The Key - Happiness, Compassion, Caring for Others



See fun article below

Famous Last Words the joys of air travel



The earliest breath of June
Blows the white tassels from the cherry boughs,
And in the deepest shadow of noon
The mild-eyed oxen browse.
–Elizabeth Ann Allen (1832–1911)

FIRST DAY OF SUMMER: SUMMER SOLSTICE 2017 Summer Solstice 2017 begins June 20 and June 21 (depending on your time zone)! Celebrate with a fantastic live solstice show with Slooh telescopes streaming extraordinary views of the Sun from around the world!


CELEBRATE THE SOLSTICE!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS! SLOOH’S LIVESTREAM BEGINS BELOW ON WEDNESDAY, JUNE 21, AT 2:00 PM PDT | 5:00 PM EDT | 21:00:00 UTC (INTERNATIONAL TIMES)

On Wednesday, June 21, celebrate the summer solstice with a free and live telescope event, courtesy of Slooh Space for Everyone—featuring extraordinary views of the Sun streamed from Slooh observatory partners all over the world, including close-up views from Prescott Observatory in Prescott, Arizona, wide angle views from New York City, Chicago, Seattle, Hawaii, and other locations around the globe. This special show features astronomy experts: Bill Nye The Science Guy and Phil Plait, The Bad Astronomer. Plus, hear about the biggest event of the year: the Total Solar Eclipse on August 21!

You can go to Slooh.com to join and watch this live broadcast, snap and share your own photos during the event, interact with the community, and control Slooh’s telescopes. Slooh owns all copyright to the text, images, photographs, video, audio, graphics, user interface, and other content provided on Slooh live broadcasts.

Slooh Your Interface to Outer Space

Union Pacifiste de France Elle lutte pour une France sans armée, contre toute forme de guerre, contre la production et le commerce des armes et pour une société démilitarisée. [It fights for a France without an army, against all forms of war, against the production and trade of arms and for a demilitarized society.]

Facebook page for Union Pacifiste de France


"When, after death, we go through our previous earthly life in reverse order, we feel the effects which our actions, will impulses, and thoughts had on other people as well as other creatures. During that period, we do not feel what we have personally felt while in the physical body, but what we have caused other souls and other entities to feel."

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 174b – Die geistigen Hintergründe des Ersten Weltkrieges –Dornach, March 15, 1916 (page 166) Source


Helen at age 90 with Karen

Video: Cutest Moments of 2016

Biodynamics


6/21/17 It's Alban Hefin today, the Druid festival of the Summer Solstice, "It is the time of greatest light when the Solar God is crowned by the Goddess as the King of Summer." - Treehugger.

Stephen Hawking Predicts, “This Pill Will Change Humanity" Breaking news:

Harvard Study Shows Brain Boosting “Smart Drug” Proven To Double IQ Is The Biggest Discovery In History

Recently Hawking made some comments in an interview with Anderson Cooper about a brain booster that would become the biggest event in human history

Stephen Hawking credits his ability to function with maintained focused on such a high level to a certain set of “smart drugs” that enhance cognitive brain function and neural connectivity, while strengthening the prefrontal cortex and boosting memory and recall.

In an interview with Anderson Cooper, Stephen Hawking said that his brain is sharper than ever, clearer and focused and he credits a large part to using Neurofuse Hawking went on to add “The brain is like a muscle, you must work it out and use supplements just like body builders use, but for your brain, and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing to enhance my mental capabilities”.

Neurofuse trial offer

Everyone that has taken this, from athletes like Tom Brady to musicians like Kanye West have nothing but praise for the brain booster, which doubles IQ, skyrockets energy levels and connects areas of the brain not previously connected. Neurofuse works so well for these guys, we had to ask... Is it safe?


After numerous rounds of testing results were astonishing. One test subject was quoted as saying:

“As soon as I took it started working within minutes of taking it. All of a sudden, it felt like a dark cloud had been lifted up from in front of me. I was more alert, more focused, had long lasting energy, and experienced a mental clarity that I’d never felt before” – Ben Lishger Harvard Sophomore."

The Lead Researcher on the team Dr.Rosenhouse gave us an exclusive inside look at the ingredients that make up this revolutionary smart drug:

“It is engineered with all the ingredients containing vitamins and essentials that your brain needs to ensure improvement in all aspects of cognitive growth, while including short and long term memory, focus, energy, problem solving capabilities and total brain performance.

We are all very grateful to have this now, as I believe it can help everyone on the planet and take us to the next stage of evolution. We’re very proud."


Genius Steven Hawkings has Admitted To Using Neurofuse To Triple His Memory.

