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Grad Schools Alternative Medicine Graduate Programs

Posted: January 11, 2017 at 1:56 pm

What AreAlternative Medicine Graduate Programs?

Alternative Medicine graduate programs are ideal for students who are interested in healthcare that is not part of

If you are considering degrees in alternative medicine, its a good idea to determine what area of this broad field you wish to focus on. Some alternative medicine schools may offer programs in acupuncture, naturopathy, Chinese medicine, osteopathic medicine, and more. Take the time to learn about each of these concentrations to find out what interests you.

Also consider degree level. Current medical practitioners may want to consider a graduate certificate that could enhance their knowledge of a particular area of alternative medicine. If you are entering this field for the first time, you might consider a Masters Degree in Alternative Medicine or a Doctorate Program in Alternative Medicine from accredited naturopathic schools or alternative medicine colleges. Or you can search online alternative medicine programs.Finally, decide whether you want to pursue a traditional degree, take your courses online, or give hybrid learning a try. The choice is yours!

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Grad Schools Alternative Medicine Graduate Programs

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Eugenics in the United States – Wikipedia

Posted: January 4, 2017 at 6:08 pm

Early proponents

The American eugenics movement was rooted in the biological determinist ideas of Sir Francis Galton, which originated in the 1880s. Galton studied the upper classes of Britain, and arrived at the conclusion that their social positions were due to a superior genetic makeup.[11] Early proponents of eugenics believed that, through selective breeding, the human species should direct its own evolution. They tended to believe in the genetic superiority of Nordic, Germanic and Anglo-Saxon peoples; supported strict immigration and anti-miscegenation laws; and supported the forcible sterilization of the poor, disabled and “immoral”.[12] Eugenics was also supported by African Americans intellectuals such as W. E. B. Du Bois, Thomas Wyatt Turner, and many academics at Tuskegee University, Howard University, and Hampton University; however they believed the best blacks were as good as the best whites and “The Talented Tenth” of all races should mix.[13] W. E. B. Du Bois believed “only fit blacks should procreate to eradicate the race’s heritage of moral iniquity.”[13][14]

The American eugenics movement received extensive funding from various corporate foundations including the Carnegie Institution, Rockefeller Foundation, and the Harriman railroad fortune.[7] In 1906 J.H. Kellogg provided funding to help found the Race Betterment Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan.[11] The Eugenics Record Office (ERO) was founded in Cold Spring Harbor, New York in 1911 by the renowned biologist Charles B. Davenport, using money from both the Harriman railroad fortune and the Carnegie Institution. As late as the 1920s, the ERO was one of the leading organizations in the American eugenics movement.[11][15] In years to come, the ERO collected a mass of family pedigrees and concluded that those who were unfit came from economically and socially poor backgrounds. Eugenicists such as Davenport, the psychologist Henry H. Goddard, Harry H. Laughlin, and the conservationist Madison Grant (all well respected in their time) began to lobby for various solutions to the problem of the “unfit”. Davenport favored immigration restriction and sterilization as primary methods; Goddard favored segregation in his The Kallikak Family; Grant favored all of the above and more, even entertaining the idea of extermination.[16] The Eugenics Record Office later became the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

Eugenics was widely accepted in the U.S. academic community.[7] By 1928 there were 376 separate university courses in some of the United States’ leading schools, enrolling more than 20,000 students, which included eugenics in the curriculum.[17] It did, however, have scientific detractors (notably, Thomas Hunt Morgan, one of the few Mendelians to explicitly criticize eugenics), though most of these focused more on what they considered the crude methodology of eugenicists, and the characterization of almost every human characteristic as being hereditary, rather than the idea of eugenics itself.[18]

By 1910, there was a large and dynamic network of scientists, reformers and professionals engaged in national eugenics projects and actively promoting eugenic legislation. The American Breeder’s Association was the first eugenic body in the U.S., established in 1906 under the direction of biologist Charles B. Davenport. The ABA was formed specifically to “investigate and report on heredity in the human race, and emphasize the value of superior blood and the menace to society of inferior blood.” Membership included Alexander Graham Bell, Stanford president David Starr Jordan and Luther Burbank.[19][20] The American Association for the Study and Prevention of Infant Mortality was one of the first organizations to begin investigating infant mortality rates in terms of eugenics.[21] They promoted government intervention in attempts to promote the health of future citizens.[22][verification needed]

Several feminist reformers advocated an agenda of eugenic legal reform. The National Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, and the National League of Women Voters were among the variety of state and local feminist organization that at some point lobbied for eugenic reforms.[23]

One of the most prominent feminists to champion the eugenic agenda was Margaret Sanger, the leader of the American birth control movement. Margaret Sanger saw birth control as a means to prevent unwanted children from being born into a disadvantaged life, and incorporated the language of eugenics to advance the movement.[24][25] Sanger also sought to discourage the reproduction of persons who, it was believed, would pass on mental disease or serious physical defect. She advocated sterilization in cases where the subject was unable to use birth control.[24] Unlike other eugenicists, she rejected euthanasia.[26] For Sanger, it was individual women and not the state who should determine whether or not to have a child.[27][28]

In the Deep South, women’s associations played an important role in rallying support for eugenic legal reform. Eugenicists recognized the political and social influence of southern clubwomen in their communities, and used them to help implement eugenics across the region.[29] Between 1915 and 1920, federated women’s clubs in every state of the Deep South had a critical role in establishing public eugenic institutions that were segregated by sex.[30] For example, the Legislative Committee of the Florida State Federation of Women’s Clubs successfully lobbied to institute a eugenic institution for the mentally retarded that was segregated by sex.[31] Their aim was to separate mentally retarded men and women to prevent them from breeding more “feebleminded” individuals.

Public acceptance in the U.S. was the reason eugenic legislation was passed. Almost 19 million people attended the PanamaPacific International Exposition in San Francisco, open for 10 months from February 20 to December 4, 1915.[32][33] The PPIE was a fair devoted to extolling the virtues of a rapidly progressing nation, featuring new developments in science, agriculture, manufacturing and technology. A subject that received a large amount of time and space was that of the developments concerning health and disease, particularly the areas of tropical medicine and race betterment (tropical medicine being the combined study of bacteriology, parasitology and entomology while racial betterment being the promotion of eugenic studies). Having these areas so closely intertwined, it seemed that they were both categorized in the main theme of the fair, the advancement of civilization. Thus in the public eye, the seemingly contradictory[clarification needed] areas of study were both represented under progressive banners of improvement and were made to seem like plausible courses of action to better American society.[34][verification needed]

Beginning with Connecticut in 1896, many states enacted marriage laws with eugenic criteria, prohibiting anyone who was “epileptic, imbecile or feeble-minded”[35] from marrying.[citation needed]

The first state to introduce a compulsory sterilization bill was Michigan, in 1897 but the proposed law failed to garner enough votes by legislators to be adopted. Eight years later Pennsylvania’s state legislators passed a sterilization bill that was vetoed by the governor. Indiana became the first state to enact sterilization legislation in 1907,[36] followed closely by Washington and California in 1909. Sterilization rates across the country were relatively low (California being the sole exception) until the 1927 Supreme Court case Buck v. Bell which legitimized the forced sterilization of patients at a Virginia home for the mentally retarded. The number of sterilizations performed per year increased until another Supreme Court case, Skinner v. Oklahoma, 1942, complicated the legal situation by ruling against sterilization of criminals if the equal protection clause of the constitution was violated. That is, if sterilization was to be performed, then it could not exempt white-collar criminals.[37] The state of California was at the vanguard of the American eugenics movement, performing about 20,000 sterilizations or one third of the 60,000 nationwide from 1909 up until the 1960s.[38]

While California had the highest number of sterilizations, North Carolina’s eugenics program which operated from 1933 to 1977, was the most aggressive of the 32 states that had eugenics programs.[39] An IQ of 70 or lower meant sterilization was appropriate in North Carolina.[40] The North Carolina Eugenics Board almost always approved proposals brought before them by local welfare boards.[40] Of all states, only North Carolina gave social workers the power to designate people for sterilization.[39] “Here, at last, was a method of preventing unwanted pregnancies by an acceptable, practical, and inexpensive method,” wrote Wallace Kuralt in the March 1967 journal of the N.C. Board of Public Welfare. “The poor readily adopted the new techniques for birth control.”[40]

The Immigration Restriction League was the first American entity associated officially with eugenics. Founded in 1894 by three recent Harvard University graduates, the League sought to bar what it considered inferior races from entering America and diluting what it saw as the superior American racial stock (upper class Northerners of Anglo-Saxon heritage). They felt that social and sexual involvement with these less-evolved and less-civilized races would pose a biological threat to the American population. The League lobbied for a literacy test for immigrants, based on the belief that literacy rates were low among “inferior races”. Literacy test bills were vetoed by Presidents in 1897, 1913 and 1915; eventually, President Wilson’s second veto was overruled by Congress in 1917. Membership in the League included: A. Lawrence Lowell, president of Harvard, William DeWitt Hyde, president of Bowdoin College, James T. Young, director of Wharton School and David Starr Jordan, president of Stanford University.[41]

