Thursday, September 27, 2012

Islam - A Religion of Peace?

Detail of a shamsa from a Safavid Shahnameh - Iran, 16th century
  Detail of a shamsa from a Safavid Shahnameh - Iran, 16th century
"To all the Operators here today I give you this charge: Rid the world of those savages.  I'll say it again, rid the world of those savages!" - Dorothy, a widow a former SEAL Tyrone Woods who was murdered in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, in eulogy at the funeral ceremony for the US Ambassador to Libya, her husband and two other Americans who died at the hands of terrorists on that day.

 Dear Reader,

I will spare you my personal views on this subject. You must know, however, that I am outraged when Buddhist treasures are destroyed. I am outraged when synagogues are bombed. I am outraged when Christian churches are burned. I am outraged when the American flag is being trampled on. I am outraged when innocent people are brutally murdered.

If you have formed your opinion on Islam and have no doubt that Islam is a religion of peace, I cannot help you. But if you are plagued by doubts, I warmly suggest you watch a very interesting and intelligent Oxford-style debate that took place at the Kaufman Center in New York City on October 6, 2010. 

Questions asked: "Is the rise of terrorism and violence justifiably traced to the teachings of Islam, or is this call to war a twisted interpretation of the true Muslim faith? Most of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims are moderates who see Islamic terrorism as a violation of their sacred texts. Is it wrong to let a radical minority represent authentic Islam? Has fear blinded us to its lessons of tolerance and peace?" 

This intelligent debate is eye opening. You will be surprised.

Dominique Allmon

For more mind stimulating debates please visit the Intelligence Squared website


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Like a Stained Glass Window...

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.  - Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Yom Kippur

L'Shana Tova!

Yom Kippur is the holiest day in Jewish calendar.  Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews observe this day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, spending most of the day in synagogue services. Yom Kippur completes the High Holy Days. 

According to the Talmud, the celebration of Yom Kippur can atone only for sins between man and God. To atone for sins against another person, you must speak with that person and seek a reconciliation. At the very least, you must apologize for your actions and if possible, right whatever wrong you committed against them. This must be accomplished during the Days of Awe, prior to the onset of Yom Kippur.

The Jews believe that God inscribes each person’s fate for the coming year into a Book of Life, on Rosh Hashanah, and waits until Yom Kippur to “seal” the verdict.

The Yom Kippur prayer service includes several unique aspects. One is the actual number of prayer services. Unlike on a regular day, Yom Kippur has five prayer services - Ma’ariv, Shacharit, Musaf, Mincha and Ne’ilah. The prayer services also include a public confession of sins (Vidui) and a unique prayer dedicated to the special Yom Kippur avodah (service) of the Kohen Gadol in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

Image and text source here

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Friday, September 21, 2012

The Last Day of Summer

Summer ends and Autumn comes and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night. - Hal Borland 

To all those of us living in the Northern hemisphere September 21st marks the end of Summer. As Autumn begins and the weather changes, we often slow down a bit and turn our attention to the visible changes in nature. We leave the undisturbed lightness of Summer behind and become more reflective. But one thing is certain. No matter what lies ahead, the next Summer will come for sure...


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Restore Your Health with Foot Detox Patches

Foot detox patches

Toxic environment

Since the dawn of the industrial revolution, the earth has been exposed to an increasing onslaught of toxic chemicals and other pollutants including concentrated heavy metals. These toxins have become pervasive in our country and around the world. It has become impossible to go anywhere or do anything without being exposed to them. We now find them in our air, water, food, and pharmaceutical drugs as well as our home and work environments. We can't even avoid them by eating and drinking organically (although we dramatically reduce our exposure by eating organically and raw).

As an example, mercury is the second deadliest element on the planet after plutonium. We are now being told to stop eating large ocean fish, as they tend to accumulate more mercury than smaller fish. In fact, anyone with one or more mercury amalgam fillings in their mouth is being exposed to vastly larger amounts of mercury every time they swallow or take a breath. In fact, there is enough mercury in one filling to pollute a 10 acre lake to the point where the EPA would declare it unfit for drinking, swimming, or fishing. Mercury has been implicated as a potential cause of A.D.D., Autism, Alzheimer's, chronic fatigue, and thyroid failure, to name just a few ailments.

Fluoride is another element we have concentrated and are putting into our water supply to prevent tooth decay in children. Fluorine has played a significant role in insect control since about 1896 when sodium fluoride and various iron fluorides were patented in England as insecticides. Sodium fluoride was used in the United States for cockroach control before 1900 and was introduced in 1915 for the control of poultry lice. It was also used as a rat poison. (Read the history and the patents of fluoride here, dating back to 1896.

