Tuesday, June 30, 2009

And Then Some News

Have you checked out SMOERs.com lately? We've updated the website to offer you more. It's not just a 10-day sample of self-motivation, optimism, encouragement, rules... Now it's a full 30 days where each sumptuous page offers a delectable treat. Get more daily reminders for outstanding living and then get the full 365 days in th book.

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Also, RelationshipRulesWorks.com has been updated with new essays. Now there are seven essays supporting our upcoming book on relationships! Some essays are only available on the website and haven't been posted on our blog. Check out the essays section and read more.

Check out the painting progress in the Book Cover section of RelationshipRulesWorks.com. This page will be updated soon with new pictures... the cover painting is done!

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Thursday’s essay is the fifth in a ten-part series about our Mediterranean cruise. (We’re half-way through.) The first essay was entitled, “Cruising is incredibly self-indulgent,” and it served as an introduction to the series. The second essay was called, “Barcelona and the French Riviera (Nice and Eze): Minds Stretched in New Directions.” The third essay was, “Livorno, Civitavecchia, and Tuscania: So much history it boggles the mind.” Last week’s essay was, “The Sistine Chapel, Saint Peter’s, and the Colosseum - Our tour of Rome.” This week, the essay is called, “The Port of Napoli - Our tour of Pompei and our warning about Naples.” The series will cover additional cruise stops in Athens, Istanbul, Santorini and Mikanos (Greece), as well as Venice. The essays will offer a little history, our experiences on the excursions, as well as additional insights and observations.

Share your link. Have you written anything on Mediterranean cruising? Have you visited the port of Napoli, Naples (the city), or Pompei? Do you know someone who has? Can you share some insights about any of your own touring or excursion experiences with readers? What would you like to tell people who want to cruise the Mediterranean? Places to go? Things to see? Any personal information you would like to share with them? Share your link with us. We’ll post it and move traffic in your direction. And, a big “thank you,” in advance, from AndThenSomeWorks.com, for sharing your link.

Click here to LINK your And Then Some story

Thursday's And Then Some Essay preview

The Port of Napoli - Our tour of Pompei and our warning about Naples
by Richard L. Weaver II

Excerpt:

Pompeii was a thriving Roman city and standing in the Forum, the center of the old city, you are surrounded by the remains of lavish temples and porticoes. The forum was an open place where all people could gather and nearby were centers of government, places of worship, and markets. As one walks the narrow stone streets, at each intersection there are raised stepping stones that ensured pedestrians could cross without getting their togas wet. Embedded deeply in these stone streets one can still see the deep ruts of the chariots, always pulled by two donkeys.



And Then Some Works - see you Thursday!!


Monday, June 29, 2009

Book Review Mondays

More information at Amazon.com
No obligation to buy Click below:

The Ten Roads to Riches: The Ways the Wealthy Got There (And How You Can Too!)
by Ken Fisher

Book Review by Richard L. Weaver II, PhD.

Ken Fisher’s 228-page book, The Ten Roads to Riches: The Ways the Wealthy Got There (And How You Can Too!), covers the subjects (in separate chapters): 1) Start your own business, 2) Become a CEO, 3) Become a "ride-along" to a successful CEO, 4) Become rich and famous, 5) Marry into wealth, 6) Become a plaintiff attorney, 7) Use other people's money, 8) Invent something, 9) Real estate, 10) Save and live frugally. For most people, of course, the final chapter will have the most relevance. Fisher is a self-made billionaire, and helps those wanting to start a business, own real estate, invest wisely, or marry very, very well (from the front jacket). The book is a fun, fast read (It takes about a day or two.) It is full of examples, includes 14 pages of high-quality notes, offers a great deal of sage advice, and is written in a simple (jargonless) manner that is engaging. I highly recommend this book.

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Through our reading, researching, and writing, And Then Some Publishing (and our extended family of readers) mine volumes of books representing a wide variety of tastes. We use the books in our writing, test and try suggested techniques, and we read for enjoyment as well. We wouldn't spend the time reviewing the books if we didn't get something out of it. Read more reviews on other fantastic books at our BookWorksRules.com website.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Weekend Words

"Words are but the images of matter; and except they have life of reason and invention, to fall in love with them is all one as to fall in love with a picture." ---Francis Bacon

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Sistine Chapel, Saint Peter’s, & the Colosseum — Our tour of Rome

by Richard L. Weaver II

“When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” said Saint Ambrose, in 387 A.D. Some aspects of this popular aphorism cannot be avoided. For example, as you get closer and closer to the city, traffic begins backing up, and you wonder — appropriately — if you’re ever going to see the city. Traffic is horrendous, and our excursion guide told us it is that way all the time. The best advice she gives to tourists is, “Don’t drive in Rome.”

A comment like that, “Don’t drive in Rome,” doesn’t just refer to the amount of traffic; it refers to Roman drivers as well. Watching our bus driver maneuver was an amazing display of negotiation and orchestration. Every move, in a bus full of 50 people, requires plotting, scheming, and skillful operation. It isn’t just the small cars going in and out of traffic and trying to enter already full lanes, it is the thousands of motor scooters (Vespas) following the middle area between the lanes of traffic — zipping along on the right and left, then crossing between and among the cars. Viewed from above, as we did from the seat of our excursion bus, it looks like chaos — crowded, clogged, and going nowhere fast — and yet it is a spirited, high-octane, gutsy chaos that reveals a zestful dynamism that is positive, aggressive and, finally, with patience, successful.

Just an aside about Rome traffic has to do with trying to cross a Roman street. Not only do automobiles not obey the traffic signals, but the notorious Vespas appear suddenly out of nowhere to wreak havoc with attempts to cross the street. The best advice is to latch onto natives, and let their expertise be your guide.

The drive into Rome from the port town of Civitavechhia takes 1½ hours, some of that on a 4-lane highway — which should be 8-lanes just to service the traffic. On the way, we passed the small port city where our bus-tour guide, Valerie, lives — a 21-year-old, attractive, female, college student studying Italian, English, and Chinese. She told us about her interest in rock music (and the groups she likes, e.g. “Guns & Roses,” “Queen,” and “Kiss”), her interest in moving to Los Angeles, her car, and some of the things she and her “spinster” (her word) girlfriends enjoy doing. It wasn’t about sightseeing, explaining things we were seeing along the way, or even about Rome and what we could expect; it was about her, her life, and her interests.

