Advice From a Third Grader: How to Make Kindness Ripple Throughout the World

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Advice From a Third Grader: How to Make Kindness Ripple Throughout the World
On Sept. 21, UN World Peace Day was celebrated across the globe. Marked as a fixed day on the UN calendar through the efforts of Jeremy Gilley at Peaceoneday.org, Peace Day calls for 24 hours of ceasefire in war-torn areas, making it possible for hundreds of relief agencies to rush into areas where battle may inhibit distribution of vaccines, books, food, and medical care. Over the years, millions of people living in conflict have benefited from the life-saving efforts made possible by the ceasefire. On a global scale, Peace Day is proving to have a powerful, positive impact.

But what impact does Peace Day have in areas not rife with war?

In non-conflict ridden zones, Peace Day can be an important day, as it helps to facilitate the discussion of peace building and what we can all do, on a daily basis, to contribute to building a more peaceful world.

At the United Nations International School (UNIS) in New York, teaching about peace is imbedded in the educational practice. Children who experience conflict on the playground are encouraged to have a seat on the peace bench, where they work out their difficulties. Junior school classrooms have peace tables prominently displayed so that children may have a place to reflect on peace and work through their differences with others. It isn’t uncommon to hear “Be a Peace Builder!” as children are ushered through the halls. For the students at UNIS, every day is peace day, and Sept. 21 is a special calendar day to reflect on what this means.

Who will you make peace with?

This question, posed by Peaceoneday.org, inspired great conversation in the grade three classrooms at UNIS. An inquiry into what it means to make peace with others led the children to ask more questions: Do I have to be in conflict with someone to make peace? Can we spread peace to people we don’t know? Are we open to others who try to make peace with us?

To deepen their thinking and support discussion, the grade three children at UNIS read the book Each Kindness, written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis. In the book, a new girl comes to school and tries to make friends with the narrator, Chloe, and a few other girls. Despite her many attempts at making friends, the new girl is met with constant unkindness. Suddenly the girl is gone from school, and a lesson from the teacher about how kindness is like ripples in water, helps Chloe to see how unkind she was.

Moved by the book, the children had lively discussions about kindness, and how Chloe should have behaved with the new girl. This discussion beautifully dovetailed into discussions about Peace Day, and what we can do to help spread peace throughout the world.

These clever 8-year-olds pointed out that spreading peace is what they are doing when they practice their Happiness Habit of committing Random Acts of Kindness. They noted that we can be kind to anyone and everyone, and this will help to spread peace throughout the world. The question amongst the five grade three classrooms then became: What can we do to help make peace and kindness ripple throughout the world?

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Be careful what you inspire in children, because the smallest of ideas can grow into big steps of action! These third graders set out to make certain they were spreading kindness ripples into the world. During their morning circle times, the children shared ideas on how we can all help make kindness ripples. They also reported back each day on what happened when they practiced their random acts of kindness, and how they saw others do kind deeds for someone else as a result of their actions. “We saw the ripples!” they exclaimed.

As an educator, Peace Day has become my favorite “holiday,” as it provides the opportunity to discuss peace building and to develop conflict resolution skills within students. For many of us, the idea of peace seems too big and unattainable — what can one person do to impact the wars happening across the globe? There is an important mental shift we can make when we think about global peace, and can be done by embracing the idea that peace begins with the actions of the individual. Peace can be nurtured in the smallest of moments each and every day, through the smallest of actions. It is a big idea, yet easy enough for a child to embrace.

What will you do to make kindness ripple throughout the world? The grade three children have some ideas to share with you to help you get started. We’d love to hear about the results!

