“Hey, I am selling you my products, not my business, as you are also not buying stocks in a stock market, why do you want to see my company’s Financial Statement, and you are requesting for an Audited Financial Statement??? If your company is requesting a credit line, my company should be the one asking you for your financial statement!!”
Happy 2015…Start a Year Anew
Remember What’s Worth…Forget What is not.
In this New Year of 2015,
“Promise Yourself (Myself)
To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.
To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.”
~ Christian D. Larson, Your Forces and How to Use Them
I always was.
I always am.
I shall always be.
The past and the future
meet in the eternal now.
I am the eternal now.
I am in the past.
I am in the future.
I am in the now.
One is all, and all are one.
We are one.
Everything I see
is a part of myself.
Everything I can imagine
is a part of myself.
I could not imagine something
that is not.
Everyone I interact with
is a part of myself.
Whatever I put out, I get it back.
My state of being matters,
it crystallises in my circumstances.
The way I respond to my circumstances
reinforces my state of being.
When I see an echo of an old belief
I respond with peace in my heart.
My actions are matched with
the highest version of myself
I can imagine in that moment.
and everything transforms
from one form of life
to yet another.
It is a constant flow of life.
It is the heart of all existence.
Nothing can perish,
nothing can cease being.
I am always new.
I am always history free.
I am always consequence free.
Yet I can create an illusion of consequence.
Everything is possible,
yet not everything is probable.
It all depends on my synchronicity.
What I choose to explore
shall present itself to me.
What I believe to be true, is true.
All illusions are made out of different beliefs.
Yet there is only one knowledge.
It is the wisdom of old, yet new.
The thought gains the power,
when it merges with the feeling.
I feel what I desire.
I always receive what I ask for.
I always manifest instantly with no effort.
My wisdom is to be aware of what I request.
So it be.
So it is.
I ask for love,
and I welcome bliss.
~ Raphael Zernoff
To wish was to hope and to hope was to expect ~ Jane Austin
Simplicity is the most difficult thing to secure in this world; it is the last limit of experience and the last effort of genius. ~ George Sand
We See What We Look For, We Hear What We Listen To.
~ Ayrton Senna
Photo: Aston Martin scores a hat-trick of podiums at the Nürburgring, Germany
~ Ayrton Senna
C’est La Vie
To hear never-heard sounds,
To see never-seen colors and shapes,
To try to understand the imperceptible
Power pervading the world;
To fly and find pure ethereal substances
That are not of matter
But of that invisible soul pervading reality.
To hear another soul and to whisper to another soul;
To be a lantern in the darkness
Or an umbrella in a stormy day;
To feel much more than know.
To be the eyes of an eagle, slope of a mountain;
To be a wave understanding the influence of the moon;
To be a tree and read the memory of the leaves;
To be an insignificant pedestrian on the streets
Of crazy cities watching, watching, and watching.
To be a smile on the face of a woman
And shine in her memory
As a moment saved without planning.
~ Dejan Stojanovic
Photo: Matthew Scherfenberg
Internal Server Error
The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.
Please contact the server administrator, and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.
More information about this error may be available in the server error log.">
Internal Server Error
The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.
Please contact the server administrator, and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.
More information about this error may be available in the server error log.
If you possess it, you don’t need to ask what it is. When you attempt to delineate it, you move away from it. Fabulous is one of those words that provide a measure of the degree to which a person or event manifests a particular oppressed subculture’s most distinctive, invigorating features. What are the salient features of fabulousness? Irony. Tragic History. Defiance. Gender-fuck. Glitter. Drama. It is not butch. It is not hot. The cathexis surrounding fabulousness is not necessarily erotic. The fabulous is not delineated by age or beauty. It is raw materials reworked into illusion. To be truly fabulous, one must completely triumph over tragedy, age, and physical insufficiencies. The fabulous is the rapturous embrace of difference, the discovering of self not in that which has rejected you but in that which makes you unlike, the dislike, the other.*
~ Tony Kushner
Photo by Svetlana Belyaeva
If you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
- To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
- To know the pain of too much tenderness.
- To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
- To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
- To rest at noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
- To return home at eventide with gratitude;
- To sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise on your lips.
~ Kahlil Gibran
Photo: Pheed Inc
The city under the clouds: Magical image of Chicago reflected on Lake Michigan is captured by plane passenger coming into land
Mark Hersch glanced out of the cabin window in time to see the amazing optical illusion
Chicago appears like a city in the clouds in this stunning photograph taken by a passenger from his plane window.
Plane enthusiast and amateur photographer Mark Hersch captured the jaw-dropping scene of the city silhouetted in Lake Michigan from his seat on a Chicago-bound flight making its final approach.
The late-afternoon image shows the low sun casting a golden glow on the water, which is visible beneath cloud cover.
The buildings of the Windy City cast long shadows out into the water – while closer inspection reveals another passenger jet near the centre of the picture.
Mark said the image is straight out of the camera, without use of image manipulation.
‘I was flying home to Chicago from a business trip recently,’ he said. ‘It was a cloudy day, late in the afternoon. We were flying eastbound, made a pass by O’Hare International Airport, then made a sweeping 180-degree left turn over Lake Michigan for our final westward approach into the airport.”
‘I looked down and through a narrow break in the clouds, I saw the shadow of the Chicago skyline projecting onto the lake. Oddly enough, I am a very frequent flyer and almost always sit in an aisle set, but on this flight there were only window seats available.
‘I grabbed my iPhone and snapped off a single shot, hoping I captured the scene. When I got home I opened the photo on my computer. Not only was I amazed at the shot, but I noticed I also captured another plane on a parallel approach – which you can see if you look closely at the clouds above the skyline in the centre of the image.
‘My only regret is that the image is not as sharp as I would like; it’s merely an iPhone capture, after all. Ironically, I am an avid amateur photography enthusiast, with some pretty expensive pro equipment.’
Article from DailyMail Daily mail with Mark Hersch
A plague doctor (Italian: medico della peste, Dutch: pestmeester, Spanish: médico de la peste negra, German: Pestarzt) was a special medical physician who treated those who had the plague. They were specifically hired by towns that had many plague victims in times of plague epidemics. Since the city was paying their salary, they treated everyone: both the rich and the poor. They were not normally professionally trained experienced physicians or surgeons, and often were second-rate doctors not able to otherwise run a successful medical business or young physicians trying to establish themselves.
Plague doctors by their covenant treated plague patients and were known as municipal or “community plague doctors”, whereas “general practitioners” were separate doctors and both might be in the same European city or town at the same time. In France and the Netherlands plague doctors often lacked medical training and were referred to as “empirics”. In one case a plague doctor had been a fruit salesman before his employment as a physician.
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, some doctors wore a beak-like mask which was filled with aromatic items. The masks were designed to protect them from putrid air, which (according to the miasmatic theory of disease) was seen as the cause of infection. Thus:
“The nose half a foot long, shaped like a beak, filled with perfume with only two holes, one on each side near the nostrils, but that can suffice to breathe and to carry along with the air one breathes the impression of the drugs enclosed further along in the beak. Under the coat we wear boots made in Moroccan leather (goat leather) from the front of the breeches in smooth skin that are attached to said boots and a short-sleeved blouse in smooth skin, the bottom of which is tucked into the breeches. The hat and gloves are also made of the same skin… with spectacles over the eyes.”
The first epidemic of bubonic plague dates back to the mid 500s, known as the Plague of Justinian. The largest epidemic was the Black Death of Europe in the 14th century. In medieval times the large loss of people due to the bubonic plague in a town created an economic disaster. Community plague doctors were quite valuable and were given special privileges. For example, plague doctors were freely allowed to perform autopsies, which were otherwise generally forbidden in Medieval Europe, to research a cure for the plague.
In some cases, plague doctors were so valuable that when Barcelona dispatched two to Tortosa in 1650, outlaws captured them en route and demanded a ransom. The city of Barcelona paid for their release. The city of Orvieto hired Matteo fu Angelo in 1348 for 4 times the normal rate of a doctor of 50-florin per year. Pope Clement VI hired several extra plague doctors during the Black Death plague. They were to attend to the sick people of Avignon. Of eighteen doctors in Venice, only one was left by 1348: five had died of the plague, and twelve were missing and may have fled.
Main article: Plague Doctor Costume
Some plague doctors wore a special costume, although graphic sources show that plague doctors wore a variety of garments. The garments were invented by Charles de L’Orme in 1619; they were first used in Paris, but later spread to be used throughout Europe. The protective suit consisted of a heavy fabric overcoat that was waxed, a mask with glass eye openings and a cone nose shaped like a beak to hold scented substances and straw.
Some of the scented materials were ambergris, balm-mint leaves, camphor, cloves, laudanum, myrrh, rose petals, storax. This was thought to protect the doctor from miasmatic bad air. The straw provided a filter for the “bad air”. A wooden cane pointer was used to help examine the patient without having to touch them, it was also used as a means of repenting sins, many believed that the plague was a punishment and would ask to be whipped to repent their sins.
Plague doctors served as public servants during times of epidemics starting with the Black Death of Europe in the fourteenth century. Their principal task, besides taking care of plague victims, was to record in public records the deaths due to the plague.