The League allied themselves with the American Breeder’s Association to gain influence and further its goals and in 1909 established a Committee on Eugenics chaired by David Starr Jordan with members Charles Davenport, Alexander Graham Bell, Vernon Kellogg, Luther Burbank, William Ernest Castle, Adolf Meyer, H. J. Webber and Friedrich Woods. The ABA’s immigration legislation committee, formed in 1911 and headed by League’s founder Prescott F. Hall, formalized the committee’s already strong relationship with the Immigration Restriction League. They also founded the Eugenics Record Office, which was headed by Harry H. Laughlin.[42] In their mission statement, they wrote:

Society must protect itself; as it claims the right to deprive the murderer of his life so it may also annihilate the hideous serpent of hopelessly vicious protoplasm. Here is where appropriate legislation will aid in eugenics and creating a healthier, saner society in the future.”[42]

Money from the Harriman railroad fortune was also given to local charities, in order to find immigrants from specific ethnic groups and deport, confine, or forcibly sterilize them.[7]

With the passage of the Immigration Act of 1924, eugenicists for the first time played an important role in the Congressional debate as expert advisers on the threat of “inferior stock” from eastern and southern Europe.[43][verification needed] The new act, inspired by the eugenic belief in the racial superiority of “old stock” white Americans as members of the “Nordic race” (a form of white supremacy), strengthened the position of existing laws prohibiting race-mixing.[44] Eugenic considerations also lay behind the adoption of incest laws in much of the U.S. and were used to justify many anti-miscegenation laws.[45]

Stephen Jay Gould asserted that restrictions on immigration passed in the United States during the 1920s (and overhauled in 1965 with the Immigration and Nationality Act) were motivated by the goals of eugenics. During the early 20th century, the United States and Canada began to receive far higher numbers of Southern and Eastern European immigrants. Influential eugenicists like Lothrop Stoddard and Harry Laughlin (who was appointed as an expert witness for the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization in 1920) presented arguments they would pollute the national gene pool if their numbers went unrestricted.[46][47] It has been argued that this stirred both Canada and the United States into passing laws creating a hierarchy of nationalities, rating them from the most desirable Anglo-Saxon and Nordic peoples to the Chinese and Japanese immigrants, who were almost completely banned from entering the country.[44][48]

Both class and race factored into eugenic definitions of “fit” and “unfit.” By using intelligence testing, American eugenicists asserted that social mobility was indicative of one’s genetic fitness.[49] This reaffirmed the existing class and racial hierarchies and explained why the upper-to-middle class was predominantly white. Middle-to-upper class status was a marker of “superior strains.”[31] In contrast, eugenicists believed poverty to be a characteristic of genetic inferiority, which meant that those deemed “unfit” were predominantly of the lower classes.[31]

Because class status designated some more fit than others, eugenicists treated upper and lower class women differently. Positive eugenicists, who promoted procreation among the fittest in society, encouraged middle class women to bear more children. Between 1900 and 1960, Eugenicists appealed to middle class white women to become more “family minded,” and to help better the race.[50] To this end, eugenicists often denied middle and upper class women sterilization and birth control.[51]

Since poverty was associated with prostitution and “mental idiocy,” women of the lower classes were the first to be deemed “unfit” and “promiscuous.”[31]

In 1907, Indiana passed the first eugenics-based compulsory sterilization law in the world. Thirty U.S. states would soon follow their lead.[52][53] Although the law was overturned by the Indiana Supreme Court in 1921,[54] the U.S. Supreme Court, in Buck v. Bell, upheld the constitutionality of the Virginia Sterilization Act of 1924, allowing for the compulsory sterilization of patients of state mental institutions in 1927.[55]

Some states sterilized “imbeciles” for much of the 20th century. Although compulsory sterilization is now considered an abuse of human rights, Buck v. Bell was never overturned, and Virginia did not repeal its sterilization law until 1974.[56] The most significant era of eugenic sterilization was between 1907 and 1963, when over 64,000 individuals were forcibly sterilized under eugenic legislation in the United States.[57] Beginning around 1930, there was a steady increase in the percentage of women sterilized, and in a few states only young women were sterilized. From 1930 to the 1960s, sterilizations were performed on many more institutionalized women than men.[31] By 1961, 61 percent of the 62,162 total eugenic sterilizations in the United States were performed on women.[31] A favorable report on the results of sterilization in California, the state with the most sterilizations by far, was published in book form by the biologist Paul Popenoe and was widely cited by the Nazi government as evidence that wide-reaching sterilization programs were feasible and humane.[58][59]

Men and women were compulsorily sterilized for different reasons. Men were sterilized to treat their aggression and to eliminate their criminal behavior, while women were sterilized to control the results of their sexuality.[31] Since women bore children, eugenicists held women more accountable than men for the reproduction of the less “desirable” members of society.[31] Eugenicists therefore predominantly targeted women in their efforts to regulate the birth rate, to “protect” white racial health, and weed out the “defectives” of society.[31]

A 1937 Fortune magazine poll found that 2/3 of respondents supported eugenic sterilization of “mental defectives”, 63% supported sterilization of criminals, and only 15% opposed both.[60]

In the 1970s, several activists and women’s rights groups discovered several physicians to be performing coerced sterilizations of specific ethnic groups of society. All were abuses of poor, nonwhite, or mentally retarded women, while no abuses against white or middle-class women were recorded.[61] Although the sterilizations were not explicitly motivated by eugenics, the sterilizations were similar to the eugenics movement[according to whom?] because they were done without the patients’ consent.

For example, in 1972, United States Senate committee testimony brought to light that at least 2,000 involuntary sterilizations had been performed on poor black women without their consent or knowledge. An investigation revealed that the surgeries were all performed in the South, and were all performed on black welfare mothers with multiple children. Testimony revealed that many of these women were threatened with an end to their welfare benefits until they consented to sterilization.[62] These surgeries were instances of sterilization abuse, a term applied to any sterilization performed without the consent or knowledge of the recipient, or in which the recipient is pressured into accepting the surgery. Because the funds used to carry out the surgeries came from the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity, the sterilization abuse raised older suspicions, especially amongst the black community, that “federal programs were underwriting eugenicists who wanted to impose their views about population quality on minorities and poor women.”[31]

Native American women were also victims of sterilization abuse up into the 1970s.[63] The organization WARN (Women of All Red Nations) publicized that Native American women were threatened that, if they had more children, they would be denied welfare benefits. The Indian Health Service also repeatedly refused to deliver Native American babies until their mothers, in labor, consented to sterilization. Many Native American women unknowingly gave consent, since directions were not given in their native language. According to the General Accounting Office, an estimate of 3,406 Indian women were sterilized.[63] The General Accounting Office stated that the Indian Health Service had not followed the necessary regulations, and that the “informed consent forms did not adhere to the standards set by the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW).”[64]

One of the methods that was commonly suggested to get rid of “inferior” populations was euthanasia. A 1911 Carnegie Institute report mentioned euthanasia as one of its recommended “solutions” to the problem of cleansing society of unfit genetic attributes. The most commonly suggested method was to set up local gas chambers. However, many in the eugenics movement did not believe that Americans were ready to implement a large-scale euthanasia program, so many doctors had to find clever ways of subtly implementing eugenic euthanasia in various medical institutions. For example, a mental institution in Lincoln, Illinois fed its incoming patients milk infected with tuberculosis (reasoning that genetically fit individuals would be resistant), resulting in 30-40% annual death rates. Other doctors practiced euthanasia through various forms of lethal neglect.[65]

In the 1930s, there was a wave of portrayals of eugenic “mercy killings” in American film, newspapers, and magazines. In 1931, the Illinois Homeopathic Medicine Association began lobbying for the right to euthanize “imbeciles” and other defectives. The Euthanasia Society of America was founded in 1938.[66]

Overall, however, euthanasia was marginalized in the U.S., motivating people to turn to forced segregation and sterilization programs as a means for keeping the “unfit” from reproducing.[67]

Mary deGormo, a former classroom teacher was the first person to combine ideas about health and intelligence standards with competitions at state fairs, in the form of “better baby” contests. She developed the first such contest, the “Scientific Baby Contest” for the Louisiana State Fair in Shreveport, in 1908. She saw these contests as a contribution to the “social efficiency” movement, which was advocating for the standardization of all aspects of American life as a means of increasing efficiency.[21] deGarmo was assisted by the pediatrician Dr. Jacob Bodenheimer, who helped her develop grading sheets for contestants, which combined physical measurements with standardized measurements of intelligence.[68] Scoring was based on a deduction system, in that every child started at 1000 points and then was docked points for having measurements that were below a designated average. The child with the most points (and the least defections) was ideal.[69][verification needed]

The topic of standardization through scientific judgment was a topic that was very serious in the eyes of the scientific community, but has often been downplayed as just a popular fad or trend. Nevertheless, a lot of time, effort, and money were put into these contests and their scientific backing, which would influence cultural ideas as well as local and state government practices.[70][verification needed]

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People promoted eugenics by hosting “Better Baby” contests and the proceeds would go to its anti-lynching campaign.[13]

