Ex Machina

Ex Machina

Hottest Halloween Costumes of 2011 [INFOGRAPHIC]


Want to know what the hottest Halloween costumes are this year? Or maybe you’re a contrarian, and don’t want to be seen in the same costume anyone else is wearing. Or maybe you’d like to know what the most popular candy is this Halloween, 2011.

Happy Halloween!


History and Origin of Halloween

Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).

Halloween originates from the he Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints' Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas.

12 Happiness Habits for Busy People


1.  Smile at perfect strangers.

2.  Pretend today is going to be a great.

3.  Reflect on what’s good.

4.  Use personal strengths to get things done.

5.  Use your imagination.

6.  Create something.

7.  Help someone else for a couple minutes.

8.  Share your lunch break with a close friend.

9.  Get rid of one thing a day.

10.  Meditate.

11.  Avoid negativity and negative people.

12.  Enjoy the moment.


Nothing like some customized pizza!


Taken with picplz at Rome's Pizza in Austin, TX.

Happy Halloween!

Taken with picplz.

2011 Community Awards & Gala


CAI Austin is proud to announce the first annual Community Awards Gala.  This exciting event is scheduled for December 9, 2011 at the Stephen F. Austin Hotel.  Please make sure to mark your calendars!  We are excited to recognize communities from all over the greater Austin area in a variety of award categories.


Friday, December 9, 2011, Stephen F. Austin Hotel, 701 Congress Ave, 78701, 888-424-6835. Use this link for map and directions >>

6:00-7:15pm - Our Gala Event will begin with a reception in the 7th Terrace area with appetizers and cash bar. Be sure to stop by the Gala Event Registration Table to sign in and pick up your dinner and drink tickets first. Music provided by ...

7:30-7:45pm - Please be seated in the Capital Ballroom and Terrace. Dinner service begins.

7:45-8:00pm - Welcome. Annual sponsor's appreciation ceremony.

8:00-9:15pm - The Awards Program with master of ceremonies Larry J. Pothast, PCAM. Our program will include award presentations to associations and individuals in 10 areas of excellence.

9:15-10:30pm - Entertainment and dancing. Music provided by Reunion - The Party BandHere's a link to their music, videos and more >>

Beginning November 1st, register yourself and guests here >>
You may also elect to purchase the DIRECTOR'S SPECIAL - A premium table location reserved for 8 guests in your company's name at an additional cost of $500.

Also ...

A block of rooms has been reserved for this event should you wish to spend the night at the special rate. Call the hotel at 512-457-8800. Select "0" for Receptionist and ask for the Reservation Desk. Tell them you would like to reserve one of the hotel rooms reserved for Community Associations Instititue's Gala Event on 12/9. Rates begin at $159/night for a King. Parking is an additional $26 for overnight valet parking.


More Detailed info@ http://www.caiaustinevents.org/2011awards/

How do I "Let Go" and let life go at its own pace?

We tend to cling to every object in our lives. We hold on to our profession, relationship or possession as if our entire world depends on them. We are so busy clinging to our own lives, that we have forgotten to live with the flow. We are afraid to move ahead, afraid to let go.

Life in essence is like an unobstructed, unrestrained, uncontrolled flow of a river. Life flows at its own pace and the ultimate source of all our pain and sufferings is our tendency to cling to and obstruct the flow. Professional life stagnates, relationships are broken, possessions are lost; all because we refused to let go when we were actually required to let things take their own course.

Why do we cling? We cling because change scares us; we cling because we are afraid to face the unknown, to face challenges; we cling because we feel secure if the status quo is maintained; we cling because we refuse to believe that life can never be static; because we refuse to accept the transience of everything; we believe that everything is in our hands. We do not have enough faith in life and that higher force which is omnipotent and omnipresent. In the chaos of existence, we have lost touch with our higher self. Most of us lead a life which is similar to that of a child who is lost in a crowd, separated from his guardians. He has nobody to place his faith on. He is afraid, insecure, suspicious about everyone and everything.

