Monthly Archives: October 2012

Five Lessons About How To Treat People


Five Lessons About How To Treat People
— Author Unknown

1. First Important Lesson – “Know The Cleaning Lady”

During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one: “What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?”

Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.

“Absolutely,” said the professor. “In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say “hello.”

I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

2. Second Important Lesson – “Pickup In The Rain”

One night, at 11:30 p.m., an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rainstorm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car.

A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab.

She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man’s door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home.

A special note was attached. It read: “Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband’s bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others.”

Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole.

3. Third Important Lesson – “Remember Those Who Serve”

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. “How much is an ice cream sundae?” he asked. “50¢,” replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it.

“Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?” he inquired. By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient. “35¢!” she brusquely replied.

The little boy again counted his coins. “I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said. The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left.

When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies. You see, he couldn’t have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.

4. Fourth Important Lesson – “The Obstacles In Our Path”

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand – “Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.”

5. Fifth Important Lesson – “Giving When It Counts”

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, “Yes, I’ll do it if it will save her.”

As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away?”.

Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.

Courtesy of INSPIRE21




Pretty cool- I will have this with me the next time I’m trudging through a wetland. Maybe I should break out my rubber boots next weekend… 😀 *excited*

Line drawings of plant features.

Plate 1: Stem and Root Types

Line drawings of plant features.

Plate 2: Leaf Composition, Parts, and Types

Line drawings of plant features.

Plate 3: Leaf Shapes

Line drawings of plant features.

Plate 4: Leaf Margins

Line drawings of plant features.

Plate 5: Leaf Apices, Venation, and Bases

Line drawings of plant features.

Plate 6: Surface Features

Line drawings of plant features.

Plate 7: Stem and Leaf Parts, and Variations

Line drawings of plant features.

Plate 8: Inflorescence Types

Line drawings of plant features.

Plate 9: Floral Morphology

Line drawings of plant features.

Plate 10: Corolla Types

Line drawings of plant features.

Plate 11: Fruit Types

Line drawings of plant features.

I might just try to memorize the entire thing…

Why Your Gut is More Ethical Than Your Brain


Why Your Gut Is More Ethical Than Your Brain

By Dan & Chip Heath


July 1, 2009

If you’ve ever been part of a discussion on ethics, in school or elsewhere, chances are you didn’t spend much time talking about your feelings. It’s believed that to live ethically, we must engage our reason, which reins in the whims and follies of emotion. Ethics, then, is heavy on Spock and light on Sally Struthers. But what if unethical behavior is actually spurred, rather than prevented, by reason?

Consider a provocative series of experiments conducted by Chen-Bo Zhong of the University of Toronto. He put test subjects into interactions with an anonymous partner where they had two options: to treat their partners fairly or to lie to them. If they decided to lie, they would gain at the expense of their partners.

Before making the decision to cheat or be fair, the test subjects were given some guidance. Some were encouraged to think rationally about the situation and to ignore their emotions. Equipped with this advice, the great majority (69%) analyzed the situation and con-cluded that they should screw their partners. Others were primed to “make decisions based on gut feelings.” Their guts were pretty trustworthy: Only 27% lied.

There’s a twist: Even though the study shows that we would be treated better by people who trust their feelings, we’re leery of them. When people were given a choice to interact with a rational decision-making partner or a gut-trusting one, 75% chose the rational partner.

Zhong concluded that “deliberative processes can license morally questionable behaviors by focusing on tangible monetary outcomes and reducing emotional influence.” If only such behavior were limited to the lab.

In reality, it seems to have played a role in the Great Economic Kidney Punch we all just suffered. Mike Francis worked at Morgan Stanley before the economic collapse. He bought up scads of questionable mortgages, including some of the NINA (no income, no asset) variety, meaning that the bank giving the loan would not verify the customer’s income or assets. The customer applying for the loan knew his answers wouldn’t be checked, so he didn’t face much risk in declaring, say, a $300,000 salary as a Taco Bell night manager. (What can I say? The people love my gorditas.)

As reported on This American Life‘s must-listen episode, “The Giant Pool of Money,” Francis said that, with the NINA loans, the banks were “setting you up to lie. Something about that feels very wrong. It felt wrong way back then, and I wish we had never done it. Unfortunately, what happened … we did it because everyone else was doing it.”