We passed a McDonald’s and sitting in the second row of seats at the front of the bus, I asked Valerie if she likes McDonald’s. She said she goes there at least once a week for a cheeseburger, fries with curry sauce, and a coke. She said, “I love Coca-Cola.”

Although Valerie was not one of our better guides as far as her historical knowledge and amount of information, she gave us insight into the life of teenagers in Italy. She probably learned as much from all of us as we learned from her. She proved her English acumen at reciting one tongue-twister, and we taught her two others: “She sells seashells down by the seashore,” and “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood.” I wrote these two in a notebook she provided for me.

After picking up a tour guide for Rome, we went directly to the Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter’s Basilica, both located in the one-half mile square, smallest country in the world — Vatican City. Although the Sistine Chapel was crowded shoulder-to-shoulder (we had 20-30 minutes there), the line to get into Saint Peter’s Basilica went around the entire Saint Peter’s Square — almost a mile-and-a-half we were told. The Basilica takes its name from Saint Peter who was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and who is buried there. We went directly to the front of the line, took less than 15-20 minutes to get in (because we had a reservation), and then spent almost an hour (way too long!) inside. Our guide was not only knowledgeable, she wanted us to see and experience everything in this massive, marble, memorial to dead Popes — beginning with the first ones. We would have preferred a more balanced approach, because our next stop was the Coliseum where we had just 15-20 minutes to see everything and use the restrooms.

Two impressive sights within Saint Peter’s Basilica are Michelangelo’s “Pieta” and Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Pulpit. The Pieta depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother, Mary, after the crucifixion. The Pieta is in the first chapel to the right as one enters the basilica, and was moved to this location in the 18th century. Bernini’s Pulpit is an 85-foot high Baroque baldachin over the high alter in Saint Peter’s. Between the 16th and 18th centuries, canopies were used for various purposes.

We became even more aware of our guide’s predisposition toward Saint Peter’s when we exited the Basilica into Saint Peter’s Square only to realize that Pope Bemedict XVI — elected on April 19, 2005 — was on site. Visiting a nearby museum, they had a large screen television set up in the Square that followed his every move, and chairs were everywhere for people to sit and view his presence. Our guide remarked how lucky we were to be there when the Pope was visiting. Truly, she was in awe.

We stopped for lunch at the Ristorante Tanagra where we were served pasta with tomato sauce, peas, potatoes, and two hamburger patties, along with tiramisu for dessert. There was champagne, wine, and bottled water as well. It was an adequate lunch but nothing spectacular.

The Roman Colosseum — our last stop in Rome — is a colossal structure and the largest ever built during the Roman empire. It is one of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions. Known to seat 50,000 spectators, it was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on classical mythology. It remained in use for nearly 500 years with the last recorded games being played as recently as the 6th century. Following its use for entertainment in the early medieval era, at various times it was used for housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine. Its current damaged condition resulted both from earthquakes and stone robbers.

We were already running late, and the bus ride back to the ship (1½ -hours) got us there at 6:30. We had to hurriedly change clothes and proceed late to a 6:15 dinner. Being at a table for two, however, allowed us to discuss our long day in Rome. There is no question that the Roman sites we visited today were stunning, but the immensity of the city, the volume of traffic, and the narrowness of the streets made our visit a singular one. We enjoyed every minute of our 10-hour stay, but we have no interest in ever returning to Rome!
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On lonelyplanet, offers an overview as well as things to see and do. This is a tourist website, but it provides most of the information tourists need to get started.

At Italyguides.com, the website on “Rome” offers comprehensive travel information and a virtual tour of the city through a beautiful display of photography. This is a delightful website.

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Copyright June, 2009 - And Then Some Publishing L.L.C.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

SMOERs: Words of Wisdom

Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create. —Albert Einstein

Day #62 - Depend on your imagination.
SMOERs: Self-Motivation, Optimism, Encouragement Rules! - Daily Reminders for Outstanding Living
An everyday guide full of quotations to uplift your spirits.
Free 10-Day sample: smoers.com

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

And Then Some News

Have you checked out RelationshipRulesWorks.com? The front cover painting is almost done! We continue to update the website with examples of the cover and essays that support the upcoming book. The table of contents is now available with excerpts coming soon... and then some!

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Continuing our summer essay series, "A Crusing Summer" is the fourth in a ten-part series about our Mediterranean cruise. The first essay was entitled, “Cruising is incredibly self-indulgent,” and it served as an introduction to the series. The second essay was called, “Barcelona and the French Riviera (Nice and Eze): Minds Stretched in New Directions.” The third essay (from last Thursday) was, “Livorno, Civitavecchia, and Tuscania: So much history it boggles the mind.” This week’s essay is, “The Sistine Chapel, Saint Peter’s, and the Colosseum - Our tour of Rome.” The series will cover additional cruise stops in Naples, Athens, Istanbul, Santorini and Mikanos (Greece), as well as Venice. The essays will offer a little history, our experiences on the excursions, as well as additional insights and observations.

Share your link. Have you written anything on Mediterranean cruising? Have you visited The Sistine Chapel, Saint Peter’s, or the Colosseum? Do you know someone who has? Can you share some insights about any of your own touring or excursion experiences with readers? What would you like to tell people who want to cruise the Mediterranean? Places to go? Things to see? Any personal information you would like to share with them? Share your link with us. We’ll post it and move traffic in your direction. And, a big “thank you,” in advance, from AndThenSomeWorks.com, for sharing your link.

Click here to LINK your And Then Some story

Thursday's And Then Some Essay preview

The Sistine Chapel, Saint Peter's, and the Colosseum - Our tour of Rome
by Richard L. Weaver II

Excerpt:

A comment like that, “Don’t drive in Rome,” doesn’t just refer to the amount of traffic; it refers to Roman drivers as well. Watching our bus driver maneuver was an amazing display of negotiation and orchestration. Every move, in a bus full of 50 people, requires plotting, scheming, and skillful operation. It isn’t just the small cars going in and out of traffic and trying to enter already full lanes, it is the thousands of motor scooters (Vespas) following the middle area between the lanes of traffic — zipping along on the right and left, then crossing between and among the cars. Viewed from above, as we did from the seat of our excursion bus, it looks like chaos — crowded, clogged, and going nowhere fast — and yet it is a spirited, high-octane, gutsy chaos that reveals a zestful dynamism that is positive, aggressive and, finally, with patience, successful.


