Saturday, June 23, 2018

Musical Interlude: 2002, “Higher Destination”

2002, “Higher Destination”

"Thucydides in the Underworld"

"Thucydides in the Underworld"
by J. R. Nyquist
"Master, what gnaws at them so hideously their lamentation stuns the very air?" 
"They have no hope of death," he answered me..." - Dante Alighieri, "The Inferno"

"The shade of Thucydides, formerly an Athenian general and historian, languished in Hades for 24 centuries; and having intercourse with other spirits, was perturbed by an influx into the underworld of self-described historians professing to admire his History of the Peloponnesian War. They burdened him with their writings, priding themselves on the imitation of his method, tracing the various patterns of human nature in politics and war. He was, they said, the greatest historian; and his approval of their works held the promise that their purgatory was no prologue to oblivion.

As the centuries rolled on, the flow of historians into Hades became a torrent. The later historians were no longer imitators, but most were admirers. It seemed to Thucydides that these were a miserable crowd, unable to discern between the significant and the trivial, being obsessed with tedious doctrines. Unembarrassed by their inward poverty, they ascribed an opposite meaning to things: thinking themselves more “evolved” than the spirits of antiquity. Some even imagined that the universe was creating God. They supposed that the "most evolved" among men would assume God’s office; and further, that they themselves were among the “most evolved.”

Thucydides longed for the peace of his grave, which posthumous fame had deprived him. As with many souls at rest, he took no further interest in history. He had passed through existence and was done. He had seen everything. What was bound to follow, he knew, would be more of the same; but after more than 23 centuries of growing enthusiasm for his work, there occurred a sudden falling off. Of the newly deceased, fewer broke in upon him. Quite clearly, something had happened. He began to realize that the character of man had changed because of the rottenness of modern ideas. Among the worst of these, for Thucydides, was that barbarians and civilized peoples were considered equal; that art could transmit sacrilege; that paper could be money; that sexual and cultural differences were of no account; that meanness was rated noble, and nobility mean.

Awakened from the sleep of death, Thucydides remembered what he had written about his own time. The watchwords then, as now, were "revolution" and "democracy." There had been upheaval on all sides. "As the result of these revolutions," he had written, "there was a general deterioration of character throughout the Greek world. The simple way of looking at things, which is so much the mark of a noble nature, was regarded as a ridiculous quality and soon ceased to exist. Society had become divided into two ideologically hostile camps, and each side viewed the other with suspicion."

Thucydides saw that democracy, once again, imagined itself victorious. Once again traditions were questioned as men became enamored of their own prowess. It was no wonder they were deluded. They landed men on the moon. They had harnessed the power of the atom. It was no wonder that the arrogance of man had grown so monstrous, that expectations of the future were so unrealistic. Deluded by recent successes, they could not see that dangers were multiplying in plain view. Men built new engines of war, capable of wiping out entire cities, but few took this danger seriously. Why were men so determined to build such weapons? The leading country, of course, was willing to put its weapons aside. Other countries pretended to put their weapons aside. Still others said they weren't building weapons at all, even though they were.

Would the new engines of destruction be used? Would cities and nations be wiped off the face of the earth? Thucydides knew the answer. In his own day, during an interval of unstable peace, the Athenians had exterminated the male population of the island of Melos. Before doing this the Athenian commanders had came to Melos and said, "We on our side will use no fine phrases saying, for example, that we have a right to our empire because we defeated the Persians, or that we have come against you now because of the injuries you have done us - a great mass of words that nobody would believe." The Athenians demanded the submission of Melos, without regard to right or wrong. As the Athenian representative explained, "the strong do what they have the power to do and the weak accept what they have to accept." The Melians were shocked by this brazen admission. They could not believe that anyone would dare to destroy them without just cause. In the first place, the Melians threatened no one. In the second place, they imagined that the world would be shocked and would avenge any atrocity committed against them. And so the Melians told the Athenians: "in our view it is useful that you should not destroy a principle that is to the general good of all men - namely, that in the case of all who fall into danger there should be such a thing as fair play and just dealing. And this is a principle which affects you as much as anybody, since your own fall would be visited by the most terrible vengeance and would be an example to the world."

