A team of Neo-Universalists, Alchemists, and Adepts united in the cause of restoring and maintaining balance to the living Organism. We are a bridge to enlightenment through authentic actions driven by the full intention of liberating minds. This we do while being gratuitous when considering one anothers’ spiritual expansion over material gain.
These days, vacation can feel like work. Between Facebook updates, Instagram posts and tweets of your shower thoughts, memorializing your vacation can overpower the trip itself. In fact, 41 percent of millennials feel that their phones are keeping them from living in the moment when traveling, according to a And over half of those who plan on unplugging during vacation aren’t able to, according to an Intel digital behavior study.
So how much are tech addicts (i.e. most of us) willing to pay for someone to cut them off? It turns out, quite a lot. And the travel industry is readily capitalizing on our addiction to glowing screens.
Lack of WiFi and cell service, once unforgivable for any hotel, have become selling points at places like La Pause, in Morocco. Nestled between desert sand dunes, it has no electricity or cell service, but offers luxury tents with egyptian cotton linens and bathrobes for $250 a night. Similarly, at Petit St. Vincent, a secluded Caribbean resort averaging $1,000 a night, the phone never rings. Residents use flag poles outside their bungalows to communicate with management.
“People don’t know how to disconnect. That’s why there’s this demand. It’s catering to soul searchers, people are looking to get to know themselves again,” said Adriana Lacerda, a travel consultant at Plantel Tourism. “Technology prevents this self-reflection. You are connected to other people, but not really.”
Unplugged tourism is like rehab for the traveler whose thumb flicks upward at the first sign of boredom. And digital breaks can have actual health benefits. Studies show that heavy users of technology and have
What Really Happens To Your Brain And Body During A Digital Detox
Neuroscientists observed 35 people who were totally cut off from their devices in the Moroccan desert. The results were life-changing.
Results from the few studies that have been done are troubling. Social media appears to promote narcissism, smartphones could be causing insomnia, and screens seem to be making our kids less empathetic.
Better Posture, Deeper Friendships
After three days without technology, people’s posture noticeably changed. They began to adapt to primarily looking forward into people’s eyes, rather than downward into their screens. This opened up the front of their bodies, pushing back their shoulders and realigning the back of their head with the spine. “A wonderful side effect of this is that people’s general energy opens up,” “They appear much more approachable when they enter a room.”
This better eye contact also appeared to encourage people to connect with one another more deeply. They were able to relax into conversations and seemed more empathetic toward one another.
Google Is A Conversation Killer
The content of conversations changed when people were without technology. In a connected world, when a general trivia question comes up, people immediately Google the answer, ending that particular line of questioning. However, without Google, people keep talking as they look for an answer, which often results in creative storytelling or hilarious guessing games that lead to new inside jokes. “These are the conversations that really form bonds between people,”. “You gain insight into the way someone’s mind works, and it is not typically a conversation anyone has had before, so it is engaging and memorable.”
Even after a few days without technology, people were more likely to remember obscure details about one another, such as the names of distant relatives mentioned in passing. The neuroscientists believe that this is because people were more present in conversation, so their brains were able to process and store new information more easily. With the many distractions of technology, our brains have been trained not to register seemingly insignificant details. These minor facts are actually very important in the process of bonding and learning about other people.
The guests on the trip said that they did not have to sleep as long, but felt even more rested and rejuvenated. The neuroscientists believe this is because the blue light from screens suppresses melatonin in the body, which makes us more alert as we are going to sleep. Studies show that people who check their phone before going to sleep—and, let’s face it, that’s most of us—don’t get particularly high-quality rest.
One of the most powerful findings was that people tended to make significant changes to their lives when they were offline for a while. Some decided to make big changes in their career or relationships, while others decided to recommit to health and fitness. The lack of constant distraction appeared to free people’s minds to contemplate more important issues in their lives, and it also made them believe they had the willpower to sustain a transformation. (Of course, there was no control group that detoxed from devices while remaining in their regular work and home routines.)
Maybe old news for some, and then again not so for others. The fact is that cannabis legalization is a recurring topic these days… And of course it’s common knowledge that medical marijuana does exist and that it is a great natural remedy for aches, pains, and various ailments. And of course recreational marijuana smokers do enjoy the euphoric feelings of the herbal supplement as opposed to the feelings of intoxication caused by alcohol or liquor. So naturally marijuana is a safe alternative to most sinful pleasures as it is a perfect organic solution to the stresses and pains of life. So here is a little secret that the science community has recently discovered for the marijuana community: Eating fresh mangoes or even drinking a fresh mango smoothie one hour prior to smoking will dramatically increase the euphoric feelings felt by marijuana and help medical marijuana patients to ease their pain even more so.
