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Τετάρτη, 26 Οκτωβρίου 2016

For thousands of years now, the leaves of the blackberry plant is used for the treatment of various health problems, from something as simple as a sore throat to something as serious as cancer. This does not come as a shock because the leaves of the said plant contain numerous plant-based compounds that possess antioxidant properties.

Everyone knows that antioxidants are powerful molecules that neutralize excess free radicals in the body, thus warding off numerous health conditions that can put one’s wellbeing and even life in grave danger.

Although blackberry leaves are traditionally made into poultice that can be used in the treatment of skin rash, irritation and wounds, a much more popular mode of employing it as an all-natural preventive and curative preparation is by turning them into tea. These days, you can get your hands on dried leaves of the blackberry plant at select health food stores on the internet as well as offline. It is suggested for a couple of teaspoons of the dried leaves to be steeped in a cup of hot water for about 5 minutes only. Doing it longer than that may be disadvantageous as tannins found in the dried leaves of blackberry may leave the resulting tea taste bitter.

Speaking of tannins, these bitter-tasting organic substances that come in yellowish or brownish color are some of those that make tea out of blackberry leaves possess amazing healing properties. Whether you have a medical condition that could benefit from tannins or you simply want to enjoy good health, the consumption of blackberry tea leaf is a wonderful idea. It’s the perfect replacement for coffee and other caffeinated beverages as it won’t leave you with the characteristic symptoms of caffeine intake. Provided that you don’t consume too much of it especially if you are sensitive to tannins, blackberry leaf tea is safe to be taken on a regular basis.

The following are some of the most noteworthy health benefits that blackberry leaf tea is known to offer:

1. Blackberry Leaf Tea Helps Soothe Mouth Problems and Sore Throat

Blackberry leaf tea that’s allowed to cool to room temperature may be used as a mouth rinse to help ease those painful oral sores and swollen gums. It’s also the perfect gargle if you are having a bout of sore throat. Feel free to drink 2 to 3 cups of tea out of blackberry leaves if you have any of the mentioned mouth or throat concerns.

2. The Healthy Tea Helps Alleviate Abdominal Pain and Diarrhea

Because of the astringent properties of blackberry leaf tea, it’s something that you may consume if you are bugged by abdominal pain and cramping. This is especially true if the problem is accompanied by diarrhea. Some traditional healers recommend steeping some peppermint leaves with blackberry leaves for best results.

3. It’s Known to Help Reduce Joint and Muscle Pain and Inflammation

Traditional healers recommend the intake of blackberry leaf tea to those who are suffering from painful and swollen joints and muscles. It is because of the anti-inflammatory possessed by the said beverage. Blackberry leaves is often steeped with white willow bark as well as nettle and horsetail leaves for the management of rheumatism.

4. Tea Out of Blackberry Leaves Helps Prevent Premature Aging of the Skin

Blackberry leaf tea is capable of deactivating enzymes that are set off by the sun’s UV rays. Especially if you’re a beauty-conscious person, you don’t want those enzymes springing into action as they can inhibit collagen production. By taking blackberry leaf tea, nothing can stop the production of collagen that keeps the skin soft and supple.

5. It May Lower Your Risk of Suffering from Deadly Cancer

We all know that free radical damage can cause all sorts of health problems, including cancer. Several studies have shown that antioxidant-rich herbs such as blackberry leaves may inhibit the growth as well as spreading of cancer cells. Regularly drinking blackberry leaf tea is one of the many smart steps you may take to ward off cancer.

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Vixole launched a crowdsourcing campaign for the "World's First Customizable E-Sneaker," and is making the software to control them open source.

The shoes will run about $345 a pair, but early investors can get them for just $225.

The future of shoes is not so far away. After Nike unveiled it’s self-lacing shoes (shoutout to Back to the Future), it looks like others don’t want to get left behind in the smart shoe run. Vixole launched a crowdsourcing campaign yesterday for the “World’s First Customizable E-Sneaker.”

