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Posts Tagged ‘Books News’

How to Inspire Your Brain (Part 2)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 11, 2012

By Deepak Chopra, Co-author, ‘Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being’; founder, The Chopra Foundation

D ChopraEvidence is gathering by the day that the brain isn’t really an object but a continuous and active process. Thoughts and experiences create new pathways in the brain. They even affect the output of genes. What this means for the individual is extremely important. The control center for the brain’s constant shaping and reshaping is you, the person who is using the brain. Although there are many brain processes that run on automatic, they too are highly influenced by experiences — that’s why, for instance, the automatic rise and fall of blood pressure during the day is highly responsive to all the things that happened to you during the day.

Brain health comes down to a simple-seeming formula: maximize the positive input and minimize the negative input. The result will be positive rather than negative output. To some extent the difference between positive and negative input isn’t hard to define:

It’s positive to maintain balanced diet, negative to eat an imbalanced one.
It’s positive to take regular exercise; it’s negative to be sedentary.
It’s positive to have good relationships, negative to have stressful ones.

Anyone who has kept pace with the public campaign in prevention can make the list longer; the risk factors for a healthy lifestyle are well known. But this is where the difference between positive and negative get trickier. Information isn’t the same as compliance. That Americans are getting more obese and sedentary while consuming massive quantities of sugar and fatty junk food isn’t due to lack of information. Non-compliance is about inspiring your brain to function in a better way. This is a role assigned to the mind; the brain can’t inspire itself.

In our book Super Brain, we focus on how to you can best relate to your brain on the basis of more positive thinking, emotions, attitudes, and beliefs. In that regard we are running counter to the prevailing trend, which sees the brain as an organ that needs to be maintained the way one would maintain the heart of stomach. Of course the brain is an organ, but far more importantly, it serves the mind. Therefore, everything you think, say, and do depends on aligning the brain with your desires, intentions, and the vision you have of your life. The brain keeps a constant feedback loop going with the mind and body; if you were to fall into a coma, it can sustain life. Read the rest of this entry »

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How to Inspire Your Brain

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 4, 2012

By Deepak Chopra, Co-author, ‘Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being’; founder, The Chopra Foundation

 GYI0000667336.jpgWe’ve entered a golden age for brain research, but all these new findings haven’t trickled down to the individual. Yet there are broad discoveries that make it possible to everyone to improve their brains. Let me state these succinctly:

• Your brain is constantly renewing itself.
• Your brain can heal its wounds form the past.
• Experience changes the bran every day.
• The input you give your brain causes it to form new neural pathways.
• The more positive the input, the better your brain will function.

In a new book, Super Brain, I and my co-author, Prof. Rudolf Tanzi of Harvard Medical School, expand upon the neuroscience behind these broad findings. The old view of the brain as fixed for life, constantly losing neurons and declining in function, has been all but abolished. The new brain is a process, not a thing, and the process heads in the direction you point it in. A Buddhist monk meditating on compassion develops the brain circuitry that brings compassion into reality. Depending on the input it receives, you can create a compassionate brain, an artistic brain, a wise brain, or any other kind.

However, as Prof. Tanzi and I see it, the agent that makes these possibilities become real is the mind. The brain doesn’t create its own destiny. Genetics delivers the brain in a functioning state so that the nervous system can regulate itself and the whole body. It doesn’t take your intervention to balance hormone levels, regulate heartbeat, or do a thousand other autonomic functions. But the newest part of the brain, the neocortex, is where the field of possibilities actually lies. Here is where decisions are made, where we discriminate, worship, assess, control, and evolve. Read the rest of this entry »

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Forbes’ 15 Highest Earning Authors List (PHOTOS)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 14, 2012


James Patterson: $94 million

James Patterson: $94 million

Yesterday, Forbes released their annual list of the world’s highest earning authors.

Stephen King: $39 million

Stephen King: $39 million

Unsurprisingly, thriller kings James Patterson and Stephen King come in at numbers 1 and 2. Janet Evanovich came in third, with estimated earnings of $33 million, one of several women on the list this year.

