Truth Code: places
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Κυριακή, 4 Δεκεμβρίου 2016

Bullies. They are everywhere: at school, at work, in the grocery store check-out lane. But sometimes, a bully can be where you least expect it: within yourself.

Check out these 5 bullying behaviors and the best ways to combat them!

1 – Control, Control, Control

The need to control others stems from a basic insecurity that we aren’t good enough. Because bullies can’t raise their own self-esteem, they turn to others to do it for them. This lack of self-worth creates a sense of internal chaos. As a result, bullies attempt to control whatever they can, whether it’s a situation or another person. Many times they will break down another person’s confidence, if only so it will heighten their own. As long as they feel like they have the power, then there is no threat.

If you feel like you need to control others in your life, it’s time to self-examine. What people in your life make you question your self-worth? And why? Once you determine the answer, it’s best to confront these people. When you set boundaries with others, it creates a healthy barrier that protects your self-esteem.

2 – Victim to Impulses

Bullies can’t control their emotions. When an emotion like anger or fear surfaces, they don’t care or think about the consequences of their words or actions, which results in lashing out and hurting those around them.

One way to combat this is to be in tune with your personal fears and not only work on them, but be able to recognize when they are triggered. Tell yourself that, while you have a right to be angry, you also have a choice whether or not you let anger control you. This is the first step towards self-soothing.

3 – No Empathy

Believe it or not, a lack of empathy stems from feeling the pain or distress of others so many times that it leads to an emotional burnout. Because this hurt is uncomfortable, some people block it out, creating a distance between themselves and other people. They no longer see others as individuals, but instead label or stereotype them, which then makes it easier to cause suffering.

The best way to gain back some of that empathy is by recognizing that each person is an individual with his or her own life issues. Open yourself up to the other person. Try to find the commonalities that exist between you. Allow yourself to feel their pain. This will bring about a sense of compassion, which then creates feelings of peace and well-being.

4 – Zero Accountability

Bullies are always the victim. They never take responsibility for their words or actions and always have someone else to blame. If they lash out and hurt someone, it is the other person’s fault. Ironically, they also see themselves as the hero. President Snow in The Hunger Games, for example, believes that by sending children to their deaths every year, he is reminding everyone of the dangers of rebellion, and, thus, preserving the peace.

The best way to fight this line of thinking is to show accountability for your actions. Admit that there may have been healthier ways you could have responded to a negative situation. Yes, the other person might have done something to hurt you, but own up to your own mistakes. How could you have handled the situation better?

5 – Intolerance

Bullies tend to see others not as individuals, but instead as factions that fall into one of two categories: “like me” and “not like me.” The “not like me” group is persecuted and demonized. Why? Because of learned prejudices and stereotyped differences. This form of detrimental thinking can spread to all areas of life, from race to religion to politics. On social media, for example, it isn’t uncommon to see various groups fighting each other over perceived differences.

How can you overcome this? Take a step back and recognize that other people are allowed to have a different point of view. Instead of attacking someone with different beliefs, try to understand their thought patterns. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Still not sure how to overcome bullying? Author Noah Elkrief can help!

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Κυριακή, 20 Νοεμβρίου 2016

Lasqueti is a secret Canadian island where the vast majority of residents are completely off-grid.

Lasqueti is a small island between Vancouver and Vancouver Island, twelve miles long and three miles wide. It is home to a little known community of off-gridders who take pride in their isolation from both mainstream culture and mainland Canada.

With very little industry or economy, most of the residents live simply, taking what they need from the land and having next to no carbon footprint (and little need for money). The 2011 census recorded 426 people living in Lasqueti (although a more up-to-date website states there are 350 permanent residents) including 70 children. According to the community blog, Lasqueti is “an island of individuals, with poets, artists, physicists, fishermen, loggers, tree planters, designers, professional musicians, published authors, some small scale manufacturers, some commercial agriculture as well as professional consultants in education, engineering, forestry and alternate energy.”

While some residents use solar panels, wood burning stoves, wind turbines and water mills, others choose to live without electricity, period. For the average person, that might not sound like fun. But few can argue that the depletion of fossil fuels (and other aspects of modern living) are clearly unsustainable. Lasqueti’s residents share the opinion that living in harmony with nature is not only ethical, it is how we were supposed to live.

Personally, I have been fascinated with Lasqueti since 2010, when I was lucky enough to host one of its residents while he was traveling and ‘couchsurfing’ in Spain. Robert was living on Lasqueti in an old converted school bus (which he ran off vegetable oil), and he was one of the most interesting and intelligent people I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. Skilled in building yurts, canoes, wooden boats, and other ecological structures, he was also a nomadic free spirit who spoke six languages and was knowledgeable about pretty much anything and everything you could possibly think of. According to Lasqueti’s website, Robert was by no means an exception: the island’s population “is the most highly educated community in British Columbia”, according to Statistics Canada.

In addition to the island’s one bar and one cafe, Lasqueti also has a free store where people can leave or collect items without any monetary exchange. Just one hour by boat from Vancouver island, Lasqueti doesn’t have a tourist industry, booming economy or any industry to speak of, but those who live there say that they enjoy the sense of timelessness, community, and freedom that their home provides.

There is no grocery store, so people tend to keep chickens and grow their own organic produce, as well as foraging for wild food in the forest covering the rocky island. Most people use composting toilets, and one resident even wrote a book entitled ‘How to Shyte on Lasqueti’ for those not familiar with the concept of how this works in practice.