And Then Some Works - see you Thursday!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Book Review Mondays

More information at Amazon.com
No obligation to buy Click below:


Get People to do What You Want: How to Use Body Language and Words to Attract People You Like and Avoid the Ones You Don't
by Gregory Hartley and Maryann Karinch

Book Review by Richard L. Weaver II, PhD.

Hartley and Karinch's 283-page book, Get People to do What You Want, has a great title that, by itself, will attract readers. The authors give some information on what motivates people, and I think beginning a book with this title with an explanation and application of Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is a superb idea, and it may be one (maybe even the) most important part of the book. If you are familiar with the area of persuasion, there are many books in the field (as you already know) that offer information. If you're looking for insights, new information or perspectives, recent evidence or new resources, or suggestions that exceed what you already know from common knowledge or commonsense, look elsewhere. The examples are interesting, the book is simple to read, the suggestions are straightforward and easy to put into use, and, overall, it provides a broadbased beginning point --- an elementary approach --- for those interested in persuading others.

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Through our reading, researching, and writing, And Then Some Publishing (and our extended family of readers) mine volumes of books representing a wide variety of tastes. We use the books in our writing, test and try suggested techniques, and we read for enjoyment as well. We wouldn't spend the time reviewing the books if we didn't get something out of it. Read more reviews on other fantastic books at our BookWorksRules.com website.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Weekend Words

"All words are spiritual. Nothing is more spiritual than words." ---Walt Whitman

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Livorno, Civitavecchia, and Tuscania: So much history it boggles the mind

by Richard L. Weaver II

After docking in Livorno, Italy, where there is nothing but industry, containers waiting to be loaded or unloaded, and container ships, we spent 3½ hours on a bus traveling into Florence. Forty-five minutes to one hour of that time was spent in a small gas station on the way into the city so people (7 busloads at one point) could use the restrooms.

Traveling into Florence allowed us to see beautiful countryside as well as a park-like entrance and a view of the entire city from the Plaza of David where a copper replica of Michelangelo’s David holds a commanding overview. Within the city with its traffic and narrow streets, we went directly to the Academy Museum where Michelangelo’s actual statue of David resides. Getting there early helped us gain entry easily. There were many people standing in line to get in, but with a tour, reservations, and a bold excursion guide, we entered with little pause. Seeing this masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture — and the most recognizable statue in the history of art — is breathtaking. It is both a symbol of strength and youthful beauty.

Following the Academy Museum, we stopped at Cathedral Square to view the Duomo, the Baptistery, and Giotto’s Bell Tower. In Signoria Square we saw a second copy of David and toured the Church of Santa Croce where Michelangelo is buried in a non-descript tomb that our excursion guide said, “gives tour guides something to talk about.” The Italian composer Rossini is buried in the same church.

We had lunch at the Ristorante Tirovino which consisted of alfredo lasagna, potatoes, peas, and chicken covered in red sauce. The bottled water and dry red wine were appreciated, but the tiramisu was the best we have had thus far.

Tiramisu is an Italian desert typically made from sponge-finger biscuits, espresso coffee, mascarpone cheese, eggs, cream, sugar, Marsala wine, cocoa, and rum. The Italian name tiramisu means “pick-me-up” (metaphorically, “make me happy”) and considering the caffeine-containing ingredients (espresso and cocoa) and the sugar, its pick-me-up notoriety comes as no surprise.

Following lunch we viewed the Ponte Vecchio (or “Old Bridge”) which dates back to 1345. As we walked the bridge, we were on constant lookout for pickpockets, and the warning we received well before we arrived there was reinforced by two burly police officers holding billy clubs and standing next to each other in the center of the entryway in fierce “I dare you” posture.

The 1½ -hour bus trip back to the ship where we arrived 1½-hours late took place through small towns and numerous countryside vistas. It was totally unexpected and not on the itinerary. It turns out that our bus driver was in contact with two other tour buses ahead of us, and those drivers warned ours about a 3½ mile back-up of traffic on the main highway ahead of us (due to both construction and an accident), so our driver took an immediate exit which returned us to the port more quickly and avoided delay.

A 6:45 p.m. return to our ship put us in the Mediterranean Restaurant at 7 p.m. (45-minutes late), but our waiter, Catalin, and his assistant, Everton, waited for us, expected us to be late, and cheerfully welcomed us back to the ship. Only 4 days since coming onboard, and already our wait staff was making us feel comfortable and secure.

Following the port of Livorno, the port for all cruise ships with passengers heading to Rome, is Civitavecchia. Although we were in this port for 2 days (by popular demand our cruise line told us), we chose to go into Rome (about 1½ hours by bus) on the second day only. Touring takes its toll on the body, and our second day in Rome includes a 10-hour tour. On the first day in Civitavecchia, we chose a half-day excursion through the Etruscan countryside to a small village called Tuscania and then on to a farm that grows and presses olives into a variety of extra-virgin olive oils. Their olive oil is special for two reasons. First, they only pick the olives when they are exactly ready, and, second, they press them into oil (using a portable press taken directly to the trees) immediately when harvested. This prevents the acidic build-up that occurs when the olives are not pressed immediately.

The woman giving us the talk at the olive farm told us that to get regular olive oil (or virgin oil), the mash from the first pressing is put back into the press; however, to make it taste like extra-virgin (and to bring out added flavor), chemicals are added to it. Only the extra-virgin olive oil is from the first pressing of the olives and is free of chemicals. This is the kind of information that makes these excursions so interesting, valuable, and worthwhile.

Our visit to the small, remote, walled city of Tuscania reminded me of our previous visit to Eze along the French Riviera. Both were situated on hills so the inhabitants could protect themselves from invaders. Both cities were walled. Both were active and vibrant and contained many small stores within the walls. Eze was more tourist oriented; Tuscania, much larger than Eze, was more eclectic and cosmopolitan. Both had a cathedral as a central, important element in the village. The cathedral of Eze had a bishop; that of Tuscania (a duomo), did not.

