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Top 10 Crazy And Unconventional Music Genres – Listverse

via Top 10 Crazy And Unconventional Music Genres – Listverse

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Did you know..

Did you know…

… that today is the Anniversary of Woodstock? In 1969, Woodstock was held at Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm in the town of Bethel, New York. Woodstock, billed as An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace and Music, is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most pivotal moments in popular music history and was listed among Rolling Stone’s 50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll.

~~~

Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“Power comes from knowledge and knowledge comes with natural beauty in one’s self.”

— Tammy-Louise Wilkins

I’m Out! – A Didactic Cinquain by Jay

I’m Out! – A Didactic Cinquain

by Jay

I’m Out!
Spiffing, weirdo
Snapping, walloping shock, humungous banging
Such feelings of pain
Out Cold

It is not cowardice to give in

IT IS NOT COWARDICE TO GIVE IN —

Repeating what he had told Kitty and Rano earlier in Sholapur at the start of the Blue Bus Tours:

Very seriously, whenever you get excited, or feel others are unjust, or you feel they pass remarks, or you feel you are in the right and they in the wrong — the very moment you feel all this, remember me and get control. Pinch yourself, go aside. You must take practical steps. The moment you feel excited, make a fuss, remember me and begin singing or dancing — very practical solution.

You will at once turn it into laughter. If you cannot get control, then take this practical step; if not, you are lost. The slightest advantage given to the ego, with the help of the mind [emotion], bursts with all fury.

Spiritually, it is not cowardice to give in. If you cannot love, at least have the courage to give in. All this I have said a million times, but it goes in one ear and out the other. This is the last time I will tell you. If it goes out, all go. You all fight for no reason but lack of control. This is not yoga but bhoga. Bhog means taking, i.e., selfishness. Yoga implies giving, i.e., selflessness.

Lord Meher Online 2021-22
Photo: AMBPPCT

It is not cowardice to give in

IT IS NOT COWARDICE TO GIVE IN —

Repeating what he had told Kitty and Rano earlier in Sholapur at the start of the Blue Bus Tours:

Very seriously, whenever you get excited, or feel others are unjust, or you feel they pass remarks, or you feel you are in the right and they in the wrong — the very moment you feel all this, remember me and get control. Pinch yourself, go aside. You must take practical steps. The moment you feel excited, make a fuss, remember me and begin singing or dancing — very practical solution.

You will at once turn it into laughter. If you cannot get control, then take this practical step; if not, you are lost. The slightest advantage given to the ego, with the help of the mind [emotion], bursts with all fury.

Spiritually, it is not cowardice to give in. If you cannot love, at least have the courage to give in. All this I have said a million times, but it goes in one ear and out the other. This is the last time I will tell you. If it goes out, all go. You all fight for no reason but lack of control. This is not yoga but bhoga. Bhog means taking, i.e., selfishness. Yoga implies giving, i.e., selflessness.

Lord Meher Online 2021-22
Photo: AMBPPCT

Random phrases I generate every day

Hello BFFFs.

( Best friends, fans, followers and some Frenemies who also visit my blog 🙂 ) A great morning to all of you.

How do I begin my Blog writing daily and what do I post. 

I find generating random phrases every day as a good creative mind exercise.

I am a lateral thinker, I adapted Dr. Edward DeBono and his teachings early.

My Best Coach and Mentor I respect most is Dr. Marshall Goldsmith who taught me to be HUMAN FIRST.  Take final calls if the relationships are not working by forgiving each other.

The randomness of these phrases adds value and sometimes impacts my thoughts for the day.  I sometimes add few points on how the impact there was or should likely to be depending upon the time I post these on my Blog

Have a Great morning

  1. Jaws of Death

    Meaning: Being in a dangerous or very deadly situation.

    Hmmm… These days the fingers on the Keyboard do more damage than our tongues which are rarely used in the virtual era. 

  2. Down For The Count

    Meaning: Someone or something that looks to be defeated, or nearly so.

    Well, at this moment I feel like the one defeated.  But there are some lights at the end of the tunnel, there are few sparks and things usually average out for me. 

  3. Right Out of the Gate

    Meaning: Right from the beginning; to do something from the start.

    Hmm… let me think about this. yesterday I shared a lesson about Mystery as the opening.

  4. On the Same Page

    Meaning: Thinking alike or understanding something in a similar way with others. This can always be a game changer in case of differences and disagreements. It works all the time.

  5. Swinging For the Fences

    Meaning: Giving something your all.

    Yes. I am giving it my all. Every effort I do for future today, I believe I am Swinging for the fences. 

Whenever I write Hmmm… EITHER I am undecided, or I am intuitive, Or I have already formed a judgement and still willing to give it a second thought, alternative options – “What else could it mean” chance.  In short, even in a fully stretched Elastic situation – this means I am still FLEXIBLE, I am Receptive to new idea, thought, solutions.

I also write another blog post picking up Random Sentences. 3 to 5 of them and look at them creatively to actually plan some of the days actions – not using the same words but twisting words, looking at their attributes and applying to problems I foresee in the day.

Sometimes, I am sitting on the horns of a dilemma. I turn to Gita and Bible and pick up a Shloka and a Verse to find solution to my problem.

As day advances, I share the best newsletter or quote I have seen on the day. I also then move on to writing a Poem, a Couplet, A haiku or some times all of them.  This is my blog posting.

Then I check the Blog page of every blogger who has liked my post or some of them who have not visited my blog or not given a like or comment on my posts and read their blogs and add like or comment.

That’s pretty much about my last 2 months’s blogging process.

My day and the Random Phrases. Overall a Great day of Rest.

  1. Quick On the Draw
    Meaning: Performing an action with the greatest of haste.
  2. Back to Square One
    Meaning: To go back to the beginning; back to the drawing board. Took the lead to mend fences and getting into Mission mode rather than the Shared Vision mode. 
  3. Wouldn’t Harm a Fly
    Meaning: Nonviolent; someone who is mild or gentle. 
  4. It’s Not All It’s Cracked Up To Be
    Meaning: Failing to meet expectations; not being as good as people say.  But sometimes, we fail to do the right things knowingly and then wake up too late to recover from the shock 
  5. Birds of a Feather Flock Together
    Meaning: 
    People tend to associate with others who share similar interests.  Hmmm.. 

My Random phrases for the day – Action Plan? May be:)

  1. Back To the Drawing Board
    Meaning: Starting over again on a new design from a previously failed attempt. Starting over again, in a new city this time. Hope is not the Strategy. Doing is.
  2. Know the Ropes 
    Meaning: Having a familiarity or understanding of how something works. This sure is a help, An insider friend’s insights as I do not know the market, the customer yet. 
  3. Dropping Like Flies
    Meaning: To fall down ill or to die in large numbers. Hmmm… don’t know how this will work.
  4. Under Your Nose
    Meaning: Missing something that should be really obvious. I must be meticulous, scrupulous and a perfectionist this time around, taking care of all nitty gritty. 
  5. Quality Time
    Meaning: Spending time with another to strengthen the relationship. Yesss.! Meeting my 2 closest friends of 33 years after a long time is sure a motivation for the upcoming trip tomorrow.  

Two Spiteful Uncles Chatting to the Beat A Short Story by jay ( Auto generated and edited :) )

Teelo Teelo was thinking about Heart Break again. Heart was a cold-blooded juggler with pursed lips and Teelo Teelo had self cause hurt to his fingers.

Teelo walked over to the window and reflected on his Odorless surroundings. He had always loved The Dark Skies with its filthy, fried Universe, Full of Stars, Self Illuminated and those shining with reflected Glory. It was a place that encouraged his tendency to feel concerned.

Then he saw something in the distance, or rather someone. It was the a cold-blooded figure of Heart Break.

Teelo gulped. He glanced at his own reflection. She was a snotty, scheming, beer drinker with skinny body and slimy, sweaty palms. His friends saw her as a testy, tough teacher. Once, she had even rescued an ashamed old man from a road accident.

But not even a snotty person who had once rescued an ashamed old man from a road adccident, was prepared for what Heart had in store today.

The clouds danced like gyrating pigeons, making Teelo sparkly. Teelo grabbed a crumpled guillotine that had been strewn nearby; he massaged it with his fingers.

As Teelo stepped outside and Heart came closer, he could see the vague glint in her eye.

Heart glared with all the wrath of 4432 clumsy squidgy snakes. She said, in hushed tones, “I hate you but I want xoxo.”

Teelo looked back, even more sparkly and still fingering the crumpled guillotine. “Heart,  I bid you adiós, adieu, addio, adeus. … aloha. … arrivederci. … ciao. … auf Wiedersehen. … au revoir. … bon voyage. … sayonara,” he replied.

They looked at each other with calm feelings, like two flabby, flipping frogs thinking at a very arrogant disco, which had trance music playing in the background and two spiteful uncles chatting to the beat.

Teelo studied Heart’s sticky lips and hurt fingers. Eventually, he took a deep breath. “I’m sorry,” began Teelo in apologetic tones, “but I don’t feel the same way, and I never will. I just don’t hate you Heart.”

Heart looked lonely, her emotions raw like a kooky, kaleidoscopic knife.

Teelo could actually hear Heart’s emotions shatter into 4863 pieces. Then the cold-blooded juggler hurried away into the distance.

Not even a drink of beer would calm Teelo’s nerves tonight.

 

THE END

Sugar – Honey – Iced – Tea … Guess what it means.:) It was a crazy morning

  • When your only tool is a hammer, all problems start looking like nails.

  • Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

  • The last thing I want to do is insult you. But it IS on the list.

  • The only substitute for good manners is fast reflexes.

  • The problem with trouble shooting is that trouble shoots back.

  • If at first you don’t succeed, redefine success.

  • If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

Smart phrases – Revisited and Rephrased on a mad mad day…

It is fruitless to become lachrymose over precipitately departed lacteal fluids.

Don’t cry over spilled milk

The stylus is more potent than the dirk.

The pen is more powerful than the sword.

All articles that coruscate with resplendence are not truly auriferous.

Those who bask in reflected glory with no self illuminations masquerade as celebrities

All that glitters isn’t gold.

Male cadavers are incapable of yielding testimony.

Dead men don’t talk.

Individuals who make their abode in vitreous edifices would be advised to refrain from catapulting projectiles.  I like this the most 🙂

People who live in glasshouses shouldn’t throw stones.

Missiles of ligneous or petrous consistency have the potential of fracturing my osseous structure, but appellations will remain sempiternally innocuous.

Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me.

 

#Life #Poetry # Proverbs, #Madness #frenemy #enemy #Bad day #Revisit #Rephrase #Creativity #Mentoring #Dementor

Sometimes Random sentences make or mar our days.

  1. Sometimes it is better to just walk away from things and go back to them later when you’re in a better frame of mind.  So very true for this day.  Damn my biorhythms !
  2. I will never be this young again. Ever. Oh damn… I just got older.  That’s right. 
  3. He said he was not there yesterday; however, many people saw him there.  Hmmm… Must have lied to his wife, who else?:)
  4. Is it free? WHAT IS?  Yes, Advice is free, feedback is free. Even T H A T people charge money these days – they are called MENTORS like Jay 🙂 
  5. Tom got a small piece of pie. Hmmm… anything left for me.. NOOO! Im on diet till 31st July. Have to drop to 80Kg ! 
  6. She folded her handkerchief neatly.  One of my babyboomer (habit) privilege also stolen! 🙂 

Frenemy and Fake People

#Frenemy #FakePeople

They give their Fakes and legs a shake,
And sob until their tears melt.
The only other sound’s the break,
Of distant mirrors keeping barbers awake.

Fake are People, Frenemy and deep,
But they too have promises to keep,
Until then they shall not sleep.
They lie in beds with ducts that weep.

They rise from their bitter beds,
With thoughts of madness in their head,
They idolise being dead.
Faking the day with never-ending dread.

With thanks to the poet, Robert Frost, for the underlying structure.

Random Input this morning and what I intend to do today

  • Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees
    Meaning: Suggests that money is a resource that must be earned and is not one that’s easily acquired.

 

This I know! 

 

If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Get Out of the KitchenMeaning: One should discontinue with a task if they are unable to cope with it due to pressure.

I did that. Ferociously, Vehemently. Getting Rid of a Bad BAd Habit. 

 

My Cup of TeaMeaning: Someone or something that one finds to be agreeable or delightful.

Yes. I need to begin painting again. 

 

Fight Fire With FireMeaning: To retaliate with an attack that is similar to the attack used against you.

May be, NOT.  But will avoid words like Should, Maybe, perhaps, always, never, or begin sentences with a No, But or however. 

 

Cut To The ChaseMeaning: To get to the point, leaving out all of the unnecessary details.

Yes. I find Occam’s Razor working the best for me. However, I feel we still allow negative thoughts and negative and generally don’t change our network filled with such people fast enough.

 

Lovey DoveyMeaning: The affectionate stuff that people do when they are in love, such as kissing and hugging.

Emotional Investments are subject of market Risks – said very fast like the Mutual funds or insurance disclaimer Ads 🙂 

How can I be your friend?

