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Showing posts from November 25, 2018

Anansi: The Spider Trickster

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Anansi the Spider is a very popular creature encountered in African mythology. This West African god frequently takes the form of a spider and he is considered to be not only a trickster and folk hero, but also a spirit of knowledge.
The stories of Anansi are believed to have originated from the Ashanti. Later they were re-told by the Akan people in Ghana, and from there the stories spread through West Africa.
The word Ananse is Akan and means "spider". Anansi is depicted in many different ways. Sometimes he looks like an ordinary spider, sometimes he is a spider wearing clothes or with a human face and sometimes he looks much more like a human with spider elements, such as eight legs.
During the Atlantic slave trade, the stories crossed the ocean with the slaves through oral tradition. Especially in the Caribbean, Anansi’s cunning ways are often celebrated as a symbol of slave resistance and survival.
People believe that the Anansi is able to obstruct his powerful oppresso…

Young Americans Aren't Attending Church, & Globally They're Not Alone

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For a few years in the 1950s, younger Americans loved to go to church.

A review of church attendance surveys found that in the late 1950s, half of Americans under 40 said they attended church services weekly.

Church was so popular with young people that at one point they went to church as often as older Americans, according to a recent study by Pew Research.

No more.

Today, Americans under 40 are far less likely to go to church or other religious services than those 40 and older, according to Pew’s review of data from Gallup surveys. Americans under 30 are half as likely to say they go to church as those 60 and older.

And the pattern isn’t limited to America. All over the globe, a significant number of younger people care less about religion.

“Overall, adults ages 18 to 39 are less likely than those ages 40 and older to say religion is very important to them in 46 out of 106 countries surveyed by Pew Research Center over the last decade,” according to Pew’s report.

Pew also found you…

How Existential Thought Can Be Liberating

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All of religion, no matter the infinite amount of differences, stand by a rallying cry. From Buddhism to Satanism, all religions claim that the essence (the nature) of a thing is more essential and unchanging than its existence (the mere fact of its being). This is simply stating that, even before we come into existence, we possess inherent identities and values; an individual cannot define itself. This idea is present in every religion. However, there is one school of thought that goes against this line of thinking. That belief comes from a philosophical theory called existentialism.

Existentialism was created by French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. Sartre was the first to state the fundamental existential doctrine that “existence precedes essence.” Existentialism was built around a number of key insights.

The first insight is that things are weirder than we think. Existentialists pay special attention to the moments where the world reveals itself to be far stranger and more uncanny…

What It Really Means To Be Positive

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Our brains condition us to think that the things that feel the worst are the most real.

Even when we want to see the silver lining in life, we usually revert back to just preparing for the storm that never comes. We are skeptical of being “positive” because we associate being negative with being realistic and informed.

But how realistic is it? And how informed are we? If we look back at our lives, how many times did our fears reflect reality, or predict the future? How many insurmountable problems did we ultimately forget about in favor of another thing we are still convinced we won’t get past? How many times was the worst outcome the actual outcome?

Positive people are not on a delusional high, setting themselves up for a hit of reality. They just aren’t governed by the idea that what’s most scary is most true.
Being positive doesn’t mean not acknowledging risks and suffering. It just means not believing that the worst possible outcome is the most likely. It’s just realizing that mo…

Can Someone Really Spy Through My Laptop or Smartphone Camera?

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We've connected all of our gadgets to the internet, filled them with cameras and repeatedly played fast and loose with our passwords. What could possibly go wrong?

Popular opinion has it that no-good hackers are using their skills to gain access to the cameras within our laptops, smartphones, tablets and even home security set-ups. But how true is this?

Worryingly, it's time to take the tinfoil-hat-wearing, webcam-covering conspiracy theorists seriously and man the panic stations. It's not just webcam blackmailers you need to worry about: people can and are gaining an all-too-intimate look into our lives, and surprisingly easily at that. Hit the alarm and run for your life, we've got a code red.

Who's Using My Laptop Camera To Spy On Me, & Why? While most fingers are pointing at hackers, it's not just ill-intentioned internet whizzes spying on you. In recent years everyone from the security services to schools have been found to have spied on people using …

27 Weird Facts About The Georgia Guidestones

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The Georgia Guidestones, AKA the “American Stonehenge,” are a massive granite structure in far eastern Georgia near the South Carolina border. No one knows who paid for the construction of the Georgia Guidestones, nor what exactly is meant by the strange messages engraved on them.

Here are some of the most bizarre and interesting facts about the Georgia Guidestones:

The Georgia Guidestones are almost twice as tall as Stonehenge.Nearly a quarter-million pounds of granite was used to make them.The stones have 10 messages inscribed on them. They read:MAINTAIN HUMANITY UNDER 500,000,000 IN PERPETUAL BALANCE WITH NATUREGUIDE REPRODUCTION WISELY – IMPROVING FITNESS AND DIVERSITYUNITE HUMANITY WITH A LIVING NEW LANGUAGERULE PASSION – FAITH – TRADITION – AND ALL THINGS WITH TEMPERED REASONPROTECT PEOPLE AND NATIONS WITH FAIR LAWS AND JUST COURTSLET ALL NATIONS RULE INTERNALLY RESOLVING EXTERNAL DISPUTES IN A WORLD COURTAVOID PETTY LAWS AND USELESS OFFICIALSBALANCE PERSONAL RIGHTS WITH SOCIAL D…

Meditating on Death

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I consider the inevitability of my own death a lot.

Too much, probably, for a healthy 22-year-old born into a stable, safe first-world country.

I have no reason to think that I’ll die an early death – no illnesses or pre-existing health conditions, or fondnesses for particularly risky activities – but that’s the thing: no one ever really has a reason to think that they’ll die “before their time.”

The young souls who die instantly in a car crash or freak accident, or who are killed by violence or overdose or other unnatural causes – most of them never saw it coming, and – depending on what you believe happens to a person after death –  they may never even have the chance to know about their untimely fate.

They may never have the opportunity to mourn their own early death, because well, it’ll all be over before they can even comprehend what has happened.

As you may have guessed, I don’t believe in life after death. I want to – probably more than I’ve ever wanted anything – but I just c…