Rescued Dairy Cow Comes Home (6 months later) / Playful cow asks for hugs from humans / Bull saved from bullfight becomes a docile pet

Maybelle's Story / The Dudley Story / Dudley and Destiny / Dudley reunited with his family


Cookie, Kris Kringle and Candy are wanted for causing hearts to flutter
and showing people that little piggies deserve only to be treated with kindness.


Japanese Teehouse: spending time with nature is healing

Prepare to Smile This sweet video features a rescued cow from Hof Butenland sanctuary in Germany. The little cow seems to love nothing more than passing the days out in the sunshine alongside her human BFF.


Jonathan Glass


We absolutely, positively love lambs. Not the kind you find neatly packaged at the supermarket, but the living and feeling animals who desperately want to live, just like this cheeky little guy, Wah. [Edgar's Mission].

Video of lamb

The 10 Most Important Things to Simplify in Your Life “Purity and simplicity are the two wings with which man soars above the earth and all temporary nature.” — Thomas Kempis

Based on our personal journey, our conversations, and our observations, here is a list of the 10 most important things to simplify in your life today to begin living a more balanced, joyful lifestyle:

1. Your Possessions

Too many material possessions complicate our lives to a greater degree than we ever give them credit. They drain our bank account, our energy, and our attention. They keep us from the ones we love and from living a life based on our values. If you will invest the time to remove nonessential possessions from your life, you will never regret it.

2. Your Time Commitments

When possible, release yourself from the time commitments that are not in line with your greatest values.

3. Your Goals

Reduce the number of goals you are intentionally striving for in your life to one or two. By reducing the number of goals that you are striving to accomplish, you will improve your focus and your success rate. Make a list of the things that you want to accomplish in your life and choose the two most important. When you finish one, add another from your list.

4. Your Negative Thoughts

Most negative emotions are completely useless. Resentment, bitterness, hate, and jealousy have never improved the quality of life for a single human being. Take responsibility for your mind. Forgive past hurts and replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

5. Your Debt

If debt is holding you captive, reduce it. Start today. Do what you’ve got to do to get out from under its weight. Find the help that you need. Sacrifice luxury today to enjoy freedom tomorrow.

6. Your Words

Use fewer words. Keep your speech plain and honest. Mean what you say. Avoid gossip.

7. Your Artificial Ingredients

Avoid trans fats, refined grain (white bread), high-fructose corn syrup, and too much sodium. Minimizing these ingredients will improve your energy level in the short-term and your health in the long-term. Also, as much as possible, reduce your consumption of over-the-counter medicine – allow your body to heal itself naturally as opposed to building a dependency on substances.

8. Your Screen Time

Focusing your attention on television, movies, video games, and technology affects your life more than you think. Media rearranges your values. It begins to dominate your life. And it has a profound impact on your attitude and outlook.

9. Your Connections to the World

Relationships with others are good, but constant streams of distraction are bad. Learn when to power off the iPhone, log off Facebook, or not read a text. Focus on the important, not the urgent.

10. Your Multi-Tasking

Research indicates that multi-tasking increases stress and lowers productivity. while single-tasking is becoming a lost art, learn it. Handle one task at a time. Do it well. And when it is complete, move to the next.

Anthony Bourdain slams ‘privileged’ liberals for ‘utter contempt’ of working class


Anthony Bourdain speaks during South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, in March. (Photo: Rich Fury/Invision/AP)

Celebrity chef and self-described “privileged Eastern liberal” Anthony Bourdain slammed his fellow leftist elites this week, arguing that their disdain for working-class Americans helped create “the upswell of rage and contempt” that propelled Donald Trump to the presidency.

“The utter contempt with which privileged Eastern liberals such as myself discuss red-state, gun-country, working-class America as ridiculous and morons and rubes is largely responsible for the upswell of rage and contempt and desire to pull down the temple that we’re seeing now,” Bourdain said in an interview with Reason magazine.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in gun-country, God-fearing America,” Bourdain continued. “There are a hell of a lot of nice people out there, who are doing what everyone else in this world is trying to do: the best they can to get by and take care of themselves and the people they love. When we deny them their basic humanity and legitimacy of their views, however different they may be than ours, when we mock them at every turn and treat them with contempt, we do no one any good.”

He added, “We should be breaking bread with each other and finding common ground whenever possible.”


Christmas 2016


Christmas 2016


Christmas 2016


Christmas 2016


from Edgar's Mission in Australia

My favorite life hacks for getting older: There's a lot of technology out there that makes it easier.

Downsize for dollars

There are so many baby boomers who say that they want to “age in place” and stay in their suburban homes. The problem is, they're dependent on their cars to get around or to do just about anything. As Jane Gould wrote in her book "Aging In Suburbia":

An estimated 70 percent of Baby Boomers live in areas served by limited or no public transit. If Boomers stay in their homes as they age and continue to drive their cars, do they put other drivers and pedestrians at risk?

