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Malcolm Gladwell: Biracial and proud of it

English: Malcolm Gladwell speaks at PopTech! 2...

English: Malcolm Gladwell speaks at PopTech! 2008 conference. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Cover of "Outliers: The Story of Success&...

Cover of Outliers: The Story of Success

I have just listened to three audiobooks  read by author Malcolm Gladwell.  I have heard of him and his books but just happened upon his Tipping Point and Blink both of which are worth a read.  He is not quite as smart as John McWhorter because in his interview with Gates he peppered his answers with lots of  “ahms, and you know” I’m like WTF?  This guy is not doing a good interview.  Was he nervous or was there bad chemistry between the two talkers.  During his many lectures Gladwell is well, coherent and not stumbling over his words.

My only problem with his thesis in Blink about thinking without thinking is that one is not using the brain or thoughts to reach lightning fast accurate assessments of situations that would harm them if they were to stop and think.  It’s called intuituion and it operates above the mental plane not on it.  So technically he is not correct but subjectively I can give him a pass on the book.  It gets people to thinking about intuition or making choices without thinking but intuiting and TRUSTING THAT INTUIT.

 Oh and how can I forget the Outliers about success.  This October his new book ” David and Goliath” should be out in print.

He  confirms one thing I know from my past life research that nurture and culture are huge and they are passed down just like genes to offspring.  Not only that but particular traits are indeed part of a family’s DNA

I also found this link about his genealogy and that his grandparent was named Thomas Adams.  That’s strange because that’s my maiden name and my grandfather, not the same person of course, was also named Thomas Adams!

I will have to do a little more research because we in fact could be related through our European ancestors.  It’s ironic because my anglo ancestors are mostly on my father’s side hence the name Adams.  However, my mother’s people are Mediterranean hence my olive coloring and Italian ways. 

More later on this guy.  He has interviews on youtube also you can check out. 

Jack Klugman dies at 90

English: Jack Klugman in August 2005

English: Jack Klugman in August 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Son of Russian Jewish immigrants Klugman made his way to the top of the Hollywood heap and then fell off from throat cancer from which he lost his voice in 1980.   He just remarried four years ago.

Anyway if you know The Odd Couple then you know his main work.

Rodney King dead at 47

He was found dead today.  The beating in 1992  no doubt shortened hislife.

Brad Pitt is sleeping with a broom (Angelina)

Angelina Jolie

do they let brooms in?

My word Angelina looks like a damn broom with a dress on.  She is a stick and looks anorexic.  This really sends kids the wrong message that skinny to the bone is IN.  Not only is it not IN but it looks horrible.  Angelina looks terrible like a skeleton from a war ghetto. 

Gain some weight girl you look bad.

Obama the fire brand: 1988 Occupy Chicago

Just twenty or so years ago, Barack Obama wouldn’t just have supported the Occupy protests.

He would have organized them.

From Stanley Kurtz’s essential Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism, pp. 117-8:

In fact, Obama personally helped plan one of UNO’s most confrontational actions of the eighties [in 1988]: a break-in meant to intimidate a coalition of local business and neighborhood leaders into dropping a landfill expansion deal.

We know of Obama’s involvement in this demonstration only because his supporters in 2008 felt it necessary to rebut charges that, contrary to his claims of inter-racial healing, he had organized exclusively with blacks. Only then did Obama’s former colleagues from UNO [United Neighborhood Organization, a largely Mexican group] of Chicago reveal that he had helped to plan and lead this multi-ethnic demonstration…

DVD Review: Facing Death & Dying Well

First published at 


…all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die… Steve Jobs (June 14, 2005, commencement address at Stanford University)


The expected but early death of Steve Jobs–technology compositional genius who orchestrated a new age of electronic icons—creates a teachable moment about death and rebirth. I think it is fitting to weave these current events with cosmic change. Ironically recent remarks above from Jobs set the scene. He traveled with a friend in 1973 to India returning a shorn Buddhist complete with robes; however, Robert Thurman said he would not consider him a “practicing Buddhist.” But perhaps we can incorporate Buddhist’s beliefs with how Jobs conducted his death as well as his life and Apple Corporation.

In this DVD the 14th Dalai Lama spoke about death but did not recount how he was located by the monks who visited his home and tested him with objects when he was just a small child. But full-length movies and documentaries are available that recount his humble beginnings.

