Friday, June 29, 2007
Our interest in the device is primarily to see what people can do with it by using it in ways Apple never intended. Cupertino is famous (or notorious depending on your perspective) for leaving a back door if not open, at least unlocked. For instance, there's no way to take songs off your iPod using iTunes, however dozens of third party apps can handily accomplish that task. Or take the AppleTV, which has been hacked to support externals hard drives, watching Joost for internet TV and more.
On Thursday, David Pogue of The New York Times posted an article that has a sort of FAQ of iPhone features which, along with the usual good stuff, lists some fairly serious limitations. Then there’s the small matter of the iPhone only working on AT&T’s craptastic network (I currently use the network and trust me, it sucks). No doubt unlocking the iPhone is the holy grail of hacks. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely.
Tell us what you think will end up being hacked on the iPhone by submitting your ideas below.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Froogle obtains listings for products from vendors and by scouring the web. When Google finds a page that appears to sell something, it feeds the information it collects to Froogle. Vendors don’t pay to have their products included in Froogle’s search results. However, they can purchase sponsored links, which appear along the right side of Froogle’s results pages.
You’ll find a link to Froogle on the Google home page. Or go to froogle.google.com.
You can browse products by clicking on a category or you can search by entering your query in Froogle’s search box. Interested in buying a watch for a child? Try searching on Froogle for [ watches children ].
The results included the verb “watch” and pages selling children’s jewelry। Study results to get ideas for more effective search terms। Consider searching for specific brands।
When Froogle finds more than one product from a site, it includes the link “See all results from vendor.” Limiting the number of results from a given site to just one ensures products from a single vendor won’t dominate your search results and that Froogle provides pages from a variety of sites.
Want products with prices in a specified range? Enter a price range just above the results or fill in a field in Froogle’s advanced search form. Access the advanced search form by clicking on the Advanced Froogle Search link next to the search box on a Froogle page or visiting froogle.google.com/froogle_advanced_search.
For more information on Froogle visit froogle.google.com/froogle/about.html
३.Ad Hoc Scenarios
७.Alerts, Events, and Color Coding
There’s no evidence that the program is set for public launch any time soon, but hints supporting such speculation have been popping up now and again for some time. Here’s a quick timeline of previous TechCrunch coverage of the illusive GDrive product:
In March Google held an analyst day that included documentation of a future offering called Google Drive, emphasizing security, cross application, platform and device access. The information was quickly taken offline but Michael Arrington wrote a summary of “what we know” about Google Drive to date.
In an April post about Microsoft’s forthcoming Live Drive, Michael Arrington wrote the following. “From what I am hearing around the valley, Google Drive is a 2007 product at best, largely because of product priorities and business model issues. According to sources, Google is trying to work out a way to provide the service for free (and there are very large bandwidth and storage costs with storage, obviously).”
In July Corsin Camichel discovered a brief description of GDrive on the newly acquired Writely servers, which was quickly mirrored before Google took it down. Not a whole lot of details but it was seen as some level of confirmation of the project’s existence.
If we needed any proof that Platypus at least exists, today’s leak might be it. Some people say (Paul Graham for example) that the best way to predict what Google will develop well for commercial release is to watch what they use internally.
A lot has changed since we wrote our overview of online storage in January. Watch for the release of ZohoDrive soon as well.
Does this leak mean anything in particular? It’s hard to know, but there’s at least some information available to chew on. In all likelihood GDrive is only a matter of time.
Other potential product names for this service are e.g. Gdrive, Google Files, Gfiles, Google Store, Google Zone, Google Data, Gvault, G:\, or Google Storage.
The science of love is still in its infancy. Yet scientists are beginning to get early insights into the nature and origin of love. We can now look inside human brains to view changing patterns of activity and biochemical changes that take place during love, explore diverse human experiences of love, study how we select mates and woo lovers, and look for the evolutionary roots of love।
So what exactly is going on during the rollercoaster of euphoria and despair that is falling in love?
In the brain, romantic love shows similarities to going mildly insane or suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder. Studies show that when you first fall in love, serotonin levels plummet and the brain's reward centres are flooded with dopamine. This gives a high similar to an addictive drug, creating powerful links in our minds between pleasure and the object of our affection, and meaning we crave the hit of our beloved again and again.
Lust is driven by sex hormones such as testosterone, which can go off-kilter too. As can levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and the amphetamine-like chemical phenylethlyamine, increasing excitement।
Brain scans of people in love show that the old adage "love is blind" really is true. While the dopamine reward areas are excited in love, regions linked with negative emotions and critical social judgement switch off।
Many factors add up to make us desirable to potential partners. There's the obvious stuff like symmetrical features and good skin - which showcase a healthy development, immune system and good genes. Women look for tall men with masculine faces, kindness, wealth and status. Men prefer young, fertile women with a low waist-to-hip ratio and who are not too tall. Neither sex is very keen on people who wear glasses.
