Guide Posts

Another Place Where They Live Long …

Posted on January 6, 2018. Filed under: Guide Posts |

One third of Ikaria’s population lives past the age of 90 – and they spend every day doing what they love – By Marissa Tejada 17 November 2017

With thin, white hair pinned to the side and thick glasses perched on the bridge of her nose, Ioanna Proiou slid her wrinkled, sun-spotted fingers over the strands of baby-blue wool stretched across her heavy wooden loom. She clanked a lever forward on the handmade machine again and again, a technique she has perfected over 90 years.

With that loom, Proiou creates the woven bags and clothing she sells from her little shop in Christos Raches, a village of 300 residents on the Greek island of Ikaria, a nine-hour ferry ride across the Aegean Sea from Athens. As her arms moved in rhythmic fashion, the loom shaking slightly, the 105-year-old told me how much she still loves her job.

“Do something in your life that stirs your passion,” she advised me. “When my husband died decades ago, I continued doing what I love. Later, someone else proposed to me, but I said ‘no’. I am married to my loom.”

Not far from where Proiou sells her wares, Christos Raches’ main square is quiet and calm. Locals sip coffee in the shade of leafy plane trees and exchange pleasantries outside their terracotta roofed homes. Business owners open and close their doors on no set schedule. Many of the shops operate on an honour system: customers take what they please and leave money on the counter in return.

It’s a fairly common scene on the Greek islands, but Ikaria is different: here, one third of the island’s population lives to be more than 90 years old. Along with Sardinia in Italy, Nicoya in Costa Rica, Okinawa in Japan and Loma Linda in California, Ikaria is a Blue Zone, one of five designated places where people live the longest.

Experts often cite a healthy diet and an active lifestyle as key to a longer life. The medical professionals and anthropologists associated with the Blue Zone project also note the importance of close family ties and involvement in faith-based communities. Ikarians make an effort to stay closely connected to their families and neighbours, and the elderly play significant roles in the community.

Grandparents often help raise grandchildren or run businesses. But Proiou credits her longevity to her passion for weaving and her outlook on life. “Do not want more than what you really need. If you envy others, that can only give you stress,” she told me.

Medical professionals note the importance of Ikaria’s family ties and faith-based communities

Retired doctor Christodoulos Xenakis has another theory about how Ikarians avoid unnecessary anxiety. We met briefly during my first hour on the island and we had agreed to meet again, though tracking him down wasn’t easy.

“No-one really sets appointments here,” he shrugged when I greeted the 81 year old – who is considered a young man by Ikaria standards – a few days later in the village. Time is an important part of life on Ikaria, Xenakis explained, but not the way most people think. “It’s more like ‘see you in the morning, afternoon or evening’. We don’t stress.”

Ikarians spend their days with purpose

That’s because, Xenakis said, Ikarians spend their days with purpose. He excitedly told me about his latest project organising the Ikaria Senior Regatta, a boat race for which the minimum qualifying age for captains is 70. Twenty participating crews sail a 14-nautical-mile route from neighbouring Samos island to Ikaria and back.

“It’s not really a race,” Xenakis said. “The regatta shows we can still do it and we are capable.”

“There’s always something to do with your time,” he added. “But when you do things that make you happy or others happy, how can you not feel healthy, feel better or feel good?”

One third of Ikaria, Greece’s residents live to be more than 90 years old!

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Winter Solstice – Dec 21 …

Posted on December 21, 2017. Filed under: Guide Posts |

https://www.vox.com/2016/12/20/14027402/winter-solstice-2017

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Exercises for the Lazy …

Posted on December 15, 2017. Filed under: Guide Posts |

You can easily do some exercises while sitting at the desk. Here are some that you can include-

1. Just stand up and sit down

– If you stand up and sit down (over and over) without using your hands – it can be helpful.

2. Stretch your back with a hug

– Hug your body, placing the right hand on your left shoulder and the left hand on your right shoulder.
– Breathe in and out, releasing the area between your shoulder blades.

3. Ditch email and talk directly

– Instead of emailing a colleague, just walk over instead. The exercise is effortless and will keep you in shape if habitual.

You can also include a healthy diet while in office –

1. Fruits

Fruits are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that will keep you full and refreshed through the day.