When you’re getting rich, it’s pretty easy to soothe the ol’ gut. If you need a rationalization, your mind will provide one. For instance, many bankers clung to their analytical models, which “proved” that their investments would be okay even if default rates reached historically high levels. Unfortunately, because it had never occurred to the bankers of yesteryear to give $500,000 loans to minimum-wage workers, the historical models weren’t all that accurate. You’ve got to love the logic, though: Historically, the most weight I’ve ever gained in a year was 2 pounds, so I might as well start eating a quart of Ben & Jerry’s every day for breakfast.

Looking back on the subprime-mortgage debacle, it seems the only accurate information in the whole ecosystem was Francis’s bad feeling. And one suspects other people had it, too. What if a few dozen others in the chain had listened to that feeling?

A different industry provides a lesson in the value of heeding your gut about ethical choices. In 1987, Paul O’Neill took over as CEO of Alcoa, the world’s largest producer of aluminum. On his first day, he announced that no one who worked at Alcoa should ever be hurt at work. The acceptable rate of accidents was no accidents. This raised a lot of eye-brows. Working with aluminum is a dangerous business, and there are plenty of ways to get injured. And Alcoa already had a good safety record, in the top third of companies. O’Neill recalls the skeptical hallway conversations among senior managers: “When the next tough economic time comes, he’ll shut up about this.”

He didn’t. O’Neill walled off the topic of safety from the “deliberative processes” that Zhong warned about. “If anyone ever calculates how much money we’re saving by being safe, they’re fired,” he told his team. Safety wasn’t a priority; it was a precondition. He told people, “From now on, don’t budget for safety.” O’Neill’s resolve paid off. Alcoa became one of the safest companies in the world, despite the aluminum industry’s inherent risks.

Guts aren’t perfect. For instance, we tend to feel so much empathy for individuals that it can doom our efforts to be impartial and consistent. But in the business world, we’ve tipped too far toward pure rationality. We need an emotional counterweight — and we already have it. When you’re in an ethically loaded situation and your gut talks, listen to it.

Dan Heath and Chip Heath are the best-selling authors of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die. Want to share a Made to Stick column with your team? Go to

A version of this article appears in the July/August 2009 issue of Fast Company.



I came across this recently…

Boycott foods that use monsanto products


The World According to Monsanto

There’s nothing they are leaving untouched: the mustard, the okra, the bringe oil, the rice, the cauliflower. Once they have established the norm: that seed can be owned as their property, royalties can be collected.
We will depend on them for every seed we grow of every crop we grow. If they control seed, they control food, they know it – it’s strategic. It’s more powerful than bombs. It’s more powerful than guns. This is the best way to control the populations of the world.

The story starts in the White House, where Monsanto often got its way by exerting disproportionate influence over policymakers via the “revolving door”. One example is Michael Taylor, who worked for Monsanto as an attorney before being appointed as deputy commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991. While at the FDA, the authority that deals with all US food approvals, Taylor made crucial decisions that led to the approval of GE foods and crops. Then he returned to Monsanto, becoming the company’s vice president for public policy.

Thanks to these intimate links between Monsanto and government agencies, the US adopted GE foods and crops without proper testing, without consumer labeling and in spite of serious questions hanging over their safety. Not coincidentally, Monsanto supplies 90 percent of the GE seeds used by the US market. Monsanto’s long arm stretched so far that, in the early nineties, the US Food and Drugs Agency even ignored warnings of their own scientists, who were cautioning that GE crops could cause negative health effects. Other tactics the company uses to stifle concerns about their products include misleading advertising, bribery and concealing scientific evidence.


While the above graphic is quite ominous, I thought that “The World According to Monsanto” was worth watching.

The World According to Monsanto part 1 of 10

The World According to Monsanto part 2 of 10

The World According to Monsanto part 3 of 10

The World According to Monsanto part 4 of 10

The World According to Monsanto part 5 of 10

The World According to Monsanto part 6 of 10

The World According to Monsanto part 7 of 10

The World According to Monsanto part 8 of 10

The World According to Monsanto part 9 of 10

The World According to Monsanto part 10 of 10

Food for thought.

