The Key - Happiness, Compassion, Caring for Others


Naps are good! ~ Index

Blockchain Tech
Currency
Ent'd Photon Tech

HappyStuff
Health, Aging
Thanksgiving/Turkeys
Christmas

Lifestyle
Mind, IQ
The Move

Strawman
Weather

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life that matters.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Pooties are cats; Woozles are dogs. Goggies are dogs, too, and moggies are cats. Birds...are birds! Peeps are people.



Happy Stuff

"Conscience reveals whether we shall be horrified or happy, when we are able to behold our actions in the realm of spirit. Conscience is a presentiment that reveals prophetically how we shall experience our deeds after death." - Rudolf Steiner – GA 143 – Conscience and Astonishment As Indications of Spiritual Vision in Past and Future – Breslau, 3rd February 1912


"The spiritual beings who apart from ourselves inhabit the spiritual world look with satisfaction and approval upon our thoughts about their world. They can help us only if we think about them... if we know about these spiritual beings they can help us. In return for our study of spiritual science help comes to us from the spiritual world. " Rudolf Steiner – GA 168 – How Can the Destitution of Soul in Modern Times Be Overcome? – Zurich, October 10th, 1916


Uncle Robb gives advice

I’m pretty sure that the best advice I’ve ever received (so far) was from my uncle, the late Robb Sagendorph (11th editor of the Almanac). No, it was not about doing everything in moderation. That has become tiresome. It wasn’t that you should treat other people as you would like to be treated yourself either. I would never be so presumptuous. No, it was far better than those old bromides.

Uncle Robb was talking with one of the young women in our circulation department for a half-hour or so at our office in Dublin, New Hampshire. I sat across the room from him in those days and could catch snatches of the conversation.

It was apparent that they were discussing a certain local dandy she’d been seeing, a fellow who had a reputation for getting into fights at the bars over in Brattleboro, Vermont, breaking ladies hearts at the drop of a hat, and all that sort of thing. Uncle Robb was advising her to drop him. She was crying and saying that she cared for him. When she finally left, it didn’t seem to me that Uncle Robb had made much headway. In fact, she sounded more determined than ever that, despite his urgings to the contrary, this particular dandy don was the man for her.


Uncle Robb sat quietly for a few minutes, staring out at the pear tree next to his window. Then he got up slowly and ambled over to my desk. I looked up at him standing there in front of me, all 6 feet 4 inches of him, and pretended that I’d just noticed his presence. Then he came forth with what I believe to be the best advice I’ve ever received.

“Don’t ever give advice,” he said solemnly. I nodded, waiting for more. I wasn’t disappointed. “Unless,” he said, after a long, thoughtful pause, “… unless you can somehow determine the advice that the person wants to hear. Then give that.”

In the ensuing years, I’ve learned a lot about advice and advice-giving because that’s what The Old Farmer’s Almanac does every year. Aside, that is, from presenting the astronomical structure for each day—Moon and Sun risings and settings, and so on—and aside from the monthly weather forecast for all of North America and aside from maybe a little history based on that year’s particular anniversaries. Aside from those areas, it can truly be said that the Almanac has been an annual book of advice ever since 1792, when the first edition appeared on the American scene.


Right from the beginning, the Almanac advised its readers—whether they were farmers or not—on everything from the best times for planting peas and catching the most fish to when to castrate bulls. It has had advice for lovers, advice for curing sickness and staying healthy, advice for making money, advice for restoring energy, advice for proper social behavior, and on and on, year after year. It’s all good advice—advice that a person wants to hear.

Incidentally, the young woman to whom Uncle Robb was giving advice that day in our office soon married the dandy don. He gave up his wicked ways and became a deacon of the church, and the couple proceeded to raise three lovely children. As Uncle Robb said himself later on, he should have taken the advice he gave to me that day. But then that wasn’t the sort of advice he really wanted to hear.


