Archive for February, 2012
Are you an owl? Are you a dolphin? Are you a peacock? Are you a panther?
In reading “Conquer Fear” by Lisa Jimenez, I learned that behavior psychologists have determined there are four personality types. Although there may be a mixture within our personality, one is always dominant. To summarize the findings, the owl is detail-oriented, dolphins are natural givers, peacocks are socialites, and panthers are natural-born leaders. (I’m an owl – no secrets here!)
Discovering who you are is key to having the courage to be just that – WHO YOU ARE! We are all equipped with everything we need to make our lives work for us, and we all have inborn impulses that urge us toward our goals. Our core values are the motivating factor behind all decisions that we make and all actions that we take. As Jimenez points out, “Your time, efforts, thought and energies must be spent on your highest values in order to create a life you love” – having the courage to be who you are!
There is an intense power in knowing who you are and what you want. When you have defined those principles, you start to act on them and can make every day of your life more fulfilling than the last – and you will be SO glad to start each new day! Realize the desires of the heart and act in accord with them. After all, you get what you REALLY want!
The key to that prayer is to be absolutely clear on what it is you want, because clarity carries power as its partner. If you know what you want and are clear on that point, you can eliminate all fear and begin to attract opportunity andto you. So, know what you want, write it down and dream about it. You won’t believe what will happen!
Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, Bill McKibben, 2010, ISBN 9780805090567
Mankind has irreparably changed the Earth’s climate and weather conditions. This book gives the details, and tells how to survive on this new world.
The Earth that mankind knew, and grew up on, is gone. A new planet needs a new name; hence Eaarth. It is a place of poles where the ice caps are severely reduced, or gone. It is a place where the oceans are becoming more acid, because of excess carbon absorbed into the water, not to mention the toxic chemicals and other pollutants being dumped into it. It is a place of more extreme weather patterns.
The average person might not care if an entire glacier completely melts away, like the Chacaltaya Glacier in Bolivia. Those living downstream, dependent on that glacier for their water supply, will certainly care. Since 1980, the tropics have expanded worldwide by 2 degrees north and south. Over 8 million more square miles of land are now tropical, with dry subtropics pushing ahead of them. The chances of Lake Mead, which is behind Hoover Dam, running dry in the next 10 years, have reached 50 percent. The residents of an oceanside town in North Carolina are spending up to $30,000 each to place large sandbags in front of their homes to keep the ocean at bay.
The times when America, or the world, can simply grow its way out of its financial problems are gone forever. Building enough nuclear power plants to get rid of even a tenth of theproblem will cost at least $8 trillion. According to one estimate, America needs to spend over $200 billion a year for decades, just on infrastructure, to avoid the kind of gridlock that will collapse the economy. A small village in Alaska is being evacuated, because of rising sea levels, at a cost of $400,000 per person. There is not enough money on Earth to evacuate everyone threatened by rising sea levels.
What to do? Some people are taking another look at small-scale agriculture, getting away from a dependence on artificial chemicals and fertilizer. Eliminate the middlemen, like advertising and transport, and put more money in the farmer’s pocket. Along with local agriculture, consider local power generation.
This is a really eye-opening book. The first half is pretty bleak, showing just how bad things have gotten. But, there is plenty of hope in the second half of the book. It is very much recommended.
Precisely, Song Zi (Japanese “Son-Shi) is not a name of person. It is a name of a book. That is the textbook of art of War. This book was written around BC 500. Professionals believe that real strategist, either “Song Wu” or “Song Ping”, was the author.
“Song Wu” was a commander who formed King’s back palace army (Secret Service for the king) and taught the importance of discipline. “Song Ping” was a general in ancient China whose legs cut off from the lost war by enemy country. Legend says that he still fought and could lead his country to victory at the end.
“Song Zi” has several meanings in war history. There are several note-worthy advices with respect to the war. Before this book came out, people believed that to win or lose in a war was God will. That was why warriors pray for God so anxiously before war. “Song Zi” is the first book of war, which told people there are reasons to win or lose a war. Man Kings, generals, and worriers learned how to win the war and “Dos and Do nots” in war from this book. This is the first book in human history on art and science of war. World famous strategy and political elements “Ten, Chi, Jin” – Help of God, Advantage of Location, Support from People – appeared in this book.
2nd point is the fact that “Song Zi” is talking about the meaning of war. As a book of strategy, unfortunately, it does not deny war. It says, however, “War affects not only army and government of a country, but also people, food production, and national wealth. Therefore, the decision makers should not easily exercise this option.”
“Song Zi” was The Textbook for famous generals in the history. It is said that Napoleon Buonaparte read it and used its strategies in many battles. Maybe the last person in modern history used strategy of “Song Zi” was Mao Zhedong in China. He used “Song Zi” strategy not to be defeated by Japanese Army in World War II, and win the battles against National Army lead by Jing Jie Shi.
This book categorizes various strategies in terms of location, number of soldiers, training, timing of attack, formation, and so on. All are about art and science of war.
This article is not to show you how marvelous “Song Zi” was, as a. This article is to draw your attention to the last part of this that mentions the ultimate and utmost strategy. Please remember that this book was written 2500 years ago. It says as final and ultimate strategy, after its 35 Chapters detailed strategies, as 36th Chapter, is not to fight to death but run away from your enemy to survive.