Humming Bird

I am Cattle Class
I tended Cows and buffaloes
and cleaned holy shit
called Gobar – which was
Holier than thou,
they said.

In my childhood
they had
No fancy Fiberal
Hypocrite terms like
Child Labour or
Exploitation of poor.

I still held my Head high
against the Esteemed few
by being a KickAss Rebel

The Wise ones told me
to keep quiet and
Be satisfied and
Find Dignity in labour.

I am the pendulum moving
Right of Centre sometimes and
Center of Center Eccentric next.
They labelled me Neo-Convert.

So I’m can’t in
the same category
as your Left of Center friends.

I created a Class of my own
The Holy Cow-Shit Class.

How can such a Sanskaari
Be friends with
the Sickulars and
Fiberals.

The pseudo-rebels
who never tasted
Poverty or hardships

The brainwashed
Free Sex drug addicts
seducers and sedition
Artists.

the Commie and
Naxal, the JNU Types
No. No Way!
With times my Commie friends
Have Changed

They are the Closeted Neo-Rich
The ghost Liasion agents
of the powers that be and
the Puppeteers who
bankroll them
To keep up a Rebel front.

You may name me a Fiend,
That’s OKay!
But never a Friend.

Top 10 Fascinating Things Scientists Discovered About Salt

JANA LOUISE SMIT 

Too often, salt is forgotten in its shaker, but the grainy, white stuff can get strange. Its influences range from bizarre reactions inside the human body to when stars die.

Salt can solve mysteries, help us explore space, and reveal Earth’s past. The most fascinating is sodium’s dual role of danger and savior: It kills millions every year but also offers a cheap weapon against infections and climate change.

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10Salt Is Better Than Soap

Photo credit: BrokenSphere

When someone arrives at the hospital, they go through debridement, which is basically the cleansing of any wounds with soap and water. Yet, thousands of patients need treatment for infections that occur after injuries are cleaned.

In 2015, doctors launched a study to see if salt water might prevent this from happening. They threw the remedy in at the deep end. Forget using a saline solution on paper cuts. Surgeons used it to clean open breaks on patients from five countries.

Around 2,400 people were treated with either a saline wash or soap and water. The patients were monitored for a year to document any infections. During this time, most patients who returned for additional operations were the ones who had their wounds soaped. Those who received a saltwater cleansing were less prone to infections, and their injuries healed better.

The difference was so significant that if doctors adopt the salty treatment, it could lead to a cheap way to disinfect serious injuries. This is good news for Third World countries where 90 percent of the world’s traffic deaths happen.[1]

9Salt Causes Brain Inflammation

In 2018, researchers put mice on a high-salt diet and the results were scary. Mice are highly intelligent mammals, but the sodium dumbed them down. They performed badly in maze tests, and reactions to whisker stimulation or new objects were tepid.

Previously, salt-induced cognitive issues were believed to happen because of high blood pressure. However, the study proved that salt could mess up important parts of the brain even without blood pressure issues.

Decreased blood flow to the cortex and hippocampus impaired learning and memory. This was the end result of a crazy thing that the immune system did. When it detected too much salt in the animal’s gut, inflammatory signals were sent to the brain to compromise blood vessels and thinking.[2]

The gut’s independent signaling is already responsible for other diseases linked to poor brain blood vessels—multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel disease. But this is the first time that salt was identified as a trigger for the dangerous inflammation.

On a positive note, the mice recovered their smarts when they were switched to a low-sodium diet or gut signals were disrupted by drugs.

8The Salt Tooth

Many people are the delicious owner of a sweet tooth. Evidence now also points to the existence of a genetic salt tooth.

In 2016, a study followed 400 locals in Kentucky who were all at risk for heartdisease. They kept food diaries and gave DNA samples. Among the volunteers were individuals who carried a gene variation called TAS2R48. Previously linked to a greater sensitivity to taste bitterness, the gene also appeared to make certain people love salt.

In fact, the volunteers with TAS2R48 were twice as likely to consume more than the safe amount of salt as compared to those without the gene. Worse, the gene could be why people who taste bitterness more vividly (and hate it) sprinkle even more salt to make food taste better.

The discovery of the “salt tooth” gene is the first step in helping those with TAS2R48 to make food choices that won’t cause blood pressure issues, which may cause heart disease or shortened lives.[3]

7Salty Stars Die Sooner

Photo credit: space.com

When Simon Campbell, a stellar astrophysicist from Australia, found old research papers from the 1980s, he realized that they contradicted an established belief. This belief stated that all the stars in a given cluster evolve in a similar way.

However, the 1980 papers described differences within a group called NGC 6752. Moreover, the older study claimed that sodium was responsible. Back in the day, observation techniques were not as high-tech as today. To confirm the findings, Campbell turned Chile’s powerful Very Large Telescope on the cluster, which was located 13,000 light-years away. The claims were true.

Additionally, Campbell’s team discovered that sodium killed stars quicker than those that contained less salt. The low-sodium stars followed a normal evolutionary path and, at the end, burned hydrogen and helium before shedding gas and dust. What remained turned into white dwarfs.

Their highly salted cousins never entered the shedding phase but died directly into white dwarfs. This was unexpected as all stars were thought to first lose mass in their final years. Though salt is definitely a factor, the exact reason why it removes an entire life phase is not entirely clear.[4]

6Morphine For A Warming Earth

Photo credit: Nick Juhasz

In 2018, scientists at the Planetary Science Institute proposed to salt the air like a cured ham. The reason? To cool Earth down. Humans’ dependence on fossil fuels is still dialing up the planet’s temperature. The idea is to release table salt (perhaps a salt mine’s worth) into the troposphere. Its strong reflective properties might mirror incoming heat back into space.

But this is geoengineering, a practice involving environmental manipulation to stave off climate change. This remains a patchwork craft where precision understanding of all the consequences cannot be predicted.

Salt may be harmless to humans and more reflective than other suggested dustings, but it contains chlorine. This ozone nibbler could worsen the condition of Earth’s protective shield against radiation. Salt might cool Earth but could wreck the chemistry of both the troposphere and stratosphere.[5]

Researchers admit the move is a desperate one for a situation that needs something better. They liken salt seeding to the “application of morphine in a medical situation.”

5Chance To Preview Extraterrestrial Life

Photo credit: discovermagazine.com

Deep below Antarctica’s surface are pockets that contain ecosystems separate from the rest of the world. These subterranean lakes are super salty. In 2018, researchers found a pair of these saline lakes in Canada. For the moment, they cannot dip their toes or test tubes in the water. Both lakes are thought to be over 610 meters (2,000 ft) below the Devon Ice Cap.

What makes the pair so interesting is that they have been sealed away for millennia. Other subglacial lakes previously produced the samples that proved microbes had their own communities away from sunlight and the world.

The Canadian lakes are special. Calculations estimate that their salt content—up to five times that of the oceans—make these the most hypersaline bodies on Earth.

They also have a touch of space in them. Jupiter’s moon Europa has an icy crust over what is likely a saltwater sea, which is a requirement for life. If Canada’s own ice-locked lakes produce life, it might prove that similar ecosystems exist in salty oceans across the solar system.[6]

4Salt Makes Ceres Spotty

Photo credit: space.com

Ceres is a dwarf planet in our solar system’s asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. For some time, something about Cere’s appearance has been a scientific mystery. Around 130 inexplicable bright spots dotted the surface of the dwarf planet.

In 2015, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft orbited the small world and beamed back to Earth a likely answer. When the incoming data was analyzed, it appeared that the shiny spots were comprised of hydrated magnesium sulfates. Footbath lovers know this compound as Epsom salt.

Most of the patches were found within impact craters, and water ice also seemed to play a role in their creation. Several craters produced a haze after sunrise, possibly from water vapor leaving the spots. Some spots also have the reflectivity of polar sheets, a strong indication that Ceres might have vast reservoirs of ice underneath the crust.[7]

How these oddities came to be on Ceres in the first place is also unknown, but impacts likely exposed ice and salt beneath the crust.

3Worst Droughts In History

During 2017, researchers were drilling for samples in the Dead Sea when they found something horrifying—two droughts capable of bringing civilization to its knees should they repeat. The team had been scouting for salt deposits to look at past rainfall. The logic was sound. A dry spell would leave more deposits, while rainy years thinned them.

When the drill hit the depths that represented 10,000 and 120,000 years ago, respectively, salt showed up in a big way. Found around 305 meters (1,000 ft) below the seabed, they showed droughts unlike anything recorded before. Both times, the Middle East suffered dry weather that lasted millennia. At its worst, only 20 percent of normal rainfall was seen. Humans and Neanderthals existed during the first, and by the second, Neanderthals were gone.

Scientists are worried that a rebound may make millions suffer this time, and climate predictions show the region will turn arid. The salt layers proved that the deadliest droughts happened without human interference. Now, with man-made climate change, the much-needed freshwater could disappear again.[8]

2The Birth Of Oxygen

Photo credit: astrobio.net

Earth was pretty much a choke zone until the first oxygen bloomed. Called the Great Oxidation Event, this change was made possible when bacteria learned photosynthesis and started releasing oxygen.

Exactly when this event happened was a mystery until 2018, when the world’s oldest salt was found. The crystallized rocks were drawn from a 2-kilometer-deep (1.2 mi) shaft in Russia.

The crystals, chemically identical to table salt, formed 2.3 billion years ago after an ancient ocean evaporated. The sample contained sulfate—something which forms in seawater when oxygen reacts with sulfur. Not only did it prove when the Oxidation Event happened, but the vast amount of sulfate showed that it spread at a rapid clip.[9]

The massive rate at which oxygen was pumped into the atmosphere was surprising, but it settled another question. Did bacteria take millions of years to raise the 20 percent oxygen level in the atmosphere? The Russian salt showed that the process was not gradual. For some reason, the event was more like the burst from a fire hose.

1It Might Become A Controlled Substance

At the 2012 World Nutrition meeting in Rio, researchers proposed that salt be regulated by companies or governments. The population is overdosing on sodium, a leading cause of premature deaths. Not just a few thousand, either. Millions of people die of high blood pressure every year because of salt added to food.

A human needs 350 milligrams daily to stay alive. Meanwhile, an average American ingests 3,500 milligrams per day. The biggest culprit is sodium hidden from the consumer. A slice of store-bought bread already accounts for 250 milligrams of sodium. A can of vegetables contains around 1,000 milligrams. Double that in one fast-food meal.

Researchers are leaning toward taking the choice away from companies that add salt to improve taste in low-quality food and use salt water to sell meat at a “heavier” price. As salt causes thirst, beverage sellers have little incentive to support salt reduction. Faced with hidden sodium and industrial overuse, the individual cannot effectively reduce his intake. For this reason, the government regulation of salt may be the only option.[10]

10 Little-Known Stories About How Slavery Ended Around The World

HISTORY

MARK OLIVER 

 

We talk about slavery almost as if it was something that only happened in the United States. Slavery is treated as a distinctly American legacy and American shame—but that couldn’t possibly be farther from the truth.

Nearly every country in the world participated in the slave trade, and a lot of them took in far more slaves than the United States. Of the 12.5 million African slaves sent to the New World, only 388,000—or about three percent—of them ended up in the US.[1]

We’ve all heard about Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, and the Emancipation Proclamation, but that wasn’t the end of slavery around the world. Slaves were still battling for their freedom, and, outside their own countries, their stories have been almost completely ignored.

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10Britain Spent Most Of Its Budget Paying Off Slaveowners


When the British Empire abolished slavery in 1833, their biggest concern was the slaveowners. A growing abolitionist movement in the empire had pushed them to do the humane thing and let their slaves go free, but they were still terrified about how all their slaveowners would react—so they paid them off.

The British government spent £20 million reimbursing slavers for the “loss of their slaves.” That was a huge amount of money—it was 40 percent of their treasury’s annual income, and the country had to go £15 million in debt to pay for it.[2] They didn’t finish paying off that debt until 2015, meaning that, in a sense, British taxes were going toward paying off slaveowners for 182 years.

The slaves didn’t see a penny of that £20 million. They weren’t given any resources or land to compensate them for working without pay or any guidance on how to make a better life for themselves. And so, when slavery ended, most ended up staying on the same plantations they’d been at their whole lives, working for wages so low that life wasn’t much better than before.

9Canada Abolished Slavery To Save A Single Woman


The end of slavery in the British Empire didn’t change much in Canada. They’d already abolished slavery 40 years earlier, in 1793, all as a part of one man’s efforts to save a single woman named Chloe Cooley.

Chloe Cooley was an African slave whose owner intended to sell her in the US. While a crowd of people watched, he tied her up, threw her into a boat, and sailed her across Lake Erie. Cooley did everything she could to resist, screaming for her life and trying to escape, but it was all to no avail.

Two men in the crowd, though, reported what they’d seen to Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe, and he made it his personal goal to save Cooley. He tried to bring her owner to court, but the case was thrown out.[3]She was the owner’s property, and, by law, he could do anything he wanted to her.

So Simcoe changed the law. He campaigned to get slavery abolished in Canada and pulled it off in record time. Less than four months after Cooley was sold, slavery was illegal.

