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* 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

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Poem: The Way of Overlords



Quote of the day: 

In the light, we read the inventions of others; in the darkness we invent our own stories. 
-Alberto Manguel





How sweet the morning air is
Like the lovely scent of cut grass
Furnishing pleasure to the soul
Amid the chaos and rush of bodies

I soon became lost
In white clouds of smoke
And just for a cursory moment
It was all deathly quiet

Time stood still
I envisaged utopia
Fond memories became unfastened
Like a thread holding a fabric together
Songs that I hummed
Races that I ran
A rush of blood to the head
Blue shadowy ghosts cradle
Sun kissed and love-drunk

The clouds disapeared
Taking with them paradise and reality
Alas the white smoke was man made
I watched it all disband
As an overlord glided down the street
Long brown coat flapping in the wind
E-cigarette in hand
Vaping to his heart's desire
I could see his next victim
Ensnared in a trail of billowing smoke


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This is written in narrative form and explores vaping and its after effects -usually a ball of smoke left by brash individuals self-righteously gliding away from their creation. The poem is also a recollection of moments, time and place, purpose, pleasure and emotions. Again, it is open to different interpretations. 



Current Listen: 


Peace. Love. Light*