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Friday, October 3, 2008

Sick Kids: Keep Them Home? Or Are They Faking?

By JOSEPH BROWNSTEIN
ABC News Medical Unit

The morning begins, and you slowly pull yourself out of bed, getting ready for a day at the office, when you hear the familiar refrain, "Mommy, Daddy, I don't feel good."

sick
Whether a child is actually sick, or just faking, can be difficult for parents to distinguish. Doctors have some words of advice before you keep your children home from school.
(ABC News)

And soon, you will have to evaluate, how sick is she? Is he really sick, or just trying to get out of school? And why don't schools teach them that the proper grammar is to say that they don't "feel well" anymore?

There may be no way to know if your child is really sick -- even after seeing a doctor -- but pediatricians have several suggestions to help you make the right call on taking your child in to the doctor, keeping them home or sending them in to school for the day.

One thing doctors stress is that parents tend to be the best judges of their children's health because they are most familiar with their usual patterns and how they are when they become ill.

"Parents usually know their children pretty well, and they can often tell if something is bothering their child or their teenager," said Dr. Tanya Remer Altmann, a pediatrician with the Community Pediatric Medical Group in Westlake, Calif., and author of "Mommy Calls," which deals with parents' questions about their infants and toddlers.

That understanding can become especially important when children aren't themselves, because sometimes, even in a genuinely sick child, a doctor won't be able to find the source of the pain.

"Sometimes children can have symptoms that we may not be able to find an organic cause for. It doesn't mean necessarily that children don't have pain or discomfort, it may mean there are other causes than infection or inflammatory processes causing the problem," said Dr. Gary Freed, director of the division of general pediatrics at the University of Michigan.

"Sometimes anxiety, depression, or other issues can create problems for children that may manifest themselves in a variety of ways. Parents and physicians need to be sensitive to all causes of pain and discomfort."

Of course, there are some definite signs that a child should be kept home, which include fever (temperature above 100.4 Fahrenheit), vomiting, diarrhea, persistent pain or a bad, wet cough.

But those aren't always signs that they need to see a doctor right away.

"Every time your child's ill and you keep them home from school, it doesn't necessarily mean that you have to see the doctor," said Altmann.

Parents should be concerned if their child has a fever lasting several days or is very ill and complaining of pain. At the same time, Altmann said, "As long as they're drinking fluids and they don't look really sick, you can keep them home and keep an eye on them. If they're looking worse after a few days, give the doctor a call."

Even some symptoms that don't keep them home, like a phlegmy cough, might warrant a doctor's visit if they persist.

"In children, I probably say within 4 or 5 days, if it's getting worse or it's not starting to improve, then I'd check in with your doctor. Even an adult, I think, if you have a wet cough getting worse after 4, 5 days, you may want to see a doctor," Altmann said.

And just as knowing your child is important in making your decisions, knowing what the disease is can be, as well, especially when trying to gauge if your child's illness is still contagious.

"You wouldn't want somebody else coming in and infecting your child," said Dr. Jon Abramson, chair of the pediatric department of Brenner Children's Hospital of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

One example he gives is strep throat, where a child can go back to school once they have been on antibiotics for 24 hours, because they are no longer contagious.

Parents should also have a few other questions in mind when they make their decision to send their child to school.

"Are there other children in the house who have just been through the same illness? Is there something going around that school that this fits?"

Abramson said that by spending some time thinking about it, parents may be able to make a more informed decision about how to handle their sick child.

Of course, sometimes the children are just trying to get out of school for a few days.

"Occasionally, we get admitted kids who supposedly had fever for a long period of time," said Abramson.

In these cases, he said he often asks if the parent is taking the temperature and if they stay in the room the whole time.

Years ago, he said, he recalls having one child where the parent would leave the room and the child would dash to the sink to run the thermometer under hot water.

Parents need to know, Abramson said, "What is the level of sophistication in the child?"

