Saturday, July 31, 2010

A choice we make

First a simple statement

If you are of average health and strength you will live to be about eighty years old plus or minus

There are plenty of variables to be sure however for this blog eighty plus is your probable life span

The last quarter of that life, in other words over twenty years, is where you will watch others disappear around you through disease, accident or other causes

Around you those who survive with you some will be unhappy

Some will be happy people

Take a little time now

Watch those who were successful

Those who grabbed all the toys

Then note who has good health

Who is happy

Research says we get happier again after fifty having been less happy up until then

However this is a relative statement and don't ask me if it is accurate or not

Your own behaviour will help determine your own state of mind and well being at that point in your life, and yes this will come to you too

Life they say is what we make it to be

Others might argue that life is what happens to us

And what happens to us is a function of the choices we make

The choice to walk every day is one likely to lead to better health

Unless of course our choice is to walk everyday next to a highway filled with slow moving cars belching CO2 emissions

Many variables impact upon us throughout our lives

We have the freedom to make choices as well

One of the most important choices we make is such a simple one that many never even consider it to be a choice

To be happy

Yes this is a choice we make

Observe around you that many people with difficult lives are happy

Many people with few resources or choices are happy

Many of course are not happy

Many more seem to be unhappy than happy

Surveys tell us all sorts of information about how we are

However important for you is your life and how you find it

That one choice to be happy is maybe the most important you can make

Just that simple little choice made privately to yourself influences how life is for you

I am happy, I am going to be happy in my life, I am happy in my life

Just this choice sets your perceptions and experiences onto a different track from those who choose to find life difficult, hard or unpleasant

Guess what, if you keep telling yourself how unlucky you are then there is a higher probability that life will give you bad luck

Our orientation makes a big difference to what we experience in life

Our thought forms are powerful and if we persist in any particular one then this gathers momentum and power

We empower that idea

We strengthen it

We imbue it with energy

Happiness is a state of mind

Your state of mind is controlled by your thought forms

Make them happy ones and you will move in that direction

Find the good in things

Make others smile

Just a choice we make

Friday, July 30, 2010

Aerobic exercises

Researchers have discovered that the health benefits of aerobic exercise are determined by our genes - and can vary substantially between individuals.
Around 20 per cent of the population do not get any significant aerobic fitness benefit from regular exercise, according to an international study led by scientists at the University of London.
For these people, regular jogging and gym work will do little to ward off conditions like heart disease and diabetes which aerobic exercise is generally thought to resist.
Researchers say they would be better off abandoning their exercise regime and focusing on other ways of staying healthy - such as improving their diet or taking medication.
As part of the research, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, more than 500 participants in Europe and the US were asked to undergo various aerobic training programmes in line with government advice to do 30 minutes of exercise five times a week.
By the end of the 20, 12 and six week programmes the majority of people had shown a measurable improvement in how much oxygen their body consumes during exercise, a key indicator of aerobic fitness.
But 20 per cent saw their maximum oxygen increase by less than five per cent - a negligible improvement.
Around 30 per cent showed no increase in insulin sensitivity, meaning that the exercise did not reduce their risk of diabetes.
A pioneering analysis of muscle tissue samples taken from the participants revealed a set of about 30 genes that predicted the increase in oxygen intake.
Of these, 11 were shown to have a particular impact on how much a person could benefit from aerobic exercise.
Dr Timmons said: “We know that low maximal oxygen consumption is a strong risk factor for premature illness and death so the tendency is for public health experts to automatically prescribe aerobic exercise to increase oxygen capacity.
Our hope is that before too long, they will be able to target that prescription just to those who may stand a greater chance of benefiting, and prescribe more effective preventive or therapeutic measures to the others.”

James Timmons

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Transactive memory

Relationship development is often understood as a process of mutual self-disclosure
Or put more romantically as one of interpersonal revelation and acceptance
It is also a natural precursor to trans active memory
Trans active memory is part of what intimacy means
And what is transactive memory?
Transactive memory is where we store a lot of our information
Outside our brains
Many things are not stored in our brains but we do know where to find them
Our partner might be better than us at doing certain things
So he does this and we do that
She might be better with the children and he with the accounts and tax matters or fixing the drain
It is the loss of this kind of joint memory that helps make divorce so painful
Divorced people who suffer depression may be expressing the loss for their external memory systems
They were once able to discuss their experiences to reach a shared understanding
They could once count on access to a wide range of storage in their partner and this too has gone
The loss of trans active memory feels like losing a part of one's own mind
And for some they never recover
Others wounded stumble around until they find another to share with
Sharing life with another is often about the shared experiences
About the external memory system
Funny we do not often realise this for what it is or how important a part of life it can be

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Smiling and laughing

Has become less usual, less common

Apparently scientists have found that modern people smile less than they used to

6 times a day in fact is now how often we laugh

We used to laugh 15 times a day

Children laugh all the time

It is good for them

And quite natural

So where does our laughter go?


Fear of laughter being out of place

Not wanting to attract attention to ourselves

Not wanting to be seen to be politically incorrect

Then of course many do not find life to be very funny

Living in cities it is better to hide one's emotions

Just keep a neutral face

Wake up please!

Laughter is not just a release

Not just a reaction to some event or joke

Laughter is a health need just as children show us

Why do we feel good around children?

They are happy

They laugh

They have ringing clean voices

And for us?

Dull controlled features

How many faces look happy, glance around you?

Determine to create the face you want

Do you really want a face that looks bland and controlled?

A face serious

A face neutral devoid of emotion

No you do not

Why not?

Because over time this is what becomes the habitual expression on your face

Hence the expression everybody is responsible for their face after forty

Yes by forty your face is fixed, your life is shown in that face

Do you like how yours is?

Then change it

And as usual only you can change this

Determine to create the face you want

See beauty around you

Laugh from your gut at least fifteen times a day

Check it out today, do it today, in fact laugh now, can you?

How many times have you laughed today?

Sad isn't it?

Change this

It sets other energies in motion

Nicer energies

Energies that change your life

Fresh energies, lighter, cleaner and dare we say so happier energies

Go for it

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Separation - separateness

Is a defining characteristic of our civilisation today 

A sense-of-self that has increasingly dominated our civilization for thousands of years.

For the discrete-and-separate self

Is how we experience our lives - you over there and me here

With this view inhabiting an objective universe means more for you is less for me.

This is the self of today

It is not working

Greed and the corruption our world view brings is destructive

It is destroying our planet

We all know this we all sense on a deep level 5% of the population controlling or owning most of the resources is not a healthy state of affairs

We are nearing the end of unbridled capitalism

To move forward we need to shift to a gift society

In a gift society more for you is more for me, because I know that if you have more than you need, you will give the surplus to someone who needs it.

In this very simple way, we become connected;

I wish for your good as you wish for mine, and do unto you as I would have you do unto me.

As taught for thousands of years, this simple rule is the truth of the coming age.
Today we are moving into a time that realizes the truth of the connected self

A connected self in which not only my well-being, but my very existence, my very being-ness, depends on the well-being and indeed the existence of all other beings on the planet.

This same truth is also what moves us to compassion for others

For those with less than ourselves

It can be experienced directly in psychedelic states and other altered states

Normal states as well, indeed in any state we can experience the pleasure of connectedness

The feeling that we are awakening to a much more wonderful world

Something magical, something mind-blowing a world so much more interesting than the one we inhabit today

We want our minds to be blown because we are done with the Age of Separation and the small, isolated self that inhabits it.

It is time for this social movement to begin in earnest.

