10 Lesser-Known Wartime Nurses Who Displayed Amazing Heroism


10 Lesser-Known Wartime Nurses Who Displayed Amazing Heroism

A.C. GRIMES 

 

When people think of wartime nurses, names like Florence Nightingale spring to mind. But countless lesser-known nurses also made valuable contributions. Unfortunately, history’s memory bank is a lot like a financial bank: when making a large withdrawal, requesting large units of currency often makes the most sense. If asking a teller for $1,000, we would rather request ten $100 bills than 100,000 pennies.

Similarly, when learning about an enormous conflict, we prefer not to study every individual involved in it. Rather, we focus on bigger figures like Florence Nightingale, the $100 bills of history. But sometimes, the pennies of history are actually priceless gems. The following lesser-known nurses saved lives while showing otherworldly courage and toughness.

10Augusta Chiwy

Photo credit: Task & Purpose

On Christmas Eve 1944, volunteer nurse Augusta Chiwy nearly became a human Yule log. A bomb decimated her aid station in Bastogne, Belgium, killing 30 people. Remarking on her brush with oblivion, Chiwy reportedly quipped, “A black face in all that white snow was a pretty easy target. Those Germans must be terrible marksmen.”

Chiwy was just that tough. Born to an African mother and Belgian father, she was visiting her father for the holidays when the Battle of the Bulge began. Chiwy was a trained nurse and offered her services to an American physician whose assistants had been killed.[1] Of her own volition, Chiwy withstood a blizzard of bombs and subfreezing cold. She was undernourished, overworked, and sometimes the subject of racism from the soldiers she treated.

Chiwy helped hundreds of American soldiers, even bathing them with boiled snow. But for roughly 70 years, she went unacknowledged. In 2011, the king of Belgium awarded Chiwy the Order of the Crown, and the US government honored her with the Civilian Award for Humanitarian Service.

9Elsie Knocker And Mairi Chisholm

Photo credit: Imperial War Museum

People called them “the mad Englishwomen,” but one of them was Scottish, and both were just insanely brave. Elizabeth “Elsie” Knocker and Mairi Chisholm (the Scot) traveled to Belgium at the outset of World War I to work as ambulance drivers. The women shared a love of motorcycles and soon shared an idea that made them legends.

While transporting troops, Knocker noticed a serious problem. Because of the distance she had to travel, soldiers often died of shock before reaching the hospital. She proposed treating wounded soldiers near the front lines but was roundly rejected. Women weren’t allowed within 5 kilometers (3 mi) of all that bloodshed. Ignoring orders, she and Chisholm established a makeshift medical facility 4.6 meters (15 ft) from a trench.[2]

Working from the cellar of a dilapidated house, the duo dispensed aid to an estimated 23,000 casualties over four years. They also attracted attention from prominent people like Marie Curie (who discovered radium) and the king of Belgium. Their efforts earned them medals in 1915 from the king himself. The women soldiered on until 1918, when a gas attack incapacitated them.

8Vivian Bullwinkel

Photo credit: The Telegraph

During World War II, Vivian Bullwinkel (who later went by her married name Vivian Statham) wanted to join the Australian Air Force, but her flat feet disqualified her. Undeterred from serving, she became an Australian Army Nurse in 1941. The following year, she served in Singapore but was forced to flee alongside 64 other nurses. Unfortunately, Japanese torpedoes intercepted their ship.

Only 22 nurses made it off the ship alive. Bullwinkel latched onto a lifeboat and floated for hours until she and the remaining nurses reached the island of Bangka. One day later, Japanese forces rounded up all the women, marched them to the sea, and shot them. Only Bullwinkel survived.[3] A bullet pierced her abdomen but missed all her vital organs. Bullwinkel feigned death until the coast was clear and then spent 12 days treating injured British soldiers on the island.

Soon, they surrendered to the Japanese. To avoid being shot again, Bullwinkel hid her nurse’s uniform. She lived as a POW for three years, secretly documenting the torture she endured on Bible pages. Her weight dropped to a skeletal 25 kilograms (56 lb), but all the while, she continued caring for the sick and wounded. After the war, Bullwinkel became Australia’s most decorated nurse.

7Regina Aune

Photo credit: Aryn Lockhart

During the last month of the Vietnam War, President Gerald Ford launched Operation Babylift, a program that transported South Vietnamese orphans to the Philippines and the United States. The first flight literally crashed and burned. An explosion caused the plane to slide across a rice paddy, go airborne for 0.8 kilometers (0.5 mi), and then slam into an irrigation ditch, where it split into four sections.

Aboard the aircraft were 250 orphans, dozens of crew members, and Nurse Regina Aune. The crash sent Aune flying across the plane’s upper deck. The accident fractured one of her feet, one of her legs, and one of her vertebrae.[4]But it didn’t break her will to save lives. Aune carried 80 children to safety. Once she exhausted all of her strength, she asked to be relieved from her duties and then lost consciousness.

Because of her heroism, Aune became to first woman to receive the Cheney Award for valor by an airman.

6Eleanor Thompson And Meta Hodge


Generally speaking, hospitals are where people are cured, not killed. But warsometimes blurs that distinction. In World War I, hospitals turned into targets thanks to the advent of air raids. In 1918, the Germans attacked a series of medical facilities in France. Among them was Canadian Stationary Hospital Number 3, located in Doullens. A bomb hit in the middle of an operation, instantly killing three people.

The blast also buried nurses Eleanor Thompson and Meta Hodge under rubble. Rather than running for their lives once they resurfaced, the die-hard duo started putting out fires and turning over coal heaters to prevent patients’ beds from bursting into flames. They then oversaw the evacuation of the patients, ignoring their own injuries until everyone else was safe.[5]They were among the first Canadian women ever to be awarded for valor.

5The Angels Of Bataan And Corregidor

Photo credit: History.com

Before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, many American nurses traveled to the Philippines in search of sunshine and adventure. But in December 1941, the sky was darkened by incoming fighter pilots. After wreaking havoc in Hawaii, the Japanese took aim at Manila.

The nurses sought refuge in the muggy jungles of Bataan, where they looked after 6,000 patients and battled malaria, diminishing food supplies, and constant bombing by the Japanese. As conditions worsened, American forces escaped to the island of Corregidor. There, nurses operated in an underground hospital.[6] Eventually, the GIs reached their breaking point, and the nurses reached a crossroads.

The nurses could either retreat or remain with the POWs. Many chose to stay, forsaking freedom for the sake of helping sick and wounded troops. When the Japanese restricted the prisoners’ daily nourishment to 700 calories, the nurses supposedly fed the men roots, flowers, and even weeds cooked in cream. After more than two years of brutal captivity, they were freed. The nurses were hailed not only as heroes but as angels.

4Mary Fleming And Aileen Turner

Photo credit: H. Mason

Mary Fleming and Aileen Turner were Irish nurses assigned to the tuberculosis ward at Grove Park Hospital in London. Unfortunately, patients weren’t the sickest thing they saw. In 1940, Germany rained bombs on London, striking the hospital in the process. Seventeen TB patients were trapped until Fleming and Turner guided them to safety.

Even reaching the patients required a heroic effort. Tuner and Fleming had to climb through a window and crawl along a floor on the verge of collapsing. Then they had to shepherd a procession of sick people past burst pipes that spewed burning steam.[7] They succeeded just in the nick of time. Moments after the evacuation, the floor of the TB ward gave way. Afterward, they were awarded the George Medal.

3Ellen Savage

Singing with a fractured jaw sounds extremely difficult. Sister Ellen Savage managed to sing with a broken jaw, broken ribs, and broken people who needed her help. An Australian Army nurse during World War II, Savage sustained severe injuries when the Japanese destroyed her hospital ship, the Centaur.[8] But as the only surviving nurse, she took it upon herself to help the other survivors.

Savage hid her injuries and tended to other hurt passengers. When everyone’s mood sank like a ship, she tried to keep their spirits afloat by leading a sing-along. The group must have sung a long time. Trapped on a raft, they watched helplessly as ships and planes passed without noticing them. And while Savage had to deal with a broken jaw, all the survivors worried about the jaws of the sharks that circled them.

Savage steered the group through those discouraging moments without hinting at the agony she must have felt. She was later honored with the George Medal for her courageous conduct.

2James Gennari

In 2012, helicopter flight nurse James Gennari was stationed in Afghanistan when he was as told a three-year-old who’d been shot was headed his way. But when the patient’s flight arrived, there was no child in sight. Instead, Gennari was greeted by a grown man with an explosive lodged in his left thigh.[9]

A 20-year-old Marine had been shot with a 36-centimeter-long (14 in) rocket-propelled grenade intended for tanks. Luckily, the grenade did not detonate; unluckily, a wrong move could have easily changed that fact. Clearly, a scalpel wouldn’t cut it in this situation. However, there was a bombexpert on hand. Gennari was given the option to vacate the area, but he stayed and helped the expert dislodge the grenade.

The ordeal did not end there. Blood came rushing from the Marine’s leg, and Gennari had to stem the hemorrhaging while keeping his patient’s airways open. He then had to help the Marine breathe manually because the ventilator malfunctioned. Gennari’s noble efforts earned him a Bronze Star.

1Beatrice MacDonald

World War I nurses commonly faced finger infections, pathogens, and physical exhaustion from assisting patients nonstop. Those who worked near the front line also confronted enemy fire. Beatrice MacDonald witnessed that danger firsthand in 1917. While working at a casualty cleaning station, she became a casualty of an air raid. Shrapnel slashed one of her eyes, which had to be removed.[10]

Despite losing an eye, MacDonald insisted on seeing the war through to the end. When ordered to return home, she replied, “I have just started doing my bit.” She continued aiding soldiers until the armistice. For the incredible bit of work she did, MacDonald earned the Distinguished Service Cross.

10 Infamous Cases Of Stigmata


10 Infamous Cases Of Stigmata

THETA O’NEAL 

 

Christianity thrives around the world. People devote their entire lives to a being they cannot see, touch, or feel. They run purely on faith. There are some faithful servants, however, who endure the ultimate mark of their religion. Seen as blessed, these people bear the wounds of Christ’s crucifixion—the stigmata.

Many believe stigmata to be a blessing to the holiest of servants, those saints among men who’ve been touched by Christ. Skeptics, on the other hand, believe that it is merely a medical problem, self-harm, or other explainable malady. The world may never truly know how stigmata appears on the bodies of those chosen, but each case is a parable of interest.

10St. Catherine De Ricci

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

St. Catherine de Ricci (baptized as Alexandrina) was born in Florence, Italy, in 1522. Long before her time as a saint, Catherine showed great dedication to the Catholic religion. As a small child, she showed a great interest in prayer, and at a mere six years of age, her father placed Catherine in a convent with her aunt, Louisa De Ricci. At 14, she was chosen as mistress of novices and then as perpetual prioress at 25.

That all seems pretty normal for the life of a saint, but things took a turn when St. Catherine started up with her ecstasies of passion. From 1542 to 1554, every Thursday and Friday, Catherine would go into a trance in which she would experience the events of Christ’s passion and would “act out” those events. During this time, St. Catherine also experienced the stigmata. She would show bloody wounds on her hands, feet, and head, depicting the crucifixion. With the power of the stigmata and the intensity of St. Catherine’s passions of Christ, she passed into a mystical marriage with Jesus, and in 1542, she was given a ring to symbolize that she was a bride of Christ.

As her “mystical marriage” and stigmata continued, revelers would come from far and wide to see St. Catherine during her passionate moments, but people were so disturbed by her stigmatic wounds and her behaviors during her flights of ecstatic passion that they finally quit coming to see her.[1]Wouldn’t you know it, when the crowds stopped coming, so did the stigmata and the passions. Apparently being blessed with the stigmata only comes when the crowds are big and devout!

9Father James Bruse

There have only been three known stigmatic priests in the 20th century, and Father James Bruse is one of them. Bruse’s journey into the world of stigmatics began in November 1991, when while at his parents’ home, he realized that their religious statues would weep water from their eyes when he entered the room. It began with just one statue, Our Lady of Grace, and then any religious statue he was around would begin to weep; it is thought by Bruse and his followers that thousands of statues wept in his presence.

The day after Christmas of the same year, however, Bruse knew something was changing in his spiritual life. He began to complain of sharp pains in his wrists. Shortly after he experienced this pain, blood began to seep from the unbroken skin on his wrists, feet, and his right side. Bruse had been “blessed” with the stigmata, the wounds of Christ. Along with his newfound stigmatic marks, Bruse also claimed to be able to heal, both spiritual and physically. The stigmata brought him the power to patch up the people in his congregation, but more importantly to Bruse, the influence of the stigmata brought him the power to bring more people back to the church.

Though the stigmata, for Bruse, had great power and allowed him to be on a higher level spiritually, the Diocesan Chancery in Virginia did not make any claims about the authenticity of the stigmata, and because there wasn’t an obvious religious message attached to Bruse receiving the stigmata, they were not willing to put out any ecclesiastical declarations about the situation.[2] Was it an elaborate hoax to bring in believers, or was it a real case of stigmata? If the Diocese can’t make a claim to its authenticity, neither can the average Joe.

8Natuzza Evolo

Photo credit: Rosario Ruffa

Natuzza Evolo was born in Calabria on August 23, 1924. Born into a fatherless family wrought with poverty, Evolo and her siblings were known locally as bastard children. Poverty kept Evolo from school, and she was illiterate her entire life. Often described as a “serene child,” Evolo began praying to the Virgin Mary at an early age for relief from her strife. At six years old, she was given the “gift” of being able to see Jesus, the Virgin Mary, angels, and saints. Her pastor at the time, though impressed by the gift the child had received, told her to keep all this information to herself for her own safety. In 1934, Natuzza’s mother was arrested, and she and her siblings were cast out by the landlady. With nowhere to sleep or stay safe, Evolo prayed to the Madonna to keep her safe and find her shelter. Apparently, while praying, Evolo heard a voice say, “Courage! I will find you a place to live.” A few days later, she was safe and sound in a communal dwelling.

Things in Evolo’s life got a bit more spiritual in the years to come. Throughout her life, she still spoke with Jesus and the Virgin Mary, but she was also afflicted with the markings of Christ; the stigmata ravaged her body and made her painful and bloody every Friday and through the entirety of Lent. During those times, she would lock herself away because the pain from the stigmata was too much for her to bear.[3] Her stigamatic wounds were very profound in that they had the ability to produce hemography, or writing produced by blood. Starting at age 16, Evolo would experience writing and symbols being produced from the blood which wept from her stigmata wounds. Any linen, garment, or other material that touched her weeping skin would come away with markings that were always Christian in nature. Many wanted their own pieces of hemography from Evolo, but they could never be produced on the spot. This “miraculous” writing ability took place on and off during her entire life until her death in 2009.

The power of her blessing of stigmata, as well as her talks with Jesus and His mother, were compounded by the fact that they gave Evolo the power to heal. She could apparently look directly at a person and thoroughly diagnose what was causing their ailments, using correct medical terminology. Evolo would then tell them how to cure themselves. If healing wasn’t good enough, Evolo could also tell the future and spoke languages she had never heard before. Remember that Evolo was illiterate; how could someone with no formal training know multiple languages but not be able to read or write? She never accepted money for her work and had many devout followers. Today, she still has devotees who worship her via her Immaculate Heart of Mary, Refuge of Souls Foundation, which she established during her life. Miracle worker or fantastic hoaxer? Her devotees believe in her powers, while doubters are unsure. The secret died with Evolo.

7Marie Rose Ferron

Photo credit: Mystics of the Church

Marie Rose Ferron, known lovingly in history as “Little Rose,” was born on May 24, 1902, in Quebec, Canada. At age three, her family moved to the United States, taking up residence in Massachusetts. She is the first documented person in the United States to bear the markings of the stigmata. Rose, along with her other 14 siblings, were all dedicated to one of the mysteries of the rosary by their mother. Prophetically, Rose was dedicated to the crucifixion of Christ. By six years of age, Rose was already very pious and was seeing visions of the Child Jesus. At seven, Rose was taught, by Jesus himself, a French prayer that she said every day until her death. At 13, Rose became ill, and her hand and foot became paralyzed. The Holy Spirit pulled through again for Marie, as she took holy water one morning after mass, and her hand instantly worked perfectly. Sadly, the holy water only helped with her hand, and she had to remain on crutches for nearly 12 years.

Beginning at age 24, Rose began experiencing Christ’s pain as well as stigmata. In 1926, the stigmata of flagellation appeared as lashings on her back. In 1927, the stigmatic odds were raised, as Rose began to show the crucifixion marks of Christ, weeping marks on her hands and feet. In January 1928, Christ’s crown of thorns was starting to make its mark on Rose’s head. August 1929 marked the first time that Rose cried tears of blood from her eyes. Rose stopped displaying signs of the stigmata on August 1, 1930, but the pain she felt rose to its highest intensity. She suffered crippling agony, and her stigmata wounds would turn purple and ooze an unidentified serum.

It was around this time that rumors began to circulate that all her wounds were faked and that her pain was a hoax. Even many family members turned against Rose. Her spiritual advisor at the time, Father Joseph Baril, even told Rose that her spiritual life was built on “false foundations,” and she began to believe that she was possibly deceived by some illusion. Through her stigmatic time and then afterward while being considered a fraud, Rose was constantly in contact with Christ. She asked Him once, during one of her ecstasies, how much longer it would be until she met Him in Heaven. He told her she would die at age 33.

In April 1936, just a month before her 34th birthday, Rose began to show increasingly intense symptoms: first fainting, followed by the inability to eat or drink and a headache so intense that she was unconscious frequently. Lastly, Rose went deaf and blind. She died on May 11.[4] She almost missed the 33-year mark set by Jesus. Was this girl a true stigmatic plagued with ecstasies of the strife of Christ, or was she the fraud that everyone thought she was at the end of her life? Illusion or fact, Rose’s life was one for the religious books.

6Zlatko Sudac

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Zlatko Sudac was born in 1971 in Vrbnik on Krk island, Croatia. He served in the Yugoslav army in his younger years, and in 1993, he began studying for Roman Catholic priesthood. Within five years, Sudac was ordained a diocesan priest and started serving the community in Krk. After being instated as a priest, Sudac found himself busy with parish life, and nothing seemed amiss until the next year, when things took an unexpected turn.

On April 7, 1999, Sudac received the first mark of the stigmata. It took the form of a cross “imprinted” deeply on his forehead. Concerned for Sudac, his bishop sent him to a clinic in Rome. He remained here for 40 days, and he was tested and investigated intensely. Though it was not concluded that the mark was of divine origin, the hospital and doctors explained that there was no medical reason behind the marking of the cross on Sudac’s forehead. Nearly a year after the cross imprinted on his forehead, Sudac was marked again, this time by true stigmata markings. On October 4, 2000, Sudac received the wounds of Christ on his feet, wrists, and side. Coincidentally, this is the same day of the feast of St. Francis of Assisi—the first known stigmatist.[5]

Along with his stigmata, the power of mysticism flows in the body of Sudac. It is claimed that Sudac has the gift of illumination, the reading of souls, the odor of sanctity, and bilocation, which is the act of being in two places simultaneously. Being young and bearing the stigmata, Sudac has followers all over the world. People line up for days to attend his masses. Church officials are quoted as saying, “No church is big enough for Sudac now.” People are intrigued and mystified by Sudac’s stigmata, and they clamor to churches to view him. Ironically, Sudac doesn’t show his stigmata marks during his masses . . . which seems to be the reason devotees are showing up in the first place.

Until 2010, Sudac was a retreat leader at Beathany Retreat House on the Island of Losinj. Along with being a priest and stigmata bearer, he also has an affinity for art and creates pieces for churches and private homes. Stigmata and art; devotees and money. These are apparently matches made in Heaven.

5Padre Pio Of Pietrelcina

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Francis Forgione, later known as Padre Pio and then Saint Pio, was born May 25, 1887, in Pietrelcina, Italy. His parents entrusted his life to St. Francis of Assisi, which is why he was baptized as Francis the day after his birth. Apparently a disruptive baby, Francis would cry endlessly. His father, frustrated by the continuous crying, is quoted as saying, “It seems like the Devil has been born in my house.” From that point on, Francis never cried like that ever again.

A member of a deeply religious family, Francis spent much time at the Church of Saint Mary of the Angels; he was baptized, received his first communion, and was confirmed there. A young, pious child, he saw an apparition of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at a mere five years of age. He told Francis then that he would be His follower for life. Dedicating his life at that age marked him forever, and Francis began having visions of the Virgin Mary, which would continue his entire life. A busy five-year-old, Francis also made a deal with his guardian angel, with whom he could communicate to follow all the missions of God.

At the age of 16, Francis entered the novitiate of the Capuchin Friars, and he took the Franciscan habit and the name Brother Pio. He took his vows on January 27, 1907, and became an ordained priest on August 10, 1910. In September of the same year, he was sent to the friary of San Giovanni Rotondo, where he remained until his death in 1968.

In 1910, Padre Pio first started receiving the marks of the stigmata. He wrote a letter to his spiritual director at the time discussing the “red stains” in the middle of his hands accompanied by “intense pain.” These wounds and pains came and went, leaving Padre Pio with only the memory of the marks. The stigmata was not through with Padre Pio, however. After having his heart experience transverberation, or the lance of love, the stigmata made its appearance again—and this time for good. A month after experiencing the transverberation, Padre Pio received his first visual markings of Christ’s passion. Padre Pio described the occurrence of the stigmata in great detail in a letter to his director. He recounted a great light blinding him and Christ bleeding from him internally. Rays of light came out of his feet, hand, and side. After the vision had ended, he found himself upon the floor with the bleeding wounds. Through the pain, he prayed hymns of gratitude to God.

His fellow Capuchins, marveled by the appearance of Christ’s passion, had religious medical professionals examine Padre Pio. They decided that the marks were definitely of divine origin.[6] People became obsessed with Padre Pio and his stigmata. They flocked from all over the world to gaze upon him and his newly acquired abilities. After receiving the stigmata, Padre Pio could perform miracles. He was an avid healer of the masses and, in many instances, was claimed to be able to levitate. However, his popularity became a concern for the church, and they limited access to Padre Pio for a time. More investigations were done to confirm the authenticity of the stigmata. In 1934, years after the church came to terms with his stigmata and his fame, it let Padre Pio assume his duties again.

