Sunday, November 23, 2014

Fukushima: "All You Really Don't Want To Know"

“Fukushima Equals 6,000 Hiroshima Bombs Today, More Tomorrow;
There is No Place On Earth to Escape the Rad” 
by Bob Nichols, “Veterans Today”

“My opinion only, as requested by Alfred Webre, Dec 28, 2013, 1,024 Days from Mar 11, 2011.

First thing, grasp the difficult concept that this is an ELE or Extinction Level Event. There is no escaping our fate, there are no solutions. 

We can extend our lives somewhat, though. These steps are personal. People can do them or not. You will die quicker, or later, your choice.
1. Take off your shoes and outer ware (coats) when you enter your place.
2. Stay under a protective Roof as much as possible.
3. Filter your water. 
Bonus: Eat foods as low on the food chain as possible that are thought to be less radioactive and eat electrically negatively charged foods each day.

Several people who have heard about Fukushima since the early days are puzzled that so many are “still alive”. Others, in addition to the psychopaths who apparently believe themselves to be immune from radiation poisoning, are those of the EXTEND AND PRETEND strongholds of delusions and galactic thought, along with the ‘end of times’ crowd expecting clouds to part and higher beings to ride in and ‘save us’.” You are going to have to make your own choices. You will live a little longer, or, die sooner by these choices, as will I. No one is exempt. The radioactive particles are all over the world now.

What’s next?  Friends, virtual and non-virtually, have said and asked things like: 

Question: In basic math terms, in comparison to Hiroshima, how much worse is Fukushima and why?”
Answer: Fukushima, now, equals the detonation of 5,910.11 Hiroshima Atomic Bombs or it’s about 6,000 Times worse than the A-Bombing of Japan; and, it is still going strong, with no end in sight. That is equal to 6.45 Hiroshima Atomic Bombs a Day for 916 Days. There are only 336 cities on Earth with more than One Million people. That is the equivalent of 17.5 Hiroshima Atomic Bombs apiece.

Question: In basic math terms, in comparison to Nagasaki, how much worse is Fukushima and why?
Answer: The Nagasaki Bomb was slightly larger; therefore Fukushima equals slightly fewer Nagasaki  Bombs. However, at this point, it makes no difference.

Question:  In basic math terms, in comparison to Chernobyl, how much worse is Fukushima and why?
Answer: At 916 days of growth Fukushima is 14.75 Times bigger than the Chernobyl atomic disaster in 1986. The International Atomic Agency (IAEA) stated: “The accident at Chernobyl was approximately 400 times more potent than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima…” Fukushima so far is 14.75 Times worse than Chernobyl and growing.

Question: In basic non-scientific language, what causes this to be an ELE, Extinction Level Event, and is there any shot at it being reversible?
Answer: Throughout the time humans lived on Earth, humanity has never experienced radiation this high. The radiation and its associated Lethality is very high and will kill everybody. The Radiation’s Lethality will last well past the end of every one’s lifetime. No, there is no shot at reversing the effects and every human on Earth is included.

Question: How long before we are tripping and stumbling over dead-dying bodies?
Answer: In a sense we already are. Human fetuses are the first to die and are typically cremated at the hospital. We just don’t see them. Women, children, already sick people and the elderly infirm are next. Middle aged men are last.

Question: Anything you recommend to lengthen ‘shortened-life spans’?
Answer: No.

Question: Any resources you would direct interested people to?
Answer: No.

Question:  What other questions must be asked when confronted with an Extinction Level Event, and why have any hope whatsoever?”
Answer: Ask what is the published lethality of all of the released isotopes and do not let the Empire paid trolls fool you by using radioactivity numbers; it is the LETHALITY that counts. When you find the numbers for the two Cesium Twins multiply by 14 for the total radiation in a single release from an active reactor core. Multiply the combined Cesium137/134 radioactivity numbers by 5 for the total radioactivity in a single release for old fuel rods. Those will give you a rough idea of the radiation released for that instance. As for “hope,” that is fine, knock yourself out."
Sources and Notes:
1. AIPRI, Thursday, September 5, 2013, “The Bitter Waters of Fukushima Daiichi, by Dr Paolo Scampa, Physicist. AIPI was founded in 1993. The bitter waters of Fukushima-Daiichi. (II)
This is a simple theoretical calculation based on two public data sets 1) 300 m3  groundwater have passed through the Fukushima to leak at sea every day for two and a half years, the other, 2) according to information provided by Kurion that water from the plant is loaded with Cs-137  up to 2 million Bq per milliliter. The product of these two factors gives chills…” http://aipri.blogspot.com/  
2. “Frequently Asked Chernobyl Questions,” Copyright©, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna International Centre, “The accident at Chernobyl was approximately 400 times more potent than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima,” http://www.iaea.org/
“It’s even worse that CNN has reported, a horrific equivalent of radiation equal to 10 Hiroshima’s an hour 24/7 has been pumped into seas for since 3.11.13. That’s equal to about 8,700 Hiroshima’s. Is it any wonder our world is dying? What the Fukushima?!”

“West Coast Residents: Dead Men Walking From Fukushima Radiation”

“2014 Fukushima Radiation Fallout Review:
Fukushima Global Radiation Crisis, USA Radiation Fallout"

Helen Caldicott, MD, “The Horrible Truth About Fukushima”

“Radioactive Water From Fukushima Is Systematically Poisoning The Entire Pacific Ocean”

Dr. Steven Starr, “Fukushima: Cesium-137”
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDgnBqBJZNc

“If any man is able to show me and prove to me that I do not think or act right, I will gladly change, for I seek the truth, by which no man was ever injured. It is only persistence in self delusion and ignorance that does harm.” - Marcus Aurelius

Musical Interlude: Deuter, “Lotus”

Deuter, “Lotus”

"A Look to the Heavens"

“This elegant island universe is cataloged as NGC 2683. It lies a mere 16 million light-years distant toward the northern constellation Lynx. A spiral galaxy comparable to our own Milky Way, NGC 2683 is seen nearly edge-on in the cosmic vista. Blended light from a large population of old, yellowish stars forms the remarkably bright galactic core. Their starlight silhouettes the dust lanes along winding spiral arms, dotted with NGC 2683's young blue star clusters. 
 Click image for larger size.
The sharp image was recorded through the lens of a refracting telescope that shows brighter foreground Milky Way stars as colorful and round, lacking diffraction spikes characteristic of images from reflecting telescopes with internal supports. The many more distant galaxies scattered through the background appear as fuzzy, extended sources.”

"Not For Me..."

"It is not for me to change you. The question is, how can I be of
 service to you without diminishing your degrees of freedom?"
- Buckminster Fuller

"When We Have Time..."

“How small a portion of our life it is that we really enjoy. In youth we are looking forward to things that are to come; in old age, we are looking backwards to things that are gone past; in manhood, although we appear indeed to be more occupied in things that are present, yet even that is too often absorbed in vague determinations to be vastly happy on some future day, when we have time...”
- Charles Caleb Colton, “Lacon”

"The Joy And Glory..."

"Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb."
- Sir Winston Churchill

“The 13th Warrior: Prayers Before Final Battle”

“The 13th Warrior: Prayers Before Final Battle”

Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan: “Merciful Father, I have squandered my days with plans of many things. This was not among them. But at this moment, I beg only to live the next few minutes well. For all we ought to have thought, and have not thought; all we ought to have said, and have not said; all we ought to have done, and have not done; I pray thee God for forgiveness.”


“Lo, there do I see my father.
Lo, there do I see my mother and my sisters, and my brothers.
Lo, there do I see the line of my people back to the beginning.
Lo, they do call to me,
they bid me take my place among them in the Halls of Valhalla,
where the brave may live forever.”

The Poet: David Whyte, “The Sea”

“The Sea”

“The pull is so strong we will not believe
the drawing tide is meant for us,
I mean the gift, the sea,
the place where all the rivers meet.

Easy to forget,
how the great receiving depth
untamed by what we need
needs only what will flow its way.

Easy to feel so far away
and the body so old
it might not even stand the touch.

But what would that be like
feeling the tide rise
out of the numbness inside
toward the place to which we go
washing over our worries of money,
the illusion of being ahead,
the grief of being behind,
our limbs young
rising from such a depth?

What would that be like
even in this century
driving toward work with the others,
moving down the roads
among the thousands swimming upstream,
as if growing toward arrival,
feeling the currents of the great desire,
carrying time toward tomorrow?

Tomorrow seen today, for itself,
the sea where all the rivers meet, unbound,
unbroken for a thousand miles, the surface
of a great silence, the movement of a moment
left completely to itself, to find ourselves adrift,
safe in our unknowing, our very own,
our great tide, our great receiving, our
wordless, fiery, unspoken,
hardly remembered, gift of true longing.”

~ David Whyte
 “Where Many Rivers Meet”
 •
“We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering - these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love - these are what we stay alive for.”
- “Dead Poets Society”

Chet Raymo, “Doing Good”

“Doing Good”
by Chet Raymo

“The New York Sunday Times Magazine had an article about Professor Robert George of Princeton University, a Roman Catholic who has become a leading intellectual light of Catholic bishops and conservatives generally. George has been particularly effective in providing philosophical ammunition against abortion rights, embryonic stem-cell research, and same-sex marriage. It is not my intention to discuss these issues here; there are other more appropriate forums. I would, however, like to comment on the concept of so-called "natural law" that George evokes in support of his philosophical positions - the idea that there are moral laws built into the fabric of nature that can be known by reason alone.

I first encountered natural law in 1958 as a young married graduate student at U.C.L.A. when I went with my new spouse to Newman House (the Catholic student center) for a symposium on contraception. The gist: Since it was the natural law that coitus should lead to conception, any artificial impediment was intrinsically evil. This stricture was not a matter of revelation, but was available to any right reasoning person. My spouse and I were skeptical. After all, it is part of the necessary logic of life that individuals must die; why then is it not immoral to use antibiotics, say, to prolong the pleasure of living.