Simcoe, though, never managed to save Cooley. The new law only banned the purchase of new slaves—slaveowners were still allowed to keep the ones they had. No one knows for sure what happened to Cooley, but there’s every reason to believe she died in the United States, working on a plantation slave gang.

8Brazil Kept Slavery Alive Longer Than Any Country In The Americas

We don’t often talk about the Brazilian slave trade, but it was bigger than any other in North or South America. As we’ve said, only three percent of the African slaves went to the United States—but 32 percent (four million) of them went to Brazil.

Slavery stayed legal in Brazil for longer than any other country in the Americas, too. It was so strong that, after the US Civil War, Confederate slaveowners who were unwilling to give up owning people moved to Brazil to keep the slave trade alive.

In the end, though, the British Empire pressured them into giving them up. It wasn’t until Brazilians fought alongside their African slaves in the Paraguayan War that they started to see them as human beings.[4]

In the end, the slaveowners came around to abolition before the government did. They started freeing their own slaves before the state forced them to do it. When slavery was finally abolished in 1888, most of the slaves had already been set free.

7A Slave Revolt In Haiti Actually Worked

Photo credit: January Suchodolski

In Haiti, the slaves won their freedom by force. It was the oldest slave colony in America. There had been slaves there since Columbus first landed in 1492, and by 1789, there were nearly 500,000 slaves, outnumbering the white population by more than ten to one.[5]

When the Haitian slaves heard about the French Revolution, it sparked an idea. From their point of view, it sounded like the white slaves of France had killed their masters and taken possession of the land. They wanted to throw a revolution of their own.

Haitian slaves started wearing red, white, and blue ribbons as tributes to the French Revolution and as a subtle sign that they were getting ready to launch one of their own. And, in October 1790, it started. At first, it was just 350 slaves fighting for their freedom in Saint Dominique, but it soon evolved into a full-on rebellion across the entire country.

It took 14 years for them to win their freedom. The French Army was called in, and the ragtag, revolting slaves had to take on one of the greatest military forces in the world. In the end, though, the French Army was wreaked with disease. They gave up, went home, and let the slave rebellion win.

The very concepts of skin color were abolished. Under the constitution, no matter the color of one’s skin, all Haitians were to “be known only by the generic appellation of Blacks.”

6The First Black President Of Mexico Abolished Slavery

Photo credit: Anacleto Escutia

It probably won’t come as much as a surprise that slavery in Mexico didn’t last much longer after its first black president.

His name was Vicente Ramon Guerrero Saldana (often shortened to Vicente Guerrero), and he was the son of an African Mexican and a Mestizo. To his Mexican comrades, though, his mixed heritage just made him black—in fact, his nickname was “El Negro.”

Guerrero entered office on April 1, 1829, and got rid of slavery before the year was over.[6] Slavery in Mexico officially ended on September 16, 1829—much to the chagrin of the Americans living there.

Texas, at the time, was full of American slaveholders who weren’t too happy about Guerrero’s new law. The end of slavery in Mexico would eventually lead to Texas declaring independence and would even get Guerrero killed. A revolt rose up against him nearly immediately. Guerrero was dead before two years had passed.

But his law survived. Even though Guerrero died, slavery never came back to Mexico.

5Britain Forced Zanzibar To Abolish Slavery In Under An Hour

Photo credit: The Daily Telegraph

In the late 19th century, Zanzibar was the center of the global slave trade. Thousands of slaves passed through their slave market each year, and the British wanted to put an end to it.[7]

They tried to do it peacefully. They tried to put economic pressure on Zanzibar to get them to stop the slave trade, but all Zanzibar would give them were a few platitudes and empty gestures. The slave trade was vital to their economy, and they weren’t going to give it up unless someone made them.

So, in 1896, a British fleet set itself up outside of the Sultan’s palace and just bombarded it senseless with everything they had. After 38 to 45 minutes of destruction, the Sultan surrendered, and slavery in Zanzibar came to an end.

It was the shortest war in history. Over 500 people died on the Zanzibar side. On the British side, only one person was wounded. The rest didn’t even stub a toe.

4It Took Two Wars To End The Barbary White Slave Trade

Photo credit: Dennis Malone Carter

Africans weren’t the only people being kidnapped and sold into slavery. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, hundreds of thousands of Europeans were captured by Barbary pirates and sold as slaves in North Africa and the Ottoman Empire.

The Barbary pirates would raid the coasts of Europe and capture anyone they could get their hands on. Then they would drag them off to Algiers, where they would be sold as slaves.

The Ottoman Empire refused to stop until the United States and Europe forced them. The US had to go to war with the Barbary states twice (in 1801 and 1815) before they left them alone, while the British, Dutch, and French fought with Algiers off and on for nearly 100 years before the Ottoman Empire, in 1890, finally signed an agreement to stop taking white slaves.[8]

3Cuba Ignored Spain’s Orders To Abolish Slavery For 75 Years

Officially, slavery was abolished in every Spanish colony in 1811, but Cuba didn’t exactly listen. The slave trade was too profitable there to stop. They deliberately ignored the Spanish order and kept on selling slaves for another 75 years.

It created problems. In 1812, when the slaves in Cuba realized they weren’t going free, a man named Jose Aponte led them in a revolt to try to get them the freedom they’d been denied.[9] Even in the face of open revolt, though, Cuba kept the slave trade going. They killed Aponte and put his head on display to let every slave know what would happen to them if they questioned the Cuban slave trade.

The slaves didn’t get their freedom until after Cuba and Spain went to war. Cuba went to war with Spain in 1868 but had lost by 1878, and Spain rode the high of their victory to finally actually force Cuba to let their slaves go. Even then, though, the process was so gradual that the shackles didn’t come off until 1886, a whole lifetime after they’d been promised their freedom.

2Australian Slave Traders Drowned Slaves Rather Than Give Them Freedom

Technically, Australia was a nation of slaves to begin with. The convicts who first populated Australia were sent to work as unpaid slaves on a chain gang, and they were treated so horribly that one of the British officers who went to Australia said, “The slave traffic is merciful compared with what I have seen.”

In time, the white slaves of Australia were replaced with Aboriginal slaves, who were forced to work on sugar plantations. They were all supposed to be freed in 1833, when the British Empire abolished slavery, but the Australians ignored it. They relabeled their slaves “indentured servants” and kept using them for the better part of a century.

It took until 1901—68 years after slavery had been abolished—before the British Empire finally forced Australia to set their slaves free. Some of the slave traders, though, were so determined not to do it that they threw their slaves overboard, letting them drown rather than giving them their freedom.[10]

1Mauritania Still Has Slavery


Not every country has abolished slavery. In Mauritania, it is estimated that 43,000 people are still living in slavery.[11]

The lighter-skinned Berber people of Mauritania are the slaveowners, while the darker-skinned people called the “Black Moors” are the slaves. The Berbers have full control over the Black Moors’ lives, including the right to give their slaves away. In fact, it’s considered a tradition there to give a slave as a wedding gift.

Technically, slavery was legally abolished in Mauritania in 1981, but the slave trade still lives on to this day. The government started to crack down more after a 2012 report by the United Nations put them in the international spotlight, but according to the Global Slavery Index, it was little more than a show to appease the UN. They arrested their first slaveowner immediately around when the UN report came out and very publicly sentenced him to six months in jail—but they stopped pursuing cases when the world stopped paying attention.

To this day, Mauritania remains one of the last great strongholds of slaveryin the world.

Mazes of our own making and self-created Entanglements

All life is an effort to attain freedom from self-created entanglement.

It is a desperate struggle to undo what has been done under ignorance, to throw away the accumulated burden of the past, to find rescue from the debris left by a series of temporary achievements and failures.

Life seeks to unwind the limiting sanskaras of the past and to obtain release from the mazes of its own making, so that its further creations may spring directly from the heart of eternity and bear the stamp of unhampered freedom and intrinsic richness of being which knows no limitation.

——-AVATAR MEHER BABA

[Discourses by Meher Baba, volume-I, p-113 (Copyright ©1967 by Adi K. Irani, King’s Rd., Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, India]

Keep Walking – Keep Learning

Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyay gave a Mantra – Charaiveti, CharaiVeti. Keep Walking .. And Trust me Chalte Chalte – Just morning Walking I am doing these certifications and it feels so good. Learning new things, new skills is my passion and now I have all the time available to pursue thing I always wanted to do. 🙂UC-O6Y5BULC

Have you felt Humbled?

I was going thru some of my old EverNote notes.
It read:
“Unable to get people on con call.
Someone commented on my old tie –all it needs is a stitch.
I was humbled.”
Those were good old Corporate days. Sometimes due to the Global Time Differences, it would become difficult to get people on Conference Calls/ Video Calls/ Audio Chats.
I remember vividly, one of the colleagues took a dig at my tie whose label had come out from one side and was visible to the powerful camera and hence to all participants.
My colleague said “All your Old Tie needs is a Stitch”.   It humbled me.
Today, I do not remember the name of the colleague and my bad, I did not note it down in the Evernote.
Thinking – how to mend some of the Old ties? The Old friendships. The Oldest ones for example.  A friend sent me a WhatsApp last afternoon “All well? No news from you for long?”
I thought, this friend was visiting USA to his two sons and may not have access to his Indian phone number/ whatsapp as it is a long stay – he had planned to stay for 6 months.
Then after a while, I found two missed calls and one which stopped before 3 rings ( Damn Redmi Y1 and Damn my One Plus 5 T).  I called him.  He was back 15 days ago and was shifting home after 34 years.  We became colleagues and later thick friends since 1985.  His old flat / building was going under renovation and the neighbors were concerned that he had not yet vacated the flat so that the builder can start work.  He shifted to a small one bedroom flat. Sitting among boxes, he thought of me and called. He was worried as most babyboomers do when they do not get RESPONSE.
We had a catch up chat, I said I may visit your town soon for a morning/ evening trip and will try and atleast speak from  airport.  He said stay back, be my guest. Let’s catch up. We may be gone again for a long long time to USA and who knows….
I knew I was humbled again – All the Old Tie needed what just a proverbial STITCH.

About Those Myth-Heard Lyrics: An Introduction to Mondegreens

bout Those Myth-Heard Lyrics: An Introduction to Mondegreens
By Bob Grant on April 7, 2012
Have you been wondering what idiot would name a kid’s song “He’s Got the Whole World in His Pants?” If so, you’ve fallen victim to one of many examples of mondegreens.
The word mondegreen may be new to you, but if you’ve ever been embarrassed to learn that you’ve been mangling a song’s lyrics for years (and who hasn’t?) you’ve perpetrated one. We’ve presented tales of myth-heard song lyrics before, but this week we reveal how these “slips of the ear” got their official name.

Poor Lady Mondegreen
No matter how good your hearing is, you’ve surely misinterpreted a song or poetic performance at some point in the past. Until writer Sylvia Wright introduced the world to mondegreens in 1954, there was no official term for such aural accidents.

Wright’s offering derives from a childhood mishearing of the 17th century Scottish poem “The Bonny Earl of Murray,” often read to her by her mother:

Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands,
Oh, where hae ye been?
They hae slain the Earl of Murray,
And Lady Mondegreen.

While such an ending may appeal to fans of romantic tragedy, a la Romeo and Juliet, in truth there was no such Lady. The last line actually reads, “…and laid him on the green.” And so from a misunderstood line of an obscure ballad comes a term that stands for something always occurring, but never previously defined.

If you think the word “mondegreen” is unusual, consider these clunkers suggested as alternatives: “disclexia” and “Musical Ear Disturbance.” The word “lyricosis” is better, and certainly more descriptive, but it lacks the wonderful euphony of Ms. Wright’s lyrical creation.

Bohemian Rap City
Linguists blame something called “homophony,” or similarity of sounds, for misheard creations like erroneous song lyrics or so-called “eggcorns,” which are scrambled idioms, if you will, rather than verses.

Mondegreens aren’t limited to English; these and similar misunderstandings are inevitable in any language, since there are only so many different and individual verbal sounds that human beings are capable of producing. Add in malfunctioning ears and ambient noise, and the conditions are ripe for all kinds of hilarious fun.

When a Man Loves a Walnut
According to one six-year-old, for example, the central message of the song “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” is that “life’s a butter dream.” And more than one person has wondered why that girl wore raspberries and grapes in the old song “Raspberry Beret” by the Artist Once Again Known as Prince.

For heaven’s sake, they even creep into old Christmas standards. Some of us have yet to figure out what “police naughty dog” has to do with “Feliz Navidad” in the José Feliciano song of that name, any more than we understand why, exactly, someone should “sleep in heavenly peas.” That’s mondegreens for ya!

via About Those Myth-Heard Lyrics: An Introduction to Mondegreens.html

Selfishness, Selflessness and Personal Ego

Selfishness and selflessness are two phases of the life of the personal ego, and these two phases are continuous with each other.

Selfishness arises when all the desires are centred around the narrow individuality. Selflessness arises when this crude organisation of desires suffers disintegration and there is a general dispersing of desires with the result that they cover a much wider sphere.

Selfishness is the narrowing down of interests to a limited field; selflessness is the extension of interests over a wide field.

To put it paradoxically, selfishness is a restricted form of selflessness, and selflessness is the drawing out of selfishness into a wide sphere of activity.

