Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat?

 Happy Halloween!

The practice of dressing up in costumes and begging from door to door for treats on holidays dates back to the Middle Ages. The modern trick-or-treating resembles the late medieval practice of souling, when poor people would go from door to door on November 1 - the day of the Hallowmas  - begging for food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day - November 2. 

The tradition originated in Ireland and Britain although similar practices were found as far south as Italy. Shakespeare mentions the practice in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona, when Speed accuses his master of "puling - whimpering or whining - like a beggar at Hallowmas."

The custom of wearing costumes and masks at Halloween goes back to the Celtic tradition of attempting to placate evil spirits. In Scotland, for instance, the dead were impersonated by young men dressed in white garments with their faces masked, veiled or blackened.

The trick-or-treat tradition was practiced in the western United States in the 1930s and probably even earlier than that. It gained country-wide acceptance as it spread from the western United States to the east in the early 1940s, but was interrupted when sugar rationing was introduced in 1942. The "intermission" lasted until 1946. The sugar rationing ended in August 1947 and the trick-or-treat custom was resumed later that year.

The custom was propagated by the press and the radio. It become firmly established in popular culture when Walt Disney portrayed it in the cartoon Trick or Treat in 1952. 

At the same time UNICEF got involved and conducted a national campaign for children to raise funds for charity while trick-or-treating.

The kids wear costumes and proceed from house to house asking for sweet treats with the question, "Trick or treat?" The "trick" part is a threat to play a trick on the homeowner or his property if no treat is given. 

Trick-or-treating is one of the main customs of the Halloween celebration. Those who live in neighborhoods with children should have some candy ready if they do not want to become victims of a trick or two...

Wishing everyone a very spooky Halloween - Dominique


Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Magic Circle

The Magic Circle by John William Waterhouse, 1886
 The Magic Circle by John William Waterhouse, 1886

A magic circle was cast to purify and create a perimeter of space wherein evil magic could not enter. Goddesses and good spirits were invited into the circle, which sometimes had powerful, protective stones placed at North, South, East, and West points.

Each point was associated with the Four Elements. North was the most powerful direction. It represented the element of Earth, the celestial bodies revolving around the North Star, and encompassed all secrets, darkness, and the unknown. South was the element of Fire and therefore associated with the sun. This point signified the meeting of East and West - intuition, insight, reason, and logic - and the channeling of the powers of intellect, clairvoyance, and nature. East was the direction for the element of Air, symbolizing clarity, spiritual awareness, and mysticism. West represented imagination and inspiration, as well as emotions and reason. The circle itself was a mark of infinity and eternity.

A witch would cast a magic circle by turning clockwise, beginning at East, following the revolution of the sun. The magic circle was drawn with either a a magic wand or an anthame (a black-handled ceremonial dagger). A charm or spell was recited as the witch cast the circle, asking the presence of friendly or helpful spirits to attend.

Quoted from Witches: A Book of Magic and Wisdom by Lori Eisenkraft-Palazzola

Friday, October 28, 2011

What a Miracle!

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die. -  Anne Lamott

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Wizard of Schenectady

Charles Proteus Steinmetz April 9, 1865 – October 26, 1923
Charles Proteus Steinmetz April 9, 1865 – October 26, 1923

He stood just four feet tall, his body contorted by a hump in his back and a crooked gait, and his stunted torso gave the illusion that his head, hands and feet were too big. But he was a giant among scientific thinkers, counting Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison as friends, and his contributions to mathematics and electrical engineering made him one of the most beloved and instantly recognizable men of his time.

In the early 20th century, Charles Steinmetz could be seen pedaling his bicycle down the streets of Schenectady, New York, in a suit and top hat, or floating down the Mohawk River in a canoe, kneeling over a makeshift desktop, where he passed hours scribbling notes and equations on papers that sometimes blew into the water. With a Blackstone panatela cigar seemingly glued to his lips, Steinmetz cringed as children scurried away upon seeing him - frightened, he believed, by the “queer, gnome-like figure” with the German accent. Such occurrences were all the more painful for Steinmetz, as it was a family and children that he longed for most in his life. But knowing that his deformity was congenital (both his father and grandfather were afflicted with kyphosis, an abnormal curvature of the upper spine), Steinmetz chose not to marry, fearful of passing on his deformity.

Born in 1865 in Breslau, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland), Carl August Rudolph Steinmetz became a brilliant student of mathematics and chemistry at the University of Breslau, but he was forced to flee the country after the authorities became interested in his involvement with the Socialist Party.  He arrived at Ellis Island in 1888 and was nearly turned away because he was a dwarf, but an American friend whom Steinmetz was traveling with convinced immigration officials that the young German Ph.D. was a genius whose presence would someday benefit all of America. In just a few years, Steinmetz would prove his American friend right.

Soon after his arrival, he went to work for Eickemeyer and Osterheld, a company in Yonkers, New York, and he identified and explained, through a mathematical equation that later became known as the Law of Hysterisis, or Steinmetz’s Law, phenomena governing power losses, leading to breakthroughs in both alternating- and direct-current electrical systems. America was entering a golden age of electrical engineering, and when Thomas Edison and General Electric learned what Steinmetz was doing with electric motors in Yonkers, the company bought out Eickemeyer and Osterheld in 1892, acquiring all of Steinmetz’s patents as well as his services.

Steinmetz Americanized his name to Charles Steinmetz. He chose Proteus as his middle name - the nickname his professors in Germany had affectionately bestowed upon him in recognition of the shape-shifting sea god. In Greek mythology, Proteus was a cave-dwelling prophetic old man who always returned to his human form - that of a hunchback. Steinmetz thoroughly enjoyed the comparison.

In 1894 he arrived in Schenectady, the place he would call home for the next thirty years, and his impact at General Electric was immediate. Using complex mathematical equations, Steinmetz developed ways to analyze values in alternating current circuits. His discoveries changed the way engineers thought about circuits and machines and made him the most recognized name in electricity for decades.

Before long, the greatest scientific minds of the time were traveling to Schenectady to meet with the prolific “little giant”; anecdotal tales of these meetings are still told in engineering classes today. One appeared on the letters page of Life magazine in 1965, after the magazine had printed a story on Steinmetz. Jack B. Scott wrote in to tell of his father’s encounter with the Wizard of Schenectady at Henry Ford’s River Rouge plant in Dearborn, Michigan.

