Exploding stars may have caused mass extinction on Earth, study shows

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Imagine reading by the light of an exploded star, brighter than a full moon -- it might be fun to think about, but this scene is the prelude to a disaster when the radiation devastates life as we know it. Killer cosmic rays from nearby supernovae could be the culprit behind at least one mass extinction event, researchers said, and finding certain radioactive isotopes in Earth's rock record could confirm this scenario.

A new study led by University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign astronomy and physics professor Brian Fields explores the possibility that astronomical events were responsible for an extinction event 359 million years ago, at the boundary between the Devonian and Carboniferous periods.

The paper is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Read more: Exploding stars may have caused mass extinction on Earth, study shows

What are Words Worth?

Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil

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Let’s face it, no matter what some might say, in many parts of the world political debates have entirely deteriorated. They have turned like going into combat – the gladiators are ready to fight, looking for any and every way to find flaws in the opponent’s argument, while minds are not open to the opponent’s beliefs. This type of debate, whereby the main objective is to destroy the opponent’s character and status. leads to mud throwing, insults and under the belt, personal attacks. Instead of elucidating debaters’ standpoint through utilizing rhetorical eloquence, the level of the deliberations has sunk so miserably low that watching such a confrontation has become the worst thinkable nightmare.

Conclusion: nowadays most political debates are unbrotherly and absolutely useless.

Read more: What are Words Worth?

Let America Be America Again

Let America Be America Again - Langston Hughes - 1902-1967

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 Let America be America again.

Let it be the dream it used to be.

Let it be the pioneer on the plain

Seeking a home where he himself is free.


(America never was America to me.)

Read more: Let America Be America Again

Focus – A simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction: Part 29

Leo Babauta – USA

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Managers transforming office culture

If you’re an employee with little control over your schedule, there might not be too many ideas for finding focus that you can implement during your work day. In that case, I suggest you

1) implement what you can; and

2) buy a copy of this book for your manager and/or upper management, and especially point them to this chapter.

The rest of this chapter is for management: CEOs, vice presidents, supervisors, middle managers, small employers. Bosses of all kinds. Anyone who controls the schedules of others, or has influence on the policies and office culture that determine how people work.

Read more: Focus – A simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction: Part 29

A Practical Guide to Death and Dying – part 8 (end)

John White – USA

[A Practical Guide to Death and Dying was originally published by QUEST books in 1980. This particular version was previously published in the Theosophical Digest, y1992 v4 i2-p90.] 

Other Planes of Existence.

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It was St. Paul who pointed out that the proper term is heavens—plural — not heaven. In other words, embracing and interpenetrating the three-dimensional world with which we are familiar, there are other worlds, other planes of existence, other realms of nature. As I said, science is now beginning to recognize the multi-dimensionality of the universe in which you can pass from one set of dimensions to another, as in the notion that black holes in space connect matter and antimatter universes.

One of the most useful contemporary presentations of the nature of the afterlife worlds is found in a book by Dr. George Meek. In After We Die, What Then? he offers what he calls “A Blueprint of Immortality,” showing, in a large multicolored diagram with accompanying text, what post-mortem existence is like.

Read more: A Practical Guide to Death and Dying – part 8 (end)

Animal Rights – A Scientific and Spiritual View — III

Michiel Haas – the Netherlands

Ahimsa: The Solution without Animal Suffering


In part I of this series of  articles we saw that most scientists agree that all vertebrates, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish are to a certain extent conscious, have feelings and can suffer pain. Spiritually, evidence strongly suggests that animals have a soul, often a group soul, but there are certainly animals that have already been individualized. And there are clear indications for reincarnation of animals, as appears from conversations with these animals.

In part II we learnt that we cannot ignore a single animal species in the ecosystem. If we think that at least some of the insects can be exterminated and therefore use a lot of plant protection products, this will eventually turn against us. Insects are an essential part of biodiversity. In today’s intensive livestock farming, animals are used as machines producing animal flesh, milk, and eggs, and are often treated that way. In the light of today’s knowledge, this is no longer acceptable.

Our current diet, based on himsa, or violence, against the animal kingdom, has negatively influenced people’s thinking; it has become more violent than the thinking of vegetarians. Our animal flesh and dairy production are reminiscent of human slavery history. In addition, intensive livestock farming makes a major contribution to global warming. It is inevitable that we have to give animals rights based on their own nature and capabilities. Avoiding any flesh, eggs, and dairy products is the best way to reduce animal suffering associated with intensive livestock farming and its environmental impact on the planet.

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A plant-based lifestyle does not have to be boring, actually the dish on this image looks, and therfore must be very delicious ... mmmmmm  (Photo: Depositphotos) 

Read more: Animal Rights – A Scientific and Spiritual View — III

Scientists discover supernova that outshines all others

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A supernova at least twice as bright and energetic, and likely much more massive than any yet recorded has been identified by an international team of astronomers, led by the University of Birmingham.

The team, which included experts from Harvard, Northwestern University and Ohio University, believe the supernova, dubbed SN2016aps, could be an example of an extremely rare 'pulsational pair-instability' supernova, possibly formed from two massive stars that merged before the explosion. Their findings are published today in Nature Astronomy.

Read more: Scientists discover supernova that outshines all others

New formation theory explains the mysterious interstellar object 'Oumuamua

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Since its discovery in 2017, an air of mystery has surrounded the first known interstellar object to visit our solar system, an elongated, cigar-shaped body named 'Oumuamua (Hawaiian for "a messenger from afar arriving first").

How was it formed, and where did it come from? A new study published April 13 in Nature Astronomy offers a first comprehensive answer to these questions.

Read more: New formation theory explains the mysterious interstellar object 'Oumuamua

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