CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

Saturday, January 17, 2015

IN SEARCH OF IDENTITY IN THE ROAD OF LIFE

 

 

Heavens above! During recent turbulent weather conditions the clouds momentarily parted at sunset to reveal the image of the God-like bearded man Psalm Of Life

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
    Life is but an empty dream! —
  For the soul is dead that slumbers,
    And things are not what they seem.


  Life is real! Life is earnest!
    And the grave is not its goal;
  Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
    Was not spoken of the soul.

  Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
    Is our destined end or way;
  But to act, that each to-morrow
    Find us farther than to-day.

  Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
    And our hearts, though stout and brave,
  Still, like muffled drums, are beating
    Funeral marches to the grave.

  In the world's broad field of battle,
    In the bivouac of Life,
  Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
    Be a hero in the strife!
 

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
    Let the dead Past bury its dead!
  Act, — act in the living Present!
    Heart within, and God o'erhead!
 

Lives of great men all remind us
    We can make our lives sublime,
  And, departing, leave behind us
    Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
    Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
  A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
    Seeing, shall take heart again.
 

Let us, then, be up and doing,
    With a heart for any fate;
  Still achieving, still pursuing,
    Learn to labor and to wait…HWL

 

The face is looking straight back at Mr Fletcher as he took the photograph and appears to be gazing over Norfolk's famously flat landscape Linn Cove Viaduct: Thanks to this concrete bridge we get glimpses of the Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina like this - it's park of the Blue Ridge Parkway and winds through an earthy-coloured rainbow in autumn


The vast expanse of land between the scrub land and mountains seems to dwarf one of the nomads

   

Life on the open road: Meet America's new nomads who have broken free from society to follow ancient paths to a 'more natural and fulfilling life'

A small band of American nomads have given up the trappings of modern life to make the wild expanse of rugged land across the U.S. - from Idaho to California - their home.

Relying solely on their survival skills and ability to hunt and forage for food, this new tribe of Americans travel across remote tracts of land, moving with the seasons or on a whim.

Their roaming lifestyle was captured by photographer Adrain Chesser, who followed a small group from 2006 to 2012, to document the pleasures and occasional hardships encountered in their quest for a free lifestyle.

With a bow in one hand, and animal skins keeping her warm, Mikalia hikes through Deschutes River Canyon in Oregon

+14

With a bow in one hand, and animal skins keeping her warm, Mikalia hikes through Deschutes River Canyon in Oregon

The hardships of life on the constant move are often softened by the discovery of fresh produce such as cherries found in California's Marble Mountain wilderness

+14

The hardships of life on the constant move are often softened by the discovery of fresh produce such as cherries found in California's Marble Mountain wilderness

One of the new nomads uses a magpie in her hunt for food in Oregon, as the group follow ancient paths and traditions

+14

One of the new nomads uses a magpie in her hunt for food in Oregon, as the group follow ancient paths and traditions

Chesser first met the group at a Native American festival in Tennessee. And, although most are not descended from tribes, they have adopted their lifestyle and incorporated their knowledge into their endless journey.

One of his subjects - White Eagle - summed up the eclectic mix of nomads following an age-old path known as The Hoop, telling Vice: 'Most come in one form or another from the disenfranchised margins of mainstream America.

'Most are poor, some are queer, some are transgendered, some are hermits, and some are politically radical. ... And all are willing pioneers, stepping off into uncertain terrain and searching for something lost generations ago.'

 

The group drift from Idaho, to Nevada, Oregon and California, sleeping under the stars or in shelters based on the traditional homes of the Native Americans.

Their progress, as they rear and slaughter goats, or forage for wild cherries, was documented by Chesser for his book, The Return.

His inspiration for the work came at a time when he was feeling trapped by society.  'I knew that I had to follow them out west,' he told Vice. 'My soul needed images of people living wild and free, untethered from society.'

The resulting images reveal the beauty of some of the more remote regions of the U.S. and the joy of those brave enough to follow a hard but fulfilling life as they follow ancient traditions.

The vast expanse of land between the scrub land and mountains seems to dwarf one of the nomads

+14

The vast expanse of land between the scrub land and mountains seems to dwarf one of the nomads

To the east of the bustling lights of Las Vegas, a nomad settles down for the night in just a sleeping bag

+14

To the east of the bustling lights of Las Vegas, a nomad settles down for the night in just a sleeping bag

The band of like-minded travelers live off the land, hunting and foraging for food

+14

The band of like-minded travelers live off the land, hunting and foraging for food

A woman digs at the tough prairie ground in Idaho as she forages for food

+14

A woman digs at the tough prairie ground in Idaho as she forages for food

An old-fashioned yoke helps balance the load as a woman carries water supplies across a field of meadow flowers

+14

An old-fashioned yoke helps balance the load as a woman carries water supplies across a field of meadow flowers

The eclectic band of nomads live in temporary shelters or sleep under the stars as they follow their food sources across the U.S.

+14

The eclectic band of nomads live in temporary shelters or sleep under the stars as they follow their food sources across the U.S.