The Vixole Matrix features a customizable LED display for static or motion graphics. Speaking to Engadget, Ali Ma and Haidong Dong, two of Vixole’s founders, said the final design will feature a 22ppi LED display wrapped around the rear of the shoe, inside injection-molded thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). 

It’s packed with an array of sensors that reacts to your movements, GPS coordinates, or even your playlist, along with an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer installed in a specially designed insole. Haptic sensors allow for vibrating notifications and prompts in turn-by-turn directions.

All of this can be controlled using an app on your smartphone.
Whether you’re a biker, a skater, or a dancer, the Matrix wants to be the smart shoe for you. It’s a testament to the growing prominence of augmented and virtual reality technology in our lives, finding applications for our head to our toes.

References: Engadget, Vixole
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Τρίτη, 25 Οκτωβρίου 2016

Absolutely everything is a wave of energy and there are many new energies taking place on Earth. We’ve shifted consciousness, but we’re still using old reflections to create our reality. Abundance in all aspects of life is now much easier to achieve in the new vibration and a confidence in our abilities will soon magnify to great levels in the coming years. There will be some obstacles and challenges ahead, but know that the following shifts in our being are happening right now as all humans are born into spiritual wealth without practice.

Vibrating frequencies build a virtual construct that makes you think you are in a physical world, but you are not. You are living in a holographic universe which is an illusion – so well designed, that only the highest beings of light can see it for what it is. This is your destiny, but now you will continue to play this game called Earth at a level never played before. You are still playing with three dimensional rules in a fifth dimensional world, but you’re quickly learning how to make the transition by shifting energy.

Think about all the areas of wellness, whether they be physical, mental, social, lifestyle, morals, the spiritual aspects of life (e.g. new age, Western religion, Eastern spirituality)… they are all enveloped and affected by energy. How you think, feel and act is all energetic. Right or wrong, black and white, good and bad don’t really exist, but we still need the perception of duality to continue the energetic game in its current form. We are discovering that everything is actually a shade of grey.

The most important thing you can do right now is listen to what is whispering to your heart. It won’t shout to get your attention so you must listen very closely to the messages you are receiving.

1. The Realization of the Eternal Nature of Your Being

You are immortal in a physical vessel which you decide is mortal. Your physical vessel does not need to die, but you have come to accept that it will, so it does. There is a balance of well-being that is certain for all of us. You all have a shared pain and part of the process of integration is the understanding of why it exists. Illness is not always a sign that there is something wrong. To acclimate to new energy, many of you have chosen to push through these physical barriers first. You have been conditioned that you must all naturally contract diseases and take drugs to fix them. This is not so.

You WILL know the eternal nature of your being and you will enjoy putting down your burdens and stop struggling to defend and guard against things you feel have gone wrong and must be made right. This is where most of your pain resides. You will learn to love knowing that you don’t have to fix your planet or anybody else and that everything is just as it should be. You will come to know that your governments are exactly where they should be as are all your diverse beliefs and desires.

Things do not have to change for you to be who and what you came here to be. It is then and only then that all the “fixing” required by your egos will actually occur, but you will also know that in reality, nothing ever needed to be fixed. You will let go of any resistance and hold yourself in steady alignment. Will it not be a magnificent moment when humanity can just be without having to be something else? This is where you are headed because you are divine beings of light and you have become masters at this game you call Earth. You no longer need to allow fear and resistance to subject your life to pain. You are moving away from this and transitioning more to love.

2. Shift in Vital and Spiritual Energy

Vital energy makes up about 70% of total subtle energy and sustains the physical body, mind, intellect and ego. It is distributed through subtle channels which connect at special points of intensity most popularly known as chakras. This constructs the physical (voluntary and involuntary actions) and the subtle body (conscious/subconscious mind, intellect and ego). It is prevalent throughout the body and supplies energy to the cells, nerves, arteries, lymph etc. Some concepts relating to the subtle body are partially understood by scientists, but the level of understanding has always been rudimentary. That is now changing.