50 Ways to Make Kindness Ripple Throughout the World:

1. Smile at a stranger.

2. Say thank you to the bus driver.

3. Help someone carry her heavy groceries.

4. Hold the door open for someone else.

5. Leave a kind note for someone whom you usually don’t get along with.

6. Give your Mom a hug and tell her you appreciate her.

7. Sing a song to your teacher!

8. Let someone else choose the game and play it — even if you don’t like it.

9. Let someone else have a seat on the bus or subway.

10. Say hello to the security guards and thank them for keeping you safe.

11. Leave happiness notes on the apartment doors of your neighbors.

12. Leave a thank you note to the cleaners, thanking him for keeping your place so tidy.

13. Give a homeless person a smile and a piece of fruit.

14. If you see someone (even a stranger) who looks nice, tell them!

15. Say thank you to someone who makes your life easier.

16. Look for someone who seems lonely and invite her to play.

17. Invite someone new to eat lunch at your table.

18. Draw a nice picture for someone and leave it as a surprise!

19. Read a book to a child.

20. Help someone who seems to be having a hard time with his work.

21. Clean up after someone without telling her.

22. Give the secretary a flower from your garden.

23. Give someone a sticker! The smelly ones are the BEST.

24. Seek to understand someone else’s point of view.

25. Use kind words when talking to others.

26. Use kind words when talking about yourself.

27. Forgive someone who has done wrong — even without their asking.

28. Be patient with others.

29. Donate time, money, and supplies to an organization in need.

30. Respect the feelings of others

31. Know that different is good.

32. Praise someone for being brave enough to be different.

33. Listen to someone else when they are talking and ask questions so you can better understand them.

34. Ask someone how they are — and really listen to the answer.

35. Say please when you ask for something. Say thank you when you get it.

36. Try to make someone else laugh.

37. Make someone who is sad smile.

38. Don’t fight with your sister — help her instead!

39. Turn off the lights when you don’t need them.

40. Recycle when you can.

41. Share your favorite toys with someone.

42. Even if you don’t have a lot, share your cookies with someone who doesn’t have a snack.

43. Encourage someone when he is playing soccer, or running a marathon, or trying something new!

44. If your friend is injured, take them to the nurse and help them to feel better.

45. Stand up for someone who is being picked on.

46. Remember to have fun with people!

47. If your friend is nervous, give them confidence!

48. Play cards or football with someone.

49. Be a good looser and a good winner.

50. Hug the people you love, and tell them you love them every day.

For more ideas on teaching Happiness Habits to children, follow Happiness 101 on Facebook!

For more by Erin Michelle Threlfall, click here.

For more on happiness, click here.

Oprah’s Favorite Instant Mood Boosters
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By Oprah Winfrey

Every morning when I open my curtains for that first look at the day, no matter what the day looks like — raining, foggy, overcast, sunny — my heart swells with gratitude. I get another chance. When you think about it, it’s truly awesome: seven billion people finding their way in the world, trying to make sense of the human diaspora.

In the best of times and worst of times, I know for sure, this life is a gift. Yes, I recognize that I get to live on a big scale. But in the end the only difference between being famous and not is that more people know my name. When it comes to what really matters — what makes us laugh and cry, grieve and yearn, delight and rejoice — we share the same heart space. We just fill it with different things. Here are 20 of my favorites:

1. Planting vegetables in my garden.

2. Making blueberry-lemon pancakes on Sunday morning for Stedman. Never fails to delight him—like he’s 7 every time.

3. An off-leash romp on the front lawn with all five dogs.

4. A rainy day, a chill in the air, a blazing fire in the fireplace.

5. Picking vegetables from my garden.

6. A great book.

7. Reading in my favorite place on Earth: under my oaks.

8. The spinach, goat cheese and herb pizza at ABC Kitchen in New York City.

9. Tazo’s Passion tea, with a little lemon and fresh mint.

10. Cooking vegetables from my garden.

11. A drink handmade by my pal Eddie Chavez.

12. Sleeping till my body wants to wake up.

13. Waking up to the real twitter: birds.

14. A workout so strong, my whole body breathes.

15. Eating vegetables from my garden.

16. Being still.

17. Embracing silence.

18. Listening to Snatam Kaur’s version of “Ong Namo.”

19. Scones at the Hotel Bel-Air. If Queen Elizabeth only knew, she’d eat no others.

20. Gratitude as a daily spiritual practice. Every day I bless my life by counting my blessings.

Time Out Tip Of The Day: September 28, 2013
Need a time out? You’re in luck. In honor of Bliss’ Triple Oxygen Month, HuffPost’s GPS for the Soul has teamed up with Bliss spa experts to provide the best tips to take a rejuvenating time out each and every day for the month of September. We want to help you make the next 30 days a time of reflection and renewal. Make sure to check back here every day for your new Time Out Tip, and learn more about Bliss’ new line of Triple Oxygen products by clicking here.

