Archives for November 2010

Falling in love takes 1/5 of a second

Why people don’t accept love as it is, full of agonies and extasies, a misterious force that keeps the universe together?
But no, even for love there is a need for explanations….

According to a study in the recent issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, people who “fall in love at first sight” do so in a fifth of a second.
The researchers say the feeling is the same sort of sensation that one gets from using cocaine.

Below, an edited transcript of Science2.0 post:

Do you fall in love using your heart or your brain?
It depends. For your brain – says a new analysis by Syracuse University Professor Stephanie Ortigue – falling in love elicits the same euphoric feeling as using cocaine, but it also affects intellectual areas of the brain. That’s a pretty big endorsement of the brain being number one in romance.

So if love is in the brain and not the heart, is there ‘love at first sight’ after all?

The science says yes, according to the researchers, who found falling in love only takes about a fifth of a second.
The love feeling also affects sophisticated cognitive functions, such as mental representation, metaphors and body image, which may explain why peoples’ abilities and behaviors are all over the psychology map when they are in a new relationship.

The findings have interest for neuroscience and mental health research because when relationships don’t work out, it can be a significant cause of emotional stress and depression. “It’s another probe into the brain and into the mind of a patient,” says Ortigue. “By understanding why they fall in love and why they are so heartbroken, they can use new therapies.”

The study also shows different parts of the brain fall for love. For example, unconditional love, such as that between a mother and a child, is sparked by the common and different brain areas, including the middle of the brain. Passionate love is sparked by the reward part of the brain, and also associative cognitive brain areas that have higher-order cognitive functions, such as body image.

So, seriously, does your heart fall in love or the brain?
“That’s a tricky question always,” says Ortigue. “I would say the brain, but the heart is also related because the complex concept of love is formed by both bottom-up and top-down processes from the brain to the heart and vice versa. For instance, activation in some parts of the brain can generate stimulations to the heart, butterflies in the stomach. Some symptoms we sometimes feel as a manifestation of the heart may sometimes be coming from the brain.”


“The chief enemy of creativity is “good” sense”, says Pablo Picasso
Two days ago I saw this beautiful piece of art in Vevey, Switzerland (in front of the Charlie Chaplin Museum)

To see the picture in full size, click on it. And let me know where the duck is…

20 SEC READ Children (ENG, ESPA, PORT)

Illustration by Ken Crane



What is treason?

Walking down the street, the prophet asked: “aren’t we all children of the same Eternal Father?”
The multitude agreed. And the prophet went on: “and if that is so, why do we betray our brother?”

A boy who was watching asked his father: “what does betray mean?”
“It means to trick your companion in order to gain a certain advantage.”
“And why do we betray our companion?” insisted the boy.
“Because in the past somebody began all that. Ever since then, nobody knows how to stop the wheel. We are always betraying or being betrayed.”
“Then I won’t betray anyone,” said the boy.

And so he did. He grew up and suffered a lot during his life, but kept his promise.
His children suffered less and endured fewer hardships.
His grandchildren did not suffer at all.

In search of rain

After four years of drought in the little village, the parish priest gathered everybody to make a pilgrimage to the mountain; there they would join in communal prayer to ask for rain.
In the middle of the group the priest noticed a boy all wrapped up in warm clothes and covered by a raincoat.

“Are you crazy?” he asked. “It hasn’t rained in this region for five years and you’ll die of the heat climbing the mountain!”
“I’ve got a cold, father. If we are going to pray to God for rain, can you imagine the climb back down? The downpour is going to be so heavy that it’s better to be prepared.”

And only after these words a loud roar was heard in the sky and the first drops began to fall. The faith of a boy was enough to work a miracle that thousands of men were praying for.

Character of the week: Gibran

Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.

Advance, and never halt, for advancing is perfection. Advance and do not fear the thorns in the path, for they draw only corrupt blood. All that spirits desire, spirits attain.

An eye for an eye, and the whole world would be blind.
If the other person injures you, you may forget the injury; but if you injure him you will always remember.

Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.

I wash my hands of those who imagine chattering to be knowledge, silence to be ignorance, and affection to be art.

And ever has it been known that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.
If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.

If you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work.
If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.
If your heart is a volcano, how shall you expect flowers to bloom?

Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.

Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof. Faith is an oasis in the heart which will never be reached by the caravan of thinking.

Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is its twin brother.

Khalil Gibran ( January 6, 1883 – April 10, 1931) was a Lebanese artist, poet, and writer.

