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Showing posts from December, 2015

Village of Joy solves homelessness and unemployment issues

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Earlier posts in this blog and a companion one mentioned that with reducing manufacturing jobs in the developed world, many jobs could be created by a return back to the land. A postmodern concept was described so that farm lands are in narrow strips along a main road so that a farming rural area can enjoy the advantages of living in a town or city simultaneously. The configuration ends up with a town in front of the home and a rural farming area at the back. A village designed on this concept is described here
http://steamcenter.blogspot.in/2014/05/postmodern-designer-villages.html
Another post in this blog has described a humane and economical shelter for the homeless called HISA that has semi dormitory style accommodation and a free kitchen. It is described here
http://someitemshave.blogspot.in/2013/01/designing-shelters-for-homeless_13.html
A condition for getting accommodation in a HISA was suggested that all residents shall submit fifty percent of their incomes if any from part ti…

Design for a Cottage in the Countryside

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If you live in a crowded city but love nature you probably dream of a cottage in the country side or a small quaint village surrounded by green forests or fields. The time to build one is when one is still young enough. One could visit that for holidays and perhaps later even retire in it. There are several designs for it in this blog earlier. Here is one that has essentially one large room plus a smaller entrance lobby.  The kitchen and bathroom have been made large so as to make life lovely and pleasant even in a one room cottage. The entrance lobby will however seat four comfortably when the couple next door drop in for tea or a chat and they do not have to be invited in the large bed cum living room. Alternatively the kitchen table is also a nice table for a chat and cup of tea or meal with a neighbor.  the cottage is comfortable enough to live permanently in if one wished to when children have grown up and a single person or a couple is left to complete the journey of life and if…

Three things that decide life and destiny for all

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Around seven billion humans inhabit the earth. Many others have come and gone in the past, each with a unique personality, life and destiny. Each has his or her own personal journey that can be appreciated fully by  that person alone. What appears as a good life to others may not really be so and vice versa. What decides the unique life of each human? All the causes that go in to determining this can be grouped into three:
1. Conditions we inherit at birth
2. Our choices, thoughts and actions through life
3. External causes outside of us that influence our lives

1. Conditions at Birth:
Genes that we inherit at birth decide how we look and to a large extent how we behave. We inherit many personality traits that determine how we shall act and behave through life. Besides this, we inherit a set of parents, country; place etc. All this has an intimate influence on how life turns out.
2. Choices, thoughts and action
Every moment of our lives a human makes choices, is engaged in thought and…

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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Wishing all readers a Merry Christmasand a Happy New year

“And suddenly you know: It's time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”
Meister Eckhart

It’s Official – Vegetarians lead a healthier life

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Several earlier articles in this blog have reported that it seems a vegetarian diet is a healthier one provided it is well balanced and that it leads to lower incidence of diseases with age. It was also pointed out that some of the strongest and longest lived persons on the planet are those who are vegetarians or nearly so. However this claim was based merely on anecdotal and intuitive evidence and not on a scientific study. Now a detailed scientific study backs these claims. The study was conducted by Oxford University. To quote from a report online at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/Vegetarians-lead-a-healthier-life-than-meat-eaters-Oxford-study/articleshow/50226456.cms
“The study, conducted by the Oxford University and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is one of the largest analysis piloted on the subject and involved two prospective studies that covered 60,310 persons living in the United Kingdom. Findings of the study suggested significant d…

Leaving Insurmountable Problems to the Lord

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“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.”
Meister Eckhart
While we need to thank the Almighty God for everything he grants without asking as often as we can, every now and then we run into problems in life for which there seems to be no easy solution even though we may do all the right things to overcome them. The problems could be huge ones as those in Syria now or little ones that are less serious but nevertheless serve to disrupt our peace of mind.
At such moments, those who believe in the Lord can do something. They can pray to God and tell Him about the problem, request his help, leaving it to Him to do what is best. He surely shall. It may not be the same solution that we had wished for but it would be the right thing, best for all concerned. One must have faith in that solution and abide by it and it shall lead to peace with the grace of the Lord. One does not have to deal with everything oneself. One has a loving Father up there, and one can a…

Floral Tea - Tea of the gods

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While the common green and black tea is popular, it is by no means the only herb or flower that can prepare a good cup. Flowers not only add joy and beauty to fields and gardens but many are full of medicinal value too. A huge number of flowers are edible and many make an excellent tea from fresh or dried flowers. Very many have excellent health giving and tonic properties too and a few have been discussed in earlier articles of this blog. Prepared with a proper selection and process it may be regarded as the tea of the gods.
A floral tea may be prepared from a single flower or a mix of two or more. While a few floral teas are available in the market, it is a better idea to prepare your own from flowers you have grown and picked yourself and discover your own mix just as long as you know which flowers are edible and pleasant in tea. Try different flowers that grow in your area to see the ones you like best. You may search for its medicinal properties easily on google by using the key w…

