Here are five different ways that you can donate a piece of yourself to someone else and save a life:
#1 – Donate Blood
A blood donation is the simplest, easiest way to donate a piece of yourself. You go to a blood donation center, spend an hour or two there and proceed with the rest of your day. Your donated blood helps accident victims, people needing surgery, cancer patients, etc. You can learn more about donating blood and find donation centers in your area here and here and here:
#2 – Donate bone marrow
Members of Reddit have been encouraging each other to become bone marrow donors to help Leukemia patients, as seen in this post:
There are two kinds of donation processes. One is surgical where they would put me under general anesthesia, make up to four small incisions above my hips, insert a hollow needle into my pelvis, and draw out up to a quart of bone marrow. The second option is similar to dialysis. You are hooked up to a machine for 3-6 hours, an IV line takes blood out of one arm, passes it through a machine that withdraws the blood stem cells, and returns the rest to your other arm.
I was told that since my patient is so young the doctor will probably request the surgery. Something about the stem cells being withdrawn from the pelvis is better for infants. Don’t know, not a doctor.
The recovery time for the surgery is 2 days out of work and then take it easy for 2 weeks. The surgery should be an out patient procedure, possibly an overnight hospital stay.
You can learn more about becoming a bone marrow donor here and here:
#3 – Donate a Kidney
This article describes the increasingly popular option of donating a kidney, often to a complete stranger or as part of a swap that helps a stranger:
Brad Dean is in perfect health, but just after 7:30 a.m. today, Duke University Medical Center surgeon Deepak Vikraman-Sushama will press a scalpel against his abdomen and slice.
That cut will kick off a cascade of four operations on four patients – and perhaps a new era for kidney transplants in North Carolina.
Dean, 43, president of the Myrtle Beach, S.C., Chamber of Commerce, is a so-called “altruistic donor.” He offered to give a kidney to an unknown recipient simply because he thinks it’s the right thing to do.
Altruistc kidney donations are becoming more frequent:
You can learn more about altruistic donations here and here and here:
#4 – Become an organ donor
If you are involved in a fatal accident, you can sign up to make your organs available to people waiting for transplants. In this way, your death brings new life to others. You can learn more about organ donation here and here:
#5 – Donate your body to science after you die
After you die, your body can be donated for use in training new doctors to save lives. This article describes the process:
Most donated bodies go to medical schools. The how-to is pretty straightforward. Googling “willed body program” plus your state or poking around the Web site of your favorite med school will turn up detailed information and often a donor form. The institution may send you a wallet card to notify authorities of its claim at the time of death. Be sure to discuss the matter with your family and doctor so they’ll know what to do (and won’t freak) when the time comes.
What do med schools do with cadavers? Pretty much what you’d expect–dissection, surgery practice, etc–but a few details might not have occurred to you…
Just reading that title creates curiosity. If he didn’t use surgery, weight loss drugs or specialized diet, how could he possible do it? This tiny paragraph reveals the universal secret to losing weight:
Monitoring my calories every day. I cut down my intake to 1200 from what it used to be (around 3000/3500) per day, and started exercising. I walked. A lot. Ultimately, when dealing with weight loss, it’s 80% diet, 20% exercise. I pretty much stuck to that.
Someone asks, “How did you manage your hunger pangs when you started cutting calories?” He adds:
That was without a doubt the hardest part. Sitting in my room, wanting to go and get a snack. The cravings were insane, I’ve never felt anything like it. I dealt with them by continuously telling myself ‘it’s not worth it’….
This part is the key: “The cravings were insane, I’ve never felt anything like it. I dealt with them by continuously telling myself ‘it’s not worth it.'”
This appears to be the only way. How do you lose weight? You somehow control hunger pangs and cravings and stop putting food in your mouth (see below for one technique to help with this). It is all about not putting food in your mouth. It is about doing that every day. To keep the weight off, it means doing that every day for the rest of your life.
