Silent Dialogues and My presence


“MY PRESENCE—-

“Subtler than space, finer than time, My Presence is ever accessible, though not necessarily easy to reach. Silent dialogue with Me is one of the ways of feeling My presence. If your inner attention is focused on Me, you will sense a delicate tug within you, regardless of the activity you are engaged in.

And you will become aware that I am caring for you, anxious to help you. No activity is insignificant.” “ But you should feel deep in your heart that you need Me in them. Call on Me in the little – nay, in the littlest — things that you do. For then they sprout tiny yet mighty wings which will gracefully transport you to the higher and subtler realms of My presence within you.”

Intimate Conversations With The Awakener, p 8-9
By Bal Natu
Copyright 1998 Sheriar Foundation
Photo inside Baba’s Tomb
By Goodwin harding,
Courtesy Of The Awakener Magazine, vol 17 no 2

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Mind-Heart. Treasures of Learning and Spiritual Wisdom


The mind is the treasure-house of learning but the heart is the treasure-house of spiritual wisdom.

The so-called conflict between religion and science arises only when there is no appreciation of the relative importance of these two types of knowledge.

It is futile to try to glean knowledge of true values by exercise of the mind alone.

Only when the mind accepts its ends and values from the deepest promptings of the heart does it contribute to the life of the spirit.

——-AVATAR MEHER BABA

[Source- Discourses by Meher Baba, volume-I, p-140 (Copyright ©1967 by Adi K. Irani, King’s Rd., Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, India]

Listverse:10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (7/28/18)


OUR WORLD

10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (7/28/18)

RADU ALEXANDER 

With another week gone, let’s wind down and check out some of the stories that made the headlines. Click here to read about all the important goings-on of the world, but otherwise, press on for a dose of the unusual and offbeat.

There were a lot of space-related stories over the last few days. Mars, in particular, had a busy week with news of an underground lake, a dust storm for the ages (more on that below), and efforts to name a new Martian rover. (Yes, they thought of “Rover McRoverface.”) We also check out some bizarre animal behavior, Olympic Games for robots, and footage of the world’s loneliest man.

10DARPA Plans Olympics For Tiny Robots

Photo credit: DARPA

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced a new initiative to develop tiny robots that would work in tough environments where large-scale robots are not effective. The new program, dubbed SHort-Range Independent Microrobotic Platforms (SHRIMP), will seek proposals from third parties, and the best bots will compete against each other in a series of “Olympic-themed competitions.”

Founded 60 years ago, DARPA is an agency of the United States Department of Defense. It has staged these kinds of grand challenges before in efforts to advance revolutionary research with military potential. According to SHRIMP program manager Dr. Ronald Polcawich, this time, the goal is to develop tools which could prove useful in disaster relief, emergency search and rescue, prosthetics, and steerable optics.[1] DARPA is planning to invest $32 million across the projects accepted into the SHRIMP program.

The first step is to receive and review proposals for suitable robots. They need to be smaller than a cubic centimeter and weigh less than a gram to qualify. Eventually, the best designs will be built and will compete head-to-head in a series of challenges, including steeplechase, vertical ascent, shot put, weightlifting, and rock piling. The SHRIMP Olympics is currently slated for 2021.

9Andromeda Cannibalized Our Sibling Galaxy

Photo credit: S. Ozime

According to a new study published in Nature Astronomy, scientists believe that there once was another galaxy similar to our Milky Way which was “devoured” by Andromeda two billion years ago.

Both Milky Way and Andromeda are part of an aggregation of galaxies simply called the Local Group. It contains over 50 galaxies, although the aforementioned two are, by far, the largest ones. Research conducted at the University of Michigan (UM) indicates that there once existed a third galaxy of similar dimensions which was cannibalized when it merged with Andromeda.