First appearing in 1920 at the Kansas Free Fair, Fitter Family competitions, continued all the way up to World War II. Mary T. Watts and Dr. Florence Brown Sherbon,[71][72] both initiators of the Better Baby Contests in Iowa, took the idea of positive eugenics for babies and combined it with a determinist concept of biology to come up with fitter family competitions.[73]

There were several different categories that families were judged in: Size of the family, overall attractiveness, and health of the family, all of which helped to determine the likelihood of having healthy children. These competitions were simply a continuation of the Better Baby contests that promoted certain physical and mental qualities.[74] At the time, it was believed that certain behavioral qualities were inherited from your parents. This led to the addition of several judging categories including: generosity, self-sacrificing, and quality of familial bonds. Additionally, there were negative features that were judged: selfishness, jealousy, suspiciousness, high temperedness, and cruelty. Feeblemindedness, alcoholism, and paralysis were few among other traits that were included as physical traits to be judged when looking at family lineage.[75]

Doctors and specialists from the community would offer their time to judge these competitions, which were originally sponsored by the Red Cross.[75] The winners of these competitions were given a Bronze Medal as well as champion cups called “Capper Medals.” The cups were named after then Governor and Senator, Arthur Capper and he would present them to “Grade A individuals”.[76]

The perks of entering into the contests were that the competitions provided a way for families to get a free health check up by a doctor as well as some of the pride and prestige that came from winning the competitions.[75]

By 1925 the Eugenics Records Office was distributing standardized forms for judging eugenically fit families, which were used in contests in several U.S. states.[77]

After the eugenics movement was well established in the United States, it spread to Germany. California eugenicists began producing literature promoting eugenics and sterilization and sending it overseas to German scientists and medical professionals.[67] By 1933, California had subjected more people to forceful sterilization than all other U.S. states combined. The forced sterilization program engineered by the Nazis was partly inspired by California’s.[8]

The Rockefeller Foundation helped develop and fund various German eugenics programs,[78] including the one that Josef Mengele worked in before he went to Auschwitz.[7][79]

Upon returning from Germany in 1934, where more than 5,000 people per month were being forcibly sterilized, the California eugenics leader C. M. Goethe bragged to a colleague:

You will be interested to know that your work has played a powerful part in shaping the opinions of the group of intellectuals who are behind Hitler in this epoch-making program. Everywhere I sensed that their opinions have been tremendously stimulated by American thought . . . I want you, my dear friend, to carry this thought with you for the rest of your life, that you have really jolted into action a great government of 60 million people.[80]

Eugenics researcher Harry H. Laughlin often bragged that his Model Eugenic Sterilization laws had been implemented in the 1935 Nuremberg racial hygiene laws.[81] In 1936, Laughlin was invited to an award ceremony at Heidelberg University in Germany (scheduled on the anniversary of Hitler’s 1934 purge of Jews from the Heidelberg faculty), to receive an honorary doctorate for his work on the “science of racial cleansing”. Due to financial limitations, Laughlin was unable to attend the ceremony and had to pick it up from the Rockefeller Institute. Afterwards, he proudly shared the award with his colleagues, remarking that he felt that it symbolized the “common understanding of German and American scientists of the nature of eugenics.”[82]

After 1945, however, historians began to attempt to portray the US eugenics movement as distinct and distant from Nazi eugenics.[83]Jon Entine wrote that eugenics simply means “good genes” and using it as synonym for genocide is an “all-too-common distortion of the social history of genetics policy in the United States.” According to Entine, eugenics developed out of the Progressive Era and not “Hitler’s twisted Final Solution.”[84]

Barbara Rothman and Gareth Thomas, writing for AMA Journal of Ethics, wrote that prenatal screening can be considered a form of contemporary eugenics because it prevents the birth of people with conditions considered undesirable.[85]

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Eugenics in the United States – Wikipedia

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Amrita – Wikipedia

Posted: at 6:03 pm

Amrit (Sanskrit, IAST: amta) or Amata (Pali) is a word that literally means “immortality” and is often referred to in texts as nectar. Amta is etymologically related to the Greek ambrosia[1] and carries the same meaning.[2] The word’s earliest occurrence is in the Rigveda, where it is one of several synonyms for soma, the drink which confers immortality upon the gods.

Amrit has varying significance in different Indian religions.

Amrit is also a common first name for Hindus; the feminine form is Amrit.

Amrit is repeatedly referred to as the drink of the devas which grants them immortality.

Amrit features in the samudra manthan legend, which describes how the devas, because of a curse from the sage Durvasa, begin to lose their immortality. Assisted by their mortal enemies, the asuras, they churn the ocean and release (among other auspicious object and beings) amrit, the nectar of immortality.[3]

Amrit is sometimes said to miraculously form on, or flow from, statues of Hindu gods. The substance is consumed by worshippers and is alleged to be sweet-tasting and not at all similar to honey or sugar water.

Amrit was the last of the fourteen treasure jewels that emerged from the churning of the ocean and contained in a pot borne by Dhanvantari, the physician of the Gods.

Amrit (Punjabi: ) is the name of the holy water used in the baptism ceremony or Amrit Sanchar in Sikhism. This ceremony is observed to initiate the Sikhs into the Khalsa and requires drinking amrit. This is created by mixing a number of soluble ingredients, including sugar, and is then rolled with a khanda with the accompaniment of scriptural recitation of five sacred verses.

Metaphorically, God’s name is also referred to as a nectar:

Amrit sabad amrit har bai. The Shabda is Amrit; the Lord’s bani is Amrit. Satgur seviai ridai sami. Serving the True Guru, it permeates the heart. Nnak amrit nm sad sukhdta pi amrit sabh bhukh lh jvaia. O Nanak, the Ambrosial Naam is forever the Giver of peace; drinking in this Amrit, all hunger is satisfied.[4]

According to Thanissaro Bhikkhu, “the deathless” refers to the deathless dimension of the mind which is dwelled in permanently after nibbana.[5]

In the Amata Sutta, the Buddha advises monks to stay with the four Satipatthana: “Monks, remain with your minds well-established in these four establishings of mindfulness. Don’t let the deathless be lost to you.”[6]

In the questions for Nagasena, King Milinda asks for evidence that the Buddha once lived, wherein Nagasena describes evidence of the Dhamma in a simile:

“Revered Nagasena, what is the nectar shop of the Buddha, the Blessed One?”

“Nectar, sire, has been pointed out by the Blessed One. With this nectar the Blessed One sprinkles the world with the devas; when the devas and the humans have been sprinkled with this nectar, they are set free from birth, aging, disease, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair. What is this nectar? It is mindfulness occupied with the body. And this too, sire, was said by the Blessed One: ‘Monks, they partake of nectar (the deathless) who partake of mindfulness that is occupied with the body.’ This, sire, is called the Blessed One’s nectar shop.”

Miln 335[7]

Amrit (Wylie: bdud rtsi, THL: dtsi) also plays a significant role in Vajrayana Buddhism as a sacramental drink which is consumed at the beginning of all important rituals such as the abhisheka, ganachakra, and homa. In the Tibetan tradition, dtsi is made during drubchens – lengthy ceremonies involving many high lamas. It usually takes the form of small, dark-brown grains that are taken with water, or dissolved in very weak solutions of alcohol and is said to improve physical and spiritual well-being.[8]

The foundational text of traditional Tibetan medicine, the Four Tantras, is also known by the name The Heart of Amrita (Wylie: snying po bsdus pa).

The Immaculate Crystal Garland (Wylie: dri med zhal phreng) describes the origin of amrita in a version of the samudra manthan legend retold in Buddhist terms. In this Vajrayana version, the monster Rahu steals the amrita and is blasted by Vajrapani’s thunderbolt. As Rahu has already drunk the amrita he cannot die, but his blood, dripping onto the surface of this earth, causes all kinds of medicinal plants to grow. At the behest of all the Buddhas, Vajrapani reassembles Rahu who eventually becomes a protector of Buddhism according to the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.

Chinese Buddhism describes Amrita (Chinese: ; pinyin: gnl) as blessed water, food, or other consumable objects often produced through merits of chanting mantras.

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Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Overview

Posted: December 25, 2016 at 10:58 pm

Alternative medicine is a term that describes medical treatments that are used instead of traditional (mainstream) therapies. Some people also refer to it as integrative, or complementary medicine.

About 40% of adults in the United States say they use some form of alternative medicine. But exactly what types of therapies are considered alternative? The definition changes as doctors test and move more of them into the mainstream.

Expand Your Comfort Zone

By Elizabeth Kuster Initially, the title of this article was “Break Out Of Your Comfort Zone.” But then I talked with bestselling author and fear expert Rhonda Britten, founder of the Fearless Living Institute, and she schooled me. “I’m not interested in people getting rid of their comfort zones,” she told me. “In fact, you want to have the largest comfort zone possible — because the larger it is, the more masterful you feel in more areas of your life. When you have a large comfort zone, you can…

Read the Expand Your Comfort Zone article > >

This article examines some popular alternative medical treatments and their potential risks and benefits.

This is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that uses needles to stimulate specific points around the body. The person who performs this therapy (an acupuncturist) sticks thin, sterile needles into your skin. The goal is to help your bodys natural healing process kick in. Studies show that acupuncture can be effective in treating a number of conditions, like neck and back pain, nausea, anxiety, depression, insomnia, infertility, and more.

