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The power of solitude

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The power of solitude

This post was inspired by the article The Power of Solitude.

As much as I enjoy the company of others I also enjoy time alone. For me, solitude is an opportunity to be myself for a while – to read without interruptions, to sing without being heard and to dance without being seen. I can meditate wherever I wish, or do yoga in the middle of the living-room without bothering anyone. I can eat what I like and have a good cry as I watch a good old romance.

Some people fear solitude, they fear the turning inwards, afraid of what they might find. Mindfulness has taught me to spend more time looking inwards. Mindfulness helps us to approach what is inside us rather than to run away from it. We can approach our fears slowly, with compassion, edging towards whatever it is in a kind manner as we would towards a frightened child or animal.We can explore our emotions in a safe, gentle way and slowly begin to understand who we are.

This post was inspired by the article The Power of Solitude. As much as I enjoy the company of others I also enjoy time alone. For me, solitude is an opportunity to be myself for a while – to read without interruptions, to sing without being heard and to dance without being seen. I can meditate […]

via The power of solitude — My GO-TO MINDFULNESS

Drive to Bring More International Students Toe Ireland

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Fee-paying schools are expected to enjoy a Brexit bounce, as well as benefit from a new drive to recruit international second-level students to Ireland.

Major financial corporations, such as banks and insurance companies, are turning their eyes to Dublin as an EU base in anticipation of the UK’s departure from the EU.

Children’s education is high on the list of priorities for executives who are being asked to relocate with their families, with school fees a typical part of the remuneration package.

“This is happening anyway, but a lot more is expected post-Brexit,” said one source in the financial world who is already dealing with such queries.

Typically, HR personnel from the companies involved come to check out what’s available, with a focus on the fee-paying sector.

Meanwhile, there is a growing international market in second-level students, similar to what happens at third-level, from families in central and south-east Asia who want an English-speaking education for their children.

Source: Drive to bring more international students here – Independent.ie

Sugar is the ‘alcohol of the child’, yet we let it dominate the breakfast table 

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With kids consuming half their sugar quota first thing, it’s no wonder they’re getting diabetes and liver disease. We have to fight corporate interests

Breakfast is considered by most nutrition experts, including Public Health England, to be the most important meal of the day. It gets your brain and your metabolism going, and it suppresses the hunger hormone in your stomach so you won’t overeat at lunch. But in our busy lives, it’s easy to turn to what is quick, cheap, or what you can eat on the go. Cold cereal. Instant oatmeal. For those die-hard “I’m gonna serve something hot for breakfast” types, it’s microwaveable breakfast sandwiches. Gotta get out the door now? Granola bars. Protein bars. Yoghurt smoothies.

Sadly, as the National Diet and Nutrition Survey found, what you’re really doing is giving your children a huge sugar load while sending them on their way: half of their daily intake on average. There’s a reason that the World Health Organisationand the United States Department of Agriculture have provided upper limits of sugar – because dietary sugar fries your kids’ liver and brain; just like alcohol.

Alcohol provides calories (7kcal/g), but not nutrition. There’s no biochemical reaction that requires it. When consumed chronically and in high dose, alcohol is toxic, unrelated to its calories or effects on weight. Not everyone who is exposed gets addicted, but enough do to warrant taxation and restriction of access, especially to children. Clearly, alcohol is not a food – it’s a dangerous drug, because it’s both toxic and abused.

Dietary sugar is composed of two molecules: glucose and fructose. Fructose, while an energy source (4kcal/g), is otherwise vestigial to humans; again, there is no biochemical reaction that requires it. But fructose is metabolised in the liver in exactly the same way as alcohol. And that’s why, when consumed chronically and at a high dose, fructose is similarly toxic and abused, unrelated to its calories or effects on weight. And that’s why our children now get the diseases of alcohol (type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease), without alcohol. Because sugar is the “alcohol of the child”. Also similar to alcohol, sugared beverages are linked to behavioural problems in children

Source: Sugar is the ‘alcohol of the child’, yet we let it dominate the breakfast table | Robert Lustig | Opinion | The Guardian

A Month Without Sugar 

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It is in chicken stock, sliced cheese, bacon and smoked salmon, in mustard and salad dressing, in crackers and nearly every single brand of sandwich bread. It is all around us — in obvious ways and hidden ones — and it is utterly delicious.

It’s sugar, in its many forms: powdered sugar, honey, corn syrup, you name it. The kind you eat matters less than people once thought, scientific research suggests, and the amount matters much more. Our national sugar habit is the driving force behind the diabetes and obesity epidemics and may be a contributing factor to cancer and Alzheimer’s.