Beauty can come at a price however.
Other factors are less obvious. Research suggests that humans are attracted to partners who resemble themselves and - slightly disconcertingly - their parents too. Smell appears to be important as well; people are often more attracted to the smell of those who have different combinations of some immune system (MHC) genes to themselves. Mates with dissimilar MHC genes produce healthier offspring that are better able to thwart disease. People with similar MHC genes even prefer the same perfumes.
Suitors of some species such as birds, and even mice, attract their mates with complex songs or showy displays. Intelligence and talent are prized by people too. As are expensive gifts and even cheap love tokens. Even being in a relationship can make you more attractive to potential mates.
Other factors are more random - a woman's attractiveness and pheromones can fluctuate with her hormone levels and menstrual cycle. As a consequence, taking the pill can inhibit a woman's ability to select an appropriate mate.
In concert, these many factors mean the path to true love can be somewhat unpredictable.
Many people with hectic lifestyles today are turning to the internet, online lonely hearts, dating websites and speed dating to help them track down a partner. Love by wire may have started much longer ago however. See here for six tips to woo your lover।
The various forms of love probably have a common evolutionary beginning, so where are scientists looking?
Again oxytocin may have an important role in the development of a bond between a mother and child. Another hormone, prolactin, may prime both mothers and fathers for parenthood.
Unlike maternal love, monogamous bonds between males and females are pretty rare in mammals. Less than 5% are monogamous, and there is no clear pattern to help explain why it occasionally appears. Monogamy, it appears, is mostly for the birds.
It seems that in those rare mammals that do practise it, evolution stole the biochemistry and neural tricks that bond mother to infant and reinstalled them, so as to bind male and female together. One study of prairie voles shows that a species could be turned from promiscuous to devoted with a change in a single gene related to vasopressin.
Whatever romantic love's origins and purpose, long-term relationships are certainly important in keeping us content and happy.
And love is not only restricted to partnerships between men and women. Though gay relationships are different in some ways, they could be the glue that holds societies together।
Unfortunately, it's not all wine and roses when it comes to love. Ecstasy, euphoria, elation and contentment may be accompanied by jealousy, rage, rejection, and hatred.
Falling in love may have evolved because people who focus their attention on a single ideal partner save time and energy, therefore improve their chances of survival and reproduction. Unfortunately, this also means people are pre-disposed to terrible suffering when jilted by their beloved.
Painful emotions develop when the reward centres of the brain, associated with the dopamine high of falling in love, fail to get their hit. Paradoxically when we get dumped we tend to love back even harder, as the brain networks and chemicals associated with love increase. First we protest and attempt to win the beloved back. Panic also kicks in as we feel something akin to the separation anxiety experiences by young mammals abandoned by their mothers.
Then love can turn to anger and hate, as the regions associated with reward are closely linked to rage in the brain. Finally when jilted lovers are resigned to their fate, they will often enter into prolonged periods of depression and despair.
These negative emotions can spawn anything from obsession and domestic violence to stalking and even murder of supposed loved ones.
While such behaviours may be classed as pathological, and perhaps rare, the truth is that they are closer to home than we dare contemplate. Passion’s thrills resemble obsessive-compulsive disorder, but in some people, love can conjure up something much more sinister.
The chances of a relationship succeeding would seem to be difficult to predict, but one study suggests that divorce may be partially genetically predetermined. There are even mathematical formulas for predicting the chances of divorce - and for equitably dividing up possessions.
Nevertheless, psychologists have some simple tips for making our relationships last.
Which animals are our nearest relatives?
Discover more about the extraordinary world of our ancestors and see how we compare in this live science show that's full of demonstrations!
Shows run at timed slots regularly throughout the day, approx. 20 minutes long.
Over the last 2 years Life has undergone a £4.5million refurbishment.
Human Life explores the story of humanity, from our origins, through to our world today and onward to our future। Using hands-on exhibits and displays, explore questions such as: What makes humans human; how do humans survive in today’s extreme environments; and what will climate change mean for human life on Earth?
I hope this little booklet stimulates much interest in its readers. I especially hope that those who have never bothered to pick up the Bible because they thought it a pious fantasy will be drawn to read "the greatest story ever told", open to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, this story is not only great, but also true.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
This 1TB drive with four 250GB platters that use Seagate's second generation perpendicular recording technology, sports a sustained rate of 105MB/s and a serial ATA (SATA) II interface running at 3GB/s. The 7200.11 has a low power rating of 8 Watts at idle, making for energy efficiency and cooler operation. The acoustics are as low as 2.7 Bels. The other drive, the Barracuda ES.2, is the enterprise version, with improved mean time before failure. The drive, having both SATA and SAS (serial attached SCSI) interfaces, again holds up to 1TB of data. Both new hard drives feature Seagate's power-saving 'PowerTrim' technology, wherein if the drives are reading, separate read electronics can be switched off. Similarly so when the drives are writing... According to Seagate, the power-controlling mechanism within the drives yields up to 25 percent of power saving over say a drive without the mechanism. Seagate said its Barracuda ES.2 and 7200.11 1TB hard drives will begin shipping in the third quarter of this year. The 1TB Barracuda 7200.11 will likely be priced at $399.99 (Rs 18,000 approx).
