Shattered Dreams Have The Power To Change Our Lives For Good

“Everyone needs wishes and dreams, because the bridge you build between them and reality is your life.” – Marilyn Bagel

Many people are afraid to dream, either they simply don’t know how to, or more often because they are mired in only knowing how to color within their comfortable world-view box. So many of us are afraid to color outside our limited lines. Sometimes the fear of failure and imagined pain keeps an individual from reaching higher. So, many people don’t dare to dream!

Many walking wounded have walked through my psychotherapy doors in pain, hopeless, and hurt. Often, life has dealt them a harsh blow and their ache from something they wanted that went awry has resulted in a sense of helpless defeat. Then there are others who have reached too high without laying the necessary groundwork and planning the requisite steps to get where they want to go. They come bringing shattered dreams with little sense that a better outcome is possible.

One dream may die, only to be replaced with different dreams holding deeper appreciation and greater joy. The journey, though, is not without times of despair, eventually to be replaced with hope.

A less threatening and often more realistic way to follow your dream is something I call “The Three Bears Rule.” Finding the right balance between too little, too much, and one that is just right is a process that entails the ability to be both focused and flexible. Focus keeps your eye on the goal. Flexibility allows you to let in new potentially useful information, to try new ways of being, and to let go of emotional and pragmatic tools that simply don’t work. It also allows that magical “aha” moment when an idea suddenly takes a new shape and answers seem to appear from out of the blue. This is rarely an easy balance, and few are prepared for it without flips, flops, and failures along the way.

Those in creative fields tend to be our most imaginative and frequently leading-edge dreamers. They do dare where others fear to tread. The most productive of these dreamers are often born with and/or given the opportunity to create without being stifled. Not only do they have talent, but also they usually score high on a measurable scale with a quality known as Emotional Intelligence, what we loosely term intuition or a sixth sense. More pragmatic types such as scientists can also dream big. However, they tend to follow their dreams in a more logical, systematic, and goal-oriented fashion.

Whatever type or combination you may be, it’s always a mix of luck, timing, ability, and the discipline to practice as a great athlete, dancer or musician must to achieve one’s dream.

Ah, but, as Shakespeare might say, “There’s the rub.” Life is not linear and neither is the achievement of dreams. Anyone who has tried to dream beyond their current status knows they risk physical and emotional injuries. Frequently one feels like a small sailboat tossed by turbulent waves. Yes, we often get “seasick” when we follow our dreams. Shattered dreams happen every day in everyone’s real world. At the end I will list some ways to go beyond enduring pain, growing, and, in fact, learning to thrive.

A few exceptional people are akin to Cervantes’ Don Quixote or Voltaire’s Candide who live for their dreams and, a sin the latter’s case, are carried by an eternal optimism that whatever happens “this is the best of all possible worlds.” We humans embrace this sense of a hopeful dream. That’s why the varied, eternal productions of Man of La Mancha are sure to be available in a play, ballet, opera, or some other creative art form in a theater near you at several points in your life.

What is a shattered dream? It isn’t always not flying to the moon or not winning a Nobel Prize. In the world of the mundane, most of us fall short of expectations daily. Our positive attitude, how we “roll with the punches,” makes all the difference.

  1. Perhaps we didn’t get the “A” we anticipated.
  2. Or, we didn’t get selected to be on the baseball team we always dreamed of playing for.
  3. Or, the marriage we anticipated holding for “better or worse” forever didn’t last.
  4. Possibly we became a caregiver and gave up our own desires for someone we loved, as illness took over our life.
  5. Our child became a drug addict, not the star we raised her to be.

The list is endless. Yet, we can reframe our expectations and a cathartic change can occur. In that change we may find greater joy in small accomplishments or in a transformational love that we never dreamed possible.

Shattered dreams are never fun and always require time to heal and the ability to morph into what will be. In fact, many believe the very act of dreaming during sleep is one way we stay balanced and heal. Old dreams may die. New ones can always emerge. One only needs to believe they can succeed.

