Friday, August 31, 2018

Musical Interlude: Sly & The Family Stone, "Everybody Is a Star"

Sly & The Family Stone, "Everybody Is a Star"

"Butterflies..."

"I think humans might be like butterflies; people die every day without many other people knowing about them, seeing their colors, hearing their stories... and when humans are broken, they're like broken butterfly wings; suddenly there are so many beauties that are seen in different ways, so many thoughts and visions and possibilities that form, which couldn't form when the person wasn't broken! So it is not a very sad thing to be broken, after all! It's during the times of being broken, that you have all the opportunities to become things unforgettable! Just like the broken butterfly wing that I found, which has given me so many thoughts, in so many ways, has shown me so many words, and imaginations! But butterflies need to know, that it doesn't matter at all if the whole world saw their colors or not! But what matters is that they flew, they glided, they hovered, they saw, they felt, and they knew! And they loved the ones whom they flew with! And that is an existence worthwhile!"
- C. JoyBell C.

Musical Interlude: Ludovico Einaudi, “Night”

Ludovico Einaudi, “Night”

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Stars are forming in dark, dusty molecular cloud LDN 988. Seen near picture center some 2,000 light-years distant, LDN 988 and other nearby dark nebulae were cataloged by Beverly T. Lynds in 1962 using Palomar Observatory Sky Survey plates. 
Click image for larger size.
Narrowband and near-infrared explorations of the dark nebula reveal energetic shocks and outflows light-years across associated with dozens of newborn stars. But in this sharp optical telescopic view, the irregular outlines of LDN 988 and friends look like dancing stick figures eclipsing the rich starfields of the constellation Cygnus. From dark sky sites the region can be identified by eye alone. It's part of the Great Rift of dark nebulae along the plane of the Milky Way galaxy known as the Northern Coalsack.”

Chet Raymo, “Beyond The Porch- Light of Language”

“Beyond The Porch- Light of Language”
by Chet Raymo

"The title of this post is another phrase from the poet Pat Boran. A lovely image, evoking friends in rocking chairs sipping ice tea or gin-and-tonics on a drowsy summer night. Out there in the darkness lightnin' bugs flash their sleepy semaphores. Somewhere afar off heat lightnin' illuminates the horizon. Our language drifts into the dark. We have words too for stars, for black holes and quasars, for the cosmic microwave background radiation. Our words leak off the porch into the summer darkness, bringing some small part of the darkness into our circle of light. And so we sit and sip and talk, and our language eases back the darkness, hallows an interval, makes "a dwelling in the evening air, In which being there together is enough."

We sit and we sip and we are content to let the darkness embrace us. No, we are more than content. The darkness is a positive presence, a soft and fragrant backdrop for our conversations. Without the darkness there would be no lightnin' bugs, no heat lightnin', no stars. We rock and sip and the darkness enfolds us like a shawl.

There are a those who are less comfortable with the darkness. They want language to light up the darkness to the farthest horizon, to the beginning and end of space and time, turn night to day. They shout into the dark- "God," "Father," "Person," "Friend." The miracle of language becomes the language of miracles. "I am the Light of the World, I expel the dark."

Well, fair enough. But here on the porch, in our circle of friendship and faint light, we rock and sip and talk. And the lightnin' bugs flash, and the stars come on one by one, and now and then, afar off, the horizon shimmers with a soundless light. And we talk, with measured voices. And our words drift off into the darkness. And sometimes they never come back.”

"Life, Eh?"

"We said together, wistfully, 'Life, eh?' It says everything without having to say anything: that we all experience moments of joyful or painful reflection, sometimes alone, sometimes sharing laughs and tears with others; that we all know and appreciate that however wonderful and precious life is, it can equally be a terribly confusing and mysterious beast. 'Life, eh?"
-  Miranda Hart

The Poet: Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Ulysses”

“Ulysses”

"It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Matched with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
I cannot rest from travel; I will drink
Life to the lees. All times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea. I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known- cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honored of them all,
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untraveled world whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains; but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.
   This is my son, mine own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the scepter and the isle,
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfill
This labor, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and through soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centered in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.
   There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail;
There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toiled, and wrought, and thought with me,
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads- you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honor and his toil.
Death closes all; but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done, 
Not unbecoming men that strove with gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks;
The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

-  Alfred, Lord Tennyson 

"It Becomes Sad..."

