My Cute Courageous Dream

In my dream that I had recently,  I portrayed an act of inner courage. I knew that the situation was risky and possibly dangerous, but I enacted it because of good morals and kindness.

It took place in a cute country field, during the night, with a full abnormally large white moon. There were stars shining bright in the sky, but you could not see beyond the campfire light. There was a distinct warmth of light that provided a large circle around us from the fire. There were trucks and camp fire chairs that huddled within the circle and provided a safeness. A strong scent of s’mores and campfire smoke was intertwined with the cool night air. There was music, it was country, but I can not remember what song or beat it was. Somebody was playing it out of their old rusty blue Dodge pick up truck. There must have been forty people at this bon fire party, with everybody laughing and chatting in their own little groups. (In this dream I was in first person view) Unlike the others, I was by myself just bouncing from one group to another. I was happy and carefree and actually enjoyed every person there. I didn’t recognize any of their faces, but they seemed to be welcoming and happy to see me there. I was becoming thirsty and grabbed a lemonade glass bottle from a red cooler that appeared next to a truck and walked over to the bon fire to admire the warmth. When I was sitting in a comfy chair roasting my front side, I looked beyond the flames and saw this adorable Tall guy. It was weird because I never saw him in my life, but I remember the one glance I looked at him He looked back. The quick connection between the stare was a lifelong conversation it felt like. I saw his life and felt sorry for him, he was genuine person and he was never given the chance to prove it. After the quick glance, I looked back at the fire and it was roaring hot and I got up and moved away. I looked up at the sky and saw a beautiful show of shooting stars and said “Look!”, and pointed upwards with the glass bottle in my hand. Everybody clapped and cheered and I glanced around to see everybody’s amazement, but I noticed the Tall Guy from before wasn’t happy. He was being surrounded by this obnoxious preppy girl, and he was trying to get away from her but she kept annoying him. He would lean away and push her off of him, but she would try again. More and more girls flocked to him while the other guys just watched the stars. He was getting so fed up with the girls he left the circle and walked into the tall grass beyond. The girls were dumbfounded and just walked away with failure on their faces. I placed my bottle on a truck bed and walked to where Tall guy trudged away. The pushed down grass was cold and dark, but I felt so bad for him I wanted to make sure he was ok. So I followed his long strides into the dark field and my vision adapted to the new scenery. It was a little hill with a grand lively tree on the top of it, the huge moon shining behind it. The wind rustled the leaves and a cool wind kissed my face, the smell of clean fresh air. Fireflies danced around my body and the infinite field. The warmth was completely gone and the bon fire was no where in sight. I was getting scared, but then I saw Him leaning on the tree looking away at the moon. His dark silhouette against the white moon made him seem monstrous, but I walked towards Him still.  The closer I got, the more I noticed that his shoulders were shaking. I placed my hand on his shoulder when I got close enough and saw that he was silently crying. I felt so heart wrenchingly bad that without a word I just hugged him. He hugged me back tightly and just silently stopped crying. One of those hugs that you truly can feel with deep meaning. When I woke up I felt happiness and  affectionate, like I just gave a hug to somebody. From my dream I helped Tall Guy, I made him feel better and gave him a chance to be who he really was. When I awoken, I smiled from the dream.

My interpretation of my dream has to be broken down. I believe the fire/warmth was my boundary line of safety. Have you ever heard of “Sometimes you have to move out of your safety zone to accomplish amazing things.”? This is a good example of it, because I wandered out of the protective warmth into the cold field. I was not in  a safe zone while in the infinite cold field trying to help Tall Guy. It was dark, cold and intimidating but my morals brought forth an inner courage rush. I wanted to help him more than the safety of my own being. I stood up against the unknown to try and do a good deed. Courage is “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear”(dictionary), and within my dream I was not really affected by the dangers or pain. My motives were to help a person in need. Another symbolism for the fire was home. It protected me from the dangers lurking beyond the light and provided me happiness and delight. The overall bon fire is a deep desire that I always wanted/want to do in life. It set the scene perfectly like one of those in a Hollywood movie. I never wanted it to end!

Courage is within us all. It might be used or portrayed in different ways, but deep down we all can stand up to fear. In my dream, I faced a ‘cold reality’ to help someone that was sad and hurt. There is different levels of courage, but in my opinion, any courage is still courage.

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Knowledge Retention

When you’re thinking about surviving in the current economy, you are probably not thinking about retaining the knowledge of key workers, but the two go hand-in-hand. No two people possess the exact same knowledge. If you have two VPs of Sales and you have to let one of them go, how do you capture the knowledge held by that person? If you have to halve your IT department, you don’t want to also halve the knowledge held by that department. How will you capture the knowledge of the departing employees?

Lost knowledge can be expensive to recapture, and it can take years. Tacit knowledge in particular may never be retrieved once it is gone. A VP of sales may know the quirks or specific needs of certain clients; a chemist may know to expect a certain color or viscosity of a compound before it is at the peak of its effectiveness; an engineer just “feels” when a mechanism is assembled properly.

The Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) found in a 2008 survey that while most companies believe knowledge retention is important, only a small percentage of companies have a strategy in place.

Companies use various strategies to help them retain knowledge when employees retire, separate, or are lost due to layoffs or downsizing. Strategies will differ depending on industry, size of organization and a number of other factors. Here are some strategies that have proven effective for various companies:

  1. Social networking tools can cut through the chaos of information on the      internet and improve the way workers share knowledge. One 2008 survey      found that 40% of large companies (those with 10,000 or more employees)      used social networking to tap the knowledge of their workers. Smaller      companies may be slower to adopt this practice. Social networking can      reach people beyond the score of a company newsletter or a mass email and      it allows workers to share information in real time. And its scope reaches      beyond the company, so workers can network with peers anywhere in the      world.
  2. Intranet. An intranet, such as a wiki or blogs, is used by      workers within a company to share knowledge and information. This is      especially effective in companies with facilities in diverse locations.      Workers performing the same function thousands of miles apart are given      the capacity to share valuable information and best practices.
  3. Phased retirement strategies are becoming more prevalent as companies      attempt to capture the talent of workers before they retire. There are      many ways to structure a phased retirement program to meet the needs of      the individual company and its employees. The employee may work part time,      on a seasonal basis or on special projects that arise. The retiree may be      called upon to train new hires or to be available to mentor younger      workers. Some companies are even looking at ways to rehire their retired      employees. Phased retirement is beneficial to the employer, who is able to      retain critical talent, and at the same time help employees meet their      retirement expenses, while perhaps easing the worker into a new phase of      life. In the first quarter of 2008, American Express launched a pilot      phased retirement program. Participants gradually give up their day-to-day      responsibilities while they spend their time mentoring and teaching master      classes to their successors, while receiving a reduced salary and full      benefits. This program is being tested in the company’s technology and      finance units.
  4. Learning communities can be virtual or face-to-face, and they allow workers      who perform the same tasks to “meet” and share experiences and      best practices, or questions about processes and procedures. This is also      called a community of practice. Communities may      “meet” on a regular basis, or they may get together      spontaneously as the need arises. The group should have as leader or      facilitator a more experienced employee. These communities are      particularly useful when similar tasks are performed at diverse locations.     
  5. Develop an online data base. Employees will be able to      access it to use for reference. They can add to the data base as an active      participant in the company’s knowledge retention efforts and interact with      peers.
  6. Knowledge maps consist of business process diagrams in which each      step of a process is linked to specific knowledge and training. This      strategy is being used by a municipal power company in California, as its      workforce ages and there is great need to capture and share knowledge.      This strategy captures role names, technologies, and learning reference      materials.
  7. Coaching and mentoring is now widely accepted by      organizations worldwide. Coaching and mentoring are no longer seen as      beneficial only for high performing future leaders, but as baby boomers      inch toward retirement, they have been working one-on-one with younger      workers to impart tacit knowledge. And 77% of respondents to a 2008 DBM      study indicated a high return on investment as a result of coaching and      mentoring, making this strategy even more attractive.

After researching the topic of knowledge retention I have learned several useful tips for knowledge retention. The tips listed above were used by companies to improve knowledge retention in their businesses. But if these tips worked for them, couldn’t they work for school systems?  I believe that you could apply each of these tips to school systems. High school students tend to excessively use social networks, so school systems could take advantage of that to utilize the growth of knowledge. Many other tips on this list have already been implemented in some minor way, like coaching and mentoring as tutoring by other students.  Also teachers have begun to utilize blogs and wikis to optimize learning efficiency.  

http://www.i4cp.com/productivity-blog/2009/01/08/7-tips-to-improve-knowledge-retention

December 1, 1969

On December 1, 1969, the Selective Service National Headquarters at Washington, D.C held a lottery drawing. However, these winners didn’t receive millions of dollars in prizes. Instead, the lucky numbers selected were recruited to serve over in Vietnam. The inductees fell into the span of time between January 1,1944 and December 31, 1950. 366 blue pill capsules containing birth dates were placed in a large container and were drawn by hand. There was film, radio and TV coverage reporting the drawings live. You could imagine the anxiety these men were feeling. Unfortunately for them, there was two options; college or the military. Those selected while in college had to put their academic future on hold to serve. Even if you had no intentions on joining the army, you were still included in the “Vietnam Raffle.” Boys had little protection against the draft and showed this through protests. Not only was the anxiety raised for those inducted into the draft, but the family impact must have been detrimental. Mothers now had to deal with the fear of losing their son or son’s in combat.1969_draft_lottery_photo

http://www.sss.gov/lotter1.htm

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/25/1969_draft_lottery

Garry’s Hero

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2091084/Father-sacrifices-life-leaping-road-save-disabled-son-run-down.html

 

In June of 2012, a father named George saved his disabled son’s life by pushing him out of the way of an oncoming car, taking the blow himself. He was killed instantly, but his son lived to tell the tale.

This article really moved me. It’s so easy to say that you’d “die for someone”, or “take a bullet for someone” but I don’t think anyone could possibly be prepared if that situation ever came about. I could never imagine what it must be like to be in that moment, deciding to give the person next to you a chance to survive knowing that in the end, you wouldn’t. In this man’s case, I don’t think he even had time to think twice. Although George unfortunately did not make it, he saved his sons life, and judging from the article, he would not have had it any other way. Situations like these should raise awareness about things such as reckless and drunk driving.  George saved the life of his son, however it was not his time to die. He was only 62 years old and still had a lot of life to live. His killer was a 17 year old kid who was driving, obviously, very dangerously and his stupidity cut a man’s life much too short. One would think that after hearing stories like these, people would try to make better life choices but nobody seems to learn. Its so easy to be careless when you think that tragedy can’t happen to you or to your family. But someday it might be somebody else’s bad decision and it could be the life of somebody you love on the other end. Some sacrifices are important to make in life. But some of them, like the one George made for his son, are preventable.

Stupidity Among the Gods

Everyone makes mistakes.  If you were to ask the ancient Greekscronus, they would say this statement even applies to the gods.  While many gods made mistakes, none were as downright stupid as Cronos.

Mistake #1: Eating your children. This is crazy to begin with.  Why would someone eat their own children?  I suppose when you’re a god, or even a king for that matter, this would stop them from trying to claim your power.  However, this is a fantastic way to make enemies in people such as, I don’t know, your wife, the mother of those children you’ve been making meals out of. (Note: This was actually a precaution, Cronus was aware that one of his sons would “kill” him.  Nevertheless, he should have know that there’s no getting around the Fates.)

Mistake #2: Underestimating your wife.  Rhea, the wife of Cronus, was another Titan.  I don’t think it matters if you are a god, you do not want the wrath of a divine woman on you!

RockMistake #3: Believing a rock is your son. Rhea hid her and Cronus’s son, Zeus, and fed Cronus a rock instead.  How do you mistake a rock for your son?!  You should be able to tell the difference with all five of your senses! A rock is much harder than a baby.  A rock does not smell like a baby.  A rock does not look like baby.  A rock does not cry like a baby.  And, while I cannot honestly say that I have tried either, I can’t imagine that a rock tastes like a baby!

Mistake #4: Not digesting those kids. Well, I guess you can’t really blame ole Cronus for this one.  The gods are immortal, after all.  Apparently they can’t die even if they are eaten and sitting in the belly of a Titan for years.  This just serves as a reason why Cronus should have disposed of the future Olympians in another, more effective, manner.