We live under the false illusion of having everything under our control. The spirit of getting things done becomes a problem when we continue to cling on even after we have exhorted all our efforts. We are overwhelmed by a sense of despair and disillusion when things move beyond our control. It is at this stage we need to learn to let go. Several times relationships are broken just because we tried too hard to make them work. We didn’t give the breathing space they required to grow. We didn’t let go and let them take their own course.

Professionally or personally, once all the efforts are made towards achieving a goal, we must learn to let go and let life take the best course. It might or might not be of one’s choice, but if we have faith, we will realise that it inevitably is the best course. We need to believe that forces above us are far better equipped to make judgments for us. We must learn to have faith in their judgment. Letting go, however, does not mean turning into a fatalist. One cannot sit idle in life and expect life to take care of itself. Karma, the fulfilment of one’s duties is the ultimate objective of all human existence and if we fail to fulfill our duties towards life, life inevitably fails us.

When God gives us dreams, He shares them with us. Whatever we consider our dreams, are actually His dreams and He gives us the capability to realise them. The part we are required to play is to ensure the optimum usage of the capabilities bestowed upon us. And once we have played our part with utmost honesty and effort, we need to let go, step aside and let God step in to fulfill our dreams. After all, they are His dreams, too.

Fears & Courage


Taken with picplz.

Halloween Light Show 2011 - Party Rock Anthem

via youtube.com
By YouTube user: KJ92508's
Halloween Light Show 2011 - Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO.
4 singing pumpkin faces, tombstones, hand carved pumpkins, strobes, floods and thousands of lights. Most all lights have been changed from incandescent to RGB LED so power consumption is a lot less than previous years. Also DMX added to show. All lights, faces and props are custom made except for the roof line which are CCRs. Controlling channels have gone up 8X from last year. 1144 channels. Light-O-Rama. Riverside, CA ...

Hey honey. Did you see this thing in the paper?


App sniffs out links hidden in the real world

Imagine sweeping your phone around a room and seeing a plethora of information about the pictures, music, and video around you. The Digimarc Discover app lets your phone read QR codes printed on products, identify tunes playing nearby, buy tickets when movies are advertised on a TV playing near you, and follow watermark links hidden in articles and product packaging.

Breakfast anyone?

Where Germs Gather on the Way to Work


Discovered: where germs gather on the way to work, another win for coffee apologists, lessons from alcohol drinking mice, and the funny thing about neutrinos..

TOPSY: Real-time search for the social web

If you want to track world events as they unfold in real-time, Google's search box is a dead end. That's where a new real-time, social media search engine called Topsy hopes to make its mark.

Check it out in action@ www.topsy.com


Austin Texas Skyline Sunrise #heweb11 on Vimeo

Infographic: History of Web Standards


Visit the CenturyLink resource center for relevant briefs and reports to help you better manage your enterprise. Learn how smart businesses harness the power of customer data to improve satisfaction and sales: Unleashing the Power of Customer Data.

From 1962 to present (no, that's not a typo), Vitamin T and An Event Apart have pulled together A Brief History of Web Standards. This infographic has a lot of interesting factoids and information about the evolution of the Web.

Now, when you're thinking "Web standards," you're probably thinking about things like HTML and CSS standards. The graphic touches on those, but pays particular attention to "standards" like typefaces and Godwin's Law (created in 1990, by the way).

You probably already knew that Arpanet was established in 1962, but did you know that "hypertext" was coined in 1965 by Ted Nelson? What about the fact that only 1.9% of the world's population were using the Internet in 1998?

Some other interesting tidbits: The first Web site went online in December of 1990. By the following year there were a whopping 10 sites online, and 50 the following year. In 1993, the Web comprised a total of 623 sites.

The predictions are pretty conservative, especially the last: "People will continue to complain that the W3C moves too slowly and that browser vendors make stuff up too willy-nilly." Well, yeah. With the final HTML5 spec not due out for years, it's hard to argue that the W3C moves fast enough.

New logo picture on our lobby wall. Love it!

Smartphones Are Latest Tools in Hunt for Better Health - Mobiledia


More than a quarter of U.S. adults used a mobile phone to access health information and tools in the past year, pointing to an emerging market for wellness-related systems and apps.

