Wednesday, December 13, 2017

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Poem: Barren


Quote of the day: 

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. 
-Plato






Beware the barrenness
Of a busy life
Because it becomes so easy
To disappear into the void
Usually a dark and scary place
With no window to the outside world
Like trying to navigate a pitch-dark room
To find a light switch
With calculated steps
And hands spread out
To aid the unsteadiness
Tracing contours
Lines and patterns
Like lovers exploring
Every flesh of skin
Where is the relief
Where is the hope
Why is the loss of colour so profound
This darkness bearing down
Beware, beware.


Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: Robert Cray -Smoking Gun

Sunday, December 10, 2017

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3 Things to Inspire Your Weekend: #76


Quote of the day: 

May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears. 
-Nelson Mandela



Image Credit: HuffPostUK

Author and cancer survivor Gina Mulligan who lives in California has created an anthology of handwritten letters of encouragement, humour and love written by complete strangers to other women with breast cancer. The anthology called 'Dear Friends' consists of notes written by cancer survivors, their friends and family members and the purpose of it is to show other patients that they are not alone in the fight. Gina was inspired after being diagnosed with breast cancer and realizing "a few words on paper are more than just a keepsake". She started the Girls Love Mail (GLM) movement with her husband in 2011. Some of the 80,000 letters received now feature in her book "Dear Friend".


Image credit: GuelphMercury

After losing both parents to mental health issues, Canadian teenager Noah Irvine has won a national award, the Samara Canada Everyday Political Citizen Award. After writing letters to every member of parliament in Canada and challenging them to take more action and address the country's suicide crisis, he later expressed his displeasure with the lack of response he received -only 40 out of 338 MPs responded. His displeasure did not go unnoticed as he later received a call from the Prime Minister, and met with the Federal Health Minister. For Irvine, winning the award is an opportunity for him to push for the creation of a national suicide prevention plan and to advance the discussion surrounding mental illness.





As seen on Arch Daily, The Beach House

Architects: Laura Ortín Arquitectura
Location: Torre de la Horadada, Spain
Photographs: David Frutos

Brief: 

A need to expand a family holiday home located in a town on the Mediterranean coast -a great tourist destination and former fishermen's village.

Theme:  The feel is aesthetic and functional. A grand design with bold architecture and simple finishing taking care to acknowledge the surroundings and become a part of it. Built with metallic and wall structures with an interesting façade and colour. The whole essence of the house is one of coziness and refreshment, a perfect getaway from everyday life.


Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: Bessie Smith - I Want Every Bit of It

Thursday, December 07, 2017

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Musings of mine: Rambling Mind on This and That #16


Quote of the day: 

Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired. 
-Jules Renard





1. The End is Near

"Prime now offers 2-hour delivery on thousands of everyday essentials" screamed the email subject from Amazon. And for a moment everything stopped. You see I checked. The clock on the wall froze,  people stood still, and birds too in mid-flight. Nothing moved in my mannequin world. But my mind exploded with the possibilities from such an offer. Same day delivery, err still manageable. Next day delivery now seemed like vintage technology. And 3-5 day delivery? Certainly stuff for the stone age. What could be so urgent, so essential and compelling that I would need to have delivered in two hours? I spent a considerable amount of time thinking about this, and I still don't have an answer. What next, instant delivery? As soon as you click on purchase your package, is automatically dropped outside your door. You laugh, but you watch.


2. To Go, Or Not to Go

Have you ever received an invitation that you immediately knew you'd rather not attend? How do you decline without feelings being hurt? Would you rather attend the event just to make everyone happy, everyone except yourself? Or would you brave it by attending only to leave as early as possible? How do you then navigate the thorny corridor of expectations without appearing to be rude or down right insensitive knowing fully well that by not attending you'd be blacklisted. Say goodbye to future invitations that's for sure. William Shakespeare had the idea in Hamlet with the popular line "To be, or not to be, that is the question", but I believe in this present day - to go, or not to go, that is the question.
However, all hope is not lost. According to TimeOut magazine, if you are wondering how to escape a terrible Christmas party without offending the host, you could wear a simple outfit so no one will notice you are missing, or go round and talk to everyone at the party so they will remember you did show up -and then proceed to slip out a window or backdoor. My personal favourite? Tip over a punch bowl over yourself, make a big show of it and whilst pretending to go clean up, take off into the night.


3. What Goes Up Stays There

Who doesn't like a good old riddle to exercise the mind. However there is this elusive riddle that remains unsolved and what better place to disclose it than here. Now is it just me or are supermarket products getting smaller? In the past the products got smaller but the price stayed the same. But what do we have now? Supermarkets increasing their product prices sneakingly, that's what. You are standing there with a kiwi fruit packet scratching your head and thinking didn't they use to sell for half the current price last week? And don't get me started on baked beans, box of cereal, peanut butter and biscuits. Of course the supermarkets blame it all on the economy.


4. Make Paradise

Life always changes. Sometimes we are part of the change, sometimes we aren't. But nothing stays the same. Your present form is different from how you were a year ago, physically, mentally or otherwise. Each new day is an opportunity to re-create yourself, learn something new, do something different, and smile just be cause you can. Life is really simple depending on your perspective. Are you standing at the foot of a mountain lamenting the lack of a decent view, or are you making a slow and steady climb to the top, against all odds, against naysayers, and against your self doubt. Surrounded by tall trees and difficulties only to finally reach the peak and oh my what a reward well worth the journey -a picture of paradise.



Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: Clarence Henry -Ain't got no home

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

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The Rise And Rise of the Robots



Quote of the day: 

To make robots practical, flaws must be removed. To make robots endearing, flaws must be added.
-Khang Kijarro Nguyen


Image Credit: PixaBay

The human mind has limitless possibilities. It can be interpreted as a machine with interrelated parts all functioning for a common ideal. We are biological machines and the relationship cultivated over the years with mechanical machines continue with no end in sight. Robots are the future. A lot has been said about the rise and rise of robots with the underlying technology advancement astonishing to see. From one company attempting to create a fully functioning sex robot, to another making autonomous security robots that could potentially replace human security guards -recently one such robot fell into a fountain and made the news in the US.


A robot patrolling Microsoft's Silicon Valley campus Image Credit: TheDailyDot

For many years robots have become an integral part of manufacturing processes as well as numerous other sectors and some countries are at the forefront of the revolution. For instance South Korea has the highest concentration of industrial robots and density worldwide with plans from their government to spend $450 million in the field over the next five years. The level of their advancement even spills over to the country's largest airport, where check-in robots interact with passengers meaning airport staff could become a thing of the past.

Closely followed by South Korea is Japan, and the US. Japan is well known for innovation in robotics -with its industrial robots present in factories globally. The Japanese government has a robot revolution initiative and a five year plan to grow its robotics market to over $21 billion. With Japan's aging population a robotic future is looking more likely with each passing day. It's certainly a country with a love for humanoid robots some of which can be found in department stores and a company even replaced some of its workforce with an artificial intelligence system.

But is it going too far? Maybe. Are some jobs at risk of being taken over by robots? Unfortunately yes. According to a study by McKinsey Global Insitute, Robot automation is projected to take over more than 800 million jobs by the year 2030. It is inevitable. We live in a changing and advanced world where a day feels like an hour. The thing about innovation is that there will always be a price to pay isn't it?

What do you think about robots?



Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: Bob Marley -Three Little Birds


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

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People Who Watch The Sky


Quote of the day: 

Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books. 
-John Lubbock





Are the best things and moments in life actually free? I believe so, but it's all down to perspective isn't it? Those intangible things that seem to serve us well -love, ideas, beliefs, time and space, energy, just to mention a few are all free to use. The things unable to be touched and not represented by anything physical. And what is there not to like about the intangibles in our lives? They are there for a reason to balance out the material things that we earnestly live and strive for.

The sky is perfect example of the ethereal. Sublime and divine it's presence is well established and firm. From night to day it contains everything that lies above the earth's surface and beyond. There is nothing more glorious than the morning sunrise often a synthesis of hues and colours all fascinating to the eyes, and which is often an inspiring start to the day.  The world could be upside down and filled with despair but each day is an opportunity to start all over again. The path to doing so is laden with intangibles that only needs plucking like fruit hanging from trees.

 A simple gaze at the sky can be so calming. Clouds going about their business. Sometimes our mood can be a reflection of the weather, and vice versa. But there is no denying the fact that if we were to wake up to a missing sky a tiny fraction of the population may not even notice its absence. Preoccupied with things that can't be changed, opinions that can't be reversed, and expectations that can't be met, life can both be sinister and kind but I dare say not at the same time. When life is kind everything appears to fall into place like and things begin to make sense, we live a satisfied life. The sinister side of things are those beyond our control but we manage through anyway, fighting and resolute until the light at the end of the tunnel beckons. Many make it to this light, some get stuck on the way and give up, while others just do not have the will to even fight.

The sky should remind us all of how fragile but yet strong we are. And how collectively like clouds we can make a change for the better or worse. We can face challenges as vast as the sky. We can fight, we can stumble, and we live to fight another day.



Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: Johnnie Taylor - I'm Changing

Saturday, November 25, 2017

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3 Things to Inspire Your Weekend: #75


Quote of the day: 

May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears. 
-Nelson Mandela



Image Credit: Guardian

A former homeless man who spent his years selling Big Issue magazines on the streets of Cambridge in the UK has won a place at the city's renonwed University to study English literature. Geoff Edwards, 52, had gone through dark periods in his life involving itinerant farm work, unemployment, depression and homelessness. The Big Issue magazine was set up to help homeless people or those at risk of homelessness the opportunity to earn legitimate income. Founded in 1991, it was inspired by the Street News Newspaper sold by homeless people in New York.



Image credit: TehranTimes

An Iranian Olympic weightlifting champion, Kianoush Rostami, has put his Rio 2016 gold medal up for auction to raise money for victims of a recent earthquake near the Iran-Iraq border. With hundreds of homes destroyed, the death toll rose to 400 with thousands injured. Rostami said he was "taking a step, however small" to help all those who were affected by the tremor. He is also to set up a donation fund for the victims.






As seen on Arch Daily, SEL House

Architects: CampoTaller
Location: Coyoacán, Mexico
Photographs: Moritz Bernoully

Brief: 

A modification and intervention of a 70's style house to adapt to the needs of the owners.

Theme:  Enhancing the visual connection between the house and its surroundings, as well as admitting daylight into all interior spaces hence the large windows with rectangular frames whici offers a generous view of the outside space. The wooden staircase in the house stands out as well as the roof terrace. A mixture of clay tiles, cement and wood finishing makes this a distinct house.



Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: Oasis - Wonderwall

Thursday, November 23, 2017

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We Are All Minimalists But May Not Know It


Quote of the day: 

When you give your items away, don’t keep the excess of your pride.
-Bremer Acosta





Sometimes less is more. Somehow we still find ourselves stuffing clothes into wardrobes. And if we need more space we just get a bigger wardrobe, or suitcase. What else do we store away, oh right books. You really don't know how difficult it is to transport books -until you have to move house. And if you have a large library the harder it is to transport. Do we really need a library of hundreds and hundreds of books -most of which to be honest we only get to read once? I don't know. What I do know is that today, I'd rather borrow a book than buy one. It is not due to a lack of interest but more to do with dwindling storage space. And what about all that junk we hold on to, things with so called 'sentimental' value. Filled drawers, closets, basements, boxes and boxes of stuff and products collected over the years, cluttered living space, and a propensity to keep buying things we end up not putting to good use.

We live in world of hyper-consumption, zombies programmed to spend, spend, spend, and sometimes we just can't help ourselves. The idea of minimalism -which this post is really about, is an approach centered on living simply. Less is more and all that. Embracing more of the essence of things around you, less the physical objects. Watching a documentary about two guys who call themselves the minimalists reminded me of how one can get by with simpler living. A minimalist is often described as a person who has a moderate approach to thing. So in a sense anyone who likes keeping things simple is a minimalist. In art history, minimalists were artists whose work were filled with simple ideas and gestures. In government, there are those who advocate for minimal reforms. No matter which end of the pole you are minimalism is everywhere.

Minimalism sheds the excess clutter and reveals the underlying layers of clarity that we often seek. With minimalism the word 'enough' takes on a new meaning. Only the essentials matter. Everything else falls into oblivion. The main task becomes prioritizing what is necessary and doing away with the extras. Whether it involves doing a yard sale, donating to charity, or just throwing stuff away, a clutter free environment should count for something.

Minimalism is a lot harder than it sounds and something to think hard about before starting. It shouldn't be forceful but it should come from a good place. These days you don't even have to worry about paying to dispose off things you don't need any more-some local charities will pick up the stuff if you contact them. You de-clutter your home and at the same time make a change in a person's life somewhere.

I imagine myself living in such a way that even if I were to move to a smaller space, all my possessions would fit in nicely. But alas that may not be the case as I continue to remind myself about living clutter free -mentally and physically.

What are your thoughts on minimalism? Do share.



Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: Curtis Mayfield - Move On Up

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

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Poem: All Too Easily Pleased


Quote of the day: 

I dream of painting and then I paint my dream. 
-Vincent Van Gogh 







In the beginning
With little else to attain
But pluck fruit from trees
Amidst well trimmed bushes
And fragrant flowers
Cradling well fed honey bees
All too easily pleased
The world was a treatise
Written with such delicacy
And old-fashioned elegance

The reverie of time not long past
With nothing more to put aside
But memories rendered null and void
As days age in continuum
And life is skimmed through like a book
Emptiness filled to fullness
As dragonflies manifest across puddles
And does life stand still like a flamingo
And does love ever exceed expectations

In the end
With everything to earn
How dare time to never rest
On its oars.





Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: James Brown - The Boss

Thursday, November 16, 2017

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Musings of mine: Rambling Mind on This and That #15


Quote of the day: 


If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. 
-Jim Rohn 





It's Not Over Till It's Over

I'd like to think of this year as a catalyst to further self discovery. And as the year limps to its finale and end there remains much to accomplish. Forget about yearly goals, this is some last minute rush for self preservation. This is the fight of all fights. Cramming a year's worth of unspent goals and resolutions into the very last days and weeks. You wanted to read 50 books? The window is still open. You set out to lose a certain amount of weight? Hey, the window is still wide open. New language? Check. New skill? Check too. New job? Time off? Worry less? Check, check, check. It is not over until the end -so milk time till the last second of the year.


Cold Calls

Ever sign up for several services and then thereafter get harassed by cold callers? And by thereafter I mean weeks later which leaves little room to find the real culprit. Who was it who sold you out? And why is a lady calling to ask if 'have you ever been involved in a car accident.' And the timing is always suspect -like you are being spied on. Just when you are in the middle of something, your phone rings, but it's far away and as you swim through seven seas and climb mountains to get to it, pressing the connection button only to hear the words 'have you ever...'


I can't Function Without Coffee

Can you function without drinking coffee in the morning? I can. But I know a few people who claim otherwise. It is a ritual you see. They need their 'early morning fix' -their words not mine making it all sound like a terrible addiction (is it not?). But it's all in their heads really. Yes you can function without coffee as according to research coffee drinkers aren't more alert than their caffeine free counterparts. But then again, drinking just one cup a day can cut the risk of early death by 12%. So drink on and live long.