In certain European cities like Florence and Perugia plague doctors were requested to do autopsies to help determine the cause of death and how the plague played a role. Plague doctors became testators and witnesses to numerous wills during times of plague epidemics. Plague doctors also gave advice to their patients about their conduct before death. This advice varied depending on the patient, and after the Middle Ages the nature of the relationship between doctor and patient was governed by an increasingly complex ethical code.
Plague doctors practiced bloodletting and other remedies such as putting frogs or leeches on the buboes to “rebalance the humors” as a normal routine. Plague doctors could not generally interact with the general public because of the nature of their business and the possibility of spreading the disease; they could also be subject to quarantine.
Notable medieval plague doctors
A famous plague doctor who gave medical advice about preventive measures which could be taken against the plague was Nostradamus. Nostradamus’ advice was the removal of infected corpses, getting fresh air, drinking clean water, and drinking a juice preparation of rose hips. In Traité des fardemens it shows in Part A Chapter VIII that Nostradamus also recommended not to bleed the patient.
The Italian city of Pavia, in 1479, contracted Giovanni de Ventura as a community plague doctor. The Irish physician, Niall Ó Glacáin (c.1563?-1653) earned deep respect in Spain, France and Italy for his bravery in treating numerous victims of the plague. Paracelsus was also a famous medieval plague doctor.
A tintype, also known as a melainotype or ferrotype, is a photograph made by creating a direct positive on a thin sheet of iron coated with a dark lacquer or enamel and used as the support for the photographic emulsion. Tintypes enjoyed their widest use during the 1860s and 1870s, but lesser use of the medium persisted into the early 20th century and it has been revived as a novelty in the 21st.
Tintype portraits were at first usually made in a formal photographic studio, like daguerreotypes and other early types of photographs, but later they were most commonly made by photographers working in booths or the open air at fairs and carnivals, as well as by itinerant sidewalk photographers. Because the lacquered iron support (there is no actual tin used) was resilient and did not need drying, a tintype could be developed and fixed and handed to the customer only a few minutes after the picture had been taken.
The tintype’s immediate predecessor, the ambrotype, was the same process using a sheet of glass as the support. The glass was either of a dark color or provided with a black backing so that, as with a tintype, the underexposed negative image in the emulsion appeared as a positive. Tintypes were sturdy and did not require mounting in a protective hard case like ambrotypes and daguerreotypes.
There are two historic tintype processes: wet and dry. In the wet process, a collodion emulsion containing suspended silver halide crystals had to be formed on the plate just before it was exposed in the camera while still wet. Chemical treatment then reduced the crystals to microscopic particles of metallic silver in proportion to the intensity and duration of their exposure to light, resulting in a visible image. The later and more convenient dry process was similar but used a gelatin emulsion which could be applied to the plate long before use and exposed in the camera dry.
In both processes, a very underexposed negative image was produced in the emulsion. Its densest areas, corresponding to the lightest parts of the subject, appeared gray by reflected light. The areas with the least amount of silver, corresponding to the darkest areas of the subject, were essentially transparent and appeared black when seen against the dark background provided by the lacquer. The image as a whole therefore appeared to be a dull-toned positive. This ability to employ underexposed images allowed shorter exposure times to be used, a great advantage in portraiture.
To obtain as light-toned an image as possible, potassium cyanide, a very dangerous and powerful deadly poison, was normally employed as the photographic fixer. It was perhaps the most acutely hazardous of the several highly toxic chemicals originally used in this and many other early photographic processes.
One unusual piece of tintype equipment was a twelve-lensed camera that could make a dozen 3/4 x 1 inch “gem” portraits with one exposure. Portrait sizes ranged from gem-size to 11 x 14 inches. From about 1865 to 1910 the most popular size, called “Bon-ton”, ranged from 2-3/8 x 3-1/2 inches to 4 x 5-3/4 inches.
Each tintype is usually a camera original, so the image is usually a mirror image, reversed left to right from reality. Sometimes the camera was fitted with a mirror or right-angle prism so that the end result would be right-reading.
Prairie restoration is an ecologically friendly way to restore some of the prairie land that was lost to industry, farming and commerce. For example, the U.S. state of Illinois alone once held over 35,000 square miles (91,000 km2) of prairie land and now just 3 square miles (7.8 km2) of original prairie land exist.
Ecologically, prairie restoration aids in conservation of earth’s topsoil, which is often exposed to erosion from wind and rain when prairies are plowed under to make way for new commerce. Conversely, much more of the prairie lands have become the fertile fields on which cereal crops of corn, barley and wheat are grown.
Many prairie plants are also highly resistant to drought, temperature extremes, disease, and native insect pests. They are frequently used for xeriscaping projects in arid regions of the American West.
A restoration project of prairie lands can be large or small. A backyard prairie restoration will enrich soil, help with erosion and take up extra water in excessive rainfalls. Prairie flowers are attractive to native butterflies and other pollinators. On a larger scale, communities and corporations are creating areas of restored prairies which in turn will store organic carbon in the soil and help maintain the biodiversity of the 3000 plus species that count on the grasslands for food and shelter.
Types of plants
Prairie plants consist of grasses and forbs. Grasses, which are monocots, are similar to what may be in a yard, but grasses in the prairie will be of a broader leaf. Some prominent tallgrass prairie grasses include Big Bluestem, Indiangrass, and Switchgrass. Midgrass and shortgrass species include Little Bluestem and Buffalograss. Forbs fall into an unusual category. They are not grasses, trees or shrubs, but are herbaceous and share the field with the less diverse grasses. Most wildflowers and legumes are forbs. Forbs are structurally specialized to resist herbaceous grazers such as American bison, and their commonly hairy leaves help deter the cold and prevent excessive evaporation. Many of the forbs contain secondary compounds that were discovered by the American Natives and are still used widely today. One particular forb, the purple coneflower, is recognized more readily by its scientific name Echinacea purpurea, or just Echinacea, which is used as an herbal remedy for colds.
Early prairie restoration efforts tended to focus largely on a few dominant species, typically grasses, with little attention to seed source. With experience, later restorers have realized the importance of obtaining a broad mix of species and using local ecotype seed.
Care of prairies
Fire is a big component to the success of grasslands, large or small. Controlled burns, with a permit, are recommended every 4–8 years (after two growth seasons) to burn away dead plants; prevent certain other plants from encroaching (such as trees) and release nutrients into the ground to encourage new growth. A much more wildlife habitat friendly alternative to burning every 4–8 years is to burn 1/4 to 1/8 of a tract every year. This will leave wildlife a home every year and still accomplish the task of burning. The Native Americans may also have used the burns to control pests such as ticks.
If controlled burns are not possible, rotational mowing is recommended as a substitute.
One of the newer methods available is holistic management, which uses livestock as a substitute for the keystone species such as bison. This allows the rotational mowing to be done by animals which in turn mimics nature more closely. Holistic management also can use fire as a tool, but in a more limited way and in combination with the mowing done by animals.
Photo Source by James Nedresky.prairie fire,Flint Hills, Kansas
Read it with sorrow and you will feel hate.
Read it with anger and you will feel vengeful.
Read it with paranoia and you will feel confusion.
Read it with empathy and you will feel compassion.
Read it with love and you will feel flattery.
Read it with hope and you will feel positive.
Read it with humor and you will feel joy.
Read it with God and you will feel the truth.
Read it without bias and you will feel peace.
Don’t read it at all and you will not feel a thing.
? Shannon L. Alder
In a world of omnipresent screens, it can be easy to forget the simple pleasure of curling up with a good book. In fact, a recent HuffPost/YouGov poll of 1,000 U.S. adults found that 28 percent hadn’t read one at all in the past year.
But the truth is that reading books can be more than entertainment (or a high school English assignment). A study released earlier this month suggests that enjoying literature might help strengthen your “mind-reading” abilities. The research, published in the journal Science, showed that reading literary works (though, interestingly, not popular fiction) cultivates a skill known as “theory of mind,” which NPR describes as the “ability to ‘read’ the thoughts and feelings of others.”
And that’s hardly the only way being a bookworm can boost your mind and well-being. Below, six more science-backed reasons to swap the remote for a novel.
Reading can chill you out.
Stressed out? Pick up a paperback. Research conducted in 2009 at Mindlab International at the University of Sussex showed that reading was the most effective way to overcome stress, beating out old favorites such as listening to music, enjoying a cup of tea or coffee and even taking a walk, The Telegraph reported when the findings were released. It took the study participants just six minutes to relax (which was measured by evaluating heart rate and muscle tension) once they started turning pages.
“It really doesn’t matter what book you read, by losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world and spend a while exploring the domain of the author’s imagination,” study researcher Dr. David Lewis told The Telegraph.
It could help keep your brain sharp.
A lifetime of reading might just help keep your brain in shape when you reach old age, according to research published earlier this year in the online issue of the journal Neurology. The study, which included 294 participants who died at an average age of 89, found that those who engaged in mentally stimulating activities (such as reading) earlier and later on in life experienced slower memory decline compared to those who didn’t. In particular, people who exercised their minds later in life had a 32 percent lower rate of mental decline compared to their peers with average mental activity. The rate of decline amongst those with infrequent mental activity, on the other hand, was 48 percent faster than the average group.
“Our study suggests that exercising your brain by taking part in activities such as these across a person’s lifetime, from childhood through old age, is important for brain health in old age,” study author Robert. S. Wilson, Ph.D., of the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, said in a statement. “Based on this, we shouldn’t underestimate the effects of everyday activities, such as reading and writing, on our children, ourselves and our parents or grandparents.”
And it might even stave off Alzheimer’s disease.
According to research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2001, adults who engage in hobbies that involve the brain, like reading or puzzles, are less likely to have Alzheimer’s disease, USA Today reported at the time. However, the researchers identified only an association, not a cause-and-effect relationship: “These findings may be because inactivity is a risk factor for the disease or because inactivity is a reflection of very early subclinical effects of the disease, or both,” they wrote in the study.
“The brain is an organ just like every other organ in the body. It ages in regard to how it is used,” lead author Dr. Robert P. Friedland told USA Today. “Just as physical activity strengthens the heart, muscles and bones, intellectual activity strengthens the brain against disease.”
Reading may help you sleep better.
Many sleep experts recommend establishing a regular de-stressing routine before bed to calm your mind and cue your body up for shut-eye — and reading can be a great way to do so (just as long as the book isn’t a page-turner that’ll keep you up all night). Bright lights, including those from electronic devices, signal to the brain that it’s time to wake up, meaning reading your book (under a dim light) is a better bedside bet than a laptop.
Getting lost in a good book could also make you more empathetic.
According to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE in January, losing yourself in a work of fiction might actually increase your empathy. Researchers in the Netherlands designed two experiments, which showed that people who were “emotionally transported” by a work of fiction experienced boosts in empathy.
“In two experimental studies, we were able to show that self-reported empathic skills significantly changed over the course of one week for readers of a fictional story by fiction authors Arthur Conan Doyle or José Saramago,” they wrote in the findings. “More specifically, highly transported readers of Doyle became more empathic, while non-transported readers of both Doyle and Saramago became less empathic.”
So go ahead, let yourself get caught up in a particularly compelling story, or swept away by a powerful character — it’s good for you!
Self-help books, on the other hand, can ease depression.
Self-help books might actually help you help yourself. A study published earlier this year in the journal PLOS ONE showed that reading self-help books (also called “bibliotherapy”), combined with support sessions on how to use them, was linked with lower levels of depression after a year, compared to patients who received typical treatments. “We found this had a really significant clinical impact and the findings are very encouraging,” study author Christopher Williams of the University of Glasgow told the BBC. “Depression saps people’s motivation and makes it hard to believe change is possible.”
And self-help books could even work in cases of severe depression. According to a University of Manchester meta-analysis published earlier this year, people with severe depression can benefit from “low-intensity interventions,” including self-help books and interactive websites, as much or more than those who are less severely depressed.
Photo: book tunnel by petr kratochvil. a book tunnel in Prague’s library.
Sara Mednick, PhD, a sleep medicine researcher at the University of California at San Diego and author of Take a Nap! Change Your Life, but a daily nap of between 20 and 90 minutes before 4:00 pm will also increase your mental performance, reduce your chances of gaining weight, and make you feel a whole lot more like having sex after dinner than you probably do now. What’s more, it won’t affect your nighttime sleep.
All told, a nap, according to Dr. Mednick, will:
• Increase your on-the-job alertness by 100 percent
• Sharpen your thinking so you make more accurate judgments and better decisions
• Ramp up your productivity
• Regenerate skin cells so you look younger
• Increase your sex drive
• Help you lose weight by altering metabolism and shifting chemicals that affect appetite
• Reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular problems
• Lift your mood by bathing your brain in the neurotransmitter serotonin
• Speed up your ability to perform motor tasks, like typing, operating machinery, even swimming
• Improve your accuracy—in everything
• Improve the way your body processes carbs, which reduces your risk of diabetes
• Sharpen your senses so you take in what’s important in your environment—and screen out the 24-hour culture chatter that surrounds us
• Put your brain into its creative gear so you can come up with fresh ideas
• Trigger a naturally occurring hormone that blocks the destructive chemicals produced by stress
• Boost your ability to learn something new—and, better yet, remember it
• Zap the need for drugs like caffeine and alcohol to manipulate your mood and energy level
• Relieve migraines
• Improve your nighttime sleep by eliminating that wired feeling and thus shutting off the brain chatter
• Make you feel good all over
30% Be Yourself
= 100% H a p p i n e s s
~ Clare Patrick
What does happiness mean to you?
Defining happiness ~
Defining happiness can seem as elusive as achieving it. We want to be happy, and we can say whether we are or not, but can it really be defined, studied and measured? And can we use this learning to become happier?
Psychologists say yes, and that there are good reasons for doing so. Positive psychology is “the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive.” These researchers’ work includes studying strengths, positive emotions, resilience, and happiness. Their argument is that only studying psychological disorders gives us just part of the picture of mental health. We will learn more about well-being by studying our strengths and what makes us happy. The hope is that by better understanding human strengths, we can learn new ways to recover from or prevent disorders, and may even learn to become happier.
So how do these researchers define happiness? Psychologist Ed Diener, author of Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth, describes what psychologists call “subjective well-being” as a combination of life satisfaction and having more positive emotions than negative emotions.
Martin Seligman, one of the leading researchers in positive psychology and author of Authentic Happiness, describes happiness as having three parts: pleasure, engagement, and meaning. Pleasure is the “feel good” part of happiness. Engagement refers to living a “good life” of work, family, friends, and hobbies. Meaning refers to using our strengths to contribute to a larger purpose. Seligman says that all three are important, but that of the three, engagement and meaning make the most difference to living a happy life.
Moment-by-moment vs. long term
Researchers also distinguish between the moment-by-moment feeling of happiness produced by positive emotions and how we describe our lives when we think about it. Regardless of whether you had a good day or not, do you describe your life as a happy one? Or describe yourself as a happy person? Psychologist Daniel Kahneman describes this difference as the “experiencing self” and the “remembering self.” Psychologists study both to better understand how daily experiences add up to a happy life.
Scientifically measuring happiness
Since happiness is so subjective, can it really be measured and studied scientifically? Researchers say yes. They believe that we can reliably and honestly self-report our state of happiness and increases and decreases in happiness. After all, isn’t our own perception of happiness what matters? And if we can report it, scientists can measure it. Psychologist Daniel Gilbert compares this to optometry: “Optometry is another one of those sciences that is built entirely on people’s reports of subjective experience. The one and only way for an optometrist to know what your visual experience is like is to ask you, ‘Does it look clearer like this or (click click) like this?’”
Researchers have formed a useful framework for studying happiness:
- Happiness is made up of pleasure, engagement, and meaning
- It involves both daily positive emotions and a global sense that life is worthwhile
- People can accurately report their own levels of happiness
Using this framework, researchers are learning more and more all the time about who is happy, what makes them happy, and why.
“To be Nobody But Yourself in a world which is Doing its Best, Night and Day, to make you everybody else means to fight the Hardest Battle which any human being can Fight; and Never Stop Fighting.”
~ e. e. Cummings
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Like a Columbus of the heart, mind and soul I have hurled myself off the shores of my own fears and limiting beliefs to venture far out into the uncharted territories of my inner truth, in search of what it means to be genuine and at peace with who I really am. I have abandoned the masquerade of living up to the expectations of others and explored the new horizons of what it means to be truly and completely me, in all my amazing imperfection and most splendid insecurity.”
~ Anthon St. Maarten
The Empire State Building is a 103-story skyscraper located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street. It has a roof height of 1,250 feet (381 meters), and with its antenna spire included, it stands a total of 1,454 ft (443.2 m) high. Its name is derived from the nickname for New York, the Empire State. It stood as the world’s tallest building for nearly 40 years, from its completion in early 1931 until the topping out of the World Trade Center’s North Tower in late 1970. Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, the Empire State Building was again the tallest building in New York (although it was no longer the tallest in the US or the world), until One World Trade Center reached a greater height on April 30, 2012. The Empire State Building is currently the fourth-tallest completed skyscraper in the United States (after the One World Trade Center, the Willis Tower and Trump International Hotel and Tower, both in Chicago), and the 23rd-tallest in the world (the tallest now is Burj Khalifa, located in Dubai). It is also the fourth-tallest freestanding structure in the Americas.
The Empire State Building is generally thought of as an American cultural icon. It is designed in the distinctive Art Deco style and has been named as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The building and its street floor interior are designated landmarks of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, and confirmed by the New York City Board of Estimate. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1986. In 2007, it was ranked number one on the AIA’s List of America’s Favorite Architecture.
The building is owned by the Empire State Realty Trust, for which Anthony Malkin serves as Chairman, CEO and President.In 2010, the Empire State Building underwent a $550 million renovation, with $120 million spent to transform the building into a more energy efficient and eco-friendly structure. Receiving a gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating in September 2011, the Empire State Building is the tallest LEED certified building in the United States.
