Saturday, August 31, 2013

New People!

So this weekend is like mass migration to Boston weekend where everyone and their mother (literally) is moving into new apartments. Consequently I have found myself in a situation where I'm moving in with people I don't know. (My landlord picked them.) Somehow I don't mind this as I find it's like an adventure and it's nice to meet new people. So far I've largely lucked out with going in blind to roommate situations and the roommate I've met so far is really nice so I think this promises to be a good year!  Hooray for housemates!


Friday, August 30, 2013

Just a short joke

Since weekends are typically days when people party (not that anyone needs an excuse for a good party, I'm all for parties for no reason at all) I thought this joke was applicable and funny!

How do you have an awesome party in space? You planet!

Joke from:

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Who would have thought silence can make people happier. According to the Huffington Post (and a bunch of scientists) silence can help people feel better. Focusing on breathing and shutting out the noise of life can help people relax and just be in the moment without thinking about what's around them. Silence can give a sense of peace which is something I for one, want to have on a daily basis. So go in peace (and quiet!) 


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Reunions are sweet especially in times of crises

When I think of what's happening in the world and especially in Syria now, it does make me feel a bit down. However,  today I saw a story of a father finding his young son who he thought had died in one of the attacks that happened recently. The little boy was apparently safe, healthy, and doing well. The story showed me that every bad situation does have a silver lining somewhere. There's always hope and the love that families have for each other is something that I think helps people endure whatever comes. I'm  for one am just really happy this family found each other again! 

Photo and video was accessed from the Huffington Post:

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Nothing like a good word!

Words are fun and as I really enjoy writing I got to thinking about words I like a lot and I use a lot. There are the usual nice words like "nice" and "love" and all that but I also thought of some other interesting words (no not swear words) that might also be interesting to others as well. I know some of  these words are slang but I still like them anyway. Five of these include:
  • Absquatulate (pronounced: ab squat you late)  It means to leave abruptly. It's actually a slang term but it sounds so sophisticated. 
  • Exuberant (pronounced: ex uber ant) It means filled with energy and excitement. I think of it as a word that should always be accompanied by an exclamation mark! To me the word just sounds cheerful!
  • Onomatopoeia-(pronounced: on oh mah to pea uh) It describes the use of a word that sounds the way something is described. For example the word "buzz" to describe the way a bee sounds is an example of onomatopoeia. I just think the word itself sounds interesting. It's certainly a mouthful.
  • Phooey: (yes it is a word, which is very exciting for me!) It's an exclamation (when I'm ticked off with someone sometimes I say "phooey on you!")
  • Replete: It means "full" -I've only heard this word in relation to eating. It makes me think of how food can be so good to fill you up and then if it is that good, you're not only replete, but at in a way I sort of want to repeat the eating of that food!
I hope that after reading this post you feel slightly more edumicated (ahem, I mean educated) than before. If you like these words then please feel free to spread them all over the place!

Monday, August 26, 2013

In honor of the anniversary March on Washington

 Since the March on Washington was celebrated this weekend and I didn't make it to DC to march too, I thought I can still "march" through my words. Today I'm feeling especially idealistic so I wrote the poem below.

All things being equal

All things being equal
As equal they should be
No separation or division
Just plain and simple
People being happy and equal 

All things being equal
People can love who they want
Get jobs where they want
Believe what they want
Marry who they want
Get treated the way they want

Maybe it's idealistic to believe it
Not that I care whether it's idealistic or not,
But I believe if enough people march
and enough people refuse
To let hate and ignorance rule 
Then things that seem idealistic
Won't just be an ideal

When that day comes 
And I know it can come sometime
I'd dance and sing and laugh and just be happy
And if no one else would need to march anymore then
Maybe they would dance with me too instead


Sunday, August 25, 2013

How schools supplies helped me learn about Egyptian history....and to stick my tongue out at Einstein