A young man and woman look peaceful as the wind whips through their hair during a truck ride in Nevada

+14

A young man and woman look peaceful as the wind whips through their hair during a truck ride in Nevada

JP Hartsong, one of the new nomads, surveys his surroundings in Stoneberger Creek, Nevada

+14

JP Hartsong, one of the new nomads, surveys his surroundings in Stoneberger Creek, Nevada

The wide open expanses of rugged land across the U.S., like this scene in Nevada, have become home to a new generation of nomads

+14

The wide open expanses of rugged land across the U.S., like this scene in Nevada, have become home to a new generation of nomads

Far from the glare of street lamps and city light pollution, nightfall descends peacefully on the Virgin river in Nevada

+14

Far from the glare of street lamps and city light pollution, nightfall descends peacefully on the Virgin river in Nevada

Some of the nomads have created wikiups, based on the traditional Native American shelters

+14

Some of the nomads have created wikiups, based on the traditional Native American shelters

 

   

The sunset that was Heaven-sent:

Norfolk laid claim to be 'God's own county' yesterday after an extraordinary photograph of a man with a white beard in the clouds apparently peering over the area emerged.

During recent turbulent weather conditions the clouds momentarily parted at sunset to reveal the image of the God-like bearded man.

The picture was taken by interim company finance director Mr Jeremy Fletcher, 56, from the seashore at Snettisham in the west of the county looking out to The Wash, a wide estuary between Norfolk and Lincolnshire.

Heavens above! During recent turbulent weather conditions the clouds momentarily parted at sunset to reveal the image of the God-like bearded man

+2

Heavens above! During recent turbulent weather conditions the clouds momentarily parted at sunset to reveal the image of the God-like bearded man

The face is looking straight back at Mr Fletcher as he took the photograph and appears to be gazing over Norfolk's famously flat landscape.

Mr Fletcher, of Bray, Berkshire, was in the area for a three-month attachment with a company and took the photograph on an evening stroll along the beach at Snettisham. 'I realised the image looked remarkably like a face of a man with a beard so I took a number of shots on my phone. The face appeared to be looking back towards the shore.

'The obvious comment is that it looks like God but it could also be Sean Connery or Karl Marx,' added Mr Fletcher, who said he was not a religious person.

The face is looking straight back at Mr Fletcher as he took the photograph and appears to be gazing over Norfolk's famously flat landscape

+2

The face is looking straight back at Mr Fletcher as he took the photograph and appears to be gazing over Norfolk's famously flat landscape

Meanwhile, Norfolk councillor and county stalwart Charles Joyce, 62, said: 'Everyone who lives here knows Norfolk is a bit special and now it seems to have been confirmed from above.'

 

There's no such thing as a 'travel day' when you take on some of the most extreme, scenic and daring roads on the Earth - erase forever the notion that an entire block of your travel time could be written off as a long and loathsome car ride.

For below these very words is evidence that it's often the journey rather than the destination that offers the most lasting memories.

From the stunning ancient red sandstone formations of Arizona's Valley of Fire and Patagonian mountains to the man-made marvels of the Florida Keys and Norway, these roads must be driven.

Valley of Fire Road: No prizes for guessing why this vibrant stretch got its name - it winds through the Valley of Fire State Park famous for its red sandstone formations

+13

Valley of Fire Road: No prizes for guessing why this vibrant stretch got its name - it winds through the Valley of Fire State Park famous for its red sandstone formations

Ruta 40: Or National Route 40 in Argentina's Patagonia spans over 3,000 miles the length of Argentina, and goes through 20 national parks, but it's all about the view forward to Monte Fitz Roy here

+13

Ruta 40: Or National Route 40 in Argentina's Patagonia spans over 3,000 miles the length of Argentina, and goes through 20 national parks, but it's all about the view forward to Monte Fitz Roy here

Storseisundet Bridge: Dubbed the road to nowhere, this is the longest of the eight bridges that form the  Atlantic Road, or Atlanterhavsveien in Norwegian

+13

Storseisundet Bridge: Dubbed the road to nowhere, this is the longest of the eight bridges that form the Atlantic Road, or Atlanterhavsveien in Norwegian

Troll's Footpath: The intriguingly named Trollstigen is a popular tourism route in Norway. The modern car-worthy road with 11 hairpin turns took the horse and cart path's place, but that old track is still perfectly visible

+13

Troll's Footpath: The intriguingly named Trollstigen is a popular tourism route in Norway. The modern car-worthy road with 11 hairpin turns took the horse and cart path's place, but that old track is still perfectly visible

North Yungas Road: This road leading from La Paz to Coroico in Bolivia has lots of names, including Grove's Road, Coroico Road and Camino de las Yungas, but the most memorable is Death Road - guess why...

+13

North Yungas Road: This road leading from La Paz to Coroico in Bolivia has lots of names, including Grove's Road, Coroico Road and Camino de las Yungas, but the most memorable is Death Road - guess why...

Chapman's Peak Drive: A front row seat to South Africa's southwestern tip is found on the route between Noordhoek and Hout Bay on the Atlantic Coast near Cape Town

+13

Chapman's Peak Drive: A front row seat to South Africa's southwestern tip is found on the route between Noordhoek and Hout Bay on the Atlantic Coast near Cape Town

Karakoram Highway: China likes to do things bigger and roads are o different, but here they share the title of world's highest paved international road with Pakistan. The stretch of asphalt crosses the Karakoram mountain range through the Khunjerab Pass at 15,397 feet above sea level

+13

Karakoram Highway: China likes to do things bigger and roads are o different, but here they share the title of world's highest paved international road with Pakistan. The stretch of asphalt crosses the Karakoram mountain range through the Khunjerab Pass at 15,397 feet above sea level

Linn Cove Viaduct: Thanks to this concrete bridge we get glimpses of the Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina like this - it's park of the Blue Ridge Parkway and winds through an earthy-coloured rainbow in autumn

