Saturday, September 23, 2017

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3 Things to Inspire Your Weekend: #68

Quote of the day: 

No one has ever become poor by giving. -Anne Frank

Image credit: MEE/Zeyneb Varol

In a small eastern Anatolian town in Turkey several restaurants offer free meals to those in need and is an ongoing tradition dating back several decades. Those in need are offered free meals and the locals see it as a way of giving back to the less fortunate. Hasan Gulbasan started working as a dishwasher at age 14. Now at 65 he owns one of the restaurants in the town offering this good deed. And he says he receives calls from all over the country from strangers thanking him after learning of the tradition. Gulbasan believes that inviting the poor and needy does not have any slight effect on his earnings but insteads brings blessings.

Image credit: PEOPLE

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has unveiled its largest ever portfolio of environmental grants for climate change and wildlife conservation. DiCaprio announced a $20 million grant bringing the total till date since its formation in 1998 to $80 million. The grant will be offered to around a 100 organizations supporting causes such as climate programs and wildlife conservation. Other areas the grant covers include marine life and ocean conservation and innovative solutions. The Foundation is dedicated to the long-term health and wellbeing of all earth's inhabitants and supports projects all over the world.

As seen on Arch DailyMosha House

Architects: New Wave Architecture
Location: Mosha, Iran
Photographs: Parham Taghioff

Brief: A living space inspired by an intensive topography and location between mountains offering distinct views and sightseeing.

Theme:  Surrounded by natural landscape in domains of Alborz mountains, merging nature with human life inspired the shape of the house -a transverse volume with three cantilevered boxes which gives a sense of space and endless views. The building is covered with a single white shield, wooden floors and a non-conventional spiral staircase.

Peace. Love. Light* 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

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Don't Sweat The Small Stuff

Quote of the day: 

There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will be to treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity. -Nathaniel Branden 

More often than not we tend to go through life measuring everything and everyone that we come in contact with. However it must be said that even a happy life cannot be without a measure of unhappiness at some point. A man or woman lives by certain ideals, conjuring various dreams, with a personal manual, a set of principles on how things should operate. And in the vastness of it all, behind the very depth of field lies important life lessons-out of focus but called upon whenever needed, but if we actually learn from these lessons is another matter entirely.

It is generally known that anything that annoys us mirrors something deep inside. As we grow older we are more able to suppress our displeasure over things, of course this is not to suggest a concealment of emotion but rather an informed life lesson not to 'sweat the small stuff'. No need worrying over things that aren't too important on your scale of priorities or not life changing in any shape or form. The big picture is the prize, letting go is the power. It's all about perception and attitude, concept and feeling, impression and grasp of how everything fits together like a jigsaw puzzle.

How you perceive yourself is truly different from how the world sees you. You see the world through eyes with a sense of sound, scent and touch all aiding your consciousness. But when you look at another individual all you see is their outward persona and ethos. People become art -movable and interactive. And what is art if not an expression of human imagination and vision. And predictably we take our time time to gaze, to dissect, to label, to judge and to try to understand how and why the art form works. Alas we are all art to the world. And do we then not view ourselves favourably, do we then not treat ourselves with respect and humility so that others will mirror the same. If you are seen to be well put together, taking care of yourself in a noble manner you in effect teach others to treat you in a similar fashion.

I often find that to change the way I am treated, I've had to change the way I treat others. We may have differences of opinion but aren't we all equal, all yearn for the same thing -to be understood? But how easy it is for our thoughts to be clouded by our own view of ourselves and the world, neither venturing out of our cocoon nor accepting the fact that other cocoons exist. I'd like to believe that leading a more relaxed lifestyle starts with acknowledging the most obvious of things.

Peace. Love. Light* 

Current Listen: Maynard Ferguson - Chameleon

Saturday, September 16, 2017

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3 Things to Inspire Your Weekend: #67

Quote of the day: 

If help and salvation are to come, they can only come from the children, for the children are the makers of men. 
-Maria Montessori 

Credit: ABC

With water rising in their apartment complex during Hurricane Harvey, 13 year-old Virgil Smith and his mother were able to stay safe in the apartment of an upstairs neighour. But Virgil got a call from a friend who lived in a neighbouring complex who was trapped and couldn't swim. Virgil, and two other neighbours ended up swimming out and rescuing his friends -placing them on an air mattress which Virgil had retrieved from his flooded apartment. He didn't stop with just rescuing his friends, he continued to rescue other stranded flood victims who were calling for help, including an elderly woman in a wheelchair. In the end, he helped rescue 17 people from the Harvey floodwaters.

Credit: MSN

Born in Sudan, Manyang Reath Kher soon became a refugee at 4 years-old. Displaced as a result of the country's civil war, losing his father and separated from his mother and sister, he spent 13 years living in different camps before leaving for the US in 2005 at age 17. Since then Kher, a recent graduate of the University of Richmond, has founded a non-profit called Humanity Helping Sudan Project, including a coffee company -734 Coffee that sources its beans from his country and Ethiopia. A portion of the profits are sent directly to Sudanese refugees dealing with conditions Kher faced in his own life many years ago.