Spiritual or Kundalini energy lies dormant in a person until activated. These concepts cannot be measured with current technology. Those who have practiced meditation and spiritual principles at the qualitative and quantitative level have assisted in the continual grace of principles that leads these Kundalini forces on the right path. However, the shift in global frequencies and fifth dimensional concepts is allowing all of humanity to earn spiritual wealth simultaneously and without the efforts that were once necessary. In the past, people had to work hard to amass spiritual wealth. Now, it will be as if all humans are born into spiritual wealth without practice. You have received a magnificent upgrade that is allowing this energy to be activated by simply embracing the being that you are. It is leading to spiritual growth at an accelerated rate.

3. Energetic Harmony

Imagine creating a unified harmony through 800 trillion cells and vibrating them into health and well being. Humming itself produces overtones which can heal your mind, body and spirit. You will begin loving your voice and humming or singing from day to day to assist in accelerating your spiritual growth. It will come natural to you. You will begin feeling mystic silent overtones vibrating through your cells and body. This will also awaken your deepest desires to be unified with overtones of love and help breakdown stiffness and pain and facilitate your spirit body to flow.

As you begin to break down the veil, you will realize you have a shared pain on this planet and it is not your own. It is connected to everyone and everything. There is beauty in that shared pain and you will learn to see it for what it is through energetic harmony. You will move past specific body pain you thought was your own when it was actually part of the collective. Once embraced, this pain will cease to exist. You will let this pain go because you will understand its origin. Many of you will heal from pain and disease in ways you will think are miracles, but it will be simply the miracle of who you are and nothing more.

4. Energetic Causation

What scientific studies have failed to address on our planet is causation. They have tried through many different methods to obtain conclusive results in their scientific research through a countless number of double blind, placebo controlled and random studies which are considered the highest standards for scientific experiment. We can tell you that there has never been one published scientific study based on this standard that has identified causation beyond sub-atomic levels. Yet it is precisely those levels that cause everything to manifest in the physical body as it does.

“Contrary to what they tell you… you are not a limited material being” ~ Amit Goswami PhD, Theorhetical Quantum Physicist

Scientific studies can only derive correlations because they do not address energetic causation which is the underlying mechanism behind every single experience and event whether physical or non-physical. 100% of your diseases are based on energetic components within your field. There is NO other cause of disease. Diseases are primarily third dimensional experiences and will cease to exist when you learn to remain at higher vibration – and you will.

This will be a big one for scientists as many will learn in the coming decade to factor energetic principles as causation before initiating any study. You will all begin to have a better understanding of the effect of energetic resonance and the effects on all physical things. This will revolutionize science and remove many obstacles that have hindered scientific inquiry from progressing on the planet. The physics and the metaphysics will soon combine.

5. Energetic Transfer and Reflection

You can only attract what is within your vibrational field. There are no experiences that you can obtain in physical form without attracting them from a vibrational perspective. That includes the most horrific experiences and the most beautiful ones.

What you will learn to do is accept relationships and experiences for what they are. People and experiences serve as a reflection to teach you something about yourself. If somebody says something that offends you, it is because your vibrational field contained an element that needed to be addressed. You will see these people differently. You will thank them for being that reflection and the transfer of energy that was necessary for you to recognize your own vibration. You will honor these people for coming into your life and teaching you what would otherwise be quite difficult to learn without their assistance.

You will come to enjoy the effect that all people have on you, even those you now consider to be obnoxious, rude, insensitive, careless, ignorant, etc. These are qualities you have always judged in yourself and the reflection is only there because you attract it. So start thanking your overbearing boss, nosy neighbor or rude coworker for what they bring to your energy field, because you’ve attracted them into your life for a reason and they’re only doing their job… to be the light you want them to be, and most of the time, it was a mutual effort and request.

6. Polarity Consciousness and Neutrality

Perhaps one of the biggest victories awaiting humanity is the shift from polarity or duality consciousness and the dichotomous right vs. wrong which has resulted in much of the conflict and suffering that exists between men and women, people of various races, the wealthy and poor, the strong and weak. Hierarchies have also been formed creating further degrees of separation, (good, better, best) where particular persons or events were rigorously judged within this context. This will end.

