Putting a brave face on Facebook: "I do think there's a potential hazard when people log online at times they're already feeling sad, if they don't recognize that the portrait of peers' lives they're receiving online can be as heavily edited as a television program" Caroline Purser (Irish Times).
"Because they are exclusive, and fun, and they lead to a better life,” Mark Zuckerberg tells his (soon-to-be-ex) girlfriend in "Social Network," explaining why he wanted to crack the Harvard society clubs with his cyber invention that quickly transmogrified into Facebook.
One of the fascinations of the film lay in watching the dramatisation of its lightning growth from a geeky collegiate late-night experiment to its present role as the contact point hundreds of millions of us now switch on to as automatically as the previous generations did the television and the radio. More>>
Improve your Health with How you Breathe
Delia Quigley (care2.com/GreenLiving)
Ever try to hold your breath until you turned blue? But before you would turn blue you would just pass out so your body could take a big suck of air and get back to living. Three minutes, that’s all it takes to rob the brain of enough oxygen to put you into the deep sleep. And yet it is common for people to unconsciously hold their breath for short periods throughout the day.
In a yoga or meditation practice your breath is the key that unlocks the door to the inner Self. It is called Prana, a Sanskrit word, which translates as both breath and life. Prana is the vital energy force that pervades our physical, mental, and spiritual bodies, keeping us alive and vibrant. It also pervades the entire universe.
I met a man once who told me how his quick temper had ruined his marriage and relationships with co-workers. Someone had suggested he try meditation to gain control over his emotions. What he found was that the angrier he became in a situation, the more his chest would tighten from holding his breath until he would explode with verbal or physical violence.
He began to focus his awareness on just breathing calmly. To his surprise, his heart rate would begin to slow, the tension in the pit of his stomach eased, and he could take a full, deep inhale, dissipating his anger.
Godfrey Devereux, in his book The Elements of Yoga, describes how there is no amount of flexibility, strength, stamina, or concentration that can compensate for breath that is repressed in the body. More>>
Abraham Lincoln always thought slavery was unjust — but struggled with what to do once slavery ended. Historian Eric Foner traces how Lincoln's thoughts about slavery — and freed slaves — mirrored America's own transformation in The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery. ListenPlaylist
- The Politics of Reincarnation (Newsweek)
It’s probably best not to even try making sense of Beijing’s pronouncements on the 14th Dalai Lama and other Tibetan spiritual leaders: it’ll only make your head hurt. Last week the officially atheist Chinese government’s State Administration for Religious Affairs disclosed plans to enact a new law forbidding the 75-year-old Buddhist [politician and icon] to be reborn anywhere but on Chinese-controlled soil, and giving final say to Chinese authorities when the time comes to identify his 15th incarnation.
- Tragedy in Crimson: How the Dalai Lama Conquered the World but Lost the Battle with China
Tragedy in Crimson is award-winning journalist Tim Johnson’s extraordinary account of the cat-and-mouse game embroiling China and the Tibetan exile community [led by the CIA-backed Dalai Lama] over Tibet. Johnson reports from the front lines, trekking to nomad resettlements to speak with the people who guard Tibet’s slowly vanishing culture. Reviewed by the Wall Street Journal [Now we ask ourselves, Why would a financial paper like the WSJ or PRI/NPR take an interest if the CIA weren't playing a major role in this unfolding drama?]
- I read to my girls a few pages from Huston Smith's venerable The World's Religions. Before we even began, Larkin announced, "You know, I have to say that, from what I've learned already in world history and stuff, Hinduism just seems to make a lot of sense." Indeed, Smith extols what he sees as the practical nature of Hinduism, which basically is the recognition that people are different and therefore are going to need different ways of unfolding spiritually. "Some people are primarily reflective," he wrote. "Others are basically emotional. Still others are essentially active. Finally, some are experimentally inclined. For each of these personality types Hinduism prescribes a distinct yoga."