Thank you Christina

It is very moving for an author to know that 8 and 9 year old students don’t get bored with his books!
Much love

2011 Saint Joseph: questions / Sí£o José: perguntas


1] What is the name of the book by Agatha Christie that takes place on a train returning from Istanbul?

2] What is the Capital of Turkey

3] What is the name of the stupid movie that portrays the drug dealer as the “good guy” and the Turks as the “bad people”?

4] What is the name of the Turkish writer who received the Nobel Prize in Literature?

5] According to tradition, Noah’s Ark landed on a mountain after the Flood. What is the name of this mountain, and the name of the country where it is located?


The first 20 readers who sent the correct answers will be notified before the end of this month


RELACIONADAS COM O POST Festa de Sí£o José 2011

1] Nome do livro de Agatha Christie cuja trama se passa em um trem voltando de Istambul

2] Capital da Turquia

3] nome do filme idiota onde o traficante de drogas é “bonzinho” e os turcos sí£o retratados como “os bandidos”

4] nome do escritor turco que recebeu o Premio Nobel de Literatura

5] de acordo com a tradií§í£o, a Arca de Noé ancorou em uma montanha depois do Diluvio: nome da montanha e em que paí­s se encontra


Os leitores selecionados serí£o notificados até o final de novembro

El hombre y su sombra

Illustration by Ken Crane

Hace muchos años, viví­a un hombre que era capaz de amar y perdonar a todos los que encontrabaen su camino. Por esta razón, Dios envió a un ángel para que hablara con él.

-Dios me pidió que viniera a visitarte y que te dijera que Él quiere recompensarte por tu bondad – dijo el ángel. Cualquier gracia que desees, te será concedida. ¿Te gustarí­a tener el don de curar?

-De ninguna manera – respondió el hombre – prefiero que el propio Dios elija a aquellos que deben ser curados.

-¿Y qué te parecerí­a atraer a los pecadores hacia el camino de la verdad?

-Esa es una tarea para ángeles como tú. Yo no quiero que nadie me venere ni tener que dar el ejemplo todo el tiempo.

-No puedo volver al cielo sin haberte concedido un milagro. Si no eliges, te verás obligado a aceptar uno.

El hombre reflexionó un momento y terminó por responder:

-Entonces, deseo que el Bien se haga por mi intermedio, pero sin que nadie se dé cuenta – ni yo mismo, que podrí­a pecar de vanidoso.

Y el ángel hizo que la sombra del hombre tuviera el poder de curar, pero sólo cuando el sol estuviese dándole en el rostro.

De esta manera, por dondequiera que pasaba, los enfermos se curaban, la tierra volví­a a ser fértil y las personas tristes recuperaban la alegrí­a.

El hombre caminó muchos años por la Tierra sin darse cuenta de los milagros que realizaba porque cuando estaba de frente al sol, tení­a a su sombra atrás. De esta manera, pudo vivir y morir sin tener conciencia de su propia santidad.

2011 Festa de Sí£o José/St. Joseph’s Party

St Joseph’s Party 2010, Melk Abbey Kealan’s photo (above) full size

This is a traditional party in honor of my Patron Saint. I invite a total of 120 people, comprised of 100 friends of mine and 20 selected readers from this blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

1] This Sunday, November 14, at 7:00 PM (Paris Time Zone), 1:00 PM (New York Time Zone) I am going to post 5 questions and I am going to select the winners on a first come/first served basis. The first 20 readers who answer the questions correctly will be invited to join my friends and I. It will be the first post in the blog.

2] You can check here the prayer during 2010 party in Melk, Austria

3] The 2011 St Joseph’s party will take place in Istanbul, Turkey (thanks Suphi!) so if you are considering to apply for the competition, check if you need a VISA

4] The party will take place on March 19, following a conference (open to the public) to my Turkish readers.

5] Please keep in mind that the selected people will have to take care of all expenses (hotel, airplane tickets, etc). The invitation is only for the party

Currently I have over 5.000.000 friends in the social communities, so if you are not selected, please don’t get mad with me!

I will write to the selected readers by the end of November, confirming their presence.

Celebro o dia de Sí£o José meu santo padroeiro, desde 1987.
A partir de 2007, além dos meus 100 amigos, comecei a convidar 20 pessoas de minhas tres comunidades sociais : Blog, Twitter e Facebook.