Though canonized and revered as a saint, Padre Pio is still touted as a fraud. Historian Sergio Luzzatto released a book entitled Padre Pio: Miracles and Politics in a Secular Age, which has information from the Vatican archives which supposedly proves Padre Pio had acquired and maimed himself with carbolic acid to produced his stigmata wounds. These allegations are nothing new where Padre Pio is concerned, as two successive popes thought he was a religious fraud and the stigmata a hoax. A real spiritual marvel or a well-prepared hoaxer? The texts of the religious say one thing, those of historians another. Padre Pio is a saint with a suspicious history.

4St. Gemma Galgani

Photo credit: St Gemma Galgani

St. Gemma Galgani was born on March 12, 1878, near Lucca, Italy. Inspired greatly by her devoutly religious mother, Galgani developed an intense love for Jesus at an early age. At a mere eight years old, she lost her mother, and her father sent her to a Catholic boarding school, which Galgani described as paradise.[7] She received her first communion at nine, which was earlier than most. She spoke of her meeting with Jesus at the time and said that no one could understand the impact He made on her soul.

On June 8, 1899, after receiving communion, Galgani experienced her first religious ecstasy in which the Virgin Mary appeared, opened her dress, and wrapped Galgani in it. This was the beginning of her religious experience with spiritual beings. That same day, Galgani received the stigmata. Galgani claims that Jesus came to her with all His wounds open, but instead of blood, she saw flames. The flames then reached from Jesus and touched her, marking her hands, feet, and heart with the passion wounds. Blood poured from the wounds, and the pain was intense. But luckily, Galgani was apparently assisted to bed that night by her guardian angel and the Virgin Mary.

Though the stigmata is a blessed thing to many, Galgani was of poor health and said that she couldn’t deal with it. Her priest told her to pray the wounds away, and it apparently worked, leaving only the scars that would remain with her until her death. Galgani died of tuberculosis at age 25. Known for her patience and gentility, along with her blessed markings, Galgani was made a saint. Of the many cases of stigmata, Galgani’s account, though still very supernatural, was one of humility. She wanted it to go away; she didn’t flaunt it as so many others had. Does this add to the credibility of her account?

3Therese Neumann

Photo credit: Bizarrepedia

Therese Neumann was born in 1898 in Konnersreuth, Bavaria, and was the oldest of ten children. Being the eldest child, she was often put in charge of taking care of her siblings, especially after her father was called to serve in World War I. But taking care of children wasn’t her first calling; Therese’s true ambition was to become a missionary sister in Africa. Sadly, in 1918, she was injured during a fire, causing her to suffer partial paralysis of the spine and later blindness. The formerly hearty girl was left bedridden and unable to work. Since she couldn’t work, she took up the next best thing: intense religious devotion. Therese was especially enamored with St. Therese of Lisieux.

While lying in her bed on May 17, 1925, Therese heard the voice of the newly canonized St. Therese of Lisieux. She asked her if she wanted to be better, and Therese, of course, answered, “Yes!” The saint told her she could now stand and see, but she’d still suffer. And suffer she did—because Therese was about to get the shock of her life and receive the stigmata. On the first day of Lent in 1926, while ill with the flu, she was alone in her room when she experienced a divine ecstasy. As the day went on, she discovered bloody marks on her nightgown on her side and above her heart. The stigmata had chosen her. The side wound continually wept blood, and on the third day of Lent, the hand wounds appeared, followed by tears of blood the next day. St. Therese of Lisieux said she’d suffer, and it did not stop. Later in the year Neumann finally received her bloody crown of thorns.

The wounds never healed, and they stayed on Therese’s body until her death. Dealing with the stigmata is bad enough, but St. Therese of Lisieux came to Neumann during her suffering time and told her, “No more earthly food, you’ll survive on the Eucharist.” It is claimed that after this, Therese didn’t eat anything other than the Holy Eucharist every day and drank no water from 1926 onward.[8] Given that Therese lived until 1962, being a stigmatic is apparently a very thirsty job.

2Teresa Musco

Teresa Musco was born in Caserta, Italy, on June 7, 1943. Growing up with an abusive father and during the chaotic time of World War II, Musco and her family were often left without food, necessities, and moral guidance. However, Teresa proved stronger than the rest; she was often called mature for her age and was extremely devoted to Jesus and prayer. At age five, Teresa had her first vision of the Virgin Mary. After having been struck by her father, Teresa saw the Virgin Mary come to her and explain that her father meant no harm from the beating. The Virgin Mary apparently condones child abuse.

The Virgin Mary continued to visit Teresa regularly, but then another player came in—Jesus. Jesus asked her if she loved Him, and Teresa answered yes. Jesus then said, to Teresa personally, that “He loved her so much that He would be willing to be crucified again just for her.” Apparently, holy figures really loved Teresa, for in 1950, Teresa was visited by Padre Pio, and he told her she’d one day look like him and then proceeded to show Teresa his stigmatic wounds.[9]

Years of hardship and pain continued to plague Teresa, but she maintained her devout lifestyle and her love of Jesus. In October 1968, however, Teresa wept because of pain in her hands and feet. Alone in her room, a tall man entered unexpectedly and said, “I shall leave you my wounds. Do you want to follow me?” Teresa again exclaimed “yes,” and that when she was spiritually crucified. On Holy Thursday 1969, the Virgin Mary came to her all in black and told Teresa, “My beloved son desired to give you His wounds.” At that point, Teresa had a full-blown stigmata episode, complete with bloody hands and feet and a deep pain in her heart. She then went into an ecstatic state and awoke from it bearing the marks of the crown of thorns, which she supposedly took from Jesus firsthand during her ecstatic episode.

Bearing the stigmata for years, Teresa was also prone to causing statues and holy pictures to weep blood. Teresa claimed that the sin of humanitywas too much to bear and caused her great sadness, which was reflected in the weeping effigies. Teresa suffered her whole life, in both the natural and supernatural realm. Apparently, since Jesus was her super-affectionate friend, He came to her and told her that she would suffer no more and that He was taking her away from this world. Teresa and Jesus decided she would leave the world at 33 years of age. August 19, 1976, Teresa succumbed to her illnesses at the time and did die at the prophesied age. Was Teresa actually visited by various holy entities, or was her troubled, hardship-riddled life to blame for her visions?

1St. Francis Of Assisi

Photo credit: Cigoli

St. Francis is the poster child for the stigmata. He was the first ever to receive this “blessing,” and people have been following in his bloody footsteps for eons. Though a saint now, Francis was a wild sinner in his early life. Born in Italy in 1181, St. Francis was well-known for his extreme drinkingand his penchant for partying.

After fighting in a battle between Assisi and Perugia, St. Francis was imprisoned for ransom for a year. During this time of imprisonment, you guessed it: He started receiving visions from God. According to legend, after he was released, Christ told St. Francis to devout himself to Him, repair the Christian church, and live a life of poverty.[10] St. Francis then abandoned his frivolous life and became a devotee of the faith, preaching and teaching all over the Christian world. He remained a pious devotee for as long as he lived, maintaining his poverty and living the life of an ultra-Christian.

In 1224, he made the ultimate sacrifice to devotion by undertaking a journey and fasting. He left to climb Mt. La Verna for a 40-day fast. One day during his fast, near the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, a six-winged angel allegedly appeared to St. Francis while he prayed. The angel, as observed by St. Francis, bore the wounds of crucifixion. On September 14, St. Francis received the first marks of stigmata, having the sacred wounds appear on his hands, feet, and sides. These wounds stayed on and bled continually for two years, up until his death.

It is a simple tale, but some believe that this first case of stigmata can actually be traced back to disease. St. Francis suffered from many ailments during his lifetime. Historian Dr. Edward Frederick Hartung even diagnosed St. Francis with a debilitating eye disease known trachoma. Besides the eye infection, it is also believed that St. Francis’s stigmata was due to a severe case of malignant malaria, which causes hemorrhaging of blood through the skin in a medical condition known as purpura. Strangely enough, purpura is usually distributed symmetrically on the hands and feet. Sounds a lot like the stigmata, right?

We will never know what St. Francis was actually suffering from during his life. Whatever it was, it was painful and eventually led to his death two years later. He set the bar for stigmata, and people have been joining the stigmatic legions for years. Do they all have malaria, or are they all divine? The mystery remains.

10 People Who Documented Their Deaths


10 People Who Documented Their Deaths

OLIVER TAYLOR 

 

Death can be devastating, both to the dying person and his loved ones. But how about someone actually documenting his death? Believe it or not, a number of people have done this throughout history.

Some knew they were dying and documented their deaths, taking notes, or sometimes photos and videos, of their slow end. Others didn’t realize they were dying, even though the possibility was there. Some of these people’s notes have valuable medical uses and give us a glimpse into death.

10Karl Schmidt

Photo credit: William Warby

Between September 25 and 26, 1957, Karl Patterson Schmidt, a herpetologist (a person who studies reptiles and amphibians) wrote notes explaining how he felt as he slowly died of a snakebite. The snake that bit him was a boomslang, which is extremely venomous.

The snake had been delivered to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, where Schmidt worked, from the Lincoln Park Zoo. Schmidt was trying to pick the snake up for identification when he was bitten. He started documenting everything that happened thereafter. He even refused medical attention over fears of disrupting the experiment, which he never believed would kill him. (He had no real experience with boomslangs.)

Schmidt listed the foods he ate after the snakebite and the bite’s effects on him. On the day of the bite, he reported bleeding with a chilly and shaky feeling. The next morning, he reported heavier bleeding. He bled from his bowels, nose, and mouth. He also passed blood instead of urine. He became ill that morning and died in a hospital. An autopsy revealed that he died of severe internal bleeding caused by the deadly venom.[1]

9Prasad


In 2006, scientists got an idea of what cyanide tastes like, thanks to a note written by a 32-year-old Indian man only identified as “Prasad,” who committed suicide by drinking a cup of potassium cyanide. Before Prasad’s note, scientists could only guess the taste of cyanide by examining its chemical composition. Most agreed it would have a very unpleasant taste. They were right. Prasad wrote that it was acrid:

Doctors, [this is] potassium cyanide. I have tasted it. It comes through slowly at the beginning, and then it burns, the whole tongue burns and feels hard. The taste is very acrid . . . I had read in some novel about killing a man discreetly with cyanide. It was smeared on the pages of a book that he was reading, and when he touched his tongue with his finger to turn the book’s pages, he died and no one suspected . . . I am now convinced how easily someone can kill another using this . . .

Cyanide is very deadly, even in minute quantities. A mere 300 micrograms is enough to kill a man. Prasad had been defrauded in a gold deal that made him bankrupt. Unable to come to terms with the incident, he mixed potassium cyanide in water and drank it before writing about its effects. He could not even complete the note before the poison took its toll.[2]

8Unnamed German Man


In February 2008, two hunters found the remains of an unnamed 58-year-old man lying on a mattress in the forest in the Solling hill region of Germany. The man had starved himself to death. Beside him was a diary he updated as he died. The German police did not release the diary, so we do not have specific details about its contents, but we know that the man wrote about his deteriorating health and certain problems that were bothering him.

For 24 days, the man wrote about everything that was happening to his body. He drank some water but did not eat any food. He was pained over his joblessness, the strained relationship he had with his daughter, and the loss of his marriage. The diary was last updated on December 13, 2007, which would have been around the time he died. He added that the diary should be given to his daughter.[3]

7John Fawcett


Like today, drug abuse was a problem in the 1800s. It was even scarier then because doctors were the ones prescribing these drugs to people. We’re talking things like opium, morphine, heroin, and laudanum.

Laudanum is among the least known of these drugs, although it is equally dangerous and very addictive. It was used to treat all sort of ailments, from coughing to epilepsy. Parents purchased it over the counter and administered it to their babies without prescription, sometimes with fatal consequences. Between 1863 and 1867, 236 infants died of laudanum overdoses in England.

In another notable incident, the British Journal of Psychiatry published a letter that a lady addicted to laudanum wrote to her doctor. The unnamed woman rebuked her doctor for giving her a laudanum prescription. She complained that it made her sluggish, addicted, and uninterested in housework, which was abnormal for the ladies of the day.

John Fawcett also put his experience with laudanum in writing. As reported by the April 24, 1897, edition of the New York Journal and Advertiser, Fawcett took an overdose of laudanum and documented its effects on his body as he slowly died. He wrote on how the drug made him drowsy. He also added comments regarding his feelings and thoughts. He said he was committing suicide because he was tired of living.

Fawcett’s note ended with the words, “Died twenty-four hours after taking one ounce of laudanum.” Thereafter, he rolled into a nearby pond to drown. It is believed that Fawcett wrote most of the sentence earlier but left the number of hours blank so that he could fill it just before dying.[4]

6Ricardo Lopez

Photo credit: Imgur

On September 12, 1996, 21-year-old Ricardo Lopez committed suicide by shooting himself in the mouth. His suicide would have caused little remark if he hadn’t sent a parcel bomb to Icelandic singer Bjork. The existence of the bomb was revealed in the suicide video he made just before his death. The suicide video was part of 22 hours’ worth of video Lopez had started shooting in January.

One person Lopez kept mentioning in his videos was Bjork, who he appeared to be obsessed with. He got jealous when he learned she had a boyfriend, prompting his decision to kill her. He made a bomb with sulfuric acid and mailed it to her London home. He took a pistol with him to the post office on the day he mailed the package so that he could quickly kill himself if he was caught.

An angry Lopez returned home to make the last video. He undressed, painted his face, and sat on a chair, where he shot himself through his mouth while one of Bjork’s songs played in the background. His body was found four days later, after it had started to decay. Officers from Hollywood Police Department recovered the videos, including the last one in which Lopez revealed he’d sent a bomb to Bjork. They informed police in England, and the bomb was recovered before it could be delivered to Bjork.[5]

5Edwin Katskee


Cocaine was the first local anesthetic that was widely adopted by doctors. Earlier anesthetics were not reliable and were sometimes dangerous to the patients. Cocaine was reliable. It numbed the parts being operated on and did not knock the patients out. However, it was not as safe as the doctors thought, since it was addictive and could kill in large doses.

At the time, there was no general consensus on the approved dosage, and doctors injected cocaine into their patients as they deemed fit. In 1936, Edwin Katskee decided to inject himself with cocaine to determine its effects on the body. He unintentionally injected himself with an overdose and proceeded to write his observations on notes attached to the walls of his office.

His first entry was “Eyes mildly dilated. Vision excellent.” This was followed by “Now able to stand up,” “Partial recovery. Smoked cigarette,” and “Results will be recorded in Rx books! Have a university and college [illegible] any findings. They better be good because I am not going to repeat the experiment.” His last entry was “paralysis.”

It is assumed that Katskee died immediately after writing this “paralysis.” Unfortunately for him, his notes were not very useful. He did not add the time to them and did not write them in any chronological order, leaving scientists to guess which came first. His writing was also very illegible and sometimes unreadable.[6]

4Daniel Alcides Carrion

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Like Edwin Katskee, Daniel Alcides Carrion experimented on himself and kept notes documenting his death. His notes were very useful, though. Carrion was a medical student in Peru. In 1873, three years before he went to medical school, he witnessed a deadly plague-like disease that killed thousands of people in the towns of Callao and La Oroya. Doctors had never seen anything like it before, and it was fatal to almost anyone who contracted it.

When Carrion was in medical school, Peru recorded a rise in verruga peruanadisease, which was already well-known. Carrion took interest in verruga peruana and researched it extensively. Part of his research involved using himself as a guinea pig to determine how the disease affected the body.

On August 27, 1885, Carrion had his friends pass the disease into his body after he was unable to do it himself. He recorded its first symptoms on September 17. By September 26, he was too weak to continue his notes and had a friend write for him until he died on October 5.

Carrion’s notes gave Peruvian doctors an insight into how verruga peruanaworked. It also proved that the plague Carrion witnessed three years before going to medical school was another form of the same disease. Today, Peruvians consider Carrion a hero and even named a university after him. Verruga peruana was also renamed in his honor. It is now called Carrion’s disease.[7] (It is also sometimes referred to as Oroya fever.)

3Timothy Leary

Photo credit: YouTube

Dr. Timothy Leary was a famous comedian, actor, and prankster. He lived a fulfilled life, having served in the US Army before venturing into showbiz. He also ran for governor and got jailed for drugs before escaping to Europe and Africa. He was recaptured and sent to prison again. In 1963, he was fired from Harvard for experimenting with a mind-altering drug on undergraduate students.

Leary often made jokes about his impending death after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He set up a website where he informed his fans about his health. A stranger once met him at a party and greeted him with, “Good luck on your death.”

On a later date, Leary said that statement was among the “most powerful things” he had ever been told. This made him promise to “give death a better name, or die trying.” Leary never gave death a better name, but when he finally died trying in 1996, he had his death filmed so that it could be broadcast sometime in the future. His last words were “Why not?”[8]

2Nara Almeida

Photo credit: Nara Almedia/Instagram

Nara Almeida was a 24-year-old Brazilian blogger who died of stomach cancer in May 2018. After being diagnosed with stomach cancer in August 2017, Almeida started posting pictures of her treatment to her 4.5 million social media followers. The pictures often included captions about her feelings, sleepless nights, and the pains and trauma she was going through.

A month before her death, she posted a picture of herself in the hospital bed with an arm in the air, just before she underwent an immunotherapy treatment. She captioned it, “I believe that in the end everything will work out and I will come out of it very strengthened and ready to help other people.” That never happened.[9]

1Martin Manley

In the early hours of August 15, 2013, sports journalist Martin Manley dialed 911 to report a suicide. After he hung up, he killed himself. Manley’s suicide surprised many. For a start, he did not approve of suicide.

Manley had been working on his own suicide for years. On the day of his death, he published a blog in which he revealed the reason he committed suicide and his personal opinions. Manley wrote that he killed himself because he wanted to control when, where, and how he died. He also explained why he chose the date, the location, and the gun he used. The day he shot himself was his 60th birthday.

Manley had been writing the blog posts for years and had paid for the blog a year before he shot himself. He only put the blog online on the morning of the day he shot himself. He paid for five years of hosting, but Yahoo removed the blog because it was against their terms and conditions. From the blog, it was clear that Manley was a perfectionist who wanted to be in control of whatever happened to him. He revealed that he had edited the blog posts several times over to ensure they were error-free.

Manley also made elaborate arrangements for his burial. Before his death, he had sent some trinkets and letters to several relatives, informing them of his death. The relatives only received the letters after he was dead. He also left specific information on how he should be buried and had already paid for several death expenses, including his cremation.[10] As we mentioned earlier, Yahoo has taken the original site down, but here is a clone.

Three Reasons HR Transformations Fail (and how to make sure yours doesn’t) – The Talent Strategy Group


CATEGORY
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Talent Quarterly Extras
01 JULY 2018Three Reasons HR Transformations Fail (and how to make sure yours doesn’t)
Our experience shows that it’s not the usual suspects – troublesome technology implementations, challenging budgets, etc. – that undermine the success of HR transformations. The real culprits are both softer and far more controllable. That’s good news because it means that you can overcome these obstacles and ensure a faster, more effective transformation.

You’ll move faster and more successfully through your HR transformation if you execute these three steps:

Clarify the Vison: We describe how Kurt Lewin’s basic change model shows HR leaders where to focus more effort.
Increase Talent Quality: To adapt a Marshall Goldsmith quote, those who got you here won’t get you there.
Move Faster: While haste makes waste, needless delays make HR leaders seem replaceable.
Read the article here.

via Three Reasons HR Transformations Fail (and how to make sure yours doesn’t) – The Talent Strategy Group

The “I Don’t Have Time for Professional Development” Myth [MarketHer Ep. 43]


“I don’t have time for professional development,”

via The “I Don’t Have Time for Professional Development” Myth [MarketHer Ep. 43]

RAK Movement- Friday Random Acts of Kindness – Jay Parkhe


  1. Treat a friend – buy them lunch!
  2. Empty your wallet for charity
  3. Give up your seat on the tube/bus
  4. Make someone’s day – tell a friend why you appreciate them
  5. Buy more ethically sourced foods
  6. We all need help sometimes; offer someone a helping hand
  7. Save water – turn the tap off when brushing your teeth!
  8. Remember that family member you haven’t seen for a while? See how they are doing
  9. Help someone struggling with heavy bags
  10. Feed a stray animal if you spot one

10 Strangest US Roadside Attractions


10 Strangest US Roadside Attractions

MICHAEL VAN DUISEN 

 

Roadside attractions have been a staple of American culture since the first mile of Route 66 was laid down. Fodder for postcards, novelty-seekers, and Instagram shots, these various noteworthy stopping points are often quite unique and bizarre.

While classics such as the World’s Largest Ball of Twine seem weird enough, an in-depth look reveals much stranger sights. Here are ten of the strangest US roadside attractions. (For those curious, the ball of twine is in Cawker City, Kansas.)

10Unclaimed Baggage Center
Alabama

Born from the mind of a man named Doyle Owens in 1970, Unclaimed Baggage Center (UCB) is a secondhand store with a unique supply chain: US airline companies.[1] As of today, it is the only store in the country which sells lost luggage. The size of a city block, UCB has forged alliances with most major airlines, not only selling lost luggage but also random carry-on items which get left behind.

Originally sold on card tables in a rented house in Washington, DC, the nearly 7,000 new daily items were moved to their current home of Scottsboro, Alabama, by Bryan Owens in 1995. Thanks to the exclusive contracts signed with the major airlines of the US, UCB boasts more than a million visitors per year. In addition to their storefront, they also have a museum of oddities and curios, items which are not for sale. (An African djembe is one of the more unique exhibits.)

9Lucy The Margate Elephant
New Jersey

Photo credit: Naomi Love

Located just a short distance south of Atlantic City, a 20-meter (65 ft) building rises from the Margate sands. This isn’t your ordinary building, though; it’s in the shape of a large elephant, and its name is Lucy.[2] Since its construction in 1881, news of a giant elephant appearing to sailors began to trickle into various parts of the East Coast. Determined to uncover the truth, visitors began to flock to Absecon Island, shocked when they realized it was no mirage.

The brainchild of a man named James V. Lafferty, Jr., Lucy was eventually patented in 1882, with Lafferty receiving one for the invention of a “building in the form of an animal.” Later owners of the building eventually began guided tours, with such visiting luminaries as President Woodrow Wilson. At various times through its history, Lucy has been a summer home for an English doctor and his family, a tavern (which nearly resulted in it burning to the ground), and a tourist attraction, which it remains to this day.

8Wall Drug
South Dakota

Photo credit: Konrad Summers

Perhaps the most famous tourist trap in the entire country, Wall Drug got its start in 1931 on the edge of the South Dakota Badlands.[3] Using his last $3,000, Ted Hustead brought his wife and child to the small town of Wall and purchased a small pharmacy. Business was tough, and they struggled to make ends meet for years while the Great Depression rolled on.

