Mohsen Makhmalbaf: “We have only one life, but each film gives us another life”

Some have said that these changes – the high-rise buildings, the crowd – have stifled creativity.

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Mohsen Makhmalbaf:
You could have your story. It doesn’t matter — high buildings or low buildings, empty city or crowded city. You can create your story, you can share your story, and through it we can understand your condition.

We have only one life, but each film gives us another life. Watching films and reading novels, they give eternality to the audience. So it’s very important to see different kinds of films, from different nations. Because many of Hollywood films are the same, they have no diversity.

Source : https://www.buro247.sg/culture/insiders/interview-with-mohsen-makhmalbaf-singapore.html

Vaclav Smil:”do you know how many of these cellphones we are throwing away every nine months?”

Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization will be out around December. What’s the thrust of that one?

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Vaclav Smil: People think that we are getting better because we are dematerializing. Look at your iPhone. A perfect example of dematerialization. Before that you would need, what? An alarm clock. A telephone. A camera. A compass and a map. Now you don’t need any of these things — you just need one cellphone. So instead of having the mass of all these things like before, you dematerialize.

Well, that’s fine. But do you know how many of these cellphones we are throwing away every nine months? One billion. We are only seeing dematerialization in relative terms. Our refrigerators weigh less than they did 20 years ago, they are better insulated, they are better built. Certainly our electronics weigh less than they weighed 20 years ago. (But of course our cars do not weigh less, because most of our cars in North America are SUVs.)

Many things are dematerializing, but they are dematerializing per unit. Yet we are selling many more units, so in total terms, global consumption is vastly increasing. This is like efficient energy consumption. We increase the efficiency of energy consumption, but have three televisions instead of one. Per refrigerator, per television, per car, the consumption is down. But overall, the consumption is up.

Source : https://qz.com/113086/meet-vaclav-smil-the-canadian-polymath-whose-books-bill-gates-is-racing-to-read/

Michael A Singer:”You start by letting go of the little things that irritate you for no reason”

YJ: How did your practice help you stay centered (and peaceful) during your amazing rise to success as founding CEO of a billion-dollar public company and also during your indictment on federal fraud conspiracy charges (which were later dropped)?

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Singer: 
Though I have consistently maintained daily practices, my true practice of yoga is done inside at all times. It is this internal practice of constantly letting go of whatever disturbance arises within that has allowed me to stay centered through these amazing situations life has presented to me. Yoga is like a fine wine that becomes better over time. You start by letting go of the little things that irritate you for no reason, like the weather, or someone else’s attitude. Of what purpose is it to get disturbed by things that are just passing by and are pretty much out of your control? So you begin the practice of allowing the shifts in your inner energy to just pass through internally. You do this by deeply relaxing and giving them the space they need to pass. It is very much like relaxing into an asana. The more you relax, the easier it becomes, until at some point it becomes an enjoyable experience. It can be the same inside if you begin relaxing and releasing early enough in the process. Then something bigger happens in life that challenges your willingness to relax and let the reactionary disturbance pass by within. Your tendency is to resist the uncomfortable feeling and control your environment so that you don’t have to deal with the inner disturbance. But your commitment to yoga demands that you let go and use each situation life puts you in to go beyond your comfort zone. This is the true practice of yoga, and it becomes your way of life.

But what will happen to my outer life if I commit myself to letting go within? That is the subject matter of The Surrender Experiment. What happens is phenomenal. You begin to see a perfection between what you need to let go of inside and what unfolds outside. You are presented each moment with the perfect situations to bring up the issues you have stored within, which in yoga we call samskaras, and you are then given the opportunity to let them go. If you do this each time, you will achieve the goal of yoga — a liberated energy flow that constantly bathes you with love and bliss as it rises within you. So becoming CEO of a public company and being wrongly charged by the federal government are both the same — they are amazing opportunities to let go of yourself at a very deep level and learn to surrender to the phenomenal perfection of a life devoted to yoga.

Source : https://www.yogajournal.com/meditation/surrender-experiment

Seth Godin:”I don’t think my audience owes me anything”

Question: What are the five things that enabled you to be successful?

