4.27.2007

An inspirational child!





I teach and they run away
I listen and they come
My strength is my silence
.



Akiane is a 12 year old genius artist. Akiane is an internationally recognized child prodigy, considered the only known child binary genius in both realist painting and poetry.


For Akiane tour and gallery exhibit click here

I am the center of the world!

On a visit to Mexico, the Dalai Lama was shown a map of the world and
told; "if you look at how the continents are arranged, you'll see that
Mexico is a the center of the world." The Dalai Lama answered, "if you
allow that line of reasoning, you'll find that Mexico City is a the center
of Mexico, my house is at the center of the city, my family is at the center of the house, and within my family I am the center of the word."

Excerpts from, Happiness, written by Matteiu Ricard.


I just started reading this book and I enjoy every page of it. I will be posting more excerpts as I read along. Great Stuff!

Get your Monster!

If you are looking for a worthy cause to get involved, you may check Global Action for Children group.
This group is a nonpartisan, results-oriented organization dedicated to being advocates for orphans and vulnerable children in the developing world.
A company called, North American Bear, has designed custom monsters as you can see in this picture on your right, that are available online. Ten percent of the proceeds from all sales go to help Global Action for Children.




4.24.2007

ATLAS SHRUGGED TURNS FIFTY


"Man's basic vice, the source of all his evils, is that nameless act of blanking out, the willful suspension of one's consciousness, the refusal to think - not blindness, but the refusal to see, not ignorance, but the refusal to know."
---John Galt, Atlas Shrugged

One of my all time favorite books is Atlas Shrugged , written 50 years ago by Ayn Rand. Ayn Rand was a powerful lady, a philosopher, and a great role model. She was a Russian immigrant but became an American by choice, she used to say. She was labeled "extreme non-conformist" by some but revolutionary by others. However, regardless of what one might think about her, her confidence and ideals were impressive. Her novels communicated her philosophy of “enlightened self-interest.” She believe in human power to excel beyond ones imagination. She also wrote non-fiction books about her philosophy – objectivism – but it’s the novels that have had the biggest impact on many people.

In Atlas Shrugged, she offered this summary in its appendix:
"My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."

Here is a Mike Wallace interviewing her in 1959. Click here

Well, if you don't have time to read Atlas Shrugged (after-all, it is 1500 page novel!), the movie Atlas Shrugged is coming out next year.

Hat tip to my dear blogger friend Judy, an admirer of Ayn Rand.

1st Genocide of 21st Century


It's April 24th again, and if we forget the first Genocide of 20th century (1915), the history will repeat itself over and over again. As we are witnessing today, the Genocides in Darfur and Rwanda. Today, Armenian around the world will march again in an annual remembrance of some 1.5 million victims of the Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey. And lets' not forget that it was Adolph Hitler in August 1939, in which he justified his plan to destroy Poland and create a new order by asking, "Who remembers now the destruction of the Armenians?".

Lets tell the world that WE do remember.

click here for fact sheet

Photo by Onnik Krikorian

4.23.2007

Three forms of beauty

I was inspired by my spiritual teacher, Rev. Witherspoon's talk yesterday at the church, which I would like to share with you. He said;

I want to talk to you today about three form of beauty:

1. The beauty of Nature
2. The beauty of nature's highest form - Human Beings
3. The beauty that is created by human hearts, minds and hands


He went on to quote an old french proverb; Beauty is silent eloquence

This kind of beauty is all around us, we just have to notice and appreciate it. Have you noticed it lately?

4.22.2007

Earth Day


Happy Earth Day dear friends;


"Remember the only way to bring peace and harmony to the world is to find IT first in ourselves."




Wired's science blog tells us that "only two dozen people have seen our planet in its entirety from space" (most have been low orbit views where the entire planet isn't visible). Also, don't forget to check here tomorrow; The Sun's images in 3D Coming From NASA.

4.20.2007

What inspires me?


A great Moroccan interior design. I will be remodeling my house soon.



Poetic Photography.



Reading great books



Innocence of babies & kids

Oh! and there are so many more ...

4.18.2007

Chocolate and Wine


According to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, author of Chasing life, dark Chocolate "boosts the blood's antioxidant power by 20%" and lowers blood pressure, while red wine's health enhancing resveratol, he writes, "has increased by 60 % the life spans of yeast, flies, nematodes, and a short-lived fish native to Zimbabwe". What he says is that 120 years old may soon be the new 40.

wow! Would you like that? and what are we supposed to do for that long? so if I live to be 120 years old, my sons will be in their 90's....I guess I would have more time to read! But what would happen to the world? will it be a better place to live if people live until they are 120's? hmm.

