unprecedented scale

100 Lies And False Statements From Trump’s First 100 Days

Donald Trump’s frequent claim that a wave of people voting illegally cost him the popular vote is a lie. So is his claim of gigantic crowds at his inauguration. And from that foundation flowed an unprecedented torrent of flat lies, wild exaggerations, and what the experts call “bullshit” — statements not even intended to reflect the truth.

As the president approaches his 100th day in office, an extensive — but not exhaustive — BuzzFeed News review found an average of one false statement per day from Trump and his top aides.

We don’t take calling things “lies” lightly. (See our definitions at the top of this article.) And we don’t suggest that Trump is the first president in history to lie: As I.F. Stone once wrote, “All governments lie.”

But Trump’s falsehoods come with an unprecedented frequency, scale, and lack of shame. They are a defining feature of his tenure, and have helped create a crisis of credibility.

Continue Reading.

Saving Syria's heritage: Archaeologists discover invisible solution

The recent plundering of priceless artefacts from Syria and Iraq by both terrorists and criminal gangs has taken place on an unprecedented scale.

Stolen items have been turning up in Europe and the US, where they have then been offered to private collectors.

The UN heritage body Unesco says the illicit trade is worth millions of dollars.
But an innovative solution may now be at hand which enables archaeologists to trace precious artefacts.

Working in secret, in areas outside Syrian government control, Syrian archaeologists have begun painting some of the country’s most valuable artefacts with a clear, traceable liquid.

The solution is invisible to the naked eye, but detectable under ultra-violet light. Read more.

‘Housing should be seen as a human right. Not a commodity’ | Patrick Butler | Society | The Guardian

It’s not the most extreme example, but Canaletto typifies what Farha calls the “financialisation” of housing, a phenomenon common to cities like London, Sydney and Vancouver, which have seen the construction of swaths of hyper-expensive real estate, often in “regenerated” neighbourhoods. It is housing disconnected from its social function, she says; housing as a commodity. “I look up [at these developments] and I see gleaming towers of glass and steel, I see architects in their machismo building the best, funkiest, coolest buildings. I believe in good design, but I see this and I see huge, huge sums of money, for me staggering sums of money, being poured into these places not as homes but as investment,” says Farha.


“How does it make me feel? One, too much inequality. People talk about income inequality: where it manifests so clearly is housing inequality … I see a society that doesn’t care about the most vulnerable. It’s mind-boggling to me that people could spend so much money and know that at the same time none of that money is assisting the poorest people in terms of housing. It’s a pretty bleak picture.”

Today, Farha, the UN’s special rapporteur for housing, presents a paper on housing commoditisation to the UN human rights council in Geneva. It sets out how unregulated global capital has in recent years not only distorted housing markets all over the world – turbo-boosting prices and rents to a level that excludes and expels poor and middle-income families from so-called prime locations – but has also created housing precariousness on an unprecedented scale.

Unfortunately, the first definition I looked up was woefully inadequate. Gaslighting does not require deliberate plotting. Gaslighting only requires a belief that it is acceptable to overwrite another person’s reality. The rest just happens organically when a person who holds that belief feels threatened. We learn how to control and manipulate each other very naturally. The distinguishing feature between someone who gaslights and someone who doesn’t, is an internalized paradigm of ownership. And in my experience, identifying that paradigm is a lot easier than spotting the gaslighting.

Gaslighting tends to follow when intimidation is no longer acceptable. I believe that gaslighting is happening culturally and interpersonally on an unprecedented scale, and that this is the result of a societal framework where we pretend everyone is equal while trying simultaneously to preserve inequality. You can see it in the media constantly. For instance, every time an obvious hate crime is portrayed as an isolated case of mental illness, this is gaslighting. The media is saying to you, what you know to be true, is not true. Domestic violence wasn’t seen as a serious crime until the 1970s. So, did we, in the last 40 years, address the beliefs that cause domestic violence? No. But now if you beat your wife you’re usually considered to be a bad guy. So what do you do, with all the beliefs that would lead you to violence, if violence is no longer an acceptable option? You use manipulation, and you use gaslighting.
Cyclone Debbie damages part of Great Barrier Reef that evaded large-scale coral bleaching

The remnants of Cyclone Debbie that struck Australia and New Zealand is reported to have devastated one of the few healthiest sections of the Great Barrier Reef after scientists thought it escaped large-scale “unprecedented” bleaching.

The damage caused by the intense but slow-moving storm has outweighed any probable beneficial cooling effect, Reuters cited scientists from Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies as saying.

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“Any cooling effects related to the cyclone are likely to be negligible in relation to the damage it caused, which unfortunately struck a section of the reef that had largely escaped the worst of the bleaching,” the ARC said on Monday (10 April).

New aerial surveys have shown that mass coral bleaching, which has been threatening the reef’s health over the past few years, has damaged two-thirds of the ecosystem. The bleaching has affected 1,500km (900 miles) of the reef, scientists said.

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The ARC assessed almost 800 coral reefs over an 8,000km area for its survey.

While last year’s bleaching hit mainly the northern section of the reef, the latest damage is reported to have occurred in the middle section.

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Experts fear the second consecutive year of mass coral bleaching of the World Heritage site will do little to help the damaged coral to recover. The bleaching, or the loss of algae, is largely due to ocean warming, the ARC said.