——-AVATAR MEHER BABA

[Discourses by Meher Baba, volume-I, p-29-30 (Copyright ©1967 by Adi K. Irani, King’s Rd., Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, India)]

A chance encounter in a fertilizer dealer shop reminds me of this caption always.  I met a group of Guntotting Ex Dacoits who had spent 7 years in Open Jail as punishment and surrendered in front of Late Shri JayPrakash Narayan.

This Ex Dacoit was a Farmer and political leader now.  When introduced as the sales person who was selling his favorite brand of fertilizer – He had asked in HINDI whther “Ye Saheb swarthee hain ya parmarthee”. A Deep question about whether this person I am being introduced is Selfish or Selfless?  Even an Ex Convict chooses to know this beforehand.  Why I wondered?

Random Musings: Sometimes good for fun:). Jay’s Tantra -4 for Problem Solving

Just some random thoughts that crossed my mind, some with reason, some without reason. I like Dr. Edward De Bono and his Lateral Thinking techniques.  I especially like the Random Object technique of attribute listing.

Here I use these one-liners as Random Input sentences and relate them to a Problem with a Problem-solving objective in mind. Worth a try.

It did help me.

  1. She did not cheat on the test, for it was not the right thing to do.
  2. Wednesday is hump day, but has anyone asked the camel if he’s happy about it?
  3. I really want to go to work, but I am too sick to drive.
  4. I would have gotten the promotion, but my attendance wasn’t good enough.
  5. Yeah, I think it’s a good environment for learning English.
  6. What was the person thinking when they discovered cow’s milk was fine for human consumption… and why did they do it in the first place!?
  7. If the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy had babies would they take your teeth and leave chocolate for you?
  8. I often see the time 11:11 or 12:34 on clocks.

What a Day! Random inputs of the Day.

  1. Shot In the Dark
    Meaning: 
    An attempt that has little chance for success. It actually worked.

    (Out of the box idea seemingly is the RIGHT solution today)

  2. A Fool and His Money are Soon Parted
    Meaning: 
    It’s easy for a fool to lose his/her money.

    (Some live in false pretenses and show off, although paradigms shifted, Reset pressed.

  3. Barking Up The Wrong Tree
    Meaning: 
    To make a wrong assumption about something.

    (Mean- Meaning making machine, lesson of Dissociation on my NLP course ! What a day !)

  4. Mouth-watering
    Meaning: 
    Delicious; something that looks or tastes appetizing.

    (Some Quirky, wacky, tacky, blasphemous, hillarious, original ideas flowed and made the day – very futuristic.  Best to discuss ideas than people and things)

  5. Quick and Dirty
    Meaning: 
    Things that are fixed with great speed, but as a result, it’s probably not going to work very well.

    (The sword dangles on relationships, the risks do not go away as communication is onesided as other side is speaking with pursed lips ( suppressed pain and emotions)

  6. Cup Of Joe
    Meaning: 
    A cup of joe is an American nickname for a cup of coffee.

    (Hmmm… and again! I forgot to drink my morning tea before the walk 🙂 )

  7. Keep Your Shirt On
    Meaning: 
    Keeping calm. Usually said by someone who is trying to avoid making others upset.

    (Silence, Quietude like solitude can be counterproductive among friends)

  8. It’s Not All It’s Cracked Up To Be
    Meaning: 
    Failing to meet expectations; not being as good as people say.

    (To expect is BAD – there is no Good in Expectations, lessons learnt, experience gained).

Mental Turmoil: & a Random Quote from Bible – Jay’s Tantra -3

Numbers 31:15

Passage: 

“Have you allowed all the women to live?”

he asked them.

I had a mental turmoil. At such moments, I turn to Gita, Ramayan, Bible and turn a page and pick one verse or quote.  Try and mull and understand the meaning to find inner peace and God’s message to me to listen to my inner voice with HIS Voice reverberating in my mind together.

This is a personal technique – I call it Jay’s Tantra and it helps me at times to go find the meaning beyond the words, deeply thinking, introspecting, reminiscences of the past and slowly it brings me to the present – my STATE and shows me a path to overcome the mental turmoil, dilemmas, indecisive phase, awkwardness of the decisions I thought or took and their impact.

I need to hear a preacher understand the quote from the bible but the belief that it is a God’s word – leads me to what I began searching and it has helped in terrible moments in my life.  They have always helped me to bounce back with vigor, rigor, self-confidence.

Why breakups hurt like hell – via Medium. I subscribe this.

Why Breakups Hurt Like Hell
How to manage the pain and move on

Lesley Alderman, LMSW
Follow
Jun 8
Photo: Portland Press Herald/Getty

1.1K

This is what I remember from my last major breakup: the cracks in the ceiling. I spent a good 10 hours lying on the couch in my East Village apartment staring at the ceiling, following the lines etched in the fading paint, as if they would lead to more answers. I was stunned that I could feel so drained and defeated even though I had initiated the end.

Breakups can be devastating. You can feel like a desperate 3-year-old lost in a grocery store or a hollowed-out wreck. Why? Because we’re human, and humans are designed to pair with other humans. Uncoupling and rejection feel like threats to our existence. We tend to respond with some variation on the themes of despair, confusion, and rage.

“Separation distress elicits panic,” explains Sue Johnson, PhD, an internationally recognized couples therapist and author. “And people don’t know how to make sense of it.”

Making sense of a breakup, though, is vital: it helps you recover. Looking at what happened and why will reduce the sting and help you make a better choice next time.

The pain you are experiencing is understandable, when you recognize that humans are bonding creatures hardwired for relationships. We are designed to grow and learn in the presence of others. Our connections to lovers, friends, and family define us and help us survive. Healthy intimate relationships provide us with a sense of safety and serve as a buffer against the slings and arrows the world hurls our way.

One study, which looked at the power of hand-holding, showed how robust the buffering effect of a partner can be. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin, Madison observed how 16 happily married heterosexual women reacted when they were threatened with an electric shock. The women were hooked up to a brain scanner, which measured their responses to the shock threat. In one scenario, the women held their husband’s hand, in another they held the hand of an anonymous male experimenter, and in the final scenario, they held no hand at all.

When the women held their husband’s hand, the area of the brain that processes emotional and behavioral threats was less activated than when the women held the hand of the stranger or held no hand. The more favorably the women had rated the quality of their marriage, the more powerful the buffering effect of their husband’s hand. It’s no wonder, then, that losing that safeguard can elicit despair.

Being part of a couple can also change your identity. Researchers at Northwestern University examined the effect that breakups have on self-concept. The 2010 study found that becoming single makes you feel less significant. “When the relationship ends, individuals experience not only pain over the loss of the partner, but also changes in their selves,” the study’s authors wrote.

Breakups can also trigger feelings of shame. “We consider any relationship that ends a failure,” explains Katherine Woodward Thomas, a licensed marriage and family therapist and author of Conscious Uncoupling (yes, the book that Gwyneth made famous). “We have this belief that love should last forever.” But in reality, most of us will have two to three relationships in our lifetimes and two to three major breakups.

When you’re the one being left, the sting is particularly sharp. Rejection triggers feelings of humiliation, isolation, and pain. Research by Naomi Eisenberger at UCLA has found that the emotional pain of rejection is coded in the same part of the brain as physical pain. Your rational mind may try to downplay the rejection — “Eh, he wasn’t worth it,” — but it registers in your brain as if you’d been punched in the gut.

The best remedy for the pain that follows a breakup is self-care and self-examination. Before you can recover and make rational sense of the breakup, you first need to attend to your shaken sense of self. Talk about the demise of the relationship with your friends, spend time with people who treat you well, write about your worries. Remind yourself that breakups can be traumatic; you need time to adjust and recover.

At the same time, resist self-destructive urges. Don’t stalk your ex online (this will increase your level of distress), pretend you’re fine (suppressing feelings leads, over the longer term, to greater emotional drama), or try to numb your pain with excessive amounts of alcohol, substances, or sex (never a good plan).

When you’re ready, ask yourself, ‘What can I learn from this relationship?’ A 2017 study looked at the romantic relationships and breakups of 160 young adults. The researchers found that when individuals understood the reasons for their breakup, they suffered less stress and reported more satisfaction in their next relationship than their less clued-in peers.

Resist the all-too-satisfying desire to totally demonize your ex as a whacked out psychopathic narcissistic wreck of a person. “Okay, maybe your ex was 97 percent of the problem,” says Woodward Thomas. “But let’s look at your three percent. That’s where the gold is.” What did you not say or do — or fail to say or do? What warning signs did you ignore? What old pattern were you replaying? Did you give your power away? Women, for instance, have a tendency to bond more quickly. Men, of course, tend to hang back, wary of committing too much, too fast. Even though those tendencies are well known, we may not see ourselves living out such patterns as they’re happening. “Until you see what you are doing, you are bound to do it again,” says Woodward Thomas.

You will start to figure out who might be a better match for you. Bear in mind, people who are emotionally responsive tend to make the best partners. If you’ve never had the pleasure of dating an emotionally responsive human, here’s what they look like: they listen; they can tolerate your emotions, even when they’re negative; they are moved by your feelings; they are not terrified of vulnerability (they may not love it, but at least they don’t belittle it).

In general, people who are available, reliable, and trustworthy also make good partners in romance and life. Research consistently shows that people who have mates with these characteristics feel secure, nurtured, and supported in their relationships.

“Breakups hurt so much because relationships are so important to us,” says Dr. Johnson. But, with some effort, it’s possible to turn the pain into self-gain. Before you get involved in your next relationship, take some time to picture what a good, enduring one looks like to you.

1.1K

WRITTEN BY
Lesley Alderman, LMSW
Writer. Psychotherapist. Yoga enthusiast. Interested in mental health and helping people feel psychologically sound. Brooklyn based. www.lesleyalderman.com

via Why Breakups Hurt Like Hell – Member Feature Stories – Medium

Both Men and Women Get Bored With Monogamy—Just For Different Reasons via mel magazine.

Both Men and Women Get Bored With Monogamy—Just For Different Reasons

via Both Men and Women Get Bored With Monogamy—Just For Different Reasons

Death will be optional – A WhatsApp forward going viral

Death will be Optional by 2045

https://www.thinkspain.com/news-spain/30425/death-will-be-optional-and-ageing-curable-by-2045-say-genetic-engineers
Death will be ‘optional’ and ageing ‘curable’ by 2045, say genetic engineers

Sat, Apr 21, 2018

news@thinkspain.com @thinkspain

DYING will be ‘optional’ within just 27 years and the ageing process will be ‘reversible’, according to two genetic engineers during the presentation of their new book in Barcelona.

José Luis Cordeiro, born in Venezuela to Spanish parents, and Cambridge (UK) mathematician David Wood, founders of the operating system ‘Symbian’, have just published The Death of Death and say immortality is a real and scientific possibility that could come much earlier than originally thought.

Humans will only die in accidents, never of natural causes or illness, by around the year 2045, say Cordeiro and Wood, who say it is ‘crucial’ that old age starts to be classified as an ‘illness’ so that publicly-funded research into its ‘cure’ can extend.

Nanotechnology is key, among other new genetic manipulation techniques, the engineers said during the presentation at Barcelona’s Equestrian Circle.

The process will involve turning ‘bad’ genes into healthy ones, eliminating dead cells from the body, repairing damaged cells, treatments with stem cells and ‘printing’ vital organs in 3D.

Cordeiro, who is based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the USA, says he has ‘chosen not to die’ and that in 30 years’ time, he will be ‘younger than he is today’.

Ageing is the result of DNA ‘tails’, known as ‘telomeres’, in chromosomes – of which every cell except red blood and sex cells has 23 pairs – becoming shorter, and reversing ageing involves lengthening the telomeres.

Telomeres become damaged and shortened with the passage of time, a process that speeds up in the event of toxins entering the body – smoking, alcohol and air pollution are among elements that reduce the length of telomeres, thus accelerating ageing.

Cordeiro and Wood believe that within 10 years, illnesses such as cancer will be curable, and that major international corporations such as Google will be ‘entering the field of medicine’ because they are ‘beginning to realise that curing ageing is possible’.

Microsoft has reportedly already announced the setting up of a cryopreservation centre in which a scientist is researching the possibility of cancer being completely curable within a decade.

The engineers explain that, although ‘people generally do not know about it’, it was discovered in 1951 how cancer cells are immortal: when Henrietta Lacks died from cervical cancer, surgeons removed the tumour and kept it – and it is still ‘alive’ today.

Immortality will not necessarily mean the planet becomes overcrowded, the scientists say: there is still plenty of room for more people on Earth, and these days, people do not have anywhere near as many children as they did in past decades and centuries; plus, ‘it will be possible to live in space by then’.

“Japan and the Koreas, if they continue with their current trend of hardly having any children, will become extinct – within two centuries, there’ll be no Japanese or Korean people on the planet,” Cordeiro says.

“But thanks to these new techniques, there will indeed be Japanese and Korean people, because they’ll live forever and remain young.”

The cost of anti-ageing treatment was compared to that of the latest SmartPhones.

“At first, it’ll be expensive, but with a competitive market the price will gradually fall because it’ll be something that benefits everyone,” Cordeiro says.