8 events take over downtown Austin this weekend - Austin Business Journal


A record could be set in Austin this weekend for the most simultaneous number of events in or around downtown.
The eight special events on Saturday that are expected to cause road closures and increase pedestrian activity include: the Texas Book Festival, the Austin Film Festival, Tour de Fat, Gypsy Picnic, Viva la Vida festival and procession, Abolish the Death Penalty march, Purple Strides 5K, and Light the Night.

Android Ice Cream Sandwich: The 13 Biggest Changes To Version 4.0 Of Google's Mobile OS (PICTURES, VIDEO)


The Ice Cream Sandwich release brings a new focus on ease-of-use and aesthetics. While Android 3.0 focused solely on large-screen mobile devices, Android 4.0 improves many of those features and scales them down for use on mobile phones, too. “We tried to create a palette and a language and a sense of being that’s clean and modern and graphic, but isn’t a straightjacket.” Matias Duarte, who head Android's user experience team, told This Is My Next. “We’ve taken what Honeycomb has done and pumped up the snooty design quotient, and we’ve toned down the geeky nerd quotient. We’ve made it a lot more accessible. But we haven’t taken it in a new direction.”

See the biggest new features Google's Android 4.0 has to offer (below), then check out Samung's Galaxy Nexus, the first device built specifically for Ice Cream Sandwich. For a look at Android's biggest U.S. competitor, take a look through our slideshow of the most important things you need to know about Apple's iOS 5.

What do you think of Android 4.0? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Twin egg yolks in one shell - could this be a sign????

I was frying an egg for my toast this morning (well done ofcourse) and inside the egg there were two egg yolks! It totally freaked me out at first but then I thought it could be possible. How common is this? Is this good or bad luck?

Good news for ASUS Eee Pad Transformer owners including me!


First off, this isn’t really exactly news because isn’t this what we all expect when we buy Android? That our devices at some point will get updated to the latest and greatest OS as they become available? At least most right? While this story is completely obvious I’m sure many will be extremely happy to hear that the ASUS Transformer will indeed be updated to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. What’s even better is it might also be the first tablet to receive the update, although the Xoom might have something to say about that.

I love the Asus Eee Pad Transformer. It's been around for a while now, but in my opinion, it's still the most compelling Android tablet available. Not only is it powerful and well featured, it's designed to work with a keyboard dock which turns it into a fully-fledged Android-powered netbook. I returned my dock as for me the tablet itself was perfect to carry on my day to day tasks without booting up my laptop.

The fact is that Android as an OS is still lagging behind iOS in terms of tablet usability, so products need a USP.And on that score, this is the tablet that changed the game. Look out also for the Asus Eee Pad Slider which comes packing a slide-out keyboard - it's coming soon and promises great things!

Why we like our presidents tall - CBS News


(Livescience.com) We like our presidents tall, it seems. And now researchers think they know why, saying leftover caveman instincts draw us toward strong and mighty (or tall) leaders who we view as able to protect us.

"Some traits and instincts that may have been acquired through evolution continue to manifest themselves in modern life, seemingly irrationally," study researcher Gregg R. Murray of Texas Tech University said in a statement, adding that our fear of snakes, for instance, likely evolved from a time when snakes were a common threat.

Mind your Bs, Ns, and Gs as we break down the ABCs (and many Ws) of Wi-Fi


The popularity of home networks has increased dramatically over the last decade, a phenomenon which can be directly attributed to the increase in broadband availability, but credit is also due to the accessibility that Wi-Fi provides to consumers. Not only are Wi-Fi products easy to configure and relatively inexpensive to implement, but many home computing devices have wireless radios pre-installed.

While connecting to a wireless network can be as simple as a few button presses or taps, there is a lot that goes into making the bits magically travel through the ether. We’re going to take a look at some of the building blocks that go into making your wireless network stable and fast, with an eye toward security and standards. We’ll also cover some of the devices that can improve your wireless network and ways you can use your Wi-Fi while away from home.

25 Random Things…About Health

In the spirit of those annoying, addictive, you-know-you’re- reading-them-even-though-you- wish-you-weren’t Facebook notes popping up everywhere, Health.com presents its list of 25 random things you might not know about the human body, nutrition and exercise, sex, sickness, and health.

