Triumph of the Blade Runner

Oscar Pistorius is a world class 400 meter runner from South Africa who will compete in the 2011 World Track Championships. What makes him special is that he has no legs from the knee down!

Oscar was born lacking his lower legs and competes on specially designed curved “blades”, hence his nickname.

His career began in the Special Olympics but he was not satisfied by this level of competition and sought to compete with the best the world has to offer. A special committee reviewed his case and ultimately decided the blades gave him no special advantage over his full bodied competitors.

Once cleared to compete Pistorius managed on his final try to meet the “A” standard and qualify for the World Championships. He hopes to compete at the next Olympics.

Anyone who thinks that the “blades” give him an unfair advantage has an easy remedy- merely remove their legs from the knees down and and have their own blades created!

Who would believe that a man without legs could compete against world class runners? Oscar Pistorius stands as an example of the incredible ability of people to achieve beyond what we might think is possible.

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The Magic Octopus

We all know that chameleons can change their color to blend into the background. But the octopus has the ability to make the chameleon look like a shape-shifting amateur. The octopus can change the color, shading and texture of its skin almost instaneously to uncannily match a wide variety of aquatic backgrounds.

The octopus does so by employing skin cells that operate a lot like a digital television screen. The top layer of skin consists of three different basic colored cells, red yellow and brown. These turn off and on in combination to create all basic colors. But below these cells is another layer that has a shiny quality and serves to create mid-tones. This second layer also gives octopus control over the brightness or dullness of the created color!

The skin also has an advanced muscular system that allows the octopus to recreate texture by changing the surface quality of the skin itself.

Scientists have studied the vision system of these amazing animals to try to figure out how they can instaneously assess and and copy such a fantastically wide and complicated range of imagery. But it might not have anything to do with their vision because they inexplicably are able to create the same mimicry in the dark!

Fantastic but true and just another example of the fantastic range of nature that defies scientific explanation.

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Yoga Means Union

The ancient art of yoga is gaining in popularity here in the United States as a physical activity that also has mental benefits along with improving ones health.

How does this mental benefit occur.

The word yoga means “union”. (The word “yoke” is from the same Sanskrit root- meaning the union of animal and whatever implement it has been yoked too.) In this instance the yoke is between the mental and physical aspects of the human body.

This union of body and spirit is achieved through postures and breathing practices that have been developed over thousands of years. These postures have a mental/emotional quality as well as a physical aspect.

Just as when we are depressed we slump and carry our body in a depressed manner- by conscsiously adopting a physical posture that denotes strength or acceptance we can change our mental state to reflect that physical state. Just as an englishman may maintain a stiff upper lip in order to keep his emotional state at bay, adoping “The Warrior” posture can give us the confindence and strength of the warrior!

In a sense yoga refreshes the mental blueprint that our subconscious mind maintains and uses to regulate our physical bodies.

While practicing yoga a deep and even breathing pattern is maintained. This slow breathing pattern increases blood flow to the brain as well as calming the nervous system.

Yoga does more than give one the much desired “yoga butt”! It also helps us yoke together our mind and body in a relaxing, healthy way!

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The end of the political party system.

Name a successful company that has two mission statements? A successful company or organization moves or fights for the same goals. Our U.S. government has at least two obvious conflicting agendas with any decision. Ultimately, the direction of our country is a constant tug-o-war.

Our country is fixated that you have to be a Republican, a Democrat, or a wasted vote as an Independent.  I don’t want to be labeled politically because it makes no sense.
There is no magical political philosophy that fixes every problem or runs at 100% efficiency.  There never has been.

When our government addresses any issue, they can’t get a running start because they’re in a hole with the other party trying to bury them. Someone could have a great idea but if they’re a Democrat or a Republican then it isn’t happening, at least not without a huge costly fight.

Because of this fight, we usually end up with a lesser version of the original fix or idea. These lesser versions are inefficient, poorly implemented, and eventually changed again in the near future. That is costly.

We fight because our parties or fraternity tell us to fight. We’re members of their club. We even have our own mascots.  But to keep our membership, we are ignorant, stubborn, and blind to other people’s needs.

THE FIX:

What if we elected the best people into office with no political titles? Not labeled as Republican or a Democrat, just a guy or gal with a first and last name. Now this person doesn’t have the weight or political commitment on their shoulders. Now this person can act based on their best judgment.

Sometimes their decision will fall towards the left, and sometimes to the right. The best solution for the issue at hand would dictate that.

Having no accountability or debt to a party increases the politician’s commitment to the people as a whole, not just to their party.It allows our elected members to use their whole brain.

I know I’m dreaming, but why do my dreams make more sense than our politics?

Make it a good day,

TheComplainer

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Lies and Apologies

 

Have you ever been caught lying or cheating at something? If so, was it your first time lying or cheating, or was it the first time you were caught?

It seems whenever someone is busted, they are given the benefit of the doubt
it was their first and only offense. We accept this person was true and honorable
up to this “out of character” moment. Mathematically speaking, if you’re caught doing
something wrong, it’s likely not your first time.

Initially, the accussed’s first response is usually some form of damage control.
If they think the public only knows about this one incident, they won’t fess up
to anything else.

After the person realizes they can’t deny or spin their actions in the public’s eye, then
come the apologies.

So the guilty says, “I’m sorry” and ask for forgiveness for their momentary
lapse of morals. All is good. The guilty party is a better and even more beloved person
now that they’re “human.”