Yet many people are sinking big bucks into “aging in place” renovations with giant bathrooms, wide corridors and huge kitchens, giant garages with room for a wheelchair van, when the object of this game is to keep out of wheelchairs, to be mobile and on your feet as long as possible. That’s why people who live in Italian hill towns and New York walk-up apartments live longer than most Americans; all that schlepping up and down the stairs keeps them fit and mobile.

Crank up the lumens and check the color temperature

In a previous post, Boomer alert: You need better lighting to compensate for aging eyes, I noted that by age 65, the amount of light that gets through those cloudy lenses is down to a third of what young people see, so you need a lot more light.

Fortunately, this is a great time to be going through this stage because new LED bulbs are getting brighter and better without using more power. When I wrote that article, I theorized that having RGB bulbs like the Philips Hue, where you can adjust the color, might be useful for aging eyes as lenses yellow with age. In fact, this has proven to be true. According to the Lighting Research Center, our eyes change as we age:

-Reduced contrast and color saturation: The crystalline lens becomes less clear and, as a result, begins to scatter more light as one ages. This scattered light reduces the contrast of the retinal image. This effect also adds a "luminous veil" over colored images on the retina, thus reducing their vividness (saturation). Reds begin to look like pinks, for example.

-Reduced ability to discriminate blue colors: The older eye loses some sensitivity to short wavelengths ("blue light") due to progressive yellowing of the crystalline lens.


Jefferson High School


Jefferson High School

Get a bike

This is perhaps the single most important thing I've done: I just refuse to drive and I ride my bike everywhere, year-round unless the city is a sheet of ice. Driving is stressful; everybody goes so fast and I get so judgmental of everyone else going through red lights and speeding, I feel much more relaxed and comfortable cruising along down the bike lane. It's also much cheaper and I suspect for most trips in the city, just as fast.

However the health benefits are probably the best part. A recent British study noted:

Cycling offers the potential for positive experience by providing older people with the means to participate in meaningful activity: to engage with landscape, foster personal relationships and maintain social contact with the outside world. The broader health and wellbeing benefits of cycling need to be recognized, promoted and supported through activities, events and programmes.

Never stop reading

Everyone complains about the millennials always staring at their phones, but I'm worse; I'm almost never not looking at my phone, iPad or computer. I'm reading news sites, environmental journals, magazines and newspapers. I subscribe to left- and right-wing journals to keep up on all sides of politics, trying to cope with the Wall Street Journal the Washington Post and the Guardian online before the local dead tree papers arrive on the doorstep.

But my brain is always working at absorbing.

I actually prefer to read books on my iPad to the paper book; I can crank up the font and highlight really easily for future reference.

I suspect that those in my generation who have been immersed in tech and phones and computers will be far luckier and happier and connected through social media; I had 47 people wish me happy birthday on Facebook and I even knew most of them — and I barely use Facebook. It was nice. It was nice walking 45 minutes to a restaurant; it was nice being able to adjust my hearables on my Apple Watch while I was there.

For those who are wired in, who have the money and the access and the insurance, there has probably never been a better time to get older. It's a shame that not everyone is so fortunate.

And Now, the No-Thanks List: 7 Terrible People, Events and Phenomena of 2016 That Inspire Zero Gratitude since I’m choosing to be as positive as possible this year, I’m going to get all of the negativity out of my system by publishing a list of the things that I’m not thankful for instead of sharing them face-to-face. Feel free to play along.

1. I’m not thankful for Donald Trump, his kids, the lower half of their faces or really anything that happened in this election cycle in general. This has been the most uninspiring election in my life.

2. I’m not thankful for Ben Carson’s presidential run. I don’t know what’s wrong with that guy.

4. I’m not thankful for panels and TV town halls on police brutality. It’s always a large quantity of talk that leads to zero action

5. I’m not thankful for Ted Cruz’s chin, Paul Ryan’s cowardice or Chris Christie’s sad face for obvious reasons.

6. I’m not thankful for the rise of gentrification in America.

7. I’m not thankful for the passing of Prince and Muhammad Ali. One of the greatest fighters, one of the greatest musicians and two of the greatest revolutionaries to ever live. We lost two innovative and courageous men who can never be replaced.

Please also join the growing and encouraging trend of wearing a safety pin to indicate that you are safe and caring toward refugees, immigrants, and every person threatened by racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry.


Trump Trump; have compassion

Jesus in India Swami Chidananda of the Self-Realization Fellowship speaks about the 'missing years' of Jesus' life.

