Elephant Says Goodbye To An Old Friend (PHOTO)

Green – The Huffington Post
Elephant Says Goodbye To An Old Friend (PHOTO)
“There is one universal experience, that’s death. That is something we are all going to experience at some distance in the lives of loved ones, strangers and friends, people around us and certainly our own.”

Journalist Scott Simon’s words are probably some of the most poignant when paired with this heartbreaking photo of an elephant standing guard over her deceased friend.

elephant botswana

This incredible photograph was taken by John Chaney as part of the 2012 National Geographic Traveler photo contest. Chaney wrote that the female elephant in the image, which was taken in 2007, stood guard over the body of her friend for hours to pay her respects, chasing off birds and predators. She then wrapped her trunk around the other’s tusk in a heartbreaking goodbye.

“I think it should be something we are comfortable talking about,” Simon said in August following the death of his mother. “Insofar as we can talk about it comfortably, we can reset the clocks in our own lives. If we can accept death and understand it and know, whether we are 10 or 30 or 60 or 80, that it’s just over the horizon.”

Sadly, this scene is only reflective of the growing peril African elephants face. The international ivory trade is thriving and poachers are going to extreme lengths to hunt and kill the giants for their tusks. Wildlife conservation groups estimate upwards of 35,000 elephants were killed in 2012.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently announced a sweeping, $80 million effort to stop elephant slaughter.

“Unless the killing stops, African forest elephants are expected to be extinct within 10 years. I can’t even grasp what a great disaster this is ecologically, but also for everyone who shares this planet,” she said.

Richard Parrinell To Open Store, Sell The 850 Snakes In His Long Island Garage
SHIRLEY, N.Y. — A Long Island animal control officer found with more than 850 snakes in his garage is moving them to a storage facility until he can open his own store.

An attorney for Richard Parrinello tells Newsday (http://bit.ly/1fUEk07) his client is deciding among three properly zoned locations. He says moving the reptiles is difficult because it’s the end of their breeding season, when female snakes care for their eggs.

The town of Brookhaven says Parrinello is cooperating but has four weeks to get the snakes out of his garage.

Authorities removed two 6-foot Burmese pythons from Parrinello’s garage earlier this month. Burmese pythons are illegal to own in New York State without a permit.

Most of Parrinello’s snakes are legal, but he’s been cited for not having proper permits.

___

Information from: Newsday, http://www.newsday.com

Healthy Living – The Huffington Post
Scott Blum’s ‘Walk-In’ Offers A New Perspective On Mortality (VIDEO)

They say you should walk a mile in someone else’s shoes to understand another perspective. But they never said anything about paws.

Yet this is exactly what Don Newport, a cancer-ridden engineer in the independent film, Walk-In, is forced to do when he is offered the chance to experience new life in a new body.

In the film, Newport agrees to a “walk-in,” an experience where a person’s original soul departs from his or her body to fill a new one. Unbeknownst to him, Newport’s soul is transferred into the four-legged body of a dog. Throughout Scott Blum’s dark comedy, the main character must grapple with his new life, and teaches viewers a few things about humanness, the immortality of the soul and our perspective on death. Watch the trailer above, and make sure to catch the full length film, set to release in October.

How To Remember Literally Everything
“Memory is the treasury and guardian of all things,” the Roman philosopher and statesman, Cicero once wrote. And though it was important at the time of Da Oratore, his dialogue on cultivating the power of remembrance, the art of memory is possibly more relevant than ever. Constant digital distractions and multitasking can have a negative effect on working memory.

Collectively, our memories do seem to be getting fuzzier: A recent poll found that Gen Y-ers between the ages of 18 and 34 are more likely than the 55-plus set to forget what day it is (15 percent vs. seven percent) and where they put their keys (14 percent vs. eight percent). They also forget to bring their lunch (nine percent) or even to take a shower (six percent) more frequently than seniors.

