“I trust that everything happens for a reason, even if we are not wise enough to see it. When there is no struggle, there is no strength.” Oprah Winfrey
The well-known Greek Philosopher Aristotle, believed that everything happens for a reason, always. And that every experience in your life, was designed to shape you and reform you in to the ultimate and greatest version, that could ever imagine yourself to be. The only thing that prevents this, is having the wisdom to see it.
1.In Times of Struggle
Every negative experience; every time of struggle, can then be viewed as an opportunity for tremendous growth. Alike to a caterpillar burrowing from its chrysalis. When all of its forming and changing is complete, its metamorphism has transformed it into a magnificent butterfly. It has shed its former skin, and flown on the wings of new life and a new way of being.
2. In Times of Healing
Some may find it hard to believe that everything happens for a reason, especially when experiencing grief or loss. At the time it may be very difficult to see the blessing in it, as all that is being felt is pain. But it is through our lowest points in life, where we gain the wisdom and allow for new-found strength to emerge. Without loss we wouldn’t appreciate gain, without grief we wouldn’t appreciate love. Without death, we wouldn’t appreciate life and without fear, we wouldn’t appreciate love.
3. In Times of Happiness
By far, the most victorious of all happen stances, when it all comes together in one moment, the AHA moment as the metaphorical photo finally develops. When we reach the point, after all of the struggles, the self-substantiating realization beams through and we finally see the wisdom behind the subconscious choices we’ve made. Clarity shines through like the morning sun peeking out on the earths horizon.
4. In Times of Chaos
True chaos, cannot be chaos for as long as there is choice involved. Things may appear to be random, but as we all know appearances lie.
“To someone who can’t read, letters on a page appear to be randomly chose when in reality they are precisely ordered.”- Deepak Chopra
Meaningful coincidences and synchronicities may also be viewed as random events with no connection, yet to the eye of the beholder, those events would have a real purpose and meaning.
5. In Times of Reflection
We see the pieces of the puzzle begin to come together, each unfolding a beautiful picture. The pain, the turmoil, the struggles and the victories, each essential building blocks to the molding of who we are today in this present moment. An unfinished product, always growing, learning and experiencing. And by reflection we see, why it had to happen the way it did.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life”- Steve Jobs
This egg-shaped abode is powered by solar and wind energy, includes rainwater collection and filtration, and even has a kitchenette that can be used to prepare a hot meal.
Ambition to live off-grid does not come without its difficulties. First, there is the task of explaining to your friends and family members why you desire to detach from mainstream society and live peacefully in nature. And second, there are the logistics of how you might actually survive the Earth’s fluctuating weather patterns while taking care of basic necessities like running water, a flushing toilet, or even a fire pit to cook food over.
But soon such woes may no longer be a concern, as an ingenious little egg-shaped tiny home has just been unveiled to the world with capabilities that far surpass most other off-grid abodes.
Credit: Nice Architects
Credit: Nice Architects
Designed by Bratislava-based Nice Architects, the Ecocapsule is a micro-shelter that offers a variety of sustainable offerings. Ultra-portable, the capsule is powered by solar and wind energy, includes rainwater collection and filtration, and even has a tiny kitchenette that can be used to prepare a hot meal.
Truly, this is one of the most impressive off-grid luxury tiny homes we’ve ever seen.
Credit: Nice Architects
In the egg-spaced shape measuring 4.5 meters (14.6 feet) in length, 2.4 meters (7.9 feet) in width, and 2.5 meters in height (8.2 feet), there seems to be enough space to compactly fit all the home necessities.
The total usable floor space is eight square meters (86 square feet), enough space, say the designers, to comfortably fit two adults. The home with a tiny footprint includes a folding bed, two large operable windows, a working/dining area, shower and flushable toilet, storage space, and a built-in kitchenette with running water.
Credit: Nice Architects
Credit: Nice Architects
The built-in 750W wind turbine and 2.6-square-meter array of high efficiency solar cells (600W output) power the Ecocapsule. A dual-power system and high-capacity battery (9,744Wh capacity) ensures the rounded shell stays operable even during times of low solar and wind activity.
In addition, the high-tech shelter is optimized for rainwater collection. Each Ecocapsule weighs approximately 1,5000 kilograms and can fit inside a standard shipping container.
Credit: Nice Architects
While you’re not alone in your desire to quickly order an Ecocapsule, they are not yet for sale. At present, only renderings and diagrams of the Ecocapsule are available; however, Nice Architects plans to unveil a prototype at the Pioneers festival in Vienna on May 28, 2015.
Having taken seven years to complete the wondrous Ecocapsule, the Nice Architects plans to release the tiny home for sale later this year. The first produced units are planned to be delivered in the first half of 2016.