"When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it? ": Eleanor Roosevelt

The 10 Most Important Things to Simplify in Your Life “Purity and simplicity are the two wings with which man soars above the earth and all temporary nature.” — Thomas Kempis

Simplicity brings balance, freedom, and joy. When we begin to live simply and experience these benefits, we begin to ask the next question, “Where else in my life can I remove distraction and simply focus on the essential?”

1. Your Possessions

Too many material possessions complicate our lives to a greater degree than we ever give them credit. They drain our bank account, our energy, and our attention. They keep us from the ones we love and from living a life based on our values. If you will invest the time to remove nonessential possessions from your life, you will never regret it.

2. Your Time Commitments

Most of us have filled our days full from beginning to end with time commitments: work, home, kid’s activities, community events, religious endeavors, hobbies … the list goes on. When possible, release yourself from the time commitments that are not in line with your greatest values.

3. Your Goals

Reduce the number of goals you are intentionally striving for in your life to one or two. By reducing the number of goals that you are striving to accomplish, you will improve your focus and your success rate. Make a list of the things that you want to accomplish in your life and choose the two most important. When you finish one, add another from your list.

4. Your Negative Thoughts

Most negative emotions are completely useless. Resentment, bitterness, hate, and jealousy have never improved the quality of life for a single human being. Take responsibility for your mind. Forgive past hurts and replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

5. Your Debt

If debt is holding you captive, reduce it. Start today. Do what you’ve got to do to get out from under its weight. Find the help that you need. Sacrifice luxury today to enjoy freedom tomorrow.

6. Your Words

Use fewer words. Keep your speech plain and honest. Mean what you say. Avoid gossip.

7. Your Artificial Ingredients

Avoid trans fats, refined grain (white bread), high-fructose corn syrup, and too much sodium. Minimizing these ingredients will improve your energy level in the short-term and your health in the long-term. Also, as much as possible, reduce your consumption of over-the-counter medicine – allow your body to heal itself naturally as opposed to building a dependency on substances.

8. Your Screen Time

Focusing your attention on television, movies, video games, and technology affects your life more than you think. Media rearranges your values. It begins to dominate your life. And it has a profound impact on your attitude and outlook. Unfortunately, when you live in that world on a consistent basis, you don’t even notice how it is impacting you. The only way to fully appreciate its influence in your life is to turn them off.

9. Your Connections to the World

Relationships with others are good, but constant streams of distraction are bad. Learn when to power off the iPhone, log off Facebook, or not read a text. Focus on the important, not the urgent. A steady flow of distractions from other people may make us feel important, needed, or wanted, but feeling important and accomplishing importance are completely different things.

10. Your Multi-Tasking

Research indicates that multi-tasking increases stress and lowers productivity. while single-tasking is becoming a lost art, learn it. Handle one task at a time. Do it well. And when it is complete, move to the next.

Cuba's health system Cuba, a country of 11 million people, has achieved health outcomes that are the envy of the Third World. It has one of the lowest infant and young child (under age 5) mortality rates and longest life expectancies in the Americas, outperforming the U.S. on all three of these indicators[6] (although the maternal mortality rate is still considerably higher than that in rich countries[7]). This year, Cuba also became the first nation in the world that, according to the World Health Organization, had eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.[8] How has a Third World country, subjected to decades of economic sanctions, accomplished this?

Part of the answer lies in the post-revolutionary government’s establishment of a comprehensive, universal health care system — structured around primary and preventive care — with a network of physicians, nurses and home health workers generally living in the same community as their patients.

To ensure adequate staffing for this initiative, the government invested heavily in medical education, which resulted in Cuba having nearly three times as many physicians per capita as the U.S.[10] This also enabled the country to send a self-reported total of 130,000 of its own health professionals to provide low- or no-cost medical care to patients in other Third World countries, with nearly 37,000 working in 70 countries as of 2008.[11] Cuba was among the first to respond to the past year’s Ebola epidemic, sending more doctors to Sierra Leone than any country besides Great Britain.

The country’s universal vaccination programs eradicated many previously commonplace childhood and tropical diseases, including polio, measles and diphtheria.[13] Many of the vaccines, as well as other medications, are manufactured by a domestic pharmaceutical industry that was developed, in part, in response to the U.S. embargo. This biotechnology sector employs about 10,000 people and manufactures most of the medicines used in the country, including 33 vaccines, 33 cancer drugs, 18 drugs to treat cardiovascular disease and seven drugs for other diseases.[14],[15] At one point, Cuba was the leading provider of pharmaceuticals to Latin America and also supplied medicines to several Asian countries.[16] Its medical infrastructure is also relatively advanced, with 22 medical campuses and academic journals in all of the major medical specialties.

