Showing posts from August, 2009

ARTICLE: Trouble Sleeping? Just Breathe

If your mind is racing and you are having difficulty falling asleep, a few minutes of simple but effective breathing exercises can help calm your nervous system on a chemical level and lead to greater success in hitting the sack. The awareness and control of breath has been a central component of yoga, martial arts and Taoism for thousands of years. There are dozens of different methods and exercises you can explore through a good teacher or book. The practice of breath control in yoga is called pranayama. I'll detail a simple pranayama exercise here that is particularly effective for falling asleep called alternate nostril breathing (that's "nadi shodana" for the Sanskrit posse out there).

Alternate nostril breathing is a great way to clear obstructed nostrils, balance the yin and yang energy of the body and focusing the busy mind on the present for a deliberate and calming exercise. When our nostrils are unobstructed, we involuntarily alternate breathing through one…

I Have to Have This!

It is a grey, rainy, icky, stay-inside-and-read-a-book kind of day. What does one do when down?

I made a quick foray onto e-bay and started with candles. I love candles and of course I'm heartbroken that Illuminations has closed its doors. Not that I have been able to find some of the really old fragrances like Pear and Wasabi but there was a teeny ray of hope that maybe I could when they still were open. I found a couple of candles under Woodwick (new to me) and White Barn Candle Company, but nothing exciting. I skipped around then, looking briefly at office organisers, DVDs, etc. And then I typed in "crystal".
Crystal brought up all sorts of stuff - bowls, jewelry, etc., but I realised that this was too general. So I typed in "flourite", and then got specifically flourite items, but again, most cut into gemstones or jewelry. Ah. So I typed in "flourite balls" and hit gold - or in this case, flourite!
I did do some fast shopping - two beautiful fl…

A.W.A.D. - Pictures Worth a Thousand Words

with Anu Garg

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this week we'd be featuring 5000 words. Each of this week's words is accompanied by a wonderful, whimsical illustration by cartoonist Doug Pike ( Besides the word of the day, each cartoon includes many other unusual words. Doug's cartoons have illustrated many magazines and his new book Gone With The Wine has just been released.

MEANING: noun: Colored glass or enamel used in mosaic

ETYMOLOGY: From Italian smalto (enamel, glaze), related to smelt (to melt)

USAGE: "Using Carrara marble, Venetian gold and glass smalto, Elaine M. Goodwin creates mosaics inspired by the Classical, Byzantine, Victorian and contemporary worlds." Going out; Staying in; The Times (London, UK); Jan 14, 2009.

MEANING: noun: Loss of ability to recognize objects, people, sounds, etc., usually caused by brain injury

ETYMOLOGY: From Greek agnosia (ign…

A.W.A.D. - Finger Exercise Words!

with Anu Garg

A few hundred years ago if you spoke about the importance of exercise, people would laugh at you. They got all the exercise they needed from work, outside or at home. Making a living, raising a family, walking to and from places, gave them enough movement, so they didn't have to worry about exercise.

Today we have fitness centers, gyms, and personal trainers. There are high-tech machines, and even electronic games to help us exercise. Each gadget comes with its own selling points. Some you can strap to your arms and legs and tummy and relax in front of the TV -- they claim its vibrations give you your daily recommended quota of exercise. There are virtual reality exercises, dancercise, elliptical, and who knows what else.

In that spirit, consider this week's words as your complete exercise system for the fingers. This fingercise provides the daily recommended exercise according to federal guidelines. Each of the words featured in this week's A.Word.A.Day, when t…

ARTICLE: Twelve Words You Can Never Say in the Office

If you're old enough to understand the reference in this headline -- George Carlin, anyone? -- then you're old enough to need a refresher course when it comes to talking about technology.

We've put together a list of outdated tech terms, phrases that you shouldn't be using at work anymore because they will make you seem old. This is especially true if you're looking for a new job. For example, on an interview, you should be talking about "cloud computing," not "ASPs" even though they are basically the same thing.

This list is useful for 20-somethings, too. Now when the senior person in the office uses one of these terms, you'll know what he's talking about.

1. Intranet
Popular in the mid-90s, the term "intranet" referred to a private network running the Internet Protocol and other Internet standards such as the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). It was also used to describe an internal Web site that was hosted behind a firewall an…

All About Me - Four Years Later!

It makes sense that while the main "Happy Anniversary" post should mirror the topic of having my blog turn four, the second post to this would be best served in updating my bio - life was very different four years ago.
So here goes:
Yes, this is me.
I've explained the nickname Tr'Aislínge at some point in the last four years, but not in the original post of 21 August 2005. My name is really Aislínge, pronounced ash-lin[g], but years ago when I worked at Miller Harness Company (then located in East Rutherford, New Jersey) as an assistant to the Apparel Purchasing division, three of us went out to lunch, actually had a drink or two and made up nicknames that have stayed since. Melissa Kaplan (now in Texas) became Smells, Rio (originally from England) became B.O., and I'm commonly called Ash, so I became Trash. I put the apostophy in shortly after to make it look more like a nickname, and since I prefer the long version of my name, I have Tr'Aislínge.
I've had m…

Happy Anniversary to Traislínge's Blog!