When the water is too warm, corals expel algae that live in their tissues, and this causes them to become completely white and appear more vulnerable to disease.

If bleaching is not too severe, it is possible for corals to recover, but if the algae loss is lingering and the stress continues corals are said to eventually die. The ARC survey found that this happened in the southern part of the reef, where coral death was much lower, according to Reuters. However, scientists fear much of the Great Barrier Reef is unlikely to recover.

Professor Terry Hughes, from James Cook University, urged countries to immediately address climate change to prevent further bleaching.

“Since 1998, we have seen four of these events and the gap between them has varied substantially, but this is the shortest gap we have seen,” Hughes told the BBC.

James Kerry, a senior research officer at the ARC said the damage was unprecedented.

“The central third this year, I would say, was as severe in terms of bleaching as what we saw as the northern third last year,” he said. “For those reefs that were hit two years in a row, it is effectively a double whammy. They have had no chance to recover from last year’s events.”

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The giant pyramid hidden inside a mountain
This temple at Cholula dwarfs the Great Pyramid at Giza, yet it went unnoticed by Spanish invaders. Why?
By Zaria Gorvett

They arrived in their thousands. Hardened by months of war with ferocious natives, near-starvation and exotic diseases, Hernan Cortez and his Spanish army marched into the great city of Cholula expecting a fight.

But this was a sacred city. Instead of investing in weapons, its inhabitants built temples; it was said they had a holy pyramid for every day of the year. After such generosity, their gods would surely protect them.

This was a grave error indeed. As the army stormed its streets, religious treasures were looted and the precious pyramids went up in smoke. Within three hours they had murdered 3,000 people. October 12th 1519 was a bloodbath on an unprecedented scale, leaving 10% of the city’s population dead.

Eventually the Spaniards settled in Cholula (now part of Mexico), erecting enough of their own buildings that the city is now known for having a church for every day of the year (That’s false, it doesn’t even have a quarter of that. It has 37 churches - Tlatollotl) The final touch – a symbol of their Christian conquest – is the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Remediosa, built on what they thought was a large hill.

This view of the pyramid was taken in the early 20th century

But not all is as it seems. Beneath the tiny church, hiding under tufts of grass, trees and soil, is an ancient pyramid of truly gigantic proportions. Standing 450 metres wide and 66 metres tall, from end to end the Great Pyramid of Cholula is equivalent to nine Olympic sized swimming pools.

For an obscure temple no one’s heard of, Cholula holds an impressive array of records: it’s the largest pyramid on the planet, with a base four times larger than the Great Pyramid at Giza and nearly twice the volume.

Never mind the largest pyramid – it’s the largest monument ever constructed anywhere, by any civilisation, to this day (It depends on the criteria, really. I think the Walls of Benin in Nigeria are larger and they consist of earthen walls and a ditch that encircle 6,500 km² - Tlatollotl). To locals it’s aptly known as Tlachihualtepetl (“man-made mountain”). Thanks to the church on top, it’s also the oldest continuously occupied building on the continent.

The story goes that until the locals began construction of an insane asylum in 1910, nobody knew it was a pyramid. Certainly, by the time Cortéz and his men arrived, it was already a thousand years old and entirely concealed by vegetation.

Early excavations revealed a series of gruesome findings, including the deformed skulls of decapitated children.

Where did it come from? And why did it stay hidden for so long?

When the pavement was dug up in 2013 to enter the city’s drainage system, at least 63 skeletons were found from pre-colonial times

Despite its enormous size, very little is known about the pyramid’s early history. It’s thought construction began around 300 BC; by who exactly remains a mystery. According to myth it was built by a giant. Most likely, the city’s inhabitants – known as the Choluteca – were a cosmopolitan mix. “It appears to have been multi-ethnic, with a great deal of migration,” says David Carballo, an archaeologist at Boston University, Massachusetts.

Whoever they were, they probably had a lot of money. Cholula is conveniently located in the Mexican highlands and was an important trading post for thousands of years, linking the Tolteca-Chichimeca kingdoms in the North with the Maya in the South.

Cortez called it "the most beautiful city outside Spain”. By the time he arrived, it was the second-largest city in the Aztec empire, though it had already exchanged hands numerous times.

And here there are even more surprises. In fact it’s not one pyramid at all, but a great Russian doll of a construction, consisting of no less than six, one on top of the other. It grew in stages, as successive civilisations improved on what had already been built.

“They made a conscious effort to maintain and in some cases display previous construction episodes.  This is pretty novel, and shows deliberate efforts to link to the past,” says Carballo.

The pyramid was built to appease the “feathered serpent” god

According to legend, when they heard the conquistadors were coming, the locals covered the precious temple with soil themselves. In fact it may have happened by accident. That’s because, incredibly, the largest pyramid in the world is made of mud.

“Adobe” bricks are made by mixing mud with other materials such as sand or straw, and baking it hard in the sun. To make the pyramid, the outer bricks were smoothed with more earth to create a painting surface. In its prime, the temple was covered in red, black and yellow insects.

In dry climates, mud bricks are extremely durable – lasting thousands of years. In humid Mexico, the mud creation was a fertile platform for tropical jungle. “It was abandoned sometime in the 7th or 8th Century CE. The Choluteca had a newer pyramid-temple located nearby, which the Spaniards destroyed,” says Carballo.