Design and construction
The Empire State Building was designed by William F. Lamb from the architectural firm Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, which produced the building drawings in just two weeks, using its earlier designs for the Reynolds Building in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and the Carew Tower in Cincinnati, Ohio (designed by the architectural firm W. W. Ahlschlager & Associates) as a basis. Every year the staff of the Empire State Building sends a Father’s Day card to the staff at the Reynolds Building in Winston-Salem to pay homage to its role as predecessor to the Empire State Building. The building was designed from the top down. The general contractors were The Starrett Brothers and Eken, and the project was financed primarily by John J. Raskob and Pierre S. du Pont. The construction company was chaired by Alfred E. Smith, a former Governor of New York and James Farley’s General Builders Supply Corporation supplied the building materials. John W. Bowser was project construction superintendent.
Excavation of the site began on January 22, 1930, and construction on the building itself started symbolically on March 17—St. Patrick’s Day—per Al Smith’s influence as Empire State, Inc. president. This was about the time that the Great Depression started. The project involved 3,400 workers, mostly immigrants from Europe, along with hundreds of Mohawk iron workers, many from the Kahnawake reserve near Montreal. According to official accounts, five workers died during the construction. Governor Smith’s grandchildren cut the ribbon on May 1, 1931. Lewis Wickes Hine’s photography of the construction provides not only invaluable documentation of the construction, but also a glimpse into common day life of workers in that era.
The construction was part of an intense competition in New York for the title of “world’s tallest building”. Two other projects fighting for the title, 40 Wall Street and the Chrysler Building, were still under construction when work began on the Empire State Building. Each held the title for less than a year, as the Empire State Building surpassed them upon its completion, just 410 days after construction commenced. Instead of taking 18 months as anticipated, the construction took just under fifteen. The building was officially opened on May 1, 1931 in dramatic fashion, when United States President Herbert Hoover turned on the building’s lights with the push of a button from Washington, D.C. Coincidentally, the first use of tower lights atop the Empire State Building, the following year, was for the purpose of signaling the victory of Franklin D. Roosevelt over Hoover in the presidential election of November 1932.
The building’s opening coincided with the Great Depression in the United States, and as a result much of its office space was initially unrented. The building’s vacancy was exacerbated by its poor location on 34th Street, which placed it relatively far from public transportation, as Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station were (and are) several blocks away, as is the more-recently built Port Authority Bus Terminal. Other more successful skyscrapers, such as the Chrysler Building, did not have this problem. In its first year of operation, the observation deck took in approximately 2 million dollars, as much money as its owners made in rent that year. The lack of renters led New Yorkers to deride the building as the “Empty State Building”. The building would not become profitable until 1950. The famous 1951 sale of The Empire State Building to Roger L. Stevens and his business partners was brokered by the prominent upper Manhattan real-estate firm Charles F. Noyes & Company for a record $51 million. At the time, that was the highest price paid for a single structure in real-estate history.
Jellyfish Lake (Palauan: Ongeim’l Tketau, “Fifth Lake”) is a marine lake located on Eil Malk island in Palau. Eil Malk is part of the Rock Islands, a group of small, rocky, mostly uninhabited islands in Palau’s Southern Lagoon, between Koror and Peleliu. There are about 70 other marine lakes located throughout the Rock Islands. Jellyfish Lake is one of Palau’s most famous dive (snorkeling only) sites. It is notable for the millions of golden jellyfish which migrate horizontally across the lake daily.
Jellyfish Lake is connected to the ocean through fissures and tunnels in the limestone of an ancient Miocene reef. However the lake is sufficiently isolated and the conditions are different enough that the diversity of species in the lake is greatly reduced from the nearby lagoon. Jellyfish Lake is really small – only circa 420 meters long and up to 30 meters deep. What could be unique in such a small place? But Jellyfish Lake is truly unique not only in Palau but in the whole world. Jellyfish Lake is connected to the ocean through fissures and tunnels in the limestone of an ancient Miocene reef. However the lake is sufficiently isolated and the conditions are different enough that the diversity of species in the lake is greatly reduced from the nearby lagoon. The golden jellyfish, Mastigias cf. papua etpisoni, and possibly other species in the lake have evolved to be substantially different from their close relatives living in the nearby lagoons. Two species of scyphozoan jellyfish live in Jellyfish Lake, moon jellyfish (Aurelia sp.) and the golden jellyfish (Mastigias sp.).
Tourists are required to obtain a pass to access Jellyfish Lake. The Rock Islands/Jellyfish Lake pass is $100 and is good for 10 days.
Snorkeling in Jellyfish Lake is a popular activity for tourists to Palau. Several tour operators in Koror offer trips to the lake. Eil Malk island is approximately a 45 minute boat ride from Koror. The lake is accessed by a short trail from the beach on Eil Malk to the lake.
Scuba diving by tourists in the lake is not allowed. Two reasons are put forward for this:
• The bubbles from scuba tanks can harm the jellyfish if they collect beneath their bell.
• The anoxic layer that begins at about 15 meters contains high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide which can be absorbed through the skin of a diver which can lead to death.
Jellyfish Lake is currently the only one of Palau’s marine lakes open to tourists.
The Siq (Arabic: السيق, transliterated al-Sīq, transcribed as-Sīq, literally ‘the Shaft’) is the main entrance to the ancient city of Petra in southern Jordan. The dim, narrow gorge (in some points no more than 3 m wide) winds its way approximately 1.2 km (about one mile) and ends at Petra’s most elaborate ruin, Al Khazneh (the Treasury). A wide valley outside leading to the Siq is known as the Bab as-Sīq (Gateway to the Siq).
Unlike slot canyons like Antelope Canyon, which are directly shaped by water, the Siq is a natural geological fault split apart by tectonic forces; only later was it worn smooth by water. The walls that enclose the Siq stand between 91–182 m (300–600 feet) in height.
The entrance to the Siq contains a huge dam, reconstructed in 1963 and again in 1991, designed to bar the mouth of the Siq and reroute the waters of Wadi Musa. The dam is a fairly true reconstruction of what the Nabataeans did to control Wadi Musa between the 1st century BC and the beginning of the 1st century AD. The entrance also contains the remnants of a monumental arch, of which only the two abutments and some hewn stones of the arch itself have survived. The arch collapsed in 1896 following an earthquake, but its appearance is known from the lithographs of Matthew Boulby and David Roberts.
The Siq was used as the grand caravan entrance into Petra. Along both walls of the fissure are a number of votive niches containing baetyli, which suggest that the Siq was sacred to the Nabatean people. In 1998, a group of statues were uncovered when digging was conducted to lower the road by more than six feet. Although the upper part is greatly eroded, it is still possible to recognise the figures of two merchants, each leading two camels. The figures are almost twice lifesize.
Along the Siq are some underground chambers, the function of which has not yet been clarified. The possibility that they were tombs has been excluded, and archaeologists find it difficult to believe that they were dwellings. The majority consensus is that they housed the guards that defended the main entrance to Petra.
The spotted eagle ray (Aetobatus narinari) is a cartilaginous fish of the eagle ray family, Myliobatidae. It can be found globally in tropical regions, including the Gulf of Mexico, Hawaii, off the coast of West Africa, the Indian Ocean, Oceania, and on both coasts of the Americas at depths down to about 80 meters (262 ft). The rays are most commonly seen alone, but occasionally swim in groups. Rays are ovoviviparous, the female retaining the eggs then releasing the young as miniature versions of the parent.
This ray can be identified by its dark dorsal surface covered in white spots or rings. Near the base of the ray’s relatively long tail, just behind the pelvic fins, are several venomous, barbed stingers. Spotted eagle rays commonly feed on small fish and crustaceans, and will sometimes dig with their snouts to look for food buried in the sand of the sea bed. These rays are commonly observed leaping out of the water, and on at least two occasions have been reported as having jumped into boats, in one incident resulting in the death of a woman in the Florida Keys. The spotted eagle ray is hunted by a wide variety of sharks. The rays are considered Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. They are fished mainly in Southeast Asia and Africa, the most common market being in commercial trade and aquariums. They are protected in the Great Barrier Reef.
Spotted eagle rays have flat disk-shaped bodies, deep blue or black with white spots on top with a white underbelly, and distinctive flat snouts similar to a duck’s bill.Their tails are longer than those of other rays and may have 2–6 venomous spines, just behind the pelvic fins. The front half of the long and wing-like pectoral disk has five small gills in its underside.
Mature spotted eagle rays can be up to 5 meters (16 ft) in length; the largest have a wingspan of up to 3 meters (10 ft) and a mass of 230 kilograms (507 lb).
Spotted eagle ray preys mainly upon bivalves, shrimps, crabs, whelks, and other benthic infauna. They feed on mollusks and crustaceans, particularly malacostracans. and also upon hermit crabs, shrimp, octopi, and some small fish.
The spotted eagle ray’s specialized chevron-shaped tooth structure helps it to crush the mollusks’ hard shells.The jaws of these rays have developed calcified struts to help them break through the shells of mollusks, by supporting the jaws and preventing dents from hard prey. These rays have the unique behavior of digging with their snouts in the sand of the ocean. While doing this, a cloud of sand surrounds the ray and sand spews from its gills. One study has shown that there are no differences in the feeding habits of males and females or in rays from different regions of Australia and Taiwan.