Still leaking…


Coast Guard approves plan to secure containment dome

10/25/2012 10:56 AM EDT


NEW ORLEANS – The Federal On-Scene Coordinator for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in New Orleans authorized BP to proceed with a plan to cap and plug the containment dome.

In 2010, the 40-foot-tall containment dome was used as a part of an attempt to capture oil and allow it to flow through a pipe to a barge on the surface. The technique was unsuccessful and the equipment was moved away from the well head and riser and set in its current position approximately 500 meters from the original Macando well head.

The operation, which began Tuesday, included BP mobilizing a remotely operated vehicle from the offshore construction vessel Skandi Neptune to the containment dome to place a cap on top of the stove pipe and plug the ROV connection ports on the sides and top of the structure. The cap and plugs were successfully put in place and no further oil emissions from the containment dome were observed.

BP has collected data via satellite throughout the operation and will continue to do so for a five-day period following, in order to detect changes in the surface sheen and to evaluate the effectiveness of these actions in abating or eliminating the sheen. In addition, the Coast Guard plans an overflight of the area later in the week.

Representatives from the Coast Guard, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and Gulf Coast Incident Management Team’s Department of Interior Liaison, as well as state on-scene coordinators from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida observed the controlled feed in New Orleans.

The FOSC has further directed BP to submit a feasibility plan that considers the next steps toward either removing or remediating the threats of oil posed by the riser pipe and containment dome.

The operation and proposed plan were in response to an oil sheen in the vicinity of the Deepwater Horizon incident first reported to the National Response Center Sept. 16. The Coast Guard issued a Notice of Federal Interest to BP and Transocean after the reported sheen was correlated to the oil that originated from BP’s Macondo well.

The public is reminded to contact the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802 to report all pollution incidents or the 8th Coast Guard District command center at 504-589-6225 in the event of a marine emergency.


Not Evergreen Content

New Study Provides Confirmation for Stereotypes About Sex-Hungry Males and Naïve Females


New Study Provides “Confirmation for Stereotypes About Sex-Hungry Males and Naïve Females”

Posted by Nick Margerrison on October 24, 2012

Harry: … men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.

Sally: That’s not true. I have a number of men friends and there is no sex involved.

Irritating rom-com, When Harry Met Sally, may have been on the money as regards the age old question of platonic relationships between men and women. Scientific American reports that, according to new research, men see their women friends as potential conquests:

researchers brought 88 pairs of undergraduate opposite-sex friends into…a science lab.  Privacy was paramount—for example, imagine the fallout if two friends learned that one—and only one—had unspoken romantic feelings for the other throughout their relationship.  In order to ensure honest responses, the researchers not only followed standard protocols regarding anonymity and confidentiality, but also required both friends to agree—verbally, and in front of each other—to refrain from discussing the study, even after they had left the testing facility. These friendship pairs were then separated, and each member of each pair was asked a series of questions related to his or her romantic feelings (or lack thereof) toward the friend with whom they were taking the study.

The results suggest large gender differences in how men and women experience opposite-sex friendships. Men were much more attracted to their female friends than vice versa. Men were also more likely than women to think that their opposite-sex friends were attracted to them—a clearly misguided belief. In fact, men’s estimates of how attractive they were to their female friends had virtually nothing to do with how these women actually felt, and almost everything to do with how the men themselves felt—basically, males assumed that any romantic attraction they experienced was mutual, and were blind to the actual level of romantic interest felt by their female friends. Women, too, were blind to the mindset of their opposite-sex friends; because females generally were not attracted to their male friends, they assumed that this lack of attraction was mutual. As a result, men consistently overestimated the level of attraction felt by their female friends and women consistently underestimated the level of attraction felt by their male friends.

Men were also more willing to act on this mistakenly perceived mutual attraction. Both men and women were equally attracted to romantically involved opposite-sex friends and those who were single; “hot” friends were hot and “not” friends were not, regardless of their relationship status.  However, men and women differed in the extent to which they saw attached friends as potential romantic partners.  Although men were equally as likely to desire “romantic dates” with “taken” friends as with single ones, women were sensitive to their male friends’ relationship status and uninterested in pursuing those who were already involved with someone else.