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Ancient Greece's restored Tower of Winds keeps its secrets
25 August 2016 - It is said to be the world's first weather station, to date back more than 2,000 years, and to have been used by merchants to tell the time -- even in darkness. The Tower of the Winds, still standing on a slope on Athens's ancient Acropolis hill despite attempts by Lord Elgin to move it to Britain, has been restored and re-opened to the public for the first time in nearly 200 years. It is credited to the architect and astronomer Andronikos of Cyrrhus, but all these years later no one knows exactly how it worked. (more)

Hidden codex may reveal secrets of life in Mexico before Spanish conquest
21 August 2016 - One of the rarest manuscripts in the world has been revealed hidden beneath the pages of an equally rare but later Mexican codex, thanks to hi-tech imaging techniques. The Codex Selden is one of a handful of illustrated books of history and mythology that survived wholesale destruction by Spanish conquerors and missionaries in the 16th century. The codex is one of fewer than 20 dating from before or just after the colonisation which were saved by scholars who realised the importance of the images. (more)

Thailand, Singapore, and Japan least miserable on Earth: Bloomberg Misery Index
14 August 2016 - Thailand, Singapore, and Japan are three of the world's least miserable nations, thanks to falling prices and low unemployment. That's according to a Misery Index compiled by Bloomberg which combines the cost of living with the strength of the job market. The Misery Index gives the Land of Smiles (Thailand) a score of 1.11 per cent, which is the best -- or least miserable -- for all 74 economies surveyed by Bloomberg. (more)

A 600,000-Flower Carpet is beautifying Brussels
12 August 2016 - On your average day, the Grand Place in Brussels -- a UNESCO World Heritage Site -- is fascinating in its own way. But once every two years, for about four days, the stony square gets all dressed up. With the help of the people of Belgium, it covers itself in 600,000 flowers-the famous 'Brussels Flower Carpet.' This year's was constructed over the course of eight hours by hundreds of volunteers, who, following a color plan laid out on the ground, hand-placed each begonia, dahlia, and bark bit. People in Brussels can visit the carpet at the Grand-Place through Monday. Everyone else can enjoy internet photos. (more)

Belgium: Brussels 'Flower Carpet' has Japanese theme
12 August 2016 - Hundreds of thousands of begonias and dahlias will emblazon the Grand Place in Brussels this weekend for its 20th 'Flower Carpet' display, which this year has a Japanese theme. 'The patterns and symbols of the flower carpet express happiness and peace,' said Fujie Suzuki, one of the lead designers. After the display was completed on Friday morning, tourists from all over the world arrived to marvel at the display. (more)

Belgium: Flower Carpet brightens up Brussels's Grand Palace
12 August 2016 - But for four days every two years, Brussels's central square, the Grand-Place, blooms with a colorful floral carpet. The Brussels Flower Carpet was first made in 1971 and was so popular that it became a beloved tradition. (more)

UK: Out of the wood: how carpentry is helping men tackle loneliness
12 August 2016 - The sounds of sawing, pounding mallets and male banter echo out from an old barn in rural Shropshire, England Inside, a mismatch of men have come together to make things with wood in their collective shed. The shed is one of thousands of 'men's sheds' worldwide. The Mensheds movement began in Australia with the aim of bringing men together to help improve their health and boost social inclusion, and now the idea is taking off in the UK. (more)

Japan celebrates its first-ever Mountain Day
11 August 2016 - Every August 11th (starting today), Japan will now celebrate Mountain Day, a public holiday that gives people time off work to get out and go hiking in the country's beautiful mountains. The country's newest public holiday was championed by mountain and hiking groups looking to honor the landscape and culture. (more)

Japan marks first Mountain Day national holiday
11 August 2016 - Japan on Thursday, 11 August celebrates its newest national holiday, 'Yama no Hi', or Mountain Day. It came after the Japanese Alpine Club and other mountain-related groups lobbied for the bill, claiming that Japan -- where Shintoism's animistic beliefs have shaped the culture -- needed to celebrate its mountains. The legislation states that the day is designed to share 'opportunities to get familiar with mountains and appreciate blessings from mountains.' (more)

Mountain Day becomes Japan's newest public holiday
11 August 2016 - Japan is marking Mountain Day on Thursday, 11 August, the latest addition to its extensive public holiday calendar. The campaign to have a Mountain Day was a longstanding cause for hiking and mountain-related groups, who wanted to celebrate Japan's terrain and its connection to the nation's geography and culture. (more)