O to lie in the ripening grass
That gracefully bends to the winds that pass,
And to look aloft the oak-leaves through
Into the sky so deep, so blue!
–William Roscoe Thayer (1859–1923)

Jon in Honduras

"The human being experiences no lack of consciousness when he passes the gate of death. On the contrary, his soul experiences a superabundance of consciousness. He lives and weaves completely in consciousness, and as well as the strong sunlight dazes the eyes, he is dazed at first by consciousness, he has too much consciousness... The soul becomes conscious for a more or less short time and then it again enters into a condition similar to sleep as you may call it. Then such moments become gradually longer and longer" - Rudolf Steiner – GA 159 – The Mystery of Death: The Path of the Human Being through the Gate of Death — A Transformation of Life – Hannover, 19th February 1915


"A feeling of hatred directed at another is very real, and for one who can see in the spiritual world, it is much more potent than hitting him with a stick. Although the terrible thing does not take place right before our eyes, yet it is so." Rudolf Steiner, Die Erkenntnis der Seele und des Geistes – Berlin, 12 December 1907 (page 144-145)


Cover Greenpeace Mag. June, 2017

".. hatred does not persist after a person’s death when we have the feeling that we ourselves are being observed by him. But the love or even the sympathy we extend to the dead eases his path, removes hindrances from him." - Rudolf Steiner

"After death man is a direct witness of how the forces he took into himself together with the spiritual teachings received during his life on Earth have an organising, vitalising, strengthening effect upon what is within his being when he is preparing for a new incarnation... Decadence of physical humanity would set in if the spiritual forces were not received." - Rudolf Steiner – GA 141 – Between Death and Rebirth: Lecture Four – 10th December 1912


In Congo with gentle folk

"What we experience in pre-earthly existence in working together with the Beings of the Higher Hierarchies leaves in us a heritage for our earthly life, a faint shadow of this communion with the Hierarchies. If between death and a new birth we had no such community of life with the Beings of the Hierarchies, we could not unfold, here on Earth, the power of love. The power of love we unfold here on Earth is of course only a faint reflection, a shadow of our communion with the Spirit-Beings of the Higher Hierarchies between death and a new birth, but it is a reflection of that communion. That here on the Earth we are able to unfold human love, sympathetic understanding for another human being, is due to the fact that between death and a new birth we are able to live in communion with the Beings of the Higher Hierarchies." - Rudolf Steiner


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


"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.

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.

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

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


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


"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


comments


comments

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).

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


Strawman, Debt

Strawman Notes page

Are We in The Final Phase? By Peter Koenig Terror is fed, trained and armed by Washington and the Pentagon. The number of attacks are increasing by the day. We can only wonder, where will it strike tomorrow. The question, “when will it stop?” is not even an option. It will not stop. It’s part of the war game.

On the other side of the equation, globalized Wall Street, the FED and international financial institutions are strangling poor countries with debt into submission, especially those with natural resources, like hydrocarbons tropical forests, gold and diamonds. All stained in blood.

But finance does not stop there. It comes down to the individual, digitizing cash. Making us a cashless society. It’s good for you. No need for carrying money around. It’s worthless anyway. Going digital, we can control you-and you are safe. The State will never steal your money. They could, but they won’t. Ethics. It’s called Ethics. And we trust them. In God We Trust – and god is money, to be precise – the US Dollar.

Because the US economy is based on war – and the European one is following closely in these bloody footsteps. We are living an economy of destruction, not one of construction

Those who control the economy are those who control the western monetary system, the fraudulent, privately made, owned usurping debt and interest machine; the dollar pyramid, upon which every other western currency depends. Those who control this unspeakable fraud, will eventually control a divided world.

People, there is nothing left to hope for in the west. This could be it. The end-run. And you and me are in it, if we don’t leave it NOW.

We have for too long believed in the treachery of Washington, the false promises, the eternal lies for centuries... we have ‘democratically’ allowed these Washington bandits and the criminal gang that directs them from behind, have stolen our nations sovereignty.

We are doomed. The west is doomed. The west is in its final stage of committing unrelenting suicide by sheer greed and monstrous aggressions and an eternal flood of lies. We are cooked. For good, beyond the threshold of no-return.