Ford, whose electrical engineers couldn’t solve some problems they were having with a gigantic generator, called Steinmetz in to the plant. Upon arriving, Steinmetz rejected all assistance and asked only for a notebook, pencil and cot. According to Scott, Steinmetz listened to the generator and scribbled computations on the notepad for two straight days and nights. On the second night, he asked for a ladder, climbed up the generator and made a chalk mark on its side. Then he told Ford’s skeptical engineers to remove a plate at the mark and replace sixteen windings from the field coil. They did, and the generator performed to perfection.

Henry Ford was thrilled until he got an invoice from General Electric in the amount of $10,000. Ford acknowledged Steinmetz’s success but balked at the figure. He asked for an itemized bill.

Steinmetz, Scott wrote, responded personally to Ford’s request with the following:

Making chalk mark on generator    $1.
Knowing where to make mark        $9,999.

Ford paid the bill.

Despite his professional successes, there was emptiness in Steinmetz’s life, which he rectified with a maneuver that helped secure his reputation as the “Bohemian scientist.” He spent his first few years in Schenectady in a “bachelor circle” of GE engineers, hiking, canoeing and experimenting with photography. Steinmetz became close friends with one of lab assistants, a thin, young blond man named Joseph LeRoy Hayden, as they developed the first magnetic arc lamp, later used to light street corners. Hayden began to cook for Steinmetz, and soon had a cot placed in his boss’s laboratory so he could nap during their marathon working hours. When Hayden announced that he intended to marry and find an apartment nearby, Steinmetz had an idea.

By the turn of the twentieth century, Steinmetz had started construction on a large house on Wendell Avenue, in the area where GE executives lived. A collector of rare plants, he had it designed with a greenhouse, as well as a laboratory, where he planned to work as much as possible to avoid going into the office. Once the mansion was finished, Steinmetz filled the greenhouse with orchids, ferns and cacti (he delighted in their strange shapes) and focused on the menagerie of animals he had always wanted. Like a mischievous boy, he was fascinated with anything that was lethal, and he gathered alligators, rattlesnakes and black widow spiders. The inventor Guglielmo Marconi once asked about Steinmetz about his Gila monster.  “He’s dead,” Steinmetz replied.  “He was too lazy to eat.”

Soon, Steinmetz was dining each night in his home with Hayden and his wife, Corrine, a stout, round-faced French-Canadian. The house was too large for Steinmetz, and the Haydens suspected what might be coming. Finally, Steinmetz turned to Corinne.

“Why don’t you come and live with me?” he asked.

Joseph Hayden was all for it. It would make their long working hours more convenient, and the house offered space he and Corrine could never afford on their own. Hayden had come to cherish Steinmetz’s eccentricities, and he understood that the Bohemian scientist really yearned for a family of his own. Corrine was reluctant, but Steinmetz gently wore her down.

“If we move in with you,” she eventually told him, “I must run the house as I see fit.”

“Of course, my dear,” Steinmetz replied, stifling a huge grin. Corrine Hayden then outlined the terms of their cohabitation - Steinmetz would pay only for his share of expenditures.  She would prepare and served meals on a regular schedule, no matter how important his and her husband’s work was. The men would simply have to drop everything and sit down to the table. Steinmetz agreed to all of Corrine’s terms.

The living arrangement, despite some awkward starts, soon flourished, especially after the Haydens began to have children - Joe, Midge and Billy - and Steinmetz legally adopted Joseph Hayden as his son. The Hayden children had a grandfather, “Daddy” Steinmetz, who ensured that they grew up in a household filled with wonder.  Birthday parties included liquids and gasses exploding in Bunsen burners scattered decoratively around the house. Not much taller than the children who ran about his laboratory and greenhouse, Steinmetz entertained them with stories of dragons and goblins, which he illustrated with fireworks he summoned from various mixtures of sodium and hydrogen in pails of water.

In 1922, Thomas Edison came to visit Steinmetz. By then, Edison was nearly deaf, and Steinmetz tapped out a message on Edison’s knee in Morse Code. Edison beamed, and the two continued their silent conversation in front of bewildered reporters.

Steinmetz’s fame only grew in the years he lived with the Haydens on Wendell Avenue. When a Socialist mayor took office, Steinmetz served as president of the Schenectady Board of Education and was instrumental in implementing longer school hours, school meals, school nurses, special classes for children of immigrants and the distribution of free textbooks.

One Friday afternoon in 1921, Steinmetz hopped in his electric car and headed off for a weekend at Camp Mohawk, where he’d built a small house overlooking Viele Creek. When he arrived he’d discovered that lightning had damaged the building and shattered a large silver glass mirror. He spent the entire weekend painstakingly reconstructing the mirror, placing the slivers between two panes of glass. Once assembled, he studied the pattern and was convinced that the shattered mirror revealed the lightning’s path of electrical discharge. Back at General Electric, he brought in a gigantic apparatus, then another. There were thunderous crashes at odd hours of the night. The city was abuzz with speculation. What exactly was the Wizard of Schenectady doing in Building 28?

In March of 1922, reporters were invited to General Electric and gathered before a model village that Steinmetz had constructed. In a noisy and explosive demonstration witnessed by Edison himself, Steinmetz unveiled a 120,000-volt lightning generator. With a showman’s flourish, he flipped a switch and produced lighting bolts that splintered large blocks of wood, decimated the steeple on a white chapel and split a miniature tree. Reporters were awestruck. The following day, a headline in the New York Times proclaimed, “Modern Jove Hurls Lighting at Will.” Steinmetz’s work led to the measures used to protect power equipment from lightning strikes.

But toward the end of Steinmetz’s life, according to his biographer, Jonathan Norton Leonard, “his scientific work had become rather like a boy’s playing with machinery.” He had by then earned the respect of electrical engineers for his contributions to the field, but Steinmetz, at the peak of his celebrity, simply could not help but delighting in the kind of pseudo-science he would have scorned earlier in his career. Proteus was as happy as he’d ever been in his life.