For some, improved quality of service is the missing link.
"What do customers want? We have no idea," says Brian Finnerty, director of device development for wireless carrier Sprint Nextel. "As an industry, we're like robots -- we go toward the light and we pile up on it. But service is what customers want."
Finnerty was speaking at Brew 2007, a conference sponsored by Qualcomm and named after its mobile-phone platform.
For others, making phones friendlier to users is the critical piece of the puzzle.
"Customers want to do more with their phones and it isn't price that drives revenues, it's user experience," says John Harrobin, senior vice president of marketing and digital media for Verizon Wireless. "We've been successful despite the fact we're driving customers down a one-way street."
Americans already own about 240 million phones, says Chris Hazleton, senior analyst for mobile devices at IDC. U.S. consumers get new phones on average every two years or less. And they're not particularly loyal to carriers.
That doesn't bode well for the established players when Apple joins the lineup. Apple, along with partner AT&T Wireless, will throw its iPhone into the cellular mix Friday evening with the stated goal of selling a million units the first year. At $500 for a 4-GB model and $600 for the 8-GB version, the iPhone will be one of the most expensive handsets available.
Apple, which enjoys virulent customer loyalty because of its products' ease of use, has promised its phone will offer far more intuitive use, the ability to load applications from sources besides the carrier and snazzy touchscreen mechanics.
"It's several generations ahead of the market in terms of input and it will resist aging better than other phones," Hazleton says. "No phone has been as highly anticipated as this."
Just as Macs forced the evolution of Windows in PCs, the iPhone will probably force other cellular programmers to make their phones more intuitive, Hazleton says.
But for what uses and how is the nagging question.
Because so many people already have cell phones, carriers don't see much money in hunting for new subscribers. Instead, they hope that added revenue will come from getting customers to spend more time on the network and using data services. Less than half of cellphone subscribers use data services now.
Developers at Brew 2007 discussed applications that would drive data usage in a variety of ways, such as letting people do their banking by phone, manage airline miles or get concert tickets delivered as a barcode on the phone.
Partnerships between carriers and media companies are flourishing. And developers who say the gaming market is ripe are looking for ways to duplicate the success of wireless gaming communities in Japan and Korea.
But all those uses rely on the persistence and patience of customers willing to wrestle with their phones to get the applications running. And things that work on some phones don't work on others because of technology limitations.
In fact, customers' most common tech-support complaints are that they can't find the data they downloaded, or their phones either don't support the application or aren't configured to do what people want, a WDS Global survey found.
"We need to create a simple, uncluttered, intuitive way of getting these things to customers," says Harrobin. "But the technology and integration is harder than we expected."
Finnerty agrees that ease of use is important, but content also lags behind. "We need to find out how people want to use their phones and we need to make simpler, smarter ways to do that," he says. "We have the penetration, we have an abundance of applications, but the content isn't ripe."
"How many ringtones and horoscopes do we need?" he wonders.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Life and Teachings
. . Defining Piety
. . Methods / Aims
. . Civil Obedience
. . Knowing Virtue
The most interesting and influential thinker in the fifth century was Socrates, whose dedication to careful reasoning transformed the entire enterprise. Since he sought genuine knowledge rather than mere victory over an opponent, Socrates employed the same logical tricks developed by the Sophists to a new purpose, the pursuit of truth. Thus, his willingness to call everything into question and his determination to accept nothing less than an adequate account of the nature of things make him the first clear exponent of critical philosophy.
Although he was well known during his own time for his conversational skills and public teaching, Socrates wrote nothing, so we are dependent upon his students (especially Xenophon and Plato) for any detailed knowledge of his methods and results. The trouble is that Plato was himself a philosopher who often injected his own theories into the dialogues he presented to the world as discussions between Socrates and other famous figures of the day. Nevertheless, it is usually assumed that at least the early dialogues of Plato provide a (fairly) accurate representation of Socrates himself.
Euthyphro: What is Piety?
In the Euqufrwn (Euthyphro), for example, Socrates engaged in a sharply critical conversation with an over-confident young man. Finding Euthyphro perfectly certain of his own ethical rectitude even in the morally ambiguous situation of prosecuting his own father in court, Socrates asks him to define what "piety" (moral duty) really is. The demand here is for something more than merely a list of which actions are, in fact, pious; instead, Euthyphro is supposed to provide a general definition that captures the very essence of what piety is. But every answer he offers is subjected to the full force of Socrates's critical thinking, until nothing certain remains.
