Escaping The Reality

Today, I tried escaping the reality.

The day was dull,

and I wore dull too.

It began at the division,

where I should have taken right—

gone through the rough road

met the happy end—

but I took left,

and surrendered to pain.

This road was decorated with illusions

and I ended up boarding one of its plane.

I took it all with me,

that I should have detatched long back—

dragged all my sorrows,

destroyed past’s, failed today’s,

lifeless faith, unwanted emotions,

and to be a failed tomorrow’s.

I dragged everything in


But this plane has no windows

no exits either!

And hours on,

we’re flying towards nowhere.

All the things I dragged in

crawl onto my skin,

onto my soul.

I cannot bear it.

I cannot!

Listen. Somebody?

Come rescuse me,

tell me it’s not late.

Tell me,

I still can take the right

onto the rough road.


Ask the pilot to stop.

I want to go back to reality again

I want to jump off.



How much hope

is enough for one to

save oneself?

i carried a bit with me

like rose fragrance.

that did not last long.

but enough to save me,

as it is.

hopeless minds and

hopeless hearts

are haunted places.


no one loves to stay.

you can feel everything

but incompletely;

like your life has


like questions shackle

your feet every night

you plan to sleep.

without hope

you ought to suffocate yourself.


you must carry hope

small enough to save you.


even if it’s just as little

as the last drop of water

in a desert.

Thank You !

Please let her grow

You don’t let her grow.

But she, she is a cosmos.

A wildflower- a universe.

She is, a woman

and blooms through all your storms.

You try to pluck her out with your words,

and jab her roots with your manliness,

but she leaves a scent behind.

It’s a fragrance you cannot get rid of,

a trail of compassion, no strength can shake.

Tell you, Dear Man,

She’s the womb, you breathed in ,

and so shall she be for your children.

The companion of your storms

and a healer of your soul.

Tell me.

Don’t you run into your mother’s lap when you fear,

that world will suck your marrow — peace.

Isn’t it a woman

who could trespass your ego,

and stay there till years.

How can you snatch someone of the grace

that Creator gifted her with?

She is Wisest Of all MEN

She grows, expands universe in her eyes,

Let her grow, for she knows else,

how to out grow!

Thank you !

Some of my old sketches !

Here are some sketches made by me 2 years ago . Take a look !

1. Kittu and ASHOK .

They used to like each other but never shared their feeling . So i tried just to make them closer each other.

Don’t be confuses about my name . Munna is my pet name given by my family . And maddy that was given by me lol as so many people in my circle started to call me Munna which I didn’t like it at all . So i kept my own name Maddy . Wasn’t it good ???

2 . At Bus Stop .

It was a real scene that I saw while standing at a bus stop waiting for my bus . The weather was not good that time and it was about to rain . Suddenly what I saw , A boy trying to comfort his girlfriend as she was feeling cold so he gave his jacket to her . What a view it was !!! I went home and portrayed it in my diary .

3. I dreamed of having a best friend.

4. I became so devastated that I didn’t want to live any more .

5. ….

I made so many drawings but accidentally lost them all but rest were saved .

Thank you

Sameer Thobani !

Just imagine

Imagine there’s no heaven

It’s easy if you try

No hell below us

Above us, only sky

Imagine all the people living for today

Imagine there’s no countries

It isn’t hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion, too

Imagine all the people living life in peace .

-John Lenon

Thank you!

Sameer Thobani.

When you fall in love

When you fall in love you, nothing can change the way you feel.

Your heart pumps like mad but you feel nothing but love

You feel full up and you don’t even realise you haven’t eaten

You can’t sleep for thinking about them

You can’t concentrate for thinking about them

And when you’re with them?

You can hardly breathe for being close to them.

And knowing how good you could be

When they make you happy

You want to cry

When they make you sad

You want them to be there when you cry.

“If I had one wish it would be that your life brings you a taste of happiness that you brought me,

That you can feel what is like to love .”

Thank You !!

This “Just One” Really Works !

One song can spark a moment,

One flower can wake the dream

One tree can start a forest,

One bird can herald spring.

One smile begins a friendship,

One handclasp lifts a soul.

One star can guide a ship at sea,

One word can frame the goal

One vote can change a nation,

One sunbeam lights a room

One candle wipes out darkness,

One laugh will conquer gloom.

One step must start each journey.

One word must start each prayer.

One hope will raise our spirits,

One touch can show you care.

One voice can speak with wisdom,

One heart can know what’s true,

One life can make a difference,

You see, it’s up to you!

Thank You!

Spread Love!

Some things that happen only in India

• We don’t need Security guards!

• Naming system is a bit complicated!

• Reserved are Deserved!

• Our Spray system is our Love.

• Water is really a problem for us.

• Arrange Marriage pomp and show!

• Lover’s point is a source of income!

• We have our own indigenous way of “Jugaad”.

• Special tone of drinking tea – “surrrrrr…”.

.If electricity is not present, looking at the neighbor’s house is more important than checking the fuse box.

Image Sources : Brown Paperbag and Google

Thank you .

What does feminism mean to you?

So this happened yesterday. In a small gathering of friends, one of my friend accidentally brushed against a girl. What happened next shocked me.

The girl started shouting and abusing my friend saying “hey how can you touch me like that you ‘some random abuse”, just because I look beautiful and dress in a progressive way you don’t have any right to touch me like that, you molester.

She was looking something like this (Image for illustration purpose only)

My friend stood there silent and then said it was purely by mistake and it was never his intention to touch her, leave alone molesting. And I interrupted too saying it was unintentional but it was late, the self morale police brigade(the people around) had already accused him of molesting and he had to face very embarrassing situation.

But this incident alone did not made me sad, lets cut back to 3 weeks back. In a similar get together, the same girl kept touching a boy who had very well built muscles. She was touching his chest and arms and praising him. The boy was uncomfortable and gave her stern look. On this she said what’s wrong? We girls are now a part of modern society. We are equal to boys. We too can initiate talk and touch you. The boy just got up and went from there.

Some girls today use the tag of FEMINISM in a very wrong way.

This makes me sad, not just today but everyday. I hope these girls learn to use their rights in a rightful way.

Thank You !

Please Take Me Back To Those Good Old Days .

“Old Is Always Gold” This is what my dad always says to me when he sees people being busy with their smartphones and other gadgets. I don’t understand why does he thinks so .

But I always wonder why everyone’s olden days are better than their present. Old music and songs were good. Old films were outstanding. Old clothings were of better quality. Old craftsmanship was worthier. Old silk sarees and other dresses were good. In the olden days, food was of high standards. Old vessels and wares were of high quality.

Old teachers were excellent. Old schools were better centres of learning. Old furniture pieces were more appealing. Old houses were user-friendly, airy and well ventilated. Old games with minimum but crude gadgets were more enchanting. The old All India Radio entertained us all with high quality programmes. Old friendships were more reliable. Old wine was tasty. Why this old kolaveri di and da , despacito and gangnam style ? Is it something to do with one’s psyche? No. It cannot be brushed off or wished away simply like that. Old is, and was, really gold. But why?

Times are changing fast. Values are eroding. Goodness is replaced and it is now measured by smartness to get on with life. We have become excessively vigilant, touchy and more suspicious for no real reason. Today, we frisk everyone, inwardly at least. We take things with a pinch of salt. Though today’s material comforts — that could not even be dreamt of a decade ago — are aplenty, still something is amiss about life. What is it? Peace? Happiness?

Peace prevailed earlier, despite wars. There was trust. There was hope. People relaxed better. There was no clamour for things that one did not possess. The absence of those, that were not deemed essential to own, never made any difference to a happy life.

There was contentment. Competition was less cut-throat. There was concern, affection and true bonding. There was togetherness. More important, people were patient. No doubt, there were poverty and scarcity, paucity and difficulty. But whether you accept it or not ,there was beauty in life and comity among all. Disputes were quickly and amicably sorted out. Courts had fairly less business.

When China invaded us in the early 1960s, there was acute rationing of essentials. Sugar disappeared. But people were happy with jaggery. Wheat replaced rice in many south Indian families as a one-time staple food. Fasting and starving were daily affairs. People helped each other. There was a total blackout and people went without power for days on end. There was camaraderie.

Places of worship were serene and tranquil. There was no terror harboured, either in the mind or for real. All communities co-existed amicably and people waited for better times. They tolerated deficiencies in others and accommodated idiocies, shortcomings and pitfalls of others. They took oddities in their stride without murmur. Rank consumerism was non-existent.

Families were big and joint family was the norm. There were guests to partake of food and there was readiness to share whatever one had. Rains were original and smiles were natural. Air was fresh. There were few privileges to enjoy. Yet life was complete, meaningful and wholesome. People lent money to the needy without documents and paper. Debts were written off without protests and contests. Times were timeless. Values were invaluable and principles were priceless.

The main door of our houses , were never locked except during night. Windows were open 24 hours of the day. There were no double grills for the main door. They knew everyone in the town, though by nicknames (only the postman knew the real names). Today, not knowing the neighbour is an etiquette and norm. Privacy is mistaken for liberty and freedom. One is compelled to look at the tenants’ chart in the apartment complex to know about the neighbours caged in the matchbox apartments.