“Technology, when it’s new, is poor and extremely expensive, but it eventually becomes democratic and mainstream and becomes cheaper.”

The engineers say they have already been employing their techniques for two years – illegally, but in Colombia where there are fewer regulations covering genetic manipulation.

Elisabeth Parrish, their first human patient, ‘started to see symptoms of ageing and asked what could be done to prevent it’.

Her treatment is ‘very risky and even illegal’, Wood explains, but at the moment is going well, has not had any adverse side-effects, and the level of telomeres in her blood is ’20 years younger than before’.

“I want Spain to have a place in the world of these technologies and show that we’re not mad, it’s just that people still don’t know about them,” Wood concluded.

The Death of Death will eventually be published in four languages at first – Spanish, English, Portuguese and Korean – and all proceeds from its sales will be ploughed back into the authors’ research.

Random Acts of Kindness

  1. Save water – turn the tap off when brushing your teeth!
  2. Smile at a stranger
  3. Answer the phone in a cheerful voice – even if it is a sales person
  4. Help someone carry their pushchair up/down the stairs
  5. House chores can be tiring – offer a helping hand
  6. Purchase ethical goods
  7. Fight climate change – go vegetarian for today!
  8. Bake something for your family/friends
  9. Be proactive – sign a petition for a good cause
  10. Leave someone flowers anonymously

How Cute? No, It not. Its a Cure!

I tried it and frankly hated it so much that I wanted to throw out the phones.

 

This Simple Trick Will Help You Kick Your Phone Obsession To The Curb

via Grayscale Phone Display Will Help You Ditch Your Phone Obsession

Random Acts of Kindness

  1. Feeling brave? Give blood
  2. Know someone going through something you’ve been through? Give them advice
  3. Go the day without complaining
  4. Make an effort to get to know someone you don’t usually talk to
  5. Give up your seat on the tube/bus
  6. Lend a friend a book you think they’d like
  7. Visit a friend who’s sick
  8. Start the day right – make breakfast for everyone
  9. Help somebody with a chore they need done!
  10. Feeling inspired? Make a meal for your family or roommates

You may have read some of the Acts before – it is good to repeat the ones we like doing most and those which others like most.

Thank you ☺️ Pᶓȵfĩℓả 💕 for kind nomination.

I pay my gratitude to Nirant for nominating me for the Liebster Award. I appreciate the trust that you have on me. He is indeed a unique writer. Thanks a ton. Buddies, it is time you take a glance at his blogs. You will not get back unsatisfied! PS: I take on awards, not for […]

via Liebster Award | 3rd Nomination — Help Break The Silence

As I said to you

☺️ Pᶓȵfĩℓả 💕 I do not understand these awards and have never craved for them. After your reading your blog I have begun to understand.  My sincere gratitude for thinking of me to nominate.  Warm regards. jay

 

Let me help you with your baggage.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled

 

As the clock on this blog
and clock on my laptop
are 1 hour different
from each other.

 

 

Don’t step
on the broken glass.
As I broke the laptop 
Clock

 

 

A song can make
or ruin a person’s day
only if they let it
get to them.
If I don’t like
something, like a song
I’ll just
stay away from it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The waves were crashing
on the shore;
it is a lovely sight
She worked two jobs
to make ends meet;
at least, that was
her reason for not
having time to join us.

 

When I ran out of money,
so I had to stop
playing poker and
the foolish joker I was.

 

 

 

The waves were
crashing on the shore;
it was a lovely sight.
The mysterious diary
recorded my voice.

 

 

 

Random -Rambling -Rants :)

The Plot generator sent me a few sentences and it started getting thicker. Imagine writing something as mundane as the following statements in Bold...:)

  • She folded her handkerchief neatly.

    And I realized the semi-wet piece of white cloth which got moist just looking at the screen for nearly 100 minutes on a Video call. Eyes were most, but words coming clear and firm. The discussions were heated and the confrontation brought stunned silence. I had to change tracks and laugh out loud to lessen the impact. There was constant wiping of First the right eye and later the left eye and the pursed lips told the story of suppressed sadness and angry emotions.

  • Everyone was busy, so I went to the movie alone.

    The reason is, I tend to emote and shed a lot of tears whenever I see a very heart touching dialogue and superlative acting – and I like to be alone then.  I had struggled during my Film Censoring days when it was embarrassing and awkward and once a Lady Film Director saw me in this mode and smiles understandingly and when we passed her film – she said, “Jay, you made my day. My film and actors had to bring out this emotion and I was happy to see you shedding tears at the right scenes while maintaining your Objectivity as Censor ( and suggesting a few cuts as well 🙂 ) I am certain the audiences will like the film. It did. It was a Hit.

  • The lake is a long way from here.

    No I did not shed so many tears to fill the lake :).  These are our private moments, we shed tears at times very privately, without anyone knowing and we mask our emotions, sentiments.  Some fierce, firebrand people I have met have privately shared with me their quiet moments when they sobbed alone and shed tears profusely to calm their nerves.  IMHO,  it is good to let emotions flow sometimes rather than letting them stay suppressed with more pressure so that others do not know our inner softness. I won’t ever call it a weakness – I feel it is very natural. I tend to think it is Being Human.

  • What do you think?

For Startpreneurs – Very good, informative Newsletter

Morning Briefing Top news & stories of the startup ecosystem from India & around the world
10 Min Reading Time
While asserting that India’s GMV for ecommerce is at a “very, very early” stage, Alibaba executive vice-chairman Joe Tsai said, “We want to take a very patient approach… our strategy is to look at high-frequency use cases and build ecommerce business on top of that… we have an investment in Paytm… we’re involved in a grocery company because grocery is almost daily.”
The ruckus around the acquisition of a 77% stake in Flipkart by Walmart hardly seems to be over. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has now forwarded to various government agencies complaints made by RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) over the deal.
Flipkart Internet Pvt, which operates the ecommerce platform of Flipkart India, has reported reduced losses for FY 2017 but the growth in overall sales of the company, which was recently bought by US retail giant Walmart, also slowed down, ET reported.
Fact sheet backed by Inc42 Datalabs.

Random Acts of Kindness

  1. Buy someone a coffee
  2. Gift someone something they complimented you for
  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. Go out of your way to thank someone today!
  6. No matter how annoying they can be, tell your siblings how much you appreciate them
  7. Fight climate change – go vegetarian for today!
  8. We all need help sometimes; offer someone a helping hand
  9. Is that litter on the floor? Pick it up and bin it
  10. Make a hot beverage for a friend/family

Readers may find some of these repeated again from prior posts – but nothing wrong repeating something which we found good.

Sexiest Personality types. Interesting article this…

The Sexiest Myers-Briggs Personality Types: A Definitive Ranking
Don’t TOUCH them until you know their sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking levels!!

via The Sexiest Myers-Briggs Personality Types: A Definitive Ranking

Goodbye Poem by Ecem Yucel – I liked. sharing.

you said goodbye;
I bit my tongue.
watched you walk away,
among the crowd.

the streetlights shone
on your back a while,
made me want to run
after you, and catch you.

if only my courage
didn’t die with a flicker.
you slowly disappeared
behind my tears.

but did you know
I existed
only in your smile?
that’s why I dissolved

in a street, full of people;
I perished,
vanished
when you said goodbye.

via Goodbye – Ecem Yucel – Medium

Age Difference – Interesting article – bit explicit language so sharing link.

via Age difference doesn’t always matter – Jessica Wildfire – Medium

Personal Branding, C-Level Managers different ideas of what’s a breach of etiquette and lack of Customer – Centricity.

Doing the simple step of showing up on time can go a long way in the eyes of your manager. Unfortunately, too many of us are running late to work. Tardiness was the the most common breach of etiquette managers noticed in employees, a new Accountemps survey of 1,000 employees and 300 senior managers concluded.

“It goes without saying that you should show respect toward your colleagues, yet etiquette blunders happen every day,” Michael Steinitz, executive director of Accountemps, said. “Showing up on time for meetings and paying attention when you’re there demonstrates that you value the time and efforts of others. Just being polite goes a long way toward creating a better work environment.”

Managers don’t want you to be late; employees don’t want you to gossip
Here were the most common etiquette breaches managers saw in their employees:
1. Running late to meetings (34%)
2. Not responding to calls or emails in a timely manner (26%)
3. Gossiping about others in the office (23%)

Manners also mattered to employees, but they had a slightly different idea of what was the biggest offense of etiquette. Here were the rude coworker behaviors that they noticed the most:

1. Gossiping about colleagues (24%)
2. Distracted during meetings (18%)
3. Not responding to work communication in a timely fashion (17%)

Employees appear to be more concerned with how their behavior is perceived by others. And they are right to be concerned about being seen as absent-minded or as a gossip. Common courtesy can make the difference between you getting that promotion or you being told that there is no room for advancement. Sixty-five percent of managers and 46% of workers said being courteous can accelerate advancement. So if you’re habitually late, this is your wake-up call. Showing up on time, paying attention to meetings and keeping your mouth shut when you hear gossip are all behaviors that are entirely in our control to fix.

via Managers and employees have different ideas on what’s a breach of etiquette | Ladders

I liked this article by Monica TorresBy Monica TorresMay 31, 2018 on newsletter Ladders.

My take :

I was drawing parallels with Customer Centricity, Customer Loyalty measurement and Behaviour impact on the brand building efforts.

We know that we can not change adults. We can not motivate adults. So how does our brand find a top of the mind slice of the consumer/ customer brain.  I think it is psychology!

And Brand psychology is primarily driven by the Customer Contact points, their behaviour and etiquettes ! You can create seductive ads and burn cash in brand building and awareness creation but what remains in customers’ minds is their last transaction experience or the first one.

Do the customer centric manager pay attention to the etiquettes of the employees and officers of the company towards the Customer?

Come September for Old Man!?

One of my ex-junior turned 51!  I sent him a Facebook message ( it is my habit to send it to all my friends on linkedin too, which takes long time as there are over 11000 of them and they have work and other anniversaries too ! and they change positions, get promoted and receive my best wishes every time, without fail)  so my friend who now lives abroad became emotional, nostalgic.  This fellow does never come on a Facebook messenger as he is too busy.

So I was surprised to receive two sudden flash messages from him. There was the First clipping – a Video about Satya Sai Baba Hospital which has gone viral and I thought – “HOW THOUGHTFUL to remember the Old man and think about his health”.  And then I saw the second one – with someone playing Guitar and the famous Tune of COME SEPTEMBER which was my delight in my yesteryears! WOW! I said.  A message followed and it changed every thing!  “Some of my OLD FRIENDS will identify this tune!”

That did not make my day! I said, what does he think I am old, I am only a Babyboomer Generation guy 🙂 . I do have some ‘Senior -Brain fog, groggy moments” but I remember to eat my sugarfree Dark Chocolates and Goji Berries or berries of all kinds to keep me going. But OLD FRIENDS? 🙂 That did not certainly go well with the Tune which is so ALIVE and BEAUTIFUL to listen to.

What do you think.  I said Thank you friend.  It brought back some old memories and the Nostalgia ! Thanks again.

 

 

No. I can not be your friend. I liked this article. Sharing.

Some loves last a lifetime, others as long as they were meant to.
I know that we could’ve been something incredible and perhaps the best thing to happen to either one of us. But we didn’t. Instead, a combination of life, physical distance, existential crisis, excuses, and hesitation crept in and pushed us just far enough apart for other things to come in. For other priorities. For other people.

It didn’t fall apart all in one day, but sometimes it feels like it did.

One moment, you were the only person who I could think about — the one who kept me up at night with your words and conversations, the one who took up so much space in me. The next, you were still all I could think about — but this time it was wondering if I should’ve tried harder to hold onto you. You were still keeping me up at night — all the words I never said haunting me and almost having me spill them all out to you far too late for them to matter anymore. You still took up all this space in me — and then left the gaping hole behind once we stopped talking to each other.

Life did go on, though. It has a funny way of doing that — choosing to keep moving forward even when part of your world feels like it stopped. So we both moved forward, too. I started a different path, and I honestly was happier with it than I expected.

“Sometimes when I look at you, I feel I’m gazing at a distant star.
It’s dazzling, but the light is from tens of thousands of years ago.
Maybe the star doesn’t even exist anymore. Yet sometimes that light seems more real to me than anything.”
When really good things happen, I still think to tell you. When certain things happen in my life that I know only you would really understand, it takes everything in me not to send you a message. I still wonder about your life and how things are going for you. I think about reaching out to you more times than I would admit, but I don’t.

Because for one reason or another, we didn’t fight to keep each other in our lives. We didn’t try to save whatever we had from the damage that inevitably appeared; we chose to let the ship sink. No one can point fingers and assign blame. These days, we live lives without each other, and perhaps it’s for the best. But we don’t need to see how the other is doing now that we know that we aren’t part of the picture.

For me, even after all this time, it would be too hard to hold on and try to keep you in the forefront of my life, although sometimes there is nothing I want more, and so I let go, because I am too scared of falling into pieces again. It would be still too hard to watch you move on with somebody else, even if she makes you happier than we would’ve been together. Slowly, I have developed this new instinct for avoiding the emotional rollercoaster you could start in my soul. So I control myself, I keep my feet on the ground and I eliminate any visual stimulus, no pictures, no social networks, no hidden digital stocking. This is what they call self-discipline. This is what I call self-protection.

I know that in the end, it doesn’t really matter why we lost the paradise that we once built so carefully together. All that matters is that I still want all the best things for you: to find someone who loves you better, to be successful in your passions, to live the live you always hoped you would, even if I do not want to be around to see it.

So believe me when I say that it is better for us not to be friends.

But it doesn’t make me miss you any less.

via No, we cannot be friends. – P.S. I Love You

Inadequacy. I read this and liked it instantly.

There is one quote that comes into my mind after reading this:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’

Actually, who are you not to be?

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

I don’t agree with this QOTD – Do you

So what if you are a Warren Buffet,  I have a mind of my own and I choose to differ with you, Sir.  If the following quote was true – there would be no fluctuations in the Stock prices you invest, your stock values would never come down.

Everything that we do by rote, by discipline, by habit surely does a few things. For e.g. My walks burn calories but as the walking distance reduces with my walking speed the calorie burn rate my not reduce as I walk for more time.  Consequently, the weight loss may not be the same.  I have 4 years of daily data on self which proves this point.

But then, who wants to take cudgels with the Richest and Respected man like Mr. Buffet who in his own right is a role model for me who never invests in stocks.  but sometimes, the quotes which are attributed to them and go viral on social media do not rightly capture, the moment when it was said, the context etc.

What do you think? It is difficult to change habits for us as adults and it is also difficult to continue doing every day, the same thing ain’t it?

Yo

u keep doing the same things and you get the same result over again.

—Warren Buffett

 

Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“Lighten up on yourself. No one is perfect. Gently accept your humanness.”

— Deborah Day

QOTD

Ethel Waters

“We are all gifted. That is our inheritance.”

via Today’s Quote https://ift.tt/2GBPGYl May 21, 2018 at 10:38AM
via RSS Feed https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/ethel_waters


Tom Brokaw

“It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.”

via Today’s Quote https://ift.tt/2LjTEIJ May 22, 2018 at 10:33AM
via RSS Feed https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/tom_brokaw


Ezra Pound

“Either move or be moved.”

via Today’s Quote https://ift.tt/2KRWqnE May 24, 2018 at 10:40AM
via RSS Feed https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/ezra_pound


George S. Patton

“Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.”

via Today’s Quote https://ift.tt/2sfESd5 May 26, 2018 at 10:44AM
via RSS Feed https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/george_s_patton


George Santayana

“The Soul is the voice of the body’s interests.”

via Today’s Quote https://ift.tt/2zOMv0L May 27, 2018 at 10:44AM
via RSS Feed https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/george_santayana

Sometimes it is better to just walk away from things

and go back to them later when you’re in a better frame of mind

Sometimes it is better to just walk away from things and go back to them later when you’re in a better frame of mind.

Try some of these to find your peace back.

  1. Answer the phone in a cheerful voice – even if it is a salesperson
  2. Try being a person who Wouldn’t Harm a Fly
    Meaning: 
    Nonviolent;  someone who is mild or gentle.
  3. Try not to make a Mountain Out of a Molehill
    Meaning: 
    One who escalates small things and turns them into big problems.
  4. And be like The shooter who says goodbye to his love.

 

Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by, no matter his job.”

— John Wayne

 

I will never be this young again. Ever. Oh damn… I just got older.

It is not my birthday but it will remain as a constant reminder of reaching an age post-retirement that constantly reminds of a few resolutions, few events and, few good, bad and ugly memories. Difficult to throw away like the pebble or the thorn that entered our Sandals and kept bothering us.

I know I will never be this young again. Ever. Oh damn… I just got older! 

What makes this memory not go away? It’s hard to stay connected – reach out to an elderly person you know.  Especially, if people you are mentoring are mostly milenials and rebel at heart, famous for breaking rules, ignoring parents’advice – you think they will listen to you, comply with your rules,  NO Way!

What they expect is equitable treatment of an Adult-Adult transaction, not the Parent-Child one which they have plenty at their respective homes. So I changed tracks on my birthday.  I also realized we cannot change an adult, we can not motivate anyone! And, I say this with experience.  Adults change themselves when they wish to and become determined to. ( My wife tries to change me so hard, but do I 🙂  No) .  Same is with Motivation. We are all motivated people.  We know what motivates or demotivates us. Our conscience tells us what is right or wrong for us, doesn’t it?  It remains as a murmur inside our brains dominated by negative emotions and all the pseudoness generating hormones? Doesn’t our Conscience become victim and is taken over by our own viscious mind’s CON-Science?  It does. Trust me on that.

So was I on “On Cloud Nine” ON my birthday couple of months ago? 

Meaning: 

Having strong feelings of happiness or satisfaction.  SADLY, No! 

So I generated a Random phrase and what came out was

Ride Him, Cowboy!

Meaning: 

A cheer people yell, usually at rodeos when cowboys are clinging to the backs of untamed horses.

But what a coincidence? This was an apt phrase describing my mental state.

There was no ice cream in the freezer, nor did I have money to go to the store, and  as I forgot to go to the ATM and draw cash. This is what Old Age does to you – Forgetful when needed but never let go of bad memories of past.

So do I feel I am Down And Out

Meaning: 

A term used in a boxing.

Or Someone who has become incapacitated.

I am happy to say, I am better that this.  I live life full even now and enjoy friends, online or offline. Enjoy the joy of my creation. Sometimes send long rants to friends or other times write blog or articles.  Meet new Startups, Mentees and Give back to society . So

Life is Good. Whether we are young or old.

Random Acts of Kindness

  1. Bake something for your family/friends

  2. Help someone improve, give them constructive feedback

  3. Someone looking lost? Help them with directions

  4. Who will be making dinner for your family today? Tag, you’re it!

  5. Know someone who is not coping very well? Give them a call

 

Does Macho prove Mucho? :) Plot Thickens. See the Random quotes.

Swinging For the Fences

Meaning: 

Giving something your all.

Lickety Split

Meaning: 

To go at a quick pace; no delaying!

 

“Macho does not prove mucho.“via Funny Quote of the Day https://ift.tt/2ipz5RAZxa Zsa GaborI am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man I keep his house.Zsa Zsa Gabor 

Zsa Zsa Gabor (born Sári Gábor, February 61917 – December 182016) was a Hungarian-American actress and socialite.

Quotes

  • A man in love is incomplete until he has married. Then he’s finished.
    • Newsweek, March 28, 1960
  • I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man, I keep his house.
    • How to Catch a Man, Keep a Man, and Get Rid of a Man (Doubleday, 1970)

Milton Fried man Prize for Ladies in White! WOW!

 CONGRATULATIONS ! 

The Cato Institute has presented Cuba’s Ladies in White (Damas de Blanco) with the 2018 Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty, a $250,000 biennial award presented to a group or individual who has made a significant contribution to advance human freedom. The Ladies in White have a simple message: The political prisoners of Cuba are our sons, brothers, and our husbands. They must not be forgotten.“All who labor in the name of freedom take great inspiration from — and feel a tremendous debt to — courageous people who risk everything to stand up to oppression. The Ladies in White are a stirring example,” said Peter Goettler, president and CEO of the Cato Institute.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ladies in White (Damas de Blanco) have a simple message: The political prisoners of Cuba are our sons, our brothers, and our husbands. They must not be forgotten.

Every Sunday, the Ladies in White gather, or attempt to gather, for Mass at Saint Rita de Casia Church in Havana, followed by a procession down Fifth Avenue. They wear white to symbolize the peaceful nature of their protest, and each wears a photograph of a loved one who is in prison. For this the authorities have constantly harassed them and organized mob violence against them.

The movement began on March 18, 2003, when journalist Héctor Maseda Gutiérrez was arrested in his home in Havana and sentenced to 20 years in prison for criticizing the regime of Fidel Castro. His case drew worldwide attention, with Amnesty International calling him a prisoner of conscience and demanding his release. Around 75 others were arrested at the same time, in an incident that has been called the Black Spring. All have since left prison, though not unconditionally, with the majority having had to leave Cuba. Since that time, sporadic arrests of journalists, lawyers, and other intellectuals have continued in Cuba, belying the myth that with normalized relations, Cuba’s human rights record would improve. If anything, it has deteriorated.

Two weeks after Maseda was arrested, his wife Laura Pollán Toledo brought together a group of wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters of the imprisoned to pray for their loved ones. They have continued to gather each Sunday, and the movement has since spread to other churches throughout Cuba. Although they are not a political party and do not have an overtly political program, they seek freedom of expression for all and the release of prisoners of conscience in Cuba. In recognition of their courage, the Ladies in White were the 2005 recipients of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, awarded by the European Parliament. The Cuban government prohibited them from attending the award ceremony in Strasbourg, France.

In 2015 Berta Soler, one of the leaders of the group, told the U.S. Senate, “Our aspirations are legitimate…. Our demands are quite concrete: freedom for political prisoners, recognition of civil society, the elimination of all criminal dispositions that penalize freedom of expression and association and the right of the Cuban people to choose their future through free, multiparty elections. We believe these demands are just and valid. Even more importantly, for us they represent the most concrete exercise of politics, a step in the direction of democratic coexistence. Cuba will change when the laws that enable and protect the criminal behavior of the forces of repression and corrupt elements that sustain the regime change.”

As the first step, the Ladies in White demand the release of all political prisoners. The outlook for many of the prisoners is grim; prison conditions are deplorable, visits are rare, and even their mail is intercepted by the authorities. And the Ladies themselves have faced increasing police harassment and arrest in recent years, as the Cuban government tries to hide-but not correct-its habit of quashing dissent. Laura Pollán died in 2011 under gravely suspicious circumstances. But the movement she founded continues: The Ladies in White will meet, pray, and bear witness every Sunday until Cuba’s political prisoners are freed.

If You’re Not Sure How a Male Author Would Describe You, Use Our Handy Chart. Interesting article from Electric Lit :)

If You’re Not Sure How a Male Author Would Describe You, Use Our Handy Chart

via If You’re Not Sure How a Male Author Would Describe You, Use Our Handy Chart

I like Satish Acharya’s Cartoons.

Vajubhai and Yeddyurappa at Karnataka Restaurant!: Vajubhai and Yeddyurappa at Karnataka Restaurant!

via World of an Indian cartoonist!: Vajubhai and Yeddyurappa at Karnataka Restaurant!

UPS Longitude – A Newsletter worth subscribing. I like it.

Brands Haven't Kept Up with the Ways Customers Use Products

Brands Haven’t Kept Up with the Ways Customers Use Products

Antonis Kocheilas | Harvard Business Review

Here’s a truth: Many in the marketing industry today don’t really understand brands. Today, when there’s more of everything – more channels, more choice, more speed, more confusion – it’s fair to ask: What is a brand? To answer this question, we… Read more.

Want to Move Fast on a Strategic Opportunity?

Want to Move Fast on a Strategic Opportunity?

Amanda Setili | Setili & Associates

No doubt about it: We live in a rapidly changing world. Disruptive technologies, shifting customer behaviors and emerging business models are shaking up nearly every industry. If you are going to survive and succeed amid this change, you need to move in a fast and adaptable way. Yes … even… Read more.

Foreign Aid Enters a New Age of Accountability

Foreign Aid Enters a New Age of Accountability

Simon Moss | Global Citizen

“I don’t know why you’d bother giving money to help people overseas. It’s just wasted and taken by corrupt dictators.” I must have heard this comment (masquerading as a question) hundreds of times as I’ve spoken to audiences about the opportunities and challenges of ending extreme poverty by 2030. [pullquote… Read more.

Local Business Innovation Equips Off-Grid Households with Electricity

Local Business Innovation Equips Off-Grid Households with Electricity

Patrick Greene | University of Waterloo

If the old adage is true and necessity is the mother of invention, then ingenuity must surely be the father. Globally, 1.2 billion people live without access to electricity. Within this decade, the global off-grid solar energy market has grown complex and dynamic. [Photo: Power Africa/USAID] Initially, it was marked… Read more.

Getting in the Family Business

Getting in the Family Business

Mike Smith | Smith & Sons

Small business owner Mike Smith is passionate about the power of solar. The co-founder of Smith & Sons started his general contracting business with his father in the 1980s, when the two… Read more.

What Going with the flow means to me…

Going wih the flow doesn’t mean doing what everyone thinks I should do, or accept everything at face value, AS IT Is. (That’s Horizontal Thinking, IMHO which simply means taking things lying down, never raising a voice of dissent !)

It means not Opposing EVERYthing.

It means not some imperfections permitted, including in meticulous, scrupulous planning included.

It means not leaving behind your idiosyncracies, intrigues and enigmatic behavior.

It means focusing on your strengths, rather than trying to be great at everything in the world, all knowing, all potent (Omnipotent, omniscient) All powerful and putting people off with your autocracy, dominance and diffidence and superEgo!