"Why does truth carry such a dreadful face? Why does subjugation carry
 such a happy mask? It becomes sad when people understand that they
 can lead a better life as long as they bow their heads, ignoring the truth."
- Lionel Suggs

"Earth's 'Big Freeze' Looms As Sun Remains Devoid Of Sunspots For Most Of 2018"

"Earth's 'Big Freeze' Looms As Sun Remains 
Devoid Of Sunspots For Most Of 2018"
by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com

"Scientists believe that Earth could experience a “big freeze” as the sun goes through what’s known as “solar minimum.” During this time, sunspots are minimal and the globe could be in for a wicked cold snap. Scientists are reporting that the sun has been free of sunspots for a total of 133 days this year, according to The Express UK. With only 241 days of 2018 passing, that means the sun has been blank for the majority of the year. Experts continue to warn that this is a sign that the solar minimum is on its way.

 “The sun is spotless again. For the 133rd day this year, the face of the sun is blank,” wrote the website Space Weather“Solar minimum has returned, bringing extra cosmic rays, long-lasting holes in the sun’s atmosphere, and strangely pink auroras,” the website continued.

The sun follows a cycle of roughly 11 years where it reaches a solar maximum and then a solar minimum. During a solar maximum, the sun gives off more heat and solar particles and is littered with sunspots. Less heat in a solar minimum is due to a decrease in the sun’s magnetic waves.  Our sun was not expected to head into a solar minimum until around 2020, but it appears to be heading in that direction a little early which could prove to be bad news for warm weather lovers.

But a prolonged solar minimum could mean a “mini ice age.” The last time there was a prolonged solar minimum, it did, in fact, lead to a mini ice-age which was scientifically known as the Maunder minimum.  That little cold snap lasted for 70 years between the years 1645 and 1715. During this period, temperatures dropped globally by 1.3 degrees Celsius leading to shorter seasons and ultimately food shortages.

“Low solar activity is known to have consequences on Earth’s weather and climate and it also is well correlated with an increase in cosmic rays that reach the upper part of the atmosphere. The blank sun is a sign that the next solar minimum is approaching and there will be an increasing number of spotless days over the next few years,” wrote a meteorological website called Vencore Weather."

The Daily "Near You?"

León, Castilla y Leon, Spain. Thanks for stopping by!

"Never, Ever Forget..."

"Never, ever forget that nothing in this life is free. Life demands payment in some form for your "right" to express yourself, to condemn and abuse the evil surrounding us. Expect to pay... it will come for you, they will come for you, regardless. Knowing that, give them Hell itself every chance you can. Expect no mercy, and give none. That's how life works. Be ready to pay for what you do, or be a coward, pretend you don't see, don't know, and cry bitter tears over how terrible things are, over how you let them become."
- Ernest Hemingway, "For Whom the Bell Tolls "

“People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed 
themselves to become, and they pay for it, very simply, by the lives they lead.”
- James Baldwin, “No Name in the Street”

“Labor Day Gets No Respect”

“Labor Day Gets No Respect”
by Will Durst

"Let us take a few minutes to talk about the most underrated holiday of them all: Labor Day. Poor baby. It gets less respect than a MAGA hat at a Bernie Sanders rally. Like a half-eaten chocolate chip cookie in the Great British Bake Off. Or a Super Soaker at a Northern Idaho gun show. The trailer for a Pauly Shore movie at the Tribeca Film Festival.

We treat it as the runt of the holiday litter without any proscribed traditions. Every year we wing it. No fireworks or clock-watching countdowns. No designated animal to eat or steal chocolate eggs from. No piece of vegetation to kill and either trim or gut. Maybe a couple parades so that politicians can get some waving-from-a-convertible exposure two months before the election. But that’s about it.

Probably got something to do with being the seasonal signpost for closing the door on summer and staring down that long cold hallway to the deep dark heart of winter. The First Monday of September means the fun has expired and a big dollup of dreary is in the offing. The darkening of the light is nigh. The dividing line between wanton abandon and studious application. Raking dead leaves versus cutting verdant lawns.

