Friday, December 2

Some Helpful Tips For Blogging Success



I have been blogging for over 10 years, my first website Bekkie In Wonderland (this very website), was started at Windows Live Spaces and later moved to Blogger after Live Spaces ended. My biggest problem was writing posts that engaged my readers' encouraging comments and discussion.

Doing research on popular blogs I came to the conclusion that if I wanted to be successful at blogging I needed to do more than just talk about myself and my day. It takes hard work, clever planning, a sense of humor, brilliant writing, and the right moves to become a successful blogger. We can always improve, can’t we?

Remember it's not just what you write either. Do the extra work and make your site something to look at. Make it entertaining and fun. Do some research on using color and movement to engage your readers. Watch what fonts you use for your site what looks good to you might be hard for others to read which would ruin the whole idea of having people read what you have to say.
Most of all, you should have fun with it and look forward to it. If you aren’t enjoying yourself maybe blogging isn’t for you.

Tips For Blogging Success

  • Publish Consistently
Daily posts are important! Content should be consistently posted because readers like predictability and will look forward to new posts from you on a daily basis. Figure out a publishing schedule you can live with and stick to it. Once a week or twice a month, whatever your blogging time permits stick to it. You are only as good as your last post.
  • Co-Blog with A Partner
Regular posts for blogs can be a hassle for some bloggers to manage solo. If you know you will not have the time to blog yourself, invite a co-worker or a friend who shares the same passion and dedication as you and ask them to co-blog. It keeps your regulars on your website instead of looking elsewhere and a different perspective never hurts.
  • Get Your Site On The Search Engines
When you start a blog fifty is a magic number in blogging terms. I don’t know why the number 50 was picked but after 50 posts your website will start to be picked up by the search engines and the page views will begin to increase. The page views will grow exponentially with the increase in search engine queries. The more searches your site shows up in the better. 
  • Use Original Photos Or Images
It has been reported that blogs with original photos earned twice the number of page views than those articles with license-free images. Take the time to pick the right images to complement your blog content and your blog will bring even more page views. I find that using animated GIF files grab people's attention immediately.
  • Use Keywords In Your Titles And Captions On Photos
Keywords (or labels) help people find your posts through your photos and captions give an extra anchor for readers because humans are naturally visual animals. It’s a little extra work but before you upload a photo for your blog, title each image with a keyword or label. It ensures that the search engines optimize these keywords so your website can be found by either the photos or posts on your blog. Do a search on yourself to see how you’re doing.
  • Comment On All Comments
Be social and grateful to your readers that leave comments. Most readers will not respond to blogs, even if they like them. I receive a lot more page views than comments because readers take the information and move on. So when you get a comment respond promptly. Address them by name, add to the discussion and invite them back. Thank them for their time and readership.
  • Read And Comment On Other People’s Blogs
Following someone’s blogs isn’t enough. You expect your Followers to read and comment on your blogs so it’s only fair play to visit, read, and comment on your Followers blogs. Do this on a daily basis and they will return the favor.
  • Publish An Honest, Complete Profile
When you like a website the first thing you wonder about is who's writing this stuff? Websites introducing some facts about the author's work or life you're Following seem more legit than those with a frivolous profile page. People like to know things like where you’re from, your interests, around what age you are, where you live, etc. Don’t be shy, I can tell you from experience that an honest profile with a real picture of yourself goes a long way.
  • Guest Bloggers
Find a blogger that you think is brilliant? You can learn from them by asking them to guest blog on your site. Ask them to write about a certain subject or leave it up to them. Thank them for participating, give them credit and a link back to their website. Guest bloggers can help you with exposure. When you link to that blog, many of their Followers will come to check out your site. Depending on the number of readers they have it’s a great way to boost your page views or find new Followers yourself.
  • Be Interesting
Readers want to find fresh, valuable, entertaining and remarkable information. Make an effort to deliver more than just the facts. Make it about your subject matter, not you. It doesn’t hurt to be personal but avid blog readers won’t find blogs that talk about the weather everyday sound that interesting. Just like you, they want some meat on those bones.
  • Get Your Point Across
Style, grammar, spelling, layout, all count for nothing if your audience doesn’t get your meaning. Make yourself clear and understood. Watch your spelling and use a friendly font on your posts that's easy to read.
  • Hold On To Passion
Keep the fires burning, don’t let your blog subject turn into a chore. It’s important to recognize when you need to scrap a blog too, sometimes they just aren’t good enough to post. Learn the difference.
  • Make A Good First Impression
Do new visitors know what your blog is about in under 10 seconds? Can they navigate your website easily? Make sure your blog is set up professionally so that your readers can clearly understand your subject matter and find what they are looking for.
  • Build Momentum And Optimize Your Posts
Keep posting daily and take advantage of popular subjects that your readers like. It's not easy to do but pick a writing schedule you can deal with and keep it up. If you tell your readers to expect daily posts about a certain subject in the future and they don't show up that's a bad thing. It takes less effort to keep going than to stop and start again. Your readers are what makes your website popular so do what you can to keep them coming.
  • Look Good And Be Unique
Appearances count, in terms of your blog design and your posts. Make your content stand out by using the template designer in the advanced mode and make it your own. Make your color and font choices easy to see and read. Pick great images or better yet supply your own artwork.
  • Using Blogs Of Note For Ideas
Look at your Blogger Dashboard for “Blogs Of Note” and check out the blogs there. These blogs are the crème of the crop and have loads of Followers on them. Find the ones that interest you or are similar to your blog and learn from them.
  • Monitor Your Stats
Stats tell you the health of your blog and where the traffic is coming from. Keep an eye on your statistics to make sure you are writing content that brings new readers in while keeping your old ones. Your stats will also tell you if your blog strategy is solid or if you need to make some changes.
  • Communication Fascination
If you love your subject matter then let your readers know it. If you share your enthusiasm it becomes contagious and makes your readers excited about it too. Give them a reason to want to leave a comment.
  • Explore And Experiment
Blogs that make an effort to stretch, to break the mold or provide something unique are the blogs people flock to, chat about, and return to. Be inspired to have your blog under “Blogs Of Note.”
  • Poll Your Readers
Run different polls, the results are newsworthy and fun. Have a fixed date for the poll to be finished and blog on the results. Find out what your readers think about the subject you pick. Make your poll fun and interesting so your readers take part in it and want to know the outcome.
  • Join Forums
Break out of your blogging bubble. Network by meeting potential readers online, discuss cool subjects and make new friends. You can learn a lot depending on the forum you are taking part in and you may find something awesome to blog about at the same time.
  • Get More Experience And Develop Expertise
Do new things, broaden your horizons, practice your writing and stretch your limits. Practice makes perfect. In no time you will learn what works for you and what doesn’t. You will develop a good idea as to what to write about to bring the readers to your website (blog).
  • Toot Your Own Horn
You worked hard for it, your blogging success will grow as you do and you’ll have more Followers then you ever imagined. Good for you!

As I've said for years. Keep On Bloggin’!

Friday, October 28

To Code Or Not To Code

I coded this.

What if you could design and publish HTML websites without writing code or using templates to do so? A website where you can focus on creativity alone to put exactly what you want on your website. Adobe has made this possible with (codename) Muse.

Muse, now in public beta, is for graphic designers that want to design and publish unique, professional HTML websites without worrying how to write code. So far 300,000+ designers have already downloaded Muse and have been very pleased with the results.

Check it out for yourself at the Muse website. First, watch the video called Meet Muse for an introduction to Adobe’s brainchild. On their site, you can also Get Muse to try out and they have video tutorials to watch if you need any help learning how to use it.

To see what can be done without code take a peek at the Muse Site Showcase to see how others are using this program to make fantastic one of a kind websites for themselves.

