Questions, Answers, Tips, and Ideas on topics of your choice.

'The ability to perceive or think differently is more important than the knowledge gained.'
(David Bohm)


Those who prefer a picture to ten thousand words might like my other blog — LIGHT COLOUR SHADE.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

The Apocalypse In 2012?

What’s on the cards?

“But of that day and hour knoweth no one, not even the angels of heaven, neither the Son, but the Father only.”
The Last Judgement, Michelangelo, Rome, Capella Sistina
The Last Judgement (the Apocalypse).
(Michelangelo, Roma, Capella Sistina)
If this question didn’t jump out at me so often on the Internet, it wouldn’t even come into my mind to seriously consider it. However, just because the Mayan calendar ends on Dec 21st 2012 many people seem to be fretting about possible cataclysms that could wipe us out of existence, and there’re a lot of theories about what possible events could trigger off Doomsday that has loomed large on the horizon since the dawn of time. Why on earth does everyone seem to attach so much significance to this calendar that some researchers claim the Maya simply took from an earlier Olmec civilization?

Friday, 13 November 2009

What does our perception of music depend on?

The Washington Post Experiment or The Flop of the L’Enfant Plaza. (read the original article: "Pearls before Breakfast”, although it should be titled "Pearls before swine")

'Beware the barrenness of a busy life.' — Socrates

Stradivarius violin
The following example illustrates the key factors in our perception of music and art in general.

A social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities was carried out at Washington subway station in the cold January morning a couple of years ago.

One of the greatest violinists of our days played incognito at the station exquisite Bach pieces (among other great composers’ works) for about an hour on a violin that costs 3.5 million dollars. Hardly anyone stopped, paid attention, or dropped a coin. Let alone recognizing him, while tickets to his concert usually cost 100$ on average.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Don't let your boyfriend swear at you.

Show me a woman who doesn't feel guilty, and I'll show you a man. (Erica Jong)

D. has been in a five-year relationship with her boyfriend, but in spite of apparently loving each other and living together things don’t work well. It seems it’s all due to his quick temper, which usually translates into him yelling at the top of his lungs and swearing at her without any good reason at all.

A fighting couple
Tables turned
(A fighting couple)
She tried counselling, serious talking and even breaking up with him, but none of these experiments helped. He keeps cutting up rough, if she doesn’t approach him carefully -- like when she puts him off playing video games. She’s reluctant to give up on this relationship yet, but can’t take it any longer, either, since it’s also aggravating her underlying depression. So what should she do?

I've seen a lot of similar cases (like a couple who broke up because he just wouldn't come unstuck from his video games), and it's all usually comes down to the lack of respect.
First of all, everyone gets as much respect as they demand. However much you love him, letting him yell at you means you don't respect yourself enough, but there's really no reason for that – convince yourself you don't deserve it.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

What is the Meaning and Purpose of Life?

William Shakespeare (Chandos Portrait)
William Shakespeare.
(Chandos Portrait)
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.
(W. Shakespeare, 'Macbeth'. Act v, scene 5)

A masterly description of the everlasting human grief at the futility of life. Indeed, there are two things that inexorably invalidate any purpose and meaning life can have: ageing and death (and all the suffering they cause). Still, I've been musing about this eternal and most transcendental question humans asked themselves as self-aware beings for as long as I can remember. It hurts to think that our life has no Meaning or Purpose at all, so we desperately try to at least build up an illusion. Throughout the history of mankind the belief in afterlife and eternal soul has arguably been the only source of desperate hope that what we do in our lives signifies something. Being unable to see the bigger picture, all we can do is merely speculate why we have been dragged into this vale of tears.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Should parents allow their daughters to be vaccinated against cervical cancer?

vaccine terror
Vaccine terror
In my opinion, regarding this matter the following questions should cross any thinking person's mind.

First of all, why is it only girls who get the jab? It's men who transmit this virus, so boys should be vaccinated first. Following the same line of reasoning, men should take the pill that causes a lot of side effects, including breast cancer instead of women, but since the world is ruled by men women's lives are not so appreciated as men's.

The fact that most scientists who develop these vaccines, pills etc are men is a telling detail, no wonder they gladly sacrifice women's health for their benefit and pleasure.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

There's one born every minute!

While the government and media jobsworths raised such a fuss, bugging the flock with everyday death rate reports (only on swine flu — I wonder what would happen if similar reports were regularly released on other viral and non-viral diseases, such as cancer, normal flu etc), about something that is allegedly no more dangerous than common flu, except that unlike the latter it mostly attacks the young, healthy and ordinary, there can still be found someone willing to play a mug’s game.

Well, it takes all sorts to make the world.
One of such daredevils has recently posed a mind-boggling question:
Isn’t the best swine flu vaccine swine flu itself?