However, to this day, their biggest draw might still be one of their first: free water. Hustead’s wife, Dorothy, had the idea come to her while she tried to sleep one hot July afternoon. Due to her idea, and a number of ingeniously placed billboards, people flocked to the store, filling up on ice water as well as the occasional ice cream cone. Today, more than two million people visit each year, bringing more than $10 million with them.

7Nicolas Cage’s Tomb
Louisiana

In a move which seems to solidify his eccentric reputation, Nicolas Cage purchased a tomb in an infamous New Orleans graveyard in 2010. Thanks to its below-sea-level elevation and numerous outbreaks of disease throughout its history, the city has strict rules about where cemeteries can be located, unless they’re aboveground. Those rules are what led Cage to purchase a 2.7-meter-tall (9 ft) stone pyramid in the St. Louis Cemetery No. 1.

However, the exact reasoning behind the tomb’s purchase has been kept secret, though some locals are angry he was able to even get into the cemetery in the first place, going so far as to accuse the actor of knocking down much older burials in order to make room for the pyramid tomb.[4] The first New Orleans graveyard with aboveground burials, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is also the final resting place of Marie Laveau, the infamous voodooqueen of New Orleans.

6Airstream Ranch
Florida

An homage to Cadillac Ranch, an art installation using junked Cadillac automobiles, Airstream Ranch was located not far from Tampa, Florida, and used old RVs as its medium.[5] It was the pet project of Frank Bates, a man who, coincidentally, happens to run an RV dealership nearby. Controversial for much of its existence (such is the life of modern art), state courts reversed local orders to tear it down after Bates fought for nearly two years.

Created in 2007 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Airstream company, the ranch was originally intended to be built using brand-new RVs, but Bates ended up deciding to get one from every decade of the company’s existence (though he only managed five decades’ worth). Bates had hoped to add to the ranch, envisioning a future where his installation would have become a park, as well as a home for weddings. In the end, however, Airstream Ranch was torn down to make room for a new Airstream dealership in 2017.

Another roadside attraction reminiscent of Airstream Ranch is Carhenge, located in Alliance, Nebraska. It’s exactly what it sounds like: Stonehenge, made of cars.

5Cross Island Chapel
New York

Photo credit: Mapio.net

Otherwise known as The World’s Smallest Church, the Cross Island Chapel was built in 1989 in the small town of Oneida, New York. In addition to having been certified by Guinness World Records, it also sits on a small dock in the middle of a pond. Only big enough for three standing people (or two seated), the church has nevertheless served as the location for a number of weddings. On one such occasion, wedding guests had to anchor their boats nearby.

Though it lost its title of World’s Smallest Church only a few months after its certification (a Swiss church holds the record), the Cross Island Chapel still attracts its fair share of visitors, most of whom come to pray or just take a look.[6] Built to honor God, the building no longer sits on “Cross Island,” as the water level has risen, forcing a dock to be built to house the 2.7-square-meter (28.7 ft2) chapel.

4The Hobo Museum
Iowa

Photo credit: Collectors Weekly

Located in Britt, Iowa, the home of the National Hobo Convention, an annual event which began in 1900, is the Hobo Museum, a building dedicated to the memory of hobos and their history. Housed in an old theater, the museumbegan its life with nothing more than a single box of random items. Today, the building is full, and exhibits extolling the origins and virtues of the hobo lifestyle are abundant. (To be clear, a hobo is a traveling migrant worker, whereas a tramp is a traveler who avoids work. A bum neither works nor travels.)

In 2008, students of various classes at nearby Iowa State University began work on getting the building onto the National Registry of Historic Places, as well as plans to remodel/restore the former glory of the theater.[7] Other sites throughout the city honor hobos, such as the Hobo Jungle and the Hobo Cemetery, a section of a larger graveyard reserved specifically for hobos.

3Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard
Vermont

Photo credit: Ben & Jerry’s

Have you ever wondered what happens to discontinued ice creams, such as Festivus or Dublin Mudslide? Fear not, for they have gone to a better place: the Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard. A tongue-in-cheek place for a tongue-in-cheek company, the graveyard is not only a page on their website but a physical place, located at their factory in Waterbury, Vermont.[8]

Originally opened in 1997, the graveyard only consisted of four flavors, with many more added over the years (35 at last count). Most of the graves are empty, with the exception being What A Cluster, for which they held an actual funeral. (Whether or not the pint of ice cream actually made it underground is anybody’s guess.) While it isn’t the most popular attraction on this list, Sean Greenwood, Ben & Jerry’s head of publicity, says people do come to pay their respects to their favorite discontinued flavors, going so far as to leave flowers near the elaborate granite headstones erected there.

2The Octopus Tree
Oregon

Photo credit: Flynn Kittie/Flickr

Bearing no relation to the mythical Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus, the Octopus Tree of Oregon is an enormous spruce tree, notable for its branches, which resemble the tentacles of an octopus. Believed to be the largest Sitka spruce in the state, debate continues on the story of its origins, with Native American activity being the most likely.[9] Coastal tribes, such as the Tillamook tribe, were said to shape the trees as part of their ceremonial rites.

The idea behind the Native American theory is that the tree was used to hold cedar canoes, as well as other objects of ritual importance. As far as the Octopus Tree goes, it has been estimated to be hundreds of years old and has often gone by the name “The Council Tree,” as it was said that elders also congregated at it in order to make decisions.

1World’s Largest Collection Of World’s Smallest Versions Of World’s Largest Things
Kansas

This one is going to take a little explaining. Intrigued by the great American pastime of creating the largest versions of things, artist Erika Nelson decided to riff on that idea. What sprung from her thought was a traveling attraction containing miniature replicas of said things. Extensive research on each and every exhibit is performed before construction, with precise measurements done on the originals.[10]

Appropriate materials are used whenever possible; for example, the World’s Smallest Version of the World’s Largest Ball of Rubber Bands was made using miniature rubber bands. In addition, a photo is taken of each exhibit sat in front of its original. While it is normally on the road, and best seen there, when the attraction is not traveling, it calls Lucas, Kansas, its home.

10 Most Outrageous Dowries Or Bride Prices


MICHAEL VAN DUISEN 

 

Dowries and bride prices have long been a feature of human civilization, utilized in virtually every culture. Dowries often served as protection for the wife, as she would be right to leave her husband and take the dowry back if he or his family treated her badly, an all too common occurrence.[1]

Dowries are now uncommon in Western cultures, and they are becoming increasingly outlawed in others. While dowries and bride prices (which is where the bride’s family is paid) are usually just a simple gift of money, history has a long list of more unusual examples. Here are ten of them.

10100 Philistine Foreskins
Bride: Saul’s Daughter, Michal

Photo credit: Jastrow

David, famous for slaying Goliath as well as being king of Israel, had to work pretty hard to get his first wife’s hand in marriage. A woman named Michal fell in love with the former shepherd and he with her; however, her father was Saul, king of Israel.[2] Her father, jealous of David’s growing fame, sought to have him die in battle and demanded the foreskins of 100 Philistines, the hated enemies of Israel.

David, ever the show-off, decided to bring back double that amount, just to show how much he really wanted Saul’s daughter. Nonsexual in nature, the bringing back of foreskins was to show David’s strength, as no man would part with that piece of himself without dying first. In addition, taking parts of a man’s body after battle as a sign of victory or a trophy has a long history in war. True to his word, Saul begrudgingly allowed David to marry his daughter.

9The Bride’s Weight In Shillings
Bride: John Hull’s Daughter, Hannah

Photo credit: Daderot

Born in the 17th century, John Hull was the originator of the first Massachusetts mint and was the first man in charge of running it. Hull created the silver pine tree shilling, and coins meant a lot to him, so much so that they were integrated into the bride price for his daughter when a man named Samuel Sewall asked for her hand in marriage.

After much negotiation, it was decided that the amount would be the equivalent of Hull’s daughter’s weight in pine tree shillings.[3] When the day came, Hannah was placed on a scale, and the displayed weight became her bride price. Though her weight was never listed, about 45 kilograms (100 lb) of silver in Hull’s day was the equivalent of roughly $1,600, and it can be assumed that her weight was relatively unremarkable, so the bride price was probably a relatively modest amount.

8A Magical Pear
Bride: Margaret Giffard


An old Scottish legend dating back to the 13th century, the Colstoun Pear was said to have been originally picked by a local wizard named Sir Hugo de Giffard. His daughter was marrying into the de Broun family and wanted to present them with a special gift. Giffard told his daughter’s future family that, as long as she kept the pear from harm, it would ensure their safekeeping and the safekeeping of their descendants.[4]

The legend continued in 1692, when one of Giffard’s descendants, Lady Elizabeth Mackenzie, had a dream that she took a bite of the pear. The servants rushed to the silver casket where the family kept it and found it untouched. However, shortly after this event, Mackenzie’s husband fell deep into debt and sold the pear to his brother Robert, who subsequently drowned, along with his two young sons.

7$65–130 Million (With A Catch)
Bride: Gigi Chao

Photo credit: CBS News

Here’s a relatively recent story: Gigi Chao is a lesbian and the daughter of Cecil Chao, a Chinese billionaire. Unable to come to terms with his daughter’s lifestyle, as well as the embarrassment he felt from it, Cecil put out an offer: If a man could convince Gigi to marry him, thereby renouncing her lesbianism, he would give them a dowry of $65 million.[5] He later offered to double the amount.

However, Gigi remained steadfast, proclaiming her marriage to her partner Sean Eav to be real and urging her father to treat Eav like “a normal, dignified human being.” Though a flood of proposals came Gigi’s way, Cecil eventually retracted his offer, saying if being a lesbian was his daughter’s choice, there was nothing he could do. He stated that the money was going to stay “in his pocket.”

6The Bride’s Weight In Soap
Bride: M. Le Blanc’s Wife


Early in the 20th century, a Frenchman named M. Le Blanc married an unnamed daughter of a Parisian man. The bride’s father was a hairdresser, and a well-to-do one at that, as he provided his daughter with two dowries. The first was traditional, a large sum of money, but the second was quite unique.

Wishing to shower his future son-in-law with the promise of cleanliness, the bride’s father gave him his daughter’s weight in soap as the second dowry.[6]Seeing as her weight was given as a healthy 64 kilograms (140 lb), it can be assumed that the newlyweds were never left wanting for soap.

5A Million Facebook Likes
Bride: Salem Ayash’s Daughter


In 2013, Salem Ayash, a Yemeni poet by trade and a popular Internet figure in his home country, decided to have his prospective son-in-law prove his worth as a future husband, rather than simply pay him a bride price. To show that he was hardworking and capable of providing for his wife, the man, identified only as Osama, was given a month to accumulate one million likes on a Facebook page set up for the engagement.

Ayash had become fed up with bride prices spiraling out of control, especially concerning young people who are often ill-equipped to afford them, and intended the like requirement as a critique on modern bride prices. Oftentimes, entire neighborhoods might join together to raise the needed money to meet the bride price; to combat this, various attempts have been made over the last few years to set a maximum legal amount.[7]Unfortunately, there is no longer an active Facebook page, leaving the outcome a mystery, though Ayash said he would consider lowering the request.

4Much Of Southwestern France
Bride: Eleanor Of Aquitaine

Photo credit: Frederick Sandys

Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of the most powerful women in Europe during the 12th century, eventually becoming not only the queen consort of France but of England as well. Her father died when she was 15, making her the duchess of Aquitaine, and Louis VI (“the Fat”) was made her guardian. He immediately commanded her to marry his own son, who took the throne just a few months later, as Louis VI died of dysentery. As a dowry, Eleanor brought with her the duchy of Aquitaine.

After 15 years of marriage, and a lot of bitterness (she claimed he was like a monk), King Louis VII and Eleanor had their marriage annulled.[8] Thanks to some shrewd maneuvering on her part, the queen managed to retain all her land, in exchange for allowing the king to keep the children. She married Henry Plantagenet a short eight weeks later, bringing the land to him as a dowry. (He was crowned King of England less than two years later.)

3The Greatest Qing Dynasty Sculpture
Bride: Guangxu Emperor’s Consort Jin

Photo credit: peellden

An extremely well-crafted piece of art, the Jadeite Cabbage is exactly what its name implies: a piece of Chinese cabbage carved from jadeite, one of two minerals recognized as the gemstone jade. Most likely created sometime in the 19th century by an unknown artist, the piece is believed to have been a dowry gift for Consort Jin, as a symbol of her purity. The association with purity is said to come from the white body of the cabbage.

In addition, the two insects, one a katydid and the other a locust, are said to be good luck charms designed to represent “the blessing of giving numerous children.”[9] This stems from the fact that the female insects lay many eggs at once, with the locust laying as many as 1,500 eggs. Now housed in Taiwan’s National Palace Museum, it has become the most popular artifact there, drawing huge crowds whenever it is loaned out.

2$156 Million
Bride: Wu Ruibiao’s Daughter

Photo credit: The Telegraph

Wu Ruibiao is an extremely wealthy Chinese kitchen and tile magnate and has a daughter who got married at the end of 2012. In a move that some cynics have called nothing but “self-publicity,” Wu decided to gift his daughter with a rather large dowry: more than one billion yuan ($156.37 million).[10] Made up of a number of different gifts, including four boxes of gold as well as a Porsche and Mercedes-Benz, the dowry’s most valuable piece was five million shares in Wu’s company, Wanli, estimated to be worth as much as $15 million.

The bride, who has remained unnamed, was married to her childhood sweetheart after an eight-day wedding banquet. A newspaper in Hong Kong was quoted as saying that marrying a girl from Jinjiang, an entrepreneurial city on China’s southern coast, is “better than robbing a bank,” as the billionaires of the city have been in a metaphorical arms race over who can provide the largest dowries.

1The Cities Of Bombay And Tangier
Bride: Princess Catherine Of Braganza

Photo credit: Peter Lely

Catherine of Braganza was a 17th-century Portuguese princess who ended up marrying Charles II of England and becoming the queen. Often mistakenly credited with introducing tea to Britain, she nevertheless had much to do with making her homeland’s custom fashionable. While that can be seen as her greatest gift to the country, she also brought with her two cities when she married Charles II: Bombay (now called Mumbai) and Tangier.

Tensions soon arose in Tangier, with the Portuguese residents accusing the British troops of looting and rape and abandoning the city en masse.[11] The city was eventually abandoned by the British as well after years of siege at the hands of Ismail Ibn Sharif. Bombay lasted under British rule quite a bit longer, only changing hands when India gained its independence in 1947.

From another of my Fav Newsletters – The Skeptics


SCIENCE SALON # 35

Dr. Tali Sharot — The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others

The Influential Mind (book cover)

In her new book, The Influential Mind, neuroscientist Tali Sharot takes readers on a thrilling exploration of the nature of influence, so she and Shermer start the conversation by discussing how we can influence, for example, climate deniers to accept climate science, anti-vaxxers to accept vaccines, and creationists to accept evolution. As Sharot shows in her research, merely presenting people with the facts will not change their minds. There are other forces at work, which she reveals in this conversation and in more depth in her book. It turns out, for example, that many of our instincts—from relying on facts and figures to shape opinions, to insisting others are wrong or attempting to exert control—are ineffective, because they are incompatible with how people’s minds operate. Sharot shows us how to avoid these pitfalls, and how an attempt to change beliefs and actions is successful when it is well-matched with the core elements that govern the human brain. Sharot reveals the critical role of emotion in influence, the weakness of data and the power of curiosity. Relying on the latest research in neuroscience, behavioral economics and psychology, she provides fascinating insight into the complex power of influence, good and bad. Since she grew up in Israel, she and Shermer discuss the role of religion in terrorism and politics along with health and happiness.

Tali Sharot is a Professor of cognitive Neuroscience at University College London where she directs the Affective Brain Lab. She combines research in psychology, behavioural economics and neuroscience to reveal the forces that shape our decisions and beliefs. Dr. Sharot is the author of The Influential Mind and The Optimism Bias. Her papers have been published in top scientific journals including NatureScience and Nature Neuroscience. This work has been the subject of features in many outlets including the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, the BBC and others. She has also written essays for Time (cover story), the New York Times, the Guardian among others. She was a speaker at TED’s annual conference 2012 and a British Academy and Wellcome Trust fellow. She received her Ph.D from New York University.

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This remote Science Salon was recorded on August 17, 2018.

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Top 10 Worst Instances Of Inflation


Top 10 Worst Instances Of Inflation

OLIVER TAYLOR 

 

Venezuela recently introduced a new currency to replace its already battered money.[1] For some years now, the nation has been experiencing serious hyperinflation that has totally rubbished the value of its currency, the bolivar. The government introduced the new currency, the sovereign bolivar, hoping it will curb the effects of the inflation.

Judging from what you will find out from this list, this is unlikely. The sovereign bolivar is just the removal of five zeros from the old bolivar, and it will most likely go the route of its predecessor if the economic factors responsible for the inflation are not addressed. That said, Venezuela is hardly the only country to have suffered hyperinflation. Several other governments, including ancient Rome, have suffered even more disastrous cases of inflation and hyperinflation.

10Federal Republic Of Yugoslavia

Photo credit: Narodna Banka Srbije

The Yugoslav dinar suffered an inflation of five quadrillion percent (five with 15 zeros) between October 1993 and January 1995. Years before the inflation, the cash-strapped Yugoslavia had been printing more money to maintain its budget. The government was also borrowing money from its citizens. The government did not beg citizens for their money outright. Rather, it made it difficult for them to make withdrawals from government banks.

As the inflation worsened, the government responded by fixing prices and running businesses that sold below the fixed prices. The government-owned businesses failed, while the private businesses could not sell at the fixed prices. Citizens could not afford to fuel their cars and opted for public buses. The Belgrade Transit Authority (GSP) could not fuel its buses, either. The limited buses in service were so crowded that ticket collectors could not collect fares, causing the cash-strapped agency to lose more money.

In October 1993, the government introduced the new dinar, which was equal to one million old dinars. It quickly became a victim of the inflation. The government responded by introducing the new new dinar that was equal to one billion old dinars. It, too, went the way of the new dinar, leading to the introduction of the super dinar in January 1994. One super dinar was equal to ten million new new dinars. In the meantime, businesses and later the government had switched to using the German Deutsche Mark.[2]

9Ancient Rome


The fact that serious inflation has been fingered as one of the causes of Rome’s collapse is enough evidence that inflation is not a modern phenomena. The inflation started around AD 200, when the Antonine Plague wiped out a huge chunk of the Roman population, leading to scarcity of workers and rapid increase in wages. This, in turn, led to an increase in the price of goods.

At the same time, the Roman military was rapidly expanding, and Rome was investing money to build infrastructure in its new territories. The government decided to debase its silver coins by mixing them with impurities. This allowed it to mint more coins it normally could have. Citizens later discovered the silver coins were not pure and increased the prices of their goods to cover for the loss.

Debasing continued with the change of emperors, worsening the inflation. Between 200 and 300, Roman coins inflated at 15,000 percent. At one point, the inflation was so severe that Emperor Diocletian (284–306) responded by fixing prices, which only succeeded in sending merchants to the black market.

Other emperors continued with the price fixing, sending more merchants into the black market. At the time of the empire’s collapse, the inflation was so severe that the government could not pay the army, even though taxes were at a record high. The rebellious army turned against the empire, leading to its collapse.[3]

8Germany

Between 1919 and 1923, Germany faced the worst hyperinflation in history. Its currency, the Papiermark, lost so much value that workers rushed to markets to buy the items they needed immediately after they received their pay. The government itself did not even bother adding anti-counterfeiting measures to its new super-high denominated notes since the cost of counterfeiting exceeded their face value.

At the height of the inflation, Germans dealt with so many zeros that they started suffering from a unique mental disorder called zero stroke. They dreamed of zeroes and counted everything, including their ages and children, in zeros. It was normal for someone to say he had three million children or that he was 40 billion years old.

The hyperinflation was the result of Germany printing money to finance World War I and the consequent reparations it needed to pay to the Allies after losing the war. The government responded by printing more money until the inflation became hyperinflation. By November 1923, one US dollar was worth 4.2 trillion Papiermarks. The hyperinflation ended after a new government negotiated a repayment deal with the Allies. The government also introduced the Rentermark to replace the already useless Papiermark.[4]

7United States

Photo credit: Beyond My Ken

The 13 colonies that would later form the United States introduced the Continental to fund the Revolutionary War against Britain. The money was backed by nothing other than the promise to pay. This caused inflation, since many citizens were not confident in the government’s ability to repay. The inflation was so terrible that American citizens preferred selling supplies to the British, who paid in gold and silver, than to Congress, who paid with what they considered worthless money.

The effects of the inflation were worsened by the British government, which had taken to printing counterfeit Continentals and sending them into the colonies. The colonies-issued Continentals were of exceptionally low quality. The signatures and serial numbers were handwritten, and the currency had little or no anti-counterfeiting measures. The British counterfeits were more original than the colonies-issued Continentals. Most of the time, people recognized the fake because it was exceptionally better than the original.

The British sometimes gave the counterfeits to captured or deserted American soldiers before sending them back into areas controlled by the colonies. The British also took out adverts in newspapers, requesting for people interested in taking counterfeit notes into the colonies. Meanwhile, Congress continued printing more money to fund the war. The inflation was so severe that it left many deep in debt long after the war was over. The debts later led to Shay’s Rebellion and the creation of the US Constitution.[5]

6Hungary

Hungary has experienced two terrible instances of inflation in its history. The first followed the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I, while the other started toward the end of World War II. Following World War I, the new government started printing money to finance its budget. The ensuing inflation ended with the country abandoning the kronen (aka korona) for the pengo in 1926.

A second inflation started in 1944, when most of Hungary’s infrastructure was destroyed by Germany and Russia. Russia also made Hungary pay reparations. The cash-strapped Hungary responded by printing more money. Hungary printed so much money that inflation rose 150,000 percent a day.

The government even introduced the milpengo (one million pengos) and the bilpengo (one billion pengos) notes to handle the excess zeros, but they were almost useless, since they, too, quickly gathered zeros. By July 1946, a US dollar was worth 460 trillion trillion pengos, versus five pengos in 1941. On August 1, 1946, the government abandoned the pengo altogether and replaced it with the forint.[6]

5Zimbabwe

Photo credit: Economics Help

Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation in 2008 is the one of the worst ever recorded. At its height, prices of goods doubled every day, and unemployment was at a world record of 80 percent. Money lost value so much that the government introduced the Z$100 trillion note.