If it was lunch time, the guest would join them . Strangely, there was always enough food at home at least for one guest. Guests never brought their soaps, towels, hair oil or shaving sets. Visitors came with the minimum and left with the maximum that they could afford and spare for them. Today, it is “me and mine” culture. A guest is the most unwelcome soul, more so when the favourite TV serial is on.

They all walked to the school, miles away, barefoot in the scorching sun. We never felt the pain. There were tragedies in families. People took them in their stride. No one rushed to the media. The media were more responsible and mature. Silly stories were never entertained. There was no sensationalism. Natural calamities did occur and sufferings were more severe. Yet people breathed easy. Even one-plus-one families are suffocating today. There were not many telephones. Mobiles were non-existent. Yet, people conversed joyously.

There were no high-cc two-wheelers. Yet friends met each other every day. There were no superfast buses or trains. (Forget the planes). A 40-km travel took three hours. Yet none complained. Doctors were few and far between. Diseases were many. No big hospitals, leave alone super-speciality facilities, for miles and miles. No one grumbled.

There was give and take, and there were real tears during hard times. Roads were free of flashy four-wheelers. Dresses were tailor-made and not readymade. Hoteliers served fresh food. Food was never refrigerated. Fruit juices were fresh, never tinned. Home food was oven-hot, never re-heated.

Today, it is use and throw, be it a battery, a gadget, a gear, father or mother. Those days, it was use, remember and respect. Old homes of the past are old-age homes now. Donations to charities and orphanages are bountiful now. Temples are mushrooming in every colony. Yet, humanity is drying up, and about divinity, the less said the better.

Charity began at home then. Even beggars were dignified. They were humble and never greedy. People were self-made. They are self-centred now. Family elders were philosophers, guides and counsellors. Today, there are counsellors for every non-issue, at a price. Psychiatrists were unheard of then. Today, they proliferate, one for every two disturbed persons.

Health was not a worrisome issue. It is a psychic issue now. They market ill-health in so many names today. Medicines are a “buy-one take-two (diseases?) formula” now. Divorces were few and far between. Every wedding anniversary is a milestone now.

There was commitment in what one did those days.

There is commerce in every thing we do today. There are Valentine’s Day, sisters day, fathers day, mothers day, friends day, doctors day, nurses day, husbands day, wives day, water day, sparrows day, diabetes day, AIDS day, TB day and every other day. There were only Mondays, Tuesdays and so on earlier. Forget the past, someone said. Why should one? Is it because the present is unbearable that the mind should not be tortured with the glory of the past? It is said not for nothing that old is gold.

Thank You !

Sameer Thobani .

The Day When I Felt Victimised!

I felt victimized. When I was sixteenth in 11th class, I was bullied by my classmates from another community for almost two years.

This incident took place when I left my old school And took admission in a new school with new atmosphere and students around. Since I lived 6 to 7 kms away from my school, My dad used to drop me to school . It took about one and half hour to reach the school.

So my horrible school-life of two 2 years were spent during this journey.

Now in that school in my class we were only 5 to 6 Muslims students and rest all were from Peaceful community.

On my first day to school, I still remember the first question a boy asked me was— ‘Are you a Hindu or Muslim’?

I got quite confused on listening to it as no one had ever asked me this question earlier anywhere.

But then I replied— ‘I’m a Muslim ’. On hearing my answer he said, You are of no use then.’

I got more confused after hearing that. I was quite young to grasp the actual meaning of that answer.

I reached my school and went to my class. I was like the odd one out in my class. Entire class was staring at me as if I have come from another planet. Moreover, since I joined that school between the session, I was the point of attention in my class.

Now, the same guy who asked me disgusting question in the school happened to be one of my classmate.

Now what he did when our school got over ,he started shouting to all the students of my class — He’s a Muslim and he’s a cheat . He’s a terrorist. 4 to 5 boys of my class would call me a terrorist all the day instead of my name and it hurts so bad . Despite things like this happening with me , I even don’t utter a word for them .

After listening to it I still remember all the boys and girls of my class crowded around my seat and started questioning me all sorts of shitty questions in the name of ‘Ragging’.

Questions on my religion, on my language, on my hair, on my appearance, on my voice etc etc. In short they were making fun of me. Moreover even the senior boys of 12th class were involved in this stuff.

I felt humiliated that day.

I remember when I reached home, I hugged my mom and started crying. I was like— ‘I don’t want to study in this school. Please take me to another school .

But I didn’t have the courage to tell my mom the whole incident that occured in my school on my first day. Then I decided to ignore that incident thinking it happened just because it was my first day in school. Now it won’t happen anymore.

But I was wrong.

The same thing happened the next day and then the another day and then for whole two years. They bullied me (exclusively me) for whole two years. Reason being I was a Muslim Moreover I have already mentioned that there were only 5 to 6 Muslim in my class . So I became an easy target for all the guys in my class .

They used to occupy my seat without my consent. Sometimes pull my chair .Close my window. Sit beside me and talk useless things. They also made sure that I won’t get a seat in the class .

At first, I didn’t understand why were they treating me like that as I have done no wrong to them. I used to think of various reasons behind such treatment.

Reasons like may be they find me no their type , may be they don’t like curly hair cut , may be they don’t like people coming from another religion or state and so on. My innocent mind was unable to decide that why it was happening only with me?

I became timid with no self-esteem during that phase. I started fearing those guys as they were quite well-built and they used to bully me in a group.

Moreover irony was there were four teachers who used to teach us (belonging to their community). Even they didn’t question those students once that why are you bullying him or leave him. Despite knowing everything they chose to turn blind eye from everything that was happening in the school .I think even they were afraid of those guys.

So there was not a single day during those two years when I had not cried because of them. Yes, I was afraid of them.

Now one day, I didn’t get seat in the class .well, it had become common till then) and one of my Hindu friend, a boy , also didn’t get any seat.

Now, one of the Hindu guy stood up and offered Him (only Him ) seat saying— ‘You belong to our community. You can take my seat.

That day I was shocked.

That day my innocent mind realised that they didn’t have any problem with my looks but with my ‘Religion’.

Just because I was not from their religion they chose to make two years of my school life a ‘Hell’. They chose to make me cry everyday for no reason.

And I’m not lying in my answer just for some upvotes.

As I didn’t have the courage to discuss on this bullying with my parents I used to jot down all my feelings in my personal diary.

Now this ‘selective bullying’ had somewhere left a deep impact on me. And no one should ever go through this at such a tender age. Because in this age you are afraid to share your feelings with anyone. You are vulnerable during this age .

I don’t know about others but yes I felt Victimised. Just because I’m from a minority community and being a Muslim I got bullied by the majority of India.

And I’m not against any religion. My best friend is a Hindu. But this is something I honestly went through.

Please forgive me if I said something wrong . My intention is not to hurt anyone’s feelings.

Thank you !

What’s the purpose of our life ?? Is it happiness ?? Not it’s not . It’s totally usefulness .

We love doing things that make us happy. From going on holiday to buying a new car, we keep chasing that next nugget of happiness.

If you change it up and look at happiness as being a byproduct of your actions, choices and decisions that involve working towards a larger purpose, you’ll begin to notice how wonderful life really can be. True happiness is derived from moments of interaction and connection.

I’m happiest when doing something useful for somebody else, whether it be a friend, family member, colleague or even a stranger. When I’ve done something valuable for them, they’re happy which makes me happy!

Find something useful to do for someone.

Do it. Let me know how you feel afterwards.

“Being useful is a mindset. And like with any mindset, it starts with a decision. One day I woke up and thought to myself: What am I doing for this world? The answer was nothing.”

Thank you !


There was a girl in my class when I was in school. Unlike me who had bunch of friends and who used to be the most mischievous girl of the class, she used to remain alone. She didn’t have friends (even she was very good in maths) and she used to sit at the last bench inspite of coming very early to the class. You know why? Because of us. All of my other classmates (including me) used to tease her because she was fat. (Hey, please don’t judge me. I was just a kid)

Not only my classmates, sometimes our teachers also used to crack joke on her to make others laugh when the class used to be boring.

In the starting year of our school she used to give auditions for our cultural fest but she was always rejected. After sometime she stopped coming to auditions and attending those fest because may be she had known the reason of not being selected as her body was not perfect.

I still remember the rehearsals of the last annual function of ours. We were practicing in our auditorium. I was the anchor and was checking the list of participants when I saw her name written in the list of solo dance participants. I couldn’t believe she was going to dance. (To be honest I laughed in my heart)

When she came for the rehearsal, every other students sitting there started humiliating her and commenting over her.

“aie moti stage todegi kya?” (hey you fat girl, you gonna break the stage)

“arey ye khud phat jaayegi dance karegi toh” (she will burst if she will dance) and everyone was laughing. She kept standing there for a while and then ran away crying.

I really felt bad seeing her crying for the first time. Something broke inside me when she left but I didn’t stop them from humiliating her (may be I didn’t want to lose my friendship).

She didn’t come to practice after that.

Finally our annual function came and after all the programme I was shocked when my teacher asked me to announce her name for the solo dance.

I wanted to tell my teacher about the humiliation she faced while our practice and to give her reason for not calling her as she won’t be able to perform. But I didn’t say a single word and called her name.