Much of the progress made in improving the well-being of the Cuban population also traces back to policies independent of the health care sector, including universal education, guaranteed nutrition, clean drinking water and modern sanitation.[18] Perhaps more important were the Cuban government’s egalitarian economic policies that dramatically reduced the wealth inequalities that had existed prior to the revolution.[19] An extensive body of research shows that income inequality is closely associated with, and likely a critical determinant of, population health, and Cuba is no exception.

What makes Cuba’s health advancements all the more remarkable is that they were achieved under more than five decades of a stifling economic embargo. In 1962, three years after the Cuban revolution, the U.S. instituted the embargo to cripple Cuba’s economy,[21] in the hope that the pain inflicted on the Cuban people would spur them to overthrow the government. (The embargo was just one of several methods employed by the U.S. to do away with the Cuban government; see text box below for more details.)

In a comprehensive 1997 report documenting the impact of the U.S. embargo of Cuba, the American Association for World Health (AAWH) observed that it was “one of the few embargoes of recent years … that explicitly include[d] foods and medicines in its virtual ban on bilateral commercial ties.”[22] The report found that the tightening of the embargo during the 1990s had resulted in shortages of drugs, water treatment supplies and food, leading to malnutrition and waterborne diseases, among other problems.[23] The AAWH concluded that “[a] humanitarian catastrophe [resulting from the embargo] has been averted only because the Cuban government has maintained a high level of budgetary support for a health care system designed to deliver primary and preventive health care to all of its citizens.”

Amnesty International followed the AAWH report with its own 2009 analysis of how the embargo had affected the “economic and social rights” of the Cuban people.[25] The report documented numerous instances in which Cuba was unable to import a range of medical supplies, including HIV and psychiatric medicines, vaccines and syringes, medical devices, diagnostic equipment, condoms, and pediatric nutritional products.

The U.S. has long been isolated from the rest of the world on its policy towards Cuba. Every year since 1992, the United Nations General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly (188-2 was last year’s tally) in favor of a resolution calling on the U.S. to end the embargo.[27] Nevertheless, The New York Times claimed in an editorial last year that it was not the U.S. but Cuba that suffered from a “beleaguered international standing.”

From Brain Pickings:

Darwin's singular genius of presenting and defending his ideas, and what it teaches us about the art of preempting criticism, is what New Yorker contributor and essayist extraordinaire Adam Gopnik explores in a portion of the altogether magnificent Angels and Ages: A Short Book about Darwin, Lincoln, and Modern Life (public library) – a slim but in many ways enormous book, for it tackles some of the most abiding and unanswerable enormities of existence.

Gopnik considers the unusual intellectual architecture of Darwin's 1859 masterwork On the Origin of Species – a book "unique in having a double charge, a double dose of poetic halo" – built into which was an ingenious and timelessly effective model for disarming critics:

The book is one long provocation in the guise of being none.

Yet the other great feature of Darwin’s prose, and the organization of his great book, is the welcome he provides for the opposed idea. This is, or ought to be, a standard practice, but few people have practiced it with his sincerity – and, at times, his guile. The habit of “sympathetic summary,” what philosophers now call the “principle of charity,” is essential to all the sciences.

With an eye to philosopher Daniel Dennett's four rules for arguing intelligently and criticizing with kindness, Gopnik considers the essential principle at the heart of Darwin's rhetorical brilliance, which illuminates the secret to all successful critical argument:

A counterargument to your own should first be summarized in its strongest form, with holes caulked as they appear, and minor inconsistencies or infelicities of phrasing looked past. Then, and only then, should a critique begin. This is charitable by name, selfishly constructive in intent: only by putting the best case forward can the refutation be definitive. The idea is to leave the least possible escape space for the “but you didn’t understand...” move. Wiggle room is reduced to a minimum.

This is so admirable and necessary that it is, of course, almost never practiced. Sympathetic summary, or the principle of charity, was formulated as an explicit methodological injunction only recently.

Darwin's singular genius was the marriage of visionary ideas and supreme mastery of argument. But it was the latter, Gopnik argues, that lent Darwin's ideas their victorious competitive advantage in the natural selection propelling cultural evolution:

All of what remain today as the chief objections to his theory are introduced by Darwin himself, fairly and accurately, and in a spirit of almost panicked anxiety – and then rejected not by bullying insistence but by specific example, drawn from the reservoir of his minute experience of life. This is where we get it all wrong if we think that Wallace might have made evolution as well as Darwin; he could have written the words, but he could not have answered the objections. He might have offered a theory of natural selection, but he could never (as he knew) have written On the Origin of Species. For The Origin is not only a statement of a thesis; it is a book of answers to questions that no one had yet asked, and of examples answering those still faceless opponents.