Our guide for our trip to Tuscania, and our bus driver for this trip as well, were from a small city on a hill we passed as we drove to Tuscania. I mention this for one reason only. Like our previous guides, these folks relate so many dates and times they are hard to digest. For example, Tuscania was built during the 7th century and its strategical position granted it a leading role in the Etruscan world. In the 5th century it became one of the first bishopric seats in Italy, maintaining it until 1653. It gets worse. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Tuscania fell to the Lombards in 569, became part of the Papal States in 967-1066, was a fief of the Auguillara family, and then a fief of the marquises of Tuscany, before being besieged by Emperor Henry IV in 1081. There were at least seven more changes of authority throughout the years including being ravaged by the French troops of King Charles VIII during his march towards the Kingdom of Naples in 1495. After inner struggles and riots of the citizens, the city experienced a long decline until the annexation to the new unified Kingdom of Italy in 1870. You get the point.

Although historical information like this is important — especially to the local people — without other known historical reference points it is difficult to remember the details. There is so much history in these European towns, it boggles the mind.
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At LivornoNow, the website includes everything you may want to know about Livorno, Italy, and its surrounding area: 1) News, Articles & Editorial, 2) Annual Events & National Holidays, 3) About Livorno, 4) Travel & Transport, 5) Accommodation, 6) Wining, Dining & Partying, 7) Places to Visit, 8) Shopping in Livorno, 9) Bars and Caf├ęs, 10) People, 11) Sarah's Blog, 12) Sport and Free Time, 13) Music Scene, 14) The Arts, 15) Services, 16) Real Estate, 17) Event Management, 18) Community Close Up, 19) Livorno Now Photo Galleries, 20) Local Authorities & Utilities, 21) Medical & Emergency, 21) About Us, and 22) LivornoNow Connections Friendly Links.

At About.com: Cruises, Linda Garrison has a wonderful essay, “Rome and Civitavecchia - Mediterranean Ports of Call: Unforgettable Eternal City,” in which she makes the case for her first statement, “Rome is a marvelous city, and deserves a visit of several days, weeks, or even months.”

At planetware, using the icons at the top of the page, you can find out anything you want to know about Tuscania, Italy. This is a tourism website, so it gives you tourist interests at the click of a mouse.
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Copyright June, 2009 - And Then Some Publishing L.L.C.





Wednesday, June 17, 2009

SMOERs: Words of Wisdom

Procrastination is a roadblock in the path of happiness. —Maxwell Maltz

Day #61 - Stop procrastinating.
SMOERs: Self-Motivation, Optimism, Encouragement Rules! - Daily Reminders for Outstanding Living
An everyday guide full of quotations to uplift your spirits.
Free 10-Day sample: smoers.com

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

And Then Some News

Thursday’s essay is the third in a ten-part series about our Mediterranean cruise. The first essay was entitled, “Cruising is incredibly self-indulgent,” and it served as an introduction to the series. The second essay was called, “Barcelona and the French Riviera (Nice and Eze): Minds Stretched in New Directions.” The third essay (coming this Thursday) is, “Livorno, Civitavecchia, and Tuscania: So much history it boggles the mind.” The series will cover additional cruise stops in Naples, Athens, Istanbul, Santorini and Mikanos (Greece), as well as Venice. The essays will offer a little history, our experiences on the excursions, as well as additional insights and observations.

Share your link. Have you written anything on Mediterranean cruising? Have you visited Livorno, Civitavecchia, or Tuscania? Do you know someone who has? Can you share some insights about any of your own touring or excursion experiences with readers? What would you like to tell people who want to cruise the Mediterranean? Any personal information you would like to share with them? Share your link with us. We’ll post it and move traffic in your direction. And, a big “thank you,” in advance, from AndThenSomeWorks.com, for sharing your link.

Click here to LINK your And Then Some story

Thursday's And Then Some Essay preview

Livorno, Civitavecchia, and Tuscania: So much history it boggles the mind
by Richard L. Weaver II

Excerpt:

Traveling into Florence allowed us to see beautiful countryside as well as a park-like entrance and a view of the entire city from the Plaza of David where a copper replica of Michelangelo’s David holds a commanding overview. Within the city with its traffic and narrow streets, we went directly to the Academy Museum where Michelangelo’s actual statue of David resides. Getting there early helped us gain entry easily. There were many people standing in line to get in, but with a tour, reservations, and a bold excursion guide, we entered with little pause. Seeing this masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture — and the most recognizable statue in the history of art — is breathtaking. It is both a symbol of strength and youthful beauty.


And Then Some Works - see you Thursday!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Book Review Mondays





More information at Amazon.com
No obligation to buy Click below:

Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson
by Mitch Albom

Book Review by Richard L. Weaver II, PhD.

Mitch Albom's very popular 192-page book, Tuesdays with Morrie, can be enjoyed on a variety of levels. First, if you've ever had a great teacher, it is a wonderful and touching dialog between teacher and student. Second, the philosophical insights, wisdom, and simple life lessons Morrie Schwartz, a sociology professor at Brandies University, dispenses throughout the book are excellent, basic lessons on how to live. Third, you experience, along with Albom, Morrie's declining health (he's dying from ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease)), and it is an honest and straightforward lesson in how to die. Fourth, you learn from this experience that human relationships and health are more important than all the gadgets, modern conveniences, and the other trivialities that occupy our lives. Fifth, you enjoy the special connection that can take place between a spiritual mentor and a pupil. Sixth, you will be reading a book that will touch your heart in a deep and meaningful way. This is a short, inspirational book (It takes 2-4 hours to read), with the most important truth being: you learn to live by learning to die. The other truths include the necessity of devoting yourself to loving others, devoting yourself to your community, and devoting yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning. What's interesting about this book --- a type I tend to avoid, for the most part (it was recommended to me by my wife) --- is that "it lives up to all the hype!" It is a classic, and it will continue to be a bestseller for a long time. I highly recommend it.

