Saturday, October 23, 2010




  • The amount of sunlight reaching the earth's surface is 6,000 times the amount of energy used by all human beings worldwide. The total amount of fossil fuel used by humans since the start of civilization is equivalent to less than 30 days of sunshine.
  • The summer of 1995 was so hot that at the end of August, methane emitted within big bales of freshly-cut hay in Missouri began spontaneously combusting.
  • Only two states have record highs no greater than 100 degrees. These are Alaska and Hawaii.
  • Tree crickets are called the poor man's thermometer because temperature directly affects their rate of activity. Count the number of chirps a cricket makes in 15 seconds, then add 37. The sum will be very close to the outside temperature!
  • How far away is lightning? During a storm, count the number of seconds between the flash of lightning and the sound of thunder, then divide by two. The answer reveals how many miles away the lightning is.
  • What causes a red sun? The red or orange color of the rising or setting sun is caused by the increased distance through our atmosphere its rays must pass before reaching our eyes. Our thick impurity-laden lower atmosphere only allows the red tones to pass through it. As the sun rises higher in the sky, its light passes through a shorter distance of thick atmosphere. It loses its redder tone and takes on its characteristic yellow color.
  • How fast do raindrops fall? Not including wind-driven rain, raindrops fall between 7 and 18 miles per hour (3 and 8 meters per second) in still air. The range in speed depends on the the size of the raindrop. Air friction breaks up raindrops when they exceed 18 miles per hour.
  • Can lightning strike twice in the same place? Yes! The old adage of lightning never striking twice in the same place is totally false. Lightning is not limited to a one-bolt action. Many lightning flashes are of a multiple variety and may strike repeatedly in a few seconds. Up to 22 consecutive lightning strokes have been observed in a multiple flash.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Who is Rachelle?

A dreamer at heart. Susceptible to “tuning out” mid conversation. A sucker for snuggling on rainy days. Tries to watch scary movies - but fails miserably. Knows the difference between making a living - and making a life. A closet reader of trashy tabloids. Intelligent when the subject actually interests her. (CHOS!) Not young enough to know everything. Hates being late, but so often is. Believes in luck - the harder you work, the more luck you get. Loves ANY food, without much veggies of course.

Hopes to travel the world one day. Intolerant of rude people. Loyal friend. Laughs to loud. Talks to much. Doesn’t stress enough over uni. Believes in learning the rules - and breaking them. Embraces her inner nerd. Tries to avoid pessimism. Enjoys small victories in life. Swears like a soldier when angry. Fascinated by ancient history. Answers to the nickname “CHENG”. Irritated by fake personalities. Confused by maths subjects. Willing to make people laugh at own expense. Promises to get fit…then doesn’t. Has no particular favourite color - or does white count? Frets when away from DANIEL for too long. Nostalgic. Misses family dearly. Believes a good cup of COFFEE can mend the worst day. If that doesn’t work - turns to TEQUILLA.
Aims to preserve the naivity she has left. Never a Narcissistic. Attempts to have the straightest hair possible (FAILED!). Drinks more coffee than is necessary. Drinks more soft drinks than is necessary. A scary fondness/obsession for perfumes. Hopeless at saving, but tries nonetheless. Loves to ‘hug it out’. Habitually does assignments on the day they are due - and each time claims that it will be the last.

Believes friends are the family you get to choose - but wouldn’t choose her family any other way either! Loves the feeling of her not perfectly applied makeup. Knows her worth, and won’t be short changed on it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

You Are Here

What are your most basic questions? My first question has always been “What’s going on here?” Then “What’s really going on here?” Sometimes not easy questions to answer, but important to whatever comes next.

Don’t you love the maps found in large shopping malls or office complexes? The first thing you see is the circle with the X inside it saying “You are here.”

“Oh,” you say, “This is where I am, so now I know which direction to turn to get to where I want to be.”

Without the knowledge of where you are, you can’t know how close or far away you are from your destination. Just so, it’s important to know where you are in the great scheme of things in life. This question presupposes that you know something about the big picture and something about your destination (destiny).

And within these questions: “Who am I?”

My mother always told me, “Just be yourself, and you’ll be fine.” But who is that self? And how do you find out?

Questions, questions. When you’re searching for truth, what you often find first are questions to be explored if not answered definitively. Your answers may change and grow from time to time.

“The unexamined life is not worth living,” said Socrates. And behind that statement?

Well, that assumes you have a life to begin with. That means you have to live life first in order to examine it. If it is true that the unexamined life is not worth living, then it follows that the unlived life is also not worth examining.

Aspiring writers and actors are often told, “First, you have to live.” You have to have something to write about and experiences to draw upon.

Thoughtful and juicy questions may be one of the best ways to explore and examine your life to allow you to fully live and appreciate the life you have here and now, rather than wishing for some other place or some other life. This is what you have. Now is what you have. Here is what you have. Work with what you have.

If you’re in the here and now, just look about you. Be here. Be now. Describe what you see, feel, smell, taste, hear, touch. You’ll soon enough find plenty to think about and write about, plenty to ponder.

Formal writing prompts and jump-start quotations can also be brilliant food for thought. And why do they appeal to you? Because they’ve acted as an entrance into your own inner life. Something within you resonated with what you found in someone else’s experience.

Reading biographies, memoirs, autobiographies, and fiction can help you to explore your own life stories, both old and new. Can help you re-interpret your past stories to use them as building blocks for your new paths.

You learn that you are not alone in all the world. You no longer have to remain “a stranger in a strange land.” You can find at least one other story that is remarkably like your own. You learn that others have faced and surmounted the same challenges that you do. “The way is thoroughly known,” wrote Joseph Campbell. You are not the first to tread this path, to make this journey.

And those who have gone before you have left maps. They have pointed out the rocks, crevasses, mountains, dangerous swamps and quicksand. They can inspire you to a new level of living. By showing you what peace and happiness they have attained. They can teach you if you will read, listen, and be open to learning.

Be teachable.

Practice beginner’s mind at whatever stage you find yourself, and you may find that one or more “maps” buried in your library, bookstore, or Internet sites will both show you the big picture and say to you, “You are here.”

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I am.....

I am the only person in the world I should like to know thoroughly.

I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can't be helped.

I like to be a free spirit. Some don't like that, but that's the way I am.

I am not myself in any degree ashamed of having changed my opinions.

I am one of the people who love the why of things.

I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.

I have feelings too. I am still human. All I want is to be loved, for myself and for my talent.

My life has been one great big joke, a dance that's walked a song that's spoke, I laugh so hard I almost choke when I think about myself.

It would take a lifetime knowing me. And that depends on who's gonna stay with me along the way.