According to His Holiness, it is not what the man believes in when he shakes the mortal coil but how he dies. And this DVD is about helping everyone to face death and to die well. One ingredient that aided Jobs in death was a peaceful setting surrounded by loved ones. The Buddhists believe this is the only (preferred) way to die because it opens the door to a good rebirth.

The discussions in this 165-minute DVD: “Beginning,” “Facing death in a peaceful manner,” “How to deal with death from a Buddhist viewpoint,” “Importance of good preparation for death,” “Value of a peaceful mind at time of death” and Questions and Answers.

The Dalai Lama talks about the four noble truths the Buddha taught. He explains, first is the truth of suffering and it is taught within three characteristics. The first being “Impermanence,” and when talking about the nature of impermanence there are two levels: the coarse level which is the cessation event we call death.The transitory nature of existence means the changing nature is more subtle. The aim of the subtle nature when taught by the Buddha is to get at the basic unsatisfactory nature of existence. Any existence which is brought about by causes and conditions depends on them.

The subtle nature of impermanence depends on causes and conditions. The seed of cause is already there. Ignorant state of mind is the root of our existence
and governs it.

On the coarse level of impermanence: Dalai Lama teaches that first reflecting on the coarser levels leads one to appreciation of the subtler levels. One can grasp with the eternal or permanent existence after such reflection. It cannot be done in one lifetime alone.

One of the reasons why the awareness of death is so crucial because the state of mind at the time of death will determine the next birth or have great affect upon it.

Secondly, one of the positive side-effects of attaining the awareness of death is so that one can be in positive state of mind, including meditation; it will prepare an individual for the death event and he will be better able to maintain that state of mind.

In Tantric Buddhism it is maintained that the state of mind one has at death is extremely subtle and has a great impact on one’s mental continuum. So we find a lot of emphasis on death meditation. Individuals at the time of death can maintain his presence of mind and subtle state of mind for the realization of calm. In many countries, yoga meditation or on deities, involve reflecting on the dissolution process at the point of death.

From the Tantric perspective, the entire process of existence is explained in terms of three states: death, intermediate state and rebirth and all are seen as various states of manifestations of consciousness. The three are just levels of
consciousness. The indications of such fluctuations we find in our own daily existence. Within a 24-hour day we go through a cycle of awake, sleep, dream sleep and deep sleep that is comparable or a microcosm of the consciousness, a deep ebb and flow of consciousness.

When talking about the distinction between subtle and gross levels of mind bear in mind what we mean by “mental consciousness.” Do we mean that there is some sort of autonomous level that is independent of the bodily states, like a soul? I think this is a mistaken idea. His Holiness thinks that if you would examine our mental world you would find that most of our functions have direct
physical basis. The brain and nervous system is the base of much of our conscious experience and I agree with the scientists on this. They are linked intimately with the body states so when one dissolves the other dissolves. What
gives rise to a cognitive event? His Holiness continues.

What is the mere state of knowing and what makes it possible? Buddhist explanation: we point toward the clear light state which is independent and the subtlest level of consciousness giving rise to all our consciousness events. There are certain indications of the existence which are more possible for religious persons. A person can be pronounced clinically dead and remain in
that state for days and the body does not decompose.

The Buddhist explanation for this is that the individual is not actually dead but is in the process of dying. Although the mind body nexus may have ceased at the grosser level but it has not ceased at the subtle level. That is the tantric Buddhist explanation for the “near-death experience” which I saw when my own master’s life was suspended for 16 days and his body remained fresh during that time he was consciously away from it.

His Holiness humbly shared his attitude toward death: I don’t know what really happens at death. Sometimes when I think about death I get some kind of excitement. My only burden at this moment is if I die what will happen to Tibet. To think about death is helpful to reduce fear about it. When death finally comes all my preparation may fail (laughter). It is helpful mentally to think
about death and it releases much fear to contemplate death and the next birth this is what Buddhists do.

He affirmed that if you prepare fully for death then you can prepare for it. So if the moment of death is peaceful then your peace of mind can be sustained and that is the foundation for death. That is a guarantee for a good life the next life. That’s about death…then what else?

Conclusion: for those who practice this belief no matter the religion at the time of death the peaceful mind is the goal. A religious believer may be looking for a heaven but regardless to belief a person needs a peaceful mind in the final hours. If you develop a virtuous state of mind then no matter what you did in your lifetime, at the moment of death with a forceful positive mind it is
guaranteed that the immediate next life will be a good one.