2. Nuts

Nuts are protein boosters, so you can take them to office and munch on them whenever you feel hungry.

3. Sprouts

Sprouts are rich in fiber and protein. Super low in calories, this healthy snack will keep you full for a longer period.

4. Puffed Rice or Murmura

This humble snack is light and has lesser calories. So go ahead and add them as one of your snack options while at work.

chocolate is good for your heart.

1. Protects the heart cells and blood vessels: According to a study published in The Journal of Clinical Hypertension, dark chocolate is rich in bioactive flavonols and theobromine that have a positive effect on the cells of the heart and the blood vessels.

2. Boosts blood circulation: A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggests that dark chocolate is rich in active compounds known as polyphenols that help in improving the circulation of blood.

3. Regulates blood pressure: Studies have also shown that eating dark chocolate may help in controlling high blood pressure.

4. Reduces risk of stroke: According to a Finnish study published in the Journal Neurology, including dark chocolate in your diet is linked to the reduced risk of stroke.

5. Lowers cholesterol: Another study published in the Journal Hypertension indicates that eating about 100 grams of dark chocolate every day may help in lowering the bad cholesterol and also increase the levels of good cholesterol.

While dark chocolate may have many health benefits, you must always remember that anything consumed in excess can have negative repercussions. So, enjoy dark chocolate in moderation to reap its heart-healthy benefits.

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Ho Chi Minh Trail …

Posted on December 13, 2017. Filed under: Books, Guide Posts |

Bicycling the Blood Road By Rebecca Rusch

The Ho Chi Minh Trail was called the Blood Road because so many people lost their lives there. My father, Stephen Rusch, was one of them. He was the weapons system officer in an F-4 Phantom fighter jet. On March 7, 1972, he was flying a strike mission over Laos to bomb trucks spotted along the trail. His plane was struck by ground fire and crashed to the jungle floor. He didn’t make it home.

In 2015, I set out on the most important bike ride of my life. I went to ride the entire length of the trail and to search for the place where Dad’s plane went down. I had no idea what I would find, if I could even get there or what the riding would be like. I started the expedition with so many questions, but now I can look back and see that my choices have always been preparing me for and leading me to this ride. My path as a professional endurance athlete has always been unpredictable, but something was always calling me to the remote jungles of Southeast Asia: a magnetic pull toward the map coordinates in an Air Force crash report.
The complicated network of paths that form the Ho Chi Minh Trail runs from the former North Vietnam, through the jungles of Laos and Cambodia, then re-enters Vietnam near Ho Chi Minh City. The trail, parts of which are still maintained today, was the main supply route for soldiers, supplies and ammunition as the North Vietnamese moved to take over the South during the Vietnam War. By shielding the route under thick jungle canopy, often pushing bicycles loaded with supplies, the North Vietnamese were able to evade American air strikes.

Forty-five years later, the bike is still the most efficient way to travel over there. Being on two wheels allowed me to cover distance and also be nimble enough to thread through the dense forest, dodge muddy trenches and cross rivers where bridges had washed away. In the most remote areas, locals had never seen a tourist or a carbon bicycle, and certainly never an American woman.

We stared at each other with wide-eyed wonder, greeting each other with a smile and palms pressed together, head bowed. Sitting in wooden huts, harvesting rice, raising children: This is the peaceful life they live now. But the scars of the devastation are everywhere. Bomb craters still mark the landscape like Swiss cheese, scrap metal from planes and bomb casings are repurposed as planters, buckets and roofs. There are even unexploded bombs that still threaten their daily lives.

My history is intertwined with theirs through shared loss and bloodshed. Even though my father was one of the pilots raining bombs on them, they opened their homes and hearts to me. Without words, they understood my journey.

After many demanding days on the trail, I finally arrived in Ta Oy, Laos, a small village near my father’s crash site. I felt as if the villagers there had been expecting me for a long time. Sitting cross-legged on the floor of his home, Mr. Airh, the village chief, told me the story of how his father had buried mine. Despite the fact that my Dad was dropping bombs on their village, Mr. Airh’s father respectfully laid the bodies of the two American airmen under a beautiful, ancient tree.

