Sunday, December 30, 2007
I just finished reading a book I first came across 10 years ago. To my great surprise, it stood the test of time pretty well.
And, with the january credit card bill looming over the horizon, it might be a good time to start reading it.
21 Success Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires is an easy read packed with interresting ideas.
Author Brian Tracy does a good job of synthetizing the information and it probably is one of his best books.
There's no big insider secret, but rather logical and sound advice on how to become wealthy.
The downer is: it takes time and effort. But hey, as my friend Franco says: if it looks to good to be true, it probably is.
I will not give the 21 secrets here as I encourage you to read the book, but here are 2 phrases that caught my attention:
What kind of a world would my world be if everyone in it was just like me?
You will be the same person in five years except for the people you meet and the books you read.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Let us take a moment to realize how fortunate we are and think of how we can share our blessings with others less fortunate.
For 2008, let's try to find alternatives to the wars we are waging.
To kickstart the reflexion, let me quote former U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower:
Now, let's delve into the raw the numbers:
a) in the year 2000 world leaders estimated that it would require $25 billion to $35 billion annually to raise levels of health and welfare in Africa to Western standards.
b) Unesco estimates that all the world’s children could be educated if we were to spend $7 bilion dollar per year for ten years.
c) Clear water and sanitation could be provided for everyone in the world for $9 billion annually.
d) HIV and Aids now claim 5,500 lives a day around the world – more that the Black Death, and twelve million children in Africa have been orphaned by the disease. Kofi Annan has called for $10 billion annually to address the Aids epidemic.”
And finally, no world peace speech would be complete without a few words of wisdom from the Dalai Lama:
“If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another. If you wish to know that you are safe, cause others to know that they are safe. If you wish to better understand seemingly incomprehensible things, help another better understand. If you wish to heal your own sadness and anger, seek to heal the sadness or anger of another.
Those others are watching for you know. They are looking to you for guidance, for help, for courage, for strenght, for understanding and for assurance at this hour. Most of all – they are lookinf for your love.”
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
The word Zoonosis is unfamiliar to most people. But it helps clarify the biological reality behind the scary headlines about bird flu, SARS, other forms of nasty diseases, and the threat of a coming pandemic. It says something essential about the origin of HIV. It's a word of the future, destined for heavy use in the 21st century.
Ebola is a zoonosis. So is bubonic plague. So are yellow fever, monkeypox, bovine tuberculosis, Lyme disease, West Nile fever, Marburg, many strains of influenza, rabies, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, and a strange new affliction called Nipah, wich kills pigs and pigs farmers in Malaysia.
The preceding excert is from National Geographic Magazine (October 2007).
They have a fascinating article on how we exchange diseases with animals and how globalization (and mostly the ease to travel averywhere) will have a major impact on our health.
And if the subject interrests you, you must also read Jared Diamond's Pulitzer Prize book Guns, Germs and Steel.
And you thought that extreme sports were dangerous...
Sunday, December 16, 2007
The speed record she set was impressive : an average of 35.6 knots (40 miles/h).
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
The ability to manipulate ones own body, and control muscle movements with utmost precision (surgeons, pianists).
The ability to understand and perform music.
This also includes scientific ability.
Knowledge and ability to manipulate language.
"The ability to form a mental model of a spatial world" (i.e. sculptors, engineers, surgeons).
The ability to understand others.
The ability to understand oneself.
This is good news for those of us who do not have stellar IQ ratings and thought that God was really unfair when he gave, on top of everything else, an IQ of 154 (genius) to Sharon Stone. I mean, Bush Jr would have needed it more, don't you think? And it's not like he has anything else. With such an injustice, can anyone really say that God loves America?
Finally, if on top of an average IQ you are not an academic star either, you'll be happy to know that statistics favor you in the long run:
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Reese Witherspoon was in Importance of Being Earnest, The (2002) with Colin Firth Colin Firth was in Where the Truth Lies (2005) with Kevin Bacon
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Weight of anchors: 60,000 lbs. each
Anchor chain: 1,082 ft. on each anchor (365 lbs. per link)
Total anchor weight including chain: 735,000 lbs. each
Distillation plant capacity: 400,000 gals.
Number of light fixtures: approx. 29,000
Friday, October 26, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
Plain Jane Couture is probably Montreal's most original clothing company. Founders Zoum and Hardip Manku unusal duo have come up with audacious and provocative designs and an unmistakably sexy logo.