It means trusting people, instead of living constantly in your cocoons of fears, of failure, of mistakes, failure attribution, sliminess and having to say sorry, thank you or using correct manners and etiquettes to suit the occasion.

QOTD

Hosea Ballou

“Real happiness is cheap enough, yet how dearly we pay for its counterfeit.”

via Today’s Quote https://ift.tt/2hUy4wx May 14, 2018 at 10:43AM
via RSS Feed https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/hosea_ballou


Edmund Hillary

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.”

via Today’s Quote https://ift.tt/2KnHA7P May 15, 2018 at 10:38AM
via RSS Feed https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/edmund_hillary


Josh Billings

“Words are often seen hunting for an idea, but ideas are never seen hunting for words.”

via Today’s Quote https://ift.tt/2i9voPv May 16, 2018 at 10:33AM
via RSS Feed https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/josh_billings


Lee Iacocca

“Trouble shared is trouble halved.”

via Today’s Quote https://ift.tt/2Ira3ZZ May 17, 2018 at 10:39AM
via RSS Feed https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/lee_iacocca


Maya Angelou

“All great achievements require time.”

via Today’s Quote https://ift.tt/2krMaqv May 18, 2018 at 10:39AM
via RSS Feed https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/maya_angelou


Pope Paul VI

“Nothing makes one feel so strong as a call for help.”

via Today’s Quote https://ift.tt/2yHiOLy May 19, 2018 at 10:34AM
via RSS Feed https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/pope_paul_vi


Confucius

“I hear, I know. I see, I remember. I do, I understand.”

via Today’s Quote https://ift.tt/2Izof39 May 20, 2018 at 10:33AM
via RSS Feed https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/confucius

Excellent short books and download from ChangeThis.

Change speeds. Tom Peters, author of The Excellence Dividend, reading the umpteenth article on how we must now do everything in business at a jillion miles an hour, thought “What a crock,” and decided to pen a response. Read The Speed Trap.
Change sales. James Kouzes, Barry Posner, and Deb Calvert, authors ofStop Selling & Start Leading, discuss how sales can transform “values into actions, visions into realities, obstacles into innovations, separateness into solidarity, and risks into rewards.” ReadWhat If Sellers Behaved as Leaders?
Change the future. Alice Mann, author of Future First, helps leaders plan for, and bring about a more positive future, by detailing “eight essential business practices for futureproofing your company.” ReadFutureproof.
Change relationships. Mary Abbajay, author of Managing Up, suggests we stop wishing the workplace was more of a meritocracy, and start developing a positive and productive relationship with our boss to drive our success.” Read Don’t Suck Up, Manage Up.
Change beliefs. Hylke Faber, author of Taming Your Crocodiles, believes knowing who we truly are is the core of effective leadership and a fulfilling life, and helps us define and overcome our deepest fears to get us there. ReadTaming Your Seven Crocodiles.
Change size. Sharon Rowe, author ofThe Magic of Tiny Business, discusses the many advantages of scaling your business to the needs of your life, and to the needs of society. Read Finding the Magic in “Tiny” Business.

Forgive the past, It is Over! Great quote below:

Today’s Inspirational Quote:“Forgive the past. It is over. Learn from it and let go. People are constantly changing and growing. Do not cling to a limited, disconnected, negative image of a person in the past. See that person now. Your relationship is always alive and changing.”

— Brian Weiss

Great message indeed. I am an advocate of NOT CLINGING TO PAST BAGGAGE or BAGASSE’.  I believe in throwing it will all our might in the sky from where it does never return.

I also believe in Forgive ….. no not forget… I still have some past memories that I can not forget but they remain with me as learnings and I quote them transparently as my failures, my learnings, and experience to my mentees (masking names or any reference which will reveal People’s identities. I believe in Top Secret Confidentiality while dealing with mentees or people who come for coaching/ consulting.  It is very important to maintain this as it keeps the TRUST sustainable and trust for me is Binary – Trust or No Trust.  I do not attach Degrees, or percentages to Trust. That’s my nature.

boyfriend's Babycognitive biasit sucks when you realisetogether when everything sucksScreen Shot 2018-05-14 at 10.17.22 PM32409351_1069155840142990_7425134689616134144_n32482933_1069155740143000_3914357537725480960_n (1)32590502_1069155930142981_8728886623795675136_n32621954_1069156020142972_667079249374478336_nladies handbaglong an forever goneTHOSE WHO MIND DONT MATTER AND THOSE WHO MAATER DONT MINDMuch overused and modified Quote of Dr. Seuss I thought by the Pseudo intellectuals 1

10 Dark Tales Of Depravity, Vice, And Abuse From Old Hollywood

10 Dark Tales Of Depravity, Vice, And Abuse From Old Hollywood

via 10 Dark Tales Of Depravity, Vice, And Abuse From Old Hollywood – Listverse

 

Hollywood is a place mired in scandal and disrepute. This was just as true back in its early days. It seems that from the very start, the glitz and glamour were just a thin surface layer that hid the filth and vice beneath.

That may actually be part of what makes Hollywood so alluring. People enjoy reading about scandals, and Tinseltown has a nigh-endless supply of them. The seedy stories from the depths of Hollywood’s underbelly could fill multiple lists.

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10Getting Away With Murder

Photo credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Film studios didn’t like scandals involving their stars. In fact, they employed people whose job was to keep such sordid stories out of the papers. They were fixers like Eddie Mannix. He would cover up a drunken hit-and-run or an out-of-wedlock pregnancy, but in 1937, he might have helped Hollywood’s biggest star get away with murder.

There was a time when Wallace Beery was the highest-paid actor at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He reached stardom with productions like The Big HouseBilly the Kid, and The Secret Six. He won an Oscar for his role in The Champ. And on December 20, 1937, he might have beaten a man to death.

That man was comedian Ted Healy, creator of the Three Stooges. Allegedly, the two got into an argument at the Trocadero, which devolved into a fight outside the nightclub. Also involved on Beery’s side were movie producer/mobster Pasquale DiCicco and an unidentified third man. The trio beat up Healy so bad that he died of his injuries a day later.

Of course, this is all hearsay and Hollywood legend. Nobody was ever charged with anything. Beery left town in a hurry on a long European vacation, allegedly at the insistence of Louis B. Mayer, who organized a cover-up to protect his big star.[1]

9A Diet To Die For

Photo credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

The look of Hollywood stars was important, and studios went to great lengths to keep their actors looking thin. The most notorious example is Judy Garland, who, as an adolescent, was kept on an MGM-mandated diet of soup, coffee, and cigarettes, compensated by a steady supply of amphetamines to keep her energy levels up.

Tenor-turned-actor Mario Lanza signed with MGM in the late 1940s and had a string of successful musicals that spawned million-selling hits. However, he also developed addictions to overeating and alcohol, which caused weight issues throughout his entire Hollywood career. Lanza would go on crash diets when it was time to film and put all the weight back on after shooting was done. This led to numerous health problems, which caused the singer to cancel multiple concerts and other live appearances.

During the late 1950s, Lanza moved to Rome to shoot several films and perform concerts throughout Europe. Like many times before, he had to lose weight, so he checked into a clinic. According to rumors, he underwent a dangerous procedure called twilight sleep in which he stayed under heavy sedation and was fed intravenously.

Eventually, Lanza’s body couldn’t take it anymore. He died of a sudden heart attack in 1959. An unsubstantiated rumor quickly surfaced that he had been killed by the Mafia for reneging on a concert they were backing.[2]

8Innocence Lost

Photo credit: Harris & Ewing

Between 1935 and 1938, the biggest box office draw in Hollywood was a child—Shirley Temple. When she was just six years old, she received an honorary Academy Juvenile Award for her work on Bright Eyes. Unfortunately, her time in Tinseltown was also marked by numerous attempts at sexual assault.

Nowadays, we know of the rampant abuse of child actors in Hollywood. However, Shirley Temple discussed this back in her 1988 autobiography Child Star and wasn’t afraid to name names. She accused various actors and executives of mistreating her over the years, such as comedian George Jessel or producer David O. Selznick.

Perhaps worst of all was musical producer Arthur Freed, known for his work on hits like An American in Paris and Singin’ in the Rain. The two met when Temple moved from 20th Century Fox to MGM. She came into his office, where Freed declared that she would be his new star. Afterward, he unzipped his pants and exposed himself to the actress, who was 11 years old at the time.[3] Maybe out of youthful innocence or just out of shock, Shirley began to laugh. This angered the producer, who then threw her out of his office.

7In The Garden Of Allah


When actors wanted to indulge their hedonistic sides, there were many places in Hollywood which would cater to their desires. However, few were more notorious in their day than the Garden of Allah.

The place started out as a lavish mansion on Sunset Boulevard called Hayvenhurst. Its owner, William H. Hay, sold it to Russian actress Alla Nazimova. Although married, Nazimova had numerous affairs with women, and the newly dubbed Garden of Allah became known as one of the few places in Hollywood where lesbian and bisexual women could express their sexuality openly. Allegedly, Nazimova also coined the phrase “sewing circle” to refer to this group of closeted actresses.

In 1926, the actress built 25 villas on the property and turned it into a hotel. Already notorious for its outlandish parties, the Garden was now a place where all Hollywood stars could indulge their vices in privacy, away from the public and reporters.

Marlene Dietrich, Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn, Orson Welles, Laurence Olivier, John Barrymore, Greta Garbo, and many more were all devotees of the Garden. Publicist Bernie Woods told a story about bandleader Tommy Dorsey, who ran into fellow bandleader Kay Kyser at the hotel. To show that he was more popular, Dorsey brought out of his bedroom two naked women with their pubic hair cut to spell the letters “T” and “D.”[4]

6Stuck In Hedda Hell

Photo credit: Photoplay

There were plenty of powerful people in Hollywood, but one name that struck fear into Tinseltown was Hedda Hopper. A failed actress, she began writing a gossip column in 1938. She quickly found success and, at the height of her popularity during the 1940s, commanded a readership of 35 million.

Hopper was not shy about throwing her weight around. Calling herself “the b—ch of the world,” she took delight in ruining careers and marriages with just a few sentences.[5] Louis B. Mayer referred to this as “Hedda Hell.” Her favorite targets were communists and gays. As a founding member of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals (MPAPAI), she was one of the driving forces behind the Hollywood Blacklist, which denied employment to people suspected of communist sympathies.

Some of her most infamous targets included Dalton Trumbo, a screenwriter who was blacklisted until 1960. Charlie Chaplin was also routinely denigrated in Hopper’s columns because she considered him to be living an immoral lifestyle. A quick and easy way to get on her bad side was to give a scoop to Louella Parsons, her competitor and archrival. That’s what happened to Ingrid Bergman, who lied about her pregnancy to Hopper and then told the truth to Parsons.

5The Story Of Frances Farmer

Photo credit: Wikimedia

Mental illness is a problem which is poorly understood even today. Back in the 1940s, Hollywood stars who dealt with the issue were merely fodder for tabloids. Perhaps there is no better example than Frances Farmer.

A stage actress, Farmer made her Hollywood debut in 1936 and had a string of successful films throughout the decade. During the 1940s, however, the media began focusing more on reports of her erratic behavior than her career. Farmer was sentenced to six months in jail in January 1943. This came following an outburst in a courtroom in which she assaulted two police officers and threw an inkwell at the judge.

From prison, Farmer was transferred to a sanitarium, where she was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. After multiple stays in psychiatric hospitals, the actress mounted a modest comeback on television before passing away in 1970.

You would think this would be the end of it, but in 1978, William Arnold published an account of Frances Farmer’s life titled Shadowland, which asserted that, while institutionalized, she was subjected to a lobotomy. Brooksfilms turned the book into an award-winning movie called Francesand gave substantial credence to the legend, which is still prevalent today. Not as publicized is the fact that Arnold later sued Brooksfilms and admitted in court that his account, lobotomy story included, was fictionalized.[6]

4The Death Of Lupe

Photo credit: MGM/Cinelandia

Rumors have a way of taking on a life of their own. This is especially true in Hollywood, particularly when the rumor is “juicier” than the truth. That is what happened to Lupe Velez.

Known for her lively disposition and fiery temper, she earned the moniker “the Mexican Spitfire.” After a series of affairs and a tumultuous marriage with Tarzan actor Johnny Weissmuller, Lupe became pregnant with the child of actor Harald Ramond. However, after a fight between the two, the actress took her own life at 36 years of age in 1944.

The coroner ruled her death a suicide. Police found Lupe’s note saying she did it because Harald faked his love. It seemed straightforward, but gossip still appeared. One rumor claimed the baby belonged to Gary Cooper, who rejected it because he was married. Another said Velez actually killed herself because she was bipolar.

The most unseemly rumor came courtesy of Kenneth Anger, author of infamous 1959 tell-all book Hollywood Babylon. The publication presented many scandals in all their sordid details but was accused of numerous falsehoods. One of the most infamous, pervasive myths involves Lupe’s death. According to Hollywood Babylon, the Mexican Spitfire’s plan to die of an overdose in her bed was thwarted when she became ill. Running for the bathroom, Lupe slipped on a tile and fell headfirst into the toilet, where she drowned.[7]

3A Youthful Indiscretion

Photo credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Joan Crawford might have had a successful career in Old Hollywood, but her offscreen exploits garnered just as much attention. She had a bitter rivalrywith fellow screen icon Bette Davis. She served as Chairman of the Board for the Pepsi-Cola Company before being forced to retire. She was accused by her daughter Christina of being an abusive parent. And she was rumored to have starred in a porno before becoming famous.

