Connecting Ancient and Modern Religions
When people think about Greek religion or mythology, they naturally think about the myriad of Greek gods and goddess - but it is important to remember that none of these divinities can be entirely understood alone. Each is defined in relation to the others and separating one from the rest is like trying to separate a single strand of thread from a blanket. Atheists and theists accustomed to strict monotheistic faiths like Christianity may not realize how integrated the gods of polytheistic belief systems tend to be, much less how aspects of them continue to be reflected even in contemporary religions and deities. Knowledge of both can be very important, though, for anyone attempting a sustained and informed critique of modern religion and modern theism.
One complicating factor is how the nature of the relationships and attributes of Greek gods can all vary from city to city, depending upon which gods happen to be dominant in a particular region. There was no real “orthodoxy” in Greek religion, thus demonstrating not only that religion doesn’t need to have an enforced orthodoxy, but also that the lack of such an enforced orthodoxy doesn’t cause either religion or society to break down. This stands in sharp contrast to how conservatives and fundamentalists in religions like Christianity behave.
Details Emerge from Upcoming “Star Wars Episode VII”
Some five months ago, after the bomb dropped that Disney has acquired Lucasfilm and plans to release Star Wars: Episode VII sometime in 2015, the newly-appointed Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy revealed the studio’s intention to release 2-3 new movies every year (beginning with the seventh cinematic Star Wars installment).
Today, Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm jointly announced at the ongoing 2013 CinemaCon in Las Vegas that, in fact, a new Star Wars movie will be arriving every summer beginning with Episode VII in 2015. That includes both Episodes VII-IX and the standalone and/or spinoff films, which the studios have confirmed as being part of the overall plan to usher in a new era for George Lucas’ cash cow.
Legalization Advocates Face Unlikely Opponent
Activists fighting to legalize marijuana in states across the country are running into an unlikely opponent: people who make a living in the medical marijuana industry. Politicocalls it “Big Marijuana,” noting that those who form part of the billion-dollar industry are fighting hard to keep competitors out of the game. In its fight against full legalization, the medical marijuana sector has joined some unusual allies. The Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine, for example, joined law-enforcement groups and social conservatives to fight against a bill that would have legalized possession of small quantities, reportsPolitico.
Medical marijuana is good business not just for dispensaries but also the doctors who agree to prescribe the drug. Finding a doctor willing to recommend the drug “can take months,” reports Market Watch. In Massachusetts, for example, some 3,000 people are on the waiting list to see a doctor.
What is the Flower of Life?
The flower of life is a geometrical shape composed of multiple evenly-spaced, overlapping circles arranged in a flower like pattern with six fold symmetry like a hexagon. The perfect form, proportion and harmony of the FOL has been known to philosophers, architects and artist around the world. Pagans consider it to be sacred geometry containing ancient religious value depicting the fundamental forms of space and time. In the pagan sense, it is believed to contain a type of Akashic Record of basic information of all living things and is the visual expression of the connections of life that run through all sentient beings.
In New Age thought, the Flower of Life has provided what is considered to be deep spiritual meaning and forms of enlightenment to those who have studied it as sacred geometry. There are groups of people all over the world who derive particular beliefs and forms of meditation based (at least in part) on the Flower of Life.
The Most Powerful Law of Seduction
People like people who like them. This is one of the most replicated findings in all of social psychology. But people also like people who might like them. This is one of the most well-known principles of seduction.
When receiving clear signals of interest from another person, the person is momentarily pleased, adapts quickly, and the case is closed. But when interest is uncertain, the person can think of little else; they are constantly in search of an explanation. Eventually the person interprets these thoughts as a sign of liking and they think, “Gee, I must really like this person if I can’t stop thinking about him!" (Whitchurch, Wilson, & Gilbert, in press). Every petal peeled off the rose while saying, "He loves me, he loves me not…" is a step closer to attraction.
But which is a more potent force for seduction: the well-known reciprocity principle in social psychology (people like people who like them) or the uncertainty principle in the literature on seduction (people like people who might like them)?
Are Amusement Park Rides Safe? The Surprising Answer…
The answer is: we don’t really know.
The Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, recently conducted a large scale study of injuries to children on amusement park rides and found that approximately 4,400 get hurt a year. In peak season (May to September), “that’s one every two hours,” said Dr. Gary A. Smith, who conducted the study.
But according to NBC News, Smith’s study didn’t include death because that information isn’t logged in hospital injury reports–and there is no such study for adults. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) logged 52 total amusement ride deaths between 1990 and 2004, but more recent information is unavailable. The best that researchers can do is scour websites like RideAccidents.com, which compiles accident headlines from across the country.
Feeding the Brain
Place two fists together, with your inner wrists touching. Your brain is about this size and shape. In contrast to the rubbery pink models we have seen, the brain is amazingly soft, composed primarily of fat and water. It is grayish and pudding-like - composed of 100 billion brain cells.
In contrast to past years when fat was considered an unhealthy part of the diet, we now know that fats are essential. Of the solid matter in the brain, 60% is fat, since the brain consists largely of fatty membranes. Most brain fats are polyunsaturated, meaning their structure contains few or no double bonds, making the molecules flexible. These fats help maintain flexible, dynamic membranes that are able to transmit and receive information, and maintain other cell functions such as energy production, and water storage. Cholesterol, a saturated fat that is often linked with heart and vascular disease, is an important part of a healthy brain. Sufficient quantities of cholesterol are manufactured in the body without dietary sources. Fat provides energy for the brain as well, when it undergoes a transformation using B-vitmains and other trace nutrients within the neuron to produce pure ATP. The best fats to consume are omega-3 oils from fish, nuts, seeds and dark leafy greens. Omega 6 oils can be found in corn and safflower oils as well as borage oil.