Dictionary.com had hot word “California” and its origins. Have a read.
Early mapmakers began labeling the “island” as California, the name of a mythical island in a book called Las Sergas de Esplandián, “The Adventures of Esplandián,” written by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo. The book was part of a popular series of Spanish romance stories.
In the book, the mythical California is ruled by Queen Califa and populated only with female warriors who brandish gold weapons. They even harness their animals in gold because it is the only mineral on the island.
Leaders in Europe and America have to take out dusty books of philosophy and check why Socrates and his ideas are still valid today:
- They’ve Never Been Rendered Obsolete
- He Taught Us to Question Everything
- He Taught Us That Life is Worthless Without Happiness
- He Taught Us to Ask if There’s Such a Thing as a Just War
- He Advocated True Freedom of Speech
- He Invented Philosophical Ethics
- He Was a Champion of Human Virtue
- He Warned Us of the Follies of Materialism
- He Taught Us the Value of Civil Disobedience
- He Taught Us to Stand Up For What We Believe
Since Protagoras’ famous “man is the measure of all things,” declaring human freedom as an unlimited absolute, philosophers have been fascinated with the idea of freedom.
Philosopher/scholar Adler categorized freedom as:
- acquired state of mind
- self-determination: to determine — not necessarily carry-out — wishes/actions in life
Gandhi thought, “freedom isn’t worth having if it doesn’t connote freedom to err.”
Hindu/Buddhist freedom is embedded in moksha; to Chuang Tzu freedom meant “free yourself from the world.”
In modern China/world, freedom is “fusion of personal, national, social, civic, and moral freedoms” or “liberation, self-development, independent personality/responsibility, democracy/human-rights, spiritual-cultural necessity, privacy, autonomy/self-mastery.
Hip-hop, an artistic expression/culture formed during 70s in Bronx, is a combination of terms — “hip” was used in African-American vernacular English starting in 1898, meaning current or in the know, and “hop” from “to hop.”
Hip-hop was the creative coalescence of the then popular funk music, self-appointed disk-scratching DJs, break-dancing MCs, improv lyricist-rappers and complementary street art (graffiti) which visualized a culture tinged with social bias, racism and ethnic rebellion. It went mainstream in 1979 by “Rapper’s Delight.”
Creativity in street (hip-hop) and classic (jazz) musical traditions is now being employed by neuroscience in exploring brain performance during creative processes.
4.5 billion years of evolution taught nature what works and what lasts.
We’ve been increasingly distancing ourselves from nature: agricultural revolution – grow stock and abandon hunting/gathering; scientific revolution – “torture nature for her secrets;” industrial revolution – machines replace muscles.
Biomimicry is the study of nature for solutions to our problems. Having 96% of our bodies built upon carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, nature can teach us how to:
- use only the energy needed
- fit form to function
- recycle everything
- curb excesses from within
- tap the power of limits
- devise systems that can face unknown situations
- update ourselves by feedback loops
Stats about our universe (in 199 words – didn’t make sense to split):
Did you know that:
Every 14 days a language dies. By 2100, more than half of the more than 7,000 languages spoken on Earth—many not yet recorded—may disappear.
According to Ethnologue, 473 languages currently are close to extinction. In Americas alone, 182 are endangered.
Rosetta Project aims to create a global library of human languages. Its Rosetta Disk contains 14,000 pages (each page an image) etched onto its surface – to be read using 500x microscope.
According to one research, when two languages compete, only one survives while the other declines exponentially. Policies, education and advertising can slow this process.
What you might not know is that Dalai Lama is considered a “religious dictator” (against his “competitor” Dorje Shugden‘s worshippers) by some.
In the West, he is mostly beloved/admired for his intense charism and Hollywood connections, projecting an image of an avuncular “Santa Claus.” Western fans see in him a “secular saint” or a “politically correct god for a godless world”.
Furthermore, admiration for Dalai Lama taps into older Western ideas about Tibet (forbidden to Westerners during 1792-1903 period) as a remote and mystical Shangri-La.
Sleep is the best way to meditate according to Dalai Lama.
At 5, Einstein began violin lessons but soon found drills trying, once throwing a chair at his teacher. At 13, he discovered Mozart‘s sonatas.
Einstein thought that Mozart’s music “was so pure that it seemed to have been ever-present in the universe, waiting to be discovered by the master.” According to him, laws of nature (relativity theory) were waiting to be plucked out of the cosmos by someone with a sympathetic ear.
Passionate/accomplished violinist, Einstein often performed at musical evenings.
Mozart helped laying groundwork for Romanticism. Similarly, Einstein’s relativity completed the era of classical physics and paved the way for atomic physics.