Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Bitcoin..744,000 bitcoins were "missing due to malleability-related theft",





(Reuters) - Mt. Gox, once the world's biggest bitcoin exchange, looked to have essentially disappeared on Tuesday, with its website down, its founder unaccounted for and a Tokyo office empty bar a handful of protesters saying they had lost money investing in the virtual currency.
The digital marketplace operator, which began as a venue for trading cards, had surged to the top of the bitcoin world, but critics - from rival exchanges to burned investors - said Mt. Gox had long been lax over its security.
It was not clear what has become of the exchange, which this month halted withdrawals indefinitely after detecting "unusual activity." A global bitcoin organization referred to the exchange's "exit," while angry investors questioned whether it was still solvent.
A document circulating on the internet, and purporting to be a crisis plan for the exchange, said more than 744,000 bitcoins were "missing due to malleability-related theft", and noted Mt. Gox had $174 million in liabilities against $32.75 million in assets. It was not possible to verify the document or the exchange's financial situation.
Tokyo investors in the frontier electronic currency, who have endured a volatile ride in the value of the unregulated cyber-tender, said the problem was with Mt. Gox, not with the revolutionary bitcoin itself.
Mt. Gox officials did not answer the telephone or respond to email requests for information. The concierge at the home of the chief executive, Mark Karpeles - an upscale apartment in the Shibuya district - said he was not answering his intercom. His mailbox was so stuffed with mail that the flap would not close.
The Mt. Gox homepage was not loading, although no error message appeared. Its source code contained a line saying, "put announce for mtgox acq here."
"VERY ANGRY"
"I'm very angry," said Kolin Burges, a self-styled "crypto-currency trader" and former software engineer who came from London for answers after Mt. Gox failed to tell him what had happened to his bitcoins, which at one point were worth
$300,000.
"It looks like that's disappeared," said Burges, one of six protesters outside the Mt. Gox office, which was as deserted as a nearby cafe that had formerly accepted bitcoins as payment. In a statement last week, Mt. Gox said it had moved office because of security issues.
Some protesters carried signs saying, "Mt. Gox, where's our money?" and "Mt. Gox, are you solvent?"
"They prolonged this and kept telling people everything was OK," Burges said. "A lot of people did believe that, and it's very annoying what they've done to me and up to a million others."
Six leading bitcoin exchanges - which allow users to trade bitcoins for U.S. dollars and other currencies - distanced themselves from the Tokyo-based exchange.
"This tragic violation of the trust of users of Mt. Gox was the result of one company's actions and does not reflect the resilience or value of bitcoin and the digital currency industry," the companies - Coinbase, Kraken, Bitstamp, BTC China, Blockchain and Circle - said in the statement. "As with any new industry, there are certain bad actors that need to be weeded out, and that is what we're seeing today."
On Sunday, Karpeles resigned from the board of the Bitcoin Foundation, in a blow to the digital currency. Mt. Gox had once been the largest exchange handling bitcoins.
Karpeles told Reuters last week, "We know there are all kinds of criticisms made against Mt. Gox, but we believe we are doing all we can to solve problems as quickly as possible having our customers in mind."
His resignation from the foundation, the cyber currency's trade group, followed a number of technical issues, including a massive cyber attack from unknown sources that has been spamming bitcoin exchanges.
Mt. Gox was a founding member and one of the three elected industry representatives on the board of the foundation. Mt. Gox, a bitcoin exchange since 2010, is a relatively old player, having grown quickly when there were few alternatives.
"TEETHING PROBLEMS"
Bitcoin has had a rocky ride, its dollar value soaring and crashing more like a highly speculative investment than a store of value. And oddly for a tradable instrument, its value varies greatly depending on the exchange.
The Mt. Gox bitcoin, which traded at $828.99 before February 7, when the exchange halted withdrawals, has since plunged 83.7 percent to $135. By contrast, coins at Bitstamp, another large exchange, have fallen 40.5 percent over the same period to $400.
While bitcoin globally has taken a beating to its value and reputation, users say the problem is with Mt. Gox, not with the virtual currency itself.
"I think the community will remain very tolerant of teething problems, or whatever you want to call them," said a Tokyo-based investor who noted he had a "negligible" amount of bitcoins with Mt. Gox. "The whole structure is still in its infancy, so there's just certain things that come with the territory as long as you keep people in the loop."
The Bitcoin Foundation said in a statement, "Mt. Gox is one of several exchanges, and their exit, while unfortunate, opens a door of opportunity. This incident demonstrates the need for responsible individuals and members of the bitcoin community to lead in providing reliable services."
A commenter on the Reddit site, identified as evorhees, proudly defended bitcoin as an epochal development in finance.
"We are building a new financial order and those of us building it, investing in it and growing it will pay the price of bringing it to the world," he wrote. "This is the harsh truth. We are building the channels, the bridges, and the towers of tomorrow's finance, and we put ourselves at risk in doing so."
REGULATORY RETICENCE
Japan's financial regulators, by contrast, have largely given bitcoin a shrug.
"Bitcoin is not a currency; it is an alternative to currencies, like gold," said a spokesman for the Financial Services Agency. "We are only responsible for currencies and therefore bitcoin is not subject to our regulatory oversight."
Finance Ministry officials also said they are not in charge of regulating the virtual currency. A Bank of Japan spokesman said the central bank had nothing to add to remarks that Governor Haruhiko Kuroda made in December, when he said he was "very interested in bitcoin".
"In one sense, it is similar to electronic-funds transfers and the spread of electronic money," Kuroda said then. "But there are also some differences and the price is somewhat volatile. I think each country's central bank is watching this ... but as of now I have nothing specific to report."
Other jurisdictions have been more proactive.
In the United States, Alabama's securities regulator said he will issue an alert on Tuesday, cautioning consumers and investors to stop trading on bitcoin exchanges or adding to their accounts if they are having trouble redeeming the digital currency or cashing out.
Karpeles himself, while insisting on his own exchange's reliability, has made no secret that bitcoin is, as he told Reuters last April, a "high-risk investment".
"If you buy bitcoins, you should buy keeping in mind that the value could be zero the day after."