The Athenians were not moved by the argument of Melos; for they knew that the Spartans generally treated defeated foes with magnanimity. "Even assuming that our empire does come to an end," the Athenians chuckled, "we are not despondent about what would happen next. One is not so much frightened of being conquered by a power [like Sparta]." And so the Athenians destroyed Melos, believing themselves safe - which they were. The Melians refused to submit, praying for the protection of gods and men. But these availed them nothing, neither immediate relief nor future vengeance. The Melians were wiped off the earth. They were not the first or the last to die in this manner.

There was one more trend that Thucydides noted. In every free and prosperous country he found a parade of monsters: human beings with oversized egos, with ambitions out of proportion to their ability, whose ideas rather belied their understanding than affirmed it. Whereas, there was one Alcibiades in his own day, there were now hundreds of the like: self-serving, cunning and profane; only they did not possess the skills, or the mental acuity, or beauty of Alcibiades. Instead of being exiled, they pushed men of good sense from the center of affairs. Instead of being right about strategy and tactics, they were always wrong. And they were weak, he thought, because they had learned to be bad by the example of others. There was nothing novel about them, although they believed themselves to be original in all things.

Thucydides reflected that human beings are subject to certain behavioral patterns. Again and again they repeat the same actions, unable to stop themselves. Society is slowly built up, then wars come and put all to ruin. Those who promise a solution to this are charlatans, only adding to the destruction, because the only solution to man is the eradication of man. In the final analysis the philanthropist and the misanthrope are two sides of the same coin. While man exists he follows his nature. Thucydides taught this truth, and went to his grave. His history was written, as he said, "for all time." And it is a kind of law of history that the generations most like his own are bound to ignore the significance of what he wrote; for otherwise they would not re-enact the history of Thucydides. But as they become ignorant of his teaching, they fall into disaster spontaneously and without thinking. Seeing that time was short, and realizing that a massive number of new souls would soon be entering the underworld, the shade of Thucydides fell back to rest."

"We Are What We Repeatedly Do..."

"The Most Important Theory In The World"

"The Most Important Theory In The World"
by Daniel Carter

"The rise of populism and overall political unrest has many people concerned about future of the Western world. About three years ago, it became clear to me that we were headed down a dangerous and chaotic path. This inspired me to relentlessly pursue a greater understanding of history, specifically what history may be indicating about our future. This article is about the most important “scientific history” theory I have come across: Thucydides Trap.

Thucydides was an Athenian historian and general who lived from 460 BC to 400 BC. During the Peloponnesian War (431 – 404 BC) between the Athenians and Spartans, Thucydides made a startling observation about the nature of warfare. He noticed that when a rising power threatens to displace an established power, war is almost always the result. As he explained in his book History of the Peloponnesian War, “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.”

Thucydides’ theory (I.e. Thucydides Trap) has captured the attention of statesmen, war strategists and many other great thinkers. Ever since he put his thoughts on paper, Thucydides Trap has been an incredibly accurate predictor of war. Over the past 500 years, there have been 16 instances where a rising power threatened to displace an established power. Out of the 16 instances, 12 resulted in war.
Click image for larger size.
So, why is this theory so important today? Well, we’re about to experience another instance where an emerging power threatens to displace an established power. The US has ruled the world for arguably more than 100 years, but definitely since the end of WWII. For the first time in a very long time, an emerging power (China) threatens to knock the US off its pedestal. We can see China quickly closing the gap in economic sizemilitary strength and overall international influence.

For those that wish to maintain peace, the news gets worse. Physical warfare is often preceded by economic warfare, and the US and China are already fully engaged in the latter. The US has maintained power by establishing the US Dollar as the most used currency in the world. This allows them to print money at will. China is now challenging this system. The US and China are now engaged in a trade (tariff) war as well. It’s hard to know exactly who will benefit most from the trade war in the short-run, but it will surely increase hostilities between the two countries.