Better yet, let’s do a 180′ and make the guilty the victim. Let’s label a disease
or an addiction on those poor poor people. Look how they battle their demons to become
a better person. Watch them overcome their sex-addictions, drinking and driving, steroid
using, racism, domestic abusive ways.

Then, watch as they parlay their miraculous strength and wisdom into a TV tour and book deal.  Does this pattern sound familiar? Have you bought one of these books?

So the next time we hear one of our former idols ask for forgiveness, give it
to them. Accept their apology if you believe you’ve heard the whole story and not
just the convenient one.

Make it a good day,

TheComplainer

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Cool Air is Free

Ever noticed how cold it is by the frozen food aisle in your grocery store? It takes a lot of energy. The store owners have to pay to keep all that food cold while at the same time paying to keep the store warm. The heating and cooling systems are in effect working against each other and driving the expenses higher.

This seems ironic when in most of the country for a lot of the year the outside temperature is as low or lower than the cooler itself!

New innovative systems have been developed that use cold, outdoor air to aid in the cooling of goods- cutting down drastically on the amount of energy used as well as prolonging the life of the cooling unit. This unit is available commercially as “Freeaire”.

The system is quite simple. When the outside air drops to a low enough level fans blow the cold air into the coolers. This allows the cooling unit to shut down and the naturally cold air to take the place of the artificially cooled air. The system regulates the temperature so there is no difference in the quality of cooling. The difference is in the amount of energy used- oftentimes about half.

Much of our infrastructure and appliances were developed during an era of almost unlimited energy resources- cost didn’t matter. Now that energy costs have risen and continue to rise it is possible to introduce new systems that in the past have not been economically viable.

There are drawbacks to producing any kind of power- no matter how “green”. Conservation may not be as exciting, but it is always more practical in an era of limited resources.

Products like Freeaire that do the same thing for less are the practical wave of the future.

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Ancient Icemakers


There is nothing more refreshing than a nice cool drink in the middle of summer. We might imagine that this pleasure is a fairly recent invention but ancient Arabians created ice in special air-tight chambers hundreds of years ago!

Although temperatures would not reach freezing overnight the water would freeze leaving ice to use during the hot day.

How does this work? On the same principle as a modern refrigerator. The ancients would use a leather bellows to drain their airtight chamber of air and then wait for the lower night time temperatures to finish the job.

Water freezes when the energy in its molecules is lost. When water is introduced into a vacuum more energy is lost to the vacuum no matter what the temperature. This is why it is cold on a mountaintop or in space!

A modern refrigerator merely stretches gas within its tubing to achieve the same cooling effect.

Magic? It must have seemed like that to some but its only just another example of the incredible ingenuity of humankind.

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Rooftop Gardens

How can cities maximize livable space while also reducing energy use and overall city temperatures? Why with rooftop gardens, of course! Have you ever looked at a picture of a city from the air? There is a lot of empty space.

Most of the ground space still remains unused, only now it is up in the air. Turning this unused space into rooftop gardens not only increases the available oxygen for city dwellers but also works to shade the building below. And when the plants are watered the evaporation further cools the building the same way sweat cools a hot person!

Of course flat roofs are the easiest to convert- the most important thing to make the garden light enough to not effect the structural integrity of the building!

Rooftop gardens are becoming popular in hotels where they not only cool the building and increase the longevity of the roof, they also add another valuable, usable space.

Gardens have served for nutrition and serenity for ages. Modern urban living has often pushed this vital element of the human environment out of the plan.

By converting the unused space hanging out over our heads we can cure a variety of social and ecological ills- and looking from the air our cities would have a much less noticeable footprint!

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Dress to De-Stress


What we wear does more than tell other people how we feel about ourselves. How we dress tells OURSELVES how we feel about our selves.

Colors send out a constant strong vibrational energy that effects not only the people around us but us as well. By consciously choosing a different color to wear you can alter your feelings for the better.

Are you emotional and flighty? Then red is the right color to ground you. It’s strong vibration can be an excellent help for grounding.

Green is a nurturing color that promotes healing and a sense of one-ness with nature.

Blue helps promote calmness and serenity. Orange will give you energy and pink helps open yourself to compassion.

Black and grey promote a tendency to blend in. Too much black and grey promote depression, so mix it up a little!

Purple, the color of royalty, shows that you consider yourself uniquely worthwhile and choose white for a feeling of freshness and a new beginning.

Think of your closet as a big medicine chest full of the right colored medicine to help the way you feel!

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Sing Your Way to Health

It isn’t surprising that people who are happy are often singing- because people who are singing are often happy! It’s true. According to the most recent scientific research singing isn’t only fun it actually positively affects your mental, physical and emotional health in quantifiable ways.

Singing has been shown to lower blood pressure as it is a calming, healing activity. It helps with your breathing as you must take long deep breaths in order to carry a note. It helps with emotionally problems as it is very social and uplifting to sing with a group.

Singing actually changes the way your brain works, lowering your alpha waves much in the same way that mediatation does. The actual vibrations of the singing notes vibrates throughout the physical body, breaking up physical blockages and improving circulation.

Is it a miracle? No. It it is just the result of the human body and mind stretching and exercising itself. Hearing your voice either soarig alone or intertwined with the voices of others gives one a sense of being at peace with oneself.

The world is full of chaos and discord. When we can create order and harmony within our own bodies we create our own little reality of peace.

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