Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Problem



Human population growth is probably the single most serious long-term threat to survival. We’re in for a major disaster if it isn’t curbed - not just for the natural world, but for the human world.The more people there are, the more resources they’ll consume, the more pollution they’ll create, the more fighting they will do. We have no option. If it isn’t controlled voluntarily, it will be controlled involuntarily by an increase in disease, starvation and war. - Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh


    

Also of interest: The latest book by Jim Marrs - Population Control

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Utopian Propensity


Decommissioned power-plant. 
Utrecht, The Netherlands

The Utopian propensity is a universal impulse. It’s like thinking or breathing. If we lost our minds and totally stopped thinking, then we would stop dreaming. But as long as we’re conscious, we think, and as long as we think, we’re not totally swallowed up by what’s happening in our everyday lives. We have to think ahead. We have to think of tomorrow. And we not only think about things we hope for ourselves but we also think in terms of society. If we think at all, we think that way. Sometimes we go through periods of discouragement where we don’t see the possibility of evolving to a better society. But those are very black moods and they are not sustained for long. Inevitably, we dream again. - Fritzie P. Manuel

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Over a Cup of Coffee



Over the second and the third cup flow matters of high finance, high state, common gossip and low comedy. Coffee is a social binder, a warmer of tongues, a soberer of minds, a stimulant of wit, a foiler of sleep if you want it so. From roadside mugs to the classic demi-tasse, it is the perfect democrat. - Author Unknown but greatly appreciated


     


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Friday, February 14, 2014

Only Once in Your Life...



By Bob Marley

Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. 

When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. 

Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colors seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. 


You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life. 

  Wishing everyone a very happy St. Valentine's Day Dominique


         

Friday, February 7, 2014

If You Really Loved Me You Would Eat Garlic



Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. 
It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. - Neil Gaiman

What does love have to do with garlic? Exactly! Nothing. Nothing at all. I borrowed the title from the brilliant Paul Watzlawick. In his book "The Situation Is Hopeless But Not Serious" he describes a situation that is staged and played with virtuosity by many couples:

A husband comes home from work and his wife announces that the dinner is almost ready. She's got a new recipe and wants him to try it. She serves the dinner and after a moment of silence asks her husband if he likes the food. If he likes the food everything is all right and they  both can look forward into a pleasant evening. But if he doesn't like the food things become very complicated. The poor man knows that she will be offended and maybe even angry if he doesn't like the food. But if he tells her he likes it she may be inclined to cook it more often. To save his own skin he tells her that this dish has an interesting taste and continues eating quietly hoping that there is no second serving.

Now imagine that the man is brave enough and tells his wife he does not like the food she is serving and she really gets upset. She tells him that she went through so much trouble, got all the ingredients and spent hours preparing the meal and he is ungrateful and does not even like the food. He probably does not even love her because if he did he would appreciate her sacrifice. She could have spent her afternoon reading or watching TV, but instead wasted it in the kitchen... This probably is only the first act of a drama that will continue for the rest of the evening. Accusation, grudges, tears.

This is quite hilarious and you may wonder how it is even possible that people behaved like that. Well, believe me, it is possible. I know a man who hated grapes, but ate them for ten years to please his wife. On their 10th anniversary he told her that he actually hated grapes and would not touch a single one till the end of his life. The wife was speechless. When she asked him why he did not tell her about it earlier he simply stated that he did not want to make her angry or unhappy because she always went to so much trouble to buy the ripest and tastiest grapes she could only get.

Food is only one example. But how many man end up in theaters watching romances or going to boring parties. How many women go hiking or end up watching a baseball game to please the partner. How many things are done out of fear of loosing the loved one.

If you really loved me you would...

We may laugh, but you know what? Laughter actually freezes on my lips. Relationships based on fear have no chance of survival and have nothing to do with love. Our love does not give us any right to manipulate or subjugate the person we love. We have no right to control the person we love or decide what is right for him or her. We cannot demand to be loved and we cannot force anyone to like what we like because they love us. We do not threaten or blackmail those who love us and we do not sell our love for a plate of a bad gourmet soup. We must accept that the person we love is a free human being, free to stay and free to go.