On a sunny day in 2005, I'd gone to the mailbox as I'd done so many times when I got home from work and retrieved my mail. In there among the cheesy adverts and myriad bills was my guilty pleasure, People Magazine. And inside the magazine was an article on 40-year-old virgins. The movie The 40-Year-Old Virgin with Steve Carrell had just come out and that engendered this article. I was sufficiently motivated by the article that the half-idea of joining a blogging service suddenly became the whole idea.
So on Sunday, 21 August, I sat down in my home office in front of my desktop computer and found Blogger, opened up my account, filled in the information about myself (which does get updated from time to time) and finally, after inputting, designing, mulling, and selecting, I was finally at my first posting ever!
The first post was not "First Topic: 40-Year-Old Virgins". The first post was actually entitled "All About Tr'Aislínge" and went like this:
All About…

Article (with Images!): Symbolim and the [U.S.] Dollar Bill

Crack open your wallet, pull out everyone’s favorite portrait of George Washington, and be prepared to learn about some odd symbolism that probably seemed perfectly normal in the 18th century. Here are the explanations behind some of the more baffling parts of our nation’s smallest bills.

What’s that weird pyramid drawing on the reverse of the bill?
The two circular drawings on the reverse of the bill are actually parts of the two-sided Great Seal of the United States. Although we don’t see the entire seal outside of our wallets too often, the notion of having a great seal is actually as old as the country itself. The Continental Congress passed a resolution on July 4, 1776, to create a committee to design a great seal for the fledgling nation, and heavy hitters John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson got the first crack at creating the seal.

Congress wasn’t so keen on the design these big names brought back, though, and it took nearly six years and several drafts to finally …

ARTICLE: Four Lies that Can Cost You Your Job

It so happens that I disagree with this article. I would never look at someone's hands and feet and assume that he or she'd gone out for mani/pedi... especially since I've no idea if that person had one on Tuesday and it is now Thursday. I don't know too many people who leave early just to cater to his or her looks. Most of us do this in our off time. I wouldn't start eyeballing employees for using a sick day as a mental health day. As long as they aren't exceeding their allotted days and only getting sick in a pattern (Monday/Friday only, or better yet - and I've seen it - Monday/Friday only in the summer absences), when did I become the "are you really sick" police? Most people take a large number of their sick time in one block, if any - one good influenza or streptococculus virus will take you out of the game for over a week. Last year in February, a couple of months after getting my flu shot, I came down with one nasty flu in the "40% of …

I Love "Drop Dead Diva"!

Yes, I know, not my usual flavour of show. But, as with so many shows, this is all Luis' fault!
A few Sundays ago, a new off-season show (guaranteed to keep people as television junkies throughout their days) started called Drop Dead Diva. At first I thought this is some wierd teenage depressing soap opera like The Life of the American Teenager (total garbage) or 90210 but this surprised me. Luis liked the premise and when he told me about it, I could not miss the opportunity.
A young, cute, perfectly figured woman is killed and in a mix up where she thought she'd be going to heaven, she reached forward, hit the enter key on a keyboard and ended up alive again... in the not perfectly figured, young or cute body of another woman. The person she becomes? A successful lawyer who earns big money, has quite the brain, weighs more than I do and is not fast-tracking it to becoming a model.
Here is the fun part: the diva, Deb, cute, sexy, brainless and vacuous, now has Jane's overwei…

HUMOUR: The Over-30 Crowd


If you are 30 or older you will think this is hilarious!!!!

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking Twenty-five miles to school every morning

Uphill... barefoot... BOTH ways

Yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that o n kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!

But now that... I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today.

You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia!

And I hate to say it but you kids today you don't know how good you've got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, We had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalogue!!

There was no em…

A.W.A.D. - Shortest Words

with Anu Garg

The tinier the point of the needle, the more easily it goes through. The thinner the blade of the sword, the more swiftly it cuts through. Often the same goes for words. A short, potent word helps convey an idea in just a few letters. This week we'll feature a few single-syllable words, and in the spirit of the week's theme, we'll keep this paragraph short.
And we begin with a word that's even shorter than short: ort.