In the 1990s, President Robert Mugabe seized lands from experienced white farmers and redistributed them to inexperienced black farmers. This led to a loss of production, causing farms and later factories to default on their loans and shut down. The government itself was in debt and in need of more money. With the economy in a downturn and with no viable source of income, the government responded by printing more money.

Excess money in circulation, failed debts, closed factories, unemployment, and low exports are the perfect recipe for inflation. Instead of tackling the root problem, the government responded to the inflation by printing more money and fixing the prices of goods, which only worsened the situation. The cost of producing goods increased so fast that companies were selling their products at a loss.

Inflation rose steadily, reaching 1,281.1 percent in 2006, 66,212.3 percent in 2007, 2.3 million percent in July 2008, and a record high of 79.6 billion percent in July 2009. By this time, basic necessities like bread were sold for billions. Merchants even refused to accept Zimbabwean notes, opting for currencies like the US dollar. The government itself soon caught on the fad and abandoned its own dollars for the US dollar, which remains the official currency of the country to this day.[7]

4Austria


Austria became independent again following the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Its neighbors, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, which were also part of the empire, imposed anti-trade policies on it soon after its creation. Inside Austria, different regions also introduced anti-trade policies against other regions.

Austria soon went to war against Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia over its borders. Austria’s government started printing money to finance the war, increasing the notes in circulation by 14,250 percent between 1919 and 1923. Inflation followed. In 1919, a US dollar was worth 16.1 crowns. By 1923, it was worth 70,800 crowns.

Government presses worked at full capacity throughout the inflation, churning out new notes day and night, even though most industries had shut down. The inflation came to an end in the late 1922 and early 1923, when the League of Nations gave Austria a loan. The crown itself was replaced with the schilling. Austria never fully recovered from the inflation before it was occupied by Germany during World War II.[8]

3Greece

Photo credit: Tilemahos Efthimiadis

The Greek inflation of 1941 to 1944 was the result of the German and Italian occupation of the nation during World War II. The Greek drachma started depreciating when Germany attacked in April 1941. Traders, fearing a defeat and occupation by Germany, started hoarding goods. The ones who sold demanded payment in gold. Their fears became true when Germany won and occupied Greece, leading to further depreciation of the drachma.

Germany and Italy used Greece’s money to buy products from Greek merchants and finance the North Africa campaign. When they exhausted the money, they just ordered the Bank of Greece to print more. The drachma soon became useless, as there were too much of it in circulation, leading to inflation. Germany and Italy remained unbothered. They just ordered the Bank of Greece to print more money.[9]

2China

Photo credit: The Bank of China

China’s hyperinflation from 1937 to 1949 was the result of the government printing money to fund wars. The first was the Second Sino-Japanese war and the other was the Chinese Civil War that followed. In 1937, one US dollar was worth 3.41 yuan. In 1945, it was worth 1,222 yuan, and in 1949, it was worth 23.3 million yuan.

Before the inflation, individual banks were responsible for issuing their own money. In 1927, the Chinese Nationalist Party came into power and started funding its budget by borrowing money from these banks. The banks later refused to loan the government more money over fears it could not repay. The government responded by creating the Central Bank of China to issue bonds to the banks in exchange for money.

In 1931, the bonds lost half of their value after Japan annexed Manchuria. When the banks refused to buy more bonds, the government passed a law demanding that banks buy bonds with 25 percent of their deposits. The banks still refused to buy the bonds. The Bank of China even sold the bonds in its possession at a loss. This culminated in the government takeover of the Bank of China and the Bank of Communications, which were the two biggest banks at that time, and every other bank thereafter.

More problems followed for China when the US Treasury started buying silver. A huge chunk of China’s silver was smuggled out of China and sold to the US, leading to a fall in the yuan. This culminated with the government taking China off the silver standard in 1935. With the country off the silver standard and the government in total control of the banks, the government started printing money. It printed so much money that its presses could not keep up, and some printing was contracted to England.

The severe hyperinflation was the reason Chairman Mao Tse-tung of the Chinese Communist Party won lots of supporters during the Chinese Civil War. The war ended with the Nationalists fleeing to Taiwan, while the Communists took control of the country. The Communists replaced the old yuan with the new yuan at the rate of three million to one.[10]

1Poland

Poland became independent again in 1918 and was still unstable when it went to war with Russia. With no other viable source of income, the government started printing money to finance the war. The government printed so much money that its currency became unstable and crashed in 1923. At the end of May 31, 1923, a dollar was worth 52,875 Polish marks. By the end of December, it was worth 6.4 million marks, and on January 10, 1924, it was worth 10.3 million marks.

Industries shut down, as most people could not afford their goods. The few that did not shut down reduced the number of times a worker could come to work in a week.[11] At the height of the inflation, the government issued a 50-million-mark note. The 100-million-mark note was planned but not issued.

From my Fav Newsletter Brain Pickings


 This is the Brain Pickings midweek newsletter: Every Wednesday, I plunge into my twelve-year archive and choose something worth resurfacing and resavoring as a timeless pick-me-up for heart, mind, and spirit. (If you don’t yet subscribe to the standard Sunday newsletter of new pieces published each week, you can sign up here – it’s free.) If you missed last week’s archival piece – the great Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh on how to love and mastering the art of “interbeing” – you can read it here. And if you find any value and joy in my labor of love, please consider supporting it with a donation – over these twelve years, I have spent tens of thousands of hours and tremendous resources on Brain Pickings, and every little bit of support helps keep it going. If you already donate: THANK YOU.
FROM THE ARCHIVE | The Day Dostoyevsky Discovered the Meaning of Life in a Dream
dostoyvesky_awritersdiary.jpg?w=195One November night in the 1870s, legendary Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky (November 11, 1821–February 9, 1881) discovered the meaning of life in a dream — or, at least, the protagonist in his final short story did. The piece, which first appeared in the altogether revelatory A Writer’s Diary (public library) under the title “The Dream of a Queer Fellow” and was later published separately as The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, explores themes similar to those in Dostoyevsky’s 1864 novel Notes from the Underground, considered the first true existential novel. True to Stephen King’s assertion that “good fiction is the truth inside the lie,”the story sheds light on Dostoyevsky’s personal spiritual and philosophical bents with extraordinary clarity — perhaps more so than any of his other published works. The contemplation at its heart falls somewhere between Tolstoy’s tussle with the meaning of life and Philip K. Dick’s hallucinatory exegesis.
dostoyevsky1.jpg?w=680
Portrait of Fyodor Dostoyevsky by Vasily Perov, 1871
The story begins with the narrator wandering the streets of St. Petersburg on “a gloomy night, the gloomiest night you can conceive,” dwelling on how others have ridiculed him all his life and slipping into nihilism with the “terrible anguish” of believing that nothing matters. He peers into the glum sky, gazes at a lone little star, and contemplates suicide; two months earlier, despite his destitution, he had bought an “excellent revolver” with the same intention, but the gun had remained in his drawer since. Suddenly, as he is staring at the star, a little girl of about eight, wearing ragged clothes and clearly in distress, grabs him by the arm and inarticulately begs his help. But the protagonist, disenchanted with life, shoos her away and returns to the squalid room he shares with a drunken old captain, furnished with “a sofa covered in American cloth, a table with some books, two chairs and an easy-chair, old, incredibly old, but still an easy-chair.”
As he sinks into the easy-chair to think about ending his life, he finds himself haunted by the image of the little girl, leading him to question his nihilistic disposition. Dostoyevsky writes:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngI knew for certain that I would shoot myself that night, but how long I would sit by the table — that I did not know. I should certainly have shot myself, but for that little girl.

You see: though it was all the same to me, I felt pain, for instance. If any one were to strike me, I should feel pain. Exactly the same in the moral sense: if anything very pitiful happened, I would feel pity, just as I did before everything in life became all the same to me. I had felt pity just before: surely, I would have helped a child without fail. Why did I not help the little girl, then? It was because of an idea that came into my mind then. When she was pulling at me and calling to me, suddenly a question arose before me, which I could not answer. The question was an idle one; but it made me angry. I was angry because of my conclusion, that if I had already made up my mind that I would put an end to myself to-night, then now more than ever before everything in the world should be all the same to me. Why was it that I felt it was not all the same to me, and pitied the little girl? I remember I pitied her very much: so much that I felt a pain that was even strange and incredible in my situation…

It seemed clear that if I was a man and not a cipher yet, and until I was changed into a cipher, then I was alive and therefore could suffer, be angry and feel shame for my actions. Very well. But if I were to kill myself, for instance, in two hours from now, what is the girl to me, and what have I to do with shame or with anything on earth? I am going to be a cipher, an absolute zero. Could my consciousness that I would soon absolutely cease to exist, and that therefore nothing would exist, have not the least influence on my feeling of pity for the girl or on my sense of shame for the vileness I had committed?

From the moral, he veers into the existential:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngIt became clear to me that life and the world, as it were, depended upon me. I might even say that the world had existed for me alone. I should shoot myself, and then there would be no world at all, for me at least. Not to mention that perhaps there will really be nothing for any one after me, and the whole world, as soon as my consciousness is extinguished, will also be extinguished like a phantom, as part of my consciousness only, and be utterly abolished, since perhaps all this world and all these men are myself alone.

Beholding “these new, thronging questions,” he plunges into a contemplation of what free will really means. In a passage that calls to mind John Cage’s famous aphorism on the meaning of life — “No why. Just here.” — and George Lucas’s assertion that “life is beyond reason,” Dostoyevsky suggests through his protagonist that what gives meaning to life is life itself:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngOne strange consideration suddenly presented itself to me. If I had previously lived on the moon or in Mars, and I had there been dishonored and disgraced so utterly that one can only imagine it sometimes in a dream or a nightmare, and if I afterwards found myself on earth and still preserved a consciousness of what I had done on the other planet, and if I knew besides that I would never by any chance return, then, if I were to look at the moon from the earth — would it be all the same to me or not? Would I feel any shame for my action or not? The questions were idle and useless, for the revolver was already lying before me, and I knew with all my being that this thing would happen for certain: but the questions excited me to rage. I could not die now, without having solved this first. In a word, that little girl saved me, for my questions made me postpone pulling the trigger.

Just as he ponders this, the protagonist slips into sleep in the easy-chair, but it’s a sleep that has the quality of wakeful dreaming. In one of many wonderful semi-asides, Dostoyevsky peers at the eternal question of why we have dreams:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngDreams are extraordinarily strange. One thing appears with terrifying clarity, with the details finely set like jewels, while you leap over another, as though you did not notice it at all — space and time, for instance. It seems that dreams are the work not of mind but of desire, not of the head but of the heart… In a dream things quite incomprehensible come to pass. For instance, my brother died five years ago. Sometimes I see him in a dream: he takes part in my affairs, and we are very excited, while I, all the time my dream goes on, know and remember perfectly that my brother is dead and buried. Why am I not surprised that he, though dead, is still near me and busied about me? Why does my mind allow all that?

In this strange state, the protagonist dreams that he takes his revolver and points it at his heart — not his head, where he had originally intended to shoot himself. After waiting a second or two, his dream-self pulls the trigger quickly. Then something remarkable happens:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngI felt no pain, but it seemed to me that with the report, everything in me was convulsed, and everything suddenly extinguished. It was terribly black all about me. I became as though blind and numb, and I lay on my back on something hard. I could see nothing, neither could I make any sound. People were walking and making a noise about me: the captain’s bass voice, the landlady’s screams… Suddenly there was a break. I am being carried in a closed coffin. I feel the coffin swinging and I think about that, and suddenly for the first time the idea strikes me that I am dead, quite dead. I know it and do not doubt it; I cannot see nor move, yet at the same time I feel and think. But I am soon reconciled to that, and as usual in a dream I accept the reality without a question.

Now I am being buried in the earth. Every one leaves me and I am alone, quite alone. I do not stir… I lay there and — strange to say — I expected nothing, accepting without question that a dead man has nothing to expect. But it was damp. I do not know how long passed — an hour, a few days, or many days. Suddenly, on my left eye which was closed, a drop of water fell, which had leaked through the top of the grave. In a minute fell another, then a third, and so on, every minute. Suddenly, deep indignation kindled in my heart and suddenly in my heart I felt physical pain. ‘It’s my wound,’ I thought. ‘It’s where I shot myself. The bullet is there.’ And all the while the water dripped straight on to my closed eye. Suddenly, I cried out, not with a voice, for I was motionless, but with all my being, to the arbiter of all that was being done to me.

“Whosoever thou art, if thou art, and if there exists a purpose more intelligent than the things which are now taking place, let it be present here also. But if thou dost take vengeance upon me for my foolish suicide, then know, by the indecency and absurdity of further existence, that no torture whatever that may befall me, can ever be compared to the contempt which I will silently feel, even through millions of years of martyrdom.”

I cried out and was silent. Deep silence lasted a whole minute. One more drop even fell. But I knew and believed, infinitely and steadfastly, that in a moment everything would infallibly change. Suddenly, my grave opened. I do not know whether it had been uncovered and opened, but I was taken by some dark being unknown to me, and we found ourselves in space. Suddenly, I saw. It was deep night; never, never had such darkness been! We were borne through space and were already far from the earth. I asked nothing of him who led me. I was proud and waited. I assured myself that I was not afraid, and my heart melted with rapture at the thought that I was not afraid. I do not remember how long we rushed through space, and I cannot imagine it. It happened as always in a dream when you leap over space and time and the laws of life and mind, and you stop only there where your heart delights.

cosmigraphics156.jpg?w=680
The 1845 depiction of a galaxy that inspired Van Gogh’s ‘The Starry Night,’ from Michael Benson’s Cosmigraphics: Picturing Space Through Time
Through the thick darkness, he sees a star — the same little star he had seen before shooing the girl away. As the dream continues, the protagonist describes a sort of transcendence akin to what is experienced during psychedelic drug trips or in deep meditation states:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngSuddenly a familiar yet most overwhelming emotion shook me through. I saw our sun. I knew that it could not be our sun, which had begotten our earth, and that we were an infinite distance away, but somehow all through me I recognized that it was exactly the same sun as ours, its copy and double. A sweet and moving delight echoed rapturously through my soul. The dear power of light, of that same light which had given me birth, touched my heart and revived it, and I felt life, the old life, for the first time since my death.

He finds himself in another world, Earthlike in every respect, except “everything seemed to be bright with holiday, with a great and sacred triumph, finally achieved” — a world populated by “children of the sun,” happy people whose eyes “shone with a bright radiance” and whose faces “gleamed with wisdom, and with a certain consciousness, consummated in tranquility.” The protagonist exclaims:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngOh, instantly, at the first glimpse of their faces I understood everything, everything!

Conceding that “it was only a dream,” he nonetheless asserts that “the sensation of the love of those beautiful and innocent people” was very much real and something he carried into wakeful life on Earth. Awaking in his easy-chair at dawn, he exclaims anew with rekindled gratitude for life:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngOh, now — life, life! I lifted my hands and called upon the eternal truth, not called, but wept. Rapture, ineffable rapture exalted all my being. Yes, to live…

Dostoyevsky concludes with his protagonist’s reflection on the shared essence of life, our common conquest of happiness and kindness:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngAll are tending to one and the same goal, at least all aspire to the same goal, from the wise man to the lowest murderer, but only by different ways. It is an old truth, but there is this new in it: I cannot go far astray. I saw the truth. I saw and know that men could be beautiful and happy, without losing the capacity to live upon the earth. I will not, I cannot believe that evil is the normal condition of men… I saw the truth, I did not invent it with my mind. I saw, saw, and her living image filled my soul for ever. I saw her in such consummate perfection that I cannot possibly believe that she was not among men. How can I then go astray? … The living image of what I saw will be with me always, and will correct and guide me always. Oh, I am strong and fresh, I can go on, go on, even for a thousand years.

[…]

And it is so simple… The one thing is — love thy neighbor as thyself — that is the one thing. That is all, nothing else is needed. You will instantly find how to live.

A century later, Jack Kerouac would echo this in his own magnificent meditation on kindness and the “Golden Eternity.”
A Writer’s Diary is a beautiful read in its entirety. Complement it with Tolstoy on finding meaning in a meaningless world and Margaret Mead’s dreamed epiphany about why life is like blue jelly.

Weekly Character Goal Generation : Creativity Activity : Jay Mentor Thursday


Set a Weekly Character Goal from the Randomly chosen ones below.

  1. Escape their destiny.
  2. Explore the oceans.
  3. Be respected.
  4. Overcome mockery from the past.
  5. Overcome mockery from the past.
  6. Better themselves.
  7. Appease the gods.
  8. Create a utopia.
  9. Satisfy their curiosity.
  10. Find a cure.

You can join two or three sentences and later make them crisp, short or replace the words in the goal statements above to your taste and choice.

See the outcome and if it makes you happy. If not, wait till next Thursday. 🙂

RAK Movement- Thursday Random Acts of Kindness – Jay Parkhe


  1. Feed a stray animal if you spot one
  2. Surprise your parents with flowers
  3. Buy more ethically sourced foods
  4. Surroundings looking messy? Tidy up the area around you
  5. Say good morning/afternoon/evening to a stranger
  6. Help a younger student with their work
  7. Make someone a cup of coffee
  8. Send a thank you card to someone who has made a difference in your life (a friend, family member, teacher etc.)
  9. Make amends with someone you may have wronged
  10. Someone looking lost? Help them with directions

10 Foolish Criminals Who Called The Police On Themselves


SAM DUNSMORE 

 

Some criminals are not very clever, and they spectacularly fail to pull off their crimes. We’ve certainly published a lot of stories about crazy criminalswhose antics defy rational explanation.

But the criminals on this list take “stupid” to a whole new level. Each of them managed to find themselves in so much trouble that they needed to call the police for help.

10Leland Ayala-Doliente And Holland Sward

Photo credit: eastidahonews.com

In early 2015, Leland Ayala-Doliente and Holland Sward were driving from California to Montana with about 9 kilograms (20 lb) of marijuana in their car. As they crossed the Nevada-Idaho border, the pair became convinced that they were being followed by policemen in civilian cars. The duo grew paranoid, and they decided to pull over and call the police.

When the 911 dispatcher answered, Doliente told her, “Hi, uh, we’re the two dumbasses that got caught trying to bring some stuff through your border, and all your cops are just driving around us like a bunch of jack wagons, and I’d just like for you guys to end it.”

The dispatcher was bewildered as no police were following the young men. However, she noted their location and sent a police car to get them. The officers arrived to find the two men with their hands on their heads and the marijuana tied up in a garbage bag on the side of the road.

The pair was arrested, and both tested positive for marijuana. They were charged with felony drug trafficking. Sward was sentenced to 30 days in jail. However, Doliente—who tested positive for marijuana, cocaine, and oxycodone on his sentencing day—received one-and-a-half to eight years in prison.[1]

9Rye Daniel Wardlaw

Photo credit: CBS News

In mid-2018 in Vancouver, Washington, Rye Wardlaw broke into an escaperoom and grabbed a remote control, a smartphone, and a beer. Then Wardlaw sat down, drank the beer, and ate a burrito that he had brought with him. After he finished his breakfast, he tried to leave the room through the same door he had entered. However, he had broken the doorknob when he busted into the room, and the door would not open.

Wardlaw tried to get out of the escape room’s front door, but he couldn’t figure out how to open the lock. Fearing he was trapped, he started to panic. Wardlaw grabbed the business’s phone and dialed 911. He told the operator that he was calling from the escape room because his home was being burglarized.

While he was waiting for the police, Wardlaw managed to open the damaged door. He ran outside—right into the police officers. He was arrested and charged with second-degree burglary.[2]

8Timothy James Chapek

Photo credit: ABC News

In 2011, Timothy Chapek broke into a Portland woman’s home, went into her bathroom, and jumped in the shower. While he was bathing, he heard the homeowner return. Chapek feared that she owned guns, so he locked the bathroom door, grabbed his phone, and called the police. He confessed to breaking into the home and begged them to help him.

Hilary Mackenzie, the homeowner, heard Chapek’s voice, and she told her daughter to leave the house. Mackenzie called her two German shepherds to her, and the trio went to confront Chapek. She asked him, “Why are you in my house taking a shower?” He responded, “I broke in. I was kidnapped.”[3]

Mackenzie went outside and called the police. They arrived and arrested Chapek. Repeating his story, he claimed that a group of men had kidnappedhim and put him in the bathroom. Police did not believe Chapek’s story, and he was charged with a misdemeanor for criminal trespassing.

7Michael Lester

Photo credit: patch.com

Having spent New Year’s Eve 2018 drinking and driving in Florida, Michael Lester decided to call 911 and turn himself in. He told the dispatcher that he had been driving drunk all night “trying to get pulled over.” He added that he was driving on the wrong side of the road and had no idea where he was.

The dispatcher urged him to pull over. So Lester decided to stop and find something to eat. He hung up on the dispatcher and parked his car in the middle of the road.

Officers quickly tracked Lester down and gave him a sobriety test, which he promptly failed. He told the policemen that he had drunk three or four beers, swallowed meth, and only slept four hours in the past four days. Lester was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, driving on the wrong side of the road, and driving without wearing a seat belt.[4]

6Jesse Berube

Photo credit: TIME

A couple of weeks before Christmas 2017, Jesse Berube decided to rob Loree’s Little Shack, a California bar where he was a regular customer. Inspired by St. Nick, Berube choose to enter the business through the chimney. He sneaked onto the roof, slipped into the chimney’s opening—which was less than 46 centimeters (18 in) wide—and slowly slid down the flue.

Around halfway down, Berube hit a dead end. The pipe took a 90-degree corner, and it was impossible for Berube to follow it. He tried to climb out of the chimney, but he could barely move. Berube managed to wiggle just enough to reach his cell phone and call for help.

Firefighters arrived and used specialized equipment to free Berube. He emerged from the chimney covered in soot but physically uninjured. Police arrested him, and he was charged with one count of burglary.[5]

5Triston Crossland And Derrick Dionno

Photo credit: ktla.com

In early 2016, an El Dorado County, California, police officer spotted Triston Crossland and Derrick Dionno’s car swerving on the road and he attempted to pull the pair over. However, Crossland, a parolee, and Dionno, who had four active warrants, had meth, heroin, marijuana, and a gun in the car. They knew they would go to jail if they were caught.

The men parked and jumped out of their car. They ran down a canyon, crossed an icy river, ran across the snow-covered ground, and disappeared into the woods. Several hours later, Crossland and Dionno ran into a Forest Service officer, who warned them that they might freeze to death, but the duo just ran and hid.