This practice focuses on the bodys structure — mainly the spine –and how it functions. A trained professional called a chiropractor uses different techniques to adjust (manipulate) your spine or other parts of your body so that theyre in proper form, or alignment.

The goal of chiropractic medicine is to ease pain, improve body function, and help your body to heal itself naturally.

Much of the research around it has focused on low back pain. But studies show chiropractic can also be helpful for a number of other ailments, like headaches, neck pain, joint problems in your upper and lower body, and disorders caused by whiplash.

These focus on the energy fields many people believe exist in and around the body. Included in this category are:

Magnetic Field Therapy. This uses magnetic or electrical fields to treat a number of musculoskeletal problems. Studies show that it can work for osteoarthritis and other pain conditions. Its also been found to help fractures heal faster. Magnetic field therapy may not be safe if youre pregnant, have an implanted cardiac device, use an insulin pump, or take a drug given by patch.

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Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Overview

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Gambling – The New York Times

Posted: December 23, 2016 at 5:13 pm

Latest Articles

The gambling company said the offer, worth as much as $5.5 billion, was inadequate compared with an earlier one from a rival bidder, Tabcorp.

By AMIE TSANG

A newly approved measure could allow the country to become a rival to Asian gambling centers like Macau even as other countries also ramp up competition.

By JONATHAN SOBLE and NEIL GOUGH

Investors are seeing a potential bidding war over a company that runs a lottery business and betting on horse racing and sports matches.

By NEIL GOUGH

MGM National Harbor, opening this week, is a prominent addition to Prince Georges County, a long overlooked but upwardly striving area of 900,000 residents.

By EUGENE L. MEYER

The Spanish police said they had arrested 34 people suspected of being involved in fixing matches of low-level mens players in Spain and Portugal.

Australia said it had been told of the official arrest of the three workers, who were among 18 held last month in an inquiry into the promotion of gambling in China.

By MICHELLE INNIS

Can anything be done to rein in an industry that sucks millions of dollars out of Australians pockets?

By LIZZIE OSHEA

State overseers are taking over a vast amount of the city governments power.

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Over the objections of the citys elected officials, the Local Finance Board in Trenton unanimously approved a five-year state takeover to ward off a bankruptcy filing.

By PATRICK McGEEHAN

Those charged included two professional baseball pitchers who were accused of deliberately walking batters in return for gifts and cash.

By CHOE SANG-HUN

A psychiatrist will testify that Andrew Caspersen, who pleaded guilty in a $40 million fraud, suffered from a gambling addiction.

By MATTHEW GOLDSTEIN and ALEXANDRA STEVENSON

Even supporters of a referendum that would allow gambling halls to open outside Atlantic City concede that they are headed for defeat. The only question seems to be how large the margin will be.

By CHARLES V. BAGLI

An investigation by the state attorney generals office found that the companies, which plan to merge, had employed false and deceptive advertising practices, misleading novice players.

By JOE DRAPE

DraftKings and FanDuel are close to an agreement with New Yorks attorney general over claims that they engaged in false advertising, according to two people familiar with the discussions.

By JOE DRAPE

The over/under for the Oregon-California football game, 89, is the highest known total since 1980.

By VICTOR MATHER

The detention of 18 employees of the Australian chain is raising fears that the Chinese government is seeking harsh punishments against overseas operators.

By JAVIER C. HERNNDEZ and MICHELLE INNIS

The employees were arrested in raids that appeared to be linked to measures to restrict the promotion of gambling in China.

By MICHELLE INNIS

Its the logical thing to do. But I know you still wont do it.

By CAREY K. MOREWEDGE

Becoming hooked, by one throw of the dice.

By FOSTER KAMER

Lie logically. Avoid amateurs and rich people.

By MALIA WOLLAN

The gambling company said the offer, worth as much as $5.5 billion, was inadequate compared with an earlier one from a rival bidder, Tabcorp.

By AMIE TSANG

A newly approved measure could allow the country to become a rival to Asian gambling centers like Macau even as other countries also ramp up competition.

By JONATHAN SOBLE and NEIL GOUGH

Investors are seeing a potential bidding war over a company that runs a lottery business and betting on horse racing and sports matches.

By NEIL GOUGH

MGM National Harbor, opening this week, is a prominent addition to Prince Georges County, a long overlooked but upwardly striving area of 900,000 residents.

By EUGENE L. MEYER

The Spanish police said they had arrested 34 people suspected of being involved in fixing matches of low-level mens players in Spain and Portugal.

Australia said it had been told of the official arrest of the three workers, who were among 18 held last month in an inquiry into the promotion of gambling in China.

By MICHELLE INNIS

Can anything be done to rein in an industry that sucks millions of dollars out of Australians pockets?

By LIZZIE OSHEA

State overseers are taking over a vast amount of the city governments power.

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Over the objections of the citys elected officials, the Local Finance Board in Trenton unanimously approved a five-year state takeover to ward off a bankruptcy filing.

By PATRICK McGEEHAN

Those charged included two professional baseball pitchers who were accused of deliberately walking batters in return for gifts and cash.

By CHOE SANG-HUN

A psychiatrist will testify that Andrew Caspersen, who pleaded guilty in a $40 million fraud, suffered from a gambling addiction.

By MATTHEW GOLDSTEIN and ALEXANDRA STEVENSON

Even supporters of a referendum that would allow gambling halls to open outside Atlantic City concede that they are headed for defeat. The only question seems to be how large the margin will be.

By CHARLES V. BAGLI

An investigation by the state attorney generals office found that the companies, which plan to merge, had employed false and deceptive advertising practices, misleading novice players.

By JOE DRAPE

DraftKings and FanDuel are close to an agreement with New Yorks attorney general over claims that they engaged in false advertising, according to two people familiar with the discussions.

By JOE DRAPE

The over/under for the Oregon-California football game, 89, is the highest known total since 1980.

By VICTOR MATHER

The detention of 18 employees of the Australian chain is raising fears that the Chinese government is seeking harsh punishments against overseas operators.

By JAVIER C. HERNNDEZ and MICHELLE INNIS

The employees were arrested in raids that appeared to be linked to measures to restrict the promotion of gambling in China.

By MICHELLE INNIS

Its the logical thing to do. But I know you still wont do it.

By CAREY K. MOREWEDGE

Becoming hooked, by one throw of the dice.

By FOSTER KAMER

Lie logically. Avoid amateurs and rich people.

By MALIA WOLLAN

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Gambling – The New York Times

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Bitcoins Rally Crushed Every Other Currency in 2016. Heres …

Posted: December 17, 2016 at 12:44 am

Bitcoin, that nebulous digital currency that trades in cyberspace and is mined by code-cracking computers, emerged as a better bet this year than every major foreign-exchange trade, stock index and commodity contract.

The electronic coin that trades and is regulated like oil and gold surged 79 percent since the start of 2016 to $778, its highest level since early 2014, data compiled by Bloomberg shows. Thats four times the gains posted by Russias ruble and Brazils real, the worlds top two hard currencies.

After its 2008 creation, enthusiasts hailed bitcoin as the next big thingin foreign exchange markets and an obvious monetary evolution in an increasingly digital world. But by 2014, its value tumbled 58 percent as governments cracked down on its use and a major exchange lost account-holders funds.

There are a number of reasons the hard-to-track currency is staging a comeback now, from capital controls in places like China to isolationist rumblings in the U.K. and U.S. as well as, bitcoin supporters say, increased adoption by companies and consumers.

Bitcoin is coming into its own, says Tim Draper, a venture capitalist whos bought thousands of bitcoins over the years. There are starting to be consumer uses for bitcoin, and if people have any concerns about their own fiat currency — the rupee, for example — they flee to bitcoin as an alternate currency.

The rationale behind bitcoins booms and busts can be difficult to pinpoint, but heres what might be responsible for the cryptocurrencys stellar surge this year:

Global restrictions on sovereign currencies are playing a major role in driving increased bitcoin demand. The Chinese government, for example, made it more difficult for people to move the nations currency and spend it overseas, leading to trapped liquidity. Thats made bitcoin, which is not controlled by any government or central bank, more attractive.

Isolationist policies by some governments to restrict remittances are pushing consumers into bitcoin as well. U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said during his campaign that hed limit or halt remittances to Mexico until the Latin American nation agrees to pay for a border wall between the two countries.

The explosion of bitcoin supply growth is slowing, with so-called miners getting fewer electronic coins in exchange for letting the network use their computing power. The payment to owners of the computers that verify bitcoin transactions and record them in a public ledger known as the blockchain fell by half in the middle of this year.

More consumers are using bitcoins and more companies are accepting it as a means of payment. The use of bitcoins by investors and online shoppers is growing at a steady clip, with more than 1.1 million accounts known as wallets added in the third quarter, even with the second quarter and compared with 1.2 million a year earlier, CoinDesk says.

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Going into 2017, miner Marco Krohn sees more of the same. Many of the factors that drove bitcoin up this year will continue.

My personal expectation is that bitcoin will at least gain another 100 percent, said Krohn, chief financial officer of Hong Kong-based Genesis Mining, which deploys server farms to mine the currency.