I am no ethicist or moral philosopher, but nothing I have learned in 77 years suggests that "oughts" are built into nature. Altruism within groups would appear to be part of our biological heritage. A tendency toward violence against those outside the group likely has a genetic component. Surely we are programmed for sexual pleasure, precisely to encourage reproduction. And so on. All of this might reasonably have evolved by natural selection, but "ought" - how exactly might that be imprinted onto nature?

Natural law? We speak of the laws of nature and study them in science. But the laws we have discerned appear to be amoral. An apple falling to the ground is not constrained by ethics.

Which is not to suggest that humans are amoral animals. We are creatures of culture as well as biology. We can aspire to expand group altruism and restrain violence because we have learned that to do so enhances the greater happiness of all. We can endorse the use of contraceptives because it can help alievate abject proverty and disease, or simply to allow individuals sexual pleasure without the unwanted responsibilities of parenthood. We can choose to live by the Golden Rule because we know that our own happiness depends upon the happiness of others.

I like to think that our finest quality as humans is our ability to recognize our genetic inheritance, parse it within a civilized context, and devise personal and collective moral principles by which to live. Indeed, this is what the great religious and secular moral philosophers have been urging all along. The motive is not revelation, or natural law, but a consideration of the common good. And because, for most of us at least, it feels good to do good.”

The Daily "Near You?"

Tangerang, Jawa Barat, Indonesia. Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

"What You Have Not..."

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; 
remember that what you have now was once among the things you only hoped for.”
- Epicurus

"A Long, Melancholy Roar"

"A Long, Melancholy Roar"
by Olivia Judson

"On a recent evening at twilight, I was sitting on the grass in Regent’s Park — one of London’s most manicured public spaces — when I heard the fierce, melancholy sound of a lion’s roar. I wasn’t dreaming: it was coming from the zoo. Listening to it, I began to reflect on predators — and us.

On returning home, I did some reading. I discovered that between 1990 and 2004, lions attacked 815 people in Tanzania, killing 563. Some of the victims were pulled out of bed during the night after lions forced their way inside huts. Between January 2000 and March 2004, crocodiles in Namibia attacked 35 people, killing 23. In the 34 months from January 2005 to October 2007, leopards in the Indian state of Kashmir attacked 18 people, killing 16. In the Sundarban swamps of Bangladesh, tigers killed at least 20 people last year. Dig around, and you can also find records of deaths from attacks by bears, cougars, sharks and a number of other wild beasts.

It’s hard to imagine how terrifying such a death must be. To be asleep in bed and to wake to hear a rustling sound, to see an animal leaping, to feel its breath on your face — think of the sweat, the panic, the contraction of your gut, the pounding of your heart, the gasping screams. For many of our fellow creatures, such terrors are part of daily life: other animals exist in a world of threat that humans today rarely glimpse. These days, thankfully, we are not used to being hunted. Most of us are more likely to be struck by lightning than we are to die at the paws of a bear or the teeth of a shark. And so we spend little time in that dark, primeval place of alarm, fear, adrenaline and (perhaps) gory death. For us, death usually comes in other forms.

Of our ancient enemies, microbes are now the most fearsome. Indeed, next to the figures for viruses and other infectious agents, deaths caused by predators are barely worth mentioning. Just think: HIV/AIDS chalked up 2 million deaths across the planet in 2007 alone; tuberculosis was close behind, with more than 1,700,000. The year before, malaria escorted almost a million people to their graves. We should be far more scared of mosquitoes than we are of bears; but we’re not.

Why not? It’s hard to be sure, but my guess is that it has to do with the way our brains are wired up. Just as the moose fears the wolf and the chickadee the owl, we easily fear lions and bears because the connection between danger and the animal is clear and immediate. It is harder, I suspect, to evolve fear of a mosquito because the deadly fever it brings does not happen straight after the bite. Instead, there is a time delay of days, weeks or years. In fact, the connection between mosquito bites and malarial fever is so obscure that we weren’t sure of it until 1897. But our forebears have been making connections between predators and death for ages.

Although predators are not an important problem for most of us today, they surely were for our ancestors. Indeed, millions of years ago, fear of predators would have been one of the forces that caused our ancestors to evolve to live in groups. The seeds of our social lives were watered with blood and nurtured by the roar of the lion and the claw of the leopard.

More recently, however, it’s been the case that the mammal most likely to kill a human is: a human. Murder and war have long been more important causes of death for us than predatory wild animals. You can see it in the landscape. In northern Romania, monasteries were fortified against marauding armies, and painted inside and out with scenes of martyrs being massacred. Further south, in Transylvania, the churches were fortified to withstand siege. In northern India, almost every town has a fort. Southern France is littered with the ruins of fortified castles and towns. In English forests, you can often find the remnants of iron-age defenses. All traces of peoples defending themselves from attack. We are our own most fearsome predator, and have been so for thousands of years.

