Photo: Claudia Wiens As Muslim Egyptians excitedly gear up to celebrate Ramadan, the country is abuzz day and night in anticipation of the holy month, during which Muslims fast from dawn until sunset. During the holy month, whether you are an Egyptian or a foreigner, the joyful and spiritual atmosphere permeating Egypt’s streets is certain to fascinate you. Tents for fawanees…
Source: In Search of Verlaine’s Dahlia
A nice one by my American Storyteller.
Biology may have a lot to do with our behavior, especially in social situations. And that means our social interactions could be manipulated by a pill.
That’s what a new study, published in the journal Current Biology, suggests. A group led by researchers at University of California Berkeley and University of California San Francisco shows that by manipulating a brain chemical, people can become more compassionate and act in prosocial ways to equalize differences.
In the study, 35 men and women visited the labs two times; each time they were randomly given a pill that keeps levels of dopamine, which is involved in reward and satisfaction, or a placebo. Neither the participants nor the scientists knew which pills were given when. The volunteers were then asked to divide money between themselves and a strangers.
When the researchers analyzed the results, they found that when the people were given the…
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Abdul-Jabbar On Paris Massacre
Another horrendous act of terrorism has taken place and people like myself who are on media speed-dial under “Celebrity Muslims” are thrust in the spotlight to angrily condemn, disavow, and explain—again—how these barbaric acts are in no way related to Islam.
For me, religion—no matter which one—is ultimately about people wanting to live humble, moral lives that create a harmonious community and promote tolerance and friendship with those outside the religious community. Any religious rules should be in service of this goal. The Islam I learned and practice does just that.
Violence committed in the name of religion is never about religion—it’s ultimately about money. The 1976 movie, All the President’s Men, got it right when it reduced the Daedalus maze of the Watergate scandal to the simple phrase, “Follow the money.” Forget the goons who actually carry out these deadly acts, they are nothing more than automated drones…
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Cancer: Just Your Luck?
Researchers have found that bad luck plays a major role in determining most types of cancer, rather than genetics or risky lifestyle choices such as smoking.
The results, published in the journal Science on Thursday, found that random DNA mutations that amass in the body when stem cells divide into various tissues cause two thirds of cancers.
After examining 31 cancer types, researchers found 22 were from mutations in stem cells that could not be prevented.
Cancers that could be explained with biological bad luck included pancreatic, leukemia, bone, testicular, ovarian and brain cancer.
But the researchers say lifestyle choices such as avoiding smoking, eating healthily and staying out of the sun will help to prevent certain cancers, just not all of them.
Read next: Medicine Is About to Get Personal
A brilliant article remembering Mandela by Storyteller.
Last year, Nelson Mandela’s death gave me pause. Not so much music and dancing in the streets but rather a singular moment when, for once, a pundit went to a real place: “The man was not a saint. He was a man. We may not think we can live up to what he did. But what we can reach for is one light within ourselves and connect positively with others in our own way.”
Mandela spent almost 20 years in this bare cell on Robben Island. “I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal for which I hope to live for and to see realised. But, My Lord, if it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”— Rivonia Trial Speech, 1964
In the 1964 Rivonia…
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A very vivid description of seasonal change by Storyteller