(Additional reporting by Chris Peters in Bangalore, Cheng Herng Shinn, Stanley White and Noriyuki Hirata in Tokyo; Writing by William Mallard; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Being Frank - Frank D'Angelo


Currently has a talk show in Toronto and Has A Movie released in 2013 called real gangsters 

 Article Dated 2007 -

 Frank D'Angelo is perched at the bar of "one of the most spectacular restaurants known to mankind." If there is a surprise in this assertion, it is D'Angelo's qualifier that his King St. W. supper club with the Sopranoesque name – Forget About It! – is merely "one of" the most fabulous restaurants ever. For Frank D'Angelo is a man who lives and breathes fabulosity, in which all that he touches, from Wacked, his "pure botanical energy" drinks, to his catalogue of Steelback beers, is meant to be the greatest, the biggest, the best. In this way,

Frank D'Angelo is the consummate promoter, the seemingly unavoidable face of the brand, which makes it all the more curious to consider his announcement of last Thursday. No longer is Frank D'Angelo the chief executive of Steelback, the come-from-nowhere beer company that claims ad space on Hockey Night in Canada, and D'Angelo Brands, the company on which D'Angelo made his name, if not his fortune. He is sleek, D'Angelo is. For someone 48 years of age, his skin has the look of satin, as if it's very well cared for. He is 178 pounds (he offers this information), runs with ankle weights and plays hockey multiple times a week. He is manicured and sports a diamond pinkie ring, a designer suit and Gucci loafers. He is drinking a Brunello – his lunch-time habit. (He favours Amarone for dinner.)

He's nibbling on great chunks of parmesan cheese, and talking about growing up on Silverthorn Ave. in the city's west end, the son of Sicilian immigrants who arrived in Toronto in 1956. It could be a rags to riches tale. Except we're not quite sure about the riches part. HERE'S A SNAPSHOT. Frank D'Angelo is 11 or thereabouts, and he's standing outside the Boston Bruins dressing room, hoping for an autograph. So Phil Esposito comes out and sees this kid, "freezing his butt off," recalls Esposito. So the captain takes him in to the dressing room and Bobby Orr signs and Derek Sanderson signs. One of those stories that a boy would find himself telling forever.