The fact that Andromeda, also known as Messier 31 or M31, likes to gobble up its galactic neighbors isn’t news. In fact, this is exactly what UM researchers Richard D’Souza and Eric Bell were studying when they made the discovery. They were running computer simulations to try to piece together the mergers that occurred over the eons. In a self-described “eureka” moment, the duo realized that most of the stars found in the faint outer reaches of Andromeda’s “halo” came from a single merger.[2]

Further simulations revealed a few details about the Milky Way’s departed sibling, dubbed M32p. It was at least 20 times bigger than anything our galaxy ever collided with, and it merged with Messier 31 around two billion years ago. Most interestingly, researchers believe that M32, a satellite galaxy currently orbiting Andromeda, is the remnant of the long-lost galaxy, left over after the galactic giant was finished feasting.

8Amazon Footage Shows Last Surviving Tribesman

Brazilian officials have recently released rare video of an indigenous man living in the Amazon who is believed to be the last surviving member of an uncontacted tribe.

The footage belongs to the country’s National Indian Foundation (Funai) and was actually shot in 2011. The organization hesitated to release it due to not being able to obtain the man’s consent. However, it eventually relented in the hopes that the video will draw attention to the plight of over 100 isolated tribes living in the Amazon whose territory is under threat by loggers, miners, and farmers.

It is believed that the last of the man’s fellow tribesmen were killed in 1995 or 1996, following a run-in with ranchers. Funai has monitored him ever since. They usually keep a safe distance, although they did attempt to make contact in 2005 and were met by a volley of arrows.

Barring that one interaction, the tribesman has been living alone in the jungle for over two decades. The only other image of him is a still from an early-1990s documentary that showed his face partially obscured by foliage. His tracking team refers to him as “the Indian in the hole” due to an unusual pit he dug.[3] Their last sighting was in 2016, but they can tell he is still alive from traces left behind such as footprints, planted fruit, or cut trees.

7Why Do Crows Have Sex With The Dead?

Considered some of the most intelligent animals on the planet, crows have complex reactions when it comes to their own dead. They will alert other crows to the presence of a body. They will remember and avoid people or places connected to the demise of their brethren. Sometimes, they will even gather around a dead crow and hold a “funeral.” And, on rare occasions, they will have sex with the corpse.

Necrophilia in the animal kingdom is a poorly understood subject, but we have a few tidbits of information regarding the practice by crows, thanks to a new paper published by University of Washington student Kaeli Swift.

Back in 2015, Swift was trying to get footage of a crow “funeral” and was filming a taxidermied bird. To her amazement, another crow arrived, but it began flaring its wings and bobbing its tail up and down, displaying behavior anticipatory of sex. Since then, Swift expanded her study and used an array of taxidermy animals to observe the behavior of hundreds of crows.

Her research presented the cases of 309 breeding pairs of corvids. Twenty-four percent of the birds had some kind of physical interaction with the corpses, while four percent tried to have sex with them.[4] Most attempts at necrophilia were also paired with other aggressive behaviors such as mutilation and dismemberment.

As far as a possible motive goes, Swift believes it has to do with a hormonal frenzy. Her study took place between April and August, bookending the breeding season. Most cases of necrophilia happened in late spring, when crow testosterone is at a high. Other crow researchers think this could be the case but believe another study during winter could prove more conclusive.

6Martian Dust Storm Might Destroy The Opportunity Rover

While Earth is experiencing a searing heat wave, Mars has its own weatherproblem—a series of storms created a dust cloud so great that it has almost engulfed the entire planet.

This kind of phenomenon occurs once every six to eight years. It started off as a small-scale storm on May 30, and less than a month later, it had gone global. By now, it has become the strongest dust storm we have ever observed on Mars, and it will last, at least, a couple of months more.

Scientists still don’t know how the storm forms or evolves, so they have every available instrument studying the tempest for clues. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, MAVEN, Curiosity, and the Mars Odyssey are all on the job.

Notable by its absence is the Opportunity rover, which is currently on the surface of the red planet yet has sent no response as of July 18.[5] Because it runs on solar energy, NASA scientists have chosen to suspend scientific activities to preserve the rover’s batteries. They believe the dust layer will act as an insulator which will protect Opportunity from nighttime temperatures it can’t handle but also fear that it will take weeks or even months before such a layer settles. Currently, they estimate it won’t be until September that the dust will clear out enough to enable communication with Opportunityagain. Until then, we won’t know if the rover survived the Martian storm.