Dr. Dorree Lynn

Used by permission from Life’s Journey Magazine

Dr. Dorree Lynn is a well-respected psychotherapist, mentor, consultant, life coach, author, educator and workshop presenter. Her lectures are peppered with humor and salted with wisdom. She is available for presentations. Dr. Dorree can be contacted at: DrDorree.com

 

 

dream-memory

Advertisements

Scientists reconstruct speech through soundproof glass by watching a bag of potato chips

Subtle vibrations can be translated back into audio

 

 

Your bag of potato chips can hear what you’re saying. Now, researchers from MIT are trying to figure out a way to make that bag of chips tell them everything that you said — and apparently they have a method that works. By pointing a video camera at the bag while audio is playing or someone is speaking, researchers can detect tiny vibrations in it that are caused by the sound. When later playing back that recording, MIT says that it has figured out a way to read those vibrations and translate them back into music, speech, or seemingly any other sound.

“THIS IS TOTALLY OUT OF SOME HOLLYWOOD THRILLER.”

While a bag of chips is one example of where this method can be put to work, MIT has found success with it elsewhere, including when watching plant leaves and the surface of a glass of water. While the vibrations that the camera is picking up aren’t observable to the human eye, seemingly anything observable to a camera can work here. For the most part the researchers used a high-speed camera to pick up the vibrations, even using it to detect them on a potato chip bag filmed 15-feet away and through a pane of soundproof glass. Even without a high-speed camera though, researchers were able to use a common digital camera to pick up basic audio information.

“We’re scientists, and sometimes we watch these movies, like James Bond, and we think, ‘This is Hollywood theatrics. It’s not possible to do that. This is ridiculous.’ And suddenly, there you have it,” Alexei Efros, a University of California at Berkeley researcher, says in a statement. “This is totally out of some Hollywood thriller. You know that the killer has admitted his guilt because there’s surveillance footage of his potato chip bag vibrating.” The research is being described in a paper that will be published at the computer graphics conference Siggraph.

Where did life come from?

Natural selection explains how organisms that already exist evolve in response to changes in their environment. But Darwin’s theory is silent on how organisms came into being in the first place, which he considered a deep mystery. What creates life out of the inanimate compounds that make up living things? No one knows. How were the first organisms assembled? Nature hasn’t given us the slightest hint.

If anything, the mystery has deepened over time. After all, if life began unaided under primordial conditions in a natural system containing zero knowledge, then it should be possible – it should be easy – to create life in a laboratory today. But determined attempts have failed. International fame, a likely Nobel Prize, and $1 million from the Gene Emergence Project await the researcher who makes life on a lab bench. Still, no one has come close.

Experiments have created some basic materials of life. Famously, in 1952 Harold Urey and Stanley Miller mixed the elements thought to exist in Earth’s primordial atmosphere, exposed them to electricity to simulate lightning, and found that amino acids self-assembled in the researchers’ test tubes. Amino acids are essential to life. But the ones in the 1952 experiment did not come to life. Building-block compounds have been shown to result from many natural processes; they even float in huge clouds in space. But no test has given any indication of how they begin to live – or how, in early tentative forms, they could have resisted being frozen or fried by Earth’s harsh prehistoric conditions.

Some researchers have backed the hypothesis that an unknown primordial “soup” of naturally occurring chemicals was able to self-organize and become animate through a natural mechanism that no longer exists. Some advance the “RNA first” idea, which holds that RNA formed and lived on its own before DNA – but that doesn’t explain where the RNA came from. Others suppose life began around hot deep-sea vents, where very high temperatures and pressures cause a chemical maelstrom. Still others have proposed that some as-yet-unknown natural law causes complexity – and that when this natural law is discovered, the origin of life will become imaginable.