+13

Linn Cove Viaduct: Thanks to this concrete bridge we get glimpses of the Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina like this - it's park of the Blue Ridge Parkway and winds through an earthy-coloured rainbow in autumn

Interstate 70: Utah at its finest from here as the highway cut through the San Rafael Reef (right) and the San Rafael River turns its immediate vicinity green (bottom left) - that's the Henry Mountains in the background on the left

+13

Interstate 70: Utah at its finest from here as the highway cut through the San Rafael Reef (right) and the San Rafael River turns its immediate vicinity green (bottom left) - that's the Henry Mountains in the background on the left

Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road: This road leads to the Jebel Hafeet Mountain, the UAE's second-tallest mountain

+13

Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road: This road leads to the Jebel Hafeet Mountain, the UAE's second-tallest mountain

Florida Keys: The Overseas Highway is mainland Florida's connection to the Florida Keys - 42 bridges making up 113 miles over overseas road make it a sight to behold, especially as sunrise or sunset

+13

Florida Keys: The Overseas Highway is mainland Florida's connection to the Florida Keys - 42 bridges making up 113 miles over overseas road make it a sight to behold, especially as sunrise or sunset

On foot: Runners cross the water during the Seven Mile Bridge Run in Marathon, Florida, which has been conducted since 1982

+13

On foot: Runners cross the water during the Seven Mile Bridge Run in Marathon, Florida, which has been conducted since 1982

The Cabot Trail: The super scenic highway around the northern tip of Canada's Nova Scotia has to be seen to be appreciated

+13

The Cabot Trail: The super scenic highway around the northern tip of Canada's Nova Scotia has to be seen to be appreciated

 

Photographer Mike Disfarmer wanted so desperately to separate himself from his past, he once claimed a tornado had sucked him up and spit him out into the Arkansas home of his parents, the Meyers.

Born into a German immigrant farming family, he was eventually drawn to photography, setting up a studio in his hometown of Heber Springs where he worked obsessively photographing residents. An egotistical recluse, he later changed his name to Disfarmer as a way to distance himself from his family's farming roots.

His eccentricities made him a local celebrity, but decades after his death in 1959, 4,000 of his original glass plate negatives were discovered and his work became known to the larger art world, writes the New York Times.

The Killion brothers John, Clifford and Andy, had their photo taken some time between 1939 and 1946

+12

The Killion brothers John, Clifford and Andy, had their photo taken some time between 1939 and 1946

Residents like Ed and Mamie Barger, whose photo was taken some time between 1939 and 1946, could get portraits made for 25 cents, or three photos for 75 cents

+12

Residents like Ed and Mamie Barger, whose photo was taken some time between 1939 and 1946, could get portraits made for 25 cents, or three photos for 75 cents

The portraits, praised for their intimacy, have also hinted at something darker. Some critics have claimed the fact his subjects often did not smile, at the direction of Disfarmer, reflected the artist's own isolation.

'People would make such simplistic links between the way people look at his photographs and his mental well-being,' says art historian Chelsea Spengemann, who is curating Becoming Disfarmer in the Neuberger Museum in Purchase, New York.

'That to me just seems to be a very lazy interpretation in art history.'

Self-portraits: Disfarmer produced portraits of himself, the eccentric recluse from Heber Springs

+12

An unnamed girl sits for a portrait in Disfarmer's studio, where families came to take photos for albums or simply for fun

Sisters Picola and Iola stood for their photo between 1939 and 1946

+12

Sisters Picola and Iola stood for their photo between 1939 and 1946

Bessie Heral was photographed between 1940 and 1950, with the photo labeled made in Arkansas

+12

Bessie Heral was photographed between 1940 and 1950, with the photo labeled made in Arkansas

JC and Irma Dead Verser were photographed some time between 1939 and 1946

+12

JC and Irma Dead Verser were photographed some time between 1939 and 1946

Family photo: Herman, Olive, LaVerne, Charles, Glen, Velma and Troy Lee sat for a portrait in 1947

+12

Family photo: Herman, Olive, LaVerne, Charles, Glen, Velma and Troy Lee sat for a portrait in 1947

Carl Dial Huson was photographed in 1925. Families took photos for albums, or sometimes simply for fun.

+12

Carl Dial Huson was photographed in 1925. Families took photos for albums, or sometimes simply for fun.

Earl Lang's photo was taken in 1935, with the stamp marking the business as The Meyer Studio, at a time before Disfarmer changed his name 

+12

Earl Lang's photo was taken in 1935, with the stamp marking the business as The Meyer Studio, at a time before Disfarmer changed his name

An unidentified couple sits for a photo between 1940 and 1950 at Disfarmer's studio 

+12

An unidentified couple sits for a photo between 1940 and 1950 at Disfarmer's studio

 

Pictures of the Week: January 18, 2013

1

Clearing skies await a tripod-toting photographer looking for a spot to capture the early-morning light at Portland Head Light, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. A snowstorm that ended before dawn temporarily transformed Fort Williams Park into a snowy scene. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) #

Pictures of the Week: January 18, 2013

2

Jimmy Greene, foreground left, Nelba Marquez-Greene, center, parents of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim Ana Marquez-Greene, and Nicole Hockley, right, mother of victim Dylan Hockley, react during a news conference at Edmond Town Hall in Newtown, Conn., Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. One month after the mass shooting at the school, the parents joined a grassroots initiative called Sandy Hook Promise to support solutions for a safer community. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) #