I'm feeling all nostalgic -I get like this around this time of the summer when it's close to the time that kids are supposed to go back to school. I think about how when I was really little it seemed strangely exciting to me to go shopping for schools supplies, to pick out lunch boxes, pens and pencils, notebooks, etc. While I started out as I think many other little girls did, with a lunchbox with Barbie dolls on the front and folders and notebooks with little baby animals on them, as I grew older I think my taste in themes for these supplies became a little more out of the ordinary. History was one of my favorite subjects so I remember that my mum bought me a pencil case which was decorated like an Egyptian mummy's tomb, from a museum gift shop.The case even had Egyptian hieroglyphic writing on the front and on the inside as well. I remember especially liking it because on the back it described how the case was a replica of an actual mummy's tomb. The case I had was modeled after the tomb of a woman named  Seshepenmehit (I think it's pronounced Sheshpemnehit.) All right I know it's kind of morbid to have a tomb for a pencil case but I liked saying Shespemnehit! (Still do as a matter of fact.)

The other favorite school supply that I once had was a notebook with a picture of Albert Einstein sticking his tongue out at the world. I liked it because it showed me that even geniuses have a sense of humor. Plus, sometimes I'd stick out my tongue right back at the picture just to vent my feelings about how irritatingly difficult I felt my science homework was. Now that I don't have much need for pencil cases or notebooks anymore, I kind of miss getting stuff like that. Ah well, at least I don't have to take biology anymore! There's a bright side/blessing to everything!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The loveliness of Castle Island!

Even Massachusetts has a castle! (Well it's a fort but I figure in reality castles were really just glorified forts and plus this one is on a bit of land called "Castle Island" so to me that makes it a legit castle!) Today my friends and I had a really nice picnic there today and it was really beautiful especially because we had good weather! If you go and you want to see the inside of the fort you have to take a tour. (They apparently don't let just anyone in!) Anyway, the tour is actually pretty cool and I learned a lot about the history of the fort and Massachusetts. (I don't feel like telling fun facts about the history because people should hear about them on the tour!) The thing I liked best about Castle Island was it's view. I've enclosed it in the pictures below.  You could see for miles and the sea looked beautiful as well. The sea seemed to go on forever. It reminded me that there can be a lot of beauty even in places that were built for things fighting wars. I think seeing that beauty helps to keep me going despite everything that might happen because it reminds me that beauty can be present everywhere and I just have to seek it out if I want to find it!

Friday, August 23, 2013

What weekends are all about....

I heard the song "Banana Pancakes" by Jack Johnson and the lyrics seem to epitomize the nice things (or things that can be nice about weekends.) Personally, it made me imagine myself listening to it while swaying in a hammock.Don't ask me why, the last time I was actually in a hammock I fell out of it because of trying to swing in it too quickly! (Ah well, it's the idea that counts, after all, hammocks are supposed to be relaxing, right?) I also rather like the fact that weekends are distracting. I find that I'd make plans for a weekend (like chores) and then put them off for a day not just because I didn't want to do them, but because weekends are weekends and I don't feel as bad about not doing them. Anyway, I love weekends, I like banana pancakes and so I like this song! Enjoy

"Banana Pancakes"

Can't you see that it's just raining?
Ain't no need to go outside...

But, baby, you hardly even notice
When I try to show you this
Song is meant to keep you
From doing what you're supposed to.
Waking up too early
Maybe we can sleep in
Make you banana pancakes
Pretend like it's the weekend now

And we could pretend it all the time
Can't you see that it's just raining?
There ain't no need to go outside

But just maybe, like a ukulele
Momma made a baby
Really don't mind the practice
'cause you're my little lady
Lady, lady, love me
'cause I love to lay here lazy
We could close the curtains
Pretend like there's no world outside

And we could pretend it all the time
Can't you see that it's just raining?
There ain't no need to go outside

Ain't no need, ain't no need, mmm, mmm,
Can't you see, can't you see?
Rain all day, and I don't mind

But the telephone is singing
It's too early
Don't pick it up
We don't need to
We got everything
We need right here
And everything we need is enough
Just so easy
When the whole world fits inside of your arms
Do we really need to pay attention to the alarm?
Wake up slow, mmm mm, wake up slow

But, baby, you hardly even notice
When I try to show you this
Song is meant to keep ya
From doing what you're supposed to
Waking up too early
Maybe we can sleep in
Make you banana pancakes
Pretend like it's the weekend now

And we could pretend it all the time
Can't you see that it's just raining?
There ain't no need to go outside
Ain't no need, ain't no need
Rain all day, and I really, really, really don't mind
Can't you see, can't you see?
You gotta wake up slow

Thursday, August 22, 2013

I'm so happy!