Symptoms of toxic overload

Virtually any adverse symptom a person may experience can be caused by toxic overload. Toxins work in the body by competing for mineral receptor sites at the enzyme level. The inability of an enzyme to function properly can manifest itself in many different disease states depending upon each individual's genetic makeup (DNA). Consequently, it is always important to address your own toxic load whenever you have any kind of symptom that does not seem normal. The speed of symptom onset, from acute (fast) to chronic (slow) depends upon the degree of toxic exposure as well as each individual's genetic make-up.

Reflexology chart

Today, many of our unexplainable diseases are directly associated with high levels of tissue toxins. Some of them are as follows:
  • Fatigue and chronic fatigue
  • Foggy thinking
  • Memory Loss
  • Chronic Pain
  • Weak immune system
  • Weak thyroid
  • Arthritis
  • Constipation
  • Heart Disease
  • Skin Ailments
  • Depression
  • Accelerated degeneration and aging 


Our bodies are naturally equipped with a wondrous mechanism, our lymph system. This elaborate system is interactive with every organ in the body. Our lymph system is designed to filter out toxic substances and excess fluid from tissues and is intricately involved in immune function. It is our antibody roadway and it removes cellular waste and undesirable toxins that have found their way into our bodies. The lymph has been called the River of Life and cannot cleanse or purify if it is weak on congested. The lymph system does not have a pumping mechanism except for muscle contraction. Therefore, the need for physical movement, exercise, and periodic detoxification is imperative for a well functioning lymph system.

How can we protect ourselves from becoming negatively impacted by this scenario? We must detoxify on regular bases! Below are examples of some of the current detoxification methods available:
  • Chelation therapy
  • DMPS injections
  • DMSA capsules
  • EDTA supplementation therapy
  • Far infrared saunas
  • Foot detox pads or patches
The Foot detox pads is the least expensive and least invasive detoxification therapy available and may prove to be the most effective as it works directly on the lymph system. The toxins are removed quickly and painlessly with very little effort.

The role of feet in detoxification process

Different forms of therapy on the feet have been used since ancient times. The law of similar states, "Whatever is happening inside the body is identical and similar at the end of the nerves in the hands and feet". The sole of the foot is viewed as an area that reflects the wellness of the body. The feet are a map of the body; they are divided into zones that correspond to specific body systems. It is possible to target and cleanse ones liver, colon, kidneys, or other body systems by positioning the Foot detox pads on that target area of the foot (see foot map).

Manually stimulating the desired area to be detoxified before applying the foot pad increases the circulation and clears debris, sending more energy directly to the corresponding organ or body part. The body is thus encouraged to restore balance by lessening its toxic overload.

The easiest way to purify the lymph! Give it a try. 

Detox Foot Pads™ harness the unique power of reflexology to access 60 acupuncture points, naturally promoting powerful detox to strengthen your body.

*Information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

The World As I See It

By Albert Einstein

How strange is the lot of us mortals!  Each of us is here for a brief sojourn, for what purpose he knows not, though he sometime thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people- first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy.  A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men (and women), living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving… 

My passionate sense of social justice and social responsibility has always contrasted oddly with my pronounced lack of need for direct contact with other human beings and human communities. I am truly a lone traveler and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family, with my whole heart; in the face of all these ties I have never lost a sense of distance and a need for solitude… 

The really valuable thing in the pageant of human life seems to me not the political state, but the creative, sentient individual, the personality; it alone creates the noble and the sublime, while the herd as such remains dull in thought and dull in feeling. 

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel - is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery - even if mixed with fear - that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the most profound reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds: it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity. In this sense, and only this sense, I am a deeply religious man… 

I am satisfied with the mystery of life’s eternity and with a knowledge, a sense, of the marvelous structure of existence - as well as the humble attempt to understand even a tiny portion of the Reason that manifests itself in Nature.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy Constitution Day!

Signing of the Constitution by Howard Chandler Christy, 1940
  Signing of the Constitution by Howard Chandler Christy, 1940

225th Anniversary of the signing of the great charter of liberty

Howard Chandler Christy’s painting of the signing of the United States Constitution was commissioned in 1939 as part of the congressional observance of the Constitution’s sesquicentennial. Completed in 1940, the 20-by-30-foot framed oil-on-canvas scene is among the best known images in the United States Capitol.