Pictures of the Week: January 18, 2013

3

Indian Hindu devotees gather on the banks at Sangam, the confluence of the holy rivers Ganges and Yamuna and mythical Saraswati at the Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, India, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. Millions of pilgrims from India and abroad are expected to attend the 55-day Maha Kumbh festival, one of the world's largest religious gatherings, which is held once every 12 years. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #

Pictures of the Week: January 18, 2013

4

Indian Army soldiers march during during army day parade, in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013. India marks Republic Day on Jan. 26 with military parades and festivities across the country. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal) #

Pictures of the Week: January 18, 2013

5

Michael Kiefer, of DeFuniak Springs, Fla., checks out a display of rifles at the Rock River Arms booth during the 35th annual SHOT Show, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, in Las Vegas. The world's largest gun and outdoor trade show runs through Friday. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) #

Pictures of the Week: January 18, 2013

6

A bull charges towards bull tamers during the bull-taming sport called Jallikattu, in Alanganallur, about 530 kilometers (331 miles) south of Chennai, India, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. Jallikattu is an ancient heroic sporting event of the Tamils played during the harvest festival of Pongal. (AP Photo/Arun Sankar K.)#

Pictures of the Week: January 18, 2013

7

The shadow of a helicopter is projected over KTM rider Cyril Despres of France competes in the 12th stage of the 2013 Dakar Rally from Fiambala, Argentina, to Copiapo, Chile, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013. The race finishes in Santiago, Chile, on Jan. 20. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano) #

Pictures of the Week: January 18, 2013

8

An Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers patrols along the border fence at an outpost along the India-Pakistan border in Suchit-Garh, 36 kms southwest of Jammu on January 11, 2013. Pakistan summoned the Indian ambassador to protest against "unacceptable and unprovoked" attacks by the Indian army that killed two Pakistani soldiers in five days in Kashmir. AFP PHOTO/ Tauseef MUSTAFA #

Pictures of the Week: January 18, 2013

9

Sadhus or holy men walk in a procession towards the Sangham or the confluence of the the Yamuna and Ganges rivers to bathe before sunrise during the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad on January 14, 2013. Hundreds of thousands of Hindu pilgrims led by naked, ash-covered holy men streamed into the sacred river Ganges on Monday at the start of the world's biggest religious festival. The Kumbh Mela in the Indian town of Allahabad will see up to 100 million worshippers gather over the next 55 days to take a ritual bath in the holy waters, believed to cleanse sins and bestow blessings. Before daybreak on Monday, a day chosen by astrologers as auspicious, hundreds of gurus, some brandishing swords and tridents, ran into the swirling and freezing waters for the first bath, signalling the start of events.AFP PHOTO/SANJAY KANOJIA #

Pictures of the Week: January 18, 2013

10

This general photo shows vendors running their businesses as usual despite floodwaters that inundated the Cipulir textile market in Jakarta on January 17, 2013. Heavy rains have displaced almost 10,000 people in the Indonesian capital, a government official said on January 16, with two people killed so far in the seasonal chaos. AFP PHOTO / ADEK BERRYADEK BERRY #

Pictures of the Week: January 18, 2013

11

Palestinians women mourn during the funeral of Palestinian farmer Moustafa Abu Jarad in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. According to Palestinian medical official Ashraf al-Kidra, the farmer was shot dead by Israeli troops. The Israeli military said in initial investigation disclosed it was not behind the shooting. (AP Photo/Adel Hana) #

Pictures of the Week: January 18, 2013

12

An Afghan security walks at the scene after an attack by militants in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. Six militants wearing suicide vests including one driving a car packed with explosives attacked the gate of the Afghan intelligence in Kabul on Wednesday, setting off a blast that reportedly caused several deaths and wounded at least 30 civilians, officials said. (AP Photo/Ahmad Jamshid) #

Pictures of the Week: January 18, 2013

13

A woman rides a horse through a bonfire in San Bartolome de Pinares, Spain, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, in honor of Saint Anthony, the patron saint of animals. On the eve of Saint Anthony's Day, hundreds ride their horses trough the narrow cobblestone streets of the small village of San Bartolome during the "Luminarias", a traditional festival that dates back 500 years and is meant to purify the animals with the smoke of the bonfires, and protect them for the year to come. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza) #

Pictures of the Week: January 18, 2013

14

A model presents a creation of r Austrian designer Lena Hoschek as part of the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Berlin for autumn winter 2013 in Berlin, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) #

Pictures of the Week: January 18, 2013

15

An Indian Hindu man jumps up and down in the water as he takes a dip at Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, during the royal bath on Makar Sankranti at the start of the Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, India, Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. Millions of Hindu pilgrims are expected to take part in the large religious congregation that lasts more than 50 days on the banks of Sangam during the Maha Kumbh Mela in January 2013, which falls every 12th year. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #

Pictures of the Week: January 18, 2013

16

A woman helps adjust a mask for her friend outside an amusement park on a hazy day in Beijing Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013. Air pollution levels in China's notoriously dirty capital were at dangerous levels Saturday, with cloudy skies blocking out visibility and warnings issued for people to remain indoors. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan) #

Pictures of the Week: January 18, 2013

17

Pascal Larroque, co-driver of Pascal Thomasse, both of France, pulls their car with a cable from the bank of a river during the 11th stage of the 2013 Dakar Rally from La Rioja to Fiambala, Argentina, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Bertrand Metayer, Le Parisien, Pool) #