I like to think that most days are at least somewhat happy but I consider today being especially happy so in honor of that thought (because I think particularly happy days are worth celebrating) I hope you will enjoy the poem below!

I'm so Happy

I'm so happy
I feel like dancing til I drop
Then I'd just get up
And start dancing all over again

I'm so happy, I just don't know what to do with myself
Except to smile and laugh and sing
Do all manner of crazy things
And not worry about anything!

I'm so happy and it doesn't have to end!
I know that happiness is something 
That can always be found 
Indeed it is all around

I'm so happy I want to share it with the world
After all, a happiness this big 
Is just too big to keep all to myself
So I'll send it to everyone else instead!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

No worries!

Like Bobby McFerrin suggests, I find that life is so much better when I don't worry about what is coming tomorrow. Somehow I know in the back of my mind that things will work out and somehow it always does. After all, each day is a new day with no mistakes on it and only new opportunities to do well and enjoy. As long as I can hold onto that thought then why worry? Life's too short for that!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Breakfast in bed!

To me there's something so nice about eating breakfast in bed. Never mind the fact that if I want breakfast in bed it requires me to get out of my bed to make the breakfast and then get back in bed to eat it.  If I make myself breakfast in bed I do it on weekends because that's when I get all determined to have breakfast in bed. Most of time it's cereal and fruit affair but when I feel like it, I might just decide get all fancy and make an omelette on toast. (yum!) What I think I like most about it is just that it's nice to pamper oneself a bit. I like sitting in my bed sometimes and listening to the radio and for a few minutes I don't think about what I have to do that day or worry about a thing and it's a nice feeling.  I also like it because it's something I used to make for my parents on special days especially when I was really young. (Well, to be realistic when I was young I made them coffee because I didn't perfect my fancy egg making until much later and I tended to spill cereal as I'd have to go up a flight of stairs to get to my parents' bedroom. So coffee was what I could manage.) I liked bringing coffee to my dad especially when he was shaving because once I'd put the coffee down he'd put a dab of shaving cream on my nose and I'd then run around the house proclaiming I was a clown. So to me, breakfast is a special treat because like I've said, it's a nice thing to have and it's a reminder of home as well. 


Monday, August 19, 2013

I love emoticons!

I can't help myself- I love emoticons. It seems so funny to me that the word "emoticon" sounds so technical and sciencefiction-ey, and all it refers to is how computer symbols can be grouped together to look like an emotion on someone's face-such as :) for smiling. At least for personal e-mails I think it's nice to be able to end a sentence with something that looks like a smile. My other favorite "emoticon" is :P - for people who don't know, it's supposed to show someone's tongue sticking out. Frankly there are times when I'm feeling a bit squiffy  (grumpy) about how things might be going and how the world doesn't always seem so fair. At those times, it's nice to know that at the very least I can use a series of computer symbols to vent my feelings by sticking my emoticon tongue out at the world for a second. It makes me laugh and feel slightly rebellious-not quite sure why. Despite my momentary rebellion, I end up deleting that symbol quickly so people don't realize that underneath my supposedly mature exterior lies a little kid that just won't grow up. (Crap, I guess my secret is out now, at least to the people that read this blog. Oh well, can't be helped!) To end, the thing I like best about emoticons is that it shows me that people have the ability to make even computers smile. Even if it is from a machine, I still think a smile is a smile and at least to me, there can never be enough smiles!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Bleak House now seems less bleak to me!

