Top 8 Reasons Not To Be Involved Over the Holidays

Top 8 reasons why its good not to be involved with someone during the holidays:

8. You don’t have to spend time with his weird family

7. You don’t have to try to blend your traditions with his

6. You are totally available if you meet some hot guy at a party

5. You can watch any Christmas movie you want, at any time you want, as many times as you want, or you can skip Christmas movies altogether

4. You can go Christmas shopping any where you want, and spend as much as you want without hearing “Are we done yet?”

3. You can listen to all of YOUR favorite Christmas music

2. You can ask Santa for a new boyfriend without feeling guilty (there were a few years I wanted to trade mine in for another)

1. It’s one less person to buy presents for...

Top 10 Reasons Why Hotels Suck Lists

The top ten reasons why hotels suck:, a division of the Find Your Escape Network, has issued its "Top 10 Reasons Why Hotels Suck" for 2007. For all the inherent hassles of booking and staying in a standard hotel room, CoastRentals proves that vacation rentals offer the perfect alternative - space, comfort and individuality.

We've all endured the pains of staying at hotels. No matter where you're visiting, your experience at the hotel has a profound effect on how the trip turns out. Here's's 2007 version of the top 10 reasons that hotels stink and cause headaches for innocent travelers who are just looking to enjoy themselves.

10. "Waiter, This Isn't the Room I Ordered."

We've all been through this one. Everyone's excited for the vacation to finally start, and naturally the first thing to do is head up to the hotel room to drop off the luggage. Upon opening the door of your hotel room, however, you discover that there has been a horrible, terrible mistake. This isn't the room you reserved. Maybe you wanted two single beds instead of one queen, or vice versa. Maybe you explicitly asked for a view of the ocean, and instead got a view of the murky pool.

9. Waking Up to the Sound of "Housekeeping!"

You stayed up late last night. And why not? You're on vacation! You deserve it. Now, all you want is to sleep in and maybe wake up sometime before the sun sets. But unsurprisingly, the hotel's housekeeper bangs on the door sometime in the early, early morning. Having to deal with housekeeping services in a hotel may seem like a trivial problem, but it's related to privacy in general.

8. Hassles at the Reception Desk.

In order to get into your hotel room, waiting in line at the reception desk is a must. During peak holiday seasons, these lines can sometimes be long and arduous. Furthermore, when checking in, some hotels require several forms of identification. In some instances, the concierge working the desk may even take reservations over the phone before speaking with customers in line. All in all, it can be a real mess.

7. Want to Use the Internet? That'll Cost You.

In this day in age, the internet plays a key role in our daily lives. Even when on vacation, some might need to keep checking their email, want to read the news, or keep track of other important information found on the internet. Fact is, getting internet access in a hotel is sketchy at best, and often expensive. It is not uncommon for large, nationwide hotel chains (and even smaller, upscale hotels) to charge between $10 and $20 for internet access per day. This exorbitant price can really add up over a week or more of vacation.

6. Pay-Per-View Can Make You Blue.

Sometimes the best way to relax after spending a day out on the town is with a movie. Hotels realize this, and offer guests the option of watching movies by purchasing them via a pay-per-view system. The problem is, these movies can often be $10+ per viewing! This is often more than you'd pay if you were to see the movie in a theater! Let's not even go over the possibility of your children finding the "Adult" section of the pay-per-view movies in a hotel room…

5. Problematic Parking.

Hotels are built to cater to hundreds of people at a time. As such, guests are usually required to park in a large lot. This can be stressful for a number of reasons. Hotel guests are often forced to park in a section of the parking lot where their car will not be visible from their hotel room. This can be disconcerting as criminals know that hotel guests often keep valuable luggage in their cars, making hotel parking lots prime locations for breaking into vehicles. To make matters worse, some upscale hotels in urban centers may even charge the hotel guests extra for parking!

4. Additional Charges for Everything.

The mini-bar is a testament to the power of capitalism. Here, right in your hotel room, is a tiny refrigerator full of snacks, drinks, alcohol, and sometimes even aspirin or socks. However, while each of these products might be reasonably priced in your neighborhood grocery store, they are outrageously expensive in the mini-bar. Why do hotels charge so much for a tiny bottle of liquor or a few cookies? The convenience of having these items right in your hotel room. Just another example of how hotels will charge extra for absolutely anything. Need to do some laundry? You'll probably have to pay a fee.

3. Noisy Neighbors.

This is an easy one. When staying in a hotel, the walls of your room are usually shared by another room. In some hotel setups, as many as three of your walls may be shared. Depending on the quality of the construction, these walls can range from quite thick to paper-thin. In cases of the latter, this means you'll be hearing everything your fellow guests are doing. This may include partying, yelling, arguing, drinking, snoring, using filthy language, or other illicit activities - many inappropriate for younger members of the family. Furthermore, this is just another facet of the lack of privacy in most hotels. Keep this in mind: with all those people so close, they'll be hearing everything you're doing too. An unsettling thought, but unfortunately one that most hotel guests will have to deal with at some point.

2. Size Matters.

Let's face it, hotel rooms are small. This may seem shocking at first, but it's true. In fact, just one bedroom in a vacation rental may be bigger than a standard hotel room. Imagine how much more comfortable you'd be on vacation if you had an entire house to call your own instead of a tiny, stuffy, ugly hotel room.

1. The Question of Cleanliness.

Several studies performed in the last decade have proven that hotel rooms are some of the least clean public places. These studies have gotten a lot of exposure in various media outlets, from the evening news to national magazines. And they're not wrong: from the bed to the doorknob to the remote control, hotel rooms can be havens for germs, bacteria and other disgusting things. The sheer amount of people that stay in large hotels should be proof enough that there will be a lot of mileage on those bedsheets, showers, and other items. Yes, most hotels employ cleaning services, but there is no telling how often they clean a room, or how well. Just because a bed is made properly doesn't mean it's sanitary.

Quite the list of unpleasantries. In fact, nearly all hotel stays will have you fighting through a majority of these inconveniences - so what's the alternative? Vacation rentals, which is just a broad term for all kinds of lodging types that are for rent in vacation spots (including homes, condos, townhomes, apartments, cabins, etc.), offer up great alternatives to all the downfalls of themodern hotel. Parking, ample space, privacy, no "add-on" charges, and cleanliness are all a step above when you're talking about vacation properties.

