Read something uplifting while drinking your coffee!

Read something uplifting while drinking your coffee!

Books also make the best gift, that lasts a lifetime 🙂

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Inspirational movie: The Botany of Desire (documentary, 2013)

Last night, I craved a documentary. I know it’s funny, people crave food or something else that comes to mind at night, but I very often crave for a good movie! I know that I won’t be disappointed with a documentary about plants, so I choose to watch this one. And was I right, or was I right?!

The movie has four parts, or four stories, based on four plants that had huge impact in human life over the years :APPLES, TULIPS, MARIJUANA AND POTATOES. It is also based on the homonymous book by Michael Pollan. The twist: How these plants “thoughtfully” influenced humans to gain their popularity!

Let me explain. The apples originated from Kazakhstan, county in central Asia. From there, they were first scattered around by the bears who loved the sweetness of the fruit, but later, from the humans who also enjoyed the sweet fruit with lovely color! Not all apples were sweet, but the ones who were, the juiciest, biggest, most desired ones were, and these are the ones who got picked and carried in the bags of humans to be planted in other countries!

The movie goes on to explain how the same things happens with tulips (the tulip madness in Holland) and now with Marijuana. 

The wisdom you get from this movie is unique, in a sense of understanding the power of silently improving yourself so much so that you become the most desired “fruit”, everyone gets “hungry” for! Plants have much more wisdom than people give them credit for. They have been on this Earth long before we came here, outlived so many animals and will be here long after we’re gone. They adapt to the conditions and desires of their surrounding so that the surrounding can work for them! So clever!

I think this was sufficient to say for now. What you should, or better yet, MUST do is watch the entire thing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIChx00z7aw

Enjoy!

Reach for the stars to Change The World!

Reach for the stars to Change The World!

You can’t change the world with your head in the ground. You have to look up. See what’s around you and understand how everything can be improved.
Reach for the stars. Reach higher and find all new opportunities. Don’t settle. Just because your life was mediocre yesterday, doesn’t mean it has to be the same today. Today you can be great! Tomorrow even better! Change your world. Improve your own, so the rest of the world can improve as well.

The power of books!

The power of books!

Read this story, about an actress, Lyne Renee,becoming painter, after reading a book! 

Lyne Reneepicture from IMDB

Quoting Robin Sharma, she said that after years of telling herself that she can’t be an artist, a painter, like her mother, understanding that “telling yourself you can’t do something, impose that limit upon yourself”, she started painting a portrait of her friend, followed by many other paintings. 

That is the power of reading books. Just one paragraph, or sentence of the book can ignite a fire in your mind that will inspire you to take action and achieve more than you ever thought you could!

Read a great book tonight! Just do it! And let me know what greatness happens next 😉

 

Movie: Prisoners (2013)

This is not one of the “inspirational movies” review I give, because it’s not typical inspirational movie. This one is much more intensive, dramatic, disturbing, thrilling! It’s packed with award-winning actors, which makes you excited to watch it, because you expect amazing acting and performances for an award-winning movie.

The main character is played by Hugh Jackman, a father who teaches his family to be ready for disasters, keeping them safe and sound. But when visiting friends for Thanksgiving, his daughter Anna goes missing and he losses his mind in trying to find her. His wife cannot believe what happened, because he always made them feel protected and safe.

That’s when the police detective Loki, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, steps in, as the detective who solved every crime and gets the results fast. This time, he doesn’t get anything fast. The movie is over 2 hours long and he loses his tracks few times.

Their lead is the driver of an RV, who turns out to be mentally challenged, and released of charges, yet the concerned father believes this guy knows something. The torture shown is very disturbing. The performances of Viola Davis and Terrence Howard, the parents of the other girl who went missing along with Anna, seeing the kidnapped man, played by Paul Dano, are incredibly realistic as well. Makes you feel the pain and makes you sick!

 

The story is real. Children get kidnapped and missing every day. The characters with their extremes, although disturbing, are very true. There is nothing that a parent won’t do, to get his child back. And, on the other hand, there is nothing more courageous than a child who wants to go home.

