The Dance of the Planets

The Dance of the Planets

Draw a line between the position of two planets every several days and behold the apparition of beautiful shapes.

The article lists some other funky coincidences about the planetary bodies in our solar system. It’s written in a slightly “new age metaphysical” tone, but facts are facts and these are undoubtedly interesting facts. Personally, what I draw from all the above is a feeling of complete agreement with what a wiser person has said before me: “Mathematics is the language of nature” (and I perceive even physics and chemistry as flavors of mathematics).

Best of 2017

Best 99 Things That Happened in 2017

There’s a lot of negative news out here, and for good reason I’d say. The world has indeed improved since a century ago, but we as a species know we can do better. I’m happy to see that people strive in that direction by wanting to improve and shouting about those things that are obviously wrong with our civilization.

But here’s a list of good news from around the world. And all of these happened in one, single year!

Children and Apologies

Children and Apologies

Children do not perceive mistakes the same way we do. They are oblivious to most social norms and cultural taboos. However, children have been found to have an understanding of right and wrong from as early as 19 months old. I believe they can empathize from a much earlier age (depending on the emotional nourishment they received as infants).

The article below discusses how parents sometimes force their children to say “I’m sorry”. It’s a double mistake: first of all, the child is humiliated and secondly, the child doesn’t even understand the reason why the apology is made, hence damaging his or her understanding of the concept of being sorry.

Salma Hayek Frida

Salma Hayek and Harvey Weinstein

Weinstein’s disgusting behavior towards women triggered the famous #MeToo social media campaign. It’s all history now. There are some very good articles out there about Weinstein and other libidinous rich men. There’s also the shocking leaked audio of the predator in action.

In this eye-opening timeline, we are shown how much things have changed because of the scandal that has rocked Hollywood, the world’s #1 exporter of corrupt cultural values. Thanks to #MeToo, the protest went global. I feel like women’s rights have made an important step forward since then.

But from all the articles I read, I took a particular liking to Salma Hayek’s story about the movie “Frida”, produced by Weinstein. This vulnerable, heart-felt story made me empathize with the victims more than anything else I read or heard on the topic.

Shark dragging

This Year’s Dose of Horrible Behavior Towards Animals

How would you feel if some dudes would grab somebody dear to you, tie that person to a car and drag them around town for a couple of miles? While doing this, of course, they would laugh, because torture is fun.

And then there’s this horrific way to celebrate students: a jungle-themed prom where majestic wild animals are disrespected and psychologically tormented. This sets, of course, a wonderful example for the adults, parents and decision makers of tomorrow.

Ants Rescue Their Wounded

Ants Take Care of Their Wounded

It’s impressive how creatures with a (much) smaller brain than ours are capable of complex behaviors such as taking care of their wounded. Could it be that instinct is smarter than being smart?

This is evolution at its best. As the main author of instinctual behavior refinement, evolution has given these ants an edge. Because they take care of their wounded, they could very well prevail should they get into a contest with other (ant) species.

The Three Gates

The Three Gates

Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates. At the first gate, ask yourself ‘Is it true?’ At the second gate ask, ‘Is it necessary?’ At the third gate ask, ‘Is it kind?’

This beautiful Sufi saying has been with me for several years now. I wanted to write a few words about it since quite some time ago. First of all, this is one of the best rules for life that I’ve ever encountered in any culture. I’d like to also paraphrase it as such:

Before you take any action, let your thoughts pass through three gates. At the first gate, ask yourself ‘Is it an honest action?’ At the second gate ask, ‘Is it necessary?’ At the third gate ask, ‘Is it kind?

Free Bleeding

Free Bleeding (Menstruation)

Even though it’s obvious that such a practice exists, living with free bleeding in the “civilized” world (read: “taboo world” or “rigid culture world”) can be tricky. What is free menstruation you ask? Well, here’s an interesting read.

Do I have an opinion about the practice? No! But I do have an opinion about people who make a fuss out of this: oh yes!

Neonicotinoids and Bees

Pesticides Harming Bees Banned in Europe – Major Win for Our Ecosystem

Good news is even better when it arrives unexpected. In a major win for our ecosystem, the European Union has banned the use of neonicotinoids. Other than the fact that the use of such poison is another example of arrogant human interference in the environment, this category of pesticides is destroying bee colonies worldwide. Bees are responsible for pollinating a majority of our crops, so a major bee die-off would seriously impact our food supply. When it comes to respecting our ecosystem, it’s lovely how Europe leads the way!

Reef Death

Reef Death

“One-third of the 3,863 reefs that make up the Great Barrier Reef — the largest, most extensive reef system in the world — went through a catastrophic die-off after a searing heat wave in 2016, according to a newly published study in the journal Nature. A bleaching event in 2017 devastated even more of that reef, and the cumulative effects have killed an estimated half of the magnificent system in just two years.”

It’s a quote from the article below, a work that fits in the “doom and gloom” category. But unlike articles about Planet X, the “unavoidable catastrophic” eruption of Yellowstone or the reversal of the Earth’s magnetic poles, this is “real doom and gloom”. Corals around the world are dying at an alarming rate. This can lead to sudden, disastrous effects on the ocean ecosystem (and thus, the entire planet).