The pyramid also had topology in its favour; the pyramid rests on a natural platform in an area which is almost completely mountainous.

Today the city has reclaimed their pyramid, which can be explored via over five miles of tunnels constructed in the early 20th Century. Nearly 500 years after the colonial conquest, the city must contend with a new invasion: tourists.  


Charlie Chaplin’s first scene as The Tramp in Kid Auto Races At Venice (1914)
This was the first time that the public were introduced to the loveable little vagabond, as he began his journey to global fame on an unprecedented scale. 

Although this was the Tramp’s first appearance on screen before a film audience, Charlie actually created his iconic character for Mabel’s Strange Predicament. The second film of his career at this time, it began production before Kid Auto Races but was released two days later, on 9 February 1914.

Three times Kakashi failed to ask Kei out. (and the one time he kind of succeeded)

The first time was not Kakashi’s fault, at all. If it was anyone’s fault for his failure, it was Minato-sensei for suggesting it. Well, not so much in that he actually went out and said “try giving her flowers and asking her out for dinner”, but rather that Kakashi had seen him doing so often for Kushina, and read about it so often in those bargain bin romance novels that he figured he’d at least give it a try. Nevermind his allergies, or the fact that he was completely unsure if Kei even liked flowers, he was a man (teen) determined.

Even as he stood in the Yamanaka flower shop, his mask securely in place, he could feel the tingle in his nose that indicated a sneezing fit coming on. He had to make this quick, his mask could keep out most of the allergens that surrounded him, but not all of them - and he didn’t dare ask the Yamanaka working the counter. He wasn’t trying to code a message, just find something pretty that Kei might find visually appealing, and actually get the hint that he was asking for a date.  Flowers couldn’t be that hard, even if there were literally hundreds of different ones staring him right in the face. But the longer he stood, the more that tingle turned into an itch - and he was not about to be laughed out of the store when he started sneezing. In a flash he reached out and grabbed the closest flowers to him, not many - maybe three or four - and paid for them, before dashing out of the store.

Now to find Kei.

    It wasn’t hard, he knew she was in the village - either with Minato-sensei, with Hayate, or training with Obito. He found her with Hayate, reviewing the basic kenjutsu stances of her family style, and approached slowly - the yellow flowers in hand. The two paused as he walked up, Kei smiling at him with that crooked grin (it wasn’t fair how cute it was).

Hayate stood to the side, smirking as he watched Kakashi wipe his free hand on his pants (nervous much, Hatake?). He watched as Kakashi thrust the small bouquet towards his sister,

“Here, these are for you.” Kei blinked at him, before reaching out and accepting the flowers. The yellow roses were almost too bright, and why was Kakashi giving her flowers in the first place? Her brows scrunched together, trying to recall why people gave others yellow roses (those darn kunoichi classes had to be of some use right?).

    “Ah, thank you…? You’re a pretty good friend too Kakashi.”

Yellow roses, mean joy. And friendship.

    The second time was an embarrassment on an unprecedented scale. One of the academy chunin was sick, and the village couldn’t spare any of the ones on guard duty - so Minato asked Kakashi to stand in. ‘It won’t be hard he said, ‘all you have to do is make sure they don’t kill each other’ he said. Which, when it came to small children really shouldn’t have been that hard. By the end of the day however, it was less small children trying to kill other small children with blunted kunai, and more Kakashi trying not to kill small children and it was all thanks to one little Hyuuga who just couldn’t keep their byakugan to herself.

    Lunch time came slowly at the academy, and after trying for three unsuccessful hours to teach the small class he had been assigned what different chakra affinities there was, he was glad for it. Except of course, the realization that he had left his lunch on Kushina’s kitchen counter, and would therefore be going hungry unless he could pilfer something from an inattentive child. In fact, he was currently eyeing a second piece of untouched grilled mackerel  that a student had proudly proclaimed he was too full to eat when a sharp knock at the door dragged his attention away.

    “Hey, Kakashi - Kushina told me to bring you your lunch,” called Kei, walking over to where he sat. She gently placed the black bento on the teacher’s desk, along with a second one. “You mind if I eat with you? I’m on break too.” Yes please, eat with me. eat with me. eat with me. Whoa, gotta be cool Kakashi, don’t want to lose face in front of these brats.

    “Sure,” He replied, popping the lid off his lunch. Salt-broiled saury, with several onigiri - it wasn’t much, but it was going to be delicious as always. Kei smiled, and placed a seat across the table from him before sitting down.

    “So, how’s teaching going for you?” She asked, popping a small piece of octopus cut hotdog into her mouth. “Looks like everything’s still intact.”

    What neither saw, or realized, was the small Hyuuga girl in the back activate her byakugan at the small chakra flare. Or the blush overcoming her face, or the sudden determination that befell her.

    “There’s that festival coming up soon,” started Kei as Kakashi dug into his food. “It sounds like it’ll be fun, Hayate really wants to go.” She paused, “As long as Minato-sensei doesn’t send me out on a mission, I should be able to go with him.”

    “Aaa, Kei - I was thinking we might –” He cut off as he felt the Hyuuga girl approach the desk (what now? why now? why why why??)