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Through our reading, researching, and writing, And Then Some Publishing (and our extended family of readers) mine volumes of books representing a wide variety of tastes. We use the books in our writing, test and try suggested techniques, and we read for enjoyment as well. We wouldn't spend the time reviewing the books if we didn't get something out of it. Read more reviews on other fantastic books at our BookWorks website.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Weekend Words

"Words, when well chosen, have so great a Force in them, that a Description often gives us more lively Ideas than the Sight of Things themselves." ---Joseph Addison

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Barcelona and the French Riviera (Nice and Eze): Minds stretched in new directions

by Richard L. Weaver II

We heard it said on the plane as we approached Barcelona, that the city was nothing like it used to be because it was too westernized. That same comment can be made about most large cities around the world, but it doesn’t mean (or should not mean) that large cities contain unusual or unique sights that should not be explored, seen, or experienced.

Upon landing in Barcelona, we were taken to our hotel (Hotel Diagonal), by taxicab, and if our hotel were representative of all of Barcelona, it is true that the city would not be worth a visit. It was the most modern hotel we have ever experienced with elevators that indicate which of the three will carry you to your designation but with no internal buttons of any kind. Key cards activated the lights in each room; buttons activated two layers of shades that covered the glass window that made up one wall; and a bathroom, that except in the room with the toilet, offered no privacy behind clear glass walls, were some of the “amenities.” Lights, furniture, decorations, telephone, and all other accessories and accents were ultra-modern, “colored” in gray, black, or white, and supported an angular or square decorative scheme.

From our hotel, we took the subway 4 stops to what we were told was a Barcelona “must see.” La Rambla — a one mile long pedestrian boulevard in the old city that blended old building facades with souvenir shops, small restaurants, and the largest collection of “street performers” we’ve ever witnessed. These were people dressed in a wide-variety of costumes who simply pose — standing like statues — to have their pictures taken by themselves or with passers-by, all for a donation. Pedestrian walkways were experienced throughout Europe (in Vienna, Austria, in small cities along the Danube, Mine, and Rhine River, as well as other places we have visited). Strolling, meeting, talking, and eating along these pedestrian walkways is a foreign custom with which many Americans may be unfamiliar, except, perhaps, at American malls. La Rambla, on a Saturday afternoon and evening, was a crowded, mass of people: loud, active, and busy.

The French Riviera — our first cruise stop after Barcelona — was nothing like my image of it. My image included a white sand, beach-oriented, playground. The Riviera consists of a number of cities, of course, and some we did not see may have satisfied my image. We moored and were tendered in at Villefranche, and we enjoyed an excellent excursion to Nice and Eze with a wonderful guide. We did not go to Monaco and its popular and main city, Monte Carlo, but here is what is interesting about that. We were having lunch at a little restaurant in downtown Florence, as part of another (later) excursion, and seated with us was a young lady and her mother from Kalamazoo, Michigan, and, as well, a lawyer and his wife (Jim and Susan Cousins) from Livonia, Michigan. Jim was extolling the virtues of the excursion into Monaco, and the lady from Kalamazoo disagreed with every one of his observations and said the excursion was an absolute waste of money. They had different guides and it was a different time of day (morning versus afternoon), and the experiences were 180-degrees different!

The beach in Nice is nice. It follows the coast for miles and is accented by a pedestrian walkway and palm trees, but the beach is of pebbles, not sand. It was there, just beyond the pedestrian walkway in the center of Nice, where the flower market is located every morning. That same market is turned into an afternoon series of small, outdoor, intimate restaurants. Following the flower market each day, the city hoses down the area and carts away the garbage. Then each restaurant brings out its own chairs and tables to fill each of the vacated, tent-covered metal skeletons.

The place that stands out in my mind thus far, however, is the old, walled-city of Eze that stood perched like an “eagle’s nest” at the height of an imposing cliff. The small narrow roads, archways, stone houses, shady squares, and ancient fountains made this town unique and picturesque. The only open area we discovered was a grassy park at the far end of the village that looked out beyond the walls toward the hills, villages, and other cathedrals in the distance.

Eze is a medieval, fortified village built on the top of a steep hill for protection. It was moved from the nearby coast to the hilltop during a period when pirates were plundering the region, but its history is remarkable. It goes back to the neolithic era towards 2000 BC and its name originated from the port of Avisio located in the bay of Saint Laurent of Eze (east of the commune).

Like so many European villages, Eze experienced numerous occupations and changes in village authority. For example, it was originally occupied by the Saracens. In 1229 it was confiscated by the Count of Provence, Raymond B ranger V, and after belonged (until 1388) to the crown of Anjou-Provence. Until the 20th century Eze was charged to care for plague-stricken leprous people. It was in 1414 that Eze was returned to the House of Savoy. In 1543, occupants of Eze freed themselves of their lords and formed a “communautas.” Following occupation by Soliman the Magnificent at about the same time, the village of Eze experienced destruction of its castle by French troops (1713), creation of the Brotherhood of the Rosary (1764), return of the village to France (1807), return to the House of Savoy (1860), and the final return of Eze to France in 1914. Excursion guides tend to stretch minds with their extensive understanding of history and their willingness to share what they know with their willing listeners.

Eze was an exception to the other cites and villages along the French Riviera because of its location and its preservation of its mediaeval ambiance. Villefranche, Monte Carlo, Nice, and Cannes, however, are all places for the very rich, and all are resort communities for many French people of the upper crust. We chose neither to shop nor eat in Villefrance nor Nice.

We were but four days through a 14-day cruise, and we discovered that just like the river cruise we took of the Danube, Main, and Rhine Rivers of Europe, the information — like that we discovered about Eze — overwhelms the senses, the experiences have no (or little) reference to what we have known and understood previously, and the boundaries of our minds continue to edge ever outward with the full understanding that minds stretched in new directions never return to their original dimension.

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Everything you ever wanted to know about Barcelona can be found at the VISCA A CITY website — the official Barcelona city website. More information can be found as well at the Barcelona Tourist Guide. Also, at photo.net, Philip Greenspun offers, “A Phtographer’s Guide to Barcelona” which is well worth a look.