But this clever rhetorical framework was both a stylistic strategy and a reflection of Darwin's lifelong battle with anxiety:

Darwin invented, cannily, a special, pleading, plaintive tone – believe me, I know that the counterview not only is strong but sounds a lot saner, to you and me both. And yet... The tone reflects his real state. He was worried about the objections, he did spend long days worrying about eyes and wings and missing fossils, and he found a way to articulate both the anxiety and the answers to it. Darwin tells us himself that he forced on himself the habit, whenever he came across a fact that might be inconvenient for his thesis, of copying it down and paying attention to it, and that this, more than anything else, gave him his ability to anticipate critics and answer them.

[...]

In the back-and-forth of a self-made contest, both sides have a shot.

Darwin not only posits the counterclaims; he inhabits them. He moved beyond sympathetic summary to empathetic argument. He makes the negative case as urgent as the positive claims... What’s striking is that Darwin anticipates arguments against his theory that no one had yet made... It’s a really amazing piece of intellectual empathy, and of beating one’s opponents to the punch.

Gopnik's account of what set Darwin apart calls to mind a lecture Michael Faraday delivered five years before the publication of The Origin, in which the trailblazing scientist called for the mental discipline of contradicting one's own ideas – a hallmark of reason, of which Darwin's prose made a high art.

How to Criticize with Kindness: Philosopher Daniel Dennett on the Four Steps to Arguing Intelligently “In disputes upon moral or scientific points,” Arthur Martine counseled in his magnificent 1866 guide to the art of conversation, “let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.” Of course, this isn’t what happens most of the time when we argue, both online and off, but especially when we deploy the artillery of our righteousness from behind the comfortable shield of the keyboard.

Dennett synthesizes the steps:

How to compose a successful critical commentary:

1. You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.

2. You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).

3. You should mention anything you have learned from your target.

4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

Dennett points out this is actually a sound psychological strategy that accomplishes one key thing: It transforms your opponent into a more receptive audience for your criticism or dissent, which in turn helps advance the discussion.

Michael Faraday on Mental Discipline and How to Cure Our Propensity for Self-Deception “That point of self-education which consists in teaching the mind to resist its desires and inclinations, until they are proved to be right, is the most important of all.”

Two centuries before modern psychologists coined “the backfire effect” — the root of why we have such a hard time changing our minds — Faraday captures our profoundly human propensity for self-deception when it comes to confirming our convictions and indulging our desires:

Among those points of self-education which take up the form of mental discipline, there is one of great importance, and, moreover, difficult to deal with, because it involves an internal conflict, and equally touches our vanity and our ease. It consists in the tendency to deceive ourselves regarding all we wish for, and the necessity of resistance to these desires.

It is impossible for any one who has not been constrained, by the course of his occupation and thoughts, to a habit of continual self-correction, to be aware of the amount of error in relation to judgment arising from this tendency. The force of the temptation which urges us to seek for such evidence and appearances as are in favour of our desires, and to disregard those which oppose them, is wonderfully great.

In this respect we are all, more or less, active promoters of error. In place of practising wholesome self-abnegation, we ever make the wish the father to the thought: we receive as friendly that which agrees with, we resist with dislike that which opposes us; whereas the very reverse is required by every dictate of common sense.


Michael Faraday / Carl Sagan

The Baloney Detection Kit: Carl Sagan’s Rules for Bullshit-Busting and Critical Thinking Necessary cognitive fortification against propaganda, pseudoscience, and general falsehood.

But the kit, Sagan argues, isn’t merely a tool of science — rather, it contains invaluable tools of healthy skepticism that apply just as elegantly, and just as necessarily, to everyday life. By adopting the kit, we can all shield ourselves against clueless guile and deliberate manipulation. Sagan shares nine of these tools:

1. Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the “facts.”

2. Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.

3. Arguments from authority carry little weight — “authorities” have made mistakes in the past. They will do so again in the future. Perhaps a better way to say it is that in science there are no authorities; at most, there are experts.

4. Spin more than one hypothesis. If there’s something to be explained, think of all the different ways in which it could be explained. Then think of tests by which you might systematically disprove each of the alternatives. What survives, the hypothesis that resists disproof in this Darwinian selection among “multiple working hypotheses,” has a much better chance of being the right answer than if you had simply run with the first idea that caught your fancy.

5. Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it’s yours. It’s only a way station in the pursuit of knowledge. Ask yourself why you like the idea. Compare it fairly with the alternatives. See if you can find reasons for rejecting it. If you don’t, others will.

