How Fish Come Up To Breathe

This was one of the most interesting facts that I learned recently.

Dolphins needs to come up to the surface to get air to breathe. 

But how do they do this when they sleep?

The answer is that only part of their brain sleeps at a time, so that they can continue to rise to the surface for air 24/7. 

Part of their brain sleeps while the other part stays awake. 

I think that this truly happens with people too. 

If you have ever been overtired, your brain still needs to sleep. 

At some point, you can literally feel part of your brain go to sleep even as the rest is awake to do what it needs to do (even at suboptimal functioning). 

This is beyond fascinating how G-d created us to adapt and survive. 😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Change Everybody Loves To Hate

I thought this saying from a colleague was really astute.

“Everybody hates the status quo

but nobody wants to change.”


How’s that for a conundrum. 


The question is are we more unhappy with the dysfunctional way things are or are we more afraid to make the necessary changes in our life?


I think that when the pain and dysfunction of the status quo are greater than the fear and inconvenience of changing, only then will people quite resisting and adapt to the new reality. 


Welcome to change!  😉


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

G-d Created Evolution

Evolution.jpeg

So I’ve been thinking a little bit about evolution.


And I don’t see any contradiction between evolution and creation.


In fact, G-d created evolution!


You see, in His infinite wisdom and love, G-d made his creations with the ability to change over time. 


We are not static creatures, but we are able to evolve, adapt, transform, and grow ourselves, our species, and our world over time. 


But, but, but…there are fossils hundreds of millions years old…how could G-d have created the world less than 6,000 years ago?


Well, who says G-d created the world at time horizon zero–if the world was fully formed with trees and plants, and fish, birds, animals, and people–then these could all have had age associated with and built into them already. 


Boom…G-d just created Adam and Eve–was that from the point of conception, day of birth, or fully grown adult?  Similarly, how old is the tallest mountain or the fullest forest when it was created? 


Time is not a function of G-d who is timeless. 


And the formed world appears at the blink of G-d’s eye and it can disappear that way too. 


Similarly, we learn in the Bible how G-d created the world in 6 “days” and rested on the 7th, but who says a day is literally that.


Couldn’t a day as in 1, 2, 3, etc. be phases of creation…where a day could be anything from a split second to a millennium or even a hundred million years.


To the G-d who Was, Is, and Will Be–what is a day, but a span of infinitesimal to infinite time to create His children and the world to teach and grow them. 


We are here in a infinite universe enveloped by the love of a limitless G-d. 


Evolution is no more a constraint on G-d then time or space is–to the contrary, evolution is a blessing of G-d that lets things develop and mature from the image of G-d to the imagination of His mind’s glory. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

On The Train Of Life

Train.jpeg

My beautiful daughter, Michelle, forwarded this wonderful message to me about our journey through life, and I wanted to share it with everyone.


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Life is like a journey on a train…
with its stations…
with changes of routes…
and with accidents !

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We board this train when we are born and our parents are the ones who get our ticket.

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We believe they will always travel on this train with us.

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However, at some station our parents will get off the train, leaving us alone on this journey.

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As time goes by, other passengers will board the train, many of whom will be significant – our siblings, friends, children, and even the love of our life.

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Many will get off during the journey and leave a permanent vacuum in our lives.

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Many will go so unnoticed that we won’t even know when they vacated their seats and got off the train!

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This train ride will be full of joy, sorrow, fantasy, expectations, hellos, good-byes, and farewells.

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A good journey is helping, loving, having a good relationship with all co passengers…and making sure that we give our best to make their journey comfortable.

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The mystery of this fabulous journey is:
We do not know at which station we ourselves are going to get off.

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So, we must live in the best way – adjust, forget, forgive and offer the best of what we have.

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It is important to do this because when the time comes for us to leave our seat… we should leave behind beautiful memories for those who will continue to travel on the train of life.”

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Thank you for being one of the important passengers on my train… don’t know when my station will come… don’t want 2 miss saying: “Thank you.”

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From Vintage to Modern Threats

Just wanted to share this short video captured of vintage fighter planes flying over the Washington Monument in D.C. on Friday, May 8.



This was in commemoration of 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day. 



My father (A’H) used to tell me about when he was in England during the war and the Nazi bombers would fly over and carpet bomb them in a blitzkrieg.



This happened night after night, and so adaptive as people are, they sort of got used to the bombardment, if that is possible to say. 



After a while, instead of taking safety behind closed doors at home, people returned to go to the movies and dancing at night, even while the buildings next door were still being blown up–to the right and the left of them. 



In the morning, those who survived would get up, and see what was knocked down and what still standing. 



Hard to imagine living that way!



Now with new more destructive weapons (WMD, ICBMs, EMPs, etc.), we can only imagine that the destructive aftermath of WW II would be nothing in comparison to what a round III would be like.



It is crucial that we maintain our innovativeness and military superiority and not only offensively to defeat the enemy, but defensively so that we can stop whatever is coming at us whether a dirty bomb in suitcase, an ebola-type virus in an infected person or food, a drone carrying anthrax, or malware over the network.



We have come a long way in the last 70 years technologically, but the risk and stakes have also never been higher. 😉



(Source Video: Minna Blumenthal)

Let It Be

Let It Be

I remember as a kid, when I was around 10 years old, we moved, and I had to change schools, and there was an adjustment period.

My father used to tell me a joke in the morning before school about these two grandmothers kibbitzing.

And one tells the other about how her grandson hates going to school.

She goes on to say, “The students hate him, the teachers hate, it’s just horrible.”

The other grandmother replies, “Well then, why doesn’t he just tell the principal?”

