Biography of Mr. Sherlock Holmes…

This article is for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character. For other versions of the character see Versions of Sherlock Holmes.
My name is Sherlock Holmes. It is my business to know what other people don’t know.Sherlockpaget
―”The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

Little is known of Holmes’ early life or his family background, save that he is the grand nephew of the French artist Emile Jean Horace Vernet.[citation needed] An estimate of Holmes’s age in “His Last Bow” places his year of birth at 1854; the story, set in August 1914, describes him as 60 years of age. It is also known that in his younger years, Holmes attended at least one of the country’s leading universities … though it cannot be ascertained whether he was an alumnus of Oxford, Cambridge, or both. Sherlock has an older brother, Mycroft, whom the younger Holmes considered to be more intellectually gifted than himself. Mycroft spent much of his life in Her Majesty’s Secret Service. In “The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter“, Sherlock refers to Mycroft as being “[s]even years [his] senior”. If Sherlock date of birth of 1854 is correct, that places Mycroft’s date of birth as 1847.

At the age of 20, Holmes was to find his life’s calling. For it was in that year that he began his illustrious career as the world’s first consulting detective, taking his first case…which his future friend and companion Dr John Watson would come to title, in his chronicles of Holmes’ endeavours, “The Adventure of the Gloria Scott“. His study of science at university having informed his already keen mind and powers of observation, Holmes employed a process of deductive reasoning in his work, with great success.

In early 1881 he is presented as an independent student of chemistry with a variety of very curious side-interests, almost all of which turn out to be single-mindedly bent towards making him superior at solving crimes. In another early story, “The Adventure of the Gloria Scott”, more background on what caused Holmes to become a detective is presented: a college friend’s father complimented him very highly on his deductive skills.

In “The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter“, Holmes states that his grandmother was the sister of the French painter “Vernet” (presumably Horace Vernet).

In A Study in Scarlet, Dr Watson makes an evaluation of Sherlock’s skills:

  • Knowledge of Literature – Nil.
  • Knowledge of Astronomy – Nil.
  • Knowledge of Politics – Feeble.
  • Knowledge of Botany – Variable. Well up in belladonna, opium, and poisons generally. Knows nothing of practical gardening.
  • Knowledge of Geology – Practical, but limited. Tells at a glance different soils from each other. After walks, has shown me splashes upon his trousers, and told me by their colour and consistence in what part of London he had received them.
  • Knowledge of Chemistry – Profound.
  • Knowledge of Anatomy – Accurate, but unsystematic.
  • Knowledge of Sensationalism – Immense. He appears to know every detail of every horror perpetrated in the century.
  • Plays the violin well
  • Is an expert singlestick player, boxer, and swordsman
  • Has a good practical knowledge of British law

Later stories make clear, however, that the above list is misleading, and that Holmes, who has just met Watson, is pulling Watson’s leg. Two examples: despite Holmes’ supposed ignorance of politics, in “A Scandal in Bohemia” he immediately recognises the true identity of the supposed Count von Kramm as Wilhelm Gottsreich Sigismond von Ormstein, Grand Duke of Cassel-Feldstein and hereditary King of Bohemia. Regarding non-sensational literature, his speech is replete with references to the Bible, Shakespeare, and even Goethe. This is somewhat inconsistent with his scolding Watson for telling him about how the Earth revolved around the Sun, instead of the other way around, given that Holmes tried to avoid having his memory cluttered with information that is of no use to him in detective work.

Holmes is also a competent cryptanalyst. He relates to Watson, “I am fairly familiar with all forms of secret writing, and am myself the author of a trifling monograph upon the subject, in which I analyse one hundred and sixty separate ciphers”. One such scheme is solved in “The Adventure of the Dancing Men”, which uses a series of stick figures.

In A Study in Scarlet, Conan Doyle presents a comparison between his sleuth and two earlier, more established fictional detectives: Edgar Allan Poe’s C. Auguste Dupin and Emile Gaboriau’s Monsieur Lecoq. The former had first appeared in The Murders in the Rue Morgue, first published in 1841, and the latter in L’Affaire Lerouge (The Lerouge Affair) in 1866. The brief discussion between Watson and Holmes about the two characters begins with a comment by Watson:

You remind me of Edgar Allen Poe’s Dupin. I had no idea that such individuals did exist outside of stories.”
Sherlock Holmes rose and lit his pipe. “No doubt you think that you are complimenting me in comparing me to Dupin,” he observed. “Now, in my opinion, Dupin was a very inferior fellow. That trick of his of breaking in on his friends’ thoughts with an apropos remark after a quarter of an hour’s silence is really very showy and superficial. He had some analytical genius, no doubt; but he was by no means such a phenomenon as Poe appeared to imagine.”
“Have you read Gaboriau’s works?” I asked. “Does Lecoq come up to your idea of a detective?”
Sherlock Holmes sniffed sardonically. “Lecoq was a miserable bungler,” he said, in an angry voice; “he had only one thing to recommend him, and that was his energy. That book made me positively ill. The question was how to identify an unknown prisoner. I could have done it in twenty-four hours. Lecoq took six months or so. It might be made a text-book for detectives to teach them what to avoid.”

Holmes seems convinced that he is superior to both of them, while Watson expresses his admiration of the two characters. It has been suggested that this was a way for Conan Doyle to pay some respect to characters by writers who had influenced him, while insisting that his is an improvement over them. However, Holmes pulls a very Dupin-esque mind reading trick on Watson in “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” (repeated word for word in the story, “The Adventure of the Resident Patient“, when “The Cardboard Box” was removed from theMemoirs), and, to a lesser extent, in “The Adventure of the Dancing Men“.

Holmes has shown himself a master of disguise:

So great a master of disguise is Holmes, in fact, that in “A Scandal in Bohemia“, Watson is compelled to remark of him, “The stage lost a fine actor, even as science lost an acute reasoner, when he became a specialist in crime.”

