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Decorated kayaks light up Copenhagen canals on Saint Lucia's Day
14 December 2017 - A flotilla of kayaks decked in lights and Christmas decorations floated through the canals of central Copenhagen on Wednesday evening to celebrate Saint Lucia's Day. Thousands watched from streets and bridges as around 400 kayaks illuminated the Danish capital's dark canals. The light-bearing procession in honor of the 3rd-century saint originated in Sweden and was later adapted by the Danes. (more)

Menorah lightings planned around the world for Hanukkah
11 December 2017 - Public menorah lightings for the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah are planned around the world in locations ranging from ski towns and Caribbean islands to famous landmarks and sports arenas. Hanukkah begins Tuesday night (12 December) and lasts for eight days. The Jewish outreach organization Chabad-Lubavitch plans Hanukkah events in hundreds of cities, from the 50 U.S. states to 100 countries. (more)

Google adds a donate button to search results to encourage giving during the holidays
28 November 2017 - As part of Giving Tuesday, Google has added a new Donate button to its knowledge graph when you search for recognized nonprofit organizations. The Donate button allows you to directly contribute money to nonprofits when searching for them on the web, though the organization also has to enroll with Google for the button to appear. (more)

'Giving Tuesday' -- a new side of holidays
27 November 2017 - For decades now, millions of Americans have been embracing the day-after-Thanksgiving shopping bonanza known as 'Black Friday.' Then came 'Cyber Monday,' online retailers' chance to cash in on the holiday buying frenzy. Now consumers are being urged to open their wallets for 'Giving Tuesday'. The day was started in 2012 ... But by 2015, Giving Tuesday had spread to 98 countries and raised approximately $177 million, according to the campaign's official website. (more)

Scotland: A British fabric that charmed the world
23 November 2017 - Uniquely made in the Scotland's remote Outer Hebrides, Harris Tweed is beloved by fashionistas from across the globe, from Vivienne Westwood to Manolo Blahnik. Using local wool and natural dyes, islanders had been weaving the fabric for their own use for centuries, but it wasn't until the mid-1800s that Harris Tweed became a sought-after textile elsewhere, thanks to the marketing efforts of Lady Dunmore, whose late husband had owned the Isle of Harris. Now it's the only cloth in the world with a protected provenance, governed by a British Act of Parliament that ensures Harris Tweed must be 'handwoven by the islanders at their homes in the Outer Hebrides, finished in the Outer Hebrides, and made from pure virgin wool dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides'. Despite the cyclical nature of the fashion industry, Harris Tweed is -- and has long been -- a fabric in demand. (more)

US: A homeless man spent his last $20 to keep her safe. She's raised $34,000 to repay him
22 November 2017 - Kate McClure didn't expect to run out of gas on her drive to Philadelphia last month. And she definitely didn't expect that her misfortune would give her the opportunity to change someone else's life. Pulled over on the side of I-95, McClure, 27, was approached by a homeless man named Johnny. She was apprehensive at first, but Johnny told her to get back into her car and to lock the doors while he walked to get her help. He went to a nearby gas station, used his last $20 fill a can and brought it back to fill up her car. Johnny, who's 34, told McClure and her boyfriend, Mark D'Amico, he has been homeless for about a year. He said he was previously a certified paramedic, and also served in the Marine Corps. (more)

US: Woman raises more than $60K for homeless man gave his last $20 to rescue her
22 November 2017 - A New Jersey woman who was helped by a homeless man after she ran out of gas on an interstate in Philadelphia has raised more than $60,000 for the good Samaritan. Kate McClure, 27, started the Gofundme.com campaign earlier this month after she said she ran out of gas on Interstate 95 and a homeless man, Johnny Bobbitt Jr., walked a few blocks and bought her some with his last $20. (more)

US: Thanksgiving tribe reclaims language lost to colonization
21 November 2017 - The Massachusetts tribe whose ancestors shared a Thanksgiving meal with the Pilgrims nearly 400 years ago is reclaiming its long-lost language, one schoolchild at a time. The Mukayuhsak Weekuw -- or 'Children's House' -- is an immersion school launched by the Cape Cod-based Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, whose ancestors hosted a harvest celebration with the Pilgrims in 1621 that helped form the basis for [America's] Thanksgiving tradition. ... Jessie 'Little Doe' Baird, the tribe's vice chairwoman, is almost singularly responsible for the rebirth of the language ... (more)

US: Yale, Mohegans agree on transfer of artifacts
17 November 2017 - Yale University and Mohegan tribal officials signed an agreement Friday (17 November) that calls for Yale's Peabody Museum of Natural History to transfer hundreds of Mohegan artifacts to the tribe's Tantaquidgeon Museum in Uncasville. The signing, which took place on the Yale campus, finalized a pact between two Connecticut institutions whose relationship dates back centuries. Links between Yale and the Mohegans are well established. During the 1700s, Yale President Ezra Stiles studied Mohegan language and spirituality. (more)

Pakistan unveils 1,700-year-old sleeping Buddha, evoking diverse heritage
15 November 2017 - Pakistan unveiled the remains of a 1,700-year-old sleeping Buddha image on Wednesday (15 November), part of an initiative to encourage tourism and project religious harmony in a region roiled by Islamist militancy. A reflection of the diverse history and culture of the South Asian country, the ancient Buddhist site in Bhamala province was first discovered in 1929. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Powered by Transcendental Meditation: Artist Krista Kim and the Techism movement
13 December 2017 - Artist Krista Kim's 'canvas' is digital images of LED lights. Her 'brushes' and 'paints' various kinds of software. For inspiration she uses Transcendental Meditation to dive into the creative silence deep within. 'You just basically tap into this creative force of intelligence from where all things come, and this collective intelligence . . . you go into this deep state of bliss and then when you come out, you feel amazing, you feel like you've touched the sky.' After learning TM, 'I felt that every aspect of my life, whether it's being a mother, being an artist, being a person, just being myself, it just made everything better, brought it to a new level.' Krista feels that meditation and art are vital to creating a better world. She is a pioneer bridging the gap between art and tech: 'The more involved artists are in conversation amongst leading-edge technology innovators, the more humane the future becomes.' (more)

Dr Norman Rosenthal to be featured in free webinar: 'The Way to a Super Mind' - 8 December
8 December 2017 - This Friday, 8 December, from 1:00pm-2:00pm US ET (7:00pm-8:00pm CET) renowned psychiatrist, researcher, and bestselling author Norman Rosenthal, MD, will be featured in a webinar titled 'The Way to a Super Mind': Exploring the principles and techniques elite performers use to achieve sustained excellence. Dr Rosenthal will engage in a conversation with business executive Moe Abdou, founder of 33 Voices, on topics including: What is a Super Mind? What are the key barriers that prevent access to one's super mind? Learning to transcend thought and unconscious behaviour, and the keys to building a better brain. (more)

Tom Bergeron, dancing with the stars and relaxing with Transcendental Meditation
25 November 2017 - For American TV host Tom Bergeron the art of staying sane in Hollywood is no different than staying sane anywhere. Today the host of popular shows such as America's Funniest Home Videos and Dancing with the Stars is the epitome of calm and cool. In the early 1980s, acknowledging a major anger management issue, he signed up to learn Transcendental Meditation, and his rage has been under control ever since. In addition, decades of TM practice have helped him become the king of 'off the cuff' on television. 'I trust that because of the practice, because of the investment of time and mental energy into being present, that I'm going . . . to somehow know how to roll with whatever happens . . . That you are not constantly at the beck and call of any regrets you might have about what happened in the past or unnecessary fears and anxiety.' (more)

Katy Perry: 'Transcendental Meditation changed my life'
10 November 2017 - 'I start the day with Transcendental Meditation. It puts me in the best mood . . . It's the only time my mind gets absolute rest.' A recent interview revealed why Katy Perry has made TM her 'go-to tool for rest and relaxation.' Excerpts from 'a conversation with Katy Perry' include how she has raised awareness of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in veterans and how TM can help returning soldiers heal. In the past, Katy asked fans not to bring any presents to her birthday celebration, but instead to make a donation to the David Lynch Foundation that teaches TM to those most in need, such as veterans, inner-city kids, survivors of domestic violence or the homeless. (more)

Researching the convergence of architecture and neurobiology
30 October 2017 - Maharishi University of Management alumnus David Navarrete has been involved in research collaborations with health institutions around the world to study the effect that an interior architectural design has on the occupant's physiology. He is director of research initiatives and content development at a business in Fairfield, Iowa called Sky Factory. The company creates beautiful architectural illusions of sky and nature, installed in ceilings and windows, that help people feel more connected to nature. A 2017 multidisciplinary study conducted at Texas Tech University earned him and his colleagues a Certification of Research Excellence by the Environmental Design Research Associations. David is also a teacher of Transcendental Meditation, and says, 'In architecture and healthcare everyone is looking at the powerful way the environment affects people's experience . . . If you can experience the deepest level of your own internal environment . . . You bring empathy and receptiveness into the world, tapping more of your creativity and happiness.' (more)

David Lynch Foundation to honour Jane Fonda, Lena Dunham at 'Wonder Women' benefit in Los Angeles
5 October 2017 - In Los Angeles on 5 November, the David Lynch Foundation (DLF) will be honouring four 'Wonder Women' - Jill Black, Lena Dunham, Jane Fonda, and New Village Girls Academy principal, Dr. Andrea Purcell. The event is a benefit to support the the Foundation's Los Angeles programmes to bring the healing and transformative effects of Transcendental Meditation to underserved schoolchildren and veterans suffering from post traumatic stress. 'Together, we can build resilient communities in Los Angeles and help our city continue to shine throughout the world,' said Lynn Kaplan, DLF director in Los Angeles. (more)

'Dancing With the Stars' host Tom Bergeron says Transcendental Meditation helps him keep his cool during a live show - ABC News
27 September 2017 - In a live show, anything can happen. But Tom Bergeron trusts he can handle it because he has been practising meditation for decades. The host of ABC TV's hit dancing competition show 'Dancing With the Stars', which kicked off its 25th season last week, said he has been practising Transcendental Meditation (TM) for over 35 years. Being a longtime meditator, he said, has been key in keeping his cool and 'respond[ing] appropriately' during a live show in front of a panel of judges, contestants and a studio audience. 'I trust that because of the practice, because of the investment of time and mental energy into being present, that I'm going . . . to somehow know how to roll with whatever happens,' Bergeron, 62, told ABC's Dan Harris during an interview for his podcast, '10% Happier.' (more)

Successful self-reinvention: The award-winning Susan Daniels
19 September 2017 - At a time in life when many women are retiring, Susan Daniels is earning her PhD in creative writing. Mother, author, nurse, with previous degrees including BSN (nursing) and MFA in writing, she says, 'I can't think of an area of my life that hasn't been affected for the better by the Transcendental Meditation practice.' She learned TM in 1973, and later on as 'busy parents with a growing business . . . meditating twice a day was the one thing that made it work.' Susan describes the many rewards she found, following an illness, when she decided to train as a nurse. And while in nursing school she started writing. She recently won a book prize that includes a publishing contract with New Rivers Press, a highly regarded literary press at Minnesota State University. (more)

Actor Hugh Jackman: 'Transcendental Meditation has helped me in every way, immeasurably.'
12 September 2017 - Eight months into practising Transcendental Meditation, actor Hugh Jackman had a very clear thought one day: 'Hang on! Meditation is the centre of it all, where all activities can spring from the deepest well possible. If I act or parent or be a husband or throw a baseball or wash up, if I do it after meditating, it's a whole different activity.' Since then Jackman has not made it a secret how much TM has impacted his life. 'I would say possibly equally to how marriage and kids did - I would put it right up there, in terms of things that have affected my life.' Describing how TM has helped him excel as an actor and deal with the high level of stress in his profession, he says: 'Your only tools you really have are being present, being clear, and listening. So, it helped me in every way, immeasurably.' (more)

The Beatles, Transcendental Meditation and India: Events in August 1967, fifty years ago, made a mark on western culture
25 August 2017 - In August 1967, a wildly popular rock band called the Beatles attended a lecture by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at the London Hilton on Park Lane. They were given front row seats and invited to meet Maharishi after the lecture. During their private meeting, Maharishi invited the Beatles to be his guests at a training retreat in Wales. It was there that the band members, who were already exploring ways to expand their consciousness, were initiated into the basics of Transcendental Meditation. The world's ears were tuned to the Beatles, and with the band embracing all things Indian, Western hearts were being transformed by that mystical land's ancient wisdom. That interest continues to grow. In 2016, Forbes reported on the growing popularity of yoga in the U.S., and an increasing number of celebrities attest to practising Transcendental Meditation. (more)


Flops
10 Short Summaries of Top Stories


For Chinese millennials, despondency has a brand name
4 September 2017 - Chinese millennials with a dim view of their career and marriage prospects can wallow in despair with a range of teas such as 'achieved-absolutely-nothing black tea', and 'my-ex's-life-is-better-than-mine fruit tea'. While the drink names at the Sung chain of tea stalls are tongue-in-cheek, the sentiment they reflect is serious: a significant number of young Chinese with high expectations have become discouraged and embrace an attitude known on social media as 'sang', after a Chinese character associated with the word 'funeral' that describes being dispirited. It's a reaction to cut-throat competition for good jobs in an economy that isn't as robust as it was a few years ago and when home-ownership -- long seen as a near-requirement for marriage in China -- is increasingly unattainable in major cities as apartment prices have soared. While 'sang' can be a pose or affectation, despondency among a segment of educated young people is a genuine concern for President Xi Jinping and his government, which prizes stability. ... The average starting salary for college graduates dropped by 16 percent this year to 4,014 yuan ($608) per month amid intensifying competition for jobs as a record 8 million graduate from Chinese universities -- nearly ten times the number in 1997. (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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