And this can only happen when we truly believe this to be possible

To be the only way forward
Do you?
C. Eisenburg

Monday, July 26, 2010

Report from the US Pesidents Cancer Panel

In particular, the report warns about exposures to chemicals during pregnancy, when risk of damage seems to be greatest.
Noting that 300 contaminants have been detected in umbilical cord blood of newborn babies, the study warns that: “to a disturbing extent, babies are born ‘pre-polluted.’ ”
It’s striking that this report emerges not from the fringe but from the mission control of mainstream scientific and medical thinking, the President’s Cancer Panel.
Established in 1971, this is a group of three distinguished experts who review America’s cancer program and report directly to the president.
One of the seats is now vacant, but the panel members who joined in this report are Dr. LaSalle Leffall Jr., an oncologist and professor of surgery at Howard University, and Dr. Margaret Kripke, an immunologist at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
Both were originally appointed to the panel by former President George W. Bush.
“We wanted to let people know that we’re concerned, and that they should be concerned,” Professor Leffall told me.
The report blames weak laws, lax enforcement and fragmented authority, as well as the existing regulatory presumption that chemicals are safe unless strong evidence emerges to the contrary.
“Only a few hundred of the more than 80,000 chemicals in use in the United States have been tested for safety,” the report says.
It adds: “Many known or suspected carcinogens are completely unregulated.”
Industry may howl.
The food industry has already been fighting legislation in the Senate backed by Dianne Feinstein of California that would ban bisphenol-A, commonly found in plastics and better known as BPA, from food and beverage containers.
Studies of BPA have raised alarm bells for decades, and the evidence is still complex and open to debate.
That’s life:
In the real world, regulatory decisions usually must be made with ambiguous and conflicting data.
The panel’s point is that we should be prudent in such situations, rather than recklessly approving chemicals of uncertain effect.
The President’s Cancer Panel report will give a boost to Senator Feinstein’s efforts.
It may also help the prospects of the Safe Chemicals Act, backed by Senator Frank Lautenberg and several colleagues, to improve the safety of chemicals on the market.
Some 41 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives, and they include Democrats and Republicans alike.
Protecting ourselves and our children from toxins should be an effort that both parties can get behind — if enough members of Congress are willing to put the public interest ahead of corporate interests.
One reason for concern is that some cancers are becoming more common, particularly in children.
We don’t know why that is, but the proliferation of chemicals in water, foods, air and household products is widely suspected as a factor.
I’m hoping the President’s Cancer Panel report will shine a stronger spotlight on environmental causes of health problems — not only cancer, but perhaps also diabetes, obesity and autism.
This is not to say that chemicals are evil, and in many cases the evidence against a particular substance is balanced by other studies that are exonerating.
To help people manage the uncertainty prudently, the report has a section of recommendations for individuals:
Particularly when pregnant and when children are small, choose foods, toys and garden products with fewer endocrine disruptors or other toxins. (Information about products is at or
For those whose jobs may expose them to chemicals, remove shoes when entering the house and wash work clothes separately from the rest of the laundry.
Filter drinking water.
Store water in glass or stainless steel containers, or in plastics that don’t contain BPA or phthalates (chemicals used to soften plastics).
Microwave food in ceramic or glass containers.
Give preference to food grown without pesticides, chemical fertilizers and growth hormones.
Avoid meats that are cooked well-done.
Check radon levels in your home.
Radon is a natural source of radiation linked to cancer.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Do not like my life

Do not like it


What are you going to do about it?


Too lazy

Too frightened

Don't know how or what to do

Never really thought about it


Wake up life is going so fast today

There is no excuse time is flying

Change it

Move on take risk

Break that illusion of safety

Because that is all that it is

An illusion

If you want to like your life then the first step is to like yourself

Do you?

To like yourself learn who you really are

Find those weaknesses, fix them, sort them, get them out, look at them

Then and only then can you fix that life you do not like

Start always with yourself

Do this now

You are the one who should be in control of your life

Or is it your fears that are in control?

For many the real truth is that fear controls their lives

If you do not take yourself too seriously then you can banish those fears

If you do take yourself very seriously then tell me why?

What is so important about you and your life?

Are you going to make some earth shattering contribution?

Do you have something humanity desperately needs?

I wonder then what is so important about you

Ah you are all that you have

You only have you

So you take you very seriously

Not maybe the best way to see things

We have many lives

This life is just another life, one in many many

Yes it is very real and very now

So to get  the best out of it stop taking yourself so seriously

Once you can do that life changes

Laughing at yourself and your fears becomes easier

And once we see that taking ourselves so seriously is not good for our health or well being we can move on

Move on to the space where we can let go of constant thoughts about our self

becoming more interested and concerned about others

This move changes us

Feeling ourselves so similar to others

Less isolated in our private selves

A part of all that is around us

A part of nature

Life becomes less pressured

Life can be more fun

Try taking yourself less seriously

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Adrenaline rush is all for some

The amazing feeling of life

Of being so alive

Adrenaline can do this to us

Addiction to this is common

Base jumping, snowboarding, motorbikes


Potential danger

Seeking it out

Going close, closer

Taking risk

Going closer

To the edge

And why?

Because it is an addiction

It is exciting

Excitement of being really alive

Doing something with others who share your passion

A team perhaps

Maybe not just doing it together

Not competition that is something else

Although there always those who need to be first

Need to be better

For most camaraderie

Sharing the activity

Is all

Adrenaline is a rush, always there

Until one day you find the allure gone

No longer a rush

Time to move on

This happens to most of us

Danger is no longer the rush it was

Adrenaline being replaced by other possibilities

Life is like that

A time for this and then a time to move on

Thank you adrenaline

Life calms down

Then one day an emergency and you experience adrenaline again

Not just for kicks

Adrenaline is there to save us in times of emergency

Adrenaline is a part of life experience and for those who never knew it's form

Soreee you have missed something

Friday, July 23, 2010

Stepping beyond

Beyond my fears

Into light

This is the way forward for you, for all of us

For all of us

See that our lives are what we have now, this moment now is our only reality

That after death we have plenty of time to assimilate what we have learnt here

Do not waste your life in fear

Use each day to grow

To understand more

You are here to be the best you can each and every day

Whatever life sends you, hardship pain, yes these are a normal part of life

Few escape without experiencing pain and hardship in one form or another

It is not what we experience but how we handle it that is important

So many have difficult lives

Sometimes we can help them but often not


Because so many lock themselves into misery

Have chosen to stay there

For you the choices are the same

Are you going to stay in your pain?

In your misery and depression?

Are you locking yourself into misery?

There is always a choice how ever hard your life experience

Some of the most remarkable people we know have to deal with terrific pain

Terribly hard lives and they still manifest courage

Usually smiling and finding the good in difficult circumstances

When you see the glass half empty then yes that is how it is

A half empty glass leads to an empty one over time

A half full glass is different it is happier and more positive with a feeling of can do

Just a silly way of putting things you might think

Not really

How you think hugely influences how you experience life

Our thought forms are what determine how we see and experience life

Stepping beyond the average is learning to have positive thoughts

These do not come easily if we think life sucks

Positive thoughts come when we understand more about life

When we begin to see the truth of things

This can only happen when we decide to let go of our fears

Decide consciously to learn about how things really work

This is what stepping beyond requires

Facing reality and reducing our perceptions

Choosing to see and find the positive

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Real zero tolerance

Real zero tolerance means fixing the smashed windows before the cars are set alight
Picking up sweet and other paper litter before it becomes a general dumping of rubbish
Dealing with a child's minor offences before they become major ones
Cleaning graffiti and not allowing it to become endemic  
And that has always seemed to be a sensible approach
It needs political will though
It needs a police and other forces to be on top of their local areas of responsibility
And once this standard is established you need to go another step
To introduce better training of children at school about social responsibilities
Meaning zero tolerance in the school for liter or bullying or violence
A society that understands that anti social behaviour starts at home
Having parents made responsible for their children's behaviour
Parents even being fined or punished for their children's behaviour
And after all this a thorough review of the local drug policy and an ability to be honest that prohibition does not work
That having no jobs or training for the young leaving school with minimal qualifications leads to problems
That teenagers will always experiment
Bored or otherwise
The negativity of making young people criminals for life for experimenting is not very intelligent
And how many countries have gone down this road?
Several are happy with zero tolerance approaches
Happy apparently to lock up large numbers of young people
Few have any ideas about preventing these criminalized minors from becoming repeat offenders
Not so many are honest enough to recognise that their society has failed the young
Nor are they willing to admit that they have few or no ideas
That continual repression is not a solution
Politicians have impaled themselves on the rhetoric of being tough on all crime
Can it be that it is convenient to have an anti social class to distract from other more serious political failings?
That for budget and other reasons having teenagers to scream at makes very good sense as a diversion from other failings
Surely they are not that cynical?

Then why else would one keep pursuing  failed youth and drug policies?

Policies which criminalise your youth

Zero tolerance sounds good but without policies to address the underlying causes it is stupidity writ large

Societies that criminalise their youth

That have no plans to improve the lives of those who cannot move out of their ghettos

These societies are the ones for whom there should really be zero tolerance

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Foreign Aid

Foreign Aid was taking money from the poor people of a rich country,and giving it to the rich people of a poor country


Still is

Far too often aid is given knowing full well that the rulers will steal and siphon off some or all of the aid

The lies of politics and the so called national interests demand that we pretend that we do not notice that this is happening

Take Afghanistan the rulers are known to be corrupt

American, British and other soldiers are dying every day and yet we continue to support a corrupt and venal government

How pray does this serve the interests of the Afghan or foreign aid giving peoples?

Western governments cannot talk to their own people about law, morality and the rest while condoning and supporting such corrupt governments

Oh yes they can

Always have and if they get their way always will

Such is the way of Western Governments

Our own personal efforts must be to make known our position on this subject

We might not be able to stop this today but over time we can influence or stop this practice

We can also help the peoples of those countries by demanding our own politicians be more honest about those regimes

Foreign Aid need not be wasted on corrupt governments it can be given to those who agree to and do behave in more reasonable ways

Foreign Aid needs constant monitoring particularly in these difficult times

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Aerobic exercise and the rest

Researchers have discovered that the health benefits of aerobic exercise are determined by our genes - and can vary substantially between individuals.
Around 20 per cent of the population do not get any significant aerobic fitness benefit from regular exercise, according to an international study led by scientists at the University of London
Meaning conversely that 80 per cent of the population can derive fitness benefit from aerobic exercise
For those people who do not benefit, regular jogging and gym work will do little to ward off conditions like heart disease and diabetes which aerobic exercise is generally thought to resist
Researchers say they would be better off abandoning their exercise regime and focusing on other ways of staying healthy - such as improving their diet or taking medication
Taking medication over time though is not such a good idea
Bodies become used to medications and their effectiveness diminishes over time
Medications all have different effects on different people as their age and other conditions vary
The recommended dosage however seldom varies for these different conditions and is usually of a standard quantity
Modern man seldom considers the side effects of the medications he puts into his system
Doctors under pressure often prescribe medications as this is very often an easy course of action
The patient has the illusion of something being done
Some magic pill will cure his problem
Of more lasting use would be to consider other factors responsible for his condition
A change in his lifestyle perhaps
To address the underlying stressful issues in his life
Simple diet changes are useful, changes in lifestyle more so
We are all  responsible for our own health
No one can ask others to lead our lives for us
Some try however and many doctors, analysts and psychologists will be only too happy to take their money
Improving our health is a win win effort as it leads to greater enjoyment of life
Like most things steady regular health maintenance is well worth the effort
Aerobics might not be your thing but probably some form of exercise should be
Enjoying good health is critical to our well being
Protect yours please

Monday, July 19, 2010


or is it?

Or have they asked for it?

Maybe it's cruel, maybe not

Until we know the context we can only say it just looks cruel

For you personally though for sure you will experience something cruel in your life

Maybe you will be cruel

Or are you a cruel person already?

Do you like hurting?

Whether or not you are cruel we will all face some cruel choices

Life will throw some really cruel experiences our way

Choices where we can be cruel

Maybe have to be cruel

Maybe we will have the chance not to be cruel

Those choices will be influenced by our life training

By our upbringing

The circumstances

Context and other variables will often guide or influence our choice

Not much to say except that if you are cruel in those choices then for sure you will experience the same or double the pain you cause, if not in this life then in the next one


Because there are certain laws that govern the universe

The law of harmony is one

The old expression 'what goes round comes round' is another way of stating this law

We would say Karma, Karma will see that what we do to others we will later experience ourselves, and often doubly so

So understand all the good books are not fairy tales they are based on serious teachings

Cruelty is a no no

It is a measure of your consciousness and morality as to how you react to the opportunity to be cruel

Where you can avoid cruelty do so

Being witness to cruelty is not easy either

Where you are able take possible actions to stop such behaviour do so

Because cruelty is not something to ignore

Nor is it nice to experience

Cruel people show their fear and weaknesses in their cruelty

Have you got a cruel streak?

If so then sort it because cruelty leads to destruction of the perpetrator

Maybe not immediately but certainly over time

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Boeing 787

Shortly after 9am on Sunday, a new chapter will begin in European aviation history when flight ZA003 touches down in Hampshire and heralds the arrival of the much-anticipated – and greatly-delayed – Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the world's first airliner to be largely built from carbon fibre.
The first Boeing 787 to leave American soil will arrive at the Farnborough International Air Show this weekend for a three-day international debut to display the aircraft that the US aviation giant insists represents a quantum leap in aircraft technology by abandoning the traditional method of building a passenger jet out of sheets of riveted aluminium.
Along with a raft of innovations that includes distinctive jagged cowlings that look as if the engines have been trimmed by pinking shears, the lightweight materials are claimed by Boeing to make the new plane one of the most eco-friendly ever produced, burning 20 per cent less fuel than its rival equivalents.
Despite a troubled history of logistical and technical problems which means it will enter service some two years behind schedule, the 787 has become the fastest-selling wide-bodied jet in history, with more than 860 on order to airlines including Virgin Atlantic and British Airways.
All Nippon Airways (ANA) will be the first airline to receive the jet when deliveries begin at the end of this year.
The Farnborough show is one of the aviation industry's most important annual jamborees, providing Boeing and its European rival, Airbus, with the opportunity to stage a beauty contest between their two flagship products – the 787 and the A380 "superjumbo" – as each company seeks to ratchet up sales in the aftermath of the recession.
Tom Downey of Boeing said: We've chosen Farnborough as a venue for spotlighting the breakthrough capabilities and innovations of our commercial airplanes.
We look forward to an optimistic mood this year as industry leaders meet amid signs of economic recovery.
Built from layers of carbon fibre sandwiched around a mould and then heated to create a super-strong fuselage, the Dreamliner breaks new ground in aviation by being half-built from hi-tech composites which Boeing claims are more robust than metal and do not suffer from the problems of metal fatigue produced by aluminium airframes.
As a result, the 787 – which can carry between 210 and 330 people – has bigger windows than conventional jets and the cabin can be pressurised to a higher level, increasing passenger comfort.
Boeing has kitted out the test aircraft with 30 rows of seating to show off the interior to industry executives and the media.
Anyone sufficiently impressed to buy a 787 will need $161m (£104m) to secure the entry-level model.
Tom Downey - Boeing

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Catholic Church anyone?

It was meant to be the document that put a lid on the clerical sex abuse scandals that have swept the Roman Catholic world.
But instead of quelling fury from within and without the church, the Vatican stoked the anger of liberal Catholics and women's groups by including a provision in its revised decree that made the "attempted ordination" of women one of the gravest crimes in ecclesiastical law.
The change put the "offence" on a par with the sex abuse of minors.
Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, called the document one of the most insulting and misogynistic pronouncements that the Vatican has made for a very long time.
Why any self-respecting woman would want to remain part of an organisation that regards their full and equal participation as a 'grave sin' is a mystery to me.
Vivienne Hayes, the chief executive of the Women's Resource Centre, said the decision to raise women's ordination to the level of a serious crime was "appalling".
She added: This declaration is doubly disempowering for women as it also closes the door on dialogue around women's access to power and decision making, when they are still under-represented in all areas of political, religious and civic life.
We would urge the Catholic church to acknowledge that women's rights are not incompatible with religious faith.
Ceri Goddard, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, said: We are sure that the vast majority of the general public will share in our abject horror at the Vatican's decision to categorise the ordination of women as an 'offence' in the same category as paedophilia – deemed to be one of the 'gravest offences a priest can commit'.
This statement follows a series where the Vatican, an institution which yields great influence and power not only in the Catholic community but also wider society, has pitched itself in direct opposition not only to women's rights but to our equal worth and value.
We hope this is an issue that the government takes the opportunity to raise if it still feels the impending papal visit is appropriate.
The revision of a decree first issued nine years ago was intended to address the issue of clerical sex abuse.
Since scandals blew up in Germany in January, five Roman Catholic bishops have resigned as evidence has come to light of priests who raped or molested children, and of superiors who turned a blind eye to safeguard the reputation of the church.
Data from countries in which church membership is officially registered suggest tens of thousands of Catholics, perhaps hundreds of thousands, have abandoned their faith in disgust.

Nothing much to add really
Religion of any persuasion has past it's sell by date

Friday, July 16, 2010

Temptation comes your way

As with other things in life for sure temptation will come your way
Has already
Whether it is stealing biscuits or sweets
Others times will arise where we will be tempted
Most of us face temptation at some time or another
What do you do?
How are you with temptation?
Is temptation a question of scale for you?
If the reward is big enough then would you say OK?
Why do we ask?
Because at some point this will come to you
Maybe not for money maybe in a sexual context
Maybe in Business
Maybe with money
It will come
Might even be betrayal
How would you be with that?
Or blackmail
How strong are you with that?
Life will test you for sure
Be clear about yourself
About your moral and other strengths
The easy way out might look attractive at the time 
It usually does
However over the course of a lifetime you will experience this differently
That easy way out where you betrayed someone or stole or cheated or lied
It stays with you
It haunts you
Because if you did such a thing then you have to worry about someone doing it back to you
Or someone looking for revenge
Or someone betraying you
Look at those in power or with money
Ever wondered why so many are paranoid?
We meet so many people who share that they wish they had not taken what had seemed to be the easy way out
Life will test you
Know yourself
Think twice before you take the easy way out

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fruit and veg

A recent study........and oh we have so many of them nowadays
Says that eating fruit and vegetables do not necessarily do good things for you
On the face of it, that is quite a blow to the smug salad eaters, and the health lobby’s spin-doctors were out in force in the wake of the paper’s publication, to play down its conclusions.
Before racing to the food-recycling bin with the contents of an ageing fruit bowl, they pointed out, there are a number of other factors that nutritionists would urge that you consider.
One is that this kind of study has attempted to adjust for every possible factor that might contribute to the relationship, and isolate only the contribution that fruit and vegetables make.
This means that if people who turn away from fruit and vegetables end up eating more processed meats or foods high in fat instead, they probably will increase their cancer risk, even though the direct cause is not the consumption of less fruit and veg.
More importantly, there is still good evidence that fruit and vegetables protect against heart disease and strokes by reducing blood pressure.

A separate investigation of the people involved in Dr Boffetta’s study suggests that those who eat five servings a day of fruit and vegetables have a 30% lower incidence of heart disease and strokes than those who eat less than one and a half servings.

It is also possible that some specific foods, such as tomatoes, broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, do offer protective effects against particular kinds of cancer.
Well that's this week
Who knows what next week's study will bring?
When yet more "scientists say"
Beware scientists saying anything, always try to put it into context
Look for the figures and logic supporting the claim, use common sense
Doubly beware the journalist's sound bite or catchy headline

Check on line as to what others are saying on the subject

And most importantly beware official sounding trade bodies, associations and other bodies

Often these are merely the producers or manufacturers hiding behind their pressure group

Check who is paying the scientist or author of any study

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ways of thinking

But, how to think about such a complex world?

One approach is to break the complex world into smaller, more manageable pieces.

The argument goes that if we can understand the separate pieces, then we can put our separate understandings together to understand the whole.

This is reductionist, or Cartesian (after René DesCartes) Thinking.
It works for simple things.
Cartesian thinking fails to address complex problems because, in the process of breaking up the overall concern into parts, the connections and interactions between those parts get lost.
Consider a comparison:-
If you break a dry-stone wall apart, you end up with a pile of stones, with which you can rebuild the dry-stone wall - nothing lost, and perhaps even something gained in an improved wall
Take a human-being apart, perhaps as a surgeon, and you end up with a pile of organs, bones, muscles, sinews...but you can never reconstitute the human being
The difference?
The whole human depends on the continued interaction between all the parts - in fact, the parts are all mutually dependent.
So it turns out to be with complex systems - they are made up from many interacting, mutually dependent parts.
Because of this it is often impractical to conduct experiments on them.
Just imagine the social scientist, at the height of the prison riot, saying: "Stop just a tick guys, I want you all to tell me what your feelings are at this moment."
Systems Thinking
So, what is systems thinking?
Fundamentally, of course, it is thinking about some world, or universe of discourse, in terms of open, interacting systems.
Which can seem like nailing jelly to a wall in complex situations.
So, the practice is growing and spreading of simulating systems behavior, using simple dynamic, non-linear simulations.
Systems thinking seeks enlightenment through the creation and exploitation of open, interacting, nonlinear dynamic systems models of problems, situations and phenomena.
Put into simpler terms, a problem, situation or phenomenon is first modeled as interacting systems, such that the model exhibits behaviors that replicate those of the problem, situation or phenomenon.
The model is then used as a "learning laboratory," so that various aspects may be changed, augmented, rearranged, etc., to understand and to change behavior.
Finally, it may be possible to propose and test some beneficial changes in the model, with reasonable expectations that corresponding changes in the real world would afford similar benefits.
Systems thinking, then, is a way of understanding the complex real world we see about us, of managing its complexity, and of conceiving and testing ways of changing behavior "in vitro," with a view to implementing similar changes in vivo.
System thinking is systems-scientific, and the models that it engenders are systems theoretic behavior models.
They are, in general, nonlinear because the world they represent is nonlinear.
They are also holistic, i.e., the models are of whole systems, without external, unqualified sources and sinks.
And they are synthesized without reduction.
In systems models, the interactions are as important as the systems
The third archetype views the world as made up of feedback loops, such that cause and effect chains loop back upon themselves.
This is the view held by cyberneticists and by advocates of non-linear dynamics and chaos.
This viewpoint proposes that the world is largely chaotic and that you can no more predict the future from the past than you can predict next month's weather from last month's.
System thinkers in this domain use Causal Loop Models (CLMs) and non-linear difference equation models.
Often their models behave counter-intuitively, suggesting that the phenomenon they are thinking about may hold some surprises.
Prof D. K. Hitchins

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Power or is it fear?

Aung San Suu Kyi once said about fear. "It is not power that corrupts, but fear," she noted in 1990 when she was already under house arrest.

Aung San Suu Kyi  is a Burmese opposition politician and was General Secretary of the National League for Democracy.

In 1990, the military junta called a general election, which the National League for Democracy won by an overwhelming 80.8% of the votes.

Being the NLD's candidate, Aung San Suu Kyi under normal circumstances would have assumed the office of Prime Minister.

Instead, the results were nullified, and the military refused to hand over power.

This resulted in an international outcry. Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest at her home on University Avenue

She has remained under house arrest in Myanmar for almost 14 out of the past 20 years.

Apart from being well known for her courage she has also made these memorable remarks

'Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it'

'And fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it... '

'Fear slowly stifles and destroys all sense of right and wrong'

She also believes fear spurs many world leaders to lose sight of their purpose.

Government leaders are amazing, she once said.

'So often it seems they are the last to know what the people want'.


'The only real prison is fear'

'And the only real freedom is freedom from fear'

We bang on about fear quite often so it is powerful to read these remarks from one who has had to, and still has to endure a very difficult life herself

Interestingly the absolute Burmese military leader Senior- General Than Shwe is showing some new signs of paranoia

In the run-up to a long promised but still unscheduled general election, the first for 20 years, Burma's military dictator, Senior-General Than Shwe, has taken a step full of peril

He has ordered his uniformed cabinet ministers to resign from the army.
Those faceless generals who adorn the front page of the New Light of Myanmar, the regime's daily paper, inspecting fish-packing factories and barrages, will still be running the country, and anything resembling democratic governance will be as far away as ever.
But the look of things will have changed.
The ministers will wear longyi, the traditional Burmese sarong-like garment.
And crucially for them, they will no longer enjoy the status and respect which, in a country ruled with an iron fist by the military for half a century, is the army's prerogative.
Irrawaddy, the expatriate Burmese news website, predicts trouble.
Senior-General Than Shwe is facing a mutiny among his subordinates, it claimed last week.

There are growing signs of discontent among his cabinet ministers...

They have been betrayed by their boss.
Like it or not, army uniforms are a symbol of authority in Burma, it went on.
Those who wear them always get priority over those who don't.
They are respected and can expect easy co-operation from others.
Suddenly they will lose that privilege.
Leaving the army also means that those ministers will not be included in the 25 per cent quota that the army has reserved for itself in the planned new parliament.

Now they are on their own, Irrawaddy columnist Bamargyi pointed out.

Unless Than Shwe supports them with some dirty deals from behind the scenes, they are sure to lose.

Once this happens, they are down the drain.

And Than Shwe himself?
A very superstitious man
A paranoid man
A survivor
This is his move to set the stage for his retirement
Interesting times approach

Monday, July 12, 2010


Are something we do every day
All the time
Without even thinking
Is this cup bigger than mine?
Is it more colourful?
Is it more practical?
Is it taller?
Do I prefer the material it is made of?
Not really conscious yet we do this with everything
It is easier though to do this with things, material things that is
Harder with events
Ever wondered why holidays or vacations are so special?
More so than that new car you bought
Basically it is because  the satisfaction we get from holidays lasts along with the memories we collected
It can even get better over time as our memories embellish the recollections
Meanwhile the buzz we may get from buying a new car or gadget fades quickly.
The difference is that experiences bring us greater happiness because they are more individual and harder for us to compare with other people's.
In comparison, the gloss is often taken off shiny, new purchases when we see newer, better models owned by other people
Somebody has a more expensive one
The super luxury model maybe
Conversely our experiences are inherently less comparative
My holiday was mine and the memories collected are shaped and held by me
Any holiday you had was yours and it might sound to have been better than mine however my memories cannot be disturbed by your praise of your own holiday
On the other hand if I buy a Fiat 500cc car and I see your new Bentley Continental that might well make me feel disappointed and annoyed, maybe jealous
The comparisons are social status and money in the one example, the car
While in the other, the holiday the comparison is composed of memories -  yours and mine
So if you don't want to feel bad let go of trying to compete with money objects
Because there will always be someone with a newer better version
And even if there is not the manufacturer will for sure make your TV, car whatever obsolete as soon as he can in order to get you to buy his newer model
Focus on enjoying each day and be happy for the clowns who need to keep buying things
...........because they can never win as there will always be more to buy
While your memories of holidays and the like are forever

Sunday, July 11, 2010

More on addiction

How hard for an addict to come off his addiction

How hard to know what really started him down that road in the first place

So often lost in the mist of years gone by

Finding causes is one of the major ways to release and let go of the symptoms

True causes that is and if these can be found the addiction can be overcome

Otherwise the addict tends to be in an oscillating pattern

Take an alcoholic - drink, drink the quantity and frequency increasing

Until he feels that he must stop or seek help

A dry out cure then the desire increases again....... just one drink

Off he goes again and the pattern repeats itself

Even when it is clear that he is doing himself great harm many are unable to stop

That cause?

That initial starting point for the addiction what was it?

What was it?

Abusive father


Never feeling good enough

A covering for a failure

Rejection or perceived failure often started the addict taking that first step into addiction

Find that initial condition and you have a chance to help

Treat the symptoms alone and success is unlikely

Addiction is a terrible condition

Whatever the form and there are oh so many forms of addiction

Look around you, how many people you know are addicted?

Bet there are some

Do they even know it?

Might be caffeine

Might be coke, yes either kind

Might be pain

Might be sex

Oh so many forms

Addiction is not good as it blunts our perceptions

It damages our immune system, which over time will break

It changes life in so many ways the addict always needing that next shot or fix

Life focuses on the altered state offered by the substance

Helping an addict is only possible when he or she asks for help

Until then they will not make any effort to change

Happy in the oblivion of their addiction

Stay off addiction it is a very tough road to come back from