6. Quantify. If whatever it is you’re explaining has some measure, some numerical quantity attached to it, you’ll be much better able to discriminate among competing hypotheses. What is vague and qualitative is open to many explanations. Of course there are truths to be sought in the many qualitative issues we are obliged to confront, but finding them is more challenging.

7. If there’s a chain of argument, every link in the chain must work (including the premise) — not just most of them.

8. Occam’s Razor. This convenient rule-of-thumb urges us when faced with two hypotheses that explain the data equally well to choose the simpler.

9. Always ask whether the hypothesis can be, at least in principle, falsified. Propositions that are untestable, unfalsifiable are not worth much. Consider the grand idea that our Universe and everything in it is just an elementary particle — an electron, say — in a much bigger Cosmos. But if we can never acquire information from outside our Universe, is not the idea incapable of disproof? You must be able to check assertions out. Inveterate skeptics must be given the chance to follow your reasoning, to duplicate your experiments and see if they get the same result.

4 Reasons Living With Less Can Change Your Life – and Save the World The fact is, we live in a consumer culture that tells us that we don’t only want 10 different products that all serve the same basic purpose – but we also need them for one reason or other.

Having too much stuff not only creates physical clutter (don’t think just because you jam all of last season’s clothing in a closet means it goes away!), but it creates mental and emotional clutter as well. Studies have found that too much clutter can lower your ability to focus and process information and even contribute to stress and anxiety levels. So, how can we avoid all of these adverse effects of too much stuff? Well, it all starts with learning to live with less.


"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the 'Universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty." Albert Einstein

"The true civilization is where every man gives to every other every right that he claims for himself" : - Robert Ingersoll

"Strike against war, for without you no battles can be fought! Strike against manufacturing shrapnel and gas bombs and all other tools of murder! Strike against preparedness that means death and misery to millions of human beings! Be not dumb, obedient slaves in an army of destruction! Be heroes in an army of construction!" : Helen Keller

"Iniquity, committed in this world, produces not fruit immediately, but, like the earth, in due season, and advancing by little and little, it eradicates the man who committed it. ...justice, being destroyed, will destroy; being preserved, will preserve; it must never therefore be violated." Manu 1200 bc


"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." - Albert Einstein Ralph Nader video on Solitude in Nature

Photo of Happy Pit Bull Getting Kisses From Curious Cows Will Shatter Your Stereotypes About Animals The idea that it is okay to exploit cows because they are stupid, boring animals that have no idea what is happening to them is actually incorrect. It turns out that cows are very intelligent animals, with excellent memories. They have shown a unique ability to remember faces and locations and some have even demonstrated an understanding of the mechanical world by using latches to open gates. Being herd animals, they are also quite social, enjoying play and affection on a regular basis. They are very much aware of their surroundings, so there is no excuse for the terrible treatment that they receive in today’s barbaric meat and dairy factories.

Pit Bulls, like cows, also have a lot of negative stereotypes to overcome. Many people wrongfully believe that they are vicious, aggressive animals with locking jaws, unlike any other dog breed, but the reality is that “Pit Bull” isn’t even an official breed of dog. They are bred from many different types of dogs to have certain dominant characteristics, but physically, there are no locking jaws or innate viciousness. To the contrary, Pit Bulls are highly intelligent dogs, with a love of play that makes them very trainable. During WWII, they were military working dogs, with Petey from the Little Rascals making the Pit Bull America’s nanny dog for many years until a cultural shift in the 1980s (driven by a rise in dogfighting) decided that they were monsters. Today, they are feared animals who are subjected to breed specific legislation and barred from certain cities. Adding to this, Pit Bulls have the highest rate of euthanasia out of all different breeds singled out by the law for euthanasia and other, unfair treatment.



Beloved Izzy died this week, 1/16/17

Can Letting Go of Grudges Help You Live Longer? How about learning new things?

18 Secrets for a Longer Life: People pay attention to detail, think things through, and try to do what's right -- live longer. Make friends. Nap more. Get married. Eat mostly vegetables. Lose weight. Keep moving. Get spiritual. Forgive [Letting go of grudges has surprising physical health benefits. Chronic anger is linked to heart disease, stroke, poorer lung health, and other problems. Forgiveness will reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, and help you breathe more easily. The rewards tend to go up as you get older.]. Make sleep a priority. Cut down on stress. Keep a sense of purpose [Japanese researchers found men with a strong sense of purpose were less likely to die from stroke, heart disease, or other causes over a 13-year period than those who were less sure of themselves. Being clear about what you're doing and why can also lower your chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease.]


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IKEA's $400 flat-pack city bike will hit US stores in February [2017] Somewhere between the bookshelves, bedroom sets, and kitchen stuff, there will soon be flat-packed belt drive bicycles, which display the same understated and timeless Scandinavian design as the rest of IKEA's offerings.