The last pair of swim trunks has been worn outdoors and corduroy jackets are being pulled out of boxes from the basement. Time to take down the screens and chop a big cord of wood. Watermelons are replaced with pumpkins on the floor next to the produce bins. And holy moley catfish, there will be pumpkin. Spices, pies, dental floss, yogurt, vodka and Smashed Pumpkins marathons on the radio.

What we tend to forget is the meaning of Labor Day. Twenty- four hours we set aside to honor not the dead, but the living. This is not a paean to grieving heroes who have left us, but rather rejoicing at being a part of a larger functioning whole. Because when Americans pull together, we can accomplish anything. Even estimating the timing of the coals for a perfect medium rare Porterhouse.

It’s a calendaric conundrum. To celebrate what it is we do for a living by taking the day off. Just one day out of 365 for the nine to five heroes that keep this country humming so they can sit back, relax and enjoy that unique moment where it’s okay to toss around both the baseball and the football. To hang with families and friends before squaring our shoulders and getting back to the job of earning a living and carving out the future. Democracy isn’t easy. Takes a strong back and an indomitable will. And pumpkin spiced lattes.

So Happy Labor Day everybody. Have a great one. Wear your flip-flops. Tap a keg. Char some hot dogs. Because this ain’t no patent leather shoes, champagne and caviar kind of holiday. This is the real red, white and blue deal.

A quick vacation for all of us; blue collar, white collar, clergy collar, no collar, dog collar. For anyone who’s ever busted their butt to put some food on the table and cover a mortgage with maybe a little left over for a 10 year-old’s birthday party featuring an appearance by some college student dressed as Spiderman.

Hey, a gig’s a gig."

"How It Really Is"

X22 Report: "The Globalists System Is Being Taken Apart One Piece At A Time"

X22 Report: "The Globalists System Is Being Taken Apart One Piece At A Time"

X22 Report: "Plan Confirmed, It's A Go, Systems Terminated"

"Concert In A Dying Town..."

"Concert In A Dying Town..."
by Bill Bonner

POITOU, FRANCE – "So passeth the last days of summer… The sun sinks lower every day. We put things away. We close the shutters. And the cool night drafts seep in through the cracks.

Stones Whisper: Yesterday, we went to a concert in Montmorillon. The town sits on the river Gartempe, as it has for 1,000 years.
View of the countryside in Montmorillon.

Church spires rise from the hills. The mairie (the local government office) dominates the town square. God on the high ground; the feds down low. Between them are shops (many vacant) and elegant old houses, protected by high stone walls and huge iron gates.

Like almost all the provincial towns of France, Montmorillon is dying. Many houses are empty. There are still a few bars and restaurants, but on a typical evening, there may be no one in the town square. And most often, it is quiet. No factory whistles call in the young, calloused hands. No snorting trucks come and go, delivering their wares. No lively crowds hang out at neighborhood bars in the evening, gaily passing the late summer hours with pastis or pineau. Still, like a ghost with a secret, the old stones whisper.

Manhattan Madness: We interrupt our recollection with a brief look at the financial news. In short, all is well… Our first locomotive – the Manhattan Madness, headed south out of Wall Street at breakneck speed – passed through Trenton with no trouble. The party onboard is wilder than ever… with Amazon trading at almost a trillion dollars! Meanwhile, the Ol’ Deep State Cannonball just left Penn Station in Baltimore on its way north. The conductor, wearing a MAGA cap, says, in effect, “You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.” (What… Amazon at $2 trillion?!) He steps on the gas and warns darkly that there may be violence… if anything gets in his way. All up and down the tracks, the sun still shines; but chilly winds begin to lick at the rails…

The dawn for this great era came in the early ’80s. The dollar had been cut loose from gold for 10 years by then; the feds were starting to get the picture. They could borrow and spend with almost no limit. Since then, the Empire of Debt has spread the power of the U.S. elite all over the world, financed by cheap credit.

Interest rates have generally come down. Asset prices have generally gone up. But growth rates and wages have fallen – despite huge technological advances and huge inputs of new credit. And now, debt is piled up everywhere. Every household closet, corporate safe, and government warehouse is full of it. From just $3 trillion in the late ’70s, it has risen to $69 trillion today.

