News-in-Transition

17 August 2017

The Secret Life of Trees: The Astonishing Science of What Trees Feel and How They Communicate - “A tree can be only as strong as the forest that surrounds it.”

Trees dominate the world’s the oldest living organisms. Since the dawn of our species, they have been our silent companions, permeating our most enduring tales and never ceasing to inspire fantastical cosmogonies. Hermann Hesse called them “the most penetrating of preachers.” A forgotten seventeenth-century English gardener wrote of how they “speak to the mind, and tell us many things, and teach us many good lessons.”

But trees might be among our lushest metaphors and sensemaking frameworks for knowledge precisely because the richness of what they say is more than metaphorical — they speak a sophisticated silent language, communicating complex information via smell, taste, and electrical impulses. This fascinating secret world of signals is what German forester Peter Wohlleben explores in The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate (public library).

Wohlleben chronicles what his own experience of managing a forest in the Eifel mountains in Germany has taught him about the astonishing language of trees and how trailblazing arboreal research from scientists around the world reveals “the role forests play in making our world the kind of place where we want to live.” As we’re only just beginning to understand nonhuman consciousnesses, what emerges from Wohlleben’s revelatory reframing of our oldest companions is an invitation to see anew what we have spent eons taking for granted and, in this act of seeing, to care more deeply about these remarkable beings that make life on this planet we call home not only infinitely more pleasurable, but possible at all.

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16 August 2017

 - As Millennials age and replace the Baby Boomers as the food industry’s main consumers, a new American diet that rejects processed foods is becoming increasingly popular and shifting the current supply chain.

At present, only 15 percent of U.S. farmable land is devoted to growing the fruits, legumes, and greens that this generation is hungry for, causing their cravings to be satiated by pricey imports. The lack of domestic production on a sufficient scale has inspired many Millennials to grow food for themselves, as it mitigates the food miles, expense, and lack of equitable food access that a reliance on imports creates.

In result, the National Gardening Association (NGA) reported that the number of Millennial households growing their own food increased 63 percent from 2008 to 2013. It is unlikely that this statistic has greatly decreased; a 2016 NGA survey reported five out of the six million Americans that took up gardening last year were Millennials. Even space-limited city dwellers have joined in, and it is not uncommon to find folks of this generation with apartment apiaries, rooftop gardens, or aquaponic systems.

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16 August 2017

 - No matter what you turn, it seems the world is burning and chaos reigns supreme. War, threats of war, racism, violence, hatred, and division populate the news cycle and leave us few options but to hang our heads in hopelessness, despair, and increasingly, rage.

While there certainly are countless reasons to be concerned about humanity’s trajectory, however, positive things are happening, and it’s important to be aware of them to keep things in perspective — and to keep your sanity. Here are some recent and long-term developments to remind you there is still hope for the human race.

Let’s start with some antidotes to the most depressing news of the past week:

Last week, many Americans worried nuclear war was upon us after Donald Trump and North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un exchanged violent threats. Media reports that North Korea possesses dangerous weapons capable of reaching the U.S. persist, but other reports have suggested the threat is not what the hype has led us to believe.

For one, many South Koreans have declined to fall victim to the hysteria and continue to live their lives. Various military-oriented news outlets have also reported that American troops and defense institutions are not moving forward with war operations. South Korea’s president said this week that there will be no war.

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15 August 2017

 - The anti-homework trend is growing. It started with the teacher from Texas who banned homework from her second grade class, encouraging families to spend time reading, playing, and eating together instead.

It spread to a New Jersey elementary school, where the principal and his teaching staff voted to be homework free for the 2016-2017 school year.

And now, according to Valerie Strauss in The Washington Post, homework is headed for the dumpster bin in an entire school district:

“Elementary school students in one Florida school district are going to find a welcome new — but controversial — policy when they return to school for the 2017-2018 school year next month: no traditional homework.

They are being asked to do one thing to help them academically: Read for 20 minutes a night.

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15 August 2017

karimic-tools-144 - 8/13 ~ Sun (your core drives) ~trine~ Saturn (discipline & order): This energy gives you the direction & discipline at the same time. Use it consciously to fuel your goals at this time, as you will be blessed by your past efforts. You are completely supported to structure your life in a whole new way...

 - 8/15 ~ Venus (relationships & resources) ~oppose~ Pluto (purification & transformation): Classic opposition: anything with Venus is usually softened, while anything with Pluto is always intensified, and the opposition automatically brings up the push-pull between these two. You are encouraged to tune into your own heart and then you can trust what is rising from your own depths...

 - 8/17 ~ Venus (love, finances & relationships) ~square~ Jupiter (expansion & consciousness): This energy is a happy-go-lucky kind of energy that doesn't really want to be bothered with the mundane, however, you must not allow that passing energy to get you so off track that it costs you more than it is worth. If you don't have any pressing obligations, then this will be a fun, relaxing time, possibly with friends having some fun...

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14 August 2017

 - Few middle schoolers are as clued in to their mathematical strengths and weakness as Moheeb Kaied. Now a seventh grader at Brooklyn’s Middle School 442, he can easily rattle off his computational profile.

“Let’s see,” he said one morning this spring. “I can find the area and perimeter of a polygon. I can solve mathematical and real-world problems using a coordinate plane. I still need to get better at dividing multiple-digit numbers, which means I should probably practice that more.”

Moheeb is part of a new program that is challenging the way teachers and students think about academic accomplishments, and his school is one of hundreds that have done away with traditional letter grades inside their classrooms. At M.S. 442, students are encouraged to focus instead on mastering a set of grade-level skills, like writing a scientific hypothesis or identifying themes in a story, moving to the next set of skills when they have demonstrated that they are ready. In these schools, there is no such thing as a C or a D for a lazily written term paper. There is no failing. The only goal is to learn the material, sooner or later.

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14 August 2017

- A total solar eclipse will take place in the USA on August 21st, 2017 with maximum eclipse point at 14.40hrs or 2.40pm for Washington.

The total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon completely darkens the disk of the Sun.

On that date, people across the USA will see the Sun disappear behind the Moon, turning daylight into twilight, causing the temperature to drop rapidly and revealing massive streamers of light streaking through the sky around the silhouette of the Moon. On that day, America will fall under the path of a total solar eclipse.

The purpose of this article is to investigate from the point of view of the ancient Mesopotamian astrology and the ancient omen theory, what this eclipse will bring and cause to America and the world in a short and long terms.

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13 August 2017

 - Having recently watched the wildly popular film V for Vendetta again after many years, I do admit to having chills when the masses don their masks in courageous defiance of the neo-Fascist State, which has pushed its agenda too far and, consequently, is teetering on the brink of destruction. The rebel in me shares an affinity with that specific scene, as well as the overall message of the film.

However, where one person sees liberation, another is equally horrified at such lawlessness. For a majority of us, anarchy is nothing more than senseless violence meant to destabilize the land, its people and economy. Granted, anarchists don’t exactly have the most glowing track record — think masked thugs who smashed windows, sprayed graffiti and damaged patrol cars during the relatively peaceful Seattle WTO protests in 1999, or the chaotic protests against the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, which ultimately lead to violent clashes with police.

But maybe the idea behind anarchy has been misunderstood — like many ideologies throughout history which have been hijacked and distorted. Maybe the time has come to revisit anarchy — and recognize that it might just be what we need to solve many of the issues we are faced with today.

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13 August 2017

 - There is an ancient and well-kept secret to happiness which the Great Ones have known for centuries. They rarely speak of it, but they use it all the time, and it is fundamental to good mental health. This secret is called The Fine Art of Not Being Offended.
 
In order to truly be a master of this art, one must be able to see that every statement, action and reaction of another human being is the sum result of their total life experience to date. In other words, the majority of people in our world say and do what they do from their own set of fears, conclusions, defenses and attempts to survive. Most of it, even when aimed directly at us, has nothing to do with us. Usually, it has more to do with all the other times, and in particular the first few times, that this person experienced a similar situation, usually when they were young.
 
Yes, this is psychodynamic. But let’s face it, we live in a world where psychodynamics are what make the world go around. An individual who wishes to live successfully in the world as a spiritual person really needs to understand that psychology is as spiritual as prayer. In fact, the word psychology literally means the study of the soul.

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12 August 2017

 - People are having less sex and sleep since the dawn of the smartphone age, a new book by a professor of psychology claims.

More than 75 per cent of teens own an iPhone, according to a recent US study, and since the 2007 launch of the iPhone rates of loneliness amongst teens have soared alongside a worrying decrease in mental wellbeing.

According to figures collated by Jean M Twenge, the number of teenagers spending time with friends nearly everyday dropped by more than 40 per cent between 2000 and 2015, with rates of loneliness subsequently soaring.

Today's teens are dating less too, with 20 per cent less putting themselves out there in 2015 than in 2007.

That's not all, according to the data they're also having less sex, getting less sleep and even driving less than ever before. Are today's teens less independent than previous generations? Or are they simply Insta-comatosed?

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11 August 2017

 - The theory that we plan our lives was something I had never heard of before 2011. Up until that point, I could not have even imagined such a thing. Even after hearing about it 3 years ago, it took me quite a long time to let this concept into my paradigm. How I stumbled upon it wasn’t even through my avid research of the afterlife and reincarnation. It came to me through a vision I had. Before the vision, I believed in reincarnation. The idea of it had always fascinated me and I felt strongly that I did have past lives; I just didn’t know what those lives entailed. After three years of intense research and listening to many people from all different backgrounds and beliefs speak about it from all around the world, I knew it was something that needed to be shared and discussed.

“Many people feel that reincarnation can’t exist because they don’t remember their past and my answer to the world is we do remember. We don’t have the details but we have certain key hints as to who we are. The type of music we like, the people we are most attracted to, the types of food we like, the clothing we wear, certain periods of history that we identify with. These are indications this is where we have been before and so our present incarnation or our present lifetime is a composite of all the fruits of what we were before.”

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11 August 2017

Monsanto knew of grave health risks from toxic PCB chemicals it sold for years before ban, docs say - Monsanto used toxic industrial chemicals known as PCBs in the production of everyday appliances such as TVs, fridges and plastics for at least eight years after discovering the harm they did, newly-compiled archives claim to prove.

From the 1930s, and until the end of their distribution in 1977, Monsanto was the dominant US producer of the chemicals.

Now a trove of 20,000 documents, dubbed the “Poison Papers,” gathered from regulators, lawsuits and archives by campaigners and scientists, claims that the Missouri-headquartered company openly discussed the environmental and health impact of PCBs.

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Group healing events for the remainder of 2017:

21 August - Total Solar Eclipse - Register for this event!

22 September - Equinox

21 December - Solstice

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21 August 2017 - Total Solar Eclipse

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