In the fall of 1923, Steinmetz and his family traveled west by train, stopping to see the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and the actor Douglas Fairbanks in Hollywood. The trip exhausted the 58-year-old scientist, and on October 26, back in his home on Wendell Avenue, his grandson Billy brought him breakfast on a tray, only to observe Steinmetz lying motionless on his bed, a physics book by his side.  In his sleep, doctors said, his heart had failed. The Wizard of Schenectady was gone.

Article source Smithsonian Magazine

Monday, October 24, 2011

Healing Properties of Howlite

Howlite is a calcium boron-silicate hydroxide that usually occurs in sedimentary rock formations. This mineral was named after a Canadian mineralogist Henry How who first discovered it a Nova Scotia gypsum quarry in 1868.

The gem has a rather dull, porcelain-like white or ivory color with pronounced grayish veins that make it look like an albino turquoise. This fact is sometimes exploited by dishonest gem dealers who dye it and sell it as the more expensive turquoise.

Howlite is a rather soft mineral with a hardness 3.5 on the 1-10 Mohs scale. It dissolves in a hydrochloric acid solution.

It forms nodules that can be quite large and look like cauliflowers. Crystals are rare and sometimes form spiky aggregations. They are translucent or transparent, creamy white or light brown.

The largest deposits of howlite were found in Canada, mostly in Nova Scotia, but this mineral is also mined in the USA, especially in California, and in South Africa.

Howlite is considered to be a stone of calm and tranquility. It can be used to calm the troubled or overactive mind, reduce stress, and induce peaceful sleep at night. Energy healers suggest drinking a howlite gem elixir one hour before bedtime or putting pieces of howlite on the bedside table or under the pillow.

Howlite is believed to help control rage and other negative impulses. It can help develop patience, tolerance, and a positive outlook on life. It can also bring calm, reason, and clarity to any verbal exchange. To experience these balancing effects, angry and disappointed people are advised to carry howlite on the their bodies or in their pockets.

This gem is thought to help clarify one's mind and became aware of one's goals and ambitions. It can help expand the horizons and to open the mind to wisdom and new knowledge. It can improve memory, facilitate learning, and help access and balance unprocessed emotions.

Howlite is associated with the third eye chakra. In esoteric circles the gem is believed to facilitate insight and meditation as well as the out of body travel. It helps access deep seated memories including these of the past lives.

On a physical plane, howlite is said to accelerate metabolism and elimination and to heal various skin conditions. It purifies the blood and helps regenerate bodily tissues. It helps reduce pain and loosen the muscles. High calcium content makes it useful in balancing calcium deficits in the body.

Howlite is a stone of modesty and understatement. It balances energy flow in chaotic spaces and infuses them with peaceful energy and tranquility. It helps reduce conflicts and facilitates respectful communication. It promotes kindness, compassionate behavior, and peaceful coexistence. Howlite can be placed everywhere where balance and calm are needed, particularly in rooms where people meet together and in bedrooms. The gem can be worn as jewelry, placed directly on the body or taken as a gem elixir.

By Dominique Allmon

*This information is for educational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.


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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wisdom of the Crowds?

"No one is this world, so far as I know, has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people." - H. L. Mencken

While our culture generally trusts experts and distrusts the wisdom of the masses, a New Yorker magazine business columnist James Surowiecki argues in his book Wisdom of Crowds that "under the right circumstances, groups are remarkably intelligent and are often smarter than the smartest people in them."

To support this almost counter-intuitive proposition, Surowiecki explores problems involving cognition - we're all trying to identify a correct answer, coordination - we need to synchronize our individual activities with others, and cooperation - we have to act together despite our self-interest.

The author argues that f four basic conditions are met, a crowd's "collective intelligence" will produce better outcomes than a small group of experts even if members of the crowd don't know all the facts or choose, individually, to act irrationally.

According to Surowiecki "wise crowds" need
  • diversity of opinion
  • independence of members from one another
  • decentralization
  • a good method for aggregating opinions
The diversity brings in different information. Independence keeps people from being swayed by a single opinion or a leader. People's errors balance each other out. Including all opinions guarantees that the results are "smarter" than if a single expert had been in charge.

Surowiecki's style is pleasantly informal, a tactical disguise for what might otherwise be rather dense material. He offers a great introduction to applied behavioral economics and game theory.

Surowiecki first developed his ideas for Wisdom of Crowds in his “Financial Page” column of The New Yorker magazine. Many critics found his premise to be an interesting twist on the long held notion that Americans generally question the masses and eschew group or mob mentality.

I am not certain if one can read the current social and political world-wide revolt in the context of Surowiecki's book. Maybe you will have to read Ann Coulter's book Demonic to find the balance.

The Arab Spring succeeded in overthrowing tyrants in Egypt and in Libya.

The Occupy Wall Street crowd is out there to make a revolution, but has yet to make coherent demands. The "diversity" of opinion postulated by Surowiecki is rather counter-productive in this context. The other conditions for a crowd to be a "wise crowd" are not met either. And when you consider who actually is behind the protests on Wall Street and in other American cities, you will come to a conclusion that the crowd is actually a mob led by various interest groups interested in advancing their own ideology. The crowd is only an instrument to achieve the goals of the few who do not wish diversity. The demonstrating crowds seem to be completely oblivious of that fact.

Revolutions have occurred many times through the human history and vary widely as far as the methods and the motivating ideology are concerned. Their results include major changes in culture, economy, and socio-political institutions. Revolutions are always destructive, although the claim of constructing something better and new is always made. The results are often very distinct from the originally envisioned utopia. This fact is quickly disregarded as new order affirms itself in the reality of life.

Ordinary people can typically gain direct power by acting collectively. Because large groups of people have been able to bring about dramatic and sudden social and political change in a manner that normally bypasses established due process, they have also provoked great controversy as the change was, more often than not, a result of mindless violence.

Social scientists have developed several different theories explaining crowd psychology and the ways in which the psychology of the crowd differs significantly from the psychology of those individuals within it. The individuals seem to suspend their own individuality and judgment for the sake of the crowd... at least for as long as the crowd seems to represent their interests. 

In her book Ann Coulter argues that mobs are always destructive. She believes that with the civil rights movement in the sixties, Americans have lost their natural, inherited aversion to mobs. Indeed, most Americans have no idea what they are even dealing with. Only by recognizing the mobs and their demonic nature can America begin to defend itself.