If the theory of Thucydides Trap holds true, we are approaching extremely difficult times. Will cooler heads prevail? Will our greatest minds be able to avert such a disaster? Will nukes act as the deterrent we need to avoid lengthy and costly war? We will all find out very soon.”

"Fukushima Update 6/23/18: 17,131.2 Hiroshima Bombs Today, More Tomorrow"

"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”
- Shiva

Updated June 23, 2018: Fukushima Equals 17,131.2 Hiroshima Bombs Today, More Tomorrow; There is No Place On Earth to Escape the Rad: The 3 melted-through cores of the destroyed reactors, now melted together into a single "corium" totaling over 600 tons, at Fukushima daily release the radioactive equivalent of 6.45 Hiroshima bombs directly into the atmosphere and the Pacific Ocean. As of June 23, 2018 - 2,656 days since the disaster began - this equals the detonation of 17,131.2 Hiroshima atomic bombs and it is still going strong, with no end in sight, considering that the half-life of uranium-238 is about 4.47 billion years and that of uranium-235 is 704 million years. There is no technology on this planet to deal with this situation. Any "news" they allow you to see about "repairing" the damage is a LIE, and they know it. Now you do, too. 

There are only 336 cities on Earth with more than one million people. That is the equivalent of 50.98 Hiroshima atomic bombs apiece. Now add a minimum of 600 tons per day of highly radioactive ground and "coolant" water flowing directly into the Pacific Ocean, as it has for the last 2,656 days. This coolant water is not cooling down the reactor cores, since they've melted through already. What they are cooling is the many thousands of fuel rods stored in the ruined cooling pools directly above the now-empty reactor core chambers. If those rods are not cooled they will ignite and burn - a total catastrophe in itself.


You have an absolute right to be fully aware of this information, which is intended to inform, not frighten, you, though a full understanding of this situation is terrifying. Do your own research, consider and see with your own eyes the many mass Pacific die-off videos on YouTube. Verify all the information, and, as always, draw your own informed conclusions as to the consequences. - CP


Latest publication, as available:
"Your Radiation This Week, June 23, 2018"
by Bob Nichols

"First thing, grasp the difficult concept that this is an ELE or Extinction Level Event. The deadly meltdown and dispersion of radioactive fuel throughout the world is on-going to this day. There is no escaping our fate, there are no solutions. No one is exempt. The radioactive particles are all over the world now. The Rad lethality will continue to increase because that is what Rad lethality does. The simple reason is some of the uranium decays to plutonium. When that happens the Rad count increases. Once set free, the change cannot be altered or stopped by anyone or anything. The Rad is the ultimate power and its mission is to kill You.

Lethality: There are 1,946 radioactive isotopes according to the Oak Ridge Nuclear Weapons Lab. In the Earth’s atmosphere all are produced by nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants. There are no other sources. Lethality is the power to kill and injure. It exists and is measured by humans in deaths and in calculations. The perfectly odd thing about radiation is the Lethality goes up while the radioactivity goes down. That has killed many a person who only counted the radioactivity. This is perfectly logical when you recognize radioactive Isotopes change from one Isotope to another for billions of years. The Isotope Uranium changes to Plutonium and many others. Plutonium is the ultimate killing machine, so bad that the Medical Director of the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab, Dr. John Gofman, said “Plutonium 239 is the most dangerous substance in the universe.”

All of life on Earth is radioactive by now and it only took about 70 years. This is a planetary Death Sentence for all. Everyone is included. There is no way out. There is nothing we can do to stop it. The Rad will take us all out. Yeah, that includes all of us; plus the life driving around in our air, lakes, rivers and oceans. The Rad also nails the long lived remnants of the dinosaurs; y’know, the birds. They don’t have a prayer. All of us are included; none are left out. That is reality, anything else is just wishful thinking or a purposeful lie. The amount of Rad in the air now dooms Humanity to a relatively quick extinction. Done in by our own war toys, how moronic is that?! I can’t say it any plainer than that." 

