Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The End Of The World: 2012


The End Of The World: 2012


    What if the end of the world were near? What if 2012 is the final chapter, as is being reported or misreported, “according to the Linear Mesoamerican Long Calendar”? Soothsayers have zeroed in on December 2012 as the time of apocalypse. Theories doing the rounds include the following: The planet could get sucked into a black hole or get smashed by a speeding asteroid; shifting galactic alignment might cause cataclysms, throwing everything out of kilter; human civilisation will come to an end with collective bad karma; tectonic plates could go berserk, causing irreparable damage, and
there are more such scenarios being ‘foretold’ – whether by calendar makers, scientists or ancient and modern oracles. Or just fear mongers who like to say, “The End is Now”.
    Then you have Kalki Bhagwan, the guru in south India, who says that the year 2012 would mark the end of Kali Yuga and the dawn of a new era, an improvement on the previous one. New Age healers like Paula Horan and gurus like
Andrew Cohen see the much-touted portend of cataclysm as something that points, not at all to the physical world, but to the one that is to be played out in human consciousness. There could be a consciousness revolution that would lead to evolutionary enlightenment, paving the way for a new world order. This view is shared by many new faiths as well as forecasters like Bejan Daruwalla.
    You can take your pick of perspective, theory or speculation, but it’s not very clear what is meant by ‘end of the world’. Let’s assume for a moment – even if it’s a mere mind game – that what is intended to be conveyed is that it is the h u m a n s p e c i e s that would get annihilated.
That would certainly mean the world has ended – for us.
    What if all other species except human beings survived the cataclysm, due to some kind of divine design or dispensation? Let’s say you’re a bird. You flap your wings and fly out as usual and find that you don’t have to dodge those noisy flying machines any more. You’re a chicken or goat; no more slaughter shivers down your spine. You’re an elephant that worked for a lumber company; no more weightlifting, nor chains! You’re a circus animal; now cage-free, no more tricks to perform at the crack of a whip.
    You’re a tree; no more cringing at the approach of a freshly sharpened axe. You’re a
flower; no slow death for you in a vase. You’re a sensuous river, meandering across hills and dales; no more a receptacle of excrement, industrial effluents and chemical toxins. You’re fish; free of baits and nets. You’re a turtle; no more dodging those mechanised trawlers that scoop you up in their monstrous nets without those turtle excluder devices insisted upon by save-the-turtle activists. You’re a silkworm; no more death by boiling.
    You’re oxygen; no more choking on blasts from those belching furnaces and power plants. You’re a raindrop, free of acid. You’re a pure snowflake; no more sticky carbon that melts you down. You’re a mighty glacier; no more retraction. You’re the ocean; no more oil spills.
    It’s the end of cacophony – leaving only sounds of birds chirping, waters gushing, surf breaking against shores, leaves rustling, wind whistling through trees, bees buzzing...and the pitter-patter of rain. The stars! Species can actually see them; there’s no more light pollution.
    Hey, Earth, you can breathe free now. It’s time to celebrate.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Telling lies? Your facial muscles can reveal it all


Telling lies? Your facial muscles can reveal it all


 Want to know whether someone is lying to you? Just look at the person’s eyebrows and lips, they can give you the answer, scientists say. A team from the University of British Columbia in Canada claimed to have identified four facial muscles that can “leak” a person’s true feelings like guilt, amid intense emotional pressures.
    While liars were betrayed by tiny movements that caused them to raise their eyebrows in surprised expressions and smile slightly, innocent people tended to furrow their brow in genuine “expressions of distress”, the researchers found.
    A person’s lack of control over their facial expressions meant genuine feelings could
be differentiated from fake emotion, they said. Most humans, according to them, can control lower face muscles to talk or eat but those in the upper face are difficult to manipulate and can spark involuntary behaviour.
    “Our research suggests that muscles of the face are not under complete conscious control and certain
muscles are likely to betray the liar,” Dr Leanne ten Brinke, who led the study, said. “Facial cues are an important, but often ignored, aspect of credibility assessments where an emotional issue is in question. Cues to emotional deception are likely to occur when the underlying emotion a liar is attempting to mask, is strong.”

Saturday, April 7, 2012

It’s tougher for women to kick the butt

It’s tougher for women to kick the butt


 It’s known that women find it a bit harder to kick the butt than men. Now, a new study has found why — it’s because their brains respond quite differently to nicotine than male smokers. When a person smokes, the number of nicotine receptors in the brain are thought to increase.
    Researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine in the US found this is true in men — male smokers had a greater number of nicotine receptors compared to nonsmokers.
    But surprisingly, women smokers had about the same number of nicotine receptors as nonsmokers, they found. “When you look at it by
by LiveScience.
    The results are important because the main treatments for people who want to quit smoking are nicotine-replacement therapies, such as nicotine patches and gums, he said.
    The study suggests women smokers may benefit more from other types of treatment that don’t involve nicotine, including behavioural therapies, such as exercise or relaxation techniques, and nonnicotine containing medications, he added.
    Female smokers, in the study had similar numbers of nicotine receptors in these regions as in male nonsmokers.

Let your shopping be ‘personalised’

Let your shopping be ‘personalised’

If you are popular for your good taste, and if people trust your shopping instincts, there are bright chances for you to be a successful professional personal shopper



    Glitz, glamour, arclights-these are a few words synonymous with the fashion industry. There are a few offbeat careers that might have the same spice, but are a little more unconventional. Welcome to the world of the personal shopper-a career which entails shopping, much to the delight of young women.
    Personal shoppers are often hired by department stores and boutiques. Their focus lies on helping you choose the perfect attire, along with jewellery, shoes, et al. This is not only limited to clothes and accessories, in fact a lot of them are hired by furniture stores that offer personal shopping options.
    The personal shopper gives the customers focused and individual attention and guides them on the latest trends in the market. In addition, they also provide services like colour analysis, in order to judge the what colour best suits their client. Smita Arora, an image consultant, says, "It is a great profession but there's limited scope in India. This profession is considered to be very chic abroad. I am a designer with a fashion house, but whenever we have foreign clients, they want personal shoppers. That's when I become one!"
    A personal shopper is generally employed by the store itself, which means that payment for the service is not required. Famous brands provide this service to their customers. Chhaya Momaya, a fashion designer, says, "These personal shoppers know exactly where to get the best designer dresses, jewellery and even shoes. These could also include shopping for corporate houses as well as people who are moving into a new house and want interior decorators."
    If this was news to your ears, then you would be sur
prised to know that there are quite a few personal shoppers who function online. Ever heard of that? It is a new trend, which has become a rage among youngsters. An online personal shopper's job is to spend time on the internet searching on behalf of clients. Their focus is usually on anything that the web can provide. An online personal shopper is typically a freelancer.
    Online personal shopping
services typically begin with a request or question from a client about an item, product or service that they are looking for. Customers are required to pay a compulsory fee for this advice. After the online personal shopper has located the item or items according to the client's needs, the customer is informed about the same. A typical personal-shopper exercise begins with an interview to identify a client's needs, sometimes best judged by a written personality test, as well as his or her personal preferences when it comes to style, etc.
    The next step is a one-onone session, where the image consultant might simply advise the client about brands, colors and give other wardrobe suggestions. The consultant also may take the client on a shopping expedition, or do shopping without the client accompanying him.