July 28, 2014
In asthma, it's not just what you smell, but what you think you smell

July 21, 2014
"

Your enjoyment of the world is never right till every morning you awake in Heaven; see yourself in your Father’s Palace; and look upon the skies, the earth, and the air, as Celestial Joys: having such a reverend esteem of all, as if you were among the Angels. The bride of a monarch in her husband’s chamber, hath no such causes of delight as you.

You never enjoy the world aright till the sea itself floweth in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens and crowned with the stars: and perceive yourself to be the sole heir of the whole world, and more than so, because men are in it who are every one sole heirs as well as you. Till you can sing and rejoice and delight in God, as misers do in gold, and kings in sceptres, you never enjoy the world.

Till your spirit filleth the whole world, and the stars are your jewels: till you are as familiar with the ways of God in all ages as with your walk and table: till you are intimately acquainted with that shady nothing out of which the world was made: till you love men so as to desire their happiness with a thirst equal to the zeal of your own: till you delight in God for being good to all: you never enjoy the world. Till you more feel it than your private estate, and are more present in the hemisphere, considering the glories and the beauties there, than in your own house: till you remember how lately you were made, and how wonderful it was when you came into it: and more rejoice in the palace of your glory, than if it had been made but to-day morning.

Yet further, you never enjoy the world aright, till you so love the beauty of enjoying it that you are covetous and earnest to persuade others to enjoy it. And so perfectly hate the abominable corruption of men in despising it, that you had rather suffer the flames of hell than willingly be guilty of their error. There is so much blindness, and ingratitude, and damned folly in it. The world is a mirror of infinite beauty, yet no man sees it. It is a Temple of Majesty, yet no man regards it. It is a region of Light and Peace, did not men disquiet it. It is the Paradise of God. It is more to man since he is fallen, than it was before. It is the place of Angels, and the Gate of Heaven. When Jacob awaked out of his dream, he said, ‘God is here, and I wist it not. How dreadful is this place! This is none other than the House of God, and the gate of Heaven.’

"

— Thomas Traherne, Centuries of Meditation

4:51pm
Filed under: quotes 
July 20, 2014
"For all your days prepare,
And meet them ever alike:
When you are the anvil, bear—
When you are the hammer, strike."

— Edwin Markham, Preparedness (1928)

(Source: eelhound)

July 19, 2014

The Last Boy Scout (1991)

July 13, 2014
The Minoans were Caucasian: DNA debunks longstanding theory that Europe's first advanced culture was from Africa

DNA analysis has debunked the longstanding theory that the Minoans, who some 5,000 years ago established Europe’s first advanced Bronze Age culture, were from Africa.

July 8, 2014
Walt Whitman, from Leaves of Grass

Walt Whitman, from Leaves of Grass

6:00am
  
Filed under: quotes poetry 
July 7, 2014

6:42pm
  
Filed under: psychology 
July 7, 2014
Major study suggests mortality rate higher for people who stay out of the sun than those who don't

Health bosses are investigating the results of a study which shows that women who avoid sunbathing during the summer are twice as likely to die than those who sunbathe every day.

The study, conducted by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, followed nearly 30,000 women over 20 years.

They found that the results “showed that mortality was about double in women who avoided sun exposure compared to the highest exposure group”.

July 6, 2014
"

To be a man means to seek a truth that satisfies the mind, a virtue that sates the conscience, and a beauty that breaks the heart. Deprive a man of any of these things, and he will find neither happiness nor rest.

The most precious, profound and important of the great ideas which the Left has raped from us is beauty. I need spend no time on the proposition that life without beauty is a nightmare: those who have seen true beauty – sublime beauty, if even for a moment – have nothing to which they can liken it except the ecstasies of mystics and the transports of saints. Beauty consoles the sorrowing; beauty brings joy and deepens understanding; beauty is like food and wine, and men who live surrounded by ugliness become shriveled and starved in their souls.

Why, if beauty is so important, is there no discussion of it? The victory of the Left in this area has been so sudden, so remarkable, and so complete, that the discussion of beauty has lapsed into an utter and a desolate silence. Have you, dear reader, read anything discussing beauty, putting forth a coherent theory of beauty, or even extolling beauty’s central importance of the human soul in a year? In 10 years? Ever? This may be the only essay you will read on the topic this decade, and yet the topic is one of paramount importance. It is a matter of life and death not for the body but for the spirit.

There is no discussion of it because by convincing the public that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the Left has placed it beyond the realm of discussion. According to the Left, beauty is a matter of taste, and arbitrary taste at that. There is no discussion of taste because to give reasons to prefer tasteful to tasteless things is elitist, nasty, uncouth and inappropriate. To have taste implies that some cultures produce more works of art and better than others, and this raises the uncomfortable possibility that love of beauty is Eurocentric, or even racist. To admire beauty has become a hate crime.

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then there is no difference between fine art as opposed to mere decoration, no difference between Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and wallpaper. Obviously there is a difference: we decorate an otherwise useful tool to make it more pleasing to look at or handle, like painting details on a car or putting embroidered images on fabric. Popular art is meant for entertainment; it is meant to please the eye and wile away the time. But an episode of I Love Lucy is not made for the same purpose as Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. Art is not meant to be useful. When you hold a baby in your arms and look at him, merely look at the wonder and miracle of new life, you don’t do that because the baby is useful.