After this series of mistakes, Zeus returned and cut his father open, allowing his five siblings, Demeter, Hades, Poseidon, Hera, and Hestia, to escape.  Zeus proceeded to banish Cronus and usurp his throne.

If Cronus had not decided to eat his children, and instead chose to nurture them and keep good relations with them, his reign would likely have lasted much longer, probably forever, seeing that he was immortal.

Keep Your Fingers Crossed Part 2 Blog #9 (Success-in this part)

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What I did with my money should have been my problem, but outside influences always seemed to bombard in. Independency was key. Whatever trouble I should have to face, should be on my own. It was a skill set that extended far above education level, and class line. This was one of the many reasons why I was so mad when I entered the store for the third time. “He” was taking something that was rightfully mine, and could have the potential of a lifetimes work. I peered in before grabbing the metal handle. The darkness outside made it much easier for me to see in…and a lot harder for him to see out. He was reading the numbers in his head. He knew they were the winners of the night. With full force I drove my hand into the door.  I could see he already had started cashing out for the night. 

“Your back,” he exclaimed. 

“My business isn’t done here.” 

He could see the evil look in my eyes. I was waiting for his first move. He had the key to open the door to success. The numbers were indisputable. There was no such thing as cheating in the lottery. Once the numbers were scanned, the statistics were final. His muscles tensed. His jaw was locked. I would make the first move. 

“This can go a lot easier if you just want to turn the Disney Channel machine back on for me.” 

“Like I said sir, we’re getting ready to close for the night.”

“We are getting ready to close for the night? It sure looks like your the only man here if you ask me.”

I made sure to accentuate my words. The realization dawned over the clerk. He knew what he really wanted to do. My back was turned to the man, but I knew he saw my jaw muscles flex into the expression of a slight grin. He started to make his way over in my direction, at least to where I believed I was positioned. For a slight second I directed my eyes to the video camera. The light in the store provided a perfect image back to me on his location. He was as still as the racks holding all the goods in the store. If I did not know any better I might actually have mistook him for one. But I had the upper hand, and he knew he was in the wrong. I kept my cool. The clerk grabbed hold of one of the racks and furiously penetrated it into the tile floor. I stood just as still as he quickly grabbed his things and ran to the back room. I was in here every week, I knew the store just as well as him. I turned in a calmly manner and shouted for him. There was no way out of that back room. He may have believed it was a scapegoat, and a way for me to run out along the backside where he was, just to find it was not an exit. But I knew better now, I knew to stand my grounds. All that could be done was to wait it out. The more time he took…only the more he suffered. I would be successful in getting my ticket because this was the moment of a lifetime I had been waiting for.

I could hear his cries of weakness through the locked door. Empty boxes could also be heard vibrating against one another-this is where he must have been hiding.  He was like one of those cardboard boxes… Full of nothing. He was the color scheme of plain brown, he was going no where. Even though it was a lousy ticket I was trying to get to, I realized it had more significance that I thought did. It was paving the way to the success I would soon encounter. My mind had become fogged, but now was gradually clearing. Keeping my fingers crossed may now have had more importance than ever to what I wanted to do. This ticket would now be giving me a second chance, a way to start over, and giving me even more of a drive to move forward. 

I shook my head, enough of this emotional business for today. I fixed my attention again towards the door.

One last noise… I could hear the cracks as he too began to cross his fingers. 

 

Songs about Beauty

If you say that you don’t jam out to your favorite song than you are lying. Everybody has their moments when they just sing at the top of their lungs and jam out to their favorite song or artist. Artists and song writers try to make songs that will make you feel good about yourself. Most people love to hear songs that will boost their self esteem. Many popular songs were created to single-handedly make people feel good. Some songs such as “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction, “Beautiful Soul” by Jesse McCartney, “Who Says”  by Selena Gomez, and “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars, are all examples of feel good songs.

My personal feel good song is “You Belong With Me” by Taylor Swift. Whenever I listen to this song I just jam out and forget everything. Such songs have created such impact on all people. Music effects everybody’s mood in positive or negative ways. If the song is a sad song than the person will start to feel sad too.  A good artist can make their listeners feel the same way they are feeling.

 

God Hates Figs

no i dont

The picture above is of several people protesting against the protests of the Westboro Baptist Church. As everyone knows the Westboro Baptist Church has openly protested against gay individuals with increasing severity in recent years. They have become the face of ignorance in the country and been renounced by every religion imaginable. The title of this blog is a parody of their classic slogan, which I’m guessing you can figure out. (I’ll give you a hint; switch the “i” out with another vowel to make a really offensive word!) This church has gone so far as to name their website with this phrase.

military protest

 

I went to their website to see what it was like and I can honestly say that I have never seen a website that was more offensive. They 
have a list of all their posts on the front page and the first two were them thanking god for the deaths of US soldiers. That is even more sickening than the anti-homosexual protests they have. Both of my grandfathers were veterans, one in WWII and one in Vietnam, and I can tell you that if they were still alive and they saw that, they would would go find Fred Phelps and hit him over the head with their oxygen tanks.

This church is full of hate and has drawn wide criticism from the general public, the press, senators and even the president. Their protests have sparked a lot of resistance. This may appear in the form of counter-protestors who parody their slogan. Gay students have kissed each other in front of groups of protestors, much to the horror of the churchgoers. Slogans such as  “God hates figs”, “God hates flags”, and “God hates Phelps” have appeared to mock the church. I personally find their hate to be disgusting and wrong.

In 1995 the church was bombed. The website states that the church was bombed by America because America is cow  space shuttleardly and was trying to put a stop to their protesting. I personally think it was done by a fairly brave guy who was just giving the church what it had coming to it. The church also states that because of this bombing, God has  decided to unleash his wrath upon our country by killing our soldiers with bombs, and then they thank him for the deaths of soldiers.

The Westboro Baptist Church is the most hateful organisation in America, and is in fact the most hated.