The trouble is, debt is like a pet elephant. It needs to be fed. It may come from the financial economy, but it is the rest of the economy that has to carry the hay and clean out the cage. And gradually, lower and lower real rates of interest have produced less and less hay. Real GDP growth falls as debt mounts up. Obviously, this can’t go on forever.

MAGA Program: And there’s nothing in the MAGA program to change these trends. The tax cut simply shifted the burden of government into the future. Like all the feds’ flimflams, it is supposed to “pay for itself.” But every crackpot scheme is supposed to create a better, freer, more competitive, more efficient, and healthier society… and thereby “pay for itself.” From alpha to omega… from Amtrak to zoos… we know of none – save, perhaps, the interstate highway system – that even came close.

Already, Mr. Market has tried to put the brakes on three times – with the Crash of ’87, the Nasdaq crash of 2000, and the debt crisis of 2008–2009. Each time, the feds stifled the correction with even more debt. And each time, more and more massive inputs of credit produced less and less extra output. But now, we are near the end of one of the longest business expansions/bull markets in history.

The feds should have stocked up on interest rates and surpluses. Then, they’d be ready to meet Mr. Market with both monetary and fiscal policies, dropping rates like heavy rocks as Mr. Market tried to scale the ramparts… and throwing more government spending – like hot oil – onto his battering ram crew. Alas, they will be able to do neither. The Fed’s key rate is still negative, in real terms. And the federales had already shot their fiscal wad, even before the battle trumpets sounded. The deficit will soon be running at more than $1 trillion a year – in a boom!

So what’s ahead? The horrors! It will be the “worst bear market of my lifetime,” says famed investor Jim Rogers. What’s coming, says Ronald Reagan’s budget director, David Stockman, is a “political and economic sh*tstorm, the likes of which America has not experienced since the 1930s or even the Civil War.”

Long-Forgotten Place: Meanwhile, back at our concert in Montmorillon… On stage was a trio of Eastern Europeans on violin, viola, and piano playing Tchaikovsky and Piazzolla. The latter was an Argentine whose remarkably complex and delightful music combined jazz with the tango tradition. By 9 p.m., the concert was about half-finished. The cool night air was settling over the group. Out in the open, under the stars and streetlights, people reached for their sweaters.

We were sitting in the courtyard of one of the town’s oldest houses. Built in the 17th century, it was probably raised upon the ruins of some much older house. Now, it is locally famous for having been lived in by Madame de Montespan, mistress of Louis XIV, with whom she had seven children.

In this area, in the 3rd and 4th centuries, marvelous villas were built to Roman standards. Central heating… running water… frescoes… statues – all the comforts of home. Aerial surveys can still make out Roman-era houses… walls… fields… and borders. One of them is just a mile or so away… up the old “Roman road” to the East. Most likely, there were books, too – perhaps translations of Aristotle or Polybius. People were schooled in Latin… and sometimes Greek, too.

Christianity had been made legal throughout the empire in 313 AD. About a half-century later, the Emperor Julian attempted to restore the old gods. The provinces, especially out here, with little economic or political importance, took little notice. They were less developed, and less Christian, but they had enjoyed the benefits of Pax Romana. The empire – with free trade, a common language, good roads (there is one right next to our house), gold and silver coins, and a court system for sorting out disputes – brought civilization and culture to these far-flung outposts.
An ancient Roman road near Bill’s house in France is still in use.

The Pax Romana ended with the crisis of the 3rd century… But many areas of the empire continued to enjoy relative peace and prosperity.

Run for Your Lives: But in the late 4th century, far out on the steppes of Eurasia, the Huns pushed the Alans; the Alans pushed the Goths; the Goths pushed the Tervinges, the Vandals, the Quades, the Burgundians, the Sueves, the Gépides, and the Sarmates. And on some day, perhaps a day like this, at the end of summer in 408 AD, the refugees must have begun coming here, to the Gartempe valley. They must have told terrifying stories about how barbarians had attacked their towns and villas, burning, plundering, killing everything that got in their way; and how they had stolen all their cattle and other livestock… how the women were raped and the men were killed… and all those left alive had been taken as slaves.

It must have been while the locals were listening with foot-wide ears that other runners arrived… breathless… and even more horrified. “They’re coming… they’re just up the river… Run for your lives!” What a shock it must have been. The empire had been in business for 400 years. Nothing had seriously challenged it since Hannibal was defeated in 183 BC. Who could have imagined that it was doomed?

