Friday, May 2, 2008

If you love LBMKE then you'll really enjoy TMR

Hey Kids,

Leslie created this site with a sincere desire to somehow encourage the world to recognize that I know too much about too many stupid things. I think she thinks I'll get a radio or TV program someday where they will connect wires to my gigantic head and slowly extract random info for the audiences pleasure. That will certainly be the case when our alien overlords arrive. In the meantime, I mention the origin story to invite you to the blog I have been running for several years. It has gone through various states, but I mostly deals with movies and coming attractions. So check it out @ I am trying to be more proactive and writing more regular feature based articles including weekend movie recommendations.


P.S. Whilst I usually won't post anything too racy, it is usually a PG level blog without the swears. Mostly. Enter if you dare.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

RSS Awareness Day

RSS Awareness Day

Apparently today is RSS Awareness day. So in light of my last post, let's celebrate by using RSS to save ourselves time and save the internet some bandwidth!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I Had NO Idea!

I really didn't! I had no idea this RSS thing existed. Matt, why DO you know everything? It's scary sometimes! I guess I'd better stop shopping and start studying!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Real Simple Syndication Part 1

Per a request from Burke, I am going to do a short series on how to use Real Simple Syndication(RSS) on the web.

RSS is a simplified way to aggregate web data in one uniform place. What this means in simpler terms is that information from many different places can be gathered quickly to one place. The best usage is on frequently read websites or blogs. An RSS reader can periodically gather the headlines of any new material appearing on your favorite sites. This can be helpful when trying to keep up to date on all of the family blogs.

A quality RSS reader will let you know when a site has changed and pull the article to you. This alleviates the time spent having to navigate to each individual page. This isn't limited to just blogs or news sites. RSS is really powerful. I use a google search powered feed to keep up to date on important company information. I also keep track of sale items on certain websites like Amazon, Ebay and Woot.

Here's an example of my favorite RSS reader, Google Reader. Click on the pic for a larger view. You can see that I am tracking over 100 websites categorized in multiple folders. This is a shot of my "family blogs" folder. I can look at the list in two ways, by individual blogs or by folder. If I choose to look by folder the individual articles will appear chronologically in the order that they were pulled to the reader. So I can essentially read all of them at once without having to read each individually. I am able to sift through thousands of headlines each week instead of hundreds. It's a real time saver, Clark! As I skim, Google Reader marks each as read and indexes them. This is where it gets really powerful. Reader has integrated Google's search technology to keep track of what you have read. If you can't remember where you saw a certain news item or recipe you can use Readers integrated search to find the data within articles you have read! This saves you from having to skim through a sizable blog or trying to find a single article using a broader search tool.

Getting started is simple. Internet Explorer 7 has a built in RSS reader but it's rudimentary at best. I would avoid it. I have used most popular readers and as you can tell from this article, I think Google has done it right. Go to to start. It has a great video that will explain how to use it and they have a bunch of awesome pre-built feeds in multiple categories. Plus if you already have a google account(blogger, gmail, picasa, etc.), it's waiting for you already!


If you have any questions or need help, leave a comment and I will address them here so everyone can benefit.

FYI - The big orange logo above is used by many sites to indicate whether or not they have a feed available. Where that feed exists depends on each individual site.

Hope this is what you want, Burkie.

Bad Blogger

Okay, I think I'm the world's worst blogger! I haven't written anything for months, and I'm sure Matt has stopped because I have! March was a very bad month because we lost our two young cousins, and then April seems to be very busy! We had a happy occasion this past weekend, though, when our nephew, Nick and his new wife Tiffany got married! I saw Matt and Liz's apartment for the first time--very nice! Liz was in charge of making sure the wedding went smoothly, and she was awesome! I hope Matt has some new words of wisdom for us!! (hint, hint!)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome


The cause of ARDS is not well known. Current scientific information supports several theories about its development, but the precise reason ARDS occurs remains unknown. What is known, however, is that ARDS can come about by either of two basic mechanisms.

