Desember 26, 2007


What affect will climate change have on our society as we know it? This question poses considerable analytical problems for governments around the world. We all watched the events of Hurricane Katrina unfold on our TV screens as the storm developed over the Gulf of Mexico. We saw how this storm intensified and struck the coast of the USA with the ferocity unparalleled in recorded memory. These events unfolded before our eyes and we were shocked at the aftermath, where we saw civil society breakdown into what some called total anarchy. Now imagine the same event only 10 times worse, that is what the world could be facing if the trends in climate change continue.

We are increasingly a coastal species, 44% of the world's population lives within 150 km (approx 100 miles) of the coast. This is more people than inhabited the entire planet in 1950. Mass migration to the coasts will continue in the decades ahead. Most of this population growth is concentrated in large coastal cities. As coastal population grows, along with the activities that accompany this growth, the coastlines are radically altered. Clearing, land reclamation, and channelling for flood and tidal waters destroy coastal wetlands. Port development, road building, coastal construction, tourist resorts and the mining of beach sand for construction material obliterate shorelines. These activities often increase coastal erosion and damage habitats, for example, seagrass beds are destroyed by boat propellers and coral reefs poisoned, often away from the development site.

Much of our scientific research has focussed on trying to understand the way that Climate Change and Global Warming affects the planet. Recently, we are also turning our attention to the human cost that these changes are having on our society. One area of research that has attracted considerable attention has been what effect weather has on crime and social disorder

If the predictions of Global Warming and Climate Change are correct then society will have to develop adaptation and mitigation strategies to combat these dramatic changes. Hurricane Katrina provides us with a window into the aftermath of extreme weather events and allows us to look other social problems such as crime, health, and mental health enabling us address these issues

Let us look at crime for example. After the Katrina destroyed most of New Orleans some residents of New Orleans who remained in the city began looting stores and competing for the scares resources available. This also happened in Mississippi were residents looted their local stores and casinos. Many looters were in search of food and water that were not available to them through any other means

The world saw a city of carjacking, murders, thefts, and rapes that flooded the news. The response of the governments in the USA to the social disorder and crime was to send in thousands of National Guard and federal troops along with numbers of local law enforcement agents from across the country by the state to bring law and order back to the city and to prevent any further social disorder. "They have M16s and are locked and loaded. These troops know how to shoot and kill and I expect they will," Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco said. A number of arrests were made throughout the affected area, including near the New Orleans Convention Center. A temporary jail was constructed of chain link cages in the city train station. On the face of it, how society deals with climate change and crime are just as important as the other massive challenges that face governments

In terms of health, climatic changes over recent decades have already affected some health outcomes. The World Health Organisation estimated, in its "World Health Report 2002", that climate change was estimated to be responsible in 2000 for approximately 2.4% of worldwide diarrhoea, and 6% of malaria in some middle-income countries. Warmer average temperatures combined with increased climatic variability alter the pattern of exposure to thermal extremes and resultant health impacts, in both summer and winter. People’s mental health and related behaviour, is positively or negatively influenced by both external social and climate factors. According to the World Health Organisation, mental health problems are set to increase significantly by the year 2020, and will be the second greatest cause of illness after heart disease by 2050 if present trends continue

The effect of the weather on anti-social behaviour has received a lot of attention in recent times. It has been argued that there are always motives for this type of behaviour. It could be personal enmity, hatred or a hundred other reasons why people commit these offensive acts. Police collect every minute detail during the investigation for possible clues to identify the culprit and the motivation for the offence. However, did you know there is also research that suggests there may be other reasons why people commit offences? This research has suggested that the weather may have an affect on the way people behave in society.

Various weather conditions such as Heatwaves , high humidity, wind, pollution of the air and water along with overcrowded living conditions can greatly influence the numbers of incidences that occur. A number of weather-related crime studies in France, the UK and US have suggested that assaults, particularly domestic violence, murder, robbery and suicide were high following high temperature associated with the combination of other meteorological parameters

If the results of these studies on weather and crime are correct then police, instead of responding after an offence is committed, can greatly help to prevent the crime. This also highlights the role of criminologists, environmentalists, geographers and meteorologists apart from the other sciences now have in helping combat the social conditions that we may find ourselves living under. Many have argued that we have to take proactive measures with cooperation from the police to minimise the occurrence of all offences in vulnerable areas by implementing various community-based development programmes and other eco-friendly practices like creation of green belts in the high temperature areas, enforcing tougher laws for industrial discharge (air and water), restriction on density of human settlement, etc. Such initiatives will greatly improve living conditions and hopefully improve our environment and lives.