Some other animals are also important predators of themselves. A lion has more to fear from another lion than it does from any other animal but us. Males taking over a pride routinely kill all the cubs they can find, and lions from neighboring territories sometimes kill each other. Chimpanzees kill each other at an alarming rate; and they are far more aggressive towards each other on a daily basis than we humans are.

But here’s the thing. Today, in many parts of the world, the human being most likely to cause your violent death is: you. Yes. You are the person most likely to kill yourself violently and on purpose. Suicide rates have risen dramatically over the past 50 years. Worldwide, deaths from suicide now outnumber deaths from war and homicide together: the World Health Organization estimates that each year around one million people — predominantly men — kill themselves. The true number is probably higher, because for many countries there is no data. In some countries, suicide is now among the top ten causes of death. For the young, worldwide, it’s in the top five.

A huge effort has rightly been devoted to trying to understand the particular causes of suicide in different places — unemployment, drug addiction, relationship breakdown, intelligence, predisposing genes, what your mother ate while you were in the womb and so on. But here’s another way to look at it. No other animal does this. Chimpanzees don’t hang themselves from trees, slit their wrists, set themselves alight, or otherwise destroy themselves. Suicide is an essentially human behavior. And it has reached unprecedented levels, especially among the young.

I’m not sure what this means. But it has made me think. We live in a way that no other animal has ever lived: our lifestyle is unprecedented in the history of the planet. Often, we like to congratulate ourselves on the cities we have built, the gadgets we can buy, the rockets we send to the moon. But perhaps we should not be so proud. Something about the way we live means that, for many of us, life comes to seem unbearable, a long, melancholy ache of despair."
Olivia Judson, an evolutionary biologist, is the author of “Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation: The Definitive Guide to the Evolutionary Biology of Sex,” which was made into a three-part television program. Ms. Judson has been a reporter for "The Economist" and has written for a number of other publications, including "Nature," "The Financial Times," "The Atlantic" and "Natural History." She is a research fellow in biology at Imperial College London.

"Why We Need to Dream"

"Why We Need to Dream"
By Jonah Lehrer

"When I can’t sleep, I think about what I’m missing. I glance over at my wife and watch her eyelids flutter. I listen to the steady rhythm of her breath. I wonder if she’s dreaming and, if so, what story she’s telling to herself to pass the time. (The mind is like a shark — it can’t ever stop swimming in thought.) And then my eyes return to the ceiling and I wonder what I would be dreaming about, if only I could fall asleep.

Why do we dream? As a chronic insomniac, I like to pretend that our dreams are meaningless narratives, a series of bad B-movies invented by the mind. I find solace in the theory that all those inexplicable plot twists are just random noise from the brain stem, an arbitrary montage of images and characters and anxieties. This suggests that I’m not missing anything when I lie awake at night — there are no insights to be wrung from our R.E.M. reveries.

While we’re fast asleep, the mind is sifting through the helter-skelter of the day, trying to figure out what we need to remember and what we can afford to forget. Unfortunately for me, there’s increasing evidence that our dreams are not neural babble, but are instead layered with significance and substance. The narratives that seem so incomprehensible — why was I running through the airport in my underwear? — are actually careful distillations of experience, a regurgitation of all the new ideas and insights we encounter during the day.

Look, for instance, at the research of Matthew Wilson,* a neuroscientist at the Picower Institute at M.I.T. In the early 1990’s, Wilson was recording neuron activity in the brains of rats as they navigated a difficult maze. (The machines translated the firing of brain cells into loud, staccato pops.) One day, he left the rats connected to the recording equipment after they completed the task. (Wilson was preoccupied with some data analysis.) Not surprisingly, the tired animals soon started to doze off, slipping into a well-deserved nap. And that’s when Wilson heard something extremely unexpected: although the rats were sound asleep, the sound produced by their brain activity was almost exactly the same as it was when they were running in the maze. The animals were dreaming of what they’d just done.

Wilson has spent the last few decades following up on this important discovery. In a 2001 paper published in Neuron, ** Wilson and Kenway Louie described the behavior of rats that had been trained to run on a circular track. As expected, running on the track generated a distinct pattern of neural firing in the rat hippocampus, a brain area essential for the formation of long-term memory. This is learning at its most fundamental: a flurry of electric cells, trying to make sense of a space. Here’s where things get interesting: as before, Wilson kept the electrodes in place while the rats drifted off to sleep. (The sleep of rats is very human, and consists of distinct stages, including R.E.M.) The scientists examined 45 dreams and found that 20 of the dreams repeated the exact same patterns of brain activity exhibited while running in a circle. In fact, the correlation between the dream and the reality was so close that Wilson could predict the exact position of the rodent on the track while it was asleep. They were decoding the dream as it was being dreamt.