All of humanity will begin to understand that all experiences and perceptions are neutral in nature and it is only the ego which places an emphasis on good vs. bad, or right vs. wrong. This shift will be part of the grand awakening which is currently well on its way. You will begin uniting and accepting each other as equals, and this will be passed to your children liberating successive generations from the shackles of duality. Humanity has already begun transcending this pattern.

Life’s experiences which are now viewed in extreme polarity and prejudice will be viewed as the natural order of one’s life. Being present in that observation by loving, allowing and accepting the world will lead to joy, happiness and enlightenment.

What Next?

The hard part is over. The only thing left to do now is alter your expectations and enjoy the ride. You are a divine being of light and your true nature will soon be all you know. The pace is now accelerating and the coming changes will also be met by shifts in monetary systems, the political landscape and well as modifications in social and economical infrastructures. This will happen sooner than later, but likely before the end of this year. Many of these events will happen simultaneously and when the greater cycles begins, you will know. It will be difficult, but that is the time to be centered and focus on seeing all the good that will come in the age of empowerment. You are a truly empowered human… own your mastery.

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Rich galaxy cluster imaged by Hubble. NASA, ESA, M.J. Jee and H. Ford (Johns Hopkins University)

Since its discovery in 2008, astronomers have been puzzled by a cosmic mystery so vexing that it has even led some to question whether the general theory of relativity – Einstein’s masterpiece theory of gravity – is wrong on cosmic scales. The trouble is that light travelling through the universe does not seem to be affected by the gravity of large structures such as galaxy clusters in the way that Einstein had predicted.

Now we have created the largest ever map of the universe’s voids – empty regions or “holes” in space – and superclusters, which are regions with more galaxies and matter than average. This has proven Einstein right, but has reintroduced another mystery.

To understand the origin of the puzzle, we need to grasp the subtle effect that gravity has on the leftover radiation from the primordial hot plasma at the birth of the universe, known as the “cosmic microwave background”. This radiation has been travelling through the universe for 13.8 billion years, before finally being picked up by instruments on the Planck satellite – allowing us to create temperature maps that have been crucial in understanding the universe. On their journey, the light particles, or photons, of this radiation have encountered both voids and superclusters in the universe.

Einstein’s theory tells us that light experiences the effects of gravity just like matter. When a photon enters an empty void, it at first loses energy due to the greater attraction of the mass behind it. After crossing the halfway point, it then gains energy again due to the pull of matter on the other side. The net effect is similar to the change in speed a runner would experience if she ran up and down an intervening hill on her route.
Distribution of galaxies where each point is an individual galaxy, colours represent their distance from Earth.  Sloan Digital Sky Survey
But what if the size of the hill changed while she was running? In fact, the universe is expanding, which stretches the “hill”, reducing its height while the photon is crossing the void. The analogy with our runner would be if she had to run further uphill than downhill on the other side: she’d slow down more going up than she sped up coming back down. Similarly, photons from the cosmic microwave background passing through voids lose a tiny bit of their energy in the process, thus appearing very slightly cooler. Conversely, photons passing through superclusters appear very slightly hotter than normal. This is called the “integrated Sachs-Wolfe effect”.

However, in 2008 a team of astronomers from the University of Hawaii attempted to measure this effect. To do so, they first identified 50 individual voids and superclusters each in the distribution of galaxies in the sky, and then measured the average temperature of each type of structure using Planck’s cosmic microwave background map. Sure enough, the radiation appeared colder when seen through voids than through superclusters. However, the apparent size of the effect was more than five times larger than predicted by calculations.

This apparent drastic failure of the theory has proved very hard to understand. Alternative theories proposed to explain it have included a completely new model of the Big Bang, a different interpretation of the properties of “dark energy” – the theoretical form of energy causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate – or even an overhaul of the theory of gravitation itself.

