10 Nice Ways to Surprise Your Loved Ones

It's Day 39 of the Idea Machine Project and today is all about nice, inexpensive ways to surprise your friends and family. It feels good to do nice things for other people.  Research clearly shows that being kind to others makes us feel good and makes us happier. Doing something nice for others boosts your own endorphins, so there's a positive effect on your brain chemistry and it tends to … [Read more...]

Why Adults Don’t Laugh

For Day 36 of the Idea Machine, Claudia Altucher asks us to consider why adults stop laughing. The obvious answer is that we get busy and beaten down my life's challenges. But I think the real reason goes deeper into cultural norms and socialization that date back into the medieval age. 1. From The Court Jester and Other "Fools" to Stephen Colbert The professionalization of humor began with … [Read more...]

10 Funny Questions: Idea Machine, Day 36

Day 36 of the Idea Machine Project was challenging for me. I had to go out of town for the day to visit family and had little time to work on the topic: Coming up with 10 funny questions and answers at the third grade level. Alas, I managed only three originals to start with, but I'm still working on this prompt and will update later with my other funny questions. Here goes: Q. What's the … [Read more...]

10 Places I’d Like To Visit: Idea Machine, Day 35

The topic for Day 35 in Become an Idea Machine is to simply list 10 "cities" I'd like to visit and why. I've modified this slightly. Although I've mostly listed cities, I'm really more interested in visiting the small towns, villages and rural areas in the countries I've listed. Why the change? Claudia and James Altucher are clearly more into urban environments, whereas I'm more sustained by … [Read more...]

Publicly-Traded Companies: Idea Machine, Day 34

Today's Idea Machine topic is to list 10 companies that I use often and find out if they are publicly-traded on a stock exchange. This topic seems a bit random, so I'm guessing it will come up again at some point later in the book. Perhaps as the basis for coming up with ideas of businesses I could start to offer a product or service that competes with these companies. Maybe James Altucher … [Read more...]

Bye-Bye Lemonade Stand: Day 33

It's Day 33 of the Idea Machine Project and today's topic is business ideas for kids. The premise that is that today's kids are so tech-competent that the traditional lemonade stand is passé. Here are my 10 business ideas for kids, other than the lemonade stand. The first 5 are do-able today. The second 5 will be viable opportunities within 18 months, if they aren't already. 1. Dog … [Read more...]

Uniforms, Day 32: Idea Machine Project

Well, today's idea machine prompt is a bit peculiar.....10 uniforms I could wear in public to see what kind of a response I get. I'm blogging my way through Claudia Altucher's book, Become an Idea Machine. Here are my 10 Uniforms: 1. Band Uniform 2. Cowboy Suit, with Spurs I always had a cowboy suit as a little girl. I got a new one for Christmas every year. 3. Baseball … [Read more...]

Laugh Out Loud: Day 31, Idea Machine Project

It's Day 31 of the Idea Machine Project and today's focus is 10 things that made me laugh out loud. We've all heard the saying: "Laughter is the best medicine." Trouble knocked on the door, but, hearing laughter, hurried away. Ben Franklin Here's another one, attributed to King Solomon: A merry heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones. Proverbs: 17:22 Medical … [Read more...]

10 Tips for Sleeping Better

Sleep is a topic that is dear to my heart because I've long been a proponent as sleep as one of the four pillars of health. This post for Day 30 of the Idea Machine Project offers 10 tips for better sleep. The Shinecast four pillars of great health were inspired by the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin and my own experiences at lifehacking since I was a pre-teen. Early to bed, early to rise, makes a … [Read more...]

Aromatherapy: Legit or Bogus?

Odd topic for Day 29 of the Idea Machine Project: Argue for/against the legitimacy of aromatherapy. Curious about the Idea Machine Project? Scroll down for an explanation. 5 Reasons Aromatherapy Works 1. Smell is part of an animal's survival mechanism. Humans are animals, too. The sense of smell plays a role in survival. Smell is one way we differentiate between something that is … [Read more...]