Check out their collection: http://www.plainjanecouture.com/
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
As I strolled past a funeral home the other day, I was struck by their slogan: "Be Well Remembered".
Is it how we see it? The last impression is the most important? The obituary, the burial or the cremation and all this masquerade? Will a more expensive casket in oak and silk and gold will really make a difference once I'm dead?
Hell no! Give me a cardboard box, no tombstone and bury me naked under a beautiful tree. (With global warming, cremation is soooo out!)
If you want to be well remembered, skip the funeral process part and concentrate on the important stuff: how you lived (and maybe how you died in some extreme cases), but certainly not how you were buried.
Monday, September 24, 2007
I shared the wheel with my dad and the old pilot managed to get me scared driving 120 km/h on narrow costal roads.
Beautifull scenery (check out the pictures), awesome seafood and a couple of World records including the longest bridge over ice covered waters (12.9km long Confederation Bridge) and, in the Bay of Fundy, the highest tides ever recorded: 52 feet!
Can't wait to go back!
Thursday, September 13, 2007
The more people I meet, the more I discover that the vast majority is very, terribly, well... ordinary. And it doesn't get better with age.
First, while not always unhappy, they do not exactly enjoy life to the fullest. They are, to quote Theodore Roosevelt, in the grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.
Second, they are so predictable it becomes boring. They have the same dreams as everybody else: be rich and famous, date a supermodel, look good, have a big house, a sports car, children, a successful carreer, bla bla bli bla bla blah. The stuff they sell you.
When I ask them what unique dream they have, the one that defines their individuality and will make them express the Picasso or Einstein they have within, I get a blank stare.
Another one that will go to his grave with his music still inside him.
Remember, people don't like sheeps. They eat sheeps.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
The average American spends 4.5 hours daily in front of his television. What a boring thing and what a waste of time.
We never had access to so much information with so few bothering to open a book. And when they do, 9 chances out of 10 it will be Harry Potter. Ah, yes, of course, it requires an effort to read. Sorry about that.
I'm with Thomas Friedman from the New York Times when he said: "In today's globalized World, it you don't visit a bad neighborhood, it will visit you."
I just read in the paper this morning that the slump in the housing market doesn't seem to go away and that it had more impact than anticipated on the economy. Duh?
Wake up and smell the coffee Ms. Bueler.
Let me tell you, it's not going anywhere but down. People are up to their ears in debt and the interest rates can't go much lower than this. Exotic mortgages of 40 years and more with no down payment and only interrest payment the first years. It didn't take a genius to see it coming.
Its another classic housing market bubble. And you think that people would have learned? Next thing you know, people will have forgotten everything about the dot com crash of 2000-2001, and we'll have another stock market bubble.
The only thing we learn from history is that we don't learn from history.
Let me finish by quoting Michael Moore, from his book Stupid White Men:
“There are forty-four million Americans who cannot read and write above fourth-grade level – in other words, who are functional illiterates. How did I learn this statistic? Well, I read it. And now you’ve read it. So we’ve already eaten into the mere 99 hours a year an average American adult spends reading a book – compared with 1460 hours watching television. I’ve also read that only 11 percent of the American public bothers to read a daily newspaper, beyond the funny pages or the used car ads. So if you live in a country where forty-four million can’t read – and perhaps close to another two hundred million can read but usually don’t – well, friends, you and I are living in one very scary place. A nation that not only churns out illiterate students BUT GOES OUT OF ITS WAY TO REMAIN IGNORANT AND STUPID is a nation that should not be running the world – at least not until a majority of its citizens can locate Kosovo (or any other country it has bombed) on the map.”
“And to the C students, I say you, too, can be President of the United States!” – George W. Bush, in his commencement address to the Yale Class of 2001
So, I guess, we have the governments we deserve...
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Toronto based Tilley is manufacturing what may be the finest hats in the world.
Alex Tilley, the company founder, is an avid yachtman and started designing the perfect hat he longed for but couldn't find.
Let me tell you, he did a mighty fine job.
I personnaly abuse my Tilley T3 hat on a regular basis and came to the conclusion that it will probably outlive me.
The duck cotton fabric doesn't shrink, the wind cords keep it on my head in hurricane force winds, it floats (yes, I tried), repels rain and sun, and it even has a secret pocket. It is garanteed for life (something you learn to appreciate the hard way) and assured against loss.