Other things he said to look out for are children who act better once they are told they don't have to go to school, as well as children who are sick frequently, but never ill on weekends.

He also said that the main thing is not to give children an incentive to stay home.

"Don't give gifts," said Abramson. "You don't want to incentivize them to stay home. Be sympathetic and make sure they're comfortable, but don't give them gifts."

Altmann also recommends restricting many activities, such as watching television or any trips to the park.

he said that when a child is sick, they may need an extra bit of TLC, but while that may mean that a parent reads them some extra stories, it will mean they can't do certain other things.

Altmann said parents have to let their children know that, "When we get better, then we get to go back to all the usual fun activities."

But on the flip side of the illness coin, parents should also watch out for children who may be sick but not tell their parents because they don't want to miss a certain activity.

Abramson notes that this may be common among student athletes who don't want to miss a game. In this case, parents may want to watch if their child is unusually sluggish or showing other signs of illness, even if they aren't complaining.

"You have to understand what their motivation is to make the decision," he said.

Original here

State says fish pedicures are illegal

Live, tiny carp used in the salon industry's latest trend — pedicures by fish — has been deemed unsanitary and illegal, state officials said today.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Pedicures by fish — the use of live, tiny carp to clean feet — has been deemed unsanitary and illegal by the state.

The state Department of Licensing issued a statement this afternoon saying officials were "greatly concerned" that customers, in their quest for smooth heels, are willing to soak their feet in a tank of toothless fish that feast on dead skin.

Christine Anthony, spokeswoman for the department, said it's impossible to sanitize the live fish. "You can clean the tank, you can clean the water, but there's no guarantee that the fish aren't carrying something from the previous customer."

Today, officials hand-delivered a letter to the Peridot Nail Salon in Kent that was the only spa, to their knowledge, offering the treatment, Anthony said. Inspectors visited Peridot last month after it was featured on a television news report.

In the notice given today, "we asked them to stop using the fish immediately," Anthony said. Letters are also being sent to licensed salons across the state informing owners that it's unlawful to perform the treatment, she said.

"Hopefully, we can catch other salons before they buy the fish," she said.

The pedicures, popular in Turkey and other Asian countries, started gaining attention in the states after a Virginia-based spa talked to the media this summer about the benefits of using the fish instead of razors to slough away scales and calluses.

At Peridot, an employee who declined to give his name, said he was "speechless" about the state's ruling. The salon just started offering the fish pedicures on Sept. 19, according to its Web site.

"We've been getting a pretty good response, because of the fact that it's such a novelty," he said. The pedicure costs $30 for 15 minutes.

The employee said he had tried the pedicure once.

"It feels good, it's very therapeutic," he said. "It's almost like a massage."

Sonia Krishnan: 206-515-5546 or skrishnan@seattletimes.com

Original here

Violations Reported at 94% of Nursing Homes

By ROBERT PEAR

WASHINGTON — More than 90 percent of nursing homes were cited for violations of federal health and safety standards last year, and for-profit homes were more likely to have problems than other types of nursing homes, federal investigators say in a report issued on Monday.

About 17 percent of nursing homes had deficiencies that caused “actual harm or immediate jeopardy” to patients, said the report, by Daniel R. Levinson, the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Problems included infected bedsores, medication mix-ups, poor nutrition, and abuse and neglect of patients.

Inspectors received 37,150 complaints about conditions in nursing homes last year, and they substantiated 39 percent of them, the report said. About one-fifth of the complaints verified by federal and state authorities involved the abuse or neglect of patients.

About two-thirds of nursing homes are owned by for-profit companies, while 27 percent are owned by nonprofit organizations and 6 percent by government entities, the report said.

The inspector general said 94 percent of for-profit nursing homes were cited for deficiencies last year, compared with 88 percent of nonprofit homes and 91 percent of government homes.

“For-profit nursing homes had a higher average number of deficiencies than the other types of nursing homes,” Mr. Levinson said. “In 2007, for-profit nursing homes averaged 7.6 deficiencies per home, while not-for-profit and government homes averaged 5.7 and 6.3, respectively.”