Right now to design your own website you have to know one of the many programs (besides HTML) to do so. As well as Blogger works when you design your site you still have to work with a choice of already designed templates that they offer and follow Google’s policies.

There have been plenty of times I tried to embed content or applications on my websites and had problems. Wouldn’t it be great to forgo this and put what I want to on my website with nobodies policy but my own? If you have a website or are thinking of starting one then I’m sure you agree.

Keep On Bloggin’!

Sunday, October 9

The Blue Angels-Fleet Week Photos 2011

The Blue Angels come to my area once a year and the whole Navy puts on a show over the San Francisco Bay Area (and they get to buzz the city itself for a week before the show.) Practice makes perfect and they have never had one crash in all these years.

The men are excellent pilots whether they are flying the plane that refuels the jets or doing fancy flying in a jet itself and we were lucky to be in San Francisco today so I can share my pictures we took with you.

In the past when I lived in San Francisco I could take pictures of The Blue Angels practicing around the city from my kitchen window.

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The Columbus Day Parade was going on at the same time.
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They actually had to call the show off today on Sunday (but it went off on Saturday) so we’re lucky we got the shots we did. But everyone still poured downtown and there were a million things going on at once! See the street name?

Keep On Bloggin’!

Friday, October 7

Home Sweet Home

Take a look at what some people call “home sweet home.”
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How did they build it and look at the way to the grocery store!
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Here’s a close up of the cable car; to nowhere! Look at the door way into the rock below with stairs.
ATT00002  Look at this place with the car in front of it. No room for a garage? A road?
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A lighthouse for a home would be nice but it looks like it’s sitting on Tinker Toys.
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Now this is the best! I have always wanted to live in a tree house and this one has a garden on the top. Think it’s real?
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Does this house look like it’s sagging a little in the middle to you?
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Cave living at it’s best. Where’s the faux bear rug and club?
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This lighthouse is having a very high tide. The sea wall is full of sea!
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I think they used the top of our state capitol for the roof. This one gives me a funny feeling, like; “Don’t lose any weight!” That’s one long latter! Ha ha, I can’t help myself!
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Now they went too far! Okay, you guessed it. These are probably all done with Photoshop. This place comes with a natural air conditioner and makes its own ice…until Spring!


These pictures were sent to me in an email so I thought I’d share them with you this Friday night. We actually have our telescope outside right now and are doing a little star gazing while chilling at home. It’s a warm Fall evening.


It’s a little early for giving thanks but I’m thankful my cats and I have a home to call our own so that we might enjoy a night of looking at the stars. Especially after the last year I had! If only life could always be this simple!


“The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.” Confucius

Keep On Bloggin’!

Monday, October 3

In His Eyes-Part One

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Sweaty, she pulled her black SUV into the Clarion Inn hotel parking lot by Lake Michigan from her night job in the ER and she was bone tired this morning. Her menial job as an orderly at Saint Anthony’s Hospital didn’t give her much money to live on but the job was worth so much more to her than money. Money; that’s what men were for, well, that and other indescribable things. She giggled to herself deliciously.

It was springtime in Michigan City, Indiana. Everything was green and seemed eager to blossom after the long winter. With my window down I could smell the lilacs blooming profusely around this little town nestled against the southern tip of Lake Michigan. It was just starting to get light outside.

The people here were pretty much family orientated people that kept to themselves just the way I like it. It was easy to blend in, even though I was fairly “new in town” and working at hospitals makes people trust me easily and helps me fit in yet be invisible.

This was a special day to look forward to because it was the fruition of all of my work and plans I made for Mr. Weller. I got a thrill as I imagined the look in his eyes at the last moment, the sounds, smells and of course my precious tapes so that I could re-live It all again and again.
 