    “Kakashi-sensei!” She barked, back straight, byakugan active and staring into his one revealed eye. “Please go to the festival with me as a date!no no no no no nononononono

    The third time Kakashi had the encouragement of Genma and Raido. Well, less encouragement and more a sarcastic:‘Good luck with that’  followed by a round of laughter. But what did they know? He was Kakashi Hatake, a prodigy! And even though every attempt before this had ended poorly, he was going to get the girl for sure this time. No beating around the bush, no possible ways for Kei to misinterpret (or for the newly gained Hyuuga stalker to interfere) - he was just plain going to ask her:

    “Kei, would you go on a date with me?” And even if she said no, he would at least get a straight answer. Sure it would hurt, but in the end his friendship with Kei was more important.

    Except nothing worked out the way he wanted when it came to his crush. This time, he just couldn’t find her, no matter where he looked. He tried asking Obito and Rin, but Obito was away on a mission and Rin was busy at the hospital (and Kei wasn’t with them anyway). He tried Hayate next, but all he could get from the small kenjutsu user was “She’s with Kushina-san.” Which was zero help at all, because for once in his life he couldn’t find Kushina either - or Naruto for that matter. And that had him really worried, for all three jinchuuriki to disappear didn’t bode well, and he could feel unease settling in his stomach.

    He needed to see the Hokage - now.

    He hurried, faster than he had ever been before, if something had happened to the tailed beast hosts, to Minato-sensei (and his) family there would be hell to pay. Konoha would go to war if something happened to them, surely the other villages knew that? Or what if there had been a Zetsu incident? If something had happened to her, to them, it would break him.

    So he barged into Minato’s office, surprising the blonde - and yelled out:

    “Sensei! They’re missing, Kei, Kushina and Naruto! I can’t find them in the village - We need to send out a team —” But Minato didn’t move from his seat, and Kakashi’s voice trailed off. Minato had to have heard him, his wife, child and student were missing. Why was he smiling? They had to move now.

    “I know Kakashi-kun,” said Minato. “They’ve gone to Tanzaku-gai for the week. Kushina wanted some ‘jinchuuriki bonding time’. They’ll be back soon, don’t worry.”


The fourth time… Kakashi didn’t have to do anything at all. It was Kei who sought him out. It was Kei who blushed (so so cute) and stammered. And it was Kei who asked so softly,

    “Will you go out with me?”

    Kakashi could have died a happy man, then and there. It was finally happening, he was finally getting Kei’s romantic attentions and damn did it ever feel good. Maybe she had finally caught on to what he was doing, or maybe she had developed a crush on him without him ever noticing the return of affections. It didn’t matter, what mattered was his answer:

    “Of course I will.”

    It was a whirlwind romance, passionate and strong - though sure they did fight (‘Kei please, don’t take that mission - it’s too dangerous’  ‘Says the the guy who joined ANBU in his early teens.’) But it was their romance, and it was beautiful - and Kei only became more beautiful as they aged. From teenagers to young adults, to nearing their mid twenties. Maybe it was later than most ninja, but he made sure the proposal was perfect. He even asked Hayate if he approved of his asking Kei to marry him (Hayate just laughed, ‘you make her happy, why are you even asking me?’).

    Everything was set, Rin was the maid of honor, Obito his best man, and Minato had offered to walk Kei down the aisle and it was finally happening. He had gotten the girl, and she loved him, just as he loved her.

    But it was all for naught. He could hear Naruto crying in the background (did he not approve of his Nee-chan and Nii-san together? Why was he crying like that anyway - it sounded more like an infant’s cries and Naruto was thirteen.)  and Kushina trying to shush him - and -

Oh no.

    “Naru-chan please, Kakashi-kun’s still sleeping.”

No he wasn’t, not anymore at least. He sat up in his bed, running a hand through his silver hair. This wasn’t fair, it just wasn’t fair. The entire thing, Kei asking him out, the years together, the impending wedding - all a dream. He could’ve cried.

Lord Horatio Kitchener (24th June 1850 – 5th June 1916). Kitchener was a British military leader and statesman who, as secretary of state for war in the first years of World War One, organised armies on an unprecedented scale. He was also depicted on the most famous British army recruitment poster ever produced.

Qualcomm Announces the Internet of Everything is Here

Qualcomm has released a video on its YouTube channel which shows how a connected home can change your life. From a faucet that reminds you that it is running to a washing machine that tells you when its done, the Internet of Things (or Internet of Everything as Qualcomm calls it) aims to make our lives easier and more efficient. 

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For the Love of God, 2007

by Damien Hirst

“I just thought, ‘What can you pit against death?”

‘For the Love of God’, a platinum skull set with diamonds, is one of Hirst’s most important and widely recognised works. Its raw materials define it as an artwork of unprecedented scale. The 32 platinum plates making up ‘For the Love of God’ are set with 8,601 VVS to flawless pavé-set diamonds, weighing a massive 1,106.18 carats. The teeth inserted into the jaw are real and belong to the original skull.

The skull from which ‘For the Love of God’ was cast, was purchased from a London taxidermist and subsequently subjected to intensive bioarchaeological analysis and radiocarbon dating. This research revealed it dated from around 1720 - 1810, and was likely to be that of a 35-year-old man of European/Mediterranean ancestry. The title originates from exclamations Hirst’s mother would make on hearing plans for new works when he was starting out as an artist. As he explains: “She used to say, ‘For the love of God, what are you going to do next!’” 