These types of early pornography were called stag films. The one starring Crawford went by several names, although it was most commonly referred to as The Casting Couch. There are no known copies or official records confirming its existence. A small number of photographs purportedly showing Crawford in stag films exist online, but either way, The Casting Couch will most likely remain a mysterious piece of Hollywood lore.

If we’re going by legend alone, then not only did such a movie exist, but someone used it to blackmail Crawford. She got MGM involved, and the studio sent its fixers to obtain and destroy every copy. Another version said MGM kept one copy to keep Crawford in line.

The strongest evidence attesting the existence of the film comes courtesy of the actress’s first husband, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. He said to Crawford biographer Charlotte Chandler that Joan told him of the movie before they got married.[8] However, Fairbanks never actually saw it, and Joan was always reluctant to give details.

2An Obsession Turned Dangerous

Photo credit: Harris & Ewing

Stalkers and deranged fans are another concern that celebrities have to deal with. John Lennon, Selena, and Dimebag Darrell are just a few entertainers who were killed by people obsessed with them. Many others were put in physical danger. And, as it turns out, this happened in the Golden Age of Hollywood as well.

We go back to Shirley Temple, who had a very close call when she was just ten years old. It was 1939, and Shirley was performing Silent Night on a live radio show when a woman tried to assassinate her. Fortunately, the would-be assassin was subdued in time.

Tragically, the woman’s daughter had passed away on the same day (allegedly the same hour) that Shirley Temple was born. Since then, she became obsessed with the idea that her daughter’s soul was trapped in the child star’s body and that she would be setting it free by killing the actress.[9]

As far as Temple was concerned, she sympathized with her would-be killer. In her autobiography, she said that “the tale seemed understandable to me.”

1A Mother’s Secret

Photo credit: Wikimedia

Children born out of wedlock were a major no-no in Hollywood, so it was common for movie studios to “persuade” their starlets to have abortions. One actress who went through with her pregnancy was Loretta Young. She gave birth to Judy Lewis in 1935. Young went on “vacation” to England to give birth. Afterward, she transferred Judy to an orphanage and then picked her up again to adopt her own daughter.

Judy’s father was Clark Gable, although she didn’t know this while he was still alive. She was in her thirties when she finally confronted her mother, who admitted it. Afterward, Judy discovered that, while she was kept in the dark, her father’s identity was an open secret in Hollywood.

The most shocking aspect of the story actually came out in 2015, courtesy of Linda Lewis, Loretta’s daughter-in-law. She claimed that in 1998, Young told her that Gable date-raped her.[10] Young only began to understand the concept after watching a segment on date rape on Larry King Live. Before that, her Catholic upbringing made her believe it was her failing for letting a man have his way with her. According to Linda, she also refrained from making this public while Loretta and Judy were still alive.

Decide First! Right or wrong comes later

Random phrases and Acts of kindness todsy

  1. Wouldn’t Harm a Fly
    Meaning: Nonviolent; someone who is mild or gentle.
  • Everything But The Kitchen Sink
    Meaning: Including nearly everything possible.
  • Let Her Rip
    Meaning: Permission to start, or it could mean ‘go faster

    Acts of kindness today

    1. Go the day without complaining
    2. Bake something for your family/friends
    3. Be proactive – sign a petition for a good cause

      Have a great day

10 Mind-Blowing Things That Happened This Week (4/27/18) via Listverse

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.

After a couple of blissfully massacre-free weeks, this week opened with not one but two separate jerkwads deciding to take out their problems on the world by killing a bunch of people. Depressing as these two events were, the news wasn’t all doom and gloom. Elsewhere we had new velvet revolutions, scientific advances, and big steps toward the federal legalization of marijuana.

Featured image credit: financialexpress.com

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10A Shocking Mass Killing Hit Toronto

Photo credit: cbc.ca

This column has noted before the recent tendency of morons to use vehicles as their weapons of choice. Typically, this has been related to Islamist terrorism but not exclusively. On Monday, Alek Minassian bucked the trend by smashing a van into crowds walking along Toronto’s Yonge Street, leaving 10 dead and 14 injured.

His pathetic apparent motive? No women wanted to sleep with him.[1]

Just before committing mass murder, Minassian posted a message to a Facebook incel community praising Elliot Rodger, the rampage shooter who killed six in California in 2014. Rodger was a rampant misogynist who existed on the fringes of the incel community—a loose online grouping of men who are “involuntary celibates” and usually blame women for their problems. Like Rodger before him, Minassian is alleged to have deliberately targeted women.

Thankfully, Minassian was taken alive. Cop Ken Lam was first on the scene after the van crashed and Minassian leaped out, claiming to have a gun. Lam’s response? “I don’t care.” He arrested the killer, who will now have to face justice.

9A Bizarre Mass Killing Hit A Tennessee Waffle House

Photo credit: ABC News

Although four people died, several more were injured, and the gunman was disarmed by a wounded, unarmed man with sheer bravery coursing through his veins, the Waffle House mass shooting on Sunday will likely be remembered for one bizarre detail. After allegedly committing mass murder, Travis Jeffrey Reinking fled the crime scene on foot. According to police reports, he was semi-naked.[2]

Reinking was known to police. Among other incidents, he’d previously tried to breach the White House perimeter. A sovereign citizen, he’d apparently wanted to talk to President Trump. His guns had been confiscated after this, but his father had managed to get them back and returned them to his son. Thanks to his actions, four people are now dead.

Reinking was apprehended late Monday after a 34-hour manhunt. He is currently under suicide watch, awaiting trial.

8Armenia’s Velvet Revolution Felled A President

Photo credit: globalriskinsights.com

Last week, we told you about the mass protests gripping Armenia, a poor nation in the Caucasus region. Former President Serzh Sargsyan had just been appointed prime minister after serving out his constitutionally allowed term . . . having previously stripped the presidency of its powers and given them all to the PM’s office. At the time, we noted that mass protests had previously failed to stop Sargsyan’s power grabs and seemed unlikely to this time.

How wrong we were. On Monday, Sargsyan stepped down. By that point, nearly a quarter of the country was estimated to be marching against him.[3]

The lack of deaths or violence has led to the movement being called a “velvet revolution,” a reference to the anti-Communist Czechoslovak revolution of 1989 in which not a single shot was fired. However, Armenia isn’t out of the woods yet.

Sargsyan’s Republican Party is still in power, and protesters are still marching, demanding the entire government’s resignation. Will Armenia finally see the change it desperately needs? We’ll find out in the coming weeks.

7US Marijuana Legalization Efforts Picked Up Speed

Photo credit: npr.org

Chuck Schumer is one of the most powerful Democrats in the United States. As Senate minority leader, he’s about as mainstream as you’re gonna get. Which is what makes his announcement last Friday so interesting. In honor of 4/20, pot’s unofficial day, Schumer declared his support for the decriminalization of marijuana.[4]

He joins former Republican House speaker John Boehner, who had joined the board of a cannabis company just a week earlier, signaling his intention to advocate for legalization. It now looks like the pro-pot faction has the wind in their sails. As more states make weed legal and reap the tax windfall, it appears to be only a matter of time before the federal government follows suit.

This is a huge about-face from only a handful of short years ago. As recently as 2017, the idea that a Senate leader and a former House speaker would vocally come out for drugs would have seemed absurd. But these things move pretty fast. It now looks like we’ll see legal pot before the decade is out.

6Swaziland Finally Changed Its Colonial-Era Name

Photo credit: BBC

The former British colony of Swaziland is one of the last absolute monarchies left in the world. Pretty much whatever the king says goes, which leads to some occasionally bizarre pronouncements. Such was the case late last Thursday, when King Mswati III unveiled his latest decree. Effective immediately, he was changing Swaziland’s name to eSwatini. Swaziland is no more.[5]

The name “Swaziland” was a colonial-era hangover, sort of like if Ukraine was still called “the Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic” or Ghana was still known as “the Gold Coast.” While most countries changed their names at independence, eSwatini waited 50 years until the king himself turned 50.

Interestingly, King Mswati III moved the country’s official day of independence to coincide with his birthday this year—because that’s the sort of weird thing you can get away with when you’re an absolute monarch.

Despite the name change, eSwatini is still a struggling land. It has the world’s highest prevalence of HIV and one of the lowest life expectancies. And it is sandwiched between the two regional superpowers of South Africaand Mozambique.

5A Legal Immigration Scandal Rocked The UK

Photo credit: NBC News

For the last two weeks, the UK government has been embroiled in a scandalof its own making. Shortly after the end of World War II, London legalized immigration from all Commonwealth nations. Until the early 1970s, anyone arriving in Britain from India, Pakistan, Canada, Jamaica, Australia, or any of dozens more nations were automatically considered UK citizens, whether or not they acquired a UK passport.

This last part is important because it meant many of the so-called Windrush generation (the first boat to bring Caribbean immigrants was called the Empire Windrush) only had a single document held by the government confirming their legal status. In 2010, the Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition ordered the destruction of these documents. Under Theresa May’s watch, the Home Office then began deporting Windrush immigrants even though they had every legal right to remain.

The scandal blew up a week or two ago. But this week, it picked up even more steam when current Home Secretary Amber Rudd admitted that Windrush immigrants had been deported to fulfill arbitrary quotas. The resulting political storm has badly damaged Theresa May’s government and caused much unnecessary suffering for elderly British citizens who just happened to be born in the former empire.[6]

4Finland Abandoned Its Universal Basic Income Trial

Photo credit: The Guardian

Universal basic income (UBI) is held by some as the holy grail of 21st-century society. A guaranteed monthly stipend for the entire population of a country, whether they’re working or already rich, is held by some on the left to be the only workable safety net in the coming age of automation and by some on the right to be the perfect way of freeing citizens from a stifling welfare state.

In short, it is a serious movement that many are touting as the next big thing in policymaking. This week, though, it suffered a setback. After being a leading light for UBI for two years, Finland finally closed its experimental program. The world’s only large-scale UBI pilot is now officially dead.

The Finnish trial provided 2,000 unemployed people with €560 a month, which they continued to receive whether they got a job or not. The social security agency had asked for more funding to give a random sample of 2,000 employed people the same benefits. Instead, Helsinki nixed the program before any firm conclusions could be drawn.[7]

3We May Have Spotted The Largest Structure In The Universe

Photo credit: sciencealert.com

Billions and billions of years ago, 14 young galaxies erupting with new, dazzling stars crashed into one another. The resulting cataclysm was probably all sorts of destructive, but it eventually resulted in the formation of a gigantic galactic cluster infinitely denser than our Milky Way and likely the most massive thing in the observable universe.[8]

About 12.4 billion years after this violent merger took place, the light of this ancient catastrophe finally reached Earth. Revealed by an international team in Nature this week, it not only marks the discovery of the biggest thing in the night sky but also threatens to rewrite everything we know about the universe’s origins.

The 14 super bright galaxies are known as starbursts, galaxies that form new stars at a tremendous rate. The weird part? We wouldn’t expect that many of them so close to the dawn of the universe. Nor would we have expected a galaxy cluster to form in such an impossibly ancient period. It may just be time to rewrite our entire timeline of the universe’s birth and early childhood.

2George H.W. Bush Nearly Died

Photo credit: NBC News

Just last week, we reported on the death of Barbara Bush, wife to President George H.W. Bush and mother to President George W. Bush. This week, we very nearly had to report on the death of her husband, too. Following his wife’s funeral, former President George H.W. Bush was hospitalized with sepsis and placed in intensive care. You could almost hear obituary writers across the nation scrambling for their laptops.

Fortunately, the 41st US president survived and was moved out of intensive care on Wednesday. At the time of this writing, though, he remains ill and under close observation.[9]

The likelihood is that Bush will pull through this current malady and live to fight another day. However, his brush with death highlights the fact that two of America’s surviving presidents likely won’t be around much longer. Jimmy Carter is 93 and in ill health, a description that also applies to George H.W. Bush. It could be that we’ll soon lose two members from the tiny club of surviving US presidents.

1North And South Korea Prepared To Make History

Photo credit: newvision.co.ug

By the time you read this, Kim Jong Un and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea may have made history. No, not by Kim blowing up everything in a 1,450-kilometer (900 mi) radius but by taking some serious steps toward peace.

At 9:30 AM local time Friday, Moon is scheduled to meet Kim at the border between North and South Korea. They will then walk together to a summit on the southern side of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). It will be the first time since 1953 that a North Korean leader has set foot on South Korean territory.

Since this column is filed a few hours before the deadline, we don’t yet know how these talks will go. The hope, though, is that Kim and Moon may sign a peace agreement formally ending the 1950–53 Korean War, while also paving the way for a possible summit between Kim and President Trump later in the year.[10]

North Korea is difficult to read and has given plenty of reasons to doubt its commitment to peace in the past. Still, this time, Pyongyang could be for real. Hey, anything that might lead to the denuclearization of the peninsula is worth a shot.