Check out FrenchRiviera.com for information about hotels, villas, vacations, rentals, and more. At guideriviera.com, you get information on transportation as well as art and culture, climate, and lifestyle.
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Copyright June, 2009 - And Then Some Publishing L.L.C.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

SMOERs: Words of Wisdom

The most important persuasion tool you have in your entire arsenal is integrity. —Zig Ziglar

Day #60 - Be a powerful persuader.
SMOERs: Self-Motivation, Optimism, Encouragement Rules! - Daily Reminders for Outstanding Living
An everyday guide full of quotations to uplift your spirits.
Free 10-Day sample: smoers.com

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

And Then Some News


And Then Some Publishing, LLC has opened a new store for T-Shirts, mugs, and more. From our library of projects, we are adding products every few days. Currently, we have And Then Some Gear, Butterfly Graphic, You Rules, and then some!

Don't forget to visit us often... New luscious SMOERs schwag is on the way!

Click here for our new And Then Some Publishing online store.

----- NOTE FOR COLLECTORS -----
We have released the first printing of the SMOERs book. As much as we love everything about this first printing, changes are afoot. We are making a number of small alterations to the cover and interior.

What does this mean? The current printing of our book is a collectors item and will not be available long. As soon as we sell just 10 books through Amazon.com the changes to SMOERs will be uploaded and the current version will no longer be available. That will make it a very special and treasured prize. Get your collectors' copy of the SMOERs book now before it's too late...

We have sold 3 books... the time is now!

Check out the first 10 days of tasty treats at www.smoers.com or buy now by clicking the book on the right. On sale now at Amazon. Get your hands around this delicious treat right now!

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Thursday’s essay is the second in a ten-part series about our Mediterranean cruise. The first essay was entitled, “Cruising is incredibly self-indulgent,” and it served as an introduction to the series. The second essay is called, “Barcelona and the French Riviera (Nice and Eze): Minds Stretched in New Directions.” The series will cover additional cruise stops in Florence, Rome, Naples, Athens, Istanbul, Santorini and Mikanos (Greece), as well as Venice. The essays will offer a little history, our experiences on the excursions, as well as additional insights and observations.

Share your link. Have you written anything on Mediterranean cruising? Have you visited Barcelona or the French Riviera? Do you know someone who has? Can you share some insights about any of your own touring or excursion experiences with readers? What would you like to tell people who want to cruise the Mediterranean? Any personal information you would like to share with them? Share your link with us. We’ll post it and move traffic in your direction. And, a big “thank you,” in advance, from AndThenSomeWorks.com, for sharing your link.

Click here to LINK your And Then Some story

Thursday's And Then Some Essay preview
Barcelona and the French Riviera (Nice and Eze): Minds stretched in new directions
by Richard L. Weaver II

Excerpt:

We were but four days through a 14-day cruise, and we discovered that just like the river cruise we took of the Danube, Main, and Rhine Rivers of Europe, the information — like that we discovered about Eze — overwhelms the senses, the experiences have no (or little) reference to what we have known and understood previously, and the boundaries of our minds continue to edge ever outward with the full understanding that minds stretched in new directions never return to their original dimension.


And Then Some Works - see you Thursday!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Book Review Mondays

More information at
Amazon.com
No obligation to buy Click below:

Cruise confidential: A hit below the waterline
by Brian David Bruns

Book Review by Richard L. Weaver II, PhD.

In this 370-page book, Burns truly takes you behind the glitter and glamour of cruising. Having taken nine cruises (including our River Cruise of the Great Rivers of Europe, which does not qualify as a large-ship cruise) it was easy to understand and identify with Burns, an American, who signed on as a crew member on Carnival Cruise Lines. If you have ever cruised before, you know immediately how unusual this is. Major cruise lines hire their crew from as many as 80 different foreign countries; however, for crew members, you will find very few from the U.S. After reading this book, you will understand why. For many crew members from other countries, especially countries less developed than our own, work for a cruise line pays substantially better than anything they can find in their own country. On most of the cruises we have taken, Filipinos, Indonesians, and Romanians predominated. Burns writes about the internal politics that occur, who gets promotions and why, and who does not. He points out, with specific examples, that his superiors were prejudiced when it came to promoting him, and he noted that one reason was that he was an American. From the hard work crew members endured, to the lack of sleep (often 3-4 hours per night because of heavy shifts piled on top of one another), to the romantic relationships developed, and to the stealing that occurred between dining stewards (those who arrived at the dining room first would stock their station by taking whatever they needed from another person’s station), this book was truly an eye opener. I loved every minute of it, and if you have cruised, you will too. You'll probably like it as well even if you haven't cruised. Burns writes well and tell a good story.

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Through our reading, researching, and writing, And Then Some Publishing (and our extended family of readers) mine volumes of books representing a wide variety of tastes. We use the books in our writing, test and try suggested techniques, and we read for enjoyment as well. We wouldn't spend the time reviewing the books if we didn't get something out of it. Read more reviews on other fantastic books at our BookWorks website.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Weekend Words

"Words not only affect us temporarily; they change us, they socialize or unsocialize us." ---David Riesman

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cruising is incredibly self-indulgent

by Richard L. Weaver II

I am writing this from a two-story nook (Deck’s 8 and 9) called “Words,” the onboard library of Celebrity’s ship Millennium, sailing the Mediterranean Sea from Barcelona, Spain, to four other countries (France, Italy, Greece, and Turkey) ending in Venice, Italy. In this dark wood, plushly carpeted nook are a dozen large, comfortable (overstuffed) chairs, convenient tables, and pictures of writers such as Philip Roth, Gore Vidal, Saul Bellow, Norman Mailer, and Isaac Bashevis Singer. It is quiet, the lights are low, and there is a delightful peace here away from the lively pool, spa, casino, and lunch buffet areas. There are close to 2,000 people onboard plus close to 1,000 wait staff — an eclectic crowd gathered from all parts of the globe.

Counting our river cruise with Grand Circle Travel, this is our eighth cruise, and I thought it time to make some observations as I did early in our cruising experience. Obviously, we like cruising, but there are portions of it that appeal more than others. Relaxing here in “Words,” clearly is one of them.

