Why Knowing Your Past Is Important For Your Present

I am reading a fascinating book right now called, “What Disturbs Our Blood”. It is a true story of a man desperate to uncover the deep dark family secret of what happened to his grandfather – a prestigious and highly respected physician. After watching his own father, also a highly regarded physician, attempt suicide the author realizes that he must understand more about his paternal line or risk facing a similar slide into severe depression. The author who is a journalist, does an impressive search of his family history which takes him from Ontario to Ireland and then from coast-to-coast across the United States and Canada. His findings confirmed his suspicions that his grandfather also took his own life. Both his grandfather and father were at the pinnacles of their careers and showed no signs of an impending deep depression. It is armed with this information that the author not only wants to celebrate the significant accomplishments in bacteriology and immunology by his father and grandfather but it provides him with the motivation to start dealing with his own demons before they take hold of him.

The book inspired me to once again consider my own family history. Several years ago I started some genealogical work but quickly ran into dead ends. The family history on my Dad’s side (paternal) is incredibly muddy and the elder generation is either in no mood to talk about the history or has blocked it out. Undeterred, I hired a genealogist but without any leads from those alive, she ran into the same dead ends. I have learned enough to know why the history on my paternal side is rarely discussed but I also learned that my blood line are not as WASPy as I once thought. On my Dad’s side I am a mix of English, Irish, and German. Recently, I received an email from a distant cousin whom I have not met but she explained that my great, great, great grandfather was a shoemaker and is buried in Hull, Quebec. This might explain my shoe fetish and attraction to Quebec!

Beyond the somewhat trivial findings one can dig up with a genealogical search, it can be useful for examining health patterns in your family. If, like the author of “What Disturbs Our Blood” you find a significant history of mental illness, it might prompt you to consider your own health status. Similarly, one might find genetic links to diseases like cancer, heart disease or multiple sclerosis. Since most diseases are expressed as a result of genetic and epigenetic factors, a significant lifestyle change could alter the course of your life. It is funny how the older you get, knowing about where you come from seems more important. As Carl Sagan once said, “You have to know the past to understand the present.”

Effective PowerPoint Presentation – How to Use Quotation Marks in Your PowerPoint Presentation

In English grammar, quotation marks (a.k.a. inverted commas) are commonly used in many written materials as a way to identify a conversation or quote one’s saying. Another function of quotation marks is to keep the words of one speaker from becoming confused with those of some other speakers. Now, I’m not discussing further about how to use quotation marks – The main thing is about using them to enhance your PowerPoint (PPT) presentations.

Here are some ideas of using quotation marks to display the following points:

· Mission statement or value that your company or product has to offer

· Sales target or sales goals

· Imperative or a strong statement that no one cannot disagree

If you have a slide which has a short message to convey, insert a related picture as the background of the slide.

For example, use the inverted commas on default italicized Calibri font for this quote – “Think out of the box”. Definitely, you have to insert a picture of a box as the layout of the slide. Most viewers tend to focus on italicized text with the inverted commas – as if it’s a form of conversation.

Most books – fiction and non-fiction books have inverted commas around direct quotations so that it makes the contents livelier. It also applies on your PowerPoint presentation in which putting quotation marks on your short message (or direct quotation) can be livelier than one that doesn’t have any inverted commas.

Is it necessary to insert related picture when put inverted commas around a direct quotation?

The answer is – No. You can use inverted commas on a direct quotation even if your slides have no pictures at all! You can create a template to display your direct quotation such as your mission statement, goals and important facts. Like a normal PowerPoint – it has a title (without any inverted commas) and the content (which is italicized and enclosed with quotation marks).

You can see that the message displayed on your slides tend to look less monotonous with quotation marks. In fact, you’ll use less time in preparing your slides as looking for suitable pictures would be time consuming – that’s a great thing to boost your productivity.

There’s another way to improve your productivity for preparing your PPT slides. It’s a total faux pas to copy all the contents directly from your report or any written materials and paste all of them into your slides. No one would really want to read excessive texts on your slides within short period of time.

5 Presents for Men That Are Out of the Box

With Christmas fast approaching, the age-old question of what to get your man also looms on the horizon. For many, this thought is met with an element of dread. After all, you managed the creativity thing last year, but this year? You thought that last year was scraping the barrel of ideas.

Considering that Christmas is meant to be a joyful season, what can you do to take the stress out? Think outside the box a little. Mens gifts don’t have to be your typical present after all, especially if you’ve been doing this year after year, and though you’re stuck in a rut would dearly love to give a meaningful gift. Break outside of the box a little and think what else would cause his face to light up when he sees it underneath the Christmas tree.

1. Hobbies

Considering your man’s hobbies will help to gauge what genre of Christmas present will be appropriate. Trains, planes, reading, golf or other sports, woodworking, games, collections (coins, stamps, sports cards, etc), astronomy, painting; these can all play a part in considering what gift he’ll appreciate. Consider also what hobbies he would love to do if he had the time or resources. How could you make that happen for him? Make sure it’s something that he would love doing, not that you’re trying to push him into!

2. Activities

Just because we traditionally wrap a present and put it under the tree to be enjoyed on Christmas day doesn’t mean we have to follow these traditions. Some of the best presents for men involve creating memories with your man that last far beyond Christmas Day. If he’s into thrill sports, give him a coupon to go skydiving. If he’d prefer to do something with a friend, organize a day to go for a bike ride or hike together – go somewhere you wouldn’t normally go and pack some of his favourite treats! What other activities would he enjoy but wouldn’t spend the money on himself?

3. Classes/Instruction Books

Is there something he’s always wanted to try out but never had the opportunity? Consider enrolling him in a community class for a skill he’s always wanted to learn or buying an instruction book with practical, hands on activities (thinking particularly of woodworking, landscaping, mechanics, etc). Perhaps buy him some of the tools he’ll need to get him jump started.

4. Wholesome entertainment

If he’s a bit of a family man, consider giving him a gift that the whole family will enjoy. This will give him something tangible, but it will also create memories for everyone to enjoy. Table games, movies (whether on disk or going to the movies), or outdoor games/sports are always a big hit.

5. Gizmos and gadgets

Rather than finding a useful gift, go for something just plain fun and quirky! There are plenty of gadgets around. A Google search will bring up relevant sites that will give some crazy gifts that are great for a laugh. There are plenty of prank golf gifts, card tricks, and just quirky household things. Your Christmas party will have a laugh, as well as your man!

With these five ideas for presents for men, Christmas shopping should be much less dreaded and may indeed turn into an enjoyable experience. Keep his interests in mind, and have fun searching out the perfect gifts for him!