Europe against GMO crops! Please, sign the Avaaz petition!
I already did. It's us who decide, not Monsanto!!!

My first official speech

Dear professors, colleagues and guests,
First I'd like to thank the organisers for the honoring me to talk,
Today, we're here to celebrate the end of one important phase of our life-to be a student.
From now on, for many of us there is an important choice to make- whether to continue our education and our path in science or to find another path.
There is nothing unusual in this- life is all about choices. The important thing is to choose something that has a meaning to us, so that this meaning can empower us and inspire us in moments of need.
For some of us the education in Sofia University is an important-we found friends, we learned a lot, we understood something new about us. For others, this was a torture and every session was a monstrous effort of the will. In any case, this is the past. We graduated- Congratulations! Now in front of us is the new beginning-to decide what's our real calling.
I decided for myself.
And I want to tell you why I chose the science among all the other attractive and better paid professions.
For me, the most important thing the university gives us is not the knowledge. We gain knowledge from our birth in different form and volume. You don't need
to be a student to learn new things and to develop.
For me the most important thing the university gave me is the attitude in life. An attitude of person who knows that problems are inevitable and that every difficulty is not a tragedy but a challenge. That with hard work, good will and much patience one can achieve everything.
The task of the university is not to pour knowledge in our heads but to teach us how to find the knowledge alone and how to use it. The transition school-university is the transition of person used to be told what to do to a person who tell others what to do. You needn't be a student to think independently, of course, but you can't claim you're a scientist and to be dependent on the opinion of others. The only measure if something is good is whether it will make people happier and more free.
That's what the university taught me. To be myself and to search the truth in everything. Because only the truth is important. To believe in someone else's hopes and dreams, no matter who sells them to you lead only to confusion and suffering. Only in the sincere search for the truth and in the honest creation of real things the dreams and the hopes are beautiful and healthy. And if our ife doesn't create happiness in no one and most of all, in us, it's useless.
I chose the science, because I think this is my way of searching and finding the truth. Because this is my way to respect the greatness of the Universe and to show the other people its Beauty.
And because I believe everyone should do what gives him/her satisfaction and to be where he/she is happy-I chose to stay in Bulgaria and be a scientist.
For finish, I'd like to tell a story. Couple of months ago, I had to give a talk on a conference. Of course, I was extremely worried,because this was something big in my eyes. When the moment came, everything that could go wrong did so. From a hall full of computers not even one wanted to run my presentation for one reason or another. All in all, it was a mess. I could quit. I could postpone. But I didn't. I stayed there and told what I had to, because I believed it is important. I consider this for the best moral. To keep on doing what we believe in, despite the difficulties and how stupid we feel.
Because what we feel or thing matters only to us. What matters to the other is what we DO. It is what changes the world. What stays in history is not our motivation or intentions, but what we did and how it affected everyone else. I wish to each and everyone of you to find your way to the truth and despite all the problems, to make the world a better and fairer place to be.
And of course, I would like to thank all my professors and university staff. Although not everyone brought nice moments to me, I believe everyone taught me something important about me and the world as a whole. I thank in particular everyone who helped me in my way until now as well as to those who will travel with me from now on. I want to thank to my colleagues with who we've been trough so many good and bad moments. I thank to the university for existing in spite of everything and to the government that take cares of us although not as much as we take care of it. I want to thank our wonderful planet and my lovely family for the support and the power it gives me when I need it. I consider the gratitude for important because it allows us to see where we are and who helped us along the way. That's why I'd like to ask everyone to think who you want to thank and why.
Thank you for your attention and God Speed!
And remember- knowledge is power. Always!
Sofia, Bulgaria, 21.11.2007

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Oct. 31 — Alexandre Robert, a French 15-year-old, was having a fine summer in this tourist paradise on the Persian Gulf. It was Bastille Day and he and a classmate had escaped the July heat at the beach for an air-conditioned arcade.

Just after sunset, Alex says he was rushing to meet his father for dinner when he bumped into an acquaintance, a 17-year-old, who said he and his cousin could drop Alex off at home.

There were, in fact, three Emirati men in the car, including a pair of former convicts ages 35 and 18, according to Alex. He says they drove him past his house and into a dark patch of desert, between a row of new villas and a power plant, took away his cellphone, threatened him with a knife and a club, and told him they would kill his family if he ever reported them. /eh, I would ask why did he get in that car on first place, I wouldn't do it. But he's young so it doesn't really matter/

Then they stripped off his pants and one by one sodomized him in the back seat of the car. They dumped Alex across from one of Dubai’s luxury hotel towers.

Alex and his family were about to learn that despite Dubai’s status as the Arab world’s paragon of modernity and wealth, and its well-earned reputation for protecting foreign investors, its criminal legal system remains a perilous gantlet when it comes to homosexuality and protection of foreigners.

The authorities not only discouraged Alex from pressing charges, he, his family and French diplomats say; they raised the possibility of charging him with criminal homosexual activity, and neglected for weeks to inform him or his parents that one of his attackers had tested H.I.V. positive while in prison four years earlier.

“They tried to smother this story,” Alex said by phone from Switzerland, where he fled a month into his 10th-grade school year, fearing a jail term in Dubai if charged with homosexual activity. “Dubai, they say we build the highest towers, they have the best hotels. But all the news, they hide it. They don’t want the world to know that Dubai still lives in the Middle Ages.”

Alex and his parents say they chose to go public with his case in the hope that it would press the authorities to prosecute the men.

United Arab Emirates law does not recognize rape of males, only a crime called “forced homosexuality.” The two adult men charged with sexually assaulting Alex have pleaded not guilty, although sperm from all three were found in Alex. The two adults appeared in court on Wednesday and were appointed a lawyer. They face trial before a three-judge panel on Nov. 7. The third, a minor, will be tried in juvenile court. Legal experts here say that men convicted of sexually assaulting other men usually serve sentences ranging from a few months to two years.

Dubai is a bustling financial and tourist center, one of seven states that form the United Arab Emirates. At least 90 percent of the residents of Dubai are not Emirati citizens and many say that Alex’s Kafkaesque legal journey brings into sharp relief questions about unequal treatment of foreigners here that have long been quietly raised among the expatriate majority. The case is getting coverage in the local press.

It also highlights the taboos surrounding H.I.V. and homosexuality that Dubai residents say have allowed rampant harassment of gays and have encouraged the health system to treat H.I.V. virtually in secret. (Under Emirates law, foreigners with H.I.V., or those convicted of homosexual activity, are deported.)

Prosecutors here reject such accusations. “The legal and judicial system in the United Arab Emirates makes no distinction between nationals and non-nationals,” said Khalifa Rashid Bin Demas, head of the Dubai attorney general’s technical office, in an interview. “All residents are treated equally.”

Dubai’s economic miracle — decades of double-digit growth spurred by investors, foreign companies, and workers drawn to the tax-free Emirates — depends on millions of foreigners, working jobs from construction to senior positions in finance. Even many of the criminal court lawyers are foreigners.

Alex’s case has raised diplomatic tensions between the Emirates and France, which has lodged official complaints about the apparent cover-up of one assailant’s H.I.V. status and other irregularities. The tension and growing publicity over the case seem to have prompted the authorities to take action.source NYTimes


My comment: I think it's high times that Arab society stop pretending like they don't have gays or HIV or low morality. The question of morality is not a question of the religion, it is inherited human feature. Especially when it comes to something that doesn't even fall in the moral category- the homosexuality. People are just born like this, then if you say you don't have them in your country, you're simply lying. I ask, who benefits from those lies? Nobody!
Even more, by hiding and lying they put human lives in danger and risk the whole thing to fall on their heads sooner or later. Because if you deny the truth, it won't go away. More likely to have to face an epidemic and loose people's respect and trust.

Buying and selling hope

Do you want to get rich? Do you want to spend your life working in pajamas? Do you want to say to your boss to fuck off and die and to go living on the beach? Of course you do! Well, the good news is that you can. The bad news is that you won't.

I want to get rich too. I spent months on researching the net for opportunities, reading books, trying out stuff. What I saw was always the same- people promised, people cajoled, people wanted to help YOU. They all were so interested in helping YOU, in making YOU rich. You can't help but wonder how come there are so many ways to get rich and so little people that are really rich. And even more, what bothered me immensely was not so much the promises. It was what they are selling. Tell me honestly, what do they sell? No, really, what? How many get-rich-quick schemes have you seen, that offer you something REAL, a product they produced... Yeah, they sell you books, books giving away they secrets and know-how, books - fifth edition, resold and/or rebranded for 5th time. Books that promise to be unique.

But what do we find in there beside the dreams of money making machines?
-How to make sites- with and without HTML knowledge. Good stuff. Definitely findable in Internet. Some really good sites offer you easy tutorial on HTML and CSS. Many sites don't even require it! These days, you could have a site having just little bit of creativity.
-Google Adsense and Adwords guide-secrets that you can find all over the net. Little tricks that even Google itself tells you. It's ok if you're new and lazy- they give it all to you, chewed and spitted, ready for you to use it. With the little warning that Google keeps on changing the rules so by the time you read it, it's always a possibility Google decided to make those tricks inoperable. A little example for you-just few months ago, you could earn well from Traffic Exchange programs. Then Google hit back and now, clicks from such sites are worth pretty much nothing. Enjoy.
-Blogging. Yeah. The unthinkable worth of having a blog. Where to make a blog. In case you never seen a blog. In case you're blind. Not that it's impossible but let's face it- if you made a little research on Internet business, you'll met already all kind of blogs and blogs about blogs. But again it's very informative. My favorite quote "why blogs are important? Because you write something, someone comments and voila, your site has new content. Google find it more appealing and shows it more on the search" (from the Next Internet Millionaire). That's, of course, true. And important. Though it won't say the little fact- there are thousands of blogs that get new comments. Lots of new comments. You write something about your new cat and 20 friends will say "cool" and here we go. Would that make your blog more important in Google eyes? Who knows...Guess not really.
-Content- how to write sites with many key words and not get banned by Google. Yeah, one could figure if you want to earn trough a site, you'll have to have some content. Myself, I didn't even know one could make a site entirely with keywords and to use Adsense to make money. It looked too wrong to exist. Well it does. And after all those book I know it. They tell you not to do it, but they nicely explain how to do it. Google hates it, users hate it, over all it makes Internet ugly place. But go ahead, do it.
-TRAFFIC! Now, I read a lot on this, because I soon figured the traffic is pretty much the most important thing in internet business. And all those books tell you pretty much everything and precisely NOTHING on it. To summarize the say: 1) spread the word for your site to all your friends 2) use the URL as a signature in you emails and blog/forum posts 3) use off-line publicity 4) use online publicity-Adwords or all other ways you could afford. 5) you might even try Traffic Exchange although it won't work pretty cool 6)Optimize your site for search engines 7) submit the site to all kind of free and paid online directories you could find. Now, this really is very big part of gathering traffic. At least, I still haven't figured out the secret part. Because let me tell you- it's not enough. Ok, I know the big traffic comes from the right use of Adwords, but for me, if you don't sell anything and want to earn trough Adsense, it's not worthy. Or it might be. But it requires investment and lots of research to find the best Adwords and to calculate the right price. Not for me, not in the moment. But let's face it, most of these sites do SELL something, they sell those books. So they earn from that and it's actually worthy paying for publicity, because they pay cents for click trough Adwords and earn minimum 30$ if you buy. And they make pretty sure you buy. So if you want to walk this way, you have a chance.
-How to sell. Now this was what really spoked me out. Recently I read a book which said"to sell, you have to use few key techniques 1) create a need 2) give a hope 3) make it urgent 4) make a very special offer. Combined with being personal and sharing your story. And people will buy. Because they don't look for a product, they look for a hope. They probably won't ever read the book or follow trough. But they want the hope". It's not an exact quote. But it's what it said. And it made me utterly crazy. Because it's true. Because people really do want to buy the dream, not the product. Because people want to be lied. They want to believe they have a chance and to go to bed happy they found the PRODUCT, the TOOL to happiness. And then they wake up and forget about it. And every time they are miserable, they will remember it and feel better, because they know when they have time, they'll use it. Yeah. Well, to people earning on that, it might seem ok to make those promises. But not to me. We shouldn't use the stupidity of people, we have to fight it. I could use one of those products and with little bit investment, I would earn well probably. Maybe I would if I'm desperate. But should I? Is it fair? I don't think so.
So that's it. That's in most of those books. At least the ones I read. They may be with more or less pages, written better or worst, but over all, that's it. They won't give a way more. They won't give you what you need. You still need to work your ass off to find a way to promote your page. Because promoting really sucks. You can have the best site ever, but if people don't visit it, you're done. And it's not people like 1o-50 a day. It's people like 500-1000 a day. If you want to earn trough Adsense. Or to have decent sellings.