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then there is no such thing as training the taste. One can sit down and watch well done popular entertainment – for example, a Mickey Mouse cartoon – with pleasure and enjoyment, and no study is needed to prepare you to appreciate and understand it. But to sit down and read Milton’s Paradise Lost for pleasure, one needs a passing familiarity with classical and Biblical figures to which he alludes, and one’s pleasure is increased if one is familiar with the epic models, the Virgil and Homer, on whose themes Milton plays out so creative and striking a variation.

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then anything, anything at all, can be declared to be beautiful merely by the artist. Like God creating light from nothing by the power of His word, the artist creates beauty not by any genius nor craftsmanship, but by his naked fiat. It is beautiful not because he actually created anything, but only because he says so.

By this logic, a urinal is beautiful, a light going off and on, a decapitated cow’s head covered in blood, flies and maggots, a glass of water on a shelf, a crucifix dunked in urine, a can of excrement, or an unmade bed. The argument given by the Left is that your inability to see the beauty in these things is due to your limitations, your untrained soul, your dullness. The argument merely ignores the fact that training the tastes to be dull, philistine and coarse is the opposite of training the tastes to be sensitive to beauty.

"

— John C. Wright, How We’ve Been Robbed of Beauty by the Left

(Source: everyjoe.com)

8:22pm
  
Filed under: quotes art 
July 3, 2014
"The hurrier I go, the behinder I get."

— Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

6:01pm
  
Filed under: quotes 
July 3, 2014
"The most highly developed branches of the human family have in common one peculiar characteristic. They tend to produce — sporadically it is true, and often in the teeth of adverse external circumstances — a curious and definite type of personality; a type which refuses to be satisfied with that which other men call experience, and is inclined, in the words of its enemies, to ‘deny the world in order that it may find reality.’ We meet these persons in the east and the west; in the ancient, mediaeval, and modern worlds. Their one passion appears to be the prosecution of a certain spiritual and intangible quest: the finding of a ‘way out’ or a ‘way back’ to some desirable state in which alone they can satisfy their craving for absolute truth."

— Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism: A Study in Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness

11:47am
  
Filed under: quotes 
June 29, 2014
Art of Manliness Podcast #74: Ancient Roman Honor With Dr. Carlin Barton

In this week’s episode I talk to University of Massachusetts’ professor of ancient history Carlin Barton about her book Roman Honor: The Fire in the Bones. I discovered her book after I finished our massive series on the origins and decline of traditional honor in the West and I wished I had it as a source during my research. It’s one of the best books I’ve read, and every time I re-read it, I’ve gotten new insights. Professor Barton and I have a 90-minute conversation about honor and the role it played in the lives of the Romans.

Show highlights:

  • What honor meant for the ancient Romans (and how it’s completely different from our modern concept of honor)
  • Why actions and exerting the “will” on the world was an important part of Roman honor
  • The difference between a “male” and a “man” to ancient Romans and how a male gained the status of a man
  • The role male expandability played in the Roman concept of manliness
  • How the Romans handled defeat
  • How Romans found wearing a psychological “mask” liberating
  • Why honor declined and philosophies like Stoicism took their place in Ancient Rome
  • What lessons us moderns can take from the Roman concept of honor

And much more!

June 27, 2014
Increased nearsightedness linked to higher education levels and more years spent in school

German researchers have found strong evidence that attaining a higher level of education and spending more years in school are two factors associated with a greater prevalence and severity of nearsightedness, or myopia. Published online this month in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the research is the first population-based study to demonstrate that environmental factors may outweigh genetics in the development of myopia.

While common, nearsightedness has become even more prevalent around the world in recent years and presents a growing global health and economic concern. Severe nearsightedness is a major cause of visual impairment and is associated with greater risk of retinal detachment, myopic macular degeneration, premature cataracts and glaucoma. In the United States, nearsightedness now affects roughly 42 percent of the population. Developed Asian countries report increasing myopia rates of up to 80 percent, the rapid growth rate of which suggests that environmental factors play a significant role. Environmental factors that have been linked to myopia include near work (such as reading or using a computer), outdoor activity, living in urban versus rural areas and education.

[…]

The antidote to the rise in myopia could be as simple as going outside more often. In the last several years, studies of children and young adults in Denmark and Asia show that more time outdoors and exposure to daylight is associated with less nearsightedness.

"Since students appear to be at a higher risk of nearsightedness, it makes sense to encourage them to spend more time outdoors as a precaution," said Alireza Mirshahi, M.D., lead author of the study.

June 26, 2014
Media 'sideline Europe's white working class', study finds

The marginalisation of white working-class people across Europe has been fuelled by media stereotypes portraying them as “feckless, lazy scroungers”, according to a report from the Open Society Foundations (OSF).

Called “chavs” in Britain, “white trash” in Sweden, and featuring in a reality-TV genre called “Aso-TV” (“anti-sociables television”) in the Netherlands, white working-class people are often depicted as poor, unsocialised and sometimes violent, says the OSF. In Germany, they are stereotyped in what some call “Hartz-IV television”, a reference to the welfare system on which many poorer citizens rely. 

June 26, 2014
Consumption of White Bread Two or More Times a Day Makes People Obese: Study

A new study has revealed that relying on white bread as part of two or more serving of your daily meal puts you on higher risk of being obese. The study was aimed at focusing on eating habits of university graduates.

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