One mystery solved – another reopened

An important step to the resolution of the puzzle was made with our new paper, published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. My colleague Robert Crittenden and I decided to approach the question from a different angle – instead of thinking of ways to explain the original measurement, we tried to see if the effect still held in newer data.
Temperature fluctuations in void regions (left) and supercluster regions (right). Blue is the coldest and red the hottest. The patches span 20 degrees on the sky
To do this, we used data on more than three-quarters of a million galaxies gathered by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to build the largest ever map of voids and superclusters in the universe. This contains more than 300 times as many superstructures as used in the 2008 study. This, combined with improvements in the statistical techniques used for the measurement, allowed us to measure the tiny temperature changes in the cosmic microwave background map caused by these superstructures with unprecedented precision.

We found that the results were exactly as expected if Einstein’s theory were correct. The newer, more powerful data simply no longer support the old Hawaii result. This conclusion can be tested again when more data become available in the future, such as from the Dark Energy Survey. But for now, the puzzle appears to be no more. Our theories of the universe survive another day.
A map of the CMB temperature fluctuations over the whole sky. The unusual cold spot region is circled at the lower right

But in resolving one problem, however, we have reopened another – to do with a very large and unusual “cold spot” in Planck’s map of the cosmic microwave background. This spot was first noticed in 2004, and its physical origin has been a puzzle, since the odds of such a large and cold region appearing in the sky by random chance are small.

One line of speculation held that it might be caused by the gravitational cooling effect of a giant supervoid. And indeed, in 2015 astronomers found evidence of the existence of a large void in the right part of the sky – which was thought to be the biggest such hole in the universe. This was viewed as settling the argument: surely this void was the proximate cause of the cold spot.

Unfortunately, more detailed calculations showed that – if our theory of gravity were correct – the supervoid that had been found was still far too small and too shallow to explain the cold spot. If something were wrong with the theory, as the Hawaii results were suggesting, both puzzles could have the same resolution.

But our results using the new map of superstructures have now spoken in favour of Einstein. So the supervoid cannot be the explanation for the cold spot.

So while we have solved one mystery, we are back to square one when it comes to the origin of the cold spot. This is a typical development in the pursuit of science. However in the long run, we are certainly moving forward at rapid speed. It’s an exciting time to be an astronomer.

Marie Curie Research Fellow in Cosmology, University of Portsmouth
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The capability of your subconscious mind is far beyond what you think it is. Many experts claim that most of us use only ten percent of our subconscious mind.

Another aspect of the mind that needs clarifying is the difference between “brain” and “mind.”

The brain is that three-pound organ in your head. The “mind” is something larger and more elusive. There is a huge difference between brain and mind and there are books that go into intricate details on these differences.

From a Western point of view, the brain is the physical anatomy and the mind is what the brain generates through its activity.

From an Eastern point of view, some say, the mind is the source of the thoughts supplied to the brain. For the purpose of this course the difference is not important so the words, “brain” and “mind,” are used interchangeably.

In order to harness the full power of your subconscious mind, you must first know how it works, and what it is trying to tell you.

The capacity of the subconscious mind is virtually unlimited. It is essentially an endless memory bank that permanently stores everything that ever happened in your life. Mind-boggling, right?

With all of those experiences, relationships, meetings, introductions, highs and lows, how on earth are we supposed to solely rely on our conscious mind? Well, we can’t. That’s why our subconscious is so vastly important.

According to Brain Tracy International, our subconscious even holds remarkable importance on our health.

“Your subconscious mind has what is called a homeostatic impulse. It keeps your body temperature at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, just as it keeps you breathing regularly and keeps your heart beating at a certain rate. Through your autonomic nervous system, it maintains a balance among the hundreds of chemicals in your billions of cells so that your entire physical machine functions in complete harmony most of the time.”

What is your subconscious trying to tell you? Take the test below to find out.

Source: The Earth Child
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Κυριακή, 23 Οκτωβρίου 2016

After earning millions for fighting Floyd Mayweather, the boxer and politician used a portion of his earnings to construct homes for 1,000 poor families in his hometown.

Manny Pacquiao is more than a world-class athlete or a Filipino politician. He’s a compassionate activist who paid for 1,000 homes to be built to help out underprivileged families in his hometown.