Poor memory can strike at any age, and it could hinder your work and personal life. We all remember using mnemonic devices in school (Did “Never Eat Shredded Wheat” get you through third grade geography?), but memory tricks can be more than just study aids. As adults, there are a number of simple and practical tools to help you remember people’s names and stop forgetting where you parked your car or left your keys.

Try these eight hacks to super-power your memory.

Visualize it.

imagination

Need to memorize a list of terms or names? You’ll have a better chance of being able to recall them if the words are associated with an image — particularly if you consider yourself a visual learner (which 65 percent of the population is estimated to be). For example, if you have to remember a meeting at 4:30 p.m., try remembering your favorite quartet (The Beatles?) and a 30th birthday cake. It may sound silly, but you’ll be grateful when you’re right on time.

Try a brain game.

brain games

Brain-stimulating games like sudoku and crosswords can be useful. And there’s also Lumosity, a set of exercises for computer or phone that were created by a team of neuroscientists and improve the memory of 97 percent of users in only 10 hours of playing. Studies have yet to determine precisely how these games boost memory, but there’s good reason to believe that they are effective: A new study in people over age 60 found that playing a video game meant to train the brain boosted the subjects’ ability to multitask.

“My guess is that playing them activates synapses in the whole brain, including the memory areas,” Marcel Danesi, author of Extreme Brain Workout, told Fox News.

Use the Cicero method.

dollhouse

Also known as the Method of Loci or the “memory palace,” Cicero’s tool for remembering information, outlined in De Oratore, uses the power of support images (in this case, physical locations) and memorized spatial relationships to recall information. As psychologists John O’Keefe and Lynn Nadel explain in The Hippocampus as a Cognitive Map:

In this technique the subject memorizes the layout of some building, or the arrangement of shops on a street, or any geographical entity which is composed of a number of discrete loci. When desiring to remember a set of items the subject literally ‘walks’ through these loci and commits an item to each one by forming an image between the item and any distinguishing feature of that locus. Retrieval of items is achieved by ‘walking’ through the loci, allowing the latter to activate the desired items.

Try this technique by “walking” through the rooms of your house or apartment in your mind’s eye, and attaching information to each room — then, recall the information be going back through each room.

Try the Baker-baker method.

brain dreams

In a psychological experiment known as the Baker-baker paradox, subjects were put into two groups and shown a picture of a man. One group was told that the man’s last name was Baker, while the other group was told that the man was a baker. When later shown the image and asked to recall the associated word, those who were told the man’s occupation were much more likely to recall the word. The explanation is simple: Although the two words and photos were exactly the same, when we think of a baker, other images and something of a story come to mind (aprons, kitchen, fresh bread).

One Fast Company contributor says that applying the paradox — using the story of Lance Armstrong to remember complex and detailed information about chemotherapy — helped get him through med school. So when trying to remember details, try to create a “hook” by connecting the information to a person or story — the strong association will ensure that you remember the information more clearly.

Take a nap.

sleeping in

Here’s a good excuse to put work on hold for an hour this afternoon: Taking a longer nap can boost learning and memory. NASA sleep researchers have found napping to significantly benefit the working memory, and a 2008 study used fMRI scans to determine that brain activity in nappers is higher all day long than those who didn’t rest.

Label people — literally.

name forehead

Franklin Roosevelt was known to have a memory that would put most of us to shame — he could remember the name of someone he met just once, months ago, seemingly without difficulty. His secret? Roosevelt was able to remember the names of everyone on his staff (and everyone he met) by visualizing their names written across their foreheads after being introduced to them. This technique is even more effective when the name is imagined being written in your favorite color marker, CNN claims.

Eat your Omega-3s.

fish

Omega-3 fatty acids — which can be found in foods like salmon, tuna, oysters, pumpkin seeds, brussel sprouts, walnuts and more, or taken in supplement form — are among the most beneficial nutrients for your brain. A 2012 University of Pittsburgh study found consumption of omega-3s to heighten working memory in healthy young adults. Eating foods high in this healthy fat may also lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s, according to a 2012 Columbia University study.