Source: Spotted Eagle Ray
The light at the end of the tunnel is your life; it’s the tunnel that’s temporary.
~ Michael Josephson
Often hear there is Light at the end of the Tunnel, what if that is the end of life. A exhausted physical body slowly walking toward the Light believing that path would lead to eternal peace where is no pain, no more sorrow. Would it be considered optimistic giving up the fight in a miserable life?
Theory of light at the end of the tunnel provide comfort for terminally ill patients, but not so much for those who aren’t satisfied with their lives?
Life is a Journey to experiment, to cherish moments of ups and downs. Let’s live!
Photo: Metin Demiralay
Take too much Time,
and Time will Take You.
~ Lisa Kleypas, Love in the Afternoon
There are things in life causing us to hesitate. Time isn’t wasted to find out what we are heading, we may have lesser time each day as we are trying to decide.
Michael Montgomery by RJ Muna for Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet
The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people. As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don’t help you climb will want you to crawl. Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don’t increase you will eventually decrease you.
Never receive counsel from unproductive people. Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves are always first to tell you how. Not everyone has a right to speak into your life. You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas with the wrong person. Don’t follow anyone who’s not going anywhere.
With some people you spend an evening: with others you invest it. Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life. Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships. If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl. But, if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights.
“A mirror reflects a man’s face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses.”
The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate – for the good and the bad.
Note: Be not mistaken. This is applicable to family as well as friends. Yes…do love, appreciate and be thankful for your family, for they will always be your family no matter what. Just know that they are human first and though they are family to you, they may be a friend to someone else and will fit somewhere in the criteria above.
“In Prosperity Our Friends Know Us. In Adversity We Know Our Friends.”
“Never make someone a priority when you are only an option for them.”
“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters.
Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude..”..
~ Colin Powell
Photo: Michael Zuhorski on Flickr
Although Alone in the Mist
Standing Tall is a Must.
~ Clare Patrick
Snowy Owl: This yellow-eyed, black-beaked white bird is easily recognizable. It is 52–71 cm (20–28 in) long, with a 125–150 cm (49–59 in) wingspan. Also, these birds can weigh anywhere from 1.6 to 3 kg (3.5 to 6.6 lb). It is one of the largest species of owl and, in North America, is on average the heaviest owl species. The adult male is virtually pure white, but females and young birds have some dark scalloping; the young are heavily barred, and dark spotting may even predominate. Its thick plumage, heavily feathered taloned feet, and colouration render the Snowy Owl well-adapted for life north of the Arctic Circle.
“People often believed they were safer in the light, thinking monsters only came out at night. But safety – like light – is a façade…the only way to truly be safer, was to accept the dark” “
~ C.J. Roberts, Captive in the Dark
Photo: Shining Lights by Nilgun Kara on deviantart
You have to do the hard things.
- You have to make the call you’re afraid to make.
- You have to get up earlier than you want to get up.
- You have to give more than you get in return right away.
- You have to care more about others than they care about you.
- You have to fight when you are already injured, bloody, and sore.
- You have to feel unsure and insecure when playing it safe seems smarter.
- You have to lead when no one else is following you yet.
- You have to invest in yourself even though no one else is.
- You have to look like a fool while you’re looking for answers you don’t have.
- You have to grind out the details when it’s easier to shrug them off.
- You have to deliver results when making excuses is an option.
- You have to search for your own explanations even when you’re told to accept the “facts.”
- You have to make mistakes and look like an idiot.
- You have to try and fail and try again.
- You have to run faster even though you’re out of breath.
- You have to be kind to people who have been cruel to you.
- You have to meet deadlines that are unreasonable and deliver results that are unparalleled.
- You have to be accountable for your actions even when things go wrong.
- You have to keep moving towards where you want to be no matter what’s in front of you.
You have to do the hard things. The things that no one else is doing. The things that scare you. The things that make you wonder how much longer you can hold on.
Those are the things that define you. Those are the things that make the difference between living a life of mediocrity or outrageous success.
The hard things are the easiest things to avoid. To excuse away. To pretend like they don’t apply to you.
The simple truth about how ordinary people accomplish outrageous feats of success is that they do the hard things that smarter, wealthier, more qualified people don’t have the courage — or desperation — to do.
Do the hard things. You might be surprised at how amazing you really are.
Reference: Business Insider
Photo: Tanya Etessam
The Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica), also known as the Common Puffin, is a species of seabird in the auk family. It is the only puffin native to the Atlantic Ocean with two related species, the Tufted Puffin and the Horned Puffin, being found in the north eastern Pacific. The Atlantic Puffin breeds in Iceland, Norway, Greenland, Newfoundland and many North Atlantic islands, and as far south as Maine in the west and the British Isles in the east. The Atlantic Puffin has a large population and a wide range. It is not considered to be endangered although there may be local declines in numbers. On land, it has the typical upright stance of an auk. At sea, they swim on the surface and feed mainly on small fish, which they catch by diving underwater, using their wings for propulsion.
The Atlantic Puffin has a black crown and back, pale grey cheek patches and white underparts. Its broad, boldly marked red and black beak and orange legs contrast with its plumage. It moults while at sea in the winter and some of the bright-coloured facial characteristics are lost. The external appearance of the adult male and female are identical except that the male is usually slightly larger. The juvenile has similar plumage but its cheek patches are dark grey. The juvenile does not have brightly coloured head ornamentation, its bill is less broad and is dark-grey with a yellowish-brown tip, and its legs and feet are also dark. Puffins from northern populations are typically larger than their counterparts in southern parts of the range. It is generally considered that these populations are different subspecies.
The Atlantic Puffin spends the autumn and winter in the open ocean of the cold northern seas and returns to coastal areas at the start of the breeding season in late spring. It nests in clifftop colonies, digging a burrow in which a single white egg is laid. The chick mostly feeds on whole fish and grows rapidly. After about six weeks it is fully fledged and makes its way at night to the sea. It swims away from the shore and does not return to land for several years.
Colonies are mostly on islands where there are no terrestrial predators but adult birds and newly fledged chicks are at risk of attacks from the air by gulls and skuas. Sometimes a bird such as an Arctic Skua will harass a Puffin arriving with a beakful of fish, causing it to drop its catch. The striking appearance, large colourful bill, waddling gait and behaviour of this bird have given rise to nicknames such as “clown of the sea” and “sea parrot”. It is the official bird symbol for the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus; hali = sea, aeetus = eagle, leuco = white, cephalis = head) is a bird of prey found in North America. A sea eagle, it has two known sub-species and forms a species pair with the White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla). Its range includes most of Canada and Alaska, all of the contiguous United States, and northern Mexico. It is found near large bodies of open water with an abundant food supply and old-growth trees for nesting.
The Bald Eagle is an opportunistic feeder which subsists mainly on fish, which it swoops down and snatches from the water with its talons. It builds the largest nest of any North American bird and the largest tree nests ever recorded for any animal species, up to 4 m (13 ft) deep, 2.5 m (8.2 ft) wide, and 1 metric ton (1.1 short tons) in weight. Sexual maturity is attained at the age of four to five years.
Bald Eagles are not actually bald; the name derives from an older meaning of “white headed”. The adult is mainly brown with a white head and tail. The sexes are identical in plumage, but females are larger than males. The beak is large and hooked. The plumage of the immature is brown.
The Bald Eagle is both the national bird and national animal of the United States of America. The Bald Eagle appears on its Seal. In the late 20th century it was on the brink of extirpation in the continental United States. Populations recovered and the species was removed from the U.S. federal government’s list of endangered species on July 12, 1995 and transferred to the list of threatened species. It was removed from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in the Lower 48 States on June 28, 2007.
Lake Kaindy (Kazakh: Қайыңды көлі, Qayıñdı köli) is a 400-meter-long (1,300 ft) lake in Kazakhstan that reaches depths near 30 meters (98 ft) in some areas. It is located 129 kilometers (80 mi) east-southeast of the city of Almaty and is 2,000 meters (6,600 ft) above sea level.
The lake was created as the result of an enormous limestone landslide, triggered by the 1911 Kebin earthquake. The track to Lake Kaindy has many scenic views to the Saty Gorge, the Chilik Valley, and the Kaindy Gorge. Dried-out trunks of submerged Picea schrenkiana trees rise above the surface.
James Francis “Frank” Hurley, OBE (15 October 1885 – 16 January 1962) was an Australian photographer and adventurer. He participated in a number of expeditions to Antarctica and served as an official photographer with Australian forces during both world wars.
His artistic style produced many memorable images. He also used staged scenes, composites and photographic manipulation.
At the age of 25, in 1908, Hurley learned that Australian explorer Douglas Mawson was planning an expedition to Antarctica; fellow Sydney-sider Henri Mallard in 1911, recommended Hurley for the position of official photographer to Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic Expedition, ahead of himself.Hurley asserts in his biography that he then cornered Mawson as he was making his way to their interview on a train, using the advantage to talk his way into the job. Mawson was persuaded, while Mallard, who was the manager of Harringtons (a local Kodak franchise) to which Hurley was in debt, provided photographic equipment. The Expedition departed in 1911, returning in 1914. On his return, he edited and released a documentary Home of the Blizzard using his footage from the expedition.