Just Go With The Flow And Keep It Moving

There will be good days and bad. There will be comedians who are not funny. Singers who cannot really sing. Pets who love and appreciate us more than we do them. People who talk throughout a live show. Weathermen who don't know the weather. Plumbers who make things worse. Doctors who hate patients. Customers not receiving customer service. Cyclists who can't cycle. Leaders who can't lead. Lovely people who can't love. Kids who aren't kids. And then there is you and even though you may not always be at your best -just keep things moving nevertheless.



Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: Everything's Not Lost - Coldplay


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

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When In Doubt Think About Your Accomplishments


Quote of the day: 

Never let hard lessons harden your heart; the hard lessons of life are meant to make you better, not bitter. -Roy T. Bennett





Do you ever stop to ponder on this journey called life and the triumphs and setbacks that go with it? I have. Many times I have pondered on my odyssey to find purpose, truth and knowledge. And along the way when lost the trip leads to other pathways -purpose gets replaced by weakness, truth by falsity, knowledge by ignorance. Finding the way and getting back on track takes time and energy which would have been used in the original pursuit. Familiarity enhances openness but a lack of it breeds restriction.

And when I ponder on life a reoccurring theme forms like medieval stained glass in a cathedral, a rainbow of colours representing different events in life. And each thought leads back to one:

"At each point in life when nothing seems perfect, there's always someone around the corner to remind us that perfection isn't everything." 

Think back to the times when you were almost down and out and with no ounce of hope left in you, who was it that helped you out of your situation? Who was it who gave you some talking to, and who was there for you when you most needed someone? Surely you have come across such people, some you will remember and some you probably won't. And what did you do when you were back to your normal self and standing on your own two feet, didn't you think of ways to pay it forward, to be the person that everyone close to you could count on for help or advise?

You may not know it but you may have helped someone who will forever remain grateful, who may not remember who you are or even know you personally, and you may have offered words of comfort or advise to many others and the impact of your actions may never be fully revealed to you. The same can be said about how we have been affected by the kindness of others through the years. It is this thought that we should always hold on to and never forget.

Life is all about helping and being helped as no one is an island. Thinking you don't require any help or knowledge tears you from your purpose and path. The next time you find yourself almost feeling inadequate or overwhelmed with life, just sit, take a deep breath, and mull over life, reflect and examine where you are and the journey that has brought you thus far.




Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: Memphis Slim - Nobody Loves Me


Monday, November 06, 2017

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The Importance of Willpower


Quote of the day: 

You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.
-Aristotle 







The lack of willpower is often cited as one of the roadblocks to achieving what we really want in life. How many people believe they could improve their lives for the better? A lot probably. And how many have the will power to do so? Probably a little. On one hand we go through life by trying to avoid our impulses, and on the other we wished we had more will power and self discipline. Some have it more than others.

Willpower is often cited as a mental muscle that can be trained. It is no more than the ability to control your thoughts and overcome feelings of laziness and episodes of procrastination, and the capacity to overcome unwanted thoughts and actions. This inner strength and power is necessary to overcome a lot of the things that you face on a daily basis. It is the difference between over-indulging and under-indulging. With it you can practice restraint, and in so doing choose to do things that you need to do -compared to doing things that you want to do or desire. The former is good for you in the long run, while the latter is more of an 'in the moment' satisfaction.

It can be seen in our interaction with people too. How many times have you faced provocation only to lose your cool? And what about the time that you faced provocation, only to take a deep breath and take control of the situation. There is nothing wrong with allowing your emotions get the best of you, but you shouldn't be controlled by it. Instead of a knee-jerk response to a situation, why not take a few seconds to reflect and analyse things. Do you really want to have your good mood tainted over something not worthwhile? There are many ways to vent your anger and frustration but never give the remote control to someone else. But as it is with life and stress, at some point you will reach the boiling point and lose your temper over something or someone. Nothing can be bottled up forever. When such does happen you need to own the situation and move on.

Do the things that otherwise make you feel lazy. Sometimes ordering a take-away is convenient when you are too lazy or can't be bothered to cook. But with willpower, you can get up and start cooking and before you know it the food is done and you will appreciate it more than if it had been ordered. But then again cooking is not for everyone, but you get the gist of things. It's all about developing your will power, get into the act of driving your life decisions and not just be in the passenger seat. Doing things at a steady pace and not trying to do everything at once is a good way to maintain energy levels.

There will days when your will power will be at its lowest, and other times when it will be at its highest -after all it remains a resource that can be depleted or augmented.




Peace. Love. Light* 


Current Listen: Bessie Smith-The Yellow Dog Blues




Sunday, November 05, 2017

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3 Things to Inspire Your Weekend: #74


Quote of the day: 

Smiling is definitely one of the best beauty remedies. If you have a good sense of humor and a good approach to life, that's beautiful.
-Rashida Jones



Tim Dominick/The State/TNS

Akil Ross, principal for Chapin High School in the US has been crowned National high school principal of the year by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Many parents credit him for making Chapin High one of the best schools in South Carolina since 2010. Ross who repeated the third grade as he was not "up to par" as a student, is now known for what he calls the six Rs: “Ready to learn, Respectful to others, Responsible to ourselves, Rigor in teaching, Relevance in learning and meaningful Relationships among students, faculty and staff.” The national award caps a series of milestones for both Ross and Chapin High.



Image credit: FOXNew

About a year ago Brennon Jones started giving haircuts and shaves to homeless people living on the streets of Philadelphia. And with over a thousand free haircuts to his credit, after hearing his story a complete stranger -Sean Johnson, decided to award Jones with a fully renovated barbershop so he could continue to offer his services to those in need. The new shop will set aside days to specifically cater to the homeless who now will not have to worry about grooming during winter months.







As seen on Arch DailyHadar's House

Architects: Asante Architecture & Design
Location: Åfjord, Norway
Photographs: Nils Petter Dale

Brief: 

A small house right on the coast of Norway overlooking the sea. Part of a rural development project on the island of Stokkøya focusing on developing a Norwegian houses into a dynamic village.

Theme:  Built beside the sea, the house fulfills its purpose with strong architecture and sustainability. The house co-exists with the nature perfectly as seen with the surrounding landscape. Constructed with wood, the façade was built to endure harsh weather. Wooden panels is in use through the house, with the roof made out of metal sheets and sedum grass, adding some greenery to the beautiful landscape.



Peace. Love. Light* 

Friday, November 03, 2017

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5 Life Lessons To Learn From Animals


Quote of the day: 


Two lost things that had survived the seas and arrived on a coastline. What did they do? They implanted themselves in the sand and grew into trees and lined the beaches. Sometimes a lot can come of being all washed up. You can really grow. -Cecelia Ahern






When it comes to hibernation (not the type you have on your computer), lots of animals do it. But the first animal that often come to mind is the bear -the most famous hibernator out of others like some snakes, bats, ground squirrels and many others. But while a bear can go for months without drinking, eating or passing waste, a squirrels on the other hand may have to be awaken one day out of a week in order to eat their stored food, drink, pass waste and then return to hibernation -rinse, and repeat all winter.

Aren't documentaries great? I find documentaries about nature and wildlife fascinating. Asides the sheer scope of the undertaking involved; filming animals and waiting for them to pretty much act for the camera, a few research into the methods used by film makers such as editing footage to make animals appear more dangerous, staging dramatic scenes, using Computer Generated Imagery (CGI), renting animals, baiting animals with false prey, and whole lot of other practices. I'll admit that it's reduced my wonderment about how scenes are captured just a bit. Now I know.Nevertheless it all makes for great and viewing.

It was Charles Darwin who said that "the love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" It is the survival of the fittest and there is never a level playing field in the animal kingdom. You can't help but be amazed and feel even more connected with nature.Sound familiar? Animals are highly understandable and interesting to watch and there is a lot to learn from their way of life.


1. Recognize Your Uniqueness

Just as no two human are alike, and just as we are scattered all over the planet, the same goes for animals with their numerous species. You see they understand their own uniqueness better than anyone else. They also exhibit certain characteristics and are not afraid to show their true self.


2. Be Curious

Animals are curious creatures. An example that comes to mind is the Chimpanzee who is always curious even when there is no reward for its troubles. Forget the saying about curiosity killing the cat, it can be said that most animals are inquisitive just like humans. Whether searching for new territory, food, or problem solving, the desire to learn something. Imagine life without a curious, motivated and active mind.

3. Do Things At The Right Time

There is the natural tendency that an animal or person has to act in a particular fashion. Upon the arrival of winter some animals migrate-such as birds flying to warmer places to find food, others animals simply stock up on food and go into hibernation. Like clockwork they know what needs to be done year in and year out. They just get on with life and are always prepared.

4. Patience

Most animals require a lot of patience to catch their food, laying in wait for long periods if it comes to that. For others, it's just their way of life. We can learn a lot about patience, perseverance and the ability to live within our means from animals. We spend life hurrying and rushing to a finish line still in the distance. We give up on things, dreams and people so easily.


5. Have Courage

It is a jungle out there but that doesn't mean you have to follow the same path as others. You have to be a fighter at some point, like the Lion whose courage and power is unmatched. Not one to lay low, or stand back from being seen, we can learn to not be fearless and to stand up for what we deem is right. It is about following your heart and persevering in the face of adversity.



Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: Ella Fitzgerald - But Not For Me


Monday, October 30, 2017

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Why Everything In Life Is A Test


Quote of the day: 

How many things have to happen to you before something occurs to you?
-Robert Frost





It might sound strange to think of fate as a gift, but isn't it? Unwrapped and tucked away in a safe place it is always at the back of the mind, like that nagging feeling you get that things will go wrong even when everything is going just fine. In life we spin our own yarn. We paint on our own blank canvas. We compose and sing our own song. We plant our own seeds. And deep down we yearn for acceptance, for integration, for growth and where we end up is where we always intended to be. Or maybe not?

The things that you believe you understand and the things you seek to grasp are two separate paths. To become lost, you must first acknowledge that you no longer know the correct way. With fate there's so much about it that is beyond our control. The people we come across, the experiences we gather, the opportunities we've lost, fate can both be generous and intolerable, with contrasting forms. You don't have a say on the past, but you can influence the present, discovering and shaping your world as you go along. This is all you. Dictating things with your actions, your will, and your resolve. Knowing your inner universe, cosmos and all.