You also can easily find properties that cater to your particular tastes and needs for your vacation. You'll likely have a much more enjoyable experience and you'll save money to boot.

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Ten Reasons Why We Should Care About Poverty

Ten Reasons Why We Should Care About Poverty

1. Every four seconds, someone, somewhere, dies of hunger.

2. 24,000 people today will die of hunger; 18,000 of them will be children.

3. 500 million people worldwide are chronically malnourished.

4. One of two children live in poverty (1 billion children).

5. 11 million children die each year from preventable causes like malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia.

6. Every year 6 million children die from malnutrition before their 5th birthday.

7. One billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a newspaper or sign their name.

8. 1.2 billion people cannot pour themselves a glass of safe drinking water.

9. 1 in 6 people around the world live in extreme poverty (less than $1.00 a day).

10. Half the world -- nearly three billion people -- lives on less than $2.00 a day.

Sources: Global Issues - Poverty Facts and Stats; NetAid; United Against Hunger; United Nations Development Programme.

Pierre Cutler

Top 10 Reasons It's Great To Be A Gay Man

Top Ten Reasons It's Great To Be A Gay Man:

1. All the sex you want, any time you want, any way you want, any venereal disease you want.

2. On Saturday nights, you can go to a bar and get raging drunk, dance naked on the pool table, and go home with a freak—but, no one gives you shit about it at Sunday brunch because they've probably done the same at least once.

3. When you comment on fashion or interior design, people actually pay attention.

4. If you're wearing something that makes you look bad, put on any weight, or get a bad haircut, dozens of people will let you know without your even having to ask.

5. Never having to worry about being targeted as a possible consumer of minivans.

6. Knowing that if you ever fall to the level where you have to appear in a porno flick to pay your rent, your friends will actually respect you more to your face but will brand you as whore.

7. It's easy to bum cigarettes from your friends. Or lithium. Or crystal.

8. You don't always have to hold your beer with more than two fingers.

9. You can debate the pros and cons of studded condoms from both sides.

10. Life is just a notch more fabulous. And shinier.

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10 Reasons To Bboycot 2008 Olympic Games in Communist China

Ten Reasons Why the Free World with The Leadership of America Must Boycott the 2008 Olympic Games in Communist China
By Demetrius Klitou

1. Human rights are practically non-existent in Communist China Religious persecution, imprisonment and murder of non-violent political dissidents, torture, organ harvesting and sentences to hard labour are widespread.

2. The lack of freedom of the press and safety risks for foreign reporters Many foreign websites are banned from being visited within China, foreign reporters are prohibited from interviewing anyone without previous permission from the government, and the content of all broadcasting is severely restricted. Foreign news media reporters have been arrested and sentenced to prison under vague and wide-reaching security laws.

3. The 1980 Olympic Games in Communist Russia were boycotted by 64 states, under the leadership of the U.S. Beijing is not any different from Moscow in 1980, which was also the capital of a Communist police state.

4. Communist China constantly threatens to attack Taiwan China's government passed a law that explicitly calls for military intervention in response to any intention by the democratic government of Taiwan to declare independence. Military manoeuvres indicate that the Communists' military is preparing to enforce this law.

5. Beijing has the most polluted air in the world Studies and satellites photos have proven that Beijing suffers from extremely high nitrogen
dioxide levels, vitally dangerous to the health of the athletes.

6. China is plagued by widespread social, political, and economic unrest A surge in huge land grabs and forced evictions by the Chinese government for reasons of economic expansion and Olympic Games preparations have sparked thousands of protests. The government has murdered hundreds of protesters.

7. The Chinese have been bribing and threatening large numbers of members of the International Olympic Committee A number of U.S. Representatives, for example, Congressman Tom Lantos, have stated this on national television.

8. A boycott has some potential to serve as a strategy to encourage human rights in China Only the greedy and foolish global elite think this is true the other way around.

9. Holding the Olympic Games in Communist China contradicts the Olympic Charter The Olympic Charter defines the philosophy of Olympism as the "respect for universal fundamental ethical principles" and its goal of promoting "a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity."

10. Don't repeat the errors of 1936 when Nazi Germany was allowed to host the Olympic Games The Olympic Games will give Communist China the same propaganda tool Nazi Germany enjoyed. Not since 1936 have the ideals of Olympics been so trampled upon.

Demetrius Klitou is the author of the book The Friends and Foes of Human Rights, available at He holds a BA in International Area Studies and a MA in Diplomatic Studies. He will be pursuing a LL.M. in Public International Law at Leiden University. Published June 28, 2006 by the China Support Network (CSN). Begun as the American response group in 1989, CSN represents Americans who are "on the side" of the students in Tiananmen Square - standing for democratic reform, human rights, and freedom in China.

For dissident news; to support a stronger China policy; or get more information, see

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13 Reasons To Love March

Thirteen Good Things About March

1. Spring break.

2. Flowers begin to bloom - especially daffodils and jonquils.

3. The weather gets warmer.

4. It’s still possible to have a snow day from school. It rarely happens, but there’s still that possibility to cling to.

5. The trees start to fill out with leaves.

6. I can wear sandals again. Well some days are warm enough for sandals. I LOVE wearing sandals.

7. Daylight Savings time begins. It’s wonderful having daylight last well into late afternoon/early evening.

8. Lots of birds are around - busy building nests and visiting the bird feeders.

9. It’s easier to grill outside.

10. I know that summer break is getting closer.

11. Stores stock summer clothes, and I enjoy shopping for summery clothing.

12. Everything looks so new and fresh.

13. The greens of the trees and bushes and flowers are just spectacular. Green is my favorite color, and spring is bursting with all the varied shades of it.

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Top 10 Reasons to Start Walking

From Wendy Bumgardner,
Your Guide to Walking.

Top 10 Reasons to Start Walking

Walking for 30 to 60 minutes each day is one of the best things you can do for your body, mind, and spirit.

1) Walkers Live Longer

The Honolulu Heart Study of 8000 men found that walking just two miles a day cut the risk of death almost in half. The walkers' risk of death was especially lower from cancer. Other studies have had similar findings - if you keep walking, you improve your chances of a longer and healthier life.