Pictures of the Week: January 18, 2013

18

Dakar Rally Director Etienne Lavigne, right, covers his face from sand kicked up by a helicopter lifting the motorcycle of Herve Thierry of France after it fell in the river during the 11th stage of the 2013 Dakar Rally from La Rioja to Fiambala, Argentina, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Bertrand Metayer, Le Parisien, Pool) #

Pictures of the Week: January 18, 2013

19

Horses in a field gallop away from the sound of motorcycles competing in the 9th stage of the 2013 Dakar Rally from Tucuman to Cordoba, Argentina, Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. The race finishes in Santiago, Chile, on Jan. 20. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano) #

Pictures of the Week: January 18, 2013

20

Girls from the Pontevra Bagpipe Band wait for their appearance at the unveiling of the 2013 cycling classic La Vuelta route in Vigo, Spain, Saturday Jan. 12, 2013. The event will start on Aug. 24 in Vilanova de Arousa, Pontevedra, and will finish Sept. 15 in Madrid. (AP Photo/Paulo Duarte) #

Pictures of the Week: January 18, 2013

21

New Washington, Ohio, Chief of Police Scott Robertson talks with fourth grade students as they huddle in closet a during a lockdown drill at the St. Bernard School in New Washington, Ohio, Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. A month after the shootings of 20 students and six educators a the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., St. Bernard School principal Susan Maloy, inspired by the memories of those who lost their lives, has decided to hold lockdown drills on the 14th of each month to refine a safety plan and increase school security. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) #

Pictures of the Week: January 18, 2013

22

A man drinks wine near a bonfire in San Bartolome de Pinares, Spain, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, in honor of Saint Anthony, the patron saint of animals. On the eve of Saint Anthony's Day, hundreds ride their horses trough the narrow cobblestone streets of the small village of San Bartolome during the "Luminarias", a traditional festival that dates back 500 years and is meant to purify the animals with the smoke of the bonfires, and protect them for the year to come. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza) #

Pictures of the Week: January 18, 2013

23

A man sweeps an exposed tiled area of the earthquake-damaged Santa Ana Catholic church, where he now lives, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013. Haitians recalled Saturday the tens of thousands of people who lost their lives in the devastating earthquake three years ago. Most of the rubble created by the quake has since been carted away but more than 350,000 people still live in displacement camps. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

 

 

Lonely people have less activity in a part of the brain that normally lights up in association with reward, scientists have found. It's not clear if social isolation diminishes the brain-reward response, however, or if people with less activity in that part of the brain tend toward loneliness. More research will be need to sort out the findings, which come from a study of just 23 female college students. But the finding offers hope that scientists may improve their understanding of loneliness, a growing emotional problem in an increasingly scattered society and one known to raise the risks of several health problems.

The subjects were surveyed with standard questions to determine who felt socially isolated, or lonely, vs. those who did not. They then underwent fMRI brain scans while looking at photos of people enjoying themselves.

The ventral striatum — a region of the brain known from other research to light up in association with rewards such as food and money — was much less activated in the lonely group.

"Given their feelings of social isolation, lonely individuals may be left to find relative comfort in nonsocial rewards," said John Cacioppo, aprofessor of psychology at the University of Chicago.

Growing problem

About one if five Americans experience loneliness, Cacioppo said. And it is a growing problem in modern society in part because the average household size is decreasing. By 2010, 31 million Americans — roughly 10 percent of the population — will live alone, Cacioppo and his colleagues say.

Previous work has suggested it can be as detrimental to health as smoking, Cacioppo said. In his book, "Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection" (W.W. Norton, 2008), he presented evidence that loneliness is related to less blood flow through the body, poorer immune systems, increased levels of depression and a faster progression of Alzheimer's disease.

A 2006 study by a different research team, of people age 50 to 68, found that those who scored highest on measures of loneliness also had higher blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease. The potentially deadly health effect of loneliness accumulates gradually and faster as you get older, that study found.

Although loneliness may be influence brain activity, the research also suggests that activity in the ventral striatum may prompt feelings of loneliness, said Cacioppo's colleague Jean Decety, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at the university. "The study raises the intriguing possibility that loneliness may result from reduced reward-related activity in the ventral striatum in response to social rewards," Decety said.

The results are published in the current issue of the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. Cacioppo presented the findings today at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in Chicago.

What to do

In his 2008 book, Cacioppo and co-author William Patrick, former science editor at Harvard University Press, argue that loneliness creates a feedback loop that reinforces social anxiety, fear and other negative feelings. Getting out of the loop requires first recognizing it and overcoming the fear related with connecting with others.

"The process begins in rediscovering those positive, physiological sensations that come during the simplest moments of human contact," Patrick said. "But that means overcoming the fear and reaching out."

"Lonely people feel a hunger," Cacioppo added. "The key is to realize that the solution lies not in being fed, but in cooking for and enjoying a meal with others."


Are you lonesome tonight,
Do you miss me tonight?
Are you sorry we drifted apart?
Does your memory stray to a brighter sunny day
When I kissed you and called you sweetheart?
Do the chairs in your parlor seem empty and bare?
Do you gaze at your doorstep and picture me there?
Is your heart filled with pain, shall I come back again?
Tell me dear, are you lonesome tonight?
I wonder if youre lonesome tonight
You know someone said that the worlds a stage
And each must play a part.
Fate had me playing in love you as my sweet heart.
Act one was when we met, I loved you at first glance
You read your line so cleverly and never missed a cue
Then came act two, you seemed to change and you acted strange
And why Ill never know.
Honey, you lied when you said you loved me
And I had no cause to doubt you.
But Id rather go on hearing your lies
Than go on living without you.
Now the stage is bare and Im standing there
With emptiness all around
And if you wont come back to me
Then make them bring the curtain down.
Is your heart filled with pain, shall I come back again?
Tell me dear, are you lonesome tonight?

