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Anything is Possible if you Dare to Dream

July 1, 2011

Much ado about a comma #oxfordcomma

As a writer and editor, I deal with commas on an hourly basis. Maybe they should ask my opinion.

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Twitter Oxford comma commotion punctuated by fact

LONDON — A report that Oxford University had changed its comma rule left some punctuation obsessives alarmed, annoyed, and distraught. Passions subsided as the university said the news was imprecise, incomplete and misleading.

Guides to correct style differ and the issue became heated on Twitter after reports of the Oxford comma's demise.

William Strunk, Jr., who has guided generations of writers through "The Elements of Style," wrote in the book's first edition of 1918: "In a series of three or more terms with a single conjunction, use a comma after each term except the last."

That position is backed by "The Chicago Manual of Style" and the style manual of the U.S. Government Printing Office. The style guide of the British Broadcasting Corp. also commends liberal use of commas "in those pesky lists," and advises a comma to separate each item.

But style guides from The Associated Press and the London newspapers The Times and The Guardian dispense with a comma before the conjunction. The Queen's English Society agrees that "there is no need for a comma before the 'and' unless the sense demands it."

And there is even a third school, exemplified by Henry W. Fowler. In "The King's English" (2nd edition), published in 1908, he gave this example his approval: "Industry, honesty, and temperance, are essential to happiness."

Students at Oxford University are free to choose a style in writing their papers. "They are just expected to use proper spelling and punctuation," Coyle said.


Summer Camp Teaches Social Skills

This sounds great for wealthy parents, but at more than $1,000 per week it's out of the question for the majority. If they're training grad students and using it for research it should be more in line with a regular summer camp i.e. no more than $200 - $300 per week.

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Specialized Summer Camp Teaches Social Skills, Sportsmanship

PHOTO: Reed Tucker, 8, is spending his first summer at Camp STAR in Highland Park, Ill., where campers earn points and rewards for good behavior and lose points for breaking rules.

Reed Tucker is a bright 8-year-old who lights up a room and delights others with his wicked sense of humor. But when he entered the second grade last fall, the impulsivity and defiance from his ADHD escalated. Medications helped somewhat, but his mother credits his ability to complete tasks to a special summer day camp north of Chicago where arts and crafts, sports and field trips provide as much therapy as recreation.

At Camp STAR in Highland Park, Ill., Reed and fellow campers with ADHD, anxiety and socially disruptive disorders earn points and rewards for participation and following rules. They lose points and receive timeouts for angry outbursts, rule-breaking or other inappropriate behavior.

Parents pay $6,300 for the six-week session, which began on June 13 and ends July 29, with 30 percent of the families receiving some financial assistance, said clinical psychologist Mark A. Stein, the camp director. Counselors are students or graduate students going into pediatrics, psychology or social work. Their detailed observations contribute to research into the program's effectiveness, Stein said.


June 29, 2011

Financial compatibility with spouse? @Dave Ramsey

Well Dave, can you come up with a better version of this quiz because I don't consider myself financially driven. Rather I am fiscally conservative.

Quiz Link:

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Are you financially compatible with your spouse?

Do you jump at the chance to spend money on vacations, but dread saving for retirement? Take this quiz to better understand what motivates you to spend and save. Then ask your partner to take it and compare results.

You are Financially Driven
Financial Life Values are about money and finances. They are unrelated to how much money we actually have. These values reflect what we think or believe about our money and financial affairs. They reflect how we value money and what it can buy or how it can grow as an investment. Financial values may or may not be related to what we actually know about money and finance. As with any deeply held value, we might intend action to increase savings or decrease debt, but choose instead to reinforce our self-esteem on "needs" manufactured in the marketplace.

June 27, 2011

Cable/DVR boxes use more electricity than Fridge

Not happy to read an article like this, especially since we no longer have an option for no cable boxes if we want to receive even basic channels.

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Cable and DVR boxes use more electricity than refrigerator

The New York Times reports that the little boxes that transmit cable signals and digital recording capacity to televisions have become the single largest electricity drain in many American homes.

Some typical home entertainment systems consume more power than a new refrigerator and even some central air-conditioning systems, the Times writes.

These set-top boxes are energy hogs mostly because their drives, tuners and other components are generally running full tilt, or nearly so, 24 hours a day, even when not in active use, the Times writes.

Similar devices in some European countries, for example, can automatically go into standby mode when not in use, cutting power drawn by half, the Times writes. They can also go into an optional “deep sleep,” which can reduce energy consumption by about 95 percent compared with when the machine is active, the Times reports.