Thursday, December 31, 2009
Not to mention that I am totally loving Chad Kroeger right now--maybe it's that voice--LOVE IT. <3
Monday, December 28, 2009
“Because love is the great commandment, it ought to be at the center of all and everything we do in our own family, in our Church callings, and in our livelihood. Love is the healing balm that repairs rifts in personal and family relationships. It is the bond that unites families, communities, and nations. Love is the power that initiates friendship, tolerance, civility, and respect. It is the source that overcomes divisiveness and hate. Love is the fire that warms our lives with unparalleled joy and divine hope. Love should be our walk and our talk.”
Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Love of God,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 21
From "How to be Happier" (http://yourbiggestfan30.wordpress.com/): Apologize. I cannot even emphasize how important and how hard this concept it. It’s so easy to say “Oh, just apologize” but actually doing can be quite difficult…at least for me…at least sometimes. I am stubborn. I know that. When I feel like I’ve been wronged, I have a really hard time seeing what I have done wrong also. It takes two to create a forest fire of arguments, but it only takes one to rot inside. That will be the one who either refuses to apologize or refuses to forgive (or both). I’ve found that it is much easier to forgive someone when you first see what you’ve done wrong yourself and make retribution. It’s hard to humble yourself and truly apologize to all offended parties, but you’ll find it’s a huge chip off your shoulder if you do. And when do you it, do it sincerely. When you apologize tartly or without sincerity, it is an added insult. Although people should not wait for apologies anyway, they do it because they’ve been hurt and they want to be healed (paraphrasing Chesterton). So heal their wound and heal your own by so doing.
Forgive yourself. So many times people will forgive you long before you forgive yourself. I know it is hard to get over something you’ve done horribly, but how can you go forward if you’re always stuck in the past? We all make mistakes. The point is to pick up the pieces and continue onward. The thing is, whatever it is that you’ve done most likely cannot be worse than hindering your progression. It’ll be okay. Let it go. To really make things right – be a better person.
I have been waiting for a particular apology as of late--or at least a change of heart--and upon reading this I am very humbled, realizing that while an outside force may have done wrong to me, holding a grudge and/or being unwilling to forgive is just as bad if not worse. Let's all just love each other! What's more is the opportunity to forgive ourselves. Personally I find that I am the hardest person to forgive, and when it comes down to it, that is pretty lame--I'm stuck with me until the end of time! The gift of the Atonement provides the way to change and to move forward, but only if we allow ourselves a second chance at happiness.>
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Bound in an alliance of mutual benefit, clownfish and their host anemones are the crown jewels of coral reefs.
By James Prosek
Photograph by David Doubilet
When Andrew Stanton set out to make an animated children's movie set in the ocean and faithful to "the real rules of nature," all he needed was the perfect fish for his main character. Combing through coffee table books on sea life, his eye landed on a photo of two fish peeking out of an anemone. "It was so arresting," Stanton says. "I had no idea what kind of fish they were, but I couldn't take my eyes off them." The image of fish in their natural hiding place perfectly captured the oceanic mystery he wanted to convey. "And as an entertainer, the fact that they were called clownfish—it was perfect. There's almost nothing more appealing than these little fish that want to play peekaboo with you."
So a star was born. Finding Nemo, the Pixar movie Stanton wrote and directed, won the 2003 Academy Award for best animated feature and remains one of the highest grossing G-rated films of all time, taking in over $850 million to date. Nemo—a clownfish of the species Amphiprion percula—introduced millions of children around the world to a wondrous tropical ecosystem: the coral reef and its denizens.
Clownfish get their name from the bold color strokes on their body (from rich purplish browns to bright oranges and reds and yellows), often divided by stark lines of white or black, quite like the face paint on a circus clown. Seeing clownfish darting among the tentacled folds of an anemone is like watching butterflies flitting around a flowering plant in a breeze-blown meadow—mesmerizing.
Twenty-nine species of clownfish live among the reefs from East Africa to French Polynesia and from Japan to eastern Australia, with the greatest concentration of diversity on the north coast of New Guinea in the Bismarck Sea (where with a little luck and a competent guide you can see seven species on one reef). On a recent diving trip to Fiji, Gerald Allen—a research associate at the Western Australian Museum and the world's clownfish authority—discovered the 29th species, Amphiprion barberi. That brought his lifetime total to seven clownfish (and nearly 500 species of reef fish). "I still get a huge buzz when I find something new," Allen says. "Amphiprion barberi is a beautiful clown, orange and red like a blazing ember on the reef."
Among scientists and aquarists, clownfish are also known as anemonefish because they can't survive without a host anemone, whose stinging tentacles protect them and their developing eggs from intruders. Of the roughly thousand species of anemones, only ten host clownfish. It's still a mystery exactly how a clownfish avoids being stung by the anenome, but a layer of mucus—possibly developed by the clownfish after it first touches an anemone's tentacles—may afford protection. "It's a slime that inhibits the anemone from firing off its stinging cells," Allen says. "If you ever watch a new little anemonefish coming into an anemone, it makes these very tentative touches. They have to make contact to get this chemical process going." Thus shielded, the clownfish, in effect, becomes an extension of the anemone—another layer of defense against anemone-eating fish, such as the butterflyfish. What's good for the clownfish is good for the anemone, and vice versa.
