March 12, 2014
“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.”
Quotes of the Day
March 12, 2014
Researchers also found those who used them had higher blood pressure than those who didn’t
March 12, 2014
March 12, 2014
March 12, 2014
A woman who shares the name of famous pilot Amelia Earhart will be embarking on an adventure this summer – a flight around in the world in a plane, aPilatus PC-12 NG. As this genaration’s Ms. Earhart told KPHO CBS 5 News, she hopes that by recreating (and successfully completing) the 1937 journey, she will be able to get women excited about aviation.
A quick refresher for those perhaps forgetful as to what happened. In 1937, 39-year-old Amelia Earhart was a well-known and record-breaking pilot who sought, as her website puts it, a “monumental and, final challenge.” Earhart was going to fly around the world. After completing over 20,000 miles of the journey, Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, ran into bad weather on July 2 over the Pacific Ocean. They were en route to the small and uninhabited Howland Island. Earhart and Noonan tried making radio contact with the nearby U.S. Coast Guard cutter Itasca, but after intermittent messages, went silent. An immediate and extensive rescue mission, one that wound up costing around $ 4 million, sadly proved fruitless and the mystery as to what exactly happened remains a mystery today.
Back to the contemporary Amelia Earhart. She tells KPHO that her name was definitely well considered, “My parents wanted to give me a good female role model and give me a name that would spark conversation and hopefully lead me to adventure, and it looks like that’s what happened.”
This flight hopes to get young women interested in aviation. As Earhart told KPHO, “There are so few women in flight. Six percent of pilots are female. So, we’d like to boost that number up and show that you don’t have to be a tomboy to go out to the airport. All kinds of women are in aviation. I’m one of them, and luckily, I have the perfect name to hopefully get girls excited.”
She will, of course, have far superior technology to her predecessors. Her website, The Amelia Project, notes that her plane will be state-of-the-art, featuring, “precision Swiss engineering and construction [which] offers a unique combination of reliability, speed, range and performance.” She will make 14 stops over the course of 14 days, traveling somewhere near 28,000 miles.
So is 2014 Amelia related to Amelia of yesteryear? Nope. As her website reads, “When I was in college, I hired a genealogist to research my connection to Amelia. She told me that Amelia and I shared a “distant common ancestry traced back to the 1700s”. After hiring a second team of researchers to find the exact link to Amelia in August of 2013, I learned that we do not share a bloodline. While our families lived in adjacent counties in Pennsylvania, they were not related.”
March 12, 2014
Not too long ago, I jumped ship on an office job and career that was great, but not my passion. I took a huge risk to follow my dream, and learned a lot of lessons along the way. If you’re thinking about following your dream or doing what you love, here are some tips to keep in mind before you do it, and some of my mistakes to learn from.
I used to be a project manager in a healthy, growing company. The commute wasn’t bad, I was good at what I did, I had room to grow, and I had great coworkers. Of course, the money was good too. The trouble with this whole setup was that while I was happy with my work, I wasn’t happy doing it. What I really wanted to do was write. On nights and on weekends, I had been freelancing on the side, and building my own portfolio of work. It was nice—I had some spare cash on the side as well as a full-time paycheck. Well, when changes came to my regular job and I had to ride it out, find another job doing project management, or take the risk of my life and trying to write full-time. I naturally chose to leave everything I knew behind, take a significant pay cut, and do what I always wanted to do. Naturally.
Here are some of the lessons I learned, and some of the things I wish I knew beforehand. If you’re thinking about jumping ship on your day-to-day to follow your passion, hopefully you’ll be well prepared.
I’m not going to romanticize this. Giving up security for your dream—especially if you give up money to do it—is difficult. I made it work, but it took sweat, sleepless nights, and metric buttload of luck and privilege. It’s not right for everyone. There are some people for whom taking a leap like this will work, others who’ll need to do more planning than I did, and still others for whom this just won’t work ever, and I realize that.
A couple of things to keep in mind when you’re even considering quitting your day job to do something you love:
I strongly recommend you write all of this down so you can return to it later. Your answers may change with time, and what’s a bad idea now may be a good idea later after talking to your spouse or family—what you can’t make work may be flexible with the help of someone else, and your loved ones may be willing to help you embrace your dream. Then again, you may think everything makes sense, and then return to your answers only to realize you’ve been too optimistic. Once you’ve finished giving yourself the third degree, it’s time to plan your next move.
A lot of people will tell you that you should “follow your gut,” or obey your instincts. If a pay cut is involved, and your dream is on the line, that’s the last thing you should do. I’m not saying you should distrust your judgement, but don’t act blindly if you don’t have to. Foresight and planning are your best friends. Of course, don’t fall victim to analysis paralysis either—you don’t to be so stuck trying to figure things out that opportunity passes you by. Just don’t use “opportunity knocking” as an excuse to jump without looking. No one who’s ever taken a calculated risk and made it work ever kicked themselves for planning too much.