An important aspect of multiple cruise experiences is becoming accustomed to the rules and expectations. For example, we register all online, print out results, sign them, and carry the needed documentation with us. We follow requirements regarding what we carry and what we pack in our checked luggage. Reading ahead is essential for saving time. Getting caught in security, for example, can not only cost valuable time, but in the Amsterdam airport, it prevented us from making a plane connection that cost us 5-6 hours. We now pass through security check points with ease, except for the necessity of waiting in the inevitable long lines which cannot be avoided. I overheard one gentleman who travels a great deal complain that it is those who seldom travel and, thus, do not know the requirements, who make it difficult for others.

Our impression of “cruise types” has been confirmed. When I first wrote about cruising, I thought my stereotypes might be unfair. They have been substantially confirmed.

“Cruise types” include drinkers. Not only is this an important money-maker for cruise lines, but people enjoy their indulgence at all locations onboard, and everywhere you go, cruise-line wait-staff, are there asking if you want something from the bar. A simple “no thank you” is enough to free yourself from one waiter, however, there are often three or four others likely to ask you the same question. There is a gratuity attached to each drink; thus, wait staff have everything to gain from their pursuit. Fortunately, they are neither demanding nor intrusive.

Another characteristic of “cruise types” is the desire to gamble and play bingo. The casino has been a central location on all our ocean-going ships, and seldom when open have we found it sparsely populated. Bingo is a daily activity conducted in all the larger venues, and some people cannot get enough of either. Gambling success or losses is often a conversation topic among “cruisers.”

A third characteristic of “cruise types” is smoking. Although Celebrity Cruise Lines has confined it to the port side of the ship in all venues, it permeates more widely than the left side alone. Just walking through the casino or any of the bars is enough to give non-smokers headaches. One smoking venue — especially for cigar smoker s— on all Celebrity ships is Michael’s Club where the evening entertainment is often a piano player — entertainment that can be annoying for non-smokers simply because of the smoking venue.

Incidentally, and as an aside here, my wife and I have become “cruise types.” No, we have not taken up drinking, gambling, or smoking, but we have enjoyed the cruise experience for getting us to places we would not otherwise see, for providing us good food in abundance (and always available), for being waited on hand and foot, and in having excellent (but expensive) guided tours that are interesting and educational. For example, our excursion from Villefrance to Nice and Eze on the French Riviera had a well-educated guide who revealed a wonderful sense of humor, offered great historical information, and provided insightful personal observations. He began guiding tours in 1973 (34 years ago) when he was picked to be a guide as a teenager who worked on repairing the coaches. He spoke 5 languages (German, Italian, Spanish, French, and English), never completed his education, owns and works on a small farm he inherited from his father, and has one daughter.

When it comes to excursions, we have indulged: “If you’re going to all these places, you need to really see them,” is our thinking. On our Mediterranean cruise we took excursions to see Michelangelo’s original David, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum, Pompeii, the Acropolis and Forum, an olive farm and a winery, as well as, in Istanbul, The Blue Mosque, the St. Sophia Museum, the Grand Bazaar, and the Topkapi Palace.

We have enjoyed the people with whom we have cruised. It is true that many have money. You can tell that from the way they act and dress. We had less contact with others on our Mediterranean cruise, and that is partly because we sat at a table for two. Our contacts with others occurred on the many excursions we took; however, unlike previous cruises, we exchanged no email addresses; thus, there is unlikely to be any continued contact with those passengers.

One of the real pleasures of cruising has always been the entertainment. When we sailed on the Zenith from Jacksonville, Florida, to the southern Caribbean, we heard and enjoyed a trio (singers and instrumentalists who played guitars and a bass) from the Phillippines called the Alambre Trio. We liked them so much we kept in contact via the Internet, and we cruised with them a second time on the ship Horizon to Bermuda, and a third time to the Bahamas on the Norwegian ship “Spirit.” It was like going to a concert every night.

Ship entertainment includes dance bands, party bands, pianists, guitarists, and singers. We have heard and seen an accapella group of four men, comedians, jugglers, aerialists, ventriloquists, and a violinist. The variety seems inexhaustible, and I haven’t even mentioned the cruise line’s own singers and dancers who put on regular, elaborate, theme-based performances.

Cruising is self-indulgent, and it is pleasure seeking of the most extravagant nature. Luxurious, hedonistic, and excessive — I would never claim otherwise, and I make no excuses. It is a travel option, and we have found it to not just be satisfying but educational and worthwhile as well. If you’re going to be self-indulgent, why not see various parts of the world at the same time?
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At the website Cruises, the “Love to Know” essay there explains cost benefits, cruise vacation benefits, variety benefits, cruise vacation benefits: family benefits, as well as safety benefits. It’s a worthwhile read.

There is an ezine article, called “Cheap Cruises” by Junaid Ashraf Mianoor in which he offers a variety of ways to get good deals for less online. He makes some sensible suggestions.
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Copyright June, 2009 - And Then Some Publishing L.L.C.



Wednesday, June 3, 2009

SMOERs: Words of Wisdom

Live up to the best that is in you: Live noble lives, as you all may, in whatever condition you may find yourselves. —Henry W. Longfellow

Day #59 - Live a noble life.
SMOERs: Self-Motivation, Optimism, Encouragement Rules! - Daily Reminders for Outstanding Living
An everyday guide full of quotations to uplift your spirits.
Free 10-Day sample: smoers.com

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

And Then Some News

We're cruising this summer! No... we're not taking it easy. This summer we are telling the tales of the "Cruising Experience" via essays by author Richard L. Weaver II, PhD. Get lost in his first-hand experience... This summer it's time to "cruise"...

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Thursday’s essay is the first in a ten-part series about our Mediterranean cruise. The first essay is entitled, “Cruising is incredibly self-indulgent,” and it serves as an introduction to the series. The series will cover cruise stops in Barcelona, the French Riviera, Florence, Rome, Naples, Athens, Istanbul, Santorini and Mikanos (Greece), as well as Venice. The essays will offer a little history, our experiences on the excursions, as well as additional insights and observations.

Share your link. Have you written anything on cruising? Are you a “cruise type”? Do you know someone who is? Can you share some insights about any of your own cruise experiences with readers? What would you like to tell people who want to take their first cruise? Any personal information you would like to share with them? Share your link with us. We’ll post it and move traffic in your direction. And, a big “thank you,” in advance, from AndThenSomeWorks.com, for sharing your link.