As shown below, maybe it could also be a sustainable solution for those who currently live without a safe, secure home?
Credit: Nice Architects
What are your thoughts on this ingenious off-grid home? Share in the comments section below.
I’m still looked at strange when I ask for a water with no straw when ordering a drink at a restaurant. I can’t wait for the day when asking for a straw garners that same response.
Watch this video and you’ll see why:
According to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)‚ garbage that washes into sewers or flies from beaches or landfills into the ocean can easily injure or entangle sensitive marine animals. On land, discarded plastic soda rings, bottles, cans and even straws can kill wildlife as well as cats and dogs. Thankfully there are many ways to prevent damage caused by everyday trash items.
What can you do about it? Read this article on “22 Facts About Plastic Pollution and 10 Things You Can Do About It.”
SYDNEY.- An Australian museum said Monday it would exhibit what it believes is the best opal stone ever found — a 6.0-centimetre (2.4 inch) multi-coloured gem unearthed in the Outback named the Virgin Rainbow.
The South Australian Museum said the stone, valued at more than Aus$1.0 million (US$730,000), would go on public display for the first time in September to mark the centenary of opal mining in the country.
“It’s of unequalled quality, it’s a fully crystal opal,” museum director Brian Oldman told AFP.
“It’s almost as if there’s a fire in there; you see all different colours. As the light changes, the opal itself changes. It’s quite an amazing trick of nature.”
Dug up in the South Australia desert town of Coober Pedy in 2003 by local miners, the Virgin Rainbow came into the museum’s possession about 18 months ago and will be part of an exhibition opening in Adelaide next month.
Some 90 percent of the world’s opals come from South Australia, once covered by an inland sea which over millions of years provided an ideal environment for the formation of the stone.
“I think this exhibition will have the finest collection of precious opals that we believe have been brought to one place in the world,” Oldman added.
Opals were first discovered at Coober Pedy — widely-known as the opal capital of the world — in 1914 by a boy named Willie Hutchison who was on a gold mining expedition with his father.
“The story goes that Willie set out in search for water one day, rather than staying at camp as he’d been instructed to do by his father,” Oldman said. “He came back to camp with water, but also with precious opal gemstones.”
In the past decade, the analysis of ancient DNA from fossil skeletons of anatomically modern humans has revealed a startling fact: some of our direct ancestors had sex with Neanderthals, producing fertile offspring. Prior to these genetic revelations, anthropological researchers were divided between those who firmly believed that such unions either did not occur, or that they could not have yielded sexually fertile offspring, because the differences between early modern humans and Neanderthal genomes would have been too great.
Now that the closeness between the DNA of early modern humans and Neanderthals has been established, geneticists have begun to find a few rare fossils that contain a mixture of the two. A new study presents the latest and perhaps most intriguing of these discoveries: A fossil jawbone of a male, human skull that has been radiocarbon dated at 37,000 to 42,000 years ago. The fossils came from a site called Peştera cu Oase in Romania, making it one of the oldest early modern humans known from Europe.
The fact that this individual carried more Neanderthal DNA than any other anatomically modern human ever tested is surprising and means that the mating between a Neanderthal and a modern human took place as recently as in his great-grandfather’s generation. Statistical analysis of the DNA composition of the skeleton suggests that the person carried as much as 8-11% Neanderthal genes in his DNA.
The enigma of modern Europeans’ DNA
Surprisingly, in spite of the two populations being in contact for many thousands of years, there is no DNA evidence for interbreeding between Neanderthals and the ancestors of the Europeans living today. In fact, segments of Neanderthal DNA turn up in modern human DNA from East Asians and Native Americans far more than they do from Europeans. But if the anatomically modern human population of ice-age Romania did interbreed with Neanderthals, then why didn’t the Neanderthal DNA signature carry through to modern Europeans?
The research sheds some light on this conundrum as well. It appears that the ancient Romanians were not the direct ancestors of modern Europeans. Instead it was immigrant populations of early humans originating from the Middle East and southeast Europe that passed on their genes while sweeping through Europe, bringing farming and animal husbandry with them. This new lifestyle replaced the hunter-gather way of life that had characterised all previous human societies.
Other ancient skeletons of modern humans from Eurasia help flesh out the story of relations between Neadnerthals and humans from the last ice age. An individual from the Kostenki 14 site in western Russia shared from 1.7-3.8% DNA with Neanderthals (Location 2 on the map). This skeleton was dated to 36,000-39,000 years old, and the individual was more closely related to later Europeans than to East Asians.
