Our Small Request

We hope you can join us often as we explore the positive elements of creation of which we are all a part. We will do our best to keep you abreast of positive developments in the world. We ask only a small favor: We wish to keep religion and politics out of our work, for they so often lead to misunderstanding. With this, we wish you the brightest day, and we look forward to exploring the wonderment of life with you. For more about this blog, see our side menu.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Nuts, Bolts, and Thingamajigs

Manufacturing in the US has taken a beating over the last decades. Stiff and relentless foreign competition has decimated many industries, and poor public relations have hidden many of the social advantages that manufacturing provides. Manufacturing is vital to our future, and its decline in our nation is a cause for concern. We need the youth of our country to recognize manufacturing as a viable career choice, but with manufacturing hidden behind more splashy looking choices, few of our young people give consideration to manufacturing as a career choice.

Enter John Ratzenberger. Best known for playing the character Cliff Clavin on the TV show “Cheers”, John is a founder of an organization called Nuts, Bolts, and Thingamjigs. http://nutsandboltsfoundation.org. This is an organization devoted to developing the spirit of manufacturing and tinkering, especially in our youth. His organization sponsors many programs for students and people of all ages to advance our ability to make things. You can find many useful aids on his site, and you may find that it is something that you can support to give our future manufacturing a boost.

While it is true that, in the past, many corporations, manufacturers and otherwise, had a less than stellar record on ethics and environmental activities, it is also true that American manufacturers have worked for years to clean up their act, literally and figuratively. Most of these firms understand and embrace the responsibilities they have towards a better world. They strive to use green technologies or are at the forefront of making these technologies; they provide good benefits and exciting careers to workers; and they strive to be a good partner within their respective communities. Further, few American manufacturers will embark upon a new project in this day and age without thinking of the consequences of that project to the community and to the environment. There is a wonderful shift taking place, with even quality control systems such as ISO:9000 now incorporating social responsibilities as part of a companies quality and continuous improvement certifications.

Our manufacturing firm is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and we have committed to visiting and working with schools and students in our area to educate our youth on the benefits manufacturing holds for them. No matter how much we automate or what new “systems” or machinery we put in place, the foundation of any company will always be the people that compose it. Nothing gets started without ideas (people), and nothing gets accomplished without action (people again!). So, thank you to the John Ratzenbergers and to all those who have worked so hard to bring manufacturing to a higher level. In the long run, it will be of great benefit to humanity.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Exploration of Our (Inner) Universe

Have you seen the recent photos of Saturn and its moons Mimas and Calypso? They are truly astounding and awe-inspiring. The photos were sent to us from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, at an angle just above the Saturn rings. Google it and enjoy!

We truly live in a marvelous time. We can only imagine what Galileo Galilei, Leonardo da Vinci, Nicolaus Copernicus, and other great scientists of the past would think of these photos, and what they would think of our current ability to perform such feats. Seeing these heavenly bodies up close reminds all of us that we are part of an absolutely wondrous, living universe, just as it is a part of us.

Those few individuals who have been fortunate enough to venture into space all relate an experience of seeing our planet as part of a larger reality, and from the vantage point of space, it is hard to fathom how we can get ourselves into the petty differences that divide us. We are amazing creatures that have a need to explore, and with our every discovery, there is awakened another desire to learn evermore. As we learn about our universe, we inevitably learn about ourselves, not only our physical make-up and surroundings, but also about our conscious growth. This fact is explored in depth with research done at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, co-founded by former Apollo astronaut, Edgar Mitchell. It was on his flight back to Earth aboard Apollo 14 that Mitchell had a profound experience that he describes thus: “The presence of divinity became almost palpable, and I knew that life in the universe was not just an accident based on random processes ... The knowledge came to me directly." As human beings, perhaps we have come to realize that our inner nature is also worthy of exploration, and indeed, it is the essence of our exploration.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Links We Like

Here is a link to an article about Professor Julian Simon, who reflects upon the positive aspects of our world getting better and better. Good food for thought!

In our efforts to clean up our world, scientists have found a new nuclear fuel that may help clean up our past nuclear use. Take a look:


The world is in good (green) hands. Go here for a look at the Greener Gadgets conference in New York City . Progress in green technologies will multiply as it becomes more available and profitable, good news for anything existing on our planet!


We can always use a little inspiration. Our current favorite quotes site is http://www.famousquotesandauthors.com/. Check it out, find a quote, get inspired, and spread the light!