MEANING: noun: A scrap of food left after a meal

ETYMOLOGY: Of Germanic origin, ultimately from the Indo-European roots ud- (out) and ed- (to eat)
USAGE: "On the table in front of him was a plate, a few orts of supper nosed round by a pair of cats." Bill Mesce Jr; Officer of the Court; Bantam Books; 2002

MEANING: noun: Stale, humid, and stuffy atmosphere, as in a crowded, poorly ventilated room

ETYMOLOGY: Of uncertain origin, perhaps from fogo (stench).

USAGE: "[The butterfly stroke] m…

A.W.A.D. - Paired Eponyms

with Anu Garg

Love and Marriage go together like a horse and carriage, so the song goes. They do, often, but not always. On the other hand, characters in this week's pairs do go together, at least in language.
This week's eponyms (a word coined after a person) feature two people who work together, well, like a nut and a bolt, or a rack and pinion, or yin and yang, or an axle and a wheel.
Alphonse and Gaston
PRONUNCIATION: (AL-fons uhn GAS-tuhn)
MEANING: noun: Two people who treat each other with excessive deference, often to their detriment
ETYMOLOGY: After the title characters in a cartoon strip by cartoonist Frederick Burr Opper (1857-1937). Alphonse and Gaston are extremely polite to each other, to the extent that their "After you, Alphonse", "You first, my dear Gaston!" routine often gets them into trouble, such as when they can't evade a trolley which mows them down while each insists on letting the other go first.
USAGE: "A weeklong bout of Gove…

ARTICLE: Newfound Planet Orbits Backwards

Planets orbit stars in the same direction that the stars rotate. They all do. Except one. A newfound planet orbits the wrong way, backward compared to the rotation of its host star. Its discoverers think a near-collision may have created the retrograde orbit, as it is called. The star and its planet, WASP-17, are about 1,000 light-years away. The setup was found by the UK's Wide Area Search for Planets (WASP) project in collaboration with Geneva Observatory. The discovery was announced today but has not yet been published in a journal. "I would have to say this is one of the strangest planets we know about," said Sara Seager, an astrophysicist at MIT who was not involved in the discovery.
What's going on
A star forms when a cloud of gas and dust collapses. Whatever movement the cloud had becomes intensified as it condenses, determining the rotational direction of the star. How planets form is less certain. They are, however, known to develop out of the leftover, typical…

ARTICLE: French Pool Bans Muslim Woman for 'Burquini' Suit

I personally was appalled at this. I feel very strongly that she has a case for religious discrimination and I hope she pursues it as far as she can.

"PARIS – A Muslim woman garbed in a head-to-toe swimsuit — dubbed a "burquini" — may have opened a new chapter in France's tussle between religious practices and its stern secular code. Officials insisted Wednesday they banned the woman's use of the Islam-friendly suit at a local pool because of France's pool hygiene standards — not out of hostility to overtly Muslim garb. Under the policy, swimmers are not allowed in pools with baggy clothing, including surfer-style shorts. Only figure-hugging suits are permitted.

Nonetheless the woman, a 35-year-old convert to Islam identified only as Carole, complained of religious discrimination after trying to go swimming in a "burquini," a full-body swimsuit, in the town of Emerainville, southeast of Paris. She was quoted as telling the daily Le Parisien newspaper…

A Great Shower Missed! The Weather is NOT Your Friend...

I know that the Perseids are an annual event and I can live with that. This means that should I live to be 98 and I am hale and hearty most of it, I have 75 shots to see it as an "adult" and several more as a child old enough to recall the magic and wonder of it.
And if you live in the right place, you'll likely see it every year.

Unless you are stymied by, of all things, the weather. This season has been exceptional in its ability to occlude more often than not a perfectly wonderful, clear sky. I've missed more full Moon views than not thanks to this delightfully cool, wet, overcast garbage and that I get 29 different times a year to see this! The crescent Moon has only been visible to me a couple of times since the spring. This month I managed one set of the Full Moon, and the days following - maybe three days - and since then, nothing. The Moon right now is just a blob of white light, not even defined enough to be round, through the thick haze. Once again, crushed b…

Meteor Shower Tonight! ARTICLE, Too

I had totally forgotten about this momentous event until I saw this. I just hope (fruitlessly, of course) that the weather won't completely occlude the shower! Strong Meteor Shower Expected Tonight The annual Perseid meteor shower is expected to put on a good show this week for those willing to get up in the wee hours of the morning and wait patiently for the shooting stars. In North America, the best time to watch will be between midnight to 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 12, but late Tuesday night and also Wednesday night could prove fruitful, weather permitting.
The Perseids are always reliable, and sometimes rather spectacular. The only things that puts a damper on the August show are bad weather or bright moonlight. Unfortunately this week, as the Perseids reach their peak Tuesday and Wednesday nights, the moon will be high in the sky, outshining the fainter meteors.
Still, skywatchers around the globe will have a good chance of spotting the brighter meteors. Some already are enjoying…