Get Out of the Left Lane!

This is for anyone who drives, or who may drive in the future. It’s not specific to frequent or infrequent drivers. If you drive at all, this is for you. The only exclusions are people who do not live in America, and will never drive in America.

Let’s talk about the rules of the road. There are laws, which vary by state, but as you’re expected to know those before you get your license, I’ll skip most of them. The most important ones are: red means stop and green means go, we drive on the right, and never cross a double yellow line. While those are important, I would like to talk to you about highway lanes.

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Discover Challenge: A Piece of Advice

Always give 110%, that way you’ll never have to regret not trying.

This is a piece of advice from one of my college professors. He was one of the most hated professors on campus, and one of my favorite. Sure, he was a tough grader, but he really wanted to make sure you were learning, and understanding the material, not just make stuff up. I wasn’t uncommon for a straight A student to fail his class. He was tough. It wasn’t even uncommon for student to cheat on the exams and still fail. But if you put in the effort, you could pass.

I won’t say that I was a straight A student, though a did get a 4.0 a few semesters. I’d classify myself as an A/B student. And that’s what I got in his classes. Because I studied.

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Daily Prompt: Well, I Never…

Tell us about something you’ve done that you would advise a friend never to do.

Procrastinate. To be more specific, procrastinate big things. To put off doing the dishes is one thing, but when it come to things that take a lot of work, planning, or scheduling, don’t put it off.

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Quotes: Jealousy

It’s been almost two years since I’ve done one of these, but I figured I might as well revive some older stuff since I have to post everyday!

“Jealousy… is a mental cancer.”

       – B. C. Forbes

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You Can’t Be Whatever You Want To Be

I’m sure you remember your parents telling you as a child that you could be whatever you wanted to be when you grew up. Of course, at the time, your mind wandered to being a cowboy, or cowgirl, a superhero, or my all-time favorite, a firetruck. Whatever your young imagination came up with, it’s probably not what you ended up being. (I’m going to educate you now, so If you have a severe fear of education, I suggest you navigate away from this page now). (By the way, a fear of learning is called sophophobia). Anyway, this period of jumping from one career choice to another is called the fantasy period, for obvious reasons. It is during this period that a child may decide they want to be a cowboy, regardless of their intense fear of horses (equinophobia).

The next period of career decision making is the one I want to focus on. The next phase is called the tentative period. This is when children, usually around the age of puberty, start to seriously consider the career paths in front of them. They look at the requirements for different jobs and evaluate their interest in each of these careers. They also tend to start asking their parents, teachers, and other adults about careers, which is where the problem begins. The usual response of the adult is either to encourage whatever career the child has brought up, or to simply tell the child that they can be whatever they want to be. Another response, telling the child that they need not worry about a career yet because they have plenty of time, is one that tends to come up a lot, especially during the beginning of this period.

So, why are these responses bad? Let’s go in order. If the child is considering being a lawyer, and the adult has full belief that the child has to potential to become a lawyer, then encouragement is fine. But, if the child has no work ethic, and minimal potential to actually succeed in that career, maybe encouragement isn’t the best option. If the child spends all of their time trying to enter this field, and they don;t succeed, they will be very disappointed, and frustrated. I’m not saying that blatant discouragement is the way to handle the situation, but maybe help the child look into the requirements of the field, and help them understand with is involved. Exposure to other fields is not a bad idea either.

Telling a child that they can be whatever they want to be is not only the least helpful thing to say, but it is also unrealistic. Let’s be honest for a minute, not everyone is suited to be a doctor, and not everyone is suited to be a teacher. This applies to every field. Someone who has little patience and limited people skills, probably won’t do very well as a counselor. Someone who passes out at the sight of blood probably won’t make it through medical school. Someone who struggles in math, probably won’t do well as an engineer. You get my point. When children start looking seriously at careers, they want to find something that they will do well in, and that they will enjoy. Telling a child that they can be whatever they want, just isn’t realistic; save that for the younger kids.

Finally, telling the child not to worry about it because they are too young, or they have plenty of time to figure it out, is terrible. Don’t ever say this to a child. I remember starting to think about careers in middle school and being told “don’t worry about it”, and “you have plenty of time to figure that out, don’t worry about it yet.” So I didn’t. I went through middle school focusing on school, and passing my classes without thinking about a career. I went to high school and was told that I still had time. So, I focused on passing, and friends, and having fun. Then, senior year, I was suddenly expected to know what I wanted to do and commit to a career path. When a child starts thinking about careers, or says that they don’t know what they want to do, help them. If you tell them to put it off, they will. And then they will have severe stress and anxiety when it comes time to choose.

A final decision doesn’t need to be made at thirteen, but a few ideas floating around in their head is a good thing.

For those of you wondering, the third and final stage is the realistic stage. This usually takes place in early adulthood when the person starts taking steps toward getting into their desired field.

A lot of people say they are worried about the younger generation’s ability to grow up, and leave childhood behind, but most of the generation was never encouraged to seriously consider their own abilities and how they can be applied. Instead, a lot of young adults now were told as children that they can be anything, and given an unrealistic idea of the options available to them.

The next time a child talks to you about a career, be realistic.

)O(

What Attracts Mosquitoes?

Noun Challenge: July 15, 2014

Today’s noun: Blood

This word was a little harder for me to find a topic for. What could I talk about, relating to blood, that wouldn’t gross people out?

So I figured, since its summer, and, at least in my area, humid outside, I could talk about mosquitoes. What actually attracts them, and whats just a myth.