I personally hate the church after writing this blog and think that the people in it should be deported.antichrist

Adventure in Extortion/Espionage

ENTER: Me bound to a cheap wooden chair in a seaport warehouse beside a jetty in the south of France..

tied up

The last thing I remember is quietly following an elite group of Russian Anarchists called ‘The Resistance,’ commonly known as Сопротивление. My eyes slowly open – everything is blurry and heart is pounding through my chest. It is clear that I’ve been drugged. I’m sweating and nauseated and dizzy, and it takes me a while to make out my surroundings and the figures in front of me…

As my eyes focus, i make out 3 rugged gentlemen in seemingly expensive suits with muzzle-cut colt S&W pistols spray-painted black. The heavy-set man on the right pulls out some object and pushes a button – a television screen recedes from the ceiling. It is a video monitoring a woman in a similar situation to mine, except a gun is pressed violently against her head. I realized immediately that this is my wife. Now obviously I do not have a wife in reality – yet, in my dream, I recognize this woman to be my wife. They tell me that I have 96 hours to complete a specific set of tasks if I want my wife to live…

Same day: 1 hour later: center of town

I must have been knocked out because I found myself in the back room of a bodega somewhere in the city. I find a watch on my hand with a timer with around 95 hours remaining, a cell phone, car keys, and a folded-up piece of paper in my pocket with a set of instructions. The first instructions led me a few blocks down the road to where a Range Rover was waiting. The instructions then led me to an abandoned mall outside of town to meet up with a ‘The Dealer’ and collect some ‘equipment’…

mumbai

This was no ordinary equipment! Various other-worldly guns and gadgets, including things like electro-magnetic pulse gloves that allowed me to scale any surface, a few other nifty things. The man explained to me what everything was and how it worked and what my next task was…

gunss

I headed back into the center of town to the tallest building – 137 floors. The building was shut down for some important meeting so I was forced to scale this behemoth of a structure…

building

One thing I forgot to mention – I needed to get to the 78th floor…

I begin my ascent. Within minutes, I am hundreds and hundreds of feet above the ground. The wind is blowing hard and one of my gloves loses its grip. I swing with my remaining hand uncontrollably and smack into the side of the building. I soon recover my grip…

After many minutes of climbing, I see a glimpse of an elevator door on one of the floors, and see the numbers ‘62.’ I had only 16 floors left. By now the battery on the gloves is beginning to quickly disappear. By the time I hit the seventieth floor, the battery shows only 6 percent. At floor 73, one percent remained. There was approximately 60 feet to go, and no more than 10 seconds of battery life. I made a snap decision and burst through the window of the 73rd floor. Alarms sounded violently, and within moments, I heard the loud footsteps of security. I had to think fast. I observed my environment only to realize their weren’t many resources currently available. I was trapped. Unless…

 

I ripped off my dogtags, threw them in the microwave in the lounge area of the room, and kicked the gas pipe in. I proceed to take off my belt and hang from the metal beam which once supported the glass pane which I had kicked in. At that moment, I was hanging out of a building 73 floors high – supported by a cheap leather belt. Within mere moments, I heard the guards enter the room, and seconds later, a large explosion. I lifted my head up slowly to see if the coast was clear. Yes. I was safe – for now…

explosion

I quickly made my way up to the 77th floor. My next instructions were to place a recording device inconspicuously into the room of the conference of what I later realized to be a meeting of the most powerful men and women in the United Nations. There was no way for me to just walk in and place it in there. I carefully crawled through the air vents, slowly making my way towards the 78th floor. Finally…

air duct

I placed the device in the end of the vent nearest the conference and headed back down – my work was done…

 

Upon getting out of the building, I call the men who had forced me into this and tell them that the job is done. Within moments I receive a video message of my wife getting released. I had done it. Thank god…

 

Keep Your Fingers Crossed Part 1 Blog #8 (Success-look for second part)

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“Keep your fingers crossed,” were the words I lived by every time I went to the local mini-mart. It was a very easy and simple process really, and also a very simple and easy way to lose money. But it was the way I chose to spend my money. You can either spend your money, save your money, invest it, or give it away. I was the best at number one. I pulled up to the mart as usual one friday afternoon right after what I considered to be “payday.” My manager handed me my paycheck, and as usual I asked for it in cash. The clerk handed me my pay in an envelope, I thanked him, and veered off out of the store. The envelope also knew exactly where it would be headed. I promptly headed to my car, and unlocked it midway, in such a manner that I could be in right as I reached it, I had no time to spare. I inserted my key, and with a quick flick of the wrist my car started without delay. I pulled off, happy as a dog, waiting to see if my paycheck would for once not go to waste. I had to limit myself, but today was extra special because it was the last day for drawings of the mega millions. Two minutes was all the time needed to reach this special mini-mart, and it had many more winners than any other gas station around. Pickings were slim I presumed, so I instead went to this filling station.

“Your back,” the clerk exclaimed.

“Not a surprise to you sir…”

“Oh most definitely not. You got here just in time, we’re closing soon. I assume you know the drawings are tonight for-”

“The mega millions,” I shouted. “I know…two for ten please.”

He began to ring up the tickets. I had hoped he would reach for them first, but this action didn’t seem to be in the cards for me tonight. I hoped the odds of winning on the other hand, would be in my favor. I waited impatiently as his ass slowly stepped up to the locked drawer. He soon spun around and handed me what he called, “the winners of the night.”

“I would hope,” I mumbled, while looking down at the cards. I flipped the two babies around, and took them to the scanner just a few steps behind me. With my back turned I scanned the first card and waited for it to calculate the results. Cartoon-looking characters arose onto the screen speaking, “sorry, play again with us next time!” Play again with us next time… The next time I play I will spend 10 more dollars and therefore not be playing anything, but instead still spending all my money. This was not a game to me, as many seemed to make it out to be. This was a trip back and forth, almost the distance from home to work, to get something processed in a machine, I physically could not do myself. It was very irritating to know not a single thing could be done. I decided it was time to move on to card number two. This would be the one. I fully exerted my arm into the machine and waited for it to scan the ticket. I glanced down, but the red lasers were not beaming. I tilted my head up, and in doing so I was greeted with a nice text box reading, “That’s all for tonight folks.” I don’t know what it was about those cartoon characters, but they were playing this stupid game when I was in an emotional state of utter seriousness. I let the card fall and ran out of the store. Another day had been wasted, another paycheck-wasted. I didn’t even know if it was worth it to show my face back in the mart tonight. I struggled to get out of my car for a second time, and slowly protruded back in. The bell rang, and I peered in. The clerk looked up from what seemed to be a drawing, and was surprised to say for a third time, “you’re back.”

Mercy gone wrong? Or maybe right? Possibly left?

The 5 Most Mind-Blowing Acts of Battlefield Mercy in History

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Mercy isn’t a part of any army’s strategy. Combat training is about eliminating any doubts or sympathy that might make a recruit hesitate at the wrong second. When his own life — and the life of everyone in the unit — is at stake, there’s no time to stop and ask, “But won’t this Nazi’s wife miss him?” That kind of thing gets you killed.

And yet, inspiring stories of mercy on the battlefield do turn up all through history. In the most inhumane settings, sometimes a little humanity shines through.

#5. A British Sniper Spares George Washington

British soldier Patrick Ferguson was an expert marksman who invented his own rifle and created his own sniping unit. This becomes much more impressive when you consider that this was the 1700s, when guns were so primitive that you had a better chance of hitting the enemy if you just threw it at them. Then it becomes more impressive still when you realized he almost took out George Washington with one.

Ferguson was reckoned to be the best shot in all of the British forces during the Revolutionary War. He also abided by several rules, the first of which was to never shoot a soldier who was unaware of his presence. So, yeah, sniping has changed a bit since then.

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“Boo! Haha, but really, sorry.”

In September 1777, Ferguson was involved in the Battle of Brandywine. He was busy, you know, killing people, when he saw two officers ride up a path on horses. Not being one to potentially let this opportunity pass him by, Ferguson quickly ordered his men to crawl up and ambush them.

“But wait!” you say, “What about his first and most important rule?” Well, Ferguson remembered that and changed his mind, thinking that shooting the officers in an ambush would be “disgusting.” So instead, Ferguson did the only sensible thing a sniper would ever do: He stood up and made his position known to them.

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“OK, now I just feel like a jerk.”

Noticing him, one of the officers quickly galloped off, giving Ferguson the clearest shot yet. To quote Ferguson, “I could have lodged half a dozen balls in or about him, before he was out of my reach.” But his own aversion to shooting a man in the back prevented him.

Later in the same battle, Ferguson was in the field hospital for an injured elbow when he learned that the officer he could have shot was General George Washington. Yeah, so if you really want the guy who saved the Revolution, look no further than the British sharpshooter whose conscience wouldn’t let him take out the father of America.


But he was only known as “That what’s-his-name who invented the Ferguson rifle.”

#4. The Germans Respected the Defeated Brits Too Much to Kill Them

It was 1940, and British and German ships were engaged in their favorite pastime of sinking each other. Considering how the odds were stacked against it in this particular battle, you already have to feel sorry for the small British warship the HMS Glowworm. You just wouldn’t expect the Nazis to agree.


“They are too adorable to kill.”

It started when Lt. Commander Gerard Roope and the crew of the Glowworm were surprised to find themselves toe to toe with the Nazi heavy cruiser the Admiral Hipper. Despite the fact that the Hipper was approximately three times larger than the Glowworm and far more heavily armed, Roope decided that the Hipper would look pretty good over his mantle, and engaged it.

Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-757-0038N-11A / Lange, Eitel / CC-BY-SA
“Don’t worry, lads! The worst they can do is kill us all easily.”

He fired all his torpedoes, which had precisely no effect on the massive ship in front of him (mostly because they missed). Taking on heavy fire, Roope would be damned if he’d go down without a fight, and said, “Prepare to ram!” Around that time, a sailor aboard the Hipper took this photo:

Maritime Quest
Presumably while shouting, “Holy shit, no way!”

That’s the Glowworm, on fire, trailing a pillar of smoke, coming around to try to head butt the German ship to death. Oh, and the Glowworm’s action stations siren was stuck in the “on” position the whole time, so it was whooping like a wounded animal as it made a sharp right turn straight into the Hipper’s side. The crash seriously damaged the Hipper’s hull, but sank the Glowworm, killing Roope and all but 31 crewmen in the ensuing chaos.

This left floating survivors at the mercy of three Nazi ships — vessels they’d just been shooting and/or ramming. So you’d think the heartless bastards probably machine-gunned them or something, right? Wrong.


They were afraid to anger Roope’s ghost.

The Hipper stuck around to rescue survivors, and if this sounds like common courtesy, keep in mind the Nazis were risking their own lives to do it. As far as anyone knew, the Glowworm had transmitted their position before going down and reinforcements might show up any second. In fact, that’s exactly what she had done, and the battleship Renown was on the way.

The rescued survivors were greatly surprised by the treatment they received on board, which was the same as wounded Germans were getting. Even more shocking, the Hipper’s captain came to see them and offered his compliments, telling them that he and his fellow officers couldn’t believe the fight they’d just had. To him, the Glowworm’s captain had balls that were hard as Krupp steel.


“Of every British man I’ve heard of, he was the least girlish.”

Afterward, the German captain wrote a letter to the Royal Navy in which he retold the story of what happened, again complimented Roope’s cojones, and recommended that Roope be awarded the Victoria Cross, which is more or less the equivalent of our Congressional Medal of Honor. In an odd twist of fate, the German captain’s honorable act ended up getting Roope a posthumous Victoria Cross, which was the first time it had ever been awarded on the basis of a recommendation from the enemy.

#3. Mochitsura Hashimoto Sinks Captain Charles McVay, Then Defends Him in Court

The USS Indianapolis, led by Captain Charles McVay, was ordered to head toward Guam by going through the Leyte Gulf. What the U.S. Navy didn’t tell him was the Leyte Gulf at the time was afreaking haven for Japanese submarines, and that ships passing through should do so with extreme caution.


“There’s a lot more fire and screaming on this leg of the trip than I’d expected.”

Lacking the intel that he was in unfriendly waters and exercising his order to perform evasive maneuvers “at his discretion,” McVay told the crew to just head straight forward, and bid them a good night. Unfortunately the Japanese submarine I-58, captained by Mochitsura Hashimoto, noticed the Indianapolis heading straight toward it and immediately sank it.

McVay survived and World War II ended, but soon thereafter he found himself in a court martial for negligence in the sinking of his ship (probably as a scapegoat to cover for the other Navy guys who completely botched the Indianapolis’ travel instructions and subsequent rescue).


“How could knowing about the packs of deadly, deadly submarines possibly have helped?”

In the trial, the U.S. Navy made the fairly unprecedented step of bringing in Hashimoto as a witness — yes, the freaking captain of the Japanese sub. He was brought in as a witness for the prosecution, expected to talk about the gross incompetence of the American captain, hoping he would seal McVay’s fate. Rather unexpectedly, when Hashimoto took the stand he outright defended McVay, stating that no matter what he had done, the Indianapolis still would have been hit by his torpedoes.


“I was just too damn good.”

The U.S. Navy still found McVay guilty regardless of what Hashimoto said, demoting him and basically ruining his naval career. Though Admiral Nimitz would wind up promoting McVay back to his old rank soon thereafter, the trial decision still stood — that is, until Hashimoto decided to help McVay out again. Hashimoto sent a letter to Senator John Warner, an action that helped lead to McVay being exonerated.

B-29s Over Korea
“You call it a letter, I call it a Word Torpedo.”

For the Love of God

Since I was little, one of my favorite parts about visiting my Babci was going up the street to the manor to visit  Sister Deborah. She is a nun that lives and worships there along with about thirty others. But for the longest time I never really understood what being a nun entailed. Nuns and priests make  huge sacrifices in order to pledge their life to God. At first, I just thought that their love of God was just that. They were just very religious people that were passionate about church and God. But actually, it’s a lot more than that. Nuns and priests don’t really have a life other than serving God 24/7. Most, like Sister Deborah, are not married. Rather, they are “married” to God. Personally, I don’t know if I’d give up getting married some day, having kids, and leading my own life. But for religious personnel God is their life and they couldn’t imagine living any other way. It’s sometimes hard to fathom that they really have that huge connection with the higher faith so much that they completely revolve around it. It’s not even about whether or not I am religious it’s just a hard concept to grasp. I couldn’t imagine myself in an abbey or in a place like the manor. It’s great to go to church and pray and have faith in your own religion. However pledging yourself so completely to it is a huge commitment that only certain people  have the ability to do. That form of sacrifice was very interesting to me and I really look forward to learning more about their way of life the more I visit them.

Who Is Truly Evil, Frankenstein Or His Monster?

In the book Frankenstein by Mary Shelly, Evil is a very important concept. Evil in the book is usually stems from  one of two characters, Frankenstein or his monster. The question is, who is truly responsible for this evil? For example, the murder of Frankenstein’s brother is certainly an act of evil. It is established that the monster killed William, but is he really responsible for his actions? I would say that while the monster did strangle young William, he is not truly responsible for the act of evil he committed. Frankenstein, at least in my view, is truly responsible. First of all, he created the monster, and second of all, Frankenstein instead of embracing and accepting his own creation, ran away disgusted from his creation, making a monster instead of a being.  Also, Frankenstein is directly responsible for the death of Justine because he didn’t reveal the identity of the actual murderer (even though he knew the monster was the killer)  and let Justine die so that he didn’t have to tell his family about his own wrongdoings. Frankenstein, not his monster is responsible for the evil in this book since he created a monster (from what could of been a peaceful being) and cares more about being viewed as capable of no wrong than the life of another human being. Not only did he set the monster along an evil track, Frankenstein allowed the death of his young brother to go avenged in a court of law and let someone else, an innocent, take the blame and the punishment for his own creation, and by extension, himself.

“Oh, Frankenstein, be not equitable to every other and trample upon me alone, to whom thy justice, and even thy clemency and affection, is most due. Remember, that I am thy creature; I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel, whom thou drivest from joy for no misdeed” (Shelly 97).

~Frankenstein’s Monster

http://kids.britannica.com/comptons/art-142388/Frankenstein-played-by-Colin-Clive-left-confronts-his-monster-played

Warm Wash

washing-machine-cartoonHow To Choose The Right Temperature For Your Clothes

  1. Hot Water: Hot water is to be used when dealing with really stained clothing. Hot water can be used to get rid of grass, dirt, crayon, grease/ oil , mildew, sweat, and tar stains. Dish towels, wash cloths, bath towels, bedding, and pillow cases should also be washed with hot water for the most efficient clean. It is important not to mix dark and light colors when using hot water because the hot temperature could cause some fabrics to bleed and ruin your nice new white sweater! 
  2. Warm Water: For really messy clothes that you don’t want wrinkled, warm water is your best bet. Warm water minimizes not only wrinkling but also color fading. Warm water is best used to get rid of chocolate and paint stains. Cotton and polyester should be washed in warm water.
  3. Cold Water: Cold water is your safest bet to preserve both color and size. Cold water is used to best remove blood, adhesive, coffee, or alcohol stains. Viscose/ Rayon, silk, ad wool should be washed with cool water. 

(For a complete list of stain removal techniques check out this Stain Removal Chart)

Symbols & What They Mean 

washing-instructions

  • 1 Dot: Machine Wash Cold Water
  • 2 Dots: Machine Wash Warm Water
  • 3 Dots: Machine Wash Hot Water
  • 1 Dot Horizontal Line: Machine Wash Cold Water Permanent Press
  • 2 Dots Horizontal Line: Machine Wash Warm Water Permanent Press
  • 3 Dots Horizontal Line: Machine Wash Hot Water Permanent Press
  • 1 Dot 2 Horizontal Lines: Machine Wash Cold Water Gentle Cycle
  • 2 Dots 2 Horizontal Lines: Machine Wash Warm Water Gentle Cycle
  • 3 Dots 2 Horizontal Lines: Machine Wash Hot Water Gentle Cycle
  • Hand: Hand Wash
  • Cross: Do Not Wash

Read the full post »

What would you sacrifice? (blog 6 repost)

In class a while ago, we did a project where we had to make a list of our top 10 favorite things. 

1) Cuddling

2) Warm tea on cold autumn days

3) Waking up late

4) Feeling happy for no reason

5) Having a complete stranger do something really nice for you

6) The beach

7)  Bonfires

8) The cold side of the pillow

9) Pasta nights

10) Baby animals.

 

This was my list. For a while, we were a little confused at what this had to do with anything we were doing in class. Then all the sudden, there was a plot twist. We had to cross out one of the items on our list. For example, we were told to cross out number 3, then number 7, and so on until we only had 5 things left. My number one favorite thing was gone, metaphorically eliminated from my life. And this project got me really thinking about sacrifice. I thought about the common idea of getting stranded on a desert island and could only take three things. What would I take? Would I do the “smart thing” and take items key to survival, or would I assume the island is already stocked with necessary survival items and bring along sentimental things. It really is a hard concept to grasp because we feel that we’ll never need to consider these sacrifices. However, everyday around the world people are forced to choose between things and make these kinds of sacrifices. It really makes you appreciate what you have. 

 

Not a Sacrifice (blog 7 reposted)

Sacrifice By Elton John

 

It’s a human sign
When things go wrong
When the scent of her lingers
And temptation’s strong
Into the boundary
Of each married man
Sweet deceit comes calling
And negativity lands

Cold, cold heart
Hard done by you
Some things lookin’ better, baby
Just passin’ through
And it’s no sacrifice
Just a simple word
It’s two hearts livin’
In two separate world
But, it’s no sacrifice
No sacrifice
It’s no sacrifice, at all

Mutual misunderstandin’
After the fact
Sensitivity builds a prison
In the final act
We lose direction
No stone unturned
No tears to damn you
When jealousy hurts

Cold, cold heart
Hard done by you
Some things lookin’ better, baby
Just passin’ through
And it’s no sacrifice
Just a simple word
It’s two hearts livin’
In two separate world
But, it’s no sacrifice
No sacrifice
It’s no sacrifice, at all

Cold, cold heart
Hard done by you
Some things lookin’ better, baby
Just passin’ through
And it’s no sacrifice
Just a simple word
It’s two hearts livin’
In two separate world
But, it’s no sacrifice
No sacrifice
It’s no sacrifice, at all

No sacrifice, at all
No sacrifice, at all
No sacrifice, at all
No sacrifice, at all

When I was searching for inspiration for this post, I stumbled upon this song by Elton John. It’s about a relationship with a woman he loved deeply, but unfortunately they realized their love was no longer united, their hearts were in “two separate worlds” so they had to let each other go. They both are tempted to continue on and try to make things work, but in the end, whenever things look like they’re getting better, the illusion’s only temporary. The reason I liked the lyrics to this song was because instead of making the breakup to seem like a “sacrifice”, as in one of them lets go against their will in order to please the other. Rather it was not a sacrifice because their relationship and trying to make it work was not in vain, it just lead them both to the mutual understanding that they’d be better off a part. There was no hostility or tears, they were both on the same page. 

 

Beauty and the Beast

Everybody has a favorite childhood movie that they watched countless times as a child. Mine was “Beauty and the Beast”. This film was created in 1991 and produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. This film is based on a french fairy tale by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont. This film is about a selfish prince who is transformed into a hideous beast and a young beautiful woman named Belle. In order for the prince to return to his human form again he must  gain Belle’s love in a certain time frame, or he will remain this hideous beast forever.

This film received many award including a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture- Musical or Comedy. Beauty and the Beast was also the first animated film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Original Sound, Best Score and three separate nominations for Best Original Song. This film was also selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Beauty and the Beast was also Disney’s first film to be made into a Broadway musical. This films success also lead to two direct-to-video midquels: Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997) and Beauty and the Best: Belle’s Magical World (1998). The television series Sing Me a Story with Belle was also created following this movie.

As you can see, this film was very successful and effected the lives of many young children. The motif of love is present throughout the entire film. Belle falls in love with the prince’s personality and soul even though he is a hideous beast. The prince also learns that looks do not always matter in everything. In the end the Beast and Belle fall in love and the Beast returns to his natural human form. The prince changes completely and turns out to be a better person overall. This film was a great representation of how a person should not be judged by their appearance, but they should be judged on their personality.

This film was also recreated into a modern day film called “Beastly.” This film is about a high schooler who is very wealthy and good looking. He is then cursed by a witch and becomes very ugly. He must find someone to love him, even though he looked so terrifying in a certain amount of time, in order to turn back to the way he looked before. Just like in the original film Beauty and the Beast, the beast in Beastly, finds the love of his life and is returned to the way he was before.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beauty_and_the_Beast_(1991_film)

Death Anxiety and Creativity

I came across this article written by Eric W. Dolan, that is based off research published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, that hypothesized death anxiety can lead to increased creativity. This idea was intriguing because it seemed like there was plenty of truth behind the statement. On a personal note, I can see how this idea can relate to myself and others around me. It is relevant to the phrase “You only live once”, which too often, people use as a reason for doing something borderline stupid where they couldn’t find another viable reason as to why they did what they did. I can hear it now… “I’m decided hurl myself off this cliff, breaking every bone in my body but it doesn’t matter…cuz YOLO!” Accepting that you do live only once, may be good enough reason to “let go” and maybe do something you otherwise would not consider doing.

Image

Granted, hopefully it is legal and doesn’t directly injure or harm anyone, it is a good philosophy for life, especially for those always seeking a thrill. Apart from the physical endeavors people commit when living by the mantra “YOLO”, the idea that awareness of death can increase creativity levels is another way of justifying this way of thinking about life. As stated by Daniel J. Sligte, lead researcher at the University of Amsterdam, “Awareness of death impels one to overcome a fragmentary vision of reality and it arouses wonder and deep thinking.” The awareness of death can lead to profound thought on existence and personal reflection. If people contemplate the idea, it can provides opportunity for better understanding of what someone desires from their own life.

Image

The same thought provoking concept can also help us better adapt to distinguishing what events are life threatening or harmful to our life, allowing us to indicate what is the best route or option in a situation. The researchers from the University of Amsterdam conducted two experiments, “ using animal-naming contests to examine the relationship between death, leaving a legacy, and creativity.” (Eric W. Dolan) In one experiment, “ participants who thought about death and were naming a long-living iguana tended to come up with the most creative names compared to those who were naming a short-living iguana.” (Dolan) Conclusions from the second experiment showed that those thinking of death when naming iguanas, were significantly happier when seeing the process as something that work make others happy. (Dolan) I found that it seems as though, those thinking about death were more appreciative in the process of naming animals, and in some way, found joy in being apart of something that would potentially make someone else happy in the future. This is where the idea of leaving a legacy comes into play.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/10/21/psychologists-find-that-death-anxiety-increases-creativity-if-you-can-leave-a-legacy/

Some useless things to know for the fact of knowing.

blog 8

The most common last name in the world is Patel.