5We Opened Another Untouched Tomb

A tomb found in Alexandria garnered a lot of media attention over the past few weeks. It had been untouched for 2,000 years and contained a mysterious black sarcophagus. People let their imaginations run wild, even speculating that it could be the long-lost grave of Alexander the Great. Then we opened it, and the results were underwhelming. A similar discovery went under the radar this week. Archaeologists found an intact grave on the Greek island of Sikinos.

This time, however, opening the tomb didn’t disappoint. The skeleton was intact, her jewelry was still there, and we even know her name thanks to an inscription—Neko.[6] She was a noblewoman buried around 1,800 years ago during the Roman era in the vault of the Episkopi Monument. The structure was later turned into a Byzantine church, but Greek archaeologists now believe that the whole thing was a mausoleum originally built for Neko.

Alongside the skeleton, there were golden rings, wristbands, a necklace, a buckle, vases, and fragments of clothing. Dimitris Athanassoulis, director of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Cyclades, believes the grave managed to elude robbers due to its hidden placement in a blind spot between two walls. Scholars are eager to learn more about Neko and her possible connections to the island of Sikinos.

4Twiggy Water-Skis Into The Sunset

Photo credit: Aaron Lavinsky/AP

After almost 40 years in show business, Twiggy the water-skiing squirrel is retiring. The 39-year-old novelty act had its final performance on Sunday during the X Games in Minneapolis.[7]

Some of you might be aware that squirrels don’t live that long. In fact, this is the seventh Twiggy to don a pair of Styrofoam skis and race around a pool at the back of a remote-controlled boat. Her “mom,” Lou Ann Best, raised and trained all of the squirrels. The first one she found as an orphan after Hurricane David in 1979, and she noticed that it liked to ride on people’s shoulders as they swam in the pool.

Twiggy’s popularity led to several appearances in movies and TV shows, including a cameo as Nutty the water-skiing squirrel in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.

Lou Ann has been using the show to teach kids about water safety ever since her husband drowned over two decades ago. But now she plans to retire to a senior community, and Twiggy is coming with her. She is open to selling the business and letting someone else carry the tradition as long as they will continue promoting water safety.

3A New Scale To Measure Alien Interactions

A team of scientists from the University of St. Andrews and the SETI Institute published a redefined version of the Rio Scale intended to quantify the significance of alien reports.[8]

First devised in 2001, the Rio Scale was mostly used by astronomers to communicate to the public how “excited” they should be following a story potentially involving extraterrestrial phenomenon. The updated version seeks to become more compatible with the world of social media and 24-hour news coverage. Researchers involved are hoping that Rio Scale 2.0 will become somewhat similar to the Richter Scale for earthquakes and will be used automatically whenever there is a story involving possible alien interaction.

The ranking system comes with a Rio Scale Calculator available online, which anyone can use to determine the value of an event. The scale takes into account the likelihood of the event and the reliability of the source but also considers how such an event, even if real, would impact humanity. The final value is a number between 0 (None) and 10 (Extraordinary). Rio Scale 2.0 is awaiting official ratification by the International Academy of Astronautics Permanent Committee.

2Naturists Versus Crested Larks

An attempt by Belgian naturists to open the country’s second nudist beachwas met with opposition by wildlife officials, who complained that their presence and “subsidiary activities” would pose a threat to the crested lark.

At the moment, there is only one nudist beach in Belgium, in Bredene. However, Koen Meulemans, chair of the Belgian Naturism Federation, says that is no longer enough. More and more people in the country are looking for holidays where they can cast off their clothes and go back to nature. The federation has 17 clubs and 8,200 paying members, an increase of 600 from two years ago. A quiet spot near Westende would have made a perfect location for a second nudist beach, as there are no buildings or dykes that look out onto it.

However, officials from the Flemish Agency for Nature and Woodland objected to the proposition due to the effect this would have on the crested lark.[9] Specifically, they worry that sex in the dunes will scare off the locally treasured birds. Meulemans criticized the practice, saying such behavior is not indicative of true naturists, but it does happen.

The initial solution involved the building of a barbed wire fence surrounding the dunes where the larks breed. However, this was shut down by Bredene mayor Steve Vandenberghe, who said that barbed wire would not be a strong deterrent against a man without clothes.