A lot of people will try to tell you that mosquitoes are attracted to certain blood types. Don’t listen to them! They are lying to you! They will probably also tell you that certain foods you eat will make you a larger target for those little pests. This is also a lie.

So what actually attracts them?

Motion, heat, and carbon dioxide. When you’re at an outdoor party of some sort, you will be less likely to get bitten if you are sitting still, rather than running around. So, at your next cookout, grab a drink, sit back, and relax. Let those suckers playing volleyball pull the mosquitoes away from you!

The whole “pregnant women attract mosquitoes” thing is also a myth, though not really. They do attract mosquitoes, it just has nothing to do with the hormones of pregnancy. It actually has to do with the amount of carbon dioxide they release. Women will exhale more carbon dioxide when they are pregnant than when they are not. However, if someone else is running around a lot, they will most likely be producing more carbon dioxide than the pregnant woman.

Another thing to keep in mind is that larger people also produce more carbon dioxide. Sorry, but, the bigger you are, the more the mosquitoes will just eat you up!

In summary, to avoid mosquitoes, sit still and don’t breathe too much.

As always, I apologize for typos and grammatical errors. Have a fantabulous day and I’ll see you tomorrow!

)O(

Quotes: Magic

“The first rule of magic is simple. Don’t waste your time waving your hands and hoping when a rock or a club will do.”

— McCloctnik the Lucid 

While this quote is really about magic, I would classify it as some sort of advice as well. To me, this quote says that most people try to do things one way because it seems easier or faster. But If we really think about what we want done, and consider multiple options, we may see that there is another, more effective way of handling the situation.

What the author of the quote is saying is that magic should not be used just to be used. Why should you use magic to do something that you could have done yourself. Or, don’t waste your time using magic, when it would be much more effective to just use something else.

An example. if you want to get a raise at work, don’t sit around, praying for it, or sacrificing your children to the god of work affairs, just work harder, come up with a good idea for the company, or find a productive way to show your loyalty and dedication to your company.

I guess what I’m really saying here is: consider your options, and choose the one that makes the most sense.

)O(

Happy Toss Away the “Could Haves” and the “Should Haves” Day!

Today is Toss Away the “Could Haves” and the “Should Haves” Day!

Today is a day to forget about how it should have been, or how things could have turned out if something had happened differently. We all have something in our lives that we always wonder how it would have ended if only we had done something differently.

Well guess what? Unless you are reading this post for the distant future, where everyone owns a time machine, or you have a time machine that you aren’t telling us about, there’s nothing you can to about what could have been.

Since, at the moment, we can’t travel back in time and change the way something happened, there’s little point in dwelling on the past. If something didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to, you probably learned something: How not to do that thing. So, because you learned something from it, it wasn’t a complete waste.

Besides, you can’t change it now so don’t worry about it. Try again next time. And next time you do try, you have a little more experience than last time!

Just don’t worry about it!

)O(

Happy World Snake Day!

Today is World Snake Day!

Many people ate afraid of these creatures. But the truth is, only 1 in 4 snakes are venomous. While movies like ‘Anaconda’ make snakes look like huge monsters that only want to kill humans, most snakes are small and would rather avoid human contact.

Most snake bites occur because a human accidentally stepped on a snake or otherwise disturbed its home.

Remember, without snakes, your house could be infested with mice and other rodents. If you see a snake in your yard, reacting with fear and hostility will only cause it to become defensive. The best thing to do is to leave it alone and let it be on its way. Keep in mind that their habitat was destroyed to build your house. If you do find a snake in your house, try your best not to scare it into a corner of under something. Open a nearby door and gently sweep it out with a broom.If the snake is coiled up or you can not herd it out the door, place a bucket over it with a weight on top until an experienced handler can remove it.

If you think the snake, in your yard or house, may be poisonous, call animal control. You do not need to kill it. Try to keep it locked in a room, or blocked into a corner until an expert arrives.

In most cases, the snake is not venomous and will not attack you for just looking at it. If you can, just leave it be and chances are, you will never see it again.

 

 

Venomous Snakes:

Rattlesnake

Rattlesnakes are the largest venomous snake. They can strike at up to 1/3 of it’s length. They warn with their rattle when they feel threatened. Rattlesnakes can be found all across the United States.

 

 

 

 

 

Copperhead

Copperheads can be a reddish color or a tan. They are usually around 2 or 3 feet in length. When frightened, Copperheads freeze. Most bites occur when the snake is stepped on. Copperheads can be found in wet, swampy areas. Common in the eastern half of the United States.

 

 

 

 

Cottonmouths/Water Moccasins

cottonmouth snake

These snakes are usually dark tan, dark brown, or almost black with black or brown bands. Adults are 5 to 6 feet long. Younger snakes have brown or orange markings and a yellow tail. They do not scare easily but will attack when threatened. Cottonmouths are found in or around water.

 

 

 

 

Coral Snakes

Coral snakes get confused with King snakes all the time. They both have similarly colored bands covering their bodies. If the red band touches the yellow band, it is venomous. Coral Snakes tend to hide in leaf piles or burrow into the ground. They like wooded, shady, or marshy areas.

The snake on the right is a venomous Coral Snake. The snake on the left is a non venomous King Snake.

 

 

 

Information gathered from cdc.gov

Please note that these are the common venomous snakes found in the United States. If you live outside of the United States, research the venomous snakes in your area.

)O(