The first is a direct physical or toxic injury to the lungs. Examples include inhalation of vomited stomach contents (aspiration), smoke or other toxic fumes, and a severe 'bruising' of the lungs that usually occurs after a severe blow to the chest.

The second mechanism is more common, but less understood. This is an indirect, blood-born injury to the lungs. When a person is very sick or the body is severely injured, some chemical signals are released into the bloodstream. These signals reach the lung, and the lung reacts by becoming inflamed, thus causing lung failure. Examples of this type of indirect lung injury include the presence of severe infection (sepsis) and severe injury (trauma) - the two most common factors in ARDS cases. Other examples are severe bleeding (resulting in massive blood transfusions), severe inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) and some types of drug overdoses.

ARDS has generally been characterized into three stages. In full-blown cases, these three stages unfold sequentially over a period of several weeks to several months.

1 Exudative stage: Characterized by accumulation in the alveoli of excessive fluid, protein and inflammatory cells that have entered the air spaces from the alveolar capillaries. The exudative phase unfolds over the first 2 to 4 days after onset of lung injury.

2 Fibroproliferative (or proliferative) stage: Connective tissue and other structural elements in the lungs proliferate in response to the initial injury. Under a microscope, lung tissue appears densely cellular. Also, at this stage, there is a danger of pneumonia sepsis and rupture of the lungs causing leakage of air into surrounding areas.

3 Resolution and Recovery: During this stage, the lung reorganizes and recovers. Lung function may continue to improve for as long as 6-12 months and sometimes longer, depending on the precipitating condition and severity of the injury. It is important to remember that there may be and often are different levels of pulmonary recovery amongst individuals who suffer from ARDS.

Treatment primarily involves supportive care in an intensive care unit (ICU), including use of a mechanical ventilator (vent) and supplemental oxygen. The goal of mechanical ventilation is to support the patient's breathing during the time needed for the patient's lungs to heal. Good progress has been made recently in improving the use of ventilators.

The seriousness and unpredictability of ARDS can emotionally devastate patients, family, friends, as well as doctors and nurses, especially since very few cases of ARDS are alike. Some patients get better quickly within several days, and others take weeks or months to improve. Some patients have no complications and others seem to develop every possible complication of ARDS. Finally, some victims die quickly, while others die after a long and trying illness.

While ARDS is a very serious syndrome, people can and do survive! It is important family and friends of the patient remain hopeful, and seek guidance from others, including ARDS survivors, families and friends of survivors.

From Matt:

Statistically over 60% of ARDS patients survive and although that might be daunting it is important to note that the underlying causes of this syndrome are yet to be determined. When it was first defined in the late 1960's it was 100% fatal. I am grateful that we live in a time where medical science can give us 60% and family powerful in the spirit to make up the 40% we need.

My experiences with Colton have been marked by a deep respect and love for him. He (and his brothers) are much finer men then I ever was at that age. When someone complains about teenagers not living up to the standards set by the generations that preceded them, I always think of the Stewart boys and the great kindness they continue to share with those around them especially to my parents. My heart and continued respect goes out to Colton and his family whom I love deeply.

Sources and resources:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The secret to happiness from one of the richest men in the world

From a recent Q&A with Warren Buffet:

"I enjoy what I do, I tap dance to work every day. I work with people I love, doing what I love. The only thing I would pay to get rid of is firing people. I spend my time thinking about the future, not the past. The future is exciting. As Bertrand Russell says, “Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get.” I won the ovarian lottery the day I was born and so did all of you. We’re all successful, intelligent, educated. To focus on what you don’t have is a terrible mistake. With the gifts all of us have, if you are unhappy, it’s your own fault.

I know a woman in her 80’s, a Polish Jew woman forced into a concentration camp with her family but not all of them came out. She says, “I am slow to make friends because when I look at people, I have one question in mind; would they hide me?” If you get to be my age, or younger for that matter, and have a lot of people that would hide you, then you can feel pretty good about how you’ve lived your life. I know people on the Forbes 400 list whose children would not hide them. “He’s in the attic, he’s in the attic.” Some of them keep compensating by joining board seats or getting honorary degrees, but it doesn’t change the fact that no one will give a damn when they are gone. The most powerful force in the world is unconditional love. To horde it is a terrible mistake in life. The more you try to give it away, the more you get it back. At an individual level, it’s important to make sure that for the people that count to you, you count to them."