The first grandmother answers, “He is the principal!”

So this was a lesson to me about how no one has it so perfect in life–whether you’re the kid, teacher, or even the principal, everyone has their challenges (and they may actually not look all that differently in the larger context of things).

Basically, in life we must work to make things better where we can, but also have to accept the things we cannot change (and thank G-d, people are pretty adaptable, expecially given some time).

While, we can try to divine the future by asking “What’s going to be?”

Generally speaking, we can’t fully know the answers in life before we even have the questions.

We’ve got to take it as it come, where we can–do our best to make a tangible, positive difference in the world–and with the rest, “let it be.”

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Adaptability And Integrity In The Face Of Catastrophe

Adaptability And Integrity In The Face Of Catastrophe

The Walking Dead is the #1 TV show–and this past Sunday was just amazing not only in terms of the plot, but the lessons it provided.

The big question raised was can people change?

The Governor went through a seeming metamorphosis after the destruction of his prior town and murder of his people (by his own hand) and now he has a newfound family and tribe.

When he comes to attack Rick and the prison to take it for the protection of his own people, Rick says let’s just share it, it will be hard to overcome old rivalries, but we can do it–we can change!

But the Governor, yells in a blood curdling voice, “Liar!” and proceeds in a craze to chop off Hershel’s head.

What is particularly dramatics about this–aside from their opposing views of change–is that Hershel is the doctor who not only takes care of the physical health of his people, but also is the conscience of his group seeing that they don’t lose their moral way.

The Governor is a cold killer that truly can never change–and he not only executes Hershel, but screams “Kill them all!”

He also kills his newly adopted daughter after she is bitten by one of the walkers..he shoots her right in the face.

At first, this seems like the Governor has changed, he can kill a Walker even if it’s from his new family, as opposed to his own real daughter that he kept (unwilling to let her go) until Michonne kills her.

But this was not real change for the Governor, because as he told Hershel about attacking and killing someone else’s children to survive, “they aren’t mine!”

The Governor is all about himself and will do anything selfishly to survive without consideration of others–this does not change.

On the other hand, Rick and others survive by their ability to change and grow–they kill when they must, they have empathy when they can, they live by a code of right and wrong–in every situation, they adapt.

For example, in a prior episode, Carol is forced to leave Rick’s group because she brutally killed and burnt two of people in the prison when they got sick and were a threat of spreading the disease. However, Rick understood that this was wrong and banished her for what she did. Not all killing is justified, even if it helps you survive.

The Governor (and his new cohorts) are finally killed off in this episode, and although the safety of the prison is gone, and Rick and the others must leave and wander again, they continue to survive another day–changing with ever new challenges and adhering to an informal code of conduct that they maintain, even in the face of a world catastrophe.

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Survival Is More Than An iPhone

Survival

Please see a new article by Andy Blumenthal at Government Technology.

We “need to learn ever new technology skills and simultaneously retain, old tried and true, core survival and self-sufficiency.”

This is a serious topic, and there will come a time when the lights go out and those who blend old and new skills will survive, while unfortunately, others who don’t, will not.

Hope you enjoy the article.

Andy

(Source Photo: here with attribution to U.S. Army Africa)

The Difference Between Planning and Reality

The Difference Between Planning and Reality

Wow, I really love this graphic.

The top are our plans, along with our hopes and dreams that we get to where we want to, in a basically smooth, straight line–no troubles, no fuss–whoola success!

The bottom is our reality, where we work our way towards our target goals (which we may, or more likely not, ever fully achieve) and that along the way, we encounter all sort of life’s tests and challenges–it’s an uphill climb, but with tangible achievements and milestones, as we progress.

If it was as easy as the top–it probably wouldn’t be worth doing.

The challenges test our mettle–and what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger.

Even so, sure wish I could get some wings and jets on that bicycle. 😉

Thank you sis for sharing this with me.

(Source Photo: here from DogHouseDiaries)

What YOU Need To Land That Next Job

What YOU Need To Land That Job

Mashable (17 August 2013) has some good advice for job seekers–show you mean business and here’s how to do it:

1) Integrity–This is the #1 fundamental. If you are not trustworthy, reliable, honest…you are more trouble than you’re worth. Integrity underscores your character as a person and professional. If you cheat, lie, steal, and are self-serving, why would anyone want to associate with you, let alone have you work for them?

2) Adaptability–Change is constant and happening faster and faster. If you are status quo, “old school”, and can’t innovate your way off a typewriter, how in G-d’s name are you going to help a business grow and adapt to changing market conditions? Go-getters, trend-setters, and change-agents, desired and welcome.

3) Problem-solvers-Anyone can complain and see problems, but it takes special folks to solve those large and complex ones. You need to be able to come up with a strategy, articulate it, and execute on it. If you see the bad in everything, but can’t solve anything–you are part of the problem and not part of the solution. If you have technical skills and can apply them, you are valuable to the organization.

4) Self-Starters–No time to babysit snoozers, slackers, or the constantly tardy–organizations are looking for professionals. You need to hit the ground running. If you don’t know what to do, how to do it, or can’t pick up on it pretty quickly, this is going to be a painful experience. Those with initiative, enthusiasm, team players, and hard workers make it relatively easy,

5) Loyalty–Backstabbers, users, and serial job-hoppers, you’re wasting precious time. If you’re loyal to the organization and leadership, you deserve the same in return. Your value increases as you learn the organization, mission, and people and can apply your unique training and experiences over time. The organization wants you to grow with them.

You’re a fork, a spoon, and a knife and you are just what the organization is looking for. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)