Yay! I've finished Bleak House by Charles Dickens! Why in the name of all that's holy did read it? Because I can! Did I read the end first? Yes! Why did I do that? Because that's how  I read books-I read the end, then I read the beginning, then if the end and beginning aren't too depressing then I go ahead and read the middle (I figure if the beginning and end aren't depressing the middle can't be that bad.) In the case of Bleak House the beginning and end aren't really sad but unfortunately for me, things do get a little depressing in the  middle and Dickens does tend to go on and on a bit about details I think are a bit boring (conveniently skipped over those anyway.)  Despite all that, I'd still recommend reading the book. It's actually pretty good. I'd suggest "reading it" through listening to an audiobook because then you get to listen to someone do all the voices for the different characters, which makes it so much more entertaining. I'm not telling you about the plot as that's complicated and worth a whole other blog post. I'll just say that it's complicated but like all hard books, it's not the destination, it's the journey that counts! So I hope that you read it, like it and  most of all that you finish it! Alternately, if you'd rather not read it, there's a really good miniseries made by the BBC telling the story and you can watch it starting with the clip below. (The miniseries was what actually got me to read the book.)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A joke that Forrest Gump would be proud of!

First, you have to understand that I really like the movie "Forrest Gump" so when I saw the joke below I couldn't resist sharing it. After all, life is like a box of chocolates-which makes it all the sweeter!

The joke goes like this:

Q: What's Forrest Gump’s e-mail password?
A: 1forrest1 

(This joke came from:

The joke made me think of what Forrest Gump might actually write in an e-mail since the movie that made him famous came out in the '90s before e-mail became popular. I'd sincerely hope that he'd start each e-mail with the statement: "Hello, my name is Forrest, Forrest Gump! (just so people would never be in any doubt that he was the person e-mailing them.) In any case, I hope you rent/see the movie "Forrest Gump" because it's really good!

Friday, August 16, 2013

What would I do if I met an alien??

So as a result of the Freedom of Information Act has released more information about the infamous "Area 51" in  mostly a map of the site and how it's a nuclear testing facility. Personally, I would be a lot more interested if they had finally revealed that there is in fact an alien life presence in that "Area" as so many people have claimed. It got me thinking about what I'd say/do if confronted with an alien and I was the first person it had met on earth. (I don't know why I'd be the first person but the idea is amusing to me.) I'd be pretty freaked out but at the same time I hope it would be something like the alien from the movie E.T.-relatively calm, sensitive, healing and fun. If I could tell this being a thing or two about Earth, this is a letter I'd write to it: (I'm assuming if the alien being is smart enough to get to Earth, of course it can read English!)

Dear Alien,

Welcome to Earth! I hope you enjoy your time here and that you  get to see a lot of this place we humans call home. I'm guessing you probably like hot places being from Mars and all so maybe it's good you got to Area 51 in Nevada even though the climate there might not be quite as hot as yours. Anyway, while you're on Earth I hope you get to see some of the places that make this planet beautiful. (We have lots of lakes, forests and oceans and deserts)  I also suggest that you try some of our foods,  A short list of foods that we humans tend to eat:  strawberries, chocolate, ice cream, trail mix (my personal favorite), and carrots (which are one of our vegetables and supposedly good for us.)   

Also, even though a lot of people would probably be really freaked out about you there are surprisingly quite a few earthlings who are fascinated by alien life so please make a point of going to meet them as it would be the highlight of their lives. To end, if you happen to watch our Science Fiction movies, I hope they remind you of home and that they don't give you any ideas about dominating our planet. (If you did come here with that goal, if you watch those movies you'll see that there are men like Will Smith who will make it their mission to stop you,. So if you really are hell bent on world domination, you can jolly well go and take over someone else's planet, thank you very much!) All that said, go out, have fun and live long and prosper! 

Best Wishes,


PS-Please release Elvis Presley, people miss him!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Living moments!

Yesterday, I saw this trailer for a movie called "About Time" which is about a family where only the men in the family can travel back to moments in their past. (Why only the male family members can do this seems a bit sexist to me but it looks funny so that makes it better for me for some reason.) Anyway, since I can't go back in time the idea got me thinking about how good it is to just enjoy the moment! So from that point on, each day I vowed to pick a moment and just enjoy it! Today, for example, I woke up a bit earlier than usual and it was so nice to lie snuggled up under the covers for a few minutes extra. I never really thought about how nice it is to do that. I know it's not a major earth shattering event but it is a moment and one that I really enjoyed and it made me happy! I figure that any moment that can do that is a moment worth celebrating! So hooray for moments!