At work tonight I’ll get my last supplies from the hospital and to make it sweeter the next two nights I have off. Mr. Weller and I will have a long time to get to know each other. She giggled to herself and lightly jumped out of the SUV. She let herself into number 13 and threw the keys on the desk. She was eager to savor another kill as she caught her reflection in the mirror, she liked how her eyes seemingly glittered in the darkness. She stared at her reflection for a moment enjoying her body. It was a quiet morning but she had work to do before pleasure.

She had met Mr. Gregory Weller in the ER. He was older than she liked but perfect just the same and what great eyes he had! She threw her clothes off humming to herself as she jumped into the hot shower starting to feel the rush, the excitement of another kill sending shivers down her spine. The water made love to her tired muscles. After showering she ate, carefully counting her calories as always.

She was in great shape at 5’7”, only 110 pounds with long black sleek hair and clear blue eyes. It was hard for her NOT to be noticed but she had her ways. She had perfect skin and a porcelain completion from working nights and was 25 years old. She was self taught in martial arts and could run a mile in 9 minutes. Secrecy and surprise are imperative to her success in controlling her subjects with the speed and power she would need to bring a man larger than herself down swiftly and easily with no mistakes.

After her breakfast she took a jog down by Lake Michigan’s sand dunes like she did every day. If it was early enough she could practice her martial arts outside on the beach instead of in her hotel room without fear of being seen. As she ran she reenacted in her head exactly how her weekend was to go with Mr. Weller. Down to the tiniest detail. She wanted to leap with joy but she passed some other joggers so it was back to room 13 for any martial arts practice.
After she got back to her room she finished a short set and got ready for bed. She had no problem with sleeping days as she was used to working nights. With all the adrenaline running through her veins, her workout and with the excitement of the weekend to come she finally tired herself out and fell deep asleep.

She was swimming in a pool for she could see the bottom and sides of it. The water was warm and felt womb-like. She was naked, breathing underwater and didn’t seem concerned about it. As she tried to surface all she could do is look upwards and try to see what was on the surface. The surface was very bright and hard to look at.

She felt almost too calm, like she was drugged. As she peered upwards she could see eyes peering down at her in the water. Suddenly body parts were floating in the water all around her and the pool water was turning dark red. She smelled blood! As she tried to scream her lungs filled with the thick stuff and she could not breathe now. Arms were pulling at her, dragging her downward. She was chocking and found herself looking into clear blue eyes, not unlike her own eyes and they…..looked dead? She was dead! She woke up drenched in bed with her heart pounding in her ears! It was already 8pm and she had to be at work at 10pm! She leaped out of bed and raced to the shower.

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I decided to write my first online story in parts (tee hee) called “In His Eyes” and I hope you will enjoy it! I will add to it when I can. Please let me know what you think about it or if you want more of the same. Have a good read and a great week my friends!

I’m seriously writing my first book now and the more I write the better I get and the closer I get to finishing and (hopefully) publishing it. My first book. So I could take all the comments you can give me on what you think about my writing because I want to really make this work and I’m not just speaking of poetry.

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Wednesday, September 14

Twenty Brilliant Quotes

I love good quotes! I have an application on my Android phone called “Brilliant Quotes” and it’s free so if you have an Android you may want to check it out.

Get inspired!

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1. “Advertising is legalized lying.” H.G. Wells
 
2. “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Helen Keller
 
3. “Be sure to put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” Abraham Lincoln
 
4. “Ideas come from everything.” Alfred Hitchcock
 
5. “Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.” Bill Gates
 
6. “I accept chaos, I’m not sure whether it accepts me.” Bob Dylan
 
7. “Moral indignation-jealousy with a halo.” H.G. Wells
 
8. “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” Buddha
 
9. “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin
 
10. “To be honest, one must be inconsistent.” H.G. Wells
 
11. “You’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down.” Charlie Chaplin
 
12. “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” Woody Allen
 
13. “A truth that’s told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent.” William Blake
 
14. “The schools ain’t what they used to be and never was.” Will Rogers
 
15. “Cynicism is humor in ill health.” H.G. Wells
 
16. “When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.” Walt Disney
 
17. “It is good to love many things, for therein lies strength, and whatsoever loves much can accomplish much, and what is done with love is well done.” Vincent Van Gogh
 
18. “Hell, there are no rules here-we’re trying to accomplish something.” Thomas A. Edison
 
19. “Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.” Douglas Adams
 
20. “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” Plato
 
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Steve Kreuscher Illusion Pencil Drawings

Check out these wondrous paintings by artist Steve Kreuscher. This may make your Wednesday a little more fun!