Although Holmes looks upon himself as a disembodied brain, there are times when he can become very emotional in a righteous cause, as when he disapproves of the banker Holder as to how the man treated his son, in “The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet“. At the end of “The Adventure of the Six Napoleons“, he is touched by Lestrade’s deep gratitude for assisting Scotland Yard. Watson says, “he was more nearly moved by the softer human emotions than I had ever seen him”. And, in “The Adventure of the Three Garridebs“, Watson is wounded by a forger he and Holmes are pursuing. While the bullet wound proved to be “quite superficial”, Watson is moved by Holmes’ reaction:

“It was worth a wound – it was worth many wounds – to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay behind that cold mask. The clear, hard eyes were dimmed for a moment, and the firm lips were shaking. For the one and only time I caught a glimpse of a great heart as well as of a great brain. All my years of humble but single-minded service culminated in that moment of revelation.”

Holmes’ techniques could be looked upon, then, as the forerunner of modern forensic sciences:

In “The Adventure of the Second Stain“, Dr Watson says that after his long career, Holmes moved to the Sussex Downs and took up beekeeping. But even in “retirement” Holmes would again come to the aid of his country as the First World War approached. In 1914, at the age of 53, he was instrumental in the capture and arrest of a Prussian spy known as Von Bork.

The Von Bork case seems to have been Sherlock Holmes’ last bow. Following the arrest, Holmes returned to his life of seclusion in Sussex to live out his life in peace and solitude, keeping bees and eventually publishing a manual on the subject. The details of his later life and death are not known, but he lives on to this day through the records of his thrilling cases, and will always be remembered and regarded as the “World’s Only Consulting Detective”.

Personality and habits

Watson describes Holmes as “bohemian” in habits and lifestyle. Although Holmes is described in The Hound of the Baskervilles as having a “cat-like” love of personal cleanliness, Watson also describes Holmes as an eccentric, with no regard for contemporary standards of tidiness or good order. He alternates between days or weeks of listless lassitude and similar periods of intense engagement with a challenging case or with his hobby, experimental chemistry: “extreme exactness and astuteness… [or a] poetic and contemplative mood”, “outbursts of passionate energy… followed by reactions of lethargy.”

Nevertheless, Watson was very typical of his time in not considering a vice Holmes’ habit of smoking (usually a pipe) heavily, nor his willingness to bend the truth and break the law (e.g., lie to the police, conceal evidence, burgle and housebreak) when it suited his purposes. In Victorian England, such actions were not necessarily considered vices as long as they were done by a gentleman for noble purposes, such as preserving a woman’s honor or a family’s reputation (this argument is discussed by Holmes and Watson in “The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton“). Since many of the stories revolve around Holmes (and Watson) doing such things, a modern reader must accept actions which would be out of character for a “law-abiding” detective living by the standards of a later time. (They remain staples of detective fiction, being done in a good cause.) Holmes has a strong sense of honour and “doing the right thing”.

Holmes can often be quite dispassionate and cold; however, when hot on the trail of a mystery, he can display a remarkable passion given his usual languor.

He has a flair for showmanship, and often, he prepares dramatic traps to capture the culprit of a crime which are staged to impress Watson or one of the Scotland Yard inspectors (as at the end of “The Adventure of the Norwood Builder“). He also holds back on his chain of reasoning, not revealing it or only giving cryptic hints and surprising results, until the very end, when he can explain all of his deductions at once.

Holmes does have an ego that sometimes seems to border on arrogance; however, his arrogance is usually deserved. He seems to enjoy baffling the police inspectors with his superior deductions. Holmes is usually quite content to allow the police to take the credit for his work, with Watson being the only one to broadcast his own roles in the case (in “The Adventure of the Naval Treaty“, he remarks that of his last fifty-three cases, the police have had all the credit in forty-nine), although he enjoys receiving praise from personal friends and those who take a serious interest in his work.

Although he initially needed Watson to share the rent of his comfortable residence at 221B Baker Street we are told in “The Adventure of the Dying Detective” (when he was living alone) “I have no doubt that the house might have been purchased at the price which Holmes paid for his rooms” suggesting he had developed a good income from his practice, although it is never revealed exactly how much he charges for his services. It is possible, however, that he charges based on the client’s ability to pay in “The Adventure of the Final Problem“, Holmes states that his services to the government of France and the royal house of Scandinavia had left him with enough money to retire comfortably, while in “The Adventure of Black Peter” Watson notes that Holmes would refuse to help the wealthy and powerful if their cases did not interest him, while he could devote weeks at a time to the cases of the most humble clients. Certainly, in the course of his career Holmes had worked for both the most powerful monarchs and governments of Europe (including his own) and various wealthy aristocrats and industrialists, and also been consulted by impoverished pawnbrokers and humble governesses on the lower rungs of society.

Holmes is generally quite fearless. He dispassionately surveys horrific, brutal crime scenes; he does not allow superstition (as in The Hound of the Baskervilles) or grotesque situations to make him afraid; and he intrepidly confronts violent murderers. He is generally unfazed by threats from his criminal enemies, and indeed Holmes himself remarks that it is the danger of his profession that has attracted him to it.

Finally, Holmes does have capacities for human emotion and friendship. He has a remarkable capacity to gently soothe and reassure people suffering from extreme distress, a talent which comes in handy when dealing with both male and female clients who arrive at Baker Street suffering from extreme fear or nervousness. He also has a close personal friendship with Watson, whose near-death at the hands of a counterfeiter in “The Adventure of the Three Garridebs” elicits grief and anger from Holmes. Over time, Holmes’ relations with the official Scotland Yard detectives goes from cold disdain to a strong respect.