To put his money where his mouth is he decided to deliberately catch this nasty bug and thus kill two birds with one stone:
1. To prove swine flu isn’t as dangerous as it’s cracked up to be.
2. It’s the best way to immunise yourself against the virus.

I usually go by the rule that it’s useless to try to stop a fool from going ahead with what he/she's up to, so in answer to his question I told him he actually put me in mind of a certain 19th century whatever-his-name Russian count, who shot himself in the leg (and in the foot, too!) to prove to his buddies he could withstand the pain, got blood poisoning and kicked the bucket instead of their butts.

His mother was quoted as saying that in the past she was the only person who knew he was a blockhead, now the whole Moscow found it out.

I can't wait to see the denouement of the story.

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Monday, 28 September 2009

Welcoming aindreagriffin.

Thank you for being the first follower to join my blog, aindreagriffin. I hope you'll stay for a while.
I'd also love to visit your blog, but your avatar shows no links. If you happen to pop by, please consider leaving a link to your site or its URL, that's if you don't mind, of course.
I'm going to write a new post sometime soon; and remember that you can also put forth a question for discussion on topic of your choice either as a comment or using the Get Answers gadget.

(You can ask your questions, submit answers and vote on the answers you think are the best in the Get Answers gadget below the posts. Just sign in first with GFC (the 'Follow' button) right above the gadget.)

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

A fix for the Get Answers gadget.

Fix it.
This gadget enables visitors to ask questions, submit answers and vote on answers, as well as leave comments on any topic, which, in my opinion, makes it one of the most useful gadgets. It also lets you find related articles on other sites.

However at first, it didn’t work at all, so I posted my issue on the Google help forum and learned that although the bug had been reported to Google no solution was found. Some users suggested there were a couple of bugs in the gadget source code, such as “core gadget data integrity bug” on FF (it stores different data on FF and IE).

Monday, 14 September 2009

What is swine flu in reality?

Swine flu Does this new mysterious virus actually have anything to do with pigs? Now they say it contains genetic material that is typically found in strains of the virus that affect humans, birds and swine. Well, always blaming it on animals, since they can't hire lawyers.

Has it escaped or been intentionally released from some lab where military experiments were being held? A way to control population growth? Most victims, especially deaths, were and are healthy people in their prime (fit for military service, by the way).
Looks like a biological weapon, along the lines of experiments CIA carried out during the cold war in UK: harmless bacteria were released on the Underground trains to see how they spread, among other tests on humans (well documented facts).

Sunday, 6 September 2009

A natural home remedy for common cold and flu
(and probably for swine flu as well).

As a child I used to play with all kinds of farm animals at close quarters: pigs, chickens, ducks etc, to say nothing of the presence of rats the size of hare that peacefully shared food with hens, scared the hell out of cats and couldn't care less about humans, but they never gave either me or anyone else any of their diseases. I also used to eat raw egg yolks and never heard of salmonella either – all these viruses are the product of modern industrial society, ushered in by battery hens, eggs, contamination or lab experiments.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Ethics or Morals?

What’s the difference between an ethical man and a moral one? An ethical man knows what he does is wrong, a moral man won’t do it.

Two hands
While there is love...
Most topics of discussions that arise in everyday life usually come down to ethical or moral issues inherent almost in every matter.
One of such topics is ‘gay marriages’ and it was brought up by a gay couple in a conversation about the concept of family. Although we all looked at the question from different standpoints, opinions mainly flowed along these lines:

Any people living together can be considered a family, never mind the nature of their relationships (for those who read the Bible, remember what Jesus said something along the lines of 'my family are those who follow my word... rather than my brothers and sisters' (sorry, can't quote the exact passage) and therefore should enjoy the same legal rights as any official union.
Probably, we should redefine what constitutes a family.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

The paths we choose.
Is joining up a good choice?

“War is the statesman’s game, the priest’s delight, the lawyer’s jest, the hired assassin’s trade.” — (Shelly)
Admiral retirement
The tinsel and glamour of Army
 The other day I got into a conversation with two guys who intended to join up, but were now having second thoughts they shared with the others hoping to resolve their doubts. An animated discussion followed that led us to agree on many points. Here is the gist of it in case someone is facing the same dilemma and trying to get a different view.

You’d better measure the depth, before plunging into the water; otherwise you are in for a nasty surprise.
Mind that once you are in the army you could go to war and now ask yourself a question, are you ready for it?

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Image and beauty.
Susan Boyle — the beauty of talent.

Susan Boyle makeover.

First of all, why it's so common for a woman to be called ugly and get the shaft just because she doesn’t meet more than questionable canons of modern beauty, imposed by fashion designers and publicity industry and widely accepted by people without any criteria of their own?
Why aren’t stick insect models with squiggly limbs, protruding masculine shoulders and shapeless trunks considered ugly? Just because they are long, lanky (rather than tall) and therefore are convenient for the designers as they only have to make one size clothes?

Sunday, 19 July 2009

When psychology and fashion work ... together.

This is a real-life story with happy ending.
Good news like someone getting what they wished for is scarce in everyday life, so this one can probably be considered offbeat. It looks like a piece of my humble advice bore fruit, which was by no means a sure bet.
A girl I’ve known for some time now had had a 5-year relationship with her boyfriend and started to fret that he was just stringing her along as the whole thing was rather bogged down.

They belonged to different social classes and his mother — the same old story — didn’t approve of her son’s choice to the point that on one occasion, when due to couple’s bad timing she happened to be at her son’s right when the girl, let’s call her Susan, showed up, she looked her square in the eye and said bluntly, ‘There is no point in beating about the bush, so I’ll give it to you straight: you are a slut and I want you out of my house!’ Credit where it's due – she is indeed a straightforward, sincere woman. All the hell could have broken loose as Susan can give as good as she gets, but she wisely made herself scarce.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Farewell to Michael.

(Michael, the king)
A modern idol.
I can’t help but write a few lines just to pay homage to probably the best pop star of all times. Although this type of music has never been my cup of tea, I’ve always admired Michael Jackson as a dancer of unrivalled talent on the contemporary pop music scene.
Being a shining example of popular culture, he created a commercial product for the masses, but then again, of the highest quality.
His elegant polished streamlined movements were the result of a complete mastery, a common feature of great performers, (such as Fred Aster, for instance). He created a new style of video clips that hasn’t been surpassed to this day.

Unfortunately, in spite of finding fame and fortune he didn’t seem to be happy, his obsession to look like a white man at any cost was in my opinion a tell-tale sign of deep-rooted feeling of inferiority (on the other hand, insistently induced by the generic colour of the globally dominant race), and he didn't have enough intellect to understand that colour isn't synonymous with quality.

I believe inferiority complex is caused, among other factors, in large part by the difference between who you think you are (with or without grounds) and who you would like to be.

Poor self-esteem results in two main behaviour patterns, depending on your personality: generally good people fall into self-destruction just because they don’t like themselves (many people’s actions should be looked at from this angle), whereas generally evil people indulge in self-deception and seek revenge against the outside world for being better than them or making them feel that way. The deeper the gap between the reality and the dream, the more it hurts.

Whatever the reasons, it’s all too sad when people leave this world before their time (or it might be a blessing in disguise).
It seems in the end Michael managed to get away to the Neverland.

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Friday, 26 June 2009

Who is deflation bad for and why?

Money talks, and says no to deflation.
Lately, I've often heard, mostly from members of the upper class, there's a serious threat of deflation looming on the horizon.

But I'm at a loss to understand why 'sustained falls in prices for goods and services' should necessarily be considered a blight, when precisely the efforts to reverse inflation apparently have always been high on every single government's list of good intentions.

As for us mere mortals, deflation means buying cheaper, although I haven't noticed any drop in prices as yet when I go shopping. Conversely, it's inflation that puts a lot of strain on families as prices and salaries don't rise at the same pace. Actually, the prices of the things I usually buy keep going up, so a fear of deflation seems a kind of propaganda aimed at stimulating consumption.

Besides, deflation would most likely make the blown-out-of-proportion prices get closer to value for money.

Or maybe it's just that the rich worry over the slightest decrease in their profits growth. Couldn't the leading economies just be kept going without either inflation or deflation (like they say it is in Switzerland)?

(You can ask your questions, submit answers and vote on the answers you think are the best in the Get Answers gadget below the posts. Just sign in first with GFC (the 'Follow' button) right above the gadget.)

Monday, 22 June 2009

Menier's disease.

(World Peace Bell.)
 'I feel as if my head were
inside a chiming bell',
the guy claimed.

It seems that too many medical questions pop up lately.

A couple of months ago I went to a friend’s party and there was a guy there who looked as if he had had one too many. But you shouldn’t judge by appearances, it turns out he has a medical condition.

Five years ago he started suffering from bouts of dizziness and ringing in one of his ears. Eventually dizzy spells evolved into severe vertigo accompanied with vomiting, a degree of hearing loss and constant tinnitus, which made him tumble down several times.
‘It’s a wonder you haven’t hurt yourself or caused a car accident yet,’ I told him. ‘Why don’t you do something about it?’

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Shoulder pain

This is how RSI builds up: by doing the same movements many times
whether you click or wave your arm around.

   The other day my mum’s friend complained of a dull but nagging pain in her right shoulder she’s had for ages and is seriously impairing quality of life for her, as well as her performance at work, which, in turn, is a source of constant friction with her boss. She blames it on working long hours on a computer (she is right-handed) as it hurts most when she is sitting at her desk, so she has to resort to painkillers (that are harmful to kidneys or stomach) almost every day.
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ape genius

We hope to match up to this guy