Those who attend the person at death should not create any factor which will disturb the person’s mind and should not raise some reminder of negative past experiences.

The DVD ends with a Q&A session where the audience writes their questions and they are answered thoughtfully by his Holiness. His ability to not take himself too seriously elicits laughter from the audience at the disarming answers from this guru who is not afraid to say that he does not know even when he does know.

For Western audiences gurus often treat a topic like death as an unknown experience. In this country death and dying is an academic discipline but an infant science in practice that will one day lead to the practice of dying while living.

More wisdom from Jackie the best first lady ever

Profiles in Courage (Young Readers Edition) Il...

Image via Wikipedia

While waiting for my appointment I looked at the People magazine cover which Jackie graces for this week.  Picture this: Inside Jackie is there in all her glory and one picture in particular caught my attention.  It was Jack and Jackie sitting on a chaise both dressed in black tops and white pants.  He was smoking a cigar and looking as cool as a cucumber with dark glasses.  The birth of beauty and style.  Who knew? Jack was such a slob when younger and wore grunge look with pride and the same old tennis shoes even with black tie.  More about that later.

In tape four Jack seeking to assemble his cabinet and wanted to have the transition team in place in the event he won the election.  Jackie said that like a doubting Thomas (my metaphor) Bob McNamara came to JFK and asked him only one question: did you write “Profiles in Courage?” Damn.  With no swagger or boast Jack simply said yes, I wrote it. And that brought Jackie to talk about Ted, Sorenson that is.  Who wisely or foolishly or accidently planted that seed of doubt that Jack wrote Profiles.  Jackie said after that McNamara had this worship thing for Jack. 

One more thing from the tape/book I had a long day and the right side of my neck has been bothering me for weeks so I will make this short: She said that Bobby had no ambition for himself.  His becoming the AG was entirely from the mind of his dad Joseph.  Bobby turned it down and said that he and Ethel were going away and he just wanted to teach somewhere.  But that was never to be. 

Jack finally called him into the offie and told him that he just had to accept the post of AG.  And history seems to be telling us now that Bobby will probably be the last best AG this country will ever have.  Bush dedicated the building in DC to RFK and deservedly so.  We were like fingers on the same hand and found each other in many lifetimes before and since. 


Salon: what the dems can do about Obama (comments)

Barack Obama

Here’s a link to the many cogent and funny and good understanding of WTF we need to do in 2012.  Here’s the deal yours truly, told Obama publically that she would abandon him if he did something.  He did that something and I have been silent in terms of criticizing him and or supporting him.  I will write a blog after he gives him wimpy speech.  At least he used “over the top” correctly.   We never said he was stupid just weak, weak. 

Steve Jobs Founder of Apple Resigns

Steve Jobs new biography from Amazon

Steve Jobs shows off iPhone 4 at the 2010 Worl...
Image via Wikipedia

Will Apple free fall?  The sale of the stock was suspended before the man made his announcement: Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO of Apple the company he founded.  He has pancreatic cancer.  He said that he would resign when he could no longer carry out his duties. He is a cancer survivor for now but he also looks like a Holocaust survivor since his illness.  What’s next? Markets always said that Apple stock would nosedive if Jobs should ever leave like it did once at the mere rumor that he was to resign after he had the cancer The latest on the falling Apple stock.  It’s still pricey.  I sold mine too early.

Apple shares were suspended from trade before the announcement. They had gained 0.7 percent to close at $376.18.

The pancreatic cancer survivor and industry icon, who has been on medical leave for an undisclosed condition since January 17, will be replaced by COO and longtime heir apparent Tim Cook.

“I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come,” he said in a brief letter announcing his resignation.

Internecine: when democracy kills

Marcus Tullius Cicero, by Bertel Thorvaldsen a...

Image via Wikipedia

Internecine: strange history of the word changes the meaning from warfare to the death to fighting between two close entities. But that is the word both meanings that describe what our elected officials have done to each other and to the budget. When all else fails I turn to Cicero for advice.  The Romans spoke of their slaves a lot because everyone had them.  They had slaves and many of their metaphors involve what would they do with their slave in case of dire financial emergency.  We don’t have slaves in this democracy we are the slaves.  We are slaves to the Chinese so that is a fitting metaphor me thinks.

We have democracy it does not have us yet. A complex manner of governing that we have not mastered yet.
The economy falls in line with the attitude of its leaders.

More later