According to Wikipedia

Every week I have a Wonder Why Wednesday post where I answer a question that I have been wondering about.

And nearly every week I look in one place to find my answer…Wikipedia.

Wikipedia has organized information so well that it has become the default place to start my search when I want to learn about something.

In the off chance that Wikipedia doesn’t have what I am looking for, I am tempted to give up and stop my search altogether.

If I can’t find it on Wikipedia, then I feel it probably doesn’t exist.

I did a quick search through my blog and I have used the phrase “according to Wikipedia” 11 times.

Maybe I should consider changing the name from “Wonder Why Wednesday” to “According to Wikipedia.”

So for that fact and more, I am thankful for Wikipedia. Thank you for providing answers to all of my life’s questions.

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Thankful Thursday Rhyme

Today I am thankful for rhyming,

Because it makes bland writing sound fun.

It’s a terrific twist to text,

That can be done by anyone.

 

There are many reasons to be thankful for rhymes,

For one, it gives words some spunk.

It is the word equivalent of Storage Wars,

Because it can make treasure out of junk.

 

Rhymes are enjoyable to read,

And also fun to write.

Rhyming is so great at breaking bad writer’s block,

You could call them Walter White.

 

Some of the best rhymers are doctors,

Like Dr. Seuss or Dr. Dre.

They come up with such clever rhymes,

That stick in your head and never go away.

 

A rhyme can be defined,

As two words that sound the same.

Three rhymes in a row is a NBA Jam

Where you catch fire, like Hunger Games

 

Are you still skeptical about rhyming?

Still doubt you can have fun with words?

Just give it a try for yourself,

And you will have more fun than playing Angry Birds

 

I guess I’ve said enough good things about rhymes

But for all these reason and many more,

I hope you get my point,

That it is rhyming I am thankful for.

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Laughter (and milk coming out of your nose)

Woody Allen once said, “I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.”

For today’s Thankful Thursday, I am agreeing with Mr. Allen, and I am thankful for laughter.

I am not breaking any news when I say that laughter is awesome.

Charles Dickens put it best when he said, “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”

Here is a great video from Kid President.  In the video he talks about how laughter can fix global sadness.  Watch the video and try not to laugh at seeing him laugh.  It’s impossible.

It has been said that laughter is the best medicine.

According to a story from WebMd, there might be some physiological truth to that. “We change physiologically when we laugh,” said R. Morgan Griffin. “We stretch muscles throughout our face and body, our pulse and blood pressure go up, and we breathe faster, sending more oxygen to our tissues.”

So not only is laughing fun, but it is good for you.

How many other things can you say that about?

We can’t say that about vegetables (good for you, but not fun) or the KFC Double Down (fun but not good for you).

So today, do your body and mind a favor and spend a little time laughing (just try not to have milk come out your nose).

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Thankful For New Year’s Resolutions

Today I am thankful for New Year’s resolutions.

I consider it a very good thing anytime we take a look at ourselves and see what we need to change to become better.

The start of a fresh, unsoiled, year seems to be the ideal time to set goals and targets for how we will make this year the best year ever!

But how often do we actually follow through on our lofty New Year’s resolutions?

I think we make our goals too distant that we feel we have the entire year to complete. That year long timetable creates no hurry to get our resolutions finished.

The only resolution that I can remember successfully completing was the year I told myself that I wanted to learn to juggle.

Similar to the AT&T commercial where the kid says his New Year’s “revolution” is to eat more jelly beans, learning to juggle was fun, but it probably wasn’t the most heartfelt resolution.

I don’t have a resolution set for this year yet, but whatever it ends up being I am going to give it a short deadline (or make it jelly bean related).

What are some of your New Year’s resolutions? Let me know if the comments section below.

Thankful for family

After a couple of days of spending Christmas with my family, I think it makes sense to use this Thankful Thursday to say that I am thankful it is all over.

Just kidding.

I am very thankful for my family.

I thought about making up hilarious stories from my Christmas about a drunk uncle or how my grandma knitted me an ugly sweater, but I just couldn’t do that. Mainly because I am not that creative. But also because it is just not true.

I am blessed to have superb siblings, awesome aunts, unreal uncles, cool cousins, great grandparents (well, not great-grandparents), and peachy parents.

This post would probably be better if I had funny stories to report from Christmas. But I don’t.

It was just a very nice Christmas with a very nice family that I am very thankful for.

Top 10 List of Why I’m Thankful For Lists

For today’s Thankful Thursday I am thankful for lists. Whether is it is a top 10 list, a top 25 list or a grocery list, there are many things to like about lists.

And what a better way to show why I am thankful than by creating a top 10 list.

Here’s my top 10 list of why I am thankful for lists…

10. They Don’t Always Have To Make Sense

When I knew I wanted to write about lists, I wondered if anyone would want to read it. Then it came to me, what if I put it in a list? A list about lists doesn’t make sense, but I bet a heck of a lot more people will care about it this way as opposed to if I just wrote a bunch of paragraphs about why I like lists.

9. They Allow For Versatility

If you are like me, you are never quite sure how long paragraphs should be. Is one sentence too short, is six sentences too long? The great thing about lists is that you can make them as long or as short as you’d like and no one seems to care.