Specifically, Socrates systematically refutes Euthyphro's suggestion that what makes right actions right is that the gods love (or approve of) them. First, there is the obvious problem that, since questions of right and wrong often generate interminable disputes, the gods are likely to disagree among themselves about moral matters no less often than we do, making some actions both right and wrong. Socrates lets Euthypro off the hook on this one by aggreeing—only for purposes of continuing the discussion—that the gods may be supposed to agree perfectly with each other. (Notice that this problem arises only in a polytheistic culture.)
More significantly, Socrates generates a formal dilemma from a (deceptively) simple question: "Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?" (Euthyphro 10 a) Neither alternative can do the work for which Euthyphro intends his definition of piety. If right actions are pious only because the gods love them, then moral rightness is entirely arbitrary, depending only on the whims of the gods. If, on the other hand, the gods love right actions only because they are already right, then there must be some non-divine source of values, which we might come to know independently of their love.
In fact, this dilemma proposes a significant difficulty at the heart of any effort to define morality by reference to an external authority. (Consider, for example, parallel questions with a similar structure: "Do my parents approve of this action because it is right, or is it right because my parents approve of it?" or "Does the College forbid this activity because it is wrong, or is it wrong because the College forbids it?") On the second alternative in each case, actions become right (or wrong) solely because of the authority's approval (or disapproval); its choice, then, has no rational foundation, and it is impossible to attribute laudable moral wisdom to the authority itself. So this horn is clearly unacceptable. But on the first alternative, the authority approves (or disapproves) of certain actions because they are already right (or wrong) independently of it, and whatever rational standard it employs as a criterion for making this decision must be accessible to us as well as to it. Hence, we are in principle capable of distinguishing right from wrong on our own.
Thus, an application of careful techniques of reasoning results in genuine (if negative) progress in the resolution of a philosophical issue. Socrates's method of insistent questioning at least helps us to eliminate one bad answer to a serious question. At most, it points us toward a significant degree of intellectual independence. The character of Euthyphro, however, seems unaffected by the entire process, leaving the scene at the end of the dialogue no less self-confident than he had been at its outset. The use of Socratic methods, even when they clearly result in a rational victory, may not produce genuine conviction in those to whom they are applied.
Apology: The Examined Life
Because of his political associations with an earlier regime, the Athenian democracy put Socrates on trial, charging him with undermining state religion and corrupting young people. The speech he offered in his own defense, as reported in Plato's Apologhma (Apology), provides us with many reminders of the central features of Socrates's approach to philosophy and its relation to practical life.
Explaining his mission as a philosopher, Socrates reports an oracular message telling him that "No one is wiser than you." (Apology 21a) He then proceeds through a series of ironic descriptions of his efforts to disprove the oracle by conversing with notable Athenians who must surely be wiser. In each case, however, Socrates concludes that he has a kind of wisdom that each of them lacks: namely, an open awareness of his own ignorance.
The goal of Socratic interrogation, then, is to help individuals to achieve genuine self-knowledge, even if it often turns out to be negative in character. As his cross-examination of Meletus shows, Socrates means to turn the methods of the Sophists inside-out, using logical nit-picking to expose (rather than to create) illusions about reality. If the method rarely succeeds with interlocutors, it can nevertheless be effectively internalized as a dialectical mode of reasoning in an effort to understand everything.
Devotion to Truth:
Even after he has been convicted by the jury, Socrates declines to abandon his pursuit of the truth in all matters. Refusing to accept exile from Athens or a commitment to silence as his penalty, he maintains that public discussion of the great issues of life and virtue is a necessary part of any valuable human life. "The unexamined life is not worth living." (Apology 38a) Socrates would rather die than give up philosophy, and the jury seems happy to grant him that wish.
Even when the jury has sentenced him to death, Socrates calmly delivers his final public words, a speculation about what the future holds. Disclaiming any certainty about the fate of a human being after death, he nevertheless expresses a continued confidence in the power of reason, which he has exhibited (while the jury has not). Who really wins will remain unclear.
Plato's dramatic picture of a man willing to face death rather than abandoning his commitment to philosophical inquiry offers up Socrates as a model for all future philosophers. Perhaps few of us are presented with the same stark choice between philosophy and death, but all of us are daily faced with opportunities to decide between convenient conventionality and our devotion to truth and reason. How we choose determines whether we, like Socrates, deserve to call our lives philosophical.
Crito: The Individual and the State
Plato's description of Socrates's final days continued in the Kritwn (Crito). Now in prison awaiting execution, Socrates displays the same spirit of calm reflection about serious matters that had characterized his life in freedom. Even the patent injustice of his fate at the hands of the Athenian jury produces in Socrates no bitterness or anger. Friends arrive at the jail with a foolproof plan for his escape from Athens to a life of voluntary exile, but Socrates calmly engages them in a rational debate about the moral value of such an action.
Of course Crito and the others know their teacher well, and they come prepared to argue the merits of their plan. Escaping now would permit Socrates to fulfil his personal obligations in life. Moreover, if he does not follow the plan, many people will suppose that his friends did not care enough for him to arrange his escape. Therefore, in order to honor his commitments and preserve the reputation of his friends, Socrates ought to escape from jail.
But Socrates dismisses these considerations as irrelevant to a decision about what action is truly right. What other people will say clearly doesn't matter. As he had argued in the Apology, the only opinion that counts is not that of the majority of people generally, but rather that of the one individual who truly knows. The truth alone deserves to be the basis for decisions about human action, so the only proper apporoach is to engage in the sort of careful moral reasoning by means of which one may hope to reveal it.
Socrates's argument proceeds from the statement of a perfectly general moral principle to its application in his particular case:
One ought never to do wrong (even in response to the evil committed by another).
But it is always wrong to disobey the state.
Hence, one ought never to disobey the state.
And since avoiding the sentence of death handed down by the Athenian jury would be an action in disobedience the state, it follows Socrates ought not to escape.
The argument is a valid one, so we are committed to accepting its conclusion if we believe that its premises are true. The general commitment to act rightly is fundamental to a moral life, and it does seem clear that Socrates's escape would be a case of disobedience. But what about the second premise, the claim that it is always wrong for an individual to disobey the state? Surely that deserves further examination. In fact, Socrates pictures the laws of Athens proposing two independent lines of argument in favor of this claim:
First, the state is to us as a parent is to a child, and since it is always wrong for a child to disobey a parent, it follows that it is always wrong to disobey the state. (Crito 50e) Here we might raise serious doubts about the legitimacy of the analogy between our parents and the state. Obedience to our parents, after all, is a temporary obligation that we eventually outgrow by learning to make decisions for ourselves, while Socrates means to argue that obeying the state is a requirement right up until we die. Here it might be useful to apply the same healthy disrespect for moral authority that Socrates himself expressed in the Euthyphro.
The second argument is that it is always wrong to break an agreement, and since continuing to live voluntarily in a state constitutes an agreement to obey it, it is wrong to disobey that state. (Crito 52e) This may be a better argument; only the second premise seems open to question. Explicit agreements to obey some authority are common enough—in a matriculation pledge or a contract of employment, for example—but most of us have not entered into any such agreement with our government. Even if we suppose, as the laws suggest, that the agreement is an implicit one to which we are committed by our decision to remain within their borders, it is not always obvious that our choice of where to live is entirely subject to our individual voluntary control.
Nevertheless, these considerations are serious ones. Socrates himself was entirely convinced that the arguments hold, so he concluded that it would be wrong for him to escape from prison. As always, of course, his actions conformed to the outcome of his reasoning. Socrates chose to honor his commitment to truth and morality even though it cost him his life.
The first point of the Christian message is that God is in charge of the world. He is the ruler, the supreme president, the king. Unlike human rulers, however, God always does what is best for his subjects. He is the kind of king you’d like to be ruled by.
God rules the world because he made the world. Like a potter with his clay, God fashioned the world into just the shape he wished, with all its amazing details. He made it, and he owns it.
He also made us. God created people who were something like himself, and put them in charge of the world—to rule it, to care for it, to be responsible for it, and to enjoy all its beauty and goodness. He appointed humanity to supervise and look after the world, but always under his own authority, honouring him and obeying his directions.
You can see this represented in the illustration above: God is the ruler (the crown) and humanity is created to live in and rule God’s world under God’s loving authority.
It all sounds rather ideal—God in heaven, people ruling the world according to his directions, and everything right with the world. But everything is very obviously not right—with us or the world.
The sad truth is that, from the very beginning, men and women everywhere have rejected God by doing things their own way. We all do this. We don’t like someone telling us what to do or how to live—least of all God—and so we rebel against him in lots of different ways. We ignore him and just get on with our own lives; or we disobey his instructions for living in his world; or we shake our puny fists in his face and tell him to get lost.
How ever we do it, we are all rebels, because we don’t live God’s way. We prefer to follow our own desires, and to run things our own way, without God. This rebellious, self-sufficient attitude is what the Bible calls ‘sin’.
The trouble is, in rejecting God we make a mess not only of our own lives, but of our society and the world. The whole world is full of people bent on doing what suits them, and not following God’s ways. We all act like little gods, with our own crowns, competing with one another. The result is misery. The suffering and injustice that we see around us all go back to our basic rebellion against God.
By rebelling against God, we’ve made a terrible mess of things. The question is: what will God do about it?
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
To apply one step of the rules, we count the number of live neighbors for each cell. What happens next depends on this number.
A dead cell with exactly three live neighbors becomes a live cell (birth).
A live cell with two or three live neighbors stays alive (survival).
In all other cases, a cell dies or remains dead (overcrowding or loneliness).
Note: The number of live neighbors is always based on the cells before the rule was applied. In other words, we must first find all of the cells that change before changing any of them. Sounds like a job for a computer!