On Monday, Mr. Levinson issued a compliance guide for nursing homes that says some homes “have systematically failed to provide staff in sufficient numbers and with appropriate clinical expertise to serve their residents.”

Researchers have found that people receive better care at homes with a higher ratio of nursing staff members to patients.

The inspector general said he had found some cases in which nursing homes billed Medicare and Medicaid for services that “were not provided, or were so wholly deficient that they amounted to no care at all.”

Bruce A. Yarwood, president of the American Health Care Association, a trade group, said: “We know we have to do a better job. We have been doing a better job, in treating pressure sores, managing pain and reducing the use of physical restraints.”

Mr. Yarwood said that the inspection system was broken. “It does not reliably measure quality,” he said. “It does not create any positive incentives.”

More than 1.5 million people live in the nation’s 15,000 nursing homes. The homes are typically inspected once a year and must meet federal standards as a condition of participating in Medicaid and Medicare, which cover more than two-thirds of their residents, at a cost of more than $75 billion a year.

Deficiency rates varied widely among states. The proportion of nursing homes cited for deficiencies ranged from 76 percent in Rhode Island to 100 percent in Alaska, Idaho, Wyoming and the District of Columbia.

The average number of deficiencies also varied, from 2.5 deficiencies per nursing home in Rhode Island to 13.3 per home in Delaware.

Mr. Yarwood said: “Inspectors are subjective and inconsistent. They interpret federal standards in different ways.”

In December, the Bush administration plans to begin using a five-star system to describe the overall quality of care. The best homes will get five stars. The rankings will be published on a federal Web site.

Medicare pays a fixed daily amount for each nursing home resident, with higher payments for patients who are more severely ill. Mr. Levinson said some nursing homes had improperly classified patients or overstated the severity of their illnesses so the homes could claim larger Medicare payments.

Original here

Paris 2008: Lamborghini Estoque LIVE

by Jonathon Ramsey


Click above for high-res gallery of live Lamborghini Estoque shots from Paris

You've seen the whole Estoque shebang in Lamborghini's words, pictures, and videos. Let us add our own word to it: hmmm. It's a Lamborghini, so it's hard not to like it. And we hate to tread out the refrain, but it's much nicer in person. It feels, though, like they wanted to get this thing done in time for the show, and it needs a couple more drafts. The front aspect is spot on -- not a tough feat since it's Lamborghini's language. From the side, the it looks a little too stretched forward of the A-pillar, and there's more than one personality fighting for attention if you follow the car from snout to rear. And the back, while beautiful, is... yes... Challenger-esque... But don't take our words for it -- have a look at the high-res gallery below and give us yours.

Original here

Cartoon characters brutally killed in new Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck art exhibition

Cartoon characters Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck brutally killed in new art exhibition
Artist James Cauty created the controversial exhibition with his 15-year-old son Harry Photo: jCauty&SON copyright out of control 2008, courtesy of THE AQUARIUM L-13 all responsibility denied, www.theaquariumonline.co.uk

The gruesome pictures include children's cartoon favourite Daffy Duck having his head blown off by a gun-wielding Bugs Bunny, as blood is sprayed everywhere.

Another violent picture shows famous cartoon cat and mouse duo Tom and Jerry as never before - with Tom the cat chopping Jerry into small pieces in a pool of blood and guts.

A third brutal piece of artwork features long-suffering cartoon cat Sylvester with a mouth covered in blood, having finally taken a bite out of his bird nemesis Tweety Pie.

The controversial characters, all taken from the popular Looney Tunes series, are included in artwork described as 'unrelenting acts of blood and discomfort never previously witnessed on the Cartoon Network'.

The barbaric pictures by artist James Cauty are part of the 'Splatter' exhibition which will be shown at London's Aquarium Gallery.