Drug use

Watson: “Which is it today? Morphine or cocaine?
Holmes: “It is cocaine, a seven-per-cent solution. Would you care to try it?
The Sign of Four

Holmes occasionally uses addictive drugs, especially when lacking stimulating cases. Modern readers of the Holmes stories are apt to be surprised by this, though Watson describes this as Holmes’ “only vice”.[citation needed]

Holmes believes the use of cocaine stimulates his brain when it is not in use. He is a habitual user of cocaine, which he injects in a seven-per-cent solution using a personal syringe that he keeps in a Morocco leather case. Holmes is also an occasional user of morphine but expressed strong disapproval on visiting an opium den. These drugs were legal in late 19th-century England. Both Watson and Holmes are continual tobacco users, including cigarettes, cigars, and pipes, though this was not an uncommon habit during this era. Holmes is an expert at identifying tobacco-ash residues, having penned a monograph on the subject.

Dr Watson strongly disapproves of his friend’s cocaine habit, describing it as the detective’s “only vice” and expressing concern over its possible effect on Holmes’ mental health and superior intellect. In “The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter“, Watson claims to have “weaned” Holmes off drugs. Even so, according to his doctor friend, Holmes remains an addict whose habit is “not dead, but merely sleeping”.

Relationship with women

In one story, “The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton“, Holmes is engaged to be married, but only with the motivation of gaining information for his case.

He clearly demonstrates particular interest in several of the more charming female clients that come his way (such as Violet Hunter of “The Adventure of the Copper Beeches“, whom Watson thought might become more than a client to Holmes). However, the context implies that Holmes found their youth, beauty, and energy (and the cases they bring to him) invigorating, as opposed to an actual romantic interest, as Holmes inevitably “manifested no further interest in her when once she had ceased to be the center of one of his problems”.

If he was able to turn on a certain amount of charm, as indicated by these episodes, there is no indication of a serious or long-term interest apart from the case of Adler. Watson states that Holmes has an “aversion to women” but “a peculiarly ingratiating way with [them].” Holmes stated “I am not a whole-souled admirer of womankind.” His dislike may have stemmed from the fact he found “the motives of women… so inscrutable… How can you build on such quicksand? Their most trivial actions may mean volumes… their most extraordinary conduct may depend upon a hairpin.” This perceived resistance to his deductive processes may have annoyed him. On the other hand, it may be noted that the landlady, Mrs Hudson, is never actually described. Another point of interest in Holmes’ relationships with women, is that the only joy he gets from their company is the problems they bring to him to solve. In “The Sign of Four”, Watson quotes Holmes as being “an automaton, a calculating machine.” this references Holmes’ disinterest in relationships with women in general, and clients in particular, as Watson state that “there is something positively inhuman in you at times”.

Watson writes in “The Adventure of the Dying Detective” that Mrs Hudson is fond of Holmes in her own way, despite his bothersome eccentricities as a lodger, owing to his “remarkable gentleness and courtesy in his dealings with women.” Watson notes that while he dislikes and distrusts them, he is nonetheless a “chivalrous opponent”. Holmes cannot be said to be misogynistic, given the number of women he helps in his work, but it may be that his own detached and analytical personality is annoyed by their excessively emotional (from his perspective) natures.

Watson, on the other hand, has a perhaps justifiable reputation as a ladies’ man, boasting in The Sign of Four of “an experience of women which extends over many nations and three separate continents.” In addition, he speaks favorably of some women indeed, in virtually all the longer stories he remarks on the exceptional beauty of at least one female character and actually married one, Mary Morstan of The Sign of Four.

Quotation:http://bakerstreet.wikia.com/wiki/Sherlock_Holmes

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Barbican Centre in London…

The Barbican Centre is a performing arts centre in the City of London and the largest of its kind in Europe.[1] The Centre hostsclassical and contemporary music concerts, theatre performances, film screenings and art exhibitions. It also houses a library, three restaurants, and a conservatory. The Barbican Centre is member of the Global Cultural Districts Network.

The London Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra are based in the Centre’s Concert Hall. In 2013, it once again became the London-based venue of the Royal Shakespeare Company following the company’s departure in 2001.[2]

The Barbican Centre is owned, funded, and managed by the City of London Corporation, the third-largest artsfunder in the United Kingdom. It was built as The City’s gift to the nation at a cost of £161 million (equivalent to £480 million in 2014) and was officially opened to the public by Queen Elizabeth II on 3 March 1982. The Barbican Centre is also known for its brutalist architecture.

Quotation:whitecube.comwww.telegraph.co.uk,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbican_Centre 

London Marathon: your winning guide…

All you need to know about the London Marathon 2016, whether you’re hitting the streets or cheering on from the sidelines

With its cheering crowds and fancy dress fundraisers, the London Marathon is our very own world-famous running race. Covering 26.2 miles and shutting down roads left, right and centre, it takes over the city for one weekend every April. Here’s all you need to know about running the London Marathon 2016, whether you’re a road-pounding-pro or a newbie in a Disney costume.

When is the London Marathon?

This year’s marathon takes place on Sunday April 24 2016.

What is the London Marathon?

Attracting professionals, celebrities and some truly impractical outfits, the London Marathon is a 26.2 mile race around the streets of London. One of the key London events in spring, it attracts just as many supporters as participants, and the atmosphere on the day is something truly special. Those who’d like to run can enter by ballot or take up a fundraising place via their favourite charity.

Where is the London Marathon?

The route starts south of the Thames and passes through Greenwich before crossing the river over Tower Bridge. It then continues through central London before finishing in glory in front of Buckingham Palace. Check out our spectator route below for more details.

Quotation:http://www.timeout.com/

Here’s Why Deaf People Hate the Medical Community…

Time after time I’ve read posts or watched vlogs of horror stories from Deaf and Hard of Hearing people dealing with doctor offices and hospital visits.

I’ve experienced many of these first-hand myself. It happens so often that I’m spurred to write this article to educate the medical community on what you need to know about your Deaf patients.

First, I’m primarily focusing on the “Deaf” community, those who are likely to have American Sign Language (ASL) as their first language, may not be fluent in English, and believe they are not “broken” and don’t need to be fixed by the medical community. This is the group that struggles against communication and accessibility barriers in hospitals, doctor’s offices, and in daily dealings with the public.

