Why you should lose that extra 50 pounds

I really liked Steve Pavlina’s way of realizing how much extra weight you are carrying:

Go to the gym, pick up two 25-lb dumbbells, walk around with them, and
ask yourself if you really want to carry that burdensome weight 24/7
for another year.

(His post is about setting your year’s goal, not about losing weight in particular.)

See more health related posts at Living Well.

How long until your money doubles?

I wrote about calculating appreciation so now you can figure out how much your money is worth in n number of years, but what if you want to know how long your money will take to double?  Since I don’t know how to embed an online calculator here, you are going to need a spreadsheet (use this one) or calculator unless you can do log’s in your head.

n = ln(2) / ln(1+b)


n = number of years
b = interest (3% = .03)

and if you want to count for inflation

n = ln(2) / ln(1+b-f)


f = inflation (3% = .03)

Dad always said your money would double every 7 years.  Turns out he was figuring on 10% interest or appreciation.  At 7% your money will double every 10 years.  Add 3% inflation and it’ll double every 18 years.

Here’s a very simple Excel spreadsheet to run the calculations for you.

Book review: Law of Attraction

Usually I read an entire book or I try not to express an opinion because there have been books that I had to start multiple times before I made it through and then I really enjoyed them, like The Reality Dysfunction.  However, I don’t think I can make it through the The Law of Attraction and I think there’s a slim to none chance I’d end up liking it. 

I got The Law of Attraction because it was about the law of attraction that I’ve enjoyed reading about in other books such as the The Attractor Factor by Joe Vitale.  In addition, I did my research and it got a rating of 4.5 stars on Amazon from 26 people.  That’s pretty solid.  However, in spite of enjoying the topic, and in spite of the fact that lots of other people liked the book, I really didn’t like it.  I didn’t even make it through the whole book!

I should have paid attention to the whole title: The Law of Attraction: The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham and asked who Abraham was.  It turns out he’s a spirit that talks through Esther Hicks, one of the authors, when she’s meditating.  So the whole audiobook is Esther meditating, talking in this strident, almost yelling, voice.  She speaks as Abraham and always in the first person plural "we" as Abraham/Esther says he’s speaking for all the spirits.  The first half an hour was full of very vague advice to those of us in the material world.  I fast forwarded through the book and the rest seemed to be more of the same.

I’m sure I could have dealt with the book better if Jerry and Esther Hicks had just written about the Law of Attraction and the other knowledge they wanted to impart without sharing the fact that they got it from a spirit.  To top it off they spoke in the spirit’s voice and to top that off, the spirit’s voice was very annonying.

So the book annoyed me because (1) the voice was grating, (2) I don’t believe in spirits talking though people (at least not taking over their bodies and speaking with their voice) and (3) there seemed to be little practical advice.  If you really want to read The Law of Attraction , definitely read the book instead of listening to the audio version.  However, unless you believe in spirits speaking through people, save your time and energy and read The Attractor Factor instead. 

Do you want to read a good science fiction book? Stormy’s list of top science fiction and fantasy books.

Do you want to read a good science fiction book?  Here’s my top list.  In general, my top list is authors not particular books so I’ve listed at least one book from each of my favorite authors.  Although I usually prefer science fiction, there’s a few good fantasy books here too.


And this is by no means the end of the list of good science fiction!  Enjoy!

Book review: Sunrise Alley

Sunrise Alley by Catherine Asaro is a book about artificial intelligence and androids that develop self awareness.  What defines who is human?  The main character, Samantha, is an AI researcher who becomes involved in a cross country chase with a man most people think is an AI.

It’s not as good as Catherine Asaro’s other series, the Saga of the Skolian Empire series.  The Skolian Empire books are a romantic space opera with lots of good science and great character development.  They weren’t published in order (she wrote different books at different times) so I created a list of them in storyline order.  The first one is Skyfall (Saga of the Skolian Empire) if you want to get going!

Calculating appreciation

If you just want to know what your savings account will be worth in 10 years at 3% interest, you’re probably best off just using one of the online calculators for calculating appreciation. There are a lot of great calculators out there for planning for a big purchase or figuring out how to get out of debt or running Credit Card Comparisons.

However, if for some reason, you want to know how appreciation is calculated, here it is:



x = original amount
b = interest (3% should be represented as .03)
n = number of years

I couldn’t find this anywhere on the web and since it’s the second time I’ve calculated it by hand, I thought I’d share.

A Career You Love

Career Change � The Two Career Change Inspirational Quotes of the Day for December 28:

“Never continue in a job you don’t enjoy. If you’re happy in what you’re doing, you’ll like yourself, you’ll have inner peace. And if you have that, along with physical health, you’ll have more success than you could possibly have imagined.”
— Roger Caras

Why do people bare all?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why people post what they do in their blogs – and I’m talking about those blogs that read like personal diaries.  I can’t say I haven’t been tempted to post about some pretty personal issues and my parents would say I have crossed the line, but why am I tempted?  Why do people post their personal diaries?

I think they are looking to share their stories and commiserate with others.  It’s kind of the same reason you talk to the stranger at the bar or in line next to you.

However, here’s the dilemna I keep coming to.  If I’m going to post my personal diary, I want to do so anonymously.  And not just anonymous to strangers, I wouldn’t want everybody in my life reading what I thought about them.  After I get in a "discussion" with someone I might go vent in my diary, but it wouldn’t be good for that person to read my diary right away.  We might end up duking it out in the comments!  So if it’s anonymous and I don’t tell my friends about my personal web diary, then who reads it?  Perfect strangers.  And what perfect stranger is going to want to read about the argument I had with my best friend or how my six year old didn’t listen today?  Not many of them.  So then nobody would read it.  So if nobody is going to read my personal diary, why post it? 

If I post anonymously, only strangers will know about my blog, they won’t be interested in my life, nobody will read it, so then why post at all?

So then I have to assume that the only way to get someone to read your diary blog (assuming you want someone to read it – personally I think most diaries are better off unread) is to tell friends about it.  Well then you better not blog about too many of the negative things that happen to you or any of the arguments you get into!

I have a feeling my kids might have very different opinions on this by the time they get old enough to have their own online presence.

Most scientists are atheists

From 10 myths — and 10 truths — about atheism in the Los Angeles Times.

Most polls show that about 90% of the general public believes in a personal God; yet 93% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences do not.

I continue to be fascinated that:

And they called The God Delusion a marvelous book so I’ll have to get after reading it.  (Newspaper articles that use the word marvelous are probably just a little biased, don’t you think?)