She was standing on the stage after few minutes. I could see her cheeks flushing and may be I could feel her heartbeat inside me which was pounding so hardly that it could be heard by others. I could hear the giggling and comments of my classmates standing backstage. Every student sitting there was laughing. And laughter kept growing louder untill my teacher came and warned them to keep quiet and told her to dance.

She danced really amazingly. In spite of having heavy body she was so flexible and flowing like water. (I could see the reflection of Saroj Khan in her).

At that moment she was the bravest girl around me. This might not be easy for her. She might had fear too but she had the courage to move forward so strongly in spite of the fear to be humiliated again. She was an inspiration to me at that point of time. She taught me that, your self-worth is determined by you. You don’t have to depend on someone telling you who you are.

I was shattered to my own self to be a part of society where we tend to judge beauty of a person by their waistline, where beauty meets brain but brain never meets with beauty because the latter one is always millions of notch higher.

People just don’t simply decide to hate their bodies, its us who teach them to.

So here my question is

Is fat really the worst thing a human being can be? Is fat worse than vindictive, jealous, shallow, vain, evil or cruel? Not to me anymore. —J.K. Rowling

6 Countries where female population is higher than male

Almost all countries around the world are facing the problem of sex ratio. Due to this, the number of women in many countries is decreasing. In many countries, “Save Girl Child” campaign is also going on. At the same time, there are some countries where the number of women is more than men. Today I am going to tell you about some countries where female population is higher than male population. Yes, there are such countries in the world, where women population is the highest. So let’s know some more things about these countries.

1. Estonia

Spread over 17,662 square miles, the number of female population in Northern European country Estonia is more than male. Male to female ratio for Estonia is 88 males per 1000 females (88:100).

2. Russia

Russia is one of the most beautiful and powerful countries in the world. The number of female is the highest in men. Compared to men, the population of females is 53.50%.

3. Aruba

In this beautiful island country, the population of women is more than the population of men. Here 52.50% of the population is women.

4. Portugal

Portugal is one of the best tourist places in the world. Portugal also has more female population than male. The sex ratio of Portugal is 940 males per 1000 females.

5. Belarus

Many tourists visit Belarus but do you know that there is 53.50% of the population of females, which is more than men.

6. Ukraine

Ukraine is no less than a list of more female population countries. The number of women in this country is 53.70% compared to men.

Hope you like this article, then please hit the like button and comment your views in the comment box.

Thank You

Sameer Thobani

The people of the world, like you have never seen before !

This is a collection of pictures from the various parts of the world. You will realize how different they look or how different their lifestyle is. But, so many of share the universal feelings of love and grief.

. Two cute humans sharing a smile !

. Chief midwife holds a newborn baby boy,she has just delivered by flashlight in hospital in Gabu, Guinea-Bissau !

. Kazakh Eagle Hunter :

. North Korean soldiers share a laugh !

. Zimbabwean boy with aquamarine blue eyes.

. Parade Performers, San Vicente del Raspeig, Spain

. World Nomad Games, gymnastics archery !

. Red Head and Red Scarf, Stockholm :

. Nomadic Afghan Woman :

. This is Sandra. She’s 25 and just started her own falconry.

. Potter in Myanmar :

. Iowa Children’s Hospital :

. Girls playing cricket in Pakistan from National Geographic :

Hope you liked the article. Don’t forget to drop in your comments below.



Images That Mimic Dreams And Other “Impossible” Shots .

Martin De Pasquale is a master of Photoshop. Here he uses his fine tuned skills to create images that mimic dreams and other ‘impossible’ shots.The Argentine artist uses a technique in layers in Photoshop to combine a sequence of photographs and create stunning visual masterpieces.

01. At times too much beard is difficult to shave.

02. Heart of the artist is taken out by minions of him.

03. To start the day with water

04. The Hunger

05. He is like an open book.The Artist has a keen eye for taking everyday life and constructing it into abstract art.

06. See the subtle but Detailed One

07. The Big One…The apple is eating him.

08. A Super Weird but surreal-really awesome! He is leaving to office with that big head as he cannot do away with it.

09. To deflate

10. Empty the Mind.

Tell me about this? Sameer Loves your feedback via comments.

Thank You.

Sameer Thobani


For Nat Geo’s Year Million, Territory Studio envisioned the unimaginable.

What will the world be like a million years from now, and how will humans live in it? That’s the idea behind National Geographic’s six-part docudrama series Year Million. Narrated by Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix, Blackish), the series calls on scientists, technology experts, science fiction writers and others to weigh in on how technological advances could potentially shape life in the future.

Production company RadicalMedia asked Territory Studio to create the futuristic motion graphics and visual effects the series relies on to convey complex and often abstract ideas that might otherwise be unfathomable. Known for their imaginative future tech designs for games and films such as Blade Runner 2049, Ready Player One and Ghost in the Shell, Territory worked closely RadicalMedia and the series’ experts and used Cinema 4D, After Effects, Maya, X-Particles and Houdini for the project.

Already experienced with medical animation, Territory had DNA matrixes in their archives, which came in handy for illustrating the idea of reversing aging. 

“I think RadicalMedia chose Territory because we specialize in creating the kind of look they wanted, and it was nice because they gave us a fair amount of freedom to just think about what things might look like,” recalls Nick Lyons, Territory’s lead designer on the project. “One of the really interesting things was that we were often trying to visualize theories, ideas and technologies that haven’t been invented yet.”

Territory used Cinema 4D and X-Particles to create a futuristic lens that could one day be placed over the eye to augment reality. 

After going back and forth to develop a consistent style for the series, Territory began creating visuals for each episode in succession, often getting one creative brief and digging into the work as the next brief came in. The number of assets the team needed to create per episode grew over time, starting with about 10 for the first episode on artificial intelligence and increasing to more than 30 by the end of the series. “At first the episodes touched on basic themes, but as they introduced more and more ideas, they needed much more of our help to illustrate those things,” Lyons says. “We had about two to three weeks from start to finish on each episode and it was really fun to work with them.”

Wormholes and Dark Matter
As the creative lead on the project, Lyons headed up a multi-talented team of Territory artists and freelancers. Assets ranged anywhere from 10- to 30-seconds long and were either looping or stand-alone pieces. In many ways, the process was typical. Except in this case, much of what they were making doesn’t exist yet, so everything had to be checked by experts to ensure technical accuracy. “We were always aware that experts have been studying this stuff for years, but the audience wouldn’t have any idea what something was so we had to make that clear. That was definitely the most challenging part for us.

To figure out how best to execute visual effects for some episodes, the team sometimes used Skype so they could collaborate on ways to envision a wormhole or dark matter—both of which they had to do for episode six, Beyond the Cosmos. “Wormholes are just a mind-blowing concept, rips in time that allow you to travel form one spot to another,” Lyons explains. After much debate, the team opted to create a wormhole by modeling a rough, cylindrical shape in Cinema 4D and then using X-Particles to push particles through it.

Territory used C4D and X-Particles to create the wormhole for episode 6.

For inspiration, we tried to stick as closely as possible to scientific research while also making sure the graphics were easy to understand in a short amount of time,” Lyons explains. Generally, the process was to do some research on whatever concept they were working on, see what kind of graphics the scientific community has used in the past and then try to refresh those concepts for a modern audience. 

Territory’s final design helped illustrate the idea that humans might one day use wormholes for travel.

Though dark matter has never actually been observed, Territory needed to create VFX shots to help explain what is believed to be about 80 percent of the universe’s mass. Using Houdini, the team simulated particles that they brought into Cinema 4D. Next, they used Krakatoa to render and texture the particles. Lyons explains: “Dark matter was an interesting concept to try to visualize as it’s something you can’t see, so we worked on using the particles to create negative space in our interstellar scene so we had more contrast between dark and light.”

Dark matter through the lens of Nick Lyons and his team.

Robot Explorers and Terraforming
Humans are already exploring new planets, but in the future we may send robot explorers with artificial intelligence to neighboring planets to explore, terraform (modify), harvest resources and establish colonies. Lyons and his team used Illustrator and Cinema 4D to visualize robot explorers at work and Red Shift for rendering. “We decided to do this using a top-down approach to show the sacle of what a robot-exploring AI program could look like if there were dozens of robots walking around own and neighboring solar systems,” Lyons says.

The robot explorers concept was created in C4D using simple spline and align to spline animations, giving complexity a more simple feel.

If and when something happens to Earth, humans are going to need somewhere else to live. And that’s where terraforming comes in, a process by which another planet could be made hospitable to human life. Territory created many assets for episode five, Energy Beyond Earth, including visualizing the process of terraforming Mars so it could be colonized. 

This animation showed how irrigation could potentially transform Mars. 

To make clear how the process of terra irrigation, which would introduce water to the surface of Mars, Lyons and his team used Illustrator to create multiple paths with an organic look. Next, they brought those splines into Cinema 4D, applying the spherical wrap deformer to illustrate the idea of waterways beginning to form on Mars. 

In addition to having the opportunity to illustrating some of the infinite possibilities the future may hold, Lyons says everyone also enjoyed trying out different render engines for the project, including C4D’s Physical and Standard Renderers as well as Red Shift and Arnold. “This was a great opportunity to use whatever render engine felt appropriate for each concept,” he says. “And it was really fun to learn so much about what’s happening in science and technology.”