Chrysanthemums in the Garden and Kitchen

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Chrysanthemums are blooming in the garden and I took a picture of some white ones just a little while ago. They are delightful flowers to have around the garden because they come in so many shapes and colors and bloom profusely. After the season is over, one can cut them down and they will come up again the following year.
Chrysanthemums sometimes called mums belong to the family Asteraceae, the most widely prevalent flower family on the planet. In many parts of the world these flowers are connected to peace for the soul after departure from this life and are therefore an ideal gift for funerals and caskets of the departed. Therefore it is not recommended that these be gifted to anyone on other occasions unless one wishes to rush them to their graves. In some countries they gift this to mothers but it would be wiser to gift pink roses or carnations in any color to a mother.
The flower petals may be used as a garnish in various recipes and in China they eat both the leaves and flowers b…

Why some war veterans suffer from PTSD

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This author is from a largely military family and knows that some of the happiest and jolliest of humans in society are war veterans. That has been the experience of many other persons in many countries of the world and even now India and Europe has many happily retired war veterans who live on a comfortable pension and are invited by the Queen for a luncheon and a jolly get together every now and then.
But what is this we are hearing now? War Veterans of America suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? They say the bombs and gore of war did it. But why did it not happen elsewhere and before?
There is a simple explanation; many of earlier wars were fought for self defense and a righteous cause. Such wars fill the heart of war veterans with pride and replace the sound of bombs with that of a celebration with loud fire crackers. The blood of the war fields transforms in the mind to that of evil vanquished. However when the cause of war is for profit or self justifications, the cr…

The God Matrix

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Some believe ardently in God, others do not believe and there are those who are unsure or too busy at the moment to bother about the question just now.
Each human has his or her own understanding of what God means and therefore a detailed discussion must begin with clarifying what one means by God, nevertheless when speaking of God all understand it as a higher Almighty power that has huge, even infinite powers to influence our lives, those of others as well as all large or small events in the universe.
Without discussing the question of existence of God, without agreeing or disagreeing with those who believe or do not believe, let us consider where our position lands us. It is simple logic that even a child can understand and it is summarized in the table. The point the table illustrates is that even if one does not know yet if God exists or not and one has no sure proof of it either way, it is a beneficial position to believe in God because then one would only gain if He exist (He …

Gaia Consciousness Cares for You

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Just as our bodies are made up of bits of matter from the Universe or in particular from bits of Mother Earth, Our consciousness too is made up of a bit of the infinite consciousness of the Universe. Mystics believe that we are not so special that it is just we humans that have a body, consciousness and intelligence but the Universe as a whole has an one too, an infinite one, ours just being a very tiny part of it.
The consciousness of Mother Earth, a part of Universal consciousness, is known as Gaia Consciousness because the Greeks personified her as the Goddess Gaia whereas in other parts of the world others personified her in numerous other diverse forms. All recognized her as a Mother for Earth is the mother of all life that dwells upon it. She prepares food for all her children and also the air they breathe every moment of their lives with the help of Sunshine and other things Father Universe brings from afar.
Mother Earth loves her children dearly and although we rarely sense he…

A home for the Hobbit

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While in graduate school in Canada, a close friend of mine, Brad, recommended several nice books to read including the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit (we are still friends). Ever since, I have been fascinated by Hobbits. Recently I found a lovely picture of a lovely Hobbit home on twitter that is shared with this note. If a human wished to make a similar home it is recommended they choose rectangular doors and windows rather than round ones unless you would like to hop into your home rather than walk in, and keep in mind the following points:
1. Choose a house or cottage plan that has doors and windows in front and back only and none on the sides. This blog has several such plans if one cared to search through older posts.
2. Sink in the home about three feet in the ground and have it six feet above ground to give room height of nine feet in the middle sloping down to seven feet to the sides.. The door would be on ground level and as you enter one would have three one foot wide step…

Some Commonsense about the LGBT Debate

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While the middle road is the best in many things for humans, they often tend to go to extremes, not just in their private habits but also in public policy. Thus when economic inequalities become extreme in capitalistic societies they cry out for communism whereas the best course is perhaps somewhere in the middle where neither an unnatural equality is enforced nor is unfettered greed allowed to flourish. However, the present note is on human sexuality and presently let us confine our attention to this topic. Here too, it seems, human beings are swinging from one extreme to the other. Whereas homosexuality was prosecuted and criminalized in most of the world a century ago, now we find that it is being glorified in some parts while gay marriages are being legalized. While the debate continues as to what the best approach is in much of the world, there is a need to add some commonsense to it and that is what this note is about
Is homosexuality natural or a choice?
Often in debates on the …

An Iron Wok

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When one has lived in a home for near twenty five years as I have in mine, and when the home has store rooms, attic, closets etc. one ends up collecting a lot of stuff that one does not need every day or even for years. Over the last several years it became so that if we needed something for an odd purpose suddenly, it was found somewhere in the home itself. As a result I had begun avoiding going to the market to collect more.
Nevertheless, when one visits a market for a stroll, one spots something aside from daily necessities that would make one’s living more comfortable or healthier. Today I chanced upon a small iron wok from a traditional gypsy iron worker by the road side and snapped it up. The woman wanted five dollars for it but with a bit of bargaining brought it down to three. We have a large one at home used on rare occasions but not a small one that is useful for regular cooking. There are smaller aluminum ones in the kitchen but fearing that they may not be very healthy, I…