Monday, October 31, 2005

My article won!

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I just got this email from the editors at SearchWarp...

"The editors at have picked your article "Reality TV or Entertainment TV, You Decide" as the winning article for October's category writing contest. This article was very well-written and we've received several positive comments on it."

I hope you'll read it and leave a comment.

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Friday, October 28, 2005

First day of LinkedIn.

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Just checked my new LinkedIn network. I have 1 first level contact, 168 second level contacts, and 8456 third level contacts. WOW!

Check my previous post if you don't know what I am referring to in this post.

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Let's play SD of S with LinkedIn

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Have you heard of the concept of Six Degrees of Separation? That's the idea that you can connect with anyone in the world through an average of just six other people.

Want to try it with me?

There is a free social networking service called LinkedIn. Go there and create a free account.

Invite me to join your LinkedIn Network.

Enter: "Tom" "Donaldson" and my private email address: and then click on "SEND INVITATIONS."

I'll review your request from LinkedIn, and approve 'em.

Let's see how big and fast and widespread we can grow our LinkedIn network.

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Word is obsolete.

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You should try out the new Web Word Processor. It's called Writely and it's free. You can write, store, and share your documents online. This makes them immediately available anywhere.


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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Are you missing $871?

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This is something I find absolutely amazing. According to today's news the IRS has 74 million dollars of unclaimed tax refunds. That's 84 thousand missing people owed an average $871 each.

So my question... How come they can find you if you owe them money, but they can't find you if they owe you money?

If you think you are among the missing call the IRS 1-800-829-4477 or

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Hate in America

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Have you seen the news stories about the "Church of Hate" run by one Fred Phelps. This self proclaimed Man of God hates just about everything about America (even Mr. Rogers!) and the rest of the world. Or he's creating the controversy to get attention because he feels inadequate about... other things.

Anyway he's so ridiculous it's funny and sad at the same time.

And get this he has followers, about 150 at last count. What makes people fall for this kind of crap?

There is a guy, Blair Warren who studies and writes about these kinds of things. Read his BLOG Crooked Wisdom and join his list.

When you join he will give you his "One Sentence Persuasion Course". I recommend it. You will learn a lot about what drives human nature.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

How much is your BLOG worth?

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This is a neat concept. See my BLOG value below. Check yours out too!

My blog is worth $3,387.24.
How much is your blog worth?

Monday, October 10, 2005

Caller ID Spoofing

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Scam artists have now found a way to "phish" by phone. Just like e-mail phishing scams can make it appear that a message is coming from any e-mail address the sender chooses, caller ID spoofing can make a call appear to come from any phone number the caller wishes.

Here's how the scam works...

The scam artist goes to a caller ID spoofing service (i.e., These services allow you to "spoof" your telephone number. According to Camophone, with "Camophone's Privacy Telecom Caller ID spoofing and manipulation service, you can make calls anywhere to the United States and you are in control of the Caller ID that is sent to whoever you are calling."

The scam artist sets up an account and is then able to call consumers and have the caller ID display their local bank or credit union telephone number and caller ID. The consumer, feeling comfortable that they are seeing their own credit union's name, is more likely to divulge their confidential account information.

DON'T BE FOOLED. No bank will send an e-mail requesting your confidential information, they would never make an unsolicited call to request that information. If you do receive a call like this from ANY vendor that you do business with hang up and call back using their published phone number.

For more information search for this article. . .
Computerworld, "Scam Artists Dial for Dollars on Internet Phones"

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Reality TV or Entertainment TV, You Decide

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The truly educated man is that rare individual who can separate reality from illusion. - Author Unknown

Reality TV Shows.

Are they reality or just entertainment? Are they good for society? Do reality shows enhance culture? Are they a waste of time?

Let's clear up one thing first. Look up reality in the dictionary. It says, "Reality is the quality or state of being actual or true."

Now think about the last time you had your picture taken or were video-taped. You knew the cameras were on and you acted just like you always do, didn't you?


You didn't scratch your backside or pick your nose. You smiled. You became someone other than your real self. I know, I know, sometimes you want to scratch more and pick more because you want to be gross or funny.

Bottom line is, you acted as you thought you were supposed to act. Do you still think any situation shown on a reality TV show is authentic? I vote NO!

Now look up entertainment and you'll learn that, "Entertainment is something that amuses, pleases, or diverts."

For most of us, this is why we watch a reality TV show. We get to see people acting like people. We laugh when they do stupid things. We cry with them when something bad happens. We shake our heads when they act like fools. Reality TV diverts our attention from our own lives and the things that happen around us. That can be either good or bad. Sometimes it's okay to escape from the problems, fears, and pressures of life… for a while.

So in that sense, Reality TV is good for society as long as we remember it's just a simulation of reality. A slice of life portrayed by people acting as they are expected to act. Sequences and scenes are selected by producers, directors, and editors to create the reality defined by the show's premise. The actual reality is, it's an entertainment show that is designed to deliver a certain audience to a certain advertiser. You get entertainment – they get potential customers.