bliss 28

Matthieu Ricard’s ‘Advocacy For Altruism’ Book Champions Unselfishness (Interview)
ALTRUISM – Forget everything you have been taught, because Matthieu Ricard is here to teach you a new way of interpreting the human being. A French Buddhist monk and a disciple of Dalai Lama, Matthieu Ricard is the author of Plaidoyer pour l’altruisme (Advocacy For Altruism), in bookstores since September 19. It is a non-religious book similar to an encyclopedia, and its content is very relevant for these times of economic crisis.

There is evidence that we aren’t selfish human beings driven only by our own interests. Moreover, today’s society is not more violent than it was in the past. Yes, we can change the way we are and, therefore, cooperate more, not only on an individual level, but on a community level, too.

Whether it is related to economy, environment, our well-being, or our relationships with others, we will all benefit from accepting and developing altruism.

This idea is not supported only by the monk, but also by science. Evolutionism, neurology, psychology, as well as case studies on conflicts, all show that altruism is not only a behavior inborn in people, but it can also be developed. To become a better person is really something possible, as long as we accept some obvious facts that we have forgotten.

HuffPost: Science proves that altruism is an inborn behavior both in children and in animals…Then, why did you decide to write this book?

MR: Because not everybody thinks like that. People often tend to think that they are selfish. When I started working on this book, I thought there was no need to prove that altruism existed. I believed in this idea. But I didn’t expect to discover such great thinkers like the 17-century philosopher Hobbes, psychologists from the first half of the 20th century, and the neoclassical economists for whom altruism was an unknown concept. They just didn’t believe in it. Basically, they used to say that behind all altruistic gestures, there is a selfish motive. In other words, a clever and acute mind will always find a selfish motive behind a good deed.

And you disagree with that…

This universal theory on selfishness is a preconceived idea. There is no scientific study to support it. But since this idea has existed forever, scientists decided to prove through experiments that altruism existed. Daniel Batson, a great American psychologist, studied this for 25 years, together with his team of scientists. He developed about thirty stratagems to distinguish the selfish behavior from the other ones, but mostly from the empathy shown towards people in distress, which was explained by the urge to help people in distress because we cannot stand seeing them suffer. Finally, they realized that some people are capable of genuine altruism, no matter the circumstances. Anyway, there was no evidence to support the idea of people being selfish. This was an open-door for my theory, and this time it was science that backed me up.

What prevents us from being altruistic?

There are several things. First of all, the misconception that we are all selfish and, therefore, that trying to be different is a waste of time. But, if you analyzed people’s everyday gestures, you would realize that 70% of them could be considered as gestures of goodwill: small gestures like holding the door for someone. The simple good deeds are more present in our day-to-day reality than we would have thought, and this in an encouraging idea. Second of all, we all know that learning how to read, write, or play chess requires a minimum of effort, so how could other aspects of our existence, such as attention or altruism, require no effort and be developed from the beginning? It’s absurd. All our abilities are developed until they reach a certain level. Therefore, to develop our capacity of altruism requires a constant exposure to a certain way of thinking that can change our brain.

And you also mentioned that there is a technique that helps people to develop their altruism: it’s through meditation…

The term meditation is mystical, exotic, but its meaning is to educate oneself, to become familiar with a new way of thinking and acting while developing one’s qualities. Let’s consider the altruistic behavior. It’s obvious that throughout our life we feel unconditional love for our children, for someone else, or even for an animal, and that feeling doesn’t require any effort in showing altruism: wishing they were healthy and happy in their lives. The problem is that this feeling doesn’t last. To develop altruism means spending more time, let’s say ten minutes every day, on filling our mental space with altruistic love, and if we get distracted, to concentrate on it again, or if it disappears, to bring it to life once again. This is meditation.

How can meditation change us?

