Sunday, May 31, 2009

Not just you

Getting a headache

Feeling iffy for no clear reason

Feeling worried where nothing has apparently changed

Stressed when nothing is different

Feeling heavy headed for no apparent reason

Often we are convinced that it is only us that is experiencing one or all of these

True this might be the case that it is you alone experiencing this

But then again it can often be that many people are experiencing this at the same time

When earthquakes and volcanoes are about to arrive sensitive people feel physical nervousness or other symptoms of anticipation or premonition

More to the point today more people are worrying than at any time in the planets recent history

True a lot of us have watched football matches or the Olympics at the same time and felt the same or similar emotions

These were usually positive

9/11 was a different kind of global experience as many around the world watched this at the same time

What we are talking about here though is a little more subtle

Nothing gets written about it

No TV pictures, no interviews, no discussions

Nothing much at all just us individually feeling nervous and twitchy

So next time you feel this ask someone around you how they feel

We suspect you will be surprised to find out how often we are all feeling the same nervousness if we can call it that

We are today extremely ill informed about subtle energies

And have little knowledge about them

Subtle energies have been known to man throughout history

We observe nervous animal behaviour before tsunamis and other impending natural disasters

We observe our own changes or those of others at or around full moon time

So how come we have paid so little attention to this field of knowledge?

Poor material world so full of pride in our technological progress and so ignorant about subtle things

Improving your own knowledge in this field is worthwhile because it helps you learn more about yourself and what causes many of your feelings that today seem random and unrelated

To start next time you feel iffy ask others how they feel
Learn to notice clearly when you feel iffy and label it as such
Do something that requires total concentration over a period of time
Make it your objective to be openly appreciative of all you have
Accept that life is cyclical and that ups will follow the downs
Ups come along more frequently when we look for the positive in everything
Do so

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Mahatma Gandhi - 1

An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody will see it.

An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.
As soon as we lose the moral basis, we cease to be religious. There is no such thing as religion over-riding morality. Man, for instance, cannot be untruthful, cruel or incontinent and claim to have God on his side.

Democracy is an impossible thing until the power is shared by all, but let not democracy degenerate into mobocracy.

Even as wisdom often comes from the mouths of babes, so does it often come from the mouths of old people. The golden rule is to test everything in the light of reason and experience, no matter from where it comes.

Fear is not a disease of the body; fear kills the soul.

I believe in the fundamental truth of all great religions of the world. I believe they are all God-given and I believe that they were necessary for the people to whom these religions were revealed. And I believe that if only we could all of us read the scriptures of the different faiths from the standpoints of the followers of these faiths, we should find that they were at the bottom all one and were all helpful to one another.

I do not envisage God other than truth and non-violence. If you have accepted the doctrine of ahimsa without a full realization of its implications, you are at liberty to repudiate it. I believe in confessing one’s mistakes and correcting them. Such confession strengthens one and purifies the soul. Ashima calls for the strength and courage to suffer without retaliation, to receive blows without returning any.

I have but shadowed forth my intense longing to lose myself in the Eternal and become merely a lump of clay in the Potter's divine hands so that my service may become more certain because uninterrupted by the baser self in me.

I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.

It is easy enough to be friendly to one's friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

Non-cooperation is an attempt to awaken the masses, to a sense of their dignity and power. This can only be done by enabling them to realize that they need not fear brute force, if they would but know the soul within.

Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.

Non-violence and cowardice go ill together. I can imagine a fully armed man to be at heart a coward. Possession of arms implies an element of fear, if not cowardice. But true non-violence is an impossibility without the possession of unadulterated fearlessness.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Blame game

It takes years to build a reputation

It can take one sentence or remark to destroy it

Often proof is not needed suspicion will do just fine

Possibly this is an exaggeration but maybe not far off

Modern spin practitioners delight in sowing doubt

In manipulating the truth

In distorting facts, smearing people

For most of us it is harder and harder to know who is telling the truth

Harder until we stop and think for ourselves

We can know over time the politics of most news organisations and other entities

We can also use common sense

So the blame game while often appearing to hide or distort events over time seems to push forward the truth

Time allows information to filter out

Sad thing is that often damage has been done that is hard to repair

Leading us to the point where we need to make the effort to arrive at our own understandings of situations

Watch this current period expose a lot lies

Economic downturns of this magnitude will expose a lot of dirt

Sadly it may only be at such times that the myriad interest groups can be exposed for what they truly are
Watch with interest as the blame game evolves
Notice how lies are more and more common
How people lie with impunity
How people have no shame
Which way will we turn?
Go along with the blame game and it's lies
Or say enough is enough
Mmmmm time will show

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Coming unglued

Just another depression say many pundits

Going to be a long and hard depression say others

The worst ever say still more

Just another hurricane say others, no more severe than any time in the last few years

Just your average rainfall, earthquake, mudslide, disaster

Then we hear that the winter was colder than usual with plenty of extreme weather events globally

And that many other parameters are also out of their usual alignment

Something is going on with the sun, no sunspot activity

Funny thing few pundits seem anxious to pull all these events together and look at the global picture

To be fair this could be that there are very few people who are able to do this

Most today being specialists in narrow fields

It does not take a Rocket scientist to observe that times for sure are a changing

Wake up please!