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Bitcoins Rally Crushed Every Other Currency in 2016. Heres …

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futurism – unknown.nu

Posted: December 12, 2016 at 7:43 pm

No architecture has existed since 1700. A moronic mixture of the most various stylistic elements used to mask the skeletons of modern houses is called modern architecture. The new beauty of cement and iron are profaned by the superimposition of motley decorative incrustations that cannot be justified either by constructive necessity or by our (modern) taste, and whose origins are in Egyptian, Indian or Byzantine antiquity and in that idiotic flowering of stupidity and impotence that took the name of neoclassicism.

These architectonic prostitutions are welcomed in Italy, and rapacious alien ineptitude is passed off as talented invention and as extremely up-to-date architecture. Young Italian architects (those who borrow originality from clandestine and compulsive devouring of art journals) flaunt their talents in the new quarters of our towns, where a hilarious salad of little ogival columns, seventeenth-century foliation, Gothic pointed arches, Egyptian pilasters, rococo scrolls, fifteenth-century cherubs, swollen caryatids, take the place of style in all seriousness, and presumptuously put on monumental airs. The kaleidoscopic appearance and reappearance of forms, the multiplying of machinery, the daily increasing needs imposed by the speed of communications, by the concentration of population, by hygiene, and by a hundred other phenomena of modern life, never cause these self-styled renovators of architecture a moment’s perplexity or hesitation. They persevere obstinately with the rules of Vitruvius, Vignola and Sansovino plus gleanings from any published scrap of information on German architecture that happens to be at hand. Using these, they continue to stamp the image of imbecility on our cities, our cities which should be the immediate and faithful projection of ourselves.

And so this expressive and synthetic art has become in their hands a vacuous stylistic exercise, a jumble of ill-mixed formulae to disguise a run-of-the-mill traditionalist box of bricks and stone as a modern building. As if we who are accumulators and generators of movement, with all our added mechanical limbs, with all the noise and speed of our life, could live in streets built for the needs of men four, five or six centuries ago.

This is the supreme imbecility of modern architecture, perpetuated by the venal complicity of the academies, the internment camps of the intelligentsia, where the young are forced into the onanistic recopying of classical models instead of throwing their minds open in the search for new frontiers and in the solution of the new and pressing problem: the Futurist house and city. The house and the city that are ours both spiritually and materially, in which our tumult can rage without seeming a grotesque anachronism.

The problem posed in Futurist architecture is not one of linear rearrangement. It is not a question of finding new moldings and frames for windows and doors, of replacing columns, pilasters and corbels with caryatids, flies and frogs. Neither has it anything to do with leaving a faade in bare brick, or plastering it, or facing it with stone or in determining formal differences between the new building and the old one. It is a question of tending the healthy growth of the Futurist house, of constructing it with all the resources of technology and science, satisfying magisterially all the demands of our habits and our spirit, trampling down all that is grotesque and antithetical (tradition, style, aesthetics, proportion), determining new forms, new lines, a new harmony of profiles and volumes, an architecture whose reason for existence can be found solely in the unique conditions of modern life, and in its correspondence with the aesthetic values of our sensibilities. This architecture cannot be subjected to any law of historical continuity. It must be new, just as our state of mind is new.

The art of construction has been able to evolve with time, and to pass from one style to another, while maintaining unaltered the general characteristics of architecture, because in the course of history changes of fashion are frequent and are determined by the alternations of religious conviction and political disposition. But profound changes in the state of the environment are extremely rare, changes that unhinge and renew, such as the discovery of natural laws, the perfecting of mechanical means, the rational and scientific use of material. In modern life the process of stylistic development in architecture has been brought to a halt. Architecture now makes a break with tradition. It must perforce make a fresh start.

Calculations based on the resistance of materials, on the use of reinforced concrete and steel, exclude “architecture” in the classical and traditional sense. Modern constructional materials and scientific concepts are absolutely incompatible with the disciplines of historical styles, and are the principal cause of the grotesque appearance of “fashionable” buildings in which attempts are made to employ the lightness, the superb grace of the steel beam, the delicacy of reinforced concrete, in order to obtain the heavy curve of the arch and the bulkiness of marble.

The utter antithesis between the modern world and the old is determined by all those things that formerly did not exist. Our lives have been enriched by elements the possibility of whose existence the ancients did not even suspect. Men have identified material contingencies, and revealed spiritual attitudes, whose repercussions are felt in a thousand ways. Principal among these is the formation of a new ideal of beauty that is still obscure and embryonic, but whose fascination is already felt even by the masses. We have lost our predilection for the monumental, the heavy, the static, and we have enriched our sensibility with a taste for the light, the practical, the ephemeral and the swift. We no longer feel ourselves to be the men of the cathedrals, the palaces and the podiums. We are the men of the great hotels, the railway stations, the immense streets, colossal ports, covered markets, luminous arcades, straight roads and beneficial demolitions.

We must invent and rebuild the Futurist city like an immense and tumultuous shipyard, agile, mobile and dynamic in every detail; and the Futurist house must be like a gigantic machine. The lifts must no longer be hidden away like tapeworms in the niches of stairwells; the stairwells themselves, rendered useless, must be abolished, and the lifts must scale the lengths of the faades like serpents of steel and glass. The house of concrete, glass and steel, stripped of paintings and sculpture, rich only in the innate beauty of its lines and relief, extraordinarily “ugly” in its mechanical simplicity, higher and wider according to need rather than the specifications of municipal laws. It must soar up on the brink of a tumultuous abyss: the street will no longer lie like a doormat at ground level, but will plunge many stories down into the earth, embracing the metropolitan traffic, and will be linked up for necessary interconnections by metal gangways and swift-moving pavements.

The decorative must be abolished. The problem of Futurist architecture must be resolved, not by continuing to pilfer from Chinese, Persian or Japanese photographs or fooling around with the rules of Vitruvius, but through flashes of genius and through scientific and technical expertise. Everything must be revolutionized. Roofs and underground spaces must be used; the importance of the faade must be diminished; issues of taste must be transplanted from the field of fussy moldings, finicky capitals and flimsy doorways to the broader concerns of bold groupings and masses, and large-scale disposition of planes. Let us make an end of monumental, funereal and commemorative architecture. Let us overturn monuments, pavements, arcades and flights of steps; let us sink the streets and squares; let us raise the level of the city.

I COMBAT AND DESPISE:

AND PROCLAIM:

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futurism – unknown.nu

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Micronation | Fifth World Wiki | Fandom powered by Wikia

Posted: December 9, 2016 at 6:05 am

According to pedestrian wisdom, a micronation sometimes referred to as a model country or new country project is an entity that apparently intends to replace, resemble, mock, or exist on equal footing with a recognised and/or sovereign state. Some micronations are created with serious intent, while others exist as a hobby or stunt. Scholarly research shows, however, that a real micronation must be at least an empirical tribe or community, or it simply isn’t a micronation. Actually, most so-called micronations are more of a mocking of real nations than real states it is intellectually dishonest to classify something, as the Wikipedia does in its article about micronations, based not on what it actually is, but rather on what it isn’t, and a micronation is, first and foremost, a very small nation by size and/or population.

The term micronation, which literally means small nation, is a neologism. The first reference in English to the word micronation in a popular book appears in the 1978 edition of The People’s Almanac #2, where David Wallechinsky and Irving Wallace write:

The term has since come to be used also retrospectively to refer to earlier unrecognised entities, some of which date to as far back as the 17th century.

According to micronational scholars, the term micronation is synonymous with the term Fifth and Sixth World nation. The more mature micronations (Fifth World nations) can also be social identity or irredentist groups.

Supporters of micronations often use the term macronation to describe any real sovereign nation-state. However, macronations are more appropriately medium- to large-sized nations that do not enjoy significant recognition, and according to micronational scholars they are Fourth World nations. The term macronation is also synonymous with the term self-determination or secessionist group.

Micronations should not be confused with legitimately recognised, but geographically tiny nations such as Fiji, Monaco, and San Marino, for which the term microstate is more accurate and descriptive.

Micronations generally have a number of common features:

A criterion which distinguishes micronations from imaginary countries, eco-villages, campuses, tribes, clans, sects, and residential community associations, is that these latter entities do not usually seek to be recognised as sovereign.

The Montevideo Convention was one attempt to create a legal definition distinguishing between states and non-states. A few micronations meet this definition, while most do not. Some micronational scholars find the Montevideo Convention unenlightened, or at the very least deceptive, with its emphasis on a state possessing a defined territory, since it has been discovered that states do not necessarily have to possess a territory to exist and be functional.

The academic study of micronations and microstates is termed micropatrology, and the hobby or activity of establishing and operating micronations is known as micronationalism.

The world’s oldest and longest living micronation was probably the Indian princely state of Pudukkottai. From the 6th to the 14th century AD, Pudukkottai was successively ruled by the Pallavas, the Cholas, and the Pandyas. Then Pudukkottai came under the rule of Muslim sultans, who held power for about 50 years before being vanquished by the Vijayanagar kings. When the Vijayanagar kingdom disintegrated, Raghunatha Kilavan wrested the country from them in 1680, and appointed Raghunatha Tondaiman, his brother-in-law, as viceroy. The kingdom eventually acceded to the independent Dominion of India in August 1947, and merged with the Madras state in the following year.

