I have a collection of tabs open in my browser which mostly contain information I want to share, yet I don’t have the time to share it individually; instead I’m dumping it all in this article.

Science has discovered the secret of creativity, supposedly. Valerie van Mulukom, a research associate in psychology at Coventry University in the UK, writes about these findings in an article over on the conversation site. She begins with the fact that imagination pushes us forward as a species, which leads to new inventions, discoveries and bright ideas.

Valeria asks the questions, “Why does our ability to imagine differ so much individually, ” and “can we train ourselves to be more imaginative?”

https://theconversation.com/the-secret-to-creativity-according-to-science-89592

A few days ago a great article came out from National Geographic talking about the new photos from NASA showing eroded banks on mars that reveal underground bands of bluish material strongly suggesting the existence of ice. Yes, they found water on Mars again, but this discovery is much more important because of the volume of water.

Eight sites in total have been discovered with these images, where erosion on steep banks have exposed layers of rock and ice. The article goes into the repercussions of what this means for future missions to mars.

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/01/mars-buried-water-ice-subsurface-geology-astronauts-science/

James Hartzell, writing for Scientific America, discusses recent MRI scans which show that memorizing mantras, specifically ancient Sanskrit, increases the size of our brain regions that are associated with cognitive function. The study covered is a first of this kind.

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/a-neuroscientist-explores-the-sanskrit-effect/

“The world sheds, in the energetic way of an open and communal place, its many greetings, as a world should. What quarrel can there be with that? But that the self can interrupt the self — and does — is a darker and more curious matter.”

That passage comes from an article in 2016 talking about Mary Oliver’s book, Upstream: Selected Essays, a collection of poems from poet Mary Oliver, whowon the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

She has a lot of wisdom to share, and what better way to share it than through poetry. This particular article covers Time, Concentration, the Artists Task and Central Commitment of the Creative life, in terms of excerpts from Oliver’s book.

“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.”

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/10/12/mary-oliver-upstream-creativity-power-time/

Back at the end of December, this article from the Russian Times stood out. It covers five things that have been awarded person-like protection, meaning human rights are applied.

Mount Taranaki in New Zealand, Sophia the robot in Saudi Arabia, Glaciers in the Himalaya in India, the Ganges River in India, and Cecilia the chimpanzee  in Argentina have all been protected.

https://www.rt.com/news/414073-human-rights-robot-taranaki-ganges/

Also in December I noted down this piece by Micah Lee on The Intercept, talking about a new application for phones, by Edward Snowden, which helps to phsycailly guard your laptop.

The open source app named Haven turns a smartphone into a sentry of sorts, which uses its sensors from the microphone, camera, motion detector and light levels to detect a presence near your laptop. It logs everything it picks up.

https://theintercept.com/2017/12/22/snowdens-new-app-uses-your-smartphone-to-physically-guard-your-laptop/

“Advice-giving comes naturally to our species, and is mostly done with good intent. But in my experience, the driver behind a lot of advice has as much to do with self-interest as interest in the other’s needs — and some advice can end up doing more harm than good.”

This is an excellent article covering the perils of advice. It makes us think a second time before handing out advice, whether it’s asked for or not, and helps us be more mindful of the impact we can have on another human being.

The conclusion is that the quiet companionship of a person can actually be much more valuable than any words said. “It’s at such a bedside where we finally learn that we have no “fix” or “save” to offer those who suffer deeply. And yet, we have something better: our gift of self in the form of personal presence and attention, the kind that invites the other’s soul to show up.” (…) “ (1) Don’t give advice, unless someone insists. Instead, be fully present, listen deeply, and ask the kind of questions that give the other a chance to express more of his or her own truth, whatever it may be.”

https://onbeing.org/blog/the-gift-of-presence-the-perils-of-advice/

Over on Brain Pickings, Maria Popova writes about what it really takes to be an artist. “Being an artist is not just about what happens when you are in the studio. The way you live, the people you choose to love and the way you love them, the way you vote, the words that come out of your mouth… will also become the raw material for the art you make.”

“You are about to enter the much more difficult phase of unlearning everything you have learned in college, of questioning it, redefining it, challenging it, and reinventing it to call it your own. More than in any other vocation, being an artist means always starting from nothing.”

https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/12/29/teresita-fernandez-commencement-address/

The Effect of Organic Food: This short YouTube video focuses on one family who changed to eating only organic food. While it is a narrow focus, it does show that medically our systems can be measured to depict such change.

 

In terms of time spent reading through this, I trust you found something that was worth your while.

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