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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb 12, 2014 / 12 Adar I, 5774

Why didn't I think of that? Another missed opportunity for invention

By Ana Veciana-Suarez



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Most of us who are neither geniuses nor innovators are destined to live our lives asking this question: Why didn't I think of that?

This happens to me a lot more than I'd like to admit, and the recognition of another's cleverness invariably sparks a cocktail of conflicting emotions. Admiration, resentment, appreciation, guilt. Mostly, though, I chide myself for not possessing that idiosyncratic way of looking at the world, a point of view that, if coaxed forth, if played right, can lead to a transformative concept.

Not to mention making the creator a multi-millionaire in the process.

The simplest ideas often strike me as the most brilliant. Some may not appear as particularly useful -- but they nonetheless meet a need or revive a hope that we did not know we had until we see the product in front of us.

The Hello Kitty line of products is the perfect example. Cute and common, cuddly and corny, Hello Kitty is everywhere and its popularity extends beyond children. I know grown women, women with college degrees, families and respectable careers, who own a Hello Kitty something or other. A smart-phone cover. A calendar. Even a book of checks or a debit card. Who would've thought a Japanese feline could be so influential?

Hello Kitty, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, has made billions for Sanrio, the company that manufactures it. A recent article reported that the kitty's fame baffles even its creator, Japanese illustrator Yuko Shimizu.

Baffling or not, that pink and white feline has managed accomplishments mere humans like me have not. In 2008, Japan named Hello Kitty an ambassador of Japanese tourism in China and Hong Kong. It was the first time a fictional character had been appointed. UNICEF also anointed Hello Kitty with the exclusive title of UNICEF Special Friend of Children.



All manner of experts have tried to explain why the button-nosed, big-headed cat attracts so many avid, free-spending fans. A media studies professor at a university in Taiwan, where Hello Kitty is huge, explained it succinctly: "Cute characters can make people feel good, even though we have to face the difficulties every day in our real life."

So meow your troubles away!

Of course, not all inventions inspire warm cuddlies. One of my favorites is the laundry basket that hugs the body for easier carrying. Don't have one? Stop reading right now and run out to your nearest home store. It changed my view of washing, folding and sorting. I suspect an engineer who was a parent came up with this small but incredibly significant structural change in the tried-and-true rim of an ordinary basket. Only a person sentenced to daily bouts of laundry could re-imagine what ordinary folk see as tiresome.

Here's another invention that's fabulous: Velcro. It's used for all kind of things, but my favorite application is on children's shoes. Oh, the freedom of no more tying and re-tying laces!

Velcro, by the way, was the brainchild of Swiss engineer George de Mestral, who, legend has it, went for a walk in the woods and realized that the burrs that stuck to his slacks might prove useful.

Do you know how many burrs I've picked off socks in the course of my lifetime? Not once did this strike me as anything but annoying.

And maybe that's the difference between innovators and the rest of us. They see a problem as a disguised opportunity. An annoyance becomes an invitation to tinker and meddle and alter. Me, I just throw my hands up in frustrated surrender. The pity of it. If I could only find a way to find the opportunity in my most vexing problem: how to reap the benefits of exercise without breaking a sweat or lifting a single barbell.

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Previously:


When being fair is really not, and other life lessons

Bridging the Generation Gap Has Gone Too Far


Ana Veciana-Suarez is a family columnist for The Miami Herald



© 2014, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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