Earlier this year, Pacquiao proclaimed his good deed on Facebook:

“I’m so happy giving this houses free to my constituents in Sarangani Province from my own pocket more than thousand families are the beneficiaries.” 

The Star reports that the ‘born-again Christian’ was inspired to help poor families after duking it out with Floyd Mayweather. Though he lost the boxing match, he still earned millions of dollars in the ‘fight of the century’ and felt it was his duty to give back.

He wrote:

“As faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms, each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others. I’m still building more because I always believe what the bible says offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.”

The act of compassion could be nothing more than a calculated political move, but nonetheless, 1,000 families have secure living spaces thanks to the Senator’s generosity. That, we believe, is worth celebrating.

By Amanda Froelich
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Have you ever become wrapped up in a whirlwind romance, only to later discover that your partner was not who you thought they were? Did you cast your partner in your image of a perfect lover, rather than discovering their true nature? Did you look to them for a sense of purpose, identity, and self-worth?

We often feel that we are in love, when really we are in need of validation. Below are twenty signs that your relationship may have more to do with emotional dependence than true love. If your partnership seems to fall into the pattern outlined here, you may want to think twice about whether it is a healthy one for you.

1. You are often jealous when your partner spends time with other people.

2. Your partnership is causing you or your significant other to withdraw from relationships and hobbies that used to be important.

3. You find yourself feeling possessive of your partner. You don’t trust other women/men around him/her. You are afraid your partner will get stolen away from you.

4. You have changed your favorite sports teams, spiritual practices, or political affiliation to please your partner.

5. When your partner is not with you, you feel empty, alone, or bored.

6. You need constant reminders that your partner loves you.

7. You will cancel plans with family or friends to spend time with your partner.

8. You fish for compliments.

9. You like to have some degree of control over your partner. If they don’t do what you want them to, you feel distraught.

10. Your partner’s validation is more important than your own.

11. If you lost your partner, you fear that you would be unable to move on with your life.

12. Your partner has to meet specific expectations. If not, you do not feel loved or safe.

13. You pressure your partner to do or say things that they are not comfortable with.

14. You give in to pressure from your partner to say or do things that you are not comfortable with.

15. If your partner does not call when you expect them to, you feel anxiety. You worry that they no longer love you.

16. Your sense of self-worth relies on your partner’s affection and approval.

17. You are more focused on your partner’s feelings for you than on their identity and personality.

18. You feel that you can change your partner into the person you want to be with.

19. Who your partner is on the inside does not matter as much as who they appear to be in front of you and others.

20. You tend to idealize people, and then fall apart when they do not live up to your image of them.

Love is not the same as neediness. Two people who are truly in love are able to trust, respect, and accept one another. These things are rarely present in an emotionally dependent partnership. True love involves knowing and loving oneself, and then giving the same to another person. This is how two human beings are able to build a happy life together. If you have fallen into a pattern of emotionally dependent relationships, you may want to take some time alone to find yourself. This sounds scary. Most important things are. However, if you can do it, you may find that learning to know and love yourself is the most powerful thing you ever choose to do.

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Conserving brain power.  Shutterstock

Lecturer, Royal Holloway

In 1959, Peter Tripp, a popular New York DJ, pledged to stay awake for 200 hours for charity while continuing to host his radio show.

Studies into sleep deprivation were rare at the time so no one knew what to expect. This made it a major event, not only for Tripp’s millions of listeners, but also for the scientific community.

The subsequent impact of the “wakeathon” on Tripp’s mind was far more dramatic than anyone had expected. The personality of a man normally described as cheerful and upbeat appeared to significantly change as time went by. By the third day he had become highly irritable, cursing and insulting even his closest friends. Towards the end of his endeavour, he began to hallucinate and exhibit paranoid behaviours.

But despite the concerns of the doctors monitoring him (and with the help of the stimulants they gave him), he persisted and finally went to bed after 201 hours of continuous wake time.