Another useful resource for readers who are interested in seeing Lasqueti for themselves can be found here. The page details various options for visiting the island, including B&Bs and opportunities for wwoofing (helping on farms in exchange for food and accommodation).

We will leave you with some essential advice from Lasqueti’s residents:

“However you decide to come, and whatever you are hoping to find here, please keep this in mind:  Lasqueti is not some utopian paradise, it is not an “intentional community”, and it is probably not whatever you think it is – it is just a relatively remote island, populated by a small, tight-knit community of quirky, independent-minded people, with its own unique culture and identity. Come with an open mind, a willingness to discover something a little different, and without rigid expectations.  Resist the urge to project upon us your vision of what this place “should” be.  It is what it is, and we like it this way, warts and all.  If you can get with that, you too may find a place here.”

In the short documentary film below, a journalist from 16×9 News goes to meet some of Lasqueti’s characters and find out more about life in this beautiful land that time forgot.

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Παρασκευή, 14 Οκτωβρίου 2016

Credit: Bored Panda

Try not to get scared when you look at these photos.

China is a worthy competitor for having the best of the best in many aspects, and now having one of the tallest glass skywalks is one way they are stepping up their tourist game.

The walkway opened in on the side of Tianmen mountain in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park at the beginning of August this year. Photos have emerged of people casually looking over the side and using selfie sticks to take memorable snaps. The walkway is 4,700 feet high, which is only 500 feet short of being a mile high.

Try not to get scared when you look at these photos.

The new skywalk isn’t the only new tourist attraction to open in the area recently; in the same month, they also opened the world’s tallest and longest glass bridge over a steep canyon in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. The canyon is said to have inspired the scenery in the movie Avatar.  The bridge hovers over a 984-foot vertical drop and spans across 1,410-feet.
Unfortunately, the new bridge closed after being open for two weeks because of the need for “urgent maintenance.” Though it’s apparently not cracked or broken, the maintenance was necessary to accommodate the huge influx of visitors.

View the photos below to see the stunning scenery and terrifying heights.
Credit: Bored Panda
Credit: Bored Panda
Credit: Bored Panda
Credit: Bored Panda

Credit: Bored Panda
Credit: Bored Panda
Credit: BBC

Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC
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Πέμπτη, 19 Μαΐου 2016

Be forewarned: witnessing these incredible Buddhist cave-temples are going to leave you with an insatiable hankering to go and visit them in person! What these amazing spaces do is wow you with the particular majesty of nature whilst instilling a certain reverence for simply being, as the deepest Buddhist traditions are apt to do…

Datdawtaung Cave
Mandalay region, Myanmar

Khao Luang Cave Temple
Phetburi, Thailand

Pindaya Caves
Pindaya, Myanmar

Phraya Nakhon Cave
Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, Thailand

Yungang Grottoes
Shanxi, China

Wat Tham Erawan
Nong Bua Lamphu province, Thailand

Sadan Cave
Kayin State, Myanmar

Ellora Caves
Maharashtra, India

Yathae Pyan Cave
Kayin state, Myanmar

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Κυριακή, 1 Μαΐου 2016

01 May 2016

Ever have one of those days when you just want to escape your life and disappear into a fairy tale world? Well, if you’re furiously nodding at your screen right now then you’ll be glad to hear that it is in fact entirely possible to do so.

Take a look at this list compiled by Bored Panda to see just what we mean. These villages might look like something out of a storybook but we promise you that each and every one of them are real. So next time you’re looking to escape it all, don’t hide in your bedroom. Just search for your nearest fantasy village and hide out there instead!

Do you live in a village that looks like something from a fairy tale? Then share your pictures below and don’t forget to vote for your favorite!

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Τετάρτη, 2 Μαρτίου 2016

A casual glance at this statue will probably lead you to think it’s meant to represent some kind of deity of ancient times. But it’s now known that behind this impressive stone facade, this sculpture was actually intended to serve a highly practical use.

This is such a fascinating and little known story that we thought we’d shared it with you.
This majestic statue is more than 10 metres high. Carved out of a rock, it depicts the figure of a man. It was created at the end of the 1500s by the famous Florentine master sculptor, Giovanni da Bologna (or Giambologna).
Known as Allegory Of The Apennines, it can be found on the territory of Villa di Pratolino in Tuscany, Italy, and represents the rocky Italian Apennine Mountains.

It’s now known that the sculpture hides an intriguing secret. Several secret chambers are hidden inside it’s rock-hewn structure. The rooms are such that they could easily serve as a living space for a human being. This model demonstrates the position of the rooms inside the colossal statue.
©Andreas Angelidakis
©Andreas Angelidakis
©Andreas Angelidakis
According to legend, the head of the enormous statue was intended as the location for a fireplace. They say that when the fireplace was lit, smoke would have emerged from the statue’s nostrils.
©Andreas Angelidakis
©Andreas Angelidakis
These photographs show the real hidden grottos inside the giant statue. Their walls studded with shells, corals, pearls and crystals, and painted with frescoes of muscled men mining precious ores. It is not entirely clear what the purpose of these chambers was. Who was supposed to live in them or use them?
The giant sits on a rock and is seen to be pressing the head of a monster to the ground. A stream of water from an underground spring flows from the monster’s mouth.
Today, the park where this imposing statue is open to visitors. But it seems that the real reason why there is space to move around inside this colossus has been obscured by the passage of time.
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