The studies of the Kostenki 14 and Ust’-Ishim specimens show that gene flow from Neanderthals to modern humans at these sites occurred well before these individuals lived. In the latter case, it could have been around a thousand years before the Ust’-Isham individual lived – much earlier than in Romania.
The fascinating findings, made thanks to the rapid advances in genome sequencing that we’ve seen over the past decade, represent important but small pieces of the puzzle describing the origin of the humans living today. No doubt will many more secrets be unveiled in the near future.
Each father’s day we celebrate male parental care. But this year – perhaps while getting the old man an appreciative gift -– maybe have a think about why men want to care for their children at all. As opposed to, say, eating them alive.
Fatherhood comes so naturally to us that we can easily forget to ask about how and why it might have evolved. In fact, most fathers in the animal kingdom don’t do it. We fall into a rather rare group of species where males provide any care at all.
In our primate relatives, for instance, males are not at all doting – with a few exceptions, like male marmosets, who carry babies on their backs. This lightens the load on the female – presumably allowing her to make the male’s babies bigger, or to have more of them.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder?
Among mammals, dads rarely contribute to offspring beyond a single sperm – the mother generally nurses offspring alone. Except in Dayak fruit bats, where males have been found lactating (although still contentious).
It is in birds that male-female cooperation is most common, probably because feeding chicks and keeping them safe and warm is a two-person job. But in other birds – where newborn chicks can get up and walk for themselves, like chickens and ducks – the male is typically nowhere to be seen. He’s off soliciting new mates.
Best of a bad job
Males will sometimes help females out if they are unlikely to find another mate. Burying beetles breed on fresh mouse carcasses, which are very scarce. Having finally found a carcass, a male will stick around and help the female care because he is unlikely to find another – but he will also keep signalling to attract other females. The resident female is understandably not on board with this, and knocks him over while he’s trying to signal.
In many familiar species like gorillas and lions, males that appear to be caring are really mostly concerned about guarding their baby-mamas from rival males; the offspring are kept safe as a byproduct.
Yet some amazing examples of biparental care exist. In Peruvian poison frogs, the male carefully carries his tadpoles to a water pool. There, he monitors their progress for months: every week or so the watchful male calls to the female, who comes and deposits special nutritional eggs into the pool for the tadpoles to eat.
But in most cases, fathers are conspicuous by their absence – deserting the female as soon as they can.
Why so callous? To begin with, super-cheap sperm means the most successful males can potentially have unlimited offspring – if the species’ ecology allows it. This can even hold true for humans. The Sultan Moulay Ismail of Morocco, for example, may have had more than 1,000 children (compare that to the women’s record, a nevertheless astonishing 69).
But because it takes two to create a baby, the fact that some males can be extremely successful means that others get nothing (Ismail’s citadel must have been full of childless men). Today we think of ourselves as monogamous, but there are often still more childless men than women. For those male animals that are more successful, caring interferes with a winner’s strategy of pursuing mating. So in evolutionary terms males need a very, very good reason to care for offspring, or they will always do better seeking mates.
Sometimes males have no choice but to care. Some males have to “mate-guard” females against rival males, right up until egg-laying – whereupon the female can run away leaving the male holding the babies. In others, like kiwis, females produce huge offspring and exhaust themselves, leaving males little option but to care. In Neanthes worms, before caring, the male resourcefully eats the female.
Occasionally, as in jacanas, males greatly outnumber females, who can therefore get away with dumping males with offspring. These males are unlikely to secure another mate, so their best option is to care.
But many of these “superdads” do some pretty cold calculus. Single dads are most likely to evolve where they still can mate while caring, and where care is cheap (like standing guard as opposed to feeding young). In territorial species like rheas and egg-laying fish, males with good territories guard clutches from many females. Or they make sure to seal the deal on their paternity. A male giant water bug carries only one female’s eggs on his back – but he makes the female mate several times while laying eggs.
In assassin bugs, males also accumulate eggs from many females, like rheas. But care is hungry work for these predators. They have a dark solution: to maintain body weight, they eat some of their own eggs.
Where do human fathers fit? They don’t habitually eat offspring, nor do they accumulate piles of babies from many women. As always, there is a lot of variation. Some are not involved, like the male chimpanzees to whom we are most closely related. But many enjoy a long and satisfying fatherhood, both teaching and learning from their children. These men may be more like wolf fathers – who provide food for their partner while she is pregnant and for their cubs once weaned; they also critically provide behavioural input in terms of play, and act as a role model. Most likely, this has evolved because such learning and experience are vital to offspring success in both species.
As a new dad myself, this father’s day, I am thankful I belong to a species where fathers can make a valuable contribution to their offspring’s lives beyond mere genetics.