‘For the Love of God’ acts as a reminder that our existence on earth is transient. Hirst combined the imagery of classic memento mori with inspiration drawn from Aztec skulls and the Mexican love of decoration and attitude towards death. He explains of death: “You don’t like it, so you disguise it or you decorate it to make it look like something bearable – to such an extent that it becomes something else.”

Are you feeling overwhelmed and anxious? Take a deep breath and read this.

Today I felt very overwhelmed and anxious with the assignments I have and their due dates. I decided to find a good article to read in order to calm myself down. I felt much better while I was reading it, and then I thought one of you guys could be needing this too. Below is a copy of this article as well as its source. I hope this article helps you feel better too. 

13 Questions To Ask Yourself If You’re Feeling Overwhelmed

“ You skipped breakfast, your boss moved your deadline to the end of the day and you forgot to wear deodorant (again!). What do you do when it all feels like too much? Start by taking a deep breath and asking yourself a few of these questions.

1. Why Am I Overwhelmed?
"Overwhelm” is increasingly common as demands on human attention increase exponentially. The human brain just wasn’t designed to handle the environment we inhabit. For the vast majority of world history, human life – both culture and biology – was shaped by scarcity. Food, clothing, shelter, tools and pretty much everything else had to be farmed or fabricated, at a very high cost in time and energy. Knowledge was power, and it was hard to come by; for centuries, books had to be copied by hand and were rare and precious. Even people were scarce: Friends and relatives died young (as late as 1900, life expectancy in the United States was approximately 49 years). This kind of scarcity still rules the world’s poorest regions. But in the developed world, hundreds of millions of us now face the bizarre problem of surfeit. Yet our brains, instincts and socialized behavior are still geared to an environment of lack. The result? Overwhelm – on an unprecedented scale. 
– Martha Beck

2. Am I Really Busy Or Does It Just Feel This Way?
Most of us judge how busy we are by how much we have to do. When there are too many things to do, we think we’re busy, and when there isn’t much to do, it feels like we’re not busy at all. But in fact, we can feel busy when there isn’t that much to do, and we can feel relaxed even when there’s a lot going on. The states of “busy” and “not busy” aren’t defined by how many things there are to do. Contrary to popular opinion, there is no such thing as multitasking; the brain can tend to only one thing at a time. Being too busy or not being busy is an interpretation of our activity. Busy-ness is a state of mind, not a fact. No matter how much or how little we’re doing, we’re always just doing what we’re doing, simply living this one moment of our lives.
– Norman Fischer

3. What’s The Priority Here?
Think about it: Humans are the only creatures in nature that resist the pattern of ebb and flow. We want the sun to shine all night, and when it doesn’t, we create cities that never sleep. Seeking a continuous energetic and emotional high, we use everything from exciting parties to illegal chemicals. But natural ebbs – the darkness between days, the emptiness between fill-ups, the fallow time between growing seasons – are the necessary complements of upbeats. They hold a message for us. If you listen at your life’s low points, you’ll hear it, too. It’s just one simple, blessed word: Rest.
– Martha Beck

4. What If I Don’t Have Enough Time?
There are two problems with time. The first one is that after a certain number of hours fatigue inevitably sets in. After that, you make more mistakes, you get into more conflict with co-workers, you’re less creative and you’re less efficient. The second problem with time is that it’s finite, and most of us don’t have any of it left to invest. Our dance cards are full. For example, in an effort to get more done, one of the first things we’re willing to sacrifice is sleep.

But consider this disturbing fact: Sleeping even a single hour less than our bodies require reduces our cognitive capacity dramatically. Much as we try, we can’t fool our bodies. Consider this statistic: Even a single hour less sleep than you need to feel fully rested takes a significant toll on your capacity to think clearly and logically when you’re awake. Sacrificing sleep is self-defeating. So, what’s the solution? It’s not to manage your time better. It’s to manage your energy. 
– Tony Schwartz

5. Am I Surrounded By Energy Suckers?
Energy Suckers (a.k.a Negative Nancies, Debbie Downers and Sad Sids). These are the people who find the cloud around every silver lining. If you can’t cut them out of your life entirely, turn your interactions with them into a game. When my neighbor says, “I hate this horrible weather!” I say, “Isn’t horrible weather great? It means I don’t have to wash my car!" 
– Donna Brazile

6. Do I Have to Do It All By Myself?
Insisting on doing everything yourself burdens you and prevents others from feeling valuable and needed. Delegate more at home and at work, and free your time for things you love and excel at. 
– Julie Morgenstern

7. What Would It Take For Me To Just Say No?
Most people claim they give in to sudden requests because they hate letting others down. I say it’s more about not disappointing ourselves: We’re hooked on feeling needed. If we take a hard look at ourselves, we might see that we unwittingly encourage people to come to us for every little thing. Interruptions can also be a welcome distraction. Faced with an unpleasant task, we’re more than happy to turn our attention elsewhere. Finally, we often don’t say no because of simple disorganization. In a choppy and shapeless day, we handle disruption immediately because we figure, if not now, when? While it’s important to be reasonably accessible to the people you live and work with, you don’t want to spend most of your waking hours in helper mode at the expense of completing your own critical tasks. Even if you’re in crisis management or, for that matter, if you’re a stay-at-home mom, you need to prioritize requests. Otherwise you get trapped in a whirlwind of multitasking where you start many things and finish nothing. 
– Julie Morgenstern