God and poets back Ukraine road safety

Ukrainian road safety campaign. August 2018

“Don’t be such a clot – I’m immortal, you are not”

Ukraine is enlisting eminent poets of the past, not to mention God Almighty, in a determined attempt to improve its poor road safety record.

The authorities were stung by the news that 2017 saw more than 3,000 people die in a record number of traffic accidents, and launched a social-media campaign over the New Year on the “Take Control” campaign site.

This offered drivers car stickers declaring that they “stay offline at the wheel” among other virtues, but failed to make a significant online impact. So this month the police and various local authorities have geared up for the busy holiday season with a media blitz.

Lviv Region, a stronghold of Ukrainian-language culture, took the novel course of posting images on its Facebook page of classic writers Taras Shevchenko and Ivan Franko offering driving tips, while decked out in traditional embroidery.

Ukrainian road safety campaign. August 2018

Ivan Franko says don’t drink and drive.

The entertainment site and its followers had fun suggesting various ways of adapting much-loved Ukrainian poetry to the requirements of the Highway Code. Entering into the spirit, Olha Berezyuk of Lviv Council promptly posted poet Lesya Ukrainka (1871-1913) assuring passers-by that she would never have set out on the road without fastening her seat belt, as Espreso TV gleefully reports.

But poets are not enough for the national police force. It has pulled out all the stops in this deeply Christian country by enlisting God Himself to keep the roads safe – albeit in the form of singer Mykhailo Khoma, the Ukrayinska Pravda news site reports.

In conjunction with the Traffic Challenge campaign group, Mr Khoma and the police are making a series of musical cartoon videos in which drunk or plain negligent drivers and motorcyclists take to the road, only for the avuncular deity to appear alongside and sing “Don’t be such a clot – I’m immortal, you are not”.

And, so far, no one on social media has argued with that advice.

Ukrainian road safety campaign. August 2018

Lesya Ukrainka would always use her safety belt.



First Principles: Elon Musk on the Power of Thinking for Yourself.

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First principles thinking, which is sometimes called reasoning from first principles, is one of the most effective strategies you can employ for breaking down complicated problems and generating original solutions. It also might be the single best approach to learn how to think for yourself.

The first principles approach has been used by many great thinkers including inventor Johannes Gutenberg, military strategist John Boyd, and the ancient philosopher Aristotle, but no one embodies the philosophy of first principles thinking more effectively than entrepreneur Elon Musk.

In 2002, Musk began his quest to send the first rocket to Mars—an idea that would eventually become the aerospace company SpaceX.

He ran into a major challenge right off the bat. After visiting a number of aerospace manufacturers around the world, Musk discovered the cost of purchasing a rocket was astronomical—up to $65 million. Given the high price, he began to rethink the problem.

“I tend to approach things from a physics framework,” Musk said in an interview. “Physics teaches you to reason from first principles rather than by analogy. So I said, okay, let’s look at the first principles. What is a rocket made of? Aerospace-grade aluminum alloys, plus some titanium, copper, and carbon fiber. Then I asked, what is the value of those materials on the commodity market? It turned out that the materials cost of a rocket was around two percent of the typical price.”

Instead of buying a finished rocket for tens of millions, Musk decided to create his own company, purchase the raw materials for cheap, and build the rockets himself. SpaceX was born.

Within a few years, SpaceX had cut the price of launching a rocket by nearly 10x while still making a profit. Musk used first principles thinking to break the situation down to the fundamentals, bypass the high prices of the aerospace industry, and create a more effective solution.

First principles thinking is the act of boiling a process down to the fundamental parts that you know are true and building up from there. Let’s discuss how you can utilize first principles thinking in your life and work.

Defining First Principles Thinking

A first principle is a basic assumption that cannot be deduced any further. Over two thousand years ago, Aristotle defined a first principle as “the first basis from which a thing is known.”

First principles thinking is a fancy way of saying “think like a scientist.” Scientists don’t assume anything. They start with questions like, What are we absolutely sure is true? What has been proven?

In theory, first principles thinking requires you to dig deeper and deeper until you are left with only the foundational truths of a situation. Rene Descartes, the French philosopher and scientist, embraced this approach with a method now called Cartesian Doubt in which he would “systematically doubt everything he could possibly doubt until he was left with what he saw as purely indubitable truths.”

In practice, you don’t have to simplify every problem down to the atomic level to get the benefits of first principles thinking. You just need to go one or two levels deeper than most people. Different solutions present themselves at different layers of abstraction. John Boyd, the famous fighter pilot and military strategist, created the following thought experiment which showcases how to use first principles thinking in a practical way.

Imagine you have three things:

  • A motorboat with a skier behind it
  • A military tank
  • A bicycle

Now, let’s break these items down into their constituent parts:

  • Motorboat: motor, the hull of a boat, and a pair of skis.
  • Tank: metal treads, steel armor plates, and a gun.
  • Bicycle: handlebars, wheels, gears, and a seat.

What can you create from these individual parts? One option is to make a snowmobile by combining the handlebars and seat from the bike, the metal treads from the tank, and the motor and skis from the boat.

This is the process of first principles thinking in a nutshell. It is a cycle of breaking a situation down into the core pieces and then putting them all back together in a more effective way. Deconstruct then reconstruct.

How First Principles Drive Innovation

The snowmobile example also highlights another hallmark of first principles thinking, which is the combination of ideas from seemingly unrelated fields. A tank and a bicycle appear to have nothing in common, but pieces of a tank and a bicycle can be combined to develop innovations like a snowmobile.

Many of the most groundbreaking ideas in history have been a result of boiling things down to the first principles and then substituting a more effective solution for one of the key parts.

For instance, Johannes Gutenberg combined the technology of a screw press—a device used for making wine—with movable type, paper, and ink to create the printing press. Movable type had been used for centuries, but Gutenberg was the first person to consider the constituent parts of the process and adapt technology from an entirely different field to make printing far more efficient. The result was a world-changing innovation and the widespread distribution of information for the first time in history.

The best solution is not where everyone is already looking.

First principles thinking helps you to cobble together information from different disciplines to create new ideas and innovations. You start by getting to the facts. Once you have a foundation of facts, you can make a plan to improve each little piece. This process naturally leads to exploring widely for better substitutes.

The Challenge of Reasoning From First Principles

First principles thinking can be easy to describe, but quite difficult to practice. One of the primary obstacles to first principles thinking is our tendency to optimize formrather than function. The story of the suitcase provides a perfect example.

In ancient Rome, soldiers used leather messenger bags and satchels to carry food while riding across the countryside. At the same time, the Romans had many vehicles with wheels like chariots, carriages, and wagons. And yet, for thousands of years, nobody thought to combine the bag and the wheel. The first rolling suitcase wasn’t invented until 1970 when Bernard Sadow was hauling his luggage through an airport and saw a worker rolling a heavy machine on a wheeled skid.

Throughout the 1800s and 1900s, leather bags were specialized for particular uses—backpacks for school, rucksacks for hiking, suitcases for travel. Zippers were added to bags in 1938. Nylon backpacks were first sold in 1967. Despite these improvements, the form of the bag remained largely the same. Innovators spent all of their time making slight iterations on the same theme.

What looks like innovation is often an iteration of previous forms rather than an improvement of the core function. While everyone else was focused on how to build a better bag (form), Sadow considered how to store and move things more efficiently (function).

How to Think for Yourself

The human tendency for imitation is a common roadblock to first principles thinking. When most people envision the future, they project the current form forward rather than projecting the function forward and abandoning the form.

For instance, when criticizing technological progress some people ask, “Where are the flying cars?”

Here’s the thing: We have flying cars. They’re called airplanes. People who ask this question are so focused on form (a flying object that looks like a car) that they overlook the function (transportation by flight). This is what Elon Musk is referring to when he says that people often “live life by analogy.”

Be wary of the ideas you inherit. Old conventions and previous forms are often accepted without question and, once accepted, they set a boundary around creativity.

This difference is one of the key distinctions between continuous improvement and first principles thinking. Continuous improvement tends to occur within the boundary set by the original vision. By comparison, first principles thinking requires you to abandon your allegiance to previous forms and put the function front and center. What are you trying to accomplish? What is the functional outcome you are looking to achieve?

Optimize the function. Ignore the form. This is how you learn to think for yourself.

The Power of First Principles

Ironically, perhaps the best way to develop cutting-edge ideas is to start by breaking things down to the fundamentals. Even if you aren’t trying to develop innovative ideas, understanding the first principles of your field is a smart use of your time. Without a firm grasp of the basics, there is little chance of mastering the details that make the difference at elite levels of competition.

Every innovation, including the most groundbreaking ones, requires a long period of iteration and improvement. The company at the beginning of this article, SpaceX, ran many simulations, made thousands of adjustments, and required multiple trials before they figured out how to build an affordable and reusable rocket.

First principles thinking does not remove the need for continuous improvement, but it does alter the direction of improvement. Without reasoning by first principles, you spend your time making small improvements to a bicycle rather than a snowmobile. First principles thinking sets you on a different trajectory.

If you want to enhance an existing process or belief, continuous improvement is a great option. If you want to learn how to think for yourself, reasoning from first principles is one of the best ways to do it.




There’s something about me I’ve to tell you .

I have never had any friends with whom I could confide. I started to realize it at an early age, around 10, that I was already switching from friend to friend every year. Every time a conflict came up, I decided to move forward and leave that person behind instead of choosing to have a friend and compromise in some way.

In middle school my isolation became a lifestyle, and all of the alone time amounted to what is today my career: I started playing with cameras and computers for hours upon days upon weeks, I started editing in photoshop and final cut pro. I bought a laptop when I was 12. But around the same time, I felt so distant from everyone that I started to have suicidal thoughts. I remember telling my parents with a straight face that I didn’t want to live anymore. My peers were foreign to me because I spent so little time with them, and when I did I felt like they were intentionally hurting me when really they were just not as emotionally attached or aware. My teachers became my friends, which just made things worse because I wasn’t allowed to hang out with my 7th grade literature teacher on the weekends.

Change is an important part of isolation because it allows hope for a new beginning. Going in to high school and college was always viewed as a fresh start. But change is also important because it’s the reason why I don’t make valuable connections to begin with. I constantly change my views, sometimes I’ll change my views on a major debate within the course of the debate itself. Through the years I have constantly evolved, making each year, each month, each day contain a different version of myself, and this kind of behavior would make it impossible to have any close friends for an extended period of time.

Eventually you realize that it’s just the way you’re hard wired. It’s not so much your own choice but a tragic flaw. I’m very introverted so I spend a lot of time alone; something most people don’t understand. I’m very sensitive so I always feel let down by the actions of others. Sometimes my reasons are valid and sometimes I’m being melodramatic. I imagine problems when they don’t exist and duck out to escape rejection that was never coming. I make villains of those who disagree with me. I romanticize failed relationships and then rekindle them, only to discover that I never liked them in the first place. But once they discover my emotional instability they make me wear a big “C” on my chest to remind me that I’m crazy.

I’m still trying to find a balance.

20 U.S. Government Secrets They Don’t Want You to Know.


Fact:  there’s definitely a lot our government isn’t telling us. We’re not talking about conspiracy theories, like who really shot JFK or that Area 51 is really populated by little green men. We mean the secrets hiding in plain sight, some of which we’ve found out about, and some of which are still mysterious. Speaking of Area 51—whatever is going on there the government is still weirdly secretive about. As that old saying goes, if you’re not a little bit paranoid, you’re not paying attention.

Here are 20 secrets that the U.S. government has tried to keep from its citizens, and what we do (and don’t) know about them so far. And for more fun trivia, check out these 20 Secrets Disney Employees Won’t Tell You.

1. CIA Mind-Control Experiments

Could drugs and hypnosis be used to control people’s minds and turn them into unwitting assassins for the CIA? That’s what the agency attempted to discover in the 50s, with a top-secret research program called Project MK-ULTRA. Turns out, LSD just makes people want to listen to 45 minute guitar solos.

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2. The Plot to Kill Castro (with a Seashell)

There were a lot of crazy attempts to assassinate Cuban dictator Fidel Castro during the 70s, from booby-trapped cigars to poison milkshakes, but none quite so nutty as the exploding seashell. The CIA knew that Castro was a big fan of scuba-diving, so they plotted to plant a brightly colored conch shell in one of his favorite dive spots, triggered to explode when he touched it. They never followed through on it, although the CIA director did purchase two books on Caribbean mollusks.

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3. Track 61: The President’s Secret Underground Train
President Franklin D. Roosevelt didn’t want the public to see him using a wheelchair, so to keep that secret during his visits to New York, his train didn’t stop directly at Grand Central Station, but rather a secret station called Track 61 that was never listed on any train map. Although it’s now abandoned, the station was used by wealthy travelers and high-profile politicians who wanted to come and go to New York without being noticed.

4. Spy Kitties!

No, this isn’t a joke. The CIA seriously spent millions in the late 60s investigating whether domesticated cats could be trained to spy on the Soviet Union. The project was named Acoustic Kitty, because of course it was. It didn’t work out, much to the surprise of nobody, but we still have this memorandum, published by the National Security Archive, to prove that spy kitties was almost a real thing. Oh, and speaking of cats


5. Project Sunshine: Stealing Corpses
Listen, if you need to test what happens to human bodies during radioactive fallout and you need around 900 human cadavers to do so, you can’t be expected to “ask” all the deceased’s families for their permission. Or at least that’s what researchers for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission thought during the 50s. Decades later, in the mid-90s, President Bill Clinton formed an advisory committee to investigate and learned the whole staggering truth.
6. Nukes on the Moon
Long before we landed on the moon in 1969, the U.S. Air Force had other plans for the lunar surface. They proposed a “Lunar Based Earth Bombardment System” in 1959, which apparently involved blowing up a nuclear weapon on the moon. Why? According to physicist Leonard Reiffel, who was involved in the project, the whole point was to “impress the world with the prowess of the United States.” Personally, we’re glad they went with the “one small step for man” plan instead.
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7. Operation Paperclip: Let’s Hire Some Nazi Scientists

No one could have accused the U.S. government of having discriminatory hiring practices in 1945. Well, at least not if you were a Nazi. Post-World War II, President Harry Truman approved the hiring of thousands of German scientists and engineers, including Walter Schreiber, a medical military officer for the Nazis who found a second job at the Air Force School of Medicine in Texas.

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8. Blame Cuba
It sounds like a conspiracy theory, but the CIA actually did propose committing acts of terrorism against American citizens and then blaming it on Cuba. A memo from March 13, 1962, delivered to the president by the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff and dubbed Operation Northwoods, suggested ways to justify a military conflict with the Castro’s communist regime, including “Sink (a) ship near harbor entrance. Conduct funerals for mock-victims” and “…blow up a US ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba.” President Kennedy rejected the proposal.
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Image result for BLAME CUBA KENNEDY
9. Government Controlled Flying Saucers
Project 1794, a program created by the U.S. Air Force in the 50s, attempted to do what every science fiction-loving kid dreamed about: Create a flying saucer. Their saucer-shaped aircraft, which they never got around to completing, would have been capable of shooting down enemy bombers and flying at ridiculously fast speeds.
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10. The My Lai Massacre
Hundreds of unarmed civilians—anywhere from 347 to 504, including women and children—in the South Vietnamese hamlet of My Lai, were murdered by a platoon of American soldiers during March of 1968. High-ranking army officers tried to cover up the massacre for years before it was revealed by U.S. reporters, but even then only one commanding officer was found guilty and served just a few years under house arrest.
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Image result for the mai lai massacre
11. The Missing Hydrogen Bomb
When a U.S. B-52 bomber carrying four hydrogen bombs crashed in Greenland in 1968, the government acted fast to make sure all the radioactive material was recovered. They got everything, or so they claimed. But in 2008, a BBC investigation revealed that one of the nukes was maaaaaaaybe still in Greenland somewhere.
Image result for The Missing Hydrogen Bomb GREENLAND
Image result for The Missing Hydrogen Bomb GREENLAND
12. The Mystery of the USS Jimmy Carter
This U.S. Navy attack submarine—the third and last last Seawolf-class submarine in existence, whose primary mission is finding and destroying enemy vessels—has been up to something recently, but nobody is entirely sure what. In September of this year, it was spotted flying the Jolly Roger, the skull and crossbones pirate flag normally displayed after a successful mission. But what exactly was that mission? The Navy isn’t telling.
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13. Secret Congress Bunker

You’d never guess by looking at the Greenbriar Hotel in West Virginia that there’s a 112,544-square-foot bunker hidden underneath the resort, with enough bedrooms to accommodate over a thousand Congressmen. The shelter was built in the 60s specifically for members of Congress, just in case Russia bombed us and a nuclear winter made the country uninhabitable.

14. The CIA Torture Files
They called it “enhanced interrogation techniques,” but according to a Senate Report released in 2014, the CIA has possibly been engaged in wrongful torture of suspected criminals for years.
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15. Julia Child, CIA Shark Expert
You probably know Julia Child as a famous American chef and TV host. But according to files released by the U.S. National Archives in 2008, she was also one of our secret weapons during World War II, when she worked for the Office of Strategic Services (which would become the CIA) and personally developed shark repellent to protect Navy men in shark-infested waters. That’s right, her first recipe was shark repellent.
Image result for Julia Child, CIA Shark Expert
Image result for Julia Child, CIA Shark Expert
16. Spying on reporters
Think journalists have it hard today? They had nothing on reporters in 1963, some of whom were spied on by CIA agents as part of Operation Mockingbird. In documents declassified in 2007, there were reports of several journalists having their home and office telephones wiretapped, solely because they had contacts with “senators, members of Congress, and other well-placed individuals.”
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17. The Secret Basement Under Grand Central
You won’t find it on any city map, but 13 stories below Grand Central Terminal in New York is a secret basement known only as M42, which housed the rotary power converters that kept the railroads running during the second World War. Adolf Hitler wanted to sabotage the converters, which apparently would be as easy as pouring sand into them. Armed guards protected the room, with orders to shoot anyone who tried to enter carrying a bag or bucket of sand. At least one attempt was made, by four saboteurs working for Hitler, but they were stopped before they ever found the secret basement.
Image result for . The Secret Basement Under Grand Central
Image result for . The Secret Basement Under Grand Central
Image result for . The Secret Basement Under Grand Central
18. The X-37B
Here’s what we know about the U.S. Air Force’s X-37B space plane. It’s been in orbit around the Earth (off and on) since 2010, it’s only 29 feet long, and nobody has any idea what it’s doing up there. Well, the Air Force does, obviously, but they’re not telling. Some have speculated that it’s a battle ship of some kind, capable of shooting down or capturing enemy satellites.
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Image result for US. Air Force’s X-37B
19. Area 51
Probably the most famous secret military base in the country, Area 51 is located in the middle of the Nevada desert, 83 miles outside Las Vegas, and is used for… something. There have been wild rumors of extraterrestrials and crashed alien spacecraft being stored somewhere in the facility. The CIA didn’t even acknowledge that Area 51 existed until 2013, and all they’ll admit to is that the base has been used to test spy planes.
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20. Bohemian Grove
Every July, the rich and powerful and politically connected gather together at a 2,700 acre campground in northern California for their own version of Burning Man. What really goes on there is anybody’s guess, but the guest list has included U.S. presidents and oil barons, and activities have included everything from druid worship to planning for the Manhattan Project. This isn’t some conspiracy theory, this is where guys like Rumsfeld, Kissinger, and Rockefeller go to vacation and do things they don’t want the rest of us to see.
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Image result for Bohemian Grove

Things You Wouldn’t Believe About These Countries.