I added a new measurement that will help residents understand the Rad. The Rad is with us all 24/7 constantly. It never goes away. It is better to know what the Rad level is than to not know. Be prepared for a shock, these Year to Date totals are really big radiation numbers. Colorado Springs, Colorado is number one in the US right now having endured 46,136,977 Gamma CPM, or Counts per Minute, since January 1, 2017." This is a Bad situation for all exposed to the Rad. Now included all cities above 12,000,000 CPM Year to Date [YTD] of deadly Gamma Radiation and its unpublished radioactive kin. A Count is One Radioactive Decay.

The United States is a very radioactive country. Records of Total Gamma Radiation are easily accessible with a computer at RadNet, a directorate of the EPA. RadNet simply presents the data. It is up to you to decide how much radiation is too much and what to do about it. Good luck on your efforts. As they say, “It’s complicated.”

I won’t try to kid you with good news lies and made up “facts.” Bottom-line, this is way too much radiation for humans to take. I despise the people-like animals responsible for this world wide calamity. I will continue the report as long as I am able. Continue to read and share as long as you are able. I will measure and characterize our shared demise to the best of my ability."
Click image for larger size.
“Your Radiation This Week”, June 23, 2018
Posted as available.
"Table of Poisoned American Cities, Total Gamma Radiation Year to Date, 
CPM and nanoSieverts by City and State." 
"Million a Week Club: USA Total Gamma Rad, Plus Annual Rad Totals 
Since 2006 Table of Poisoned American Cities"
"Aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, 100 miles offshore of Fukushima: "During that March 13 phone call, Cleveland wrote, Troy Mueller - the deputy administrator for naval reactors at the US Department of Energy - said the radiation was the equivalent of “about 30 times what you would detect just on a normal air sample out at sea.” “So it's much greater than what we had thought,” Mueller reportedly warned other American officials after taking samples on the Reagan. “We didn't think we would detect anything at 100 miles.” After Mueller made that remark, according to Cleveland’s transcript, Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman asked him if those levels were “significantly higher than anything you would have expected.” He responded yes. When Poneman later asked Mueller, “How do the levels detected compare with what is permissible?” Mueller said those on the scene could suffer irreversible harm from the radiation within hours. “If it were a member of the general public, it would take- well, it would take about 10 hours to reach a limit,” he said. At that point, Mueller added, “It’s a thyroid dose issue.” If people are exposed to levels beyond the Protective Action Guideline threshold released by the Energy Department, Cleveland acknowledged in his report, radiation could have ravaged their thyroid glands."
"German Analysis of Certain Isotopes after Meltdown: Hold on to your hat. In 1992 Germany calculated that in reactor meltdowns like Fukushima Daiichi the radioactive isotope Strontium 90 would aggressively poison the environment for 109.2 years and then decline slowly over the next 273 years. Of course, we will ALL be long dead by then. Other deadly Rad isotopes put Strontium 90’s generous life span to shame. The German study is here for those brave enough to tackle it. Source: The IAEA: Dispersion of radionuclides and radiation exposure after leaching by groundwater of a solidified core-concrete melt by Bayer, A.; Tromm, W.; Al-Omari, I. (Kernforschungszentrum Karlsruhe (Germany)) from 8. International congress of the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA8)"
"What We Know Now about Fukushima" 
by Bob Nichols

"Here is what was known 75 days after reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Reactor Plant started a disastrous and lethal nuclear meltdown on March 11, 2011:

• March 11, 14:46, a One Million Kiloton Earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter Scale hammered Japan off-shore near the six Japanese reactors. The reactors attempted to shut down automatically when electronic sensors detected the earthquake. The huge earthquake dropped the reactors three feet, moved Japan 8 inches to the West and altered the tilt of the Axis of planet Earth.

• March 11, about 15:30, the giant Earthquake caused a tsunami up to 30 meters (98.4 Ft) high washed away all the fuel tanks for the reactors Emergency Generators and all the reactors’ outside electrical feeds. This was the Death Blow to the reactors. The Fukushima Daiichi reactors were dead in the water and their fate sealed. Without an external source of electricity for the water pumps and hot reactors, they are just so much radioactive scrap iron – good for nothing. The internal temperature of the reactors started climbing immediately.