Years pass and Frankie launches D'Angelo Brands, with beginnings in apple juice and growing to an eventual menu of tinned produce, from beans to tomatoes, and later beer, and Esposito decides that he likes Frankie and he likes the beer. So a commercial is conceived, featuring Bobby Hull and the Esposito brothers and, of course, Frankie in his goalie gear. "He isn't a bad goalie at all," says Phil Esposito. "Of course we like to bust his balls a little bit. . . . I try to shoot at his crotch . . . try to get him peeing." Next weekend Esposito will travel to Toronto from his home in Tampa Bay, Fla. He will attend a dinner for winners of the latest Steelback contest. Esposito continues to be a spokesperson for the company. "I really like the beer, I really like Frank. We've become really good friends. To tell you the truth, the guy's okay." THE ASCENDANCY OF ANY entrepreneur can mostly be visualized in filmic frames.

Of course, the more interesting material lies in the outtakes. By the end of 2001, he had built D'Angelo Brands into a modestly sized company. Marketing, distribution and administrative expenses outpaced revenues by roughly six times, keeping the company in the red. In the fall of that year, the company executed a reverse takeover of a penny stock outfit, giving D'Angelo Brands an immediate listing on the Nasdaq and access to the penny stock capital markets. U.S. securities filings show slightly less than 10 per cent of the company's shares were owned by three offshore companies based in Nassau, each with the same principal shareholder who would later come under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for what the commission alleged was a "massive broker bribery scheme." "That was a bad time in our lives, a very bad time in our lives," says D'Angelo. He says he did not know the individual who came under investigation. "I don't know who any of those people are. Those companies had nothing to do with us. We bought a shell company . . . they owned that shell company." D'Angelo says he was misled. "We were to buy a clean shell company ... and then we found out that the shell was not as clean as it. . . ." Here D'Angelo's voice drifts off. "I personally was very naïve," he continues. "We got some good lawyers and we saved our behinds in time. . . . We almost burned ourselves." D'Angelo returned the company to its private roots.

 In the absence of corporate filings compelled by securities regulation, the financial performance of the company becomes intriguingly opaque. "I WENT ON THE ROAD in '78 with my own band, all over Canada, the United States," says D'Angelo of his days as a singer, days that, as many readers will be aware, he has not entirely left behind. From Taste of the Danforth to the Toronto beer fest to singing for the troops in Petawawa and Meaford,

Frank D'Angelo and the Steelback 2-4 band is something to behold, if not love. There had been a time when singing was Frank D'Angelo's career. "It was a very tough life, living with 14 people, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We had a bus that was like a money pit. It would break down constantly. We used to go to restaurants and order hot water and put ketchup in it, put crackers in it. I got down to 155 pounds." As a kid he listened to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, the Temptations. "The best music known to mankind." There's a photograph of Sinatra by the kitchen at the dinner club and numerous photos of D'Angelo with rock stars. "My idol is Gino Vannelli," he says. "I opened up for him." The on-the-road life wore thin. "I had an epiphany in Edmonton at a club called Lucifer's.

There was a band playing there that had been on the road for 26 years." Frank went to work for his father. In Italy Giuseppe D'Angelo owned a furniture store. In Canada he eventually came to own Napoli Foods. "I went to work for him.... I cut my hair, got rid of my earring," says the son of the father. A year later, Napoli was sold. "I was a little upset with him." What followed was the mythic moment in which Al Palladini gave D'Angelo that truck and he started hauling apple juice door to door. Mike Cicere met the apple juice guy more than two decades ago, in the early days of D'Angelo taking his products to the airwaves, initially through small, multicultural stations and then to CityTV and eventually going national. There was never any question that D'Angelo himself would be the front man.

 "The camera likes him. I think people like him on camera as well. Ever since then he's been on camera," says Cicere, whose Foxx communications handles D'Angelo's PR. Cicere says it was D'Angelo's idea to tap disgraced sprinter Ben Johnson to promote Cheetah, one of a long line of power drinks that the company has come up with. Who can forget. D'Angelo: "Did you Cheetah my son?" A grinning Johnson: "Absolutely. I Cheetah all the time." A "stroke of genius," says Cicere of the cringe-inducing commercial. "Even though how bad it was, it still created awareness of the brand overnight." "The drink is great," says Johnson, taking a call during a coaching session at York University. Johnson's involvement with the product has since ceased – the contract ran for one year. But he says the two have remained friends. " Our relationship was good. We had great laughs. We come across some very good people, raise money for breast cancer and stuff like that." D'Angelo says Cheetah has done millions in sales and that the brand is still growing. Well, there must be fault lines somewhere. THE ANNALS OF BUSINESS are packed with mentors and guarantors and long-lived business types who decide for myriad reasons to backstop the dreams of entrepreneurs.