Click here to LINK your And Then Some story

Thursday's And Then Some Essay preview

Cruising is incredibly self-indulgent
by Richard L. Weaver II

Excerpt:


Incidentally, and as an aside here, my wife and I have become “cruise types.” No, we have not taken up drinking, gambling, or smoking, but we have enjoyed the cruise experience for getting us to places we would not otherwise see, for providing us good food in abundance (and always available), for being waited on hand and foot, and in having excellent (but expensive) guided tours that are interesting and educational. For example, our excursion from Villefrance to Nice and Eze on the French Riviera had a well-educated guide who revealed a wonderful sense of humor, offered great historical information, and provided insightful personal observations. He began guiding tours in 1973 (34 years ago) when he was picked to be a guide as a teenager who worked on repairing the coaches. He spoke 5 languages (German, Italian, Spanish, French, and English), never completed his education, owns and works on a small farm he inherited from his father, and has one daughter.

And Then Some Works - see you Thursday!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Book Review Mondays

More information at Amazon.com
No obligation to buy Click below:
Mindset by Carol Dweck
Mindset
by Carol Dweck

Book Review by Richard L. Weaver II, PhD.

In February, 2006, I wrote an essay entitled, "Some people succeed because of their growth mindset." The essay explains my support for the book Mindset by Carol Dweck, so I have included, as my review of her book, the following essay:

Every now and then you hear or read something that explains a fact you’ve always been concerned about but never directly pursued with enthusiasm or interest. When you hear or read it, however, you think “Ah-ha, that’s it!"

As I was reading the March/April issue of Psychology Today (2006), in the section labeled “PT Road Test,” and under the heading “Self-Help,” in an article entitled “Press for Success,” Lee Billing reviewed the book called Mindset by Stanford psychology professor Carol Dweck. Her theme for the book can be captured in the statement: “the further you reach, the more you grow.”

Mindset is based on more than 20 years of research into personality, intelligence, and development, and it isn’t her theme that caught my attention.
What I found captivating is that in her book she identified “two distinct approaches to life, a divide,” writes Billings in his review, “with powerful implications.” This is how Billings explains Dweck’s bifurcation (dividing all of human behavior into two aspects):

“Those who believe that intelligence is God-given or intrinsic (the fixed mindset) are likely to stagnate, while those who think that aptitude is flexible and honed through experience (the growth mindset) tend to flourish and thrive” (p. 37).

Why is this piece of information so important? There are two reasons. First, throughout my professional career I have written and given speeches about motivation—how to be motivated and how to motivate others. Whether or not people are motivated is determined by mindset.

For persuaders, this is one piece of demographic information that might help them approach their listeners, because they would know, in advance, which listeners would be more likely to be affected or moved by their message.

Second, it offers a method of self-evaluation. That is, if you discovered which mindset best characterizes your own approach to life, in the first case it would provide information that would be self-explanatory. That is, it may reveal why you are unwilling to reach out, face challenges, and risk failure. It may reveal why you are more likely to protect yourself, seek security, and guard your safety. Your inability (or lack of desire) to face the unknown can be motivated by a desire to defend your vulnerability or to insulate yourself from danger.

If you discovered, instead, that aptitude is flexible and honed through experience, you would be able to build on this knowledge by taking further steps that would contribute to your growth, development, and change. It may explain how your personal program of reaching out, facing challenges, and risking failure directly correlates with your success and happiness. What a terrific incentive for continuing your program.

This equation is insightful. Also, it is invaluable for its self-motivating, self-determining, self-sufficiency.

The problem with the bifurcation that Dweck offers, of course, has the very same drawback as any bifurcation. Life tends to be made up of shades of gray and not aspects best defined by the starkness of black and white.

The problem can best be explained by saying that in situations where you feel qualified and knowledgeable, you are willing to take risks and face challenges. In traveling, for example, you may seek out unusual locations off the beaten track. In situations, however, where you are unqualified and less knowledgeable, you are less likely to take a risk or face a challenge. For example, you might be a terrible politician or lobbyist and rather than stick your neck out, you would rather crawl into a hole and hibernate.

Circumstances, too, would dictate the rate of speed by which success and happiness might occur. In some situations, growth and change would happen rapidly and with ease because you felt comfortable, encouraged it, and were determined.

Be this as it may, think of the freedom and license that discovery of a growth mindset (instead of a fixed mindset) might release. For some, it may, indeed, be liberation. There are many people, of course, who already believe in personal growth, development, and change, and there would be little result from such a discovery as this, even though it might spur greater or quicker progress. For them, it may not be a discovery at all.

If you believe that intelligence is an intrinsic, unmoveable, God-given entity then it is unlikely that any kind of outside influence—even highly persuasive, evidence-based, credibility enhanced arguments or presentations—are likely to move you in any way. It is similar to those who believe that the “theory” in “evolutionary theory” means that evolution is merely speculation or a guess.

The term “theory” as used by scientists, carries much more weight than in its common use; it means a concept that has been extensively tested and validated by specifically designed observation and experiment.

The point is that just as evolutionary theory has a long, extremely intensive, published record validating its various aspects and implications, some people still dismiss it entirely as mere conjecture.

In much the same way, it has long been known that aptitude is flexible and honed through experience. Knowing this, the implications for self-improvement are powerful.

One clear conclusion from reading Dweck’s book, Mindset, is that mindsets are not set in stone. Thank goodness, because rigid thinking benefits no one. Thank goodness, too, because mindsets create our whole mental world. They not only explain how we become optimistic or pessimistic, shape our goals, determine our attitude toward work and relationships, affect how we raise our kids, and predict whether or not we will fulfill our potential, they are the path of opportunity and success.

With a growth mindset, the proper attitude is in place so that parents, teachers, coaches, religious leaders, executives, and others not only know there is something solid with which to work, that there is an internal motivation in place to realize and take advantage of constructive criticism, and there is a determined and specific effort to move forward in a positive direction. Some people succeed because of their growth mindset.

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Through our reading, researching, and writing, And Then Some Publishing (and our extended family of readers) mine volumes of books representing a wide variety of tastes. We use the books in our writing, test and try suggested techniques, and we read for enjoyment as well. We wouldn't spend the time reviewing the books if we didn't get something out of it. Read more reviews on other fantastic books at our BookWorks website.