The painting depicts Independence Hall in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787. George Washington is the most prominent figure; he stands on the platform next to Richard Spaight of North Carolina, who is signing the document. Eighty-one-year-old Benjamin Franklin is seated in the center, with Alexander Hamilton leaning toward him, while James Madison appears farther to the right. In comparison to many of the historical paintings in the Capitol, the colors are bright and airy, and the brushwork is almost impressionistic in places. Christy used light and shadow to unify the individual portraits.

To achieve the greatest possible accuracy, Christy searched for portraits by the best artists of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, such as Charles Willson Peale and Gilbert Stuart. He located portraits of thirty-seven out of the thirty-nine delegates and the Secretary, William Jackson. Christy took some liberties in composing his scene: John Dickinson, whose signature was added by proxy, is included, and three men who were present but did not sign are not shown. He obscured the faces of the two signers (Thomas Fitz Simons and Jacob Broom) of whom no portraits were found. He also researched authentic costumes, including a pair of George Washington’s breeches borrowed from the Smithsonian Institution, and he depicted the furniture and artifacts used by the delegates. The books beside Franklin’s chair were part of Thomas Jefferson’s library; Christy borrowed them from the Rare Book Room of the Library of Congress and included them in the scene to acknowledge Jefferson’s importance to the Constitution. He made the sketch for the painting in Independence Hall in September, at the same time of day as the signing, to show accurately the angle of sunlight in the room with its glass chandelier. The artist said that the flags he depicted are the Stars and Stripes, one from a Maryland dragoon regiment, and regimental colors from Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Representative Sol Bloom, the Director General of the United States Constitution Sesquicentennial Commission, first proposed that the painting be commissioned in 1937 as part of the 150th anniversary of the Constitution. Howard Chandler Christy, one of the most popular illustrators and portrait painters of the time, had created an historically accurate scene of the signing for the Commission to reproduce. His first small painting included a maiden representing "We the People" and numerous other symbolic figures, but these were eliminated in the final version. In the three years during which Representative Bloom worked with Christy to locate early portraits of the signers and to fill in historical details, he became aware that there was no scene of the signing of the Constitution in the U.S. Capitol, and few other paintings in existence included all the signers.

A Joint Resolution was first introduced in the House in 1937 to pay Christy $35,000 to paint Signing of the Constitution. Heated debate arose, however: some members of Congress were in favor of memorializing one of the greatest events in American history, but others held deep reservations about spending the funds for art during a period of severe economic depression, and the bill did not pass. The Joint Resolution failed again in 1938.

Finally, in 1939, a modified resolution, P.R. 11, 76th Congress, was accepted to set up a commission consisting of the Vice President, the Speaker of the House, and the Architect of the Capitol to employ an artist to paint a 20-by-30-foot scene of the signing at a price of $30,000. The contract with Christy was signed on July 24, 1939. On October 29, 1940, the Congress approved $1500 for the purchase of a frame, which was accepted by the Joint Committee on the Library on December 26, 1940.

The huge 18-by-26-foot canvas was painted in the sail loft of the Washington Navy Yard, where Christy at times used enlisted men as models for the figures. After five years of research and seven months of painting, the canvas was dedicated in May 1940 in the Rotunda of the Capitol, where it was on view for 16 months. The 20-by-30-foot frame, made in nine sections including the central eagle and crest, was hand carved and given a gold-leaf finish by Azeglio Pancani of New York. After much debate about where it could be hung, another painting was moved and the Christy in its frame was installed in the east grand stairway of the House, where it remains today.

In 1967 the painting was vandalized by being slashed along the bottom; the canvas had to be removed from the stretcher to be transported for repair in 1968. The fills made then were apparent, however, and over time dust, grime, and yellowed varnish obscured the original brilliant colors. In 2006 the painting was cleaned and conserved in place by conservators working from a large four-level scaffold from mid-October through December. The cleaning of areas that had looked dull brown revealed lively expressions; detailed costumes; and impressionist colors, such as lavender and pink, applied with scintillating brushwork. The vandalized area was given special attention and is now barely visible. Finally, a new coating of clear protective varnish was applied.

The frame, which had been covered with bronze powder paint in 1968, was taken apart in sections and conserved off site. It was cleaned and repaired, re-gilded with 22-karat gold leaf similar to the color of the original metal leaf, and toned to complement the painting. The gold leaf will never tarnish and should remain beautiful for generations to come.

Image and article from the Architect of the Capitol page

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Healing Properties of Hemimorphite

Blue Hemimorphite

Hemimorphite is a sorosilicate mineral that occurs in the upper layers of zinc and lead ores. Hemimorphite is usually found together with smithsonite. In fact, when hemimorphite was first discovered in Romania 1853, both minerals were considered to be a variety of a mineral then called calamine. Only later mineralogists found out that although the two minerals resembled each other, they varied in chemical composition. Smithsonite was  a zinc carbonate, hemimorphite - a zinc silicate.