Run the numbers, consider the changes you’ll need to make, then run the numbers again. We’re talking about a pay cut, so make sure you can work with whatever income you’ll have. If you’re planning to be a freelancer, this is even more complicated. You need to make sure you have a stable of clients paying regularly so your bills get paid, or savings to cover you when the checks are “in the mail.” If it’s a full-time gig, make sure you’ll be able to get the bills paid without resorting to subsidizing your lifestyle with credit, or giving up on important things like saving for the future. If I could do it over again, I would have socked away way more money in retirement savings when I had the money, and I wouldn’t have cut my move as tight as I did.
If you need to make changes, like downsizing to a smaller home, trimming back services, or giving things up, be ready mentally and emotionally (and make sure everyone else in your household is too.) Also be ready for the costs that come with those changes. If you have to move, moving costs money. Too much stuff? You can either sell it, trash it, or store it—which costs money. Don’t overlook the other costs that are just as important—entertainment, incidentals, emergency funds, debt repayment (student loans, credit cards, etc.) Remember, you’re working to live. Don’t give up that life. Make sure your budget can handle everything and do whatever you can to trim your monthly expenses.
Your new job will likely come with its own expenses. Switching from project management—which in my case didn’t really cost me anything beyond software, membership in the PMI, and my certification—to writing meant I had to invest in things I hadn’t really bothered with before. I needed to supply a home office. I needed communication tools like a decent webcam and microphone, portable batteries so I could work on the go, back up and mobile internet access, luggage to travel with, things like that—and I needed it all on less money than I was making before.
In my case, I was lucky that many of my expenses dropped too, but you should budget for those new expenses (especially if your job won’t pay for them.) Living on less means you have to get creative about where you get those things, too—buying refurbished gear, used office supplies, and DIY-ing your own solutions are all money savers. Look around for ways you can save now—before you make your jump—so you’re prepared. Find local discount stores, thrift shops, online retailers that sell used gear, surplus stores, discount office supply stores, and so on. Get your DIY hands dirty. Even if you’re not taking a big pay cut to follow your dream, you’ll appreciate the extra money in your pocket.
The problem with turning your passion into a job is that you’ll wind up doing it every day. If your passion was something you did in your spare time—like it was for me—you’ll find yourself sinking more time into your work than you probably intend to. Remember, even if you love your work, you’re still working to live, not living to work. Enforce your boundaries and pull yourself away, or else your passion will turn to poison. Make sure you recharge your batteries, spend time with family, and actually enjoy the life you’ve risked it all to have.
SImilarly, get yourself some new hobbies and interests. Use the time you now don’t spend on your job to find new side gigs or interests. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn a language, or you finally have time to hit the gym every day. Maybe your dream job is more demanding than expected, and you need a new hobby just to take the edge off. Whatever it is, find it. Otherwise your dream job will start eating up the rest of your life, and while you may enjoy the work, you won’t enjoy working all the time.
If you’ve made sure that following your dream is realistic, and you’ve done all of your homework, it’s time to execute. You’ve done all of your planning, you’ve run the numbers, you’ve made the lifestyle changes required, and you’re ready for more if they should come down the line. The rest is a matter of doing—that’s not to say it’ll be easy, but at this point it’s all in the details. You’ll have to adapt to changes and roll with the punches, but here are some things to keep in mind.
Commit yourself to your decision. Don’t doubt yourself—this is your dream, and you’ve planned for it. Give it your all—but don’t burn any bridges on your way. Your old coworkers and managers may not be in your new field, but they’re still important people in your history, great references to your skills and character, and your work with them is likely on your resume.
Keep in touch with the people who helped you along the way, or worked with you when your dream job was just a side gig. See where you can help them if they need it, and make yourself available to them. Keep looking for more side gigs, just to keep your professional network strong. You’re starting out in a new career—possibly at the bottom of an industry—you’ll need all the help and contacts you can get. You should also take every opportunity to build your personal empire. Promote yourself and make a name for yourself in your new position. Remember, every job is temporary, even your dream job. Make sure all of your options are open—forward and back.
Your dream job may be just that—a job, not a career. Maybe it won’t be all it’s cracked out to be and it’ll lose its luster. Maybe you’ll love every minute of it, but circumstances will change. Whatever it is, be ready to fall back on your old skills if you have to. Don’t feel bad—you did something that very few people ever do in their lives. Don’t fear failure. The ride has just run its course and it’s time to get off.
