Thursday, February 25, 2010

Picture Viewer Delay

For the longest time, I had an unusually long delay in opening pictures in Windows XP with the built-in Picture and Fax Viewer. My computer had adequate memory, so that wasn't slowing things down. I tried defragmenting the hard disk, and doing a disk cleanup, but the problem persisted.

For awhile, I gave up on fixing it until recently when I found a solution in this discussion thread.

According to h41cyon, what is happening is that there are dead shortcuts in the same folder as the picture. (When I say "dead" I mean the shortcut is pointing to something that has been moved or deleted) Picture and Fax Viewer was delaying bringing up the picture because of these dead shortcuts. Delete the shortcuts, and the problem is solved. Guess what? He was right! Thanks h41cyon!


If you have any experience with affirmations, you probably have found that they don't always work, or worse, produce the opposite of the intended effect! That has been my experience with affirmations. It's not that affirmations don't work -- they do. The problem is not with affirmations, but with ourselves.

To give an example, have you ever noticed yourself promise to someone you will do something, but then not do it?

Or we make a New Year's resolution, "I'm going to lose 10 pounds this year". Once the year is through, we might have even actually gained weight. Guess what? Yet another instance where what we said would happen doesn't come true.

Over time, instances like these accumulate in our unconscious mind -- where what we say is going to happen, doesn't actually happen. The result is that our unconscious mind eventually stops believing in what we say.

How can affirmations work if this is the case? They certainly can, if we retrain ourselves to once again believe in what we tell ourselves. There is a very simple way to do it detailed in this awesome report.

Yahoo! Notepad

If you have a Yahoo! email address, you may not have noticed a nice feature called Notepad. It is the last tab, following the Calendar tab.

With Notepad, there is no more need to email yourself notes as a way to upload them. Wherever you are (with internet access, of course) you will have them.

This feature is useful if you divide your time between two places, such as work and home. If you have a list of things to do when you get home, you can just jot it down at work into Notepad, and it will be there when you get on the internet at home.

Yahoo! Notepad is a free, quick and simple way to upload text-only notes to yourself, especially lists. Have fun with this feature!

The Sedona Method

Lester Levenson has given the world a unique gift in The Sedona Method. Lester passed away in 1994, but his work is being continued by Hale Dwoskin.

What is The Sedona Method, you ask? It is simply a way of releasing any emotional burden you feel, on the spot.

You begin by first getting in touch with what you are feeling, in the moment. Then ask yourself one of the following questions:

Could I let this feeling go? or Could I welcome this feeling?

Answer with a simple "yes" or "no". To make yourself even more open to the release, follow with these simpler questions:

Would I?, then, When?

By answering these questions, you allow your feeling to be "let go" or released. You may even find yourself experiencing a physical sensation upon release of the emotion. Ironically, answering "no" will still allow you to release.

You can also release on a certain emotion, such as anger, anxiety, depression, and so on, for example:

Could I let go of this feeling of apathy?

So-called positive emotions can be released, as well.

Hale has written an excellent book on this subject, called The Sedona Method. You can also visit the official Sedona Method website to find out more.

Here's to more inner peace for all!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Superbrain Yoga

In my south Indian Hindu culture, there is an ancient prayer that we do before Lord Ganesh where we hold our earlobes and repeatedly crouch down and get up.

As well, my dad used to tell me that it was also given as a punishment in school in Sri Lanka!

It has now been shown that this exercise actually improves brain function, and has been re-packaged as Superbrain Yoga.

Some of its many benefits are improved memory, and increased ability to handle stress. It has even been shown to help learning-disabled children increase their mental abilities.

To learn how to do it, click here.

Ideally, this exercise should be done daily, for at least a couple of weeks, before any tangible results are seen.

Personally, I haven't been doing this consistently enough to see any improvement yet. I guess I must be more disciplined in my practice!

Click here for a video about Superbrain Yoga.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Piano Melody

Click here to listen to a short piano melody I made.

Friday, February 5, 2010


Bill Harris, director of Centerpointe Research Institute, has a product called Holosync that has been on the market for close to 20 years. Holosync is an audio technology on CD that is listened to with headphones.

He says that one of the benefits of listening is an increased ability to handle whatever is "coming at you", in other words, an increased ability to handle stress.

In my experience with Holosync, I am definitely calmer than I used to be. As well, things that used to upset me a great deal, do not upset me nearly as much. So, in that sense, Bill was correct.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Mind Maps

Did you ever wonder if there was a better way to take notes when learning something? A mind map is one of those ways.

A mind map is constructed by first writing the topic, or subject, in the centre of the page, with associated ideas then written on branches coming from the centre. Those ideas will have their own branches of ideas, and so on. Click here to see what one mind map looks like.

Tony Buzan, the inventor of the modern mind map, says that a mind map mirrors the way information is stored in the brain. This might not be far off since a mind map resembles a neuron in some ways, with the branches of the map as dendrites!

Brainstorming sessions are ideal for making mind maps of.

Traditionally, mind maps are done by hand. But with the capabilities of today's computer hardware and software, mind maps can just as easily be created on a computer. Where a hand drawn mind map will be limited in size by the size of the paper, a computer mind map will not have such limits (but maybe by the computer's memory, though!)

One notable software for creating mind maps is FreeMind, an open-source, freely downloadable software. FreeMind has convenient short-cut keys to quickly create the branches and sub-branches of a mind map.

Open source software, by the way, is software which has its programming code freely available and modifiable, and can usually be freely downloaded and copied (under an open source license). Since such software is worked on and tested by many developers, it is generally of high quality, rivaling similar, but proprietary, software. is a great place to find open source software.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Tooth Health

Do you brush your teeth with toothpaste? If you do, I don't think you should.

Don't agree? Hear me out for a minute.

According to Dr. Gerard Judd, a retired chemistry professor emeritus and author of the book Good Teeth from Birth to Death, toothpaste is not good to brush teeth with. The most important reason, he says, is that the fluoride in toothpaste is quite literally a poison.

As well, the glycerin in toothpaste is difficult to remove from teeth. I think this defeats the purpose of using a toothpaste, don't you?

Dr. Judd also says that bacteria does not cause teeth to decay. For proof, he tells us to simply look at the remains of dead animals left in nature whose bodies, including teeth, are exposed to bacteria. The only things that remain, even after hundreds of years, are the teeth and bones.

Sugar in food, he also says, plays very little role in causing tooth decay. It is actually the acid in food and drink that causes decay. The remedy is to sip or drink water after eating or drinking acidic foods, or even better, after eating or drinking anything at all! The water neutralizes the acid.

Dr, Judd finally says that soap is an ideal substance to clean teeth with. He cites several reasons.

There is a convenient soap-based product, that Dr. Judd personally recommends.

HD Wallpapers

If you were ever in the past bothered by not having the author's permission to use pictures downloaded from the internet as wallpapers, there is a site that has high-definition pictures that can be freely used as desktop wallpapers without the need of the respective author's permission. Any other use requires permission. There are many beautiful pictures to choose from on this site. I particularly like the nature wallpapers.