Meanwhile, President Obama supports the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators. He understands their pain. Really? 

It may have escaped the collective consciousness of the demonstrating crowd that it was the President Obama himself who bailed out Wall Street in 2009. After receiving generous donations from what he calls "the fat cats", he had to! Goldman Sachs alone contributed one million dollars to Obama's presidential campaign. But no one seems to care...

By Dominique Allmon


Friday, October 21, 2011

Quote of the Day

L'Internationale by Gonkar Gyatso, 2007
L'Internationale by Gonkar Gyatso, 2007

Most of us are capable of greatness when we feel called to a higher purpose. It's amazing to see the kind of transformation that we can undergo when we awaken to a larger context. Suddenly we find we can renounce narcissism and selfishness because there is a greater cause. I hope that through awakening to this larger context and purpose, people will find the strength to renounce their own narcissism and selfishness in order to respond to something that will always be more important. - Andrew Cohen

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Nation of Sheep

In "A Nation of Sheep", Judge Andrew P. Napolitano frankly discusses how the federal government has circumvented the Constitution and is systematically dismantling the rights and freedoms that are the foundation of American democracy.  He challenges Americans to recognize that they are being led down a very dangerous path and that the cost of following without challenge is the loss of the basic freedoms that facilitate our pursuit of happiness and that define us as a nation.

Judge Napolitano reminds readers what America is all about, that the purpose of government is to protect freedom, and freedom is the ability to follow your own free will and not the will of government bureaucrats. He asks the simple question, which are you, a sheep or a wolf?  Do you blindly follow behind where you are led, or do you challenge the government at every pass, forcing it to make decisions that will protect our freedoms?

Judge Napolitano asks the questions that no one else will, challenging readers to rethink why they are blindly following a government that has only its own interests in mind.  He asks:
  • Why is the government using the war on terror as an excuse to sidestep the Constitution?
  • Why are Americans not challenging and questioning the government as it continues to limit more and more of our freedoms?
  • What part of “Congress shall make no law…” does the government not understand when it criminalizes speech?
  • Whatever happened to our inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that are proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, guaranteed by the Constitution, yet ignored by the governments elected to protect them?
  • Why does every public office holder swear allegiance to the Constitution, yet very few follow it?
  • Don’t we have rights that are guaranteed and cannot be taken from us?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Culture of Corruption

Culture of Corruption by my good friend and intrepid reporter Michelle Malkin, reveals all the sordid details the Obama Administration would rather you not know - the sleaze, corruption, and self-dealing of the Chicago Machine that lets no ‘crisis’ go to waste. A powerful and necessary indictment of what ‘hope and change’ really means." - Mark Levin, author of the New York Times bestsellers Liberty and Tyranny and Men in Black.

With the most recent Solyndra scandal erupting in the USA, Michelle Malkin's book could not be more timely. Although first published in 2009, this book did not lose its urgency. 

Malkin critiques the Obama administration and argues that the president lacks the will to change Washington politics. People got more of the same despite all the promises candidate Obama made in 2008. Nothing has changed and the White House inner workings remain as murky as ever.

Obama’s current approval ratings hit the all-time low. A recent Gallup poll found that half of the Americans polled believed that Obama did not deserve a second term. Weary of the corruption that gushes from the White House faster than a Gulf Coast oil spill, voters are ready to put a cap on smear campaigns, pay-to-play schemes, recess appointments, and the  Chicago style politics.

About the author:

Michelle Malkin is a journalist, conservative blogger, political commentator, and author. Please, visit Michelle's website to learn more.


Monday, October 17, 2011

An Apple a Day...

Health Benefits of Apples

The old saying "An apple a day keeps a doctor away" is not just a worn out phrase. The modern research confirms what our grandmothers knew about this amazingly versatile fruit.

Apple is the fruit of an apple tree that belongs to the species of Malus domestica in the rose family or the Rosaceae. Apple tree is not only one of the most widely cultivated fruit trees but also the best known one among all the members of the genus Malus. There are more seven thousand varieties of apples known to us and most of them have been cultivated since the Iron Age (around 1200 B.C.) Older archeological evidence suggests that apple trees might have been known in Ancient Egypt much earlier than that. 

In ancient Greece apple was attributed to the goddess Aphrodite and, thus, was considered to be a fruit of love and passion. In the Norse mythology, on the other hand, apples were the symbol of eternal youth.

Although those who consume apples cannot expect to stay young forever, the health benefits of apples cannot be underestimated as the apples are most certainly one of the healthiest foods easily available to us all year round. 

Apples are nutritional powerhouses. They contain powerful nutrients such as vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and various phytochemicals that have an incredible disease fighting potential. Research shows that apples may help prevent many diseases including lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, asthma, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia. 

The apple peel contains triterpenoids which possess strong anti-cancer activity and may help prevent breast, colon, and liver cancer.

Apple stem cells from a rare species of a Swiss apple were found to stop skin cells from dying and are currently used in topical solutions to prevent wrinkles. The reported test results are quite spectacular. 

So, what exactly can apples do for our health?
  • In Chinese Medicine apples are believed to strengthen the heart, quench thirst, lubricate the lungs, decrease mucous, and increase body fluids, while in the West apples are most often used to help digestion. The high fiber content helps regulate the bowel movement and prevents many digestive disorders such as chronic constipation, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, and possibly even the cancer of the colon. Apple pectin helps the intestinal flora to multiply thus improving the overall digestive health.
  • Apples can help regulate blood sugar through a variety of mechanisms. The apple pectin, for example, delivers galacturonic acid to the body - a compound known to lower the body's need for insulin. The flavonoid quercetin can inhibit enzymes such as alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase which are involved in the metabolism of complex carbohydrates into simple sugars. This results in fewer sugar spikes in the blood. The apple polyphenols also reduce the absorption of glucose from the digestive tract. They stimulate the beta cells in the pancreas to secrete insulin and help increase the glucose re-uptake from the blood through stimulation of the insulin receptors in the body. 
  • Research shows that apples and fresh apple juice may help prevent cardiovascular disease by reducing the levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol, in the blood and improving the function of blood vessels. Both, the fiber and the flavonoids in apples, improve the overall heart health. 
  • Apple flavonoids may help reduce the risk of asthma. Researches found out that people who consumed at least two apples per week had reduced bronchial sensitivity and decreased risk of asthma. Apple consumption reduced the overall susceptibility to respiratory diseases.
  • Apples may help reduce weight in many ways. As mentioned above, apples help improve digestion. The apple fiber is also responsible for the feeling of satiety and help reduce craving. With about 80 calories per fruit, apples deliver so called negative calories. This means that the body uses more calories to digest apples than the amount of calories that apples provide.
  • Researchers found out that apples can prevent breast cancer and the cancer of the colon. Countless studies also demonstrated that apple is the only fruit that can inhibit lung cancer. Scientists suspect that it is the anti-oxidadative and anti-inflammatory action of various compounds working in synergy that is responsible for the anti-tumor activity. 
  • Recent studies demonstrated that the bioflavonoid quercetin in apples may prevent Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Apples may also increase production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine thus preventing cognitive decline in aging adults. 
Other health benefits include improved immune system, effective detoxification of toxins from the body, improved vision, and better dental health. 