Is nature giving us a nudge or what?

You might argue that these seemingly continuous events are because news travels faster and we have more communications

Also we are all more aware, more connected

Yes all true

However what is going on is not quite business as usual

Too many violent events are occurring too frequently

And so?

Observe how our leaders are unwilling or unable to draw our attention to these changes

Or offer any solutions

Apart from cutting the global emissions of carbon, which while marginally helpful is not a major issue

The slowing of the earth's magnetic field is a possibly much more critical event and is happening

A reversal of the magnetic poles, which is the likely scenario has happened several times before in the Earth's history with consequences that we have no idea about

In addition the magnetic field emanating from the sun’s poles is much weaker than previously observed.

This could mean the upcoming solar maximum period will be less intense than in recent history

The current total lack of sunspots has no explanation

These events concerning the sun are probably of more significance than all the others put together

They could also be the cause of many of the unpredictable events occurring all over the planet

We just do not know

And so focusing on carbon emissions is popular politics at their worst

Knowing that the expensive actions being called for take money away from other projects where the payback is clearer and more certain is dangerous and unacceptable in these difficult times
Many certainties look highly suspect, dangerous even
The whole Global warming scare
The financial system...................just put it back as it was
Politics as usual, same lack of thought about many issues often blatantly driven by special narrow interest groups

When certainties come unglued watch out

Journalists start writing weird pieces because they sense change but cannot see what it is

Politicians try to put blame onto anything or anyone other than their own decisions or lack of

Swings of the public mood are more frequent

These are all signs of certainties becoming unglued

But more important than all is that climate governs all we experience

Be it the weather, disease, business or anything else climate rules

The climate has always, but always changed

Nature is change

Cycles of this and that are what nature is about

Throughout history

We just got lucky with a short period of stable weather

Now nature is showing us what normal is


Because long periods of stability allow poor leaders to rise to the top

People who compromise their morals and ethics

To get to the top at all costs

Often with no idea other than to grab power

No clue what to do with it

No vision

No thought of making contributions

These are the ones who rule many countries today

In time of difficulty they have nothing to offer having only the skills of deceit and corruption

Now we have to go through plenty of difficult times before we can get rid of them

Historically difficult times need real leaders

Historically we have to suffer before we recognise how bad things are

Only then do we throw the rubbish out

Has it ever been thus

Be prepared for difficult times

What do these times mean to you?

Many of our leaders are coming unglued

And who will pay?

No guesses, those who cannot defend themselves against arbitrary laws and taxes

Most ordinary people in fact

So shape your life to accommodate this and the rest will not bother you so much

Difficult times require more understanding than when they are easy

Take responsibility now for your own life

Rely on your own judgement

Life will not be the same when the climate is not the same

Do not come unglued in the coming difficult times

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Time to move beyond?

Leave religion alone

It is dangerous for your health

The teachings of all major religions have been corrupted over many many years

Few if any teach what the founders taught

Even fewer practice it

Religion has caused more deaths on this planet than any other cause

So many conflicts are fought in the name of x y z religion

Can anyone seriously believe that their God condones any killing at all?

Religion is divisive while claiming to be inclusive

Feel this is too hard?

Then look today at what is being done in the name of religion around the world

Is it not time to take your own position in regard to this subject?

Religion is not good for your health

Time to move on

If you need guidance in your life then seek it elsewhere

Inside yourself

All the major religions taught the same message and their founders stated clearly

No idols

No effigies

No churches

No priests

If you feel to pray do it in private they taught

In your own home

And what do we have today?

The exact opposite

Time to let modern much corrupted religion go

Religion still does incalculable harm to mankind
Time to move beyond
Beyond to what the founders taught
To the truth of things
Simply put to treat each other as we would ourselves
Enough of dogma and ritual
Time to move beyond

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Goodbye global warming

Dr. Kenneth Tapping is worried about the sun. Solar activity comes in regular cycles, but the latest one is refusing to start.

Sunspots have all but vanished, and activity is suspiciously quiet.

The last time this happened was 400 years ago -- and it signaled a solar event known as a "Maunder Minimum," along with the start of what we now call the "Little Ice Age."

Tapping, a solar researcher and project director for Canada's National Research Council, says it may be happening again.

Overseeing a giant radio telescope he calls a "stethoscope for the sun," Tapping says, if the pattern doesn't change quickly, the earth is in for some very chilly weather.

During the Little Ice Age, global temperatures dropped sharply.

New York Harbor froze hard enough to allow people to walk from Manhattan to Staten Island, and in Britain, people reported sighting Eskimos paddling canoes off the coast.

Glaciers in Norway grew up to 100 meters a year, destroying farms and villages.

But will it happen again?

In 2005, Russian astronomer Khabibullo Abdusamatov predicted the sun would soon peak, triggering a rapid decline in world temperatures.

Only last month, the view was echoed by Dr. Oleg Sorokhtin, a fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. who advised the world to "stock up on fur coats."

Sorokhtin, who calls man's contribution to climate change "a drop in the bucket," predicts the solar minimum to occur by the year 2040, with icy weather lasting till 2100 or beyond.

Observational data seems to support the claims -- or doesn't contradict it, at least.

According to data from Britain's Met Office, the earth has cooled very slightly since 1998.

The Met Office says global warming "will pick up again shortly."

Others aren't so sure.

Researcher Dr. Timothy Patterson, director of the Geoscience Center at Carleton University, shares the concern.

Patterson is finding "excellent correlations" between solar fluctuations, a relationship that historically, he says doesn't exist between CO2 and past climate changes.

According to Patterson, we shouldn't be surprised by a solar link. "The sun [is] the ultimate source of energy on this planet," he says.

Such research dates back to 1991, when the Danish Meteorological Institute released a study showing that world temperatures over the past several centuries correlated very closely with solar cycles.

A 2004 study by the Max Planck Institute found a similar correlation, but concluded the timing was only coincidental, as the solar variance seemed too small to explain temperature changes.

However, researchers at DMI continued to work, eventually discovering what they believe to be the link.

The key factor isn't changes in solar output, but rather changes in the sun's magnetosphere

A stronger field shields the earth more from cosmic rays, which act as "seeds" for cloud formation.

The result is less cloud cover, and a warming planet.

When the field weakens, clouds increase, reflecting more light back to space, and the earth cools off.

Recently, lead researcher Henrik Svensmark was able to experimentally verify the link between cosmic rays and cloud formation, in a cloud chamber experiment called "SKY" at the Danish National Space Center.

CERN plans a similar experiment this year. A few years ago, Stanford University's Hoover Institution also reported finding a correlation between the sun and climate.

Even NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies -- long the nation's most ardent champion of anthropogenic global warming -- is getting in on the act.

Drew Shindell, a researcher at GISS, says there are some "interesting relationships we don't fully understand" between solar activity and climate
A top observatory that has been measuring sun cycles for over 200 years predicts that global temperatures will drop by two degrees over the next two decades as solar activity grinds to a halt and the planet drastically cools down, potentially heralding the onset of a new ice age.
While the mass media, Al Gore and politicized bodies like the IPCC scaremonger about the perils of global warming and demand the poor and middle class pay CO2 taxes, both hard scientific data and circumstantial evidence points to a clear cooling trend.
Following the end of the Sun’s most active period in over 11,000 years, the last 10 years have displayed a clear cooling trend as temperatures post-1998 leveled out and are now plummeting
All over the world, temperatures have been dropping in a way wholly unpredicted by all those computer models which have been used as the main drivers of the global warming scare.
Last winter, as temperatures plummeted, many parts of the world had snowfalls on a scale not seen for decades.
After several years flatlining, global temperatures have dropped sharply enough to cancel out much of their net rise in the 20th century.
2008 was the year when any pretence that there was a “scientific consensus” in favour of man-made global warming collapsed.
At long last, as in the Manhattan Declaration last March, hundreds of proper scientists, including many of the world’s most eminent climate experts, have been rallying to pour scorn on that “consensus” which was only a politically engineered artefact, based on ever more blatantly manipulated data and computer models programmed to produce no more than convenient fictions.
It will still be some time before the IPCC and other global warming support bodies are forced to admit that their ideas are inaccurate, unhelpful and down right wrong
Watch them switch the talk over to climate change as talk of global warming becomes unsustainable

Monday, May 25, 2009

More about wanting

If you want then the universe will give you just that.


Never obtaining just the experience of wanting.

So don't waste your time wanting.

Decide that you do not want anything.

Just be clear with yourself.

Wanting is out.

Just appreciate what you have

Obtaining some material possession is fine.

How do I do that then if I do not want it?

It's a subtle distinction to decide it would be nice to have something.

Then to let it be, allow it to arrive at the right time

Not to obsess

Not spending all our energy wanting it

Just don't want

Wanting just gets wanting.

Get it?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Human relations test

This is a real test given by the Human Relations Dept at many of the major corporations today.

It helps them get a better insight concerning their employees and potential employees.

It's only 10 simple questions, so...
Take a pencil and paper, keeping track of your letter answers.