Can a reality TV show enhance our culture?

I believe it can. If we watch the characters of the various reality shows closely we can learn more about ourselves and our society. We get to see the entire range of human interactions and emotions. Greed, lust, love, selfishness, courage, fear, and more, it's all there. We can discover the things we value. We get to see people relating to people. We can learn what makes relationships stronger, and what tears people apart.

If we stay more than semi-conscious while we watch a reality TV show we could learn something. We could. Watched with awareness intact, a reality TV show would not be a waste of our time. Remember that.

At the same time, if a reality show or any TV show is used only to escape from your life then it is a waste of time. Stop living in and through someone's contorted and distorted created reality.

So those are my thoughts on the questions asked earlier. Here's one final suggestion I offer to you.

Turn off the TV. Get out there and experience the reality show called "Your Life." You will be amazed at how interesting and entertaining it can be.

Do you want more than just business-as-usual Entertainment TV or Reality TV?

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Simon Says

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The following article is adapted from a series of messages by Stephen Simon. In it he is referring to the sad state of affairs in most of the entertainment we get on television and in the movies.

"The words 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,' which I saw on
an Italian movie poster, are perhaps the briefest
statement imaginable of the basic appeal of movies.
This appeal is what attracts us, and ultimately what
makes us despair when we begin to understand
how seldom movies are more than this."

- Pauline Kael, Film Critic

I'm guessing you can relate to Pauline Kael's
statement above. You see a great movie trailer with
beautiful stars and a few flashy, action-packed shots,
so you rush to the theater, only to be disappointed
because that's all there was: stars and action - but no
substance; nothing to nourish your soul.

You probably know that most movies these days are
geared toward young males. Why? Because young
men generally have lots of disposable income
(no house payments or families yet).

And what kind of movies do young males like?

Stupid comedies and big, violent action movies.

In fact, a recent National Television Violence
Study examined nearly 10,000 hours of television
programming over a three-year period and found
that 51 percent contained violence (source:
American Academy of Pediatrics, "Article Underscores
Media Impact on Children and Adolescents," press
release, 5 January 1999").

And the violence statistics for movies released in
theatres and on DVD are even worse.

Unfortunately, this leaves people like you and me, who
crave soulful, inspiring movies, with very little to choose

But just because Hollywood doesn't see much profit
potential in enlightening entertainment doesn't mean
that we should be forced to go without.

Think about it. What are you watching?

"No form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness
as film does, straight to our emotions, deep into the
twilight of the soul."
- Ingrid Bergman, Actress

Ingrid was right. Movies probably are the most
powerful art form, because they can touch us deeply
on so many different levels.

In fact, I've always thought of movies as the modern
day version of shamanic storytelling.

Imagine... you're sitting at the campfire listening
spellbound as the village shaman relates our most
potent tribal myths and transformational stories,
shadows moving and drums beating...

You're captivated, inspired...

Today, our shamans are filmmakers, who combine
stories and sounds and images to create celluloid
visions of reflected light that initiate us in the
secret wisdom of our culture.

In other words, every time you pop in a DVD from
The Spiritual Cinema Circle, you have the opportunity to enjoy an inspiring multi-sensory experience that can
enlighten and empower your life.

"Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand
dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul."
- Marilyn Monroe

Fifty cents for your soul? Hmm...

That raises the question: How much is your soul worth?

What's it worth to nourish your soul?

Think about it.

How often do you get to experience movies that…

Awaken your sense of joy and wonder and really
make you feel alive?

How often do you get to enjoy movies that…
Inspire love and compassion for your fellow
human beings?

How often do you get to discover movies that…
Evoke a deeper sense of connection with the
universe around you?


"You must know that in any moment a decision
you make can change the course of your life
forever... the very next movie you see or book
you read or page you turn could be the one single
thing that causes the floodgates to open, and all
of the things that you've been waiting for to fall
into place."
- Anthony Robbins, author & motivational speaker

This could be that moment and joining The Spiritual Cinema Circle could be the decision that opens the floodgates for you...

We're convinced our movies will entertain, enlighten and inspire you.


Join us now and help raise the consciousness of entertainment, one movie at a time. This month's volume features some of our best movies ever!

About Stephen Simon

Stephen Simon is a veteran producer whose distinguished career includes the Presidency of two major production companies and the development and production of a myriad of well-known films such as: "Smokey and the Bandit," "The Goodbye Girl," "The Electric Horseman," "Somewhere in Time," the Academy Award winning "What Dreams May Come", and the Emmy-nominated Lifetime movie "Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story." He is also author of the definitive work "The Force is With You: Mystical Movie Messages that Inspire Our Lives," published by Walsch Books, an imprint of Hampton Roads. Simon is also co-founder of The Spiritual Cinema Circle.