Worry, Keys, and Foxes

I’ve been running on a bit of a disconnect as of late because of some troubles a dear friend of mine has been enduring. I find that I feel unbalanced when I know someone I care about is in pain. Of course it’s good to be empathetic to others, but there’s the danger of becoming depressed or pessimistic when facing destructive events if one does not keep a tether of hope and awareness of other aspects of life close.
I know that I have often allowed various degrees of depressions to seep into my mind when dealing with the tragedies of others and my own, usually lesser, problems. I’m usually an optimist, so it’s troubling to me that I allow negative states to take over at times. It’s not helpful and often keeps me from duties and things I wish to accomplish. I hope to somehow overcome such unpleasant times.

Last week, during my time at my parents’ home, I became quite aware that I don’t have many friends outside of North America. In fact, other than one friend in South America and another in Asia, I don’t have friends outside of my home continent to correspond with. I took the time to seek out a few people who were also looking for someone to correspond with, and was lucky enough to find some rather interesting people who have been willing to share part of their lives with me. It has certainly been a rewarding experience through the few e-mails I’ve exchanged so far. Learning more about other cultures and people is something I believe is very important, so I’m thankful to have the opportunity.

For months now I’ve been using Firefox as my browser. It’s a wonderful piece of software and outpaces all competition of leaps and bounds. If you’re still using inferior browsers such as Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator, you should definitely consider switching to Firefox. There are many valid arguements for leaving behind Internet Explorer, such as its lack of standards compliance, its security holes, the presence of popups and spyware (Firefox effectively eliminates them), no implementation of tabbed browsing (which is a wonderful feature I would not want to be without), and the business approach practiced by Microsoft. You can read what others think of Firefox and the general need to leave IE in the dust at many places, but two I’ve read and appreciated are Ross Laird‘s “Stop Using Internet Explorer!” and Flexbeta‘s “13 Reasons To Use Firefox Over IE” (the latter includes some screen shots and explains some key features). Of course, the Firefox team makes a good case for why you should switch to Firefox.

1. Tabbed Browsing
2. Popup Blocking
3. Find Stuff Easier
4. Simplified Privacy / Annoyance Eliminator
5. Better Bookmarks and History
6. Accessible, Intelligent, Responsive
7. Customizable and Extendable
8. Modern Download Manager
9. Built for standards
10. Simple interface

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