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Seth Godin: If we define success as the ability to make a living doing what I do, I’d say the following:

  1. No ulterior motive. I rarely do A as a calculated tactic to get B. I do A because I believe in A, or it excites me or it’s the right thing to do. That’s it. No secret agendas.
  2. I don’t think my audience owes me anything. It’s always their turn.
  3. I’m in a hurry to make mistakes and get feedback and get that next idea out there. I’m not in a hurry, at all, to finish the “bigger” project, to get to the finish line.
  4. I do things where I actually think I’m right, as opposed to where I think succeeding will make me successful. When you think you’re right, it’s more fun and your passion shows through.
  5. I’ve tried to pare down my day so that the stuff I actually do is pretty well leveraged. That, and I show up. Showing up is underrated.

Source : https://guykawasaki.com/ten_questions_w-10/

Pandit Ravi Shankar:”Why do they associate Indian music with drugs?”

Would you care to comment about Indian music and drugs? The English singer-poet Donovan recently published this statement on his record cover: “Oh what a dawn youth is rising to! I call upon every youth to stop the use of all drugs and banish them into the dark and dismal places for they are crippling our blessed growth.”

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Pt. Ravi Shankar : It is very strange, you know, because all this, ah, youngsters and all this, either Beatle or Donovan, who, they are saying the things which I have been saying for last many years. They are saying it a bit, you know, they are themselves a bit late. But I am glad they have understood it by themselves. Now the question is, just as themselves they took long time to come to this conclusion in spite of . . . many people must have told them, but they were not convinced. Something has made them convinced by their own experiences. And also now it depends upon their saying, and singing and composing all the songs, how much effect it will have on the young people who listen to them. If these young people who listen are are great fans of all these pop musicians who are now writing against drugs, it might have very good effect. There might be still a number of young people at large who might not be affected by this philosophy and still continuing to pursue, to find out things through drugs. Some of them, not all of them might go, you know, far out, and then, what is that word, point of no return. Something happens. I’ve been very strongly against this whole thing, you know, and I’ve been talking and writing about it, speaking often as I can to the young people. And I was concerned because of two reasons: All this big wave of Hare Krishna, etc., and beads, bells and joss sticks being carried in their ears or between their teeth like Carmen carries a rose, always sort of hurt me very much. I saw on one side their real willingness to feel something and get something out of the Indian cultural heritage, religious or spiritual. And also, music was there. I should have been very happy because I am very much loved by these people. But on the other hand I felt the whole approach. Either to religion or to music, the whole Indian concept, you know. And, drugs were sort of the bridge. It is now on its wane. Because now slowly that frenzy seems to be less. Of course, what I saw in California, especially San Francisco area, in Haight-Ashbury. It chilled me inside to see. India has the oldest hippies in this world, I think, before anywhere else. All this long beards, all this fantastic looking sort of types, you know, all drugged and mad things. This has been there always. But then, it’s not thought of for these young people. I have always felt that these young people today are the most sensitive, most aware, people, so much more than the young people in the old, you know, a few years ago. On the other hand it is some of these self-appointed gurus, as I say, in this country. I don’t like to take their names, but you know, who for the last few years have either been to India, or brought all this philosophy from India and tried to talk all the time. This had great effect on the youth, that everything you should do should be through drugs: in India everyone takes drugs, everyone smokes hashish or bhang, without taking marijuana you cannot say “Om,” you cannot sing, you cannot meditate, and all sorts of things. And then unfortunately, the whole mix-up of sex and spiritual exercise all became one, you know. All of a sudden I saw it was more like a pagan ritual like you find in those peculiar books or those peculiar films, you know, orgies and religious things together. And it makes me sad because I happen to be a Hindu, a Brahmin, and belong to a very religious family and I know what has happened in India and what is happening. And it is absolutely gross, I mean, a distortion of facts. As I said, you do find lots of this type, yes. But these are the types that we really look down upon. These are all what we call the worshippers of devils. These are the witchcraft people, you know, they have what is known as siddhi, those quick attainments, by doing the sort of rituals and they are the people, you know, who sort of go to help people to get certain little powers, which according to our true yogis are nothing, mere nothing. It is the most basic that one should shun all this quick attainment, you know, and it is all associated with this type of so-called ascetics or religious people who are really not. They are followers of devils, as we think. And this became more attractive to the youth here because that is what they were told. And this whole mixup with the Tibetan and the Dead and Tantra and philosophy. It really made me so disturbed. And then there was the Indian music. They get high and stoned after taking drugs and then they put my records on and they try to see visions. And just after a little they just like animals start, you know, making love, and all that association with the music, it made me feel very unhappy. I’ve been talking and talking since then, and I feel so happy to see the big difference already. Of course the whole thing has happened together, the other side, of course, Beatles and many pop groups are now all saying, denouncing rather, drugs, and talking about it and maybe it has helped also. I find a great difference. For instance the groups of listeners that I had even a few months ago in the month of May, in San Francisco. And now the group that I am having. Last year in New York Philharmonic Hall there were two young boys, they were so stoned, they were LSD completely, they were just like zombies, they walked on the stage and they came straight and they sat on the dais before I entered and then the police had to take them and they were sent to Bellevue Hospital. It was fantastic, almost 50 to 60 percent of the whole auditorium was stoned, you know. Almost to that ratio. But I found a great difference this time – you find really, that’s what I have been talking about, I want clear-headed, clean, physically clean and mentally clean people when they listen. Just as they would go to Bach or Beethoven, or any classical orchestra. They don’t go like that. Why do they associate Indian music with that? It’s so wrong absolutely. Here I’ve been trying to preach, and that’s what I’ve been doing in my school in Los Angeles, that’s what I tried to do in CCNY, and I think I have been quite successful in that, at least the group of people who have been hearing and talking about it to others. I think it will have very good effect, bring out the pure and clean side of our music and culture.

 

source : https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/ravi-shankar-the-rolling-stone-interview-65247/

 

Pedro Almodovor: “I have no real interest in films that have to do with superheroes and sequels, prequels, reboots…”

What do you think about the state of Hollywood movies?

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Almodovor: It’s very difficult for me to go to the theater and find movies that I love — much more difficult than before. Maybe I’m getting old. Either that or I find it more difficult for a story to surprise me. I think that film right now is worse than it used to be. For example, I don’t think that you see the kinds of films you saw in the ’60s or the ’70s.

I have no real interest in films that have to do with superheroes and sequels, prequels, reboots — all this kind of business. Ironically, on some level, the fact that movies are so technically proficient works against them. I used to be interested in the adventure film or any chase film before the effects were so perfect. The digital, the synthetic aspect of the image, has taken some of that away from me. There was a sense of danger that was exciting.

Source : https://variety.com/2016/film/news/pedro-almodovar-interview-julieta-director-1201941446/

Rita Levi-Montalcini “What you do you should do well”

Q: So I am also wondering what advice would you give young people now. Many young people are not interested in science, and it’s a very exciting time, as you mentioned.

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Levi-Montalcini: I’d say, as I always say, that nothing is beautiful as to work on something scientific or social, to be very invested in what you do. I mean, not [to] be afraid, but knowing that you never will go ahead if you don’t do it very seriously and then, as you say, the important [thing] is to be very engaged. What you do you should do well. I will say that it is not as important as scientific or social [work] because I’m also working on social problems, as you know, in Africa. So it is important to know what it is important in life, not just only very simple and stupid things, like being beautiful and successful, this is nonsense.

I always say so, and I have many followers you know. I work here, and I am delighted because excellent people work here, Antonino Cattaneo, Pietro Calissano, I mean, many people, not too many, but some people still understand the importance of being invested in important problems, not in futility.

Source :

https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/full/10.1146/annurev-physiol-021909-135857

Rita Levi-Montalcini won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1986 with Stanley Cohen, decades after her groundbreaking work in Italy and the United States. The theory she developed was quite elegant and simple. Competition of nerve cells early in development for limited amounts of growth factors produces winners and losers. The winners are nerve cells that made the correct connections with their targets, and the losers undergo death, which explains the massive amount of programmed cell death that occurs in the peripheral nervous system.