Why does the brain replay experience? Wilson and others argue that the dreaming rats are consolidating their new memories, embedding these fragile traces into the neural network. While we’re fast asleep, the mind is sifting through the helter-skelter of the day, trying to figure out what we need to remember and what we can afford to forget. So why are dreams so much more than literal playbacks of the day just passed? Why the non-sequiturs, the long forgotten characters and the unexplained state of public undress? Wilson speculates that dreams are also an attempt to search for associations between seemingly unrelated experiences, which is why it’s so important for the controlling conscious self to disappear. What does this maze have to do with that maze? How can we use the lessons of today to get more food pellets tomorrow? This suggests that the strangeness of our nighttime narratives is actually an essential feature, as our memories are remixed and reshuffled, a mash-up tape made by the mind.

But wait: for the sleep- and dream-deprived, the news gets even worse. In recent years, scientists have discovered that R.E.M. sleep isn’t just essential for the formation of long-term memories: it might also be an essential component of creativity. In a 2004 paper published in Nature,*** Jan Born, a neuroscientist at the University of Lübeck, described the following experiment: a group of students was given a tedious task that involved transforming a long list of number strings into a new set of number strings. This required the subjects to apply a painstaking set of algorithms. However, Born had designed the task so that there was an elegant shortcut, which could only be uncovered if the subjects saw the subtle links between the different number sets. When left to their own devices, less than 25 percent of people found the shortcut, even when given several hours to mull over the task. However, when Born allowed people to sleep between experimental trials, they suddenly became much more clever: 59 percent of all participants were able to find the shortcut. Born argues that deep sleep and dreaming “set the stage for the emergence of insight” by allowing us to mentally represent old ideas in new ways.

Or look at a recent paper published by Sara Mednick, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Diego. She gave subjects a variety of remote-associate puzzles, which require subjects to find a word that’s associated with three other seemingly unrelated words. (Here’s a sample question: “broken,” “clear” and “eye.” The answer is “glass.”) Then, she instructed the subjects to take a nap. Interestingly, subjects who lapsed into R.E.M. during their nap solved 40 percent more puzzles than they did in the morning, before their brief sleep. (Subjects who quietly rested without sleeping or took a nap without R.E.M. showed a slight decrease in performance.) According to Mednick, the dramatic improvement in creativity is due to the fact that R.E.M. “primes associative networks,” allowing us to integrate new information into our problem-solving approach.

While Freud would certainly celebrate this research — as he predicted, dreams have “a psychological structure … which may be assigned to a specific place in the psychic activities of the waking state” — it’s worth pointing out that the stories we invent while sleeping are much more practical than he imagined. For the most part, they don’t reflect the unleashed id, full of unfulfilled sexual desires. Instead, we dream about what we think about: the mazes and mysteries of everyday life.

All this knowledge about the important roles dreams play in our waking lives is fascinating. But it doesn’t make me feel better about my insomnia. Obviously, my old consolation — dreams are nothing but useless melodramas — is clearly false. And though I eventually do fall asleep, lapsing into what I imagine is a rushed state of R.E.M., I can’t help but be jealous of my wife’s twitching eyelids at 2 a.m. She is busy remembering, processing, refreshing —and I am merely awake."

"Time Passes..."

"Time passes in moments. Moments which, rushing past, define the path of a life, just as surely as they lead towards its end. How rarely do we stop to examine that path, to see the reasons why all things happen? To consider whether the path we take in life is our own making, or simply one into which we drift with eyes closed? But what if we could stop, pause to take stock of each precious moment before it passes? Might we then see the endless forks in the road that have shaped a life? And, seeing those choices, choose another path?"
- Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully, "The X-Files"

"Recharging Your Batteries: Getting Run Down"

"Recharging Your Batteries: Getting Run Down"
by Madisyn Taylor, The DailyOM

"Getting worn out and run down robs you of receiving what you need from the universe. Our natural state of being is vibrant, happy to be alive. Yet, there can be times when we feel run down and worn out. This does not mean that we are lazy or unfit for the tasks in our lives; it means that we need to recharge our batteries and find a way of keeping them charged. Vitamins and extra rest can be very helpful in restoring our physical bodies. And if we are willing to delve deeper, we may discover that there is an underlying cause for our exhaustion.

Whenever you are feeling run down, take an honest look at how you have been thinking, feeling and acting. You will likely find a belief, behavior pattern or even a relationship that is out of alignment with who you really are. Perhaps you believe you have to be perfect at everything or you have been bending over backwards to get people to like you. Maybe you are dealing with mild depression or simply have too much on your plate right now. There may also be people or situations in your life which are draining your energy. Once you get clear on the root cause, you can weed it out and better direct your flow of energy in the future.

In time, you might notice that the reasons you feel run down have less to do with how much you are doing and more to do with the fact that in your heart, you would rather be doing something else entirely. From now on, try and listen to what your heart really wants. It may take meditation, or just a moment of silent tuning in to gain the clarity you need, but it is well worth the effort. When you know what you truly want to do, and honor that in all situations, you will find that getting run down is a thing of the past."

Friday, November 21, 2014

Musical Interlude: Kevin Kern, “Another Realm”

Kevin Kern, “Another Realm” 

"A Look to the Heavens"

“While hunting for comets in the skies above 18th century France, astronomer Charles Messier diligently kept a list of the things he encountered that were definitely not comets. This is number 27 on his now famous not-a-comet list. In fact, 21st century astronomers would identify it as a planetary nebula, but it's not a planet either, even though it may appear round and planet-like in a small telescope. Messier 27 (M27) is an excellent example of a gaseous emission nebula created as a sun-like star runs out of nuclear fuel in its core. The nebula forms as the star's outer layers are expelled into space, with a visible glow generated by atoms excited by the dying star's intense but invisible ultraviolet light. 
 Click image for larger size.
Known by the popular name of the Dumbbell Nebula, the beautifully symmetric interstellar gas cloud is over 2.5 light-years across and about 1,200 light-years away in the constellation Vulpecula. This impressive color composite highlights details within the well-studied central region and fainter, seldom imaged features in the nebula's outer halo. It incorporates broad and narrowband images recorded using filters sensitive to emission from sulfur, hydrogen and oxygen atoms.”

"You Are Who You Are, Not What You Do: Becoming Your Wrong Decisions"

"You Are Who You Are, Not What You Do:
Becoming Your Wrong Decisions"
by The DailyOm

We are not our decisions and no decision is wrong because we made the choice with the information at hand. Our perception of the traits and characteristics that make us who we are is often tightly intertwined with how we live our life. We define ourselves in terms of the roles we adopt, our actions and inactions, our triumphs, and what we think are failures. As a result it is easy to identify so strongly with a decision that has resulted in unexpected negative consequences that we actually become that “wrong” decision. The disappointment and shame we feel when we make what we perceive as a mistake grows until it becomes a dominant part of our identities. We rationalize our “poor” decisions by labeling ourselves incompetent decision-makers. However, your true identity cannot be defined by your choices. Your essence—what makes you a unique entity—exists independently of your decision-making process.

There are no true right or wrong decisions. All decisions contribute to your development and are an integral part of your evolving existence yet they are still separate from the self. A decision that does not result in its intended outcome is in no way an illustration of character. Still, it can have dire effects on our ability to trust ourselves and our self-esteem. You can avoid becoming your decisions by affirming that a “bad decision” was just an experience, and next time you can choose differently. Try to avoid lingering in the past and mulling over the circumstances that led to your perceived error in judgment. Instead, adapt to the new circumstances you must face by considering how you can use your intelligence, inner strength, and intuition to aid you in moving forward more mindfully. Try not to entirely avoid thinking about the choices you have made, but reflect on the consequences of your decision from a rational rather than an emotional standpoint. Strive to understand! Understand why you made the choice you did, forgive yourself, and then move forward. A perceived mistake becomes a valuable learning experience and is, in essence, a gift to learn and grow from. You are not a bad person and you are not your decisions; you are simply human."

"On This Earth..."

  "On this earth as beyond this earth you never are alone,
But are in constant company of things and beings
That take a share in your life as you take a share in theirs.
As you seek them, so they seek you.
As you partake of them, so they partake of you."

- Rumi, “The Book of Mirdad”

"The Happiest Man Alive..."

"I have no money, no resources, no hopes. 
I am the happiest man alive.”
- Henry Miller, "Tropic of Cancer"

The Daily "Near You?"

Compiègne, Picardie, France. Thanks for stopping by.

Chet Raymo, “Finding It Where You Are”; Mary Oliver, “Going To Walden”

“Finding It Where You Are”
by Chet Raymo

“Yes, I've been to Walden. Been there several times, in fact. With students. We sat on the earth at the site of the cabin and read from the book. And the wind stirred the pines, and the hickories, and the oaks, and rippled the pond that shone like silver in the early morning sun. And then, to honor the spirit of the man we came to visit, we sat silently, as if on the stoop of his cabin with friends, knowing that any words, even his own, intruded on the haunting beauty of the place itself.
Walden Pond

Mary Oliver has a poem called "Going To Walden," in which she recounts refusing an invitation to visit the pond, remembering "that far-off Yankee whisper:/ How dull we grow from hurrying here and there!" Going to Walden is not so easy a thing as taking oneself to Concord, she writes. Rather: "It is the slow and difficult/ Trick of living, and finding it where you are."

Maybe so. No, certainly so. And yet, and yet. I don't regret having made the journey, particularly with young people who, like me, are used to hurrying here and there, and who, maybe, just maybe, while sitting in the silence and the shadows of pines, and hickories, and oaks, caught a glimmer of the trick of living that sustained Thoreau in his anchored solitude."

“Going To Walden”
by Mary Oliver

"It isn’t very far as highways lie.
I might be back by nightfall, having seen
The rough pines, and the stones, and the clear water.

Friends argue that I might be wiser for it.
They do not hear that far-off Yankee whisper:
How dull we grow form hurrying here and there!

Many have gone,
and think me half a fool to miss a day away in the cool country.
Maybe.
But in a book I read and cherish,
going to Walden is not so easy a thing as a green visit.
It is the slow and difficult trick of living, and finding it where you are."

"To Survive You Must..."

“To survive you must surrender without giving in, that is to say, fully accept the reality in all its horror and never give up the will to survive. That allows you to quickly adapt to the situation and dedicate yourself to the present moment rather than wallow in denial. As you run out of options and energy you must become resigned to your plight. Like it or not you must make a new mental map of where you are, not where you wish you were. To survive you must find yourself, then it won't matter where you are.
- Laurence Gonzales, “Deep Survival”

"How It Really Is"

ObamaCare: “I’ve Been Stupid, but Not THAT Stupid!”

“I’ve Been Stupid, but Not THAT Stupid!”
by Tom Purcell

“I’ve done my fair share of stupid things over my life. When I was 5, my father told me to stop jumping around the bathtub, but I ignored him. I slipped and hit my head on a ceramic soap dish, which busted into a dozen pieces. I should have been hurt, but my hard, dense noggin didn’t even sustain a bruise. Over the years, I clogged a toilet with an apple core, shattered a picture window with a baseball and hit a golf ball through a neighbor’s window (I fled, was later apprehended, and had to mow a lot of lawns to pay my father back for the cost of a new window).

In my teen years, with my testosterone raging, I did many more stupid things — mostly with my father’s cars. I delighted in smoking the wheels off our 1979 Ford Pinto — it was one of the few equipped with a powerful six-cylinder motor — as I mimicked Jim Rockford maneuvers. And I nearly had a head-on collision with our parish priest while cutting through the church parking lot to avoid a red light. As I sped onto Baptist Road, I was horrified to see, in my rear-view mirror, that Father Kram had turned around and was in hot pursuit. He caught up with me a few miles later, recorded my license plate number, tracked down my name at the police department, then let me have it on the way into Mass the following Sunday.

To be sure, much of my stupidity revolved around cars — such as the time, in my late 20s, when I was duped by what I later learned was a convicted con man. I was broke and had to sell an MGB convertible I had recently restored. The fellow looked it over and told me he would buy it if it checked out with his mechanic. He looked 40-ish and had arrived in a brand-new Infiniti. His clothes were impeccable. He was masterful at telling me exactly what I wanted to hear. I handed him the keys without hesitation. The next day, when I arrived home from work, however, my garage door was open, my British sports car gone. As it turns out, the fellow didn’t drive my car to his mechanic. He drove it to a hardware store, where he had a key made.

If only that had been the peak of my stupidity — but I was just getting warmed up. Shortly after buying my first house in my early 30s, I built a planter in front of the house. I tore out some old shrubs and came across a nest of very aggressive ground bees. The fellow at the hardware store told me to pour a half-cup of gasoline into the hole. I figured if a half-cup was good, two full cups would be better. And what good is gasoline if you don’t ignite it? I lit a match, but before I could throw it into the nest, I heard “Wooooooooooof!” You see, “Wooooooooooof!” is the sound gasoline makes when it ignites. It ignites because gasoline gives off fumes and gasoline fumes ARE FLAMMABLE! I barely managed to douse the incredible flame before it caught my house on fire.

To be sure, I have done my fair share of stupid things over the years: poor financial decisions, bad career moves, pursuing women who were bad for me. So why would I publicly share some of the many stupid things I have done? Because as stupid as I have been, I never once fell for the many promises, deceptions and outright lies of ObamaCare before it was foisted on the nation. I have been stupid, but not THAT stupid.”
- http://www.cagle.com/

"Your 'Children Will Be Fined' If You Fail To Sign Up For Obamacare: People Are Going To Be In for A Shock"

"Your 'Children Will Be Fined' If You Fail To Sign Up For Obamacare:
 People Are Going To Be In for A Shock"
by Mac Slavo

"Free and affordable health care just gets better and better. In 2015 the government will be activating some new “incentives” embedded in the Affordable Care Act in an effort to get more people to sign up. But, as is often the case when the government says one thing, they mean exactly the opposite. In this case, when they say incentive what they really mean is that you are going to be penalized if you fail to acquire government mandated health insurance. But not just you. Your children, who apparently no longer belong to you anyway based on a recent court ruling, will be fined for your failure to get them on the insurance rolls:

"Penalties for failing to secure a health-insurance plan will rise steeply next year, which could take a big bite out of some families’ pocketbooks. “The penalty is meant to incentivize people to get coverage,” said senior analyst Laura Adams of InsuranceQuotes.com. “This year, I think a lot of people are going to be in for a shock.”

In 2014, Obamacare’s first year, individuals are facing a penalty of $95 per person, or 1 percent of their income, depending on which is higher. If an American failed to get coverage this year, that penalty will be taken out of their tax refund in early 2015, Adams noted. While that might be painful to some uninsured Americans who are counting on their tax refunds in early 2015, the penalty for going uninsured next year is even harsher. The financial penalty for skipping out on health coverage will more than triple to $325 per person in 2015, or 2 percent of income, depending on whichever is higher. Children will be fined at half the adult rate, or $162.50 for those under 18 years old." Source: CBS News

So, that’s your incentive. Either sign up for Obamacare at a rate of roughly $750 a month or more for a middle-class family of four, or pay a $325 penalty or two percent of your income, whichever is higher. Plus, if you have kids, they’ve been incentivized too! Moreover, if you fail to sign up for Obamacare and subsequently refuse to pay your penalty your house will be raided by armed IRS agents, seized by the government, and you’ll be imprisoned for tax evasion.

Welcome to the new America, where the government now has the power to compel you to purchase products from private companies under the threat of imprisonment or death. Yes, death. Because if you run from those armed IRS agents they’re going to use their brand new militarized AR-15′s to ensure your compliance.

At this point the only chance Americans have for the complete destruction of the Affordable Care Act is for a Supreme Court ruling expected in the Spring of 2015. If the court rules against Obamacare over its illegal federal subsidies then the law could fall apart almost instantly. These days, even democrats who supported the legislation before anyone had a chance to actually review it are up in arms. It seems many have finally realized that free health care isn’t actually, well, free.

"Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura are big believers in the Affordable Care Act. They vote independent and are proud to say they helped elect and re-elect President Barack Obama. Yet, like many other Bay Area residents who pay for their own medical insurance, they were floored last week when they opened their bills: Their policies were being replaced with pricier plans that conform to all the requirements of the new health care law. “Of course, I want people to have health care,” Vinson said. “I just didn’t realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally.” Source: Democrat Voters Confused via Mercury News

Suckers, the whole lot of them. Unfortunately, they supported legislative action that will eventually unravel the entire economic fabric of the United States of America unless it is repealed or overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Greg Hunter, "Weekly News Wrap-Up, 11/21/14"

"Weekly News Wrap-Up, 11/21/14"
By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

"President Obama, who many are now calling emperor, has made millions of illegal aliens legal with the stroke of his pen. Some in Congress say the time is up and something had to be done, but that is not how our government works. Obama says he is within his power, while Republicans in the House and Senate say the Constitution clearly says he is not. Expect another flood of illegal immigration on the southern border. Who is going to pay for all this welfare? What about the high unemployment rates among black youth already? I don’t think Obama or the Democrats care about these folks. The Democratic Party has such bad policies they do not want to change that they have resorted to importing millions of desperate future voters. This way, they can keep going with bad policies that most Americans do not like or want. Even Oregon, the bluest of blue states, overwhelmingly voted down giving illegal immigrants driver’s licenses.

The President went on TV to explain his unconstitutional amnesty plan for illegals, and the first thing I thought about was Obama Care. I no longer believe a single word the President says. I am sure I am not alone. Did Obama explain his illegal immigration policy the way he explained Obama Care? That is now the biggest policy fraud in U.S. history with many, many concocted lies that the President and Democrat leaders crafted with the help of Jonathan Gruber. By the way, the enormous policy lie to get Obama Care passed is what folks need to focus on, not that Gruber repeatedly called American voters “stupid.”

Violence has erupted again in Israel. This time, it is at a synagogue where five people, including some rabbis, were killed by gun and meat cleaver wielding Palestinians. The attackers were killed, but the violence is far from over. The fight is concerning a holy site in Jerusalem. It is really one that both Jews and Muslims claim. The battle is ongoing and, at its heart, is really about land and who has a right to be on it. This is going to get much worse before it gets better and turn in to all-out war.

In Ferguson, Missouri, the Governor activated a State of Emergency and called in the National Guard on Tuesday of this week. I guess that was the big tipoff that Officer Wilson would not be charged by a Grand Jury in the Michael Brown shooting case. Weeks ago, the Holder Justice Department also gave us a tipoff when it said it would not pursue civil rights charges against Officer Wilson. The local news here in Missouri gave many more details than you heard on national media. For example, there was lots of blood evidence inside Wilson’s patrol car. The blood was from Brown. Also, tens of thousands of dollars have already been raised via internet groups that are supposed to be used if Wilson is prosecuted for the death of Brown.

Finally, the drought in the Midwest is nonexistent. In fact, the farmers here complained there was too much rain, and that damaged some of the crops at harvest time. Still, farmers had a good year. Out west is a totally different story, particularly California. Everybody thinks of Hollywood and moving making in the Golden State, but agriculture is very big there. All parts of California are in some sort of drought level. About 75% of the state is suffering from the highest drought level, and there is no end in sight. It will affect the rest of the country and the world in terms of food and food prices."

Join Greg Hunter as he analyzes these stories and more in the Weekly News Wrap-Up.