The nice thing about making a career change is that, as long as you keep your skills sharp from your old job and stay up to date on what’s happening in that industry, you can jump back at any time. If you have professional certifications or are a member of a professional society, that’s even better. Keep your ear to the ground in your old job, and make sure you’re familiar with changes in your old field. You never know when you’ll need to fall back on those skills. Hopefully you never will, but if you do, you’ll be glad you’re well versed in your old language.
Few people ever say they’re glad they never took risks; that they’re happy they never got a chance to do what they wanted to do. In my case, it took a lot of planning, some significant changes, and a lot of sleepless nights. Even so, I managed to make it work. If you think—even remotely—that you can manage to make it work, go through the motions. Set up your hypothesis, and gather the evidence required to support—or refute—it. Test it, examine it, see if it would work. Try to live on less, plan out how you could make the transition, ease into it by building up a little secondary income, and then cut the safety cable and fly free.
Keep your eyes forward though. Landing your dream job is great! But for as much as I take issue with Scott Adams’ “advice” to not follow your dream, he does have one point—reaching your goal can leave you feeling empty. Don’t stop dreaming—think about what you want to do after your dream job. What’s your next goal or aspiration? What do you want to do after you’re “living the dream?” Don’t worry that it might not last forever, or that you may eventually need to get off the ride and go back to what you’re familiar with. It’s better to have done it for a while, made it work, and then returned to your comfort zone when you needed to than never having done any of it at all. It very well may be the most rewarding thing you’ve ever done.
March 12, 2014
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ESPN.com – NBA
March 12, 2014
After the morning skate, captain Jamie Benn vowed that the Dallas Stars would play to honor ill teammate Rich Peverley. With the forward following the Stars game against the St. Louis Blues from a hospital bed back in Dallas, Benn put his team over the top. Stars coach Lindy Ruff said Peverley, who is sidelined because of a heart issue that caused him to collapse on the bench on Monday, was well aware his teammates beat the Blues 3-2 in overtime on Tuesday night. He said ‘Keep rolling.’ I just said at the end, ‘See you tomorrow.”’ Benn scored 3:42 into overtime to end the Blues’ five-game winning streak.
March 12, 2014
Academy Award® Winners Meryl Streep* and Julia Roberts** star in the darkly hilarious and deeply touching story of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose lives converge when a family crisis brings them back to the Midwest house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional mother who raised them. Based on Tracy Letts Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name, Director John Wells skillfully translates from stage to screen, leading an all-star cast that includes Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Nicholson, Sam Shepard and Misty Upham.
*Best Actress The Iron Lady (2011)
**Best Actress Erin Brockovich (2000)
List Price: $ 29.98
Price: $ 25.48
March 12, 2014
This film is as heartbreaking as the bluegrass music it celebrates. And that music itself is rendered perfectly through the Belgian band and its bandleader who adores Appalachian string music. As the story goes: Didier and Elise have their relationship tested in the harshest way imaginable. The narrative is structured in thematic segments rather than in chronological order. So, from the first scene, the viewer has an idea of what kind on heartbreak lies ahead. Then, it rewinds into the early days when it seemed nothing would ever go wrong, when it seemed that every thing just fell into place for these two. When things do begin to go wrong, it is hard for each to know who to blame, and the frustration the lovers air in trying to make sense of their situation by casting blame may be their downfall. Then again, maybe that downfall could not have been prevented. Perhaps, it was just cruel fate, and even Didier and Elise cannot be blamed for how they choose to deal with the sad aftermath of tragedy. Decide for yourself, but also prepare yourself for an excruciatingly sad yet beautiful, musical tale of love and loss.
35 out of 37 people found this review helpful.
Oscar nominated as Best Foreign film, Belgium’s “The Broken Circle Breakdown” manages to tell a familiar story of a couple losing a child to cancer, in a unique and thoughtful manner. Bluegrass music, as perceived by foreigners, imbues and propels the narrative and America, politics, religion, marriage and the afterlife come under scrutiny. The performances are uniformly excellent, and the director and script spot on. It’s a little hard to follow in the beginning, but if you stick around till the end end you will be justly rewarded. In my estimation a very strong contender to take home the Oscar along with The Hunt and Omar.
15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.
The relationship of Didier, a bluegrass musician, and Elise, a tattoo artist and bluegrass singer, is told out of sequence, rolling between flashbacks of their early joy and marriage and the current tragedy which transforms their lives. The film draws on the deep well of bluegrass music to flesh out and imbue the story with tremendous emotional weight. Many issues are explored, from fundamentalism to Darwinism to the politics of health care. Profoundly, it is the attempt to use the power of music as a shield against the crushing tragedies of life that is the most poignant metaphor in the film. And it is the failure of that attempt that is at its heart. This is a film of great depth, beauty and tragedy. It deals bravely with those serious questions of existence which reside deep in our hearts. Highly recommend.
10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.