Can't buy me love: Lonely people

Evocative: A woman cuts a solitary figure in the middle of Trafalgar Square at night in a photograph taken in 1910New Romantics: A girl poses up against the unmistakeable image of the London Tube map in 1981Power structure: A man looks across the River Thames towards Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in 1939 on the eve of the Second World War 

Once someone has become socially isolated and down about it, there are some common traps they can fall into which maintain their loneliness: They hide from the world because they're embarrassed about being lonely and having no life. People who you don't live with really can't tell all that well how much of a social life you have or not. More than that, even if they do have a hunch that you may not be up to all that much on the weekends, they likely don't judge you all that negatively for it. Of course hiding like this is counterproductive because if you want to start getting a social life together, you have to begin putting yourself out there. Lonely people can also hide in the sense that they're really guarded about revealing anything about themselves, because someone might catch on to how little they have going on in their lives. Doing this can prevent new relationships from getting off the ground. A lonely person may 'save face' by avoiding a potential new friend, rather than have to reveal they don't have a ton of buddies at the moment.

The alternative is to be more casual and straightforward about the fact that your social life is lacking at the moment. It's actually something that can happen to anyone from time to time. If the topic comes up, you can just say something like, "I've been working too much lately. I've got to start going out more" or "Ha ha, I think I'm in a bit of a social rut at the moment. I fell out of touch with some old friends, and really should start meeting some new people."  They become experts at distracting themselves from their loneliness.

It's relatively easy to occupy spare hours in front of a TV, computer, or video game console. Some people even use alcohol or dope to take the edge off. People can also get good at structuring the times they do routine errands, so it almost feels like they're busy and have things going on in their life. Obviously this doesn't do anything to fix the underlying problem. They get too comfortable in their rut

When your social life isn't where you want it to be you can find yourself in a situation where you wish it was better, but at the same time you're used to things how they are now. Like the point above mentions, maybe you've gotten really good at filling your time with things that are a half-decent substitute for socializing. Being comfortable like this can be insidious in that on some level you want to improve your situation, but you're not feeling enough of a push to really go after it. It's easier to stay in for another weekend. They expect other people take all the initiative in inviting them out. Sometimes you'll meet someone you get along with and they'll make all the effort of getting your contact information and inviting you out with them, but often this doesn't happen. People are usually pretty busy and already have social lives of their own. They're often on a kind of auto-pilot where they won't think of you as a potential buddy unless you get them thinking that way. Showing an interest in spending time with them is one way you can do that. By waiting for them to extend you an invitation, and doing nothing to put yourself on the line, you may have been unwittingly implying that you weren't interested in hanging out with them.

Also, lonely people can have the mindset where they see whether they're invited out or not as a gauge of how much people like them. If someone doesn't invite them out they take it as a sign that the other person doesn't want to spend time with them. Like I said above, it's more a question of whether you're on someone's radar as a person they could potentially hang out with. Also, people tend to differ in how often they invite people to do things. Some are really friendly, organizer types. Others figure out what the rest of the group is doing and ask if they can come along (or it's just implied they can come). Others are more passive still. It's possible the other person could be waiting for you to invite them out.

Inviting people out and making plans is also a bit of a pain. You can't always leave the work in the other person's hands. Your friends shouldn't always have to be the ones to pick up the phone and think of something to do when they want to hang out with you. Ideally you each pull your own weight.

A final mistake is thinking that inviting someone to do something makes you look weak, desperate, or 'one down'. Don't worry about who invites who to do what and what it all means. If you want to get a circle of friends together assume you have to do all the work to make it happen.

See: How To Make Friends And Get A Social Life. They think they have to be super likable to have friends. Pretty much anyone can have friends if they want to. More often than you'd think you just have to be pleasant, non-annoying company: A buddy to shoot pool with, someone to play video games against, someone to go drinking with, someone to talk to about a common interest. Even an annoying person who makes an effort to be social and make plans with people will often have friends.

They actually aren't that interested in hanging around people

This isn't exactly a "mistake", but it can stymie someone's ability to establish relationships all the same. People who become lonely may be more shy and anxious in the first place or not have as much of a built-in need to be social. They may also have been ostracized in one form or another when they were growing up, leaving them a bit bitter and weary towards other people.

They may feel the painful effects of loneliness and isolation and want to escape them, but at the same time they're not 100% keen on being around other people. This can get them stuck in a pattern where sometimes they'll feel lonely enough that they make initial steps to get a social life going, but then they don't quite have the motivation to follow through on them.

They have a negative attitude towards people

Studies have shown that lonely people tend to be more cynical and negative about other people. This could be a cause or effect of being lonely, or both. In practice this manifests in a picky, superior, or snobby attitude. It may be an over compensation for insecurity, anxiety, or low self-esteem. It may also have routes in somewhat justified feelings of being different, left-out, and alienated. A past of social experiences that haven't gone well may also have left a lonely person feeling jaded about other people.

 

 

'Loneliness map' to help isolated elderly amid concerns of effects it has on nation's health

  • Growing evidence that loneliness can cause health problems
  • Department of Health to identify areas with highest levels of isolation
  • Charity estimates 1 in 10 pensioners are lonely most of the time

Ministers are trying to measure loneliness amid concerns it is having devastating consequences on the nation’s health. The Department of Health is drawing up a map which will pinpoint which areas of the country have the highest levels of isolation. It is a particular problem among the elderly and research has found that as many as half of the over 75s regard the television as their main source of company.