To ease this tension and foster a good doctor-patient relationship, you need to understand the following points:

A Certified Interpreter is Vital

As I mentioned earlier, ASL is our first language and easiest for us to comprehend and communicate in. ASL is not a “translation” of English, it has its own grammar, syntax and rules. It uses the full range of hand movements, facial expressions, and body language to convey the message.

Because of the complexity of medical terminology, the gravity of the medical visit, the condition the patient may be in, and the need for clear communication – a Certified interpreter is required. There’s a huge difference between a certified interpreter who understands and can relay medical issues and someone who “knows how to sign”.

For example, a cardiologist hired an ASL student for a Deaf patient’s visit. The student struggled to come up with the right sign for certain words and the signing was not “smooth”, akin to someone pausing and saying “Ummm” a lot. The student signed to the Deaf patient “You have Heart Pain” to which the Deaf patient denied repeatedly. After several frustrated attempts back and forth it was understood that the doctor really said “You have Heartburn”. The Deaf patient gave up, wrote to the Doctor “I’m leaving! I’ll come back when you get a proper interpreter!”

Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) is not Accessible

Many hospital and large medical offices are relying on VRI, which is a laptop or monitor connected by Wi-Fi to an interpreter located off site. As cost effective this may be on administrative paper, it is not an accessible or effective means of communication for Deaf patients.

As a matter of fact, we HATE it!

Forget the fact it takes forever to sign in, enter hospital name, department number, hospital floor, head nurse name, room number and patient name and account number, etcetera.

It uses the hospital’s Wi-Fi connection, which as many patients know, is very slow, frequently drops out, and requires frequent sign-ins. Then there’s the problem with viewing:

  • the screens are clumsy to position
  • it’s sometimes hard to see the screen from where we’re laying in the bed
  • the interpreter may not be able to see the Deaf patient or their Deaf family members
  • because of the Wi-Fi connection, there are frequent screen freezes so there are a lot of words missed
  • and lastly there are those who also have vision problems, or are deafblind, who prefer tactile sign language, rather than straining to see a flat screen.

This humorous clip demonstrates the frustrations of VRI.

Stop Assuming We Are Mentally Deficient

Just because they are Deaf doesn’t mean they can’t grasp what you’re explaining to them. A missing sense doesn’t translate into missing brain functioning.

I have met countless of doctors, nurses and other professionals who upon learning that I’m Deaf and legally blind, automatically assume I’m incapable of daily self-care; then they’re surprised I actually have a Bachelor’s degree, married with children and independent and don’t need a “caretaker”.

We are fully capable of understanding you, and are able to participate in health decisions once the proper communication method is in place: which is an interpreter. Writing back and forth and lipreading is a lot less efficient than doctors realize.

Don’t Question Our Deafness

Many Deaf patients feel frustrated at doctors insisting on questioning them about the cause of their deafness when it’s irrelevant to the medical visit. Don’t ask why they do or don’t wear hearing aids or get cochlear implants.

Like I said earlier, Deaf people feel that they’re not broken; they concentrate on what they can do with their rich culture just like anyone else, instead of concentrating on hearing, speaking, and assimilating into the “hearing” world.

Don’t Be Dismissive

Many Deaf parents, like myself, are frustrated by the dismissive attitude of doctors and nurses when they bring their children in for appointments or to the ER. The medical staff starts communicating with the child and don’t address the parent at all.

This may seem easier to deal with, but the child is still a child and do not understand the complexity of their medical needs. Children also don’t relay the full information back to their Deaf parents either which is also why you shouldn’t use them as interpreters as well.

Because of these frustrating experiences by Deaf patients, they tend to avoid seeking medical treatment, skip regular checkups and have an overall mistrust of the medical community.

So to better serve your Deaf patients and avoid costly lawsuits, it would be a good idea to simply use common sense, drop the stereotypical assumptions, and follow these simple tips.

Quotation:http://www.lifehack.org

The Art and Science of Photography (Infographic)…

Art and science are entities that, at some point, inevitably become intertwined.

Science is defined as “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.”

Art, on the other hand, is “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.”

Think of it like this: after a scientific discovery or technological advancement—and its practical implementation—has become commonplace, society will begin to use the advancement for aesthetic and artistic purposes.

Such is the case with photography.

Throughout the century in which the camera became more and more prevalent, a great divide formed between those who saw the scientific uses of photographic technology and those who viewed photography solely as an artistic medium.

Check out the infographic below for more about the history of photography in society. When you’re done, take a moment to reflect on the fact that such technology used to be considered absolutely mind-boggling—and now we use it to take pictures of our breakfast.

Image source: Clifton Cameras

The Royal Photographic society

Quotation:http://www.lifehack.org

Why We Should All Consider A More Bohemian Lifestyle…

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a “Bohemian” as someone, “especially an artist, literary man, or actor, who leads a free, vagabond, or irregular life, not being particular as to the society he frequents, and despising conventionalities generally”.

In today’s world, the term “Boho” or “Bohemian” is mostly associated with a fashion style or certain way to decorate a home. In fact, the bohemian style has become a real trend over the past few years. The brand Freepeople, for instance, is a great example of this bohemian styling trend. But there’s a lot more to it.

“Bohemianism is not a trend, it’s a timeless movement, a way of life both fleeting and enduring that reappears every now and then as a backlash against our bourgeois, mass market, easy access culture.” Laren Stover, author of Bohemian Manifesto: A Field Guide to Living on the Edge.

Bohemianism is a lifestyle. It stands for those free spirits who are living a life away from the usual everyday life, the stress and pressure, a life in which we are disguising our own feelings and personality in order to fit into today’s society and its ideals. We become the “perfect” version of ourselves, living our allegedly “perfect” lives, rushing from one place to another because those 24 hours just aren’t enough to fit in ten hours of work, working out at the gym, eating, getting dressed, grocery shopping, and picking up the kids from school. You get the idea.