1]Neste domingo, 14 de novembro as 16:00 hr (Hora de Brasilia) vou colocar aqui cinco perguntas (Ingles e Portugues). Os 20 primeiros a responder serí£o convidados. Será o primeiro post do blog

2]Voces podem checar aqui a oraí§í£o em Melk, durante a festa de 2010

3]Neste proximo ano a festa será em Istanbul, Turquia. Pelo que entendi, os brasileiros ní£o precisam de visto.

4]A festa será no dia 19 de marí§o. No caso em questí£o, ela será precedida de uma conferíªncia (aberta ao público ) para os meus leitores turcos.

5]Se voce deseja participar, saiba que convido apenas para a festa – todas as outras despesas (avií£o, hotel, etc) sí£o por sua conta.

Leve em conta que tenho hoje em dia aproximadamente 5 milhíµes de amigos no Twitter, Facebook e Blog, de modo que ní£o fique furioso(a) comigo se ní£o for selecionado(a)!
Comunicarei os leitores selecionados no final de Novembro.


The bird and the cage

From Maria’s diary:

Once upon a time, there was a bird. He was adorned with two perfect wings and with glossy, colorful, marvelous feathers.

One day, a woman saw this bird and fell in love with him.
She invited the bird to fly with her, and the two travelled across the sky in perfect harmony. She admired and venerated and celebrated that bird.
But then she thought: He might want to visit far-off mountains!
And she was afraid, afraid that she would never feel the same way about any other bird.

And she thought: “I’m going to set a trap. The next time the bird appears, he will never leave again.”
The bird, who was also in love, returned the following day, fell into the trap and was put in a cage.

She looked at the bird every day. There he was, the object of her passion, and she showed him to her friends, who said: “Now you have everything you could possibly want.”

However, a strange transformation began to take place: now that she had the bird and no longer needed to woo him, she began to lose interest.

The bird, unable to fly and express the true meaning of his life, began to waste away and his feathers to lose their gloss; he grew ugly; and the woman no longer paid him any attention, except by feeding him and cleaning out his cage.

One day, the bird died. The woman felt terribly sad and spent all her time thinking about him. But she did not remember the cage, she thought only of the day when she had seen him for the first time, flying contentedly amongst the clouds.

If she had looked more deeply into herself, she would have realized that what had thrilled her about the bird was his freedom, the energy of his wings in motion, not his physical body.

Without the bird, her life too lost all meaning, and Death came knocking at her door.
“Why have you come?” she asked Death.
“So that you can fly once more with him across the sky,” Death replied.

“If you had allowed him to come and go, you would have loved and admired him ever more; alas, you now need me in order to find him again.”

In “Eleven Minutes”

Vale a pena?

ESPANOL CLICAR AQUI: Si, que vale a pena
ENGLISH: Yes, it is worth


A vida é como uma grande corrida de bicicleta cuja meta é cumprir a lenda Pessoal.

Na largada, estamos juntos compartilhando camaradagem e entusiasmo. Mas, a medida que a corrida se desenvolve, a alegria inicial cede lugar aos verdadeiros desafios: o cansaí§o, a monotonia, as dúvidas sobre a própria capacidade.

Reparamos que alguns amigos desistiram do desafio ainda estí£o correndo, mas apenas por que ní£o podem parar no meio de uma estrada; eles sí£o numerosos, pedalam ao lado do carro de apoio, conversam entre si, e cumprem uma obrigaí§í£o.

Terminamos por nos distanciar deles; e entí£o somos obrigados a enfrentar a solidí£o, as surpresas com as curvas desconhecidas, os problemas com a bicicleta.
E, ao cabo de algum tempo, comeí§amos a nos perguntar se vale a pena tanto esforí§o.

Sim, vale a pena. É só ní£o desistir.

Consequences of fear

by May’s Closet

* Worry is a mechanism of our psyche that prompts us to do something. The prompting energy is fear – usually fear of some consequence. Because it is fear, the person tends to avoid thinking about it. Thus worry tends to perpetuate itself in a circular way – the fear causes non-action, and non-action further causes worry.

* Anxiety is a fear whose object is nonspecific or vague, whereas worry is about something specific and identified. Anxiety is the result of repeated unprocessed fears that have accumulated in one’s subconscious. It has become a vague feeling about an impending misfortune but which cannot be dealt with because it is unspecified. To resolve it, it must first be converted to specific worries, and then one can apply the guidelines on how to handle worry.