The tree was still there waiting for me. When I saw it in a small clearing in the jungle, I could feel my Dad’s presence. Though investigators had found just two of his teeth and a bone fragment at the site, finding plane debris reassured me that this was really the place. For the first time in my life as a professional athlete I was able to stop, pause and not think about what was next. I had finally reached a finish line I never knew I was striving toward.

I was three years old when Dad disappeared, and I don’t remember him. But under that tree, I finally had a chance to talk to him. “Hi Dad, I’m here.” I also spoke to Mr. Airh in the only Lao words I knew: “Khàwp jai lãi lãi” (Thank you.) He held my hands and we cried together as he whispered “Baw pen nyãng” (It’s OK.) He also told me that if his father had died that way, he would have come searching too. As foreign as we may seem to each other, in that moment we discovered a deep kinship.

My athletic career has spanned more than two decades. I’ve racked up countless wins and world championship medals. I’ve also learned that some medals are not worn around your neck, but instead are imprinted on your soul. As I neared the finish line of this 1,200-mile ride down the Ho Chi Minh Trail, I felt a sense of contentment and clarity that I had never experienced before. This ride wasn’t about death, destruction and closure, but instead it was about healing, forgiveness and discovery. To me, Blood Road no longer represents a trail stained red, but instead a path toward finding our family and shared connection in the most unexpected places.

Rebecca Rusch is a professional cyclist. “Blood Road,” a documentary about her trip along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, is airing for free on Red Bull TV. Click here to watch it.

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Basis of White Dominance – Humble Potato? …

Posted on December 10, 2017. Filed under: Guide Posts |

https://quartzy.qz.com/1148452/potato2/

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Nazi Concentration Camps …

Posted on December 10, 2017. Filed under: Guide Posts, Personalities |

When US troops came across ghastly evidence of massive fratricide of Jews at concentration camps like Dachau and Auschwitz, Eisenhower ordered immediate and comprehensive documentation of the devastation saying ”

I want full proof of this brutality, because tomorrow some bastard is going to say it never happened!”

General Eisenhower wrote in his memoir Crusade in Europe the following passage regarding his reaction to the concentration camps and the action he felt he needed to take:

The same day I saw my first horror camp. It was near the town of Gotha. I have never felt able to describe my emotional reactions when I first came face to face with indisputable evidence of Nazi brutality and ruthless disregard of every shred of decency.

Up to that time I had known about it only generally or through secondary sources. I am certain, however that I have never at any other time experienced an equal sense of shock.

I visited every nook and cranny of the camp because I felt it my duty to be in a position from then on to testify at first hand about these things in case there ever grew up at home the belief or assumption that `the stories of Nazi brutality were just propaganda.’ Some members of the visiting party were unable to go through the ordeal.

I not only did so but as soon as I returned to Patton’s headquarters that evening I sent communications to both Washington and London, urging the two governments to send instantly to Germany a random group of newspaper editors and representative groups from the national legislatures.

I felt that the evidence should be immediately placed before the American and British publics in a fashion that would leave no room for cynical doubt.

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Something for Mankind …

Posted on August 9, 2017. Filed under: American Thinkers, Guide Posts, Personalities |

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr was a jurist and Supreme Court Justice for 30 yrs. He is famous for his concise, pithy, prescient opinions and remains one of the most widely cited Supreme Court justices. He is the author of the phrase, “clear and present danger.” These extracts are from his thought

ATTITUDE is more important than heritage, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say; it is also more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.

Carve every word before you let it fall. A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged; it is the skin of a living thought and may vary in color and content according to the circumstances and time in which it is used. Don’t be ‘consistent but be true.

Every event that a man would master must be mounted on the run, and no man ever caught the reins of a thought except as it galloped past him. Man’s mind, stretched by a new idea, never goes back to its original dimensions.

A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience. A new and valid idea is stronger than an army. The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are tending. The rule of joy and the law of duty seem to me all one.

Most of the things we do, we do for no better reason than that our fathers have done them or our neighbors do them, and the same is true of a larger part of what we think. People talk fundamentals and superlatives and then make some changes of detail.

To have doubted one’s own first principles is the mark of a civilized man. Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble, at the touch, nay, you may kick it about all day like a football, and it will be round and full at evening.

The only prize much cared for by the powerful is power. Yet nothing is so commonplace that it has not the wish to be remarkable.