Like me, you’ve probably just finished a couple of weeks in which you have eaten a whole lot of tasty sugar. Don’t feel too guilty about it. But if you feel a little guilty about it, I’d like to make a suggestion.

Choose a month this year — a full 30 days, starting now or later — and commit to eating no added sweeteners. Go cold turkey, for one month…

Opinion Today

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Source: Opinion Today

Many of the things that keep our democracy healthy don’t appear in the Constitution or any federal law. President Obama made this point Monday when talking about an orderly transition from one presidency to the next:
“It’s not something that the Constitution explicitly requires but it is one of those norms that are vital to a functioning democracy, similar to norms of civility and tolerance and a commitment to reason and facts and analysis.”
The last few words of that sentence were the ones that caught my attention, and I started thinking about them again after reading an Op-Ed by Zeynep Tufekci.
Tufekci, a University of North Carolina professor, makes the case that Facebook is in denial about its role in spreading misinformation. During the presidential campaign, Facebook helped spread falsehoods — the Pope endorsed Trump! — to millions of people. Those falsehoods appeared in fake news articles, and Facebook did nothing to inform their users that the material in them was simply made up.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, has said it’s “pretty crazy” to believe that fake news influences people in any significant way, but Tufekci persuasively lays out evidence to the contrary. Multiple studies have shown — and common sense backs up — that Facebook influences opinions and behavior.
“These are not easy problems to solve, but there is a lot Facebook could do,” Tufekci wrote. “When the company decided it wanted to reduce spam, it established a policy that limited its spread.” The step that Facebook announced Monday— refusing to display advertisements in fake stories — isn’t sufficient.
The media is in the midst of a historical transition right now. Some old news sources are shrinking or disappearing, and others — many of which rely on Facebook — are rising. There is nothing wrong with this change. Our country has survived the fading of news powerhouses, like the Saturday Evening Post, Life magazine and live radio broadcasts, before.
But whatever forms the new information sources take, they do need to provide “reason and facts,” neither of which is partisan. A healthy democracy depends on it. As Thomas Jefferson said, the people need “full information of their affairs.” Zuckerberg, by believing that Facebook is staying neutral, has in fact made a damaging choice.
The full Opinion report from The Times follows, including Geoff Dembicki on generational war and climate change.
David Leonhardt
Op-Ed Columnist.  NY Times

 

Sunshine and proposals at finishing line on record day – Independent.ie

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A view of the start of the Dublin MarathonA view of the Dublin Marathon as runners make there way down Fitzwilliam Street Upper

A view of the Dublin Marathon as runners make there way down Fitzwilliam Street Upper

Peter Joseph Singhatey, from Dublin, gets some help at the end. Photos: Damien Eagers

Under glorious blue skies, 19,500 runners took advantage of Ireland’s Indian summer yesterday to compete in the Dublin City Marathon.

Now the fourth largest marathon in Europe, a record number of runners wound their way through the capital, with approximately 17,000 crossing the finishing line at Merrion Square.

Exhausted runners were given a hero’s welcome by family, friends and supporters at the finish line and were presented with a special medal commemorating the centenary of the 1916 Rising and the 37th annual run.

Among the competitors, aged between 18 and 86, it was a triumvirate of Ethiopians who crossed the finish line in record time.

Read more: Up to 17,000 turn out for Dublin marathon spectacular

Source: Sunshine and proposals at finishing line on record day – Independent.ie

How Russia Often Benefits When Julian Assange Reveals the West’s Secrets – The New York Times

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Julian Assange was in classic didactic form, holding forth on the topic that consumes him — the perfidy of big government and especially of the United States.

Mr. Assange, the editor of WikiLeaks, rose to global fame in 2010 for releasing huge caches of highly classified American government communications that exposed the underbelly of its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and its sometimes cynical diplomatic maneuvering around the world. But in a televised interview last September, it was clear that he still had plenty to say about “The World According to US Empire,” the subtitle of his latest book, “The WikiLeaks Files.”

From the cramped confines of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he was granted asylum four years ago amid a legal imbroglio, Mr. Assange proffered a vision of America as superbully: a nation that has achieved imperial power by proclaiming allegiance to principles of human rights while deploying its military-intelligence apparatus in “pincer” formation to “push” countries into doing its bidding, and punishing people like him who dare to speak the truth.

Notably absent from Mr. Assange’s analysis, however, was criticism of another world power, Russia, or its president, Vladimir V. Putin……

Source: How Russia Often Benefits When Julian Assange Reveals the West’s Secrets – The New York Times

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