8. Is My Stuff Taking Over My Life?
Every single person I have met tells me not only about their own clutter problems but about those of a family member, or those of a friend. Nobody seems immune. The stories are not dissimilar – papers and magazines run amok, garages overflow with unopened boxes, kids’ toys fill rooms, and closets are so stuffed that it looks like the clothing department of a major retailer is having a fire sale. The epidemic of clutter, the seeming inability to get organized, and the sense that "the stuff” is taking over affects us all. We are at the center of an orgy of consumption, and many are now seeing that this need to own so much comes with a heavy price: kids so overstimulated by the sheer volume of stuff in their home that they lose the ability to concentrate and focus. Financial strain caused by misplaced bills or overpurchasing. Constant fighting because neither partner is prepared to let go of their possessions. The embarrassment of living in a house that long ago became more of a storage facility than a home. This clutter doesn’t come just in the form of the physical items that crowd our homes. We are bombarded every day with dire predictions of disaster and face many uncertainties – some real and many manufactured. Think about the perils that we’ve been warned about in the last decade alone – killer bees, Y2K, SARS, anthrax, mad cow disease, avian flu, flesh-eating bacteria… the list goes on and on. We are also faced daily with reports of war, an unstable economy and global terrorism coming very close to home. Surprisingly, this endless barrage (its own kind of clutter) inspires many of the families with whom I work to finally take control of their own clutter. In an unpredictable, dangerous world that is out of their control, they look to their homes for stability – to get some degree of organization back into their closets, their garages, their home offices, their lives. This quest for organization is a deeply personal response to the feeling that the rest of the world is out of control. 
– Peter Walsh

9. But, I Want So Much. Will I Ever Be Enough?
When we are busy focusing on what we don’t have, we don’t pay attention to what we do have. Wanting is different from having. Wanting is in the future. It is based on an idea of what might make you happy in five minutes, tomorrow, next week. But having is here, now. Most of us don’t let ourselves have what’s in front of us, so we’re always wanting more. When you don’t let yourself have what you already have, you are always hungry, always searching, always restless. 
– Geneen Roth

10. Am I Breaking Out Because I’m Stressed Out?
As the mind-skin connection gains credence, beauty companies have seized on the new marketing opportunity, launching serums and balms that they say cater specifically to the effects of stress on the skin. Without any independent clinical trials to back up these product claims, dermatologists are skeptical about how effective they might be. But doctors do advocate paying extra attention to your skin during tumultuous times. “If you already use acne products, increase the frequency of application when you’re entering a stressful period,” says Fried. And because skin’s immunity is impaired when you’re under stress, making you more susceptible to sun damage, he says, it’s even more important to apply (and reapply) sunscreen. A bonus: Taking special care with your daily beauty regimen may help soothe your spirits as well as your skin. Fried conducted a study in which 32 women used an alpha hydroxy acid lotion on their faces for 12 weeks. Their skin felt smoother in the end, but the participants also reported feeling happier in general. “As soon as these women saw an improvement in their skin, it fostered a wider-reaching sense of optimism,” says Richard Fried, MD, PhD, a dermatologist and clinical psychologist. “Their feelings of stress or depression also decreased because they felt more in control – over their skin, their bodies, their world." 
– Jenny Bailly

11. Is All Stress Bad?
Short-term stress triggers the production of protective chemicals and increases activity in immune cells that boost the body’s defenses; think of it as having your own personal repair crew. "A burst of stress quickly mobilizes this ‘crew’ to damaged areas where they are likely to be needed,” explains Firdaus Dhabhar, PhD, director of research at the Stanford University Center on Stress and Health. As a result, your brain and body get a boost. A quick surge of stress can stave off disease: Studies suggest that it strengthens the immune system, makes vaccinations more effective, and may even protect against certain types of cancer. Small amounts of stress hormones can also sharpen your memory. In 2009 University at Buffalo researchers found that when rats were forced to swim – an activity that stresses them out – they remembered their way through mazes far better than rats that chilled out instead. The key, of course, is balance. Too little stress and you’re bored and unmotivated; too much and you become not just cranky but sick. “It’s important to pay attention to your stress thermometer,” and to stay below the boiling point, explains life coach Ruth Klein, author of The De-Stress Diva’s Guide to Life. 
– Melinda Wenner Moyer

12. Is It Better to Fight Anxiety or Is It Okay to Be Nervous?
Accept that you’re having an anxiety moment – trying to squelch or deny it will only make it worse – and just focus on what’s in front of you, says David Barlow, PhD, founder of the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University. If you’re at an interview, meeting or party, listen intently to what the other person is saying. Make eye contact. When it’s your turn to speak, be conscious of every word you say. If you’re at your desk, respond to overdue e-mails or tackle the pile in your in-box. Whatever you’re doing, take a few deep breaths to help let the anxious thoughts and feelings float on by. 
– Naomi Barr 

13. How Do I Stop Focusing on the Clock?
The elimination of time from your consciousness is the elimination of ego. It is the only true spiritual practice. Here are three exercises to help you move in this direction:

  • Step out of the time dimension as much as possible in everyday life. Become friendly toward the present moment. Make it your practice to withdraw attention from past and future whenever they are not needed.
  • Be present as the watcher of your mind – of your thoughts and emotions as well as your reactions in various situations. Be at least as interested in your reactions as in the situation or person that causes you to react.
  • Use your senses fully. Be where you are. Look around. Just look, don’t interpret. Be aware of the silent presence of each thing. Be aware of the space that allows everything to be. Listen to the sounds; don’t judge them. Listen to the silence beneath the sounds. Touch something – anything – and feel and acknowledge its Being. Allow the “isness” of all things. Move deeply into the Now.
– Eckhart Tolle"


Everyone at home is getting live updates from the survivors of an unprecedented large-scale disaster on the other side of the world.

Grandpa Nutmeg will have to wait for his newspaper to publish something about it tomorrow, somewhere on probably page 3.  

(the bird is an asshole)

Gaslighting tends to follow when intimidation is no longer acceptable. I believe that gaslighting is happening culturally and interpersonally on an unprecedented scale, and that this is the result of a societal framework where we pretend everyone is equal while trying simultaneously to preserve inequality. You can see it in the media constantly. For instance, every time an obvious hate crime is portrayed as an isolated case of mental illness, this is gaslighting. The media is saying to you, what you know to be true, is not true. Domestic violence wasn’t seen as a serious crime until the 1970s. So, did we, in the last 40 years, address the beliefs that cause domestic violence? No. But now if you beat your wife you’re usually considered to be a bad guy. So what do you do, with all the beliefs that would lead you to violence, if violence is no longer an acceptable option? You use manipulation, and you use gaslighting.
Thanks J2 for throwing the Destiel fandom under the bus.

I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to this free pass you’ve given your rabid fans to bully us on an unprecedented scale. The two of you are so far out of touch with the fan community on this show that you don’t even realize what your words are doing.

Or maybe you do and you don’t care.

While I’m watching many of my Destiel friends walk away from the show this morning because of two days worth of “that would ruin the show”, I’m not walking away. Not because I support these comments but because somebody needs to take a stand and say you’re not chasing me away from something I like just because you don’t like it. We’re all different with different tastes and nobody should feel like they’re ruining anything with how they feel.

I LIKE writing Destiel stories.

I’m going to CONTINUE writing Destiel stories.

I also LIKE Supernatural outside of Dean and Cas, which seems to be something people don’t understand about fans like me.

Jared and Jensen do not dictate how I’m allowed to feel about something. They’re also very much allowed not to like it. What has me upset is the fact that they don’t even know their irresponsible comments have just armed their rabid tinhatter fans with the venom to bully us like they’ve been told it’s okay now. The only fans they’re in touch with are the yes men. The ones who praise and admire everything they do without holding them accountable for the entire sections of the fan community that they’ve alienated. They can’t know how badly they’ve hurt a lot of people if nobody tells them.

I like Jared and Jensen.

I don’t have to like what they’ve said.

Think twice before you attack Destiel fans who are really hurt right now. If the situation was reversed and the actors said something like Dean or Sam were ruining the show, you’d be incredibly hurt too. All I’m saying is you can agree with Jared and Jensen or you can disagree. I don’t really care. But don’t use it as an excuse to hurt other fans. Show some compassion and let others feel the way they feel.

To be clear, I don’t find fault in J2 for having their personal opinions. I find fault in the way they’ve expressed them in public fan events where there are people present who will be very hurt by those comments. It’s not good PR.

I’m still with the show and I still want to write my fan fiction because those are things I like. I don’t need anyone’s permission to be the type of fan that I am. But I’m very disappointed right now.


April 29th 1945: Hitler marries Eva Braun

On this day in 1945, as Germany’s defeat in the Second World War became imminent, Adolf Hitler married his lover Eva Braun. Hitler’s National Socialist Party, more commonly referred to as Nazis, came to power in 1933 with Hitler as Chancellor. He immediately set about consolidating his power and establishing a dictatorship in Germany, making himself Führer. An ardent nationalist, Hitler targetted groups he considered a threat to Germany, including Jews, communists, gypsies, homosexuals and the disabled. His regime committed atrocities on an unprecedented scale; the Holocaust saw the deaths of six million Jews and World War Two, which Hitler’s aggressive foreign policy precipitated, was the most destructive war in history. Hitler’s relationship with Eva Braun predated his rise to power, but they never married as Hitler feared it would damage his image. Their relationship was thus kept quiet, but was nonetheless apparently affectionate. At the end of the war, as the Allied forces moved on Berlin and defeat seemed all but certain, Hitler (along with some of his advisers and Braun herself) relocated to the Führerbunker. In the early hours of the morning on April 29th 1945 the pair got married in a small civil ceremony in the bunker, the culmination of a relationship that had lasted over ten years. The newlyweds hosted a modest wedding breakfast, attended by the bunker’s fellow residents such as Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, and promptly made their wills. The next day, April 30th 1945, the couple committed suicide together, with Braun ingesting a cyanide capsule and Hitler shooting himself. In one fell swoop their love affair was over, as was Hitler’s brutal dictatorship and the war that had plagued Europe since 1939.