Hurley was also the official photographer on Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition which set out in 1914 and was marooned until August 1916; Hurley produced many pioneering colour images of the Expedition using the then-popular Paget process of colour photography. He later compiled his records into the documentary film South in 1919. His footage was also used in the 2001 IMAX film Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure.
In 1917, Hurley joined the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) as an honorary captain and captured many stunning battlefield scenes during the Third Battle of Ypres. In keeping with his adventurous spirit, he took considerable risks to photograph his subjects, also producing many rare panoramic and colour photographs of the conflict. His period with the AIF ended in March 1918. Hurley also served as a war photographer during World War II.
For the 1918 London exhibition Australian War Pictures and Photographs he employed composites for photomurals to convey drama of the war on a scale otherwise not possible using the technology available. This brought Hurley into conflict with the AIF on the grounds that montage diminished documentary value. Charles Bean, official war historian, labelled Hurley’s composite images “fake”.
George Herbert Leigh Mallory (18 June 1886 – 8 or 9 June 1924) was an English mountaineer who took part in the first three British expeditions to Mount Everest in the early 1920s.
During the 1924 British Mount Everest Expedition, Mallory and his climbing partner Andrew “Sandy” Irvine both disappeared on the North-East ridge during their attempt to make the first ascent of the world’s highest mountain. The pair were last seen when they were about 800 vertical feet (245m) from the summit.
Mallory’s ultimate fate was unknown for 75 years, until his body was discovered on 1 May 1999 by an expedition that had set out to search for the climbers’ remains. Whether Mallory and Irvine reached the summit before they died remains a subject of speculation and continuing research.
The 1924 Everest expedition team, with (rear left and second left) Sandy Irvine and George Mallory, whose deaths left an enduring mystery. Photograph: The Times/Camera Press Digital
The Eastern practice of yoga has become a modern-day symbol of peace, serenity and well-being in the West. More than 20 million Americans practice yoga, according to the 2012 Yoga in America study, with practitioners spending more than $10 billion a year on yoga-related products and classes.
The mind-body practice is frequently touted for its ability to reduce stress and boost well-being, but it also offers wide-ranging physical health benefits that rival other forms of exercise. While the scientific research on yoga’s health benefits is still young, here’s what we know so far about its potential effects on the body. View the infographic below and scroll down for more detailed information.
To change the habit we must first bring it into consciousness again. That takes self-awareness, a fundamental of emotional intelligence. When that leader became mindful of his self-defeating habit, he realized that it was his own fear of failure that made him panic inside and lose control of his own behavior. He knew it did not help to attack, but could not seem to stop himself.
Tara Bennett-Goleman on her new book, Mind Whispering: A New Map to Freedom from Self-defeating Emotional Habits, which explains the neuroscience of habit change. She recommends mindfulness as a way to bring unconscious habits back into awareness where they can be changed. And she outlines a simple five-step process for making that change, especially helpful if the person is working with a coach.
1) Familiarize yourself with the self-defeating habit. Get so you can recognize the routine as it starts, or begins to take over. This might be by noticing its typical thoughts or feelings, or how you start to act. You can also follow Paul Ekman’s simple suggestion: keep a journal of your triggers.
2) Be mindful. Monitor your behavior — thoughts, feelings, actions — from a neutral, “witness” awareness.
3) Remember the alternatives — think of a better way to handle the situation.
4) Choose something better — e.g., what you say or do that would be helpful instead of self-defeating.
5) Do this at every naturally occurring opportunity.
Tara Bennett cites the neuroscience evidence that the more often you can repeat the new routine instead of the self-destructive one, the sooner it will replace the self-defeating habit in your basal ganglia. The better response will become your new default reaction.
Photo by Tia Danko http://goo.gl/QCfYUc
F. Scott Fitzgerald gave some fantastic advice to his 11-year-old daughter Scott in a 1933 letter, as Maria Popova points out at Brain Pickings.
Discussing what to worry about in life, Fitzgerald touches on several things that are relevant in 2014:
Things to worry about:
Worry about courage
Worry about cleanliness
Worry about efficiency
Worry about horsemanship
Things not to worry about:
Don’t worry about popular opinion
Don’t worry about dolls
Don’t worry about the past
Don’t worry about the future
Don’t worry about growing up
Don’t worry about anybody getting ahead of you
Don’t worry about triumph
Don’t worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault
Don’t worry about mosquitoes
Don’t worry about flies
Don’t worry about insects in general
Don’t worry about parents
Don’t worry about boys
Don’t worry about disappointments
Don’t worry about pleasures
Don’t worry about satisfactions
Things to think about:
What am I really aiming at?
How good am I really in comparison to my contemporaries in regard to:
(b) Do I really understand about people and am I able to get along with them?
(c) Am I trying to make my body a useful instrument or am I neglecting it?
The letter is found in “F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Life in Letters.”
Read more: http://goo.gl/8WI8CF
Photo by Alma Recinto on Flickr via: http://goo.gl/F3Yb8K
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
? Neil Gaiman
Photo by Svetlana-Belyaeva
Here on the first day of 2014, we’re anticipating a new beginning, looking forward a brand new year would give us new hopes, new opportunities. What if this is just another day? Why does a day make a difference?
It is Believe. Believe gives us strength to continue, to move forward, to reach for a new height! Lets trust our tomorrow will be a better day. Enjoy this greatest gift of life we call Hope!! Enjoy the ride!! ~ Uniqvie
Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. ~ Albert Einstein
Life is Life – whether in a Cat, or Dog or Man. There is no Difference there between a Cat or a Man. The idea of Difference is a Human Conception for Man’s Own Advantage. ~ Sri Aurobindo
We human put ourselves on top of the hierarchy of living things, perhaps of our intelligence level, our analytical skills. Basically, that is what inequality coming from. So if we see all living things as the same, we are as vulnerable as a little cat, or just a plant, we would be able to show our compassion to others unconditionally. There will not have discrimination, hated, prejudice and wars. ~ Uniqvie
The bridge of grace will bear your weight, brother. Thousands of big sinners have gone across that bridge, yea, tens of thousands have gone over it. Some have been the chief of sinners and some have come at the very last of their days but the arch has never yielded beneath their weight. I will go with them trusting to the same support. It will bear me over as it has for them.
~ Charles H. Spurgeon
Italy. Ponte di ferro sul Po
Old Bridge by Matteo Sala on 500px
What If Nothing Exists and
We’re All in Somebody’s Dream?
~ Woody Allen
But what if I fail of my purpose here? It is but to keep the nerves at strain, to dry one’s eyes and laugh at a fall, and baffled, get up and begin again. ~ Robert Browning
http://goo.gl/XL19ZNIf by Emmanuelle Brisson
May Wind Blow your Sorrow.
May Rain Wash your Despair.
May Moon Light your Path.
May Stars Guild your Way.
May Sun Warm your Soul.
May Christmas Spirit fill your Year Ahead!
Photo: Season’s Greetings by lostknightkg, deviantart
Love is always new. Regardless of whether we Love once, twice, or a dozen times in our life, we always face a brand-new situation. Love can consign us to hell or to paradise, but it always takes us somewhere. We simply have to accept it, because it is what nourishes our existence. If we reject it, we die of hunger, because we lack the courage to stretch out a hand and pluck the fruit from the branches of the tree of life. We have to take Love where we find it, even if that means hours, days, weeks of disappointment and sadness.
The Moment we Begin to Seek Love,
Love Begins to Seek Us. And to Save Us.
― Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept
Photo by Svetlana Belyaeva http://goo.gl/01u4bV
Morning mist hangs in the calm, still air adding to the dream-like magic of this tranquil setting in Taiwan.
The crystal clear water allows for a perfect reflection of an upside down world, almost playing tricks on the mind.
With scenery like this, it is no wonder that Taiwan was formerly known as the Beautiful Island – Ilha Formosa – to the West.
These remarkable, soft blue, monochrome pictures of The Moon Bridge, in DaHu (Big Lake) Park in Taipei, northern Taiwan, were taken by an arguably talented photographer, known simply as bbe022001 on Flickr.
The park itself in fact sits close to the industrial centre of Taiwan. The northern Neihu district of Taipei is famous for its IT industry and large shopping complexes.
But its parks and impressive mountains, dotted with temples and holy shrines, are unforgettably breathtaking.
Taiwan has more than 200 mountains that soar above 3,000 meters in height, and the unique geology and topography have created countless alluring landscapes and coastal scenes.
Lake Baikal, located in the southern part of eastern Siberia in Russia, is an incredible natural wonder of the world that one can only hope to visit at least once in their lifetime. It’s not just the oldest freshwater lake on Earth, at 20 to 25 million years old, it’s also one of the largest and deepest, holding an astounding one-fifth of the world’s freshwater.
The Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus), or Hyacinthine Macaw, is a parrot native to central and eastern South America. With a length (from the top of its head to the tip of its long pointed tail) of about 100 cm (3.3 ft) it is longer than any other species of parrot. It is the largest macaw and the largest flying parrot species, though the flightless Kakapo of New Zealand can outweigh it at up to 3.5 kg. While generally easily recognized, it can be confused with the far rarer and smaller Lear’s Macaw. Habitat loss and trapping wild birds for the pet trade has taken a heavy toll on their population in the wild, and as a result the species is classified as Endangered on theInternational Union for Conservation of Nature‘s Red List, and it is protected by its listing on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
The Hyacinth Macaw is an endangered species due to the cage bird trade and habitat loss. In the 1980s, it is estimated that at least 10,000 birds were taken from the wild and at least 50% were destined for the Brazilian market. Throughout the macaw’s range, habitat is being lost or altered due to the introduction of cattle ranching and mechanised agriculture, and the development of hydroelectric schemes. Annual grass fires set by farmers can destroy nest trees, and regions previously inhabited by this macaw are now unsuitable also due to agriculture and plantations. Locally, it has been hunted for food, and the KayapoIndians of Gorotire in south-central Brazil use its feathers to make headdresses and other ornaments. While overall greatly reduced in numbers, it remains locally common in the Brazilian Pantanal, where many ranch-owners now protect the macaws on their land.
The Hyacinth Macaw is protected by law in Brazil and Bolivia, and commercial export is banned by its listing on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). There are a number of long-term studies and conservation initiatives in place; the Hyacinth Macaw Project in the Brazilian State of Mato Grosso do Sul, has carried out important research by ringing individual birds and has created a number of artificial nests to compensate for the small percentage of sites available in the region.
The Minnesota Zoo with BioBrasil and the World Wildlife Fund are involved in Hyacinth Macaw conservation.
The Saint Thaddeus Monastery (Armenian: Սուրբ Թադէոսի վանք – Sourb Tadeos Vank; Persian: قره کلیسا Ghareh Keliseh, literally “The Great Church”) is an ancient functioning monastery of the Armenian Apostolic Church located in the mountainous area of Iran’s West Azerbaijan Province, about 20 kilometers from the town of Maku.
The monastery is visible from a distance because of the massiveness of the church, strongly characterized by the polygonal drums and conical roofs of its two domes. There are several chapels nearby: three on the hills east of the stream, one approximately 3km south of the monastery on the road to Bastam, and another that serves as the church for the village of Ghara-Kilise.
One of the 12 Apostles, St. Thaddeus, also known as Saint Jude, (not to be confused with Judas Iscariot), was martyred while spreading the Gospel. He is revered as an apostle of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Legend has it that a church dedicated to him was first built on the present site in AD 68.
Not much appears to remain of the original church, which was extensively rebuilt in 1329 after an earthquake damaged the structure in 1319. Nevertheless, some of the parts surrounding the altar apse date from the 10th century.
Most of the present structure dates from the early 19th century when Qajar prince Abbas Mirza helped in renovations and repairs. The 19th century additions are from carved sandstone. The earliest parts are of black and white stone, hence its Turkic name Kara Kilise, the Black Church.
A fortified wall surrounds the church and its now-abandoned monastery buildings.
In July 2008, the St. Thaddeus monastery was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, along with two other Armenian monuments located in the same province: Saint Stepanos Monastery and the chapel of Dzordzor.
Diamond dust is a ground-level cloud composed of tiny ice crystals. This meteorological phenomenon is also referred to simply as ice crystals and is reported in the METAR code as IC. Diamond dust generally forms under otherwise clear or nearly clear skies, so it is sometimes referred to as clear-sky precipitation. It is most commonly observed in Antarctica and the Arctic, but it can occur anywhere with a temperature well below freezing. In Polar regions diamond dust may continue for several days without interruption.
Diamond dust is similar to fog in that it is a cloud based at the surface; however, it differs from fog in two main ways. Generally fog refers to a cloud composed of liquid water (the term ice fog usually refers to a fog that formed as liquid water and then froze, and frequently seems to occur in valleys with airborne pollution such as Fairbanks, Alaska, while diamond dust forms directly as ice). Also, fog is a dense enough cloud to significantly reduce visibility, while diamond dust is usually very thin and may not have any effect on visibility (there are far fewer crystals in a volume of air than there are droplets in the same volume with fog). However, diamond dust can often reduce the visibility, in some cases to under 600 m (2,000 ft).
The depth of the diamond dust layer can vary substantially from as little as 20 to 30 m (66 to 98 ft) to 300 metres (980 ft). Because diamond dust does not always reduce visibility it is often first noticed by the brief flashes caused when the tiny crystals, tumbling through the air, reflect sunlight to your eye. This glittering effect gives the phenomenon its name since it looks like many tiny diamonds are flashing in the air.
These ice crystals usually form when a temperature inversion is present at the surface and the warmer air above the ground mixes with the colder air near the surface. Since warmer air frequently contains more water vapor than colder air, this mixing will usually also transport water vapor into the air near the surface, causing the relative humidity of the near-surface air to increase. If the relative humidity increase near the surface is large enough then ice crystals may form.
Diamond dust is often associated with halos around the sun (sun dogs) and other related optical phenomena (Greenler, 1999). These result because the diamond dust crystals form directly as simple hexagonal ice crystals — as opposed to freezing drops — and because they generally form slowly. This combination results in crystals with well defined shapes, usually either hexagonal plates or columns. These shapes, like a prism, can refract light in specific directions. Some halos can also be seen under a cirrus cloud, but diamond dust can create much more spectacular displays because the ice crystals are all around the observer.
[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]
Shaolin: A collection of Chinese martial arts that claim affiliation with the Shaolin Monastery. Shaolin Monastery or Shaolin Temple (Chinese: 少林寺; pinyin: Shàolín Sì; Wade–Giles: Shao4-lin2 Szu4, pronounced [ʂɑ̂ʊ̯lǐn sî]; Cantonese Yale: Siulàhm Jí) is a Chán Buddhist temple on Mount Song, near Dengfeng, Zhengzhou, Henan province, China. It is led by Abbot Shi Yongxin. Founded in the fifth century, the monastery is long famous for its association with Chinese martial arts and particularly with Shaolin Kung Fu, and it is the best known Mahayana Buddhist monastery to the Western world.
Pangolin: A beautifully rare animal found in the African bush, the pangolin is covered in scale-like armor. Taken on Karongwe Private Game Reserve, South Africa
A pangolin has large keratin scales covering its skin, and is the only known mammal with this adaptation. It is found naturally in tropical regions throughout Africa and Asia. Comprises eight specie, A number of extinct species are also known. In November 2010, pangolins were added to the Zoological Society of London’s list of genetically distinct and endangered mammals. Two species of pangolin are classified by the IUCN as Endangered species
he physical appearance of a pangolin is marked by large, hardened, plate-like scales. The scales, which are soft on newborn pangolins but harden as the animal matures, are made of keratin, the same material of which human fingernails and tetrapod claws are made. The pangolin’s scaled body is comparable to a pine cone or globe artichoke. It can curl up into a ball when threatened, with its overlapping scales acting as armour and its face tucked under its tail. The scales are sharp, providing extra defense. The front claws are so long they are unsuited for walking, so the animal walks with its fore paws curled over to protect them. Pangolins can also emit a noxious-smelling acid from glands near the anus, similar to the spray of a skunk. Pangolins, though, are not able to spray this acid like skunks.They have short legs, with sharp claws which they use for burrowing into termite and ant mounds, as well as climbing.
The size of pangolins varies by species, ranging from 30 to 100 centimetres (12 to 39 in). Females are generally smaller than males.The tongues of pangolins are extremely elongated and extend into the abdominal cavity. By convergent evolution, pangolins, the giant anteater, and the tube-lipped nectar bat all have tongues which are unattached to their hyoid bone and extend past their pharynx deep into the thorax. This extension lies between the sternum and the trachea. Large pangolins can extend their tongues as much as 40 centimetres (16 in), with a diameter of only 0.5 centimetres (0.20 in).
Bled (German: Veldes) is an Alpine town alongside glacial Lake Bled in northwestern Slovenia. It is the seat of the Municipality of Bled. It is most notable as a popular tourist destination in the Upper Carniola region and in Slovenia as whole, attracting visitors from abroad, as well.
The town was first attested in written sources as Ueldes in 1004 (and as Veldes in 1011). The etymology of the name is unknown and it is believed to be of pre-Slavic origin. The German name of the town, Veldes, was either borrowed from Old Slovene *Beldъ before AD 800 or is derived from the same pre-Slavic source as the Slovene name.
Bled is known for the glacial Lake Bled, which makes it a major tourist attraction. Perched on a rock overlooking the lake is the iconic Bled Castle. The town is also known in Slovenia for its vanilla and cream pastry (Slovene: kremšnita, kremna rezina).
Naturopath Arnold Rikli (1823–1906) from Switzerland contributed significantly to the development of Bled as a health resort in the second half of the 19th century. Due to its mild climate, Bled has been visited by aristocratic guests from all across the world. Today it is an important convention centre and tourist resort, offering a wide range of sports activities (golf, fishing, and horseback-riding). It is a starting point for mountain treks and hikes, especially within nearby Triglav National Park.