Books on Memory

Nobel-winning scientist Eric Kandel and author of a newly published book called, In Search of Memory, has selected 5 best books on memory which was published in WSJ last week:

1. "Ficciones" by Jorge Luis Borges
We know that an excessively weak memory is a handicap, but, as Borges shows, having too good a memory can be a handicap as well--the capacity to forget is a blessing.

2. "Memories Are Made of This" by Rusiko Bourtchouladze
A gifted writer who is also a behaviorist, she discusses both of the great themes of memory research: the "systems problem" of memory storage and the "molecular problem" .

3. "Memory and Brain" by Larry R. Squire
Larry R. Squire, a professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at the University of California at San Diego, provides a superb historical overview of the key experiments and insights that have given rise to our current understanding of the problem of memory storage.

4."The Seven Sins of Memory"by Daniel L. Schacter
The seven "sins" refers to memory's various weaknesses: its transience, absentmindedness, blocking, misattribution, suggestibility, bias and persistence.

5."Memory From A to Z" by Yadin Duda
Any question that remains unanswered after reading the above works by Bourtchouladze, Squire and Schacter can be answered by Yadin Dudai, a professor at the Weizmann Institute in Israel.

Honoring Virginia Tech's Victims

The falls of our life provide us with the energy to propel ourselves to a higher level.
Kabbala teachings

" ...I discovered the truth of this idea that every fall provides us the opportunity to generate the necessary energy to move to higher consciousness. Every sinking into despair has within it an energy to move us higher.

Grief, when it is only an inner experience of sadness and sorrow, will keep you down in the very depths of of the plunge itself. It will immobilize you and weigh you down with guilt and anguish. But when you know that this despair has within it some sweet blessing, you disrupt the grief/sorrow partnership, and the fall helps you regain your footing, and soar above the devastating potholes of life on earth...."


Selected from Wayne Dyer's book, wisdom of the ages, read the complete chapter here.

The irony in this tragedy is about one of its heros. His name was Professor Liviu Librescu, 76, who threw himself in front of the shooter when the man attempted to enter his classroom. The Israeli mechanics and engineering lecturer was shot to death. He saved many young lives by holding the door so his student can run. This Professor was a Holocaust survivor and he died on the day of Holocaust anniversary!


update: more heroes story

Painting by Gene Gould, "Grief" (c1965) - oil on board - 36 x 48 in

4.16.2007

I am re-reading Sue Monk Kidd's book called Firstlight and I want to share a section with you that has helped me a lot dealing with temporary difficulties:

"...If we look closely at the workings of creation, we find that God nearly always works through process. Think of it. First there is a seed, then a sprout, then a blossom, and finally fruit. God does not begin with a butterfly, but with a larva that becomes Chrysalis and finally a creature with wings. Neither does God speak a star into existence, but sends dust floating into space, then interstellar gas that slowly heats up, and eons later a star is formed. Perhaps most mysterious of all is the unfolding process of ovum, fetus, baby, child, adolescent, adult. The universe is designed to move stage by stage, from incompletion to completion. Now why should we suppose that God has designed the heart any differently than the rest of creation?

It, too, has its stages...."


So whatever stage you are in at this moment, it will pass and you will move to another necessary stage. Even the heart will go from hating someone to loving someone, from not caring to caring. Just have a little patience.

Image is by thepres6

4.15.2007

Book world



If you are a book lover, then you will be interested in the following information published today in the New York Times Book review section:

Approximate number of new books published world wide last year......1.5 million
Approximate percentage that were in English..........................................30%
Books published in Iran in 2002................................................................35,854
Books published in Turkey in 2004.........................................................1,394
Number of French novels bought by American publishers in 2005...........42
Number of American novels bought by French publishers in 2005............153
Number of American books bought by Chinese publishers ......................3,932
Number of Chinese books bought by American publishers.......................16

Top 10 international fiction best sellers for 2006 were:
1. Dan Brown , "Digital Fortress" (US)
2. Daniel Kellman, "Measuring the World" (Germany)
3. Dan Brown, "The Da Vinci Code" (US
4. Ildefonso Falcones de Sierra, "The Cathedral of the Sea" (Spain)
5. Carlos Ruiz Zafon, "The Shadow of the Wind", (Spain)
6. Dan Brown, "Deception Point", (US)
7. J.K. Rowling, "Harry potter and the Half-Blood Prince" (US)
8. Arturo Perez-Reverte, "The Painter of Battles" (Spain)
9. Paul Auster, "the Brooklyn Follies", (US)
10. Khaled Hosseini, "The Kite Runner", (US)

There were many surprises for me after studying the list. For example, I was surprised to see Dan Brown's name 3 times in the list. According to this list he has sold more than 75 million copies of his books! wow! I also did not know about Kellman's book or even the Perez-Reverte's book being so popular. Go ahead and read the whole report, its very informative.