And yet, it was all over. “Everything is ruined,” reported a visitor to Gaul in 407 AD. “Fields, towns… everything looks different. Plague… famine… slavery… cold and heat… By all these hordes [of barbarians] at one time, humanity perishes. From every side, cries of war. Terror and fury in all our hearts… chaos… peace has disappeared from the earth. Everything you see comes to an end.”

Another described what it was like when the barbarians reached Spain: "They pillage and massacre without pity… And now famine attacks, too… mothers, also, feed themselves on their own children whom they have killed and cooked. Fierce beasts have gotten used to eating our corpses. Now, they attack the healthiest among us and run wild, intent on the annihilation of our entire human race."

"Have a nice holiday weekend."

"Bad Faith Nation"

"Bad Faith Nation"
by James Howard Kunstler

"There’s a simple reason that the old US Ship-of-State has turned into a garbage barge of toxic politics: both sides are operating in obviously bad faith - making arguments and taking positions that they know are false - and it’s been on full display this past week.

For instance, the Trump rally in Evansville, Indiana, Thursday night. The Golden Gloating Golem of Greatness presided over the spectacle in full gloatissimo mode, playing his audience of economic losers like a Hammond B-3 organ at a roller rink. His performance was oddly like the sort of rant that Uber drivers must suffer through with a fare who has been tweaking cocaine for three days en route to a funeral or a foreclosure. And, yes, I know that the President is said to abstain from mind-altering substances, but it appears that his mind has been sufficiently altered by his bizarre life experience to produce a similar effect. How else could he stand before an audience of millions (if you include the folks watching TV) and bellow, “I’m president and they’re not!”

Radiating anger and, at times, actual malice, Mr. Trump presented exactly the lack of couth that drives his hypothetically more refined “blue” enemies up a tree. His rhetorical skills have not improved since 2016, but his demagogic self-confidence soars as he unwittingly launches himself into a one-man Space Force flying too close to the sun, claiming that he has magically made America great again, mission accomplished! Even the live audience of Hoosier clods appeared strangely restive and unconvinced after an hour of this bellowing, and one got a sense of Mr. Trump slip-sliding towards Hubrisville like some ass-clown pol in a Coen Brothers’ movie about to be run out of the grange hall on a rail.

His error: taking “ownership” of a financialized economy of hallucinated markets run by out-of-control algo robots into a twilight zone of default and insolvency. The “red” and “blue” constituencies at war with each other are essentially the losers and winners in this depraved system. When the hallucination dissolves, the winners will be the new losers and the old losers will be looking to string them up. That scenario remains to be played out as we say our official goodbyes to summer this holiday weekend and turn the corner into portentous autumn.

On the “blue” side of things, mendacity rules as usual lately, especially in the Deep State septic abscess that the Russia probe has become. Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr, twice demoted but still on the payroll, went into a closed congressional hearing and apparently threw everybody but his mother under the bus, laying out an evidence trail of stupendous, flagrant corruption in that perfidious scheme to un-do the election results of 2016. Most amazingly, it was revealed that Mr. Ohr had not been called to testify by special counsel Robert Mueller nor by the federal prosecutor John Huber, who is charged with investigating the FBI / DOJ irregularities surrounding the Russia probe. It is amazing because Mr. Ohr is precisely the pivotal figure in what now looks like an obvious conspiracy to politically weaponize the agencies against the Golden Golem. An awful lot of people have some ‘splainin’ to do on that one, starting with the Attorney General and his deputy. Who will put it to them?

The New York Times, once known as the Newspaper of Record, continued to ignore that story. Their bad faith specialty these days is stoking the fires of race war under the pretense of “social justice.” For instance, the op-ed piece they ran today (Friday) titled "The Religion of Whiteness Becomes a Suicide Cult." It’s hard to imagine a better way to send those Hoosier clods to the gun cabinet - and not to blow their own brains out, either, but to hunt down the very Wokesters who openly pledge to exterminate them. This isn’t even “fake news.” It’s more like racist sedition."

"A Dent In The Universe..."

Greg Hunter, "Weekly News Wrap-Up 8/31/18"

"Weekly News Wrap-Up 8/31/18"
by Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

"Bruce Ohr, the one time high ranking Department of Justice (DOJ) official, testified behind closed doors this week on Capitol Hill. In hours of sworn testimony Ohr, said that the Trump Dossier was basically a fraud that should not have been used in a court of law. That didn’t stop the FBI and DOJ from using it to fraudulently get warrants to spy on Trump and his campaign and his Administration. Bruce Ohr is naming names and says at least a half dozen top members of the FBI and DOJ knew the dossier was untrue and made up just to stop Trump from winning and later to try and use the false accusations in the dossier to remove him from office. This also means the Mueller investigation was conceived in fraud and is illegitimate. The indictments are coming, that is for sure.

Lots of trouble brewing in the Middle East. Russia is sending more than two dozen warships to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea because it says it fears another false flag gas attack in Syria. Meanwhile, Hezbollah is reportedly preparing for another war against Israel, while Iran continues to threaten closing down the Strait of Hormuz.

The so-called emerging market economies, such as Brazil, Argentina and Turkey, are just a few of the countries having big time trouble with their currencies losing value at an alarming rate. The Turkish lira has lost about half its value in one year. This means high inflation is ripping through these countries causing everything to skyrocket in price. Can this problem spread to the deeply indebted banks around the world causing another financial crisis? You bet it can.

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

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Musical Interlude: Liquid Mind IV, "Unity"

Liquid Mind IV, "Unity"

"A Deep Look to the Heavens:

"In 2003, the Hubble Space Telescope took the image of a millenium, an image that shows our place in the universe. Anyone who understands what this image represents, is forever changed by it."- YouTube/NASA


"It helps to put things in perspective here on our frenetic little planet with a look at this extraordinarily powerful and moving video of the Hubble Space Telescope mapping of the Universe, whose known size is 78 billion light years across. The video of the images is the equivalent of using a "time machine" to look into the past to witness the early formation of galaxies, perhaps less than one billion years after the universe's birth in the Big Bang.

The video includes mankind's deepest, most detailed optical view of the universe called the Hubble Deep Field (HDF). One of the stunning images was assembled from 342 separate exposures taken with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) for ten consecutive days. Representing a narrow "keyhole" view stretching to the visible horizon of the universe, the HDF image covers a speck of the sky only about the width of a dime located 75 feet away. Though the field is a very small sample of the heavens, it is considered representative of the typical distribution of galaxies in space because the universe, statistically, looks largely the same in all directions. Gazing into this small field, Hubble uncovered a bewildering assortment of at least 1,500 galaxies at various stages of evolution.

Most of the galaxies are so faint (nearly 30th magnitude or about four-billion times fainter than can be seen by the human eye) they have never before been seen by even the largest telescopes. Some fraction of the galaxies in this menagerie probably date back to nearly the beginning of the universe. "The variety of galaxies we see is amazing. In time these Hubble data could turn out to be the double helix of galaxy formation. We are clearly seeing some of the galaxies as they were more than ten billion years ago, in the process of formation," said Robert Williams, Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute Baltimore, Maryland. "As the images have come up on our screens, we have not been able to keep from wondering if we might somehow be seeing our own origins in all of this."

"When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged
in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams,
to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where
he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars."
- Walt Whitman

Chet Raymo, "Seeing"

 "Seeing"
by Chet Raymo

"There was a moment yesterday evening when the elements conspired to evoke these few lines, spoken by Macbeth:

            "Light thickens,
    And the crow makes wing to the rooky woods,
    Good things of day begin to droop and drowse."

The fading light. The crows gliding down the fields to the trees in Ballybeg:
            "Light thickens,
    And the crow makes wing to the rooky woods,
    Good things of day begin to droop and drowse."

It's all there, in those few lines- the mysterious power of poetry to infuse the world with meaning, to anoint the world with a transforming grace. One could spend an hour picking those lines apart, syntax and sound, sense and alliteration. The t's of light thickening, tongue against the teeth. The alar w's making wing. The owl eyes of the double o's. The d's nodding into slumber - day, droop, drowse.

The poet Howard Nemerov says of poetry that it "works on the very surface of the eye, that thin, unyielding wall of liquid between mind and world, where somehow, mysteriously, the patterns formed by electrical storms assaulting the retina become things and the thought of things and the names of things and the relations supposed between thing." It works too in the mouth, in the physical act of speech - tongue, teeth, those d's gliding deeper into the darkness of the throat.

I stand in the gloaming garden and the black birds glide, down, down to Ballybeg, and I marvel that with so few syllables Shakespeare can- across the centuries- teach me how to see.”

The Poet: Mary Oliver, "Mysteries, Yes"

"Mysteries, Yes"

"Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
to be understood.
How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds
will never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.

Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.
Let me keep company always with those who say
"Look!" and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads."

~ Mary Oliver

“6 Steps to Release Your Fear and Feel Peaceful”

“6 Steps to Release Your Fear and Feel Peaceful”
by Nicolas Perrin

“We are not what we know but what we are willing to learn.”
 ~ Mary Catherine Bateson

“It was a balmy spring morning and I started my day as per usual, but I soon realized that my mind was entertaining fearful thoughts about my financial insecurity. With many new ventures within the seedling stage, my income flow was erratic and unpredictable, while my financial responsibilities were consistent and guaranteed. At the time I ignored these thoughts as “petty,” like a parent dismissing a crying child after a mild fall on the pavement.

What I didn’t realize was that my mind wanted to entertain these fear-based thoughts like a Hollywood blockbuster, and as you may know, what you focus on expands. Before I knew it, my body was in a state of complete anxiety and fear. I literally felt my cognitive and creative centers shutting down. I felt completely powerless, a hostage to my own mind. My body felt paralyzed, and I felt disconnected from my talents and gifts. I felt separate, isolated, and vulnerable. I became a victim of the fear. In this moment I realized the powerful impact thoughts can have on how we feel, mentally and physically. Here is what unfolded through me, and the lessons I treasured from this experience.

Fear is a closed energy, referred to as inverted faith. Fear exists when we do not trust our connection to the infinite part of who we are and buy into a story about what’s unfolding in our life. The emotions we feel are created from the thoughts that we choose to focus on, consciously or unconsciously. The emotions act as markers to let us know if we are focusing on expansive, empowering thoughts or fearful, limiting thoughts.

If I were to relate this in a story, it may be like a pilot believing he no longer had any guidance or support from the airport control tower in a large storm, and no instruments on board to detect if he was on a collision course with another airplane. If the control tower represents the infinite part of who we are, which always knows what’s best for us, it can be understandable why the pilot with no other guidance except for his own eye sight would be fearful of the situation at hand. An alarm on the plane beeping at the pilot would represent the emotions. The alarm’s purpose is to get the attention of the pilot so he can focus and realize he is off the path. Once our emotions start to take a grip of our physical body, what can we do to move from a state of limitation and fear into an open, tranquil, peaceful state?
1. Come back to the present moment. The first step is to bring your awareness to the present moment. To do this, take three deep breaths through your nose and exhale through your mouth. After the air has filled your lungs and you’ve felt your stomach rise, exhale through your mouth by forcing the air through your teeth, as if you were hissing out loud. This detoxifies your body from the heavy emotions you’re experiencing and brings you back into the present moment. When I do this, I place my awareness into my feet so I am in a feeling space within my body, rather than being in my mind, entertaining the stories that swirl around with vigor, like a dangerous hurricane. Imagine that all your emotions are in a large sludge bucket. This breathing technique will empty the bucket out so you are empty and free.
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2. Put things in perspective. Now that you are present, acknowledge the experience and ask yourself this question: “What is the worst case scenario that can happen to me?” Once we can accept this and realize we will be okay if that happens, we are free from the fear. When I realized I’d blown things out of proportion with my fears, I was able to detach from the story and put things into perspective. I like to imagine that in every moment I have two wolves I can feed (per the Native American myth): the fear wolf or the love wolf. The one that gets stronger and wins is the one I feed.
3. Become an observer of your thoughts.  What has served me well in moments like this is to say, “I’m not these thoughts. I’m not these emotions. I’m not this body. I’m an infinite being having a human experience.” In saying this, we immediately detach from the story and allow ourselves the choice of suffering or to become the observer. Imagine that your life is represented in a book, and the story you are living out comes from the words on the page. We can change the words of the story at any point in time.
4. Change your experience. The fourth step is to place your awareness and your right hand on the heart center, which is located near the sternum. Close your eyes, take three deep breaths, and make the following command: “I am now connected to the infinite part of who I am, which already knows how to be whole and complete. I take full responsibility and accountability for this creation, I recognize how it has served me, and I am now ready to let it go. I command that the fear energy be transmuted into unconditional love now. Thank you. It is now done.” This process is incredibly empowering. We allow ourselves the opportunity to experience being our own inner master and a co-creator of our reality.

5. Prevent your mind from sabotaging you. Visualize a stone being thrown into a pond. Observe the ripples it creates when it enters the water. This is to simply distract your mind and allow the process to unfold without doubt or self-sabotage. It is only our mind that can interfere with our own healing.
6. Be grateful. Express gratitude and appreciation for the integration and healing you have received.

The key to happiness is awareness. When we become aware that our mind is wandering, we can gently bring it back to the present moment. It’s only in the present moment that we are empowered and can consciously choose the thoughts we engage with. The thoughts we focus on will determine where our energy flows, and thus what is created in our life. Each thought has a vibration, which is reflected by the feeling we experience in our body. To be able to move from a fear-based experience to an open, peaceful experience we must first take full responsibility and accountability that on some level we created the experience, and nobody else is to blame. The choice is truly ours. Do we choose to experience a fearful, limited life or do we choose a happy joyful life?
- http://tinybuddha.com/

Reduce fear, good. Reduce stress also...

"Neuroscience Says Listening to This Song Reduces Anxiety by Up to 65 Percent"
By Melanie Curtin

"Everyone knows they need to manage their stress. When things get difficult at work, school, or in your personal life, you can use as many tips, tricks, and techniques as you can get to calm your nerves. So here's a science-backed one: make a playlist of the 10 songs found to be the most relaxing on earth. Sound therapies have long been popular as a way of relaxing and restoring one's health. For centuries, indigenous cultures have used music to enhance well-being and improve health conditions.

Now, neuroscientists out of the UK have specified which tunes give you the most bang for your musical buck. The study was conducted on participants who attempted to solve difficult puzzles as quickly as possible while connected to sensors. The puzzles induced a certain level of stress, and participants listened to different songs while researchers measured brain activity as well as physiological states that included heart rate, blood pressure, and rate of breathing.

According to Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson of Mindlab International, which conducted the research, the top song produced a greater state of relaxation than any other music tested to date. In fact, listening to that one song- "Weightless"- resulted in a striking 65 percent reduction in participants' overall anxiety, and a 35 percent reduction in their usual physiological resting rates. That is remarkable.

Equally remarkable is the fact the song was actually constructed to do so. The group that created "Weightless", Marconi Union, did so in collaboration with sound therapists. Its carefully arranged harmonies, rhythms, and bass lines help slow a listener's heart rate, reduce blood pressure and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

When it comes to lowering anxiety, the stakes couldn't be higher. Stress either exacerbates or increases the risk of health issues like heart disease, obesity, depression, gastrointestinal problems, asthma, and more. More troubling still, a recent paper out of Harvard and Stanford found health issues from job stress alone cause more deaths than diabetes, Alzheimer's, or influenza.

In this age of constant bombardment, the science is clear: if you want your mind and body to last, you've got to prioritize giving them a rest. Music is an easy way to take some of the pressure off of all the pings, dings, apps, tags, texts, emails, appointments, meetings, and deadlines that can easily spike your stress level and leave you feeling drained and anxious.

Of the top track, Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson said, "'Weightless' was so effective, many women became drowsy and I would advise against driving while listening to the song because it could be dangerous." So don't drive while listening to these, but do take advantage of them:

10. "We Can Fly," by Rue du Soleil (Café Del Mar)
9. "Canzonetta Sull'aria," by Mozart
8. "Someone Like You," by Adele
7. "Pure Shores," by All Saints
6. "Please Don't Go," by Barcelona
5. "Strawberry Swing," by Coldplay
4. "Watermark," by Enya
2. "Electra," by Airstream
1. "Weightless," by Marconi Union

I made a public playlist of all of them on Spotify that runs about 50 minutes (it's also downloadable)."