Lately it seems that both the science community and the marijuana community have been falling into the same category. This can be great news for both medical marijuana patients and recreational marijuana smokers alike. This is because a chemical compound known as myrcene terpenes, which is most often used for fragrances, can be found within cannabis and marijuana as well as many other various plants such as lemongrass, hops, and of course mangoes. This is why these types of plants are of such rare and unique types of odors and aromas. Once ingested the chemical compound, or myrcene terpenes, assists the psychoactive substance THC by allowing it to pass through the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) at much faster speeds with much more efficiency. The time it takes for the THC to have an effect on the brain after inhalation is roughly seven seconds however, by eating a mango up to one hour prior to smoking the time it takes for THC to reach the brain and have an effect could be cut in half. As well as the length of the high and its time duration could be up to twice as long.
Individuals who have eaten a mango, digested it, and then smoked have also noted that the euphoric feelings felt by marijuana are alarmingly much more intense. This is perfect for medical marijuana patients who would like an increased amount of pain relief or for recreational marijuana smokers who just want to get even higher than before. It is important to also note the different speeds in metabolism for those who are attempting to try this experiment. This is because individuals who have faster metabolisms may need to ingest a bit more than those who do not have as fast of a metabolism as well as individuals with slower metabolisms may need to ingest a mango or mango smoothie up to an hour and a half prior to smoking. This will help ensure that the myrcene terpenes found within mangoes have been properly digested and will have an effect.
What else is great about this interesting scientific fact is eating mangoes is another great way for the human body to receive additional amounts of vitamins and nutrition and it helps individuals avoid eating foods that are high in cholesterol or trans fats. Eating too many fatty foods when the ‘munchies’ occur can be harmful and even detrimental to an individual’s health. So be sure to stay healthy and to eat healthy whether smoking marijuana recreationally or medicinally.
Update: According to Michael Backes, author of the forthcoming book,Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana, myrcene can cross into the bloodstream much more easily when absorbed through the mucus membrane. This means holding a bit of pureed mango, or mango smoothie under your tongue or in your cheek is more effective than simply eating a mango. Another strategy is chewing fresh lemongrass or making a lemongrass tincture. This will greatly amplify a body high soplease practice this method responsibly.It is also wise to start with a very small amount at first in case you have a mild allergy to mango/lemongrass/etc. There’s even a marijuana strain namedMango.
Black Friday – also known in the United States as the day immediately following Thanksgiving – is a commercial holiday of sorts which began with a marketing campaign by American Express in 2010. Now, the day is synonymous with holiday sales and stores filled with stuffing-stuffedOANDAshoppers. REI won attention from the media last month when the retailer, which has 143 stores nationwide, announced it would not open its doors on Black Friday. Instead, the company launched its campaign in an effort to encourage people to go for a hike instead of trekking to the mall.
Feeding the frenetic consumerism beast, Black Friday takes a hefty environmental toll each year. To combat the craziness, REI decided to close all 149 branches this year. They’ll pay their 12,287 employees and encourage participants to skip the mall and spend time in nature instead. Want to join in? Share your outdoor adventures on social media with the hashtag #OptOutside.
With the goal of creating new traditions for the Thanksgiving holiday, REI offers a green alternative through their #OptOutside campaign. To make it even easier for people to forgo shopping and spend time in nature, REI has created an online so people can find state parks or trails close to where ever they are spending Thanksgiving. Explorers can search for places to go hiking, climbing, mountain biking, skiing, or snowboarding. They can also filter for family- or dog-friendly activities.
This Black Friday, which falls on November 27, some states are also encouraging folks to get reacquainted with nature by offering free admission to all the state parks within their borders. If you live or will be traveling in California or Minnesota for the Thanksgiving holiday, consider starting a new Black Friday tradition by visiting a state park – without paying an entrance fee.
Like many others my every waking moment is spent engaging in some type of task generally related to a much larger project with thousands of moving pieces. Reading books seems almost like a thing of the past in todays modern society which is quite unfortunate seeing that most true historical knowledge is still either in a physical book or pdf. format. With a calling that demands that I be as precise as possible when dealing with a wide range of subjects I cannot lean on gnosticism alone to unravel every topic. In short I’m not able to neglect reading the hundreds of books that fill my “must read” folder weekly. So I have taken to a certain procedure, which I will detail to you here, in order to continue expanding my knowledge base without sacrificing the time needed to maintain the Mission. World Enlightenment.
Is it Digitized or not?
This is the biggest question and in order to answer that question here are the characteristics of a digitized versus non-digitized book. If its a physical copy of a book it is not digitized. If it is a scanned in copy of a book although it is in .pdf format it is not digitized. If it was put together in some type of word processing application such as Microsoft Word then it is most likely digitized. You will need for your book to be digitized before it can be fed in to the Text-to-Speech applications mentioned later in this post.
How do I Digitize something?
Its not impossible to convert a book or writing in to digital format its only important to access the script and determine what route would be best. If its still in physical book format with the binding in tact it may be best to consider sending it to a cheap solution for scanning and digitizing books especially those with hundreds of pages. 1DollarScan has special equipment to do this. You only need to consider that 1DollarScan will remove the spine from the book and you must request that the book be sent back to you. This somewhat destroys the physical book but you will have the OCR version which allows you to convert it in to being read by the TTS applications I’m going to mentioned further in this post. https://1dollarscan.com/
Professional Book Scanner
Other alternatives are to scan it in yourself. This takes time, patience, and accuracy but it is possible. Pages should be scanned in at 300dpi (High Resolution) in order for OCR software to be able to read the print and convert it in to the final digital format. We will explain OCR software and its importance in a moment. The final thing to remember when scanning the book in yourself is the straighter the better. Because in most cases you will still have the spine on the book the thickness of the spine can often make your scan lopsided or the text fade when the scanner reaches the center of the book. Be sure to press the book firmly against the scanner to avoid this issue, you may also want to consider removing the spine and dissolving the glue that holds it together.
Final Note:While 1DollarScan and companies like it will send you the complete .pdf of your book if you scan in the book yourself you will be responsible for recompiling it in to a complete document since you will have as many separate files as you have pages i.e. if you have a 100 page book you will have 100 files. To accomplish this you can use Adobe Reader which is free. You can to find a tutorial on how to recompile your pages in Adobe Reader. In some cases scanners will actually do this for you, so check first before scanning a bunch of pages in order to skip a time consuming step in this process.
What is OCR (Optical Character Recognition)?
Now that the book is scanned in or if you have a scanned in copy of a book that is not digitized you will need to make it so the computer can recognize the text in order to make sure the Text-to-Speech software, which we will discuss in a moment, is able to read it. OCR software takes what is essentially a picture of a page with text and converts it in to actual digital characters that the computer can recognize. Generally you upload the .pdf to the OCR software, it reads the document page after page while converting it into characters and then exports the final work which is the file you will want to feed to your Reader. Here is the best OCR software that I have discovered. I’m not deterred from saying that some of these softwares can be found on KickassTorrents or The Piratebay if you are not in the financial position to acquire the software.
MAC: If you are using a Mac don’t waste your time, this is the best out there and I know because I have tried them all. This software is free if you are scanning one page at a time and $29.99 for unlimited scans. If you really want to get that document digitized you can grind your way through it for free page after page or you can purchase the software for pretty cheap compared to how well it works and the other much more expensive competitors..
PC: The best in the game but also very expensive, this software is $499 but I mention it because it on the Bay so do yo thang. 🙂 https://thepiratebay.se/search/omnipage/0/99/0
There are other OCR softwares out there some of which are web based which means you upload your document to the web and it makes the conversion for you and then sends you a download link. I haven’t been as successful with these types of online softwares especially for large runs but I wouldn’t deter you from trying as new companies and sites spring up overnight and I’ve had no need to look for other services in years.
The Best Reading or Text-to-Speech Software Period
The final step is the reader. The reason why I can take in so many books is I’m constantly listening to audio recordings of the books I’ve digitized just about anywhere. I even listen to books while I’m working out, in the shower, waiting in line, or anywhere that doesn’t require that I listen to everything going on. This has placed me light years ahead since I have access to amazing knowledge and wisdom on a consistent basis and also knowledge constantly pouring in to other channels like Archive.org around the clock. All this knowledge can then be taken through your filters by using the method explained above and then as a final step importing your file in to a Reader.
For MAC I use it not only can read books for you in the closest to human voice that you can find, it also can export audio files in .mp3 format directly to iTunes or to your desktop. You then only need to transfer it to your audio device and you are set. Ghostreader is so realistic I think the computer even takes a breathe between sentences. 🙂 You can choose from different voices but I’ve found English/Alex to be more of my speed. Speaking of speed you can also adjust the speed settings.Something else I’ve discovered is sleeping does not exclude you from reading. Playing a book in your headphones or on open speakers at low volume while you are sleeping actually works for an approx. 35 – 60% retention. If you are really trying to get it in you can do so even when sleep.
For PC you can use Adobe Reader which has a reader built in to it, while not as smooth as Alex, it works. You can also click the following link to browse the top 10 free TTS (Text to Speech) softwares for PC and determine what works best for you. Because TTS is a key accessibility component for the blind you will find many free softwares available. https://elearningindustry.com/top-10-text-to-speech-tts-software-elearning
Other Amazing Methods
Spritzlet – Spritzlet is another amazing web application that few know about. It functions on the grammatical science that when reading we actually identify a few characters to determine the entire word, not the whole word. Spritzlet actually highlights the letters that are necessary for us to identify the word and through this method we are able to read through any document or post on the web lightening fast as if you were a speed reader. Spirtzlet has a plugin for the most popular browsers and can be activated at the click of a button. Spritzlet also has an app for your cellphone. You will find it here. https://www.spritzlet.com/
4K Video Downloader – While primarily a video downloader 4K video downloader is able to convert all videos found on youtube, Vimeo, and any popular video site in to audio. You can then take the audio file and import it in to your device. So if you have long presentations on youtube, like some of my shows, that you want to finish but need to do so on the run this is a perfect workflow to achieve just that. https://www.4kdownload.com/products/product-videodownloader
It is said that “by ignorance ye shall perish” so that means by intelligence and innovation we shall live consciously forever. I just wanted you to know that I’m with you, you are me, and I will always do my best and give you my best. In that I have done a great service to you and myself. Wholeness and Balance Vibrations!
A style of architectural ornamentation that dates back to the middle of the 10th century, originating in Iran and North Africa, muqarnas compositions are 3D manifestations of 2D Islamic geometric designs, meaning these insanely complex designs were made using nothing more than a humble compass and ruler. In our world of digital manufacturing, it’s hard to imagine these intricate, perfect geometries were made by hand, one unit at a time, hundreds of years ago.
In this picture, you can see the wood scaffolding and cement used to piece one style of muqarnas together:
And what the finished product would look like:
Each muqarnas composition has five common qualities:
1. Three-dimensional shape that can readily be flattened into a two-dimensional geometric outline (and begins as such) 2. Depth of design is variable and determined entirely by the maker 3. Simultaneously architectural and ornamental by nature 4. No intrinsic logical or mathematical boundaries, so can be scaled ad infinitum 5. Consists of stacked tiers made up of cells, each of which has a facet and a roof of sorts
UK-based author, educator, and artist Eric Broug is a renowned scholar on Islamic geometrics who has made it his mission to spread the knowledge and joy of muqarnas through his workshops, lectures, books, and tutorials, all housed under theSchool of Islamic Geometric Design. Be sure to check out theResources page, which features tutorials as well as a teacher guide. Broug has also created a fascinatingTED-Ed videoon the complex geometry of Islamic design that’s definitely worth a watch.
His “Practical Introduction to Muqarnas” gives a great, illustrative overview:
It’s all about carefully arranging the pieces of the composition. Watch three minutes of Nhari assembling a muqarnas composition and realize how incredibly painstaking the process would be for a large-scale area:
How to hand-carve each of the pieces, as artisans have done for centuries:
The 2D Behind the 3D
For example, here’s the iwan (the large, arched entrance) of the Jameh Mosque in Yazd, Iran:
And Takahashi’s line drawing:
And a closeup of the iwan ceiling:
Infinite Material Possibilities
The beauty of such intricate designs based on classic geometries is that they’re infinitely scalable in a vast array of materials. No picture can capture how amazing it is to physically be standing under a giant muqarnas composition. Each material inspires a different effect. The most surreal, perhaps, are the mirror-encrusted muqarnas, most often found in mosques and shrines. Even though you’re surrounded by mirrors, the angles and small size of the individual pieces make it so you never see a reflection, only brightness and light.
Fatimah Masumeh Shrine in Qom:
Water Museum in Yazd:
Hand-painted, in one of the luxury suites at the Abbasi Hotel in Isfahan:
The Music Room of the Ali Qapu Palace in Isfahan (photographed by Mohammad Reza Domiri Ganji):
A great assembly shot from a style of wooden muqarnas onthis site:
Fatimah Masumeh Shrine in Qom:
Modern Rendition: Gadeken’s Roshanai
Great things happen when makers incorporate ancient designs into modern works. Bay Area artistCharles Gadekenrecently incorporatedmetal muqarnas compositionsin the entryways of his latest large-scale piece, entitledRoshanai(meaningilluminate), a 108-ft long tunnel of light and sound.
Here’s the 3D rendering of the entryway:
The flattened geometry:
A section of the metal muqarnas:
And the finished product at night:
We’ll wrap up with one more muqarnas just for the sake of eye candy. I’d love to see the Alhambra, particularly the muqarnas in the Hall of the Two Sisters. Wow!