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Posts Tagged ‘Great People’

Suffering for Science – Sign up for a One-Way Trip to Mars

HOW ABOUT SELF-INFLICTED SPIDER BITES? or…  WOULD YOU LIKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO BECOME A NUCLEAR TEST DUMMY? A weird few answer the call! The Pleasures of Suffering for Science!

HOW ABOUT SELF-INFLICTED SPIDER BITES? or…  WOULD YOU LIKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO BECOME A NUCLEAR TEST DUMMY?

Alex Boese is the byline on this article from the Jun. 9 Wall Street Journal. Mr. Boese is the author of “Electrified Sheep: Glass-Eating Scientists, Nuking the Moon, and More Bizarre Experiment.”

LAST WEEK, a private Dutch company, Mars One, announced that it hopes to send a four-person crew to Mars by 2023. To keep costs down, it will  be a one-way mission. Mars will become the astronauts’ permanent home.

It’s not clear whether this will be a scientific mission so much as a reality TV show, since the company plans to finance the operation by airing the entire  thing live, with commercial sponsors. But the scheme echoes similar plans  that bonafide members of the scientific community, including physicists Paul Davies and Lawrence Krauss and astronaut Buzz Aldrin, have been lobbying for since the 1990s. If humans do land on Mars any time soon, it could very well be on such a trip.

Mars offers a barren, inhospitable environment. The temperatures are freezing and the atmosphere is toxic. The crew of such a mission should expect their experience, and therefore the rest of their lives, to be at least somewhat unpleasant. Given this, who in their right mind would volunteer to go?

Interestingly enough, quite a few people.

When the Navy conducted its atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in 1946, more than 90 people volunteered to man the ships stationed in the target area, so that scientists could gather data about the biological effects of the blasts. Navy researchers admitted that human test subjects would be “more satisfactory than animals”, but they worried about the public-relations aspect of using people, so all were turned down.

There’s also a long history of seemingly rational scientists who were willing to sacrifice their physical comfort, as well as their lives, for the sake of knowledge. Some are remembered as genuine heroes, such as the researchers led by Walter Reed who in 1900 let themselves be bitten by mosquitos carrying yellow fever, to prove that the insects carried the disease.

Other cases of suffering for science are regarded more as historical curiosities. In 1933, University of Alabama professor Allan Walker Blair induced a female black-widow spider to bite his hand. He allowed its fangs to stay in him for 10 seconds, so that he could get a full dose of venom, and then spent several days writhing in nightmarish pain at the local hospital. The attending physician said he had never seen “more abject pain manifested in any other medical or surgical condition”. A fellow entomologist had conducted the same self-experiment 12 years earlier, but Mr. Blair apparently felt the need to experience the sensation himself.

Then there was the Japanese pediatrician, Shimesu Koino, who ate 2,000 eggs of an intestinal roundworm in order to study the life cycle of the organism firsthand. His infection became so severe that he began to cough up the worms from his lungs.

Two London based doctors, Herbert Woollard and Edward Carmichael, earned a dubious place of honor among the ranks of sufferers for science by stacking weights on their testicles in order to examine how the subsequent pain spread throughout their bodies. Even mathematics offers an example of physical self-sacrifice, through repetitive stress injury. University of Georgia professor Pope R. Hill flipped a coin 100,000 times to prove that heads and tails would come up an approximately equal number of times. The experiment lasted a year. He fell sick but completed the count, though he had to enlist the aid of an assistant near the end.

This history suggests that something about suffering and self-sacrifice appeals to to the scientific mind. To paraphrase President Kennedy, scientists do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard. 

But one has to wonder, at what point does the sacrifice cease to have any value for the advancement of sicence and simply become the pursuit of hardship for its own sake.

With respect to a manned, one-way mission to Mars, I suspect such questions will fall on deaf ears. Opponents of manned missions have long argued that everything to be gained by going to Mars can best be done by robots. But if Mars One is televising the whole thing, that would at least be good for ratings, allowing the company to earn enough money to send more teams out there. The suffering could become a self-perpetuating end in itself.

Ray Bradbury – The Passing of the Space Age Prophet

Ray Bradbury, Age 91, died peacefully in his sleep June 5. I don’t remember being as saddened as I was by anyone who was not a family member or an acquaintance but I felt as if I knew him well because I grew up with him through his books, short stories, TV shows and movies. He’s finally gone at 91, the last titan of the era when sci-fi fandom was a way of life. The maestros of that tight world were Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein–and Ray Bradbury. You had to put Bradbury in that rank, even though your mom read him in the Saturday Evening Post. That could get embarrassing to those of us in the Sci-fi hard core.

Ray Bradbury was born August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, IL and used his memoires of this small town for settings in some of his best stories.

So begins a eulogy to Ray Bradbury by Bruce Sterling in the Saturday June 9th Wall Street Journal. Mr Sterling continues; His pedigree was impeccable, though he came from “Lassfuss”, the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society, a primeval caldron of sci-fi geek culture, founded in 1934. In my own caldron of Austin, our literary mentor, Chad Oliver, came to us from Lassfuss. He told how he and Bradbury and the “Twilight Zone” screenwriter Charles Beaumont would hunt for all-night burger joints, talking sci-fi until dawn.

It sounded so wondrous that we never understood that we were hearing a hard-times story. This was depression-era California and the real Bradbury was displaced from the Midwest to Hollywood like a Steinbeck Okie, one of countless thousands who went West and inadvertently created a big chunk of postwar culture.

Ray Bradbury was born August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, IL and used his memoires of this small town for settings in some of his best stories. In 1934 his family settled in Los Angeles. There as a young boy he roller skated through Hollywood trying to spot celebrities. From 1938 to 1942 he was selling newspapers in the streets of L.A. He published his first paid work in 1941 a short story entitled “Pendulum” in the pulp magazine Super Science Stories. By the end of 1942 he had become a full time writer. That same year he married Marguerite McClure whom he met at a bookstore a year earlier. They had four daughters and eight grandchildren. He first shot to international fame after publication of his short story collection, The Martian Chronicles which was partially based on an idea from Ancient Greek and Roman Mythology.

His best known work Fahrenheit 451 was published in 1966. The film adaptation by director Francois Truffaut was a major hit starring Julie Christie. Many other novels and stories had been adapted to film and TV as well as radio, theatre and comic books. He wrote episodes for the Alfred Hitchcock Presents TV series. Total literary output is close to 600 short stories, more than 30 books and numerous poems and plays. It’s easy to forget that Bradbury wrote a lot of horror stories, too. Having been  through the Depression and war to emerge in the anonymity of postwar America, how could he not? An emptied world where the smart machinery grinds on, yakking inanely, as the mainstream consumers are nuclear blast shadows stenciled on the outside of their suburban home— a vision from a smiling guy in short pants who spoke reverently of Buck Rogers comics. People elided his dark, mournful side, because his affect was so brisk and boistrous. He was the sharpest of social critics, but never mean-tempered like Orwell or Huxley. He was rather, like that other great portraitist of hard–life Middle America, Edward Hopper, painting horror with an effect of stillness, bleakness, loneliness, bereavement  and deprivation.

He used to speak of a mystical experience: instead of attending a family funeral, he ran off to a carnival. He found a sideshow huckster named “Mr. Electrico,” who told him that he was not a 12-year-old but a reincarnated spirit. He hit him on the head with an electrical wand and told him to aspire to immortality. If it sounds like a half-hour fantasy TV episode, it’s probably because Bradbury wrote so many of those, years later. But as a way of life: departing a funereal mainstream culture to play techno-trips with the tattooed sideshow weirdos.

Mr. Sterling concludes: But if that was Bradbury’s origin myth, it’s also what he became. Wine from Dandelions, lowly yet highly evolved, borne by the wind into the last places,you’d expect to find them blooming. Exotic, yet common as the soil.

In 2004 he received a National Medal of Arts. Also a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. An asteroid is named in his honor “9766 Bradbury” and the Apollo Astronauts named a crater on the moon “Dandelion Crater” after his novel “Dandelion Wine“. Many of his short stories were published in PLAYBOY MAGAZINE and even a TV commercial for Sunsweet Prunes ran in the 1960’s. John Huston, a huge fan of Bradbury’s work asked him to write the screenplay for Huston’s film adaptation of “Moby Dick“. He submitted a working script to Huston in early 1954. By the time the film came out in 1956, Huston had listed himself as co-author. Bradbury protested Huston’s action to the Screen Writers Guild and initiallly was successful in having Huston removed as co-author but the powerful film maker had the decision over turned.  

 Ray Bradbury remained productive until the end. He has now departed and the world as he worried in 1979 is a much madder place. More reason to re-read Fahrenheit 451 including the afterword and oppose political correctness with the courage of the master himself.

For an overview on his 50- plus years career read “Ray Bradbury: The Life of Fiction” published by the Kent State University Press.

Sears, Roebuck & Co…. The Facebook of 1924

When Sears, the Facebook of its era, launched its IPO it Sold Preferred Shares at $97.50. That’s more than $2,000 today.

Even people who don’t play the market thought about buying stock in Facebook’s initial public offering of shares. One hundred six years ago, Sears was its era’s version of a hot tech company. Like Facebook, Apple or Amazon, it wasn’t just a corporation–it  was a revolution. “the catalog was the internet of the day“, said James Schrager, a University of Chicago business professor. “Sears was Amazon“.  The young Chicago mail-order company selling its shares at more than $2,000 in todays dollars wasn’t for the common man. But the purchase of even one share would have been lucrative. Counting from 1924, when Sears entered the Dow Jones index, to 1996, and adjusting for stock splits, the Wall Street Journal calculated Sears shares soared 434,552 percent. The skyrocketing value was rivaled only by the young Midwesterner who founded it.

Sears retired in 1908 with a fortune estimated at $25 million. He died in 1914 more than a decade before the company he founded opened a single store.

Richard W. Sears was hailed in his Chicago Tribune obituary as a man “whose career typified the romance of Amercian business“. Mix the youthful risk-taking of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and the marketing instincts of Apple’s Steve Jobs– that was Sears. It started in 1886, when Sears was a railroad station agent in backwoods Minnesota, wrote historians Boris Emmet and John Jeuck in “Catalogs and Counters: A History of  Sears, Roebuck & Company“.

A shipment of gold watches arrived for a local jeweler, who refused them. The rebuffed wholesaler told the 22-year-old Sears he could have the watches for $12 apiece. he said yes, pivoted, and offered them to agents along the line for $14. With that type of watch retailing for $25, there was room for the agents to profit, and Sears pocketed $2 for every one he sold.

Within six months he had made $5,000, and his watch business started to outstrip his railroad salary. “The tail had begun to wag the dog“, he said in a 1906 Tribune article. Sears moved to Chicago, set up at Dearborn and Randolph streets, and hired a watchmaker “thin to emaciation“, Alvah Roebuck. Their watch company grew rapidly into a general mail-order company that used high volumes to enable low prices.

It was a recipe perfect for the time, when millions of rural Americans were disgruntled with their general stores. A barrel of flour in 1899 was $3.47 wholesale, according to the company, but $7-plus at a country store. Sears, Roebuck used comforting ads to overcome farmers’ fears. “Don’t be afraid  that you will make a mistake“, read one catalog. “We receive hundreds of orders every day from young and old who never before sent away for goods“.  The company adopted a money-back guarantee and “send no money” became a famed tag line. Richard Sears delighted in writing his own ad copy and, typical of the time, often pushed the envelope. One offer advertised a sofa and chairs–“beautiful plush for 95 cents“. (By comparison, a John M. Smyth ad in a 1906 Tribune offered a single chair for $1.50.) Only when Sears furniture arrived did the customer discover it was for dolls. Later, Sears would tone down the ads and was said to have concluded, “Honesty is the best policy. I know because I’ve tried it both ways“.

By 1905, Sears’ sales had surged past $39 million, passing Montgomery Ward, the Chicago company that had invented the mass mail-order catalog. Sears needed more capital to grow. Julius Rosenwald, who had joined Sears as a partner, asked old banker friend Henry Goldman for a loan, according to Rosenwald’s grandson and biographer, Peter Ascoli. Goldman suggested an IPO instead, leading to Sears, Roebuck’s sale of its stock in 1906. It aimed to raise $40 million, which proved crucial for surviving the Panic of 1907. For Goldman, co-managing the Sears IPO is still touted as a landmark for his bank, Goldman Sachs.

Only the rich could afford to buy stock in 1906, but Americans’ disposable incomes was growing, and the company took full advantage. Its catalog the “consumers bible”, made available everything from sewing machines to Encyclopedia Britannica to ready-to-assemble houses. “The story is the coming of the middle class“, Schrager said, “and the desire of the middle class to have more things“.

Sears retired in 1908 with a fortune estimated at $25 million. He died in 1914 more than a decade before the company he founded opened a single store. Sears leapt into the retail store business in 1925, as rural customers moved to the cities. A December 1924 Tribune, in announcing Sears’ branching out into brick and mortar stores, made note that “several mail-order houses have considered” such a move, “but heretofore they have confined themselves to their own method of merchandising“. Sears promoted the new store at Homan Avenue and Arthington Street in the Homan Square/Lawndale area as “easy to shop for men” with a “whole square block of free parking“.

The first Sears store on State Street between Van Buren Street and Congress Parkway opened to great fanfare in March 1932. By  1950, Sears had 650 stores nationwide, including eight major department stores in Chicago and stores in Joliet, Waukegan and Gary, according to the Tribune.  By the mid-1950s, Sears would be international, with stores in Mexico, Venezuela, Cuba, Colombia, Peru and Brazil.

Sears opened mall stores after World War II as customers headed for suburbia, teaming with Marshall Field to build the Oakbrook Shopping center, which opened in 1962. “Rosenwald and others had an uncanny ability to see which way things were going to go“, said Ascoli, who lives in Hyde Park, blocks from the University of Chicago’s Rosenwald Hall. By the 1970s, Sears was still the No. 1 retailer but Wal-Mart and others were on the horizon. Today Sears Holdings is No. 10 and its CEO acknowledged recently that “you change or you die”.

Sears still will probably have fared better than a company like Amazon when all is said and done, said Schrager, who likes to ask his students why Sears built the Sears Tower, which opened in 1973. “Because they could“. he said. “They were unbelievably successful. I don’t know if Amazon is ever going to build the tallest building in the world“.

Footnote to this nostalgic article which ran in the May 11, 2012 Chicago Tribune is that when Sears decided to consolidate all their employees in one location and moved them to a Chicago suburb, the Sears Tower was renamed the Willis Tower after their largest tenant. Another interesting factoid. Sears many years ago started their own radio station which quickly became one of Chicago’s major succesful radio stations with the call letters WLS, which stood for WORLDS LARGEST STORE.

Another true story on a start up company with very little capital chose Mail-Order, as a way to build their business and whose founders became MAIL ORDER MILLIONAIRES. Can it still be done today? One of the largest and most successful On-Line companies still sells only by Mail-Order. Any guesses as to their identity……AMAZON! And speaking of Amazon if you have the desire to start a business of your own, a business you can run from anywhere in the world and one that has little cash requirements, you can get started by ordering a copy of my book HOW TO BECOME A MAIL ORDER MILLIONAIRE from Amazon. Cost is only $39.95 plus s&h, or as a reader of my blog, save $10  and order direct from the publisher. Send check or money order for $29.95 plus $3.50 (total $33.45) to SUPERIOR PRESS 333 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1032, Chicago, Il 60601 Book is sold on a money-back guarantee of satisfaction.

Can I Really Start A Mail Order Business and Become A Millionaire?

This is a question I receive quite often and even though I have answered it in earlier postings, I enjoy sharing success stories of other Mail Order Millionaires I have known or read about.

He didn’t have an office but relyed on a phone line in his father’s live chicken store on Chicago’s Northside. Years later they sold the company to STAPLES for $685 million.

Here is another giant in the industry that started out very humbly in 1956 selling office supplies door to door. Jack Miller was newly married and had a $15,000 mortgage. He didn’t have an office but relyed on a phone line in his father’s live chicken store on Chicago’s Northside. That way someone, either his father or his Uncle Abe, would answer the phone when Jack was out selling office supplies.

Miller had begun working odd jobs at age 13. He  wa s a soda jerk in a drugstore, a delivery boy for a dry cleaner, an usher at a movie theater and a pin-setter at a bowling alley. He paid his way through the University of Illinois, modeling for art classes, washing dishes, digging ditches and loading freight cars. He eventually went to work for his father, slaughtering chickens and cleaning droppings off the floor, before moving to various jobs elsewhere in sales and distribution.

At 27, he decided to go into business for himself, founding QUILL OFFICE PRODUCTS, which evolved into the first mail order office supply dealer in the country. His first month, Miller sold $960 worth of merchandise and made $35 profit after expenses. His brother Harvey, joined him in the business a year and a half later; his older brother, Arnold, joined the company about 20 years later.

In 1998 Quill’s revenues had reached more than $630 million; it employed about 1,200 people. The company owned a 350,000-square- foot distribution center on a 35-acre campus in Lincolnshire, IL and nine other distribution centers around the country. Since no one in the next generation of Millers was willing to take it over they sold the company they started to Staples for $685 million in an all-stock deal.  As part of the deal, Staples promised to retain the Quill brand; protect Quill employees’ benefits and pay; and retain executives, unless they made mistakes.

In semiretirement he founded the Jack Miller Center for Teaching America’s Founding Principles and History, a nonprofit in a Philadelphia suburb, which supports teaching early American history on college campuses. Sometime after that Jack was diagnosed with an incredibly painful little known uncurable disease, peripherable neuropathy.

Now  83, Jack has dedicated his remaining years and fortune to finding a cure. His wife Goldie, who is a bit younger tells him he will live to be 100. Jack says if I’m going to live another 17 years, he would like to live some of those years free of the constant, debilitating, de-energizing, sleep depriving pain that has plagued him for the last 18 years.

Speaking to a group of 125 people, including many neurologists at a symposium on the disease. His fortune was helping pay for the three-day event as well as millions more he has contributed to start the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy, which hosted the symposium. This nonprofit is also funding research at the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation, in Chicago, the John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. Beth Isreal Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. In coordination with those hospitals and universities, the foundation has started a peripheral neuropathy research registry of patients. Once it’s finished, researchers worldwide will be able to access the collection’s blood samples and medical histories. The symposium was one of the few times that the people conducting the clinical trials were in the same room.

Jack wound up his talk by telling the audience that this registry is just the beginning. There will be more. We think collaboration is critical so we can end the suffering so many of us go through…..and if Jack’s wife Goldie prevails, that he lives 17 years longer, he sure hopes that treatment and a cure is found so he can have some quality in the years he has left.

Jack Miller is a testament to the fact that yes one can become a mail order millionaire! Not only did he become one but due to his mail order business and the millions of dollars he made, his may be responsible for finding a cure for a painful disease that affects about 20 million people in America.

Interested in learning on how you can become a mail order millionaire? As a reader of my blog, you can receive a copy of my book HOW TO BECOME A MAIL ORDER MILLIONAIRE on a 100% guarantee of satisfaction or it costs you nothing. Buy it from AMAZON for its published price of $39.95 plus s&h, or you can order it direct from the publisher and save $10. Just send check or money order for $29.95 plus $3.50  s&h (Total $33.45) along with your name and address to: SUPERIOR PRESS 333 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1032, Chicago IL 60601. If not completely satisfied, return the book for a complete refund.

Attention! Your Attention, Please! Attention is Key to Success!

Once again I’ve come to one of my favorite newsletters for inspiration. THE INK WELL which offers great service and prices on printing for your personal needs as well as business no matter where you live. Check them out!

It’s amazing what you are able to accomplish when you put your mind to it and focus on the task at hand.

If you’ve found yourself drifting while trying to complete a task, here are a few tips for regaining your train of thought and getting back on the fast track to success:

  • Focus on a single tasking
  • Write down any disruptive thoughts
  • Fuel your brain by feeding an empty  stomach
  • Try aromathrapy for treating mental fatigue
  • Prevent distractions
  • Use relaxation techniques
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Reward yourself

Focus on a single tasking. When you’re working on a high-priority project, devote your attention to one and only one project at a time.

Write down any disruptive thoughts such as appointments you need to make, groceries you’re worried you may forget to purchase, or items you don’t want to forget to pack.

Fuel your brain by feeding an empty stomach. A growling stomach is not only disturbing, but it can also shorten your attention span. Great foods to fuel your brain include high-fiber, whole grains, dairy, and fruits.

Try aromathrapy for treating mental fatigue. The aroma of peppermint oil can increase mental alertness.

Prevent distractions. Turn off your email and cell-phone alerts, so you won’t feel compelled to check every random messge that dings. Also, log out of social-media sites.

Use relaxation techniques such as dep breathing, stretching your neck,a nd taking brief breaks to stay fresh and on target.

Drink plenty of water. Hydration will not only help you feel healthier and more engerized overall, but it will also help you avoid headaches.

Reward yourself with a small treat after completing a difficult project or task. Think of something you like that will make you feel good about your accomplishment. Coffee, lunch with coworkers, renting a movie, taking a bubble bath, or buying a new book are a few possibilities.

We all need help staying focused from time to time. With a little forethought, even the toughest tasks can be tackled successfully.

For related tips, check out www.foodforthebrain.org  or Marbles the Brain Store and their eclectic collection of games that enhance your brains.

There’s nobody who gives better quotes than Ben Franklin:

–“Success comes in cans, not in cant’s.”

–“A hard thing about business is minding your own.”

–“Never mess up an apology with an excuse.”

–“Big shots are little shots that just keep shooting.”

Don’t forget about my special offer on my book HOW TO BECOME A MAIL ORDER MILLIONAIRE. You can buy it from Amazon for $39.95 plus s&h or direct from the publisher for only $29.95 plus $3.50 s&h. Total $33.45. Send a check or money order to SUPERIOR PRESS 333 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1032, Chicago, IL 60601. Do it while it’s fresh on your mind.

Charles Dickens and his Secret Teenage Lover

Charles Dickens, one of the greats of english literature whose image was that of a pillar of Victorian morality would have been right at home with today’s sex scandals.

In 1953, when future biographer Claire Tomalin was studying English literature at Cambridge, she came across intriguing refrences  to a figure named Ellen “Nelly” Ternan, a young stage actress of minor reputation. In two separate distinguished biographies on Dickens both mentioned “this girl hanging about (the author), and they were both scathing about her,” Tomalin recalls. “She was (described as) this mercenary, who made Dickens’ kids unhappy, but to whom he seemed very attached. I sensed there was a story there.”. Cut to three decades later, Tomalin, then literary editor of the Sunday Times, mentioned her interest in Ternan to David Parker, curator of the Dickens Museum in London. He encouraged her to write Ternan’s biography.

Tomalin spent the next few years piecing together clues in letterrs, address books, diaries and photographs as she traced the arc of the secretive 13-year liaison between the great author and the actress. The result was her celebrated 1991 book, The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens

Ternan met Dickens in 1857, when she, her mother and sisters were actors in a play he was producing. Dickens was 45; Trenan was 18. Anxious to preserve his image as a pillar of Victorian morality, Dickens purchased a house for her near London, where he visited her secretly. Dickens seemed both to revel in and regret the affair. Dickens and Ternan apparently destroyed all correspondence between them but Tomlin says, “there was plenty of material,” including details about Ternan in missives by Dickens children: Both his son Henry and daughter Katey, for example, “confirmed that (the couple) had a child,  and it died.” Tomalin believes that Nelly and the child, said to be a boy who did not survive infancy, had been sequestered in France.

In 1876, six years after Dickens death, Ternan, then 37, married a clergyman 12 years her junior;  they had two children, neither of whom learned of the relationship with Dickens until long after their mother’s death.

Having been rescued from obscurity by Tomalin, Ternan is about to to take center stage a second time; Ralph Fiennes will direct and star in a film adaption of  The Invisible Woman, with Felicity Jones in the title role, shooting is set to begin perhaps this Spring.

Looking forward to this movie and one other  thing I’m looking forward to are your comments on any of my earlier postings. Having your feedback will help me learn what you like and of even more importance what you don’t like so I can continue to make my blogsite a permanent part of your on line life.

One question for you. Do you know anyone interested in starting a businees of their own or perhaps you may be. After all my blog site is HOW TO BECOME A MAIL ORDER MILLIONAIRE. If you or someone you know would be interested in my special offer to visitors of this site…my book HOW TO BECOME A MAIL ORDER MILLIONAIRE. Save $10 from its published price at Amazon only $29.95 plus $3.50 s&h. Total $33.45 checks or money orders can be sent to SUPERIOR PRESS 333 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1032, Chicago, IL 60601. All books sold on money back guarantee of satisfaction.

17 Year Old Starts Own Business – It’s Not Rocket Science Or Brain Surgery

Over the years I’ve spoken at many trade shows and conventions about starting your own mail order business and many of the attendees ask me how hard is it to start your own business, especially in this difficult economy and I usually wind up telling them “well, it’s not rocket science or brain surgery”. The easiest and best way to begin is to rely on advice from people already in the business who have been successful. Going this route will save you many dollars and keep you from making the dreaded B-B’s…beginners blunders. See how easy it is to begin by first reading the following article which appeared in the November 27th issue of the New York Times written by Nicole Laporte.

DON’T KNOW HOW? WELL, FIND SOMEONE WHO DOES!

Is advanced technical knowledge necessary to become an inventor? Look at the story of Katherine Bomkamp, and you will see it isn’t. Ms. Bomkamp, 20, came up with the idea behind the Pain Free Socket, a prosthetic device that is intended to ease phantom limb pain in amputees. The device, now awaiting a patent, works by applying heat to the amputee’s joint socket through thermal bio-feedback. The theory is that as the nerve endings are warmed, the brain is forced to focus on the heat rather than send signals to the absent limb.

Now a sophomore at West Virginia University, Ms Bomkamp was in high school when she began working on her invention. At the time, she had zero background in chemical or electrical engineering, which were essential to the creation of the device.

“It was all completely foreign to me. I had no interest in engineering before this,” said Ms Bomkamp, who was a criminal-justice major at the magnet high school in Maryland. In college she’s studying political science, with plans to attend law school.

Her experience shows how ambition, persistence and an ample supply of curiosity can lay the groundwork for achieving breakthroughs, even technological ones. (A bit of youthful pluck helps, too.) It also shows that drawing on other people’s experience and resources is often as good as, if not better than, doing everything yourself.

Politicians know this. Business leaders like Steve Jobs knew this. And yet when we think of a solitary soul hunkered down in a basement lab for weeks or months before emerging to claim an unshared victory. To this, Ms Bomkamp would say: think again.

The seeds for the Pain Free Socket were sown when Ms. Bomkamp, whose father is a disabled Air Force veteran, found herself in waiting rooms at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center—the hospital in Virginia that has since closed—seated among wounded soldiers just back from Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of them were amputees.

“They would tell me their stories, and phantom pain kept coming up,” she said. She started researching the condition and learned that “most amputees are prescribed antipsychotics and barbiturates which are expensive and have high addiction rates.”

“So I wanted to see if I could eliminate the need for those holistically,” she said.

An opportunity to pursue her idea came when a teacher announced a school science fair. Wanting to “do something meaningful that impacted the community,” she said, she decided to work on a device to treat phantom pain.

“My thought process was: when I pull a muscle, I apply heat to it. If I applied the same concept to treating phantom pain, I thought that could work.” The only problem was execution. Ms Bomkamp was the furthest thing to from a math or science geek; there was no way she could do this alone. So she began e-mailing engineering professors at universities in the area and asking them for assistance. “They were all very receptive,” she said. “they all invited me to come work in their labs. I chose the University of Maryland because it was closest to my house”.

And every Friday, she would take the day off school—with permission—and her mother would drive her to College Park. There, she worked with Professor Gilmer L. Blankenship in the department of electrical and computer engineering, and his lab manager, Jay Renner. “They taught me electrical engineering from the bottom up—electrical programming, heat-wiring,” she said. “Basically, everything, they had to teach me”.

They helped her build a prosthetic socket as the first prototype; heated socks used by hunters served as the gadgets heat source. But engineering was only half the battle. Ms Bomkamp wanted to expand her invention and build a prosthetic limb. Who would build it – and not charge her $15,000, the typical cost of an artificial leg?

Again she resorted to grass roots outreach, printing the names of prosthetic companies she found on the Web site of the Amputee Coalition of America, and making calls. “A lot of people hung up on me, saying, “This won’t work, you’re just a kid, don’t waste my time” Ms Bomkamp said. Finally she reached Jake Godak, who at the time was working at Cascade, an orthotic and prosthetic supply company in Chico, California, and remains a consultant in prosthetics. “He said this could really work, and so he built sockets and a leg for me,” she said. “I still work with him”.

In the second generation prototype, the heated socks were replaced by ribbing cable, and the electronics were such that the amputee could control the temperature of the socket.

The device “appears to be a very promising prototype for one of the possible ways for amputees to deal with phantom pain”, she said. Joe McTernan, a director of coding and programming at the American Orthotic Association. “This certainly is interesting and intriguing research,” he said, adding; “but it is, as far as I can see, currently very much a prototype”.

At West Virginia University, Ms Bomkanp has acquired a new set of mentors in the school’s entrepreneurship program. She has set up her own company and is working on third, and fourth generation prototypes. These will have smaller, more compact electronic boards and will be able to be operated by a mobile phone.

In the meantime, she has applied for a patent, and the device will be tested. She also is in talks with a domestic prosthetic company about licensing the rights to sell the device, which is subject to the approval of the Food and Drug Administration. She hopes to receive a small percentage in royalties from future sales.

Otherwise, she’s just an ordinary college kid—sort of. “I definitely don’t have the typical college student life”, she says, “But at the same time, I do. I still worry about tests and getting scholarship money. But yet I’m a C.E.O., and I’ve got this project and I go on business trips. I walk the line between the two. And yes, she won the high school science fair.

So what has this wonderful story got to do with starting your own business? Hopefully it will inspire you to take a chance on something new, something you know nothing about. My book HOW TO BECOME A MAIL ORDER MILLIONAIRE is like having a mentor right next to you answering every question you will ever have on becoming successful in mail order… and even if you don’t become one of the mail order millionaires like some of my clients have, you’ll have the opportunity to make an excellent income in a business of your own.

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Thank you Steve Jobs

Apple - Steve Jobs - Hong Kong design student Jonathan Mak, possible a homage to a Raid71 design.

Thanks, Steve
We’ve all been lucky to live in a world where there was a person with such an imagination

The above and what follows is from an editorial written by Stanley Bing who contributes his wisdom and writing skills to every issue of FORTUNE. It alone is worth the price of a subscription.

“I WANTED TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY before time and our common mortality rob me of the chance to do so, to thank you, Steve Jobs, for all that you have done for me. No, I never had the privilege of meeting you, or had a chance to get yelled at by you in a business meeting, or even watch your charisma transform an audience into acolytes. But I feel as if I know you well enough to express, as you ascend to your new role as chairman, the sadness I feel and my gratitude for so many of the good things that you have brought to my life. It‘s not business, it’s personal.

I want to thank you for my graphical interface. There were computers, of course, before you made that first Mac. They could run only one program at a time. They had no graphics. You knew that was lame. You imagined the alternative—multiple programs, launched by clicks, running concurrently in a windowed field. Last night I I watched a movie, printed photos, harvested e-mail, and bought a bunch of business socks, all at the same time. So thanks for my GUI.

I want to thank you for my mouse. Can you imagine a world without mousses? I can’t. Before you bred them for commercial use, a person needed a host of keyboard commands to get anything done, and a lot programming code to produce words and numbers on paper. I read somewhere that you got the vision after you visited Xerox’s PARC. They showed you what they were up to, but they sort of didn’t know what they had. You ran with it. Because that’s the way you did everything. All in. Feet first.

I want to thank you for all Macs, great and small. I went to your Apple store the other day and saw a tidy row of new machines, from the slender new Airs to the massive towers of power. I wanted every one. They’re pretty and shiny, unlike my big old black rubberized clunker the corporation gave me, and the last time I got a virus was just before I put my Windows PC into the closet. That was when I sent the phrase “I love you” to 22,000 fellow employees and the CEO “I love you, too, but let’s not let anybody know,” he-mailed back.

I want to thank you for my Airport Extreme, the small white box through which I get my Internet. Before it, I used to have to plug it in and configure this horrible router. It never worked. I often ended up screaming and crying and throwing hardware at the wall. This thing? You just plug it in and use it. Sometimes as I fall asleep I watch the little fellow, with its round eye glowing green in the darkness, a beacon of easy functionality.

Thanks for my iPod, which pretty much defined how I listen to music now. And for iTunes, which you made too easy not to understand. And for my iPad, too which despite all is really nothing more than an Angry Birds machine. No, you can’t work on it. So what? Work isn’t everything.

And thanks for my new iPhone, which channels a million apps and does everything well except the phone part. A pompous Silicon Valley dude I know used to say, with a weary grin, “every year is the year for mobile.” Until you decided it was, Steve. And so I never have to generate a single unaided thought for the rest of my life. What a relief!

And oh,yeah. Thanks for TOY STORY too. And UP. Really loved UP.

Its been your world, Steve. And we’ve been lucky enough to run along behind you, picking up goodies as you dropped them in our path. It’s a little scary to think that one day you’ll go off to your famous mountaintop and not return with the next big thing. But at least we can all say we lived in a time when there was a person with such an imagination and offer thanks in whatever digital or analog format we choose, wherever on earth we may be. We can do that now.”

A quote from this addresses says it all.

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart”

The only addition I care to add to this tribute to this great man is that Steve Jobs real legacy is APPLE itself. Without fanfare he quietly made sure his beloved company was built to last.

If At First You Don’t Succeed… The Wright Way To Go

Like flight pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright, you’ll never get off the ground if you don’t try.

This weeks blog is inspired from an article in the October issue of THE RED BULLETIN written by Jeff Wise, a journalist and the author of “Extreme Fear: The Science of Your Mind in Danger

Jeff writes, “On the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers’ first flight, 35,000 people gathered at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, to watch a replica of the famous first plane take to the air. Nothing had been left to chance: the $1.2 million reproduction was exact in every detail, right down to the thread count in the muslin that covered the wing struts.

However, the weather was failing to cooperate. When the hallowed moment came, it was raining—and worse, almost completely windless. At last the drizzle subsided. With the help of some of Orville and Wilbur Wright’s descendents, the craft was maneuvered onto its launching rail. The pilot throttled the engine up to its maximum 12 horsepower, and the replica Flyer set off down the 200-foot track.

It didn’t get very far. Rearing up, it climbed about 6 inches off the ground and then finally slumped ignominiously into a puddle. As 35,000 people witnessed first hand that day, the Wright’s “first airplane was such a poor flyer that it barely qualified to be called an airplane at all. It only managed to get off the ground back in December 1903 because there happened to be a strong wind that day.

In retrospect, we now understand that the Wright brothers made many wrong guesses in configuring their design. The propellers were in the back, instead of the front; the elevator (this controls the movement of an aircraft’s tail) was in the front, instead of the back; the wings angled downward, instead of upward. The plane was barely controllable.

Does that mean that the brothers’ first flight – a 12-second hop was a historical irrelevance? Not at all. The Wright’s did accomplish something epochal that day. Until that moment of quasi-flight, no one really knew whether a heavier-than-air flying machine lay within the realm of possibility. After Kitty Hawk, they did. The Wright brothers may not have had all the details worked out, but they had one foot through the doorway.

A similar dynamic holds true for us as individuals. We each live a life bounded by a sense of what we know to be possible for ourselves. Everything else lies beyond, in the realm of Things That We Might Not Be Able To Do. And then, one day, we cross over the line, and our personal domain is forever enlarged.

Is this the day you decide to become an entrepreneur, perhaps start your own mail order business. If you don’t give it a shot, you’ll never have the opportunity to cross over the line. “Before Edmund Hillary climbed Everest, no one knew the human body could endure such punishing conditions. Before Roger Bannister broke the four minute mile in 1954 it was a goal that lay in the far fringes of possibility. When reports of the Wrights’ achievement leaked out, they electrified a group of European engineers and inventors who had been working for years to solve the problem of flight. They had no details about how the Flyer worked-the Wright brothers were legendarily secretive-but knowing what they were tackling was definitely possible, they redoubled their efforts. Then on October 23, 1906, a Brazilian-born inventor named Alberto Santos-Dumont took to the air in a craft he called “14 bis“. The world as these pioneers knew it was forever changed.

Opportunity is all around if you are willing to get up and cross that line. Here’s one that could change your life.

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