* Panic is an overwhelming fear that makes the person confused and unclear about what to do. This is the accumulated result of many fears, worries and anxieties that have not been resolved and not been handled well. It sometimes results in panic attacks, those inexplicable feelings that may not have any immediate cause but which just manifests in the person.

* Phobias are fear-reactions that are (a) out of proportion to the actual danger, such as jumping and shrieking at the sight of a rat or cockroach, or (b) irrational, such as trembling when seeing the photo of a spider.

* Trauma is a psychological “wound” that can still cause distress in a person. Strictly speaking, acquired fears are really traumas in varying degrees of intensity. But a trauma becomes pathological when it causes periodic distress such as nightmares, intense reactions to anything that reminds one of it, or it severely disturbs one’s daily life and work. .

* Envy is a more complex emotion, since it’s a mixture of a number of things: low self-esteem, resentment, and fear. We don’t envy the successes or achievements of those whom we can identify with, that is, those whom we love and care for. Their achievements are vicariously ours too. On the other hand, the achievements of those whom we cannot identify with, particularly those whom we resent, are felt as threats to our own self-esteem.

* Embarrassment involves a “loss of face” and being confused and perplexed at the same time. The embarrassment may not have been caused by anyone, as when one slips and falls down “disgracefully.” Hence there is no cause for anger toward anyone (except perhaps oneself). The action is withdrawal and hiding, not wanting to face people. At its root is the fear of what people might think or say. Shame is a similar feeling.


Musics we should never forget

DO Doe, a deer, a female deer
RE Ray, a drop of golden sun
MI Me, a name I call myself
FA Far, a long, long way to run
SOL Sew, a needle pulling thread
LA La, a note to follow Sew
SI Tea, a drink with jam and bread
That will bring us back to

A Tarefa

história enviada por Nitin Mukundan K.P

Um homem estava dormindo em sua cabana quando de repente o quarto ficou cheio de luz. Um anjo apareceu, apontou para uma grande rocha na frente da porta, e pediu-lhe para empurra-la com toda sua forí§a.

E o homem assim fez. Por muitos anos ele pelejou de sol a sol, seus ombros apoiados contra a fria e macií§a superfí­cie da rocha imóvel.

Nada aconteceu. E ele clamou aos céus:
“Senhor, me coloquei a seu servií§o, fiz tudo que pediu. Entretanto, após todo esse tempo, ní£o consegui mover essa rocha nem por um centí­metro.
“O que está errado? Por que estou falhando? ”

O anjo apareceu novamente:
“Meu amigo, eu lhe disse que sua tarefa seria empurrar a rocha com toda sua forí§a. Nunca mencionei que eu esperava que vocíª a movesse. E agora vocíª pergunta por que falhou?

“Olhe para si mesmo. Seus braí§os estí£o fortes e musculosos, suas costas estí£o enrijecidas e bronzeadas, suas mí£os estí£o calejadas pela pressí£o constante, suas pernas se tornaram firmes.
“Vocíª cresceu muito e agora suas habilidades aumentaram
“Vocíª aprendeu a importí¢ncia da disciplina e do treinamento.

“ Isso vocíª já fez. Agora é minha vez, minha tarefa. ”

E o anjo moveu a pedra, mostrando ao homem um luminoso caminho adiante

Character of the week: Muhammad Yunus

Global Social Summit, November 5, 2010

I’m encouraging young people to become social business entrepreneurs and contribute to the world, rather than just making money. Making money is no fun. Contributing to and changing the world is a lot more fun.

Poor people are a like bonsai tree, a little tree. You pick the seed of the tallest tree in the forest and take the best seed out of it, and plant it in a flower pot. You get a tiny little tree, we call it a bonsai. Nothing wrong with the seed, you’ve got the best seed possible. Nothing wrong with the tree, because you actually picked the tallest tree in the forest. But actually it grows this far… why? Because we put them in the flower pot. The base. Society is the base. And society is so stingy it doesn’t give the poor ppl the space to grow.
So i say, change the base! If you change the base, anybody will be as tall as anybody else! My belief is poverty is not caused by poor ppl. Poverty is caused by the system. Poverty is caused by the policies that we pursue.

People can change their own lives, provided they have the right kind of institutional support. They’re not asking for charity, charity is no solution to poverty.

We have created a society that does not allow opportunities for people to take care of themselves because we have denied them those opportunities.

I was teaching in one of the universities while the country was suffering from a severe famine. People were dying of hunger, and I felt very helpless. As an economist, I had no tool in my tool box to fix that kind of situation.
I went to the bank and proposed that they lend money to the poor people. The bankers almost fell over.
They explained to me that the bank cannot lend money to poor people because these people are not creditworthy.