1. When do you feel your best?
(a) in the morning(b) during the afternoon & early evening(c) late at night

2. You usually walk
(a) fairly fast, with long steps(b) fairly fast, with short, quick steps(c) less fast head up, looking the world in the face(d) less fast, head down(e) very slowly

3. When talking to people you
(a) stand with your arms folded(b) have your hands clasped(c) have one or both your hands on your hips(d) touch or push the person to whom you are talking(e) play with your ear, touch your chin, or smooth your hair

4. When relaxing, you sit with
(a) your knees bent with your legs neatly side by side(b) your legs crossed(c) your legs stretched out or straight(d) one leg curled under you

5. When something really amuses you, you react with
(a) a big, appreciative laugh(b) a laugh, but not a loud one(c) a quiet chuckle(d) a sheepish smile

6. When you go to a party or social gathering you..
(a) make a loud entrance so everyone notices you(b) make a quiet entrance, looking around for someone you know(c) make the quietest entrance, trying to stay unnoticed

7. You're working very hard, concentrating hard, and you're interrupted. Do you..
(a) welcome the break(b) feel extremely irritated(c) vary between these two extremes

8. Which of the following colors do you like most?
(a) red or orange(b) black(c) yellow or light blue(d) green(e) dark blue or purple(f) white(g) brown or gray

9. When you are in bed at night, in those last few moments before going to sleep, you lie
(a) stretched out on your back(b) stretched out face down on your stomach(c) on your side, slightly curled(d) with your head on one arm(e) with your head under the covers

10. You often dream that you are
(a) falling(b) fighting or struggling(c) searching for something or somebody(d) flying or floating(e) you usually have dreamless sleep(f) your dreams are always pleasant


1. (a) 2 (b) 4 (c) 6

2. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 7 (d) 2 (e) 1

3. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 5 (d) 7 (e) 6

4. (a) 4 (b) 6 (c) 2 (d) 1

5. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 2

6. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 2

7. (a) 6 (b) 2 (c) 4

8. (a) 6 (b) 7 (c) 5 (d) 4 (e) 3 (f) 2 (g) 1

9. (a) 7 (b) 6 (c) 4 (d) 2 (e) 1

10. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 6 (f) 1

Now add up the total number of points.

Over 60 Points:Others see you as someone they should "handle with care" You're seen as vain, self-centered, and who is extremely dominant. Others may admire you, wishing they could be more like you, but don't always trust you, hesitating to become too deeply involved with you.

51 TO 60 Points:Others see you as an exciting, highly volatile, rather impulsive personality; a natural leader, who's quick to make decisions, though not always the right ones. They see you as bold and adventuresome, someone who will try anything once; someone who takes chances and enjoys an adventure. They enjoy being in your company because of the excitement you radiate.

41 TO 50 Points:Others see you as fresh, lively, charming, amusing, practical, and always interesting; someone who's constantly in the center of attention, but sufficiently well-balanced not to let it go to their head. They also see you as kind, considerate, and understanding; someone who'll always cheer them up and help them out.

31 TO 40 Points:Others see you as sensible, cautious, careful & practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest... Not a person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone who's extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expect the same loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you realize it takes a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but equally that it takes you a long time to get over it if that trust is ever broken.

21 TO 30 Points:Your friends see you as painstaking and fussy. They see you as very cautious, extremely careful, a slow and steady plodder. It'd really surprise them if you ever did something impulsively or on the spur of the moment, expecting you to examine everything carefully from every angle and then, usually decide against it. They think this reaction is caused partly by your careful nature.

Under 21 Points:People think you are shy, nervous, and indecisive, someone who needs looking after, who always wants someone else to make the decisions & who doesn't want to get involved with anyone or anything. They see you as a worrier who always sees problems that don't exist. Some people think you're boring. Only those who know you well know that you aren't.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Just want to share

Being in the mood let me share this

It's how you are with wherever you are

Wherever you are it is how you are with it not where it is
Be it a prison cell or soft bed, cold at a bus stop or tired at work

Wherever you are it is how you are with it that is important not where it is

And then how we are with ourselves is important for how we are with others

When we are in harmony with ourselves great but the real challenge is when we are not - for whatever reason doesn't matter

It is how we can submerge our own personal feelings and be there for whoever is with us

To do this focus on them completely, let go your own problems or thoughts to one side

No half listening, not really paying attention, focus totally on them and what they are saying

If you can do this then your comments on them or their lives will be more accurate and pertinent

Giving total attention to others for a period of time takes away our own stress
Let's it dissipate
If you can do this then over time you are learning to heal yourself because you are no longer focusing solely on yourself

You are learning to give your interest and attention to others

Letting go of the where and what of your own circumstances
Growing your consciousness through engaging with others

Finding compassion

Learning how small our own problems often are when we help others

Friday, May 22, 2009

Anger with

Those who we do not like or agree with is a favourite of many

If this is your thing then choose to either let it go or learn how to control your anger

Learn why you get angry

Retaining frustration and anger does nothing for you
Letting go is an option, a good one if you cannot change anything
However this is often not easy when someone presses your buttons

Getting fully involved is another, by understanding the other persons point of view not just your own

And then and only then making an effort to do something about whatever it is that angered you

Anger with anything or anyone is not good for us

Some believe that getting the anger out is healthy

If you are prone to anger then maybe this is necessary, however the next step is learning how to come over this anger

Finding a way past anger is a mega step


Because it means that you can be on your way to becoming the master of yourself

Being angry means you are not in control, you are not the master of anything
You are letting your anger rule you

Find out why you get angry

Why do people manage to push your buttons?