I hope one day there is no war at all on earth.
My diving career has taught me more about boththan I ever learnt when I was growing up. As an Australian school kid I was taught about the ANZACs landing at Gallipoli in World War I and the Nazis trying to take over Europe in World War II. It wasn’t until I started diving shipwrecks that I realised how much Australia, a country so far removed from the epicentre of both wars, was indelibly touched by both… and I don’t just mean Australia’s armed forces fighting on foreign shores. I never knew, or considered, how close war came to our shoreline.
Diving the World War II wrecks of Truk Lagoon inspired a desire to find out more and I now know how much havoc the Japanese caused along Australia’s coastline… but it wasn’t until I picked up The Wolf, that I realised the Germans had already done the same thing – only some twenty-five years earlier.
July 1917: The First World War has entered its fourth horrendous year and ships are mysteriously disappearing off the coasts of Australia and New Zealand.
This isn’t really a shipwreck story, but it’s an amazing story; one German ship crossing three oceans and travelling over 100,000 kilometres, without pulling into a port to refuel or resupply. One ship whose only purpose was to create havoc for the Allies.
The Wolf’s Captain, Karl Nerger, was instructed to head to the Indian Ocean and cause chaos. His briefing orders were succinct: ‘The approaches to the most important ports of British India and British South Africa are to be contaminated with mines. The chief ports are Colombo, Bombay, Karachi, Calcutta, Rangoon, Singapore and Cape Town…After execution of the mining tasks, war on commerce is to be pursued until all resources are exhausted. Main objective for attack is the grain trade from Australia to Europe.’
The aim was to help win the war by starving the enemy.
The Wolf began life as the freighter Wachtfels but after Karl Nerger chose her, she spent six months being converted into a disguised war ship. Her holds were altered to accommodate mines and ammunition.
The Wolf officially left on its voyage in December 1916 on what many considered a suicide mission. By the time it ended, she had laid all her mines – not necessarily where she was meant to and had sunk over thirty allied ships. Karl Nerger adhered strictly to the rules of sea warfare and all passengers and crew of the ships The Wolf sent to the bottom, including a six-year-old girl, were taken as prisoners.
What I really enjoyed about this book is it’s a story within a story. The Wolf’s journey is encapsulated within the wider political outlook of the time, complete with all its xenophobia, its old world viewpoints clashing with major technological change.
It’s an easy read and it draws you in… the Wolf becomes a mini floating world of her own, fighting for the German cause but also fighting to survive. Once she’d laid her mines she was forced to rely on food and coal from ships she attacked. Chased by the combined navies of five allied nations and in complete radio silence with Germany she has to try to find her way home.
In some weird way, you can’t help but find yourself hoping they’ll make it.
Little Brother is essentially about the effects of fear and its unhappy results to one young man, Marcus Yallow, who attempts to ‘fight’ his own government, Homeland Security to be precise. As a young man of about 17 Marcus is a computer guru to many of his peers. Writer Doctorow goes to some lengths to demonstrate Marcus’ ability to thwart the governmental security measures at his high school.
This is a future where students are tracked within the school at all times by their very movements. All people in fact must have special cards that are used by the DHS to know the whereabouts of each individual in the city of San Francisco. There are agents that arrest the various people who are ‘suspicious’. So this is a future where life in America has become untenable. Interestingly Mr. Doctorow calls this a ‘teenage novel’, I didn’t know that Little Brother was geared towards youth until a few minutes ago as I was looking through the Internet about it. But I do understand now, in that, the tone of the piece was understated.
As the book proceeds Marcus is shown to be a natural leader, one who can gather his friends and others into a meaningful direction. His core of friends are heavily involved in computer games that are also played in real life and life goes on as usual in this environment. That is until there is a terrorist bombing of a large San Francisco Bridge… not the Golden Gate, but another bridge that kills about 4000 people or so. Marcus and his young friends happen to have been playing hooky at the time and are ’rounded up’ by the DHS to be held on ‘treasure island’ which is Alcatraz, which has been modernized. It is here where Marcus is kept prisoner without many rights apparently. He is eventually released and he begins his quest to gain someenge on Homeland Security.
Marcus finds a new girlfriend and a number of adventures occur wherein Marcus stages a number of events to gather his friends. Mr. Doctorow is pretty good at showing a young person who has some growing up to do. In fact I was pretty surprised that Marcus is a ‘white’ person. I was sure that he was black but he is explained as being white… interesting. There are a number of things that are missing that would have given Mr. Doctorow’s work a bit more depth. A bit more plot or some more surprise would have been wiser in my estimation. Yet I was pretty surprised to see this content since there is little protest in this nation to it’s ‘outer arms’. There is truth here though, in that a mass of people afraid and trusting in their government allows said government to abridge it’s constitution, to the demise of it’s own purpose. This isn’t far fetched in the least, as we have already seen that our government is well on its way to the torture of others as portrayed in the book.
This sort of Ignorance isn’t anything new and we will surely be seeing something like this in the future of this nation, still in my respective opinion, things will likely be much worse than Mr. Doctorow’s interesting little book.