Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Big Ones

By Julie Rahm
The first incident recognized as a "Big One" occurred during the 1990 Pepsi 400 at Daytona. Pole sitter Greg Sacks was in a pack of cars running three wide through the tri-oval at the completion of lap one. Sacks' car was sent spinning in front of the rest of the field. Approaching turn one, twenty-two more cars were collected in the huge pileup. The top six cars escaped the incident. Dale Earnhardt dominated the depleted field and won the race. This is regarded as the original NASCAR "Big One". NASCAR clearly trumps the Army in patch wearing. But, one Army shoulder patch is special.
Because of its shoulder patch, the “Big Red One” is the official name of the First Infantry Division. This infantry division is the oldest in the United States Army and has seen continuous service since 1917. During World War II, the 1st Infantry Division fought in the North African Campaign from January to May 1943 and helped secure Tunisia. In July 1943, the division invaded Sicily during Operation Husky. Lieutenant General George S. Patton specifically requested the Big Red One as part of his forces for the invasion. It was in Sicily that the 1st saw heavy action when making amphibious landings opposed by Italian and German tanks at the Battle of Gela. The 1st then moved up through the center of Sicily, slogging it out through the mountains. When that campaign was over, the division returned to England and prepared for the eventual Normandy invasion. The First Infantry Division comprised the first wave of troops that assaulted German defenses on Omaha Beach on D-Day. The division secured Formigny and Caumont in the beachhead by the end of the day. The division drove across France, reaching the German border at Aachen in September. When the German “Battle of the Bulge” offensive was launched on 16 December 1944, the division was moved to the Ardennes front. Fighting continuously until January 1945, the division helped reverse the German offensive and win the war. A little known fact, comedian Redd Foxx did not fight in World War II. He dodged the draft by eating half a bar of soap before his physical, a trick that resulted in heart palpitations. Foxx’s real name was John Sanford.
John Elroy Sanford achieved widespread fame starring in the television sitcom, Sanford and Son. The series premiered on NBC, January 14, 1972 and was broadcast for six seasons. Sanford played the role of Fred Sanford. Demond Wilson played the role of his son Lamont. As you recall, Fred and Lamont were owners of a junk/salvage store. When angry with Lamont, Fred would often fake heart attacks by putting his hand on his chest and saying, "It's the big one. I'm coming to join 'ya honey/Elizabeth."
So this week, I ask you, what are the "Big Ones" in your life? Do they include your relationships, career, or finances? The roadmap for your life can be better defined by aligning your "Big Ones". If you'd like tips on how best to do that, visit me online at

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Pile Ups

By Julie Rahm

Every year, tens-of-thousands of Americans die on the highways. However, the good news is highway deaths have been steadily declining. In 1972, there were 54,589 highway fatalities in the United States. In 2012, there were 34,080. In forty years, highway deaths have decreased by 20,000 fortunate individuals. But, the bad news for 2012 was that deaths increased 5.3% while miles driven have only increased 0.3%. The 2012 increase was the first since 2005. Interestingly, there were only 26 highway fatalities in 1899!
Also sad, about 5,000 motorcyclists died in 2012, which is 14.7% of overall traffic fatalities. It was the highest percentage ever and a 9% increase over the previous year.
Worldwide, the United States highway fatality statistic is in the middle of the pack. The World Health Organization reports, in the United States, there are 12.3 road fatalities per year, per 100,000 inhabitants. According to the World Health Organization, road traffic injuries caused an estimated 1.24 million deaths worldwide in the year 2010, down from 1.26 million in 2000. Half of all road traffic deaths are among pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. Adults aged between 15 and 44 years account for 59% of deaths. Three out of four road deaths are among men. The average rate for men was 18 per year, per 100,000 people (down from 20.8 in 2000). Southeast Asia and Africa have the highest highway fatality rates.
The highest reported rate belongs to the African country of Eritrea at 48.4 deaths per year, per 100,000 inhabitants. So you know, Eritrea is a country in the Horn of Africa and bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast. The northeastern and eastern parts of Eritrea have an extensive coastline along the Red Sea, directly across from Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Let me pile on!
Perhaps the biggest multiple car pile-up in U.S. history occurred on November 29, 1991, when a dust storm blew up on I-5 outside of Coalinga, California. Unable to see in the dust, 164 cars collided, killing 17 and injuring 150 people. Another record setter occurred near Calhoun, Tennessee on December 11, 1990. In that wreck, twelve people died and another 42 were injured when 99 cars collided on a fogged-in section of I-75.
So this week, I have led with some gloom to tell you that if life seems a wreck, you can change things. Problems seem worse when you allow them to pile up. When question after question comes to mind without having any answers, despair sets in. To resolve problems, when a question arises about that problem, connect with the answer before considering another question. Tackle the most troubling problem first. Then, you may find that other problems are simultaneously resolved. If all of your problems seem equally troubling, or if you’re not sure how to connect with the answer to your question, I can provide insight. Visit me online at And, please drive alertly!

Sunday, July 14, 2013


By Julie Rahm
(Would you put your relationship in the hands of a division sign? :-) Okay. It's not a perfect subject match for the blog today...a fan sent it to me...may you smile as I did.) On to the blog...

When an elastic material is deformed due to an external force, it experiences internal forces that oppose the deformation and restore it to its original state if the external force is no longer applied.
The elasticity of material can be described on a stress-strain curve. This mathematical curve shows the relation between stress (restorative internal force) and strain (deformation). For most metals or crystalline materials, the curve is linear for small deformations.  However, for larger stresses beyond the elastic limit, the relation is no longer linear. For even higher stresses, some materials exhibit plastic behavior. That is, they deform irreversibly and do not return to their original shape after stress is no longer applied.
An elastic modulus, or modulus of elasticity, is the mathematical description of an object or substance's tendency to be deformed elastically (non-permanently) when a force is applied. The elastic modulus of an object is defined as the slope of its stress–strain curve in the elastic deformation region. Therefore, a stiffer material will have a higher elastic modulus.
Specifying how stress and strain are to be measured allows for many types of elastic moduli definitions. The three primary ones are Young’s modulus, the bulk modulus, and the shear modulus.
Young's modulus describes the tendency of an object to deform along an axis when opposing forces are applied along that axis. Young’s modulus is defined as the ratio of tensile stress to tensile strain.
Extending Young’s modulus to three dimensions gives you the bulk modulus. The bulk modulus describes volumetric elasticity, or the tendency of an object to deform in all directions when uniformly loaded in all directions. The bulk modulus is defined as volumetric stress over volumetric strain, and is the inverse of compressibility.
The shear modulus or modulus of rigidity describes an object's tendency to shear when acted upon by opposing forces. The shear modulus is defined as shear stress over shear strain. Interestingly, the shear modulus is part of the derivation of viscosity.
Are you still with me? Don’t turn the page! I have led you into the world of mechanical engineering to tell you relationships must be elastic in order to endure. There is stress in every relationship. When stress is applied to a relationship, the relationship deforms, as during arguments or separation. The elastic moduli of the relationship must be large enough to withstand sheering. Then, after the stress is removed, the relationship will not be deformed and return to its original condition.
One technique that I find most helpful to aid relationship elasticity is realizing that deformation is usually temporary. Babies grow up and take care of themselves. Teenagers move out. And, bosses get promoted or retire! As another example, most financial stresses are temporary and can be removed by using a brain-ful approach.  Identify the actual problem. Then, separate your thinking from the collective consciousness’ thoughts and fears.
So, I encourage you to think “elastics”. And then, visit me online at

Sunday, July 7, 2013


By Julie Rahm

          Johannes de Fontana, in 1420, is credited with the first idea of projecting an image on a surface. His concept was portrayed in a sketch of a monk holding a lantern. In the side of the lantern, there was a small translucent window with an image of a devil holding a lance. The image, probably drawn on a thin sheet of bone, was projected onto a wall by the flame in the lantern. However, without a lens, the image on the wall would have been very blurry. But the projection idea provided inspiration to develop an improved projection model. Several people caught that inspiration. So, the actual inventor of the projector is difficult to identify because the historic records are unclear.
          What is clear is that in 1645, a highly educated Jesuit scholar, Athansius Kircher described and illustrated a device for reflecting sunlight from a mirror through a lens and onto a screen. In 1671, he tried to describe his invention, which he called a magic lantern, in a book he wrote called Ars Magna Lucis et Umbrae (The Great Art of Light and Shadow). However, Kircher did not describe his device very well. Even so, since Kirchner recorded his ideas in a book he has often been credited with the invention. However, there is still disagreement.
           The Danes credit their countryman Christiaan Huygens. Huygens had been using a practical magic lantern since 1659. Huygens did business with Richard Reeves, a London optician, who started selling lanterns in 1663. Samuel Pepys, a writer, made an entry in his diary for August 19, 1666: “Comes by agreement Mr. Reeves, bringing a ‘lanthorn’, with pictures in glasse to make strange things to appear on a wall, very pretty.”
          Fast forward to the mid 1990s, with scientists and engineers working hard, a new technology was created that eventually led to the first multimedia projector. The newest technology of the day was digital processing. Applying digital principals to projectors allowed the development of digital light processing (DLP). DLP technology, created by Texas Instruments, takes the reflective power of more than 1.3 million microscopic mirrors, and hinges them on a digital micromirror device (DMD) chip. The first DLP projectors produced grainy images, but the technology has greatly improved since then. Now the brightest images ever can be produced in a multimedia machine.
          Three-dimensional projection technology is in the near future. Researchers are creating rooms that completely encompass audiences in the display. From floor to ceiling, a simple presentation can become a total sensory exhibition. And if you use multimedia projectors now, just think of the possibilities in the future!
          So, this week I’ve written about projectors with the thought that humans also project. Like projection machines, we project ourselves on others. However, we don’t project picture-producing light. We project our thoughts and emotions, minds and spirits. What do you see reflected back to you in your interactions with others? To understand how you project, visit me online at 
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