A First Look at Advertising with Amazon

If you pay or might pay for #book ads, read this first! #marketing

Nicholas C. Rossis

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books by meowmeowmeow21.deviantart.com

I’m sure you remember my step-by-step tutorial on how to advertise with Amazon. Three weeks later, I have some preliminary results, which, as promised, I’m sharing with you, so that you can learn from my mistakes.

In a nutshell: I’ve failed. The experiment has so far been a disappointment, albeit one offering fascinating insights.

You may remember that I had done my math and knew that, to make any profit, I had to bid under the proposed $0.50.

Now, for a peek behind the scenes: whenever Amazon is about to show a product page, a small bidding war will rage for a few nanoseconds. Amazon will check to see if that product is linked to any ads. If more than one ads want to be displayed, they will bid for that space, until they reach their cut-off threshold. So, if I have specified 5c as my maximum, then an ad…

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#Astrobiology, #Electrochemistry: Yes! These are #Scientific Fields of Study

If you have any interest in #microbiology, #astrobiology, #electrochemistry, #alien life, general #science, check out these excerpts and then read the entire article.

MIND BLOWN! Amazing scientists! Excellent article. I LOVE THIS!

Electric Bacteria
image from http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net

Dr. Shelley Minteer, Ph.D., electrochemist, University of Utah

Shelley Minteer

discovered that mitochondria—–the power-generating units inside the cells of all complex cellular organisms, including humans—–can interact electrically with surfaces outside themselves. That fits with a well-accepted theory that mitochondria evolved as free-living bacteria that later merged with other cells, forming a permanent partnership. Even after a billion years, mitochondria may retain some of the capabilities they had in their days of independence. It is possible, then, that we all have a smidgen of electric alien behavior locked away inside us.

Dr. Kenneth Nealson, Ph.D., University of Southern California

kenneth-nealson

discovered that Shewanella oneidensis can deposit electrons directly on minerals—”breathing” a solid substance—via tiny chemical wires.

Shewanella
image from techportal.eere.energy.gov

Dr. Annette Rowe, Ph.D., a postdoc researcher in Nealson’s group, ‘… isolated a whole slew of electrode-oxidizing bugs,” she says—roughly a thousand strains in total. So far, she’s identified 30 of them, all previously unknown….Six of Rowe’s new bacterial strains can live on electrons alone.”

“The vast majority of Rowe’s strains must be grown on a cathode, not in a petri dish. And they indicate an immense and largely alien ecosystem here on Earth. The National Science Foundation calls it the ‘dark energy biosphere’ and is funding Rowe to learn more about this parallel microbial universe.”

Because Geobacter metallireducens can eat waste and produce electricity, the bacteria could prove useful in microbial fuel cells.

Dr. Moh El-Naggar, Ph.D., also at USC, created a series of videos showing

electric nanowires stretch from the outer membranes of Shewanella oneidensis bacteria….[H]e [shot] a series of mind-boggling movies in which you can watch Shewanella reach out to an electrode in search of a place to deposit electrons. Sometimes the bacteria will link up with one another, possibly fobbing off electrons on cells that are able to accept them. [link to one video in original article, below]

moh-el-neggar

How does this all fit together? Maybe this helps you….

Astrobiology chart
image from http://astrobiology.nasa.gov

Or, just enjoy this:

cartoon of geobacters at work
image from http://biobasedpod.blogspot.com

The article’s author wrote: “Their Earth seems to be a world built on cooperation and sharing, a far cry from the more familiar world of cutthroat Darwinian competition. ‘Unless I miss my bet, that’s what we’re going to see when we get to the subsurface: little pockets of life with a socialist community, all working there together. But I won’t tell that to my Republican father because he won’t like it,’ Nealson says.”