Desember 25, 2007



Did you know?

Who was it that taught you to love or hate your children?
Who was it that taught you to love or hate your spouse,your parents, your relatives,your neighbours, and all the other people in this world?

Who was it that taught you to love or hate your own self?
Ask yourself these questions and you will find that the real question is not "How to Get started" rather, "How did we get started in the first place to move in a totally opposite direction?"
So do not worry about getting started in spirituality. 'Just be there'. When i say 'Just be there' what i mean is when you watch a video or read an article or listen to an audio surrender yourself completely to 'the feeling' which the audio/video or articles resonate onto you. Do not analyse or think about it intelligently. Keep connecting,going deeper and deeper into yourself. Take only the feelings with you as you go deeper and deeper into yourself. Re-read the article you loved 10 times, 20 times watch the video you liked as many times. Connect ... Even a single story, a single video or a single audio could help you connect

There is only one thing you need to do. Give way to your feelings. Now i am not talking of emotions here. We will cover the difference between feelings and emotions later on. Right now, Give space for your feelings to grow. This is key. The reason we get stuck up in any area of our life is because we have blockages inside of ourselves. We have not allowed our deepest feelings to grow, to take flight... We need to give it more space,more room so that it can expand by itself. We really do not have to do anything else other than give our deepest feelings 'more space' to grow. Period

So you see our questions are getting refined as we move deeper into the issue. The question you have to ask yourself is "Am i giving my deepest feelings space to grow?" or "What should i do to give my feelings space to grow?"

The first thing you obviously need to do is spend time with your feelings. The first thirty minutes of your day is very crucial to begin with

So what do you do the first thirty minutes of your day?

It does not matter how complex or wonderful your life is but if you do not spend quality time with your deepest feelings you will not care for it and when you do not care for it you will not give it space to grow.. And when you do not give it space to grow you will stay where you are

Our self growth has to be vertical not horizontal. John says" You will have everything to live with but nothing to live for" when your growth is horizontal. So let us learn to fly and explore a world which could possibly give you everything that you need ,if you only could give it more space to grow.

The heavens beyond are great and wonderful but far greater and wonderful are the heavens within you. It is these Eden's that await the divine worker.

I would love to hear back from you on two things:
1)How each of you spend your first thirty minutes of the day?
2)What do you do to give your deepest feelings space to grow?



In days of old, spiritual life was separate from "regular life". People went to church or temple once a week, and then got on with the rest of their lives. Daily meditation was something that only nuns, priests, rabbis or monks did

In today's world, our understanding of spiritual life is changing. More and more we are understanding that all of life is sacred, and at the same time, there seems to be less and less time available for us to slow down and connect with our innermost spiritual center.

With the advent of global communication, there are now many options available to us for spiritual and religious expression. At the same time, modern life has become more challenging, more demanding and faster paced. Staying positive and focused on God's love can be difficult, especially when we are faced negative energy that we see manifesting in world events. Many people face depression or even despair because they find it difficult to connect with their inner experience of God's love during these difficult times.

A regular spiritual practice of daily meditation can be of great help in today's world, to help bring an awareness of spiritual values into all aspects of your daily life. Daily meditation can allow you to create peace within yourself, which then radiates outwards to others. Daily meditation can be a simple as taking five or ten minutes daily with your favorite spiritual support, or can involve a more rigorous program of study, practice and meditation.