The only hope for those of us who may survive, is the East. China, Russia and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) offer an economy of peace. They offer the world, including the west, for those who are not afraid to break loose from the weakening fangs of Washington, an enormous economic and scientific development program – the New Silk Road, or OBOR – One Belt One Road, or OBI for short. The One Belt Initiative – an economy of peace and prosperity offered to the world by China’s President Xi. Wake up, People, wake up – and step out from the western warmongers orbit.


Entangled Photon Technology

China Tech: Interesting Bits and Pieces By Fred Reed To one watching the advance of Chinese science and technology, or to me anyway, several things stand out. First, the headlong pace. Second, the amount of it that appears aimed at making China independent of the West technologically and getting the United States off Beijing’s back. Third, the apparent calculated focus. It looks like intelligent design, as distinct from America’s competitive scrabbling for profit by special interests, the hope being that this might inadvertently benefit the country as a whole.

As I have mentioned before, China came out of nowhere to become the world leader in supercomputers. Also in high-speed rail, of strategic importance in its plan to united Europe and Asia economically. Heavy investment in solar power offers to ameliorate its dependence on oil from the Persian Gulf, vulnerable to blockage by the US Navy. Then there is DF21D terminally guided ballistic missile, specifically intended as a carrier-killer in what China regards as its home waters. The list could go on at length.

The Chinese are smart. They are certainly capable of high-grade engineering and scientific research. (Eg., Beijing Genomics Institute) The line between imaginative engineering and invention is blurry. Note that on the numbers China can potentially bring to bear five times as many engineers as America can and, while they are well short of this, twice as many would be–is?–the beginning of a new world.

Step One, From a while back, “China Activates World’s Longest Ultra Secure Quantum Communication Network..” Beijing to Shanghai.

Quantum communications is based on the behavior of entangled photons. Said behavior is obviously impossible, but apparently nobody has told the photons, so they do it anyway. (Unless all the world’s physicists are smoking Drano. This possibility is worth considering. If interested, quantum entanglement. Also Quantum Key Distribution.) The point is that if anyone tries to intercept the transmission, it becomes obvious. A weakness is that you need repeaters every sixty miles, which reduces security.

Unless you do it in space:

Step Two: China launches world’s first quantum satellite. Having done the landline, they move to orbital experimentation.

Step Three, Bingo! “China Just Took the Lead in the Quantum Space Race”

This being a big deal, I clip from Asia Times:

On Thursday, a team of Chinese scientists released findings from a breakthrough study that makes China the indisputable leader in the field of quantum communication, an achievement that could be of immense strategic importance.

The study, led by Pan Jianwei and published in Science magazine, successfully demonstrated the ability to distribute entangled photons across unprecedented distances, from space to earth, opening the door for the practical application of cutting-edge, ultra-secure communication.

The unprecedented distance was 1200 kilometers. Beijing might be regarded as trying to establish world-wide communications secure against NSA and, eventually, a whole internet proof against Fort Meade. Whether one regards this as engineering development or innovation doesn’t seem to make much difference.

Then we have, from Phys.org,

“China launched its most powerful rocket ever on Thursday, state media said, as the country presses on with a program which has seen it become a major space power.”

Chinese Quantum Radar

Quantum radar is another application of entangled photons. The link gives a semi-technical overview. The important point is that in principle it allows detection of stealth aircraft.

The Chinese assert that they can now detect stealth aircraft at 62 miles with enough accuracy to compute a fire-control solution. This means that radar stations with slightly overlapping fields of detection, say a hundred miles apart, could detect incoming aircraft with easily enough time to shoot them down.

If this report is true, it is potentially devastating for the US Air Force. So far as I am aware, Chinese claims of technical results have heretofore been accurate.