The name hemimorphite derives from the word "hemi" or half and "morph" meaning shape and points to a  hemimorph development of crystals. This unusual crystalline form, which is typical to only few minerals, means that the crystals are terminated by dissimilar faces. 

Hemimorphite most commonly forms crystalline crusts and layers, but also massive, granular, rounded aggregates. Rarely it forms fan-shaped clusters of crystals. The color ranges from white to blue, blue-green and even violet. 

Hemimorphite is mined at the German-Belgium border, in Austria, Poland, China, Thailand, Mexico, United States, Namibia and North Africa.

White hemimorphite

Many energy healers consider hemimorphite to be a stone of happiness and joy. The gem can be used to assist personal transformation and growth as it helps develop positive self-image and overcome the inferiority complex. 

It  facilitates communication and self-expression and is considered to be a perfect harmony stone for troubled relationships. It allows us to be who we are and respect the other person's need for self-expression.

The gentle healing energy of this stone endows one with generosity, a healthy dose of self-respect and respect for others. Negative emotional patterns are dissolved; anger and  hostility are released.

The stone promotes inner balance and tranquility, and helps access one's creative energies. It also helps protect from malice and the destructive energies of others.

In the spiritual realm, hemimorphite has the power to enhance the aura and amplify psychic abilities. It helps align the heart and throat chakras and opens the third eye. It aides meditation and clears channels to psychic communication. It helps the seeker to define his spiritual direction and find a purpose in life. 

As a healing stone, hemimorphite is often used to heal ailments in the chest and throat region, but also to alleviate hormonal imbalances, blood related disorders, immune deficiencies, headaches, stress and overall pain. The stone's subtle energies bring gentle, gradual relief.

Hemimorphite is a stone of unusual beauty. It adds a peaceful aura to any space and if worn as jewelry, allows for more self-confidence and compassion. Its beauty brings joy to all.

By Dominique Allmon


Creative Commons License
Healing Properties of Hemimorphite by Dominique Allmon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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

Sunday, September 9, 2012


By Doe Zantamata

Intuition is your sixth sense. Unlike your other senses, you probably didn't get much training in intuition, unless one or both of your parents had as well. If you'd been trained in it at the same time you learned about your sense of hearing, taste, smell, and sight, you'd be much more comfortable with trusting it today.

If a plate of food were set in front of you that looked and smelled like manure, you'd likely not take a taste. You trust that if it smells bad, it will taste bad. However, if you get a "gut feeling" that something is a bad deal but with no other clues, you may not trust that feeling. You may then try to ignore your sense of intuition and go forward anyway, only to later realize that your gut feeling was right. Not trusting your sense of intuition is like eating the manure, yet many of us do it every single day... er... not trust our intuition, that is.

When a group of people sit in the woods, if there is a sound of a cricket, frog, then coyote, and one person exclaims, "cricket, frog, coyote," the rest of the group does not look shocked, clap, and cheer. This is because everyone heard the same sounds and drew the same conclusions (except for the guy who was wearing headphones, listening to rock music). Yet when a psychic, one highly trained in intuition, picks up information and relays it to someone, they are in awe... sometimes moved to tears, sometimes shelling out lots of money to hear more.

We all have intuition. Some of us have better hearing than others, some can see better, some can smell a hotdog a mile away. Some people have a naturally very strong sense of intuition, and some do not. But even the ones who do not but who train themselves to improve their sense of intuition will be better off than the natural ones who do no training at all. It's just like someone who has great vision. If he or she does not use that to read, but the lady with the glasses reads daily, she will know a lot more than he about whatever it was she was reading.

Image source unknown but greatly appreciated
Article source happiness is your life


Tuesday, September 4, 2012


An elegy for a dying art by Ann Wroe

Take a sheet of paper. Better still, take a whole sheaf; writing prospers with comfort and cushioning. The paper may be deliciously thick, with ragged edges and a surface capillaried with tiny fibres of the rags that made it. It may be thin, blank, industrial A4, one of a thousand in a cut-price pack from Staples. It may be wove paper, vellum-smooth and shiny, or a bit of scrap, torn not quite straight, with a palimpsest of typed meeting-minutes showing through. But write.