Depending upon your definition, and whether or not you count Taiwan, there are “approximately” 196 countries in the world as of this writing. So while you may consider yourself to be a knowledgeable global citizen, and we’re sure you are, given the dynamic and complex nature of our planet there are certain to be at least a couple facts on this list that you will find surprising. Here are 25 things that you wouldn’t believe about these countries.

25. Covers the most time zones – France


If you count everything, including overseas territories, then France claims the title by covering 12 time zones. The United States would be the runner-up with 11 and then Russia with 9.

24. Most likely to disappear beneath the waves – Maldives


With all the talks of global warming and rising sea levels, it is the residents of the Maldives that have the greatest reason to fear. With an average height of around 1.8 meters above sea level their nation is the lowest on Earth.

23. Most overweight population – Nauru


With over 95% of its population being overweight, the small island nation of Nauru is by far the fattest country on Earth. Its obesity epidemic is primarily attributed to the importation of western fast food that coincided with an increased standard of living in the 20th century due to the global popularity of its phosphate exports. It’s almost non sequitur…almost.

22. Roads made of coral – Guam


Because Guam doesn’t have any natural sand, but rather coral, the island nation makes its asphalt using a mix of ground coral and oil rather than importing sand from abroad.

21. Has 350 sheep for every person – Falkand Islands (UK)

Falkland Islands

With only about 3,000 people the Falkland Islands are home to approximately half-a million-sheep. Not surprisingly wool is a major export.

20. Oldest sovereign state – Egypt


This largely depends upon your definition of a sovereign state but if you are going by first acquisition of sovereignty then Egypt would be the first country in the world to achieve sovereignty based upon the formation of the first dynasty in 3100 BC.

19. Most lakes in the world – Canada


With over 3 million lakes 9% of Canadian territory is actually fresh water and over 60% of all the lakes in the world are found within its borders.

18. Least likely place to meet your neighbor – Mongolia


At 4 people per square mile Mongolia is the least densely populated country on Earth. Compare this to the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong that has the highest population density in the world with 340,000 people per square mile.

17. Largest number of tanks – Russia

Russian tanks

It is a strange title to hold, but Russia has by far the most tanks of any army in the world (21,000). Unfortunately for the motherland most of these outdated machines are tributes to its past, and although outnumbered (16,000), the United States has a much more advanced tank inventory.

16. The land of no rivers – Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

Sounds a bit strange doesn’t it? For a country as big as Saudi Arabia there has to be at least some sort of flowing water. Well, there isn’t. Most of their fresh water comes from desalinization plants or underground reservoirs.

15. Youngest population of any country – Niger


Generally the worlds youngest country is determined by calculating the portion of the population that is younger than 15. Presently it is Niger that holds this distinction with roughly half of its population having barely reached puberty (49%).

14. Most diverse country in the world – India


In almost every category – culturally, economically, climatically, racially, linguistically, ethnically, and religiously India is either the most diverse countries in the world, or the runner-up.

13. Fastest disappearing nation – Ukraine


With a natural decrease in population of .8% annually, between now and 2050 Ukraine is expected to lose around 30% of its people.

12. Most of its citizens live abroad – Malta


After some rough economic times coupled with an increased birth rate, Malta experienced significant emigration. It was so significant that there are now more Maltese living abroad than within the country itself.

11. Smaller than Central Park in New York City –Monaco


Although Vatican City is smaller (.17 sq mi) than Monaco (.8 sq mi), unlike Monaco it doesn’t have any permanent residents which leaves Monaco as the smallest permanently inhabited nation in the world…smaller than Central Park.

10. Almost entirely covered in jungle – Suriname


With 91% of its land covered in jungle Suriname’s half-a-million residents live primarily along the coast near the capital. Only 5% of the population (mainly indigenous people) live inland.

9. Almost entirely treeless – Haiti


On the opposite end of the spectrum is Haiti, a country that has been so badly deforested that you can tell where it borders the Dominican Republic by looking at a satellite image (Haiti is on the left in the photo above).

8. Largest country with no farms – Singapore


Although there are a number of small nations in the world that show no hint of having an agriculture based economy, (take Vatican City for example) Singapore is the largest of these urban city-states.

7. Most languages spoken – Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea

Although English is its official language, only 1-2% of the population actually speak it. As the most linguistically diverse country in the world, over 820 languages are spoken in Papua New Guinea or 12% of the world’s total.

6. Most educated people – Canada

Canadian university

With 50% of its population having been educated at the post secondary level, Canada easily has the most educated populace in the world. It is followed by Israel at 45% and Japan at 44%.

5. The “country desert” – Libya



With 99% of the country covered in desert Libya is one of the most arid places in the world and in some regions decades may go by without a single drop of rain.

4. Least peaceful nation in the world – Somalia


Although for the last three years Iraq has been ranked as the least peaceful country in the world, according to the Global Peace Index Somalia overtook it this year for the top spot.

3. Produces most of the world’s oxygen – Russia

Siberian forest

Siberia is home to approximately 25% of the world’s forests that span an area larger than the continental United States, making Russia the largest converter of CO2 into breathable compounds.

2. World’s largest opium producer – Afghanistan

poppies in Afghanistan

Producing a whopping 95 percent of the world’s opium, not even 10 years of occupation by American forces have slowed down the industry.

1. Most people behind bars – United States

American prison

When it comes to incarcerating its population, the United States is the world’s uncontested leader. With 2.2 million people behind bars it has 5% of the world’s population but 25% of the world’s incarcerated population. China comes in second place at 1.5 million and Russia comes third at 870,000.






19 Astonishing Facts That Seem Fake at First Glance

Being a scientist is fun, conducting new experiments every day, some of them totally crazy — like counting all the ants on Earth, asking a dolphin to speak on the phone, or watching butterflies in an earthquake.

We at Bright Side know that such experiments can prove incredible facts, so we chose those we considered the best to share with you.

xford University is older than the Aztec Empire.

The first students came to Oxford in 1096, while the Aztec city-state of Tenochtitlan was founded in 1325. That means the university is 200 years older.

When we promise something, we make a “pinky promise.” This means the one who breaks the vow must cut off their little finger.

The gesture originally came from Japan. When making a promise, children link their little fingers and say a certain vow, different in every culture.

But in fact, during the Edo period (1603–1868), bandit clans had a ritual of cutting off their right little fingers to prove their loyalty. It was only much later that kids turned this tradition into a game.

Sources: pinkyeasternprogress

Jupiter and Saturn have diamond rains.

These two gas giants have real skies of diamonds. Scientists say the pressure inside the giant planets can easily turn carbon into diamonds.

First, lightning transforms methane into carbon, which hardens as it falls down, turning into chunks of graphite after 1,600 km and then into diamonds after an additional 6,000 km.

Sources: bbcextremetech

There are more than 1.6M ants per person on Earth.

Myrmecologists worldwide made an estimate that there are 1-10 quadrillion ants living on Earth now. That means there are more than 1 million of these insects for each human, and their total mass is about the same as that of mankind.

Sources: bbcinfo

There are more artificial flamingos in the world than there are live ones.

The flamingo is a rare bird, but it’s so beautiful that many people would like to see it in their backyard. That’s why there are several times more artificial flamingos worldwide than there are live ones: the latter are counted at 2-3 million, while the number of their plastic counterparts reaches almost 1 billion.

Source: tandfonlinewikipedia

The strawberry is not a berry.

As a matter of fact, the “berry” of the strawberry isn’t at all its fruit. It’s just an overgrown receptacle that carries the true fruit on it — that’s right, the green and white seeds. You’ll probably need some time to get used to this.

Sources: huffingtonposteolncbi

Bananas, though, are berries.

The world has done a barrel roll now. The banana plant is, in fact, giant grass, and bananas are its berries. According to the definition, a berry is a “soft and juicy fruit containing several seeds.” Well, bananas are just that.