Brain energy is a form of electricity, engendered by the central grey nuclei. These are like batteries constantly recharging the brain. The cells of the cortex are the ones which are most energy laden and are accumulated particularly in the zone of the high frequency. High frequency sound transmitted to the brain via the ear activates these cells and releases hitherto untapped energy. As a consequence the balance in body vibration is restored and one can feel relaxed, and lighter.
Sound Therapy is simple in practice. It consists of listening to therapeutic sounds, on quality equipment, for at least three hours a day to a total of 100 to 200 hours. The therapist decides the length of time depending on the condition of patients.
At one point or the other everybody suffers from stress. Relationship demands, physical as well as mental health problems, pressure at workplaces, traffic snarls, meeting deadlines, growing-up tensions—all of these conditions and situations are valid causes of stress. People have their own methods of stress management. In some people, stress-induced adverse feelings and anxieties tend to persist and intensify. Learning to understand and master stress management techniques can help prevent the counter effects of this urban malaise.
"Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances."
In a challenging situation the brain prepares the body for defensive action—the fight or flight response by releasing stress hormones, namely, cortisone and adrenaline. These hormones raise the blood pressure and the body prepares to react to the situation. With a concrete defensive action (fight response) the stress hormones in the blood get used up, entailing reduced stress effects and symptoms of anxiety.
When we fail to counter a stress situation (flight response) the hormones and chemicals remain unreleased in the blood stream for a long period of time. It results in stress related physical symptoms such as tense muscles, unfocused anxiety, dizziness and rapid heartbeats. We all encounter various stressors (causes of stress) in everyday life, which can accumulate, if not released. Subsequently, it compels the mind and body to be in an almost constant alarm-state in preparation to fight or flee. This state of accumulated stress can increase the risk of both acute and chronic psychosomatic illnesses and weaken the immune system of the human body. Top
Stress can cause headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, eating disorder, allergies, insomnia, backaches, frequent cold and fatigue to diseases such as hypertension, asthma, diabetes, heart ailments and even cancer. In fact, Sanjay Chugh, a leading Indian psychologist, says that 70 per cent to 90 per cent of adults visit primary care physicians for stress-related problems. Scary enough. But where do we err?
Just about everybody—men, women, children and even fetuses—suffer from stress. Relationship demands, chronic health problems, pressure at workplaces, traffic snarls, meeting deadlines, growing-up tensions or a sudden bearish trend in the bourse can trigger stress conditions. People react to it in their own ways. In some people, stress-induced adverse feelings and anxieties tend to persist and intensify. Learning to understand and manage stress can prevent the counter effects of stress.
Methods of coping with stress are aplenty. The most significant or sensible way out is a change in lifestyle. Relaxation techniques such as meditation, physical exercises, listening to soothing music, deep breathing, various natural and alternative methods, personal growth techniques, visualization and massage are some of the most effective of the known non-invasive stress busters.
The words 'positive' and 'stress' may not often go together. But, there are innumerable instances of athletes rising to the challenge of stress and achieving the unachievable, scientists stressing themselves out over a point to bring into light the most unthinkable secrets of the phenomenal world, and likewise a painter, a composer or a writer producing the best paintings, the most lilting of tunes or the most appealing piece of writing by pushing themselves to the limit. Psychologists second the opinion that some 'stress' situations can actually boost our inner potential and can be creatively helpful. Sudha Chandran, an Indian danseus, lost both of her legs in an accident. But, the physical and social inadequacies gave her more impetus to carry on with her dance performances with the help of prosthetic legs rather than deter her spirits.
Experts tell us that stress, in moderate doses, are necessary in our life. Stress responses are one of our body's best defense systems against outer and inner dangers. In a risky situation (in case of accidents or a sudden attack on life et al), body releases stress hormones that instantly make us more alert and our senses become more focused. The body is also prepared to act with increased strength and speed in a pressure situation. It is supposed to keep us sharp and ready for action.
Research suggests that stress can actually increase our performance. Instead of wilting under stress, one can use it as an impetus to achieve success. Stress can stimulate one's faculties to delve deep into and discover one's true potential. Under stress the brain is emotionally and biochemically stimulated to sharpen its performance.
A working class mother in down town California, Erin Brokovich, accomplished an extraordinary feat in the 1990s when she took up a challenge against the giant industrial house Pacific Gas & Electric. The unit was polluting the drinking water of the area with chromium effluents. Once into it, Brockovich had to work under tremendous stress taking on the bigwigs of the society. By her own account, she had to study as many as 120 research articles to find if chromium 6 was carcinogenic. Going from door to door, Erin signed up over 600 plaintiffs, and with attorney Ed Masry went on to receive the largest court settlement, for the town people, ever paid in a direct action lawsuit in the U.S. history—$333 million. It's an example of an ordinary individual triumphing over insurmountable odds under pressure. If handled positively stress can induce people to discover their inherent talents.