Hours passed, and the pair started to worry that they actually would freeze to death. They called 911 and begged to be rescued. A SWAT team found the men the next morning. They were suffering from hypothermia and probable frostbite. A policeman said of the pair, “I have never seen two people happier to go to jail.”[6]

They were charged with felons in possession, evasion of a peace officer, obstruction, and numerous narcotics charges.

4Christopher Moore

Photo credit: dfw.cbslocal.com

In late 2012, Christopher Moore broke into the Gerows’ Springtown, Texas, home in the middle of the night and began to burglarize it. He sneaked into the master bedroom, grabbed a few things, and accidentally woke up James Gerow. Moore left the room while Gerow got out of bed. Gerow initially believed that the intruder was his son, but he noticed that his son was still asleep. He spotted Moore’s truck in his driveway, grabbed a handgun, and ran to confront the thief.

Gerow managed to chase Moore down and take his car keys. Moore dove inside his truck and hid while Gerow and his son held him at gunpoint. Moore frantically called the police and told them, “I’m out in the country somewhere. Some guy’s got a gun on me. He’s going to come shoot me.”[7]

Police came and arrested Moore. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven years of probation and 200 hours of community service.

3Cody Bragg

Photo credit: cantonrep.com

Cody Bragg was driving through a Walmart parking lot in Canton, Ohio, in 2011 when he spotted a purse in a shopping cart. He pulled his hood over his head and slowly rolled forward. Bragg reached his hand out of the car window and snatched the handbag. The owner grabbed her purse, and Bragg dragged her several feet before she let go.

John Shuman had been watching Bragg and thought he looked suspicious. After Bragg stole the purse, Shuman decided to follow him. Shuman hopped in his snowplow, called 911, and chased Bragg for 30 minutes.[8]

Bragg eventually noticed what the snowplow driver was doing, so Bragg called 911 to report that he was being followed. He told the dispatcher that he must have been mistaken for the purse snatcher. The dispatcher told Bragg to go back to the parking lot, where he was arrested and charged with robbery and theft. Bragg was sentenced to nine years in prison.

2John Finch

In early 2011, John Finch decided to break into a Delaware house that had been unoccupied since it was damaged in a storm. Finch had broken into the home once before, and he was certain that he could easily do so again.

He entered through a window in the house and headed straight for the liquorcabinet. Finch spent the next three days in a booze-filled stupor as he downed three bottles of gin and two bottles of whiskey.

After he had cleaned out the liquor cabinet, Finch decided to leave the house. He discovered that the homeowner had changed the locks since his last burglary. A key was now required to open the door—even from the inside. Finch was too drunk to deal with the locks or to climb out the window he had broken to get in.

So he called 911 for help. Officers arrived and spoke with him through a cracked window. They quickly realized that he was not the homeowner. Finch was taken to a hospital to sober up and then was charged with burglary.[9]

1Edward Sanchez

Photo credit: Potent

In 2006, Michigan police officer Edward Sanchez took marijuana from a criminal suspect and hid it in his vehicle. After retrieving the pot from his car later that evening, he and his wife baked it into brownies. They ate the entire batch.

Sanchez, who had smoked pot before, had never eaten a pot brownie. He began to feel strange. He started to worry that the pot was laced with something, and he called 911. Sanchez told an emergency dispatcher that he thought he and his wife were overdosing on marijuana.

“I think we’re dying,” he said. “We made brownies and I think we’re dead, I really do.” He gave the dispatcher his address and repeatedly asked if the ambulance was coming. He told the dispatcher, “Time is going by really, really slow.”[10]

Later, Sanchez admitted that he had stolen drugs before, including cocaine that his wife had used for a three-week binge. Neither Sanchez nor his wife was charged with any crime. However, he did resign from the police department.

Did you know…


… that today is the anniversary of the Beatles’ Last Public Concert? On this day in 1966, the Beatles held their last public concert as they ended their fourth American tour at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.

~~~

Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

— Stephen R. Covey

The Poet and the Actress


The Poet and the Actress

Rhyming Couplet Ideas by jay

See the slithering of the Poet,
I think he’s angry at the mowatt.

He finds it hard to see the spanner,
Overshadowed by the quietude planner.

Who is that snorting near the goldfish?
I think she’d like to eat the blue catfish.

She is but a snappy acting,
Admired as she sits upon a black tongue.

Her scatterbrain car is just a dream,
It needs no gas, it runs on karim.

She’s not alone she brings an Amigo,
a pet hedgehog, and lots of blow.

The hedgehog likes to chase an Amiga,
Especially one that’s in the rega.

The Poet shudders at the dimwit seal
He want to leave but she wants the brasil.

Thank you for Reading. Have fun. 

User experience -Key determinant for success and failure for any CRM application – CRM Read


via User experience -Key determinant for success and failure for any CRM application – CRM Read

My latest article in CRMRead.com. Thank you Padmajah Badri – Editor In Chief for kindly inviting me to write.

Wednesday Mentor: 12 Sales-Boosting Strategies


 

Word Count:
621

Summary:
Want to Hyperscale and boost profits and gain market share? Here are some things you can do to gain a bigger piece of the pie.

Article Body:
The competition is fierce and advertising budgets are tighter than ever whether you are a Startupper, Startpreneur, Solopreneur, Woman Entrepreneur or SME.  We are HyperCurious to boost our profits, HyperScale turnover and gain market share. I recommend following things that we can do to gain a bigger piece of Market Pie and Profits.

Give your product a distinct personality.

Staples is an instantly identifiable, highly memorable name that boosted sales and brand recognition. It personifies the brand while selling the message that whatever customers need they can get at Staples.

Give them an interesting history lesson.
Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, left historical records of a powder made from the bark and leaves of the willow tree to help heal headaches, breads and fevers. By 1829, scientists discovered that salicin in willow plants was the key ingredient in aspirin, which was later repackaged and marketed by Bayer.

Sing your productís praises.
Create a memorable catchy song, poem or jingle that hooks in peopleís minds. Gillette sold millions of razor blades using the Best Man Can Get, which continues to stick in consumers’ heads, leaving a positive impression about the product’s unbeatable performance.

Re-package your product for the customer.
Create new convenience packaging that makes your product easier to buy, use or refill. Motor oil used to be sold in cans that required a punch-in can opener or separate punch-through spout. These were messy and troublesome to use.

Let consumables take the lead.

Computer printers can be bought for as little as $ 20 , yet the ink cartridges sell for $ 29 apiece . Do not worry about making a big profit on devices , let your consumables take the lead .

Use viral marketing.
Viral marketing is any word-of-mouth or ìtell a friendî mechanism that induces users to re-convey a marketing message to other sites or users. Leveraged by the power of the web and email, viral techniques can create exponential growth in your products.

Customize your product.
Try to give customers exactly what they want by creating apparently customized versions of your product. Consider the success of Cycle 1, 2, 3, 4 Pet Foods, or Burger Have it Your Way.î

Go high tech.
Exploit the latest technological advancements in media to underscore your message. For example, explore the use of audio chips in magazines, brochures or mailers. The novelty of these devices gets people talking, and thereís that ìVî word again (viral marketing).

Promote product sharing.
This can be done by showing how your product brings friends and family together. An emotional appeal like this can be very memorable. For example you can share half and still have a whole.î Another is the ubiquitous Friends-and-Family discount, which abounds in everything from cell phones to vacation packages.

Show your product being used by experts.
If possible, establish your product as the one used by recognized experts in the field. A case in point is Canon ís use of photo journalists to endorse its 35mm cameras.

Make your product sui generis.
Establish the fact that your product is generically in a class by itself. Consider Porscheís use of the line ìthere is no substitute.î Or products that have become household words: ìblow your nose with a Kleenex,î or ìmake me a Xerox copy.î

Think outside the demographic box.
Attract a new category of customers by thinking outside the box. Consider gaining younger or older buyers by expanding the utility and style of your product, e.g., cell phones for ëtweens, or health bars for seniors.

 

 

Paracosm


 Disney Quotes

Some great words from an amazing man!

TAGGED WITH PARACOSM

Fantasy and reality often overlap.

Walt’s ability to deal with the harsh reality that separated two gruesome world wars with the support of fantasy, could now comfortably be described as escapism.


Across the Atlantic and a century earlier, Emily Bronté, a young author, housebound in adversity, learned to escape her own reality, to create a simulacrum of the real world, a world full of ‘real people’, living ‘real lives’, both in love and in tragedy.

Her father strictly managed her environment, yet those dull Yorkshire walls bore no bounds to her imagination of a life that she could not possibly have understood or experienced.

A world that ordinary people enjoyed and endured day in and day out.

Powerful novels like Wuthering Heights, belied her youth and life experience.


In the latter part of the 20th Century, psychologists described such phenomena as Paracosm.

The rather scary sounding term used to refer for example, to a child’s ability to create an imaginary friend for their own enjoyment.


Rather interestingly, an author that Walt greatly admired; J M Barrie, is attributed to have an ability to use paracosm to astonishing effect.

His most famous work is one of Walt’s much treasured novels.

Peter Pan of course, was possibly the most imaginative character of the 1900’s and later became one of Walt Disney’s greatest on screen creations.


Fantasy and reality – a tough balance!

If we believe Walt, being able to dream and fantasise is crucially important.

Who are we to disagree?


Well, to be honest us!

We are parents, spouses, workers, breadwinners and more. We have responsibilities!

As a result we are unfortunately bound by our regular lives and the appropriate pressures that day to day life burdens us with.

The same of course, applied to Walt.


Forgive the pun, but the art of fantasy, in Walt’s case for sure, was to ensure that the dreams influenced reality, exercised carefully without destroying the essential practicalities of his life.

No doubt Walt sat with his kids, doing homework, washing dishes, fixing the car.


My money is on the fact that we saw a glimmer of those practical experiences in much of his work. Walt didn’t just use fantasy to influence his life, he used his life to influence his fantasies.


That is the art of fantasy!


4 essential questions to ask before launching your dream | Ladders


via 4 essential questions to ask before launching your dream | Ladders

Motivational Slogans for Wednesday


I just wish one of my Toastmaster friends is reading this and chooses these as the Table Topics rather than the Horror TERROR TOPICs they choose which horrify me each time I pick one of them. 🙂

On a serious note, These Slogans can sometimes show us the much needed solution to a Top of the mind problem.  Dr. Edward de Bono in his famous Random Input/ Random Object example shows us how Attribute listing can be used as an effective tool/ remedial measure by brainstorming about our Top of the mind problems.

I have used this technique over 100 times in Corporate and personal life and it works every time.  For e.g.  You may chose at random any of these statements which closely or distantly relates to your problem.

Write 3-6 attributes if you have chosen upto 5 of the 10 listed below and 1-3 if you have chosen more than 5 slogans.

List attributes on one side of the paper. On the other side Write down the problem and the elements/ breakdown or attributes of the problem in simple language.

Use Dr. DeBono’s technique and find your answers.

Change a life.
Everybody needs a break.
Comfort in our hands.
We’re here for you.
Trust us.
The next generation.
Now’s the time.
Remember.
Be more.
Fit for a king.

RAK Movement- Wednesday Random Acts of Kindness – Jay Parkhe


  1. Make a conscious effort to recycle
  2. We all love surprises! Buy someone an unexpected gift
  3. Surroundings looking messy? Tidy up the area around you
  4. Bake something for your family/friends
  5. Know someone who is not coping very well? Give them a call
  6. Buy someone a coffee
  7. Reconnect with your grandparents or an elderly person you know – give them a call!
  8. Make your voice count – sign a petition for a good cause
  9. Put your phone down and have a conversation with a friend
  10. Support a small, local business as a customer

Did you know… …


Did you know…

… that today is the birthday of United Parcel Service (UPS)? UPS was started in 1907 by teenagers Jim Casey and Claude Ryan in Seattle, Washington. The company, originally named American Messenger Company, now delivers more than 5 billion packages every year.

~~~

Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights.”

— Pauline R. Kezer

Mentor Master Class- Free Tutorial Series 1-10 for Mentors from Jay Parkhe #10


Mentoring has been widely credited with being an effective tool for human resource development. Its application can be found in many diverse sectors such as −

Manufacturing

Tourism and Hospitality

Petro-chemical industries

Public sector/government

Financial services

Educational institutions

Service industries

Charities

Mentoring is used in organizations at different stages of employee engagement. It is a constant process in which an employee is involved with, right from the time of his joining the company to every step he takes up towards progress. Right from their induction, employees are assigned role models whom they can imbibe as much expertise and experience as possible from.

Potential candidates are groomed for higher positions in a timely and job-related manner so that he is ready to shoulder the desired responsibilities when they are handed over to him. This is done through providing job-related training, and sharing relevant knowledge so that the desired levels of expertise in the skill-sets can be observed in these people.

Mentoring also includes providing proper integration into a new process and assistance in major transitions in their professional life to new stages, enhance job-related knowledge and skills for the present so that the employees can easily adapt to the changing environments of the workplace.

Case Study: Significance of Mentoring at Zappos.com

Many organizations define their company’s working process as set of values. Their employees are expected to own these values as a part of their daily life at work. A good example of one such company will be Zappos, an online shoe and footwear apparel shopping site.

There are cases of people who used to work with Zappos.com, and were fired even when they were doing their jobs perfectly, if it was found that they were not leading their professional lives in the spirit of the company’s culture.

Zappos has ten core values to clearly define the Zappos Family culture, and these core values can be observed in everything the company does −

Deliver WOW! Service

Create fun and a little weirdness

Build positive team and family spirit

Pursue growth and learning

Be passionate and determined

Embrace and drive change

Be adventurous, creative, open-minded

Build open and honest relationships

Do more with less

Be humble

These values at Zappos are written into their organizational strategy. Values are often written down as part of the organization’s strategy. As their CEO, Tony Hsieh says, these values help them to delight the customers by providing them the right suggestion and information at the right time.

These values also help them to accept and respect people’s opinions, which helps them adapt to the changing demands accordingly, and improve their customer service.

They manage this through a constant mentoring of their supporting and developing staff, who are encouraged to maintain transparency at every stage of their business proceedings so that a blame-free working environment can be created.

Zappos invests a lot of time and effort in making new inductees understand what exactly the reasons behind these ten values of their company being so important to the functioning and growth of their company are. This mentoring makes the new employees understand the significance of these values in contributing to the company’s mission and strategy.

Jet Airways GlobalLinker | The Big Business Advantage


via Jet Airways GlobalLinker | The Big Business Advantage

RAK Movement- Wednes Random Acts of Kindness – Jay Parkhe


  1. Share your lunch with a friend
  2. Buy more ethically sourced foods
  3. Neighbour’s lawn looking messy? Offer to mow it
  4. Put your phone down and have a conversation with a friend
  5. Feeling inspired? Make a meal for your family or roommates
  6. Help a younger student with their work
  7. Help someone improve, give them constructive feedback
  8. We rarely listen to others – ask someone about their day
  9. No matter how annoying they can be, tell your siblings how much you appreciate them
  10. Make a hot beverage for a friend/family

Mentor Master Class- Free Tutorial Series 1-10 for Mentors from Jay Parkhe #9


Mentoring is the process of guiding those employees who are excellent performers. The idea behind mentoring is not so much to extract the best performance out of the employees, as to keep them focused and dedicated to their standards of performance.

The idea behind mentoring is to engage a person with more experience in a specific job responsibility in sharing his work experience with younger and newer employees who are doing great, so that they understand the further responsibilities and expectations they will be facing in the future.

Mentoring helps employees make a smooth transition from their current working responsibilities to the ones that they earn with their good performances. They are groomed and nurtured in an organization under the guidance of another senior manager with proven credentials.

This differs from counselling, or coaching, where the objective is to provide corrective assistance to those performers who deliver average to poor output. The desired course of action in coaching is more supportive that guidance-oriented, as compared to mentoring in which a person with better skills, expertise and experience becomes a role model to good performers with the objective of enhancing the employees’ career development and personal development.

Coaching, or counseling, is a supportive process to define and correct personal problems or skills that affect performance. The counselor rectifies behaviors and provides direction and discipline as needed for as long as necessary.

The person providing mentoring is referred to as a ‘mentor’, and the ones he guides are known as ‘mentees’. Mentees are also referred as ‘protégé’s’.

What “ing” are you for? – Tara Heavey – Medium


via What “ing” are you for? – Tara Heavey – Medium

Mine are

Sharing

Loving

Caring

Helping

Uplifting

Wondering

Wandering

Dreaming

Writing

Drawing

Painting

Driving

Reading

Surfing

 

among other s:)   what are yours?

Creativity Exercise: Daily Motto Generation


  1. In unity and freedom.
  2. Never forget.
  3. Bold and righteous.
  4. We are always free.
  5. Love of the people, strength of the nation.
  6. Of the sea, the land and the sky.
  7. Righteous in duty.
  8. Above all we stand.
  9. Glorious, victorious.
  10. People of the land.

Take your PIck. Twist it, turn it, modify it, break it down, add two or three together and see the outcome for fun.

Then get serious. Add your own objective and drew some ideas from here.

RAK Movement- Tuesday Random Acts of Kindness – Jay Parkhe


  1. Help an elderly person cross the road or up the stairs
  2. Recycle 3 things today
  3. Share today’s food with your neighbour!
  4. Good servicing requires a lot of effort; tip them!
  5. Hug your parents
  6. Let someone know how much you appreciate them
  7. No matter how annoying they can be, tell your siblings how much you appreciate them
  8. Help someone academically – lend them your study notes
  9. Be someone’s shoulder to cry on
  10. We all need help sometimes; offer someone a helping hand

Passion – A Didactic Cinquain


by Jay

Passion
Unreasoning,
Amatory, flirting,
Ever so furious
Cacoethes beaten dead horse

🇮🇳धनंजय ‘जय’ पारखे🇮🇳 (@DhananjayParkhe on Twitter)


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Twopcharts ranking English language: #608,521
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Tweeted last 30 days 4,226 67.87%

via 🇮🇳धनंजय ‘जय’ पारखे🇮🇳 (@DhananjayParkhe on Twitter)

Did you know..