Does exercise help? Yes. But there is no way to get rid of excess calories through exercise. If you “accidentally” eat 10 Oreo cookies, you now have to walk or run six or so miles to eliminate those calories. There simply is not enough time in the day for most working people to exercise away their excess calories. You have to control hunger pangs and cravings and stop putting food in your mouth if you are going to lose weight.
What this means is that it is, in theory, incredibly easy to lose weight. All you have to do is stop putting food in your mouth. Unfortunately, for most people, hunger pangs and cravings make that simple task very difficult.
Apparently, for the majority of human beings, there is a part of the brain that is wired so that “eat” is the default setting. That “eat” signal is often triggered visually – for example, when you see pizza, cookies, cake, potato chips, etc. sitting around, but also when you see food commercials, drive past restaurants, see pictures of food in magazines, walk into a convenience store, etc. The “eat” signal is very strong – as he puts it, “The cravings are insane.” But the only way to lose weight is to overpower the cravings with conscious control.
The only way is to stop putting food in your mouth. Every time your brain says, “eat”, you have to override it so that no food enters your mouth. Every time you see (or are reminded of) cookies, cake, pizza, potato chips, soft drinks, etc. and it triggers a craving, you have to override it so that no food enters your mouth. The problem is, “The cravings are insane.”
Either the conscious brain or the cravings win. If the cravings win, the result is weight gain. If the conscious brain wins, weight loss happens.
Many people are able to get into a pattern where they control the cravings and lose weight for a period of time. They enter what can only be described as a special mental state where cravings are completely controlled by the conscious mind. This state might last for a month or a year, until some weight goal is reached. Then the special mental state is broken, and cravings are allowed to win again. This is why weight is almost always regained after a diet. The only way top keep weight off is to control the cravings – and therefore total calorie intake – every day for life.
Why am I writing this post? There are two reasons. One is to help you understand the yin and yang of weight loss. The equation is so simple: To lose weight, stop putting food in your mouth. The problem is that hunger pangs and cravings are constantly encouraging you to put food in your mouth. Control the cravings and you win. You lose weight.
The other is to remind myself of the yin and yang of weight loss. And also to answer this question: Is there anything that you can do about the cravings? I lost 50 pounds last year using the Dukan diet. The great thing about any low-carb regime like the Dukan diet is that it significantly reduces cravings. Once you eliminate the cravings, it is much, much easier to lose weight. With the Dukan diet I had very good control over cravings for 6 months. But once I reached my weight goal and started eating carbs again, it was much harder to control what I put in my mouth. I have gained about half of it back, and I want to lose that weight again.
This post is a pep talk to myself – I need to completely cut off carbohydrates again. I know it works, so I need to do it again. And this time it would probably be smart to stay off the carbs permanently. That would have been unthinkable a year ago. Now it is starting to seem obvious. Carbs, at least for me, really do seem to be addictive at some level. And the more I read, the more convinced I am that carbs are toxic at some level. By eliminating carbs, I think my life will be much better.
The tradition with New Year’s resolutions – whether they involve eating less, hitting the gym, cleaning the house, procrastinating less or whatever – is that the discipline lasts about a week or so. Then it collapses. Gyms, for example, are packed the first week of the new year. Then they empty back to normal levels again. How to maintain the discipline? This page can help:
This video suggests that there are advantages – and significant ones when it comes to health – to slowing down:
Its message is intertwined with this quote:
The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, he said: “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”
And there is an aspect of mindfulness involved, as described here:
Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.
Imagine that, as a society, we decided that something needed to get better. Then we took action on many fronts in an attempt to make it better. And then imagine that it actually did get better by a significant degree. It would be something to celebrate! That is exactly what is happening with teen pregnancy, as described in this article:
It didn’t drop by a little – it dropped by half over the course of 20 years, and it is affecting millions of lives.
Why is teenage pregnancy a problem that needs to get better? The article puts it this way:
The prevention of teen pregnancies can save the state billions, said Elizabeth Finley of the nonprofit Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina. She said pregnant teens are more likely to drop out of high school and require public assistance, while their children are more likely to be incarcerated.