Inspired by and drawn from HAVE WE FOUND ALIEN LIFE? MICROBES THAT EAT AND BREATHE ELECTRICITY HAVE FORCED SCIENTISTS TO REIMAGINE HOW LIFE WORKS—ON THIS PLANET AND OTHERS, by Corey S. Powell, in February, 2015, Popular Science, pages 32-39 http://www.popsci.com/have-we-found-alien-life

Saturday hippie: Tassels, studs, lace

What did YOU have? Were you wearing “hippie” clothes last century (or still wearing them)? I had: tassels with tiny bells that jingled hanging from the bow I made with the drawstring tie of my Indian-print skirts; little mirrors on the bodices of my “Peasant” blouses; and, fringe (painstakingly created by hand-removing the weft threads from about 1″ of the cuff on each leg) hanging from the cut-off cuffs of every pair of dungaree shorts and long pants. Some of my jeans had studs but I wasn’t into those or lace.

“Top 10 Scientific Benefits of Compassion” for #1000Speak for Compassion day

“Top 10 Scientific Benefits of Compassion” is a reblog from Emma Seppala from December, 2013, that is still very timely.

http://www.emmaseppala.com/top-10-scientific-benefits-of-compassion-infographic/

Excellent! Everyone and the planet and all beings benefit!

Kindness Blog

To view correctly, please click the image and then click again to magnify!

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Kobo Launches Emerging Writer Prize to Celebrate Debut Works by Canadian Authors

#Canadian #debut #authors #contest

Kobo Writing Life

emerging writer prize

Monetary prize and marketing support awarded for books in three categories: Literary Fiction, Genre Fiction, and Non-Fiction

Did you publish your first book in 2014? Do you have a Canadian passport? If so, you may want to consider entering Kobo’s first annual Emerging Writer Award of Excellence.

Created for debut authors in three categories: Literary Fiction, Genre Fiction (beginning with Mystery, with a different genre showcased each year), and Non-Fiction, each winning author will be awarded a $10,000 CAD cash prize and promotional, marketing, and communications support; winners will be announced in June.

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“Be A Part Of A Movement: #1000Speak for #Compassion” 2/20/15

from the organizers:

“Be A Part Of A Movement: #1000Speak for #Compassion” 2/20/15

1000 Speak for Compassion

“How cool would it be if we could get 1000 bloggers on the same day to write posts about compassion, kindness, support, caring for others, non-judgement etc.?
“We could call it 1000 Voices For Compassion.
“Who’s in?
“When: February 20, 2015

“How: Write a post TODAY on your blog or Facebook or Google + or LinkedIn or Instagram or any other social media you use about #compassion. What does it mean to you? How has it affected you? How can we bring more of it to those who need it?

“Really, there are no rules, just as long as it’s about compassion.”

From the Facebook group devoted to this event:

Let’s get 1000 bloggers to write posts about compassion, kindness, support, caring for others, non-judgment, care for the environment etc, and ALL PUBLISH ON THE SAME DAY (Feb 20th) to flood the Blogosphere with GOOD! Use the hashtag #1000Speak to promote this event.

I am one of the more than 1000, today.

My post about compassion:
As many of you know, I am a Buddhist (in this and many lifetimes, apparently) in the Tibetan Vajrayana Nyingma tradition. During the many times I’ve listened to teachers speak and I have read the writings of others on topic of compassion, the definition of compassion is what stays with me consistently. According to Buddhism, compassion arises spontaneously within us and moves us to do our best to alleviate the suffering of others.

For me, the companion to this definition is the Buddhist view of love. In the Buddhists’ view, when we feel authentic love, we are moved to speak, think and act in ways that would be most likely to bring about the circumstances that generate happiness for the object of our love and do our best to prevent their being unhappy, even when it means we put them first, above ourselves.

Furthermore, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has been quoted repeatedly, as other teachers before and around him have, also, as giving advice along these lines: “If you want to be happy, focus on helping others be happy.”

Add in the multiple lifetimes component, or karma, and we hear this advice repeatedly throughout Buddhist teachings: “If you want to discover what your past lifetimes were like, look at your present behaviors, thoughts and words. If you want to plant the seeds of your future happiness, look at your present behaviors, thoughts and words.”

NOW is what matters most.

Dalai Lama Compassion

Then, there are the instructions and advice for daily living that arise from teachings on The 6 Paramitas (usually translated as “6 Perfections”), such as Pema Chödrön, an American woman who became one of the first Western Tibetan Buddhist nuns, teachers and authors, spoke about in The Places that Scare You, page 98

THE SIX WAYS OF COMPASSIONATE LIVING
Generosity. Giving as a path of learning to let go.

Discipline. Training in not caushing harm in a way that is daring and flexible.

Patience. Training in abiding with the restlessness of our energy and letting things evolve at their own speed. If waking up takes forever, still we go moment by moment, giving up all hope of fruition and enjoying the process.

Joyful enthusiasm. Letting go of our perfectionism and connecting with the living quality of every moment.

Meditation. Training in coming back to being right here with gentleness and precision.

Prajna (or transcendent wisdom). Cultivating an open, inquiring mind.

The Places that Scare You cover

Putting that all together has given me a great blueprint for my life. I base my minute-by-minute and larger decisions on determinations of how I can be most effective in helping others be happy, especially those I love, by practicing the 6 Paramitas. I combine that with seeking what I am able to accomplish that might help alleviate others’ suffering, even that of strangers or beings I do not know or come into contact with in my current circumstances.

With those aims in my heart, I make it my daily spiritual practice to try to live my life imbued with compassion and love for others.

I frequently fail.

I am impatient. I am selfish. I get angry. I am self-centered. I forget my aims. I lose sight of my heart-centered, larger goals by getting trapped in minutiae and short-term satisfaction. I want what I want and too often I see everything as a zero-sum game I am determined to win. I have been trained in these values, these behaviors and these perspectives: they are second-nature to me.

That’s the reason it’s called spiritual practice: we have to keep trying, keep re-dedicating ourselves to the attempt, moment by moment, day by day. These attitudes do not come naturally to me; I was not provided with a lot of role models on how great it is to be kind, to be generous, to be diligent, to be focused on others’ happiness, to put myself second. I have to strive more sometimes than others, but I usually have to try. Hard.

It is difficult. Scary. Frustrating. Discouraging.

But, I am resolute. Committed. Determined. I have taken vows to this effect, starting with the most basic vow that all Buddhists take, the vow not to harm.

My best moments are characterized by a look back, comparing it to now, and noticing that I haven’t had to put in any effort to feel and act in compassionate ways. When these urges arise spontaneously, I am even more joyful. I know I have had a successful moment when the love I feel for someone really does inspire me to be unselfish and put them first.

When embodying the 6 Paramitas as best I can is making others as well as ME happy, it’s a good moment, a good hour, a good day, a good life.

Excellent moments are surrounded by many in which I am ordinary, selfish and ungenerous.

I re-dedicate myself and continue to practice.

Just keep going

Some days, some moments, my compassion and love practices seem to have taken root.

I hope yours do, also.

Participate in #1000Speak by following this link and the links within the following post.
http://driftingthrough.com/2015/01/16/be-a-part-of-a-movement-1000speak/


Very cool #Author moment report: Last month, as I was writing this blog post and looking for an image via Google’s free images, I put in: “‘Keep Going’ Buddhist,” and what came up?
The book cover for my own book, Volume I, The Spanners Series, This Changes Everything!!! It was pretty far down, but it was there!

It is part of my practice to write Buddhist-themed books with practicing Buddhists as characters, but how did Google know that? Wow!
http://goo.gl/ujmgns

This-Changes-Everything----web-and-ebooks

Happy #Tibetan New Year (#Losar)!

Happy #Tibetan New Year (#Losar)!

Feb 18-19, year 2142, of the Female Wood Sheep/Goat: “Generosity, sustaining a strong and steady path toward goals, and keeping the peace are key qualities of Sheep Nature.”

“Challenges of Ram: locking horns, overly competitive, lawsuits, arguments, tempers flaring (your basic prickly behavior), making too many sacrifices, stubbornness and resistance.”

losar2015lowres

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/02/the-year-of-the-wood-sheep-an-astrological-map-of-the-year/