“From our first meeting I swore to follow you anywhere even unto death. I live only for your love”
- Eva Braun in a letter to Hitler, after the July 1944 attempt on his life


For his new book of photographs, “Cycle & Recycle,” the photographer Paul Bulteel travelled to recycling plants in Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, the Netherlands, and France. He wanted not only to document the “volumes and variety of waste streams,” which photographers and artists have been doing for decades, but also to illustrate and encourage efforts “to recycle waste on an unprecedented scale.”

See more of his photographs.

Obama is operating well within the scope of the law, and he’s far from the first to employ executive actions to carry out a policy on immigration. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and both Bushes have all used executive actions to manage the legal status and deportation rate of immigrants. A number of prominent legal scholars outside the White House, both liberal and conservative, have publicly declared it lawful.

What is unprecedented is the scale in this realm of policy. Obama’s executive actions will shape the fate of up to 5 million people living in the United States without legal documentation, which is much larger than any such action in the past.

Sequel Plans Began During Shooting of the First Rurouni Kenshin

The Start of an Epic 20-month Odyssey
     Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno and The Legend Ends, two gigantic action films shot together on a scale unprecedented in Japanese film. Why did it happen this way? Executive Producer Hiroyoshi Koiwai explains, the story taking him back to 2011, during the filming of the first Rurouni Kenshin.
    ‘Right from the start, if we were going to make a movie of Rurouni Kenshin, we just had to do the ‘Kyoto Inferno’ part. That’s what everybody thought. ‘Kyoto Inferno’ was the favorite part for fans of the manga as well. We were originally thinking of bringing Makoto Shishio into Part 1, but without all the back story being understood, there wouldn’t have been enough depth to the final showdown between him and Kenshin. So we figured we had to do a proper ‘Kamiya Dojo’ story. And then, if that went well, we could do ‘Kyoto Inferno’. So that’s how Part 1 got started. If we could, we wanted to make ‘Kyoto Inferno’. That was our biggest goal.’
    Usually a sequel comes about as a result of the success of the first movie, but Koiwai says since he felt a really good vibe when shooting the first film, it led him to breach the subject of a second with director Keishi Otomo while filming was still going on.
    ‘Of course, if the first film hadn’t been a success, there would be no second one, but the fact is that even at that point I wanted to make a sequel. Then when we started, we realized that there was too much volume in the manga’s ‘Kyoto Inferno’ section to make it into one movie. Since we were following up on a big hit, we thought, “What the hell, let’s make the sequel into a Part 1 and Part 2.” Audiences now don’t automatically think, “If it’s a two-part movie it must be hard to sit through,” they think, “are the filmmakers so confident to make a two-part movie?” For that reason, I thought it was a better idea to make a two-part movie.’
    Rurouni Kenshin went on to succeed beyond anyone’s wildest dreams, and production of the sequel began at the beginning of 2013.
    Thus began a 20-month production odyssey. It was to be a journey like none other.

Filming in Quest of the Most
A six-month shoot, 5,000 extras, more than 30 locations
    First the filming, which was set for five months, was extended to six. 2013 was a year of more than the usual number of typhoons, and shooting was suspended four times due to inclement weather, with a total loss of 20 days. The shooting schedule had to be arranged to fit around the commitments of a cast of highly popular actors, which meant problems in maximizing the efficient use of money and time.  Amidst all these difficulties, the filmmakers were determined to make the new Rurouni Kenshin the greatest visual experience possible in a Japanese film. The biggest item was locations: there were more than 30 of these, scattered over ten different prefectures, from one end of the country to the other.
    ‘That’s how it worked out,’ says Koiwai. ‘This was not the Edo-period world of the Shoguns, nor was it modern times. Because Rurouni Kenshin takes place early in the Meiji Era, a time that was giving birth to a new set of values and a new landscape, we needed variety in our locations. There weren’t many places offering that particular combination of Japan and the West. And if we compromise even a little, that world of Rurouni Kenshin crumbles before our eyes. The sequel has to surpass the original, or to turn that around, I think we were able to do the things we could only have done because we were making the sequel to a very successful first movie.’
    Visually, the world as it exists on screen in Rurouni Kenshin has deliberately been made bigger and wider in perspective. ‘There was no point in just remaking Part 1,’ says Koiwai. ‘Everybody from the director on through the cast and staff shared this awareness. In the good sense, we had to subvert the audience’s expectations. We had to give the audience more than they’d be expecting. That consciousness underlies every part of the movie. Basically, it was “more than before!”’
    Considering how much tenacity had gone into the search for locations, no expense could be spared on the sets. The fiendish glint of Shishio’s ‘Purgatory’, and the character’s entry onto the screen, all of these had to be extravagant in scale.
    ‘From the aspect of story as well, it’s important that the locations shift. In a way, it’s a kind of road movie, and it can’t be taking place in the same kind of spaces all the time. We need a lot of variation. Of course all of this has to be believable as well. The original manga has inspired the imagination of a great many readers, and the movie needs to recreate this experience. I think the production staff at Warner Brothers are going to be surprised by the scale and the quality of what they see on the screen.’

Photo collage by me- Hana Angel (^_^x)
(Photos in the collage from my friend, Rina. Arigatou!)

Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno/The Legend Ends photos courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
Articles courtesy of a reliable source from the local media. Thanks so much for sharing. <3