Favorite YA/middlegrade series writers also made their list: Suzanne Collins (“The Hunger Games” series), Stephenie Meyer (“Twilight” series), JK Rowling (“Harry Potter” series), Jeff Kinney (“WImpy Kid” series) and Rick Riordan (“Percy Jackson and the Olympians” series). Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Smart Women Read Romance Novels

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 13, 2012

By Ann Browning Walker

When I first started reading romance novels as a teenager, I squirreled them away. I hid the covers behind book jackets or splayed my hands artfully across them so that no one would know what I was reading. I felt ashamed. But why?

Smart girls don’t read romance novels, I heard.

Well, I grew up and discovered that someone lied. This stereotype may have resulted from the enduring misconceptions about romance novels thanks to tropes that went out of style nearly 30 years ago. In these “bodice-rippers,” heroes captured heroines against their will. The women succumbed to heroes in barely-disguised rape scenes. But just as the role of women in society has changed over the past 30 years, so have romance novels. These types of romances went out of fashion along with leisure suits and acid-washed jeans. Now, I’ll admit this trope sometimes creeps back in (ahem, 50 Shades of Grey), but most romances today feature strong, smart, savvy women. And smart romance characters attract smart romance readers.

Take The Cinderella Deal by one of my favorite authors, Jennifer Crusie. In this novel, based on the well-known marriage-of-convenience plot, Daisy initially conforms to Linc’s rigid expectations; however, she breaks free and grows as an artist as the two resolve their problems. Meanwhile, Linc, too, opens up to the world around him and learns how to compromise. It pulls from the classic fairy tale, but Daisy acts as her own fairy godmother, transforming herself into someone more beautiful on the inside. And, like the glass slipper, the things she leaves behind (her paintings, her warmth, her neighborliness) make Linc realize her talent and how she has changed his life for the better. Ultimately, the love Daisy and Linc attain comes as a result of personal achievement and growth. Read the rest of this entry »

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Letter To Hitler: A German Woman’s Haunting Correspondence

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 25, 2012

Letters To Hitler

The following is an excerpt from “Letters to Hitler” [Polity, $25.00]:

For Christmas 1930, thirty-two-year-old Elsa Walter, from Karlsruhe in Baden, southwest Germany, sent Hitler a book. She had written and illustrated this clothbound book by hand. She had joined the Party on 1 November and was member number 358,061.

Elsa Walter was unmarried, her family belonged to the lower middle class and had lost its savings during the period of extreme inflation in the early 1920s. Walter had attended a grammar school for girls, was interested in politics, and apparently had extensive experience in housekeeping.

In this eighty-page text entitled “The German Woman,” she sought to tell Hitler what motivated her. At the same time she assumed that many women thought the way she did. Her letter is written in fluent and clear handwriting, and points to an energetic woman with strong feelings. Sometimes the depth of these feelings clearly interfered with her punctuation. In the interest of clarity some of these grammatical mistakes have been corrected in the following extracts. Read the rest of this entry »

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White House Burning: Putting Out the Wrong Fire

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 28, 2012

By Dean Baker, Co-Director of CEPR; Author, ‘The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive’

I have enormous respect for Simon Johnson. I first recall seeing him one late evening on a Bill Moyers segment in the middle of the financial crisis. I couldn’t quite believe that the former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund was complaining about the oligarchs in the financial industry using their control of the U.S. government to bail out their bankrupt banks. This was more likely attributable to too much alcohol or too little sleep than anything that could really be happening in this world.

Remarkably, it turned out to be true. Ever since the beginning of the financial crisis, Johnson, along with his co-author James Kwak, has been a tireless proponent of financial reform. Their blog, Baseline Scenario is an essential source for those following the debate over financial reform, as well as other issues. Their last book, 13 Bankers, is a great account of the growing concentration in the financial industry that left us with too big to fail banks.

Given their heroic role in the financial reform debate, I am not anxious to criticize Johnson and Kwak’s new book, White House Burning. But there are some important areas of difference that deserve attention.