Experiments show some changes on a personal level. It’s been proved scientifically and validated by neuroplasticity. The brain undergoes some changes when subjected to any kind of training, whether it is juggling or meditating. It is the case for people who meditated about 50 000 hours in all, but also for people who meditated about 20 minutes every day for a month. After four weeks of everyday meditation, there were noticed functional modifications in the human brain, behavioral changes – cooperation, pro-social behavior, mutual aid -, as well as structural changes. For instance, it was noticed that the parts of the human brain responsible for empathy, maternal love, and positive emotions gained volume, which showed that meditation worked.

Does this mean that meditation should be taught in schools, colleges, or universities?

Meditation should be taught ever since kindergarten, but under a different name and totally voided of any religious meaning, without bearing the Buddhist label. Meditation is a technique. For 30 years, Doctor John Kabat Zinn has taught how to reduce stress through mindfulness meditation in 300 hospitals throughout the US. Inspired by the Buddhist religion, it has become a non-religious concept. Another example is Richard Davidson’s program at the Wisconsin University that promotes the idea of training 4 or 5-year old children for compassion and pro-social behaviors. After ten weeks of three 30-minute meditation sessions per week, researchers succeeded to stimulate pro-social and altruistic behaviors in children. The results were incredible.

In fact, your studies also proved that even animals can be altruistic.

The behavior of the young chimpanzees that helped their old mother to drink water because she was unable to move proves that animals can be altruistic, doesn’t it? If bonobos are capable of such behavior, why shouldn’t we be? There are hundreds of examples of altruistic gestures in animals living in the wild as well as in labs. Darwin also made reference to the evolution of emotions and he attested that animals were also capable of such feelings.

Reconsidering our relation with animals could be an open-door to altruism…

Humans suffer from some sort of schizophrenia: we are capable of empathy and altruism towards our children, close friends and family, or other human beings through our humanitarian actions. Nevertheless, when it comes to animals, human beings are reluctant to think of them as being sensitive creatures. Certainly, they won’t manifest against their exploitation; animals are deprived of our capacity of making a political commitment… But it would be absurd to believe that emotions, altruism, or empathy were God’s creations specifically for human beings, and not consider the millions of years of evolution. There is no cut-off point between the different stages of evolution.

What should we do, then?

We should reexamine ourselves. Today, we keep the abattoirs out of our sight: out of sight, out of mind. In reality, we don’t want to acknowledge that a billion and a half of terrestrial animals are killed each year for our eating needs. Or, these animals aren’t robots. It’s completely ridiculous to treat them as objects. Gandhi said that the degree of civilization is measured by how people treat animals. Obviously, they don’t have long-term projects, but our lack of empathy towards them puts humankind in danger of suffering from mass psychopathy. Kafka said that “war is a monstrous failure of imagination.” He eventually became a vegetarian and one day, while watching a fish tank, he said, “now, I can look at you in peace; I don’t eat you anymore.” (laughing)

But how could becoming a vegetarian have an altruistic impact beyond our personal eating needs?

I am a vegetarian by choice because it is better for the animals and for our environment. Developing countries grow 775 billion tons of corn and soya to feed the animals in the industrial farms in the highly developed countries. The return is zero! It requires 10 kilos of vegetal proteins to produce 1 kilo of animal proteins. The world is upside down…

Then, there is the human cost because poor people are deprived of these vegetables. There is also an environmental cost because of the methane gas from livestock and their manure, which is one of the main causes of the climate changes.

To conclude, there is an ethics code related to animals, human health, poverty, and environment. According to the United Nations, eating less meat could be one of the best ways to reduce inequality and solve the environmental problems… It doesn’t imply becoming a fanatical vegan, but to balance things so that animal massacres end permanently.

What about the profit-oriented economy? How could altruism be compatible with such a concept?

The theory of homo economicus is based on the idea that human beings are reasonable and that they try to maximize their interests. It’s a reductionist model of the human being. Most of the economists know that human beings cannot be reduced to such an image; nevertheless, this image served as a source for many economic models. However, many economists, such as Amartya Sen, Joseph Stiglitz or Dennis Snower, have emphasized the problem of the common assets: air quality, fresh water reserves, democracy – these are everybody’s concern.