What has society done to address this problem? The article lists a number of reasons, including:
“At health departments, schools, community centers and Boys and Girls clubs across the state, teens have been getting the word on resisting peer pressure, the riskiness of unprotected sex and the negative effects of becoming parents before age 20.”
“state-mandated sex education”
“cable television shows such as “Teen Mom,” which serve to de-glamorize the lives of very young parents”
“more closely targeted public-health efforts”
“North Carolina’s health departments have gotten really sophisticated at knowing which ZIP codes might have boys and girls at risk”
Things can get better. It often involves a team effort.
Whether you like or dislike Tim Tebow, you must admit that he is a nice guy. A really nice guy. To the point where you realize that it would be great to be around nice people like this on a regular basis because the world would be a better place. In the following video, Tim Tebow is Mic’s up and we are able to see an interaction he has with a Demaryius Thomas, who has dropped the ball:
Imagine working with someone who treats you with respect and compassion like that. There are several scenes like that in the video.
This article demonstrates the power of being nice:
Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow gets credit for leading the team to six consecutive wins, rallying teammates to four come-from-behind victories in a row.
Call it affirmation for the nice-guy style of management.
Experts are holding up the young player as evidence that cooperative, other-oriented, compassionate people help teams — on the field and in the office — perform better than the narcissistic style of management credited with great business successes and blamed for the economic crash of 2008.
In the following article, the section on kindness is relevant:
Your friend would be a person who treats everyone well. Your friend would be kind to people:, helpful, respectful, polite, cheerful, generous, neighborly, considerate. S/he would be tolerant of other points of view, other cultures, other perspectives. S/he would not offend other people. Therefore, you would be completely comfortable introducing him/her to your other friends, or to your parents, because you would know your friend would be cool and completely comfortable in a situation like that. S/he would not embarrass you. Instead, S/he would make you look good.
S/he would not be a blow hard, or a cocky jerk. As a general rule s/he would be happy, optimistic and grateful. The thought of sexism, ageism, racism, homophobia, etc. would never cross his/her mind. What if you are black and he is white, or vice versa? What if you are a Christian and s/he is not? What if you are old and s/he is young? It would be a non-issue with the ideal friend. S/he would be helpful, and happy to help. People would feel comfortable coming to him/her for help when they need it.
S/he would not be the type of person who would blow up at you in anger – s/he would not have a short fuse or a hair-trigger temper. S/he would be patient, not easily offended. Able to laugh most things off with a good sense of humor.
It’s something to think about today. How can you be nicer, and in the process make both your day and the days of other people better?
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The experiment was: if I put out a brand new standup special at a drastically low price ($5) and make it as easy as possible to buy, download and enjoy, free of any restrictions, will everyone just go and steal it? Will they pay for it? And how much money can be made by an individual in this manner?
Let’s first of all note that Louis CK is an “individual”, yes, but an extremely famous one. He regularly appears on all the talk shows, appears on HBO specials, etc. Still, it is an interesting experiment because, if it succeeds, it would help to make the world a better place. Here is his description of the better world he is trying to create:
This is less than I would have been paid by a large company to simply perform the show and let them sell it to you, but they would have charged you about $20 for the video. They would have given you an encrypted and regionally restricted video of limited value, and they would have owned your private information for their own use. They would have withheld international availability indefinitely. This way, you only paid $5, you can use the video any way you want, and you can watch it in Dublin, whatever the city is in Belgium, or Dubai. I got paid nice, and I still own the video (as do you). You never have to join anything, and you never have to hear from us again.
That sounds like a noble goal, and it would also help a lot of independent comedians, bands, speakers, etc. monetize their work if he can build the model.
It turns out that his experiment was a success. As he describes it, here is the P&L statement:
I directed this video myself and the production of the video cost around $170,000. (This was largely paid for by the tickets bought by the audiences at both shows)…
The development of the website, which needed to be a very robust, reliable and carefully constructed website, was around $32,000….