Did God or some other higher being create life? Did it begin on another world, to be transported later to ours? Until such time as a wholly natural origin of life is found, these questions have power. We’re improbable, we’re here, and we have no idea why. Or how.

life1

Stephen Hawking says there’s no theory of everything

SH.jpg

Craig Callender, contributor

Three decades ago, Stephen Hawking famously declared that a “theory of everything” was on the horizon, with a 50 per cent chance of its completion by 2000. Now it is 2010, and Hawking has given up. But it is not his fault, he says: there may not be a final theory to discover after all. No matter; he can explain the riddles of existence without it.

The Grand Design, written with Leonard Mlodinow, is Hawking’s first popular science book for adults in almost a decade. It duly covers the growth of modern physics (quantum mechanics, general relativity, modern cosmology) sprinkled with the wild speculation about multiple universes that seems mandatory in popular works these days. Short but engaging and packed with colourful illustrations, the book is a natural choice for someone wanting a quick introduction to mind-bending theoretical physics.

Early on, the authors claim that they will be answering the ultimate riddles of existence – and that their answer won’t be “42”. Their starting point for this bold claim is superstring theory.

In the early 1990s, string theory was struggling with a multiplicity of distinct theories. Instead of a single theory of everything, there seemed to be five. Beginning in 1994, though, physicists noticed that, at low energies, some of these theories were “dual” to others – that is, a mathematical transformation makes one theory look like another, suggesting that they may just be two descriptions of the same thing. Then a bigger surprise came: one string theory was shown to be dual to 11-dimensional supergravity, a theory describing not only strings but membranes, too. Many physicists believe that this supergravity theory is one piece of a hypothetical ultimate theory, dubbed M-theory, of which all the different string theories offer us mere glimpses.

This multiplicity of distinct theories prompts the authors to declare that the only way to understand reality is to employ a philosophy called “model-dependent realism”. Having declared that “philosophy is dead”, the authors unwittingly develop a theory familiar to philosophers since the 1980s, namely “perspectivalism”. This radical theory holds that there doesn’t exist, even in principle, a single comprehensive theory of the universe. Instead, science offers many incomplete windows onto a common reality, one no more “true” than another. In the authors’ hands this position bleeds into an alarming anti-realism: not only does science fail to provide a single description of reality, they say, there is no theory-independent reality at all. If either stance is correct, one shouldn’t expect to find a final unifying theory like M-theory – only a bunch of separate and sometimes overlapping windows.

So I was surprised when the authors began to advocate M-theory. But it turns out they were unconventionally referring to the patchwork of string theories as “M-theory” too, in addition to the hypothetical ultimate theory about which they remain agnostic.

M-theory in either sense is far from complete. But that doesn’t stop the authors from asserting that it explains the mysteries of existence: why there is something rather than nothing, why this set of laws and not another, and why we exist at all. According to Hawking, enough is known about M-theory to see that God is not needed to answer these questions. Instead, string theory points to the existence of a multiverse, and this multiverse coupled with anthropic reasoning will suffice. Personally, I am doubtful.

Take life. We are lucky to be alive. Imagine all the ways physics might have precluded life: gravity could have been stronger, electrons could have been as big as basketballs and so on. Does this intuitive “luck” warrant the postulation of God? No. Does it warrant the postulation of an infinity of universes? The authors and many others think so. In the absence of theory, though, this is nothing more than a hunch doomed – until we start watching universes come into being – to remain untested. The lesson isn’t that we face a dilemma between God and the multiverse, but that we shouldn’t go off the rails at the first sign of coincidences.

Craig Callender is a philosopher of physics at the University of California, San Diego

Is swine flu a bioterrorist virus?

Michael Le Page, biology features editor
Already, the conspiracy theorists are claiming the swine flu virus spreading around the world was genetically engineered by bioterrorists. The truth is more prosaic: the virus is far more likely to be a product of our lust for bacon than of a hatred for humanity.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control, the new virus is a mixture of four different viruses: North American swine flu, North American avian flu, human H1N1 flu and a swine flu strain found in Asia and Europe.

The claim of the conspiracy theorists is that this new combination could not have occurred naturally, but this is not true. Flu viruses consisting of a mixture of human, swine and bird strains have been found before. However, there is a sense in which the virus could be regarded as man-made.

Flu viruses contain 8 strands of RNA, which code for 10 proteins. If two flu viruses infect a cell at the same time, new viruses budding from that cell can contain a mixture of RNA strands from the two original viruses – a phenomenon called reassortment. Recombination – “cutting and pasting” – can also produce mixing within RNA strands.

It is unusual to be infected by two flu viruses at the same time, and even rarer for one of those viruses to come from another species. But it does happen, especially in pigs, which are susceptible to both human and bird flu viruses. Repeated reassortments can produce mixtures like that found in the swine flu virus now spreading worldwide.

There was reassortment between bird and human flu viruses in pigs in Italy during the 1980s, for instance, while in the 1990s a H1N2 swine flu circulating in pigs in the UK was found to be a mixture of swine, human and bird flu strains resulting from multiple reassortments.

It is not yet clear exactly when and how Mexican swine flu strain evolved, but it could certainly have happened without the help of genetic engineers. Despite this, the swine flu could still be regarded as man-made.

There are now over 6 billion people on the planet, and each year we raise more than a billion pigs and perhaps as many as 70 billion chickens. The result is a paradise for influenza viruses.

As New Scientist‘s flu correspondent Debora MacKenzie has reported over the years, the problem is not just the sheer number of potential hosts. The conditions in which animals are kept can favour the evolution of new and deadlier strains.

For instance, in the wild nasty flu strains that make animals too ill to walk or fly are unlikely to spread far. On crowded factory farms, they can spread like wildfire, helped by the global trade in animals and animal products.

The interaction of farm workers with animals, especially on small-holdings where pigs, ducks, chickens and children all happily intermingle, also provides plenty of opportunities for viruses to jump species.

Animal vaccines might seem like the answer, but vaccines that do not provide 100% protection can actually make things worse. When there is widespread vaccination, viruses can spread without any visible disease. Ineffective vaccines also create strong selective pressure driving the evolution of new strains that can dodge the immune attack provoked by the vaccine.

Already, attention is turning to the big pig farms in Mexico, and the role they may have played in creating this new strain of swine flu.

The fact is that we still know so little about flu, and what makes it capable of spreading from human to human, means that deliberately engineering a virus of this kind would be a huge challenge. Yes, it’s possible that this virus was created by a mistake at a research laboratory or a vaccine factory.

But by far the most plausible explanation is that this monster is the long-predicted product of our farming system.

Reference- http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2009/04/is-swine-flu-a-bioterrorist-vi.html

Solar Eclipse July 2009 India – Total Solar Eclipse in India

A Total Solar Eclipse will be visible in India on July 22, 2009 from early morning 05:28 hrs to 07:40 hrs (Indian Standard Time). The total solar eclipse will last nearly four minutes — from 6.26 am to 6.30 am — in India and the sun will not be visible at all. In India, Total Lunar Eclipse will be visible in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Varanasi, West Bengal and Northeastern States. According to NASA, the solar eclipse on July 22, 2009 is a ‘Total Solar Eclipse’ and the Moon’s umbral shadow on Sun begins in India and crosses through Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, China and ends in the Pacific Ocean.

It is the longest total solar eclipse in the 21st century and will not surpass in duration until next 123 years.

You can see videos of the Solar Eclips here–

http://www.hindu-blog.com/2009/07/solar-eclipse-july-2009-videos-surya.html

The total solar eclipse in India will be visible in regions around Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Surat (Gujarat), Darjeeling (West Bengal), Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) and Patna (Bihar).

Majority of the regions in India will not have a view of the Total solar eclipse. As per NASA data, it will be a partial eclipse in Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai.

The path of the Surya Grahan Through India (Image from NASA)

  • The dark blue double line with circles indicates the path of Total Solar Eclipse which includes central India, Bhutan and parts of China.
  • The grid area is of partial eclipse. (image from NASA)