What's the number one reason people go on holiday? Mainly to relieve stress, have a change of scenery and take in all the sights either alone, with a partner or loved ones-all valid reasons no doubt. So in essence you travel mostly for the experience and for the richness it brings into your heart and mind. Because if the purpose of life is to live then surely exploring the unfamiliar counts. Experience in turn leads to realism. Sometimes fate can be summed up in a few words, other times it's all a guess. Because you never know how something is until it happens to you, an invincible line waiting to be crossed.

In the same breath travelling is not embarked upon by all, as circumstances may vary. You either like it and can afford it, or you wish to but can't afford it. But to think that first you must journey through life to discover your true self, your vision will offer clarity when you search into your heart, through the dark corners, hidden chambers and pathways. Only then can you discover your better self. It's not the way you look, dress, or carry yourself. It's your inner being that whispers to you when your eyes are closed, knowing yourself is a never ending test of life.

From childhood to adulthood it would appear that most things in life, if not all is a test. Each day is a test of our abilities, emotions, courage, and experience. Some we fail, others we pass. There is no life book for dummies to help us navigate through the various storms at sea as we survive one shipwreck after the other, we live and learn.




Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: Lana Del Rey -Video Games


Saturday, October 28, 2017

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3 Things to Inspire Your Weekend: #73


Quote of the day: 

Treat everyone with politeness and kindness, not because they are nice, but because you are.
-Roy T. Bennett



Image credit: LATimes

One person who tries to uplift commuters bustling across Union Station in Los Angeles is Mathew Shaver, 30, who although has no home has a positive outlook on life. Quietly taking a seat at the public piano within the station, on most mornings Shaver who has played piano since he was aged 4, believes it "is the most positive influence in my life". His playing can often attract a crowd and even though he is homeless-or as he likes to describe it it, "home free", there is a certain fulfillment he derives from playing the piano, that and also the need for money and survival.



Image credit: Radio.UCHILE

Chile is to ban plastic bags in more than 100 coastal areas -a bid to halting accumulation of ocean plastic which is a serious problem. Chile's president Michelle Bachelet signed a bill aiming to put the ban into effect and also allow non-coastal areas to join in on the project to eliminate or restrict the use of plastic bags. And with a plan to create a 1.6 millon square kilometers of marine conservation. A study by the American Science magazine in 2015, estimated 8 million tons of plastic are dumped at sea annually, posing a serious threat to the environment and marine life.







As seen on Arch Daily, Dune House

Architects: Jarmund / Vigsnæs AS Arkitekter MNAL / Einar Jarmund, Håkon Vigsnæs, Alessandra Kosberg, Anders Granli
Location: Thorpeness, UK
Photographs: Nils Petter Dale

Brief: 

Replacing an existing building, and located on the coast with surrounding views, a holiday house for living and rental.

Theme:  Built to purpose and to take in the breathtaking seaside with a nostalgic design feel of bed-and breakfast locations while travelling through the UK. The all glass feel and appearance emphasize the floating appearance of the top floor. The house mixes solid wood, and dark stained cladding which blends in with the environment.




Peace. Love. Light* 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

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Musings of mine: Rambling Mind on This and That #14


Quote of the day: 

I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn’t know. -Mark Twain





The Repeaters

Repeaters are those naughty, not too kind types of people who prefer to make you suffer at every turn. You speak loud and clearly enough but they never seem to hear or understand you at first-or so they'll have you believe. They feign ignorance, pretending not to have heard you the first time -but deep down you know that they understood what you said. You know this because you do it to others too responding with remarks such as "sorry what was that?", when you heard what they said in the first place. But oh no you are not a repeater, not like the other naughty people out there.


Lazy Zebra Crossers

How many kinds of people are there in the world? There are just two kinds of people in the world: Those who virtually race across a zebra crossing, and those who literally crawl. Put side by side, a snail would beat them to the other side. But why do they do it, why would they walk majestically on a zebra (pedestrian) crossing, taking up all the time in the world you ask? Well because you know they no longer have any sense of time and space. You see over here, and I would imagine as with many other places -by law motorists must give way to pedestrians at zebra crossings. Once you step on those lines you are king, you own the road and you shall take your sweet time in walking to the other side. And if it's a dual road, even better. Heck you could even have a picnic on a zebra crossing -with the rest of the road users waiting with bated breath. And the worst part about lazy zebra crossers? They never even acknowledge the poor drivers.


Right Before Midnight

Right before the clock struck at midnight and as the winds howl outside, wrestling with trees and peeled off leaves, it sure is a good time for silent contemplation. Sitting there in a chair, soul inside a body, body under a roof, roof beneath the trees, skies above and the magical wonders beyond. At that point life's importance become magnified and all trivial things compressed and blown away with the wind.Why is the world the way it is? So many questions with little answers. But still one can't help but be thankful for shelter and warmth, for sustenance and well being, for opportunity and the responsibility elevated by the burden of living. And as the world slept, nature kept watch.


Don't Let The Reviews Fool You

Are you one of those people who read product reviews before buying an item? Me too. I do it all the time regardless of which online shop it is. One thing I've noticed though is that no matter how good of a review a product has, there will always be a trail of angry customers because you know, things can and will always go bad for them. As in burning, blistering, flaming bad.


If you are a sock lover, you've been warned.


Update: I have been made to understand that 'Zebra crossing' is a new term to most. If you haven't heard of it you are not alone, and no it's not a bunch of Zebras crossing the road. I believe the equivalent term and one which you are familiar with is 'Cross-walk'. 



Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: Let The Good Times Roll- Ray Charles



Tuesday, October 24, 2017

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What Type of Mood Are You In?


Quote of the day: 

We all know the experience of sitting in bed feeling exhilarated one day and lackluster the very next. The issue is not whether we need to find a more fulfilling bed. 
Alexandra Katehakis





Seasons change. Days become shorter than usual and nights become longer. Light ceases to exist at times and gloom is the order of the day. And with the transition there is such a thing as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and according to the NHS it's also sometimes referred to as "winter depression" just because its symptoms become more apparent with the tendency to be severe during the winter months. For those with the disorder it all starts during autumn as the days begin to get shorter.

The weather is not the only thing to affect our moods though. As it turns out a new study suggests that one-third of notifications that pop up on our smartphones cause a downturn in our moods leading to unhappiness. The research by Nottingham Trent University and published in the IEEE journal found things such as general phone updates and wifi availability had the worst impact on mood. The researchers saying their findings show that it's possible to predict phone users' moods based on information they receive, and in the future it could be used to personalise notifications to adjust to the user's mood.

When you wake up in the morning your mood will determine how the rest of your day goes. However, you can't always tell how someone out there will affected your state of mind. It is a known fact that being around happy and confident people can be contagious -you go away feeling positive emotions. With a moody person the reverse is the case -you go away feeling frustrated. But understand that they may just be going through hard times -except if they are just generally moody, in which case it's pointless to take their toxic behaviour seriously. You see moods function differently. They come and go, a ladder of emotions governed by external factors mostly beyond our control. We can positively or negatively affect other people with our mood much in the same way that they can affect ours.

A mood is a temporary state of being-good or bad. There's a middle ground to be found in between. But in the end people will react differently to different things, including the weather.



Peace. Love. Light* 




Current Listen: Carmen McRae - Bye Bye Blackbird



Saturday, October 21, 2017

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3 Things to Inspire Your Weekend: #72


Quote of the day: 

Don't allow your mind to tell your heart what to do. The mind gives up easily -Paulo Coelho



Image credit: Andy King

An eleven year old from Colorado, US, Gitanjali Rao has won the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. Selected from 10 finalists she took home $25,0000, for her idea of a sensor that can detect lead levels in water better and more accurately than traditional methods. Rao, working with 3M scientists developed her idea 5 months after learning of the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan -where lead -contaminated water is a problem. Rao wants to either become a geneticist or epidemiologist when she grows up.



Image credit: USAToday

Chris Long, the NFL's Eagles defensive end is donating his entire salary for the season to educational charities in the three cities where he has played -Philadelphia, St.Louis and Boston. He is set to make a base salary of $1 million during the season all of which will go to these charities. He said he is doing it because he "believes that education is the best gateway to a better tomorrow for everyone in America". Long has been involved in charity and activism and two years ago started a foundation that supports causes such as access to clean water and fighting homelessness.  






As seen on Arch Daily, Binh House

Architects: VTN Architects
Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Photographs: Hiroyuki Oki, Quang Dam

Brief: 

Part of a house for trees series of prototypical house designs offering green spaces within high density neigbourhoods. The inhabitants are a family consisting of 3 generations -the challenge was to create a space to interact and communicate despite their differences.

Theme:  Vertically stacked spaces with gardens visible from the exterior of the house. Bounded by sliding glass doors which act as a natural source of light and ventilation for each room as well as increasing visibility between family members. The roof garden also adds a natural feel to the house, a sort of vertical farming solution that suits and contributes to the Vietnamese way of life.




Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: John Legend -Surefire

Thursday, October 19, 2017

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Why A Little Nap Time Helps


Quote of the day: 

Rest is essential, but during our periods of rest, we must think to ourselves that in resting we are renewing our energy to fulfill our commitment. -Wu Wei




Napping is universal and it is everything depending on where you are and who you ask. In some countries it is not uncommon to have naps during the day. One thing to admire about them is the culture they've created for themselves with the understanding that naps are an important factor in increasing energy, mood and reducing the stress of everyday life.

In Spain it's known as a siesta and has become a great part of the culture there. While in Japan the concept of inemuri which translates into 'being present while sleeping' is common. They pride themselves in being hard working people and as such it is not uncommon to find people sleeping off say during a meeting. And it is socially acceptable.

Although I understand the positive effects of taking one, it always seems to disrupt my sleep pattern later on at night. The longer the nap, the longer the disruption caused. But if it is just a 20 or minute nap it works out well -a nap isn't meant to be much longer anyway. These days we lead disruptive lives and become more and more sleep deprived. We are advised to get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep daily but it doesn't always work out that way does it? In the end I dare say that it's not really the lack of sleep that is the matter, it's the fact that there are a ton of distractions around begging for our attention. In this modern day there are too many things to do, so much information and new flying around, and not to forget -advanced social media and technology. Most of these things were not in existence 20 to 30 years ago. So we get drawn in, and in doing so lose our sense and purpose and our health suffers. A nap can form a refreshing appearance, like a water well in a desert that quenches a traveler's thirst -if only for the time being.

And speaking of naps, some companies (Google, Apple, Nike) agree about it's benefits and even introduced napping infrastructure for their employees. What better way to increase alertness than taking a short nap. And during bedtime maybe it's time to do away with mobile phones and other gadgets that keep us awake and deprive us of rest. Lack of rest can be really exhaustion. When last did you nap or get a good night's sleep?



Peace. Love. Light*





Current Listen:
Clifford Brown -Easy Living



Tuesday, October 17, 2017

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Musings of mine: Rambling Mind on This and That #12


Quote of the day: 

Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone. -Anthony Burgess






Train Runners

What's one of the funniest things to see when walking along a busy street? Surely one of mine has to be the sight of people racing to the station to catch a train. Early morning, rush hour, picture a 100 yard dash minus the Olympics. I assume nobody wakes up in the morning thinking "I am going to leave the house later than usual, and try to make a run for the train station!". If you are new to a big city or town it could be an alarming sight to see. For one, you are not sure if they are being chased or even worse if they are running up to catch up with you. They are definitely certain to give Usain Bolt a run for his money.


Don't Just Watch the Leaves Fall

It's that time of the year again. When dreams collide, when plans get evaluated and when trees shed leaves. Before long people tell anyone who cares to listen 'I can't wait for summer to come' and everyone nods approvingly. Say goodbye to the heat, sunshine, cold showers and ice cream.Say goodbye to the skimpy outfits, sun glasses, and very cold drinks. Alas, say hello to cold rain, gloomy weather and hot drinks. Say hello to heavy clothing, scarves and shorter days, longer nights. Don't just watch the leaves fall, go on with your normal life. Hibernate and all.


Time Snatchers

Why do we always do the opposite of what we mean? If you enjoy meeting up/planning events with people this one is for you. Beware of anyone who tells you "I'll be there in five minutes," only to show up half an hour later with a ton of excuses. If you say you are five minutes away then you must be close by, no? As in you are just around the corner and walking to the specified location. Worse still some will tell you "I am on my way," but what they basically mean is "I lost track of time. I am just about to shower, and who knows how long it will take me to decide what to wear, figure out the route, and check the weather app". These people are perpetual time snatchers- who will do anything to keep you away from your sanity.


Selective Memory

Ever get a blitz of forgotten memory right out of the blue? Sneaky, and unannounced. How is it that you recollect such a moment from years ago, but fail to remember what you had for lunch on the first day of the month, or where you left your keys, or why you are standing in the middle of the room trying hard to figure out why you had walked in there in the first place.


The Countdown

Just in case you are wondering how many days are left till Christmas, it's 69. That's roughly 10 weeks from now. Shocking yes? Well what's more shocking is the fact that since August -think nice summery days and barbecues, a few shops have set up their Christmas section, completely confusing those of us who can only tolerate seeing festive decorations in late November or even early December.


Peace. Love. Light* 


Current Listen: Donny Hathaway - Someday We'll All Be Free 


Saturday, October 14, 2017

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3 Things to Inspire Your Weekend: #71


Quote of the day: 

Just for today, smile a little more. Just for today, ask someone how he or she is really doing. Just for today, remember, while some may have it better than you do, there are others whom definitely have it worse than you! Just for today, just let go, just for today. 
-James A. Murphy



Image credit: AlexandriaPoliceDept

Heroes are everyday people doing extraordinary things as seen in the case of Earl Melchert who left work for home to pick up a forgotten item. As he prepared to head back to work he noticed someone about half a mile away who turned out to be missing 15-year-old Jasmine Block who disappeared from her home about a month earlier. She had escaped from her abductors-one of whom was a family acquaintance, and had been knocking on doors to get help. Melchert recognised her face from the news. Later, the Alexandria Police Department offered him the reward money of $7,000 and he refused to accept it believing that the family needed it more than he did. He therefore gave the money back to Jasmine and her family.



Image credit: JordanBrand/GettyImages

Michael Jordan, 54, stepped up his philanthropy by donating $7 million to fund two health facilities for poor communities in Charlotte, North Carolina. With the hope to provide an avenue to affordable and quality health care to individuals in the community with little or no health care as well as providing a healthier future for the children and families they serve. Jordan has supported several charities in the past including the Nevada Cancer Institute, Cats Care, St.Jude Children's Research Hospital and Kids Wish Network.






As seen on Arch DailyWest Yard Farm

Architects: van Ellen + Sheryn
Location: Devon, UK
Photographs: Richard Downer Photography

Brief: 

A refurbishment and extension of an 18th century farmstead providing a large and contemporary family home which makes use of the wooded valley setting.

Theme:  Situated within a conservation area and National Park, and sitting on a 60 acre wooded valley, a single storey steel framed glass structure was built in between the farmhouse and barn thus creating a new heart to the building. A blend of old and new, the surrounding woodland supplies a generous amount of fuel for wood burning stoves and solar thermal panels provide much of the hot water requirements of the hosuehold.



Peace. Love. Light*