Living a life always hassling from one place to another isn’t always what we really want. We do it because everybody does it. From early on, we give our very best at school in order to get into a decent university. When we are at university, we give our very best in order to get a good job with some major company one day. And when we are at work? Well, we are giving our very best in order to please our bosses, to get a pay raise, or to finance the next vacation. At the same time, we are constantly working on ourselves, trying to fix our flaws, to get in better shape, to get a better look.

While we are doing all this, we tend to forget our talents, our dreams, our true selves. We forget about the things that actually make us happy and fulfilled. This “perfect” version of ourselves often isn’t ourselves. That is where Bohemians are one step ahead of us. They live the life they want to live, they fight for their ideals, they are their true selves, managing to live out their dreams. Even if that means that they don’t have a permanent place of residence or a hefty savings account.

Even though this lifestyle might not suit everyone, it clearly involves some aspects which any of us can, and maybe even should, consider implementing more in our own lives. All points are underlined by statements from what has become one of my favorite books: Bohemian Manifesto: A Field Guide to Living on the Edge by Laren Stover.

1. Have the courage to follow your own ideals and live your life to the fullest.

In order to live life to the fullest, you’ve got to be willing to take a risk once in a while. Have courage and know that the risk is worth it.

“Giving up security takes guts. Bohemians have the courage to reject mainstream society; to follow an ideal and forsake praise and security; to alienate family; to be, as Jack Kerouac put it, ‘yourself at whatever cost’.”

2. Free your artistic self and surprise yourself.

Take photos, take notes, jot down your thoughts, paint, or do pottery. There are a million ways we can act out our feelings. Just try it.

“Art is a way of life to the Bohemian, so it is difficult to separate art from life. They make it. They sell it. They barter it. They inspire it. They find it on the street, on the beach, in the Dumpster, in the stars. […] Walls, floors, shoes, shirts, sidewalks, street lamps, skylights, no surface is safe from the Bohemian with a paintbrush, marking pen or glue gun. Broken objects may become art; broken crockery or scallop shells end up as mosaics.”

3. Speak out loudly for what you believe in.

Don’t hide your feelings and thoughts just because they might not seem appropriate for some people. Be true to yourself.

“Revolt comes naturally to Bohemians; they are contrary, irrelevant and disobedient. They like to shake things up. They tickle, rattle, inspire, amuse, repulse and overthrow. Bohemians revolt against dress codes, the circadian clock, business hours, temperance, established mores, the conventional idea of a work ethic, established art forms, politics, traditional living arrangements and institutions.”

4. Dare to live a more unconventional life.

Who tells us how we have to live our lives? High school, college, work, family, kids. For some of us, this might sound wonderful — which is fine. For some of us, however, it doesn’t. It’s just not us. So why should we force ourselves?

“The bohemian is not a follower of the virtues espoused by bourgeois society: routine, temperance, convention, mediocrity, materialism and respectability. Bohemians despise authority, the status quo and, because they are often broke, capitalism and consumerism.”

5. Be proud of being different.

You simply cannot identify yourself with the “normal,” ordinary way people around you talk, act, think, and live? You feel like you are kind of weird in some way? Different? Extraordinary? Well, congratulations. Be proud of it.

“To Bohemians, there is no shame in experiencing altered mental states and sometimes even a little glory in it. […] The Bohemian is never shy about sharing any alternative or outlaw experience. This includes asylum stays. They will illustrate treatments, painting doctors and wards and discussing the stay as though it were something of notoriety or great prestige.” 

6. Embrace your body.

Bohemians are comfortable with nakedness because they are comfortable in their bodies. Imagine how much happier we would all be if we could just accept our bodies the way they look and see them as the beautiful things they are.

“Nudity as a state is liberating, free of class, inhibition, pretense, rank and fashion. It’s an opportunity to return to the earth, to create a Utopia uncorrupted by buttons, buckles, zippers, neckties, bow ties.”

7. Stop believing in materialism.

Owning a lot of things doesn’t necessarily make one happy. On the contrary, it is not a rare occurrence that this stuff gets in our way and becomes a burden. So, what exactly is the point of all those possessions we accumulate over the years?

“The Bohemian makes do — creatively, exultantly — and does not need the newest appliance, car or gadget to impress, to feel whole, to define himself or herself, to pursue dreams. The true Bohemian is a connoisseur of texture, color and sensation. While the bourgeoisie can experience excitement, a feeling of fulfillment only through consuming, the Bohemian is exhilarated by observation, by creation, by experience itself.”

8. Travel away from the destinations of guidebooks and tourist hotspots.

Discover new lands, foreign cultures, freedom off the beaten track. Get inspired.

“They travel inordinately, incessantly, restlessly; observing, freeloading, freewheeling, free loving, freedom bound, drinking, mountain climbing, [..], taking jobs, taking notes, taking photos, typing away in the room at night, maybe all night. […] Bohemians shun tourist attractions. The Bohemians has been to Paris ten times yet has never been to the Eiffel Tower, and when they do, always by accident, end up at a tourist attraction, they’ll get there so late it will be closed.”

9. Reconnect with nature.

A walk in nature is often referred to as the best medicine. In today’s modern world, however, we tend to forget that and rather turn to our electrical devices or even pills to calm us down, to distract us from our problems, from the struggles we have. So the next time you are feeling down or stressed, try a walk in the park. It will not only help you de-stress, but also to get a little physical exercise.

“Bohemians are more primal, closer to the earth, and more prone to embrace nature than people who consider themselves above the four-legged with tail or scales. They do not, as a rule, put out sticky traps or tear down spiderwebs, and never one that is inhabited. Bohemians rescue animals.”

10. Don’t be afraid to try new, foreign things.

Trying out and learning about new things will not only open up new possibilities and chances to you in life, it will also make you smarter and benefit your personality in a great way.