Did you know…

… that today is National Cherry Popsicle Day? The Popsicle was originally developed by 11-year-old Frank Epperson in 1905. Frank had left his fruit-flavored soda outside on the porch with a stir stick in it and the drink froze to the stick. It took 18 more years for Epperson to apply for a patent for a “frozen ice on a stick” called the Epsicle ice pop, which his children re-named the Popsicle. Celebrate today by how? Eating a Popsicle of course! 😉

~~~

Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.”

— Aldous Huxley

Re-Learning to be a Professional Speaker


My blogpost on Blogger 

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Mentor Master Class- Free Tutorial Series 1-10 for Mentors from Jay Parkhe #8


People often set very high goals for themselves and this is the reason they often fail to achieve them. While a person’s career path is one of the most structured graphs one can have in his life, it depends on how we plan things to make a smooth transition from one job responsibility to another.

In other words, a person needs to have a good goal to be able to achieve it. A good goal is the one that has five distinct features. They need to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely. These features make a goal a SMART goal.

Specific − Your goal must be clearly definable, and explained.

Measurable − Your goal can be expressed in empirical terms, as in days, hours, money invested, etc.

Achievable − It is okay if your goal pushes you past your comfort zone but it must still be achievable.

Relevant − Your goals must directly or indirectly address a need in your life. A goal that doesn’t solve a problem is not worth pursuing.

Timely − The goal must be time-bound; there is no point in pushing a goal into the future as that decreases the drive and need to achieve it.

Is Your Goal SMART?

Specific − What exactly do you want to achieve?

Measurable − How will you know that you have achieved this goal?

Achievable − Can you put in the effort, resources and money into achieving this goal? If no, then how are you planning to get them?

Relevant − What issues in your life will be addressed when you achieve this goal?

Timely − When will you achieve this goal?

What are the problems in your path?

Potential ObstaclesPotential Solutions

Specific Action Steps

What steps need to be taken to get you to your goal?

This morning : Random Phrase for today


Ugly Duckling

Meaning: 

One who may seem plain at first in appearance or capability, but later turns out to be beautiful or great.

English is a FUNNY language – Said Shri Amitabh Bachchan in a film dialogue. i fully Agree.

I was writing to a Mentee of mine who is struggling and in the endline mentioned – Hope you face your Waterloo soon !   I had of course, heard someone say it. I knew it was about Napoleon Bonaparte but I did not know the meaning.

I sent the mail and checked the dictionary and said WTH – let me find my right word.  And Lo and Behold ! I found it.  I wanted to say – let this incident / function today prove to be your Watershed moment and all your struggles should come to fruition!

So, you can see, English is such a funny language.  I was sending a short resume on whatsapp to a membership incharge of Toastmasters and I said, i was an Orator, Debator and extempore speaker and I wish to relearn speaking skills as redundancy has set in.  And What?

After a while I saw a message with smileys and thumbs ups ! and I said, what happened?  he liked my resume?  And I read and re-read again.

It read I was and Orator, SENATOR ( capitals mine) and I said WTH 1  This is T9 and Grammarly dictionary apps promoting me! WOW!

On both occasions I laughed inwardly at my own self and my follies and said Oh – perhaps the morning Random Phrase is coming true for me.

Amen !

4 Secret Selling Techniques You Must Implement


 

Word Count:

691

Summary:

To reach our business goals we need right resources and/or the insights to help our business reach the success it’s capable of.  Following four insights will help us generate the business we’ve always dreamed of.

Article Body:

1.  Experiment with New Advertising Methods

 

A sharp decline in the effectiveness of our advertising campaign is usually the the first sign that we might need to explore new marketing strategies We shell out and ( as critics say – BURN) hard earned cash to advertise, and pubic turns its nose up! Procrastinating till our profits are plunging to start hunting for new marketing strategies is futile.

What could possibly be these foolproof selling techniques? Yeah, no more customers walking out with empty hands… no more profits disappearing into thin air! Share below,  are 4 secrets that will help you put money in your pocket, and enhance your current customer list and augment, hyperscale your business.

 

1. Make It Easy


While the old adage – variety is the spice of life is true;  giving customers too many choices can lead them into indecision or procrastination. We know, very well;  when customers procrastinate … we lose sale!

Imagine a customer walks into shop / the point of purchase, your business premises; and is ready to purchase, and suddenly sees several options he didn’t know existed, he’ll stop, and then decide… which one?   If he’s uncertain… well, you lose a sale that was already in your pocket.

Make it easy for your customers to decide… yes, I’ll buy it… no I won’t buy it.  Yes and no decisions are a lot easier to make, and are more likely to put cash in the drawer.

 

2. Offer Several Ways To Buy

 

Too many choices can overwhelm customers and can cost you sales.  These options of how to buy may open up avenues for customers to purchase the product they’ve decided they need. They say there are different strokes for different folks… your customers don’t all use same methods to buy.  It just makes sense that if the method they prefer is available, they’ll be more likely to take advantage of it.

Convenience it the key to attracting buyers in today’s fast paced society.  What will be the fastest and easiest for them… credit card, phone, fax, Internet, or cold hard cash?

 

3. Keep it Simple

Do you remember the frustration of spending 10 minutes pushing buttons on the phone just to get through a pain-in-the-neck automated ordering service.  Heck, you just wanted to buy that one item!  Maybe it was the time you had to click your finger raw, just to jump through the hoops of an online shopping cart.  Yeah, the temptation to just forget it is right there!

Don’t frustrate your customers with intricate ordering processes.  Most likely, they just want to place the order in a few minutes and be done.  Let them get frustrated, and they’ll go elsewhere, or just abandon the idea altogether.

4. Follow Up

One of my favorite catalog companies always closes out the sale with a special buy that is available only at the time of purchase.  I’m an impulsive shopper by  but it stops me in my tracks every time.  I know it’s a one-time shot, and I really consider whether I want or need it before I hang up the phone.

How many items would your customers buy if you were to follow up every sale with a special offer?  Internet marketers have a world of options at their fingertips.  The products you offer don’t even have to be yours… and you can still make a profit!

Affiliate marketing is sweeping the Web.  Think about it… would your customers benefit from an ebook that deals with the product they are purchasing?  You can offer it to them, and let the owner handle ordering process while you collect the commission.  It’s as easy as 1, 2, and 3 and profitable too!

Boosting your sales numbers and profits isn’t as tough as it sounds.  Implement these 4 simple selling techniques, and watch your sales steadily climb… and just think… they didn’t cost you a penny!

 

29 Jeff Bezos Quotes



1. “If you double the number of experiments you do per year you’re going to double your inventiveness.”

2. “Life’s too short to hang out with people who aren’t resourceful.”

3. “A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”

4. “One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out.”

5. “Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient.”

6. “word-of-mouth is so very, very powerful.”

7. “If you don’t understand the details of your business you are going to fail.”

8. “The best customer service is if the customer doesn’t need to call you, doesn’t need to talk to you. It just works.”

9. “I believe you have to be willing to be misunderstood if you’re going to innovate.”

10. “It’s not an experiment if you know it’s going to work.”

11. “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

12. “In business, what’s dangerous is not to evolve.”

13. “Kindness is a choice.”

14. “All businesses need to be forever.”

15. “Keep our competitors focused on us, while we stay focused on the customer.”

16. “The people who are right a lot, often change their minds.”

17. “If you never want to be criticized, for goodness sake don’t do anything new.”

18. “Patience, persistence, and obsessive attention to detail.”

19. “Obsess about customers, not competitors.”

20. “Be stubborn on vision but flexible on details.”

21. “Work hard, have fun, and make history.”

22. “If you decide that you’re going to do only the things you know are going to work, you’re going to leave a lot of opportunity on the table.”

23. “People who are right most of the time are people who change their minds often.”

24. “You don’t choose your passion; your passion chooses you.”

25. “What’s dangerous is not to evolve.”

26. “There’ll always be serendipity involved in discovery.”

27. “If you can’t tolerate critics, don’t do anything new or interesting.”

28. “Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient.”

29. “Entrepreneurs must be willing to be misunderstood for long period of time.”

Creativity Exercise: Daily Motto Generation


  1. Above all we stand.
  2. Eternal beacon of light.
  3. Reap what you sow.
  4. Alone we shall stand, alone we shall prosper.
  5. Love is life.
  6. Life, death, balance.
  7. Of the sea, the land and the sky.
  8. Never forget, never forgive.
  9. God is with the people.
  10. From two now as one.

Take your PIck. Twist it, turn it, modify it, break it down, add two or three together and see the outcome for fun.

Then get serious. Add your own objective and drew some ideas from here.

RAK Movement- Monday Random Acts of Kindness – Jay Parkhe


  1. Know someone who is not coping very well? Give them a call
  2. Be eco-friendly – unplug electronics when you’re finished using them
  3. Apologise to someone you may have hurt
  4. Reconnect with your grandparents or an elderly person you know – give them a call!
  5. Leave a kind message anywhere (in a library book, on a computer etc.)
  6. Save your family some time and buy their groceries
  7. Life can get really busy – take some time out to spend with a family member
  8. Share something interesting you’ve learnt today
  9. Pay for someone’s bus ticket
  10. Tell a friend about ARK/World Kindness Day

Jay’s Sunday Column – The Riddle called Life


  1. I drape the hills in gentle white and from the heavens I will glide. What am I?
  2. A leathery snake with a stinging bite, coiled up I wait until I must fight. What am I?
  3. Born underground, raised by the sun, a host for the living, caterer of fun. What am I?
  4. What belongs to you, but others use it more than you do?

  1. The answer is: Snow.
  2. The answer is: A whip.
  3. The answer is: A tree.
  4. The answer is: Your name.

Random Inputs Generated – Creative Weekend and How the day passed.


  1. Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining Meaning: To be optimistic, even in difficult times. This is quite true. Things always average out for us in Life.  Some are unlucky for some time but on a macro-level law of averages applies to all. 
  2. Scot-free Meaning: Getting away freely from custody, punishment, or any type of risky situation. When you are an Evaluator of a meeting and you get away with Murder i.e. very harsh remarks about the weakest of your own team members.  
  3. Under the Weather Meaning: Not feeling well, in health or mood.  The bad biorhythms period has gone away. A week ago, it was very critical with all 3 rhythms passing thru critical level. It can cause accidents, or death. Good the phase is over. 
  4. You Can’t Judge a Book By Its Cover Meaning: Don’t judge someone or something only by the outward appearance.  But some people would subtly, simply invite you to judge every one of their actions willy nilly and we find them sulking when things do not go well with them in terms of feedforward. 
  5. Tug of War Meaning: It can refer to the popular rope pulling game or it can mean a struggle for authority.  I drop Coaching / mentoring clients when this begins and some of them begin back to back coaching/ mentoring when it is clear that what I do is not Peer Coaching.  
  6. Jig Is Up Meaning: For a ruse or trick to be discovered; to be caught.  I tried an experiment today. Wrote 5 points and the person picked up only one to respond – it was about them! There was least concern or expression about other 4 of which 3 related to me. I write such people off as Self-centred, selfish and ungrateful. 
  7. Fit as a Fiddle Meaning: Being fit as a fiddle means to be in perfect health.  A little bad spell with low sugar and BP – otherwise all parameters are good and stable. 
  8. Jaws of Life Meaning: Usually this references a tool used by rescuers when they pry or cut open a car to save the occupant. I just wish no one should go thru such experience. 
  9. Roll With the Punches Meaning: To tolerate or endure through the unexpected mishappenings you may encounter from time to time. I have begun to all the Table topics at Toastmasters as Terror / Horror Topics 🙂
  10. Dropping Like Flies Meaning: To fall down ill or to die in large numbers.  – No . Not happening. 

Mentor Master Class- Free Tutorial Series 1-10 for Mentors from Jay Parkhe #7


The following worksheet is designed to break-down the most common areas that a person needs to pay attention to develop his career. The reader is expected to think hard about the resources and methods available to him, and provide realistic answers based his self-evaluation.

Part-I: Knowing your Occupation

Desired Job Title −

Average Annual Salary −

List the responsibilities of someone in this occupation −

List the job requisites in this occupation (working outside or indoors, etc.)−

List the ways this job matches your job values, interests, and skills −

Part-II: Achieving Dream Job

Companies that are offering this job −

People who can give relevant advice on this −

Salary I will be willing to negotiate to −

Contacts that can help me get this job −

Skills that I need to develop to get this job −

Steps I will take to get these skills −

Obstacles I will face while developing these skills −

Deadline by which I will have these skills −

Part-III: Getting Higher Education

Specialized training or degrees needed for this job −

License/registration/legal attestation needed for this job (if any) −

The educational qualification steps you need to get this job −

Where to get these qualifications −

Time it takes to get these qualifications −

The cost of pursuing these qualifications −

The methods in which I afford these qualifications −

Part-IV: Setting Goals

Short Term Goal (6 months – 1 year) −

Long Term Goal (2 years-5 years) −

A CYCLIC DIVINE FERMENT


Meher Baba

The basic causes of the social turmoil that often precipitates into war, may be found in the individual, the social whole, the functioning of maya and in the very intent of God’s will. Inasmuch as these are essentially one in the final analysis, this means no more than that war is a part of the divine pattern. Insofar as war affects the individual, however, it must be understood at all the levels within illusion from which it is precipitated.

The first is the level of the individual himself. It may readily be seen that most persons are immersed in their own egos and selfish viewpoints. This is the life of illusory values in which men are caught. If man were to face the truth he would understand that all life is one, and in this understanding, forget the limiting self.

But man does not face the truth, regarding himself as separate from and competing with the rest of mankind. This attitude often breeds a concept of personal happiness that creates lust for power, unbridled greed and unrelieved hatred.

Ignorant of the real purpose of life, many persons sink to the lowest level of culture, burying themselves in and contributing to the decay of forms lingering on from the dead past. Bound by material interest and a limited viewpoint, they forget their divine destiny. They have truly lost their way, and so they lay savagely about themselves, for their hearts are torn by fear and hate.

The second level from which wars are bred is that of the social whole. Here, economic pressures are often cited as a major cause. Also, resistance to aggression seems a reasonable cause.

It would be an illusion within illusion, however, to claim that wars arise merely to secure material adjustment. They are more often the product of uncritical identification with narrow interests which through association, finally come to be regarded as one’s sole rights. To profess that humanity’s problem is merely that of bread is to reduce humanity to the level of animality.

If man chooses to set himself the limited task of securing purely material adjustment, he must understand and be guided by the spiritual ramifications of this simple goal. Economic adjustment cannot be divorced from a spiritual context. Economic adjustment can be achieved only as people realize there can be no planned cooperative action in economic matters without the replacing of self-interest with self-giving love. Failing this fundamental requisite, the attainment of highest efficiency in production will only lead to a further sense of insufficiency and new conflict. A profound spirit of self-giving love must underlie all effort to solve and remove the economic pressures leading towards war.

While material adjustment can only be regarded as a part of the wider problem of spiritual adjustment, spiritual adjustment in turn requires the elimination of self. It must be removed from all those phases which affect the intellectual, emotional and cultural life of man.

It may be readily seen then that a solution to the individual and social factors underlying war rests upon the spiritual enlightenment of the individual. This need not mean that wars are inevitable as long as the ego-self of the individual continues to ride rampant in the cultural and economic areas of life, for war is only the most explosive manifestation of the combined egocentricity of mankind. But conflict of one sort or another is inevitable until the ego-self is finally tamed and eliminated.

As man faces the truth and begins to appreciate that all humanity, nay all creation, is one, the problem of wars will commence to disappear. Wars must be so clearly seen by all to be both unnecessary and unreasonable that the immediate problem will not be to stop wars, but to wage them spiritually against the attitude of mind which generated them.

In the light of the truth of the unity of all, a cooperative and harmonious life becomes inevitable. Thus the chief task for those who set out to rebuild humanity after a great war is to do their utmost to dispel the spiritual ignorance that envelopes humanity.

The disease of selfishness in mankind will need a cure that is not only universal in application, but drastic in nature. Selfishness is so deep-rooted that it can be eradicated only by being attacked from all sides. Real peace and happiness will dawn spontaneously when selfishness is purged. The peace and happiness that come from self-giving love are permanent. Even the worst sinner can become a great saint if he has the courage and sincerity to invite a drastic and complete change of heart.

The levels from which war springs have not yet been exhausted. The third is that of maya. When truly understood, all conflicts and wars are also seen to be a part of the divine game. They are thus a result of the divine will, which finds expression in the world of manifestation, through the medium of maya — the cosmic power that causes the illusory world of duality to appear as real.

The purpose served by maya is twofold: (1) it can be instrumental in trapping the mind in the duality of illusion, and (2) it can also be instrumental in freeing the mind from the grip of spiritual ignorance and bondage. Maya should not be ignored; it must be handled with detachment and understanding. Wars are the work of maya, and are either spiritually disastrous or beneficial depending on whether they are based on attachment to or detachment from the hold of maya.

The final level from which the causes of war spring is no level at all, for it is a part of the divine plan of God to give to a hungry and weary world a fresh dispensation of the eternal and only truth. During war, great forces of destruction are afoot which at times might seem to be dominant. But constructive forces for the redemption of humanity are also released through various channels. Though the working of these latter forces is largely silent, eventually they are bound to bring about the transformations that will render safe and steady the further spiritual progress of humanity.

Regardless of the political and economic factors described by the historian as he looks at war in retrospect, from the spiritual point of view this sanguine phenomenon is a cyclic divine ferment over which no earthly power has control.

LISTEN, HUMANITY, pp. 128-130, ed. Don E. Stevens
1982 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust

10 Mind-Blowing Things That Happened This Week (8/24/18)


MORRIS M. 

 

Keeping up with the news is hard. So hard, in fact, that we’ve decided to save you the hassle by rounding up the most significant, unusual, or just plain old mind-blowing stories each week.

If you’re a total politics dork (welcome to the club!), Tuesday, August 21, 2018, was like all your geeky Christmases come at once. Not one, not two, but three major political stories splashed within minutes of one another . . . and that was just in America!

Fear not, though, those of you who come here hoping for some nonpolitical stories. There was plenty else happening, too. But first, let’s go swimming in the filthy, intoxicating waters of news from Capitol Hill.

10Paul Manafort Was Convicted Of Fraud

Photo credit: wsj.com

It was Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s first conviction. On Tuesday, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was found guilty of eight counts of fraud, including tax fraud, bank fraud, and hiding foreign bank accounts. Although 10 other charges were dismissed, the former political consultant potentially faces decades in prison.

As we’ve explained before, Manafort’s conviction doesn’t have anything to do with the Russia inquiry or any question of collusion in the 2016 US presidential election. Rather, it relates to wrongdoing in Ukraine long before Manafort met President Trump.

Mueller uncovered Manafort’s crimes during his investigation and was empowered to prosecute. Manafort still faces a separate trial in Washington, DC, next month for more serious charges of conspiracy, money laundering, and obstruction of justice. (Usually, they would have been tried together, but Manafort invoked his right to ask for separate trials.)

The outcome is exceptionally bad news for Manafort.[1] While it’s been suggested that he’s holding out hope for a presidential pardon, his tax fraud conviction means that he can now be charged with state-level crimes which the president does not have the power to forgive.

9Congressman Duncan Hunter Was Indicted For Misspending Campaign Funds

Photo credit: abc13.com

On the same day that Manafort was looking down the barrel of a long prisonsentence, Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter from California was also getting hit with both barrels from the news shotgun. Alongside his wife, Margaret E. Hunter, he was indicted for misuse of campaign funds and filing false campaign finance records.

In the normal course of things, this would have been the biggest political story of the week. The Hunters stand accused of using over $250,000 of campaign funds to buy everything from Italy vacations to fast food, video games, movie tickets, and dental work. Most egregiously, they allegedly claimed that some of the items they bought for themselves were gifts for wounded veterans.[2]

If this is vaguely reminding you of the indictment of Republican Congressman Chris Collins of New York for insider trading not two weeks ago, you’re not alone. Collins and Hunter were the first two members of Congress to endorse Trump for president, leading some to accuse the Department of Justice of carrying out a witch hunt.

The Hunters have pleaded not guilty to all charges. We’ll see what the courts decide.

8Water Ice Was Detected On The Moon’s Surface

Photo credit: NBC News

Leaping off the politics bandwagon for just a moment, this week saw a rather remarkable development in science. For the first time, we confirmed that there is water ice on the surface of the Moon. There are hopes that its existence could make a human colony on the Moon a viable prospect.

The discovery didn’t completely come out of nowhere. We’ve known for a few years now that there is water ice beneath the lunar surface, and it had been long suspected that some ice would be on the surface.

But this is the first time we can say for absolute certain that it’s there. The ice is scattered around the poles of our satellite at the bottom of craters that are permanently in shadow. However, while it is somewhat abundant at the south pole, there are just scattered fragments at the north.[3]

The Moon isn’t the only place to have surface water ice. Mars, Mercury, and dwarf planet Ceres all boast more ice than the Moon. Still, it’s a big step toward maybe one day establishing a lunar base.

7The Eagles Overtook Michael Jackson With The Biggest-Selling Album Of All Time

Photo credit: rollingstone.com

Bad news, fans of Michael Jackson. The King of Pop’s Thriller is no longer the biggest-selling album of all time. Until this week, the 33x platinum Thrillerwas light-years ahead of any other album in US history. Then on Monday, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) recalculated sales for the Eagles’s Their Greatest Hits 1971–75 for the first time since 2006. Back then, it had been 29x platinum. Now, it’s 38x.

Just like that, MJ was knocked off the top spot.[4]

Recertification is something that the RIAA does periodically to update against new trends. Thriller’s sales were recalculated just last year, for example.

The 12-year gap between tallies for Their Greatest Hits is probably what accounts for the album’s sudden upswing. It likely overtook Thriller several years ago. Remarkably, the Eagles also hold the new No. 3 spot. The album Hotel California was recertified as 26x platinum.

The recalculation was not without controversy. The RIAA’s new rules mean 10 downloads or streams of an album are now counted as one sale—meaning the lunatics who stream Hotel California 10 times a day, every day, are adding hundreds of nonexistent “sales” to the tally.

6The US Deported America’s Last-Known Nazi Collaborator

Photo credit: rferl.org

In the grim depths of World War II, Jakiw Palij stood guard at the Trawniki death camp where some 12,000 Jews are thought to have lost their lives. When the Nazi regime fell apart, he fled to America. Like other collaborators, he falsified his story, earning the right to enter the US as a refugee and become an American citizen.

In 2003, his willing role at Trawniki was uncovered, and two years later, a federal judge stripped him of his citizenship. There was only one problem. Palij had nowhere to go.

Although an ethnic Ukrainian, Palij had been born in an area that was part of Poland between the two world wars. As a result, both Ukraine and Poland refused to take him. Germany likewise refused, saying that Palij had never been a citizen of theirs.

This week, Angela Merkel’s new SPD-heavy coalition government finally backtracked. Palij was sent by plane to Dusseldorf to await trial. He is 95.[5]

Palij’s deportation marks the removal of the last known Nazi collaborator living in the US. President Trump had made kicking him out a priority. He finally got his way.

5Venezuela’s New Currency Caused Chaos

Photo credit: vice.com

Over the past few years, the story of Venezuela has been one of government incompetence turning a problem into a catastrophe. Approximately 2.3 million people have fled the country since 2014, hyperinflation has crested at 83,000 percent, and absolutely basic necessities like toilet paper have run out.

As Caracas burns, the government of President Nicolas Maduro hasn’t even had the good grace to make like Nero and simply fiddle. They have exacerbated things, defaulting on debt, suspending civil rights, and blaming all their woes on the US and Colombia.

This week, the government finally introduced the so-called “magic bullet” they claimed would fix all of Venezuela’s problems. The old currency, the “strong bolivar,” was retired and replaced with the “sovereign bolivar.” In practice, this meant the old currency was sharply devalued, new notes were printed, and its value was pegged to Venezuela’s cryptocurrency, the petro. Needless to say, it didn’t help.[6]

The sovereign bolivar doesn’t address any of the problems facing Venezuela. All it did on launch was plunge the country into confusion as employees refused to work for the new money and supply chains were disrupted. It feels like something surely has to give in Venezuela soon. But what?

4Measles Cases Skyrocketed In Europe

Photo credit: The Telegraph

You could use the blood on Andrew Wakefield’s hands to repaint the entire Sistine Chapel. In the 1990s, the now heavily discredited researcher published a paper linking the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) jab to autism. Needless to say, it was absolute bunkum. But sadly, people believed it. Now we’re paying the price.

This week, it was announced that measles cases in Europe had reached over 41,000 in the first six months of 2018 alone. To put that in context, in the whole of 2017, there were barely half that. In the whole of 2016, there were a mere 5,273 cases.

Measles is one of the most contagious diseases known to man. While most recover, it can kill. The World Health Organization estimates that the vaccine globally saves 1.3 million lives a year.

So, what’s causing this huge outbreak?

A lack of vaccination combined with more international travel. In Ukraine, Romania, and Italy, vaccine coverage is patchy at best. Italy’s new government has even promoted conspiracy theories about vaccines, contributing to a low immunity rate. Those who travel to Italy from other European states now risk bringing the disease back with them.[7]

3Australia’s Government Plunged Into Crisis

Photo credit: abc.net.au

By the time you read this, Australia may have a new prime minister. As political grenades were detonating in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, Canberra was struggling with its own whirlwind of news. PM Malcolm Turnbull narrowly won an unexpected leadership challenge from within his own party, winning against Peter Dutton by 48 votes to 35. Instead of strengthening Turnbull’s position, it seriously undermined it.

On Wednesday, most of Turnbull’s cabinet tried to resign. By Thursday, he’d lost the support of most of the party. By the time this article was being written (very late evening, Canberra time), a new leadership contest was underway, with Turnbull desperately clinging on as Julie Bishop and Peter Dutton (again) both tried to unseat him.[8]

For Australians, this is a depressingly familiar experience. The last PM to serve more than three years was John Howard, from 1996–2007. Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, and Tony Abbott were all defenestrated by their own parties. Now it looks like Turnbull will probably join them.

2South Africa Began A Corruption Probe Against Its Former Leader

Photo credit: World Economic Forum

Six months ago, Jacob Zuma was president of South Africa. He finally stepped down after a sprawling corruption scandal ensnared him on 783 different charges. On Monday, South Africa finally opened an inquiry into its disgraced ex-president. We may now learn more about Zuma’s endless parade of crimes and misdemeanors.

Zuma is being investigated alongside the wealthy Gupta family—who last appeared in this column when it was revealed they’d been trying to whip up racial violence in South Africa to distract from their own scandals.

It’s alleged that the Guptas and Zuma participated in “state capture,” meaning Zuma used his power to turn the entire functioning of the South African state toward enriching the Guptas. State contracts were decided on how much money the family could net, and government ministers were hired and fired according to how friendly they were toward the Guptas.[9]

Despite these accusations, Zuma retains strong support. An anti-apartheid fighter turned ANC bigwig, Zuma has a base that still considers him a living legend. It’s already been said that police are having difficulty finding eyewitnesses among a public that still worships this crook.

1Trump’s Ex-Lawyer Implicated The President In A Federal Crime . . . Or Did He?

Photo credit: wsj.com

Let’s finally return to the political demolition derby that was Tuesday. Amid all the stories thrashing around, one stood out above all others. Michael Cohen, a former lawyer to President Trump, was indicted on multiple counts of fraud. In court, he also directly accused the president of breaking federal campaign finance laws.

The campaign finance accusations relate to hush money Cohen paid to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, both of whom allegedly had sex with Trump after he married Melania. Cohen has already admitted paying Daniels $130,000 in the last days of the 2016 campaign to keep her story quiet.

Previously, he had claimed to have paid her out of his own pocket under his own initiative. In court Tuesday, he told the judge that he’d been personally directed by Donald Trump to make the payment.[10]

There’s a lot to unpack here. US campaign finance laws are murky at best—even for lawyers and judges. And this was not a decision in a trial. It was a plea deal. Just because Cohen made statements about the president doesn’t necessarily mean that Trump is guilty of a federal crime. But it gets even crazier.

Some people interpret the statutes as saying that any expenditure that could conceivably be related to a candidate’s standing with voters must be declared, even if it does not come from campaign funds. In their view, if Cohen was directed by the president to pay off Daniels quietly so that her story wouldn’t damage Trump’s campaign, then both men would have committed a federal crime.

However, it is absolutely not against the law for a private citizen to pay hush money. If Trump could prove that he made the payment to protect Melania and his kids from knowledge of the affair—and that it was not just related to his campaign—then no crime would have been committed. Given the timing (Daniels was paid off days before the election), this could be difficult to prove.

Other lawyers, such as Alan Dershowitz, believe that campaign finance laws allow Trump to contribute an unlimited amount of money to his own campaign, even if “hush money” can be characterized as a campaign contribution. Usually, the campaign is fined for not properly reporting a contribution, which has happened to many campaigns before this.

