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Six Word Stories

January 26, 2010
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Maybe you’ve heard of the six word story?  It’s the shortest sort of flash fiction out there, and they are a lot of fun to read, write or share with friends.  So, I’m challenging everyone who reads this to have a go at it.  Write your own six word story!

To get you started, here’s an example of a famous one by Margaret Atwood.

“Starlet Sex Scandal.  Giant Squid Involved.”

My own meager attempt will be posted in the comments section.  Don’t judge me by that!


How To Live Longer: Get Happy!

January 24, 2010

Ahhh…sweet validation!  Scientific research has shown that if you read Bright Calliope every day, you’ll live longer.  Well, sort of.

A recent study by Dr. Ryan T. Howell of the University of San Fransisco indicates that “positive psychological well-being” will reduce the risk of mortality in both healthy and sick populations.  So a blog like this one, dedicated to helping you find happiness (or just making your day a little brighter), is actually good for your lifespan. 🙂

So take your vitamins, get your 30 minutes a day of exercise, and subscribe to my RSS or e-mail listing for a longer life!

Students, always cite your sources.  If you’re interested, you can read the research at:

What do you think of that?

Wonderful Word: Melissophobia

January 24, 2010

Maybe it’s a bit weird to have a phobia as one of my wonderful words, but this one just sounds so nice!  Melissophobia = the fear of Melissa.

Really.  I promise! 😉

In Greek, “melissa” is the word for honey bees, so Melissophobia is the fear of bees. It’s one of the more common phobias, though I’m not a sufferer.  I’ve got a healthy fear of roaches, but bees don’t bother me too much.

To help you remember the word, let me tell you a story.

Picture this: Easter.  I am twelve years old, sweet and innocent. (Hey, it’s my story!  So what if I was an obnoxious adolescent?)  We go over to the neighbors’ farm for an old fashioned egg hunt.  Lots of fun.  I find some plastic eggs. Yay!  I’m horrible at Easter egg hunting, so this is a big achievement.   I open one to get the jelly beans.  Because, you know, Easter eggs are always full of jelly beans.  But, they are not full of jelly beans.  My neighbors have a slightly dark sense of humor.  A bee flies out of the egg and chases me.

I scream and flap my arms and stomp my feet.  My family takes pictures of me.

The End (of the story, not the post, there’s a little more of that!)

So now I’m wondering if you’ve got a story to share?  What’s your favorite phobia?  Or, what’s one that causes you problems?

Happy Tip: Soak Up Some Sun

January 23, 2010

Here’s another tip on how to be happy.  You may have heard by now that people tend to be         more prone to gloomy thoughts in the winter due to the lack of natural light.  This seems to        hold true in my experience.  If I spend all day indoors, I do start to feel kind of down.

Quick perk-you-up tip: Find a sunbeam in a convenient location.  It’s not freezing cold here in winter, so I can go outside for a little while; but if you live where it’s really frigid you might just settle yourself near a sunny window.  Stay in the sun for just 10 minutes or so.  It’s crazy how much better you’ll feel!   Or maybe it’s just me who likes to play at photosynthesis?

So tell me…does your environment ever get you down?  Florescent lights, gray days, stuffy apartments, cubicles — they can all contribute to a rotten mood.  What do you do to make your atmosphere happier and healthier?

Boil Water in A Paper Cup

January 23, 2010

I don’t suppose that this is a new trick to many of you, but just in case you didn’t know, I’ll let you in on the secret.  It’s possible, even simple, to boil water in a paper cup.  You can do it yourself like this:

1.  Take a paper cup (not waxed or plastic or anything, just paper) and fill it with water.

2.  Apply heat.  I suggest using your stove (with the cup in a small pot just in case it tips over), but I’ve heard it works just as well with open flame, i.e. a lighter or a candle.

3.  BE CAREFUL.  The cup may not burn, but your fingers could.  Use common sense, and make sure there’s no way you can spill the hot water on yourself or set yourself on fire.

4.  The water will boil, but the cup won’t burn.  It works, I think, because the water turns to steam before it can get hot enough to let the paper burn.

5.  Admire the fact that you’ve learned something new, and possibly profitable.  (Hey, Jimmy!  I bet you a dollar I can hold this paper cup over a candle and it won’t burn.)

6.  Dispose of cup (unless you want to make yourself some instant hot cocoa.)  Turn off heat, or blow out the candle or whatever.

**IF YOU’RE NOT OF LEGAL AGE, THEN DO NOT DO THIS WITHOUT ADULT SUPERVISION.  Because, you know, hot stuff is dangerous. **

Happy Tip: What do you like about you?

January 22, 2010

Do you know that song, “My Favorite Things,” from the movie  The Sound of Music?  Well, if not, go watch the movie.  You’re back already?  Alright then.  The idea is that listing your favorite things makes you happier.  I agree.  That’s what Bright Calliope is all about.

Here’s a slightly different take on the exercise: Take a minute or ten to write out a list of all of your favorite things about yourself.  It sounds a little silly, but if you’re having one of those days when you feel like you can’t keep up, give it a try.  The only rule is that you have to write something.  If all you can come up with is “I have cute toes,” go with it.  Describe your toe-awesomeness in detail.

And while I don’t recommend bragging on yourself (or your toes) to anyone else, I’d love it if you did it a little bit in the comments for this post.


January 22, 2010

Here’s a quick fun thing to stimulate your mind.  What does this say?  Post a comment if you know!  (No cheating!)