So many tragedies, small and big ones, could be avoided if people trusted one another and communicated with honesty; but most importantly, if they did not bind their love or happiness to conditions and treated their partners as their equals.

Dominique Allmon

Dominique Allmon©2014

      
      

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Salt


Still Life - Abraham van Beijeren
Still Life - Abraham van Beijeren

There is an old fairytale that tells us how important salt is in our lives.

"Once upon a time there was an old king who lived in a far away kingdom. The king had three daughters and, knowing that his life was nearing its end, wished to give his kingdom to the wisest and most loving of the three. He summoned his royal daughters and announced that the one who loves him the most will inherit the throne.

He asked his oldest daughter if she loved him. The beautiful young lady said that she loved her royal father as much as she loved the most precious jewels and could not imagine life without him. Jewels made even the most dull garments shine! The king nodded, very pleased with the answer. 

His second daughter was a cunning girl. Asked if she loved her father she compared her love the a most exquisite twelve-tier cake that gets sweeter with every bite. Sugar made even the most vicious lie sound sweet! This answer did not surprised the king who knew her predisposition to sweet talk. Very pleased the king turned to his youngest daughter and waited for the answer.

The third daughter was a quiet, pensive child who hardly played with other children. Instead one could almost certainly find her in the castle's library perusing old leather bound volumes. 

The girl looked at her father and quietly answered that she loved him as much as she loved salt. Before she could even explain why the king got up. This answer so enraged the old man that he banished her from the kingdom. He ordered his guards to immediately drag her out of the castle. She was never to return. 

Visibly aggravated with the insolence of his youngest child the king ordered the confiscation and destruction of every single grain of salt that was stored in his kingdom. He issued a royal decree by which salt was banned forever.

When his rage subsided he ordered a large banquet that was to take place the next day. Three hundred twenty cooks were to prepare a meal that was unheard of. No expenses were to be spared. Delicacies from all over the world were to be served to five hundred noble guests who arrived from all corners of his kingdom. The king wished to announce to the world which of the two young beauties would inherit his throne. 

The butchers, fishmongers, bakers, cooks, p√Ętissiers, and countless kitchen maids had to get busy right away. Together they prepared a banquet that surpassed in grandness everything the courtiers had ever seen before. Fragrant roasts were carried in and served on silver platters with exotic fruit and vegetable. Stews and sauces were followed by platters of pastry and fragrant cakes. The most exquisite wine was served. 

Among the Ohs! and Ahs! a toast was made in honor of the king and his daughters and the court musicians played sweet music to make the joyful event even more pleasurable. 

But when the king and his guests tried the food something quite unexpected happened. The  king got up and the music stopped. There was silence and consternation. Everyone was shocked and no one touched the food. Instead of prizing the dishes the enraged king shouted at the servants and demanded explanation. This was the worst food he has ever had in his entire life! He ordered an immediate  execution of all the cooks who dared to prepare such an unpalatable meal.

Horrified, the royal chamberlain fell to his knees and begged for mercy. He explained that the cooks faithfully followed the recipes as they were inscribed in the ancient royal cookbooks. The only ingredient that they omitted was salt as there was none in the entire kingdom.

How could that be!? Salt was such an insignificant ingredient! But before the enraged king could say anything at all he understood the unsurpassed wisdom and love of his youngest daughter. Salt was more precious than anything! King or commoner, no one could ever enjoy a decent meal without it. That's how important salt was..."

This story has a happy ending. As you can imagine the youngest daughter returned and became a wise ruler of the kingdom. Salt was elevated in its status and everyone lived happily ever after. And you would too if you considered that salt is not simply a useful condiment that enhances the taste of your food but rather an essential ingredient that helps us maintain healthy life. 

But the salt that is good for you has little to do with the industrially manufactured sodium chloride that you find in so many homes and restaurants.

To learn more you will have to read my next article about salt.

Dominique Allmon