The 19th century saw the rise to prominence of the nation-state concept, and the earliest recognisable micronations can be dated to that period. Most were founded by eccentric adventurers or business speculators, and several were remarkably successful.

The oldest extant micronation to arise in modern times is the Kingdom of Redonda, founded in 1865 in the Caribbean. It failed to establish itself as a real country, but has nonetheless managed to survive into the present day as a unique literary foundation with its own king and aristocracy although it is not without its controversies; there are presently at least four competing claimants to the Redondan throne.

Another very old extant micronation is relatively obscure to Anglophiles: Parva Domus. Parva Domus today is a cultural and recreational civil association based in Montevideo, Uruguay. It was founded on 25 August 1878, when Jos Achinelli raised the new nation’s flag on a mast in front of a farmhouse. The Republic is reminiscent of a secret society, and its membership is restricted to men. Females are actually allowed entrance twice a year, for a special dinner. [1]

The 1960s and 1970s saw a micronational renaissance, with the foundation of a number of territorial micronations. The first of these, the Principality of Sealand, was founded in 1967 on an abandoned World War II gun platform in the North Sea, and has survived into the present day. Others were based on schemes requiring the construction of artificial islands, but only two are known to have risen above sea level.

The Republic of Rose Island was a 400 square metre platform built in international waters off the Italian town of Rimini, in the Adriatic Sea in 1968. It is reported to have issued stamps, minted currency, and declared Esperanto to be its official language. Shortly after completion, however, it was destroyed by the Italian Navy.

The Republic of Minerva was set up in 1972 as a libertarian new country project by Nevada businessman Michael Oliver. Oliver’s group conducted dredging operations at the Minerva Reefs, a shoal located in the Pacific Ocean south of Fiji. They succeeded in creating a small artificial island, but their efforts at securing international recognition met with little success, and near-neighbour Tonga sent a military force to the area and annexed it.

On April Fools’ Day in 1973, John Lennon and Yoko Ono announced the birth of Nutopia, the world’s first country where all people are ambassadors. Nutopia was described as “a conceptual country” with no boundaries and “no laws other than cosmic.” At the time, Mr. Lennon was being threatened with deportation because of a 1968 marijuana conviction in Britain. As Nutopian ambassadors, Mr. and Ms. Lennon asked for diplomatic immunity and United Nations recognition, and they gave “One White Street” as the embassy address. Neither of them ever lived at that address.

On 1 April 1977, bibliophile Richard Booth, declared the UK town of Hay-on-Wye an “independent republic” with himself as its king. The town has subsequently developed a healthy tourism industry based literary interests, and “King Richard” (whose sceptre consists of a recycled toilet plunger) continues to dole out Hay-on-Wye peerages and honours to anyone prepared to pay for them. The official website for Hay-on-Wye, however, admits that the declaration of independence, along with the later claim to have annexed the United States and renamed it the “US of Hay” were publicity stunts.[2]

Micronational activities were disproportionately common throughout Australia in the final three decades of the 20th century. The Hutt River Province Principality started the ball rolling in 1970, when Prince Leonard (born Leonard George Casley) declared his farming property independent after a dispute over wheat quotas. The year 1976 witnessed the creation of the Province of Bumbunga on a rural property near Snowtown, South Australia, by an eccentric British monarchist named Alex Brackstone, and a dispute over flood damage to farm properties led to the creation of the Independent State of Rainbow Creek in northeastern Victoria (Australia) by Tom Barnes in 1979. In New South Wales, a political protest by a group of Sydney teenagers led to the 1981 creation of the Empire of Atlantium, and a mortgage foreclosure dispute led George and Stephanie Muirhead of Rockhampton, Queensland to secede as the Principality of Marlborough in 1993.

Yet another Australian secessionist state came into existence on 1 May 2003, when Peter Gillies declared the independence of his 66 hectare northern New South Wales farm as the Principality of United Oceania after an unresolved year-long dispute with Port Stephens Council over Gillies’ plans to construct a private residence on the property.

Micronational hobbyists received a significant boost in the mid-1990s when popularisation of the Internet gave them the ability to promote their activities to a global audience. As a result, the number of online and fantasy micronations expanded dramatically. The majority were based in English-speaking countries, however a significant minority arose elsewhere in Portuguese-speaking countries as well.

In the 21st century micronationalism has taken on a less quixotic character, especially through the more mature micronations (Fifth World nations).

There are now micronationists who have been elected to an Official World parliament; micronationists who have been honoured with a MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire); micronationists who have developed new languages in working use; authentic micronational navigators/explorers; and there are even micronational athletes who have appeared on a world championship podiums.

There are also micronations that run alternative Internets with great sophistication; micronations which have issued gold coins; micronations which have co-sponsored a major cultural events; micronations which have been recognised by international organisations; micronations which have launched significant political petitions; and there are even micronations which have sent their flag into the vacuum of space.

But the list of real achievements doesn’t end with specific micronationalists or micronations since there are, or have been, academic conferences on micronations; micronational travel guides; micronational bishops; micronational saints; micronational educational systems; micronational sports; micronational astrologies; micronational races; micronational meridians; micronational legal systems; micronational intellectual property; micronational archaeological findings; micronational virtual invasions with non-virtual consequences; micronational religions; micronational health discoveries; micronational environmental philosophies; and even micronationalism itself has developed into a real protoscience.

In the present day, eight main types of micronations are prevalent:

Micronations of the first type tend to be fairly serious in outlook, involve sometimes significant numbers of relatively mature participants, and often engage in highly sophisticated, structured activities that emulate the operations of real-world nations. A few good examples of these includes:

These micronations also tend to be fairly serious, and involve significant numbers of people interested in recreating the past, especially the Roman or Mediaeval past, and living it in a vicarious way. Examples of these include:

With literally thousands in existence, micronations of this type are by far the most common. They are ephemeral, and tend to be Internet-based, rarely surviving more than a few months, although there are notable exceptions. They generally involve a handful of people, and are concerned primarily with arrogating to their founders the outward symbols of statehood. The use of grand-sounding titles, awards, honours, and heraldic symbols derived from European feudal traditions, and the conduct of “wars” with other micronations, are common manifestations of their activities. Examples include:

Micronations of this type include stand-alone artistic projects, deliberate exercises in creative online and offline fiction, artistamp creations, and even popular films. Examples include:

These types of micronations are typically associated with a political or social reform agenda. Some are maintained as media and public relations exercises, and examples of this type include:

A number of micronations have been established for fraudulent purposes, by seeking to link questionable or illegal financial actions with seemingly legitimate nations. The best known of these are:

A small number of micronations are founded with genuine aspirations to be sovereign states. Many are based on historical anomalies or eccentric interpretations of law, and tend to be easily confused with established states. This category includes:

New-country projects are attempts to found completely new nation-states. They typically involve plans to construct artificial islands (few of which are ever realised), and a large percentage have embraced or purported to embrace libertarian or democratic principles. Examples include:

Seasteading is a lifestyle of making the oceans, or at least water-borne craft, one’s home. Most seasteads historically have been sailing craft, whether perhaps demonstrated by the the Chinese Junk, modified canoes of Oceania, or even the famous Pirates of Libertaria. In modern times in the west the cruising sailboat has begun to be used in the same manner. The term seasteading is of uncertain origin, used at least as early as the turn of the century by Uffa Fox, and others; many feel that catamaran designer and historian James Wharram and his designs represent ideal seasteads. More recently, American sailor and ecological philosopher Jerome FitzGerald has been a leading and effective proponent of seasteading, mostly teaching the concept through the environmental/sailing organization “The Oar Club”. The Seasteader’s Institute in Hilo, Hawaii offers classes, boat-building opportunities, education in forage foods, diving, and other aspects of a Seasteading lifestyle.

Some theoretical seasteads are floating platforms which could be used to create sovereign micronations, or otherwise serve the ends of ocean colonization. The concept is introduced in a paper by Wayne Gramlich, and later in a book by Gramlich, Patri Friedman and Andy House, which is available for free online. Their research aims at a more practical approach to developing micronations, based on currently available technology and a pragmatic approach to financial aspects.

The authors argue that seasteading has the potential to drastically lower the barrier to entry to the governing industry. This allows for more experimentation and innovation with varying social, political, and economic systems. Potential business opportunities include data havens, offshore aquaculture, and casinos, as well as the gamut of typical business endeavors.

There has been a small but growing amount of attention paid to the micronation phenomenon in recent years. Most interest in academic circles has been concerned with studying the apparently anomalous legal situations affecting such entities as Sealand and the Hutt River Province, in exploring how some micronations represent grassroots political ideas, and in the creation of role-playing entities for instructional purposes.

In 2000, Professor Fabrice O’Driscoll, of the Aix-Marseille University, published a book about micronations: Ils ne sigent pas l’ONU (“They are not in the United Nations”), with more than 300 pages dedicated to the subject.

In May 2000, an article in the New York Times entitled “Utopian Rulers, and Spoofs, Stake Out Territory Online” brought the phenomenon to a wider audience for the first time. Similar articles were published by newspapers such as the French Liberation, the Italian La Repubblica, the Greek “Ta Nea”, by O Estado de So Paulo in Brazil, and Portugal’s Viso at around the same time.

Several recent publications have dealt with the subject of particular historic micronations, including Republic of Indian Stream (University Press), by Dartmouth College geographer Daniel Doan, The Land that Never Was, about Gregor MacGregor, and the Principality of Poyais, by David Sinclair (ISBN 0-7553-1080-2).

In August 2003 a Summit of Micronations took place in Helsinki at Finlandia Hall, the site of the Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE). The summit was attended by delegations such as the Principality of Sealand, NSK, Ladonia, the Transnational Republic, and by scholars from various academic institutions.

From 7 November through 17 December 2004, the Reg Vardy Gallery at the University of Sunderland (UK) hosted an exhibition on the subject of micronational group identity and symbolism. The exhibition focused on numismatic, philatelic and vexillological artifacts, as well as other symbols and instruments created and used by a number of micronations from the 1950s through to the present day. A summit of micronations conducted as part of this exhibition was attended by representatives of Sealand, Elgaland-Vargaland, New Utopia, Atlantium, Frestonia and Fusa. The exhibition was reprised at the Andrew Kreps Gallery in New York City from 24 June29 July of the following year. Another exhibition about micronations opened at Paris’ Palais de Tokyo in early 2007.

The Sunderland summit was later featured in a 5-part BBC light entertainment television series called “How to Start Your Own Country” presented by Danny Wallace. The series told the story of Wallace’s experience of founding a micronation, Lovely, located in his London flat. It screened in the UK in August 2005.

Similar programs have also aired on television networks in other parts of Europe.

On 9 September 2006, The Guardian newspaper reported that the travel guide company Lonely Planet had published the world’s first travel guide devoted to micronations, the Lonely Planet Guide to Home-Made Nations (ISBN 1741047307).

The Democratic Empire of Sunda, which claims to be the Government of the Kingdom of Sunda (an ancient kingdom, in present-day Indonesia) in exile in Switzerland, made media headlines when two so-called princesses, Lamia Roro Wiranatadikusumah Siliwangi Al Misri, 21, and Fathia Reza Wiranatadikusumah Siliwangi Al Misiri, 23, were detained by Malaysian authorities at the border with Brunei, on 13 July 2007, and are charged for entering the country without a valid pass.

In 2010, a documentary film by Jody Shapiro entitled “How to Start your Own Country” was screened as part of the Toronto International Film Festival. The documentary explored various micronations around the world, and included an analysis of the concept of statehood and citizenship. Erwin Strauss, author of the eponymous book, was interviewed as part of the film.

Adapted from the Wikipedia article, “Micronation” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micronation, used under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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Micronation | Fifth World Wiki | Fandom powered by Wikia

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Travel & Resources: HONG KONG – Gay Asia and… – Utopia

Posted: December 7, 2016 at 8:08 am

On Hong Kong Island most visitors will gravitate towards the cluster of international clubs in Shuang Wan, Central and its frenetic nightlife hub, Lan Kwai Fong. Another large cluster of island venues is located between Wanchai and Causeway Bay, discreetly hidden away in commercial buildings.

Over in colorful Kowloon, which has a dense collection of easy-to-access gay clubs along the MTR corridor, crowds throng through neon-lit high-rise canyons, going to/from shopping, eating or partying at innumerable entertainment venues from Tsim Sha Tsui up to Prince Edward. If you are looking for a bit of old Hong Kong, take a taxi to “Kowloon City” where traditional shops and restaurants are still managing (barely) to fend off encroaching redevelopment.

Hong Kong’s population is nearing 8 million (that’s over 300,000 Utopians).

Navigating the local gay scene is easy with our interactive Utopia Map of Gay & Lesbian Hong Kong:

Fruits in Suits (FinS) is an informal, gay professional networking event on each 3rd Tue of every month. Like-minded people – mostly professional expats (but they welcome all local professionals to join in) – come together in an exclusive private area for food, drinks and to chat, socialise with new people, network and promote LGBT rights in the territory. Add your review, comment, or correction

Founded by Filipino and Hong Kong GLBT, this club hosts meetings of the their GLBT Society and the 1000 strong Hong Kong Labour Party. They offer free legal advice and support service through sympathetic lawyers in Hong Kong and the Philippines. Utopia Member Benefit: DISCOUNTS on facility private hire, FREE legal advice, FREE meeting venue for GLBT societies. Add your review, comment, or correction

Pink Alliance aims to link LGBT organizations operating in Hong Kong, to assist them in their work and to provide a network for information in both Chinese and English. Pink Alliance also researches and campaigns on issues of key importance, as well as organising events to promote awareness of LGBT issues. Monthly meetings. Add your review, comment, or correction

Hong Kong’s first gay social services center. The government funded center provides counseling, training workshops and a hotline to provide peer support for gay men. Closed Tue and public holidays. Add your review, comment, or correction

Gay and lesbian activities, support and services. Has the only face-to-face free counseling service for Gay people. Chinese only. Add your review, comment, or correction

A Hongkong-based non profit-making, non-governmental organization, established on 1st July 2003. They defend the human rights of sexuality minorities facing discrimination due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. WCHK effects this mission through advocacy, documentation, public education, oral history, cultural development, AIDS education on WSW (women having sex with women) and hosting monthly gatherings for lesbian, bisexual women and transgenders. Add your review, comment, or correction

Gay bookshop with large selection of local and imported books, magazines and videos to choose from as well as pride gifts. Add your review, comment, or correction

Gay-owned Koru Contemporary Art, specializing in modern sculpture, was established in 2001 to present a diverse range of contemporary international artists. A large selection of art featuring wood, bronze, stone, metal, glass, ceramic and mixed media sculpture, fine art, painting, prints and photography, may be found in their two gallery spaces, with a combined exhibition area of over 7,500sqf. Utopia Member Benefit: 5% DISCOUNT on art. Add your review, comment, or correction

Mainly gay, esp. weekends. Take a bus to Repulse Bay and then a ten minute walk, past the Welcome supermarket, to South Bay. The gay area is in front of the 40-story Ruby Court Bld. Some cruising around. Swimming possible. Bring insect repellent. UTOPIAN VERIFIED JUN 2014 Add your review, comment, or correction

This area seems to concentrate more gay-only men. Some nude sun-bathing (illegal) and action in the bushes (also illegal). Approach from South Bay Road. Steep path on the right-hand (sea side). Middle Bay is now so well-known that it is dangerous. For safety’s sake it is better to make the 1-hour trip to Lantau Island and walk to the rather remote Cheung Sha Beach. UTOPIAN VERIFIED JUN 2014 Add your review, comment, or correction

MTR: TST or Jordan. Several cruisy facilities and lots of garden pathways. Most action takes place after 11pm. The park closes at midnight, but you can always leave (and enter) through the gate at Austin Rd (all other gates are closed after midnight). So don’t panic when you are late and think you are locked up in the park. Mostly Asian guys under 40 years old. Add your review, comment, or correction

HONG KONG ISLAND — Central, Lan Kwai Fong

Round-the-clock gay-friendly eatery with handsome staff. Popular for breakfast on Sun morning for those who have danced-til-dawn the night before. Add your review, comment, or correction

On any given Fri or Sat night after midnight, this Chinese fast food place (fried rice, fried noodles) is about 70% gay. When the clock hits 2am, the percentage rises up to 90%. Coming to Tsui Wah has become something of a ritual for late night partiers. Fish ball noodles are the signature dish here, and they also have simple sandwiches (i.e. two slices of white bread with luncheon meat and egg), steak, and acquired tastes such as stir-fried spaghetti! Add your review, comment, or correction

Large, bustling local eatery popular with groups of gays because of its inexpensive food and location close to the bars. Add your review, comment, or correction

KOWLOON — Jordan, Mongkok, Tsim Sha Tsui, Yau Ma Tei

Foodie Alert! This tiny hole-in-the-wall has a disproportionate amount of international fame after recommendations by Newsweek, Time Out and celebrity chefs. Excellent dim sum at a reasonable price. Their dessert specialty is a succulent poached pear, so leave room. Sister branches in Jordan, Wanchai and TST. Add your review, comment, or correction

KOWLOON — Tsim Sha Tsui, Yau Ma Tei

Located in east Kowloon, well off the tourist track (and overlooked by most locals), this quaint neighborhood stretch of eateries is certainly destined to be torn down and rebuilt into something gleaming, clean and modern. Too bad. Catch this slice-of-life from Kowloon’s past for cheap eats and loads of character while you still can. Add your review, comment, or correction

Pronounced “dai gor”, meaning big brother). A gay-owned, online menswear store aimed at the gay male market and at guys who like their t-shirts nicely fitted. Daigo is inspired by the beautiful and fashionable bros in Asia. They aim to provide great customer satisfaction by offering high quality and unique t-shirt designs that will be part of gay Asia and the gay community as a whole. Add your review, comment, or correction

Above Bohemian shop (take the stairway in the alley to the mezzanine floor). Gay men’s undergear and clothing shop offers exclusive premium brand underwear, tanks, swimwear, shirts, and more including Andrew Christian (USA), 2EROS (Australia), Addicted (Spain) and NEWURBANMALE (Singapore). Utopia Member Benefit: 10% DISCOUNT. Add your review, comment, or correction

Look for the stairway entry marked #83 and 85, next to Express Korea Fast Food and walk up to 1/F. Gay-owned shop offering sexy branded undergear, toys, SM equipment, magazines, pride gifts and other rainbow merchandise. Open 5-9pm Mon-Sat (closed Sun). Utopia Member Benefit: 10% DISCOUNT. Add your review, comment, or correction

Gay-owned tanning studio established in 2004. They offer state-of-the-art tanning and collagenic equipment from Dr Muller, Germany. Tanning Studio was a sponsor of the Mr. Asia contest (2011, 2012, 2013). Utopia Member Benefit: 10% DISCOUNT on all tanning packages and lotions. Add your review, comment, or correction

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Travel & Resources: HONG KONG – Gay Asia and… – Utopia

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8 Mystical Herbs and Legal Psychedelics For Lucid Dreaming

Posted: at 8:06 am

As a Shamanic Practitioner Im often asked to recommend substances that get you high (which is slang for enteringnon-ordinary states of consciousness)legally.