The most common first name in the world is Mohammed.

No word in the English language rhymes with the words month, orange, purple, or silver.

Our skin weighs twice as much as our brain.

If you are being chased by an alligator or crocodile, run in a straight path rather than zig-zag. They can’t see straight.

If an octopus gets hungry enough, it’ll eat its own arms, besides, it has eight, it can spare one or two.

When you sneeze, the air that comes out of your nose goes faster than that of a hurricane.

It is impossible to keep your eyes open when you sneeze.

Okay technically you can keep your eyes open, but they fall out because of the speed of the air rushing through your nasal passages, which are behind your eyes.

If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days, you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee.

Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour.

A person cannot taste food unless it is mixed with saliva. For example, if strong-tasting substance like salt is placed on a dry tongue, the taste buds will not be able to taste it. As soon as a drop of saliva is added and the salt is dissolved, however, a definite taste sensation results. This is true for all foods. Try it!

The average person falls asleep in seven minutes.

Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks otherwise it will digest itself

The ant can lift 50 times its own weight, can pull 30 times its own weight and always falls over on its right side when intoxicated.

A cockroach will live nine days without its head, before it starves to death.

Elephants are the only mammals that can’t jump.

A duck’s quack doesn’t echo, and no one knows why.

The longest recorded flight of a chicken is thirteen seconds.

The fingerprints of koala bears are virtually indistinguishable from those of humans, so much so that they could be confused at a crime scene.

Snails can sleep for 3 years without eating

A giraffe can clean its ears with its 21-inch tongue!

Ten percent of the Russian government’s income comes from the sale of vodka.

The number of possible ways of playing the first four moves per side in a game of chess is 318,979,564,000.

The sentence “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” uses every letter in the alphabet. (Developed by Western Union to Test telex/two communications)

The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is “uncopyrightable”.

No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, and purple.

“I am” is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.

The reason firehouses have circular stairways is from the days of yore when the engines were pulled by horses. The horses were stabled on the ground floor and figured out how to walk up straight staircases.

Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history. Spades – King David; Clubs – Alexander the Great; Hearts – Charlemagne; and Diamonds – Julius Caesar.

Pearls melt in vinegar.

If you put a raisin in a glass of champagne, it will keep floating to the top and sinking to the bottom.

It was discovered on a space mission that a frog can throw up. The frog throws up its stomach first, so the stomach is dangling out of its mouth. Then the frog uses its forearms to dig out all of the stomach’s contents and then swallows the stomach back down again.

The very first bomb dropped by the Allies on Berlin during World War II killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo.

More people are killed annually by donkeys than die in air crashes.

The 3 most valuable brand names on earth: Marlboro, Coca-Cola, and Budweiser, in that order.

Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

The world’s youngest parents were 8 and 9 and lived in China in 1910.

Einstein couldn’t speak fluently when he was nine. His parents thought he might be retarded.

Sherlock Holmes never said “Elementary, my dear Watson”.

A ‘jiffy’ is an actual unit of time: 1/100th of a second.

Every day more money is printed for monopoly than the US Treasury.

Clans of long ago that wanted to get rid of their unwanted people without killing them used to burn their houses down – hence the expression “to get fired.”

The term “whole 9 yards” came from WWII fighter pilots in the South Pacific. When arming their airplanes on the ground, the .50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet. If the pilots fired all their ammo at a target, it got the “whole 9 yards.”

The phrase “rule of thumb” is derived from an old English law which stated that you couldn’t beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb.

A Saudi Arabian woman can get a divorce if her husband doesn’t give her coffee.

I have to admit, I honestly did not know any of these random facts, and I can honestly say I don’t think they would serve any use to me.  But I did enjoy my time finding these facts as I found several of them to be rather humorous.  I hope after reading my blog you will be full of fun facts for the classes to come.

res://ieframe.dll/acr_error_IM.htm#fullpunch.com,http://www.fullpunch.com/random/25-random-facts-to-boost-your-general-knowledge.html/

http://www.begent.org/funfact.htm

Impressions don’t end at fossils or dental impressions.

Stamps ie. rubber stamps are a small tool that consists of a handle attached to a piece of carved rubber and that is dipped in ink and then pressed on paper to print an imprint (impression) like a date, name, symbol, etc.

Rubber stamping or stamping, is a craft in which ink made of dye/pigment is applied to a carved or molded sheet of rubber in the shape of an image or pattern. The rubber is often mounted onto an object like wood, brick or an acrylic block. It’s uncertain as to who actually invented the first rubber stamp, but it should be noted that the history of the rubber stamp is closely intertwined to dentistry and the use of rubber in dentistry molds. L.F. Witherell claimed to have invented it ‘by accident’ when cutting out stencils from thin sheets of rubber packaging. However earlier another man supposedly used a curved piece of wood with rubber letters on it to stamp bath tubs in NYC.  Its even suggested that rubber stamps were once used by Native Americans in order to imprint patterns like birds, flowers or tribal symbols on their bodies that they would later on tattoo over. Early stamps were almost always made from engravings, “a design etched into a steel die, which was then hardened and whose impression was transferred to a printing plate”. Interesting enough, temporary stamps with simple designs can even be carved from particular foods like potatoes.

Rubber stamps have recently gained a reputation in an art form (mainly in the United States). Those who choose to carve their own rubber stamps go about it either with old-fashioned gum erasers, eraser-like rubber, or pre-supplied carvings sets. The print/designed that is carved can be used to embellish a work of art or be viewed as a work of art on it’s own. Art stamps available in intricate designs are used now-a-days for decoration of useful tings like letters or greeting cards, and are often combined with other techniques to create original artwork.

It doesn’t stop there! In politics a rubber stamp is also considered “a person or organization that gives automatic approval or authorization to the decisions of others

  • Did you know there are over 1000 rubber stamp manufactures in the USA and most are family own?

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