The instrument matters but, for the moment, seize anything. The old fountain pen, so familiar that it nestles like a warm fifth finger in the crook of the thumb, its clip slightly shaky with over-use; the pencil, its lead half-blunt and not quite steady in that smooth cone of wood; the ultra-fine felt tip from the office cupboard, with its no-nonsense simplicity, or the ancient mapping pen, nibbed like a bird’s claw, which surely writes only in copperplate, scratching fiercely as it goes. Seize even a ball-point, though its line is mean and thin, and though teachers will tell you that nothing ruins writing faster. Dip, fill or shake vigorously; and write.

For most adults the skill is an instinctive one. Yet cursive handwriting takes a while to master. At primary school our small, wide writing books opened on a forbidding grid of lines, red ones an inch apart, blue ones set close together between them. These cradled the bodies of the letters, while the descenders and ascenders made for the reds like pegs for a washing line. So easily, almost showily, Teacher formed the letter with her black pen: clumsily, with our large sharpened pencils, we tried to follow. It was hard. An “m”, “n” or “u” settled cosily between the lines; but “a”, with its one flat side, was tricky, and “e” rocked over on its back. Tall letters looked simple, but when one leaned all the rest sloped off towards disaster. The tail of a “p” groped fearfully as it descended through empty space. When a whole line succeeded it looked splendid, like a marching battalion with faint band-music playing, and a gold star shining at the end. If I half-closed my eyes, flicking fast through the pages, the rhythms and patterns arranged themselves in fascinating ways. But once the scaffolding was removed the letters collapsed alarmingly. They still do, unless they have a line to aim for.

At secondary school, surprisingly, we had to learn to write all over again. The teachers found fault with our plain rounded hand; we had to move up to italic now, together with oblique-nibbed pens and dangerously abundant blue ink. Italic was all thicks and thins, diagonal joins and elegant serifs, imposed by nuns who could flick a ruler quicker than an upstroke when faced with a careless piece of work. I came to like the new style for its angularity and boldness, and the way you could dot your “i” with a perfect diamond if you held your pen just right; though it took years to make my backward-sloping letters stand up straight and then lean forward, as both the manuals and the nuns required. All this took far more effort than tapping a computer keyboard.

Writing involves not only the hand and wrist but also the arm, the shoulder, sometimes the whole body. Quill-users were well aware of this, and would choose from the right wing or the left - ideally the third or fourth feather of a goose-wing, but possibly the finest feathers of swans, or ravens, or crows - to make the quill curve towards the hand or away from it, whichever felt more natural. Words could fly that way. Left-handers especially demonstrate the exertion of writing, curling their entire bodies round their pens as they write, smearing their words as they go. Children forming letters sit hunched with concentration, small fingers clenched round crayons, little pink tongues darting out of mouths. After a page or three of writing against the clock, the ablest college student flaps his wrist to ease the ache in it. A script like italic or copperplate is explicitly formed from the shapes made in engraving; pens as they write not only impress the paper, but dig into it, as surely as Sumerians dug their cuneiform letters into tablets of damp clay, or as Roman masons chiseled their magisterial capitals, ancestors of all ours, into the base of Trajan’s column. This can be hard physical work; which is perhaps why Gutenberg, when he devised his printing press, was especially keen to boast that no laboring pen had made his blackletter, but a smoothly oiled machine.

Printing did not harm handwriting, though it gradually replaced the calligraphic uncial and gothic of silent, patient monks in their scriptoria. In fact, because it encouraged literacy, printing helped writing to become a more universal skill. Typewriters (though greeted with jeremiads much like this one) did not hurt handwriting too much, because they were used mostly in offices or by sweating beat journalists whose cigarette ash powdered the keys. The rot started when keyboards were allowed, then required, in schools, and when they became small and light enough to slip in a pocket, replacing the notebook and even the jotted to-do list - milk, bread, call garage - which remains, for many people, the greatest boon of writing.

To continue reading please visit Intelligent Life
Image by Kika Pierides

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Agent Orange Is No More

Agent Orange

The sweetest orange cat ever is no more. The noisy creature found its way to our home and we hoped he will live with us forever. Unfortunately, this stray kitty was very sick. To end his suffering we had to make the most difficult decision ever. He will be missed beyond words. May his pure kitty soul frolic in cats' heaven. - James and Dominique

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Vol de Nuit

“Flying Over Avalon” by Ruehl Frederick Heckman (1890-1942)
 “Flying Over Avalon” by Ruehl Frederick Heckman (1890-1942)

No destiny attacks us from outside. But, within him, man bears his fate and there comes a moment when he knows himself vulnerable; and then, as in a vertigo, blunder upon blunder lures him. -  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry