The weakening of Rome…similarities to the U.S. today

November 23, 2008 at 1:58 pm | Posted in Dissection, Lifescape, Lifestyle, Mindscape, People, Reactions, Reviews | Leave a comment
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Comune di Roma

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This description of the years preceeding the fall of Rome reminds me a lot of the culture of the United States these days. The pride, hard work, humility and dedication of generation’s past seems gone. We watch shows like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Biggest Loser, Dancing with the Stars and don’t want to be bothered by real issues, real concerns, real challenges. We drive SUVs that eat up tremendous amounts of gas, despite knowing the political and environmental side effects of doing so. And our smartest go straight to wall street to manage hedge funds that get in and out of stocks with indifference…without any output or benefit to the world other than to squeeze money out of the system (more money that actually exists it turns out). I hope that we are somehow strong and honest enough to recognize the errors of our ways and get so that we can someday get back to better days.
clipped from www.financialsense.com
What led to Rome’s weakening? In describing the city of Rome in the middle of the fourth century, Ammianus Marcellinus wrote of the vanity and materialism of his contemporaries. Rome became great through virtue, he argued, and virtue had given way to vice. Decades before the barbarians broke into the empire, causing the economy to unravel, the Romans were focused on entertainment and self-gratification. “In this state of things,” wrote Marcellinus, “the few houses which once had the reputation of being centers of serious culture are now given over to the trivial pursuits of passive idleness…
(‘the’ is a basic word)
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The Secret to staying Madly in Love

November 23, 2008 at 1:50 pm | Posted in Dissection, Humaneness, Lifescape, Lifestyle, People, Relations, Reviews | Leave a comment
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Kiss in Sa Pa

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It’s all in the head….
clipped from www.timesonline.co.uk
THE SECRET to staying madly in love for life is hidden at the heart of your brain – a finding that may lead to new strategies for keeping alive passionate partnerships, say New York scientists.
Researchers led by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine recruited 17 men and women who still love their spouses intensely after two decades of marriage, then scanned their brains as they saw their loved ones’ photos. When they compared the results with scans of 17 people who had fallen in love in the previous year, they found that the same area of the brain, the ventral tegmental area, lit up.
One of the authors, Helen Fisher, told the Society for Neuroscience‘s annual meeting this week: “If you ask people around the world whether romantic love can last, they’ll roll their eyes and say ‘probably not’. Most textbooks say that too. We are proving them wrong.”
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Child deaths test faith-healing exemptions

November 23, 2008 at 1:14 pm | Posted in Lifescape, People, Reactions, Reviews | Leave a comment
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A map showing places Asser is known to have vi...

A map showing places where Asser is known to have visited.

This is a worthy cause to be taken up right in earnest
clipped from www.msnbc.msn.com
When Dr. Seth Asser saw row after row of flat headstones marking children’s graves in a small cemetery not far from the end of the historic Oregon Trail, he knew many of these early deaths should not have happened.

The children’s parents relied on faith healing, instead of doctors.

The pediatrician published a landmark study concluding many of the deaths could have been prevented if the children had received medical care.

His study 10 years ago brought attention to the issue, and yet today three criminal cases — two in Oregon and one in Wisconsin — have revived concerns about exemptions that most states grant to parents who rely on faith healing instead of doctors to treat sick children.

State laws across the nation exempt members of religious groups from prosecution if they choose faith healing over science. Asser and a colleague, Rita Swan, have been trying to get states to repeal such laws, arguing that safety should always come first, no matter what the parents believe.

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Naipaul’s Biography

November 22, 2008 at 11:36 am | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment
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“Bizarre Love Triangle” cover

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On the Cover of the Sunday Book Review

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‘The World is What it Is’

This biography of V. S. Naipaul is a monument truly worthy of its subject, elucidating the enduring but painfully asymmetrical love triangle at the core of Naipaul’s life and work.

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Wrath Gameware Creats Record

November 21, 2008 at 1:13 pm | Posted in Lifescape, Lifestyle, People, Reviews | Leave a comment
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'World of Warcraft_ Wrath of the Lich King' - ...

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Wrath sells 2.8 million in the first 24 hours

var digg_url = ‘http://digg.com/pc_games/Wrath_of_the_Lich_King_sells_2_8_million_in_24_hours'; We knew it was going to be a lot, but I think the game outsold even our expectations: Blizzard has announced that the game’s second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, sold 2.8 million copies worldwide in the first 24 hours, and undoubtedly many more in the weekend after that (we’re expecting an announcement later this month around five million in the first 30 days). That makes the game the fastest selling PC game of all time, and by far the fastest-selling expansion of all time (remember that this isn’t even a complete game that’s flying off the shelves). The previous record, of course, was set by the Burning Crusade, which sold 2.4 million copies during launch.

Pretty huge, but when you consider that the game has 11 million subscribers around the world, those numbers are just about right. Looks like Morhaime is on to something — as long as they have players ready to buy the game in numbers like this, Blizzard will undoubtedly release expansions as long as they can.

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Thanksgiving Has Hindu Roots?

November 21, 2008 at 12:15 pm | Posted in Dissection, Humaneness, Lifescape, Mindscape, Reviews | Leave a comment
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Paramhans Yogananda

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    • Thanksgiving Has Hindu Roots?

      A yoga master made a startling statement: that Abraham Lincoln had been a Himalayan yogi in a past life. Lincoln delivered a proclamation establishing Thanksgiving as an American holiday in 1863. Research sheds light on a possible Hindu origin for the American celebration of Thanksgiving.

      “The holiday of Thanksgiving has a Hindu origin,” says Richard Salva, author of a book on the reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln entitled ‘Soul Journey: From Lincoln to Lindbergh’ which is based on a statement by the great master of yoga, Paramhamsa Yogananda, who declared that Abraham Lincoln had been a Himalayan yogi in a past life. “During my search for signs of a past-life yoga practice,” Salva said, “I noticed that President Lincoln repeatedly chose Thursdays – the holiest day in the week for Hindus – as national days of prayer, fasting, and thanksgiving.

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Feed Translator in Google Reader

November 19, 2008 at 4:04 pm | Posted in Lifestyle, Reviews | Leave a comment
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Google Reader screenshot, as of September 30 2007

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Is Your Web Truly World-Wide?

Monday, November 10, 2008 by Chrix Finne

The Reader team is happy to announce that another 20% project has come to fruition: automatic translation in Reader! Post by 20% volunteer and glottology expert, Brett Bavar.

TagsBelieve it or not, the web truly is world-wide. That means there is a lot of interesting content out there in languages other than your own. You might have missed out on this content in the past, but now, with automatic translation in Reader, you don’t have to miss a thing!

Next time you find an interesting feed in another language, just subscribe to it as normal in Reader. When you view the feed in Reader, check off “Translate into my language” in the feed settings, and (voila!) the feed will be immediately translated for you. Also, this setting will be saved so you can always view this feed in your own language.

Many thanks go out to the awesome engineers on the Google Translate team, who have provided the technology to make this possible. As they continue to make their translation systems better, you will get to reap the benefits automatically.

Have fun discovering all the great content out there on the truly world-wide web!

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