Pay attention.

mindfulness

Perhaps the best (and arguably most difficult) memory hack of all is simply paying attention to the task, conversation or experience at hand. Distraction makes our memories weaker, and consequently we are more prone to forget things.

“Forgetting… is a sign of how busy we are,” Zaldy S. Tan, director of the Memory Disorders Clinic at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, told Reader’s Digest. “When we’re not paying good attention, the memories we form aren’t very robust, and we have a problem retrieving the information later.”

Have trouble quieting your racing thoughts? Become more mindful by practicing just 10 minutes a day of meditation. A recent University of California study found meditation to improve memory capacity and reduce mind-wandering among students studying for the GRE. And in 2012, MIT researchers identified a neural circuit that helps to create long-lasting memories — the circuit was found to work most effectively when, you guessed it, the brain is paying attention to what it’s looking at.

Good News – The Huffington Post
Elephant Says Goodbye To An Old Friend (PHOTO)
“There is one universal experience, that’s death. That is something we are all going to experience at some distance in the lives of loved ones, strangers and friends, people around us and certainly our own.”

Journalist Scott Simon’s words are probably some of the most poignant when paired with this heartbreaking photo of an elephant standing guard over her deceased friend.

elephant botswana

This incredible photograph was taken by John Chaney as part of the 2012 National Geographic Traveler photo contest. Chaney wrote that the female elephant in the image, which was taken in 2007, stood guard over the body of her friend for hours to pay her respects, chasing off birds and predators. She then wrapped her trunk around the other’s tusk in a heartbreaking goodbye.

“I think it should be something we are comfortable talking about,” Simon said in August following the death of his mother. “Insofar as we can talk about it comfortably, we can reset the clocks in our own lives. If we can accept death and understand it and know, whether we are 10 or 30 or 60 or 80, that it’s just over the horizon.”

Sadly, this scene is only reflective of the growing peril African elephants face. The international ivory trade is thriving and poachers are going to extreme lengths to hunt and kill the giants for their tusks. Wildlife conservation groups estimate upwards of 35,000 elephants were killed in 2012.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently announced a sweeping, $80 million effort to stop elephant slaughter.

“Unless the killing stops, African forest elephants are expected to be extinct within 10 years. I can’t even grasp what a great disaster this is ecologically, but also for everyone who shares this planet,” she said.

Learning To Hold Hands Again
We’d turned into one of those forever-married couples, the ones we’d mocked in restaurants. Sipping decaf, sharing the same table but not talking to each other. Not angry or anything… just nothing left to say.

A businessman by day, on weekends an avid photographer, my husband of 38 years is quiet by nature. After dropping our daughter off for her freshman year of college, I realized how much our conversations had centered around her. Suddenly a twosome, we sat amid couples holding hands.

“Should we get the check?” My husband broke the silence.

“Yes,” was my earth-shattering reply.

Our daughter called this our “banana” conversation. We both ate a banana each morning with cereal. At dinner, my husband would report, “I bought bananas today,” even telling the price per pound.

“Let’s not talk about bananas again!” our daughter protested. “Soon, you’ll be eating prunes, like Grandma.”

No prunes — yet. But the empty seat at our table had never seemed more pronounced. Our threesome dynamic had suddenly become a duet, rusty and out of tune… a duet that had to find its harmony again.

We married young and had a child late. Devoted to our careers, we swam laps in the gym after work and dined out at 10 p.m. An “old” married friend remarked he was tired of us smooching at the dinner table. Our life was full of ambition, foreign films, lazy Sunday afternoons in bed. I supported him during a year of unemployment. I had back surgery (successful) and he had his first colonoscopy (polyps gone!). I took dance classes and he studied karate. We sojourned to romantic vineyards in the Loire Valley. We went to funerals of our grandparents and to one tragic loss, of my brother, to cancer at age 46.

I had a miscarriage.

I was 39. We were ready to settle down. We were terrified of settling down.

“I don’t want our relationship to change,” I naïvely told him.