Unless you are allergic to apples, an apple or two a day will certainly contribute to a better overall health and prevent many ailments and conditions associated with aging. 

Buy organic apples whenever you can. Wash them well and eat with skin for maximum health benefits.

By Dominique  Allmon

*This information is for educational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease. 

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An Apple a Day by Dominique Allmon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Body is a Temple

By Valerie Jeremijenko

We say that the body is a temple, because we know that it’s nothing but mortal architecture without the self-regard of consciousness and conscience. 

The contemplative moment draws us to our sources; we see inside. We close our eyes, in fact, in order to see with clarity. Indeed, the imagination asks us to see with our eyes closed. So we make connections in the dark and thus we imagine what our bodies can do and be, how the breath of the spirit can come and go with perfection, how the ladder gravity of the spine can soar. 

Poets speak of rhythm and breath as the lifeline of the poetic line; they speak of form as the embodiment of the poem’s energy, the body-ing forth of its meaning and being. To expire is to breathe out, to inspire is to breath in. 

To aspire is to breathe with the mind, to give purpose to the heart’s rhythm. The spine is an aspiration too, since it lifts us from foundations. To imagine what the body can achieve is to invest it with awareness-to begin to make it twice alive: first as a body, then as an embodiment. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011


You will never be alone, you hear so deep
a sound when autumn comes. Yellow
pulls across the hills and thrums,
or in the silence after lightning before it says its names -
and then the clouds’ wide-mouthed
apologies. You were aimed from birth:
you will never be alone. Rain
will come, a gutter filled, an Amazon,
long aisles - you never heard so deep a sound,
moss on rock, and years. You turn your head -
that’s what the silence meant: you’re not alone.
The whole wide world pours down.

By William Stafford

Thursday, October 13, 2011

How to Beat Insomnia

Most of us have nights when, no matter what we do, we can't fall asleep. You know the drill. They're those nights when you've got so many things on your mind. You're worked up, maybe from stress, or money. Maybe there's street noise and it's keeping you up. Maybe you had a cup of coffee after dinner, and you're actually stressed about it, because you recognize your body's response to caffeine at night, and you're thinking that you won't sleep because of it.

There are those of us that have chronic insomnia. This is a sleep disorder that stays with a patient for life. You'd be surprised though, that more often than not, your sleepless nights, be they trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, waking up early or waking up groggy, are within your control. Let's take a moment to analyze some of the leading causes of sleeplessness, and if they're influencing the issues you're having.

In fact, many of the leading causes of sleeplessness are completely within our control. Drinking coffee within several hours of sleeping is obviously not a good idea, as coffee is a source of caffeine. Depending on your physiology, you might also do well to avoid tea, and even decaffeinated tea, as they also have caffeine, albeit in smaller quantities.

Alcoholic beverages are also best avoided, as alcohol, contrary to popular belief, is a stimulant. Having a few beers before bed might make you pass out, but it will certainly affect the quality of your sleep, and you'll more than likely wake up groggy, while wine and other alcoholic beverages can keep you from falling asleep at all.

Sleeping habits also play a key role in determining your ability to sleep. Circadian rhythm is your body's internal clock, which among other things, determines your instinct to sleep, and conversely, when to rise. Going to bed and getting up at different times can make it difficult for your body to set its schedule, contributing to bouts of sleeplessness.

There are, of course, issues beyond our control, that can affect our sleep. Stress is a leading contributor to sleepless nights. There is no getting around this, whether it's related to money issues, your job, relationships or other situations in your life that has you up nights. Depression is another leading cause of sleeplessness that can't be understated. These are issues that we all face, and while we often can't remove the causes of stress and depression from our lives, we can control how we respond to them. Exercise, stress management, counseling and/or medication, when appropriate, can alleviate the symptoms of stress and depression and reduce the likelihood they'll keep you from sleeping.

You can minimize your sleepless nights by maintaining a fixed sleeping schedule. This means going to bed and waking at the same time every night. Challenging as this might be, by setting a routine you allow your body to strengthen its circadian rhythm, making it easier to sleep and rise. This will also have a positive effect on your sleep quality. You'll feel refreshed after sleeping.

You can also make your bedroom a conducive sleeping environment. Use your bed only for sex and sleep, and resist the urge to read or watch TV in bed. Keep your bedroom dark and cool. A good set of curtains or heavy blinds should block light, particularly in the summer months, when the sun sets later in the evening and rises early.

Some people find that the noise from a fan helps them sleep as well.

Now, for those nights when, no matter what you try, you just can't sleep. Keep your alarm clock display out of sight, so you're not tempted to look at it. If you're not sleeping after half an hour, get up and do something. Reading is a good choice here, as it's not overly stimulating and keeps you focused. Then go back to bed. Still not sleeping? Try a few more times. If it persists longer than a few hours, get up.

In situations like this, the body needs tough love. Yes it's highly unpleasant going through the day without sleep, but by doing so you're making your body and brain even more tired. You will sleep again, this much is certain. By denying yourself sleep on these difficult nights you're raising your sleep deprivation. And very soon, your only instinct will be to sleep!

Then, once you've gone through your unpleasant, sleep-deprived day, do the following things.

Eat your dinner at least three hours before bed, so your body has time to digest the meal before you start shutting down for the night. Refrain from excessive alcohol (this varies according to the individual, but more than two drinks several hours before bed is probably pushing it). Don't drink coffee, caffeinated soft drinks like Coke, or even tea.

About two hours before bed, take Alteril, an all-natural sleeping aid that contains melatonin, a sleep inducer found in warm milk that encourages sleep. Yet because the ingredients are natural, Alteril doesn't come with the dangerous side effects associated with sleeping pills, including dependence and withdrawal symptoms.

Stick to low-stimuli activities before bed. No action or horror movies. No reviewing money issues or watching sports. Just keep it light. Reading is good. So is light conversation, or surfing the net.

Then, assuming you've got eight hours before your alarm is scheduled to ring, go to bed.

You will sleep very, very well.

The bottom line when trying to beat sleeplessness is to manage what you can control. Don't drink caffeine or alcohol, eat large meals or deal with stressful issues before bed. Go to bed and rise at the same time every day, including on weekends. Make your bedroom a sleeping environment, dark and cool, and use your bed only for sex and sleep. Take a natural sleeping aid like Alteril for short-term sleeping problems, avoid prescription sleeping pills, and consult with your doctor in the unlikely event that your sleeping issues last longer than a month.

By managing the factors that influence your sleeping patterns and taking a safe and proven sleeping aid like Alteril to ensure you get a good night's rest when you need it most, you're setting healthy sleeping habits that will see you through the highs and lows of life that, whether stressful or not, will have you sleeping soundly.

Article courtesy of the Alteril website 

*This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Full Moon

By Richard Adams

The full moon, well risen in a cloudless eastern sky, covered the high solitude with its light. We are not conscious of daylight as that which displaces darkness. Daylight, even when the sun is clear of clouds, seems to us simply the natural condition of the earth and air.

When we think of the downs, we think of the downs in daylight, as with think of a rabbit with its fur on. Stubbs may have envisaged the skeleton inside the horse, but most of us do not: and we do not usually envisage the downs without daylight, even though the light is not a part of the down itself as the hide is part of the horse itself. We take daylight for granted. But moonlight is another matter. It is inconstant.

The full moon wanes and returns again. Clouds may obscure it to an extent to which they cannot obscure daylight. Water is necessary to us, but a waterfall is not. Where it is to be found it is something extra, a beautiful ornament.

We need daylight and to that extent it us utilitarian, but moonlight we do not need. When it comes, it serves no necessity. It transforms. It falls upon the banks and the grass, separating one long blade from another; turning a drift of brown, frosted leaves from a single heap to innumerable flashing fragments; or glimmering lengthways along wet twigs as though light itself were ductile. Its long beams pour, white and sharp, between the trunks of trees, their clarity fading as they recede into the powdery, misty distance of beech woods at night.

In moonlight, two acres of coarse bent grass, undulant and ankle deep, tumbled and rough as a horse's mane, appear like a bay of waves, all shadowy troughs and hollows. The growth is so thick and matted that event the wind does not move it, but it is the moonlight that seems to confer stillness upon it. We do not take moonlight for granted. It is like snow, or like the dew on a July morning. It does not reveal but changes what it covers. And its low intensity - so much lower than that of daylight - makes us conscious that it is something added to the down, to give it, for only a little time, a singular and marvelous quality that we should admire while we can, for soon it will be gone again.

Monday, October 10, 2011


Stargazers by Sarah Summers
Stargazers by Sarah Summers

By Anthony Aguirre

Paradoxes arise when one or more convincing truths contradict either each other, clash with other convincing truths, or violate unshakable intuitions. They are frustrating, yet beguiling. Many see virtue in avoiding, glossing over, or dismissing them. Instead we should seek them out, if we find one sharpen it, push it to the extreme, and hope that the resolution will reveal itself, for with that resolution will invariably come a dose of Truth.

History is replete with examples and with failed opportunities. One of my favorites is Olber's paradox. Suppose the universe were filled with an eternal roughly uniform distribution of shining stars. Faraway stars would look dim because they take up a tiny angle on the sky; but within that angle they are as bright as the Sun's surface. Yet in an eternal and infinite (or finite but unbounded) space, every direction would lie within the angle taken up by some star. The sky would be alight like the surface of the sun. Thus, a simple glance at the dark night sky reveals that the universe must be dynamic: expanding, or evolving. Astronomers grappled with this paradox for several centuries, devising unworkable schemes for its resolution. Despite at least one correct view (by Edgar Allen Poe!), the implications never really permeated even the small community of people thinking about the fundamental structure of the universe. And so it was that Einstein, when he went to apply his new theory to the universe, sought an eternal and static model that could never make sense, introduced a term into his equations which he called his greatest blunder, and failed to invent the big-bang theory of cosmology.

Nature appears to contradict itself with the utmost rarity, and so a paradox can be opportunity for us to lay bare our cherished assumptions, and discover which of them we must let go. But a good paradox can take us farther, to reveal that the not just the assumptions but the very modes of thinking we employed in creating the paradox must be replaced. Particles and waves? Not truth, just convenient models. The same number of integers as perfect squares of integers? Not crazy, though you might be if you invent cardinality. This sentence is false. And so, says Godel, might be the foundations of any formal system that can refer to itself. The list goes on.

What next? I've got a few big ones I'm wrestling with. How can thermodynamics' second law arise unless cosmological initial conditions are fine-tuned in a way we would never accept in any other theory or explanation of anything? How do we do science if the universe is infinite, and every outcome of every experiment occurs infinitely many times? 

What impossibility is nagging at you?

Article source here 
Image by Sarah Summers

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Beyond Science, Beyond Spirituality

By Peter Russell

Science and spirituality have never made easy bedfellows. Their views on the nature of things often seem to clash. And the more our scientific understanding of the world has grown, the deeper that clash appears to have become. 

Modern science, having explored deep into the realms of space, time and matter, often appears to have done away with God. Astronomers have looked out into deep space, to the edges of the known universe; cosmologists have looked back into what they call "deep time", to the beginning of creation; while physicists have looked down into the "deep structure" of matter, to the fundamental constituents of the cosmos. From quarks to quasars, they find no evidence of God. Nor do they find any need for God. The Universe seems to work perfectly well without any divine assistance.