“Bohemians embrace, whenever possible, unconventional food and eating habits. […] Bohemians like to eat and prepare food from countries not native to them, or from another time period.”

However you are living or planning on living your life, take just one minute and think about it. What’s the feeling you are getting? If it feels good, congratulations, that’s great. If it doesn’t, however, there might be a weak spot in the way you’re living. Now, think of those points mentioned above. They are all crucial elements in the bohemian lifestyle. Maybe you’ll find yourself in one of them, maybe there are some small adjustments you can implement in your own life and maybe, just maybe, they will help you to live your life more fully, more happily, and more truthfully.

After all, “there’s just something about the freedom, recklessness, scandal, artistic vision and spiritual splendor that makes it tantalizingly worthy of membership.”

Quotation:http://www.lifehack.org/lifestyle

6 Amazing Adventure Holidays For 2016 You Wish You’d Already Booked…

Cycling in Italy

Even though many of us yearn all year round for the warm feeling of the white sandy beach between our toes, if you’re anything like me, then you get bored by about the third day – there’s only so much reading, listening to music and lounging around that can be done! It’s now time to start planning that summer holiday, and why not try something a little different this year?

These adventure trips offer a once in a lifetime opportunity that will have you throwing away your beach mat quicker than you can say “holiday”.

Solo Traveler Adventures

Most lone travellers fear the words ‘single supplement’ and, well, who can blame them? The thought of forking out extra cash just because they want to explore alone can make an affordable holiday quickly become out of price reach. Check out these two adventure trips perfect for solo travellers – who don’t charge any extra supplement fees!

Monkey around in Panama and Costa Rica

Two Central American countries off in one trip: a 15-day Panama and Costa Rica adventure trip means you’ll start in the Old Panama City exploring the ancient Spanish settlement, before rubbing shoulders with the indigenous Emberá Indians as you explore the dense jungle of the Chagres National Park on a dugout canoe. Later, you’ll fly to Cost Rica to climb the Arenal volcano, spotting spider monkeys and sloths as you go. Finishing the tour in the cow-boy friendly Carara National Park, experiencing steamy sulphur water ponds, bubbling mud pools and the iconic white sandy beaches — where you have a final chance to top up your tan.

Book thorough Solo Holidays with an all-inclusive packages, including flights, starts at £2,999.

Experience the land of the thunder dragon in Bhutan

Bhutan festival

Tshechu Festival, Bhutan (Flickr)

Over 12 days you will experience a journey along an ancient trade route in and out of Bhutan that only the lucky few have ever seen. Trekking through the thickly dense rhododendron forests on foot, stopping off to drink with the local yak herders, whilst snapping spectacular views of the peaks which border Tibet. Check out the time of year you want to visit to make sure you don’t miss Bhutan’s colourful festivals full of masked dancers and rhythmic drum beats.

Adventure Holidays For Couples

If you’re lucky enough to be able to traverse unknown lands with a plus-one at your side, then try these destinations which offer an abundance of excitement and relaxation amidst some of the world’s most romantic backdrops.

Spread the love cycling through Italy

Cycling in Italy

Cycling, Italy (Flickr)

This romantic cruise will take you on a sailing adventure through the sleepy rivers of Venice, allowing you to roam the hills of Italy on two wheels during the day, and stopping over in a river cruise barge at night. After a luxury four course dinner and wine, slip into your private cabin, wake up and repeat — a happy haven for those hopeless romantics!

Book through Wheel2Wheel Holidays and 7 nights start at £799 per person.

Get back to basics with a tennis school in Turkey

Close up view of tennis racket and balls on tennis court

Tennis Court (Dollar Photo Club)

Hone your racket skills at the 5 star Cornelia Diamond Resort & Spa in Antalya, South Turkey. Both group and private tennis coaching sessions are included in this luxurious seven night stay. This trip offers you the opportunity to learn (or improve!) a skill whilst making friends for life, all comfort of an indulgent resort. After you’ve relaxed with a couples full-body massage in the spa to soothe those aching muscles, why not book one of the many excursions out to visit the nearby Perge, Aspendos and Manavgat waterfalls, and the ancient theatre of Anatolia.

Book through 5 Star Tennis Holidays, where prices start from £1150 including flights.

Family Adventure Holidays

Horsing around in South Africa

This seven night horse riding experience, offers a guaranteed four hours of riding per day through the wild African terrain. Your day will start will a traditional African breakfast watching the sunrise on the veranda, then first stop is riding out into the game reserve to spot as many animals as you can, from wild rhino, waterbuck, giraffes, oryx, zebra and hyenas. Spend the evening relaxing with a complimentary muscle massage in your very own private lodge looking over the African game reserve – this holiday is an ideal opportunity for both experienced riders and non-riders alike.

Prices start from £1,134 per person and you can book your place through in the saddle.

Get wet and wild in Croatia

whitewater rafting

White water rafting, Croatia (Explore)

The Dalmatian coast offers some of world’s best conditions for extreme water sports such as white water rafting, sea kayaking and canoeing through some of Croatia’s exhilarating caves and waterfalls. When the children aren’t being entertained in the 100 km of river, you can take the opportunity to visit some of Croatia’s most celebrated historic sites, such as Diocletian’s Palace in Split and the Old Town of Dubrovnik.

With a minimum age of 8 and prices starting from as low as £765 (without flights), Explore offers an affordable solution to family adventure holidays.

Featured photo credit: Jon Cooper – Rainforest Bridge via flickr.com

Quotation:http://www.lifehack.org/lifestyle

All You Need To Know About Milk…

Brief History of Milk

The introduction of milk can be traced to as far back as 10,000 years ago where Neolithic farmers discovered that milking cattle can help to provide sustenance to the human population. The pasteurized milk that so many people have grown to love was developed in 1864 and only mandated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1987. Three years later, the FDA approved the use of genetically modified milk. The next monumental event came in 2008 when cloned milk was legally accepted for public distribution.