1Star Proves Einstein Right

Photo credit: ESO and M. Kornmesser

One of the processes predicted by Einstein’s theory of general relativity is called gravitational redshift. When an object approaches something with an incredibly powerful gravitational pull, the light it emits is stretched to longer wavelengths, becoming redder. We have proven the concept with lab experiments but have never actually seen it “in the wild,” until now. Scientists finally made the observation after decades of waiting when a star experienced gravitational redshift as it passed near the black hole at the center of our galaxy.

Astronomers first started tracking the star, dubbed S2, in the early 1990s. Since then, they’ve been patiently waiting for it to complete its elliptical orbit around the black hole, located roughly 26,000 light-years from us.

S2 got as close as it’s ever going to get on May 18 this year. Instruments from all over the world were pointing at it. When it reached its periapsis, the star accelerated to 7,600 kilometers per second (4,700 mi/s), or three percent the speed of light.[10] The results, published in Astronomy & Astrophysics by an international team of scientists, confirmed that light from the star was affected by the gravitational pull of the black hole and experienced a redshift.

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Listverse:10 Rumored Locations Of The Lost Amber Room


MYSTERIES

OLENE QUINN 

 

The story of the Amber Room has all of the elements of an Indiana Jonesfilm: the bounty of kings, the spoils of war, theft by dastardly Nazis, a tireless search by the Soviet Union, mysterious deaths, and a priceless treasure waiting to be found.

Construction of the opulent “Eighth Wonder of the World” began at the command of the king of Prussia in 1701. Although estimates of its size vary, the Amber Room was believed to span about 55 square meters (592 ft2) after 18th-century renovations. It contained over six tons of amber backed by glittering gold and set with diamonds, rubies, and emeralds.

As a peace symbol between allies, the Amber Room was moved from its place in Charlottenburg Palace twice—once to Winter House in St. Petersburg and then to Catherine Palace in Pushkin. As an act of war, the room was moved once more before being lost forever.

In 1941, invading Nazi soldiers tore down the room, packed its panels into 27 crates, and shipped it to Konigsberg (now Kaliningrad), Germany. When the city was destroyed by Allied bombing in 1943, the room went missing.

In subsequent years, governments, historians, archaeologists, bounty hunters, and treasure seekers alike have sought it out, interviewing thousands of witnesses, poring over records, digging up locations all over Europe, and spending fortunes along the way. As of this writing, the room has never been found.

10Unmoved From Kaliningrad, Germany

Photo via Wikimedia

Although the prominent theory holds that the Amber Room must have been destroyed by the bombs which rained down upon the city then called Konigsberg, some evidence contradicts this. In over 1,000 pages of reports compiled by the decade-long Soviet investigation, no witnesses attest to any unusual odors as the city burned. Officers involved in this investigation believed that it would be impossible to miss the equivalent of 6 tons of incense burning at once.

In 1997, a German raid in Bremen lent credence to the idea that the room had survived the bombing.[1] One of its Florentine mosaic panels turned up for auction. After its seizure, the panel was authenticated but the seller claimed ignorance as to its origin. His father, a deceased Wehrmacht soldier, never shared the secret of the panel, not even with his own flesh and blood.

9Hidden In A Silver Mine On The Czech Border

Photo credit: helmutgaensel.com

Helmut Gaensel was a bounty hunter. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the bounty he hunted was the bejeweled panels of the Amber Room. Former SS officers living in Brazil had tipped him off to a location. According to them, the panels were deposited in the 800-year-old Nicolai Stollen mine near the border between Germany and the Czech Republic.

Gaensel was not the only man to hear the tale. While he and a team of engineers, mining experts, and historians attempted to dig into the mine from the German side, a rival group led by Peter Haustein, then mayor of the town of Deutschneudorf, tried burrowing in from the Czech side. Though the competition led to international headlines and legal headaches, neither team proved successful.[2]

8Covered In A Murky Lagoon

The mayor of the Lithuanian town of Neringa believed that the Amber Room was hidden beneath the dirty waters of a nearby lagoon. According to Stasys Mikelis, SS soldiers were seen attempting to hide wooden crates in the shoreline near the end of the war. They did not count on rising sea levels to submerge their loot.[3]

Not only did Mikelis believe it, he assembled a research team in 1998 to find it, hoping to put his town on the map. His dream was not realized.

