During the Gulf War of 1991, Iraq launched a series of Scud missile attacks against Israel. Many Israeli citizens died as a result of these attacks. After the war was over, Israeli scientists analyzed the official mortality statistics and found something remarkable. Although the death rate had jumped among Israeli citizens on the first day of the Iraqi attacks, the vast majority of them did not die from any direct physical effects of the missiles. They died from heart failure brought on by fear and stress associated with the bombardment. Psychological studies conducted on Israelis at the time showed that the most stressful time was the first few days leading up to the outbreak of war on January 17th and peaking on the first day of the Scud missile attacks. There was enormous and well-founded concern about possible Iraqi use of chemical and biological weapons. The government had issued to the entire Israeli population gas masks and automatic atropine syringes in case of chemical attack, and every household had been told to prepare a sealed room. After the first Iraqi strike turned out to be less cataclysmic than feared, levels of stress declined markedly. As in other wars, the people adapted to the situation with surprising speed. Then as the fear and anxiety subsided, the death rate also declined. There were 17 further Iraqi missile attacks over the following weeks, but Israeli mortality figures over this period were no higher than average. It was fear and the psychological impact of the missiles, not the physical impact, that claimed the majority of victims.permalink source: Paul Martin, The Sickening Mind (Harper Collins, 1997), pp. 3-4;
William H. Hinson tells us why animal trainers carry a stool when they go into a cage of lions. They have their whips, of course, and their pistols are at their sides. But invariably they also carry a stool. Hinson says it is the most important tool of the trainer. He holds the stool by the back and thrusts the legs toward the face of the wild animal. Those who know maintain that the animal tries to focus on all four legs at once. In the attempt to focus on all four, a kind of paralysis overwhelms the animal, and it becomes tame, weak, and disabled because its attention is fragmented.permalink source: John Maxwell, Developing the Leader Within You
Number of aspirin taken by Americans each year: 33,000,000,000permalink source: Reader's Digest Book of Facts.
There are two ways of handling pressure. One is illustrated by a bathysphere, the miniature submarine used to explore the ocean in places so deep that the water pressure would crush a conventional submarine like an aluminum can. Bathyspheres compensate with plate steel several inches thick, which keeps the water out but also makes them heavy and hard to maneuver. Inside they're cramped. When these craft descend to the ocean floor, however, they find they're not alone. When their lights are turned on and you look through the tiny, thick plate glass windows, what do you see? Fish! These fish cope with extreme pressure in an entirely different way. They don't build thick skins: they remain supple and free. They compensate for the outside pressure through equal and opposite pressure inside themselves. Christians, likewise, don't have to be hard and thick skinned--as long as they appropriate God's power within to equal the pressure without.permalink source: Jay Kesler in Campus Life. Leadership, Vol. 5, no. 2.
A baseball bat, a tennis raquet, and a golf club. They all have something in common--each of these has a sweet spot. Tonight, I'm trying to help you find the sweet spot.permalink source: Ed Young
CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - If you thought Venezuela's political crisis seemed to be dragging for an impossibly long time -- you were right. In a bizarre mass-malfunction, Venezuela's clocks are ticking too slowly due to a power shortage weakening the electric current nationwide. By the end of each day, the sluggish time pieces still have another 150 seconds to tick before they catch up to midnight. "Everything that has to do with time-keeping has slowed down. If it's an electric clock, it's running slow," said Miguel Lara, general manager of the national power grid. "Your computer isn't affected. Your television isn't affected. No other devices ... just clocks," he added. The meltdown has taken a total 14 hours and 36 minutes from Venezuela's clocks over 12 of the past 13 months, he said.permalink source: Reuters 2/28/2003
The Associated Press 3/24/03 1:53 PM MUNGER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -- A woman is celebrating the recent birth of a great-grandchild -- her 100th. Vincent D. DuRussel, the great-grandchild of Angeline DuRussel, 96, was born in January. Angeline DuRussel, who lives in Munger Township near Bay City, said having another great-grandchild is "just wonderful." DuRussel has 12 children and 59 grandchildren. Her first great-grandchild was born July 27, 1969. No. 101 is due in June, The Saginaw News reported.permalink source: Anonymous
paraphrase: Every morning the alarm clock goes off--what a horrible name, the 'alarm' clock. Why can't we call it the 'opportunity clock' or the 'it's going to be a great day clock'permalink source: Ken Blanchard
I didn’t bite off more than I could chew -- it just grew in my mouth. --permalink source: Dr. Robert Ballard
If you could once make up your mind in the fear of God never to undertake more work of any sort than you can carry on calmly, quietly, without hurry or flurry, and the instant you feel yourself growing nervous, like one out of breath would stop and take breath, you would find this simple common sense rule doing for you what no prayers or tears could ever accomplish.permalink source: Elizabeth Prentiss
I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do.permalink source: Helen Keller
It's not so much how busy you are, but why you are busy. The bee is to be praised. The mosquito is swatted. By: Marie O'Connorpermalink source: Anonymous
In the March 22 issue of Newsweek, columnist Robert J. Samuelson points out that the wealthier a society gets, the more it complains about lack of time. He says we are concerned about "the 'time squeeze' — the sense that we're more harried than ever. We all know this is true: we're tugged by jobs, family, PTA and soccer. Actually, it's not true. People go to work later in life and retire earlier. Housework has declined. One survey found that in 1999 only 14 percent of wives did more than four hours of daily housework; the figure was 43 percent in 1977 and 87 percent in 1924. Even when jobs and housework are combined, total work hours for men and women have dropped. "Still, people gripe — and griping rises with income, report economists Daniel Hamermesh of the University of Texas and Jungmin Lee of the University of Arkansas. They studied the United States, Germany, Australia, Canada and South Korea. People who were otherwise statistically similar (same age, working hours, number of children) complained more about the 'time squeeze' as their incomes rose. Hamermesh and Lee's explanation: the more money people have, the more things they can do with their time; time becomes more valuable, and people increasingly resent that they can't create more of it."permalink source: Anonymous
Sometimes we get walloped with the messiness of life when we least expect it. Take what happened in Tainan, Taiwan. On January 17, 2004, a 66-ton sperm whale died and was beached on the southwestern coast of that island. Two weeks later, on January 29, authorities decided to truck the dead whale to a laboratory where they could do an autopsy. So they loaded this 56-foot behemoth on a flatbed truck and were hauling it through the streets of Tainan, when the whale exploded. Yes, exploded. It had been decomposing, of course, and all those internal gasses reached a breaking point. As the truck was making its way down a busy street, all of a sudden the whale exploded, showering nearby cars and shops with blood and organs and stopping traffic for hours. Isn't that just like life sometimes? You're going about your business, and the whale explodes. Job had something like that in mind when he said, "Man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward." (Job 5:7). Citation: Lee Eclov, Vernon Hills, Illinois; source: "Thar She Blows!" AOL News (1-29-04)permalink source: Anonymous
Q: Problems are more complex, but we also have more "knowledge workers" for dealing with them. Management philosopher Peter Drucker says that knowledge workers can't be supervised. Do you agree? A: Back in 1973, the third Skylab crew had a tight schedule of experiments to run. NASA kept leaning on them to take on more experiments. The crew got more behind, more overloaded, so it turned off the microphone for 24 hours and spent some time reading and looking out the window. This says something about how companies blend control and autonomy. People are better able to get complex assignments done when given more discretion within a framework of common values.permalink source: Karl Weick, Complicate Yourself, http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/4.04/weick.htm