Figures show that 1 in 10 elderly people only see friends and family once a month, with the same proportion saying they feel cut-off from society

Figures show that 1 in 10 elderly people only see friends and family once a month, with the same proportion saying they feel cut-off from society. But there is growing evidence that loneliness can cause health problems and lead to higher rates of dementia, heart disease and high blood pressure. It also leads to people going to their hospital or GP more frequently - just for the company - and they are more likely to move into a care home earlier. For the first time, officials will ask local councils and NHS health trusts to carry out surveys of the levels of loneliness within their communities. If they are found to be high, authorities will be urged to provide extra support such as befriending services and transport to day centres.

Research has found that as many as half of the over 75s regard the television as their main source of company

Research has found that as many as half of the over 75s regard the television as their main source of company. Norman Lamb, the care and support minister said: ‘For the first time we will be aiming to define the extent of the problem by introducing a national measure for loneliness. ‘We will be encouraging local authorities, NHS organisations and others to get better at measuring the condition in their communities. ‘Once they have this information, they can come up with the right solutions to address loneliness and isolation.’ The charity Age UK estimates that as many as 1 in 10 pensioners are lonely most of the time, which equates to 90,000 people. Another 1 in 10 only see friends and family once a month, with the same proportion saying they feel cut-off from society. Laura Ferguson, Director of the Campaign to End Loneliness - which was set up by charities last year said: ‘Loneliness is a major health issue.‘An effective measure of isolation and loneliness is an important step to improving the lives of the hundreds of thousands of older people who are chronically lonely. ‘This national measure can only help those making local health and care decisions to prioritise loneliness as a health issue, and one that they will tackle.’ The campaign says being lonely is linked to high blood pressure and depression and has been shown to increase the risk of dementia by 50 per cent. Dr Anne Hayden, a GP in Dorset, said she trimmed £80,000 from the NHS’s budget by setting up a befriending scheme for elderly patients who frequently came to the surgery. The patients did not have any obvious symptoms and doctors suspected that they were lonely and felt unable to cope with life. As part of the scheme, volunteers visit the patients and help out with jobs around the home as well as offering advice and support.

Married people are THREE times more likely to survive middle age

  • Being single after 40 cuts your chances of reaching 60
  • Loneliness may have a negative effect on health
  • Follows Swedish study that found marriage could protect against Alzheimer's

Being married could be the key to a longer life - by improving your chances of surviving middle age, claim scientists. People who never married were almost three times as likely to die early than those who had been in a stable marriage throughout their adult life US researchers found. The new research suggests for the first time that not having a spouse in midlife increases the risk of dying during those years.

Marital bliss? A spouse could help you navigate middle age

Marital bliss? A spouse could help you navigate middle age

Being single after 40, or losing a partner without marrying again, increased the risk of early death during middle age and cut the chances of getting to 60.

Even when personality and risky behaviours such as smoking and drinking were accounted for, married people were still 2.3 times more likely to survive. The new study was carried out by Dr Ilene Siegler and colleagues from the department of behavioural sciences at Duke University Medical Center, North Carolina. She said ‘In sum, having a partner during middle age is protective. ‘Being single or losing a partner without replacement are the situations that increase mortality risk during middle age and decrease the probability that one will survive to be elderly. ‘New research on chronic loneliness may provide a partial explanation for our findings’ she added. Dr Siegler said living to a ripe old age is expected, particularly for people who reach the age of 40, which makes it important to understand why some people do not survive to become elderly.

Getting and remaining married has long been associated with better survival, especially for men, but the impact on the risk of dying in middle age has not been previously researched, she said. In a new study, researchers analysed data for 4,802 individuals who took part in the University of North Carolina Alumni Heart Study (UNCAHS) - an ongoing study of individuals born in the 1940s.

Those taking part were aged around 40 at the start of the study, and were in their late 50s by its conclusion. They completed four questionnaires at regular intervals. The researchers recorded stability and change in patterns of marital and non-marital status during midlife, and looked at the effect of personality traits during the late teens, socioeconomic status and health risk behaviours. Altogether 238 deaths were reported during the study, including 32 women. Researchers found those who had never married by midlife were at highest risk of death.

photo

Previous research has found marriage can help people to survive heart bypasses and lower the risk of Alzheimer's. They were 2.84 times as likely to die early than those who had been in a stable marriage throughout their adult life. Being single, or losing a partner without replacement, increased the risk of early death during middle age by three quarters and reduced the likelihood of surviving to be elderly.

Personality and poor lifestyle factors in middle age such as smoking, drinking and taking no exercise slightly reduced the benefits of marriage. The study is published online in the journal Annals of Behavioral Medicine. Being married has a positive effect on lifestyle, say experts, although it does not fully account for the health benefits. Happily married people are more likely to eat more healthily, have more friends and encourage each other to take care of themselves. Being lonely and without companionship may have a bigger effect on single people in middle age, they suggest. A recent huge study carried out in seven European countries found married people enjoy better mental and physical health, and are up to 15 per cent less likely to die prematurely. Meanwhile U.S researchers have found heart bypass patients with supportive spouses are more than three times as likely to still be alive 15 years later than those who have never tied the knot. Plus a Swedish study shows being married protects you against Alzheimer’s in later life, with people who have a partner in middle age at half the risk of developing dementia as those who live alone. Getting divorced and becoming widowed in mid-life raised the risk three-fold. Other work has shown that married people have a better chance of surviving cancer than those who are separated or divorced and tend to live longer than singletons.