Anger over time destroys and unbalances our immune system leading in turn to ill health

Going beyond anger is only possible once we remove our emotional reactions to situations

Doing this requires that we learn not to take things personally even when they are personal

Having distance between ourselves and whatever life sends our way is important in removing our anger

Anger is unhelpful in resolving most situations

Removing it is a powerful step forward towards mastering ourselves

Becoming the master of ourselves is a goal worth pursuing because we can then accept whatever comes our way with equanimity and balance

This has to be better than being a prisoner to our emotions

And finding out why you are angry with things in your life leads you to finding about yourself on a deeper level

As we have said many times mastery of ourselves allows us to experience life on a different level

A level where equanimity and balance are natural

Where anger does not prevail, indeed is absent even from major provocation

Reaching this space helps us to find freedom from our emotions

Start by really looking at yourself and seeing if you can understand where your anger comes from

For sure it comes from fear, starts in fear

What fear?

Which fear?

Sort this and you are on your way
Some steps
Once you have calmed down learn more about every situation particularly the other point of view
Accept that it starts in fear, what frightens you, ask others for their understanding of whatever the situation is and compare this with your own, can you change your understanding?
Apologise even when you think you are right because it is not about being right it's about being angry and you being able to accept that this is not right in itself
Being able to say sorry is not just something we teach children it is for us too. Say sorry!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Every one different

Even so called identical twins

Just like snowflakes all tell of their journey

It is said that everyone is responsible for how he or she looks after fifty

This is probably nearer forty today

Your life shapes your face
When we are young our natural youth and strength allow us to hide aspects of ourselves
As we get older and no longer have the same strength we can no longer hide everything inside
As John Lennon once said "you can't hide when you are crippled inside"
And so it is we come to forty or thereabouts
The real you emerges
And so how come few notice what is right in front of their eyes?
How come so few see what is in and on the face in front of them?
Modern training is so pervasive that we do not see how corrupt he or she is
The corruption and evil right there to see
The dishonesty right in front of our very eyes
Today we are taught that this is character, not evil
Wake up it is there in front of your eyes
Choose to see
Look carefully
All that you need to know about someone is there in front of your eyes
Couple your eyes to your other senses and you can "know" that person in front of you
Test for the day
Look at your own face
Cover one half vertically with a piece of paper or magazine
The two halves are different
One is you hiding from the world trying to present what you want the world to see
The other is the real you
Which is which?
You tell me
Assimetry says a lot about a person
Not always favourably
It is possible to change how you look
To create a more balanced face
A more beautiful you
If you are full of fear then over time this shows
If you are full of love then over time this shows
If you lie and deceive then over time this shows
If you like yourself then over time this shows
If you do not like yourself then over time this shows
It really is possible to change how you look
Change how you feel about yourself and you change how you look
And should you believe us then here is another thought the more you reduce fear in yourself the more you slow down the ageing process
The more you slow down the ageing process the better you look
Simple and far more effective than pills, potions and miracle operations
Plastic surgery does nothing for the empty soul
Again as Lennon said "you can't hide when you are crippled inside"
You want your face to look better?
Then change how you feel about yourself

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Narrow Boats

The fastest way to slow down is to get on a narrow boat

Or so say those who have tried

For those unsure what a narrow boat is it is a name given to British canal boats

Called such because they have to be narrow enough to navigate the British canal system

The British canal system is extensive and was built before the industrial revolution in the late eighteenth century

In fact it both enabled and fed off the industrial revolution

British inland waterways are a network of over 2000m (3000km) of man made waterways which were built over 200 years ago.
They include some rivers which have been made navigable over many hundreds of years.
New engineering techniques had to be developed to build the inland waterways and canals made the Industrial Revolution possible by allowing goods and raw materials to be moved between the new ‘factories’ and the new ‘consumers’.
When the railways took over that role, about 100 years ago, British inland waterways went into slow decline and now carry very little commercial cargo.
However there are more boats afloat than ever before because canal cruising is such a popular leisure activity.
Most canals are managed and maintained by British Waterways which is a public corporation and enthusiastically supports their leisure and tourism use.
Many hundreds of miles of derelict canals have now been reopened for pleasure use.
Canals first saw use during the Roman occupation of the south of Great Britain, and were used mainly for irrigation.
However, the Romans did create several navigable canals, such as Foss Dyke, to link rivers, enabling increased transportation inland by water.
Canal-based holidays became popular due to their relaxing nature, self-catering levels of cost, and variety of scenery available; from inner London to the Scottish Highlands.
This growth in interest came just in time to give local canal societies the ammunition they needed to combat government proposals in the 1960s to close commercially-unviable canals, and to resist pressure from local authorities and newspapers to "Fill In this eyesore" or even to "Close the Killer Canal" (when someone fell in one).
It was not long before enthusiastic volunteers were repairing unnavigable but officially-open canals and moving on to restore officially-closed ones and demonstrating their renewed viability to the authorities.
Local authorities began to see how a cleaned-up and well-used waterway was bringing visitors to other towns and waterside pubs(not just boaters, but people who just like being near water and watching boats .
They began to clean up their own watersides, and to campaign for "their" canal to be restored.
As a result of this growing revival of interest, there are now even some new routes under consideration, and one under construction called the Fens Waterways Link for the first time in a century, linking navigable rivers and existing canals.
Large projects such as the restoration of the spectacular Anderton Boat Lift, or the building of the startling Falkirk Wheel attracted development funding from the European Union and from the Millennium Fund.
There are now thousands of miles of navigable canals and rivers throughout the United Kingdom.
Most of them are linked into a single English and Welsh network from Bristol to London, Liverpool to Goole, and Lancaster to Ripon, and connecting the Irish Sea, the North Sea, the estuaries of the Humber, Thames, Mersey, River Severn, and River Ribble.
This network is navigable in its entirety by a narrowboat (a boat 7 ft wide) no longer than about 56 feet.
There are also several through-routes not connected to the main network, notably those in Scotland, e.g. Glasgow to Edinburgh via the Falkirk Wheel, and Inverness to Fort William via Loch Ness.
And yes that is the Loch Ness of monster fame
So should you find yourself over this way then try a narrow boat for a totally different experience
British Waterways Authority

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Positive me

Happier people live longer, get fewer infections and feel less pain.

Why is a positive attitude so vital to our health?

Think yourself better: happier people live longer

Forget the pills and potions, hold the tissues, and be positive

It just may be a good way to avoid a cold.

People with a positive emotional style – happy, lively, and calm – were nearly three times less likely to develop a cold after being exposed to a virus than the negative-minded volunteers.

They were infected by the bug, but their body's reaction to it meant they were less likely to have a cold.

We found that the tendency to express positive emotions was associated with greater resistance to developing a cold, say the researchers.

Common colds are not the only health problem to be avoided or lessened by being positive.

New research shows that men and women with so-called dispositional optimism – defined as having positive expectations for the future – were less sensitive to pain.

Positive folk may also be less likely to die prematurely and to live seven or more years longer than the more miserable.

They recover more quickly from surgery, may be less likely to develop cancer, suffer a stroke, die from heart disease, or suffer from depression.

The more positive people expect their futures to be, the better their mood, the fewer their psychiatric symptoms, and the better their adjustment to diverse situations including pregnancy and cardiac surgery," says Dr Suzanne Segerstrom, of the University of Kentucky

While it's long been accepted that negative emotions such as anger, depression and anxiety have an effect on health, increasing evidence is showing that positive emotions may be associated with lower rates of illness and less severe symptoms.

Researchers at Yale University who investigated longevity found that those people who had positive attitudes about ageing when they were young lived more than seven years longer that those with a less positive attitude.

Our study carries two messages.

The discouraging one is that negative self-perceptions can diminish life expectancy; the encouraging one is that positive self-perceptions can prolong life expectancy," says Dr Becca Levy, who led the study.

The link between a positive mind and health may also lead to new ways of tackling disease.

It is an important area," says Dr John Weinman, professor of psychology as applied to medicine at the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College, London.

For years, what we have tended to do is to focus on people who have problems, those with illnesses.

We have maybe over-focused on these people and why they have problems in coping with illness.

We would actually learn a lot from people who do well despite having major health problems, those who get back to functioning quickly, and who survive for longer periods of time.

What is especially interesting is the long-term survival of people with major health problems which we know should shorten their lives.

In type one diabetes, for example, which is known to reduce life expectancy by about 15 years, there are people out there who are in their seventies and eighties who have lived since childhood with diabetes.

What is it about those people?

That is the big question

Just how a positive and optimistic outlook has such an effect is not known.

Some theories suggest that it is because such people tend to look after their health better, be more focused and know what they want, and are more likely to shun health-threatening behaviours.

But other research suggests something else at work.

In the common-cold research at the University of Pittsburgh, the researchers found that it was not so much that the positive people did not get infected with the virus, but that they tended to have fewer signs and symptoms of illness.

That, say the researchers, appears to suggest that the link may be down to differences in the release of immune system cells involved in the inflammatory response to the infection.

Researchers at Miami University have suggested that many hormones that play a key role in health are affected by emotions, including cortisol, norepinephrine, dopamine, prolactin, and oxytocin.

Positive psychological factors have been associated with many of these hormones they say, which
simply put

If you learn to think positively

It leads to positive actions

Which create positive habits

After which positive results appear
Positive me indeed!
R. Dobson

Monday, May 18, 2009

The fanatic

Cannot be negotiated with

Whatever his cause he will not listen to you because he is too far gone in his grievances and righteousness

Whatever his belief there is no changing him while he is in the environment that feeds his fanaticism

There is no negotiation

There is also no easy answer as to what to do

If you keep on increasing controls in the name of prevention

The fanatic wins

If you do nothing the fanatic continues his murders and wanton violence

Essentially a better understanding of his psyche is important

More education and more attention to the inequalities in society

Fanatics come in all flavours

One thing is clear they thrive where inequality is rife

Globally inequality is greater than it need be

Address the inequalities and the fanatic has less space to move in

The less inequalities the fewer feeding grounds for those who would use these people

Most are uneducated and it is the educated who use them

Reduce the uneducated and you reduce the pool of martyrs

Time we acknowledge that our tactics are not the best

Current events make this a time of increasing inequality
We have been warned none of us can hide behind walls, they do not stop the fanatic

He must be met when he is young and be educated with values that from time immemorial speak to love and compassion
Reduce the inequalities and you reduce the attraction of fanaticism
A long journey but one we must ndertake with more consciousness of why we must do this
Fairness, freedom and the right of all to live in peace should be a human birthright

Sunday, May 17, 2009


A community of microbes that have lived cut off from the rest of the world for more than 1.5 million years has been discovered beneath a vast glacier in the Antarctic.

The organisms have survived in total darkness on nothing but the minerals and long-decayed organic matter that were also trapped at the base of the glacier. Instead of breathing oxygen, they have learnt to "breathe" iron to produce energy.

The discovery of the microbes demonstrates the tenacious capacity of life to survive in the most extreme environments, and raises the prospect that it may one day be possible to find life in equally extreme environments both on Earth and on other planets.

"It's a bit like finding a forest that nobody has seen for 1.5 million years," said Professor Ann Pearson of Harvard University, one of the scientists who made the discovery.

"Intriguingly, the species living there are similar to contemporary organisms, and yet quite different – a result, no doubt, of having lived in such an inhospitable environment for so long."

The scientists discovered the microbes by analysing the very salty water flowing out of a crack in the wall of the Taylor Glacier in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of East Antarctica.

The glacier is famous for its "Blood Falls", an outflow of rusty-red mineral deposits first discovered in 1911.

The brine seeping from the glacier contained no oxygen, indicating that it had been isolated from the atmosphere, but it did include the telltale genetic signatures of living organisms living beneath the mass of ice.

The scientists believe that the microbes are descended from a population of marine organisms that once lived in an ancient ocean that had become a landlocked briny pond before being covered in the glacier between 1.5m and 2m years ago.

The exact size of the pond is not known but it lies more than 1,300 feet below ice, about 2.5 miles from Blood Falls.

"This briny pond is a unique sort of time capsule from a period in Earth's history," said Jill Mikucki of Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, the lead author of the study, published today in the journal Science.

The scientists obtained a cold, clear sample of the brine as it flowed from a crack in the glacier.

"When I started running the chemical analysis on it, there was no oxygen.

That was when this got really interesting.

It was a real Eureka moment," Dr Mikucki said.

"The brine is about four times more salty than seawater and so it does not freeze, despite being at a temperature of about -10C.

The chemical analysis showed that the genes of the microbes found in the brine were closely related to the genes of modern-day marine microbes even though they have been cut off from the ocean for more than a million years.

The salts associated with these features are marine salts, and given the history of marine water in the dry valleys, it made sense that subglacial microbial communities might retain some of their marine heritage," Dr Mikucki said.

Scientists at the site are using the same sort of analytical techniques to search for extreme terrestrial life forms that they hope to use in the search for life on Mars and Europa, the frozen moon of Jupiter.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Wondering about

How to feel relaxed during stressful times?

How to turn off

How to let go

One of the most irritating things said to me many years ago was "let go"

Let go?

Let go of what I asked?

There followed an explanation that totally confused and frustrated me

It frustrated me because I could not understand that I was not able to relax

I felt that I was relaxed but in reality I was busy trying to control things

Life had to be on my terms

I had my own perception of everything

Which was often not reality for others

Was not what they perceived me to be

When their perceptions did not fit mine I would get irritated or angry

Like when told to let go and could not understand what they meant

Slowly it began to dawn on me that I was really in a not so pleasant repeating pattern

Things kept going wrong

I began to try new courses and activities that promised self realization, offering to empower me, show me this and that, you name it I tried it

And not one of these courses gave me what I was looking for

One reason being that dimly I knew that I was not happy inside

But had problems admitting this

Finding fault in others
Finding frustration in myself while blaming the world and others

Being judgemental and critical

Without realising it I had crossed a major hurdle

I was now admitting to myself that I had a problem

The second insight was realising that no one other than myself was responsible for this state of affairs

Then came the understanding that I was the one who had to change this

No course could do this although certainly several courses I attended gave me insights into other aspects and possibilities

Too often they added little except more frustration

Often I had this feeling that they did not really know much either

Over time I learned to see that those who did not know much talked a lot

Claimed a lot and when questioned or challenged would retreat into jargon or a mumbo jumbo of how I was not ready or how this was secret or how I did not understand

And so this went on for a long time

Then basically I gave up on the courses and started reading more

Spending more time in nature

Beginning to do things that I had put off and really decided I wanted to do

One such was Shiatsu

Through this I began to find some peace in myself

Began to calm down and to see how uptight I was

Shiatsu led to other healing arts

To helping others which lead to doing different things in my life

What was happening during this period was that the focus was coming off myself

Less thought about myself, me

More about other people, becoming interested and concerned about their problems

And then one day I got it I realised I was beginning to let go

Another breakthrough came when I met someone who I felt had something different

What I was not sure, however her peace and calm disposition hit some space in me

I wanted to understand how she maintained this composure and friendliness during very demanding situations

I was lucky that she gave me some time

She gave me what she called a correction using her skills to help me let go further unblocking old pains

A lot more of the old tensions came out of me

And she told me simple things I could do to keep this experience expanding

So finally I was learning how to let go and to move on

And you where are you on your own journey of self understanding?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Liar signals

There are many signals that give away the liar.
Here are some
Scratching their lips or noses
Licking their lips
Covering the mouth with their hands, children will do this instinctively when they lie
Crossing of the legs suddenly
Changing position suddenly
The same with the arms
Sudden decision to smoke
Looking, glancing away, sideways
Adopting a forced eye contact
Sitting in an unnaturally stiff posture
Fidgeting and moving about
Pupil contraction
Controlled vocal tones
Stutters, slurs and hesitations
Palm wiping against clothing
Sudden giggling
There are so many signs and as with many things in life the trick is in interpreting them and of course liars will exhibit some or none of the above signs
Seeing liars for what they are is important to our well being
And this in turn means it is good to learn more about your fellow man and woman
When people lie, they put themselves in a state of stress, a higher than usual anxiety
Adrenaline floods the body, the heart beats faster, muscles tense, blood vessels dilate or contract pupils’ shrink, the need for nicotine increases and breathing becomes faster.
Older lie detectors and their ability to work depend on these physiological reactions.
Newer lie detector technologies use tension, muscle, eye and myriad other subtle criteria to detect liars
Trained observers don't need machines most of these changes are very visible to them experience allowing them to pick up the numerous little signs
More people today are aware of the tell tale signs that give them away, but liars are evolving too
The professional liars in PR, spin and politics hardly ever miss a beat when they lie smoothly while smiling and looking into the cameras or talking to people
So even with all the best equipment we might not be able to catch out the professional liar so again it comes down to that intuitive feeling that the liar is lying
Intuition used without mind being allowed to interject it's interpretation is helpful
Develop that instant feeling
Trust your feelings as they can often bypass the limitations of mind
Context is often critical in showing us the liar at work
If it looks and feels wrong chances are it is
Common sense also helps when the liar is spinning his web of deceit
Catching out the liar is useful and sometimes vital to our well being
And for sure they will be in your life
Modern liars are not only hiding in the shadows they are often in our faces on TV and elsewhere

So learn about how people lie and how to spot them
It is indeed a useful skill
Practice when watching your politicians and leaders
You just might catch a liar at work

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Quotes - 2

People living deeply have no fear of death - Anais Nin

Laughter is a tranquillizer with no side effects - Arnold Glasgow

I will work my own way, according to the light that is in me - Lydia Maria Child

The strangest and most fantastic fact about negative emotions is that people actually worship them - P.D. Ouspensky

The best mind-altering drug is truth - Lily Tomlin

On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain: either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow - Friedrich Nietzsche

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how - Friedrich Nietzsche

He who hunts monsters should see to, that in the process, he does not become a monster himself - Friedrich Nietzsche

Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise: seek what they sought - Basho

If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility - Longfellow

Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records - William A. Ward

Our own life is the instrument with which we experiment with truth - Thich Nhat Hanh

I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." - Gilda Radner

Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Louis Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein - Unknown

Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be - Abraham Lincoln

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth - Niels Bohr

The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible, and achieve it, generation after generation - Pearl S. Buck

He that never changes his opinions, never corrects his mistakes, will never be wiser on the morrow than he is today - Tryon Edwards

Do what you can, with what you have, with where you are - Theodore Roosevelt

Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved - Barbara Johnson

It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory - W. Edwards Deming

The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common - Ralph Waldo Emerson

We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak - Epictetus

Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory - Betty Smith

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance - Oscar Wilde