Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bells


By Julie Rahm

Everyone knows the Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American independence. Of course, the bell is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was formerly placed in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House (now renamed Independence Hall). The bell was commissioned from the London firm of Lester and Pack in 1752, and was cast with the lettering "Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof" (which is part of Leviticus 25:10). The bell originally cracked when first rung after arrival in Philadelphia, and was twice recast by local workmen John Pass and John Stow, whose last names appear on the bell. In its early years, the Liberty Bell was used to summon lawmakers to legislative sessions and to alert citizens to public meetings and proclamations. No immediate announcement was made of the Second Continental Congress's vote for independence, and thus the bell could not have rung on July 4, 1776. Bells were rung to mark the reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 8, 1776. And, while there is no account of the Liberty Bell ringing, most historians believe it was one of the bells rung. Still, the Liberty Bell was not rung on July 4th 1776 (a little known fact).
After American independence was secured, the bell fell into relative obscurity for some years. In the 1830s, the bell was adopted as a symbol by abolitionist societies, who dubbed it the "Liberty Bell." It acquired its distinctive large crack sometime in the early 19th century—a widespread story claims it cracked while ringing after the death of Chief Justice John Marshall in 1835. The bell became famous when an 1847 short story claimed that an aged bell-ringer rang it on July 4, 1776, upon hearing of the Second Continental Congress's vote for independence. Despite the fact that the bell did not ring for independence on that July 4th, the tale was widely accepted as fact, even by some historians.
Beginning in 1885, the City of Philadelphia, which owns the bell, allowed it to go to various expositions and patriotic gatherings. The bell attracted huge crowds wherever it went, additional cracking occurred and pieces were chipped away by souvenir hunters. The last such journey occurred in 1915, after which the city refused further requests. After World War II, the city allowed the National Park Service to take custody of the bell, while retaining ownership. The bell was used as a symbol of freedom during the Cold War and was a popular site for protests in the 1960s. It was moved from its longtime home in Independence Hall to a nearby glass pavilion on Independence Mall in 1976, and then to the larger Liberty Bell Center adjacent to the pavilion in 2003.
So all this leads to this week's one-liner; "You can't un-ring a bell." Some mistakes can't be undone. Some words, once spoken, can't be "taken back". So my message is be thoughtful and purposeful when you execute your life. For daily tips, visit me online at www.FB.com/ReliefWithJulie.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Train Wreck


By Julie Rahm
Last week, I received a lot of positive feedback on my Lindsey Lohan mention. So back by popular demand, I have chosen to continue the Lindsey theme and expound on last week’s thoughts.
Starting at the beginning, Lindsay Dee Lohan was born on July 2, 1986 in New York City. She grew up on Long Island. She is the eldest child of Donata Melina Nicolette Sullivan and Michael Douglas Lohan. Lindsay has three younger siblings, all of whom have been models or actors. Both of Lohan's parents are of Irish and Italian descent. She was raised as a Catholic. Lohan attended Cold Spring Harbor High School, where she did well in science and mathematics. In eleventh grade she started homeschooling.
Lohan's parents have a turbulent history. They married in 1985, separated when she was three, and later reunited. They separated again in 2005 and finalized their divorce in 2007. Her father is a former Wall Street trader who has been in trouble with the law on several occasions. Her mother is a former singer and dancer.
Lohan began her career as a child model with Ford Models at the age of three! She modeled for Calvin Klein Kids and Abercrombie Kids. She appeared in over 60 television commercials for brands like Pizza Hut and Wendy's, as well as a Jell-O spot with Bill Cosby. At the age of 10, Lohan was playing Alexandra "Alli" Fowler in the television soap opera Another World. Lohan remained in the role for a year, before leaving to star in Disney's 1998 family comedy, The Parent Trap, a remake of the 1961 movie. The film won Lohan a Young Artist Award for best performance in a feature film as well as a three-film contract with Disney. Lohan’s successes and failures are well chronicled. 
 Most recently, the troubled starlet entered a 90-day rehab stint last May. After her sixth arrest, Lohan avoided jail time by agreeing to spend three months in rehab. She pleaded no contest to reckless driving and lying to the police in March 2013. After rehab, Lohan will perform 30 days of community labor and undergo 18 months of psychological therapy. This all stems from an incident in the summer of 2012 when Lohan crashed her car. Lohan’s life has become a train wreck. And, it is a train that keeps on wrecking.
Nevertheless, the world’s worst train wreck is no comparison to Lohan. The worst train wreck is the 2004 Sri Lanka tsunami-rail disaster. The wreck occurred when an overcrowded passenger train was destroyed on a coastal railway in Sri Lanka by the tsunami that followed the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake. More than 1,700 people died resulting in the greatest loss of life in railroad history. How’s that for a “train of thought”?
If your life seems to be heading for a metaphorical train wreck, you will find answers to resolve problems and stay on track by visiting me online at www.FB.com/ReliefWithJulie or www.AmericasMindsetMechanic.com.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Rehab


By Julie Rahm

            Drug rehab is the processes of medical or psychotherapeutic treatment for dependency on psychoactive substances like alcohol, prescription drugs, and street drugs such as cocaine, heroin or amphetamines. The intent is to enable the patient to cease substance abuse in order to avoid the psychological, legal, financial, social and physical consequences that will be caused by abuse. Some examples of rehab programs are: residential treatment, out-patient, local support groups, extended care centers, recovery or sober houses, addiction counseling, mental health, orthomolecular medicine and medical care. For individuals addicted to prescription drugs, treatments tend to be similar to those who are addicted to drugs affecting the same brain systems. Medication like methadone and buprenorphine can be used to treat addiction to prescription opiates. Also, behavioral therapies can help addiction to prescription stimulants, benzodiazepines, and other drugs. The four basic types of behavioral therapy include: 1. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, which seeks to help patients to recognize, avoid and cope with situations in which they are most likely to relapse. 2. Multidimensional family therapy, which is designed to support recovery of the patient by improving family functioning. 3. Motivational interviewing, which is designed to increase patient motivation to change behavior and enter treatment. 4. Motivational incentives, which uses positive reinforcement to encourage abstinence from the addictive substance. Got all that? Also, any discussion of rehab needs to include a Lindsey Lohan mention. So, in keeping with social convention, here it is.
On August 23, 2007, Lohan pleaded guilty to misdemeanor cocaine use and driving under the influence. She was sentenced to one-day imprisonment and 10 days community service. She was also ordered to pay fines and complete an alcohol education program. She was given three years probation. Lohan released a statement in which she said, "It is clear to me that my life has become completely unmanageable because I am addicted to alcohol and drugs." On November 15, 2007, Lohan served 84 minutes in jail. A sheriff spokesman cited overcrowding and the nonviolent nature of the crime as reasons for the reduced sentence. Please do not expect the same 84-minute sentence at our Pamlico County facility! Anyway, as the consciousness stream flows, my husband John and I are rehabbing our kitchen.
We’re replacing the bathroom-like tile and the 1960’s Formica. An unintended consequence of the rehab is the temporary loss of water (and sink) for the kitchen. However, this minor inconvenience is very tolerable thanks to a nearby laundry tub. John, however, is not enthused about washing dinner dishes in the laundry tub where we wash our dog! Regardless, I believe we’ll survive the kitchen rehab without contracting any diseases! In the end, the small changes in color and texture are transforming the kitchen from dreary to delightful.
So (finally), my leap to your life this week is, before you discard a relationship, consider some rehab. Some minor adjustments in color and texture, namely voice tone and attitude can provide you with a fresh perspective on each other. Questions? Contact me online at www.AmericasMindsetMechanic.com.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Degrees of Freedom


By Julie Rahm

In statistics, the number of “degrees of freedom” is the number of values in the final calculation of a statistic that are free to vary. The number of independent ways by which a dynamic system can move without violating any constraint imposed on it, is called “degree of freedom”. In other words, the degree of freedom can be defined as the minimum number of independent coordinates which can specify the position of the system completely. Or, stated another way.
Estimates of statistical parameters can be based upon different amounts of information or data. The number of independent pieces of information that go into the estimate of a parameter is called the “degrees of freedom”. Restated, the degrees of freedom of an estimate of a parameter is equal to the number of independent scores that go into the estimate minus the number of parameters used as intermediate steps in the estimation of the parameter itself. (I know. A visual would be helpful!) Degrees of freedom are required to find a confidence interval or test a hypothesis about the average using a t-distribution for a given sample size. Of course we would use a t-distribution if the population is normally distributed, the standard deviation of the population is unknown and the sample size is less than thirty. Got that? Let me use an example.
Three children have three different cards, a one, five and ten. The first two children draw one card each. The last child to draw has no choice and will get the card that remains. In this example, there are two degrees of freedom. Another good example is the average of ten numbers. If the average of ten numbers is a specified value, one can pick the first nine numbers at random. The first nine can be any value. But, the last number can only be one value in order to bring the given average back to the specified value. In this example, there are nine degrees of freedom. So, I tell you about the degrees of freedom in order to tell you this metaphor.
We all make many choices every day of our lives. Some choices are mundane. But, other choices are hugely significant. For example, your choice in clothing today is probably not very significant in the long term. But, your choice in a spouse is significant. Choosing not to attend college is another significant choice. With these significant strategic type choices, you are using up your degrees of freedom. A succession of poor choices will limit your potential. Poor choices manifest low degrees of freedom. Do not cast your die prematurely. Be thoughtful with your choices. Sadly, I coach many clients who have chosen poorly. The list is extensive. But, most involve a series of choices that culminate in a predicament. So, my message this week is choose wisely to preserve the freedom of choice in your life.
For daily tips, visit me online at www.FB.com/ReliefWithJulie.

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