“You’re the most important person in the world to me,” he promised.

If you Google “ruin a marriage by having children,” 79.9 million results pop up.

I delivered our daughter at the age of 41. Our romance shifted to the toddler who exhausted us, the preschooler showering her father with neon-colored hearts: I LOVE YOU DADDY!!!!!

We evolved into soccer parents, nursemaids cleaning up vomit, neurotic parents surviving an overnight hospitalization for dehydration, all while managing my mother’s care as she grew old and infirm. Watching a parent die adds no romance to a marriage.

No wonder we felt spent when we dropped our daughter off at college. We drove home dazed. Wandered around like stunned, jet-lagged tourists. Everyone looked under 30. Neither of us spoke as we ate a late dinner. We’d become accustomed to six o’clock meals to feed a cranky child.

My husband paid the check and asked if we needed to pick up bananas on the way home.

The noise of our daughter had filled up our house for 18 years. Two females and one man. Lots of hormones — hers rising, mine waning, his confused. Now it was quiet; we’d look at each other and say, “It’s so weird.” Instead of waiting for our daughter to come home, we escaped our eerily still apartment, remarking how many people swarmed the streets at this hour. Generations had been born and grew up while we were playing Candyland and pretending to help with pre-calc homework we couldn’t understand.

Every movie seemed to be romantic comedies about twenty-somethings. Every restaurant was too loud for my husband’s diminishing hearing. Everyone on the street seemed to be in love.

A few months before, we’d taken our daughter to Paris. Strolling by the Seine at sunset, we passed couples drinking champagne. We had a quarrel that brought me to tears, one of those marital tiffs where neither remembers why it had started. After so many years of marriage, we’d learned to fight in public.

My daughter rolled her eyes, wondering: Were my parents ever in love like these smooching couples on the Seine? Yes we were, and still are. But it’s impossible to explain the evolution of a long-term marriage to an 18-year-old. I once vowed to never turn into the marriage of my parents. And I remember the shock when my mother told me, “Your father and I still make love.” She was in her seventies. After my father died, she found love again, I saw her smitten, the way she must have been when my father courted her. By the time children grow up, we can’t imagine our parents had once been youthful lovers.

My husband and I have seen each other naked in lust. We’ve bathed each other when surgery scars were raw. We’ve had fights so boisterous that one of us slammed the door and disappeared to cool off. We’ve watched a baby come into the world, a scrawny, six pound six ounce girl created from love. Now she’s gone, and we’re filling up the empty space with books, hobbies, naps, and finding conversations to share about politics, retirement, and yes, bananas.

In her first letter home from college, our daughter asked, “So what are you doing with your nights now that I’m not around?”

We are learning to hold hands again.

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Scott Blum’s ‘Walk-In’ Offers A New Perspective On Mortality (VIDEO)

They say you should walk a mile in someone else’s shoes to understand another perspective. But they never said anything about paws.

Yet this is exactly what Don Newport, a cancer-ridden engineer in the independent film, Walk-In, is forced to do when he is offered the chance to experience new life in a new body.

In the film, Newport agrees to a “walk-in,” an experience where a person’s original soul departs from his or her body to fill a new one. Unbeknownst to him, Newport’s soul is transferred into the four-legged body of a dog. Throughout Scott Blum’s dark comedy, the main character must grapple with his new life, and teaches viewers a few things about humanness, the immortality of the soul and our perspective on death. Watch the trailer above, and make sure to catch the full length film, set to release in October.

How to Stay Focused When Working on Your Goals Gets Boring
We all have goals and dreams, but it can be difficult to stick with them. Each week, I hear from people who say things like, “I start with good intentions, but I can’t seem to maintain my consistency for a long period of time.”

Or, they will say, “I struggle with mental endurance. I get started but I can’t seem to follow through and stay focused for very long.”

Don’t worry. I’m just as guilty of this as anyone else.