Dershowitz appears to believe that Cohen pleaded guilty to a crime that doesn’t really exist. Why? Allegedly, to get a vastly reduced jail term for fraud charges unrelated to the presidential election while satisfying overzealous prosecutors looking to get something—anything—on Trump.

The president has since said that he paid the money personally, that no crime was committed, and that Cohen is lying to save his own skin.

42 Gary Vaynerchuk Quotes



1. “Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself: What do I want to do every day for the rest of my life? …Do that.”

2. “If you live for the weekends and vacations, your shit is broken.”
3. “Your legacy is being written by yourself. Make the right decisions.”
4. “People are chasing cash, not happiness. When you chase money you’re going to lose. You’re just going to. Even if you get the money you’re not going to be happy.”
5. “Do the work. Everyone wants to be successful, but nobody wants to do the work.”
6. “If you spend one second judging someone else’s luck, you’ve already lost the whole fucking game.”
7. “Whether you’re 9 or 90, stop trying to fix the things you’re bad at and focus on the things you’re good at.”
8. “There has never been a better time, in the history of time, than right now to start a business.”
9. “Give value. Give value. Give value. And then ask for business.”
10. “The best marketing strategy ever: care.”
11. “Fuck yesterday. Don’t dwell on it… Understand it, learn from it but don’t over respect it and allow it to affect tomorrow negatively.”
12. “The problem is, we’re all using social networks as distribution instead of native platforms to actually tell stories.”
13. “There’s no reason to do shit you hate. None.”
14. “Without hustle, your talent will only get you so far.”
15. “Don’t dwell on your weaknesses, everybody is already doing that for you.”
16. “If you’re not dreaming big for yourself, who’s doing it for you?”
17. “Positivity with practicality is a wonderful formula.”
18. “99% of people don’t market in the year that we actually live in.”
19. “If you’re not putting out relevant content in relevant places you don’t exist.”
20. “It’s not how many followers you have, it’s how many care. It’s not width, it’s depth. It’s not how many impressions you get, it’s how much attention you get.”
21. “It’s not about pushing advertising, it’s about bringing value.”
22. “Everything works, not everything works for you.”
23. “When you know who you are, everything changes.”
24. “I don’t think my ideas are worth shit until they’re executed.”
25. “When it all comes down to it, nothing trumps execution.”
26. “We only get to play this game one time, one life.”
27. “If some people used half the energy they use in judging others on looking at themselves and how to be better, the world would be a far better place.”
28. “It’s not about how much you sleep, it’s what you do while you’re awake.”
29. “Tough to be let down when you don’t expect shit.”
30. “Your hustle needs to match your goals.”
31. “We are in control of the one asset that we all give the most fucks about. And that is time.”
32. “I’m just always looking forward. I spend very little time looking backwards.”
33. “You can market your ass off, but if your product sucks, you’re dead.”
34. “I suck at 99% of stuff, but I go all out on that 1% I’m good at.”
35. “Lack of patience equals automatic guaranteed loss.”
36. “No matter what you do, your job is to tell your story.”
37. “I put zero weight into anyone’s opinion about me, because I know exactly who I am.”
38. “When you look for money, you get rich. When you look for legacy, you get wealth.”
39. “Be a good person and good things happen.”
40. “It’s not about what you’re saying, it’s about how you listen.”
41. “Relationships are leverage. If you give value to someone else first, you have leverage.”
42. “Business is a marathon, and most of society things it’s a sprint.”

RAK Movement – Random Acts of Kindness. Take your pick


  1. Send a thank you card to someone who has made a difference in your life (a friend, family member, teacher etc.)
  2. Life can get really busy – take some time out to spend with a family member
  3. Who will be making dinner for your family today? Tag, you’re it!
  4. Share today’s food with your neighbour!
  5. Visit a friend who’s sick

Creativity Exercise: Daily Motto Generation


  1. From the stars we came, to the stars we rise.
  2. Taste for battle.
  3. Love, friendship and brotherhood.
  4. Peace, prosperity, progress.
  5. Strike swiftly, aim true.
  6. Fruits of our labor.
  7. Through wisdom and strength.
  8. Justice is our shield.
  9. Ever vigilant.
  10. With pen and sword.

Take your PIck. Twist it, turn it, modify it, break it down, add two or three together and see the outcome for fun.

Then get serious. Add your own objective and drew some ideas from here.

Top 10 Wacky And Depraved Real Estate Agents


ADAM R. RAMOS 

 

Being a real estate agent is a taxing occupation with no guarantee of financial success. The unpredictability of housing markets often weighs heavily on the minds of realtors, whose livelihood can drastically change overnight. Sometimes, their methods of coping with that stress are less than ideal.

The following ten entries examine unscrupulous and depraved characters whose appalling antics will leave one questioning whether to hand over their keys to a “trusted” real estate agent. You might just be better off listing your home as for sale by owner.

10Competition

In a competitive and volatile housing market, brokers can become resentful, disloyal, and quite unhinged. Case in point: summer 2018 in Hong Kong, where, within a span of a few days, three violent brawls spilled out into the streets, with hordes of brokers fighting each other for customers and listings. The vicious, competition-fueled clashes have caused the Estate Agents Authority (EAA) to investigate the matter in an attempt to find a resolution to the loathing and violence. The EAA concluded that agents who indulge in future throwdowns are subject to having their licenses revoked for up to three years.In the Western world, hostility between brokers is a little more subtle but still involves illegal activity. In 2012, Nathan Andrew Dunham of Sarasota, Florida, was arrested after he was caught stealing competitors’ signs outside their firms and along residential sidewalks. When asked by a deputy to open his trunk, the 29-year-old broker had an impressive stash of 37 signs belonging to local realtors.[1] Though not as determined as Dunham, 60-year-old Cape Cod realtor James Regan III was booked into jail in 2016 after he, too, was caught stealing around a dozen signs. Both men were charged with two counts of petty larceny, leaving their licenses hanging in the balance.

9The Wolf Of Realty

Photo credit: Liam Kidston

It is safe to assume that one of the last places expected to be a den for trafficking narcotics would be a realty firm in a quiet neighborhood. Such was the case in Chetek, Wisconsin, in 2017, after Quinlan Thomas, 53, was busted for selling methamphetamine to a police confidential informant at Chetek Realty, LLC. His arrest came after an investigation conducted by the Barron County Sheriff’s Office that spanned several months.

However, nothing can be quite absurd as what occurred in Cleveland, Ohio, where a respected real estate agent was arrested for peddling meth to his associates. Reminiscent of the debauchery seen in The Wolf of Wall Street, 37-year-old Robert McCann and his colleagues “consistently engaged in coded conversations,” referring to the life-siphoning narcotic as “ice,” “rice,” or “wine.”

In 2015, despite the fact that his well-known image was plastered all over local news outlets, McCann conceitedly went on to open a new realty branch, First National in Cleveland, in spite of his pending trial. Interestingly enough, homeowners were still handing their keys over to him regardless of the possibility that if convicted, he would not only be stripped of his license but incarcerated as well. As if to pull on the public’s heartstrings, McCann stated that his surprising downfall was solely due to the stress he endured following the “breakdown of a relationship.” How endearing.[2]

8Convenient Listings


Love is often blind not only to the eye but to one’s logic. The following cases, however, may be more about kinky exploits rather than actual love. Such was the case in 2016 for 22-year-old Houston-area realtor Kayla Marisa Seloff, who was caught getting it on in the home of one of her clients. Responding to a possible burglary, police discovered Seloff and a male companion in a “passionate rendezvous” on the floor in one of the rooms of the vacant residence. In the end, the adoring duo was charged with criminal trespass after her former client pressed charges.

Surprisingly, such raunchy bedroom acrobatics in listed homes are nothing new and are, frankly, more common than one may realize. In 2013, New Jersey realtor Robert Lindsey intentionally overpriced his client’s house with the sole purpose of using it as his personal sex pad with a fellow broker. Sadly, the coworkers’ sexual escapades came to an abrupt end after they were caught by security cameras, playing out their fantasies on the homeowner’s bed.

The award for indecency and mistrust, however, goes to Michigan agent Scott Adlhoch, who had sex in at least six homes. According to reports, between 2013 and 2015, instead of showing his clients’ homes to potential buyers, he was too busy getting a cardio workout in their beds. Even more audacious is the fact that he allowed a female companion to conduct therapy sessions with her professional counselor in at least two of the homes. For Adlhoch, his perverse heyday ended after a fellow realtor intercepted his wife’s texts detailing their scandalous trysts.[3] Love is blind . . .

7Dirty Old Man

In 2013, dissatisfied and perturbed with their previous realtor, a couple in Arlington, Virginia, hired 60-year-old Stephen Brumme as their new agent to list their home. From all appearances, Brumme was the perfect match for an apprehensive household, given the facade of his frail and calm demeanor. Nonetheless, webcams installed throughout the home captured an unsettling perversion.

While the couple was away, Brumme entered the house and, in a hasty manner, headed straight for the master bedroom. As the cameras rolled, Brumme could be seen rifling through the wife’s closet and underweardrawer like a child rummaging through a mountainous pile of gifts on Christmas morning. Perplexed by the variety of colorful and fragrant selections to choose from, the decrepit, dirty old man eventually settled on a negligee. Clenching his newfound keepsake, Brumme left the residence to partake in extracurricular activities too disgusting to think of or imagine. While he was busy sampling his memento as one would do at a perfume kiosk, police were viewing the footage brought into them by the distressed couple.[4]

Following his inevitable arrest, the deviant sniffer was convicted of unlawful entry and petit larceny and placed on supervised probation. In addition, the judge ordered him to forfeit his real estate license for a minimum of two years. Perhaps what’s most troubling, other than a lenient sentence, is that police believed there were others who were missing panties, bras, and other lingerie. They appealed to recent sellers in the area to come forward.

6The Wandering Boozer

In 2015, a popular Daytona Beach realtor had quite the Sunday afternoon following a blissful day of boozing. At the end of the bender, 49-year-old Aswinder “Aswin” Suri made the decision to return home, albeit blind drunk. Less than an hour later, Ponce Inlet officers were called to a residence, where they encountered Suri being pinned down on the living room floor by two men.

Believing he had arrived at his destination, an “extremely intoxicated” Suri had erroneously entered a stranger’s home through an unlocked garage door. As expected, the pickled agent was taken to the police station, where his belligerence hit an all-time high. At first, Suri professed his love for the officers, whom he considered “family,” all while sobbing like a baby. Moments later, after he was placed in a glass holding cell, Dr. Jekyll emerged with a barrage of charming insults and obscenities. Suri was booked on charges of trespassing.[5]

Predictably, this would not be Suri’s first or last run-in with the law. The year prior, he was arrested for aggravated battery of his girlfriend, and in 2016, he was detained by Daytona Beach police for refusing to pay a $445 bar tab at the Lollipops gentlemen’s club. Once again, the inebriated realtor was booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail, this time on charges of grand theft between $300 and $500.

5The Unknown Stalker


In 2017, while repairing a computer for a client in Kane County, Utah, an electronic specialist came across a vast amount of alarming photographs. Once authorities were alerted, further forensic examination found hundreds of images of prepubescent girls as well as surreptitiously taken pictures of local children and women who were unknowingly stalked and photographed.

Aside from his female coworkers, the owner of the computer—an unidentified 49-year-old local realtor—apparently zeroed in on one woman in particular: his neighbor. According to the search warrant:

It’s obvious that [the woman] has no knowledge that she’s being photographed by [the man]. It’s evident that [the man] has a fascination with [her]. It appears that [the man] is stalking [her] because he has cut and pasted images of [her] from their original state to images of young nude women. Some of these images are pornographic.

Even more disturbing is the fact that the agent was taking pictures of framed photographs of children and adolescent females while in the homes which he was in the process of selling. In addition, the warrant goes on to state that the realtor “had been entering other people’s homes and multiple bedrooms and hanging women’s underwear on his genitals and committing sex acts.”[6]

Due to the fact that the case was still under investigation, the man was never identified nor arrested in spite of the overwhelming evidence. Prior to being charged with an actual crime, he chose to expedite his looming doom by blowing his brains out, bringing an end to his debauchery.

4A Woman Scorned


In 2005, Greg and Lenae Thomas settled on a home for $640,000, but at the last minute, they chose a different realtor due to concerns with the terms of their agent’s contract. Three years later, Sandra Haddad, 49, would seek retribution for the commission she lost. After recruiting four 13-year-old boys, two of them family friends, Haddad sent the youths to the Thomases’ residence armed with vegetable oil and spray paint. As the couple vacationed, the boys smashed windows and outside lights, spray-painted vulgar language and images on the walls and fence, and permanently stained the driveway with oil, totaling $17,000 in damages. In time, the identity of the culprits came to light. The boys were charged as juveniles with felony criminal mischief, while Haddad saw handcuffs and the back of a squad car.

With the cards verily stacked against her, not to mention the boys’ immediate confession, a sullen Haddad pleaded guilty to four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and a misdemeanor count of criminal mischief. As part of her plea deal, she was ordered to serve 200 hours of community service removing graffiti, 15 days of home detention, and four years of supervised probation as well as to attend anger management classes and pay the Thomases $17,075 in retribution. To top off an exhilarating summer, the Thomases filed a restraining order as well as a pricey lawsuit against her.[7]

3Toxic Treats

Photo credit: WLOX

Dogs are allowed to roam freely in Batesville, Mississippi, given the fact that there are no leash laws in the county. This lack of restrictions, however, became a nuisance for a local realtor, who decided to thin out the herd of domesticated animals in 2013. Using meat mixed with the pesticide Temik, Brad McCulley placed the delectable toxin in Styrofoam cups, which he then spread throughout the district.

Overnight, local residents, including some of McCulley’s neighbors, awoke to find their dogs and cats in a state of rigor mortis. Based on how much of the poison was ingested, those that did not swiftly succumb to the effects of the pesticide suffered a horrendously painful demise. To make matters worse, the poison had the potential to spread even after the death of the animals. According to Dr. Justin Unruh, “If one animal ingests it, then another animal consumes that animal, potentially it could be devastating.”

Following the death of at least 12 household pets, Panola County investigators arrested McCulley on charges of administering the toxin. Sadly, the charges did little to console Jenny Herron, who lost two of her dogs to McCulley’s diabolic actions. “It’s just heartbreaking, and I absolutely hope that nobody has to witness or go through this,” she said.[8]

2New Year’s Day

On January 1, 2017, investigators were called to the scene of an empty California home that was set ablaze. The following day, the bodies of the home’s owner, 59-year-old Yolanda Holtrey, and her friend, 49-year-old Michelle Luke, were found in a desolate field in Newport Beach. That day, Christopher Ireland, 37, was taken into custody on suspicion of murder. Ireland, who was a real estate agent planning on listing Holtrey’s home, celebrated New Year’s Eve with the victims along with his wife, Samantha, before leaving at 1:30 AM. During questioning, Samantha claimed that she had no recollection of her husband leaving their home in the early hours of the morning and believed that he might have been sleepwalking.

What Samantha did not know was that while she was waiting with her family in Holtrey’s driveway prior to leaving, her husband was inside bludgeoning and disfiguring the women. Later, as she slept, Ireland lined the trunk of his car and returned to the blood-splattered home at 3:00 AM to discard the bodies. The reasons as to why a festive night of celebrationended in such a horrifying manner remain unknown. As for Ireland, he was formally charged on January 4 for the murder of his client and her friend.[9]

1The Contreras Family


In September 1998, 39-year-old Rosalba Contreras arrived at the San Pedro home of Valentine Partida to discuss missing finances pertaining to real estate fraud. (She had stolen the money from Partida and his wife.) Contreras had known the 78-year-old man for three years, yet her betrayal was far beyond reconciliation. When heated words escalated to a fight, Contreras bludgeoned Partida to death with a hammer. Thereafter, she entered Partida’s bedroom, where his 90-year-old wife Elvira lay bedridden, helplessly anticipating her fate. In a futile attempt to hide her crime, Contreras set the home ablaze, only after stabbing the powerless woman multiple times in the upper body.[10] It wouldn’t be long until police linked Contreras to the murders, earning her two life terms in prison.

In 2009 in Los Angeles, a real estate agent was preparing to show a foreclosed home when she discovered the body of a fellow realtor laying dead on the floor. In a bizarre twist, the victim was Contreras’s brother Ricardo, 45, who had, ironically, been stabbed to death. According to family members, Ricardo had gone to show prospective buyers the home on the day he went missing. To date, his murder has yet to be solved, and although police see no immediate evidence tying his death to his sister’s butchery, questions continue to loom.

10 Tribes With Superpowers You Wish You Had


OLIVER TAYLOR 

 

Ever wished you had a superpower of some sort? There are entire tribes of people who have seemingly superhuman abilities that we can only dream of. Sometimes, these people do not even realize that they are exceptional until it is pointed out to them.

These tribes got their superpowers due to various factors, including their foods, climates, and lifestyles. In several instances, the sources of these abilities are explainable. Nevertheless, these superpowers give them an edge over other humans in sports and other ways.

10The Kalenjin Of Kenya Are The World’s Best Long-Distance Runners

Photo credit: Aalexej

Everyone knows that Kenya has the world’s best marathon runners. What most people do not know is that the majority of these runners are from the same tribe. Enter the Kalenjin, the world’s best long-distance runners.

Several scientists, researchers, and sports analysts have tried to explain why the tribe dominates long-distance running. Although their starch-rich diet, the location of their homeland, and coincidental social and economic factors have been fingered as possible reasons, no one has come to a definite conclusion. However, it is suspected to have something to do with genetics.

The Kalenjin have small ankles and calves and a slim stature, which is just perfect for marathon running. Body size is important in determining who will win a marathon because people with smaller ankles and calves use less energy than others. It is even said that one can guess the winner of a marathon by checking which of the contestants has the smallest ankles and calves.[1]

9Bajau People Of Indonesia Can Hold Their Breath Underwater For An Unusually Long Time

Photo credit: The Telegraph

The Bajau people of Indonesia are called sea nomads or sea gypsies because of their ability to remain underwater for several minutes without any equipment. The most experienced divers can remain underwater for 13 minutes before returning to the surface to breathe. Researchers from Cambridge University discovered that the Bajau people can do this because their bodies adapted to diving, causing their spleens to increase by 50 percent.

Before the discovery, researchers had always suspected the size of our spleens had something to do with our ability to remain underwater. A larger spleen compresses underwater, releasing oxygen-rich blood into the body. This reduces oxygen use and allows us to stay underwater for longer. In the case of the Bajau people, they have a unique gene that increases secretion of the thyroid hormone T4, which causes larger spleens.[2]

8Moken People Of Indonesia Can See Underwater

Photo credit: BBC

What is cooler than being able to hold your breath underwater? Seeing underwater.

This ability is limited to the children of the Moken people of western Thailand. Like the Bajau people of Indonesia, the Moken live by the seaside and are also called water nomads. Unlike other kids, however, the Moken children have excellent eyesight underwater.

In 1999, Anna Gislen, a researcher with the University of Lund, traveled to Thailand to live with the Moken people and study their superpower. She realized that the eyesight of their children was two times better underwater than that of European children. Interestingly, she also observed that adult Moken cannot see as well underwater.

Gislen initially suspected that the eyes of the children had evolved. But that was not the case because it would have affected their eyesight outside the water. On careful observation, she realized that the children could constrict their pupils and change the shape of the lenses of their eyes—two factors necessary for underwater eyesight. In fact, this is how seals and dolphins see underwater.

To confirm her theory, Gislen trained some European children in Thailand and Swedish children in Sweden to control their pupils and lenses underwater. A month later, they could see as well underwater as the Moken children. The European children did not find it easy, though. Unlike the Moken children, their eyes always turned red because of the salty seawater. But they would have adapted to that, too, if the training continued.

Moken adults cannot see that well underwater because their lenses are already rigid, just like that of adults elsewhere. From all indications, it is unlikely that Moken children will maintain their superpower for long. The entire tribe was moved far inland after an earthquake-induced tsunami destroyed their seaside village in 2004. They no longer have such easy access to the sea.[3]

7The Sherpas Are Expert Mountain Climbers

Photo credit: npr.org

Climbing Everest or any other mountain would be a daunting task for the average person. But not for the Sherpas. They are expert mountain climbers with the ability to seek out previously unknown routes. Today, people climbing Mount Everest always go with Sherpa guides.

Research revealed that Sherpas are excellent mountain climbers because their bodies manage oxygen better at higher altitudes than the average person. This should not be a surprise. The Sherpas have been living on the Himalayas for over 6,000 years, which is more than enough time for their bodies to adapt to the extremely cold temperatures and low oxygen levels. The Sherpas are also immune to the nasty side effects and sometimes fatal ailments that affect other climbers.

Oxygen decreases as we go higher up Mount Everest. In response, the body produces more red blood cells to feed the muscles with the required oxygen. At the same time, these excess blood cells make the blood thicker, stressing the heart.

The Sherpas also experience the same thing but at a much lower rate. This is not all. Their bodies are also able to produce more energy in the absence of oxygen.[4]

6Some Native Ecuadorean Sufferers Of Laron Syndrome Are Immune To Cancer And Diabetes

Photo credit: NBC News

Laron syndrome is an ailment that causes mutation in the human growth hormone receptor, leading to dwarfism. It is common among members of a tribe in a remote village in Ecuador. No one thought much of the syndrome until Dr. Jaime Guevara-Aguirre, who had been working with the tribe, realized that tribesmen with the syndrome were almost immune to diabetes and cancer.

In contrast, tribesmen without the syndrome were highly susceptible to cancer and diabetes. To confirm his suspicion, Guevara-Aguirre partnered with Dr. Valter D. Longo of the University of Southern California to run lab tests with serum made from genes of the Laron patients.[5]

The researchers added the serum to human cells that had been deliberately damaged. They discovered that the serum stopped these cells from experiencing more genetic damage. At the same time, these cells destroyed themselves instead of turning cancerous.

5Some Of The Fore People Of Papua New Guinea Are Immune To Kuru And Mad Cow Disease

Photo credit: npr.org

Kuru is the name of a deadly brain disease that broke out among members of the Fore tribe of Papua New Guinea in the 20th century. It was the result of tribesmen eating the brains of their dead as part of their burial rites.

Some of the consumed brains were infected with prion disease, which caused kuru. The majority of the deaths occurred in the 1950s, forcing the tribesmen to abandon the tradition. At that time, 2 percent of the tribesmen died every year.

Today, several tribesmen are immune to kuru and will not get it even if they eat the infected brain of a dead person. They are also immune to similar diseases, including mad cow disease. This protection has been traced to the unique V127 genetic mutation present in the bodies of kuru survivors. Descendants of tribesmen who never had kuru do not have the mutation or the immunity to kuru and mad cow disease.

To test their theory, researchers used genetic engineering to develop some mice with the mutation before injecting the animals with the different brain diseases. They found that the mice were immune to kuru, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, depending on whether the animals had one or two copies of the V127 mutation.[6]

As to the Fore people, researchers believe that all of them would have become immune to kuru and similar brain diseases if they had continued to eat the brains of their dead.

4Tsimane People Of Bolivia Are Almost Immune To Heart Disease

Photo credit: The Telegraph

The Tsimane people of Bolivia have the lowest risk of heart disease in the world. Between 2004 and 2015, researchers tested hundreds of tribesmen and discovered that 90 percent had clear arteries, which is directly linked to a lower possibility of contracting heart disease. At the same time, they have lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar.[7]

Researchers attributed this uniqueness to the diet and lifestyle of the Tsimane people. They eat unprocessed carbohydrates along with little fat and protein. They get their protein from the animals they hunt and the fish they catch. They are also very active and work long hours.

3The Hmong People Of China Can Communicate By Whistling

Photo credit: BBC

Whistling is not exclusive to the Hmong people of China. Several tribes around the world independently learned to communicate via whistling. However, they are usually located in mountainous regions where people live far apart. The Hmong live at the foot of the Himalayas.

The Hmong farmers whistle to chat on farms, while hunting in the jungle, and to send love messages at night. Everyone understands what the lovers are saying. But they do not recognize the people because a whistle is not individually identifiable like a voice. This allows the lovers to remain anonymous while passing messages. Some even add nonsense whistles to confuse the listeners.

A tribe on one of the Canary Islands also communicates via whistling. Their whistling language is called Silbo Gomero and sounds so similar to birdsong that some birds are imitating it.

Some Amazonian tribes also use whistling to communicate while hunting in the jungle. This is safer than speech because whistling will not startle game. The Inuit communities of the Bering Strait also use whistling to communicate when whale hunting.

Whistling has even been used in warfare. The Berbers of North Africa used it to pass secret messages during their resistance against France. During World War II, Australia hired Wam speakers from Papua New Guinea to transmit and decode whistled messages to prevent the interception of radio messages by the Japanese.[8]

2Some Aboriginal Australians Have Superb Vision

Photo credit: australia-tours.com.ua

Looking for humans with the best eyesight? Check with the aboriginal people of Australia. Some have eyesight four times better than the average person. This allows them to see things that are four times smaller than what the average person can see. Other aboriginal Australians do not have such superb eyesight, although they can see two or three times better than the average person.

Some aboriginal people work as spotters for the Australian army because they can perceive enemies at extremely long distances. They are also used to spot illegal immigrants’ boats and illegal fishing boats in Australian waters.

This superior vision is believed to be the result of the hunter-gatherer nature of ancient aboriginal people who needed superb eyesight to survive in the wild. Unfortunately, today’s aboriginal Australians do not always have their remarkable eyesight into old age. Due to several factors, including poor hygiene and diabetes, aboriginal people above 40 are six times likelier to go blind than other Australians.[9]

1The Okinawans Of Japan Live The Longest

Photo credit: The Guardian

Looking for the oldest people alive? Look no further than the native people of Okinawa, Japan. They are likelier to reach age 100 than the members of any other tribe in the world.

Okinawa boasts of having the largest concentration of centenarians in the world. Longevity among Okinawans has been traced to their healthy diet. They eat lots of whole grains, soy, tofu, vegetables, sweet potatoes, fish, squid, and octopus.

Despite their large centenarian population, the Okinawans have been suffering a steady decline in health within the past few years. This has been traced to increased consumption of fast food from outlets that followed the opening of a US base in the area.[10]

Title: Build Your Business With Four Easy Steps


 

Word Count:
555

Summary:
Building a business is not easy. This easy to read step by step guide shall provide an outline to starting a business in just four easy steps.

 

Keywords:
Building, business, step by step, guide, outline, four easy steps. 

 

Article Body:
Creating a successful and profitable business is not easy. Initially, external factors, such as competition, timing and demand, with scant or little contol bother us.  We aspire to have sound business plan. In order to lead a successful business we must assume that external factors shall favour us. The five steps we consider while building our business from the ground up:

1. Determine your business. What are you selling?
This question is not as easy to answer as you may think. For example, Nike is in the sportswear business, but the truth is that when you buy a pair of Nike shoes and a t-shirt at the mall we are buying a lot more than sportswear; you’re buying an image, a feeling. You’re buying the Nike brand. For example  someone who is in speciality retial business may say, ìconvenience or “innovation” before they specify any particular industry.  Your brand is what sets your product apart from your competitors.

 

2. Select your market. Who are you selling to?
This step is a bit less interpretive as the first, though equally important. Who are you selling to? or more importantly, what do you know about this person? Understanding your consumer is a key to success. What do they do? Where do they hang out? What do they watch on television? These are just a few of the questions that you should be able to answer about your consumer. Knowing the answers to these questions can answer a lot of questions of your own when it comes to a devising a marketing strategy. We have to understand our market with “amazing ability to figure out the things that people want to have.” This ability to perceive our consumer’s desire can only be a result of knowing them like our neighbor.

 

3. Create a marketing strategy. How do you speak to these people?
This is a culmination of understanding your brand and your consumer. As mentioned in number two, understanding our consumer can answer a lot of questions concerning our marketing strategy: Where should you advertise? What’s the voice of your brand? What kind of prices are reasonable for this demographic? In order to engage your consumer, a.k.a. sell your product to them, you must know where your advertisements will be noticed, how to speak to them, and how much they will be able to spend, among many of things. Really, this step should have been combined with the last because who your market is dictates your marketing strategy entirely.

 

4. Learn by example. Seek advice from those who have done it.
There are many books written by professionals who have already started their own business and have been successful in doing so.

Remember, building a successful business in not all about the Rupees and Paise. Equally as valuable is you brand equity and your ability to engage your consumer, which is only attainable by understanding them. Assuming there is a demand for your product, and you can compete with the other brands, following these four steps shall guide you in the right direction.

 

 

Shooting Star Day


Did you know…

… that today is Shooting Star Day? In 1988, Elvis Presley’s Shooting Star stage outfit was sold for $48,000, the highest price ever paid for a rock star’s clothing up to that time. And on August 7, 2008, his famous 1974 stage-worn peacock jumpsuit sold for $300,000. So, I guess that day we’ll call Peacock Day. 😉

