Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A Free Report for Newbie Massage Therapists

I have finally created a nice report for those massage therapists who are just starting out in this career.

Essentially the report, called "How to Start a Massage Therapy Practice" is a guide to help them with some ideas on creating a successful practice right from the beginning.

No, it's not a bunch of lame stuff about printing business cards and putting an ad in the Yellow Pages. Those are NOT major strategies at all in the service business, like massage therapy.

Instead, I give solid ideas that not everyone is going to think of immediately. Hopefully, it is helpful.

And it's free, so there's no risk for the new therapist. They can just try it!

Here's a link to the download page - "How to Start a Massage Therapy Practice."

More Posts on the Wii Workout

Here are a bunch of posts around the 'net on the Wii Workout (see previous posts):

DS Revolution

Resident Gamer

Team Robot

Follow Up on Wii Workout

Here is another commenter on this blog a few posts ago, giving more great ideas for the Nintendo Wii Console and how it could help us work out while we have fun.

Thanks to dr1044 for this great idea.

"The Wii Workout"

The market is huge for workout videos/dvds because most people like the convenience and privacy of working out at home. This game could potentially give them that plus a personal trainer and more.

Basically aerobics game targeted (mostly) at females. Need four wiimotes ("remotes"). Strap two to your shins and hold the other two. Do common aerobic type workouts with Chuck Norris/Brooke Burke on screen encouraging/screaming at you.

Game is sophisticated enough so that you can enter your height, weight, gender, and goals, and the game will develop your ideal workout routine or you can set your own goals. If you want to burn say five pounds in a week just enter it in the game and it develops a plan. Norris/Burke gives you instant feedback on if you are doing the exercises right ("keep your arms straight", "your right leg is too far forward") or if you need to speed up or if you are doing good. If one limb is not moving right it gives you a little vibration there.

The number of reps you have done and the number that you have left are displayed and spoken to you. You can either use the preloaded game workout music or use your own that you uploaded. You can be rewarded with your favorite song (or maybe a Chuck Norris fact) or punished with some country music. The game stores your workout results in the memory and it computes graphs of all your workouts so that you can see how you are progressing. It also uses your results to come up with your next workout routine.

Also to motivate you even more you could tell it "I want to lose 10 pounds" and while you are working out it shows how many minutes you will have to work out to reach your goal. Going faster or lasting longer makes the number decrease.

Variations of the game can include yoga, pilates, dancing, martial arts, boxing, kickboxing, weightlifting, and I'm sure a whole bunch of other things."

You could also create a virtual self (like the Nintendo guy put his face on the wiisports). You could go online and compete with other people who match up with your current skill level. It could also big like a biggest loser thing where it's a competition to see who works out the best and loses the most weight.

I love this idea! So creative, dr1044. Any other ideas on how to use this new motion-sensitive remote (wiimote) to increase fitness? I am actually not a big fan of video games, I just get bored of them too quickly. But this game I think I would play!

Stevia Expert

Thanks to reader Eve, I've found another expert on Stevia who I might be able to interview. His name is James May and he wrote the book "The Miracle of Stevia" and is also the founder of SweetLeaf Stevia.

I was trying to contact the people at Stevita, but they aren't returning my e-mails so I've given up on them.

I'm hoping to have a very detailed interview with a stevia expert to get the whole background story and uses of this product for my podcast - Holistic Health Nation.

Thanks Eve!

Monday, May 29, 2006

How to Access Mac OS X Fonts from X11 Applications

Does anyone know how to access the Mac OS X fonts (listed in Font Book) from X11 applications like OpenOffice and the Gimp?

I having a lot of trouble finding information about this. The best so far was a posting at Mac OS X Hints, but it was from 2003 and nothing of those ideas worked on my up-to-date Tiger operating system.

If you have any ideas, I'd appreciate a helping hand on this. I found a great site with thousands of free fonts, but so far I can't access them in the apps I use most - OpenOffice 2.0 and the Gimp.


Sunday, May 28, 2006

Copy Protection on Information Products

I've always felt that my information products, like e-Books and Internet-delivered reports, should be free of copy protection and digital rights management.

But listening to an attorney on a podcast recently (scroll down to "Inside the Net 023 - Michael Geist)"), I realized that my instinctive reaction makes a lot of sense.

My battle with getting paid for my e-Books is not against people who are illegally obtaining it. 99.9% of the people who didn't buy my book haven't heard of my e-Book! Therefore, if a few people steal the e-Book, and then the word gets out more and more about my e-Book, that will help more people know about it, helping me with my REAL battle - obscurity.

This leads me to state that putting copy protection on an independently produced piece of content (whether e-Book, music, poetry, stories, podcast, etc.) is an obscurity assurance program. Maybe copy protection makes sense for big companies, but for us independent producers, forget it. It is bad business.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Are Video Games the Key to Solving Childhood Obesity?

I believe I have seen the future.

Nintendo just released their "Wii" (pronounced 'we') video game console. It contains a wireless remote that is motion sensitive.

What this means is that to swing a bat in a baseball video game, you swing the remote over your shoulder and across in front of you. To clunk a villain on the head, you move the remote in a similar way.

When I think of the possibilities...

What about a video game where you have to do a certain amount of working out (push ups, swinging your arms, stretches) in order to do something fun in the game (go through to a new level, open a door, etc.). We are now able to link the fun of videogames with the need for physical activity. Indeed, it seems that all videogames will now have an aspect of fitness to them, making them more fun than before.

I've never been a gamer myself, I get bored of them very easily. But knowing that young children today often play games more than they watch TV or surf the Internet, this could be the opportunity we're looking for.

I'm not the first person to think of this. Note the comment at the end of this article on Wii.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Solving Immigration and Avoiding a Draft

Would this work?

Rather than goofy guest worker programs (which didn't work very well in France) or other ideas I've heard, could we set up a program where an immigrant from Mexico can gain citizenship by serving in our American armed forces for a couple of years?

It could work for individuals and also families. In a family, one parent would have to serve in the forces, the other could stay stateside with the family. The paycheck from service would hopefully (?) be enough to sustain the family back here.

This solves a bit of our immigration problem with Mexico, and it also brings home people into our armed forces for the time being, right when we need them.

What do you think? (It's my wife's idea.)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Holistic Health Nation #16 - Organic Insurance

My latest podcast is the coolest ever!

I interview Kathryne Auerback from Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation. She explains their new system of providing a rebate for their members participation in community supported agriculture. Isn't that great??

Listen here.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

David Blaine Seeing Auras?

David Blaine, the magician who is staying underwater in a bubble this week, told a reporter yesterday that he could see a blur of red, yellow and blue around people's heads in the daytime. Do you think he might be seeing auras?

Just a thought.

Look at this link and play the video. The David Blaine segment is right at the end. The whole video is about 6 minutes.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Getting Rid of Dandelions Organically

Here is a very cool list of ways to get rid of dandelions without using toxic herbicides or "weed and feed" mixtures. My lawn is full of dandelions, and I really don't want to continue to use my toxic sprays and granules.

Let me know what you think of this list.

A quick update on this post. A listener of my podcast, Rob, gave me this link to a fertilizer company that also has a corn gluten based weed control product. Very natural, however you have to put it on before the dandelions germinate. And the fertilizer is made from chicken poop!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Bill Maher's Monologue Last Week

Bill Maher took another in a long series of potshots at Big Pharma. He really loves to go after the drug companies. He seems to be genuinely interested in promoting the organic food movement, as well as just simple eating right and exercising. He seems pretty fit so he probably practices what he preaches.

Just to prove he's not making this stuff up, I've put in links to Websites that explain each of these weird-sounding things. They're all true (except for Flaccidix).

Here it is:

New Rule:
Drug companies have to stop making up diseases! I don't know what the terrorists are planning next for America, but if I had every problem they talk about in medicine commercials: breathing, lifting, walking, sitting, sleeping, crapping, not crapping, getting a boner and male pattern menopause—I would welcome death. Bring it on! Deadly nerve gas? Please, I've got seasonal allergies!

I mean, it seems like every time I turn on the TV these days, I see some ad for some drug I never heard of, to treat some disease I never heard of. That's not a stomach ache you have from eating the chili-cheese fries at Johnny Rockets, it's Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Or I.B.S. Or as I call it, "B.S." Which would also apply to the dreaded "Social Anxiety Disorder." Or as we used to call it, "shyness." And we treated it with an old home recipe: scotch and water.

Your wife doesn't get turned on? Well, it couldn't be because you're a snowman-shaped sausage casing--so full of beer you sweat hops. It's because she has "Female Sexual Dysfunction."

And before they came up with "Restless Leg Syndrome," did that even exist? Did you ever hear someone say, "Sorry I couldn't make the party, Bill." "The old restless leg was acting up." You know, next time you have an uncontrollable urge to move your feet, maybe you should just...move your feet! Your feet are trying to tell you the same thing your dog is trying to tell you when he's been cooped up in the house all day: "I want to go for a walk!"

But be careful. There's a Tasmanian Devil living under your toenail.

I am waiting for the ad that tells me that my morning hard-on is actually "Superfluous Rigidity Syndrome." Or S.R.S. And there's a cartoon bunny who says, "Are you bothered by morning stiffness?" "Try Flaccidix." "Flaccidix is specially formulated to make your penis shiny and more manageable." "Side effects: you bleed from your pores and then explode and die." "And/or dry mouth."

Now, just in the last two years, the "medicines" that have made the headlines under the category, "Take two and call me in the morning if you're still alive," include Vioxx, Ambien, Zyprexa, Ortho Evra, Prempro, Zoloft, Paxil, Ephedra, Celebrex and Fosamax.

And yet it was marijuana last week that was declared by the FDA to have no known medical value. Actually, what marijuana has is no known lobbying value. And, yes - yes, back in 1999, when we still believed in science, the National Academy of Science said what millions already knew from practical use, that weed is useful in treating pain, nausea and weight loss. And that lab rats exposed to it were 38% more likely to forget the maze and just kick it old school.

Folks, drug companies are pushers, and Congress and the FDA are the cop on the beat who's been paid off to look the other way. New drugs used to have to go through a rigorous process of testing. Now they just give it to Courtney Love, and if she lives, it's approved.

And by the way, just to prove who has the power in this country, that fake FDA report about marijuana having no medical value was issued - on purpose, I am sure - on April 20th - four-twenty. And that joke only makes sense to stoners.

So, mom and dad, if your kid just laughed, you might need to search his room.