Sources: purduewaynesword

Pyrosome — a hollow 100-foot worm living in the ocean

This creature is called a sea unicorn. They’re so rare that they’ve only been seen a few times. A pyrosome looks like a giant transparent and hollow worm, but it actually consists of thousands of organisms that glow in the dark and replicate themselves. They are believed to be able to grow to the size of a blue whale.

Mithridates VI couldn’t poison himself because he was immune to poisons.

Mithridates VI of Pontus had been taking small doses of various poisons since childhood to work up an immunity to them. During the riot, the Romans wanted to take him hostage, and Mithridates tried to poison himself but couldn’t because of his training. Oh, the irony!

Source: livius

If we lived in complete darkness, we would be able to stay up for 36 hours and would need 12 hours to get rested.

How many hours would a day last for a person who can’t tell the time of day by external signs?

French speleologist Michel Siffre carried out several experiments on the matter, including one from 1964 to 1972. He placed himself in a specially equipped bunker with no light, constant temperature and humidity, and absolute silence. He spent several months like this.

The results showed that his inner clock altered: he needed 36 hours awake and 12 hours of sleep. Later, he conducted similar experiments with other volunteers in a cave — with the same result.

Our foot is as long as our forearm; our thumb is as long as our nose; our lips are as long as our index fingers.

You’ve just checked it all, haven’t you? These are standard and appropriate proportions of a human body, used by artists to paint people. They were identified by Leonardo da Vinci in his famous Vitruvian Man.

Source: howstuffworks

Neil Armstrong’s space suit was made at a bra factory.

Few know that the space suit of the first man on the Moon was made at a factory which produced bras and lingerie in Dover, DE. We just hope Neil felt comfortable in it.

“Gadget” was one of the first three atomic bombs.

Three atomic bombs were made as part of the Manhattan Project in 1943: the plutonium-based Gadget (exploded during the first nuclear test), the uranium-based Little Boy (dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945), and the plutonium-based Fat Man (dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945).

Source: rarehistoricalphotos

Ann Hodges is the only person to survive a meteorite strike.

American Ann Elizabeth Hodges was the first ever woman on Earth to survive an impact of an extraterrestrial object (November 30, 1954, near Sylacauga, AL). A grapefruit-sized meteorite fragment crashed through the roof of her house, ricocheted off a radio, and hit her while she was sleeping on a couch. Soon, Ann became quite a celebrity.

Source: harvardharvard

Koalas are the only animals with a unique fingerprint pattern, like humans.

Professor Maciej Henneberg from Adelaide University proved there are no differences between the fingerprints of koalas and humans. Even a microscope scanner can’t find them. So it turns out koalas are the only animal, apart from humans, that have unique fingerprint patterns.

The surface area of Russia is bigger than that of Pluto.

Russia’s surface area is 17,098,246 sq. km.; Pluto’s surface area is 16,650,000 sq. km.

The first thing every monkey does if it recognizes itself in the mirror is check its crotch.

Shanghai-based neurobiologists conducted an experiment where they seated dozens of primates before a mirror and watched their reactions to their “double.” Nothing happened for a time, but when the monkeys realized they were seeing their own reflection, the first thing they did was check their crotch.

Sources: cellibtimes

Dolphins can talk on the phone and recognize the one they’re talking to.

Every dolphin has its own signal name that appears in adolescence and is kept their whole life. It’s known that dolphins can tell their relatives’ signals from all the rest. They’re able to recognize each other with the help of short tone perception. People also recognize their opponents on the phone by voice, so if dolphins could talk on the phone, they would know each other.

You can survive a shark attack by staying still.

Trying to swim away won’t help in this situation. The correct behavior here will be to slowly move away from the shark’s path, and stay calm. Keep an eye on the shark. When it has passed by you, try to find a way out of the water. However, if you can’t and have to defend yourself, hit it on its gills, eyes, or the tip of its nose.

Source: wikihow







  • 1. Belize


This country, based on the eastern coast of Central America, allows a person to become a permanent resident only if they’ve stayed in the country for five years. The willing citizen must have a bank balance of $2000 a month to prove that they can live up to the country’s lifestyle. The only reason one cannot apply for citizenship is if either of one’s parents is a citizen of a country at war with Belize.

2. Ecuador


To become an Ecuadorian, you need only $1000 and a clean criminal record. Moreover, one can only be out of the country for 90 days in a span of 3 years. The applicant also has to show $800 per month income, invest $25000 in a CD from an Ecuadorian bank, or invest $25000 in real estate.

3. Seychelles


Getting a residency permit in Seychelles is a bit expensive as it costs 12,500 USD (150,000 Seychelles rupees) for each person. Also, there is a condition that says a hopeful resident must explore opportunities for contributing to the economic, social or cultural life of Seychelles.

4. Panama


After clearing medical tests and living in the country for 5 years, Panama issues a permanent residency certificate which is renewable after 5 years. Additionally, a legal, valid marriage to a Panama citizen can lead to permanent residency. Moreover, if you are a citizen from one of the 50 friendly nations listed below and wish to relocate to Panama in order to conduct economic or professional business activities, you are eligible for a fast track permanent residency program: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Marino, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United States of America, Uruguay, United Kingdom (Great Britain & Northern Ireland).

5. Paraguay


You can call Paraguay home after you deposit $5,200 in a Paraguayan bank account. It is after a wait of three years that residents can apply for citizenship, which then goes for an approval for a year.


6. Macedonia


The Balkan nation offers the best of both worlds as it will give you the benefits of Europe and a visa-free access to the Schengen Area. If you’re an entrepreneur and are willing to invest at least 400,000 euros, you can become a Macedonian citizen in less than a year.

7. Hungary


Hungary, like Macedonia, provides a residence permit if the investor is willing to make an investment in Hungarian Government Bonds. The quantum of investment is a minimum of 300,000 Euros. Once you pay the money, you can get a permanent residence permit within 2 months.

8. Dominican Republic


DR can offer citizenship in as little as two years. You can speed up the process by investing $200,000 in real estate or a business. Apart from that, you also have to show a steady income.

9. Russia


The citizenship of Russia is regulated by the Federal Act regarding citizenship of the Russian Federation (of 2002, with the amendments of 2003, 2004, 2006). In Russia, you’ve got to pay tax to become a citizen. You also need to learn Russian and pass the language test to get Russian citizenship.

Thank You!



Things About Life Everyone Should Learn Before Turning 30

This is the first big milestone.

Life is full of lessons. Some lessons are learned in an instant–like when you touch a hot stove. Others take time to fully understand–for example, what it truly means to be in love. But regardless of the size of the lesson, there are 30 important ones everyone should know before exiting young adulthood and entering the next phase of their life.


1. Your habits can make or break you. Every action is a brick, meaning it’s what you do on a daily basis that determines the house you end up with. You are the house you build.

2. You are what you read. If your body is a reflection of what you eat, then your mind is a reflection of what you read and study. Fill it with good stuff–not candy, like social media.

3. You cannot compare your path with anyone else’s. We each have our own struggles, and we each have our own triumphs. Your path is your path for a reason. Pay attention to the lessons meant for you and you only.

4. Your inner circle is your “dream team.” If you surround yourself with negative people, your dream will die. If you surround yourself with positive and driven people, your dream will thrive. It’s on you to build your “dream team” accordingly.

5. Your life is a reflection of how well you know yourself. It always comes back to self-awareness. The more willing you are to address your fears, shortcomings, and points of conflict, the more self-awareness you will have and the happier you will be.


1. How you invest your time is a reflection of how you invest your money. The smart and wealthy know the value of their time. They see each minute, hour, day, week, month, and so on as an opportunity to invest wisely in themselves. You must do the same.

2. To be productive, you have to remove distractions. Productivity is not about multitasking. It’s actually the opposite. It’s about trying to do less, so that you can ultimately do more.

3. If you aren’t getting done what needs to get done, there is a fear. We avoid the things we don’t want to do–or worse, wonder if we can do at all. This is why startup plans and book ideas get pushed to the back burner so often. To get the work done, you have to confront what’s holding you back.

4. Efficiency is a process. It doesn’t happen the first or second time you do something. Which means in order to be productive in the fullest sense, you have to commit to the process of always looking for ways to improve over the long term.

5. Failure to prepare means preparing to fail. You can’t expect yourself to move through things quickly and effectively if you haven’t set yourself up for success. What you do today impacts where you start tomorrow.


1. The most important relationship in your life is the one you have with yourself. Without a positive relationship with yourself, every other relationship in your life will suffer. It always starts with you.

2. Friendships and relationships are collaborations. They are not one-way streets. Healthy relationships make both parties better.

3. Trust is built through actions, not words. You can’t pay attention to what people say or promise, only what they ultimately do. The way someone acts will tell you everything you need to know.

4. A real relationship is built on vulnerability. It doesn’t matter if it’s a friendship, a significant other, or even a business connection, the best exchanges are rooted in some level of vulnerability. At the end of the day, we’re all exploring life together. We want to have genuine connections.

5. Every relationship has its ups and downs. Conflicts and disagreements are inevitable. What matters is how each conflict is resolved. And the key is to always maintain a level of respect and benefit of the doubt, so that both parties can be heard and mutually understood.