The global production of milk can be categorized into five distinct sources: Cattle, Buffaloes, Goats, Sheep, and Camels. Milk produced from cattle commands staggering 85% of the global milk industry while buffaloes are responsible for a tenth of the global milk production. The remaining slice of the pie is split among goats, sheep, and camels.

Modern Societys Perception of Milk

Ever since bottled milk first appeared in 1884, many countries have dived into the market and starting producing their own brands of milk. India currently tops the list of milk producers, with roughly one-fifth of the global milk volume originating from the country. The United States ranks 2nd, holding a 12% share of the market. The rest of the milk production is divided among the other countries with notable mentions to the following:

  • China

  • Brazil

  • France

  • Germany

  • New Zealand

  • Russia

The general demand for milk has also increased tremendously over the past 3 decades. This is evident from the statistics that clearly exhibit a rise in global milk production. From 1983 to 2003, the worlds milk industry has increased supply by 50%. Impressively, the Asian region recorded a dramatic increase in milk production from 80 million tons to 270 million tons within the same period.

Facts About Milk Consumption

Distribution of Milk

The importance of milk can be witnessed in its influence on dairy products. Surprisingly, only 40% of the total milk production is set aside for fresh milk and its variations. Half of the total market proportion is reserved for cheese, butter and ghee products. The leftover portion is then split among skimmed and whole milk powder.

Raw Milk or Pasteurized Milk?

The debate between advocates of raw milk and traditionalists who strongly believe in pasteurized milk have been raging on for decades. Their arguments are intensively focused on the health benefits or consequences that are attached to the quality of milk. For instance, people who prefer raw milk believe that it contains natural elements that help to reinforce the immune system and ward off pathogens.

Studies have also backed their claim that raw milk helps to prevent asthma and allergies. Additionally, they hold the opinion that pasteurized milk loses vital nutritional value throughout its production process. Nevertheless, these claims are strongly objected by their counter-parties.

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Helps to Strengthen Bones

The most common health benefit associated with milk consumption is its ability to strengthen the bones. This scientific fact cannot be disputed as the high calcium content have been proved to aid in building stronger bones. A lesser known health benefit is that milk helps to promote better skin condition and can fight against the effects of sun exposure. For those who prefer to drink almond milk, this advantage is more evident as it contains higher levels of vitamin E and antioxidant properties that help to build a healthier skin foundation.

The Effects of Lactose Intolerance

The process of packaging milk from the moment it is milked from a cow takes only 2 days before it reaches supermarket aisles. The nutrients derived from an 8-ounce glass of milk is comparable to 12 servings of whole grains, 6 servings of legumes or 10 servings of raw spinach. Unfortunately, roughly 29 million Americans are lactose intolerant and unable to consume any dairy products, thus losing out on this health benefit. Interestingly, 85% of these people can withstand consuming raw milk. Alternatively, lactose-free milk products are also available for them.

Flavoured Milk

Some people might express their reluctance to drink natural-flavoured milk. They require some excitement for their taste buds to thoroughly enjoy the beverage. This need for flavour is more pronounced rife amongst the younger generations. This is why chocolate milk is one of the best-selling milk products. In fact, a study has shown that when chocolate milk is removed from cafeterias, total milk consumption dropped by 35%.

Health-Milk-Facts

Genetically Modified Milk

As mentioned above, genetically modified milk was only approved by the FDA in the early 1990s. Roughly 1 in every 5 cows has been injected with rBGH to increase their production of milk. Unfortunately, milk produced by genetically modified cows does not need to be labelled and neither are they separated from the other milk products.

However, this procedure is unique to the United States as all European countries, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan have banned the use of rBGH to increase milk production. This is due to the elevated levels of a hormone known as Insulin Growth Factor-1, which consequently increases the risk of cancers.

Increases Risk of Cancer

It is given that milk from genetically modified cows present an increased risk of cancer. However, it should be noted that milk produced through the natural process also contains risk factors that can lead to the onset of cancer diseases. Studieshave shown guys who consume at least 2 servings of milk daily exhibit an increased 34% risk of developing prostate cancer. On the other hand, the lactose content of milk also escalated the risk of ovarian cancer in women.

Conclusion

As part of the individual body maintenance process, it is essential to be aware of what is fed into the body and the characteristics that these food items possess. Generally, the public holds a positive perception towards consuming milk due to the host of health benefits that it provides. Nonetheless, consumers should also be warned of the threat of genetically modified milk and the health consequences of excessive milk consumption.

Quotation:http://www.lifehack.org/lifestyle

6 Tips to Successfully Make the Most of Your Day…

24 hours in a day, that is all we have, or 1440 minutes if you really want to get technical. That really isn’t a lot of time if you break down all that actually goes into making your day, however, there are plenty of ways to actually make the most out of your day, and here is the first step to take:

Step 1: Make Your Bed

I totally just added another chore to your list, but, hey, trust me on this one, making your bed actually can do a lot more good than you think. Making your bed in the morning is actually the perfect step to take when beginning your day. Fluffing those pillows, and straightening up your sheets has been proven to make people happier, and to be honest, being happy is exactly what we all need at 6:00 in the morning!

Step 2: Your Appearance

You are beautiful the way you are, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on yourself. Try doing your hair more often than normal, painting your nails a different color than usual, or giving yourself a whole new wardrobe makeover. All of these things can really help boost your confidence and kick-start your day, the right way. Making a few small changes to your look can really go a long way for your overall confidence. Changing things up is always good as long as you are comfortable with it.

Step 3: Your Work

You are already great at what you do for a living, but what if you put a little extra work in at your day-to-day job? Going the extra mile really shows, and people will start to notice. Try and be creative with normal tasks during the day that may carry you farther. You may start to discover a new skill or talent that you didn’t even know existed. Make the little things count!