Indeed, if you consider only your personal interest, you have nothing to care about. So, besides reason, the only one economists considered in their calculations, you need to care, a term even better than altruism or compassion because, if people say “I don’t care,” then it means it doesn’t affect them. Care implies concern for others. Economists have begun to accept this idea and to imagine a system based on more than just selfish interests. Society would function much better and this new system would match the reality better because not all people are selfish maniacs!

Do you see altruism as the guiding thought of the 21st century?

Absolutely! It’s Arianna’s thread that could link the economy in the short term, life satisfaction in the mid-term, and environment in the long term. Without altruism, no intellectual system could reconcile the three different types of preoccupations. The tough economist seizes the moment without thinking of the future. But if he cared about others, he would do something to improve their quality of life. If he cared even more about others, destroying the planet would be out of question.

But there are still conflicts, violence…

Violence has its causes. It’s the dehumanization of the other. People see people as vermin, pests, rats; they treat one another as animals. We should understand the causes to better fight this problem. There are also other influences that create a false image of the reality. It’s enough to watch the news. There is violence everywhere – Syria, Sudan, and Kalashnikovs in Marseilles… And this isn’t true.

History shows that violence has continuously diminished. In England, during the 14th century, there were 100 homicides for 100 000 inhabitants each year; nowadays, the number of homicides was reduced to 0.7. In Europe, the rate dropped by 100 to 50 times compared to 3 centuries ago. In 1950, the average number of victims of conflicts throughout the globe was of 30 000. Now, it’s 900. Child and women abuse has diminished. A lot still needs to be done, but a lot has been done already.

We can encourage the decrease of violence…

We all know the factors related to the decrease of violence and we could encourage this idea: women social status, democracy… Let’s take Europe for example. In the 14th century, there were 5000 political entities in Europe; under Napoleon, there were 250, and, nowadays, there are about fifty, which are all democratic and make business together… The risk that Belgium starts a war against Italy is zero. Countries in conflict with other countries have a dysfunctional democracy. Undoubtedly, humankind has evolved and we have to admit it because it is encouraging.

What do you find to be the most encouraging signs in today’s society?

What keeps my hope high is to realize that humankind has evolved. Kindness is more often present in our lives than we could imagine. We can educate ourselves in this respect on an individual level, as well as on a community level… Victor Hugo said that “nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” Therefore, I think that the time of altruism has come.

plaidoyer pour l altruisme

Green – The Huffington Post
Easter Island Diet Consisted Of Rats But Not Seafood, New Study Shows

The inhabitants of Easter Island consumed a diet that was lacking in seafood and was, literally, quite ratty.

The island, also called Rapa Nui, first settled around A.D. 1200, is famous for its more than 1,000 “walking” Moai statues, most of which originally faced inland. Located in the South Pacific, Rapa Nui is the most isolated inhabited landmass on Earth; the closest inhabitants are located on the Pitcairn Islands about 1,200 miles (1,900 kilometers) to the west.

easter islanders

The Polynesian rat (also known as kiore) is somewhat smaller than its Europeans counterparts and, according to ethnographic accounts, was tasty to eat. New research reveals that they formed an important part of the diet for the inhabitants of Easter Island.

To determine the diet of its past inhabitants, researchers analyzed the nitrogen and carbon isotopes, or atoms of an element with different numbers of neutrons, from the teeth (specifically the dentin) of 41 individuals whose skeletons had been previously excavated on the island. To get an idea of what the islanders ate before dying, the researchers then compared the isotope values with those of animal bones excavated from the island. [Photos of Walking Easter Island Statues]

Additionally, the researchers were able to radiocarbon date 26 of the teeth remains, allowing them to plot how the diet on the island changed over time. Radiocarbon dating works by measuring the decay of carbon-14 allowing a date range to be assigned to each individual; it’s a method commonly used in archaeology on organic material. The research was published recently online in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

The researchers found that throughout time, the people on the island consumed a diet that was mainly terrestrial. In fact, in the first few centuries of the island’s history (up to about A.D. 1650) some individuals used Polynesian rats (also known as kiore) as their main source of protein. The rat is somewhat smaller than European rats and, according to ethnographic accounts, tasty to eat.

“Our results indicate that contrary to previous zooarchaeological studies, diet was predominantly terrestrial throughout the entire sequence of occupation, with reliance on rats, chickens and C3 plants,” the researchers write in their journal article, noting that the resources from C3 plants (or those that use typical photosynthesis to make sugars) would have included yams, sweet potatoes and bananas.

Rats, not fish

The islanders’ use of rats was not surprising to the researchers. Archaeological excavations show the presence of the Polynesian rat across the Pacific. The Polynesian form commonly travels with humans on ocean voyages and, like any other rat, multiplies rapidly when it arrives on a new island. In some cases, the rats were probably transported intentionally to be used as food, something supported by ethnographic accounts stating that, in some areas of Polynesia, rats were being consumed at the time of European contact. Additionally, previous research has suggested the rats were at least partly responsible for the deforestation of Rapa Nui.

What was more surprising to the researchers was the lack of seafood in the diet of the islanders. “Traditionally, from Polynesian cultures you have a heavy predominance of using marine products, especially in the early phase of colonization,” said Amy Commendador, of the Idaho Museum of Natural History at Idaho State University, in an interview with LiveScience.

One reason for the lack of seafood may have to do with the island’s location and topography, Commendador said. The northern end contains steep cliffs and would be difficult to fish from. Additionally, the island’s southerly latitude makes it somewhat cooler and may affect fishing. “Because of their geographic location and climate conditions, there just weren’t as many marine products for them to get,” Commendador said.

Rats should not be underestimated in their value as a resource, study co-author John Dudgeon, also at Idaho State University, told LiveScience. They could eat anything and multiply rapidly within a few generations. For the people who lived on Rapa Nui, “it was probably easier to go get a rat than it was to go get a fish,” Dudgeon said.

Fish elites?

Though the study results showed the islanders’ diet was mainly terrestrial, a few individuals, dating after A.D. 1600, appeared to have been eating more fish than the others. [The 7 Perfect Survival Foods]

These fish eaters may have lived on a part of the island where the fishing was easier, Commendador suggested. Another possibility the team raises in their paper is that access to marine resources varied due to the social and political constraints people faced. For the islanders, eating fish might have been a mark of “higher status” individuals, an elite person who was allowed more plentiful access to seafood.

Statues facing inland

One curious coincidence is that most of the Moai, the statues erected by the islanders, face inland rather than out to sea. Now, this new research suggests the people of the island also turned inland, rather than to the sea, to get their food.

Commendador and Dudgeon don’t think any direct relationship between the Moai statues and the islanders’ diet exists. Previous research has suggested the statues were positioned facing inland due to ancestor worship, so that the statues could watch over their descendents.

Another, more speculative, idea is that by having the statues facing inland, the islanders were also “saying we’re turning inwards and not turning outward,” Dudgeon said. While this probably doesn’t relate to the islanders’ decision to eat rats rather than fish, it shows the mindset the people of Rapa Nui may have developed before the arrival of Europeans. Their lifestyle as well as their diet may have become focused on the land rather than the sea.

Follow us @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on LiveScience.

Gallery: A View of Rat Island In Photos: Amazing Ruins of the Ancient World Image Gallery: Stone Structure Hidden Under Sea of Galilee Copyright 2013 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Pakistan Rocked By 2nd Major Earthquake In A Week As Country Still Reeling From Tuesday’s Disaster
ISLAMABAD — A major earthquake rocked Pakistan’s southwest Saturday, sending people running into the street in panic just days after another quake in the same region killed 359 people, officials said.

The U.S. Geological Survey said on its website that a 6.8 magnitude quake was felt in Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan province. Pakistan’s Meteorological Department measured the earthquake at 7.2 magnitude. The department said its epicenter was located about 150 kilometers (90 miles) west of the town of Khuzdar.

There were no immediate reports of casualties, said Abdur Rasheed, the deputy commissioner of Awaran district where both quakes were centered.

There may have been little left to damage after Tuesday’s disaster. Few of the mud and homemade brick houses in the area survived the 7.7 magnitude quake that leveled houses and buried people in the rubble.

Since then tens of thousands of people have been sleeping under the open sky or in tents. Rasheed said they had received reports that some homes damaged but still standing after Tuesday’s quake had collapsed Saturday.

He said they are trying to get information whether people were living in some of the partially damaged homes.

Chief Pakistani meteorologist Arif Mahmood told Pakistani television that it was an aftershock from this week’s earthquake and such tremors might continue for weeks.

Pakistan television showed people at the main hospital in Awaran district fleeing into the street. In the provincial capital of Quetta, the tremor was so strong it prompted members of the local parliament to evacuate the building.

Baluchistan is Pakistan’s largest but least populated province. The rough terrain and the lack of decent roads have made it difficult for rescue staff. The Pakistani Air Force has been making air drops of supplies and using helicopters to ferry injured people to medical care.

But at least two of those helicopters have come under fire from separatists, say Pakistani officials. The Pakistani military has been trying to suppress an uprising in the vast, arid province for years by separatists who want their own state for the Baluch people.

To the north Pakistan is dealing with militants who want to overthrow the central government and establish a hard-line Islamic state.

Newly-elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has vowed to pursue peace talks with the militants as a way to end the fighting. But the militants have given little indication they are interested in negotiations. They initially rejected talks with the government and later demanded Islamabad release prisoners and begin withdrawing troops from the group’s tribal sanctuary before talks could begin. Recent attacks have also called into question their interest in negotiating.

On Saturday, a spokesman for the Tehreek-e-Taliban criticized Sharif, saying his new government is not serious about holding peace talks. The spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid, did not explicitly reject the offer but his words gave little room for negotiations.

The comments appeared to have been sparked by an interview Sharif made with the Wall Street Journal during a trip to New York, in which he said militants must lay down their arms and follow the constitution. Previously Sharif had not given preconditions for the talks.

“By telling us that we will have to lay down arms and respect the constitution, the prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, showed that he is following the policy of America and its allies,” the spokesman said. “We will hold talks with it only when it gets the real power to take decisions.”

__

Sattar reported from Quetta. Associated Press writer Rasool Dawar in Peshawar contributed to this report.

Healthy Living – The Huffington Post
Beware Your Cellphone
I have to admit something. I am a skeptic. Being in the natural health field I have been exposed to many different unconventional therapies and ideas. As such, I am forced to properly evaluate whether a particular supplement, device, treatment, or idea is efficacious.

One of my rules in evaluating various therapies is that I consider them possibly efficacious until proven otherwise. In other words, I will not discount or accept a therapy until I have personal experience and/or see solid research.

This way of thinking has saved me from getting hooked by many useless therapies and ideas. In one particular case, however, I dismissed the evidence prematurely… the power and dangers of electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs).

The great thing about the truth is that it develops force over time. And truly, the power of the truth hit me hard this time.

About five years ago I was introduced to the possibility that mobile phones, portable phones, WiFi and most electrical devices emit a non-ionizing radiation that could be harmful. At the time I was not presented with solid research and thus did not pass this information on to my family, clients and students.

In 2011 the World Health Organization published a statement warning that cell phones are “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

The research is now solid: These devices should be used with caution.

I recently had the opportunity to listen to Dr. Devra Lee Davis speak on the latest research on EMFs. I was floored, to say the least.

Longer Term Use of Mobile Phones Increase Brain Tumour Incidence

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Increasing brain tumour incidence in countries with longer term use of mobilephones

EMF Exposure Decreases The Size of The BrainView imagePrenatal exposure of 900 MHz EMF induces pyramidal mobile loss in the rat hippocampus

As you can see from the above images, the brain area known as the hippocampus had significant mobile loss in the subjects on the left, exposed to EMFs. This particular study was completed on newborn rats, illustrating the importance of protecting infants from this radiation. They are particularly vulnerable due to the rapid development of their nervous system.

EMFs Damage DNA

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DNA Base Modification: 1800 MHz-like RF radiation for 15min/day, 7 days

I have previously discussed the role that our environment plays on the expression of our genes. The information our genes are exposed to, in the form of food, exercise, thoughts, chemicals and radiation, affects the way our genes are expressed.

It has been shown now that DNA is detrimentally affected after a subject is exposed to radiation for 15 minutes a day for seven days in a row. This is nothing compared to the exposure most people get in normal life. In addition, if the effects of cell phones were studied in the pocket (on body), cell phones would almost surely be illegal.

Parotid/Salivary Gland Tumors Tripled in Israel

View imagemobile phone directly over the salivary gland and parotid gland

View imageIncrease in Parotid Gland Tumors inIsrael Over the Last 30 Years

EMFs increase brain metabolismView image

In areas of the brain that were closest to the antenna, glucose metabolism increased significantly. Furthermore, metabolic increases with mobile phone exposure were significantly correlated with intensities of the estimated EMF amplitude in the radiofrequency bandwidth of the phones.

What really came as a surprise to me was when Dr. Davis mentioned that mobile phones actually increased dopamine in the brain. What does that mean physiologically? It points to the possibility that mobile phones can become addictive. Dopamine is the same neurotransmitter that is released with cocaine addiction.

These results provide evidence that the human brain is sensitive to EMFs from mobile phones.

Proven effects of mobile phones on humans

The amount of sperm, and the motility, morphology and morbidity are all reduced

In the saliva there are increased micronuclei, as well as DNA damage, and reduced amylase, albumin,and salivary flow

Increased frequency of tinnitus (or ringing) within the dominant ear

Alterations to nerve conduction velocity

Proven effects of mobile phones on animals

Weakened blood-brain barrier

Increase in reactive oxygen species, chemically reactive molecules containing oxygen

Altered calcium transport

Prenatally-induced damage to DNA repair mechanisms, reduction in differentiation of neural stem cells into neurons and damage to the hippocampus and cerebellum

Who is leading the world in mobile phone awareness?

The French Government has:

Banned advertising directed at children under age 12

Banned the design of phones to be used by those under 6

Mandated that all handsets must indicate the amount of radiation emitted

In the city of Lyon, launched an official advertising campaign to discourage the use of mobile phones by children

How can you protect your family?

Turn off transmission (on an iPhone, this would entail turning on “airplane mode”)

Use the speakerphone option

Use earpieces (avoid using a blue-tooth)

Use a PONG case for your phone (Full disclosure: I have no financial ties to this company)

Avoid keeping the phone on your body or in a pocket

Avoid using your phone in areas with weak signals

Protect abdomens: especially for those who are pregnant, adolescent and men wishing to become fathers

Do not text while driving/biking/moving (switching between antennas while in use increases EMF exposure)

Unfortunately, when it comes to technology, devices follow the same doctrine put forth by the judicial system: innocent until proven guilty. Consequently, a huge trial is taking place and many people won’t realize they are a part of it until it is too late.

The evidence to date clearly shows the risks associated with EMFs, and it is thus essential to protect yourself, your loved ones, and especially your kids.

For a list of references, click on this link and scroll to the bottom of page.

6 Things That Influence Your Dreams
By Jessica Gross for YouBeauty

When we’re sleeping, our bodies do everything they can to stay asleep. So rather than waking us up, outside stimuli — smells, sounds, sensations — often become woven into our dream narratives. “The dreaming mind has this really cool way of seemingly flawlessly incorporating the outside interference into the storyline of the dream,” explains Lauri Loewenberg, a certified dream analyst and member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams.

Which means that there are a lot of influences that can shape how your dreams play out. Just keep in mind that your natural dreams, i.e. those that aren’t at the mercy of what’s happening around you in the real world, help you process your thoughts and feelings about your day. Too much interference, Loewenberg says, “can be disruptive to the message your dreaming mind is trying to give you.”

More From YouBeauty:

The Best Ways To Prepare Yourself For Sleep

The Strong Connection Between Memory And Scent

How To Get Rid Of Mental Clutter

#alkalinity #alkalinitymovement #7.2 #sevenpointtwo

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