Exterior, Karelian House,Russia

Interior, Karelian House,Russia

As seen on Arch DailyKarelian House
Architects: Drozdov & Partners
Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Photographs: Aleksey Bogolepov

Brief: A living and working space, combining two houses and a workshop within one single volume

Theme:  The northern facade overlooks a forest glade, with the entire layout split into three blocks of two houses and a workshop with a garage, following the traditions of Karelian residential architecture. With panoramic views of the forest, extended side windows, and a terrace make this house a decent one.

Peace. Love. Light* 

Current Listen: Coldplay -Paradise

Thursday, September 14, 2017

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Musings of mine: Rambling Mind on This and That #11

Quote of the day: 

Advice is sometimes transmitted more successfully through a joke than grave teaching. -Baltasar Gracian

Life In The Fast Lane

We live in an age of fast food, fast internet, fast relationships and fast whatever else you can think to add to the ever growing list. We would rather take the lift than use the stairs, order food rather than waste precious minutes cooking, and drive or commute within walking distance of our destination. Social media, online shopping, on-demand TV services, speed dating,  instant messaging, a bustling generation of people with their faces glued to their phones. And now teenagers are to be given classes on how to cope in the digital age. There is less time for reflecting, and our attention span is almost non-existent. If the mass of information we consume daily does not kill us, surely fast food will (speaking of fast food, I wonder if there are any deals online).

The Spider Invasion

I get along well with spiders. I will rephrase that. I get along well with tiny spiders that stay perched up on walls weaving their web in silent satisfaction. Come to think of it, I also get along with the 'Daddy Long Legs' spider -you know those with long thin legs that are harmless. I do not disturb the spiders and vice-versa, save for the routine task of getting rid of visible cobwebs. Now that we've cleared that up, this brings me to one particular spider that I do not get along with and which has been making several appearances out of the blue. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the 'Giant House Spider'. I read somewhere online that they do not pose a threat to humans, but they bite. I'd like to think anything that bites IS a threat. They are attracted to light, and enjoy racing on the floor seeking females to mate with apparently because it's that time of the year. You laugh but watch out the giant spiders may just set off your alarm system in the middle of the night.

Conversation Spoilers

There you are having a conversation with someone, fully engaged and all and before you can mutter another word of response an intruder decides to butt in. You know them, the perpetual conversation intruders who look for every opportunity to join in without understanding what is being discussed. They have the ability to overhear things from afar, and come running to join in on things that do not concern them, injecting and hijacking themselves into a conversation anyway while holding everyone hostage with their thoughts and unwanted presence. Whatever happened to basic good manners? Guess we'll never know.

How To Spend A Thousand

What can a thousand bucks buy you these days? Surely a weekend getaway in some quiet location and with change to spare, or maybe grow a nest egg, spruce up the home or wardrobe, buy a bicycle, home appliances, pay down debt, give to charity, buy a new sofa and bed plus pillows, buy a shelf load of books, and a thousand and one other things (insert yours here). Well all that flew right out the window with the new iPhone X which Apple is proudly selling for £1,000. With the announcement came a plethora of reasons why you should buy their latest offering (iPhone X? I believe I lost count after iPhone 5). With a technology called Face ID that scans your face to unlock the phone. It supposedly works only if your eyes are open and also can't be fooled by photographs. Nice try Apple, nice try.

Peace. Love. Light* 

Current Listen:  José Gonzales - Heartbeats

Monday, September 11, 2017

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Habitual Changes Can Make Life More Meaningful

Quote of the day: 

Our daily decisions and habits have a huge impact upon both our levels of happiness and success. 
-Shawn Achor

We are creatures of habit. Our daily life consists of patterns, routines and bias. Coupled with the different personalities out there things get even more interesting. At times we do certain things not because we need to but because we can. The habits that we project are what we grew up with, picked up along the way or stumbled upon innocently.

Studies have shown that around 40% of our daily routine is performed in almost the same situations from day to day. Behavior becomes a habit. Surely it can then be said that our persona -the way we behave, live, talk and interact with others, or more directly the way that we carry ourselves and the things that we do correlates with the habits that we have formed. Either consciously or unconsciously. How many times have you been told, by a family member or friend about a particular habit that you have but because it's become a routine you never give it a second thought?

We need habits. They help us through the day. Sleeping in a particular way, snoring, waking at a particular time, drinking from a favourite mug, how you like your eggs fried, taking long or short showers, singing in the shower, laughing loudly or not at all when a joke is made, fidgeting when nervous, not making eye contact when telling a lie, buying the same groceries each time, reading product labels out loud, eating in front of the TV, doing laundry at a certain time, taking a nap, checking your phone first thing after waking up, and it never seems to end. All it takes is for our daily routine to be slightly impacted

There are of course faulty habits, those that are difficult to let go of. How liberating it is to be free, to let go of an ingrained habit, deep-rooted like a stain on a rug that wouldn't come off. In this context it's not the stain that is the problem, but the flawed solution of cleaning it the same way and expecting different results. How great would it be to finally find a final and clean solution. Our faulty habits should never be allowed to make a mess of things, overtaking our time, and our lives. It's never too late to break a bad habit. Clean, rinse, repeat. So here's to new and positive habits.

Peace. Love. Light* 

Current Listen: Bon Iver -Wash