Beware how you take away hope from any human being.

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Falling in Love …

Posted on June 12, 2017. Filed under: Guide Posts, Mars & Venus, Searching for Success |

During a seminar, a woman asks, “How do I know if I married the right person?” There was this guy sitting next to her, so the guy asks, “Is that your husband?” Taken aback she asks, “How did you guess?” He goes onto explain.

’Every relationship has a cycle. In the beginning, you fell in love with your spouse. You anticipated their call, wanted their touch, and liked their idiosyncrasies.

Falling in love with your spouse wasn’t hard. In fact, it was a completely natural and spontaneous experience. You didn’t have to DO anything. That’s why it’s called “falling” in love. Because it’s happening TO YOU.

People in love sometimes say, “I was swept off my feet.” Think about the imagery of that expression. It implies that you were just standing there; doing nothing, and then something came along and happened TO YOU.

Falling in love is easy. It’s a passive and spontaneous experience.

But after a few years of marriage, the euphoria of love fades. It’s the natural cycle of EVERY relationship. Slowly but surely, phone calls become a bother (if they come at all), touch is not always welcome (when it happens) and your spouse’s idiosyncrasies, instead of being cute, drive you nuts.

The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship but if you think about your marriage you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angrier subsequent stage. At this point, you or your spouse might start asking, “Did I marry the right person?”

As you and your spouse reflect on the euphoria of the love you once had, you may begin to desire that experience with someone else. This is when marriages breakdown.

People blame their spouse for their unhappiness and look outside their marriage for fulfillment. Extramarital fulfillment comes in all shapes and sizes. Infidelity is the most obvious. But sometimes people turn to work, a hobby, a friendship, excessive TV or abusive substances.

But the answer to this dilemma does NOT lie outside your marriage. It lies within it. I’m not saying that you couldn’t fall in love with someone else. You could. And TEMPORARILY you’d feel better.

But you’d be in the same situation a few years later. Because, THE KEY TO SUCCEEDING IN MARRIAGE IS NOT FINDING THE RIGHT PERSON IT’S LEARNING TO LOVE THE PERSON YOU FOUND.

SUSTAINING love is not a passive or spontaneous experience. It’ll NEVER just happen to you. You can’t “find” LASTING love. You have to “make” it day in and day out.

That’s why we have the expression “the labor of love.” Because it takes time, effort, and energy. And most importantly, it takes WISDOM.

You have to know WHAT TO DO to make your marriage work. Make no mistake about it. Love is NOT a mystery. There are specific things you can do (with or without your spouse) to succeed with your marriage.

Just as there are physical laws of the universe (such as gravity), there are also laws for relationships. Just as the right diet and exercise program makes you physically stronger, certain habits in your relationship WILL make your marriage stronger. It’s  direct cause and effect.

If you know and apply the laws, the results are predictable. You can “make” love. Love in marriage is indeed a “decision”. Not just a feeling. “No one falls in love by choice, it is by CHANCE. No one stays in love by chance, it is by CHOICE.’

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This Wonderful English Language …

Posted on December 24, 2016. Filed under: Guide Posts, Light plus Weighty, The English, Uncategorized |

C. N. Annadurai was a prominent Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, India,  known for his proficiency in English. Once at Yale University he was asked to mention a hundred words which did not have any of the letters –  A, B, C or D.

He promptly recited ‘One to Ninety Nine’ ………….. and then shouted ‘STOP’ – thus completing the one hundred words without any  of the Four Letters !

The next request was to  construct a sentence repeating ‘because’ three times contiguously.

After a moments thought, he says, “A sentence never ends with ‘because,’ because ‘because’ is a conjunction”.

Over to Messrs Shakespeare and Milton!

 

 

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Colin Powell’s Lesson for the Officer Corps …

Posted on December 2, 2016. Filed under: American Thinkers, Guide Posts, Uncategorized |

Colin Powell is a truly Great Man who because of loyalty to his Boss, President George W Bush, compromised himself – so very tragically. Here are his maxims

Check small things – Share credit – Remain calm – Be kind.

It ain’t as bad as you think – Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier – Get mad, then get over it.

It can be done  – Be careful what you choose. You may get it.

Have vision –  Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers.

Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.

Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.

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