Poverty is unnecessary.

Muhammad Yunus
(1940 – ) created the microcredit, and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006


Illustration by Ken Crane

¿Qué es la traición?

Caminando por la calle, el profeta preguntaba:
-¿Acaso no somos todos hijos del mismo Padre Eterno?
La multitud asentí­a. Y el profeta continuaba:
-Entonces, ¿por qué traicionamos a nuestro hermano?

Un chico que estaba presente le preguntó a su padre:
-¿Qué es traicionar?
-Es engañar a un compañero para sacar algún provecho.
-¿Y por qué traicionamos a nuestro compañero? -insistió el chico.
-Porque alguien empezó en el pasado y desde entonces nadie ha sabido cómo romper la cadena: o estamos traicionando o alguien nos está traicionando. Así­ siempre.
-Entonces yo no voy a traicionar a nadie -dijo el chico.

Y así­ lo hizo. Creció, recibió muchos golpes en la vida, pero cumplió su promesa.
Sus hijos sufrieron menos y fueron menos castigados por la vida.
Sus nietos ya nada sufrieron.

Detrás de la lluvia

Tras cuatro años de sequí­a, el párroco del pequeño pueblecillo reunió a todo el mundo para realizar una peregrinación a la montaña, donde realizarí­an una oración colectiva rogando el regreso de la lluvia.
Entre el grupo, el párroco se fijó en un chico que iba todo abrigado y con impermeable.

-Pero, ¿te has vuelto loco? -le preguntó-. ¡En esta región hace cinco años que no llueve, y te vas a morir de calor subiendo a la montaña!
-Estoy resfriado, padre. Y si vamos a pedir a Dios que llueva, ¿se imagina cómo va a ser la vuelta? Va a caer una que lo mejor es ir preparado.

En ese preciso momento, se escuchó un gran estruendo en el cielo, y comenzaron a caer las primeras gotas. La fe de un niño fue suficiente para realizar un milagro esperado por millares de personas.


Illustration by Ken Crane

O que é traií§í£o?

O profeta caminhava pela rua, perguntando: “ní£o somos todos filhos do mesmo Pai Eterno?”.
A multidí£o concordava. E o profeta continuava: “e se é assim, por que traí­mos nosso irmí£o?”
Um garoto que assistia, perguntou ao pai: “o que é trair?”
“É enganar o seu companheiro para conseguir determinada vantagem”.
“E por que traí­mos nosso companheiro?” insistiu o garoto.
“Porque no passado alguém comeí§ou isto. Desde entí£o, ninguém sabe como parar a roda. Estamos sempre traindo ou sendo traí­dos”.
“Entí£o ní£o trairei ninguém”, disse o garoto.
E assim fez. Cresceu, apanhou muito da vida, mas manteve sua promessa.
Seus filhos sofreram menos e apanharam menos.
Seus netos nada sofreram.

Em busca da chuva

Depois de quatro anos de seca na pequenina aldeia, o pároco reuniu todos para uma peregrinaí§í£o até a montanha; ali fariam uma prece coletiva, pedindo a chuva de volta.
No grupo, o padre notou um garoto, agasalhado e coberto por uma capa de chuva.
“Vocíª enlouqueceu?”, perguntou. “Nesta regií£o ní£o chove há cinco anos, e a subida vai lhe matar de calor!”
“Estou resfriado, padre. Se vamos pedir a Deus que chova, já imaginou a volta da montanha? Vai ser tal a enxurrada que preciso estar preparado”.
Neste momento, ouviu-se um grande estrondo no céu e as primeiras gotas comeí§aram a cair. Bastou a fé de um menino para realizar um milagre esperado por milhares de homens.

The task

a story sent by Nitin Mukundan K.P

A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light. An angel appeared, showed a large rock in front of his cabin and asked him to push against the rock with all his might.

This the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock.

Nothing happened. And he decided to make it a matter of prayer.
“Lord I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even been able to budge that rock. What is wrong? Why am I failing?”

The angel appeared again :
“My friend, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. And now you come to me with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But, is that really so?”

“Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewy and brown, your hands are callused from constant pressure, and your legs have become massive and hard.
“Through opposition you have grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have.
“You learned the importance of discipline and training,

” This you have done. Now it is my turn, my task.”

And the angel moved the rock, showing to the man a beautiful path ahead.