The basic thesis of White House Burning is that the country is on an unsustainable fiscal path. Unlike some of the Chicken Littles leading the budget debate, Johnson and Kwak are responsible in how they lay out the case. There is no nonsense about runaway government spending. They explicitly refute this story. Most categories of government spending, except defense, have remained constant or fallen as a share of GDP since the budget surplus days of the late 90s. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Forbes’ Billionaire List: JK Rowling Drops From Billionaire To Millionaire Due To Charitable Giving

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 15, 2012

You are winning the heart of public – that is the most important:

Even Harry Potter’s wizardry couldn’t have prevented this blow.

JK Rowling, the first female novelist billionaire, recently lost her exclusive status because of some very good deeds.

Forbes, which has produced an annual list of billionaires for the past 25 years, said that the “Harry Potter” author dropped from billionaire to millionaire due to Britain’s high taxes and her charitable giving.

“New information about Rowling’s estimated $160 million in charitable giving combined with Britain’s high tax rates bumped the Harry Potter scribe from our list this year,” Forbes noted in its “Billionaire Dropoffs” list. Read the rest of this entry »

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90-Year-Old Activist ‘Granny D’ Inspires Change, Walks Across Country

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 15, 2012

By Dennis Burke

I learned a few very good things during my travels with Doris “Granny D” Haddock. The first, which sounds hackneyed, is that one person can make a difference. It’s truer than I imagined. When Matt Keller and other young Common Cause lobbyists were making their rounds on the Hill to get votes for McCain-Feingold–a flawed but worthwhile attempt to limit the flood of corrupting money into campaigns–they kept running into the same objection from Members of Congress: “Yeah, you good government folks want this reform, but the real people back home don’t care about it–it’s a Beltway thing.”

Matt told me that all that changed overnight when they could say, “No, actually, people do care, so much so, in fact, that a 90 year-old New Hampshire lady is walking from California to D.C. to support this bill–and she’s getting lots of ink along the way.” The ink was true: newspapers and local TV stations were all over her, and were changing their editorial stances in favor of the reform. Even the conservative Dallas Morning News endorsed the reform after they talked to her.

So, yeah, one person matters. A lot.

The second thing I learned is that personal sacrifice is the key to political change, and it’s very rare today. Getting on a bus to D.C. and walking around with signs doesn’t cut it today, if it ever did. If there’s not a little Selma in the march, it doesn’t much matter. If Doris had been a healthy 35-year-old walking across the country, she would not have moved the bill to passage, which she did. (It could not have passed it without her, according to the bill’s sponsors). Her secret weapon was her willingness to endure incredible leg cramps every night and to suffer through steep hills with her emphysema and her arthritis. Reporters walking with her became true believers, starting most notably with Frank Bruni of The New York Times. Big changes are all about personal sacrifice and the acceptance of pain to demonstrate the importance of the issue. The only real way to show people the depth of your feelings is to show them what you will do short of suicide or masochism (which don’t sell and don’t represent high human values). Read the rest of this entry »

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Social Media Censorship: Why Was This Word Banned In China?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 15, 2012

From one side good, better best and from the other side bad, worse worst:

Chinese social media users weren’t able to share many recipes for soup or french fries last year, as the term “iodized salt” was banned in an attempt to quell rumors that the compound can prevent radiation poisoning, a feared ailment after theFukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.

This was discovered during a Carnegie Mellon University study that analyzed the deleted messages on Weibo, China’s largest microblogging site.

According to the study, 212,583 out of more than 1.3 million checked messages had been deleted, or more than 16 percent. Messages containing certain phrases, like “Tibet,” “brainwash” and well-known dissident “Ai Weiwei,” were more likely to be flagged by the Chinese government.

In addition to the strict moderation on their activities, the Washington Post blog writes that Weibo users will soon be required to register with their actual names, decreasing anonymity and likely forcing bloggers to be cautious about the messages they share. Read the rest of this entry »

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Wrong Title Announced At Presentation Of National Book Awards 2011 Finalists

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 12, 2011

Oh 60% female author? That’s why I am saying this is the year of female.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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A Cosmic Book With Human Insight

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 13, 2011

By Deepak Chopra

I found my eyes opened, along with my mind, by an intriguing book, The View from the Center of the Universe, by Joel R. Primack, a distinguished physicist at the University of California Santa Cruz, and his wife, Nancy Ellen Abrams, an excellent writer. There have been a spate of books extending our concept of the universe and how human beings fit into it. In an earlier post I listed some of the most exciting concepts that are potentially revolutionizing cosmology, among them, that we live in a conscious universe, that the universe is a living thing, and that evolution drives the cosmos. Primack and Abrams continue to explore such ideas in their newest bookThe New Universe and the Human Future.

But they also campaign persuasively for a meaningful universe, contending that we no longer live in the ancient or medieval conception of the cosmos and not the empty, meaningless universe of Newton. “The lack of a meaningful universe is a modern mental handicap.” They are not aiming to reclaim old religious ideas, however. “There is a real dissonance between the colorful, volatile, science-expanded world we actually inhabit and the monotonously recycled language that religions use to describe ‘ultimate reality.'” So what kind of meaning do Primack and Abrams find in the cosmos? Their book answers this question through a totally engaging and very readable exploration of “the new universe” explained by quantum physics and contemporary astrophysics.

In a nutshell, “… the Big Bang powers us all, galaxies and human beings alike, in different ways on our respective size-scales.” This last phrase refers to how nature operates differently depending on how big or small the scale is, moving from the subatomic to the universal. Primack and Abrams put great store in the unique scale of the human world and how our minds have turned to explain ourselves as well as the cosmos. They continue, “Every one of us is entitled to say, ‘I am what the expanding universe is doing here and now.'” This startling declaration isn’t solipsism. In fact, it echoes a sentence I remember from a noted Indian guru, who said, “You need to realize that the entire universe collaborated to create this exact second and everything that is happening to you right now.” Bringing such a perspective into practical life, as Primack and Abrams want to do, is not easy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Building a Nuclear Weapons-Free World

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 17, 2011

By Lawrence Wittner,  Professor of History University of New York/Albany*

Apocalypse Never (Rutgers University Press, 2010), by Tad Daley, is a new book that deserves wide circulation, for it is a spirited, ringing call for nuclear weapons abolition — including why it is imperative and how it can be achieved.

According to Daley — a former member of the International Policy Department of the Rand Corporation, as well as a former speechwriter and policywriter for members of Congress — unless we move quickly to build a nuclear weapons-free world, nuclear catastrophes are likely to erupt in any (or all) of the following ways.

Nuclear terrorism provides the likeliest scenario. Although unscrupulous U.S. politicians have inflated the dangers of terrorism to further their own political careers, there is nevertheless a genuine danger of terrorist attack. And there remains little doubt that terrorists have attempted (and continue to attempt) to obtain nuclear weapons and weapons grade material to implement such an assault. According to Physicians for Social Responsibility, if a single nuclear weapon of the Hiroshima type were exploded in Los Angeles, more than 117,000 people would perish instantly and another 111,000 would die sooner or later from radiation exposure. Moreover, that is a small nuclear weapon by today’s standards. The U.S. government has a nuclear warhead with nearly a hundred times the explosive power of the Hiroshima bomb. As long as nuclear weapons and weapons grade material exist in national arsenals, terrorists and other madmen will have the opportunity to obtain them through theft, black market operations, or bribery. Read the rest of this entry »

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Assange Book Deal: WikiLeaks Founder Lands $1.5 Million Autobiography Deal

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 27, 2010

“The Australian said he would receive 800,000 dollars (600,000 euros) from Alfred A. Knopf, his American publisher, and a British deal with Canongate is worth 325,000 pounds (380,000 euros, 500,000 dollars).
Money from other markets and serialisat­ion is expected to raise the total to 1.1 million pounds, he said.” – This is ok.

“The two Swedish women accusing Julian Assange of sex crimes are supporters of WikiLeaks, not pawns of the CIA, and they simply seek justice for a violation of their “sexual integrity,­” their lawyer says.” – Doubt with this.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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7 Amazing Libraries (PHOTOS)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 13, 2010

Really wonderful.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Sizing Up The Universe: 8 Incredible Pictures Of The Universe (PHOTOS)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 16, 2010

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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