Overall, I loved the performances. It’s no secret that these actors are great! Even the ones that get a minor roles and not much screen time, like Viola Davis or Melissa Leo, make the movie more intense. The movie could have been more edited at some places and by the end much was left for the imagination, a lot of the story was unfinished, but the point was made.

You have to watch this movie for the great performances. Close your eyes if you can’t get through the torture and sickening parts, but watch the rest. The actors really gave it all!

Where’s my daughter? Where’s my daughter! Every day she’s wondering why I’m not there, me! Not you!

One of my favorite real-life stories

This is a real life, that seems so surreal, unusual, almost like fantasy movie, or rather yet, an animated children movie. Absolutely love this story. I know it is old, many of you maybe have already read about it, nonetheless, I had to share it:

– for those who haven’t read it—>to be amazed and inspired

– for those who know it—> to reread it and re-experience the magnificent life

Enjoy!

Born in Namibia, to French wildlife photographer parents, growing up in Africa, this lovely child, now 23 years old, had elephant, cheetah and bullfrog as friends.

You can enjoy more pictures and the entire story in the book:

English:
Tippi – My Book of Africa

French:
Mon livre d’Afrique

Deutsch:
Tippi aus Afrika. Das Mädchen, das mit den Tieren spricht.

Happy Birthday Woody Allen

I should stop ruining my life searching for answers I’m never gonna get, and just enjoy it while it lasts.

Happy birthday Woody Allen, one of the best writers, directors, comedians. He may not be liked for his type of movies, or how he skips award shows, or his view of love, but he knows how to live his life, learning to be entirely satisfied with who he is! That is something you can learn from him. Here are couple of excerpts from his interviews:

I have no apprehension whatsoever. I’ve been through this so many times. And I found that one way or the other, your life doesn’t change at all. Which is sad, in a way. Because the people love your film… nothing great happens. And people hate your film… nothing terrible happens. Many years ago, I would… I would… a film of mine would open, and it would get great reviews, and I would go down and look at the movie theater. There’d be a line around the block. And when a film is reviled, you open a film and people say “Oh, it’s the stupidest thing, it’s the worst movie.” You think: oh, nobody’s going to ever speak to you again. But, it doesn’t happen. Nobody cares. You know, they read it and they say “Oh, they hated your film.” You care, at the time. But they don’t. Nobody else cares. They’re not interested. They’ve got their own lives, and their own problems, and their own shadows on their lungs, and their x-rays. And, you know, they’ve got their own stuff they’re dealing with…. So, I’m just never nervous about it.

I made the statement years ago which is often quoted that 80 percent of life is showing up. People used to always say to me that they wanted to write a play, they wanted to write a movie, they wanted to write a novel, and the couple of people that did it were 80 percent of the way to having something happen. All the other people struck out without ever getting that pack. They couldn’t do it, that’s why they don’t accomplish a thing, they don’t do the thing, so once you do it, if you actually write your film script, or write your novel, you are more than half way towards something good happening. So that I was say my biggest life lesson that has worked. All others have failed me.

Like the Flowing River by Paulo Coelho

This is the ONLY book he has the English rights. An incredible compilation of inspiration, motivation and pure wisdom! When reading Coelho, you always get excited and calmed at the same time. You get filled with love and understanding.

Don’t stop at the Alchemist. Read more, and read now! It’s the best food for thought that you can “eat” over and over again!

Get it now!

Thanks to ROBIN SHARMA

I don’t know if I have told you yet, but I loooove reading books. It’s my way of relaxing and enjoying and shutting myself from the world, even when I read in a room full of people.

Now, in the spirit of Thanksgiving and giving thanks to everything that matters in our lives, I wanted to give thanks to the man who have saved me from depression and hurting myself, over and over again, ROBIN SHARMA!

Every single book he had written had left me better than it found me! I started from the Megaliving! Change your life in 30 days, and I really changed my life. His step-by-step process of telling you what to do, showing you the right path and not making you feel overwhelmed by the exercises and the tasks you need to do, are perfect for anyone who wants to be better. It can be applied to any area of your life: health, wealth, education, relationships, business, family, love, exercises, anything! I started with health myself, and it did wonders! I have never thought I could change in just 30 days! It was after the first week when I realized I CAN DO THIS! And after the first 30 days, I have realized that not only I can do this, I WANT TO DO THIS FOREVER!

