Monday, December 19

Another Tip of the Day

GrepLaw | California Court Rejects Inevitable Disclosure: "Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition. - Isaac Asimov"

Tip of the day

Non-compete Agreement: "If you are not being criticized, you may not be doing much. - Donald Rumsfeld"

Sunday, December 18

Stanford Business School: Research News: Hanson: Internet Marketing: Building Brand, Personalization and Distribution

Stanford Business School: Research News: Hanson: Internet Marketing: Building Brand, Personalization and Distribution: "'Personalizing Internet marketing is the hardest thing to do right now because it's the least familiar,' says Hanson. Historically, this was the job of the sales force. Now it is the marketer who must understand when people want personalized products and when they don't. 'It's important to match the type of personalization with the type of product that you sell,' adds Hanson. Whether you're Avon or Amazon or Ford Motor, whether or not it's profitable to personalize depends on a couple of variables, including the so-called 'spread of lifetime customer value.' In other words, will personalization keep customers coming back for more over a lifetime?

One good example of successful marketing through personalization is Customers now can create their own customized Barbie by giving her a unique skin color, eye color, name, wardrobe, and even a printed-out life story. While Barbie has struck a creative marketing strategy for now, this added distribution channel is a huge vulnerability for many large companies that cannot afford to alienate their distributors."

Saturday, December 17

Historical Perspective: Levitt Shaped the Debate : Globalization : HBS Working Knowledge

Historical Perspective: Levitt Shaped the Debate : Globalization : HBS Working Knowledge: "Levitt was dead-on in his view on the malleability of consumer preference, Tedlow said. Before Levitt, traditional marketing wisdom declared it was the role of the marketer, through careful questioning and study, to understand the wants of the customer. Levitt argued that that approach is limiting—you hit home runs by presenting the customer with something he didn’t know he wanted, Tedlow said, such as George Eastman’s Kodak Brownie camera in 1900.

With Levitt’s help, companies today understand that the market is what they make of it, not what they find. "

Tips for Avoiding Misunderstandings When Negotiating Cross-Border Deals : Globalization : HBS Working Knowledge

Tips for Avoiding Misunderstandings When Negotiating Cross-Border Deals : Globalization : HBS Working Knowledge: "Understand expectations
Your negotiating partner’s expectations of the negotiation may well be very different from yours. Like you, he will want to succeed, but success may not mean the same thing to him and his co-nationals as it does to you.
In many cultures, negotiation is ritualized, especially in its early stages.
— Andrew Rosenbaum

Decision-making styles may be different, too. American managers usually make decisions by themselves, while Japanese managers tend to make decisions by consensus, a practice that can add time to the negotiation process. Americans place a high value on flexibility, whereas once a Japanese manager has reached a decision, he believes it is shameful to change it, says Tokyo-based management consultant Mitsugu Iwashita, director of the Intercultural and Business Communication Center. Understanding these underlying attitudes helps you see what your potential partner’s priorities are, and you can then adapt your strategy accordingly.

Establish common ground and choose your style
Find anything that will allow your foreign colleague to share something with you. This can help you get past “people” problems—ego wars, saving face, and so on—which is a good tactic because these problems can crop up where you may"

Friday, December 16

Dating Again After Divorce

Okay, so you're ready to start dating again. But as if that road wasn't already filled with potholes waiting for you to fall into, now you've also got to think about how your children will react.

Some single parents find that their dating seems to disturb their parent-child relationship. Your child may resent your special friend, or at the opposite extreme, treat each date as a potential stepparent. Some single parents resort to dishonesty and sneaking out. Others just do not talk about it and try to minimize the child's awareness that the parent is dating. Still other seek the child's approval before dating. None of these approaches is particularly healthy.