The God that science has thus eliminated is called "the God of the gaps" - the God that was needed to explain the gaps in human knowledge. Over the centuries, science has progressively filled these gaps. Before Newton, people thought God moved the sun and moon through the heavens; now we understand their motion in terms of gravity. Before Darwin, it was believed that God created the many different species of life; now we account for them in terms of genetic evolution. Similarly with earthquakes, the aurora borealis and the immune response, today plate tectonics, solar ions and molecular biology explain them quite satisfactorily. 

Steadily and mercilessly, science has filled the gaps. For a while it looked as if the most significant gap of all - the creation of the cosmos itself - would not be filled. But quantum mechanics is now explaining how even the Big Bang could have started all by itself. The God of the gaps has finally, it seems, been made redundant. 

There is, however, more to religion than explaining the gaps in our knowledge. Most traditions also speak of the profound personal experiences that come from following a spiritual path. They may talk of them in terms of rebirth, liberation, awakening, enlightenment, transcendence, rapture or holy union. Yet whatever the interpretation, there is a general consensus that these experiences have a profound impact on one's life. 

Science has very little to say about spiritual experiences. They are not occurring in the world of space, time and matter that science charts so well, but in the world within. To understand them fully we would need to venture into the realm of "deep mind" - a realm that Western science has yet to explore.

An Inner Science

Science may not have explored deep mind, but others have. They are the mystics, ascetics, shamans and spiritual adepts of every culture. These people have used practices such as meditation to delve beneath the surface levels of the mind. They have observed the arising and passing of thought. And they have looked beyond, to the source of their experience, to the essence of their own consciousness. There they have discovered a profound connection with the ground of all being.

Western science does not usually pay much attention to such subjective approaches. It certainly does not consider them "scientific". Scientists are concerned with objective truths, with verifiable facts that are not dependent upon one's state of mind. They are looking for effects that can be measured, not internal subjective changes. 

But is this subjective approach really so unscientific? The essence of science is to gain knowledge through careful observation of the natural world. Since scientists want to be able to trust this knowledge, a process has evolved to make it is as reliable as possible - what is often referred to as the "scientific method".

An essential part of this method is isolating the object of study. If, for example, you were investigating the electrical activity of the human brain during meditation, you might put the subject in an electromagnetically shielded room to reduce electrical noise ("noise" in the technical sense of unwanted information). Then, in order to get as much desired information as possible, you would ensure the electrodes made a good electrical contact with scalp. You might also set up a "control group", studying non-meditators in the same circumstances, to be certain that the effects you measured were specific to meditation, not simply the result of relaxation. Having gathered your data, you would study it, draw conclusions, and then make your conclusions available to others to see if they agreed. If they did, you would have established some reliable knowledge about meditation and the brain.

Similar principles apply to someone using meditation to explore the mind first hand. First, they would seek to remove themselves from external noise. This is usually achieved by choosing a quiet place, free from disturbance. Since one wants to observe the mind clearly, it is important to remain awake and attentive, so people generally sit in a relaxed but alert posture. Then closing the eyes, which reduces visual distractions, one turns the attention within and begins to observe.

The first thing people notice when they observe their own mind, is the almost incessant flow of thoughts and inner dialogue. This internal noise continually distracts the attention from the subject of investigation - the nature of the mind itself. Here meditation comes into play. It can be thought of as an experimental technique employed to reduce the internal chatter, allowing subtler aspects of the mind to come into focus. 

Countless people, throughout history, have entered the laboratory of the mind and performed such inner experiments. These "inner scientists" have published the results of their investigations in spiritual and mystical texts - The Upanishads, The Tao Te Ching, The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation, The Cloud of Unknowing. Their conclusions show a remarkable consistency across culture and time, suggesting that this subjective approach does indeed lead to reliable knowledge about the nature of mind.

Beyond Thought

What have they discovered? Almost everyone notices that as the mind settles down there comes a growing sense of peace. The self-talk that normally occupies much of our awareness tends to increase arousal and tension. We may be worrying about things we have or have not done, feeling anxious about what might or might not happen, planning a future action, solving a problem or going over a conversation. As this activity subsides, the mind naturally becomes more peaceful. 

Reducing mental activity further, one can arrive at a point where all verbal thinking ceases. At this level of consciousness, one discovers a much deeper, all-pervasive peace. Some call it bliss, others joy or serenity; but all agree that the pleasures of everyday life pale in comparison to this profound feeling of inner well-being.

Another quality that is found in this inner quiet is love. This is not the love we know in our daily lives, a love that is usually focused on a particular person or circumstance. It is pure love, love without an object. It is "being in love" in a new sense; one’s whole being is bathed in love. 

Perhaps the most significant effect of stilling the mind is transcendence of the ego. When all the thoughts, feelings and memories by which we usually define ourselves have fallen away, the sense of a separate self dissolves. There is no longer a sense of "I am experiencing this thought or this sensation". Instead there is an identity with the essence of being. I am the consciousness in which all experience takes place.

A Personal God

Although the descriptions of deep mind are remarkably consistent across cultures, the ways in which people have interpreted them vary widely.

Within the monotheistic worldview that dominated Western culture for nearly two thousand years, mystical experiences were usually interpreted in terms of a personal God. Such states of consciousness are so far removed from daily life that it is easy to see how they could be taken to be a direct connection with divinity - particularly when aspects of the experience correspond so closely to traditional descriptions of God.

A state of profound peace could indeed seem to be "the peace of God that passeth all understanding". An upwelling of the heart that bursts forth in an all-pervading love might well be interpreted as the love of God miraculously entering one’s being. The compassion that dawned could be confirmation of a caring, forgiving God. And the sense of deep fulfillment and inner freedom that comes with such states could easily be taken to be the salvation promised by a merciful Deity.

The experience of the pure "I am" did not, however, fit into the monotheistic worldview quite as easily. Many identified this unbounded sense of self with God. Some went so far as to say that "I am God." To traditional religion, this rings of blasphemy. How can any lowly human being claim that he or she is God, the almighty, supreme being? When the fourteenth-century German mystic Meister Eckhart preached that "God and I are One", he was brought before Pope John XXII and forced to "recant everything that he had falsely taught". Others suffered a worse fate. The tenth-century Islamic mystic al-Hall√£j was crucified for using language that claimed an identity with God. 

