glittering host of celebrities and dignitaries over the decades. Known as the Pink Palace, it was the first location to be dubbed the Western White House when President Franklin D. Roosevelt would make extended visits, which included conducting presidential business during his stays.

In my youth, I always loved going out to eat with the family, when I was typically treated to a Shirley Temple “cocktail,” complete with a maraschino cherry skewered by a colorful paper umbrella. Upon her visit to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, this fanciful drink was initially created there for the child starlet.

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Weekly Photo: Even horses need cat hugs

Survey on embarrassing observations

September 26, 2009 --

Survey Reveals Which Embarrassing Observations Workers are Willing to Point Out to Their Co-Workers

CHICAGO, September 24, 2009 – Nobody likes to point out potentially embarrassing situations, but when faced with them in the office, workers are more likely to address them with their peers than with co-workers in higher or lower positions. More than 4,400 workers participated in a nationwide survey from CareerBuilder in which they were asked, given the following embarrassing situations, which of your co-workers you would tell the following:

1.Your zipper is undone
a. Same level co-worker – 67 percent
b. Lower level co-worker – 62 percent
c. Higher level co-worker – 50 percent

Read the full article and discuss it »

Sleep Deprivation Might Lead to Alzheimer’s

September 25, 2009 --

THURSDAY, Sept. 24 HealthDay News:

If you’re middle-aged, you might want to try a little harder to get a good night’s sleep, now that new research suggests the right amount of slumber might keep Alzheimer’s disease at bay. The research was conducted in mice and is preliminary, and it may not apply to humans. Still, the possible link between sleep deprivation and Alzheimer’s raises the prospect of possible treatments that target related pathways in the brain, explained study author Dr. David M. Holtzman, chairman of neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

“This might be a way to delay or prevent the disease by doing something in middle life” rather than waiting until something goes wrong, Holtzman said.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Marriage, Fights, and Mind Reading

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By Jean Tracy, NW Author
KidsDiscuss.com, Parent Newsletter

Whether you’re a single parent, divorced, married, or hoping to be married, please read on. This is for you.

Kids don’t like hearing their parents fight. Fighting means trouble. If your marriage is full of trouble, you can stop. Fighting’s not good for your kids. It’s not good for you. It’s not good for your spouse either. Do you remember your first fight? Perhaps it gives you a headache just thinking about it. Let’s find out how one young couple dealt with their first spat.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Ugliness of the Beasts among us.

September 24, 2009 --

By Kay Helbling

 

With the conviction of Joel Courtney for the kidnap, rape, torture and death of Brook Wilberger, as with all horrific crimes, comes the discussion of the death penalty. There are those who argue for and against it on religious grounds—“eye for an eye” vs. “thou shall not kill”. There are those who argue for and against on practical grounds—“see that he never kills again” vs. “it costs more to go through the many layers of appeal processes than to simply house for life.” All these arguments have merit.

 

I certainly could pick a side or two I agree with on both a religious or practical argument. However, when placed in a position to defend or advocate for the death penalty, my reasoning is marked by a comment made by a Texas Governor almost a decade ago. He was in a contentious political race and his opponents were using the number of convicts put to death in the Texas prisons as a way to show him as a man with a “dark heart”. 

 

He commented that it was not about whether he was for or against putting a criminal to death, it was about following the law of the state, and the law in the state of Texas required the death penalty. As he spoke I could see the depth of the pain in his eyes and thought to myself, “These criminals continue their crime spree. Even while in prison they leave a path of pain of the innocent. This Governor is being victimized by having to carry the weight of this man’s life in his hands.”

  

Read the full article and discuss it »

A Tropical Workout in My Father’s Garden

September 22, 2009 --

By Olivia C. Rossi, RN, MSN, ACSM
Your Personal Trainer

My father’s garden is lush and tropical.  He lives in a tucked-away little town on the Hilo side of the Big Island of Hawai’i called Pahoa.  It’s on the rainy side of the island.  His driveway is long and narrow.  It cuts a slice of paradise through a domestic jungle replete with anthuriums, hibiscus, giant ferns, plumeria, flame red ginger, lilikoi trees and low leaning palms.  I came to visit him and my cousin for two weeks.

Ever the exerciser, I saw an opportunity for an outdoor gym amidst this tropical delight of his garden.  His driveway became my linear track.  I was graced not only by the intoxicating fragrances of the Islands but also by the sounds of Hawai’i, birdsongs whose notes and melodies all seemed to begin with a “K” or an “L” or an “M” or a “P” just like the melifluous names of the islands, the flowers, the mountains and the towns . . . Kaua’i, Kilauea, Kanapali, Lana’i, Maile, Mauna Loa, Pikake, Poipu, Pahoa . . .  I was up each morning at 6:00 o’clock.  I like to be alone with the world for awhile before anyone else is up.  It was delightfully cool and fresh in the early hours, in between the nightly rain and the daily rain.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Weekly Photo: Forget Guitar Hero, give your child this…

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