Success of Maharishi's Programmes
10 Short Summaries of Top Stories

Musician Donovan Leitch talks legacy of 'Sunshine Superman' and importance of Transcendental Meditation
19 August 2016 - Donovan Leitch will perform at Fairfield, Iowa's music festival 'Fairfest' September 2-4 during this tour celebrating the 50th anniversary of his album and first world tour Sunshine Superman. A portion of the tour's proceeds will go towards the Donovan Children's Fund, a division of the David Lynch Foundation. The singer is passionate about the benefits children gain from practicing Transcendental Meditation. He speaks with enthusiasm about the idea that 'sleep is not the deepest form of rest.' Children who are introduced to TM find a refuge from the tension and friction of the world. Through TM, he says, they 'will feel a great sense of unity with all things, and compassion will arise.' He's not expecting an immediate panacea, but, he notes, 'These tiny beginnings create enormous things.' (more)

Singing the song of life
10 August 2016 - Valerie JanLois - musician, composer, and performer - remembers that when she was young, 'outside of singing, there were only tiny, tiny moments of happiness.' After beginning Transcendental Meditation 42 years ago, 'I could feel immediately that this was something that would make me happy for the rest of my life.' A teacher of TM since 1985, she outlines other benefits in her life: improved relationships and empathy, ease in fulfilling desires, and the 'sudden stepping up in quality in everything I did.' Valerie once approached a recording studio to record something for personal use, and still sounds amazed that she was not only invited to continue recording, but through the production of two more albums, 'With no effort, the top musicians in the San Francisco Bay area . . . galvanized around my two albums.' She identifies her effortless creativity as springing from the deepest levels of awareness available from regular TM practice, and says, 'When you have a desire and a path in life, even though you have the raw materials - the talent - nature has to support it. There may be many blocks there, but if you have a technique that consciously brings your awareness to the area where all the laws of nature reside, then they become tickled and thrilled to support you.' (more)

The Mirror, UK: Manager of soccer/football team for England, Sam Allardyce, wants players to practice TM
7 August 2016 - The sports section of the Mirror UK, reported that soccer/football manager 'Big' Sam Allardyce would like his players to practice Transcendental Meditation, believing it will stop them from crumbling under pressure. He has practiced TM for 12 years now, and says 'it's very relaxing, very calming and you can do it anywhere.' He has long been an advocate of sports science and psychology and wants his stars to be more familiar with the mental side of the game. (more)

Vogue Magazine: Natasha Khan - Transcendental Meditation 'connects me to the places that bring ideas and clarity'
21 June 2016 - Australia's issue of Vogue Magazine interviewed British songstress Natasha Khan, opening the discussion with benefits she has noticed from two years of practising Transcendental Meditation. When asked if TM has changed her art, Natasha replied, 'It has made it better in a way. I feel less nervous and more confident. I'm going with the flow a bit more; ideas flow much easier. For performing, I feel much more relaxed.' (more)

Los Angeles Times: Why David Lynch says Transcendental Meditation is the secret to success
3 June 2016 - Filmmaker David Lynch was interviewed by the Los Angeles Times in support of Dr Norman Rosenthal's new book, 'Super Mind: How to Boost Performance and Live a Richer and Happier Life Through Transcendental Meditation'. Mr Lynch fielded questions such as how TM enhances creativity - 'I think ideas are out there and you catch them like how you catch fish. The more consciousness you have, the deeper you can catch those ideas . . . ' and was also asked how he defined success - 'true happiness is not out there; true happiness lies within.' (more)

Natural beauty complements Maharishi Vedic Architecture
31 May 2016 - Gardens under construction for the beautiful Argiro Student Center at Maharishi University of Management are currently being featured in the website for Maharishi Vedic Architecture. This latest enhancement in the campus master-plan makes use of the natural terrain, a bowl-like hillside sloping to the east of the student centre. Surrounding a structure with beautiful gardens and natural features - that sustain as well as enhance the environment - is a key goal in building a Vastu (space designed to promote harmony with natural forces). Making use of native plants will be a priority in the landscaping phase. To launch the project, a Maharishi Vedic Observatory is currently being installed - this outdoor element consists of ten solar observation instruments that are meant to be viewed to enliven the connection between the individual's awareness and the cosmos. In addition to lovely photos, the article includes a section on the importance of ideal room placement in a Vastu home. (more)

Dr Norman Rosenthal on 'Super Mind: How to boost performance and live a richer and happier life through Transcendental Meditation'
17 May 2016 - Dr Norman Rosenthal offers an excerpt from his book Super Mind: How To Boost Performance And Live A Richer And Happier Life Through Transcendental Meditation. He tells the story of how Megan Fairchild, principal ballerina in the New York City Ballet, credits TM for relieving the effects of tension and giving her steadfast courage to undertake a challenging audition and new direction in her career. Dr Rosenthal says, 'I love Megan's story because it shows how the subtle but profound benefits of the TM technique exert their effects on a person's life. Initially there is often relief of stress, decreased anxiety, and greater resilience. These changes are often followed by expansion of consciousness and further personal development.' (more)

United Kingdom: The Mirror: Team manager Sam Allardyce using Transcendental Meditation to keep calm
6 May 2016 - Manager Sam Allardyce, of the Sunderland team in the United Kingdom's Premier League Football Club (soccer for North Americans) made sports page headlines about his practise of Transcendental Meditation. He says, 'I've read the science on it and it gives you a better insight into how it helps to reduce your blood pressure and keeps you calmer -- if done the right way. You can be anywhere at any time, in a relatively quiet place. It refreshes you and makes you feel good to push on.' The article also states, 'TM was developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and some studies claim it can reduce high blood pressure, anxiety, and chronic pain -- all common symptoms for recent Sunderland managers.' (more)

Profile: Chelsea McCooey, teacher of Transcendental Meditation from Vancouver, Canada
20 April 2016 - Vancouver Real television sat down with Chelsea McCooey, the director of the recently opened Transcendental Meditation centre in Vancouver, Canada. Chelsea was literally born into TM as both her parents were TM meditators, but she had to find her own way in life, which eventually led to valuing the practice of TM. Chelsea rephrases Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who said that if we don't water the root of our existence, we cannot enjoy its fruit. 'So that's why we go within, settle, meditate,' she says, 'to then go out and enjoy life even more.' She relates her journey into TM and life as the centre director, and outlines some advanced programmes in Maharishi technologies available at the centre. (more)

Meditation, creativity, peace: A documentary about David Lynch and his travels
11 April 2016 - Shot by film students, the documentary Meditation, Creativity, Peace follows the famous director David Lynch on his globetrotting journey through 16 countries from 2007 to 2009. Mr Lynch's message centres on the crossroads of Transcendental Meditation and creativity -- and he is ever-ready for a touch of tongue-in-cheek humour, that includes his 'before and after' diagram of what it is like to practise TM. He explains the 'after' is very good but way after as: 'Totality. Total fulfillment. Liberation. Salvation.' (more)

10 Short Summaries of Top Stories

Poll: In tumultuous summer, young Americans in a dour mood
13 July 2016 - In a summer of political and racial tumult, young Americans are in a dour mood: pessimistic about the fairness of their economic system, questioning the greatness of the United States, and deeply skeptical of the way the nation picks its leaders. A new poll of young people between the ages of 18 and 30 finds that an overwhelming 90 percent think the two-party political system has real -- though fixable -- problems or that it is 'seriously broken'. Though the new GenForward survey is a poll of all young people, not necessarily registered or likely voters, it nevertheless shows clear discontent with the two major-party candidates for President. Only 39 percent of young people have a favorable opinion of Hillary Clinton. Just 19 percent think well of Donald Trump. (more)

Key radical Islamist groups in Bangladesh
3 July 2016 - The hostage crisis at a restaurant in Bangladesh's capital that left 28 dead, including 20 hostages and six militants, has focused attention on the radical Islamist attacks occurring in the moderate, mostly Muslim country in the past few years. Most have been claimed by the Islamic State group or by al-Qaida's local branch, but the government vehemently denies these transnational jihadi groups have any presence in the country. Instead, the government blames domestic militants and its political opponents of trying to destabilize the country. Authorities have cracked down on extremist groups by banning them from operating and arresting many of their members. The opposition parties deny the allegation that they're involved. A look at some of the main Islamic political parties and radical groups in the country: (more)

Hostage crisis leaves 28 dead in Bangladesh diplomatic zone
2 July 2016 - The dramatic, 10-hour hostage crisis that gripped Bangladesh's diplomatic zone ended Saturday morning with at least 28 dead, including six of the attackers, as commandos raided the popular restaurant where heavily armed attackers were holding dozens of foreigners and Bangladeshis prisoner while hurling bombs and engaging in a gunbattle with security forces. The victims included 20 hostages, mostly foreigners, and two Bangladeshi police officers. The attack marks an escalation in militant violence that has hit the traditionally moderate Muslim-majority nation with increasing frequency in recent months, with the extremists demanding the secular government set up Islamic rule. (more)

U.S. families struggling with teens' phone addiction: report
3 May 2016 - Half of teenagers in the United States feel addicted to their mobile phones, with most checking the devices at least every hour and feeling pressured to respond immediately to messages, a survey released on Tuesday found. The majority of parents concurred. The findings from the nonprofit group Common Sense Media, which focuses on the effects of media and technology on children, highlighted the tension such close ties to devices can cause, with it disrupting driving, homework, and other time together. 'It is causing daily conflict in homes,' Common Sense Media's founder and CEO James Steyer said in a statement. (more)

Retaking Syria's Palmyra reveals more shattered antiquities
28 March 2016 - The recapture of Syria's ancient city of Palmyra from the Islamic State group has brought new revelations of the destruction wreaked by the extremists, who decapitated priceless statues and smashed or looted artifacts in the city's museum. Experts say they need time to assess the full extent of damage in Palmyra, a UNESCO world heritage site which once attracted tens of thousands of tourists every year. The Sunni extremist group, which has imposed a violent interpretation of Islamic law across the territory it controls in Syria and Iraq, claims ancient relics promote idolatry. But it is also believed to have profited from looted antiquities. (more)

'Here we go again' -- Americans' lament after Oregon shooting
2 October 2015 - The news from Oregon was grim enough in isolation -- nine people shot dead at a community college. For many Americans it was all the sadder as a reminder of how frequent, how depressingly routine, mass shootings have become -- in malls, at churches, and so often at schools and colleges. (more)

Horrific stampede at hajj in Saudi Arabia kills 717 pilgrims
24 September 2015 - A horrific stampede killed at least 717 pilgrims and injured hundreds more Thursday on the outskirts of the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, the deadliest tragedy to strike the annual hajj pilgrimage in more than two decades. At least 863 pilgrims were injured in the crush, said the Saudi civil defense directorate, which provided the death toll. The tragedy struck as Muslims around the world marked the start of the Eid al-Adha holiday. It was the second major disaster during this year's hajj season. Two survivors interviewed by The Associated Press said the disaster began when one wave of pilgrims found themselves heading into a mass of people going in another direction. (more)

Unsupervised teens more likely to use tobacco, pot, and alcohol
18 September 2015 - A small U.S. study appears to confirm adult fears that teens who spend more than the average amount of unsupervised time 'hanging out' with peers have higher odds of smoking cigarettes and marijuana and drinking alcohol. Unfortunately, greater than average involvement in structured school and after-school activities did not seem to offer a protective effect. Organized time, such as arts classes at school, religious activities outside school, or community volunteer work had a very modest protective effect. (more)

Islamic State magazine blasts Muslims fleeing to Europe as sinners
10 September 2015 - Hundreds of thousands of people have fled wars in the Middle East this year, often from areas seized or threatened by Islamic State militants. They have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe on flimsy boats that have sometimes capsized, killing hundreds, in one of the biggest waves of migration since World War Two. Most of the refugees come from Syria, Iraq, and Libya -- states ravaged by conflict frequently involving Islamic State. But the magazine of Islamic State, which controls territory in Iraq and Syria where some 10 million people live, said those who leave its domain were committing a 'major sin'. (more)

UN: Satellite images show Temple of Bel in Syria 'destroyed'
31 August 2015 - A satellite image on Monday shows that the main building of the ancient Temple of Bel in the Syrian city of Palmyra has been destroyed, a United Nations agency said. The image was taken a day after a massive explosion was set off near the 2,000-year-old temple in the city occupied by Islamic State militants. It stood out among the ruins not far from the colonnades of Palmyra, which is affectionately known by Syrians as the 'Bride of the Desert.' Palmyra was an important caravan city of the Roman Empire, linking it to India, China, and Persia. Before the outbreak of Syria's conflict in March 2011, the UNESCO site was one of the top tourist attractions in the Middle East. (more)

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