It might seem easy to espouse such ideals from behind a multi-billion dollar fortune, but this is the guy who is giving it all back, leaving next to nothing to his children.

More info:

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Playing for Water

There are many days when what I read, see or hear about the world at large is discouraging. Then I see something like the video above. Technology and more importantly innovative thinking can make a profound difference. For some the quest for water is a daily struggle that unfortunately has been the focus of many women's lives in developing nations. How awesome it is to see that playing can replace the shackles of fetching the daily water.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

For the Love of LEGO

Yesterday, January 28th, marked the 50th anniversary of the greatest toy I ever owned, LEGO. Whilst rehearsing for a production of Hamlet I learned that LEGO is Danish for "play well." (Hamlet was Danish and therefore must have played with medieval versions of LEGO made out of wood, bone or old crusty cheese. :p )

I remember my first sets from the late 70's and the cool pouch my mother bought to keep them all together. It was a large circle of blue denim with a bright red drawstring. I thought I was pretty slick. The bricks were brightly colored and their resulting composition was limited only by my imagination. Cool and infinitely playable; it wasn't until 1980 that my love affair with LEGO truly began. That's when I received set 497 Galaxy Explorer from the newly created LEGOland space line. Oh the joy of LEGO's that included thrusters and laser canons was almost more than a preteen boy could handle. It had the complexity of an Estes model (without the contact high of model glue) coupled with the challenge of alteration and improvisation. When completed per the included plans, the Explorer ship had a compartment which housed a rover vehicle I found useful in exploring the surface of many uncharted planets (boo-ya)!!

Alas, like the energy and excitement of a first kiss, no subsequent set ever captivated me as much. And over the years my commitment to LEGOdom waned. My mother still has the denim sack and some of my original LEGO's have continue to delight my nieces and nephews. But now and then when I least expect it they magically appear in my life. At a friends playing LEGO Star Wars on the Wii; or more surprisingly resting atop our wedding cake in true old school fashion.

Maybe someday I will tackle the new 5,000 piece Millenium Falcon set that I've heard tell about on the internets. Wouldn't that be keen, Star Wars and LEGO's in one! The thought borders on ecstasy. Maybe I'd better wait...

Play well!

Further Reading:

Image Source:

A Gmail Question for Matt

I'm wondering if there is a special way to organize and file the groups that you send email to. Like, today, I sent an email to about 40 people. Is there a way to retrieve that list of people other than to go back to the letter I sent and copy and paste the addresses, etc.? I'm counting on you, Matt!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Time Out for a Special Announcement

Hi Everyone--
I just wanted to announce to my cousins (Jana, Diana, Melanie, Scott, etc.) that I'm offering a free cousin special! Anyone who would like to have their kids in my children's choir (cousins, that is) may have them come for free! (Okay--you do have to pay $15 for tee-shirts and misc.) That is a $110-$125 savings!! Seriously, I would just love to teach your kids! So--if you want them to join, just call me! (Or comment on this blog!) The age groups are 4th to 9th grade (8:00a.m.-9:20a.m. Saturday mornings) 1st to 3rd grade (9:30-10:30a.m. Saturday mornings). Hope someone takes me up on it!
Love ya!

PS The Hill kids are coming all the way from Highland and Lindon....

Friday, January 25, 2008

More On Time

I came across this article this morning and thought it relevant to my post about time.
This is a bit dense but it's the best explanation of the biological perception of time I've read.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Wow, Matt, My Mind is Reeling!

That was fascinating! I knew Matt was smart, but I really didn't know he was THAT smart! I'm so proud! Please send us more!!

Musings on Time

I came across this article ( several days ago and it persists in my memory.