2) Walking Helps Prevent Weight Gain

If you add just 2000 more steps a day to your regular activities, you may never gain another pound. So says research by Dr. James O. Hill of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. To lose weight, add in more steps.

3) You Can Walk Off Weight

Exercise such as walking is an important part of any weight loss program. You must still watch how much you eat in order to lose weight. But walking helps you build healthy lean muscle, lose inches of fat, and pump up your metabolism. Of long-term successful weight losers, almost all maintain a program of walking or other exercise.

4) Walking Reduces Risk of Cancer

Study after study has shown that walking and exercise reduces your risk of breast cancer and colon cancer. Walking is also good for those undergoing cancer treatment, improving their chances of recovery and survival.

5) Walking Reduces Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke

Heart disease and stroke are among the top killers of both men and women. You can cut your risk of both in half by walking for 30-60 minutes a day. Get your blood moving!

6) Walking Reduces Diabetes Risk

Get out and walk for 30 minutes a day as your minimum daily requirement for health and to prevent Type 2 diabetes. A study by the Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, discovered that walking for 30 minutes a day cut diabetes risks for overweight as well as non-overweight men and women. Walking also helps maintain blood sugar balance for those with diabetes.

7) Walking Boosts Your Brain Power

A study of people over 60 funded by the National Council on Aging, published in the July 29, 1999 issue of Nature, found that walking 45 minutes a day at 16-minute mile pace increased the thinking skills of those over 60. The participants started at 15 minutes of walking and built up their time and speed. The result was that the same people were mentally sharper after taking up this walking program.

8) Walking Improves Mood and Relieves Stress

Walking and other exercise leads to the release of the body's natural happy drugs - endorphins. Most people notice an improvement in mood. A Nov. 9, 1999 study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine showed that university students who walked and did other easy to moderate exercise regularly had lower stress levels than couch potatoes or those who exercised strenuously.

9) Walking Can Prevent Erectile Dysfunction

What better reason for men to take a brisk two mile walk each day - a reduced risk of impotence from mid-life onward.

10) It's Easy to Get Started Walking

All you need is a pair of comfortable shoes and to get yourself out the door or onto the treadmill. You can reap the benefits of walking from doing several shorter walks or one longer walk during the day. To get you on the right foot, this easy tutorial shows you how to walk with good posture and how to increase your walking time each day.

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Shoes: Women's + Men's + Children's + Athletic & Outdoor

10 Reasons To Donate Blood


1. Blood transfusions save lives.

2. There's no substitute for human blood.

3. Every three seconds, someone needs a blood transfusion.

4. About 60 percent of the population are eligible to donate blood, yet less than five percent do.

5. A pint of blood, separated in to components, can help up to three people.

6. You'll make your community a safer place.

7. Fulfills your desire to "give back" to the community.

8. You'll receive a mini physical (blood pressure, temperature, iron level).

9. You'll learn your blood type.

10. It's safe, simple and it saves lives.

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Most Common Reasons Not To Sleep Naked
Most common reasons 'not to sleep naked'

"What if someone walks in on me?"

Of course, whether or not you can sleep naked depends on the circumstances in which you live. For example: you may share a flat with others. Probably the best way to avoid this happening is to tell them you sleep naked. At worst, they will giggle, and you can refer them to

Being too cold at night.

You should consider upping the amount of blankets you are using to keep you warm. You should remember that being too cold causes your body to restrict your blood flow, and sleeping in these conditions too regularly will hinder your ability to self-repair, stay healthy and may ultimately speed up the aging process.

Your partner doesn't like it.

If your partner isn't comfortable with you being naked, you may want to speak to them about why this is. Ask yourself - do you have a healthy sex life? If not, then sleeping naked may be the least of your problems and you should speak to your partner.

Make your dreams pleasant and useful.

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20 Reasons to Have Sex When You Don’t Feel Like It

By Latricia Buckner

It’s funny how sex factors into the way people describe the state of their relationships. Studies show that, when things are going well, sex contributes only 15 percent to the overall satisfaction of a relationship. But if things aren’t going well, it contributes 85 percent to the overall dissatisfaction.

Sex has many advantages to both people involved. Here are just a few.

Twenty Reasons to Have Sex
When You Don't Feel Like It

1. Because you said so

Even though you may not have promised to “love, honor, and have sex once a week” when you made a commitment to your relationship, it was understood that sex would be part of that bargain.

Imagine how the marriage rates would go down if people said, You'll marry you, but don't expect sex. If you polled one thousand people on the street and asked them, “Is it reasonable to expect to have to have sex when you are married?” the overwhelming majority would say yes. If you expect a monogamous commitment from your partner, then it stands to reason that you will be a cooperative sex partner.

2. Sex helps you forget

Oxytocin, which triggers orgasm, has an amnesic effect that lasts up to five hours. So for a period of time you forget that he maxed out your Visa card or she was an hour late getting home from work. Women get an additional benefit. During orgasm that parts of the brain that govern fear, anxiety, and stress are switched off. (Faking orgasm gives no such benefit.)

3. Sex rewires you for pleasure

Every time you share a positive experience with your partner, your brain comes to associate him or her with pleasure. You can transform any relationship simply by increasing the number of enjoyable times you share together.

4. Sex puts the “P” back in partnership

Passion is what separates your relationship with your intimate partner from those with girlfriends and buddies. Yes, you two are best friends and confidants, but without sex you will not have passion.

The following are from a 1997 study in the British Medical Journal-

5. Heightened sense of smell

After sex, production of prolactin surges, causing stem cells in the brain to develop new neurons in the brain's smell center (olfactory bulb).

6. Weight loss

Rambunctious sex burns a minimum of two hundred calories, about the same as running fifteen minutes on a treadmill. British researchers determined that the equivalent of six Big Macs can be worked off by having sex three times a week for a year.

7. Reduced depression

Prostaglandin, a hormone found in semen, modulates female hormones. Orgasm releases endorphins, producing a sense of well-being and euphoria.

8. Pain relief

During sex, levels of oxytocin surge five times their normal level, releasing endorphins that alleviate pain. Sex also prompts production of estrogen, which reduces the pain of PMS.