Life Expectancy

In the past century, life expectancy has risen dramatically. Best of all, our quality of life at “advanced age” has also remarkably improved. A big key to our longevity is our understanding of heart disease. Another big change has been the realization that we can actually take care of ourselves through proper thinking, nutrition, and exercise, thereby avoiding getting sick in the first place. We now have enough information readily available that can show us how better to manage almost ever aspect of our lives, and most importantly, our health. This link will take you to the American Heart Associations site, with an article that focuses on heart health. Taking care of our heart, physically, mentally, and emotionally, is the basis of a fulfilling life.


Abolishing Poor Nutrition

We often hear of poor nutrition in schools and elsewhere contributing to obesity and other issues with our children. For many years, our medical professionals have shown us how starting proper eating habits with our very youngest is essential for their future health and well-being. Of course, mothers always intuitively knew this, and while new worldly challenges have faced mothers in the past half-century, nothing can remove their natural caring and love for their children. The women in this story took matters into their own hands in order to provide more healthy choices for children, a reminder that the world is in good hands as long as there are mothers. (Ok, ok, fathers are pretty cool too!)


Monday, February 8, 2010

The Right Thing

Doing the right thing is a goal that we all wish to fulfill, though its accomplishment is sometimes more difficult to us than we would want to admit. Perhaps the key is to remember that our decisions have long lasting effects upon ourselves and upon others. As much as possible, we want those lasting effects to have a positive impact. Thus, following the way of our hearts can be a reliable guide, as the ensuing poem relates.

I Picked Up a Paper Wrapper

I picked up a paper wrapper
That blew in front of me.
I might have left it to blow here and there,
But I wanted to do the right thing.

I stopped to help an elder
To cross a busy street
I was going the opposite way,
But I wanted to do the right thing.

I kept on working steady
When the doors were almost closed
The company was going nowhere,
But I wanted to do the right thing.

I slowed for someone in traffic
And let them go ahead,
It slowed a bit my passage,
But I wanted to do the right thing.

I refrained from speaking ill
Of someone who did me harm
The opportunity was there,
But I wanted to do the right thing.

When I am alone and no one is watching
With the chance to take and run,
I do my best to give and hold
Because I want to do the right thing.

For at the end of my day I realize
From the days looking back at me
I needn’t have picked up the paper,
If someone else had done the right thing.

Return of the Trumpeter Swans

Human beings have the power to control many things within their environment, not the least of which is assisting or harming other creatures that share our planet. To our credit, when we become conscious of damages we have wrought, we often acknowledge our error and do our best to reverse course. One example of this is the return of the Trumpeter Swans in Iowa. This story is a beautiful example of our inherent compassion towards other living creatures and for the preservation of our world.


Friday, February 5, 2010


Think about it. This month we celebrate love, and in my opinion, not just the love of soul mates but love in general. The love of friends, the love of spouses, the love of humanity. And with this celebration I feel a heightened consciousness of humanity as it focuses its thoughts and energies on love! Along this note, listen to these words by Khalil Gibrhan, who said
"In the sweetness of friendship; let there be laughter and the sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed."
So how are you celebrating this month? Random acts of kindness? Sharing sweets with your loved ones? Spreading words of love, peace, and beauty to those you come in contact? We would like to hear from you!

Some other good news for the week:


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Lo and Behold

Lo and behold…something we all knew, and another confirmation for us to take to heart. In recent articles spread throughout the internet, experts said many of the top cancers — like those in the lungs, breasts and colon — might be avoided if people changed their lifestyle habits. To reduce their risk, the agency recommended that people stop smoking, limit their alcohol consumption, avoid too much sun, and maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise.

So, your health is in your hands! Follow a life of moderation and exercise, stay away from cigarettes, and you have taken major steps at lengthening your life and maintaining an active lifestyle.

 Many men go fishing all their lives not knowing it is not fish they are after.
       –Henry David Thoreau

These words of Thoreau, as do the words of many great writers of the past, give us pause about the human condition. What might his sentence mean? If it is not the fish we are after, what is it?  Perhaps it is the peace of mind that results from communing with nature while the stress of the day gets lost in the sights and sounds of the scenery. Perhaps it is having the opportunity to quietly enjoy our world away from the loud activities of our own material creations.  Oftentimes, we are drawn to these moments from an inner desire, without actually knowing why or where the desire comes from.  There is an inherent need in all of us to relate to our creator and with mother nature.  We should heed this desire, as enjoying these types of urgings are healthy, helpful, reinvigorating, and free.