The Air Force has invested very, very heavily in stealth. In bombers, the hugely expensive B2 and the planned hugelier expensiver B21 are dead meat if detached. In fighters, the F22 and the F35 Bankruper—Lightning II, I meant to say—will lose their main selling point if detectable. The F35 in particular has made compromises in performance to make it stealthy and, if detectable, is just a so-so fighter.

~~~~~~

Next: “Enter the Nimble Dragon: China sees nuclear future in small reactors”

“SMRs (small modular reactors) have capacity of less than 300 megawatts (MW) – enough to power around 200,000 homes – compared to at least 1 gigawatt (GW) for standard reactors….”

“China is aiming to lift domestic nuclear capacity to 200 GW by 2030, up from 35 GW at the end of March, but its ambitions are global.”

Small reactors (a bit larger than a bus) are important if you want to electrify a remote city without the overkill of a standard plant or the expense of long transmission lines. China is not the only country working on mini-nukes (or on anything else mentioned in this column), but it can now play with the big boys. Again, small reactors are an abrupt entrance into a major technical field. Note “global ambitions.”

A Reuters piece describes “an ambitious plan to wrest control of the global nuclear market.” Planning and doing are not the same thing, but if I were a nuclear market, I would be uneasy.

For whatever reasons, the American media do not much cover technological advance in China. Ignorance? Arrogance? Is it just the American tendency to regard the rest of the world as unimportant? Maybe a little attention would be a good idea. A steady stream of advances comes out of the Middle Kingdom. In some fields, the Chinese lead the world. In others, they are behind but not by much, and gaining. Could be important.


Health, Aging

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.]

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.

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.”


Weather

As Climate Changes, Southern States Will Suffer More Than Others As the United States confronts global warming in the decades ahead, not all states will suffer equally. Maine may benefit from milder winters. Florida, by contrast, could face major losses, as deadly heat waves flare up in the summer and rising sea levels eat away at valuable coastal properties.


In a new study in the journal Science, researchers analyzed the economic harm that climate change could inflict on the United States in the coming century. They found that the impacts could prove highly unequal: states in the Northeast and West would fare relatively well, while parts of the Midwest and Southeast would be especially hard hit.

“The reason for that is fairly well understood: A rise in temperatures is a lot more damaging if you’re living in a place that’s already hot,” said Solomon Hsiang, a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and a lead author of the study.

“You see a similar pattern internationally, where countries in the tropics are more heavily impacted by climate change,” he said.

The greatest economic impact would come from a projected increase in heat wave deaths as temperatures soared


Higher temperatures could also lead to steep increases in energy costs in parts of the country, as utilities may need to overbuild their grids to compensate for heavier air-conditioning use in hot months.

higher sea levels along the coasts would make flooding from future hurricanes far more destructive.

Some of the poorest regions of the country could see the largest economic losses, particularly in the Southeast.

The American South Will Bear the Worst of Climate Change’s Costs Climate change will aggravate economic inequality in the United States, essentially transferring wealth from poor counties in the Southeast and the Midwest to well-off communities in the Northeast and on the coasts, according to the most detailed economic assessment of the phenomenon ever conducted.


Across the country’s southern half—and especially in states that border the Gulf of Mexico—climate change could impose the equivalent of a 20-percent tax on county-level income, according to the study. Harvests will dwindle, summer energy costs will soar, rising seas will erase real-estate holdings, and heatwaves will set off epidemics of cardiac and pulmonary disease.

West Texas and Arizona may see energy costs rise by 20 percent.

Simultaneously, the study finds that some regions may reap moderate economic benefits from global warming. New England, the Pacific Northwest, and the Great Lake states may all prosper as growing seasons lengthen, and the number of frigid, deadly winter days decrease.



Mind, IQ

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.

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.


Tangled Proton Technology


The Move

Are We in The Final Phase? By Peter Koenig Terror is fed, trained and armed by Washington and the Pentagon. The number of attacks are increasing by the day. We can only wonder, where will it strike tomorrow. The question, “when will it stop?” is not even an option. It will not stop. It’s part of the war game.

On the other side of the equation, globalized Wall Street, the FED and international financial institutions are strangling poor countries with debt into submission, especially those with natural resources, like hydrocarbons tropical forests, gold and diamonds. All stained in blood.

But finance does not stop there. It comes down to the individual, digitizing cash. Making us a cashless society. It’s good for you. No need for carrying money around. It’s worthless anyway. Going digital, we can control you-and you are safe. The State will never steal your money. They could, but they won’t. Ethics. It’s called Ethics. And we trust them. In God We Trust – and god is money, to be precise – the US Dollar.

Because the US economy is based on war – and the European one is following closely in these bloody footsteps. We are living an economy of destruction, not one of construction

Those who control the economy are those who control the western monetary system, the fraudulent, privately made, owned usurping debt and interest machine; the dollar pyramid, upon which every other western currency depends. Those who control this unspeakable fraud, will eventually control a divided world.

People, there is nothing left to hope for in the west. This could be it. The end-run. And you and me are in it, if we don’t leave it NOW.

We have for too long believed in the treachery of Washington, the false promises, the eternal lies for centuries... we have ‘democratically’ allowed these Washington bandits and the criminal gang that directs them from behind, have stolen our nations sovereignty.

We are doomed. The west is doomed. The west is in its final stage of committing unrelenting suicide by sheer greed and monstrous aggressions and an eternal flood of lies. We are cooked. For good, beyond the threshold of no-return.

The only hope for those of us who may survive, is the East. China, Russia and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) offer an economy of peace. They offer the world, including the west, for those who are not afraid to break loose from the weakening fangs of Washington, an enormous economic and scientific development program – the New Silk Road, or OBOR – One Belt One Road, or OBI for short. The One Belt Initiative – an economy of peace and prosperity offered to the world by China’s President Xi. Wake up, People, wake up – and step out from the western warmongers orbit.