A small island in the middle of the lake is home to Assumption of Mary Pilgrimage Church; visitors frequently ring its bell for good luck. Human traces from prehistory have been found on the island. Before the church was built, there was a temple consecrated to Živa, the Slavic goddess of love and fertility. One can get to the island on a traditional flat-bottomed wooden boat (Slovene: pletna). The island on Lake Bled has 99 steps. A local tradition at weddings is for the husband to carry his new bride up these steps, during which the bride must remain silent.
A billboard encouraging secrecy amongst Oak Ridge participants in the Manhattan Project around World War II in 1940s via James E. Westcott by using Three Wise Monkeys. Together they embody the proverbial principle to “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”. The three monkeys are Mizaru, covering his eyes, who sees no evil; Kikazaru, covering his ears, who hears no evil; and Iwazaru, covering his mouth, who speaks no evil. Sometimes there is a fourth monkey depicted with the three others; the last one, Shizaru, symbolizes the principle of “do no evil”. He may be shown crossing his arms or covering his genitals.
There are various meanings ascribed to the monkeys and the proverb including associations with being of good mind, speech and action. In the Western world the phrase is often used to refer to those who deal with impropriety by turning a blind eye.
Just as there is disagreement about the origin of the phrase, there are differing explanations of the meaning of “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.”
- In Buddhist tradition, the tenets of the proverb are about not dwelling on evil thoughts.
- In the Western world both the proverb and the image are often used to refer to a lack of moral responsibility on the part of people who refuse to acknowledge impropriety, looking the other way or feigning ignorance.
- It may also signify a code of silence in gangs, or organised crime.
In the Desert, the Only God is a Well.
~ Vera Nazarian
The Namib is a coastal desert in southern Africa. The name Namib is of Nama origin and means “vast place”. According to the broadest definition, the Namib stretches for more than 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) along the Atlantic coasts of Angola, Namibia, and South Africa, extending southward from the Carunjamba River in Angola, through Namibia and to the Olifants River in Western Cape, South Africa. The Namib’s northernmost portion, which extends 450 kilometres (280 mi) from the Angola-Namibia border, is known as Moçâmedes Desert, while its southern portion approaches the neighboring Kalahari Desert. From the Atlantic coast eastward, the Namib gradually ascends in elevation, reaching up to 200 kilometres (120 mi) inland to the foot of the Great Escarpment. Annual precipitation ranges from 2 millimetres (0.079 in) in the most arid regions to 200 millimetres (7.9 in) at the escarpment, making the Namib the only true desert in southern Africa. Having endured arid or semi-arid conditions for roughly 55-80 million years, the Namib may be the oldest desert in the world.
The desert geology consists of sand seas near the coast, while gravel plains and scattered mountain outcrops occur further inland. The sand dunes, some of which are 300 metres (980 ft) high and span 32 kilometres (20 mi) long, are the second largest in the world after the Badain Jaran Desert dunes in China. Temperatures along the coast are stable and generally range between 9–20 °C (48–68 °F) annually, while temperatures further inland are variable—summer daytime temperatures can exceed 45 °C (113 °F) while nights can be freezing. Fogs that originate offshore from the collision of the cold Benguela Current and warm air from the Hadley Cell create a fog belt that frequently envelops parts of the desert. Coastal regions can experience more than 180 days of thick fog a year. While this has proved a major hazard to ships—more than a thousand wrecks litter the Skeleton Coast—it is a vital source of moisture for desert life.
The Namib is almost completely uninhabited by humans except for several small settlements and indigenous pastoral groups, including the Ovahimba and Obatjimba Herero in the north, and the Topnaar Nama in the central region. Owing to its antiquity, the Namib may be home to more endemic species than any other desert in the world. Most of the desert wildlife is arthropods and other small animals that live on little water, although larger animals inhabit the northern regions. Near the coast, the cold ocean water is rich in fishery resources and supports populations of brown fur seals and shorebirds, which serve as prey for the Skeleton Coast’s lions. Further inland, the Namib-Naukluft National Park, the largest game park in Africa, supports populations of African Bush Elephants, Mountain Zebras, and other large mammals. Although the outer Namib is largely barren of vegetation, lichens and succulents are found in coastal areas, while grasses, shrubs, and ephemeral plants thrive near the escarpment. A few types of trees are also able to survive the extremely arid climate.
Photo: Namibia Aerial by Nina Papiorek
You must not lose faith in humanity.
Humanity is an ocean;
if a few drops of the ocean are dirty,
the ocean does not become dirty.
~ Mahatma Gandhi
My thought: So often we lose hopes when in despair, see darkness all around. This is the moment keeping faith is utmost important.
Silent Night, Loudest Stream,
Sleepless Night, Awaken Dream.
~ Clare Patrick
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is a state park in Monterey County, California near the town of Big Sur on the state’s Central Coast. It covers approximately 1,006 acres (4.071 km2) of land. The park is centered around the Big Sur River. It has been nicknamed a “mini Yosemite.”
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is named after John Pfeiffer, who lived in a cabin on the property beginning in 1884. He was the son of Michael Pfeiffer and Barbara Laquet, the Pfeiffer family immigrated from Germany and were amongst the first European settlers in the area. Many features in Big Sur are named for the descendants of the Pfeiffers.
In 1930, John Pfeiffer had the opportunity to sell his land to a Los Angeles developer for $210,000. The developer wanted to build a subdivision on the land. Instead, Pfeiffer sold 700 acres (2.8 km2) to the state of California in 1933.
“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say”
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
http://shavershots.weebly.com/ Aaron Shaver, a brilliant 15 years old amateur photographer in Staunton, Virginia, USA
To learn to see – to accustom the eye to calmness, to patience, and to allow things to come up to it; to defer judgment, and to acquire the habit of approaching and grasping an individual case from all sides. This is the first preparatory schooling of intellectuality. One must not respond immediately to a stimulus; one must acquire a command of the obstructing and isolating instincts.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols
[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]
Saint Petersburg (Russian: Санкт-Петербург, tr. Sankt-Peterburg, IPA: [sankt pʲɪtʲɪrˈburk] ( )) is a city and a federal subject (a federal city) of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. In 1914 the name of the city was changed from Saint Petersburg to Petrograd (Russian: Петроград, IPA: [pʲɪtrɐˈgrat]), in 1924 to Leningrad (Russian: Ленинград, IPA: [lʲɪnʲɪnˈgrat]), and in 1991, back to Saint Petersburg.
aint Petersburg was founded by the Tsar Peter the Great on May 27 [O.S. 16] 1703. From 1713 to 1728 and from 1732 to 1918, Saint Petersburg was the Imperial capital of Russia. In 1918 the central government bodies moved from Saint Petersburg (then named Petrograd) to Moscow. It is Russia’s second largest city after Moscow with 5 million inhabitants (2012) and the fourth most populated federal subject. Saint Petersburg is a major European cultural center, and also an important Russian port on the Baltic Sea. Saint Petersburg is often described as the most Western city of Russia, as well as its cultural capital. It is the northernmost city in the world to have a population of over one million. The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Saint Petersburg is also home to The Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world. A large number of foreign consulates, international corporations, banks and other businesses are located in Saint Petersburg.
9/11 Memorial (2013) from Brooklyn Bridge Park by Tim Sklyarov
NEW YORK (AP) — The annual beams of light that mark roughly where the twin towers once stood are once again illuminating the New York City skyline. The “Tribute in Light” is a visual memorial to those who were lost on Sept. 11, 2001, and is turned on for every anniversary. The lights go on at sunset on Sept. 11 and go off at dawn on Sept. 12.
The beams, coming from 88 searchlights south of the World Trade Center site, were first put in place six months after the attack and are now a yearly tradition. At full power, the lights can be seen for many miles, depending on the weather.
Francois Nascimbeni/ AFP/Getty Images
Champagne turned to Industrial Alcohol
Vineyards will go to great lengths to stop the bubbles going out of the champagne market. Perfect weather conditions mean the French are expecting a bumper grape harvest. But this could see companies engaging in a grubby price war, which would damage the premium image the industry depends on. Vineyards are hampered, too, by the fact that France has official limits on the quantity of grapes they can store. So, in order to keep prices fizzing, many will be sending their surplus grapes to distilleries to be turned into surgical spirit and the industrial alcohol used in detergents, medicines and printing inks.
Richard Siddle, editor of Harpers Wine & Spirit, says: ‘Champagne houses are among the canniest brand managers in the world, and will take every step to ensure they keep the allure around their champagnes. ‘If that means selling surplus grapes to local distillers, then so be it.’ Oh, but what a waste of those wonderful grapes!
Sunrise at Clare College, Cambridge University by James Appleton
Clare College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England.
The college was founded in 1326, making it the second-oldest surviving college of the University after Peterhouse. Clare is famous for its chapel choir and for its gardens on “the Backs” (the back of the colleges that overlook the River Cam). The current Master is Tony Badger, Paul Mellon Professor of American History.
Clare is consistently one of the most popular Cambridge colleges amongst prospective applicants. As of 2012, it had an endowment of around £65m.
The college was founded in 1326 by the university’s Chancellor, Richard Badew, and was originally named University Hall. Providing maintenance for only two fellows, it soon hit financial hardship. In 1338,