• March 11, about 18:00, only two and a half hours later, multiple reactor cores started melting down as the reactors internal temperatures skyrocketed to the melting point of uranium and beyond – a measured 1,718 Deg C (3,124.4 Deg F) past the melting point. Uranium melts at 1,132.2 Deg C (2,069.9 Deg F.) The internal reactor temperatures reached at least 2,850 Deg C, (5,162 Deg F.) The millions of 1 mm Uranium fuel pellets in the reactors and in the core pools had no defense at all without the powerful water pumps and millions of gallons of cooling water against those temperatures.

The Uranium pellets simply melted forming a white hot lava-like radioactive uranium isotope blob that then burned through the high temperature steel around the graphite seals of the General Electric Mark 1 Reactor Control Rods at the bottom of the American submarine-based reactor design of US Navy Admiral Hyman Rickover, now deceased. (General Electric copied the US Government financed Navy nuclear reactor design for many commercial nuclear reactors.) The radioactive blobs trickled together to form a huge, highly radioactive, burning lava blob like that of Chernobyl, called a "corium".

• The corium is releasing as much as a TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) measured 10 Quadrillion (10,000 Trillion Bq) radioactive counts per second of deadly radioactive smoke particles into the Earth’s atmosphere. As of May, 2011, the invisible, killing radioactive smoke is already all over the Northern Hemisphere and everyone in it – each and every one – is radiologically contaminated. Note that the lethality of radioactive reactor cores goes up the first 250,000 years they are out of the reactor – not down.

• This much is known. All radioactive exposures are cumulative for each human, animal and plant. What’s more, mutated genetic codes are passed on to offspring forever. This means all Japanese and all Northern Hemisphere inhabitants are suffering internal radioactive contamination from Fukushima Daiichi reactors already."

Fukushima Equals 3,000 Billion Lethal Doses: Dr Paolo Scampa, a widely know EU Physicist, single handedly popularized the easily understood Lethal Doses concept. “Lethal Doses” is a world wide, well understood idea that strips Physics bare and offers a brilliant, understandable explanation for all the physics gobbledygook Intelligence agencies and their respective governments use to disguise the brutal truths of the Fukushima Daiichi Disaster. Three thousand billion (3,000,000,000,000) (3 Trillion) Lethal Doses of Radiation means there are 429 Lethal Doses chasing each and every one of us on the planet, to put it in a nutshell."

A Search of this blog will reveal over 400 posts about Fukushima, covered since day one. This is to inform you, not frighten you, since there's nothing whatsoever we can do about it anyway, and you'll never in your life hear anything about it in the money-whore MSM. Believe what you will, and need to. 
- CP

"The Latest Casualty In The Global Pension Catastrophe Is…"

"The Latest Casualty In The Global Pension Catastrophe Is…"
by Simon Black

"In the year 6 AD, the Roman emperor Augustus set up a special trust fund known as the aerarium militare, or military treasury, to fund retirement pensions for Rome’s legionnaires. Now, these military pensions had already existed for several centuries in Rome. But the money to pay them had always been mixed together in the government’s general treasury. So for hundreds of years, mischievous senators could easily grab money that was earmarked for military pensions and redirect it elsewhere.

Augustus wanted to end this practice by setting up a special fund specifically for military pensions. And to make sure there would be no meddling from any government officials, Augustus established a Board of Trustees, consisting of former military commanders, to oversee the fund’s operations. Augustus really wanted this pension fund to last for the ages. And to keep a steady inflow of revenue, he established a 5% inheritance tax in Rome that would go directly to the aerarium militare. He even capitalized the fund with 170,000,000 sesterces of his own money, worth about half a billion dollars in today’s money.

But as you can probably already guess, the money didn’t last. Few subsequent governments and emperors ever bothered themselves with balancing the fund’s long-term fiscal health. And several found creative ways to plunder it for their own purposes. Within a few centuries, the fund was gone.

This is a common theme throughout history… and still today: pension funds are almost invariably mismanaged to the point of catastrophe. We’ve written about this topic frequently in the past. It’s one of the biggest financial catastrophes of our time. Congress has even formed a committee that’s preparing for massive pension failures.

And here’s another, very recent example: the city of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania is deep in the red with its police pension fund. According to the Pennsylvania state auditor, the pension was 65.7% funded in 2011, i.e. the fund had enough assets to pay about two-thirds of its long-term obligations. Now, that alone should have been enough to sound the alarm bells.

But by 2013, two years later, the fund’s solvency rate had dropped to 49.7%. And by 2015, it was just 38.5%. Incredible. 38.5%. At that level, there’s simply no chance the city will ever be able to meet its obligations to retired police officers.

A few years ago, city politicians took notice of this enormous funding gap and tried to take some small steps to patch it up. Specifically, the city proposed excluding an officer’s overtime in the calculation of his/her pension benefit. It was a small change and certainly wouldn’t solve the bigger problem. But it would at least buy the fund a few more years of solvency.

So naturally the union sued. And earlier this month a Pennsylvania court ruled against the city, i.e. Wilkes-Barre must continue calculating pension benefits the old way. This helps no one; it only accelerates the demise of an already insolvent pension.

Oh, and it’s not just their police pension either. Wilkes-Barre’s pension for firefighters is hardly better off, just 46.1% funded. Unfortunately, these pension problems aren’t unique to Wilkes-Barre. City and state pension funds across the country… and the world… are in similar, dire straits.

The city of San Diego has a $6.25 billion shortfall on obligations promised to current and retired employees. The State of New Jersey has $90 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. And of course, Social Security has unfunded liabilities totaling tens of trillions of dollars.

The situation isn’t any different in Europe. Spain’s Social Security Reserve Fund has been heavily invested in Spanish government bonds for several years– bonds that had an average yield of NEGATIVE 0.19%. You read that correctly. Unsurprisingly, Spain’s pension fund is almost fully depleted.

The United Kingdom has trillions of pounds worth of unfunded public pensions. Even conservative Switzerland has a public pension that’s only 69% funded – a seemingly fantastic number by today’s dismal standards. Last year, the Swiss government proposed a plan to save its pensions, asking to increase the retirement age for women by one year (from 64 to 65, the same as men), and increase VAT by 0.3%. But the plan was rejected by Swiss voters in a national referendum– the third time in 20 years that pension reform failed to pass.

And that’s really the key issue here: pension plans are almost universally toast. Most of the time, politicians just ignore the problem and try to kick the can down the road to the next administration. But occasionally they try to do something to help. Yet whenever they do… voters reject the plan. Or the union sues. Or something else happens that prevents much-needed reforms from passing.

This merely accelerates the inevitable: these pensions are going bust. I’m not trying to be sensational– these are mathematical realities echoed by the officials who oversee these funds. For Wilkes-Barre’s police pension, it’s the Pennsylvania State Auditor who says the program is only 38.5% funded.

With Social Security, it’s the United States Secretary of the Treasury who says the program’s trust funds will soon be depleted. Social Security even provides a date, like the expiration on a carton of milk, after which Social Security will go bad.

These warnings are all publicly available information, not some wild conspiracy theory. And that’s really what they are: warnings. At this point, continuing to believe that these pensions will be solvent forever is completely ludicrous. The only rational option is to take matters into your own hands. For example:

– Start saving more. You’d be shocked at what an enormous difference it can make to save an extra $1,000 per year when compounded over several decades.

– Learn to be a better investor. Averaging an additional 1% annual return for your retirement savings can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of 20-30 years.

– Consider a more robust retirement structure like a Solo 401(k) or self-directed SEP IRA that allows you a greater breadth of investment options– everything from real estate to crypto to private equity.

– And it may even be possible to stash $50,000+ per year in self-employment “side” income, (selling products on Amazon, driving for Uber, etc.) into that retirement account.

The signs are clear… anyone depending on social security or a pension for their retirement is in trouble. It’s time to take this issue into your own hands."

Friday, June 22, 2018

Musical Interlude: Tron Syversen, “Moonlight Reflections”

Tron Syversen, “Moonlight Reflections”

"Two Trillion Galaxies, at the Very Least”

Click image for larger size.
"Two Trillion Galaxies, at the Very Least”
by Henry Fountain

The scale of the universe, already unfathomable, just became even more so: There are about 10 times as many galaxies as previously thought. The new number, two trillion galaxies, is the result of work led by Christopher J. Conselice, an astrophysicist at the University of Nottingham in England, published in October in "The Astrophysical Journal."

The team analyzed sky surveys by the Hubble Space Telescope and other instruments able to see far away, and therefore far back, through about 13 billion years of time. The astronomers formed three-dimensional models to measure the number of galaxies at different times. Because not even the Hubble or large Earth-based telescopes can see the oldest, faintest galaxies, they also did some mathematical work to come up with two trillion. “It’s much bigger than anyone would have guessed,” Dr. Conselice said. “And the real number could be even higher.”

Previous estimates were that there were perhaps 200 billion galaxies in the observable universe. One might well ask- what difference does it make? Or put another way, once you get past a couple of hundred billion galaxies, who’s counting? But the finding has important implications for understanding how the universe has evolved.

The researchers found that most of the oldest galaxies were low in mass, similar to some of the small “satellite” galaxies near our own Milky Way, and that there were about 10 times fewer low-mass galaxies today. That suggests that over billions of years, galaxies have been colliding and joining together. The study also suggests how important the more powerful James Webb Space Telescope, set to be launched in 2018, will be. “It will be able to study these galaxies that we’re just barely detecting- these lower-mass galaxies that are really the first galaxies of the universe,” Dr. Conselice said.”
2 trillion galaxies, in an ever-expanding Universe spanning 92 billion light years across...
Puts things in proper perspective I believe. How small we are, how insignificant. And yet...
"In this galaxy there’s a mathematical probability of three billion Earth-type planets.
And in the universe, three million million galaxies like this.
And in all that, and perhaps more... only one of each of us."
- "Dr. Leonard McCoy,"
 "Star Trek," "Balance of Terror”

And we can still dream...

"A Look to the Heavens"

“How many arches can you count in the below image? If you count both spans of the Double Arch in the Arches National Park in Utah, USA, then two. But since the below image was taken during a clear dark night, it caught a photogenic third arch far in the distance - that of the overreaching Milky Way Galaxy. 
 Click image for larger size.
Because we are situated in the midst of the spiral Milky Way Galaxy, the band of the central disk appears all around us. The sandstone arches of the Double Arch were formed from the erosion of falling water. The larger arch rises over 30 meters above the surrounding salt bed and spans close to 50 meters across. The dark silhouettes across the image bottom are sandstone monoliths left over from silt-filled crevices in an evaporated 300 million year old salty sea. A dim flow created by light pollution from Moab, Utah can also be seen in the distance.’

"Today Is Mine..."


“Today is mine. It is unique.
Nobody in the world has one exactly like it.
It holds the sum of all my past experiences and all my future potential.
I can fill it with joyous moments or ruin it with fruitless worry.
If painful recollections of the past come into my mind, 
or frightening thoughts of the future, I can put them away.
They cannot spoil today for me.”

- Alcoholics Anonymous

The Poet: Robert Bly, "Things to Think"

"Things to Think"

"Think in ways you've never thought before.
If the phone rings, think of it as carrying a message
Larger than anything you've ever heard,
Vaster than a hundred lines of Yeats.

Think that someone may bring a bear to your door,
Maybe wounded and deranged; or think that a moose
Has risen out of the lake, and he's carrying on his antlers
A child of your own whom you've never seen.

When someone knocks on the door,
Think that he's about
To give you something large: tell you you're forgiven,
Or that it's not necessary to work all the time,
Or that it's been decided that if you lie down no one will die."

- Robert Bly, “Morning Poems”

“25 Life Lessons By An Old Greek Shepherd”

“25 Life Lessons By An Old Greek Shepherd”
 by George Giotis, Greece by Greeks

“The road to the destination is never straight. To reach out to the winter shelter someone must take a lot of turns, travel along rough roads, suffer losses. You have to make sure that you always take food supplies with you.

Leave the past behind. If a wolf eats your goat, you can't do anything about it. Just make sure that next time you will be more careful.

Don't live just for saving money and don't be stingy. Don't postpone the tasting of joy for future times. Do it now, while you are still young. Make your hard work worth even more.

Struggle, fight. You are the only one in charge of yourself. Don't be truant, don't expect your dogs to do all the work in herding the sheep.

Ask for the respect you deserve, don't let others use you as a doormat. Set limits, put up fences, protect your animals.

Blessed are the ones who make mistakes. Make mistakes. These are life lessons, we call these experience. Don't forget who you were until yesterday. Start today and define with your actions who you are going to be from now on. Learn to forgive, starting with yourself. Don't feel guilty, you have no time for that.

Blessed are those who doubt. Don't let your life be ruled by dogmas. Remember that if some people hadn't doubted previous knowledge, mankind would have still lived in caves. Examine the information, be skeptical, think critically, think rationally, revise. You haven't seen any fairies and ghosts in the forest, just wolves.
Be careful. Observe others. Look them in the eyes. Like a Greek saying, "If it is not shown in the goat, it is shown by the horn ."

Life is a journey, not a destination. And it is valuable. The previous word you read already belongs to the past.

Don't advise the young constantly, it's a waste of time. There is no right way to teach them pain or misery, solely experience will do that.

Go travel! Trips are experiences that stay with us forever. Get out, try, taste, savor images greedily. Let your senses free. Expose yourself, let it go, crumble, lose your self-control from time to time. Not just your self-control, but stop controlling others too.

You have been isolated enough in your winter shelter, get out. Go find your friends and companionship.

Do not try to control others. You condemn in anxiety and suffering not only yourself, but also those who you try to control. Let others live, and live for yourself. Leave the other flocks to their shepherds, take care of yours. 

Life is not fair. The universe does not owe you any solace, and it is certain that at the end of the road you die. Hurry up.

You can be a winner. Learn from those around you. Become a child with children, play with them, but also go to the cafe and talk to the elderly. You can learn from their accumulated experience.

Do not take everything into account. Do not take everything seriously. You are probably overreacting today. What bothers you or you are afraid of now, most likely tomorrow will seem lukewarm or insipid. Try to see yourself from a distance, take a look at the sight of your flock from the hill.

Have patience. The goats do not give birth every month. But when that happens you need to be there because they need you.

Quarrel with your partner if necessary, it is not terrible, let the feelings be defused.Make decompression in anger. The fire is sometimes beneficial. If an area of kermes oak get burnt, spring will give again vegetation, fine food for goats and their young. Careful though, the words you say you can't take them back. Watch what your goats eat, they don't know how to pick. If they eat the shoots of trees, the forest cannot be created again, the place will be left bare fallow.
  
Be balanced. Enjoy the food and your drink. Do not forget that the world's poor walk miles for their daily food while the rich walk miles to digest it.

There is no perfect time, the circumstances and conditions will never be ideal. Start from where you are now! Do not postpone.

Be polite. A smiling face reflects similar behavior. Make gifts. Even the gift of a good word is important. Behave well to the elderly, you will soon be like them. Behave well to animals, they are not mean or envious, they have no obsessions or selfishness. They forgive without limit.

If you know how to read, read a lot! Those who read live extra lives. Not only their own but also all of those who you have read about.

Be bold. The fear keeps you tied but it is not real, it just comes from the unknown which is not in your head.

Do not get attached to things. Life is like the path of the pastures and the shepherd's bag. The more you fill it, the harder you will walk. Take only the necessary things with you. The flock keeps walking, it will not wait for you if you can't move because of too many heavy things. Let them go, release them, feel more flexible and free.”
- http://greece-by-greeks.com/25-greek-shepherd/
Translated by Eleni Vafeiadou