Stress is, perhaps, necessary to occasionally clear cobwebs from our thinking. If approached positively, stress can help us evolve as a person by letting go of unwanted thoughts and principle in our life. Very often, at various crossroads of life, stress may remind you of the transitory nature of your experiences, and may prod you to look for the true happiness of life. Top
Stress has existed throughout the evolution. About 4 billion years ago, violent collision of rock and ice along with dust and gas, led to the formation of a new planet. The planet survive more than 100 million years of meltdown to give birth to microscopic life . These first organisms endured the harshest of conditions—lack of oxygen, exposure to sun's UV rays and other inhospitable elements, to hang on to their dear life. Roughly 300,000 years ago, the Neanderthals learnt to use fire in a controlled way, to survive the Glacial Age. And around 30,000 years, Homo sapiens with their dominant gene constitutions and better coping skills, won the game of survival. Each step of evolution a test of survival, and survival, a matter of coping with the stress of changing conditions.
Millions of trials and errors in the life process have brought men to this stage. Coping with events to survive has led men to invent extraordinary technologies, beginning with a piece of sharpened stone. Top
From the viewpoint of microevolution, stress induction of transpositions is a powerful factor, generating new genetic variations in populations under stressful environmental conditions. Passing through a 'bottleneck', a population can rapidly and significantly alters its population norm and become the founder of new, evolved forms.
Gene transposition through Transposable Elements (TE)—'jumping genes', is a major source of genetic change, including the creation of novel genes, the alteration of gene expression in development, and the genesis of major genomic rearrangements. In a research on 'the significance of responses of the genome to challenges,' the Nobel Prize winning scientist Barbara McClintock, characterized these genetic phenomena as 'genomic shock'.This occurs due to recombinational events between TE insertions (high and low insertion polymorphism) and host genome. But, as a rule TEs remain immobilized until some stress factor (temperature, irradiation, DNA damage, the introduction of foreign chromatin, viruses, etc.) activates their elements.
The moral remains that we can work a stress condition to our advantage or protect ourselves from its untoward follow-throughs subject to how we handle a stress situation. The choice is between becoming a slave to the stressful situations of life or using them to our advantage.
There is no greater joy than a healthy, positive life. You feel exhilarated, energetic, happy and on top of the world. A sense of total well being permeates your mind. The future looks bright. You feel good to be alive.
Great, but how do we get out of our innumerable worries, tensions and fears that the increasingly competitive life burdens us with? Simple! Tell yourself that you are good, healthy and capable. That is the power of positive affirmations.
Such affirmations are also called self-suggestions. It is a powerful tool for transforming your inner self into an amazing health generating, self-healing entity. You can record these affirmations on a tape synchronized with pleasant instrumental music and replay them often to make them more effective and permanent.
Psychology says that our mind controls our body. So, taking charge of your mind becomes a vital factor in keeping your body healthy. You can do this through affirmations that establish the power of your mind. Try: "With the power of positive thinking I now take charge of my body to maintain perfect health, strength and happiness unconditionally, now and always, so be it." When you repeat this, the misleading programs of your mind will be erased.
It is said that we are never given a wish without the power to fulfill it. Each person is capable of programming his own mind to achieve what he desires. You can tap this capability by following a few simple steps. But before you begin, make yourself totally relaxed and be consciously willing to adopt the method.
Attuning yourself with nature guarantees an overall healthy life. To modify this statement into an affirmation, say: "I attune myself with nature to stay healthy now and forever."
You can have the right kind of food by affirming: "I can attract healthy food to keep myself fit, healthy and strong, everyday."
You can develop the habit of exercising your body and mind by affirming: "I can easily get up early in the morning everyday to exercise and keep fit and cheerful."
In case you are an insomniac, all you have to do is repeat: "I can relax into sound sleep now and wake up revitalized, alert, bright and cheerful early in the morning. It is done. So be it."
Sometimes, social influences play their part in either inducing or encouraging negative thinking. This is the stage where most doctors give up the case as incurable. So, to find the right doctor, suggest mentally to yourself: "I will locate the right doctor who can cure me completely in a simple, easy and positive way, now and always."
Your health problems can be dissolved by affirming: "I can now dissolve all my health problems, worries and fears easily, quickly and successfully in simple, easy and positive ways. So be it."
Unlike sleeping, magnetic relaxation requires you to be physically at rest but subconsciously alert. When your conscious mind is relaxed, the positive suggestions seep into your subconscious. To achieve maximum benefit from relaxation:
Sit in a comfortable chair or lie down on a bed.
Let go of all the tension by repeating to yourself: "I can now relax comfortably. I can now relax my body. I can now relax my mind. Easily, quickly and positively. Now I can enjoy the state of alert relaxation peacefully."
Let a feeling of soothing comfort take over.
Let go of yourself totally. Feel a universal healing energy surrounding you and getting absorbed into your body and mind.
Feel a cool breeze around your body. Visualize a white sparkling light pouring through your head down your body and seeping deep within you.
Think that soothing and healing forces are vibrating within and radiating from you.