Modern laboratory studies have replicated some of the behaviours seen in Tripp as a consequence of sleep loss. Sleep deprivation or prolonged restricted sleep results in increasing irritability, worsening mood, and feelings of depression, anger, and anxiety. Some argue that sleep loss leads to heightened emotional reactivity.

Tired and emotional

Much like Tripp, who lashed out at his friends at the smallest inconvenience, sleep deprived participants in one study experienced greater stress and anger than rested control participants when asked to complete a simple cognitive test.

Brain imaging methods reveal why sleep deprivation can lead to irrational emotional responses. The amygdala, an area deep in the brain, is our emotional control centre. When sleep deprived participants were shown emotionally negative images, activity levels in the amygdala were as much as 60% higher than levels in those who were rested.

The researchers also looked at how different brain areas were connected in these participants. They found that sleep deprivation had disrupted the connection between the amygdala and the medial prefrontal cortex. This was a critical insight as the the medial prefrontal cortex itself regulates amygdala function. Sleep deprivation appears to cause the amygdala to overreact to negative stimuli because it becomes disconnected from brain areas that normally moderate its response.

Sleepless in Las Vegas

Casino owners have known for years that tired gamblers make risky decisions. The bright lights, noise, and lack of windows are designed to stop you from noticing the passage of time.

In 2011, researchers at Duke University asked participants in a gambling experiment to improve each of several gambles. They could choose to do this by increasing the size of the highest possible gain, decreasing the size of the worst loss, or improving the probability of winning. When participants had been deprived of sleep for just one night, they started do make fewer decisions that avoided loss, and more decisions that maximised potential gain. In other words, sleep deprivation made their gambles riskier and more optimistic. This change in risk taking behaviour was accompanied by changes in activity in brain areas that evaluate negative and positive outcomes.

Sleeping to learn

Another area of the brain that suffers dramatically from sleep deprivation is the hippocampus. This is a region critical for the storing of new memories. When people are deprived of sleep for even one night, their ability to memorise new information drops significantly. This was shown in one study to be due to an impairment in the hippocampus caused by sleep deprivation. When memorising a set of pictures, sleep deprived participants showed less activation in the hippocampus compared to rested participants. This deficit in the hippocampus could be caused by sleep deprivation reducing its ability to write in new information.

Alternatively, the hippocampus may need sleep to move new information to be stored in other areas of the brain. In this case, lack of sleep may cause the storage capacity of hippocampus to fill up, preventing new information from being stored.

Lessons from the wakeathon

The story of Tripp has an unhappy ending. Shortly after his wakeathon his marriage broke down, and he eventually lost his job and career in radio. In 1964 his record was broken by Randy Gardner, a high school student from San Diego, who managed to remain awake for 264 hours.

Tripp’s later troubles however are unlikely to be connected to his sleep deprivation as Gardner and others who later tried to beat the record did not report similar long-term detrimental effects. Nonetheless, there are lessons to be learned from Tripp’s experience and from the latest discoveries in sleep science.

Many people aren’t getting enough sleep as people sacrifice rest time to work, especially on devices which emit blue light. This light makes falling asleep more difficult, further eroding the quantity and quality of sleep.

We need to rediscover the value of sleep and appreciate the benefits it brings to our brains. Time spent sleeping is an essential investment towards being smarter, making better decisions, and leading a happier life. So get snoozing.

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Σάββατο, 22 Οκτωβρίου 2016

If a man says he is lying, is he telling the truth?  ~ Epimenodes

I still remember the first time I ever heard a paradox: I was 14 years old, reading a book, and came across Socrates famous quote; “I know that I know nothing”.

In that moment something “clicked” in my brain.  Up until that point I had held all thoughts as absolute.  I was convinced that once you believed in something, its opposite would be automatically discarded. But after reading these 6 famous words of Socrates I suddenly realized something important: two seemingly contradicting statements can be equally correct.

How bizarre, and what an odd faux pas of logic!  The paradox both felt like a glitch, a logical slip-up, but deep down beyond the veneer of rationale it felt right.  It felt undeniably, irrevocably true.  I was fascinated.

