Tag Archives: Colors

Yoga Dad Turns Cancer To A Positive

Yoga dad Dennis Ingui has a story to tell that all you dudes need to hear.

Now, I don’t normally turn over the precious white space here at A Dude’s Guide very often, much less three times in less than a week, but this is a special case. See, a friend of mine told me about Dennis and, once she did, I knew I’d have to have him share his story here with all of you. It’s a long story, so I’m going to have a jump that I want you to follow and I think you will.

This yoga dad is more than a health nut, more than a cancer survivor, more than a business man. Although he’d probably fight against anyone telling him this, he’s a bit of an inspiration. But let’s hear the story from Dennis’ mouth instead of mine.

Despite completely changing my life starting with a yoga practice at the age of 48, I wouldn’t call it a mid-life crisis.  

My mid-life turnaround was brought about after a stunning diagnosis of prostate cancer and surgery. What began as a journey of recovery and self-discovery has grown into a new business venture, mentorship for other budding entrepreneurs and a path toward philanthropy, touching the lives of children and adults across the globe.

Born and raised in the Bronx, I’ve always been athletic and physically fit. Which meant I was thrown completely off guard after a cautionary check up with my urologist showed a slightly rising PSA test. I will never forget the moment I received a call from the doctor on my way to the airport for a business trip. Immediately, I turned the car around and my wife and I went straight to the doctor. Within a few weeks, I was scheduled for surgery.

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He Blinded Me With Science

I don’t know where I went right.

For some reason, our youngest dude, Hyper Lad, is an experimental fiend. And that’s a good thing.

He loves to do scientific experiments on his own. Well, I say on his own, but I mean he comes up with the idea and we work together to find the ingredients and I’m there as the nominally adult supervision most scientific experiments require.

Together, we’ve learned to solder and then put together a digital watch that actually works. We’ve also created “ninja sticks” that required wood staining, drilling, leather work and wood burning tools.

Working on his own, Hyper Lad has destroyed an abandoned microwave and taken apart a non-functioning iPod. Yes, those last two are destructive, but they were controlled destruction to see what was inside, rather than merely destroying to destroy because he could.

This one, though, surprised me.

He came downstairs, asked if we had milk, food coloring and some dishwashing soap. And, yes, we did. Then he went about this that follows.

Isn’t that cool? It took me a while, but I finally went and figured out why it does what it does.

To do that, I went to Steve Spangler Science, which has a whole bunch of cool experiments for kids to perform. And me, so I guess adults are included as well, which is a good thing.

Anyway, here’s what it says there:

The secret of the bursting colors is the chemistry of that tiny drop of soap. Dish soap, because of its bipolar characteristics (nonpolar on one end and polar on the other), weakens the chemical bonds that hold the proteins and fats in solution. The soap’s polar, or hydrophilic (water-loving), end dissolves in water, and itshydrophobic (water-fearing) end attaches to a fat globule in the milk. This is when the fun begins.

The molecules of fat bend, roll, twist, and contort in all directions as the soap molecules race around to join up with the fat molecules. During all of this fat molecule gymnastics, the food coloring molecules are bumped and shoved everywhere, providing an easy way to observe all the invisible activity. As the soap becomes evenly mixed with the milk, the action slows down and eventually stops.

And so my verbal fumbling during the video was partially correct. It did have something to do with the chemical properties of the soap. I just couldn’t articulate why. Of course, that’s like saying, “It’s going to hurt.” when a rock’s going to hit your head, but not understanding that it would miss if you stepped out of the way.

Now that we’ve discovered this experiment website, I have a feeling Hyper Lad and I will be having a lot more science fun in the future.

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Making The Time To Find The Rhyme

Poetry is only for snobs, right?

Um, no. Not quite. Well, sort of. I mean, not all the time, you know?

It’s possible I might be the slightest bit confused on the role of poetry in society these days, dudes. It is conceivable I need to devote more thought to it, but, honestly, do any of us believe I’m actually going to devote more than the next hour or so to thinking about poetry?

No. No we don’t.

The thing is, I think as school kids, we were given “important” poetry and told that this is a poem and it is good for you and you will like it, but first you need to understand all about rhyme, meter, iambic pentameter and blank verse and. . .

Well, you get my point. Poetry in language arts classes is like a lot of things in language arts classes: It’s had the fun and the juice sucked right out of it and all that’s left is a husk that we feel obligated to consume.

But it really shouldn’t be like that. I mean, how many of you dudes can remember just laughing your head off while rhyming silly word after silly word? Of reading Dr. Seuss and realizing that it’s not only possible, but it’s okay to make up words to fit your rhymes and people will actually tell you, “Good job!”

The thing about poetry that’s different from regular prose, from fiction or non-fiction, is that poetry is an idea stripped down to its bare bones and then painted in gaudy colors. Whereas, comparatively speaking, prose is a giant, stomping around the landscape, leaving footprints and broken trees in her wake.

That is, in a poem, each line — each word — is there only to move forward the central idea. It’s sparse, even if it’s in flowery language. As far as I’m concerned, poetry can be as hard or as easy as you make it.

For instance: Haikus are wonderful. They’re a style of poetry from Japan and consist of three lines. The first line is five syllables, followed by a line with seven syllables, ending with a final line of five syllables. Each line illuminates the central idea. I love ’em because I can write a poem in only three lines.

Poetry, Schmoetry
Haikus? Not easy.
Despite the number of lines
Being only three

See? Fun. My interest in poetry in general and haikus in particular was rekindled on some early morning walks with Buzz, the garbage disposal that walks like a dog. I’d see these shadows full of frosted grass, which were still frozen only because they were not yet exposed to the sun and I tried to think of how to describe them. Which led to the following haiku.

Winter Morning, Buzz
Frozen shadows steam
Edges disappearing quickly
As the sun rises

So what do you dudes and dudettes think? Anyone interested in a haiku-off? Or maybe just a favorite short poem you’d like to share? Join me in the comments and let’s see if language arts class has managed to kill off all interest in poetry.

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