Tag Archives: life

Exploring the mountains under the ocean, in photos.

A seamount is a mountain rising from the ocean seafloor that does not reach to the water’s surface (sea level), and thus is not an island. – Wikipedia

 

They are also centers of marine life, as you can see in the photos below. From the article, Mountains in the Sea, by National Geographic.

Hundreds of thousands of seamounts rise from Earth’s ocean floor. Life has been explored on barely 300.

 

They are gushing with life. (photo: Brian Skerry)

 

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Be Informed: Who are Sikhs and what do they believe?

Sikhism, the world’s fifth most popular religion, emerged more than 500 years ago in Punjab, in what is now India. It was founded by Guru Nanak, a non-practicing Hindu who was against rituals and praying to idols.

It is a monotheistic faith that believes in equality and service to others.

Doing good deeds is important for you to be with God after death, says Raghunandan Johar. Sikhs believe that if you don’t live a life full of good deeds you will be reborn and repeat the circle of life and death.

At a typical gurdwara (temple), the doors open up at 6 a.m. for prayers. A formal service includes the singing of hymns and a team of leaders who have studied the faith reciting from the Guru Granth Sahib, Sikhism’s holy scriptures. That book, more than 1,400 pages long, includes writings from Sikhism’s 10 gurus as well as writers from other religions.

Most Sikh men don’t cut their hair and wear turbans and beards. Many American Sikh women dress like other Westerners or wear the salwar kameez, a traditional north Indian garment of a long shirt and loose-fitting pants.

 

Learn more: CNN - Explainer: Who are Sikhs and what do they believe?

 

 

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Modern world: Bookstores with cafés increase sales – those without decrease

As Independent Booksellers Week gets into full swing, the Booksellers Association has released figures to suggest outlets with cafés are likely to have higher sales than those without.

Figures based on a survey of 40 BA members reveal that bookshops with cafés saw a 3% growth in overall turnover in 2011, whereas those without experienced a decline in sales of 5.2%. Those bookshops with cafés also experienced a 2% hike in their book sales last year, in comparison to those without cafés which had a decrease in book sales of 4%.

“We want customers to celebrate their local bookshop and also we want consumers to vote with their feet and use their local bookshop or risk losing it.  Bookshops are social and cultural hubs and provide far more to communities than books and as such deserve and require strong action to preserve their unique role in British life.”

 

Source: The Bookseller - Sales higher in bookshops with cafés

 

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Insights on growing up from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

1. “Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.”

4. “The child is in me still and sometimes not so still.”

5. “Discovering the truth about ourselves is a lifetime’s work, but it’s worth the effort.”

6. “Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people.”

9. “Feeling good about ourselves is essential in our being able to love others.”

11. “Try your best to make goodness attractive. That’s one of the toughest assignments you’ll ever be given.”

 

Read all 12Insightful Quotes from Mr. Rogers

 

 

// Thx – Darin R. McClure

Life Expectancy rises 0.9 years for whites, 2 years for blacks

A recent report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, based on data from 2008, shows a few interesting changes.

  • African-americans are catching up in terms of long life, though still behind.
  • Both white men and women increased their average life expectancy by 0.9 years.
  • African-american men increased theirs by 2 years and women by 1.8 years.

See the graph below.

 

 

The strange thing for me (a white male), in that 5 year period my own life expectancy rose nearly a year. If that continues, doing a little math, I can expect to live for 85-87 years (on average). That’s pretty cool.

 

More info - Life expectancy gap narrows between blacks, whites

Facebook Programming Challenge – solve a challenge, get a phone interview

 

How does this work?

Take the timed challenge. If your code passes the test, you will be contacted for a telephone interview. If your code is too similar to another applicant, you will both be disqualified, so please don’t share or post your answers online.

What position are these tests for?

These are for various positions in our Software Engineering department. You can check them all out here.

 

Take the Facebook Programming Challenge!

Nelson Mandela and Google create a virtual museum of his life

For a look at the future of digital museums, check out the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory’s new digital archive composed of thousands of scanned documents from the African leader’s life.

With the help of a $1.25 million grant from Google, the center digitized thousands of documents and images that illustrate the life and times of South Africa’s first black president. But instead of scanning them and dumping them online for scholars to peruse, the center, with Google’s support, created a virtual museum experience — highlighting certain pieces from the archives, putting them in the context of Mandela’s life and then enabling a visitor to the site to go deeper if they’d like.

The exhibit is organized by different phases of Mandela’s life, such as “Early Life,” “Prison Years,” “Presidential Years” and “Retirement.” As you move through the different sections, you’ll find the earliest known photograph of Mandela, scans of the desk calendars where he scribbled notes during his 27 years in prison, and handwritten notes he sent his daughters — including one written shortly after the arrest of their mother.

via L.A. Times

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As the Junior Seau tragedy shows – life after football needs help

A man took his own life, and we might never know exactly why.

But regardless of what comes of any investigations or revelations, we’ve got enough circumstantial evidence already to have an idea that the NFL, its players and those who claim to love both have got to do something.

Fact is, too many men are stumbling unprepared into a scary world when the game stops and real life starts.

Whether Junior Seau’s ultimate decision to commit suicide can be traced in any way to his having suffered concussions during his playing career is important to find out.

But that just might be too neat a bow to tie on this tragedy, too straight a line to draw from head trauma to depression to death.

“The NFL is doing all these things to make football better and safer,” said former San Diegan John Lynch, who retired in 2008 after 15 years in the NFL. “But in a lot of ways it seems like they’re ignoring a real issue … The automatic response right now is it’s got to be concussion-related. I’d be cautionary of that. The league should do everything they can to find out more (about the long-term effects of head injuries), because I believe it’s real. But there are a lot of other dynamics that go with retiring and leaving that world.

- Seau’s death sheds light on strain of life after football

 

// Photo – NFL.com

Facebook for Good: new update creates thousands of organ donors

Would you share your organ donor status on Facebook? You share what you’re making for dinner, how your garden grows, where you’re going on vacation…But what about your organs?

Mark Zuckerberg is hoping you will.

On “Good Morning America” on Tuesday, Zuckerberg and company Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg announced that Facebook is letting those U.S.- and U.K.-based users add whether they’re an organ donor to their timelines and the story behind the decision to become one. There’s also a link to the official donor registry for those inspired to become a donor.

via Tech Now

 

That was this morning and by lunchtime, of that same day, the news had gone viral:

“As of 12:30pm today, the Donate Life California registry has increased its online donor sign ups by nearly 800% from yesterday thanks to this mornings announcement of the partnership with Facebook! Thank you Facebook!”

The wait list can range from six to eight years, depending on the organ needed.

Donate Life California CEO, Charlene Zettel, said, “today, statistically, one-third on [the wait] list will die before an available organ is presented to them.”

via Tech Now

 

In the place where you normally update your status, there is now a "Life Event" section.

A lesson on patience

A NYC Taxi driver wrote:

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90′s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940′s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard
box filled with photos and glassware.

‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘It’s nothing’, I told her.. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’

‘Oh, you’re such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive
through downtown?’

‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly…

‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have any family left,’ she continued in a soft voice..’The doctor says I don’t have very long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired.Let’s go now’.

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move.
They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

‘How much do I owe you?’ She asked, reaching into her purse.

‘Nothing,’ I said

‘You have to make a living,’ she answered.

‘There are other passengers,’ I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said. ‘Thank you.’

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut.It was the sound of the closing of a life..

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day,I could hardly talk.What if that woman had gotten an angry driver,or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

 

// Thx – Kristoffer Sorensen