Surely one of the more curious pairings has been that of Barry Sherman, founder of generic drug manufacturer Apotex Inc., and Frank D'Angelo. How, one wonders, did Sherman come to be Frank's sugar daddy? "I'm gonna tell you the story," says D'Angelo. Up near Tiverton, on the Bruce Peninsula, D'Angelo says he lusted after a "state-of-the-art" plant, owned by Sherman. It had this "aura" about it, he says. It was "magnificent." D'Angelo is unclear on what the plant had been used for, though he does offer a hard-to-follow story about an herbal supplement that was being manufactured for livestock, "especially pigs." Something to do with getting the pigs to produce less gas. Anyway, "I heard just in passing that the plant was going to be sold, piece by piece ... I thought that would be a horrible thing to do to a plant like that, so I went to speak to Mr. Sherman." The plant additionally hosted a "state-of-the-art" brewery. "So I figured if I took that plant, and I sell the brewery, that would subsidize the purchase of the plant," D'Angelo explains. "That was my whole genius plan.



That was my Wile E. Coyote plan. The boy-am-I-impressed-with-you-Frank plan." Two things happened. A: D'Angelo's notion of trucking Ontario apples and New York State apples and apples from northern Michigan all the way to Tiverton proved – let's not register too much surprise here – less than economically wise. " It had huge logistical challenges so we stopped.... It was not a good business decision." B: the unsold brewery presented a fresh and alluring idea. Why not become a beer baron? "One day I walked into the boardroom. I sat everybody down and said I want to go into the beer business, and they wanted to call, what is it? 99 Queen Street?" This plan was much wiser, D'Angelo argues, as the ingredient haulage on the way to Tiverton is far less problematic. Still, he then has to haul the beer out. As one micro brewer who has watched the development of Steelback phrases it, "He's in the middle of scratch-my-ass nowhere in a brewery that takes three to four hours to ship to the 401."

Sherman took on the role of financier while D'Angelo took on the burden of $100 million in debt, against which he pledged corporate assets, including the company's facility in Brampton and his Forest Hill home, to various Sherman companies. "I put all my eggs into it," says D'Angelo. "I put everything I had into this." The marketing side of the business came naturally, making Steelback the official beer of the Toronto Argonauts and the official beer of the Jordan Formula 1 racing team. In August, Steelback announced a corporate partnership with the men's national basketball team, which sported the Wacked energy drink logo on their uniforms at the Olympic qualifier this past summer. "Frank's an ideas guy," says head coach Leo Rautins. "A lot of people don't follow through with them. Frank gets an idea and the next thing you know, he's running with it." D'Angelo says his marketing budget on the beer side alone this year will come to $15 million on a business that has yet to show a profit. Two weeks ago the company purchased another plant in Quebec. D'Angelo won't name the price. "We're at the investment stage," he says of the beer agenda. "I believe that it's a viable business. I believe that it's a business that really needs a lot of nurturing." Did Barry Sherman's patience grow thin? D'Angelo says that's not the case. And Sherman's not talking. On Thursday, Barry Sherman's 24-year-old son, Jonathon, was named chief executive officer. "I'm staying on as chairman," says D'Angelo. "I'm staying on as the watchful eye." PROMOTERS PROTOTYPICALLY share certain characteristics. They tend to have a bustle of people all around, but be able to point to few true friends.

 Their personal lives are often a shambles. They don't sleep much. "If I sleep two hours, three hours a night, it's a miracle," says D'Angelo. He has three children from two failed marriages. He lives with a 200-pound Neapolitan mastiff named Blue. He drinks moderately and smokes when anxious. What's he going to do with himself now? "I suck at golf, but I do look spectacular on the golf course," he says. Seriously, he intends to remain intimately involved with the D'Angelo/Steelback enterprises, though he has no control over that now. He'll be hanging out with Esposito on the weekend. So there's that. He lights a cigarette. "

 I'm writing an album. It's almost finished. I've got huge ideas for new products. If I were to leave this planet today or tomorrow – because there are no guarantees. When that boarding pass arrives. It is what it is." On that note, we take our leave. " The  only person who knows me really, really well is myself," says D'Angelo. And you believe him.