7Lost In A Bavarian Woodland

Georg Stein was a strawberry farmer and an avid treasure hunter. His heart was set on finding the Amber Room, but he got too close according to some sources.

Stein claimed to have discovered a secret radio frequency and to have listened to the last-known communication about the transfer of the Amber Room. This message was reportedly sent from the Castle Lauenstein on the border of Thuringia on a direct shortwave to Switzerland.

Stein then arranged to meet a “search competitor” in Bavaria. The meeting was not to be. In 1987, Stein was found dead in the woodland.[4] His body was stripped, his stomach slashed open with a scalpel. The death was ruled a suicide.

6Beneath Wuppertal, Western Germany

Photo credit: NBC News

Pensioner Karl-Heinz Kleine believes that he knows the location of the Amber Room and who hid it there. According to Kleine, the Nazi’s chief administrator in East Prussia, Erich Koch, secreted the treasure in his hometown of Wuppertal in the industrial Ruhr area.[5]

It would not be a far stretch to imagine it of Koch. Even the Nazis were appalled by his brazen thefts and use of concentration camp inmates for personal gain. Koch was tried for corruption before a Nazi court in 1944 and sentenced to death. Later reprieved, he returned to favor and continued amassing his personal fortune until the end of the war.

Once captured in Poland, he was sentenced to death for the murder of 72,000 Poles and for sending another 200,000 to labor camps. But he escaped his sentence yet again. Koch’s ill health prevented Poland from carrying out his death sentence, and he lived in prison for 27 years, unrepentant to the last.

5Shipwrecked In The Baltic Sea

Photo credit: historyinanhour.com

The sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff on the night of January 30, 1945, was the worst disaster in maritime history. Under the press of the Red Army and rumored defeat, a great evacuation of German civilians began on the Baltic Sea. Every seaworthy vessel was placed into service.

So it was that the Wilhelm Gustloff, a luxury liner designed for fewer than 2,000 people, carried 10,582 shivering evacuees on that fateful night. It was flanked by only one military escort, which stood no chance when a Soviet submarine fired three torpedoes at the Gustloff. Each torpedo hit its target. An estimated 9,343 people died that night, half of them children.

The exact location of the Gustloff has long been known and searched. But some still claim that it may contain the hidden remains of the Amber Room. As the wreckage of the Gustloff is recognized as a war grave, diving to it, penetrating it, or both is illegal. But a lack of resources has left Polish authorities unable to protect it.[6]

4Aboard A Ghost Train, Walbrzych, Southwest Poland

Photo credit: The Telegraph

It has long been said that a Nazi train loaded with treasure was lost in secret tunnels under a mountain in Walbrzych. Nobody knows the name of the train, its mission, or from where its precious cargo came.

Some speculate that the lack of written evidence of the train strengthens their hypothesis. Secrecy, the theory goes, was more important than paperwork, even to the Germans. Some theorize that the train may have carried the stolen wedding bands and other personal jewels of interned Jews, while others insist that the train bore the crated panels of the Amber Room.[7]

In 2015, two men, a German and a Pole, claimed to have found the train. The local government of Walbrzych refused to comment on the matter except to warn that the train may be booby-trapped by mines if it exists.

3In a Bunker In Mamerki, Northeastern Poland

Photo credit: Ancient Origins

In 2016, officials of the Mamerki Museum reported to have found a hidden room inside a World War II–era bunker using geo-radar. Bartlomiej Plebanczyk of the museum believed it possible that the panels of the Amber Room were hidden inside.

His theory was based upon the testimony of a turncoat Nazi soldier. In the 1950s, the former Nazi told Polish soldiers that he had witnessed heavily guarded cargo trucks delivering their load to the bunker in winter 1944.[8]

2Buried In Tunnels Under The Ore Mountains In Eastern Germany

In 2017, treasure hunters Leonhard Blume, Peter Lohr, and Gunter Eckhardt claimed to have deduced the location of the room via archival and radarsleuthing. Both the East German and Russian secret police held years-long searches for the Amber Room. It is from their records that these men reportedly found a clue as to the room’s whereabouts.