Try explaining to your child that people can be loyal to several relationships at the same time. Children need to become aware of multiple roles. child, sibling, friend, cousin, grandchild, neighbor, teammate, student, etc. Talk about adult roles: parent, friend, adult child, employee, etc. Stress the importance of the relationship that you and your child have, explaining that children and parents should not give up their own relationships with others. Relationships help both children and adults grow and enjoy each other. Here are some specific techniques that help children understand their parent's social life:

1. Be honest. Children usually find out anyway.

2. Choose dates that are right for you, not your child.

3. Minimize opportunities for conflict between your dates and your child. Do not force them to spend lots of time together early in the relationship.

4. Be discrete. Children may have trouble understanding parental dating behavior.

Horse Racing

MSN Encarta - Search View - Horse Racing: "Betting is an important element in the popularity of horse racing. At different times in history four main types of betting have been popular: simple betting between individuals; sweepstakes betting, in which large entry fees, or stakes, are pooled and awarded to the winners; bookmaking, in which speculators offer odds against each horse and accept bets against their predictions; and pari-mutuel betting, which is the most widespread system and that used at the major American tracks. The designation pari-mutuel is a French phrase translated as “betting among ourselves.” Under the pari-mutuel system, which was developed in France during the 1860s, the betting odds on a given horse are derived from a comparison between the total amount wagered on the horse and the total wagered on all the horses in the race. The odds are automatically computed by a device called a totalizator, which posts them on a lighted tote board clearly visible to spectators. Odds are recomputed at approximately one-minute intervals until post time, when all bets must be placed and the pari-mutuel machines are locked. Winning tickets are cashed after the race’s results have been declared official, by which time computers have determined the payoffs. Pari-mutuel bettors can wager that a horse will win (finish first), place (finish first or second), or show (finish first, secon"

Thursday, December 15

Face Research » Psychology experiments about preferences for faces and voices

Face Research » Psychology experiments about preferences for faces and voices: " allows you to participate in short online psychology experiments looking at the traits people find attractive in faces and voices."

Sexual Attraction Among Humans

As unromantic and pragmatic as it may seem, nature's programming of our brains to select out and respond to stimuli as sexually compelling or repelling simply makes good reproductive sense'(1) . Recent studies have indicated that certain physical characteristics stimulate a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which is followed by sensations such as elevated heart rate, perspiration, and a general feeling of sexual arousal. So what visual queues instigate these feelings of sexual arousal in men? How does it differ from what women find attractive? 'A preference for youth, however, is merely the most obviously of men's preferences linked to a woman's reproductive capacity'(2). The younger the female the better the capacity for reproduction, hence attributes that males find attractive and contingent on signs of youthfulness. 'Our ancestors had access to two types of observable evidence of a woman's health and youth: features of physical appearance, such as full lips, clear skin, smooth skin, clear eyes, lustrous hair, and good muscle tone, and features of behavior, such as a bouncy, youthful gait, and animated facial expressions'(2) . Cross-cultural studies have found that men, despite coming from different countries find similar traits attractive in females. Men's preferences are biologically and evolutionarily hardwired to find signs of youth and health attract

Menopause Signs & Symptoms

What are the common menopausal symptoms?

The most common menopausal symptoms are hot flushes, night sweats and vaginal dryness. Other symptoms that can occur include anxiety, poor memory, poor concentration, insomnia, fatigue, palpitations, decreased libido, muscle pains, crawling skin and urinary problems. Mild depression or other mood changes may occur during the time of physical and erratic hormonal changes (ie. in the peri menopause or time before the periods stop) but severe depression is not caused by the menopause nor is more frequent at the menopause. Women who have had a history of depression, either related to the post natal time or not, or who have a history of PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome), may be more sensitive to the changes taking place."

Factors determining sexual attraction to human females

A youthful, or neotenic, appearance is a notable factor governing the degree to which a female individual is regarded as sexually attractive.

In Western societies, various cultural features may reflect the preference for neotenic female partners; many are dated to antiquity. These include depilatory practices (acomoclitism: intentional hair removal for visual and other effects) and a preference for light or blonde hair .