Now I understand why Indiana Jones risked his life to get his hat back.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
For those interrested in the subject, I highly recommend Kristina Borjesson's fascinating book Into the Buzzsaw about 15 high profile american journalists who lost their jobs, were discredited and sometimes prosecuted when they investigated too far.
Let us not forget that Freedom of press is limited to those who own one.
Friday, August 31, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
We (sometimes) give to research. That's it, nothing more; despite the fact that it has been proven that cancer is greatly influenced by how we live and mostly how we eat. Who changes their habits or their diet to get away from cancer? No one.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
My friend Rob is, let's say, on the extreme side of things.
Rollerblading down the streets at killer speeds is not enough for him.
He's looking for a rollersuit and mountains roads to go FAST, just like the guy in this awesome video: http://www.glumbert.com/media/rollersuit
Friday, August 24, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
At that time, every plane traveling between North America and Europe transited by Gander.
In 1959, when traffic was at its peak, the Canadian Government invested $3 million to create a flagship airport and show to the rest of the world how modern and elegant Canada was. Queen Elizabeth II herself inaugurated the new terminal.
It was, and still is a design masterpiece. The terrazo floor tiles are inspired by Mondrian, and most of the furniture was created by canadian designers of the '50s, like the Primasteel chairs created by Robin Bush for Herman Miller or the space age black sofas designed by Christen Sorensen.
If you manage to visit the airport president's office, you'll see orange leather seats created by Jacques Guillon that once were in the VIP suite that saw the Beatles, Churchill, Kruchtchev, Ingrid Bergman, Ronald Reagan, Marlene Dietrich and Mohammed Ali.
But, as John Lennon said: "Life is what happens while you're making other plans.", and the following year, the advent of kerosene and fuel efficient jet airplanes made the airport irrelevant.
Today, who remembers Gander International Airport?
Like my parachute instructor says: "If you don't succeed at first, well, so much for skydiving."
For more info:
Friday, August 17, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Today, more than 2000 wild ponies roam free among the white sand dunes.
Monday, August 13, 2007
It explains what makes ideas "sticky" (i.e. easily remembered and shared) like, for exemple, the urban legend about the kidney theft ring.
It's not only a good complement to the Tipping Point, it is a great book for people who want to be heard (or who want their clients to be heard).
You'll learn about:
and a lot more...
A really good eye opener.
Thanks to my good friend Fabien Fayard for forcing me to read this book.
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Friday, August 3, 2007
I'm on vacation starting right now and feeling dangerously good. That's why I am going to give you a piece of advice that will change your life forever - provided you are a meat lover.
No bragging here, but a fundamental truth. It's not an overstatement when I say best steaks in the World. I had the chance to eat fine steaks all over the World, including at the overrated, overpriced Queue de Cheval Steakhouse in Montreal and trust me, nothing comes close to the steaks you can cook using the tricks I'm about to give you.
I'm a lousy cook, and I know only 3 recipes: taboulé, profiterolles au chocolat and steaks on the grill; but for these, I'm like the autistic geniuses, I can work miracles. Steaks, of course, are my weapon of choice.
Here's how to cook the best steaks in the World:
First, get good quality steaks. Not the second hand meat available at your average supermaket. Personnaly, I buy mine at Boucherie Côté. They have first quality AAA beef from Alberta that has rested for 21 days. I usually go for a T-bone 3/4'' or 1'' thick.
Second, the rub. I use a mix of honey, dijon mustard, steak spices and herbes de Provence, but it is not the biggest success factor. The only thing is to go light. If the meat is good, you do not want to kill the taste with too much seasoning.
Third, cook the steaks over a medium fire (I prefer charcoal), not too hot or the steaks will burn and become tasteless black rubber. Watch carefully during cooking time (approximately 4 minutes) and cut the meat to see how it cooks. When it becomes pink inside with a red line in the middle, take them out of the fire.
Fourth, and here's the secret : THE FOIL. Wrap the steaks in aluminium foil and let them rest for 3-4 minutes. I place them in a small cooler preheated with a hot water bottle. What will happen is that the heat will distribute itself evenly within the steaks, they won't seize due to a sudden change in temperature and the internal juices will flow back inside the meat.
Five, serve bare and enjoy (preferrably with red wine).
Try it and let me know how it went.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
The night is falling to pieces
While our sun's rising
There's plenty of time to burn
Before we're put to sleep
Here's a last one
To you my friend
Let's be rising stars
Among fading lights