Author Archive | Good German
Mike S writes at the Peaceful Self:
There seems to be a lot of talk these days about some elite conspiracy to create a “New World Order”Yet, the history of egocentric mammalia has been nothing less than a collective endeavor of extracting itself from the natural order, as ordained by universal causality, by neurotically inventing fictional world orders for which to dissociate itself from a causal determined universe that denies free-will. Hence, in order to maintain and reinforce a free-willed illusion of control, egocentricity becomes more deeply transfixed in its fictional realities and this provides an illusion of being removed from the causal order of the universe.Through the psycho-symbolism of superimposing abstract concepts upon a material world, egocentricity seeks to dissociate itself from the natural world order. Obviously, dissociation from the determined causality of your existence is utterly impossible, since the universe allows you to exist and death tends to have a way of proving this rather consistently and without question.
Mike Rogoway writes at OregonLive:
The symptoms of industrial pollution are everywhere in Asia, where pedestrians wear surgical masks to filter the air and urban smog is sometimes so thick that Beijing’s Forbidden City is rendered nearly invisible behind a cloak of soot. Just this month, Chinese authorities canceled flights at Beijing’s main airport amid especially heavy pollution, and shuttered highways in and out of the city.
The implications for human health are obvious; studies show that pollution is shortening lifespans in northern China by five years or more.
Intel engineers in Oregon are now discovering that rotten air is also taking a toll on electronics in China and India, with sulfur corroding the copper circuitry that provides neural networks for PCs and servers and wrecking the motherboards that run whole systems.
“We got the board and it was pretty obvious. You open the chassis up and you see blackish material on every type of surface,” said Anil Kurella, the Hillsboro material scientist who’s leading Intel’s research effort.
Miriam Greenspan, writing in the January 2003 issue of the Shambala Sun:
I was brought to the practice of mindfulness more than two decades ago by the death of my first child. Aaron died two months after he was born, never having left the hospital. Shortly after that, a friend introduced me to a teacher from whom I learned the basics of Vipassana meditation: how to breathe mindfully and meditate with “choiceless” awareness. I remember attending a dharma talk in a room full of fifty meditators. The teacher spoke about the Four Noble Truths. Life is inherently unsatisfactory, he said. The ego’s restless desires are no sooner fulfilled than they find new objects. Craving and aversion breed suffering. One of his examples was waiting in line for a movie and then not getting in.
I asked: “But what if you’re not suffering because of some trivial attachment? What if it’s about something significant, like death?
David Lose writes:
Creativity is all the rage these days: what it is, how you develop it, the various ways in which you express it. A slew of bestselling books, including my favorite Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer, offers insight into the nature, origin and application of our fundamental, foundational, and phenomenal ability to engage in creative acts.
While the approaches and analyses differ somewhat at various points, one of the major points of convergence revolves around destroying the myth of the “solitary genius.” Creativity doesn’t, in other words, happen in a vacuum – creative ideas are always inspired, nurtured, cajoled, and spurred forward by other ideas. Which means that creative people are always drawing on the work of others, consciously or unconsciously.
Mark Twain said much the same in a letter to Helen Keller, reflecting on an incident years earlier when she had been charged – and acquitted – of plagiarism:
Oh, dear me, how unspeakably funny and owlishly idiotic and grotesque was that ‘plagiarism’ farce!
Aaron Levy talks to Austrian performance artist, composer, and painter Hermann Nitsch:
Each year millions of premature deaths world-wide result from various forms of air pollution. According to a new atmospheric pollution model designed by earth scientist Jason West of the University of North Carolina (data from which informs the NASA map shown above), some 2.1 million deaths per year result from just one particular form of atmospheric pollution: fine particulate matter, or PM2.5, which is emitted in car exhaust and smokestack effluent (and other industrial, domestic and natural sources).
In general, these polluting particles in the atmosphere are referred to as aerosols (a mixture of particulate matter and air). Aerosols can take the form of suspended particulate matter (SPM), respirable suspended particles (RSP), which are particles with a diameter of 10 micrometers (microns) or less, and, the aforementioned fine PM2.5…the ’2.5′ refers to particles of 2.5 microns or less and may include ultrafine particles, and some forms of soot (such as black carbon soot from cooking stoves and biomass burning).
Stephanie Pappas writing at LiveScience:
If you’ve ever responded to tragedy by raging at God, you’re not alone. A new study finds that anger at God is a common emotion among Americans.
The anger often stems from the belief that God is responsible for bad experiences, according to the research, which is published in the January issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. But anger isn’t an indication that someone is turning his or her back on God, said study researcher and Case Western Reserve University psychologist Julie Exline.
“People can be angry at God while still feeling love or respect toward God,” Exline told LiveScience. “In other words, the feelings are not mutually exclusive.”
Exline and her colleagues collected data on people’s feelings toward God from five separate studies. Two studies asked undergraduate students to reflect on negative experiences in their lives and how those experiences made them feel about God.
A cheap and simple process using natural fibers embedded with nanoparticles can almost completely rid water of harmful textile dyes in minutes, report Cornell University and Colombian researchers who worked with native Colombian plant fibers.
Dyes, such as indigo blue used to color blue jeans, threaten waterways near textile plants in South America, India and China. Such dyes are toxic, and they discolor the water, thereby reducing light to the water plants, which limits photosynthesis and lowers the oxygen in the water.
The study, published in the August issue of the journal Green Chemistry, describes a proof of principle, but the researchers are testing how effectively their method treats such endocrine-disrupting water pollutants as phenols, pesticides, antibiotics, hormones and phthalates.
“These molecules are contaminants that are very resilient to traditional water-purification processes, and we believe our biocomposite materials can be an option for their removal from waste water,” said study co-author, Marianny Combariza, a researcher at Colombia’s Universidad Industrial de Santander.
Anders Hayden writes at Solutions:
Since the Industrial Revolution, two main motivations have driven the movement for work-time reduction. Free time away from the job improves individual well-being, while reducing work hours can cut unemployment by better distributing the available work. These historical motivations for work-time reduction have been joined by a new rationale: the need to reduce the impact of human societies on the environment.
The urgency of reducing humanity’s impacts on the earth is well documented. Estimates of our ecological footprint suggest that we need 1.5 planets to sustain current consumption practices, while studies of humanity’s “safe operating space” have concluded that we have already crossed some critical planetary boundaries, including safe levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Two dominant responses to this threat have emerged. One has been to carry on with business as usual, pursuing endless economic expansion while downplaying or denying the severity of environmental problems.