Before I address the articles content, I need to contextualize a bit. Two summers ago while teaching an advanced acting class here in Scottsdale, I referenced Einstein's Theory of Relativity as a reasonable proof to the fluidity of time. Essentially the faster you are traveling in relation to something else, the slower time passes for you when compared to that other. Ergo time is not constant. This had a profound effect on one of my students who had never conceived that something as "fixed" as time could be mutable. Her response fed into my discussion and helped illuminate my effort to encourage them to think for themselves. If time isn't fixed then many things in their lives are not including imagination, ability to progress and so on.

Now after reading the above article it seems that physicists have long known that time might not exist at all. It isn't observable and theoretically begins to break down when reconciling the behaviors of quanta. Our reckoning of time is generally standardized by the oscillation of Cesium atoms within a closed system. This establishes a government standard for what time is and subsequently all of our timepieces are synced to such devices. Personally my observation of the passing of time is wildly variable, i.e. whether I'm at work(slow) or having fun(fast), as is my memory of the past and how the passing of time feels as I get older.

So time isn't constant and it might not exist at all. What we perceive as the flow of time could just be a byproduct of our biology. That "sense" might be the barrier to understanding what our true nature is, beings who exist outside of time. Immortal no longer because the word itself cannot be defined without time. Where we were before, where we are now and where we will be in the future may all coexist happily on top of each other rather then as a sequential set of events.

I think Einstein says it well, from the article:
  • In March 1955, when his lifelong friend Michele Besso died, he wrote a letter consoling Besso’s family: "Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion."

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Too Busy to Blog

I started my blog last week, thinking I would have time every day to write something, or to bug Matt about some question I had. But, then I decided to start a Children's Choir, and I haven't even given my new blog a moment's thought! So far, I have six kids in my children's choir, and I just thought of doing it on Monday. That's pretty good! I'm hoping to blog again soon. Matt, if you're reading this, I'm expecting a new latest and greatest ASAP!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Leslie Says...

Okay, this blog is even more interesting than I thought it would be! I'm thinking I should ask our mother, Ann to contribute. She is a fount of information about household stuff like laundry, cleaning, the latest health tips,etc. If you have a question for Ann, this is a good place to ask!

Matt, What is Kalapapa and what is the height of the cliffs around them? - Auntie Vicki

Hmm. I'm going to split this response into two categories. What I know before I resort to research and then, of course, the researched one.

I believe Kalapapa is a town in Hawaii that used to be a leper colony. As for the height of the cliffs, no idea.

Here's what I have gleaned from the web:

Kalaupapa is now a national park dedicated to preserving the story of forced isolation of those afflicted with Hansen's Disease (Leprosy) from 1866 to 1969. (NPS.GOV) As outside diseases were brought to the islands, the Hawaiians felt that isolation was the only solution. Kalaupapa was the perfect solution because of its unique geography. It was surrounded on three sides by the ocean and the peninsula was cut of from the rest of Molokai by the tallest sea cliffs in the world. ( At their highest point they are 3,300 ft above sea level. (


Saturday, January 5, 2008

Leslie says...

See, I told ya!

Leslie's Little Brother Matt is Full of Crap!

I think the blog needs a new title (see above) but since I did not create it I will acquiesce. Leslie asked me to contribute my "words of wisdom" and/or my "latest greatest fact." I will do both, briefly for I have no love of writing.

I'll start with the "words of wisdom." Expose yourself to a variety of viewpoints and challenge each "fact" as it is presented. This is the fundamental characteristic of critical thinking. Do not allow the media or friends or government or anyone to be the sole foundation for your understanding. Question everything. Everything! Not only will it make you wiser but more tolerant, more Christlike.

Case in point my "latest greatest fact", I was reading this article this morning.
Biofuels are good right? Maybe not. I won't reiterate what was already explained in the article, but it is important to challenge assumptions. 'Twould be ironic if in pursuit of minimizing our carbon emissions (evil) we do something worse (evil-er).

Anywho, I'm flattered by Leslie's faith in my intellect. Blah, blah, blog...