Start off with this book and develop the last month of this year into the beginning of the best life you can have!

Be happy with what you already have and really OWN what you HAVE

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Although I do not live in the US, and do not have tradition to celebrate Thanksgiving on this day, I can’t help but feel the excitement over this holiday from the Internet. In my country, we have a day, similar to Thanksgiving, where we ask for forgiveness and show our appreciation to the people in our lives. However, I do not believe in having just one day like this. We should be thankful for what we have, and who we have in our lives EVERYDAY! 

I am especially concerned about the possibility of not-being thankful for the people we have in our lives already, and dismissing them if they do something wrong, or if they change in any way. It’s the mentality of our new generation, to “buy it new” when the old one is not working, instead of trying to fix and upgrade what we already have

Yes, I am talking about broken relationships with family, friends, partners, colleagues, neighbors. The relationships we have forgotten of; the family we do not like because of their religious or political beliefs; the neighbors we do not say Hi to and hide from because they smell of Sauerkraut every time we see them; or the friends that became depressed since they got fired and make us depressed when we talk to them.

You can have many people in your life, I’m not talking about not being friendly or communicative to others. No, I’m talking about cherishing the ones you already have in your life! I’m talking about understanding where they come from, and helping them in their journey. I’m talking about not giving up on the ones who feel lost or confused. I’m talking about LOVE! Unconditional love to everyone that are a part of your life!

So often we say “Oh, we are not in touch anymore, I don’t know what happened, but she just lost her way and I can’t be around people who are lost!” But we don’t know the whole story. We don’t try to help. We don’t remember all the good times and make sure they remember it as well. Sometimes, people need to hear the positive. Sometimes, all we need to do is smile! Sometimes, all people need is LOVE!

So, I beg you, at least today, don’t dismiss your grandparents, or your aunts and uncles sitting at your Thanksgiving table; don’t roll your eyes when they ask you questions you don’t want to hear; don’t be nervous or wishing you were sitting with someone else in that moment. LOVE YOUR FAMILY and FRIENDS and the ones who are spending their time with you. Don’t give up on them, because, if it was the other way around, you wouldn’t want them to give up on you!

 

I read this somewhere on Facebook, and I thought it would fit in this post. I hope you’ll be inspired and more thankful for the people in your life today!

Brad Pitt about his wife:

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My wife got sick. She was constantly nervous because of problems at work, personal life, her failures and children. She lost 30 pounds and weighted about 90 pounds. She got very skinny and was constantly crying. She was not a happy woman. She had suffered from continuing headaches, heart pain and jammed nerves in her back and ribs. She did not sleep well, falling asleep only in the mornings and got tired very quickly during the day. Our relationship was on the verge of a break up. Her beauty was leaving her somewhere, she had bags under her eyes, she was poking her head, and stopped taking care of herself. She refused to shoot the films and rejected any role. I lost hope and thought that we’ll get divorced soon… But then I decided to act. After all I’ve got the most beautiful woman on earth. She is the idol of more than half of men and women on earth, and I was the one allowed to fall asleep next to her and to hug her. I began to shower her with flowers, kisses and compliments. I surprised and pleased her every minute. I gave her a lot of gifts and lived just for her. I spoke in public only about her. I incorporated all themes in her direction. I praised her in front of her own and our mutual friends. You won’t believe it, but she blossomed. She became better. She gained weight, was no longer nervous and loved me even more than ever. I had no clue that she CAN love that much.

And then I realized one thing: the woman is the reflection of her man.

If you love her to the point of madness, she will become it.

Brad Pitt

Nothing has changed – nothing will ever be the same

Incredible story written by  ESA Flight Engineer Luca Parmitano, about his journey back from space! Read it! Nothing will ever be the same!

Symmetry

Closing the hatch of the Soyuz is like closing the the cover of a just-finished book. The sense of abandonment is surprising, until I realise that a last page is nothing more than an invitation to open the first page of a next book.

I console myself with this thought as I take off my ‘civilian’ clothes, a simple T-shirt and trousers, and put on my clothes for the journey back home.

Two special garments called Kentavr were developed in Russia for the return journey: a pair of knee-high socks and elastic shorts that wrap around the calves, buttocks and thighs to minimise the flow of blood towards the lower part of the body avoiding decreased blood flow to the head. I wear them directly on the skin. I set up a belt with electrodes around my chest that record my heartbeat, the same I had when I arrived at the International Space Station. On top of this, I wear the Camelia undergarment , a cotton bodysuit .

I slowly start to put on my Sokol space suit, the procedure is not as complex as the EMU suit used in spacewalks but just as important. Karen helps me stabilise the torso while I slip into the inner pressure-layer, then I hook up the headphone cables and the biomedical band. I take my time to seal myself in the suit, pulling every strap tight and checking each coupling carefully. Meanwhile, Fyodor has completed the initial checks of the spacecraft and the computer is switched on and ready to react to our inputs.

Once again I am the first to get to my seat, microgravity makes the task easier and I remember how hard it was to go through the same movements on ground, just six months ago .

It takes Karen just a few minutes to be ready in her right-hand seat and then it is Fyodor’s turn: when he switches the Soyuz living-module lights off it will be the last time. Following the procedures in our textbooks , Fyodor seals the inner hatch and then fastens his seatbelt. How many times have I reenacted this scene during simulation? The sense of déjà vu is lessened by the Olympic torch that is firmly fastened to the structure of the reentry capsule between myself and the commander.

The undocking sequence will start in a few hours but we are already busy with leak checks. They are identical to the redocking checks performed just a week ago and Fyodor, Karen and I sail through the procedure. Everything works perfectly, no surprises – we would not be happy if there were.

Undocking

The Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft departs from the International Space Station. Credits: NASA

The Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft departs from the International Space Station.
Credits: NASA

Our ground controller follows every move through telemetry and confirms our comments and repeats the timing of commands to activate the undocking sequence. It is my privilege, as flight engineer, to send the commands while Fyodor visually inspects the undocking. I start the countdown in Russian at the scheduled time and give the go-ahead for start sequence. The hum of electric motors as the Soyuz hooks are opened cannot be heard through the headphones but within a few minutes we perceive a slight movement of the aircraft. We are undocked . The Soyuz turns on its secondary engines to ensure separation. For about two orbits we will drift freely away from the station. I cannot describe the feeling I had during detachment, I am glad that I cannot see the Space Station as its contours fade until they disappear. Maybe I will never be truly ready to leave the International Space Station. Maybe I will have never really left it.

The two orbits pass with regular parameter checks and review of reentry procedures. This is Fyodor’s third Soyuz flight and he takes advantage of this quieter moment to remind us once again how to prepare for the most challenging phases.

I look out of my porthole to check spacecraft position but the clouds, mixed with the snow of the glaciers amongst the peaks that fly past beneath me seize my mind. I am overcome with the same intensity when, six months ago, my eyes gazed upon the same contrast of blue and white.

Then it is time: like hundreds of times in simulations I settle into my seat until I feel the profile along my back, tightening the seatbelts with all my strength.

Separation sequence

Separation sequence graph. Credits: NASA

Separation sequence graph. Credits: NASA

I use my gloved fingers to raise the protective cover over the buttons I will press in case of emergency – I do not want any obstructions in case I am forced to use them. While Fyodor configures his screen to send images to the Control Center, I start another countdown in Russian. The Soyuz responds perfectly , every indicator is right on schedule: a vibration verifies that the main thruster has been activated and is confirmed by a light on my screen. For a little over four minutes, the commander reads the parameters of deceleration while I compare them with previously calculated values. The difference is minimal. We all wait for the computer to calculate a speed of 128 m/s and automatic engine shutdown. Another countdown: “5 , 4, 3 , 2, 1… 1 , 2, 3…” my fingers reach for the manual override button but procedure instructs me to wait before pressing it. After three, long seconds , the engine is switched off by the computer and I relax: the separation sequence will be as planned and performed automatically. It is only a matter of minutes and the instruments on our screens show that all is going well. The three-second delay will be easily corrected during atmospheric reentry .

As scheduled, like a perfectly calibrated watch, the computer begins the separation sequence, accompanied by various alarms, lights and sounds that, after hundreds of simulations, do not surprise me but are a welcome confirmation that everything is proceeding normally. The screen formations change automatically but I have to do some checks before returning to the page about landing of the Soyuz booklet. My hands move automatically while I check that the main parachute has been selected, then I open the valves that allow ventilation after landing and close the valve that until recently let oxygen from the service module into our suits. The service module has left us to turn into a wreck as it disintegrates in the plasma that will soon surround us.

Reentry

Soyuz TMA-09M seen from BA15. Notice aircraft cockpit reflection.

Soyuz TMA-09M seen from BA15. Notice aircraft cockpit reflection.
Credit: Simon Wijker

My last look outside from space shows that we are rotating slowly as expected. Everything out there is black. A blackness I know well. I glance at the instruments: I want to be sure to catch the entry into the atmosphere that the spacecraft calculates based on our deceleration. At the exact moment that the computer indicates reentry I turn my head in the helmet of my Sokol spacesuit to look outside: a white, dense light flashes at me through the window as if the Soyuz were sinking into a thick liquid. I begin to feel the pull of gravity. I read the data on my screen, confirming the readings read aloud by Fyodor. At just 0.5 g I feel crushed by a giant hand that makes me sink into my seat. With my right arm I change the computer screen to a different formation to read the parameters of the onboard systems and it feels as if I was lifting someone else’s arm. When I read 2 g it is difficult to breathe, my chest is crushed by the weight of my suit and my body but that is just the beginning. I make an effort to look outside again and it is worth it: the spectacle of colour waiting for me outside the porthole hypnotises me – red and orange dominate the field of view and at our supersonic speed I see the remains of our heat shield burning as it passes by like a meteorite along the direction of flight , disintegrating at 1600 degrees of white heat.

“Karen, look, look outside …”, that is all I manage say.

Credits: ESA-D. Detain

Rescue helicopters.
Credits: ESA-D. Detain

The numbers continue to flow relentlessly , 2.5 g , 3 g, 4 g, 4.5 g. Now I feel the weight of the skin on my throat crushing my larynx and when I read the peak measurement at 4.91 g, I find it hard to speak the parameters. The g forces last just a few, but long, moments. When deceleration decreases it is greeted by relief from all of us . Now we are falling through Earth’s atmosphere at about 400 m/s and at regular intervals Fyodor tries radio contact, hoping to catch the signal of rescue helicopters.

Landing

Soyuz TMA-09M is seen moments before it lands southeast of the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan with the crew of Expedition 37. Credits: NASA/C.Cioffi

Soyuz TMA-09M is seen moments before it lands southeast of the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan with the crew of Expedition 37. Credits: NASA/C.Cioffi

When the parachute opens it feels like being on a roller coaster. The spaceship is tossed from side to side while rotating on its axis at 13° per second but I feel great and I laugh from pure joy. The last events occur rapidly: on the computer screen I observe the cabin depressurisation and I know that soon the remains of the heat shield that protected us from the infernal heat of the plasma will be released. With a jerk we get rid of it, then the three, pneumatically cushioned seats are released and move towards the cockpit in preparation for the impact of landing.

The rescue helicopters communicate our altitude- 2000 meters, 1500 … with surprising speed it is time to tighten our seat belts for the last time. “Brace for impact!”. I fill my lungs with air, close my mouth, stiffen all the muscles in my neck trying to push into my seat. The impact, which coincides with the firing of the retro-thrusters, empties my lungs and reverberates through my body while our seats collapse, reducing the deceleration from about 20 g to 5 g. What remains of our Soyuz bounces a couple of times before stopping on its side. Inside, we look around, three thumbs raised in front of us to confirm that we are fine. I am laughing like a child.

I feel a strong sense of almost palindromic symmetry of what I experienced. A six-hour flight brought me to the Station in May. Six hours ago I was still on board. Now I am back. Nothing has changed – nothing will ever be the same.

 

Source: http://blogs.esa.int/luca-parmitano/2013/11/27/symmetry/