Click here to see more information

4.12.2007

Reading Poetry


I went to Cal Poly to hear Sheema Kalbasi read poetry. Iranian born Sheema Kalbasi is a human rights activist, a blogger, a poet and literary translator. She has authored two collections of poems, Echoes in Exile in English, and Sangsar (Stoning) in Persian. Her brave and courageous soul was so clear in her voice. Her words so authentic, so touching, so honest. I would like to share my favorite poem with you and you can read the complete version here.



......
and I tore loose the chains of captivity
only to fall once more into bondage
when I was raped by a Mongol
married a Jew
gave birth to a Muslim
watched the child convert to Buddhism
watched the child marry a Bahai
live as a Christian
die as a Hindu

I am a woman
I am the river
I am the sky
I am the clouded covered trees upon the mountain
I am the fertile earth whose song the plants drink deep
I am the long line of tribes
I am the long line of faiths

Don't try to convert me
into something I am not
for I am already all
that humanity will ever be

Fallen tears

When I started this blog, I had promised myself that I would never post any political related news, but after seeing this photo, I just had to post it. It's a moving picture, it's a picture with so many stories, it's a picture that does inspire, move and touch you so I had to acknowledge it.

Christian Golczynski, 8, receives the flag from his father's casket from Lt. Col. Ric Thompson during the graveside service at Wheeler Cemetery in Bedford County. Golczynski's father, Marcus, was killed by enemy fire in Iraq last week.

You can read the whole article here or here about Marcus Golczynski and his amazing family.

Music in you


Many people die with their music still in them....
- Oliver Wendell Holmes

What an enormously sad thing to say about someone: His imprisoned musik was buried with him, never to be expressed. How many people go through life not being able to show their full potential? I have been under the weather lately and kind of down mentally, which is unusual. I have been thinking about my biggest fear in life. I am afraid that I may not be able to play my true music. I have done a lot in my life but still feel that I have not played my true music. So, still searching for the right tune!

So for those of us in the young, old, or middle times: play your music! However it comes out, you don't know who might begin to dance?

Image link

4.05.2007

Inspire an Orphan



One of my kid's school's parent, Dr. Carolyn Rowley, has informed me about her inspirational work in Kenya, building Machao Orphanage for the last 2 years. Many people have helped her to collect about $6000 and she needs another $9000 to complete the orphanage building. Dr. Rowley is extending a personal invitation to all Kenyans living in the United Sates to support the orphanage.

My dear readers, I hope you will spread the word and maybe some people will find this a worthy cause to get involved. If interested email carolyn(at)gilderfluke.com for a link to the Machao Orphanage website and continual updates.

4.04.2007

Our Social Brain


Daniel Goleman, two-time Pulitzer nominee and former science reporter for the New York Times has written a book called, social intelligence, which is a follow up to his first book called Emotional intelligence,the New Science of Human Relationships . I am surprised it has not gotten more attention, but it is a great read. What Dr. Goleman has found out that:

“One person’s inner state affects and drives the other person. That we are forming brain-to-brain bridges – a two-way traffic system – all the time. We actually catch each other’s emotions like a cold”. Goleman goes on to say, “ If we’re in toxic relationship with people who are constantly putting us down, this has actual physical consequences”.

Another main point he makes is that our social brains are wired for kindness, despite all the killings and murders we see on our TV screens. Perhaps the most inspiring piece of the social-intelligence puzzle is neuroplasticity: the discovery that our brains never stop evolving. “Stem cells manufactures 10,000 brain cells every day till you die.

I found this book to be very inspirational, hopeful and spiritual and in the same time backed by science and facts. Click here to read one of his interviews where he said:

"We need to remind ourselves more often to pay attention to the human moment; to put down the BlackBerry, turn off the cellphone, put aside what you're doing for the moment and pay attention to what's going on with the person you're interacting with. Modern life has gotten in the way."

4.03.2007

LOVE


Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

4.02.2007

Within You


Within you is a place of love and grace.
It is a place without fear
where there is no need to defend or prove,
no need to lie or hide.
From this place spring words of truth,
actions of courage,
and a life of love.
Wait patiently for the voices of fear in your mind
to cease their frantic call to action.
Become awarre of what the next clear step
of love might be.


The Couple's Tao Te ching

Be patient with yourself! The qualities of a lover do not depend on externals. They take root in your own soul and grow as you attend to them. They alll lie within you.