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Aren’t these just beautiful? You can find more of Steve’s art (over 100 more images) by doing an online search for his website. I sure do love art, don’t you?

Below is an optical illusion called: Benham’s Disk. It was invented by C.E. Benham and it’s actually a black and white color generator! See how many colors you can see by staring at it. This was sold as toy by Benham in 1894.


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Monday, September 12

Eonvrye Taht Can Raed Tihs Rsaie Yuor Hnad

I have gotten this in emails, and even wrote a short blog on it myself once. Shame on me because I didn’t do my so important research or I would of never bought into this in the first place. Time to put an end to it’s ill-fated history and just have fun with it.

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Eonvrye taht can raed tihs rsaie yuor hnad.

Isn't it interesing that only boys have their hands up? (Not my quote.)

Only a certain kind of mind can read this but I refuse to believe that only men can do it because I have no problem! I think “word scrambling” is fun and somewhat revealing but what is different about the girl’s versus the boys reading this?
It’s amazing what the mind can do and the zillions of things it does for us everyday without a glitch is fantastic! However, I don’t feel that male and female minds differ at all. Not the hard-wiring anyway and my doctor would back me up on that. Tee hee!

When it comes down to it our brains are wired just like an electronic circuit, there’s no difference except they are an organ and send chemical signals. Those chemical signals still run along pathways in the brain just like current through a circuit in a computer but that is where the resemblance ends. No computer could ever replace our hard working brains.
  
Oddly enough after seeing the black and white photo above in an email talking about “word scrambling” and then no reference as to why the girl’s didn’t have their hands up also gave me the clue I needed to de-bunk this whole Cambridge word scrambling thing.

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It isn’t true. I’m not the only person who believes this isn’t true that I found. Cambridge University never did a study on word scrambling and the black and white picture with the kids was thrown in as good measure whether it was explained or not. I could not find this picture with any studies on word scrambling and I would bet a “man” wrote this information into Wikipedia in the first place. Tee hee!

This next statement was also untrue or I failed at finding it, but there is no studies done at Cambridge University that bore this information out:

If you can raeid tihs elaisy, you do hvae a secapil mnid for srue. Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.  What kind of special? Are you kidding me? Lol!

Then the statement that always shows up on sites, blogs that claim this was a real study:
Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Before I put this to rest FOR GOOD (I will never blog on it again) the real reason you can read the word scrambling is because by putting the right letters at the beginning and end of each word you are stimulating what you learned already in life. It’s called “how to read.”

In grade school you are taught how to read and how to use those words properly. (English class.) After learning this your brain can remember whole words and more by then so if you can identify the word by a few letters and where it’s being used it’s a snap. Remember I said the brain was an incredible circuit. Ta da! You can read word scrambling. 
I’d like to get some response on this so if you could leave a comment telling me whether you can or can’t read the word scrambling and what sex you are that would be awesome. I’ll print the results out later for you if I get enough data.
I did find a great thing that was true about reading the word scrambling. It’s the same truth about being able to see certain optical illusions. If you can do it, it’s a good indicator that you won’t get Alzheimer’s later in life.

While I’m talking about incorrect facts…. all of you bloggers and people doing research online. I have a pet peeve and it’s with Wikipedia. I don’t use it personally. There have been one too many times where I have found the wrong information or at the least incorrect facts. Yes, some people might like a place where they can correct or add to information that other people are relying on. But when I look something up I want the facts from the horses mouth. I want the real goods and Wikipedia just isn’t it.

I’m just saying, if you want to be taken seriously in your writing you should do enough research so that you know what you’re talking about especially if it’s something new and be careful about adding facts or figures you’re not sure of. Have a lovely week and enjoy yourselves! 
 
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Thursday, September 8

Not Your Normal Pool Party

I was looking at some news stories today and I couldn’t believe the media storm this meteorologist from Little Rock, Arkansas got himself into! So far this story is just breaking but I can tell you I can’t wait to hear the whole story; IF we ever do.

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Brett Cummins was found sleeping with a dead man.

Christopher Barbour, 36 had a party last Sunday night at his home with his friends Brett Cummins, 33 and Dexter Paul Williams, 24. It was reported by Officer Gregory Roussie that the three of them had been drinking and snorting illegal narcotics, though Barbour could not identify the drugs. Around 10 PM, Cummins and Williams moved into the hot tub, where Barbour joined them while they continued the party until Barbour retired for the night around 11PM where he fell asleep on his couch in the living room.

Around 8AM Monday morning Barbour woke up to snoring. When he approached the hot tub he found his friends were at the bottom of the hot tub and that it had no water in it. He saw that Williams head was lying behind Cummins left shoulder. After he woke up Cummins they both saw that Williams was discolored and cold. Cummins screamed and ran to the living room where he threw up with Barbour behind him.

The medics showed up at 8:10AM. Williams body was lying on the bottom of the empty hot tub with a dog collar around his neck. He had a ring of blood around his head. He was pronounced dead.

In the master bedroom they also found some bottles of pills although they are not saying at this point what the pills were. They also found a pair of men’s shorts.

No arrests had been made, but an investigation is under way, Lt. Jim Hansard told CNN on Thursday. "We don't have a crime -- yet," he said. "That's part of the investigation." Police said they are not releasing preliminary autopsy results.

KARK made note of the incident on its website. "Our Meteorologist Brett Cummins was at the home at the time of the death and we felt we should share this with our viewers," the report said Tuesday. "Brett will not be on the air as he is mourning the loss of his friend. Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of Dexter Williams."

The family of Dexter Williams has asked for privacy and made this statement; "While we are disturbed by the circumstances surrounding the death of our son, we are confident the authorities will fully investigate this tragic event."

I wouldn’t feel so confident these days if I was his family! After all their son was doing illegal acts with two men at least 10 years older than him that is claiming their dead friend was “just easily influenced” with the family agreeing with them. That is pitiful.

Still, if it had been one of us we’d be IN JAIL waiting for the police ‘to look into it’. People go to jail in Arkansas for illegal drugs even medical pot. My mom lived in Little Rock and everyone has a gun and you don’t mess with the cops! OMG!
 
So Cummins is saying he’s innocent of murder and both of his friends and family say Williams was easily influenced. OK but what about the drugs? I wonder how many of these parties with illegal drugs Barbour has had in the past? Who influenced whom for real?

I used to enjoy my visits to Little Rock while my mom lived there and the people were all very nice and really good cooks! I will have to keep an eye on this story. Good night my friends!

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Illusion Carpet in The Game Store

 
This optical illusion carpet, spotted in a Paris video game store provides an illusion of a vortex floor. The effect is achieved by printing bent lines in an according manner, just like what we have already seen in Apple’s executive garden. Not only does this carpet mess with your mind, it might also make you actually trip while trying to walk across it! Can you see the floor as flat, which it actually is?
 

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I want to have this carpeting all through my house. Enjoy the rest of these optic illusions.


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If you see the woman spinning to the right you are using the right side of your brain. If she spins to the left you are using the left side of your brain. Practice to see if you can use both sides of your brain to make her spin both directions. Practice makes perfect.
 

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Puking Your Head Out
 

 
With Monday being a holiday this week is going even faster! Soon the weekend will be upon us again, it’s already Thursday! Hope your week has been great!
 
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