IKEA announced that the bike would be available in the US in February, at a much lower price - just $399 for those in the "IKEA Family" and $499 for the rest of us. A host of accessories will also be available, including a bike trailer ($129/$169), front cargo rack ($25/$35), and rear pannier ($29/$39), and the bike itself will come with a 25-year limited warranty on the frame and 10-year limited warranty on the belt drive.

The Sladda will be available in two different sizes, has a powder-coated aluminum frame with a (sort of) step-through geometry that lends itself to an upright riding position, and comes in any color you want, as long as it's gray. The bike features a front disc brake and rear coaster brake, a chainguard, an integrated bike bell, a two-speed internal gear hub, a kickstand, a maintenance-free belt drive, and front and rear lights (batteries sold separately, of course).

Are mussels, clams and oysters the most ethical seafood? One scientist believes that these plant-like bivalves could build much-needed food security in aquaculture.

The next time you’re craving seafood, a steaming bowl of clam chowder or a dish of garlic-steamed mussels could be your best option. Not only are they delicious and nutritious, but they’re also a more environmentally friendly choice than fish and crustaceans.

Clams, mussels, and oysters are bivalves and members of the invertebrate mollusk family. They differ from other mollusks, such as octopus, for their evolutionary simplicity. Bivalves are sessile (immobile) and plant-like in the way they filter nutrients from the water around them and do not require feeding. They develop a meaty edible muscle that is rich in omega-3s, without the mercury levels found in larger fish.

n an article for Solutions journal, scientist Jennifer Jacquet makes a convincing argument for bivalves being the most ethical

1. Bivalves don’t require feeding. As mentioned above, bivalves filter their nutrients from the water, cleaning anywhere from 30 to 50 gallons of water per day, which improves the habitat for other fish around them.

What many people don’t realize about farmed finfish and shrimp is that they need to eat other smaller fish in order to grow. Aquaculture means that more wild fish must be caught in order to feed the farmed fish.

2. Bivalves build food security. Because bivalves do not require feeding, this frees up wild-caught fish to feed local communities, while providing nourishment themselves.

3. Welfare is not as serious a concern. The effects of farming would be considerably less for bivalves than other farmed fish, as they do not require space or enrichment in order to grow, nor do they migrate like salmon. One could argue that bivalves are plant-like. This does not mean there are no welfare concerns, but their life in captivity would not be all that different than in the wild.

Jacquet describes the ideal species for aquaculture:

“It should be a species group that does not require fish feed, does not require conversion of habitat, does not contribute to pollution, and has very little potential to be invasive. It should consist of animals who are not likely to experience significant pain and suffering in captivity in particular—animals whose health and wellbeing is at least somewhat compatible with industrial methods.”

It’s not a perfect solution, though, as shown in a short film called “A Plastic Tide,” which revealed mussels absorbing plastic micro-particles from seawater – the distasteful side effect of rampant plastic pollution. But, then again, this problem affects all sea creatures, not just bivalves.

Rescued Cow and Pig Cuddle Up In Their Sanctuary Home [video]


Jon & Caroline on cruise, 2017

Camille on Facebook: Colby is a Retired friend of mine who is in poor health as his his wife and daughter. Over the many years I have known him he has taken numerous kids who had no place to go. He took in kids like Celeste took in cats. As a Quaker he is one of the most peaceful and generous people I know. Your remarks are unwarranted


Princess Leia is proof that a little bit of kindness makes the whole world of difference


Rescued Piglet and Her Kitten Companion Find Love In an Animal Sanctuary


Cow Ruminating

What Rescuing 2 Turkeys Taught Me About How to Change People’s Minds About These Animals As the musician and animal rights activist Moby once said, “could you look an animal in its eyes and say: ‘my appetite is more important than your suffering’?” To the compassionate few the answer would be an outstanding no. Unfortunately, most people choose to ignore the reality of what happens to animals in factory farms to make their favorite foods possible.

Thanks to many hardworking organizations, however, such as Mercy for Animals and the Save Movement, the reality behind factory farming can no longer hide in the shadows. Undercover investigations and acts of bearing witness have exposed the truth for the world to see. One of the cruelest forms of slaughter involves poultry – chickens and turkeys. It is estimated that nine billion chickens and 250 million turkeys are raised on factory farms in the United States every year. Their short miserable lives are filled with pain and constant suffering from the day they are born to the day they are violently slaughtered. Why do we continue to allow animals to be treated in this manner? How can you help make a difference?


Rescued turkeys


Squirrel and Poppy


Send comments to co@dadbyrn.com, Colby Glass, MLIS, Professor Emeritus