Artist James, 51, said: "People have been saying since the 60's that cartoons should show the consequences of violence, or kids will get the wrong idea.

"Its very difficult to shock kids these days - you have cartoon characters being shot in the head and walking off cliffs, so we have decided to replace them with something more realistic.

"I'm a parent myself, and if I saw pictures like that I would think of something kids would really love, because it's no holds-barred violence.

"The idea actually came from my 15-year-old son, who suggested I do some artwork showing what cartoons are really like by showing their real consequences.

"I don't know why he suggested it, but he's done me a favour by giving me this idea six months ago."

The gallery say it is the first time they will have to impose a 'Parental Advisory Content' warning on one of their own exhibitions.

The Aquarium Gallery will show James's work from next Thursday, for a month.

The exhibition unveiling will also include an eight-minute film with short scenes of 'extreme cartoon violence'.

Gallery owner, Steve Lowe, said: "It's amazing work, and from the reactions we've had to it so far, children have loved it.

"I'm not sure if their parents have been too happy about their children loving it, but kids were very excited by it all, which is interesting because art is never normally aimed at children.

"It should be a very successful show, and will raise lots of questions about violence in the media and in our culture.

"We are constantly fed images of violence in this country, but we will have to see how people react when the show opens."

* The copyright in the original Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck characters is owned by Warner Brothers.

Original here

Cannabis less harmful than drinking, smoking: report


Cannabis is less harmful than alcohol or tobacco, according to a report by a research charity Thursday, which called for a "serious rethink" of drug policy.

The Beckley Foundation, a charity which numbers senior experts and other academics among its advisors, said banning cannabis has no impact on supply and turns users into criminals.

"Although cannabis can have a negative impact on health, including mental health, in terms of relative harms it is considerably less harmful than alcohol or tobacco," says the report by the Foundation's Global Cannabis Commission.

The government is pressing for cannabis to be re-classified in law as a Class B drug compared with its current, less serious, Class C classification.

Authorities are concerned notably by the growing prevalence of the potent "skunk" form of the drug. Around 80 percent of cannabis seizures are of this strain, said to be linked to mental health problems, official figures show.

The Beckley Foundation, a charitable trust, claimed only two deaths worldwide have been attributed to cannabis, while alcohol and tobacco use together kill an estimated 150,000 people in Britain alone.

"Many of the harms associated with cannabis use are the result of prohibition itself, particularly the social harms arising from arrest and imprisonment," it said.

"It is only through a regulated market that we can better protect young people from the ever more potent forms of dope," it added.

The decision to reclassify cannabis upwards into the more punitive Class B category -- which includes amphetamines -- is a U-turn for the Labour government.

Cannabis was downgraded from Class B when Tony Blair was prime minister, but Gordon Brown announced a review of its status soon after taking over in June last year.

An earlier review of the cannabis classification, at the time of the last 2005 general election, resulted in it remaining Class C.

Yum Brands to add calorie info to menu boards

Curious about how many calories are packed into that burrito or fried chicken you crave? Fast-food company Yum Brands Inc. says it's taking the guesswork out of counting calories.

The parent of KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Long John Silver's and A&W All-American Food said Wednesday it will voluntarily add product calorie information to menu boards in its company-owned restaurants nationwide.

"We believe this is the right leadership role ... to be providing more information so consumers can make better-informed purchase decisions about the food they eat," Yum spokesman Jonathan Blum said.

Yum said its calorie counts will be based on individual serving sizes rather than, for instance, on an entire pizza or bucket of chicken that a family would dig into.

Yum said it will encourage its franchisees to provide the same calorie information on their menu boards.

"We're hopeful that it will be at all of our restaurants across the United States," Blum said.

Louisville-based Yum has about 20,000 U.S. restaurants, and about 4,000 are company-owned.

The company said the calorie information will be phased onto menu boards starting this year and completed by Jan. 1, 2011. "We'll begin as quickly as we can," Blum said.