The show went on sale at noon on Saturday, December 10th. 12 hours later, we had over 50,000 purchases and had earned $250,000, breaking even on the cost of production and website…
As of Today, we’ve sold over 110,000 copies for a total of over $500,000. Minus some money for PayPal charges etc, I have a profit around $200,000…
This is less than I would have been paid by a large company to simply perform the show and let them sell it to you, but they would have charged you about $20 for the video…
How does this fit with D2BB? First, as a performer he is trying to create a better world for himself, his fans and other artists by running this experiment and publicly showing his results. He took a major financial risk to do the experiment. Second, for his experiment to work, he has directly asked his audience to be better with this message:
To those who might wish to “torrent” this video: look, I don’t really get the whole “torrent” thing. I don’t know enough about it to judge either way. But I’d just like you to consider this: I made this video extremely easy to use against well-informed advice. I was told that it would be easier to torrent the way I made it, but I chose to do it this way anyway, because I want it to be easy for people to watch and enjoy this video in any way they want without “corporate” restrictions.
Please bear in mind that I am not a company or a corporation. I’m just some guy. I paid for the production and posting of this video with my own money. I would like to be able to post more material to the fans in this way, which makes it cheaper for the buyer and more pleasant for me. So, please help me keep this being a good idea. I can’t stop you from torrenting; all I can do is politely ask you to pay your five little dollars, enjoy the video, and let other people find it in the same way.
If you do want to see the result of the experiment, you can find it here:
Pulling several interesting quotes from the AMA, here is something important to D2BB: He sees learning and growing as incredibly important:
Okay. I do love to learn. It’s all I feel like I’m ever doing. It’s really the best you can do in life, is learn. You can’t really do anything right. You can just learn. Right now, I am learning to be a dad. I am learning how to take better care of myself and my kids. I”m learning how to communicate with people in my life.
Professionally, I’m learning right this minute, a HUGE amount with this web experiment. this live at the beacon thing (available at http://www.louisck.com for 5 bucks) is like that thing in the movie “Twisiter” where they send a bunch of little data collecting balls up into a tornado and just download the lovely results. The whole things has been like that. From the moment it went online and i saw the result of every decision i made. the last question the web guys asked me before we posted was if I wanted the mail list button defaulted to “opt in” or “opt out” and i said start it at opt out. It’s such a tiny thing but I keep hearing about it from people. So so interesting to watch this grow.
About making movies:
I would love yo make more movies. That is a FUCKING HARD JOB though, dude. Just to get it made. You can’t even do anything else while you’re tyring to get it made and then you probably won’t. It’s heart breaking. Then it takes a good 2 years to make and finish the movie then it maybe won’t come out and then maybe it gets changed and worse than the movie not getting made, you made it, then it got changed into something you hated and then came out.
yeah. that’s hard. if i can get a deal to make a movie the way I do my show, i’ll do it. Otherwise… no.
I have a dream, though. You want to hear it? Yeah? Well, okay.
I thought about what if I make another special like this one and i put it up for 5 bucks again and it goes gangbusters. It makes, say, 8 million bucks. I don’t know that that is even possible. I’m trying to find out what the potential is with this one.
But so if I make 8 million, which all goes through paypal right into Pig Newton, my company that makes my show and made the special. Well I would leave the money in there and make a fucking movie.
This special, if it explosed, cause really it’s only been up for 2 days, more like a pre-sale. If it really tears an asshole into the money monster who then shits dollars into my mouth (oh my god what’s wrong with me) then I will use that money to buy a home and get some security which i NEVER have had in my life and have certainly not gotten from my low budget show.
So it would have to be special number 2 that would keep the money in the company and make a movie. I have always put cash back into the work. The profit I made on last years season of louie went to buying a new RED EPIC camera which now sits here next to me and a modest but impressive collection of lenses from germany and england, which now belong to Pig Newton and will be used to shoot said 8 million dollar movie.
On how he got his show [The show is Louie] with full editorial control and how he edits it:
I got it by demanding it and refusing to do the show any other way at all and by having the leverage that I was completely willing to walk away without doing the show and by agreeing to an extremely low budget so that they could offset the risk of giving me this freedom becuase they are risking less money. I have had conversations with them about very few moments in the show but zero battles….
On season 1 I had an editor and we shared it about half. But season two i edited without any help. It was fucking hard. and yes, i sit at the macbook and just put it together from start frame to finish.
It is an inspirational story, and a great example of working hard to create something new.
When people decide to be better, what are some of the things they work on? You can get a good idea of some of the most popular things by looking at New Year’s resolutions. This article contains a typical list:
The top 10 list includes:
1. Lose Weight
2. Getting Organized
3. Spend Less, Save More
4. Enjoy life to the Fullest
5. Staying Fit and Healthy
6. Learn Something Exciting
7. Quit Smoking
8. Helping Others in Their Dreams
9. Fall in Love
10. Spend More Time with Family
# 1. Stop Smoking
# 2. Get into a Habit of being Fit
# 3. Lose Weight
# 4. Enjoy Life More.
# 5. Quit Drinking
# 6. Organise Yourself
# 7. Learn Something New
# 8. Get out of Debt
# 9. Spend More Time With Family
# 10. Help People
What these lists frequently leave out is deep-seated desires people have. Two of the most common and most obvious are these:
1) Become famous
2) Become rich (If becoming rich is important to you, you may enjoy How to make a million dollars)
If you ask teenagers, many (most?) will readily tell you that they want to be famous. Thousands of sdults move to New York, Los Angeles and Nashville every year in the hope of becoming a famous actor, singer or celebrity. The allure of fame is incredibly strong.
Can a normal person make him/herself famous? One person named John Gerard tried an interesting experiment. He quit his job, gave up his house and went on a cross-country road trip to see if he could manufacture fame out of thin air. He then made a documentary about his experiences and emotions during the journey. It’s a great video because, in essence, he decided to be better and picked fame as his chosen area of improvement. Then he gave it his all, even if he did not necessarily know what he was doing. You can find the documentary that he made on Hulu:
The first few minutes of the film have a great hook, because he is talking about how life works and how life feels for many people.
The film is fascinating because he tries a lot of different things and is really quite creative. He also explores the reason why he and many others seek fame, and what he hopes to accomplish.
I think that one thing the film shows is that “becoming famous” is not easy. He discovers a fact of life – if you live in a town or smallish city, just about anyone can do something to get himself/herself into the local paper or on the local news once. Beyond that, things get much more difficult without some kind of breakthrough. Rebecca Black is an example of someone receiving lottery-like instant fame (and even better, she was able to capture a lot of money in the process). Most other people who are famous have to put in years of effort.
And then, as with everything, there is a flip side. Barrack Obama is certainly famous, but there are parts of fame that he really does not like. I bet these same laments cross the mind of any famous person:
“I just miss – I miss being anonymous,” he said at the meeting in the White House. “I miss Saturday morning, rolling out of bed, not shaving, getting into my car with my girls, driving to the supermarket, squeezing the fruit, getting my car washed, taking walks. I can’t take a walk.”
He says he enjoys golf but is not the fanatic that some have portrayed.
“It’s the only excuse I have to get outside for four hours at a stretch,” he said.
His impossible dream: “I just want to go through Central Park (in New York) and watch folks passing by … spend the day watching people. I miss that.”
What are the things that you, personally, would like to change in your life? Do you want to be famous? Lighter? Stronger? Or something else?
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One thing that is well known about modern society is that it tends to bombard people with ads. We see/hear advertising messages literally everywhere – TV, radio, magazines, newspapers, buses, subway stations, airports, billboards, storefronts, web sites, T-shirts, sporting events… Ads are constant and unrelenting.