 

Can't buy me love: Lonely people more frivolous with money to try and fit in. People who don’t have many friends, feel alone at work, or are sad about a breakup are more frivolous with their money, according to a new study. Researchers found that when people feel lonely or rejected they put a greater value on money. This is because they associate being wealthy with being socially accepted.

Feeling lonely and sad makes people more frivolous with money in an attempt to be socially accepted

Feeling lonely and sad makes people more frivolous with money in an attempt to be socially accepted. As a result, lonely, sad and rejected people gamble and make riskier, but potentially more profitable, financial decisions in a bid to fit in, the team from Hong Kong said in the study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

'Feeling socially rejected triggers riskier financial decision-making,' says authors Rod Duclos (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), Echo Wen Wan (University of Hong Kong), and Yuwei Jiang (Hong Kong Polytechnic University).

In the absence of social support, consumers seek significantly more money to secure what they want out of the social system surrounding them.'

Gambling with their money makes lonely people feel better about being alone, according to study

Gambling with their money makes lonely people feel better about being alone, according to study. During the study, participants were asked to talk about a social situation that left them feeling included, and one that made them feel left out.

After each anecdote they were asked to choose between bets with high odds that offered low rewards, or low-odds bets that gave higher payouts. When the members felt rejected or lonely, they were more likely to choose the higher risk options. However, when they discussed a situation in which they felt happy and accepted, participants were more careful in their money-making decisions. 'Understanding how consumers trade risk for reward could help them make more informed choices.' continues the study authors. Consumers might [therefore] choose to delay important financial decisions following a breakup or a falling out with friends, colleagues, or family.'

'Fitting into that really tight corset with plastered bodice to give me an hourglass figure was the biggest challenge, and I look very curvy,' said Emma of her appearance in Gangster Squad

Failing hearts: More than 750,000 Britons are living with hearts that have been seriously weakened by heart attacks

Failing hearts: More than 750,000 Britons are living with hearts that have been seriously weakened by heart attacks. A pill that ‘mends broken hearts’ – revolutionising the lives of millions – could be available in just a decade. It tricks damaged tissue into healing itself, making it easier for weaker hearts to pump blood round the body. British researchers are so impressed by preliminary results they say the drug could be in widespread use in ten years. They envisage those at high risk of having a heart attack taking it in advance, to prime their hearts into producing healthy new cells when the need arises. Crucially, the self-repair removes any risk the new cells will be rejected by the body.

Professor Peter Weissberg, of the British Heart Foundation, said: ‘We are very excited about this. Even five years ago, people would have said this was science fiction. ‘This is a wonderful example of really good basic science which I think is going to deliver a new treatment for patients.’ More than 750,000 Britons are living with failing hearts that have been seriously weakened by heart attacks. Currently up to 40 per cent die within a year of diagnosis. Now researchers from University College London, funded by the BHF, found the outer layer of the heart contains cells which babies in the womb can turn into heart muscle.

Holy grail: Professor Peter Weissberg of the British Heart Foundation believes that the breakthrough pill is only seven years away

Holy grail: Professor Peter Weissberg of the British Heart Foundation believes that the breakthrough pill is only a decade away. In adults they lie dormant but a compound called thymosin beta-4 reawakens them, triggering the development of new heart muscle. In experiments on mice the cells repaired some of the damage to the heart and improved its ability to pump blood by a quarter, the journal Nature reports. Professor Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director of the BHF, said: ‘To repair a damaged heart is one of the holy grails of heart research. ‘This groundbreaking study  shows adult hearts contain certain cells that, given the right stimulus, can mobilise and turn into new  heart cells that might repair a damaged heart.’ Last week the Mail reported U.S. scientists are also homing in on a similar solution.

Research from the University of Texas’s Southwestern Heart Centre found a medicine used to treat cancer shrank enlarged mice hearts back to near normal size.

 

The only thing that money buys you is opportunity.

It doesn’t buy you love or happiness – my parents taught me that. My father worked so hard for so long to get me where I am. My parents have never acted in their lives. They’re both afraid of public speaking but they’re amazing. They said, ‘We can’t imagine why you want to act but we understand you want to.’

Until recently I had to show my ID when I was going out, to prove I’m over 21, but because I have done so many movies I don’t have to any more. I am so sick of my face – seriously! But I’m incredibly grateful for all these opportunities, getting to work with people I admire and having choices, which, for an actor is the dream. But I know it won’t last forever.

funeral of heart

Love's the funeral of hearts
And an ode for cruelty
When angels cry blood
On flowers of evil in bloom

The funeral of hearts
And a plea for mercy
When love is a gun
Separating me from you...

photo

Ophelia Bethany Dawson poses as Ophelia from Hamlet

 

Charles Wolf kisses the name of his wife Katherine Wolf, a British citizen who died at Ground Zero during the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center Memorial in New York, on March 15, 2012. He accompanied British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha on their visit to the site.

A woman kisses a girl looking at tributes at the 't Stekske primary school in Lommel, Belgium, on March 16, 2012. The memorial was for the victims of the March 13 bus crash near the town of Sierre in southern Switzerland. Twenty-eight people died in the accident, including 22 children from two schools in Lommel and Heverlee, returning to Belgium from a skiing holiday. (Yorick Jansens/AFP/Getty Images)

   

No comments: