On Leaving the Phone Behind


Personalized Stress Management

How I Left the Room Without My Phone and Lived to Tell the Tale

Posted: 08/18/2013 12:32 am

By Terri Trespicio

For one long moment, I debated the issue. Should I take my phone with me, or leave it here? I was only going to be gone an hour or so. I made the mental calculations — who might need me, what I might need it for. There was an emotional tug (I want it with me). This was a test. Could I be apart from it? Yes, I decided. I could.

After all, it was not even 8 a.m. on a Saturday. And I was on my way out.

To a massage.

See, this is a problem. Because there was not one person who had any interest in reaching me at that moment, nor did I have a need for anyone else. But it’s enough to sound the alarm bell, even for me — because this isn’t the practical weighing of a situation. (Will I need the umbrella?) This is the cry of a dependent person.

Oh, and it gets better. I wasn’t even home. I was away for the weekend, at a retreat center called Old Stone Farm, a charming 200-acre estate nestled away in teeny tiny Staatsburg in upstate New York. I was staying in a restored 18th-century barn and was about to get worked over by a professional energy healer/massage therapist, who would attempt to undo the very stress-induced knots I spend my life getting into. Yeah, I could probably do without Twitter, at least until breakfast.

The pathological Pavlovian response dictated by our devices is undeniable. In a survey conducted at meQuilibrium, 50 percent of respondents reported checking their work email outside of work, including on weekends and vacations. Sixty-one percent admitted that they can’t ignore their devices, and check them within the hour of receiving an alert, text or email. And what’s worse, 61 percent said they feel jealous, depressed or even sad after checking status updates. They feel worse! But they keep checking! (Read more about the survey findings.)

We don’t just have devices — we have a collective digital rash. And we keep scratching. We’re not just connected, we’re inflamed by our hyper-reachability. This goes back to the issue of stress addiction, which I wrote about recently, in which we crave that excitement, thrill, the “what’s next”-ness that our tiny handheld oracles deliver hour after hour. Sure, some of our fuss is about putting out fires, but it’s also incredibly optimistic — because you never know when that great piece of news, that amazing opportunity, will be delivered by the universe in a single ping. And who wants to miss that?

But I knew it was worth the risk to really enjoy the massage (a blend of Thai stretching and chakra work — super-groovy stuff that felt amazing). Rather than scanning the digital horizon for what would come next, I had the profound experience of deep diving into the moment, of becoming aware of my body and mind, yet comfortably detached from all its trappings (the judgments, the thoughts, the reactions). The only way to describe it is that I was being slowly unraveled, like a tangled, kinked electrical wire — and who better than an energy healer to do it?

I’m happy to report I didn’t miss anything during those 90 minutes. Not a damn thing. I think about what would have been different if I had brought my phone. Nothing. It would have sat there in my bag, dumb as a stone. And when I walked (floated) out, my energy, usually firing in jagged sparks, flowed in a single, glowing wave. I felt connected and whole — without being connected to anything at all.

from:    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mequilibrium/technology-addiction-_b_3745336.html?utm_hp_ref=gps-for-the-soul&ir=GPS%20for%20the%20Soul

Nessie Exists, QED Evolution Does Not, at least at Some US Schools

Loch Ness monster cited by US schools as evidence that evolution is myth

The Loch Ness monster: Used as evidence that evolution is mythThe Loch Ness monster: Used as evidence that evolution is myth

Published on Monday 25 June 2012 14:05

THOUSANDS of American school pupils are to be taught that the Loch Ness monster is real – in an attempt by religious teachers to disprove Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Pupils attending privately-run Christian schools in the southern state of Louisiana will learn from textbooks next year, which claim Scotland’s most famous mythological beast is a living creature.

Thousands of children are to receive publicly-funded vouchers enabling them to attend the schools – which follow a strict fundamentalist curriculum.

The Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) programme teaches controversial religious beliefs, aimed at disproving evolution and proving creationism.

Youngsters will be told that if it can be proved that dinosaurs walked the earth at the same time as man, then Darwinism is fatally flawed.

Critics have slammed the content of the religious course books, labelling them “bizarre” and accusing them of promoting radical religious and political ideas.

One ACE textbook called Biology 1099, Accelerated Christian Education Inc reads: “Are dinosaurs alive today? Scientists are becoming more convinced of their existence.

“Have you heard of the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland? ‘Nessie’ for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur.”

Another claim taught is that a Japanese whaling boat once caught a dinosaur.

One former pupil, Jonny Scaramanga, 27, who went through the ACE programme as a child, but now campaigns against Christian fundamentalism, said the Nessie claim was presented as “evidence” that evolution could not have happened.

He added: “The reason for that is they’re saying if Noah’s flood only happened 4,000 years ago, which they believe literally happened, then possibly a sea monster survived.

“If it was millions of years ago then that would be ridiculous. That’s their logic. It’s a common thing among creationists to believe in sea monsters.”

Private religious schools, including the Eternity Christian Academy in Westlake, Louisiana, which follows the ACE curriculum, have already been cleared to receive the state voucher money transferred from public school funding, thanks to a bill pushed through by Republican state governor Bobby Jindal, a Hindu convert to Catholicism.

Boston-based researcher and writer Bruce Wilson, who specialises in the American political religious right, said: “One of these texts from Bob Jones University Press claims that dinosaurs were fire-breathing dragons. It has little to do with science as we currently understand. It’s more like medieval scholasticism.”

Mr Wilson believes that such fundamentalist Christian teaching is going on in at least 13 American states.

He added: “There’s a lot of public funding going to private schools, probably around 200,000 pupils are receiving this education.

“The majority of parents now home schooling their kids are Christian fundamentalists too. I don’t believe they should be publicly funded, I don’t believe the schools who use these texts should be publicly funded.”


A Perfume ONLY for the Pope

Perfume Created For Pope Benedict XVI

The Huffington Post  |  By Tara Kelly Posted: 03/14/2012 1:32 pm Updated: 03/14/2012 4:17 pm

Perfume Created For Pope

Pope Benedict XVI smiles during his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 7, 2012.

Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Aniston may be the type of public figures expected to roll out their own signature scent. But that hasn’t stopped Pope Benedict XVI from having an eau de cologne created for His Holiness, the Telegraph reports.

Created by Italian Silvana Casoli, the cologne is infused with lemon tree blossom and the smell of spring grass, conveying the Pope’s love of nature and wildlife as well as peace and tranquility, according to the Irish Times.

Other celebrities the master perfumer has worked with include Sting,Madonna and King Juan Carlos of Spain.

Unlike other perfumes, the scent won’t be sold to the public and is to only be worn by the Pope, explains Italian newspaper Il Messaggero.

This isn’t the first Catholic scent to be created by Casoli. According to theTelegraph, she previously created two other colognes called “Water of Hope” and “Water of Faith” for the Roman Catholic Church.

from        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/14/perfume-created-for-pope-benedict-xvi_n_1344689.html:

Sooo, Maybe October 21 Will be the End of the World…If not, then wait ’til next weel

Mark Your Calendars: End of World Coming Oct. 21, Camping Says

Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
Date: 14 October 2011 Time: 05:20 PM ET
Radio preacher Harold Camping predicted that May 12, 2011 would mark the beginning of the end of the world
CREDIT: Karl Tate, TechMediaNetwork

The radio preacher who predicted Judgment Day on May 21 has not backed down from his claims that the end of the world is near, despite the lack of a Rapture or world-devastating earthquakes leading up to the doomsday.

In an announcement on his Family Radio Network website, Harold Camping stands by his earlier predictions that the world will end on Friday, Oct. 21. Originally, Camping had predicted hourly earthquakes and God’s judgment on May 21, to be followed by months of torment on Earth for those individuals left behind. Using numerical codes extracted from the Bible, Camping set thedate for the end of everything for Oct. 21.

When May 21 came and went without fanfare, Camping revised his story. The “earthquakes” he had predicted did occur, he writes on his website in a post titled “What Happened on May 21?” — only instead of shaking the Earth, God shook mankind “with fear.” Likewise, although no one was raptured, God is no longer saving souls, Camping writes.

“What really happened this past May 21st?” Camping wrote. “What really happened is that God accomplished exactly what He wanted to happen.”

Camping, who suffered a stroke in June and is now at home recuperating, also said in an audio message on his site that the end on Oct. 21 will come quietly.

It’s not unusual for failed doomsday predictors to claim that their prophecies were true, just slightly misunderstood.

“Most often, the answer given by the group is that the prophecy is true, but the interpretation was wrong,” Concordia University professor of religion Lorenzo DiTommaso told LiveScienceduring Camping’s rush of publicity in May.

The modern Seventh-Day Adventist church, for example, got its start as a splinter group of Baptist preacher William Miller, who predicted the end of the world on Oct. 22, 1844. In the post-doomsday letdown, Miller’s followers struggled to explain what went wrong. The group that would become the Seventh-Day Adventists concluded that on that day, Jesus had shifted his location in heaven in preparation to return to Earth.

Other groups have also survived failed predictions of Armageddon. The Jehovah’s Witnesses made specific predictions about the apocalypse until the early 1990s, when they switched to more vague prophecies. A 1950s doomsday cult known as The Seekers actually bragged to the media after their end-of-the-world prediction failed, saying that their devotion had saved humanity.

Believing in the end of the world even without evidence may seem strange, but sociologists say that a belief in doomsday gives followers a clear sense of the world and their place in it. Others have suggested that apocalyptic worldviews stem from the overwhelming feeling that one’s problems are too big, and, as such, the only possible solution is a clean slate. Over the past 40 to 50 years these doomsday beliefs have increased, according to DiTommaso, though not all “believers” are as extreme as Camping.

to read more, go to:   http://www.livescience.com/16561-mark-calendars-world-coming-oct-21-camping.html

Young Serbian Human Magnets?

Are Serbian Cousins Human Magnets?

Benjamin Radford, Life’s Little Mysteries Contributor
Date: 20 September 2011 Time: 02:43 PM ET
7-year-old Bogdan is apparently magnetic.
7-year-old Bogdan

What’s in the water over in Serbia?

Earlier this year, a 7-year-old Serbian boy named Bogdan made international news with his alleged paranormal ability to make objects stick to his skin. Photos and videos of Bogdan showed various kitchen items (including flatware and plates) “magnetically” sticking to the smiling boy.

Little Bogdan may have competition on the Belgrade sideshow circuit, because it’s happened again. Twice.

Two young Serbian cousins, Luka and David Petrovic, are claimed by family members to attract small objects. Like Bogdan, photos show forks and spoons clinging to 4-year-old David’s chest. Both boys have been examined by doctors who say they are perfectly healthy and seem to suffer no ill effects from their strange ability (or affliction).Various explanations have been put forth for these and other so-called “magnetic people” over the years, including psychic powers and some unknown bodily energy field. One Belgrade radiologist told the Associated Press, “As far as I know, there is no medical or scientific explanation.”

Indeed, a closer examination is in order. We can begin by noting that not all of the objects that stick to these magnetic peoples’ skin are metal (some are glass or porcelain). So we know that whatever is making the object adhere to the skin is not based in magnetism.

Second, these objects only stick to bare skin — not through a shirt, for example. Thus we know that direct contact with skin is necessary for the objects to mysteriously stick. Third, most of the objects are fairly lightweight (such as keys and spoons), and/or have a lot of surface area compared to their weight (such as a shallow metal pan). Fourth, the objects are usually placed on the chest at an angle, so their weight is partly being supported by the chest muscles.

The answer to the mystery is that the objects are held in place by simple skin friction. Bare skin is not only pliable and elastic, but also emits oils which can cause lightweight objects to stick the skin. Most people don’t notice this, of course, because they don’t spend their time putting random household objects on their unwashed bare chests to see what sticks and what doesn’t.

So it is a hoax, or a mistake? My guess is that the Petrovic family really believes that their kids have this strange (and useless) ability. Or perhaps little Bogdan, the other Serbian magnetic kid, lives next door and they just wanted to keep up with the neighbors.

Gotta Love PETA on Mars

Vegans on Mars? PETA Says Yes, Please

by Clara Moskowitz, SPACE.com Senior Writer
Date: 19 August 2011 Time: 06:00 AM ET
Could Space Farmers Grow Crops On Other Planets?
Future astronauts may grow some of their meals inside greenhouses, such as this Martian growth chamber, where fruits and vegetables could be grown hydroponically, without soil.
CREDIT: Pat Rawlings/NASA

Most space fans hope that humans will eventually reach Mars. As for cows and chickens, that’s another question.

Animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treaent a letter to spaceentrepreneur Elon Musk, founder of rocket company SpaceX, urging him to make any Space X missions to Mars vegan.

“We can get off on the right foot on our new biosphere by ensuring that Space X crafts traveling to Mars are stocked only with vegan food and that Mars’ colonists commit to enjoying an animal-free diet once they’ve arrived,” the group wrote in the Aug. 8 letter. [Space Food Photos: What Astronauts Eat]

to read more, go to:   http://www.space.com/12679-vegans-mars-peta-campaign-space-food.html

Foods NOT To Fry

10 Things We Shouldn’t Be Frying (SLIDESHOW)

First Posted: 8/14/11 02:59 PM ET   Updated: 8/14/11 02:59 PM ET

If Michele and Marcus Bachmann’s hilarious corn dog photos reminded us of anything, it’s that you can make all kinds of bad choices at the state fair. Sure, we all think, “It’s just once a year, it’s ok if I eat 18 pounds of fried dough,” but it’s gotten out of control. It seems there’s nothing our state fair food purveyors won’t fry.

So, in an attempt to curb this deep fried onslaught, here are 10 things we think everyone should stop frying right now. If you disagree or have others, let us know.

1 of 11

Fried pickles have become a common site on appetizer menus at actual restaurants, not just state fairs. That doesn’t mean the taste isn’t the equivalent of a dirty bomb going off in your mouth.

The Math of Basketball

The Mathematics of Basketball

by Ron Cowen on 2 August 2011, 1:04 PM |

To shoot, or not to shoot, that is the question. Whether ’tis nobler to try to score right away or wait for a better chance.

Professional basketball players face that quandary multiple times in every game. And in an article posted at arXiv.org on 29 July, Brian Skinner, a graduate student in theoretical physics at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, provides some mathematical guidance for the best time to take aim.

Skinner, an avid basketball fan, was inspired to analyze the game when he heard a talk at an American Physical Society meeting in 2007 on the flow of traffic. Every driver tries to minimize his or her commuting time rather than reduce the average travel time of all drivers, resulting in a paradoxical situation: Closing a road may actually reduce congestion by forcing drivers to take a route many had avoided, speeding up the average commute.

That paradox reminded Skinner of the Patrick Ewing theory in basketball, named after the high-scoring player for the New York Knicks. Analysts had noticed that in games from which Ewing or other big scorers on a team were absent, that team was more likely to win. In addition, the diagrams and flow of players in basketball also resembled the traffic models Skinner had seen.

to read more, go to:    http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2011/08/the-mathematics-of-basketball.html?ref=hp

Pastafarians Rejoice

13 July 2011 Last updated at 10:42 ET

Driving licence of Niko AlmHaving received his driving licence, Niko Alm now wants to get pastafarianism officially recognised

An Austrian atheist has won the right to be shown on his driving-licence photo wearing a pasta strainer as “religious headgear”.

Niko Alm first applied for the licence three years ago after reading that headgear was allowed in official pictures only for confessional reasons.

Mr Alm said the sieve was a requirement of his religion, pastafarianism.

The Austrian authorities required him to obtain a doctor’s certificate that he was “psychologically fit” to drive.

The idea came into Mr Alm’s noodle three years ago as a way of making a serious, if ironic, point.

A self-confessed atheist, Mr Alm says he belongs to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a light-hearted faith whose members call themselves pastafarians.

Passport photos of Niko Alm with a colander on his headA medical interview established the self-styled ‘pastafarian’ was mentally fit to drive

The group’s website states that “the only dogma allowed in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the rejection of dogma”.

to read more, go to:   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14135523

Lori Klein, AZ State Senator is Packing

Lori Klein, Arizona State Senator, Pointed Loaded Gun At Reporter Richard Ruelas’s Chest

First Posted: 7/11/11 04:07 PM ET Updated: 7/12/11 04:47 PM ET

Arizona state Sen. Lori Klein (R), a gun-rights champion, keeps a loaded raspberry-pink handgun in her purse, and during an interview with Arizona Republic reporter Richard Ruelas, she took it out and pointed it at him.

“Oh, it’s so cute,” Klein said, before aiming the gun at Ruelas’s chest to show off the red beam of the laser sight. Klein’s gun, a .380 Ruger, has no safety, but the senator assured Ruelas that he wasn’t in danger.

“I just didn’t have my hand on the trigger,” she said.

to read more, go to:    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/11/lori-klein-arizona-gun-control-reporter-giffords_n_894973.html