This was a review on what people sell. But very few of them actually sell you books they wrote. Mostly they rebranded them /put their names on them after paying to the owner/ and they give the same opportunity to you. How nice. The whole net sells the same products written or created by very few people who win trough the pyramid . And usually you are on the bottom. You got lied and now you want to lie other people too. All win, all loose. And the money circulate.

Well, that's the reason why I write this. I watched the Next Internet Millionaire. I liked the participants. It was great to see all those people, committed to succeed.And the people who actually succeeded. But what came out of them in the end? The same no-products. They sell you a story, or a product which you could re-sell. And that's it. Nothing real. Nothing that you don't already know. There's no evolution. There's no progress in those products, only in the ways they try to make you buy. Which is wrong! I want to get rich, but I want these to happen trough something real, giving something real to people. Something that they will use and that will improve their life. I don't want to sell lies. I hope you won't do it too.

You can get rich in internet. You can succeed. The question is how- doing something good or doing something bad. Yes, you can get lied, but should you do the same to others to make it even? I don't think so. Please don't. Let's all find a way to get rich creating something real, not abusing on people's dreams and hopes. Let's sell dreams that are real. Let's create a better world.

I just had a discussion in on a forum on the benefits of remembering our dreams. And as with magical wand, I found this article which I remind myself to read for days and I did today :) . Of course, it's on dreams. Here's a summary of what I read. It gives the scientific base for discovering the real purpose of sleeping. You can find the stages of sleep, what part of our brain work they affect (good for people that have to take a test) and of course some scientific background. On the end, you can find a scientific preview of the nightmares.
I hope you enjoy it.

The story begins in 1953 when Dr. Aserinsky found his son produces the same eye movement patterns while asleep as if he's awake. He calls that state REM or rapid eye movements.
Dr. William Dement, studying REM found that it was universal and occurred periodically through the night, alternating with other states. He gave them names: Stages 3 and 4, or deep sleep, when electrical waves roll as slow as mid-ocean swells; Stage 2, an intermediate stage
between REM and deep sleep; and Stage 1, light sleep (REM). Interesting enough, only during REM, you are paralyzed so you night walk only during other states.

/Something I found in another article:
When slipping into REM sleep, Dr. Levin said, “the whole brain
changes.” “Neurochemically, it’s like the Fourth of July,” as cortical
precincts shift colors in scanning images to indicate arousal or
quiescence, he said, adding, “The limbic system becomes incredibly
active, much more so than when you’re awake, which is why you’re
emotionally on edge in dreams.”
For more on this colorful description, check here/

Later studies concluded that:
Memory of learned facts, whether they are names, places, numbers or Farsi verbs, seems to benefit in part from deep sleep. This state usually lasts an hour or more in those lolling depths early in the night, and typically less time later on.
When cramming on facts, in short, it may be wiser to crash early at night and arise early, than to burn the candle until 2 a.m., the research suggests.

REM sleep, the bulk of which comes later in the night, seems important for pattern recognition — for learning grammar, for example, or to bird-watch, or play chess.

Dr. Carlyle Smith of Trent University in Canada has found a strong association between the amount of Stage 2 sleep a person gets and the improvement in learning motor tasks. Mastering a guitar, a hockey stick or a keyboard are all motor tasks.
“The implication of this is that if you are preparing for a performance, a music recital, say, or skating performance, it’s better to stay up late than get up really early.”
***
And something about how our brain functions:
Past research has shown that the hippocampus (where the day’s memories are recorded) is spatially sensitive: it seems literally to pair the firing of individual neurons with locations outside the body. These systems are thought to function in similar ways
in humans and rodents.
Dr. Wilson and Daoyun Ji reported that in sleeping animals they had recorded chatter in neurons in the visual center of the neocortex, followed by an apparent response in the hippocampus — and not just any response, but a replay of the activity in the hippocampus that occurred during a maze task.

Dr. Wilson thinks of this as a kind of off-line conversation between the neocortex, which is involved in conscious learning during waking, and the hippocampus.

***
And finally is the sleep essential for our ability to learn? Here's what the article said...

Subimal Datta, a neuroscientist across the river at Boston University School of Medicine, thinks so. In his studies of animals, he has documented that during sleep the brain is awash in a chemical bath unlike any during waking. Levels of inhibitory transmitters increase
sharply, and levels of many activating messengers drop, or shut down entirely.

“During waking we have a thousand things happening at once, the library is filling up, and we can’t possibly process it all,” Dr. Datta said. While awake the brain is also gathering lots of valuable information subconsciously, he said, without the person’s ever being
aware of it.

“It’s during sleep that we have this special condition to clear away this overload, and these REM processes then help store what’s important,” Dr. Datta said.

source NY Times
Up next, (hopefully)-more on the spiritual meaning of dreams. :)
Below is a little commentary on nightmares from that article:

Ordinary bad dreams rarely recapitulate unpleasant events from real life but instead cannibalize them for props and spare parts, and through that reinvention, Dr. Nielsen explained, the fears are defanged. “A bad dream that doesn’t lead to awakening is successful in dealing with intense emotion,” he said. “It’s disturbing, but there is
some kind of resolution to the extent we don’t wake up.”

By this scenario, nightmares, in allowing you to escape prematurely, represent a failure of the “fear extinction” system. “Bad dreams are functional, nightmares dysfunctional,” he said.

If you feel yourself falling, spread your arms out and learn how to fly.


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To the pain

How much time should pass before the pain abates?
How much time before the memory fades away?
How many blushes until I can look you in the eyes,
And tell you the truth and forget all the disguises

It's hard to not be able to speak when you want it. Fear and pain are odd creatures. Even if you somehow manage to out-grow them, they still make a filter on your perceptions. And the worst is that this filter is in both directions. You sometimes see events in the wrong light, but also, you manage to transfer your fears to the others. Today was one of those days.

An event long forgotten, partly forgiven, but still making me watch carefully for any signs of its repeat. And obviously it shows. And one of the people I respect a lot told me not to worry, that anything i don't want to happen to me, won't happen to me and i felt so so low. Because it's one thing to fight something in yourself, but totally different to hear it from someone who has no clue of the truth. It's so hard. It's painful. Because you wear a mask, a mask that little by little becomes reality- and in this case, it's for good, you need to become the free person that mask shows. And somebody just blow away your mask and brings you back to the misery you once felt. To the person you tried to forget. To the pain and fears you really really would like to not remember. Simply a disaster.

I don't know how people manage to overcome psychological traumas. Talking seems to be fine, but can you tell that to everybody? Should you? Should you let the past define your personality. I don't think so. But then how to escape the past when its ghosts are around you and show up on the wrongest places. I believed I forgot. I think I did it. I forgot the pain. But the shame, a shame that it's not even meant to exist, it's still there. And i can't face it. I can't simply tell people- "excuse me if i act oddly, but i have memories and i can't control them yet". It's not something you say. It makes you too weak. And I don't want to be weak.
And i don't want people to see me trough the light of what happened to me, i don't. What happened to me is just for me to learn and grow. But sometimes it just won't happen the way we want it, right...

Happy Holiday!

Today is a great day.
Not the after-Halloween day, but the day of the leaders of Bulgarian Nation. According to my somewhat weird dictionary. But on this day we don't celebrate only the lives of all the people who fought for our freedom armed with words and education.

We celebrate everybody who works to teach people and to learn more about our world. Today is the day of teachers, university workers, writers, even probably of the journalists who still fight for our rights from time to time.

We have one Bulgarian song- Ahead, the science is a sun, which lights our souls, ahead, the nationality never falls, there where knowledge is inside.
Ok, something like this.

Yes, knowledge is the Sun that lights our souls. I believe we're here to learn, to explore and manipulate our world. The knowledge is the ultimate virtue-as Buddhists say- suffering is a result from the lack of knowledge. If we know, we can't be miserable.

I dedicate this thought to today's holiday and wish to all of us fighting for understanding to have the strength to never stop our quest for the Truth. Gos speed!

Have a happy holiday, all!

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