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

The death of democracy

Few day ago, I discussed the Putinization with few friends and I got this weak idea. Today, it's no longer a weak idea, but a very alive and strong one.

To many people, the ruling of Putin represents the death of the democracy. To me, whether we have ruling in which one man decides and all other agree (with those who disagree out of the way- what Putin is doing) or ruling in which one man decides and all other disagree (but they can't do anything to stop him- what Bush is doing) is all the same. It's not democracy. It's totalitarianism. Yes, the one looks kind of evil, the other looks ridiculous, but the look in not the important one-the reality is. And the reality is that it's not democracy.

Then if the supposed greatest democracy in the world-USA is dead, and people adore Putin (even I respect what he represents too much) where the world is heading?
I can't say where is it heading, but I can see it's not to hell. At least, not with great probability.
Democracy has long been considered for the best way to rule that men are aware of.
But is it really the best possible? I doubt. Thinking about it, what is the democracy at all? Have we seen any real, working democracy? Mmm, I don't think so. Except for France's strikes which for me are the only real democratic act-people defending their interest and making the government consider them important.

Without consulting wikipedia, democracy means ruling of the people. The majority of people. The majority of those that have the right to vote and vote. Which in the practical case becomes the minority of those that vote for some reason. Which usually gives terrible results. Statistically. And practically- vote activity of 40% (normal for my country at least) and the winning party wins with say, 45%, well, how is that for majority. But it doesn't matter, because it's the way it's happening. The minority that bothers to vote, no matter if intelligently or just "feeling lucky", no matter if it's the way he/she always vote, or if she/he actually listened the party's program and can name even ONE leader of every MAJOR party. It's the practical majority that is usually actual minority that decide how a country will be ruled. Not to mention the corruption, the deceptions, the lack of real control in politics and the big companies pouring millions or billions in someone's campaigns.

Now, interesting fact is why people don't vote. Often, it is because they feel totally helpless, no matter who they vote for. Or just annoyed from the silliness of politics. Or angry on the amount of non-doing we see on the large scale. Or maybe disappointed that politicians usually take care of the interest of big companies and on social issues comes last. Or just they don't care. Which is the worst actually. I don't understand the idea of "punishing vote". For me you either vote intelligently (to the best of your ability) for everybody's wellness or you're guilty of crime against society.

I don't mean to point a/the finger. No. My intention is to show a trend. The majority of people want to be left alone. To leave the politics to the politicians and just live their life in peace. Of course, with their interests protected in one way or another. Not that they ever bothered to show that they DO care about their interests and the interests of the society as a WHOLE.

The end point- they don't want to be involved. They prefer ignorance than social responsibility. Ok, maybe it's not the majority. But think of all of us, lonely soldiers in the search for truth. What do we get, what do we change. It looks like it's never enough. Because no matter how loud you yell, there are always people that prefer to be deaf.

What I want to say with this is that democracy is dying. People no longer want to rule. They want to be ruled. They want to enjoy their life and forget about the big issues. The small ones are enough for them.

I don't blame them (kind of). We're just starting to see how enjoyable can be the sharing. We find another ways to have fun and new meanings of our lives. Yes, we want to speak out. We want to be heard. We all do. But do we want more? Do we want to stand out for our cause. Mmm, maybe not all of us. Or not always.

So, bottom line. Ever wonder why people protested but never did anything substantial against Bush? Or why Putin is so popular? Because on the one place people don't care enough, and on the other, they can see he's strong enough.

People don't want democracy anymore. They want freedom. They want the freedom to enjoy.
Yes, they want to be heard and taken care of, but not involved. They don't want to make decisions, they want to have fun. Well, I want to have fun too.

That's why I think democracy is heading for the past. And if you ask me, as long as people are left to speak and live freely, everything will be ok. Because after all, it doesn't take a parliament to rule good and make people happy. It takes lots of guts, will power and good ears. And as long as the people are content and feel free, who cares what's the system in the head.

And to be honest, we all know that who rules is often not the one we chose. Often, who rules is the same no matter who we choose. Then let's open our eyes and at least make sure we'll live in good future, that we'll have a future. Which, for me, means we show people in charge that whoever/whatever people are power that should be always in their minds. And as long as they take care of our well-being and invest in our society, they can do whatever they like.

The history shows our civilisation gets the best even from the worst. But why suffering if we could be just happy?

Chocolate-sinister and yummi

Divine - yes. Delicious - absolutely. But deadly? For some it certainly is. The corpse on Gartrell's slab belonged not to a human but to a kea, an endangered New Zealand parrot. Like many animals, keas are acutely sensitive to chemicals in chocolate that are harmless to humans in all but huge doses. Scientists are now studying these chemicals, along with other substances in cocoa, hoping to exploit their toxic effects to control pests or microbes.
If you're reading this after scoffing your fifteenth chocolate Santa, don't panic: we humans have been safely enjoying the beans of the cacao plant, Theobroma cacao, for millennia. Theobroma is Greek for "food of the gods", reflecting the Mayan belief that cocoa had divine origins. Every April, they sacrificed a dog with cacao-coloured markings in honour of Ek Chuah, the god of cacao.
Knife-wielding priests aside, chocolate is still bad news for many animals. Cocoa beans are naturally rich in caffeine and its chemical relatives theobromine and theophylline, collectively called methylxanthines. To humans these are little more than benign stimulants, but to a number of animals they are highly toxic. Just 240 grams of unsweetened dark chocolate contains enough methylxanthines to kill a 40-kilogram dog, about the size of a German shepherd.

The reason humans don't turn up their toes after bingeing on chocolate is largely down to the speed at which our bodies metabolise theobromine, the most abundant methylxanthine in chocolate. Rats metabolise it much more slowly than humans, and dogs are slower still. There are no reliable figures for theobromine toxicity in humans, but based on caffeine toxicity an average adult would have to gorge on around 50 kilograms of milk chocolate in a single sitting to get anywhere near a lethal dose.
The observation that methylxanthines are highly toxic to animals, with dogs being especially vulnerable, prompted John Johnston, a chemist at the US Department of Agriculture in Fort Collins, Colorado, to investigate chocolate as a more selective way of controlling coyotes (
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, vol 53, p 4069).

The methylxanthines are just a start. "Cocoa is a real gold mine of different components," says Herwig Bernaert, research manager at Barry Callebaut, a chocolate manufacturer in Zurich, Switzerland. Cocoa contains more than 700 compounds and there is a great deal of research on which of these can affect people or other creatures.
Some of these compounds, such as the flavonoids, have commanded a lot of attention for their apparent health benefits, but researchers are also keen to exploit chocolate's more sinister side.
Some studies suggest cocoa extracts can prevent Helicobacter pylori, the bacterium that causes stomach ulcers, from setting up shop in the lining of the gut. Others suggest that the extracts block the growth of disease-causing strains of the gut bacterium E. coli.
Compounds isolated from chocolate could even be used to prevent tooth decay. Phil Marsh, a microbiologist at the Leeds Dental Institute in the UK, reported last year that a cocoa extract rich in polyphenols discouraged mouth bacteria from sticking to teeth and forming plaque. It also reduced the tooth-rotting powers of the bacterium Streptococcus mutans by reducing its ability to produce acid (
European Journal of Oral Sciences, vol 114, p 343). But if you think that means it's time to ditch the toothpaste and reach for that jumbo jar of chocolate spread instead, forget it. There's far too little of these polyphenols in chocolate to outweigh the damage that will be done by all the sugar it contains.
source
My comment: I think this one is rather informative. Especially for dog-owners like me. Remember to keep the chocolate out of the way of dogs. The moral? Eat it as fast as you can :)

Jerboa

The cuttest little animal ever :)




Physiology of day-dreaming

Check out what I found on the net. This concerns what areas of the brain are involved in the dreaming state and so on. On the end of the article, you can find my comment on the day-dreams, brain lurking and ... enlightenment.

When people perform mental tasks--adding numbers, comparing shapes, identifying faces--different areas of their brains become active, and brain scans show these active areas as brightly colored squares on an otherwise dull gray background.

But researchers have recently discovered that when these areas of our brains light up, other areas go dark. This dark network (which comprises regions in the frontal, parietal and medial temporal lobes) is off when we seem to be on, and on when we seem to be off.

If you climbed into an MRI machine and lay there quietly, waiting for instructions from a technician, the dark network would be as active as a beehive. But the moment your instructions arrived and your task began, the bees would freeze and the network would fall silent. When we appear to be doing nothing, we are clearly doing something. But what?

The answer, it seems, is time travel.

The human body moves forward in time at the rate of one second per second whether we like it or not. But the human mind can move through time in any direction and at any speed it chooses.