A strong aspect to sexual attraction is proportion. It is typical for a plastic surgeon to correct an error of proportion, such as making a nose that is too big smaller via rhinoplasty, or making breasts larger via breast implants.

One idea of physical beauty regarding the breasts of women is that the best shape approaches the shape of a three dimensional parabola (which is called a Paraboloid of revolution) as opposed to a hyperbola, or a sphere. Conversely, the shape of the buttocks of an attractive person (male or female) tends to resemble the shape of a cardioid, which is the inverse transform of a parabola.

In regard to the female genitalia, the aesthetic concensus stresses the roundness and largeness of the labia majora, and the symmetry of the labia minora. Vulval aesthetics are relatively new in being observed, as previously the female genitalia"


Obviously, to reproduce successfully, a female has to attract a sexual partner, but the consequences of anisogamy--that males are more mobile, have a higher sex drive, and seek multiple partners--means that this is a fairly easy task. This circumstance allows females an element of choosiness when it comes to purely sexual partnering.

In most species, females are only receptive to sexual advances when they are fertile, i.e., during a 'breeding season' or, in the case of non-seasonal breeders, as related to her own biorhythms. To be the target of a sexual advance, then, a female must signal that she is in breeding condition. Examples of physical signals of breeding readiness include the estrous swellings of the genitalia of many primates (e.g. Altmann, Hausfater & Altmann, 1988; Hrdy & Whitten, 1987) and the release of sex pheromones by other mammals, reptiles and insects (e.g. Crews, 1992, Thornhill & Alcock, 1983). In some species of amphibians and fishes, the key physical indicator might be as simple and direct as the bloated outline of the body when it is full of eggs (e.g. Rowland, 1994). These signals of breeding readiness can attract many males simultaneously-- just think of the randy males that arrive on the scene when a neighborhood cat or bitch is “in heat.”

Anatomy of Love, Chapters 1 & 2: Summary

Anatomy of Love, Chapters 1 & 2: Summary: "Beginning with what is referred to as “Body Talk,” Fisher claims that some patterns of female flirting are cross-cultural such as smiling, lifting the eyebrows, wide-eyed gazing, and looking away, (20). Also typical to the female strategy is the use of the head to “signal sexual interest” (20). The female will give her suitor a coy look or toss her hair. Evidence that other female species exhibit similar movements with their heads while attracting mates suggests that such actions may be evolutionary. Males apparently use body language that is similar to the type that is used to indicate dominance, such as arching the back and thrusting the upper body forward. Similarly, males in other species “puff up” in order to intimidate rivals and attract potential mates, (21).

Another component of flirting, “the copulatory gaze,” is apparent mainly “in Western cultures, where eye contact between the sexes is permitted” (22). A clear sign of interest is seen in the dilating of the pupils. Eye contact appears to have an instantaneous effect on the brain. “The gaze triggers a primitive part of the human brain, calling forth one of two basic emotions-- approach or retreat” (22). The fact that certain primates display similar behavior with eye contact suggests that"

sexual attraction:

In species which reproduce sexually, sexual attraction is attraction to other members of the same species for reproduction. This type of attraction is a very important survival factor.

Sexual attraction in animals

Sexual attractiveness in non-human animals depends on a wide variety of factors. Often, there is some element of the animal's body which is adapted to be sexually attractive to the opposite sex: the bright plumage and crests of some species of birds, for example. In many species, there are behaviors which appear to be adapted for sexual display. Some of these attributes seem to be adapted to demonstrate fitness and health, for example by demonstrating the ability to sustain an 'expensive' feature with no other apparent survival function. The adaptation takes place in the displaying gender in parallel to the development of the prefenece in the other gender. It is possible for the adaptation to be so expensive in terms of fitness that it causes major survival problems (see game theory), especially where, as in moose, a direct competitive element is involved.

Frequently (especially in insects) chemical signals are used to generate sexual interest and to locate potential mates. These signals, known as pheromones, can produce a profound effect upon an animal's behaviour even when present in very minute quantities.


Sunday, December 4

Yahoo! 360° - My Blog

Yahoo! 360° - My Blog: "What is very interesting is that this website, the one that I just made here on Yahoo, has a much greater web presence than the website. I've been writing on the Elaine Northstar serises on, and I have to admit that it is much more fun to write novels than I remember it being.

Saturday, December 3

Note to Self - Earth facts

Earth. Pure Facts:

Common Facts
Earth, one of the planets in the solar system, the third in distance from the sun and the fifth largest of the planets in diameter. The mean distance of the earth from the sun is 149,503,000 km (92,897,000 mi). It is the only planet known to support life, although some of the other planets have atmospheres and contain water.
The earth is not a perfect sphere but is slightly oblate, or flattened at the poles. The diameter of the earth measured around the North Pole and the South Pole is about 42 km (26 mi) less than the diameter of the earth measured at the equator.

Earth Motion
In common with the entire solar system, the earth is moving through space at the rate of approximately 20.1 km/sec or 72,360 km/h (approximately 12.5 mi/sec or 45,000 mph) toward the constellation of Hercules. The Milky Way galaxy as a whole, however, is moving toward the constellation Leo at about 600 km/sec (about 375 mi/sec). The earth and its satellite, the moon, also move together in an elliptical orbit about the sun. The eccentricity of the orbit is slight, so that the orbit is virtually a circle. The approximate length of the earth's orbit is 938,900,000 km (583,400,000 mi), and the earth travels along it at a velocity of about 106,000 km/h (about 66,000 mph). The earth rotates on its axis once every"

Friday, December 2

BioWare Announces Writing Contest

Scarred Lands » Blog Archive » BioWare Announces Writing Contest: "BioWare Announces Writing Contest For Industry Jobs. For all of you with some modding experience with the hopes of breaking into the gaming industry, here is your chance. For you less confident modders, there is still hope. From BioWare’s official contest page: ‘When hiring writers, BioWare looks only at your writing; not the areas, not the special scripting, and not the combat. We evaluate only the characters, the dialogue, the plot, the non-linear structure, and the flow and pace of the story."

Scarred Lands » Blog Archive » Frostburn — Book Review

Scarred Lands » Blog Archive » Frostburn — Book Review: "Frostburn deals with a game mechanic they call a “Frostfell” — “Crossing the snowline does not always mean that you’re entering a frostfell. Snow-covered mountain slopes may be quite warm in the summertime. However, sufficient elevation can lead to extremely cold conditions regardless of the season” .. they then go on to give some very good reference calculations on elevation and temperature."

Where did all the black people go?

Negrophile. One who admires and supports Black people and their culture.: "'Argentina was interested in presenting itself as a white country,' said George Reid Andrews, a history professor at the University of Pittsburgh who has specialized in black history in Latin America. 'Its ideologues and writers put a great emphasis on the yellow fever epidemic and the war, and it was feasible to pretend that the black population had simply disappeared as immigration exploded.'"

This is an amazing story... wow

What we really need to focus on. "It is pretty safe to assume that when George W. Bush ran for president four years ago, pledging to be “a uniter, not a divider,” he did not have Democrats in mind. Yet the unified commitment with which the Party faithful have fallen in lockstep behind Massachusetts Senator John Kerry is one of the president’s most unquestionable achievements. Political observers often remark that they have not seen Democrats so united for as long as they can remember."

What we really need in office right now is a group of people who do the best thing, rather than the best thing for their own party. There has never been a "rein" of power for the polictal parties, and there never should be. I would bet money that if we focused on the "best thing" rather than the "best thing for me" the parties would switch back and forth just as they have always done in the past, only our country would be much wholer, without the need to sacrafice our children on the alter of egos.