Step 4: Your Attitude

OK, so this might be a tough one for some. Having a positive attitude. Not everyone can do this day in and day out, and I am not suggesting you fake one either. Waking up with a happy outlook on life is crucial to how you act during the day, and how others will treat you in return. If you are normally one to have a sour attitude or are generally nervous about the day, try putting on a smile and showing the world that you can take on anything!

Step 5: Planning Out Your Week

Scheduling out your week is something most people only wish they had the time for, but never really set aside a minute to do so. I recently purchased an Erin Condren day planner from her online store. I really can’t say that I have ever found a planner quite like this one. It comes with so many interesting features like sticky notes, custom appointment stickers, and much more. I really enjoy laying out my week and visualizing how the week will play out. This also gives you a good scope of what your days will feel like, and allows you to mentally prepare for anything that might come your way during that time.

Step 6: Taking Time For Yourself

Most of us don’t always have the option of “me time”, but believe me, with 24 hours in a day, I know you can make it happen. Even if it’s for 10 or 20 minutes, make time available to collect your thoughts, read or do anything that you truly enjoy. If you can get a longer time out of the day, grab it and make the most of it! You will feel more grounded, and positive once you do this.

Finally, I leave you with this: Not every day is going to go the way you “planned” it. As much as you try to stay positive or count on the steps you’ve taken to actually have a good day, life changes and sometimes we won’t like it. But, that is not to say you can’t control how you feel during the day. Even if something doesn’t go your way, or you do something that wasn’t completely the way you wanted it, there is always tomorrow to start over again and pick yourself back up.

Quotation:http://www.lifehack.org

5 Things That Will Happen To Your Brain When You Dance…

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Those of you who like to get your groove on on the dance floor will probably be surprised to find out that you are doing yourself a world of good. Dancing is more than just an enjoyable activity to experience with friends or your partner; dancing has the amazing ability to improve the way your brain functions. Let’s look at five exciting things that dancing can do to your brain.

It’ll enhance neuroplasticity

A study led by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, was conducted over a period of 21 years and looked at senior citizens 75 years and older. The researchers measured mental acuity in aging by monitoring rates of dementia. The aim of the study was to find out if any physical or cognitive recreational activities had an effect on mental acuity.

The study found that some cognitive activities influence mental acuity, but almost none of the physical activities had had any effect. The one exception was frequent dancing. Some findings of the studies were:

  • Reading – 35% reduced risk of dementia
  • Bicycling and swimming – 0% reduced risk of dementia
  • Doing crossword puzzles at least four days a week – 47% reduced risk of dementia
  • Playing golf – 0% reduced risk of dementia
  • Dancing frequently – 76% reduced risk of dementia

People who dance regularly have greater cognitive reserves and an increased complexity of neuronal synapses, explained neurologist Dr. Robert Katzman. Dancing lowered the risk of dementia by improving these neural qualities. Dancing may cause the brain to continually rewire its neural pathways and by doing so help with neuroplasticity.

It’ll make you more intelligent

What is meant by intelligence? If our response to a given situation is automatic (the stimulus-response relationship is automatic) then it is generally accepted that intelligence is involved. When the brain evaluates various reasonable responses and deliberately chooses one response, the process is considered to be intelligent. Jean Piaget stated that intelligence is what we use when we don’t already know what to do.

To put it simply, the essence of intelligence is making decisions. To improve your mental acuity, it is best to involve yourself in an activity that demands split-second, rapid decision making. Dancing is an example of a fast-paced activity that demands speedy decision making. It requires instant responses to questions like Which way to turn? What speed to move your body? and How to react to your partner’s movements? Dancing is an excellent way to maintain and enhance your intelligence.

It’ll improve your muscle memory

The article The Cognitive Benefits of Movement Reduction: Evidence From Dance Marking states that dancers can achieve complex moves more easily when they undergo the process of “marking”—walking through movements slowly and encoding each movement with a cue.

Researcher Edward Warburton, a former professional ballet dancer, and his colleagues looked at the “thinking behind the doing of dance.” They published their findings in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. They found that marking lessened the conflict between the cognitive and physical aspects of dance, and doing so gave the dancers a chance to memorize and repeat moves with greater fluidity.

It was concluded that visualizing movements and marking can help improve muscle memory. This type of visualization and marking, learned through dance, can also be used across a variety of fields to optimize performance.

It’ll slow down aging and boost memory

Dr. Katzman believes that the more complex our neuronal synapses are, the better. He believes that you should do whatever you can to create new neural paths, and dancing is a great way to do this.

As you get older, brain cells die and synapses become weaker. Nouns, like names of people, are harder to remember because there is only one neural pathway that leads us to this stored information.

If you work on learning new things, like dance, you can work on building different mental routes and many paths. So if one path is lost as a result of age, you have an alternative path that you can use to access stored information and memories.

It’ll help prevent dizziness

Have you ever wondered why ballet dancers don’t get dizzy when they perform pirouettes? Research suggests that through years of practice and training, dancers gain the ability to suppress signals from the balance organs in the inner ear that are linked to the cerebellum.

Dr. Barry Seemungal of the Department of Medicine at Imperial explains that “It’s not useful for a ballet dancer to feel dizzy or off balance. Their brains adapt over years of training to suppress that input. Consequently, the signal going to the brain areas responsible for perception of dizziness in the cerebral cortex is reduced, making dancers resistant to feeling dizzy.”

If you suffer from dizziness, then making time in your schedule for any form of dance is a good way to address this problem. Dancing will help improve the function of your cerebellum, which in turn may help you improve your balance and make you less dizzy. You do not need to be a professional dancer to benefit from this sport. Dancing at all levels will help.

Conclusion

Dance can be a great way to maintain and improve many of your brain functions. Dance can increase your neural connectivity because it integrates several brain functions at once; rational, musical, kinesthetic, and emotional. This increased neural connectivity can be of great benefit to your brain as it ages. So, dance now and dance often!

Quotation:http://www.lifehack.org