~~~

Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.”

— Og Mandino

Mentor Master Class- Free Tutorial Series 1-10 for Mentors from Jay Parkhe #6


  • More often than not, we get influenced in our lives by the people we come in contact with. Our actions, behavior, ambitions, and dreams are motivated after coming in contact with them, or after interacting with them.This activity is designed to make the reader understand the different influences he has had over his life. The reader is supposed to divide his age in three equal parts, and mention them left to right in the table, starting with the lowest age bracket.

    Below that are mentioned three types of people. In the row that has “Influencers” mentioned at the left, you need to mention at least three people who have influenced you at different stages of your life.

    1st − the people who have influenced you in the first stage of your life.

    2nd − the people who have influenced you in the first stage of your life.

    3rd − the people who have influenced you in the first stage of your life.

    In the same row, keep mentioning their good qualities and bad qualities. Mention as many people as you can who have influenced you over your early life till date.

    In the row with the heading Teachers, state the names of at least three teachers who have taught you the skills that led to your success today. Also mention their positives and negatives.

    Finally, the third row with the heading Correctional Facilitators refers to those people who have provided correctional guidance to you when you were struggling with some aspect in your life. Mention them, along with their positives and negatives.

    The purpose behind this exercise is to de-mystify people and accept them as common human beings. The idea is to understand that these people whom you hold as your idols are also not god, but erring human beings who have their ups and downs as well.

    In other words, you can also be someone’s idol despite the shortcomings that you think are in you. All you need is to be self-motivated and inclined towards growth and learning in your life.

    Your NameFirst QuarterSecond QuarterThird QuarterFourth QuarterGoodBadGoodBadGoodBadGoodBad

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    Correctional Facilitators

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These countries are gaining the most by employing older workers | World Economic Forum


via These countries are gaining the most by employing older workers | World Economic Forum

 

These countries are gaining the most by employing older workers

Residents perform a traditional dance as part of a morning exercise in a park in Qingdao, Shandong province July 6, 2008. Qingdao, famous for its local beer and beaches will host the Sailing competitions of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games as its still facing a huge algae bloom at the city's offshore waters just over a month before the beginning of the games.  REUTERS/Nir Elias (CHINA) (BEIJING OLYMPICS 2008 PREVIEW) - RTX7OWK

Hiring more seniors and retirees could be worth $3.5 trillion to OECD economies.
Image: REUTERS/Nir Elias
Explore context
Workforce and Employment
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Businesses around the world are chasing the grey dollar, but older people can contribute more to an economy than how they choose to spend their retirement funds.

Humans are living longer, which puts additional strain on healthcare provision, social care and pensions. And unless these issues are addressed, they could wreak havoc on economies in the future.

The thinking goes that by harnessing the potential of older workers, governments can raise additional tax revenues and increase spending power, which in turn boosts output.

Golden Age Index 2018

The economic prospects of older workers across 35 OECD countries.
Image: PwC

PricewaterhouseCooper’s Golden Age Index assesses the impact of older workers on different aspects of a country’s labour market, including employment, earnings, the gender gap and participation in training.

In the latest update of its report, PwC estimates that as much as $3.5 trillion could be added to the OECD economies overall by encouraging people nearing retirement age to stay longer in the workforce. This figure represents the potential long-term boost of raising workforce participation rates of over-55s to the same level as New Zealand.

At a national level, if New Zealand’s performance on employment of older workers were matched, the GDP boost could be as high as 23% for Greece, 20% for Belgium and 9% for the UK. Here’s that in dollars:

Image: PwC/OECD

The older worker participation podium

Iceland topped the 2018 index with 84% of the 55-64 age range employed, compared with the OECD average of 60%. New Zealand was second (78%) and Israel (66.8%) took the final podium step. At the other end of the scale were Luxembourg with 40% of the same age group employed, Greece with 37% and Turkey with 34%.

Overall, the index showed an upward trend in the number of older people remaining in work across member states.

Ups and downs over time

Germany, Israel and New Zealand proved the biggest climbers, rising steadily up the index since 2003. Despite dropping a few places, the UK continued to make gains over the same period, absorbing 63% of the 55-64 age group (up from 55% in 2003) into the labour force and 21% of 65-69 year olds (up from 13%).

Mexico, Greece and Turkey suffered the biggest falls as each country dropped over 10 places down the index.

Incentives to keep working

So, what motivates people to work past retirement age? The answer is a mix of public policy and personal circumstances. The Golden Age Index identified three main drivers that influenced this decision.

Pension policies: The more governments spend on pensions the less incentive people have to keep working. The amount they receive and the age that workers are eligible to receive a pension also influence the decision to retire.

A 2012 study by Hurd, Mitchaud and Rohwedder found that public pensions have a negative effect on people’s savings and encourage them to retire early. The study concluded that a $10,000 increase in public pension worth reduces the average retirement age by roughly one month.

Life expectancy: Longer lives equate to more time spent working and there is a strong link between good health and participation in the workforce. Government healthcare policies and medical breakthroughs can facilitate people working to an older age.

Caring responsibilities: A person’s personal and financial situation are also important considerations. Caring for a spouse or a dependent could remove people’s freedom to keep working, if state care and benefits are not available. This will obviously differ from country to country.

However, taking things easy might be contagious. A husband or wife’s retirement could become an incentive for their partner to retire, too. A paper by Patrick Hesselius suggests that average sickness absence from work increases for women when their spouse retires.

Adapting to change

Technology is transforming the way we work. Innovation, automation and AI developments create new jobs and make existing roles obsolete. The workforce of tomorrow will need to be flexible enough to pick up new skills quickly or transfer the ones they already have.

Adapting to a future with less job security may prove challenging for older workers, who are more likely to face the consequences of automation than their better-educated and better-trained younger colleagues.

The top spots on the Golden Age Index are occupied by countries that have put policy measures in place and reformed their labour markets to target older workers.

The report recommends raising the retirement age to keep people in the workforce longer. However, to maximize the benefits of this policy governments need to support workers with lifetime learning and retraining programmes, to facilitate the skills needed for longer careers.

Making work options and pensions more flexible also supports the changing needs of older workers, by increasing opportunities for part-time or temporary jobs, as well as offering partial retirement options.

The physical needs of older employees is another important consideration. As well as adapting roles, employers can redesign factories and offices buildings to attract older workers.

The Golden Age Index figure of a $3.5 trillion boost to the OECD economy may still be some way off, but if more countries adapt the structure of their labour market and adopt a more flexible approach to older employees, the world will be working towards it.

My article pulished in JetAirways.GlobalLinkers.com


MARKETING

3 winning marketing strategies to fuel business growth

Dhananjay Parkhe

1 hour ago — 4 min read

Summary: An effective marketing strategy ensures that your product/service reaches your target audience and that you maintain an edge over your competitors. Business mentor, Dhananjay Parkhe, shares some simple yet effective marketing strategies.

Anything’s tough to do, if you don’t have the right raw material to help you. These three winning marketing strategies are the right materials for an extremely successful business. After all, an effective marketing strategy is what drives sales and leads to business growth.

1. Attention – Ads that yield results

Think about it—how many advertisements do you hear every day…how about every hour?  Let’s face it, we’re bombarded with magazine ads, newspaper ads, TV ads, radio ads, and the Internet is plastered with banner ads, ticker ads, video ads on every site.  Not many of the astronomical number of advertisements stick with us and make an impact.  How can you make your ad stand out from the crowd?

 

  • Make a dramatic statement – “Even my dog knows…”

 

  • Surprise them with the unexpected – “Use for 30 days totally free…”

 

  • Ask a thought-provoking question – “Is your current insurance costing you thousand of extra rupees every year?”

 

  • Use high impact headlines – it’s important to snag their attention right away.

 

2. Get personal

How many times have you been caught in the cycle of IVR (Interactive Voice Response) services? Yes, you push 15 numbers and end up back at the main menu and never get to talk to a sales representative.  People are hungry for personal interaction in the marketplace.
Look for ways to make your business a personal experience that your customers will appreciate. Get to know something about the people who walk through your doors or land on your website/ecommerce stores.

Let people who visit your website know something about you. It’s easier to trust an individual than a huge impersonal company, and trust is crucial to building a pool of loyal customers.

3. Paint a picture

The end of a hectic week has finally arrived! As I lock the doors on a still cluttered office, my mind wanders to the many things that will demand my attention this weekend. I long to just escape the demanding voices…escape to the waters of the lake across town. It would be like heaven to plop myself across the back seat of a boat and watch the sea gulls dip and dive as the waves rock me to peaceful sleep. I can almost hear the sound of their splashing when the clang of metal alerts me to the fact that I’ve dropped my keys.
Put your customers on the boat.

Painting word pictures that capture their emotions will be more effective that the raw facts of the benefits your product offers.

Describe what the benefits will do for them, vividly and in great detail…get them panting for the end result.

Paint your way to a sale!

Think about it – the three strategies we’ve talked about deal with human emotions or behaviours, rather than your product itself.

When we affect the heart of the customer, our sales are likely to see great results…and hey, they’ll feel good while they’re writing out the check!

What more could you ask for?

 

To explore business opportunities, link with me by clicking on the ‘Invite’ button on my eBiz Card.

 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, official policy or position of GlobalLinker.

Posted by

Dhananjay Jay Parkhe

Dhananjay (Jay) Parkhe<br /> Author, Mentor, Speaker, CSR, Advisor, Educator, Independent Director<br /> Bengaluru Area, India

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Dhananjay Parkhe

Author, Mentor, Speaker, Advisor Educator

Dhananjay Parkhe / Bengaluru, India

RAK Movement – Random Acts of Kindness for the day. Take your pick


  1. Buy someone a coffee
  2. Empty your wallet for charity
  3. Be proactive – sign a petition for a good cause
  4. It’s hard to stay connected – reach out to an elderly person you know
  5. Reconnect with your grandparents or an elderly person you know – give them a call!

Creativity Exercise : Daily Motto Generation


  1. Freedom restored.
  2. By sword and shield.
  3. Protect, serve, progress.
  4. From the stars we came, to the stars we rise.
  5. Prepared for all.
  6. People of nature.
  7. Work, love, play.
  8. Watchers in the shade.
  9. Prepared for all.
  10. Forwards and onwards

Take your PIck. Twist it, turn it, modify it, break it down, add two or three together and see the outcome for fun.

Then get serious. Add your own objective and drew some ideas from here.

Wise Coach – Naive Coach


I was reading this commercial from Tony Robbins’ Newsletter ”

When someone asks you for help, how do you respond?

The naive coach tends to “over-commit.”

They feel this heartfelt pressure to help the person, so the say, “Yes! Let me share my solutions with you. I’m committed to your change. Let’s make it happen!”

Why is this naive? Because if you rush in too much as a coach, you might scare the client away!

Or worse yet, you are seen as a “nagging” friend giving them unwanted advice. Ever experience that?

The wise coach knows better. They say, “Great. I’d love to help you.”

Then the wise coach thinks to themselves, “Let’s figure out what kind of client this is.”

You see, there are four different client types. The four types have different goals. They work at different speeds.

And they have completely different expectations for their coach.

When the naive coach “rushes in” to help, they miss out on the client’s type.

They miss what’s really going on.

The wise coach first understands the client’s type, and proceeds accordingly.

Which coach do you think is more effective?

If you ever find yourself giving advice to someone who doesn’t seem to benefit… I have something for you.

Today we will be sharing one of our top strategies for bringing faster, more profound change to coaching clients.

It will also work on anyone in your life who needs your help.”

I come into the later category of coaches – the Naive Coach! I tend to commit fast, stay committed for long and rarely have I failed.

I believe that Flirting Mentor is an Oxymoron just as a term like Naive Coach is, IMHO.   A TRUE coach or mentor is neither naive nor a Flirt ! Serious coaches are Committed people and whether they commit early or later is a matter of their mind’s processes and early or late decision making capabilities/ habits – nothing else!

 

Friday Jay Mentor: 36 Jack MA quotes


36 Jack Ma Quotes

1. “You should learn from your competitor, but never copy. Copy and you die.”

2. “If we are a good team and know what we want to do, one of us can defeat ten of them.”

3. “No matter how tough the chase is, you should always have the dream you saw on the first day. It’ll keep you motivated and rescue you (from any weak thoughts).”

4. “I’m not a tech guy. I’m looking at the technology with the eyes of my customers, normal people’s eyes.

5. “When we have money, we start making mistakes.”

6. “If you’ve never tried, how will you ever know if there’s any chance?”

7. “If you don’t give up, you still have a chance. Giving up is the greatest failure.”

8. “Opportunity lies in the place where the complaints are.”

9. “When you are small, you have to be very focused and rely on your brain, not your strength.”

10. “A leader should have higher grit and tenacity, and be able to endure what the employees can’t.”

11. “I don’t want to be liked. I want to be respected.”

12. “You never know how much can you do in your life.”

13. “We’re never in lack of money. We lack people with dreams, (people) who can die for those dreams.”

14. “The very important thing you should have is patience.”

15. “Never ever compete on prices, instead compete on services and innovation.”

16. “Instead of learning from other people’s success, learn from their mistakes. Most of the people who fail share common reasons(to fail) whereas success can be attributed to various different kinds of reasons.”

17. “Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.”

18. “You need the right people with you, not the best people.”

19. “You’ve got to make your team have value, innovation, and vision.”

20. “When I am myself, I am happy and have a good result.”

21. “There are big problems that change the world. If we are working together, that will make us understand each other, appreciate each other, help each other.”

22. “The world needs new leadership, but the new leadership is about working together.”

23. “Learn passion, learn to dream.”

24. “If there are nine rabbits on the ground, if you want to catch one, just focus on one.

25. “The world will not remember what you say, but it will not forget what you have done.”

26. “Stay hungry and follow your dreams.”

27. “Grow your mind, grow your culture, grow your values, grow your wisdom.”

28. “If you want to win in the 21st century, you have to empower others, making sure other people are better than you. Then you will be successful.”

29. “No matter how tough the chase is, you should always have the dream you saw on the first day. It’ll keep you motivated and rescue you from any weak thoughts.”

30. “Forget about your competitors. Just focus on your customers.”

31. “It’s easier to win if you have people seeing things from different perspectives.”

32. “A good boss is better than a good company.”

33. “Sooner or later, you’ll regret it if you spend all your time at work.”

34. “No matter how smart you are, if you don’t know how to work with people, your dreams will just be dreams.”

35. “Do what is hard.”

36. “The customer is number one, the employee is number two, and the shareholder is number three.”