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pumpkin pulling! A truly autumn activity!

I realize this is pretty random but since the weather is getting slightly cooler, it got me thinking about autumn and I thought I'd share the picture above since pumpkins are usually associated with autumn. The story behind the photo is that my friends and I went to a farm to pick apples and the farm just happened to have pumpkins as well. As you can see we chose 3 of them and I made it my mission to prove that though I am but little I can be strong! Pretty convincing huh!?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How to cope with dealing with automated telephone systems....

I (like many people I suspect) have had to deal with a number of automated phone answering services to get stuff done -e.g. get medications I need, a metro pass, getting my computer fixed, etc. Sometimes this can be a rather irritating process so to relieve some of that irritation and to make the process seem a little funnier-at least to me, (after all, everything seems better when it's funny!) I thought of some things I wish I could tell automated answering services. (Now if only I could get these services to hear/respond to me!)
  • You really value me as a customer? Oh my goodness, I feel so valued! I'd feel even more valued if you'd please get a human being for me to talk to. Thank  you!
  •  I don't like the music you're playing while I'm waiting, if I start singing instead would it annoy you enough to get a human to talk to me instead? No? Oh well, it was worth a try.
  • If I can press "2" for Spanish, is there a number I could press for a Pig Latin?  (I'd be so much more impressed with your answering service if you offered Pig Latin translation-I think I'd call more often, just to try it out!)
  • "This call maybe monitored for training purposes?" Whose monitoring this call? Bother snaps, I thought it was just governments that spy on people, I guess Corporate America has gotten on the Big Brother Bandwagon too! 
  • As spectacular as your other products sound, all I want to know is why the one product I bought from your company isn't working so well. It makes me wonder why my poor little machine isn't feeling so spectacular today.
Despite my frustration, I've found that when dealing with automated answering services patience is key and as long as I was nice to whoever human being finally did talk to me, I got a pretty satisfactory result!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Because I can! (And everyone can!

Because I can

I've eaten popcorn for breakfast
Because I can
I've given hugs to random strangers
Because I can
I write this blog
Because I can

I sing along to whatever's on my Ipod, wherever I am
Because I can
I bake things like banana bread
Because I can
I care about people in general
Because I can

I've gone to school and got degrees
Because I can
I'm going to make a difference
Because I can
I'm going to grow to be an old woman but remain young at heart
Because I can

I've done the things I've done
And I do the things I do
Because I've never let people who say "you can't"
Stop me from doing the things I want
Because if people want to do something very much
There's no limit to what people can do if they believe they can!

(Even though this sign was supposed to apply to women I think it applies to everyone!)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

What I'd do if I won the lottery

The latest New Jersey Powerball winner(s) started to be announced today. It got me thinking about how sometimes my mum and I would buy a lottery ticket and we'd talk about what we'd do if we won. Now that I can no longer remember what we decided we'd do (shows how much I really wanted to do the things we planned to do,) I thought I'd make some new plans. (I've thought a lot about this as you can tell....) so I made a list of some fun things I'd do if I won. I like to think I'm idealistic and stuff and that I'd just give all the money away to causes I care about (which may be just what I'd do.)  However, I think I'd be just as likely to do some of the fun things listed below. (Please note that the list is made without consideration for how much money I'd need to win to do it all.) 

Fun things I'd like to do:
  • Go hang gliding
  • Go to India-I've never been and my friend lives there and I want to visit her!
  • Write a book-I realize you can do this without winning loads of money, but if money was no concern I'd be able to focus more on it!
  • Give my parents enough money so that they can go out to eat at really nice places whenever they damn well pleased!
  • Arrange for my sister and I to spend a whole day at the spa, complete with lunch and everything.
  • Help my brother buy a UK football team. It's been his dream for the longest time to buy the team in my mum's hometown. 
  • Pick a day and go to a movie theater buy a bunch of passes (plus 1 for myself of course) and give out the rest as free movie passes.
  • Go skiing in Crans-Montana. (It's a ski resort in the Swiss Alps) I don't quite know why I want to do this except that my parents skied there once and the stories they told me about it sounded really adventurous.
  • Get really good seats and take my friends and family (whoever wanted to go basically) to see something at the theater (e.g play, ballet, whatever they/I wanted to go and see.)
  • Get a  Volkswagen Beetle and hire someone to drive me around in it. I like Volkswagen Beetles and I like being driven around places.  Plus, if anyone I knew well needed a ride somewhere then they could be driven around too!
Now that I've got it all planned out, the only obstacle I face is I've never yet bought a lottery ticket!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A light in the dark....

I love that there's a street lamp right outside my bedroom window. I know it's the most ordinary of things but it's nice to know that there's always light in the darkness for me and for everyone who needs a guide in the dark. Sometimes street lights seem to me to be a sign that something is looking out for all of us always.  Not that my bedroom is a tunnel (as tunnels make me feel a bit claustrophobic) but at the very least it's comforting to know that there's a light just outside it and best of all, it makes me happy!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Seal of approval!

 Boston is getting a new seal! (Literally!) I don't know what it is about baby seals but like human babies they are too cute for words. I saw an article about a seal at the New England Aquarium that gave birth on Tuesday. The video below is of the baby seal bonding with it's mummy! I watched it and felt like saying "awwwwwww!" the whole time. Enjoy!

 To read the article where the video came from, click here.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Attack of the apples!

My brilliant mum managed to pick at least 50 pounds of apples today from my family's farm in Michigan! For whatever reason we have a bumper crop this year.  The apples are small and rather mushy now so they're not so good to eat by themselves. My parents are thinking of making loads of apple sauce, cider etc. However, they have also said they would appreciate other ideas. I realize the internet has a lot but I'm on this quest to make this blog more interactive so if you have ideas about what else can be done with apples please feel free to comment. If you're a doctor please know that just because my family has a lot of apples doesn't mean we want to keep you away! :)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Turkish people tweet like no other!

Psst! I have found the secret to how Twitter really got  started- with actual birds-in Kuskoy, Turkey! In this village a lot of people aren't connected to the Internet but they haven't missed out on the ability to tweet! They've been "tweeting" for years (literally) in  high pitched whistles they call "bird language."  (It's basically a lot of noises made using a combination of one's tongue, teeth and fingers.) People in this village use it to invite their friends and neighbors for tea or even providing instructions as to the best places to get hazelnuts! (I love me some hazelnuts!) Although I think it's pretty cool these people have been communicating in this code-like way, I can see why Twitter got on more widely on computers. I can only imagine the headaches we'd all have if we all followed the example of these villagers and were constantly whistling at each other instead of constantly staring at/typing out insanely short messages to the masses on our smartphones/computers. Despite this, and even though I know I wouldn't be able to use the same whistling pattern as these Turkish people do (mostly because I don't yet know how to speak Turkish) I still like the idea of whistling to communicate. I haven't yet caught on to the Twitter craze as much but maybe if I could "Tweet" by whistling I might enjoy the process more. Especially if it led me to hazelnuts!

This information about Turkish Tweeting  actually came from my mum who read an  article about all this in the Wall Street Journal. Since my mum is a constant source of happiness for me, I figure she should have input on this blog! (If you'd like to read the article as well click here.)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Answer to the bear riddle

If you're curious about the answer to yesterday's riddle, here it is!

Since a room with a completely southern view must be from the most northern place-the North Pole-the bear is white-it is a polar bear! (Personally, if a bear of any sort walked by my window I don't think I'd really care what color it was, as long as it kept its distance from me!)

Monday, August 5, 2013

A riddle involving a bear....

I heard this riddle in a movie and thought it was rather clever so I thought I'd share it. It goes like this: 

You're sitting in a room with a window that has a completely southern view. Suddenly a bear walks by the window, what color is the bear?


Sunday, August 4, 2013

You know you're a music lover if....

You know you're a lover of music if:
  • All it takes is listening to one happy song (or at least a song you think is happy) to put you in a good mood.
  • You regularly sing along to what's on your Ipod no matter where you are.
  • Your idea of a good time sometimes is just singing and/or listening to something nice.
  • You get up and dance to a song that sounds good even when you're not at an actual dance.
  • You believe that music (like love) is one of the few things in life that is at once lasting, beautiful, and meaningful to all who listen.
The thing I love best about music is that I believe that there is a bit of music in everyone. Even if people don't play an instrument or sing, I think everyone's life has a rhythm that is unique and keeps us going. To me, music stands for all that is good in people and thus, it is one of the many things I love about humanity! 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Gross National Happiness: My new favorite measure of the success of a nation!

I am so impressed, I found out today that in 1972 the country Bhutan came out with a Happiness Index as a measure of their country's prosperity. Since the country started measuring its Gross National Happiness (GNH), other countries like the UK, Canada and France have more recently also included measuring their citizen's happiness level as part of how those countries measure their success. According to Bhutan's "Short Guide to Gross National Happiness Index" the country measured its citizens' happiness levels by measuring a bunch of different factors. Some of these were: demographic factors (gender, age, etc.), psychological well being, general health, culture, education, how people use their time, social support (family life), resilience to things like climate change, among others . (There were apparently 33 factors that were included in measuring GNH in total.) I especially liked the tables that were included in the document like one titled: "Headcount of Happy People by District." ( In case you wanted to know, according to that chart, a majority of the people living in the west of Bhutan are very happy.) I wish more countries measured their success by how happy their people were. Just think, if people in general measured their lives by how happy they were. I can just see people when they're having a good day jumping up and down saying: HOORAY! I'm so happy and therefore I'm successful!

 To read more about Bhutan's GNH Index click here.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Hopes for everyone

Since I'm all about the hope in life I was thinking of things I hope for people in general. So here are a few things I hope for:
  • I hope people never stop wanting to learn and be taught. There's so much to know!
  • I hope people never stop loving and taking care of each other. After all, all we have in this life is each other.
  • I hope people see the beauty in themselves and in each other, as there's so much beauty inside people I can't begin to describe it.
  •  I hope there's always some place people can go and feel safe. Whether it's in their homes, in a particular building or even just through a blog.
  •  I hope there's always green space somewhere. (I guess this hope comes from the fact that I grew up on a farm. I just can't help it, sometimes I need to go somewhere that's open and green and growing!)
  • I hope someday everyone's basic needs will be met-e.g. people have enough to eat and roofs over their heads etc. I realize this is rather naive but I really believe it could happen one day.
  •  I hope there's always music as it's one of the best things we have.
  • I hope there's always cartoons and movies. I figure it's nice to have a bit of escapism and laughter in life.
  • I hope that people always play sport especially soccer, baseball and basketball. I for one really enjoy watching people play!
  • Most of all I hope that people never stop hoping for things because life is so much better when you have something to hope for!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

I've become a mad (chocolate) scientist!

It's official! I managed to complete a (sort of) scientific experiment and concocted an iced drink that tastes good! I was sitting in my kitchen one evening thinking how I wanted an iced drink and was too lazy to go out and get one from the store or from Starbucks. I then saw that I still had some hot chocolate mix and figured I could follow the same process as I'd make hot chocolate except I wouldn't heat the water I'd use and then I'd just stick it in the freezer for a bit. I tried pouring the hot chocolate mix into a coffee cup, filling the cup with water and mixing it all together. Then I stuck it in the freezer for about an hour. I left the spoon in the cup so I could stir it periodically without making too much mess. It tasted pretty good to me when it came out. I have since tried the same process using milk and have found it tastes better than using water. I think the trick is you have to make sure the mixture is stirred well, otherwise the mix just goes up to the top and it's not as nice. I suppose if you want to make it really rich and creamy you could use cream or half and half (half cream, half milk.)  Whatever way I made it, I was just happy it was nice and cool and best of all yummy!

  Photo from: (I would have posted a photo of a cup of iced chocolate that I actually made but I drank the stuff before I realized I hadn't taken a picture of it!)