Our ability to close our eyes and imagine the pleasures of Super Bowl Sunday or remember the excesses of New Year's Eve is a fairly recent evolutionary development, and our talent for doing this is unparalleled in the animal kingdom.

We are a race of time travelers, unfettered by chronology and capable of visiting the future or revisiting the past whenever we wish. If our neural time machines are damaged by illness, age or accident, we may become trapped in the present. Alzheimer's disease, for instance, specifically attacks the dark network, stranding many of its victims in an endless now, unable to remember their yesterdays or envision their tomorrows.

Why did evolution design our brains to go wandering in time? Perhaps it's because an experience is a terrible thing to waste. Moving around in the world exposes organisms to danger, so as a rule they should have as few experiences as possible and learn as much from each as they can.

Although some of life's lessons are learned in the moment ("Don't touch a hot stove"), others become apparent only after the fact ("Now I see why she was upset. I should have said something about her new dress"). Time travel allows us to pay for an experience once and then have it again and again at no additional charge, learning new lessons with each repetition. When we are busy having experiences--herding children, signing checks, battling traffic--the dark network is silent, but as soon as those experiences are over, the network is awakened, and we begin moving across the landscape of our history to see what we can learn--for free.

Animals learn by trial and error, and the smarter they are, the fewer trials they need. Traveling backward buys us many trials for the price of one, but traveling forward allows us to dispense with trials entirely. Just as pilots practice flying in flight simulators, the rest of us practice living in life simulators, and our ability to simulate future courses of action and preview their consequences enables us to learn from mistakes without making them.

The dark network allows us to visit the future, but not just any future. When we contemplate futures that don't include us--Will the NASDAQ be up next week? Will Hillary run in 2008?--the dark network is quiet. Only when we move ourselves through time does it come alive.

Perhaps the most startling fact about the dark network isn't what it does but how often it does it. Neuroscientists refer to it as the brain's default mode, which is to say that we spend more of our time away from the present than in it.

People typically overestimate how often they are in the moment because they rarely take notice when they take leave. It is only when the environment demands our attention--a dog barks, a child cries, a telephone rings--that our mental time machines switch themselves off and deposit us with a bump in the here and now. We stay just long enough to take a message and then we slip off again to the land of Elsewhen, our dark networks awash in light.source

My comment: Ok, what triggered me is the part where they say that day-dreaming is in the gray area and focus sets the brain in light. Interesting. Mystics say enlightenment can be reached trough meditation on the breath for a long period. Or actually meditation on anything, but for the sake of the logic, it doesn't matter. So. When one focus on some sense, certain area of the brain get active and thus in light. Then, if we observe actively all of our senses we're setting in light bigger and bigger areas of the brain. If we get totally present, the whole brain or more likely big enough part of it, gets in light and thus we get into a new state of existence-enlightenment! Isn't it awesome! Ok, to be correct, if we follow the article, if you're too focused on one thing, one area gets light and another gets dark, but as we know, meditation is not about sharp and too involved attention, but instead, it's about soft attention, one in which you are totally present, an all including presence. Obviously this is different than the sharp and excluding attention. So maybe I have a point. If that's true, we can see the scientific explanation of an mystical process. Which is so great. As an example, I feel better when my mind is directed (attention, light areas) than when I'm just lurking (dark region), though I get quickly tired and have to rest and just lurk for a while. Maybe the meditation is simply the perfect balance between the two states. That's so thrilling. I hope I get few opinions on this one as it sounds so interesting.

The truth

This is going to be a short one!
Today's moral- don't ever EVER live by anybody else's principles, no matter how reasonable they seem.
I tried to, but it was way more harmful, than the simple truth. Lies are not for me, so thank you all for your advices, but not anymore. Better miserable, than hating myself. Cruel or not, the truth is the only possible way for me.
I needed few months to get it, but now I'm adamant sure. From now on, I'll live only according to my principles and what I feel right. It makes things so much easier and simpler. And meaningful.
It was a hard one, but eventually, I got that lesson.
Denitsa

Another miracle in a month? Yay!

‘Miraculous’ Recovery for Man Who Fell 47 Floors
By JAMES BARRON
Published: January 4, 2008

Alcides Moreno plunged 47 stories that morning last month, clinging to his 3-foot-wide window washer’s platform as it shot down the dark glass face of an Upper East Side apartment building. His brother Edgar, who had been working with him on the platform, was killed.
Somehow, Alcides Moreno survived.
He was given roughly 24 pints of blood and 19 pints of plasma and underwent an operation to open his abdomen in the emergency room because, his doctor said, they did not want to risk moving him to an operating room. As December went on, he endured nine orthopedic operations.
Yet somehow, Alcides Moreno, the man who fell from the sky, survived.
In his hospital room, amid all the machines that helped keep him alive, his wife, Rosario, lifted his hand again and again to stroke her face and her hair, hoping against hope that a simple tactile sensation would remind him, would help bring him back.
Then on Christmas Day, Alcides Moreno reached out — and stroked the wrong face.
“Apparently he tried to do it to one of the nurses,” Rosario Moreno said on Thursday, describing how she chided him, gently, when she was told what had happened. “I looked at him and said, ‘You’re not supposed to do that. I’m your wife, you touch your wife.’”
For the first time since the accident on Dec. 7, he spoke.
“He turned around and, in English, said, ‘What did I do?’” she said. “It stunned me because I didn’t know he could speak.”
Surrounded by doctors who had helped save her husband, Mrs. Moreno told her story at a press conference at which medical professionals with long years of experience in treating traumatic injuries used words like “miraculous” and “unprecedented” to describe something that seems remarkable: a man who fell nearly 500 feet into a Manhattan alleyway is now talking and, with a little more luck, a few more operations and some rehabilitation therapy, may well walk again.

source

My comment: Well, I'm speechless...50*3~150m. And that's a long one for a fall. I've never seen that tall building in my life, but it's really really high! I'm glad he's ok. It's always good to see someone defeat gravity. For a change :)

And if I must be serious, it really is the second miracle we see for a month (after the survival of a girl in a plane crash). For me, this obviously states: "if you're meant to live, you will live no matter how. If you're not, oh well, next time more."
It's kind of comforting thought, to know everything is set and you don't have to worry if that flight is going to make it, because you're already "doomed" anyway.

Life takes care of us all. Ok, it doesn't sound so positive, but if you think it over, really, it's a total fear-killer. Unless you don't trust your destiny. And it's stupid to not trust our destiny-it's us that chose it on the first place, then it must be important and right, right? Hopefully. Actually, hell YEAH!

Life in action

It's a tough beginning of the year.
Bad news, bad cold and -15 oC outside. (and a part that started well and finished odd)

I wish I had something witty to write but I don't. Things are getting rough around me and I didn't really expect it...Or maybe I just ignored them for a while.

Funny but right now (few hours after I began this post), I feel wonderful! I'm having my herbal tea, I watched that awesome movie about my favorite Ferrari Fiorano and I'm on the top of the world. So much beauty and perfectness simply provokes all my inner grace and inspiration. That's why instead of the depressing post I planned, you're getting a sweet and yawny one.

So the moral for today is that even in bad time good things happen and it's all up to what you decide to focus on.

I spent the day pondering over the personal will and responsibility towards our loved ones and I still don't get it-how is one supposed to know when to hold on and when to let go? Where is the limit between respecting the other ones experience and personality and destiny and trying to change him/her in order to help him/her. I don't know. I really don't. I helped my grandma when she choked. Now maybe that action is leading to danger to another person. Am I responsible? Would it be different if I wasn't so persisting in saving her? How can I know...And would that make me act differently back then.

The truth is that one can do only what seems right in the moment. You really can't know everything at every point. And this is rather depressing. Today's good deed is tomorrow's doom. But then, there's always Ferrari. There is always the beauty and the joy and all those natural and artificial "stuff" that make all your choices easier. Yes, they can't compensate for any loss or hardness, but they definitely can make things lot more bearable and even enjoyable.

I'm still trying to figure out how to help in the recent tough one. I don't know if I can, if at all it's my turn to do anything, but I can't just watch. Funny, when you can see clearly where the problem seems to be, but you can't point it out, because whatever you say won't be heard for real. Just received and probably acknowledged. And that's it. And all you can do is watch. And try to figure out another way.

Let's see what tomorrow will bring, because today, I'm in no state to continue feeling bad. I want to fly. I want to drive that perfect, lovely, graceful, beautiful, amazing Ferrari Fiorano. Yeaah. Voyage, voyage...

Good night!

And Viva La Vida Loca :)

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year all!
May we all be happy, joyful and healthy!
And sober :)

Newer Posts Older Posts Home

Blogger Template by Blogcrowds