WordPress Plugins and how they affect your Author Site

Dev4press.com published an excellent analysis last month, looking at how many different, popular WP Plugins affect the load time and speed of your Word Press site. This is a very important for any author who is maintaining their own site using the popular Word Press platform. You do have an author site, right?

“For this article I have tested 35 plugins. This includes both free and commercial plugins, big and small plugins and all of them are tested on the admin side and on the website frontend. All tests are done with a single installation, and WordPress 3.3 RC1 was used. Tests are done on the local server with PHP 5.3.8.”


If Hillary can do it…

Mount EverestOn 29 May 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Nepalesa Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers confirmed as having reached the summit of Mount Everest.  What most people don’t know is that before Hillary achieved this monumental goal, he had failed in an attempt the previous year.

The story goes that after his failure in 1952, Hillary was invited to be honored for his attempt.  Afterall, this bee-keeper from New Zealand had come closer to achieving the task than any man to that date.  As he took the podium to thunderous applause, Hillary turned to a large photo of Mount Everest and shook his fist at the mountain.  “You beat me this time,” Hillary told the mountain, “but I’ll beat you next time.  Because you’ve grown all you’re going to grow and I’m still growing.”

That story has always inspired me for the simple fact that the next year Hillary kept his vow…he defeated Mount Everest!  Failure is a part of life for people who dream big dreams and set lofty goals.  I have come to see that failure in itself is not all that bad IF we learn and grow.  Yet so many people that I see are scared of failure and it is that fear that keeps them from stepping out in faith to chase those Mount Everest size goals.

If you have failed recently in something you set out to do, learn from Sir Edmund Hillary.  Shake your fist at your goal and say with conviction, “You beat me this time but I’ll beat you next time because you’ve grown all you’re going to grow….but I’m still growing!”  Then go out there and climb your Mount Everest!!

Are You Getting Enough Sleep

by Rich Nilsen,

If struggle with getting refreshing sleep on a regular basis, you are hardly alone. Approximately 70 million Americans regularly suffer from insomnia each year, and it is 1.4 times more common in women than men. On average fifty-eight percent of adults in the U.S. experience symptoms of insomnia a few nights a week or more.

Do you sleep great?Forty-four percent of U.S. adults are considered “problem sleepers.” About one-fifth of those in a clinical survey used drugs to counter-act insomnia at least once per week, and nearly 24 percent “depended” on sleep medication. Consumer Reports magazine found that 38 percent of those who had taken medication in the past month had been doing so for a minimum of two months. Who wants or needs that?

Consumer Reports also reported in their findings that the most common cause of insomnia was stress. Respondents worried about issues such as money, health, job security and family.

In 2001, 38 percent of adults were getting a minimum of eight hours sleep each night. Within only seven years this percentage had dropped to an alarming 26 percent. Ouch!

Just how many people are affected by sleep issues? A survey in February 2009 by the National Association of Home Builders, which included builders and architects, predicted that over 60 percent of custom-made houses would have dual master bedrooms by the year 2015. That is a sad state of affairs for America’s marriages.

It’s an epidemic in this country and around the world, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Sleep is so vital to our overall well being and health. How can we be productive on the job or at home with the family if we are not fully alert? We might be able to succeed in the short term, but sleep deprivation always catches up to the person suffering from sleepless nights.

The question to ask yourself is how many nights per week do you not get a sound sleep? How many nights per week do you struggle to fall asleep or wake up much sooner than you want? Do you awake in the middle of the night and can not fall back to sleep?

If your answer is more than one night than you are suffering from sleep deprivation. There are several steps you need to take to begin to right the ship. For starters, turn off your electronic leash – iPad, blackberry, laptop – at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime. This will be one of the hardest things to do for many people, so I figured I would throw this out there early.

We’ll dive more into the steps you need to take in next week’s blog installment. In the meantime, power down and get some rest!


eBooks Flying High in Korea

The Korean e-book market grew more than five times last year. It stood at an estimated 10 billion won, which is equivalent to 9 million US dollars in 2010, but that number jumped to a staggering 45 million US dollars last year.

“I wanted to read books while I commute, but paper books are too heavy to carry, and I sometimes forgot to bring them with me. Smart phones are too small to read on. But with an e-book reader, I can read many books whenever I want.” – Korean student

And ebooks sales in Korean are expected to at least double, or even triple this year if analysts are correct.

Read the full story about Korean ebook sales –  with interviews


The Black Horizon

Black HorizonIt is April 14, some years back, and the ocean cargo ship Californian has almost completed her journey from Liverpool, England to Boston Harbor.  After a hard journey, the crew sleeps peacefully as the Californian rocks rhythmically for the night.  It is near midnight, as Second Officer Herbert Stone bounds up the Californian’s steps to report for watch duty on the bridge.

Reporting for duty, Stone finds his apprentice seaman—Charles Grove—glued to a pair of binoculars, starring motionless toward the black horizon.  Grove has spotted a ship in the distance … just 9 miles out. While some details of the ship are obscure, the ship is close enough that Grove can make out the ship’s masthead, cabin lights, and the glare of white lights on her afterdeck—a freighter by all appearance.

Stone asks Grove to try to communicate by means of the Californian’s bright signal lamp—similar to what I would call an airport spot light or search light.  Grove flashes a bright beacon signal, but no answer from the steamer.

“Will that be all, sir?”  Grove asks.  Stone nods, and Grove leaves to make a note in his log.

Now Second Officer Stone is alone on the bridge.  Glancing idly over the peaceful waves, the boat on the horizon catches his eye.

Grove returns to the bridge and Stone requests further communication attempts through the signal lamp.  Grove employs the beacon signal once more, but still no reply from the steamer.

Lifting the binoculars to his eyes once more, Stone observes three flashes like fireworks in the sky, but now his attention is drawn to the steamer’s cabin lights.  They seem to be disappearing, as though the steamer were sailing away.  The movement is easily dismissed as routine sailing as the steamer makes its way through the night sea.  By 2:40 a.m., the steamer’s lights vanish into the night.

Neither the second officer nor his apprentice interpret the white flashes as cause for alarm.  The event is dismissed by all as curious, but nothing more than a slight oddity.  After all, the steamer had never replied to the Californian’s repeated messages sent through their bright beacon lamp.

But things are often not as they seem.  For the officers of the Californian had—unbeknownst to any of them—been front row for an unimaginable drama.  You see, the steamer they had been watching had launched its rocket flares into the night sky as distress signals, and the Californian—only nine miles away—might have easily rushed to her aid, but the crew on the Californian never interpreted the flares as an emergency signal.

In addition to the flares, the steamer was sending out distress calls by their radio.  And the Californian was well within the range of those messages… but her radio operator was asleep.  After all, the Californian’s officers believed that a hard working crew needs its rest.  So the Californian’s fledging radio operator—fresh from training school—was fast asleep in his cabin.  And that night the ship’s second officer and his apprentice, from their vantage point on the bridge, watched the sinking of the Titanic, and didn’t even know it.

Let’s all watch our horizons for signals.