The importance of daily meditation is in the consistency with which it is done. It is helpful to schedule a specific time of day, or to do your meditation several times a day. Some people find it helpful to create an altar or other sacred space in the home, which provides an outer reminder of the sacred, and also creates a vibration of peace and harmony. If you can keep this sacred space clean, free from clutter, and away from other activities, and you will find that your altar becomes a spiritual haven that you can go to find peace, light and comfort in the midst of a busy day

You do not need to only have one altar in your home. You can make an altar in each room, at your desk, and even in your car. A daily reminder of sacred reality goes a long way to supporting your daily meditation practice

Daily meditation can provide comfort, upliftment, and spiritual support, even during difficult times. You will find yourself attracted to meditation practices that are most resonant with your own soul's unique divine blueprint. A daily meditation practice can be tailored to your own unique needs and spiritual longing. Daily inspiration and meditation be found through sacred religious texts as well as newer spiritual writings.

We are all of God, and created by God, and we each have a unique purpose and aspect of God that we embody in the world. The abundance of sacred teachings at this time on the Earth is a reminder that God speaks in many ways so that each heart and each soul can feel and be reminded of God's love in their own unique way. Daily meditation can help you to connect with your own divine essence, and to bring your gifts into the world for the betterment of all of humanity.

Desember 22, 2007

The Church Chairs Evolution

The Church Chairs Evolution

Church chairs are one of the most important pieces in Church furniture. Today, you will find a variety of designs for a church chair although this was not really the case in the 17th century. Most of the churches as well as cathedrals prior to 1860 had chapel chairs or church pews in the apse. The main reason was that most of the churches during that era were in a run down or dilapidated state. Churches then had no money or budgets that could help them to enable repairs. Another reason was that the liturgy discouraged participation of congregations and their ideology was that more people can accommodated when standing instead of sitting

Between the 17th century and the 19th Century, parish churches having church chairs and pews were subjected to pew rents, which had to be paid by the occupants. The rent was charged as a tax for getting the privilege of being able to sit on a church chair situated near the main aisle. Those who were unable to afford the pew charges had to make do by standing on the side aisles and galleries

It was around the 1870's when changes started creeping in and social barriers started to disappear. Churches started encouraging greater participation by the congregations and this meant there was a higher requirement for seating arrangements and church furniture. Most of the chapel or church chairs were identical in shape and size. This also meant that the wood used for making the church chairs and stacking chairs had to be homogeneous throughout. As a result, almost 100 workers were involved in the production of the church chair and church pews

One of the most important aspects was that the timber needed to match. Most of the churches during that era bought Beech, Elm, Oak and sometimes even American ash from specialized brokers for chair production. When the timber arrived at the workshop, it was kept in a hot-room so that the moisture content could be reduced by 10%. After the reduction in moisture content, the timber was planed and the various defects were taken out. The remaining timber was cut to specification and made ready for the finishing touches. This is how church chairs were manufactured couple of centuries back.

After machining the blanks or post hand turning, the church furniture was transferred to the assembly area and here the church chairs were assembled by hand-pressing or by using jigs. The joints in church pews, stack chairs and other church furniture were glued using urea formaldehyde glue. This glue was considered special as it created the perfect bond and increased the life of the furniture

The struts of the church chairs were angled to provide strength to the struts. The legs of the chairs were also braced with glue to counteract some of the high-pressure that got created when people leaned back on the chairs. The angle or the curve was cut by a band saw or even by hand. On the other hand, an acid catalyst lacquer is used in the modern church chairs as finish. It is also considered as one of the hardest wearing finish as of date. In the earlier times, the church chairs were mostly oiled or waxed.

One of the most popular churches, the Basilica in Rome has a huge amount of space that can hold at least 90,000 people but there are not enough church chairs to accommodate everyone. When the Pope presides over for ceremonies, then only 11,500 people can be seated. The 11,500 church chairs have been placed strategically and directly in the view of the central altar

In the early times, the church chair and church pews were being made by nomadic turners who were also known as 'bodgers'. The bodgers lived mostly in the village around High Wycombe. Historically speaking, the skilled labor required for making the church chair was acquired from industries handling production of spoons, bowls, and variety items. The same labor was applied for developing chairs for the church and this led to the formation of a group of skilled laborers who became part time turners.

The best quality church pews and chairs were being made in England at one point in time. In 1939, around 10,000 church furniture workers were employed with different manufacturers but by 1960 the number greatly reduced to 8000. Due to technological involvements a lot has changed in terms of the manufacturing of chairs and furniture for the church. Today, you can even buy church pews or stacking chairs over the internet, a market that no one ever thought could exist even in the early 20th century.


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