Category: Learning

Why are pink and red associated with Valentine’s Day?

I thought the color red was supposed to make you angry. Yet it’s a predominate color for Valentine’s Day. And Pink. Red is associated with energy, strength, power, and danger. But it also symbolizes passion, love, and desire. The color red increases your heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure. Maybe that’s why it’s used in the “red-light district.” The color red has high visibility — good for stop signs, signals and fire extinguishers. It’s used to denote danger too. I suppose you’re in dangerous territory when you fall in love. Researchers found that if you see the color red before...

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How to celebrate the Winter Solstice

I’ve always wanted to celebrate the winter solstice because of the religious symbolism. It’s the day of the year with the least amount of daylight, which usually falls on  Dec 21 —  for those of us that live in the northern Hemisphere. The earth’s axis is tilted the furthest away from the sun and hence we get the least amount of light. After the winter solstice, each day is a little brighter. If you live north of the arctic circle — towards the north pole, you won’t t have any daylight at all today — no sun. Poor Santa, he should...

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What is this Baby Gift called Frankincense?

I’ve always liked to mix up potions and collect herbs. One year, I bought some frankincense for Christmas. I was teaching my kids about the three wise men and their gift of frankincense to Jesus. To kids, this seems like an odd baby gift in today’s world. I ordered some  from my favorite herb shop and it arrived in a small brown paper bag with the name stamped in red across it...Frankincense.  It looked like beads of dried sap. And that’s precisely what it is:  What is Frankincense? Frankincense is called olibanum or in Hebrew, levonah. It is a resin from...

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History of the candy cane

I was curious about the candy cane. How did we get this tradition for Christmas? Turns out that a long time ago — in 1670 — in a cathedral far away — a choirmaster wanted to keep a bunch of wiggly kids quiet during Christmas church services. The kids couldn’t sit still during the living creche celebrations in the Cologne Cathedral. So, the choirmaster persuaded a local candy maker to make their traditional white candy sticks into a shepherd’s crook. He handed them to the kids to keep them quiet during the Christmas ceremonies. I wonder how he felt about those sticky...

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Super blood moon 2015

The 2015 September 27-28 total lunar eclipse is a blood moon and a super moon. This super blood moon 2015 falls on the eve of the Jewish festival of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, (which begins at sundown on September 27 and continues to the evening of October 4th.) So we’ve got a blood moon, a super moon, and Sukkot. And a lot of people predicting end time scenarios. I’m fascinated by astronomy and geology, so I have ventured out to see these blood moon tetrads — this will be the fourth one in the series. The total lunar eclipse becomes...

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Teasing Isn’t Good

Some families, friends, and associates “tease” each other. They seem to make a sport of poking-fun at one another and become expert in the “put-down”. You know what I’m talking about. It seems fun and innocent, but really it’s sarcasm. It’s making fun of someone — which is not fun for the person who is the butt of the joke. I know some people do it so much they probably don’t even realize how it sounds and how it hurts another person. It’s so easy to join in too. Pretty soon, you’re chiming in. I know, we say “it’s all...

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When I’m Dead and Rotten

I like to write. But I don’t want to be a bore. I’m reminded of something that Peggy Noonan said in one of her books — (I’ve always liked her easy writing style.) While employed as one of Ronald Reagan’s speechwriters, she bemoaned the fact that most of the staff thought of themselves as writers. Since everyone writes — from letters to journals — it’s easy to assume you are a good writer. But often, people can’t see or hear their own voice — be it written or sung (thus the popularity and hilarity of American Idol.) So, I’m...

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The skill of self confidence in five steps

I try to instill self-confidence in my kids — without being a dragon mother. And you can’t be a phoney baloney when you praise your kids — they recognize it. While watching my children grow up, I tried to perceive their natural abilities and encourage them to develop those. I would say to them, “just give it a try, if you don’t like it, you can quit.” And that worked — giving them an option. But still, you want them to have success. And I understand how hard that can be when you are dealing with lots of different...

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Ghost Story of Christmas

My favorite Christmas story is the Ghost story of Jacob Marley. We never pair ghosts with Christmas, that’s more of a Halloween thing. Yet, Charles Dickens wrote this ghost story for Christmas. I remember reenacting the play in sixth grade; I was a ghost. I can’t seem to remember which one though. The story has been made into movies, cartoons, plays, painted, drawn, and illustrated — but have you read the original?  “A Christmas Carol”  was published on Dec. 17, 1843.  It was titled: A Christmas Carol  in Prose  Being A Ghost Story of Christmas   When Charles Dickens wrote the...

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Kissing under the mistletoe

A few years ago, I had no idea that I had decorated my Christmas Day dinner table with the product of bird dung on a twig. We sat around talking about the mistletoe I had snipped out of the tree on my hike through the oaks. Our discussion evolved into the source of my mistletoe — Where does it grow, how does it grow way up there in the tree; is it really poisonous? Where are it’s roots?   Mistletoe is associated with the winter solstice, Christmas, and New Years probably because it is an evergreen in the dead...

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How to identify leather video

Here’s my pick for your eLearning video of the week:  Leather 101 — Full Grain, Top Grain, Genuine, and Bonded Leather Explanation. How about that leather chair, or leather bag you purchased — is it quality leather? Have you ever wondered why some leathers wear out, some last long, and some, well, they turn out to be plastic with little leather fibers? Since my son and daughter-in-law are in the leather belt business, we’ve all taken a look at how leather is tanned, and what makes some leather better. As part of improving their belt business, my son upgraded their...

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Getting Gold Pure

I live in gold country — the mother lode where gold was first discovered in California. I’ve learned something about gold, but I haven’t found any around here. I’ve visited a couple of gold mines — in fact one of them — the Sutter Gold Mine,  no longer gives underground tours because they’ve started mining for gold again. I’m glad I got the tour before it closed. I’m fascinated with rocks and mother earth. I’m also intrigued with the symbolism of purifying gold. Malachi writes that the Lord is a refiner and purifier of metals: And he shall sit as a refiner and...

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Get an e-reader if you have dyslexia

Good news for anyone with dyslexia:  Read faster and comprehend more of what you’re reading by using an E-Reader. Research at the Simthsonian shows  that if you set your e-reading device to display a few words per line,  you’ll increase your speed of reading and you’ll understand more when compared to reading conventional books. The e-reader set-up works for some dyslexics because: They often have visual attention deficit — meaning they can’t concentrate on letters within words or words within lines of text. They can’t concentrate on letters within words or words within lines of text. The researcher also tracked eyeball...

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Tuck me in meaning

When I was young, my parents would “tuck me into bed.” As any parent knows, kids hate to go to bed at night — in fact it’s quite amazing to hear the excuses your kids will come up with — drinks of water, trips to the bathroom, anything to delay the inevitable. I remember saying “will you tuck me into bed?” I found the source of that saying which dates back to the Saulteaux native Americans. “Tucking in” was a life-saving event before falling asleep. I was reading a book about the Cree and Saulteaux Indians. These tribes lived in...

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Amy Cuddy’s body language

At first I felt a little silly doing this, but it really works. I got the idea from a legitimate study and TED talk. Harvard Professor, Amy Cuddy shares her research that shows “your body language shapes who you are” — take a pose for only 2 minutes and change your life for the better. It actually affects two hormones — when you take one of these poses, your cortisol level (the stress hormone) goes down, and your testosterone level goes up. All this without drugs, and in minutes. Guess what? Our minds change our bodies. So I tried...

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Deila Taylor is Eve Out of the Garden -- seeking greater light ...…  More>>