~~~~


Paraguay


Paraguay, Asuncion ~ Paraguay


Paraguay


Paraguay


Uzbekistan


Uzbekistan



Uzbekistan


Costa Rica



Costa Rica


Costa Rica


Costa Rica


Blockchain Technology

My Page of Notes on Blockchain Technology


Currency

Are We in The Final Phase? By Peter Koenig Terror is fed, trained and armed by Washington and the Pentagon. The number of attacks are increasing by the day. We can only wonder, where will it strike tomorrow. The question, “when will it stop?” is not even an option. It will not stop. It’s part of the war game.

On the other side of the equation, globalized Wall Street, the FED and international financial institutions are strangling poor countries with debt into submission, especially those with natural resources, like hydrocarbons tropical forests, gold and diamonds. All stained in blood.

But finance does not stop there. It comes down to the individual, digitizing cash. Making us a cashless society. It’s good for you. No need for carrying money around. It’s worthless anyway. Going digital, we can control you-and you are safe. The State will never steal your money. They could, but they won’t. Ethics. It’s called Ethics. And we trust them. In God We Trust – and god is money, to be precise – the US Dollar.

Because the US economy is based on war – and the European one is following closely in these bloody footsteps. We are living an economy of destruction, not one of construction

Those who control the economy are those who control the western monetary system, the fraudulent, privately made, owned usurping debt and interest machine; the dollar pyramid, upon which every other western currency depends. Those who control this unspeakable fraud, will eventually control a divided world.

People, there is nothing left to hope for in the west. This could be it. The end-run. And you and me are in it, if we don’t leave it NOW.

We have for too long believed in the treachery of Washington, the false promises, the eternal lies for centuries... we have ‘democratically’ allowed these Washington bandits and the criminal gang that directs them from behind, have stolen our nations sovereignty.

We are doomed. The west is doomed. The west is in its final stage of committing unrelenting suicide by sheer greed and monstrous aggressions and an eternal flood of lies. We are cooked. For good, beyond the threshold of no-return.

The only hope for those of us who may survive, is the East. China, Russia and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) offer an economy of peace. They offer the world, including the west, for those who are not afraid to break loose from the weakening fangs of Washington, an enormous economic and scientific development program – the New Silk Road, or OBOR – One Belt One Road, or OBI for short. The One Belt Initiative – an economy of peace and prosperity offered to the world by China’s President Xi. Wake up, People, wake up – and step out from the western warmongers orbit.


Lifestyle

From TreeHugger: Move over, Marie Kondo. No longer is the question "Does it spark joy?" the new mantra is "Do not fear death cleaning." The ultimate purpose of death cleaning is to minimize the amount of stuff, especially meaningless clutter, that you leave behind for others to deal with.

'Swedish death cleaning' is the new decluttering trend It's not what it sounds like.

That conversation revealed to me the importance of discussing the long-term intentions for one's belongings. If I hadn't said anything, I suspect it would have been decades before my 50-something-year-old mother realized what a burden her stuff would be on the family someday -- and just think of all the additional things she could've accumulated in that time. It makes me shiver.

Enter "Swedish Death Cleaning." (I'm not joking. This is for real.)

The first time I heard the term, I thought it meant some kind of hardcore Scandinavian house-cleaning routine (they take a lot of things seriously there), where you scour your home from top to bottom to the point of physical collapse, as in "working yourself to the bone." Well, I was wrong.

In Swedish, the word is "dostadning" and it refers to the act of slowly and steadily decluttering as the years go by, ideally beginning in your fifties (or at any point in life) and going until the day you kick the bucket. The ultimate purpose of death cleaning is to minimize the amount of stuff, especially meaningless clutter, that you leave behind for others to deal with.

A woman by the name of Margareta Magnusson, who says she's between 80 and 100, has written a book titled "The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to free yourself and your family from a lifetime of clutter." She says she has moved house 17 times over the course of her lifetime, which is why "I should know what I am talking about when it comes to deciding what to keep and what to throw away".


Diseases of Despair By Chris Hedges September 04, 2017 "Information Clearing House"

The opioid crisis, the frequent mass shootings, the rising rates of suicide, especially among middle-aged white males, the morbid obesity, the obsession with gambling, the investment of our emotional and intellectual life in tawdry spectacles and the allure of magical thinking [https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/happiness-in-world/200911/magical-thinking "Magical thinking is defined as believing that one event happens as a result of another without a plausible link of causation. For example: "I got up on the left side of the bed today; therefore it will rain."], from the absurd promises of the Christian right to the belief that reality is never an impediment to our desires, are the pathologies of a diseased culture. They have risen from a decayed world where opportunity, which confers status, self-esteem and dignity, has dried up for most Americans. They are expressions of acute desperation and morbidity.

Plato wrote that the moral character of a society is determined by its members. When the society abandons the common good it unleashes amoral lusts—violence, greed and sexual exploitation—and fosters magical thinking. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus called those who severed themselves from the moral and reality-based universe idiotes. When these idiotes, whose worldview is often the product of relentless indoctrination, form a majority or a powerful minority, the demagogue rises from the morass.

The demagogue is the public face of collective stupidity. Voegelin defined stupidity as a “loss of reality.” This loss of reality meant people could not “rightly orient his [or her] action in the world, in which he [or she] lives.” The demagogue, who is always an idiote, is not a freak or a social mutation. The demagogue expresses the society’s demented zeitgeist. This was true in Nazi Germany. It is true in the United States.

“The fool in Hebrew, the nabal, who because of his folly, nebala, creates disorder in the society, is the man who is not a believer, in the Israelite terms of revelation,” Voegelin wrote. “The amathes, the irrationally ignorant man, is for Plato the man who just does not have the authority of reason or who cannot bow to it.

The stultus for Thomas [Aquinas] is the fool, in the same sense as the amathia of Plato and the nebala of the Israelite prophets. This stultus now has suffered loss of reality and acts on the basis of a defective image of reality and thereby creates disorder. … If I have lost certain sectors of reality from my range of experience, I will also be lacking the language for appropriately characterizing them. That means that parallel to the loss of reality and to stupidity there is always the phenomenon of illiteracy.”

A society convulsed by disorder and chaos, as Voegelin pointed out, elevates and even celebrates the morally degenerate, those who are cunning, manipulative, deceitful and violent. In an open society these attributes are despised and criminalized.

But the social, cultural and moral norms in a diseased society are inverted. The attributes that sustain an open society—a concern for the common good, honesty, trust and self-sacrifice—are detrimental to existence in a diseased society. Today, those who exhibit these attributes are targeted and silenced.

The deep alienation experienced by most Americans, the loss of self-esteem and hope, has engendered what Durkheim referred to as a collective state of anomie. Anomie is a psychological imbalance that leads to prolonged despair, lethargy and yearnings for self-annihilation. It is caused by a collapse of societal norms, ideals, values and standards.

Pope John Paul II in 1981 issued an encyclical titled “Laborem exercens,” or “Through Work.” He attacked the idea, fundamental to capitalism, that work was merely an exchange of money for labor. Work, he wrote, should not be reduced to the commodification of human beings through wages. Workers were not impersonal instruments to be manipulated like inanimate objects to increase profit. Work was essential to human dignity and self-fulfillment. It gave us a sense of empowerment and identity. It allowed us to build a relationship with society in which we could feel we contributed to social harmony and social cohesion, a relationship in which we had purpose.

The pope castigated unemployment, underemployment, inadequate wages, automation and a lack of job security as violations of human dignity. These conditions, he wrote, were forces that negated self-esteem, personal satisfaction, responsibility and creativity. The exaltation of the machine, he warned, reduced human beings to the status of slaves. He called for full employment, a minimum wage large enough to support a family, the right of a parent to stay home with children, and jobs and a living wage for the disabled. He advocated, in order to sustain strong families, universal health insurance, pensions, accident insurance and work schedules that permitted free time and vacations. He wrote that all workers should have the right to form unions with the ability to strike.

We will not bring those who have fled a reality-based world back into our fold through argument. We will not coerce them into submission. We will not find salvation for them or ourselves by supporting the Democratic Party. Whole segments of American society are bent on self-immolation. They despise this world and what it has done to them. Their personal and political behavior is willfully suicidal. They seek to destroy, even if destruction leads to death. We must organize our communities to create a new socialist order and overthrow the corporate state through sustained acts of mass civil disobedience.


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.]


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


Japanese Teehouse: spending time with nature is healing

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.


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.


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.


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.


An 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.




Orangutan makes rain hat for self and baby




from marji@animalplace.org

© Kelly Meehan/Flickr--It's as if someone misplaced a bit of the Caribbean and it ended up in Spain. Photographer Kelly Meehan titled this shot, "What Fairytales Are Made Of....." which seems perfectly appropriate. Kelly writes: The Urederra (which means beautiful river) is a natural exit of the aquifer, created in the rock massif karst of Urbasa, Navarre (Spain).

Rudolph Steiner on Death On December 31, 1905, Rudolf Steiner wrote to his esoteric pupil Paula Stryczek, who had turned to him for advice after the death of Anna Wagner (1847-1905):

Dear Miss Stryczek,

Let me say this to you on the occasion of this unhappy event.

When a person dear to us crosses into the other worlds, it is especially important to send our thoughts and feelings without in any way giving the impression that we want her back, which would make life difficult for her in the new spheres she is entering. What we would send into her worlds is not our own sorrow, but our love for her. Don’t misunderstand me; I do not mean that we must be hardened or indifferent. But it should be possible for us to look toward the dead person and think, “May my love accompany you and surround you.” According to my insights, such feelings give wings to the dead person, whereas the feelings of many mourners (such as, ‘Oh, if you were only still here with us’) become obstacles in her path. This is a general suggestion about how we ought to direct our feelings in such cases.

In inner stillness, say them to yourself three times a day, one of which should be immediately before you fall asleep, so you take them with you into the spiritual world. Ideally, you should fall asleep with the thoughts:

May the offering of my love envelop you, cooling all heat, warming all cold.

May my gift of light carry you upward on wings of love.


Halloween Moon

Curing 'affluenza' needs to become a cultural priority Consumerism and materialism are not the same thing, according to Richard Denniss. The author of "Curing Affluenza: How to buy less stuff and save the world" argues that, if consumerism is about the love of buying things, then materialism is the love of things themselves.

The two words are often used interchangeably, which is problematic; because, when taken literally, Denniss points out that they're actually polar opposites. A true materialist would take pleasure in what he or she owned, not feeling a constant urge to buy new

Consumerism, on the other hand, is a relatively new cultural shift that has proven to be highly addictive -- and dangerous. From an environmental perspective, it's absurd to be using precious resources to generate products that are only used temporarily.

From a financial perspective, it's an enormous waste of money to be shopping constantly and a straight shot to debt. Psychologically, it is unnatural to override humankind's natural and historic inclination toward thriftiness, not to mention mentally exhausting always to be craving the next thing.

Note that Denniss' description does not stop just at appreciating the things we own. It goes beyond that, to embracing non-material items and prioritizing leisure, non-shopping-related activities, and presumably investing in human relationships.


"Anger has its value for the development of the human being. The human being must purify himself, he must overcome anger. Anger is something that works beneficially in that it is overcome. The human being would never be able to reach perfection without conquering anger." - Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 108 – Die Beantwortung von Welt- und Lebensfragen durch Anthroposophie – St. Gallen, November 21, 1909 (page 100) Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger


Thanksgiving

Turkey Trivia FACTS ABOUT THE TURKEY—THE ALL-AMERICAN BIRD!

Why Do Turkeys Gobble?

Only male turkeys, or toms, can gobble, and they mostly do it in the spring and fall. It is a mating call and attracts the hens. Wild turkeys gobble at loud sounds and when they settle in for the night.

~

Could the Turkey Have Been the National Bird?

Ben Franklin thought the turkey would be a better national symbol than the bald eagle. According to the Franklin Institute, he wrote in a letter to his daughter:

“For my own part, I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country; he is a bird of bad moral character; he does not get his living honestly…like those among men who live by sharping and robbing…he is generally poor, and often very lousy. Besides, he is a rank coward; the little king-bird, not bigger than a sparrow, attacks him boldly and drives him out of the district…For in truth, the turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America. Eagles have been found in all countries, but the turkey was peculiar to ours…”

~

How Much Turkey Does a Person Eat per Year?

The average person in the United States will eat 15 pounds of turkey this year.

What’s That Weird Wobbly Thing on a Turkey’s Neck?

The loose red skin attached to the underside of a turkey’s beak is called a wattle. When the male turkey is excited, especially during mating season, the wattle turns a scarlet red. The fleshy flap of skin that hangs over the gobbler’s beak is called a snood and also turns bright red when the bird is excited. The wobbly little thing on the turkey’s chest is the turkey’s beard and is made up of keratin bristles. Keratin is the same substance that forms hair and horns on other animals.

~ Wild Turkey

Is the Turkey Considered a Game Bird?

Yes. In fact, the wild turkey is one of the more difficult game birds to hunt. It won’t be flushed out of the brush with a dog. Instead, hunters must try to attract it with different calls. Even with two seasons a year, only one in six hunters will get a wild turkey.

By the 1930s, almost all of the wild turkeys in the U.S. had been hunted. Today, thanks to conservation programs, there are plenty of wild turkeys—they even invade cities, occasionally!

turkey-flock ~

What is a Baby Turkey Called? And What About Adult Turkeys?

A baby turkey is called a poult, chick, or even turklette. An adult male turkey is called a tom and a female is a hen.

How Big Do Turkeys Get?

The domestic tom can weigh up to 50 pounds, the domestic hen up to 16 pounds. The wild tom can weigh up to 20 pounds, the wild hen up to 12 pounds.

Can Turkeys Fly?

The wild turkey can fly! (It does, however, prefer to walk or run.) The domestic turkey is not an agile flyer, though the bird will perch in trees to stay safe from predators.

How Long do Turkeys Live?

The average life span of a domestic turkey, from birth to freezer, is 26 weeks. During this period of time, it will eat about 75 pounds of turkey feed. The average life span of a wild turkey is three or four years. It generally feeds on seeds, nuts, insects, and berries.



Christmas





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