While I encourage people to carefully and mindfully explore the recesses of their minds, unfortunately there are many websites out there that advocate the use of legal psychedelics such as nutmeg, datura and morning glory seeds which all have dangerous side effects and even deadly consequences.

Its this type of misguidance that has lead to so many bad experiences, accidents and such a negative outlook on psychedelicdrugsin society, as though all mind-altering substances are one-and-the-same. Weve come to group paint thinner in the same basket as Ayahuasca but just because something can alter your consciousness doesnt mean it shares the same spiritual value.

However, there is a group of entheogens known as Oneirogens (from the Greek oneiros meaning dream and genmeaning creating), which produce and also enhance dream-like states of consciousness. These herbs and roots have been used for thousands of years for prophetic divination through dreams, out-of-body experiences, and to consciously awaken you during dream states (Lucid Dreaming).

Oneirogens represent only one specific class of entheogens that can be exclusively used for lucid dreaming, but there are many other types and classes of entheogens that can be used for other specific life purposes. I will expand on these other substances in future articles.

The following legal psychedelics can be safely consumed having minimal effect on waking consciousness, and will only exhibit their effects when you fall into a natural state of sleep.

Calea is perhaps the best known of all Dream herbs. The Chontal Indians of Mexico used this shrub traditionally for lucid dreaming. I personally prefer growing mine as the fresher the herb is, the better. Calea can be consumed in tea (the flavor is pungent and bitter) or by smoking the dried leaves. A combination of smoking and drinking an infusion of the herb before bed, setting intention and focusing on ones heartbeat creates the ideal conditions for dream-time spiritual journeying.

Effects: Apart from the intensification of visual imagery during sleep, you may find yourself feeling a sense of well-being, light-headedness and clarity the day after.

Use:Taking at least five grams of this herb is required to be really effective for most people. Drink the herb before bed, keep an intent in mind before falling asleep (e.g. I want to meet my Spirit Guide) and repeat for several nights until lucid dreaming occurs.

Buy: You can buy a nice organic mix to try that includes Calea, click here to check it out.

Mugwort has long been used by many cultures for prophetic dreaming and astral traveling (its Paiute name translates literally to Dream Plant). Smoking the herb directly into the lungs, or burning it as incense in the afternoon, assists with lucid dreaming. Drinking the calming, liver cleansing tea before sleep may also keep you longer in a conscious dream state (REM sleep). This herb often helps one heal while dreaming. Some users report having darker dreams that reveal hidden insights and core wounds, helping them to find closure.

Caution: Avoid this herb if you are pregnant. Mugwort relaxes the uterus in women and should never be drunk, smoked or even touched by expectant mothers. Mugwort is also potentially allergenic to people sensitive to plants in the Asteraceae (daisy) family.

Effects: Apart from the intensification of prophetic visual imagery during sleep, this herb magnifies the brilliance of your dreams and overall duration of your sleep. It is also popular among herbalists to aid in relieving menstrual pains, joint pains and headaches.

Use: 1 teaspoon per cup. Pour boiling water over the herb, cover, and steep for 10 minutes. Drink or smoke before going to bed (Mugwort has a floral taste when smoked).

Buy: You can buy either the organic bleach-free Mugwort teabags, or the pure Mugwort essential oil which does wonders.

This plant was called Sinicuichi (or Sun Opener) by the Aztecs and is still used by Mexican shamans as a trance divination catalyst. This herb is regarded as sacred in that it enables vivid recollection of past distant events. Some users I have worked with have even reported the remembrance of pre-birth events!

Effects: Apart from the intensification of prophetic visual imagery during sleep, Sun Opener causes a yellowing of the vision and altered acoustic perception.

Use:Traditionally, fresh leaves are collected and allowed to wilt. The leaves are then put into a cup or jar, cool water is added, and the mixture is placed in the sun to brew and ferment for at least 24 hours. It is said that during the fermentation process, the knowledge of the sun is embedded into the potion, creating the elixir of the sun (hence the name).

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Shaman’s Apprentice: Drugs, Rituals and Living Energy

Buy: You can buy Sun Opener in Raw Dried Herb form, or in a liquid extract.

Celastrus paniculatus is a shrub used in Ayurvedic medicine in India. Celastrus seeds and oil have long been regarded in India as beneficial to the intellect and memory which makes it a wonderful supplement in dream recollection. Apart from its effectiveness as a dream enhancer, Celastrus is a great mental stimulant, ornootropic, that increasesyour mental sharpness.

Effects: Apart from the intensification of visual imagery during sleep, Celastrus is an effective brain tonic.

Use: Take 5-10 seeds one hour before bedtime for 3 to 5 days until vivid dreaming occurs.

Silene is regarded by the Xhosa people of Africa as a sacred plant. Its roots are traditionally used by shamans to promote lucid dream states in healers and other shamans during initiation ceremonies. It is noted as a teaching plant that is considered highly sacred.

Effects: Intensification of visual imagery during sleep.

Use: Mix this herb in small amounts in water and consume prior to sleeping. Silene also makes an interesting tasting tea but it can be bitter, so the extracted shot form is recommended.

Although it is nicknamed the Blue Egyptian Lotus, the Nymphaea Caerulea herb is actually a Water Lilly thatshares no connection to the actual lotus flower. Nymphaea was used as a sacrament in ancient Egypt as a mild sedative. Today, the herb is used by herbalists to treat insomnia, but it has also been reported to induce lucid dreaming.

Effects: Improves quality of sleep and may intensify visual imagery.

Use:This herb is typically consumed in teas, elixir extracts, or by smoking it. If you have trouble dreaming or if you find yourself frequently waking up during dreams, blue lotus is a great supplement to use alongside one of the other substances mentioned in this article.

Buy: Ive heard good results from this Sacred Lotus extract, but I havent tried it myself. Pure Blue Lotus extract is another alternative if you can afford it.

Tian Men Dong is one of the worlds top adaptogens and is also know as the Wild Asparagus Root in English, and Shatawari in Ayurvedic medicine. The Chinese word for wild asparagus root is Tian Men Dong, or heavenly spirit herb, as it was cherished by shamans, monks, and yogis for its heart-opening effects. Chinese Taoist monks placed much value on dream work, nicknaming Wild Aspagarus as The Flying Herb; they found it effective to help one fly through the universe at night, achieving magnificent dreams and moving in alignment with the spirit.

Effects: Improves quality of sleep, induces relaxation and stress relief, serves as a good anti-depressant and stimulates flying dreams.

Use: 1 to 3 grams per day in a concentrated form.

Buy: Asparagus Racemosus is also known as Shatavari, you can get organic Shatavari Powder as well as organic Shatavari capsules.

Traditionally used in African medicine to induce vivid dreams and enable communication with the spirit world, Entada facilitates entry into the dream world, and promotes increased REM awareness.This makes iteasier for the sleeper to realize that they are dreaming and thus gives them an edge in achieving lucidity. Entada contains several active compounds, essential oils and alkaloids.

Effects: Improves sleeping states by increasing depth, length and awareness.

Use: The inner meat of the seed is consumed directly, or the meat is chopped, dried, mixed with other herbs and smoked just before sleep to induce the desired dreams.

If you plan on smoking any of the plants listed in this article, I would highly encourage you to use a vaporizer for your own health. The right herb grinder can also do wonders in making the process easier.

I always recommend that you research very well any substance that you plan to consume and preferably grow them yourself. Keep in mind that the type, quality, age, storage and care of these herbs are all factors that will influence your experience with them.

Not only that, but the set, substance, setting and right dosage, along with creating a strong enough intention are all essential elements that must be carefully considered before exploring the depths of your mind. I plan to explore this topic more in future articles.

Have you ever tried any of the legal psychedelics above, and if so, what has been your experience with them? Let me know in the comments below.

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8 Mystical Herbs and Legal Psychedelics For Lucid Dreaming

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