For example, I’ll start one project, work on it for a little bit, then lose focus and try something else. And then I’ll lose focus on my new goal and try something else. And on and on. When everything is said and done, I’ve stopped and started so many times that I never really made much progress.

Maybe you have felt this way too.

This problem reminds me of a lesson I learned while working out one day…

The Myth of Passion and Motivation

On this particular day in the gym, there was a coach visiting who had worked with thousands of athletes over his long career, including some nationally-ranked athletes and Olympians.

I had just finished my workout when I asked him, “What’s the difference between the best athletes and everyone else? What do the really successful people do that most people don’t?”

He briefly mentioned the things that you might expect. Genetics. Luck. Talent.

But then he said something I wasn’t expecting.

“At some point,” he said, “it comes down to who can handle the boredom of training every day and doing the same lifts over and over and over again.”

That piece of advice surprised me because it’s a different way of thinking about work ethic.

Most of the time people talk about getting motivated and “amped up” to work on their goals. Whether it’s business or sports or art, you will commonly hear people say things like, “it all comes down to having enough passion.”

As a result, I think many people get depressed when they lose focus or motivation because they think that successful people have some unstoppable passion and willpower that they seem to be missing. But that’s exactly the opposite of what this coach was saying.

Instead, he was saying that really successful people feel the same boredom and the same lack of motivation that everyone else feels. They don’t have some magic pill that makes them feel ready and inspired every day. But the difference is that the people who stick with their goals don’t let their emotions determine their actions. Top performers still find a way to show up, to work through the boredom, and to embrace the daily practice that is required to achieve their goals.

According to him, it’s this ability to do the work when it’s not easy that separates the top performers from everyone else. That’s the difference between professionals and amateurs.

Working When Work Isn’t Easy

Anyone can work hard when they feel motivated.

When I was an athlete, I loved going to practice the week after a big win. Who wouldn’t? Your coach is happy, your teammates are pumped up, and you feel like you can beat anyone. As an entrepreneur, I love working when customers are rolling in and things are going well. Getting results has a way of propelling you forward.

But what about when you’re bored? What about when the work isn’t easy? What about when it feels like nobody is paying attention or you’re not getting the results you want?

Are you willing to work through 10 years of silence?

It’s the ability to work when work isn’t easy that makes the difference.

It’s Not the Event, It’s the Process

All too often, we think our goals are all about the result. We see success as an event that can be achieved and completed.

Here are some common examples…

Many people see health as an event: “If I just lose 20 pounds, then I’ll be in shape.”

Many people see entrepreneurship as an event: “If we could get our business featured in the New York Times, then we’d be set.”

Many people see art as an event: “If I could just get my work featured in a bigger gallery, then I’d have the credibility I need.”

Those are just a few of the many ways that we categorize success as a single event.

But if you look at the people who are consistently achieving their goals, you start to realize that it’s not the events or the results that make them different. It’s their commitment to the process. They fall in love with the daily practice, not the individual event.

What’s funny, of course, is that this focus on the process is what will allow you to enjoy the results anyway…

If you want to be a great writer, then having a best-selling book is wonderful. But the only way to reach that result is to fall in love with the process of writing.

If you want the world to know about your business, then it would be great to be featured in Forbes magazine. But the only way to reach that result is to fall in love with the process of marketing.

If you want to be in the best shape of your life, then losing 20 pounds might be necessary. But the only way to reach that result is to fall in love with the process of eating healthy and exercising consistently.

If you want to become significantly better at anything, you have to fall in love with the process of doing it. You have to fall in love with building the identity of someone who does the work, rather than merely dreaming about the results that you want.

In other words…

Fall in love with boredom. Fall in love with repetition and practice. Fall in love with the process of what you do and let the results take care of themselves.

James Clear writes at JamesClear.com, where he shares ideas about using behavior science to improve your performance and master your habits. For useful ideas on how to live a healthy life, both mentally and physically, join his free newsletter.

For more by James Clear, click here.

For more on emotional wellness, click here.

#alkalinity #alkalinitymovement #7.2 #sevenpointtwo

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