Monday, January 31, 2011

The News:
This is exactly how I have always felt about the news. I know people feel the need to know what's going on around the world but I just don't feel the same. I don't need to constantly get bad news, it's so depressing. Read this excerpt from the secret:

"When I discovered The Secret I made a decision that I would not watch the news or read newspapers anymore, because it did not make me feel good. The news services and the newspapers are not in any way to blame for broadcasting bad news. As a global community, we are responsible for it. We buy more newspapers when a huge drama is the headline. The news channels' ratings skyrocket when there is a national or international disaster. So the newspapers and the news services give us more bad news because, as a society, that's what we are saying we want. The media is effect, and we are cause. It is just the law of attraction in action!"

Nicki Minaj On SNL!

Nicki Minaj On SNL!

Did you see Nicki Minaj on SNL??
She was A-MAZING!!
Watch her awesome performances of Right Thru Me and Moment 4 Life.
Then she went on to do a digital short called The Creep with The LonelyIsland (and John Waters!!) and played in a sketch as the Bride of Blackenstein.


((Thanks Perez Hilton for the info))

Friday, January 21, 2011

The World's Happiest Countries

Who wants to move? I'm open to traveling anywhere in the world right now and what a better excuse then if I had a girlfriend move somewhere amazing like one of the "Happiest" Countries. This year I plan to travel to Ireland, Brazil, and Greece. I'm so excited. Who has tips for me about these places? Leave a comment with them if you do.  

By Christopher Helman

Think about it for a minute: What does happiness mean to you?

For most, being happy starts with having enough money to do what you want and buy what you want. A nice home, food, clothes, car, leisure. All within reason.

The Top 5 Happiest countries in the World

But happiness is much more than money. It's being healthy, free from pain, being able to take care of yourself. It's having good times with friends and family.

Furthermore, happiness means being able to speak what's on your mind without fear, to worship the God of your choosing, and to feel safe and secure in your own home.

Happiness means having opportunity--to get an education, to be an entrepreneur. What's more satisfying than having a big idea and turning it into a thriving business, knowing all the way that the harder you work, the more reward you can expect?

With this in mind, five years ago researchers at the Legatum Institute, a London-based nonpartisan think tank, set out to rank the happiest countries in the world. But because "happy" carries too much of a touchy-feely connotation, they call it "prosperity."

Legatum recently completed its 2010 Prosperity Index, which ranks 110 countries, covering 90% of the world's population.

To build its index Legatum gathers upward of a dozen international surveys done by the likes of the Gallup polling group, the Heritage Foundation and the World Economic Forum. Each country is ranked on 89 variables sorted into eight subsections: economy, entrepreneurship, governance, education, health, safety, personal freedom and social capital.

The core conceit: Prosperity is complex; achieving it relies on a confluence of factors that build on each other in a virtuous circle.

Ultimately how happy you are depends on how happy you've been. If you're already rich, like Scandinavia, then more freedom, security and health would add the most to happiness. For the likes of China and India (ranked 88th), it's more a case of "show me the money." What they want most of all? The opportunity to prove to themselves that money doesn't buy happiness.

No. 5: New Zealand

With very high levels of social cohesion and a first-place ranking in education, New Zealanders trust and help each other. The country ranks first in civil liberties. Ninety-four percent found the beauty of their physical environment satisfying (the other 6% must be blind).

No. 4: Australia

Excellent education, strong personal freedoms, a tight-knit society. Australia's economy is strong, led by raw materials exports, but it's also a good place to start a business, with plentiful Internet connectivity and low startup costs. Aussies trust their government.

No. 3: Finland

Excellent education, universal health care, plentiful personal freedoms, trusted government, peaceful. Lots of R&D and low business startup costs give the Finns economic strength. But as is to be expected in a country with the highest redistribution of wealth, only 75% of Finns believe working hard will help them get ahead.

No. 2: Denmark

The world's lowest business startup costs, excellent education, unrestricted civil freedoms. Danes have overwhelming faith in their government and in each other, and report the highest standard of living in the world.

No. 1: Norway

The world's highest per-capita GDP at $53,000 a year. Spending on health care is second-highest after the U.S. An unparalleled 74% of Norwegians say other people can be trusted, 94% are happy with the beauty of their environment, and a very high 93% believe hard work will help them get ahead in life. Having a lot of oil and gas reserves helps.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My 1st Open House

Today, Sunday the 16th, will be my 1st open house. I'm really excited. The house is in a really great location in Lakewood by White Rock Lake. The house is also minutes away from North Park, which in my opinion is the best shopping center in Dallas. Mockingbird station is also just a couple miles away and you can get to downtown Dallas quickly also. 

Come check it out if you have time. 

6943 Coronado Avenue Dallas, TX 
from 1-3pm

Absolutely adorable 2 BR bungalow in the HEART of Lakewood C Streets! This home sports hardwood floors thoughout, large bedrooms, plenty of storage space. Kitchen boasts granite counters and is open to the dining room! Flow out to a fabulous deck and outdoor living space in the serene treed back yard. Perfect for family and entertaining! Porch has been enclosed and used as the nursery! Would make a great office or study! An Urban Oasis!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

North Texans Will Soon Be Skiing…in Grapevine?

I am so excited about this. I will finally be able to actually practice snow boarding now close to home so next time I go to Vail, or Park Cities, or anywhere else in the world that I may decide to board at.... I will have a lot more practice before I go.
man skiing

The World Villages of Grapevine (Texas) will soon begin construction 
on a $70 million indoor ski slope called Texas Alps, between State 
Highways 121 and 2499, adjacent to the Grapevine Mills Mall.

The slope, 175 feet tall, 600 feet long and 328 feet wide, will feature 
extreme skiing, snowboarding, tubing, skiing for beginners and snow 
play. It will also feature a indoor ice wall for climbing, luge track as 
well as two outdoor mountain climbing courses on artificial mountains 
standing as much as 100 feet tall.

Texas Alps is being built by Snow Sport Entertainment which has 
successfully built three indoor courses in the U.K.. Construction on 
the project begins soon, with the target opening slated for July, 2011.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Has Your Horoscope Changed?

By Claudine Zap
Fans of the Zodiac have been bombarded with the unsettling news that their astrological sign may not be what they thought.
The horror of switching from Gemini to Taurus had people rushing to the Web for answers, sending searches for "zodiac signs" into the stratosphere.
So has your sign changed? Probably not. But it all depends on what kind of astrology you follow. Let us explain.
It may come as a surprise that there are different branches of astrology. A main Eastern form, for example, called Sidereal astrology, looks to the background stars, those famous constellations, as its guide.
Western astrology -- which uses the zodiac -- has its signs fixed to the seasons. Most Westerners, and all those horoscope pages we eagerly check, go by the zodiac. These signs follow what early astrologers called star signs, whose reference points are the tropics that form a ring around the earth. The zodiac is based on our relationship to the sun, not the stars.
The back story: About 2,000 years ago, the astrological signs and the astronomical ones were the same. But not anymore. The locations of the signs are based on the sun's location on the first day of spring. That location in the sky has slowly drifted westward because of something called "precession" -- the earth continually wobbles (a scientific term for a slight motion) every 26,000 years. Since the constellations were first identified, they have shifted some 30 degrees. Translation: The signs have slipped about a month westward, relative to the stars.
What this means to you: If you follow astrology that is linked to the constellations, your sign would go from say, a Gemini to a Taurus. You could even have a 13th sign, Ophiuchus, which you may have read about.
"It's a huge point of confusion for the public," says Bing Quock, assistant director of Morrison Planetarium at the California Academy of Sciences. For those who follow  Western astrology, "astrologers are not talking about the constellations at all. When an astrologer says the sun is in a certain sign, they're talking about the sign, the location relative to the equinox. They're not talking about the location of the constellations. "
In short, if you follow the Sidereal astrology, the Eastern branch, your sign may have shifted. (And most likely, no surprise to you at all: This news is hundreds of years old).
But for the rest of us, our horoscope, and our signs, are still the same.

Why did your zodiac sign change?

I am not happy about this. I love being an Aquarius but apparently I now have to change to Capricorn! Guess I better read up.... 

We asked the astronomer who started it all...
The internet is burning up with the news that the zodiac has been rearranged. There's a 13th sign, Ophiuchus, and people who think they're Virgos are actually Leos. What happened here? We talked to the astronomer who caused the fuss.
Today, TimeMSNBC and tons of other online news outlets are buzzing about the "new" horoscope. The articles are full of vague explanations like, "The star doctors say Earth right now is in a totally different spot in relation to the sun and its equatorial alignment than it was 3,000 years ago." Or: "Because of the moon's gravitational pull on Earth, the alignment of the stars was pushed by about a month."
What on Earth is going on? And why does everybody suddenly have to work with a new version of the completely meaningless zodiac?
It seems to have started with this article in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune last weekend, in which one astronomer made some statements about the zodiac. Parke Kunkle is on the board of directors of the Minnesota Planetarium Society and teaches astronomy at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Kunkle told the Star-Tribune the Earth's relation to the sun had changed since the Babylonians first created the zodiac.
We got in touch with Kunkle and asked him what he actually told the Star-Tribune. He said he was asked by the Star-Tribune to give them a few bits of information about astronomy, not realizing the article would become a huge discussion of astrology and the relationship between astronomy and astrology. And the main stuff he talked to the Star-Tribune about has to do with the phenomenon of "precession."
Says Kunkle:
If you take a toy top and spin it, it spins around an axis and that axis tends to point in different directions. It moves around. That's what we call precession. So in Earth's case, right now, Earth's spin axis points towards Polaris, the North Star. But in 3000 BC, the Earth's axis pointed towards a different star, Thuban. And that majestic motion takes about 26,000 years. so if you went from 3,000 B.C. and waited 26,000 years, you'd have the north star Thuban again.
This phenomenon was first noticed around 130 B.C. by a Greek astronomer, Hipparchus of Nicea. And as a result, if you actually look at what stars were positioned behind the sun on a particular date, that would have been very different 5,000 years ago than it would today. "We're in a different constellation now and that is the typical sun sign," based on the sun's position when you were born.
And no, Parke Kunkle didn't tell the Star-Tribune that the zodiac ought to include 13 signs instead of 12 — especially since he doesn't believe in astrology at all. (He highly recommends Phil Plait's page about astrology.) He did mention that astronomers tend to reckon the sun's position with 13 constellations instead of 12, and Ophiuchus is the 13th. But in the current astrology zodiac, there are just 12. "I just mentioned that it's there, and astronomers actually count it... So if you actually watch the stars in the background of the sun, it actually does go through the constellation of Ophiuchus." He adds that the Babylonians probably had totally different constellations anyway.
Somehow, Kunkle's brief comments in the Star-Tribune article got morphed into "astronomer says the zodiac has to be revamped." As various people have pointed out, this means your entire personality is different than what you originally believed it was — you might be flighty instead of hard-working, or fishy instead of scorpionesque. Taylor Swift is an Ophiuchus!
Such is the power that astronomers wield over all our fates.

New zodiac signs 2011: Why astrology is even sillier than we thought

If you look to your horoscope for a preview of your day, look again: You're probably following somebody else's supposed fate.
Skip to next paragrap

Thanks to Earth's wobble, astrological signs are, well, bunk. (Or even more bunk than you might expect.) Astrological signs are determined by the position of the sun relative to certain constellations on a person's day of birth. The problem is, the positions were determined more than 2,000 years ago. Nowadays, the stars have shifted in the night sky so much that horoscope signs are nearly a month off. 
"Astrology tells us that the sun is in one position, whereas astronomy tells us it's in another position," said Joe Rao,'s skywatching columnist and a lecturer at New York's Hayden Planetarium.
IN PICTURES: Little-known astrological signs
The shift is caused by precession, the wobble in the Earth's axis caused by the gravitational attraction of the moon to the Earth's equator. Precession popped into the spotlight this week after Minnesota Planetarium Society board member Parke Kunkle told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune about the gap between the astrological and the astronomical view. The story spread around the Internet quickly, but it's actually old news, Rao said.
Very old news.
"The earliest known astronomer to recognize and assess the movement of precession was Aristarchus of Samos, who lived around 280 B.C.," Rao told LiveScience.
The attention triggered by his interview with the newspaper has been "astounding." Kunkle, who teaches astronomy at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, told Livescience, He gave the interview at the request of the paper to discuss precession, and the science he described is centuries old, he said.
"Bombshell dropped?" Kunkle said. "Well, no, not really."
Here's what astronomers know: The Earth is like a wobbly top. As it rotates, its axis swings in a circle, pointing in different directions. As the Earth's position shifts, so does our perspective of the night sky.
For example, Rao said, we take the North Star, Polaris, for granted. It's the star most closely aligned with Earth's North Pole. But back when the pyramids were constructed, the star that aligned with the North Pole wasn't Polaris at all: It was a star in the constellation Draco called Thuban. In 12,000 years, Earth's North Star will be Vega, the brightest star in the constellation Lyra.
The complete rotation takes 26,000 years, Rao said.
"Everything in the sky is in flux," he said.
Even if the astrological signs were stable, there's no evidence the stars have anything to do with people's day-to-day existence. One 2006 study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences used data from more than 15,000 people and found no relationship between date of birth and personality.
Despite the complete lack of scientific and observational evidence for astrology, 25 percent of Americans still believe in it, a recent Pew survey found. So here are the "real" dates of astrological signs, according to astronomers:
Capricorn: Jan. 20-Feb. 16.
Aquarius: Feb. 16-March 11.
Pisces: March 11-April 18.
Aries: April 18-May 13.
Taurus: May 13-June 21.
Gemini: June 21-July 20.
Cancer: July 20-Aug. 10.
Leo: Aug. 10-Sept. 16.
Virgo: Sept. 16-Oct. 30.
Libra: Oct. 30-Nov. 23.
Scorpio: Nov. 23-29.
Ophiuchus: Nov. 29-Dec. 17.
Sagittarius: Dec. 17-Jan. 20.
The list includes Ophiuchus, a formation the ancient Babylonians discarded because they wanted 12 star signs, not 13. That's yet another example of how astrologers cherry-pick and ignore astronomical observations, Rao said.
"It's crazy," Rao said. "Really, they have their own set of rules."
Nevertheless, maybe some good will come of the astrology-astronomy media blitz, Kunkle said.
"At the very least, I hope it makes people go out and actually look at the sky," Kunkle said. "That's the fun part."
By Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer / January 13, 2011

The New Zodiac Signs: Three stars who should welcome a realignment

The New Zodiac Signs: Three stars who should welcome a realignment

By Liz Kelly

Mel Gibson: Does a new sign = a new man?

What's the deal with the new zodiac signs? Should you change your sign or not? It's all so dang confusing. But, since the matter is up for debate, we picked three celebs -- completely at random, of course -- for astrological makeovers. Since their current signs aren't working out so well, we argue, why not take advantage of this chance to adopt a new horoscope and the attendant qualities?
Lindsay Lohan
Born July 2, 1986, Lindsay has spent the past 24 years living her life as if there were no tomorrow. And that's not surprising considering she thought she was a cancer -- a mutable sign, cancers tend to be "unsophisticated" and "prone to move around in search of the right opportunity."
Based on the new zodiac Lohan is actually a Gemini and Geminis are blessed with the abiliity to "communicate effectively and think clearly." Just what one needs after spending the holidays in rehab. And, her new Gemini-ness will also be a boon to Lilo's business ventures since she now is "quite astute and opportunistic and [doesn't] miss a chance to make fast money."

Taylor Swift
You and Jake Gyllenhaal made so much sense back when you were a Sagittarius (she was born on Dec. 13, 1989). But now that you could potentially be a Scorpio or Ophiuchus (depending on who you ask), you can break free from the cycle of failed relationships and the compulsion to write about them. Or maybe not, since as a Scorpio you are apparently "quite shrewd and astute and even intensely revengeful in cases." Alternatively, you may want to opt for Ophiuchus which will set you up as "an interpreter of dreams, who attracts good luck and fruitful blessing" and "can rise to fame -- either grand, or completely misunderstood."

Mel Gibson
Born Jan. 3, 1956 one could almost say Gibson was born under a bad sign (sorry Capricorns) based on the run of bad luck he's had over the past few years -- what with his DUI arrest, public outing as a racist and anti-Semite and, in late 2010, as a guy who holds nothing back when it comes to threatening and berating his baby-mama on the phone. But imagine a new start for Mel as a Sagittarius. He could use his new-found "wide-open and curious" nature to examine himself. Though he will have to be careful of the Sagittarian's "uncivilized" personality which can lead to "fights and arguments." Actually, on second thought, maybe Mel should stick with Capricorn.

Things I Love on Fashiolista!!!

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