Yet when mystics say "I am God," or other words to that effect, they are talking neither about the individual person nor about a supernatural deity. Their inner investigations have revealed the true nature of the self. This they have experienced as a connection with the ground of all being. And it is this that they have named God.

The Eastern View

Explaining such experiences as a direct contact with God could be seen as yet another example of the God of the gaps – albeit in a more subtle form. In this case, the gap is in our understanding of deep mind. Western traditions, both religious and scientific, have left this realm largely unexplored. To find a coherent body of knowledge about the inner world, we must look to the East, where spiritual adepts have been exploring the mind for thousands of years. 

Of the Eastern traditions, Buddhism has probably gone the farthest in charting the mind. Buddhism has no concept of God; it is an atheistic religion - paradoxical as that may sound to Western ears. For Buddhists, peace, ease, joy, and compassion come from knowing the essential nature of mind. They are inherent qualities of pure awareness - an awareness that is unsullied by the agitation of everyday thoughts and concerns. 

A similar approach is taken by other eastern traditions. Some of them may talk of deities and devas, but in most instances these are interpreted as aspects of the mind - the inner challenges we face and the inner allies that can help us on our journey. 

Although these traditions do not need to invoke a supreme deity to account for mystical experiences, this does not make these states of mind any less awesome, meaningful or life changing. On the contrary, by interpreting them in terms of one’s essential nature, the eastern traditions can offer practical ways to make them more accessible. 

Western religions have much to offer on theology, morality and the potential for spiritual advancement, but less on techniques that facilitate spiritual experiences. Eastern teachings, however, provide detailed analyses of how our awareness becomes trapped in habits and attachments, and various techniques and practices–we might call them inner technologies – to relieve the mind of its dysfunctional patterns. The goal is self-liberation, freeing the mind to experience its essential nature, and reaping the rewards that come from such an awakening. Here spirituality is science, the science of the mind. 

God in the Brain

A third way of interpreting spiritual states is that of Western science, which believes that the real world is that of space, time and matter, and all phenomena are reducible to events in that world. It seeks to account for transcendental experiences, neither as a union with some supernatural deity nor as a reflection of the mind’s essential nature, but in terms of brain function.

Some recent research, which has aroused quite a debate in this area, investigated changes in the brains of advanced Tibetan Buddhist meditators. When the subjects reported that their everyday sense of self was beginning to dissolve, the researchers took a brain scan. By observing the flow of blood through the brain, they were able to identify changes in brain activity. They found that as the sense of a separate self dissolved, activity in the parietal lobe, an area towards the top of the brain, decreased. This is precisely the area that neuro-psychologists believe is responsible for the distinction between self and other. 

The conclusion that many draw from such studies is that spiritual experiences can now be explained in terms of brain function, and that science has once again triumphed over religion. But there is really nothing very surprising about these findings. It is generally accepted that brain activity and subjective experience bear a close relationship (even if we cannot say whether one causes the other, or how). We should expect, therefore, that changes in consciousness as profound as the cessation of verbal thought, the dissolution of a separate sense of self, and a feeling of deep peace would show corresponding changes in the brain. 

That we are beginning to chart these changes does not explain away spiritual states. If anything, it validates them. It shows that meditators probably do experience what they claim. So we could think of these discoveries as Western science beginning to confirm the conclusions of the inner sciences. 

Meditators also claim that such states of consciousness have beneficial effects on their lives – a tendency to be more open, generous, caring and forgiving. There seems little reason to doubt that this too is true. If so, rather than concluding that spiritual experience has been satisfactorily accounted for, the scientific community might ask: how can we use our growing understanding of brain function to enhance the occurrence of these deep states of consciousness. For they would appear to be just what the world sorely needs.


In the past, spiritual awakening was seen as essential for one’s personal salvation – to save us from hell, whether God delivered or self-created. Today it has become an imperative for our collective salvation.

Humanity is clearly in crisis. If we continue consuming and polluting as we have done, with little regard for the long-term health of our environment, we will almost certainly trigger some or other ecological catastrophe. We may even render ourselves extinct. 

Looking to the underlying causes of this crisis we find, time and again, the human factor - human decisions based on human desires, needs and priorities, often driven by human fear, greed and self-centeredness. It is clear that the crisis is, at its root, a crisis of consciousness. 

If we are to navigate our way safely through these challenging times, we need to see some significant shifts in attitudes and values. We need to recognize that inner peace does not depend on what we own, our social status, the roles we play, or how wealthy we are. We need to wake up to a deeper sense of self that is not at the mercy of external circumstances, and that does not need to be continually defended and maintained. We need a degree of care and compassion that extends beyond our immediate circle of family and friends to embrace strangers and people of different race and background - and also the many other species with whom we share this planet. We need to know in our hearts that their well-being is our well-being. 

What is the most effective way of promoting such shifts in consciousness? The evidence points to spiritual experience. Rather than distracting us from the course of scientific progress, spirituality could be our saving grace. 

Our burgeoning scientific knowledge has led to technologies that have enabled us to control and manipulate our world. The underlying goal has been to free us from unnecessary suffering and increase human well-being. Spiritual teachings have likewise sought to liberate people from suffering, but their path has been inward. They have sought to understand the mind and to develop inner technologies that enable us to find happiness and freedom within ourselves. 

It is now becoming obvious that the material approach has not achieved all that people hoped. Despite our abundant luxuries and freedoms there is little evidence that people today are any happier with their lot than people were fifty years ago. On the other hand, we have only to look at the peace and wisdom emanating from someone such as the Dalai Lama to see that the spiritual approach does seem to bear fruit.

When it comes to understanding the cosmos, science and spirituality are describing two complementary aspects of reality – one the nature of the material world we observe around us, the other the nature of the mind observing this world. When we consider how these understandings can be applied to the betterment of humanity, we see that science and spirituality are again complementary. To create a truly sustainable world, we need both - the knowledge of science integrated with the wisdom of spirituality. 


Article source here
Image source here