Jennifer Wells is a Star business columnist. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

That you are here—that life exists and identity, That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.



O Me! O Life!

BY WALT WHITMAN
Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

                                       Answer.
That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

Source: Leaves of Grass (1892)
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/182088

Monday, February 17, 2014

Global Warming...The science is unequivocal



“The science is unequivocal. And those who refuse to believe it are simply burying their heads in the sand,” he said in Jakarta, Indonesia. “Now, President Obama and I believe very deeply that we do not have time for a meeting anywhere of the Flat Earth Society.” 
Secretary of State John Kerry


Secretary of State John Kerry injected some stridency into the Obama administration’s environmental advocacy on Sunday when he delivered a speech on the need for a coordinated, international response to climate change. 
“The science is unequivocal. And those who refuse to believe it are simply burying their heads in the sand,” he said in Jakarta, Indonesia. “Now, President Obama and I believe very deeply that we do not have time for a meeting anywhere of the Flat Earth Society.”
The White House has been signalling a major push on climate change policy for months, but rarely have administration officials rejected denialism in such strongly worded terms. Nor have they discussed the potential effects of global warming with such specificity and urgency. Kerry, who described climate change as “the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction,” dedicated much of his 45-minute speech to detailing the anticipated humanitarian and economic consequences.
“Scientists now predict that by the end of the century, the sea could rise by a full meter,” Kerry said. “Now, I know that to some people a meter may not sound like a lot, but I’ll tell you this: it’s enough to put half of Jakarta underwater. Just one meter would displace hundreds of millions of people worldwide and threaten billions of dollars in economic activity. It would put countries into jeopardy. It would put countless – I mean, come to the local level – it would put countless homes and schools and parks, entire cities at risk.”



Read Full Article Here
http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/kerry-slams-climate-change-deniers 

Pastor who swore by snake-handling dies of rattlesnake bite


Pastor who swore by snake-handling dies of rattlesnake bite

Jamie Coots, who obeyed a Biblical scripture that exhorts believers to literally “take up serpents,” died after a rattler bit him during a service.



MIDDLESBORO, KY.—Jamie Coots, a snake-handling Kentucky pastor who appeared on the National Geographic television reality show Snake Salvation, died Saturday after being bitten by a snake.
Coots was handling a rattlesnake during a Saturday night service at his Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name Church in Middlesboro when he was bitten, another preacher, Cody Winn, told WBIR-TV.
“Jamie went across the floor. He had one of the rattlers in his hand, he came over and he was standing beside me. It was plain view, it just turned its head and bit him in the back of the hand … within a second,” Winn said.
When an ambulance arrived at the church at 8:30 p.m., they were told Coots had gone home, police said later. Contacted at his house, Coots refused medical treatment.
Emergency workers left about 9:10 p.m. When they returned about an hour later, Coots was dead from a venomous snake bite.
In January 2013, Coots was caught transporting three rattlesnakes and two copperheads. Wildlife officials confiscated the snakes, and Coots pleaded guilty to illegally wildlife possession. He was given one year of unsupervised probation.
Coots said then he needed the snakes for religious reasons, citing a Bible passage in the book of Mark that reads, in part:
“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
Coots said he took the passage at face value.
“We literally believe they want us to take up snakes,” Coots said a year ago. “We’ve been serpent handling for the past 20 or 21 years.”
After he was bitten Saturday night, Coots dropped the snakes, but then picked them back up and continued on. Within minutes, Winn said Coots headed to the bathroom.
His son, Cody, told the television station his dad had been bit eight times before but never had such a severe reaction. Cody Coots said he thought the bite would be just like all the others.
“We’re going to go home, he’s going to lay on the couch, he’s going to hurt, he’s going to pray for a while and he’s going to get better. That’s what happened every other time, except this time was just so quick and it was crazy, it was really crazy,” Cody Coots said.
In 1995, 28-year-old Melinda Brown, of Parrottsville, Tenn., died after being bitten at Coot’s church by a 1.5-metre timber rattlesnake.
Her relatives disputed accounts that the mother of five had been holding the snake that bit her and disagreed with witnesses who said she refused medical treatment while she suffered the effects of the venom for two days at Coots’ home.
The county attorney wanted to prosecute under a 1942 state law that made it illegal to handle or display snakes during religious services. But the judge refused to sign the criminal complaint.
“If the court thought that a trial would act to deter future snake handling in church, my decision would be different,” Judge James Bowling wrote. “But you and I both know that this practice is not going to stop until either rattlesnakes or snake handlers become extinct.”

Cell Phone Blacklist Protect Your Data. Protect Yourself



Protect Your Data. Protect Yourself. is an industry-led initiative designed to help ensure that Canadian wireless users have the information they need to keep their personal information safe and secure, and to promote the safe use of wireless devices. Canadians are among the world’s fastest adopters of smartphones and tablets, with two-thirds of Canada’s 27 million wireless phone customers currently using a smartphone. The ability to connect anytime and anywhere is one of the reasons that Canadians love their smartphones. We want to connect to our friends and family, and enjoy the convenience of conducting personal and professional business in the palms of our hands. More and more, Canadians are using their smartphones to store personal information, including financial information and work-related data. The loss or theft of a mobile device that is not properly protected can have wide-ranging personal and professional impacts. Our goal is to raise awareness for Canadians about the critical importance of keeping personal information safe, and the appropriate measures to take to do so. Keeping sensitive data in the hands of the rightful owner is essential.

http://www.protectyourdata.ca/

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Fake It Till You Make It - Yelp Reviews Under Fire


Nearly One-Fifth of Yelp Restaurant Reviews Are Phony, Shows Study


Earlier this month (Oct 2013) it was reported that business review website Yelp had sued an individual who won against the company in small claims court. Julian McMillian, a San Diego lawyer, had sued Yelp over an ad deal. Yelp is now asking for $25,000 from McMillian for allegedly teaming with other lawyers in a scheme to plant fake good reviews on each others’ Yelp pages.
That situation demonstrates just how serious Yelp is about protecting its image as an impartial source of business reviews. This, however, is at odds with business owners’ desire for good reviews, which can make the difference in thousands of dollars in revenue. With so many shady SEO companies promising good Yelp reviews, Yelp has implemented one of the harshest filtering systems in social media. It’s a system that often makes it the target of extortion claims from business owners who feel the company’s advertising practices conflict with its filtering goals.

http://people.hbs.edu/mluca/FakeItTillYouMakeIt.pdf



The mayonnaise jar and two cups of coffee Golf Balls are the important things in life


A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. 

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles roll ed into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full.. 

The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’ The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.The students laughed.. ‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—-your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—-and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.. 

The sand is everything else—-the small stuff. ‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. 

Visit with grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn. Take care of the golf balls first—-the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand. One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’ 

The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.

”30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself”

When you stop chasing the wrong things you give
the right things a chance to catch you.
As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”  Nothing could be closer to the truth.  But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
  1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.  Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth.  And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.
  2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on.  No, it won’t be easy.  There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them.  We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems.  That’s not how we’re made.  In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall.  Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time.  This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
  3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself.  Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.
  4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  Yes, help others; but help yourself too.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
  5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you likeeveryone else.  Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you.  Don’t change so people will like you.  Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
  6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
  7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.  Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success.  You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
  8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us.  We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past.  But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.  Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
  9. Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive.  But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.
  10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either.  You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.
  11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.  Evaluate situations and take decisive action.  You cannot change what you refuse to confront.  Making progress involves risk.  Period!  You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
  12. Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
  13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely.  It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.  There’s no need to rush.  If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.
  14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet.  Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you.  But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.
  15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others are doing better than you.  Concentrate on beating your own records every day.  Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
  16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own.  Ask yourself this:  “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”
  17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you.  You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough.  But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past.  You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation.  So smile!  Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.
  18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart.  You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate.  Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself!  And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too.  If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.
  19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.
  20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway.  Just do what you know in your heart is right.
  21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.  Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
  22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.  The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.
  23. Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.
  24. Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.  Don’t take the easy way out.  Do something extraordinary.
  25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while.  You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well.  You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears.  The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
  26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life.  When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.
  27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out.  But making one person smile CAN change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  So narrow your focus.
  28. Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy.  One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time?  Three years?  Five years?”  If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
  29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen.  Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.  If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
  30. Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life.  Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.  Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

Source:  ”30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself”, from marcandangel.com
- See more at: http://theunboundedspirit.com/30-things-to-stop-doing-to-yourself/#sthash.ipBJfcn4.dpuf

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