Clownfish spend their entire lives with their host anemone, rarely straying more than a few yards from it. They lay their eggs about twice a month on the nearest hard surface concealed by the fleshy base of the anemone, and they aggressively protect the developing embryos. Just after a clownfish hatches, it drifts near the surface for a week or two as a tiny, transparent larva. Then it metamorphoses into a miniature
clownfish less than half an inch long that descends to the reef. If the young fish doesn't find an anemone and acclimatize to its new life within a day or two, it will die.
A dozen or more clownfish of the same species, from juveniles to mature adults up to six inches long, can occupy a single anenome. (Allen has seen as many as 30 on specimens of Sticho dactyla haddoni.) Cruising around their anemone, they snag plankton, algae, and tiny creatures such as copepods, often hiding within the folds of their host to eat the larger food items. In the wild, where grouper or moray eels threaten, clownfish rarely live past seven to ten years, but in the safety of captivity they can go much longer. My neighbor keeps a spry 25-year-old, which used to bite my knuckles when I cleaned out his reef tank years ago as a kid.
Clownfish may or may not become sexually mature adults. A strict hierarchy exists among the occupants of each anemone, which hosts only one dominant pair at any time. The female is the largest in this "family," followed by the male and the adolescents. A mature pair assure their continued dominance by chasing the juveniles, causing stress and reduced energy for food foraging. "During courtship especially, there's a lot of chasing between the dominant pair," Allen says. The female occasionally reminds the male who's boss by nipping at his fins.
Many reef fish have the ability to change from one sex to another. Most, such as wrasses and parrotfish, change from female to male. But the clownfish is one of the few known to change from male to female: If a dominant female dies, the dominant male will become the dominant female, and the largest remaining juvenile will assume the role of dominant male. No one has yet identified the hormones responsible for this sexual plasticity. "It's a really good adaptive strategy to make sure the species is perpetuated," Allen says. "There will always be a breeding pair at any given anemone."
The clownfish and the anemone—their relationship has captivated home aquarists since the 1970s, when improvements in the shipping of fish and in tank design and filtration caused a boom. But never before has a fish had a bigger boost than the clownfish in the wake ofFinding Nemo (unlike the notoriety of a very large mechanical killer with teeth). At first, fear spread through the aquarium industry that the story line would cause a backlash: Nemo is captured and held in a tank in a dentist's office, and his father spends the rest of the time trying to rescue him. "I'm here to tell you the opposite happened," says Vince Rado of Oceans, Reefs and Aquariums (ORA), a hobby-fish hatchery and wholesaler in Fort Pierce, Florida, whose sales of A. ocellaris—a Nemo look-alike species—jumped by 25 percent. "Thank God for little Nemo!"
Stardom has been a mixed blessing for clownfish themselves. For years it has cost much less to catch and ship wild-caught clownfish than to raise the fish in captivity. Breeding them in tanks presents certain challenges—getting the larvae to feed, for one—and it takes at least eight months to grow them to marketable size.
But the economics of wild clownfish have been changing: Rising fuel costs have made shipping them more expensive, and populations have been declining. Overharvesting and invasive collection methods, such as the use of cyanide to stun and capture fish, are destroying reefs and their inhabitants. In the Philippines and Indonesia, for instance, clownfish have been severely depleted. Loss of clownfish leaves anemones exposed and vulnerable to predation. When reefs go bad, one of the first things to disappear is anemones—and their clownfish. "They're a really good indicator group," Allen says.
Besides spurring demand for clownfish, Finding Nemo helped fuel the explosion of websites and chat rooms devoted to raising reef fish in captivity. ORA breeds 13 clownfish species, as well as designer exotics such as the Picasso clown. Rado says he sells some 300,000 clownfish a year—"that's several hundred thousand that won't be taken from the wild."
Despite the reef degradation Allen has witnessed during his 40-year career, he says that in some areas "there's incredible hope. Many reefs are almost pristine and very healthy." His focus now, as a consultant for Conservation International, is "to identify these areas and help with their preservation before it's too late."
Although the movie may have harmed native populations, Stanton's colorful little character also created a new group of nature lovers, eager to preserve clownfish and their reef homes. "I hope it increased awareness," Stanton says. "I know it's precarious out there."
Tomorrow I will deep clean like crazy, sell back my more terrible books, and finally I will get to put up my Christmas Tree!!! IT'S GOING TO BE AMAZING.
NOW CHRISTMAS CAN COME. :)
Monday, December 14, 2009
“Life can either be accepted or changed. If it is not accepted, it must be changed. If it cannot be changed, then it must be accepted.” ~ Anonymous
Realize that not all your plans or goals will follow through. Many times, what you plan is not what will actually happen. Don’t be so rigid in your plans. Allow flexibility in your life. If you plan for change and learn to adapt to them, you will suffer a lot less stress and distress.