Maintain a positive and peaceful state of mind during the session. Also, take precautions that you are not disturbed.
Mentally repeat to yourself: "Day by day in every way I'm getting better and better and better."
This is a general formula that will heal you of all sickness. Emile Coue, a French doctor, recommended it for physical, mental and emotional well-being. It can be mentally repeated as many times as possible.
The subconscious has the knowledge, power, wisdom and understanding to heal and maintain perfect health. It is the interference of negative suggestions that causes ill health and weakness. So, whenever you feel that something is not right, use affirmations to get back on the right track. Here is a simple one that can be absorbed into your subconscious to keep your body fit: "Attuned with universal healing powers and the source of life, all my body organs are now becoming normal and fit, and they will function perfectly to maintain excellent health, strength and vitality up to a great age."
USING THE SUBCONSCIOUS
The subconscious mind is perfectly programmed with a survival package in the form of universal instincts that can be synchronized with conscious programs to live in harmony. Accepting your subconscious instincts relieves you of half of your health problems.
The subconscious is always receptive to suggestions that transpire from your conscious mind. So keep your conscious mind filled with creative, positive, pleasant, peaceful and productive thoughts. When you repeat an affirmation in a relaxed state of mind, it works wonders. To retain these suggestions, repeat them often, till you feel confident that they have become a permanent habit.
The subconscious mind is an all-powerful, omnipresent and omniscient gift. Peace will prevail in your life when these conditions are maintained. So, affirm often: "I most willingly accept healthy, happy and self-healing success programs of my subconscious mind consciously for total fitness, now and always."
It is easy to program your subconscious to integrate your inner healing power into a self-healing force. All that you aspire for will come to pass. New friends, new relationships, new ideas, new thoughts and new plans can motivate you to become a powerful optimist. So affirm: "Today I am a new, dynamic, and optimistic futurist flooded with positive thoughts of successful self-healing."
VITAL LIFE ENERGY
Magnetic energy plays a vital role in self-healing. The more energy you generate through eating, breathing and exercising, the longer you will live with health and happiness. It is said that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes out of his mouth. When we speak to ourselves in positive terms, we tend towards self-healing. We can build up positive statements like:
I am healing myself positively.
Positive energy is keeping me healthy.
Healing myself and others is easy for me.
I have the positive habit of deep breathing.
Today I am feeling better than ever before.
Tomorrow I am going to be perfectly all right.
FEEL YOUNG, LIVE LONGER
Age is an attitude of the mind. When you think youthful, you feel youthful. Energy can also be enhanced by being active, alert and awake most of the time.
In my experimentation with autosuggestion, I feel that new frontiers can be explored in the process of evolution. Some of them are:
Assert firmly to reverse aging. Take it as a challenge.
Use the countdown method to feel young and energetic after 50. Subtract the number of years that you are over 50 from 50 and affirm that age constantly. For example, if you are 55, all that you have to do is to count downwards the years of your age by subtracting five from 50 and imagine that you are 45. Now build up positive magnetic statement like: "Today I am 45 years young."
The second phase is to regain the natural color and abundance of youthful hair on your head. But consistent practice coupled with firm determination is required on your part. You can begin the practice right now by affirming: "I am determined to regain all the hair on my head with its natural youthful color as soon as possible." Mentally repeat it 21 times just before you go to sleep at night.
SELF-HEALING IN SEVEN DAYS
The magnetic self-healing schedule that follows is an invincible method that can take you to the height of perfect health, strength and happiness. After practicing it for a period of seven days you will find that all your past health problems automatically disappear. The watchword here is consistency. All that you have to do is read the affirmations as soon as you get up in the morning and before going to sleep. It has cured me. It can do the same for you. Now read the following:
I'm relaxed, my body is relaxed.
My mind is relaxed, my emotions are relaxed.
I am now totally relaxed.
I am getting better, stronger and happier forever.
Now make yourself comfortable. Read the affirmation given below focusing your eyes in a half-closed manner as if you are reading it half asleep.
Hold your breath comfortably and read each statement twice. Relax after reading it. Don't hurry. Don't worry. You will see the difference from the very first day. After you practice the magnetic affirmations for seven days, let go of it. You can always come back to the seven-day program whenever you feel the need. You can mentally repeat each affirmation for the whole day but remember to hold your breath while doing so. Now repeat:
My body and mind are clean and energetic. I love my body.
Today I am becoming strong, powerful, dynamic, happy-go-lucky and attractive.
Today I can choose to take total interest in regaining perfect health successfully.
Today I assert, affirm and relax with total freedom to heal myself with the power of thought.
Today I am on the way to recovery easily, quickly and successfully to become healthy, happy and free.
Today I have regained normalcy with the power of positive thought successfully.
Today health and energy are vibrating and radiating from me.
Do it for seven days at a stretch and discover the new, optimistic you who can take anything in his stride. It only takes a little belief and a little determination to change your life.