1. Rinsing your nose with salt water can help keep you healthy and ward off allergy symptoms.

2.Dogs can smell cancer and low blood sugar.

3.People who enter their home through a door near the kitchen tend to eat 15% more than those who use the front door.

4.You’re more likely to have a heart attack on a Monday…or up to three days after you’ve been diagnosed with the flu or a respiratory tract infection.

5.You can’t get a tan from your computer screen. No matter what this website tells you.

6.Obese people spend $485 more on clothing, $828 on extra plane seats, and $36 more on gas each year than their thinner counterparts.

7.Smokers are four times as likely to report feeling unrested after a night’s sleep than nonsmokers, and are 70% more likely to develop hearing loss.

8.Eating fruits and vegetables may help the human body make its own aspirin.

9. A 60-minute nap can improve alertness for up to 10 hours. The most widely accepted record for going without a nap—or any sleep whatsoever—is 264 hours (11 days).

10.Your kitchen sink is dirtier than your bathroom: There are typically more than 500,000 bacteria per square inch in its drain; the faucet, basin, and sponge are crawling with germs as well.

11.Four out of five doctors don’t get enough exercise.

12.Strawberries and baking soda can whiten teeth, garlic can help treat athlete’s foot, and honey can soothe a hangover.

13.Using a food diary can double a person’s weight-loss efforts.

14.Regular exercise can lower a woman’s cancer risk—but only if she’s getting enough sleep.

15.Watching yourself run in a mirror can make a treadmill workout go by faster and feel easier.

16.Third-hand smoke—the particles that cling to smokers’ hair and clothing and linger in a room long after they’ve left—is a cancer risk to young children (and pets).

17.Walking against the wind, in the water, or while wearing a backpack burns about 50 more calories per hour than walking with no resistance. People who wear pedometers also tend to burn more calories and lose more weight.

18. Trained sexologists can infer a woman’s orgasm history by observing the way she walks. In other research news, men find women who wear red sexier than those who wear “cool” colors such as blue and green.

19.Foreign Accent Syndrome, Exploding Head Syndrome, and Alice in Wonderland Syndrome are all real (but very rare) medical conditions.

20.Vitamins don’t seem to help guard against cancer or heart disease.

21.Some men experience pain, headaches, or sneezing as a result of ejaculation.

22.Germ-killing wipes can spread bacteria from one spot to another if you reuse them.

23.Almonds, avocados, and arugula lettuce can boost your sex drive and improve fertility.

24.The newest and most expensive drugs on the market may not be the best or the safest.

25.Facebook may be good for your health: Studies show that staying in touch with family and friends can ward off memory loss and help you live longer.

Study: More Facebook friends linked to larger brain areas

People with lots of Facebook friends tend to have areas of the brain that are larger than those of online social network users with fewer friends, British researchers say.

Aaachoo! What’s making you sneeze today?


Uncover Your Allergy Triggers
Nearly 20% of Americans suffer from allergies. Allergies are an abnormal response of the immune system where the body's defenses react to a usually harmless substance in the environment, such as pollen, animal dander, or food. Almost anything can trigger an allergic reaction, which can range from mild and annoying to sudden and life-threatening. Here are 10 of the most common triggers.

CAI Austin Chapter - October 27, 2011 Luncheon Lecture w/ The Mayor of Round Rock

Click here to register online

Thursday, October 27, 2011
As we Welcome:

The Honorable Alan McGraw
Mayor of Round Rock, Texas

Alan McGraw, a Round Rock attorney, was elected as Round Rock’s Mayor in May 2008. He had seven years of experience on the Round Rock City Council, four of those as Mayor Pro-Tem, prior to his election. He was first elected to Place 2 in 2001 and then re-elected in 2004 and 2007. Alan was born and raised in Texas. He received a degree in accounting from Stephen F. Austin State University, a Master's in Taxation from Colorado State University, and his law degree from the University of Texas. Professionally, Alan is a real estate attorney with his own practice in Round Rock. He represents a broad range of clients in complex real estate transactions, from a local school district to international investors. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Capital Area Council of Governments and on the Clean Air Coalition.