The decision comes as public policies requiring restaurant chains to post nutritional information are gaining a foothold. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation Tuesday requiring chains with at least 20 restaurants in the state to provide calorie counts on menus or indoor menu boards beginning in 2011. New York City also requires chains to post calorie counts on the menu.

Yum's decision got a thumbs-up from a consumer watchdog group.

Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, called it a groundbreaking announcement that is "fabulous news for health-conscious consumers."

"We applaud this move and encourage other major chains to follow this bold example," Jacobson said.

Jacobson added: "I never thought I'd say this, but I salute Colonel Sanders" -- referring the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Asked if McDonald's Corp. plans to post calorie information on its menu boards nationwide, spokesman Walt Riker said the fast-food giant will continue using current methods of informing customers.

McDonald's said it provides nutritional information on its Web site, on select product packaging, in brochures available in its restaurants and on the back of trayliners.

"Customers are telling us that they are satisfied with the information we're providing," Riker said.

Yum said the calorie counts will be posted on menu boards inside its stores. Drive-through customers can request nutritional brochures already available in stores.

Asked if the company anticipated a shift in sales away from higher-calorie items, Blum said, "All food can be part of a balanced diet if eaten in moderation and balanced with exercise."

Each of Yum's restaurant brands already offer lower calorie menu options.

Yum said it will push for federal legislation to set uniform guidelines for such calorie displays.

"We think every supermarket, restaurant, convenience store -- anybody who sells prepared food -- ought to follow one standard, uniform guideline," Blum said.

Yum also announced it will quit advertising its products on television programs aimed at children under 12. Blum said the company does little advertising on such programs, but said "we're taking a stand."

The company said it will launch national online exercise programs featuring University of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino to help educate consumers about maintaining a balanced lifestyle.

The moves are the company's latest efforts to keep up with health conscious customers. In 2007, Taco Bell and KFC switched to cooking oils with zero grams trans fat per serving.

Shares of Yum Brands fell 20 cents to $32.41 in morning trading Wednesday,

How to Overcome Resentment

Can you recall the last time you held a grudge against someone? Perhaps it was a friend who betrayed you, a stranger who wronged you, a lover who left, or a parent who unintentionally hurt you. Perhaps this has happened recently and feelings of regret, resentment, and injustice are fresh enough that it still stings. What can we do to overcome these feelings and painful memories?

I recently received an abrasive and angry email from someone falsely accusing me of something on a personal level. I was shocked and hurt. The “Cave Woman” in me jumped out and my initial instinct was to write something hurtful back to her, in an act of self defense. My second instinct was to give her a list of reasons why she was wrong, in an attempt to refute her false accusations, thus defending my ego.

In the end, my rational self knew that engaging with her would only trigger more negativity, so I didn’t. I woke up the next morning with defensive thoughts running through my head, like a dark cloud, hovering over me. Thoughts of retaliation had been dancing around in my mind in what seemed to be a never-ending cycle.

I hated this feeling. In fact, I hated the feeling of hating this feeling. Even though, I knew rationally and intuitively that I was getting nowhere by feeling upset, annoyed, and wronged, it felt impossible to control these thoughts and to not be bothered by them. I knew I had to release this energy to set myself free. The key to mental freedom was within me and nowhere else.

What can one do to overcome these negative thought patterns? What can we do to relinquish ourselves from feelings conjured up by other people’s actions? This article takes a detailed look at how we can free ourselves from negative feelings of resentment and anger resulting from personal episodes of injustice.

Observing Resentment

When we drill deep into the root of resentment and anger, the cause always revolves around our ego and the mind’s attempt to protect it from extinction. Here is a series of thoughts I observed myself experiencing while confronted with such a scenario:

  • Ego Shock - feelings of shock, followed by increased heart rate. I could sense that my ego was hurt.
  • Animal Instincts - when my ego is hurt, my inner caveman quickly jumps out in attack mode. Even if I logically know that it is unnecessary to be in attack mode, caveman will still be there and I will experience feelings of animal instinct. In caveman days, if we didn’t retaliate against others who hurt us, we would eventually be killed. So, this instinct serves as a survival mechanism and is a natural response to an attack. I believe that understanding this is vitally important to accepting our own reactive tendencies and to finally controlling these instincts.
  • Defense - In an attempt to defend my ego, for having been wrongfully accused, my inner caveman strategized a battle plan of defense and attack. This included a list of harmful things I could say to the attacker.
  • Infused Anger - The more I thought about how I’d been wronged, the deeper I fell into feelings of resentment, and even feelings of despair.
  • “Cave Man Survives in a Tribe” - As tribal animals, our inner caveman cares about what others think of us, since if others didn’t like us, we might be kicked out of the tribe. And for a caveman, life outside of a tribe means instant hardship and death. And so, when we learn that others think badly of us, we become unbalanced, unwell and very bothered.
  • Defending Our Ego is Like Fighting Other Cave Men - When a caveman fights with another caveman in our modern age (ie. Now), nobody wins. We fight out of an instinct to survive, and to protect our ego-driven pride. In the end, nobody wins, since we no longer live in the stone-age and killing each other is no longer necessary.

Technique for Overcoming Resentment

I am not suggesting that we suppress or deny these feelings. But rather, use responsible methods for dealing with these uncomfortable and unpleasant emotions so that we are no longer slaves to the emotional reflexes of our animalistic instincts.

As hard as it might seem while we are experiencing anger towards someone, the keys to overcoming the emotion lie first in understanding and finally in forgiving. This seems counter-intuitive, since our instincts tell us that we need to defend ourselves, and possibly come up with ways to hurt the other person.

Understanding gives us insight into what the other person is feeling. Even before we reach the stage of forgiveness, understanding will automatically ease some of the emotional burden we’ve been carrying.

Before seeking to understand, we need to find a place of clarity within ourselves. Clarity means that we are not acting out of our emotions or our caveman instincts. When we can step out of our inner caveman, we are able to see the situation for what it is. It will quickly become clear that the other person was acting out of the instincts of their inner caveman, and thus blinded by their own emotions.

Okay, let’s dive deeper into each major step in overcoming these bothersome feelings:

1. Clarity

In this step, the goal is to feel well again. When our minds are frazzled with random thoughts of pain and resentment, it is nearly impossible to overcome anything. Therefore, we need to first find peace within ourselves.

When we seek peace and clarity, we are ultimately creating the space within ourselves for alternative possibilities and healing. Without which, we will remain in a never-ending cycle of unnecessary pain and suffering.

  • Exercise: Express Your Emotions -Fully express your emotions without physically harming anyone (including yourself). If you feel angry, express that anger verbally (while you are alone) with the intent of releasing it completely out of your system. You can jump up and down, cry out loud or exert unusual sounds. Listen to your body as to how it wants to release this negative energy. Give yourself a time limit of say 5 to 10 minutes in which you must express all your anger, either verbally or in writing. Additionally or alternatively, go for a run, a hike, a workout or a swim. Many people find exercise to be an effective way to release toxic energy.
  • Exercise: Finding Peace via Focused Attention - This has been the most effective tool for me when clarity and inner peace is needed: First, find a comfortable seat and close your eyes. Bring your focus onto your breath. Focus all of your attention on your inhales and exhales. Do this for about five minutes. Next, bring your attention to your heart (the center of your chest). Focus on all the things you are grateful for in your life, right now. You can either visualize each person or thing, or you can hear the sound of these things spoken in your mind. As you see them, or hear them, experience the feelings of gratitude in your heart.
  • “You are In Control” - Remind yourself that you are in control of your thoughts and actions. You are never as helpless or in as pitiful a state as your ego would have you believe. Remind yourself of the responsible person that you are - using the real definition of responsibility: the ability to respond, or the ability to control our responses. Map out the worst case scenario and accept it. You’ll often find that the worst case scenario isn’t as bad as the dreadful scenario that you have dreamt up in your mind.

2. Understanding

Now that we’ve put our inner caveman aside, we can objectively look at the situation for what it is. We can seek to understand what is causing the other person to act in this particular way.

In most cases, once we’ve figured out the cause for their behavior, we will find that it is often not an attack on us, but a reflection of their primal instinct to protect themselves.

What’s more, as we gain perspective into their position, we might find that we’ve learned something valuable that will contribute towards our wellbeing and happiness in the future.

  • It’s Not Personal - When people are in pain, they sometimes cannot help but to spread that energy onto others. When people communicate in ways that are hurtful to you, it is not meant to be personal, but rather a reflection of their internal state.
  • The Painful “Enemy” - Seek out the scenarios and perspectives which may have triggered them to treat you in a manner that hurts you. They may be in such a deap seated state of frustration and emotional disturbance that they have lost the capacity to communicate rationally and with consideration of your feelings. Seek to understand that people, by nature, do not want to harm others, but circumstances that trigger their inner caveman cause them to act out in self-defense.
  • Freedom of Expression. - Accept that it is okay for them to have negative thoughts or feelings towards you. They have the same freedom of thought and freedom of choice as do you. Choose understanding. Choose compassion. Choose doing the right thing by staying honest to yourself. Outside of that, don’t worry about it, let them go. We cannot control other people’s actions, so why should we exert energy trying? Let others be, and find peace with that.

3. Forgiveness

Not forgiving someone is like drinking poison
and expecting the other person to die.

~ Unknown

Forgiveness is a gradual process, and understanding will eventually take us there. However, if we do not attempt forgiveness, the only person we are harming is ourselves.

The goal here is to find peace with the situation and to move on with our lives. Life is too short to dwell on the past, or to dwell on other people’s opinions of us. Give yourself a gift of freedom: forgive them with grace, compassion and understanding.

  • Forgive Yourself - Forgive yourself for having had thoughts of retaliation, resentment, regret or grievance. Forgive yourself for exposing your inner caveman.
  • Forgive Others - After the exercise of breathing and gratitude (see Finding Peace via Focused Attention above), continue to keep your eyes closed. Now, let go of all resentment and regret. You can imagine each of these separately. Imagine all the people who you hold a grudge against. Optionally you may see their harmless face smiling at you. Recognize that we are all trying our hardest in our current state of consciousness. Tell them in your imagination that you forgive them. Have the intention of forgiving others and ourselves for any actions that may have resulted in pain. You can also repeat the mantra from A Course in Miracles:
    • Every decision I make is a choice between a grievance and a miracle. I relinquish all resentments, grievances and regrets. I choose the miracle.

Can you recall an incident triggered by another person that left you with resentment? If so, put yourself in their position and see if you can understand how their primal instincts may have triggered their initial attack. How can you forgive this person? Share your thoughts in the comment section. See you there!

Honda Planning Hybrid Motorcycle


Can a hybrid engine be shrunk small enough to fit within the very narrow confines of a motorcycle? Honda thinks it can do it and if I was going to bet $700 billion of taxpayers' money on that gamble, I would place the bet on Honda.

The Japanese automaker says it is working on hybrid motorcycles and the first models could be on the market within two years.

By 2011, Honda plans to take it even one step smaller and introduce scooters with hybrid engines.

The problem with making hybrid motorcycles have been compacting all the components of a hybrid engine and making it efficient enough in such a small surface area that the vehicle can actually travel a decent distance.

The first roll out with the motorcycle will be for engine displacements between 200 and 1,000 cc and Honda claims the hybrid motorcycles will be 50 per cent more fuel efficient. The automaker thinks production costs could be kept reasonable by using common components in its current lines of hybrid cars and motorcycles.

Next will be the electric scooters ranging from 50 to 125 cc.

The smaller electric motorcycles will only be able to run about 18 miles, or 30 kilometers, on one charge.