One type of advertising message that we see all the time is this: “You will be ecstatically happy if you spend your money on _____.” The message can apply to things like:
– Luxury automobiles
– Aspen ski vacations
– High-fashion designer clothing and shoes
– Electronic gadgets
– And so on
However, what we learn from experience is that these messages are very often untrue. Buying a $70,000 car, as a general rule, does not bring any real, lasting happiness. And the day after you buy the car, the unrelenting messages continue telling you that the car you bought is not good enough.
What is the alternative? What if, instead, we were consistently told that we can find great joy in the very simplest things? That there is no need to spend money to find joy? The idea may sound counter-intuitive (even nonsensical) because we hear so many ad messages to the contrary, but consider the possibility.
It might be as simple as a change of perspective. I began writing this post after cooking dinner, which itself was an act of joy that has resulted from a change in perspective over the past several years. Instead of simply “cooking dinner” mindlessly or even worse, “dammit, I have to cook dinner AGAIN!”, the change in perspective is, “wow, it is quite enjoyable to cook this meal, and it is a great thing that I have food to eat. Let’s be thankful for this meal.” That change can be aided by finding recipes and learning to cook in new ways, by inviting friends over to be with them and cook for them, by cooking a meal for the family and then sitting down with them to enjoy their company, and so on.
In other words, take something that is intrinsically pleasurable (in this case, cooking and eating), recognize that it is intrinsically pleasurable, and then acquire great joy from it by framing it properly instead of looking on it as something “you have to do today.”
The same attitude can be brought to spending time with children. Children can bring a shocking amount of joy simply by spending time with them, talking with and interacting with them, and sharing experiences with them. It can be as easy as sitting down with a kid and reading a book, or looking at pictures in a book. Or taking a walk. Or playing a video game together. Or fixing something. Or making something. Or watching a TV show and talking about what is happening.
What if you cannot get your child to take a walk with you? Here is something – figure out some place your kid would like to go to, and walk there together. “Hey, let’s walk down to the convenience store and get an ice cream sandwich…” My kids have ridden their bikes several miles because they like going to the dollar store. Leigh, the kids and I have walked 5 miles round trip to go to the kids’ favorite snow cone place – and we had a great time in the process.
Something as simple as a little garden can bring great joy. I cannot explain why, but for many people there is something primal and joyous about growing things. It could be a garden outside, or it could be a pot growing lettuce on the window sill or porch.
Exercise feels good, especially after the fact, and that goodness can last for hours. Instead of looking on exercise as a chore, what about approaching it with a sense of great joy? Appreciate the fact that you are able to exercise. Appreciate the feeling of the weather (whether it is hot, cold or perfect). Appreciate the feeling of the movement, and appreciate the contemplation you are able to get done during exercise.
You might be thinking, “What, that’s it? Simply by reframing these things I can experience true joy without spending any money?” The reason that question may come to mind is because of all of the conditioning you have received from thousands of exposures to advertising messages. It turns out that, in the real world, there is no consistent correlation between “spending lots of money” and “joy”. Only in the fake advertising world does that happen.
Try it. Take something today that you might normally do without thinking and make it joyous. Or carve out some time today to do something simple and joyous. You may surprise yourself.
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TMB (Thai Military Bank) have launched a new brand vision “Make THE Difference” by making a film to inspire people to start thinking differently. With a hope that they will start to Make THE Difference to their own world. It doesn’t have to be big, but a little can create positive changes. This film is based on a true story. In 1986 a football team that lived on a little island in the south of Thailand called “Koh Panyee”. It’s a floating village in the middle of the sea that has not an inch of soil. The kids here loved to watch football but had nowhere to play or practice. But they didn’t let that stop them. They challenged the norm and have become a great inspiration for new generations on the island.
Many people flying into Phuket will have looked down on this village seemingly floating in the magical bay and wondered what it is like to live in the place. Phuket.com went out to Panyee to take a look and discovered the true meaning of the phrase, ‘a simple life’.