"The Role of Community Associations"




Norris Conference Center

2525 W Anderson Ln Ste 365

Austin, TX  78757




Registration and Buffet Opens 11:15am  -  Program begins promptly at 12:00pm

$30.00/member, $40/non-member at the door

($5.00 DISCOUNT if paid in advance)

A reservation made is a reservation paid. Please make checks payable to CAI.

Mail to: Joe Dunst, 756 Huck Finn Trl. Dripping Springs TX 78620

Click here to register (and pay) on line

(Or go to http://www.caiaustin.org/. Select Events Calendar > Chapter Luncheons)


CAI Austin Chapter is pleased to announce that the Honorable Alan McGraw, Mayor of Round Rock, will be their guest lecturer at their October 27th Luncheon Lecture at the Norris Conference Center. Mayor McGraw will be speaking on "The Role of Community Associations" and what's good about common interest community living. Please head on to www.caiaustin.org for more details.

Ready to start the week with a fresh cup of coffee!



Weird people DON'T think like normal people

Weird people DON'T do things like normal people

                                           - Pastor Wade Killough @Rockbridge Church www.rockbridgelife.com

Matthew 7:13-14
Jesus said that people are on the wrong road that does not lead to life. 
Normal the life leading to death.
Being normal, taking out the Bible and looking at it worldly,
is getting divorce, premaritial sex, adultery, looks, bankruptcy.

1. If you want what normal people have, do what normal people do.

2. If you want what few people, do what few people do.
(Get weird)

Weird People
Weird people don't like normal people.
1. Don't think like normal people think.

Romans 12:2 NlrV
Romans 12:2 MSG

Paul says to let your way of thinking be completely changed.
Don't go into a


 vegetative whereby you become your culture and don't think.

Weird teaches you to think differently about:
1. Time
2. Money
3. Relationships
4. Sex
5. Values

2. Don't live like normal people live.
Everybody is doing it so it must be ok :D.....

1 Peter 2:11-12

Don't copy other people's weird because God will give you your own weird. 


Weird~ Pastor Craig

Optical Illusion of the Day: Growing and Shrinking Cigarettes

SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: This optical illusion may blow your mind.


Watch an Artist Magically Recreate Famous Paintings Without Ever Lifting His Pen


This blows my mind. There is brain juice flowing out of my ears. Chan Hwee Chong, an artist, only needs one pen to create beautiful pieces of art. On top of that, Chong never even lifts the pen from the paper. It's all done in one stroke.

Acoustic Setup


Taken with picplz at Star Co. in Round Rock, TX.

CHANEY in the house!


Taken with picplz at Star Co. in Round Rock, TX.



Taken with picplz at Star Co. in Round Rock, TX.

Facebook might be behind the success of university students [Infographic]


Facebook might actually be good for university students. Online PhD, a site dedicated to helping its readers make important decisions about PhD education and life, states, “Some studies say Facebook is beneficial to students while others say it’s harmful; but taken together the research suggests it all depends on how students use it.”

The study surfaces bits of data illustrating just how Facebook is contributing to the long-term success of potential or currently attending university students. Certain apps on Facebook, for example, can actually help drive engagement and peer-to-peer interaction within the college community.

Live Music Tonight!

Come and hang out with us tonight at Star Co.Coffee House

(114 East Main Street, Round Rock Tx

Music starts @ 7PM!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: How you can get involved locally


Did you know that current statistics show that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer? It has already affected too many of our loved ones.The month of October is filled with amazing ways to fill your social calendar all while raising fund and bringing awareness to those affected by breast cancer. we try to raise funds to help support breast cancer research and treatment. We need your help!! Learn more about Breast Cancer @ http://goo.gl/FNDw0

5 Tech Innovations That Could Change the Developing World


1. Inexpensive Tablets
2. Inexpensive Laptops
3. Inexpensive Mobile Phones
4. Alternative Energy
5. Improved Sanitation

Baby's special yumm!


Taken with picplz.

Why Your Stomach Growls


Mankind has been puzzling over the rumbling in our stomachs for so long that even the ancient Greeks came up with a name for it: borborygmi. The word attempts to put the sound of the grumble to mouth.

The real deal is strange and sometimes embarrassing, so we decided to get to the bottom of it. What is it that makes our stomachs shout out?

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