The wisdom of paradoxes is that they transcend out thought system, they are in tune not just with logical intelligence, but with existential wisdom that is at the roots of every deep and meaningful personal discovery.

Up until this day, the deeper I’ve ventured into the inner exploration of myself, the practice of soulwork, the more wisdom I found in paradoxes.  In this article, I will explore some of the most essential paradoxes that have revolutionized my life and the way I see things.


America’s Declaration of Independence declares that it is in every man’s birthright to seek for: “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.

One important thing I have learnt on my journey of inner-exploration is that happiness can never be pursued.  The more you chase it, the more it runs away. Pursuing happiness makes you anxious and frustrated.  In fact, happiness only comes when you’re relaxed, when you’re not pursuing it, and it’s always the by-product of another activity – usually something that brings meaning or joy to our lives.


In the words of Russian poet Aleksey Khomyakov:

Modern Society in its decay releases every individual to the freedom of his own impotence.

Freedom is often a burden for people.  Why?  It’s because freedom provides just as much frustration as it alleviates.  When you are entirely responsible for your actions, it places the whole blame of your decisions on your own individual shoulders.

In the Western world we all have endless freedom and opportunities, and the pressure to make the most of all the thousands of possibilities open to us can be quite intimidating and imprisoning.


All too often we get upset because other people break our trust or misunderstand us.  But the problem we have is that we tend to assume that whatever we say is perfectly understood and perfectly projected, reflecting our thoughts and feelings in fine precision.

The truth is that words are the most complex, arbitrary, relative and symbolic forms of communication.  Furthermore, each of us have different definitions based upon our own unique experiences and associations with each word we come across.  So in essence … you may provide the words, but the listener always provides the definitions.


I often find that many people become very surprised by how quickly and comfortably they open up to me about personal matters in our first encounter. Why?  The secret lies in how comfortable you are in your own aloneness.

People who can’t be ‘alone’, feel ‘lonely‘ and use each other to fill their inner voids.  People who aren’t comfortable with inner Solitude impatiently wait for their turn to speak in conversations, or are anxious and nervous when there are prolonged periods of silence.  Being comfortable in Solitude centers you, and people can sense this in your presence, in essence making you more companionable.


This is the paradox of our 21st century culture: more and more people complain about feelings of loneliness.  Sure, technology has made it easier to connect with thousands of people, but this is at the cost of sacrificing a quality of connection with those around us.  Essentially: we know more about our friends by spending less time with them.

More importantly, this constant bombardment of stimulation is disconnecting us from ourselves by causing us to always focus externally, rather than encouraging us to explore within.


Your normal job is a draining 50 years of work unrelated to your true passions. Normal health and eating habits are pretty bad as well, while financially the normal debt you have in your bank account will force you to continue your dispassionate, normal job.

Normal marriages are statistically bound for failure, while your normal lack of self-exploration leads to a personally unfulfilled and emotionally-reactive life. Normal ideologies will maintain the financial inequality and fanatical dogmatic wars and horrors in the world.  All of this really makes you wonder … what’s so great about being normal?


Collective groups do not exist.  Groups are symbolic words for a gathering of individuals.  Too often we’ve been taught that individuals are part of collectives.

Throughout history the individual’s freedom or life has been sacrificed in the name of group ideologies; mainly those of nations, social statuses and religions. Real individuals should not be sacrificed for unreal ideologies.


Life is a constant of change; in essence it’s always fluctuating.  We perceive life to be static energy, but at a quantum level the movements of life are unpredictable.  Life is constantly renewing itself; not even for a single moment is it ever the same.

The beauty of realizing that life is uncertain and unpredictable is that we can overcome our misguided attempts to predict and control our lives and the lives of others.  The only certainty in life is uncertainty, and the more we fight and resist this truth, the more anxiety and pain we create for ourselves.


Did this article stimulate any interesting thoughts within you?  Do you have any experiences or insights of your own to share?  I look forward to reading some of the paradoxes you have discovered in your own life below!

As a shaman, spiritual guide and soulwork teacher, my mission is to help you to grow, find your purpose, and experience true freedom in this life. Read More →
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