Eyewitnesses claimed that a shipment of crates had been hidden inside the tunnels. The entrance to the tunnels, they said, was then blown up. Blume, Lohr, and Eckhardt eagerly surveyed the “Prince’s Cave” near the Czech border, and the results were astounding.

Mr. Blume said, “We discovered a very big, deep, and long tunnel system and we detected something that we think could be a booby trap.” Their search continues.[9]

1A Secret Russian Location Known By Stalin

Photo credit: Branson DeCou

The impending raid of Winter Palace was known to the officials and curators of Catherine Palace. According to the official record, they attempted to disassemble and hide the Amber Room. When the brittle panels began to crumble, they chose to wallpaper over them instead. But they could not outwit the Nazis, who discovered the trick almost at once.

This conspiracy theory holds that Joseph Stalin fooled the soldiers after all. The panels they stole were replicas, while the real Amber Room had already been shipped off and hidden elsewhere. If true, the Amber Room may have been cleverly saved, only to be lost forever.[10]

Random Acts of Kindness – Must keep repeating that we like. ..


  1. No matter how annoying they can be, tell your siblings how much you appreciate them
  2. Share today’s food with your neighbour!
  3. Support a small, local business as a customer
  4. Know someone who is not coping very well? Give them a call
  5. Feed a stray animal if you spot one

Startpreneur news from my fav Newsletter


Inc42 Logo
News Roundup: 11 Indian Startup News Stories That You Don’t Want To Miss This Week
One of the biggest Indian startup news stories of the week was that an Amazon delivery boy and employee were arrested for cheating. Also, US-based footwear brand Skechers has been offered an out-of-court settlement by the walmart-backed company Flipkart. Let’s have a look at these and other important startup news stories of the week.
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This week 19 startups raised around $152.46 Mn funding altogether. One of the biggest Indian startup funding this week was raised by Bengaluru-based insurtech startup Digit Insurance raised $44 Mn. In another development, there are speculations around online retailer eBay to join forces with ecommerce company ShopClues to relaunch its platform in India.
Once fallen to below $5K, slowly and steadily, Bitcoin is getting its charm back. Riding high on Bitcoin which is currently trading at $8.2K, the cryptocurrency market cap too, is ready to hit $300 Bn. Meanwhile, the Law Commission of India in its report submitted to the Minister of Law and Justice has recommended cryptocurrency as one of the cashless means for gambling transactions. Let’s take a look at this week’s development in cryptocurrency!
This week Mobikwik’s Chief Risk Officer, Puneet Agarwal has resigned from the company. Also, another shaker of the week was Sagar Das, the co-founder of Autoportal, who announced that he has quit the company. Let’s have a look at some of the other movers and shakers in the Indian startup ecosystem.
Uttar Pradesh govt to build blockchain infra for data security, TRAI taps blockchain to curb unsolicited calls, Walmart pilots blockchain project to procure farm produce in UP, Google partners with digital asset, BlockApps to push blockchain development & much more…
To discuss the growing trend of freelancing among Indian women, Inc42 and PayPal hosted a webinar — Nailing The Balancing Act: Women Freelancers in India — as part of the ongoing webinar series — The Rising Freelance Economy. Incase you missed it, get all the insights here…
During the media interaction, when asked about an inspiring global business personality, Sharma said, “I’ve interacted with Jack Ma (Alibaba) and Masayoshi Son (SoftBank). I also saw Steve Jobs (Apple) at a close distance. I wish I had interacted with him. But for this (occasion), I will pick Masayoshi Son (Softbank). Masa is not a man of a few billion dollars, but hundreds of billions.”

Did You Know…


Did you know…

… that today is Tupperware Day? Celebrate the birthday of Karl Silas Tupper (1907) today, inventor of Tupperware, an airtight plastic container for storing food. The formerly patented “burping seal” is a famous aspect of Tupperware, which distinguishes it from competitors.

~~~

Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“Let’s not look back in anger, or forward in fear, but around in awareness.”

— James Thurber