9. Healthier heart

Women who have more sex have higher levels of estrogen, which protects against heart disease.

10. Cure for the common cold

Once-a-week sex produces 30 percent higher levels of immunoglobulin A, which boosts the immune system.

11. Better bladder control

Sex strengthens the pelvic muscles that control the flow of urine.

12. Peppy prostate

Some urologists believe they see a relationship between infrequency of ejaculation in men and cancer in the prostate. In this case solo sex works just as well, but why out on all the other benefits?

13. Shiny hair, glowing skin

For women, extra estrogen from orgasm makes hair shine. Sweat produced during sex cleanses the pores and makes skin glow. Serotonin produces the after glow of sex.

14. Calming effect

Sex is ten times more effective than Valium, with no side effects.

15. Relief for a stuffy nose

Really. Sex is a natural antihistamine. It can even help combat hay fever and asthma.

16. Firmer tummy and butt

Regular sex can firm your tummy and butt, plus improve posture.

17. Boosts immune system

Endorphins stimulate immune-system cells that fight disease.

18. Forever young

Sex actually slows down the aging process. It lowers cortisol levels in the bloodstream, which reduces stress and slows down the aging process.

19. Protection against Alzheimer's and osteoporosis

Women who have more sex have higher levels of estrogen, which protects against Alzheimer's and osteoporosis.

20. Euphoria

© 2007 Relationship Coaching Institute– Excerpted with permission. All rights reserved.

Who wouldn't want more? The best way to get a natural high is sex!

В Steven Stosny, Ph.D. and Patricia Love, Ed.D
Excerpted with permission from their brand new book-
How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It

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21 Reasons Not To Have Kids

21 Reasons not to have kids

- For those who already have children past this age, this is hilarious.
- For those who have children nearing this age, this is a warning.
- For those who have not yet had children, this is birth control.

The following came from an anonymous mother in Austin, TX. Things I've learned from my children

1. A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2,000 sq. foot house 4 inches deep.

2. If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.

3. A 3-year-old's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.

4. If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20X20 foot room.

5. You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on. When using the ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.

6. The glass in windows (even double pane) doesn't stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.

7. When you hear the toilet flush and the words, "Uh-oh", it's already too late.

8. Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.

9. A six-year-old can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year-old man says they can only do it in the movies. A magnifying glass can start a fire even on an overcast day.

10. Certain Lego's will pass through the digestive tract of a four-year-old.

11. Play Dough and Microwave should never be used in the same sentence.

12. Super glue is forever.

13. No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool, you still can't walk on water.

14. Pool filters do not like Jell-O.

15. VCR's do not eject PB&J sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.

16. Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.

17. Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving.

18. You probably do not want to know what that odor is.

19. Always look in the oven before you turn it on. Plastic toys do not like ovens.

20. The fire department in Austin has a 5 minute response time.

21. The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earth worms dizzy. It will, however, make cats dizzy, and cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.
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11 Reasons To Give Microsoft’s Vista a Chance

11 Reasons to give Microsoft’s Vista a chance

by Dean Takahashi
San Jose Mercury News

PopWire: News, Reviews and Commentary

Little things matter.

Vista, the new computer operating system from Microsoft, is a collection of little improvements that will save you a lot of time and grief in your daily computing.

Microsoft is billing Vista as making it “easier, safer and more fun” to use your PC. Nobody can be sure that Vista delivers on this until it’s battle-tested in the real world, but early tests by millions of guinea pigs so far suggests Vista meets its goals. It’s the first real makeover of Microsoft’s Windows operating system for computers since Windows XP debuted in 2001.

Consumer versions of Vista debut Jan. 30: Home Basic for $199 and Home Premium for $239. Ultimate, for $399, is for power users or small businesses. I’ve played around with Vista on four different machines and know enough to say what I like about it.

It hasn’t crashed on me. On reliability, compatibility or security, it should be better than previous versions of Windows, says Joel Durham, author of “Windows Vista Ultimate Bible,” (Wiley, 2007) an upcoming book on the most expensive version of Vista. We’ll find out for sure once hardware and software companies finish shipping thousands of “drivers,” or programs that ensure Vista works with the computer’s hardware.

When I asked Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates how he felt about developing Windows Vista over five years, he said, “Best $6 billion I ever spent.” Is it worth your money? Well, lucky for Bill, it is.

Here are 11 reasons why:

1. When you move your mouse over the borders, you’ll find they’re a little thicker so it isn’t as hard to grab them and expand the size of a window. On the side of the screen, you can find useful options on the Windows Sidebar, where you can view the icons for “gadgets” _ mini-programs connected to the Internet. The icons for the gadgets are always visible on the right side of your screen; they deliver live information such as news headlines, the time in certain cities or local traffic.

2. Maneuvering with 3-D effects on the screen is a novelty in the Windows world, even if it isn’t new to Apple Macintosh users. If you hold the Tab and Windows keys down (as long as you’re not using the low-end Basic version), Vista takes all of your open Web pages and presents a sideways 3-D view of them.

This feature is called Flip 3D and is part of the so-called Aero Glass 3-D effects that aren’t present in the Windows Vista Home Basic edition. The pages run by as if you were rotating a Rolodex. The edges of open pages are also translucent, so you can more easily see what page is nested behind another one.

3. With the “preview pane,” you have the ability to preview files and Web pages before you open them. If you put the mouse arrow over a Web page tab at the bottom of the screen, it will present a “live thumbnail” mini-view of the page so you can tell quickly if you really want to open it. The same goes for files in the My Documents folder.

4. Search ability is integrated throughout the operating system so you can search for something inside any folder or dialog box. There is always a search field to use wherever you are in the system, and Vista remembers your most recent or frequent searches.

Thanks to the U.S. Justice Department, you can easily change your default search engine from Microsoft’s search tool to Google’s or a host of others. (Just click the arrow tab in the search box.) It comes with Internet Explorer 7.0, but you can also change the browser.

5. Vista has a built-in version of the Windows Media Center user interface, which was once a separate version of Windows XP. The Media Center interface has large print viewable from 10 feet away and has a menu system that you can navigate via a TV remote control. It allows you to navigate through movies or music stored on your PC and view them on a TV screen.

Microsoft has deals to allow you to download movies to your computer or get unique sports information from providers such as Fox Sports. The interface does things like automatically downloads album art to go with your music files. It’s easy to hook up devices such as Microsoft’s Xbox 360 video game console so you can retrieve a video stored on your PC and play it on a TV connected to the Xbox 360.

6. I like the built-in parental controls that you once had to install on your own. With Vista, you can create a series of users for each member of the family and limit what your children can do.

You can limit permission so that your child can’t play Mature-rated games on the computer. You can prevent a child from Web browsing, chatting with strangers or downloading a file without your permission. And you can even set the times when it is OK for your child to be using the computer.

7. Vista comes with DirectX 10, graphics software that enables game developers to pack more action into 3-D animated games. With the Game Explorer, which is a kind of folder just for games, you no longer have to look through a bunch of menus to start a game.

8. If you have the bad habit of not backing up your PC, there are fewer excuses with Vista. The Backup and Restore Center lets you do that with a click on one button.

You can choose whether you want to back up to a Universal Serial Bus flash drive, a secondary hard disk on your computer, or a server connected to the same network as your PC. You can even roll back the clock on version changes to your documents in case you want to recover an altered document.

9. One of the big improvements in Vista is the Windows photo gallery. You can easily take the “red eye” out of photos by clicking on someone’s eyes and dragging a box around them with the mouse. You can even merge two photos into one with the basic tools that are built into Vista.

You can organize your photos by tagging them with categories such as “wildlife” or “family.” The photo gallery also organizes photos by date taken, ratings or public pictures that you can share with everyone who uses the machine. You can print photos to your printer or send them off to a Web-based photo printing service.

10. The best-looking feature of Windows Vista is Dream Scene, a cute visual detail that Microsoft kept secret until Bill Gates’ keynote Jan. 14 at the Consumer Electronics Show. With Windows Vista Ultimate, the high-end $399 version of the operating system, you can set any video as the background wallpaper of your computer.

If you have video of a waterfall, for example, you can always see it running in the background as you do any task, even when your screen saver isn’t running. This is known as an “extra” for Windows Vista Ultimate, meaning it is available as a separate download after Jan. 30. It requires a good graphics card and plays only Windows Media or MPEG (Motion Picture Experts Group) files.

11. One feature guaranteed to save a few years from your life is that you can change the default on how to either put the computer to sleep or to shut it down with a single mouse click. No more questions like, “Turn off computer?” when you click to shut down.
Dean Takahashi writes the “Tech Talk” column for the San Jose Mercury News. He can be reached at dtakahashi at

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50 Reasons Why EMINEM Is Bad For Music

  1. Bigotry

    Eminem is famous for rampant anti-Semitism. His recent hit Without Me complains "...well the FCZ won't let me be," apparently referring to the Founder's Conspiracy of Zionists, a supposed secret jewish mind-control plot often mentioned in Neo-Nazi literature. Why doesn't somebody take him to task on this?

  2. The numbers don't lie

    Eminem is rap's most popular artist; but a 1998 University of Chicago study proved rap is the least enjoyable form of popular music, scoring an 8.6 on the Henderson Audiological Enjoyment Scale. By comparison, the study found 60's rock scored a 14.2, Classical music scored a 16.9, and the study demonstrated a solid 22.4 for ska.

  3. Why isn't this man in jail?

    Eminem confesses to several murders in his lyrics (see Bonnie and Clyde '97) and after more than five years of an intensive homicide investigation, police still have no evidence that Eminem did not participate in the murder of rapper Tupac Shakur.

  4. He's a fraud

    Listen closely to the beautiful chorus of the song Stan. Do you hear it? That's not Eminem's voice. Why don't you give credit to whoever really did the singing, Mr. Eminem? I guess Eminem is too young to have heard of Milli Vanilli.

  5. Sexism

    Women are nothing but mindless receptacles for sex in Eminem's world, as evidenced by his current hit Hot in Here where he issues these commands: "It's getting hot in here... so take off all your clothes." In the chorus a female voice responds in submission, "I'm gonna take my clothes off." A terrifying look into a misogynist fantasy.

  6. Read between the lines

    Some of the lyrics in another recent hit, Closet, could be interpreted as being insulting to his mother (his mother being Michigan Senator Wilma Shady).

  7. Get the man a therapist

    Eminem brags in his lyrics that he has named his genitalia "Haley" and refers to it constantly in his latest songs.

    And we pay to listen?

  8. Get the man a therapist part 2...

    The "Haley" references include this bizarre and deeply disturbing threat toward his mother:

    "Ma.... Haley's getting so big now, you should see her, she's beautiful

    But you'll never see her, she wont even be at your funeral!

  9. Get the man a therapist, part 3...

    Did you notice that the famously homophobic Eminem refers to his penis as "she?" Why can't we get help for this man?

  10. Worse than stealing

    Enormous sales of Eminem albums in recent years have detracted from those of far superior artists, such as Elvis Costello and Indigo Girls. Why haven't they filed a lawsuit?

  11. Read between the lines, part 2

    If you listen closely to Without Me Eminem threatens musician Moby that "You could get your ass kicked." At best this is a reference to vindictive animal cruelty, at worst it's a curse word and should not be allowed in music. If you interpret it as the latter, replace the "a" above with an asterisk.

  12. Bigotry, part 2

    In Without Me Eminem also refers to something "...even worse then the little Limp Bizkit bastards." I've spoken to several of my colleagues who say "Limp Bizkit" is rap slang for Jews. Eminem is obviously referring to Jewish children who are abandoned by their fathers before marriage. If Mr. Eminem could see through his hate long enough to do some research, he'd find that illegitimacy rates are remarkably low among the Jewish population.

  13. Why isn't he in jail? Part 2

    Eminem's song from a few years ago, Cop Killer, encouraged violence against police and is considered one of the ugliest pieces of music ever written.

  14. Did I mention he should be in jail?

    In Closet Eminem proudly declares, "I got skeletons in my closet." It is widely thought by me that this is the skeleton of Tupac Shakur. Have the police not heard this? Wouldn't this song be grounds for a search warrant?

  15. A life wasted

    Why did Eminem feel the need to spread hatred to the world when he made a good living in the early 90's working as a male model?*

    *In the 1991 Sears Christmas Catalog, page 206, the hands holding the Nintendo Gameboy belong to a young Eminem.

  16. Original? Hardly

    The song The Real Slim Shady is a cover of the Roy Orbison song of the same name, released in 1976.

    1. We will continue!
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    10 Reasons To Take A Walk

    “I have two doctors, my left leg and my right.”
    - George Trevelyan

    What if there was a miracle pill that if you took it each day would give you a 20% less chance of getting cancer, a 30% less chance of getting heart disease, a 50% less chance of diabetes, and would help you live longer and healthier into old age. How much would you pay for it?

    Wouldn’t you insist your children, parents, and loved ones take it, too?

    Well, according to some health studies published in major medical journals an hour a day of walking will reap all of these health benefits for you.

    Millions of people seem to think that if they can’t join a spa and spend a lot of time working out, they might as well forget about health benefits from exercise. Yet, that isn’t true. Dr. Russell Pate of the University of South Carolina says:

    “I think we have to officially sanction the idea that a nice, comfortable walk around the block after dinner is a very desirable thing to do.”

    There’s no doubt about it, walking is good for you. It’s good for your heart, it’s good for your lungs, it’s good for the muscle and bone growth and it’s good for your feeling of wellbeing!

    Walking is one of the most beneficial forms of “daily activity” and type of exercise which we can do that carries the least risk! Just about all of us can do it; we all know how to do it; we can do it almost everywhere, anytime, and as a form of exercise it offers us lots of variety. What more can we ask for?

    So, here are ten reasons to take a walk:

    1. General Health And Longevity

    Regular participation in physical activity like walking is associated with reduced mortality rates for both older and younger adults. In other words, walkers live longer!

    In particular, walking has a high impact on cardiovascular disease. Fit and active individuals have around half the risk of cardiovascular disease compared to unfit inactive people. This level of risk is similar to smoking, high blood pressure or high cholesterol in causing heart disease.

    Fit walkers are less likely to fall and suffer injuries such as hip fractures because the bones are strengthened; less likely to sustain injury because joints have a better range of movement and muscles are more flexible; less prone to depression and anxiety; tend to be good sleepers; and are better able to control body weight.

    For general health, a total of 30 minutes of brisk walking, preferably all days of the week, are recommended by experts.

    2. Lose Weight

    Control of body weight occurs when the calories taken in as food are balanced with the calories expended through walking and other physical activities. The key issue for weight control is to maximize the total volume of calories used, and to combine this with healthy eating.

    We can break it up by adding an extra block, an extra flight of stairs, a longer walk to the car. Do we live in an urban area? Let’s go to the store instead of ordering in! Do we have a problem with evening snacking? Let’s take a walk!

    Walking at a moderate pace burns calories and if we walk for longer periods of time even slowly, we will burn more body fat. Our body uses fat for its slow burning energy requirements. Think a few calories here and there won’t add up? Think again! An extra 100 calories a day burned by walking can amount to a 10lbs weight loss in one year without really trying.

    3. Mental Health

    Walking has been shown to improve self esteem, relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety, and improve mood. Walking, particularly in pleasant surroundings, and with other people, offers many opportunities for relaxation and social contact.

    Fresh air, a few deep breaths, and a break in our indoor environment can bring more oxygen to our brain, give a glow to our skin and give us a few minutes to de-stress!

    4. Gain Aerobic Power

    Regular exercise carried out three times a week for 30 minutes or more at the right intensity will result in increases of aerobic power.

    Even 10-minute brisk walks can increase fitness, provided that they are brisk enough. One study at Loughbrough University found that women walking continuously for 30 minutes 5 days a week had almost identical increases in fitness as women who split their 30 minutes into three 10-minute walks. Perhaps even more encouraging was that the short walkers lost more weight and reported greater decreases in waist circumference than the long walkers.

    5. Reduce Risk of Glaucoma and Cancer

    Dr. Michael Passo of Oregon Health Sciences University has found that starting a walking program lowered the intraocular pressure of 40 sedentary individuals, which decreased their risk of glaucoma.

    Also a large study of 80,000 men and women in Scandinavia in the 1970’s uncovered the role of walking and other exercise in preventing colon cancer. Moderate recreational activity was enough to bring a 40% reduction in the risk of colon cancer among women. The theory is that walking, by speeding up the speed up the passage of ingested foods through the colon, gives less time for carcinogens in the food to be in contact with the intestinal lining.

    6. Lowers Blood Sugar

    Researchers have found that hills are good both ways. Uphill gives you a cardiovascular workout and lowers triglycerides, but downhill has now proven superior for lowering blood sugar levels. Do either to reduce LDL cholesterol. Dr. Heinz Drexel reported his findings to the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in November, 2004.

    7. Walk Away From Colds

    Can regular walking keep you from suffering the misery of colds? Studies suggest that it can.

    One study of 50 women divided them into a group who walked briskly for 45 minutes a day, 5 days a week, and a control group that did not exercise. The walkers experienced half as many colds as the control group. The walkers also showed an increase in natural killer cells, immune system cells that attack bacteria and viruses.

    8. Boost Energy

    Walking require energy, as does everything. In addition to expending energy, however, physical activity also gives people increased energy throughout the entire day.

    The immune system, too, gets a big boost from regular walking. A healthy immune system helps fight diseases, and speeds recovery from all kinds of injuries. The less time a person is ill, the more energy a person has to spend on living well.

    9. Feel Calmer and Sleep Soundly

    Physical activity like walking can make you feel more alert during the day, but it also makes you feel calmer and sleep more soundly. When people are active, their body temperature rises and warms their insides. This soothes the body, like a warm bath, and causes a person to feel calmer. This feeling, along with the lower anxiety and stress and physical benefits of walking, helps a person to sleep soundly at night.

    10. Endorphins: The Natural High

    When a person is physically active or is brisk walking for a certain period of time - about 20 minutes or longer - the body releases endorphins, proteins in the brain that act as the body’s natural pain reliever. When endorphins are released, a person may experience a feeling of euphoria. Many people enjoy this feeling and look forward to the natural high they get from keeping physically fit.

    Whatever your reasons for walking, it offers many benefits to improve your life. And because it is low impact, walking can have a definite advantage over such activities as running and aerobics. As a result, there is less chance of injury to joints and muscles. Indeed, walking is the number one activity recommended by fitness experts.

    So, for your well-being, take a walk!

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    Top 5 Reasons to Not Become an Entrepreneur

    Yesterday I promised to even things out in my post on the Top 5 Reasons to Become an Entrepreneur. Today I write on why not to become an entrepreneur. This is a tougher topic for me to write authentically as I’ve been playing entrepreneur for the past four years and have no real desire to turn back. Consequently this article took me twice as long to write. I also found myself elaborating more as I poured more and more thought into each point. The result is what I feel are the top 5 cons of entrepreneurship.

    #5 The Work

    Put simply it never stops. As an entrepreneur you cannot ever run out of things to do until the business is gone. If you aren’t busy ordering supplies, tracking inventory, getting the books in order, finding customers, finding advertising space, working out glitches in the product, negotiating with a supplier, negotiating with a customer, seeking funding, optimizing your website, figuring out payroll, or one of thousands of other tasks out there then you can be refining your business plan to maximize growth.

    In some periods I put as many 15 hours a day into my business, and looking back I didn’t always get 15 hours of work out of it. The book Getting Things Done is one of the key materials that has taught me how to make the most of my work time and allowed me to have a personal life at all. I am in the process of reading it for the third time and can partly attribute so many successes to the advice in it. For $10 it’s practically free.

    #4 The Investment

    A business isn’t started for free. The financial commitment can be significant if you are opening a store or be as little as the cost of a domain name and web hosting (if you seek these things for a business venture then get in touch with me). The former is a lot more likely than the latter, so there is start-up capital you must find and odds are its coming out of your pocket or a loan secured by your most prized assets.

    However the money invested is only part of the equation. You also have to examine your opportunity cost. What is your next best alternative for the money and time you put into the business? What kind of retirement fund will you have on a $5000 investment with the power of compounded interest? What sort of income are you losing by putting your time into this venture instead of your next best alternative?

    #3 The (lack of a) Pay Cheque

    A regular pay cheque is a lovely thing to have. It pays bills, buys food, and makes sure you can always get those nice consumer comforts like the latest gadget or DVD. With the popularity of direct deposit, money just “appears” in your account every two weeks.

    When you are starting up such a regular pay cheque is very difficult to get. If you are lucky enough to have an outside investment that pays you a salary or have enough revenue coming in to be able to always pay yourself a certain amount (and invest the rest in the business) then you at least have regular income in the short-term. In the long-term the only way that cheque will keep coming is if your company continues to succeed.

    Most likely you will be taking a severe pay cut, and without outside funding you are risking no money coming in at all. Unfortunately the companies issuing your bills won’t be very understanding about this.

    #2 The Risk

    You take on risk when you start a business. This risk, like with other investments, is why that coveted upside exists. Points 3 and 4 wouldn’t be a big deal if you were always guaranteed to succeed. Instead you must do your absolute best, make the decisions you believe are right, and accept that your life will be pot marked with failures (and valuable lessons).

    I had the opportunity to listen to Jim Estill speak recently, and one of the major points he emphasized was “Fail Fast and Fail Cheap”. You cannot avoid taking risks in business, and consequently you can’t avoid failures.

    #1 The Discomfort

    As human beings we tend to find change uncomfortable, but there isn’t much room to be in a placid comfortable nook when you’re an entrepreneur. You must constantly be willing to try new things, make decisions without nearly enough information, and the worst fear inducer of all, take risks. The very nature of this kind of life prevents you from hitting the standby button on your brain and just slogging through the work handed to you oblivious to its meaning or consequences (not that this is how all employees work all the time - it’s just you have that beautiful option). Having to constantly grow, change, and do things out of the ordinary can bring on terrible fear along with excitement. Your outlook on life, the acceptance of your previous “40 hour work week” peer group, and the role you play in determining your future will all be drastically different.

    Every other entrepreneur I have spoke to mentions that entrepreneurship is a roller coaster of emotions - it will be the source of your highest highs and your lowest lows. That’s definitely been the case for me and every business owner I have ever met. Riding a roller coaster 24 hours a day… not something everyone wants.

    There’s are a lot left to hit on the entrepreneurship issue. Stay tuned for part 3 where we break away from lists!


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    Top 5 Reasons to be an Entrepreneur

    April 7th, 2006 by Matt Inglot

    Something that I am asked every couple weeks is “why entrepreneurship?”. This is a question that always makes me hesitate, and I’ve noticed that my reply is never exactly the same. Yet deep down I know it’s what I love and would do even if the world was topsy turvy and making a lot of money through entrepreneurship wasn’t possible.

    Let’s examine the decision to be an entrepreneur. It’s a complex topic so I’m going to break it down into a few posts exploring the benefits, disadvantages, misconceptions, and motivation behind entrepreneurship. I recently read that lists are more likely to attract traffic and since I have neglected the blog this week let’s begin with what I feel are the top 5 reasons to be an entrepreneur:

    #5 There is an Upside

    There aren’t a whole lot of categories that most of the world’s rich fall into. Inheritance, real estate, and business are the main three as we learned in New Venture Creation at WLU. It’s hard to be born rich or inherit the family farm, but business unlocks a path to real wealth potential. Whether you build it up to a multi-billion dollar venture yourself or sell while it’s hot, there is definitely money to be made. But is it all about cash? That’s a topic for a future article.

    #4 If You’re Bored You’re Doing Something Wrong

    Running a business is an incredibly diverse “field” to be in. Through my ventures I have been exposed to incredible and interesting knowledge ranging from business fundamentals such as marketing, accounting, sales, and customer service to the importance of time management, goal setting, and even exercise. I literally view the world in a completely different light now than before I became involved in business. Everyday I find myself learning something new and being immersed in a different and new area. You can’t get much further from an assembly line than this.

    #3 It’s More Satisfying than Roller Coaster Tycoon or Sim City

    I’ve always enjoyed playing simulation games. While Doom was the hot item with most of my friends I really prefered Sim City and other empire building games. It’s an incredibly satisfying feeling to start with nothing and end up with something absolutely amazing. I believe in seizing this building attitude and applying it to life. Afterall why should I build a virtual company when I could apply the same concepts to real life? Treating life as a game may sound silly as first, but frankly I’m having a lot of fun.

    #2 Thinking is Rewarded

    Running a business may be hard work, but that’s certainly not what you are rewarded for. Often times burning the midnight oil is simply the bare minimum for entry into business. Your returns come from working smart, and the quality of your ideas and creativity are now directly tied into your revenue size. A single good idea can make you $10 000 in one hour while slaving away for 40 hours on a bad one can have virtually no return.

    While working a regular job isolates you from the risk of no return on bad ideas, it virtually nullifies the incredible return on good ones. Imagine coming up with a way to save your boss $30 000. You’ll be lucky to get a $500 bonus, and in all likelihood you will receive nothing at all.

    #1 Success is in Your Hands - A Whole New Job Security

    Headlines constantly barrage us about the lack of job security in so many sectors. GM and Ford are both laying off masses of people. I’m only 21 and I have already been laid-off twice. I’ve also only ever been an employee twice. Having a job these days, even with a massive company, provides only the illusion of security. Why let your well-being depend on the decisions of a CEO, whose absolute #1 priority isn’t your future? Ensuring your own prosperity and achievement of your goals is ultimately the responsibility of one person and one person only - you.
    We’ll even things out in the next entrepreneurship post when we discuss the multitude of reasons to not be an entrepreneur.


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    Four Reasons why a Computer Should be Masculine or Feminine

    An English teacher was explaining to his students the concept of gender association in the English language.

    He stated how hurricanes at one time were given feminine names and how ships and planes were usually referred to as "she". One of the students raised their hand and asked - "What gender is a computer"?

    The teacher wasn't certain which it was, so he divided the class into two groups, males in one, females in the other, and asked them to decide if a computer should be masculine or feminine. Both groups were asked to give four reasons for their recommendation. The group of women concluded that computers should be referred to in the masculine gender because:

    1. In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on.

    2. They have a lot of data but are still clueless.

    3. They're supposed to help solve your problems, but half the time they ARE the problem.

    4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that, if you had waited a little longer, you could have had a better model.

    The men, on the other hand, decided that computers should definitely be referred to in the feminine gender because:

    1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic.

    2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else.

    3. Even your smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for later retrieval.

    4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.


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    Top 10 Reasons Why I Like Working for Myself

    1. My work speaks for itself. I was tired of my boss constantly looking over my shoulder and telling me I wasn't good enough. The feedback I get from my clients is truly attributable only to myself; no one can take that from me.

    2. Office attire now consists of slippers, yoga pants and a hoodie. And yes, I start everyday with a shower.

    3. No more “9 to 5”. If I want to work at 7am then take a yoga class at 11am, I can. Likewise if I choose to sleep in a little and work late. Plus, I love those afternoon siestas!

    4. Plenty of opportunities to make WAY more money. I am no longer slave to the “you’re-not-worthy-of-your-full-bonus-even-though-there’s-no-reason-you-shouldn’t-have-it-other-than-I-don’t-like-you-and-I-want-a-new-in-ground-pool-installed.”

    5. I create my own challenges and accept the projects I want – and at the rates I choose.

    6. I am no longer “stuck” with a boss or colleagues; I get to choose who I want to work with.

    7. More freedom to meet and network with people. If someone asks for a coffee meeting at 10:30 in the morning, I don’t have to tell the boss where I’m going or make excuses. I just go.

    8. I get to spend more time with my cat.

    9. Lunches don’t come in plastic containers; I make it all fresh.

    10. No more office politics. I play by my own rules.

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    11 Reasons to Date a Female Geek

    By Joyce Carpenter on Fri, 01/13/2006 - 10:00am

    There have a been a couple of great top ten lists lately. First there was Maryamie's "In Defense of Geeks or Ten Reasons Why You Should Date a Geek" and then Sarah Blow's "10 Reasons NOT to date a Geek (unless they don't follow this pattern!)". Now Maryam uses her husband as a model, so her assumption that the geek in question is male might be forgiven. I more disappointed in Sarah, though, since she describes herself as a geek.

    So, here are my 11 reasons to date a FEMALE geek [hat tip to Maryam]:

    1) She can fix your computer and make a website for your new startup.

    2) She has friends who can fix your computer and design a database for you.

    3) She can program your mother's VCR and Tivo your favorite shows.

    4) Her friends can program your mother's VCR and Tivo your favorite shows

    5) She can fix your friends' computers.

    6) She'll make you shine wherever you go -- how many of your friends are smart enough to date such a smart and useful woman?

    7) She can pick out a the right cell phone/mp3 player/digital camera for you. Even better she can afford to buy it for you.

    8) She'll be so happy that someone appreciates her for her real talents, that she'll adore you.

    9) She won't cheat either. Given a choice between George Clooney and the newest tech toy, she'll take the toy.

    10) Did I mention that she can fix your computer, make a website, design a database, install your cable modem and WiFi router, setup you iTunes for automatic download of your favorite artists, download your Outlook contacts onto the new cellphone/mp3 player/digital camera that she bought you?

    11) And, she can cook dinner while doing all of the above.

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    10. You will get free juice and cookies.

    9. You will weigh less — one pint less when you leave than when you came in.

    8. It's easy and convenient — it only takes about an hour and you can make the donation at a donor center, or at one of the many Red Cross mobile blood drives.

    7. It's something you can spare — most people have blood to spare... yet, there is still not enough to go around.

    6. Nobody can ask you to do any heavy lifting as long as you have the bandage on. You can wear it for as long as you like. It's your badge of honor.

    5. You will walk a little taller afterwards — you will feel good about yourself.

    4. You will be helping to ensure that blood is there when you or someone close to you may need it. Most people don't think they'll ever need blood, but many do.

    3. It's something you can do on equal footing with the rich and famous — blood is something money can't buy. Only something one person can give to another.

    2. You will be someone's hero — you may give a newborn, a child, a mother or a father, a brother, or a sister another chance at life. In fact, you may help save up to three lives with just one donation.

    1. It's the right thing to do.

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