8. They Are Easy To Read

People like to scan through articles before they decide if they are going to read it. That is hard to do with a bunch of random paragraphs and it leads to people checking out and not reading what you wrote. With lists, readers are able to easily scan through with their eyes and stop when they see a item that they find interesting.

7. They Test Your Creativity

I wasn’t sure if I could come up with 10 actual reasons why I like lists. It would have been easier to make this a top 5 list or a top 3 list. But I wanted to test myself and my creativity and see what I could come up with. It is probably not a bad thing to test your creativity every now and then.

6. You’re Allowed To Have Space Fillers

Sometimes you can’t come up with 10 perfect list items and you just need to fill space. The end.

5. They Make You Feel Like David Letterman

I will never be a comedian or a late night talk show host, but thanks to his popular top 10 lists, I feel a little like David Letterman when I make my lists.

4. Readers Have An Opinion Of Them

People read a list and think, ‘I would have put number 4 at number 8 and I would have added blank for number 3.’ I’m pretty sure they don’t think ‘I would move paragraph 7 up above paragraph 3’ when they are reading a narrative with a ton of long paragraphs.

3. They Are Fun to Write

I enjoy writing all of my blog posts. If I didn’t, I would not write them. But for some reason, lists are just a little more fun to write. I guess it probably has to do with the versatility and creativity I mentioned earlier. Whatever it is, they are just plain fun to write.

2. You Can Make A List Of Anything

I’ve made a list of things like books, movies and Kickstarter but I haven’t even scratched the surface of lists. If you just Google top 10 list you will see every topic imaginable from top 10 list of antioxidant rich foods to top 10 list of zombie movies.

1. People Love Them

Nearly every top 10 list I post becomes among the most popular things that I’ve done on the blog. If I were to create a top 10 list of the posts with the most website traffic, I bet the majority would be top 10 lists.

Wake Up Call

Today I am thankful for wake up calls.

But I’m not talking about the ones you arrange for that can ruin a great nights sleep in a hotel.

I’m talking about something that smacks you in the face with some perspective and gets you to see clearly during a time when you really need it.

Recently I given such a wake up call during a time when I was feeling sorry for myself.

Thanks to a couple of knee surgeries my athletic career didn’t play out quite like I would have drawn up. Every now and then I start to wonder what if.

What if I hadn’t gotten hurt in high school? What if I was just a little taller? What if? What if? What if?

Right when I was in the middle of my what-ifs, someone (unaware of my self pity) sent me a link to the following video about Richie Parker, a man who overcame being born without arms to become a chassis and body component designer for Hendrick Motorsports.

Watching that video made my little knee pain not seem so important anymore.

My self pity shrunk and my gratitude grew.

I know that I am very blessed and thankfully it seems like every time I start to feel bad for myself I am given a wake up call.

James Patterson

For today’s Thankful Thursday I am thankful for author James Patterson.

That guy churns out best selling books, like Little Caesars rolls out hot and ready pizzas!

In 2012 alone, Patterson produced 13 total books. As someone who has had to grind to make just one book, I have a deep respect for anyone that can write one book, let alone one book for every month.

And not only does he write books at the same rate as Peyton Manning throws touchdown passes, but his books are phenomenal.

I just got his new book Gone at the library and I can wait to get started on it.

As I mentioned in an earlier Thankful Thursday, I listen to audio books in the car while driving. Most of the time you’ll find me listening to a James Patterson book.

Mr. Patterson has filled the silence for thousands of miles I’ve traveled and he’s made each one enjoyable.

And the best part is that because Patterson publishes a book as often as the Duggars produce kids, I will never run out of his books to read and listen to.

I am thankful for James Patterson and his awesome books!

Thankful For The Library

As I have mentioned in the past, I often go to the library to write.

When people aren’t burping, I find the library to be a great place to brainstorm new ideas. It is quiet, air conditioned and is filled with shelves of motivation.

Whenever I start to think that I can’t write a book, I like to play a game I call, “If that can be a book…”

The game is simple. You pick out a random aisle in the library and look through the different titles of books. You won’t go far before one particular book catches your eye. And most of the time it catches your eye because it is just so odd.

For the first part of this game, you are literally judging a book by its cover.

Once you have picked out a couple of odd looking books, you write down their titles and tell yourself, “If ____ can be a book, so can mine.”

I created this game one time when I was down on myself as a writer. I had begun to convince myself into thinking that I could never write a book.

I was sitting in the library and I looked at the thousands of books around me and thought to myself, “my story has got to be as good if not better than at least one of these books.”

To prove it, I walked down a random aisle and looked for a book I thought I could be as good as.

I didn’t create this game to be cocky or to downgrade the work of other authors.  I created it for motivation and as a way of proving that I belong.

Here’s an example from when I played the game the other day.

I walked down an aisle of non-fiction books in the library and spotted books called, Last of the Donkey Pilgrims, Crazy Sh!t President’s Said and about 50 books about Hitler.

I am sure that all of those books are very good and I am not hating on their work. I am just pointing out that if our world (and libraries) have room for 50 books about Hitler, then clearly they can make space for one book about a Moose named Maury.

So today I am thankful for the library. It provides me a place to write and a venue for playing “If that can be a book…”

You guys are welcome to take my silly game and apply it to your life. If you have a podcast, I recommend you play “If that can be a podcast..”. If you are an artist, I think you would benefit from playing “If that is art..”.

Give it a try and I bet you will feel better and have a renewed confidence in yourself.