This is definitely something that I personally need to work on. Today I didn't accomplish a single thing that I had planned to do, I haven't slept in a week so I'm grumpy, and I am missing a vital element in my life--it was a rotten day--but there's nothing I can do about it now, except make tomorrow that much better. I can't change the past, but I can change the future.
Today I felt like I lost a friend--this seems to occur every so often, especially on Sundays. I am grateful for all that has happened in the past, good and bad--everything that is helping me to change for the better--but I still can't comprehend how you can claim to still be my friend, and yet you stay so far away from me.
"A friend is there when you need nothing, a best friend is there when you are nothing." ~Unknown
Friday, December 11, 2009
Tell someone you love them and mean it.
‘Tis the season to spread the love.
You know how you feel when someone tells you sincerely that they love you. Let them feel that warm and awesomely fuzzy feeling too. Chances are, they will tell you they love you too. If not, don’t take it too personally. Know that one person who is not up to the level of “love” for you yet can come around. Know that there are plenty of people out there who do love you.
And know that one of the best way to express your love is literally expressing it. ♥
Monday, December 7, 2009
King Arthur and the Witch:
Young King Arthur was ambushed and imprisoned by the monarch of a neighboring kingdom. The monarch could have killed him but was moved by Arthur's youth and ideals. So, the monarch offered him his freedom, as long as he could answer a very difficult question. Arthur would have a year to figure out the answer and, if after a year, he still had no answer, he would be put to death.
The question?... What do women really want? Such a question would perplex even the most knowledgeable man, and to young Arthur, it seemed an impossible query. But, since it was better than death, he accepted the monarch's proposition to have an answer by year's end.
He returned to his kingdom and began to poll everyone: the princess, the priests, the wise men and even the court jester. He spoke with everyone, but no one could give him a satisfactory answer.
Many people advised him to consult the old witch, for only she would have the answer.
But the price would be high; as the witch was famous throughout the kingdom for the exorbitant prices she charged.
The last day of the year arrived and Arthur had no choice but to talk to the witch She agreed to answer the question, but he would have to agree to her price first.
The old witch wanted to marry Sir Lancelot, the most noble of the Knights of the Round Table and Arthur's closest friend!
Young Arthur was horrified. She was hunchbacked and hideous, had only one tooth, smelled like sewage, made obscene noises, etc He had never encountered such a repugnant creature in all his life.
He refused to force his friend to marry her and endure such a terrible burden; but Lancelot, learning of the proposal, spoke with Arthur.
He said nothing was too big of a sacrifice compared to Arthur's life and the preservation of the Round Table.
Hence, a wedding was proclaimed and the witch answered Arthur's question thus:
What a woman really wants, she answered.... is to be in charge of her own life.
Everyone in the kingdom instantly knew that the witch had uttered a great truth and that Arthur's life would be spared.
And so it was, the neighboring monarch granted Arthur his freedom and Lancelot and the witch had a wonderful wedding.
The honeymoon hour approached and Lancelot, steeling himself for a horrific experience, entered the bedroom. But, what a sight awaited him. The most beautiful woman he had ever seen lay before him on the bed. The astounded Lancelot asked what had happened
The beauty replied that since he had been so kind to her when she appeared as a witch, she would henceforth, be her horrible deformed self only half the time and the beautiful maiden the other half.
Which would he prefer? Beautiful during the day....or night?
Lancelot pondered the predicament. During the day, a beautiful woman to show off to his friends, but at night, in the privacy of his castle, an old witch? Or, would he prefer having a hideous witch during the day, but by night, a beautiful woman for him to enjoy wondrous intimate moments?
What would YOU do?
What Lancelot chose is below. BUT....make YOUR choice before you scroll down below. OKAY?
Noble Lancelot said that he would allow HER to make the choice herself.
Upon hearing this, she announced that she would be beautiful all the time because he had respected her enough to let her be in charge of her own life.
Now....what is the moral to this story?
The moral is....
If you don't let a woman have her own way... Things are going to get ugly
Friday, December 4, 2009
Smile. It changes your body chemistry and creates happiness in you. “Fake it until you make it” is an absolutely true statement when it comes to this. If you feel happy, then smile. If you want to feel happy, but just can’t seem to get there, then smile. Soon enough, you’ll start feeling that awesome feeling. And the thing is, you not only become happy yourself, you make others happy. A smile is contagious, so go ahead and smile and the world will go ’round much better.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
THE LADY IS GETTING READY TO ENTER!!
This is a picture of a public toilet in Houston
Now that you've seen the outside view,
take a look at the inside view...
It's made entirely of one-way glass!
No one can see you from the outside, but when you are inside it's like sitting in a clear
Now would you... COULD YOU....???
Tenth floor of a hi-rise building......
IMAGINE YOU ARE AT A PARTY ...
AND THEN YOU HAVE TO VISIT THE BATHROOM....
You open the door...
NOW, REMEMBER THE FLOOR IS JUST A PAINTED FLOOR !
IT TAKE! S YOUR BREATH AWAY......
Would this mess up your mind??? Would you
be able to walk into this bathroom???
THIS IS A CEILING MURAL IN A SMOKER'S LOUNGE.