1. Your body is your temple. Treat it well.

2. Too much sugar and you’ll crash. Candy diets and processed food binges aren’t part of a healthy lifestyle. Your body is a reflection of who you are, your habits, how you treat yourself, everything. Cut out the bad stuff.

3. Lack of sleep is not a trophy. Bragging about only getting three hours of sleep last night is not something to be proud of. What it shows is a severe lack of balance and an unsustainable workflow. Life is a marathon, not a sprint.

4. Physical activity is crucial to personal wellness. No matter how busy you get, or how hectic things are, you always have to make time to take care of your physical body. Exercise is key. If you don’t, you’ll pay for it later.

5. Coffee is good, but too much coffee is bad. When your entire diet becomes “red eye” after “red eye,” it’s time to address the sleep problem.


1. You don’t get anywhere fast trying to cut the line. There are no shortcuts. Throwing someone under the bus on your way up will only come back to bite you. Focus on investing in yourself and your skill sets and let the rest fall into place.

2. Your reputation is everything. Above all, you always want former employers, co-workers, partners, and collaborators to speak highly of you. Upholding your reputation is everything when it comes to building a successful career for yourself.

3. It’s not about what you’ve done, but what you’re currently doing. Especially in our new world of digital media and personal branding, people want to know whose attention you are commanding today. What impact you are having today.

4. Humility goes a whole lot further than bravado. It’s not about convincing everyone how much you know. It’s about showing that you’re a team player by being willing to listen, learn, and add value where you can. No one likes a spotlight searcher.

5. Becoming a leader has nothing to do with a formal leadership position. Just because you have a big fancy title does not mean people will listen to you, or even take you seriously. To lead a team effectively, it starts with holding yourself to the highest standard and leading by example.


1. You aren’t aiming for perfect. You’re aiming for perfect practice. It’s not about tunnel-visioning on the shiny idea of the final product. It’s about treating each step of the way with intention. That’s how you create something worth presenting to the world in the end.

2. External rewards are fleeting and unfulfilling. They’re fun, sure, but they are not the end goal–not by a long shot. What holds far more value, and defines the quality of your life, is how many people’s lives you impact for the better. However you choose to do that is up to you.

3. Believing your own hype is dangerous. No matter what you achieve, or how externally successful you get, you have to always remember the kid that started out on his or her path out of pure curiosity. You should never lose that childlike sense of wonder.

4. You are only as good as the last risk you took. If you have to rely on your last home run (which may have happened a long time ago) to speak for your current talents, you have fallen stagnant. Success over the long term is about constantly pushing yourself to take the next big risk.

5. Somewhere, someone much younger than you is practicing his or her heart out, coming for your spot. Just remember that. Anyone can reach the top of the mountain. The hard part is staying there.



Life as a Teenager in 1994, 2014, and 2034 – What a difference a generation makes! – Part One!



How quickly we forget. Events of 20 years ago seem like a distant memory, but 1994 was the year when Nelson Mandela was elected President of South Africa, O.J. Simpson was arrested for killing his wife, huge massacres were happening in Rwanda and Sarajevo, and China got its first connection to the Internet.

Bill Clinton was President; the Academy Award for Best Picture went to Forrest Gump; and the world’s population reached 5.6 billion.

To put this year into perspective, this was before the Monica Lewinsky scandal (she was hired by the White House in 1995), before the Oklahoma City bombing (1995), and before the death of Princess Diana (1997).

It was also after the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989), after the Persian Gulf War (1991), after the Rodney King incident (1991), and after the Branch Davidian catastrophe in Waco, Texas (1993).

But most teenagers weren’t talking about world affairs. Instead, they were far more interested in getting their driver’s license; listening to the music of Madonna, New Kids on the Block, Celine Dion, Coolio, or Prince; or going to the latest Jim Carrey movie.

More telling for these teenagers was what they didn’t have yet. They didn’t have the Internet, email, smart phones, search engines, social networking, Sony Playstation, Apple iPods, or downloadable anything. Music, movies, and information came on CDs, cassettes, VHS, in cartridges, or in printed form.

But here’s one crazy detail you may not have considered. Many of the teens of 1994 are now the parents of teenagers in 2014. This is the group tasked with reinventing the rules of childhood in terms of screen time, cellphone curfews, social networking etiquette, and more. But we’re just getting started.

Quick Overview

In looking at generational changes, it’s important to put everything into context – what things have changed and what has stayed the same.

I’ve chosen to frame this discussion around middle class teenagers in the U.S., an influential, trend-setting segment of American society. Experiences differ greatly depending on economic status, cultural upbringing, community, location, and family structure, so this is not intended to be an all-encompassing look at teenage life, just snapshots of generational differences.

Changing Levels of Awareness

1994 – Heady issues for teens were Kurt Cobain’s suicide or watching a Jerry Springer interview with Lorena Bobbitt who was found not guilty for reasons of insanity for cutting off her husband John’s penis.

They were largely unaware of mass genocides happening in Rwanda and Sarajevo, because worldwide news coverage was still quite limited.

2014 – News has a way of finding you. Important topics have a way of entering conversations on Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Skype.

The most influential sources of news for teens are humor-based shows like Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, The Daily Show, or The Colbert Report.

2034 – Anticipatory computing will make news very niched and nuanced, and focused on topics important to the individual.

Every choice a teen makes online will help define and redefine what information will enter into their own hyper-individualized newsfeeds.


Key influencers 1994

Listening to Music

1994 – Music has a way of defining who we are and what we deem important. This was a year of big transition in the format of music as we began switching from cassettes to CDs. By 1993, annual shipments of CD players had reached 5 million, up 21% from the year before, while cassette player shipments had dropped 7% to approximately 3.4 million.

As a percentage of income, music was expensive and, at most, teens had access to a few thousand songs in their personal libraries. Purchasing music required a trip to Wal-Mart or the local record shop to find the latest hits.

Terrestrial radio broadcasts were a powerful broadcast medium, and all young people knew which stations were hip and cool. Casey Kasem’s best Top 40 radio show was wildly popular and helped define the latest trends in music genres and style.

Music tended to be more rigidly segmented into categories like pop, country, hiphop, jazz, and reggae.

2014 – Acquiring music no longer requires going somewhere. Virtually everything is downloadable or streaming. Every young person has millions of songs to choose from, and few want to be defined by a single category or genre.

The download revolution began with Napster, a controversial download-everything-for-free site in 1999. While the courts put a stop to the “free music” business model, the industry had shifted to change mode. Steve Job’s influence on the music industry began in 2001 with the introduction of the iPod and it’s accompanying library of songs on iTunes.

For most young people, purchasing music is far less important than subscribing to a personalized streaming service like Rdio, Spotify, or Apple Radio. With these services, the amount teens spend on music plummets to a fraction of what their parents spent.

2034 – Music players will have the ability to understand our moods and will pre-assess our reaction to music. With this information guiding the playlists, they will only serve up music that we react positively to.

Music will be used less and less to fill the air for a group experience. Rather, it will be channeled to us individually.

With this level of advancement, music will be used as a performance enhancing tool with many studies conducted around which music works best for situations involving heavy focus and concentration, running a marathon, or during sex.

Typical teen geek in 1994

Personal Computers 

1994 – This was the year of the Pentium processor and IBM clones. Large monitors are 17” CRTs that ate up most of your desk.

IBM ThinkPads, Dell PCs, and Compaq Computers were hot. Ten years after the original Macintosh, Apple introduced the Power Macintosh. After a three-year failed run, Steve Jobs shut down his NeXT Computer business, setting the stage for him to return to Apple in 1997. Amiga, Commodore, and Atari computers were still around but in their waning years.

Laptops were available but rather clunky and crude. The Motorola PowerBook and IBM ThinkPad were early leaders in portability.

CD-ROMS and Iomega Zip Drives made their debut along with the Apple Newton and QuickCam, a spherical eye-shaped webcam that brought pixelated greyscale video capabilities to the PC generation.

Since this was a year before Windows 95, most are running the Windows 3.1 operating system. Data was stored on 3.5 inch disks, the Internet is in its infancy and those who had the technology to connect were dialing in on a 2,600 baud modem. Telephone companies charges long distance fees if you could not find a local number to call into.

For teenagers, computers were still quite expensive, but young geeks had a way of amassing their own hodge-podge equipment that they frequently had to change motherboards on.

2014 – Desktop computers are currently in their waning years, replaced by the likes of iPad, Xooms, Kindles, Chromebooks, Nexus, Galaxy, and MacBooks. But smartphones now handle most of the heavy lifting.

Keyboards are becoming less important as tools like auto-fill and auto-correct make entries less painful. Voice input systems like Siri and Robin are finally gaining broader acceptance. Virtually everyone has had to learn to type with their thumbs.

Nearly all information is stored on cloud-based services like Dropbox, iCloud, or Google Drive.

For young people, the cost of technology has dropped an order of magnitude and most have smartphones and tablet computers as their constant companions. Being less careful with their equipment, a smartphone with a broken-glass front has become a universal symbol of teen technology.

2034 – The term “computer” itself is destined to become a distant memory, as computer chips will become invisible to users, imbedded in everything from clothing, to cars, and homes.

Displays will be uniquely imbedded in clothing, glasses, and alternatively projectable on virtually every surface.

Gone are the years of two-dimensional displays, and in their place will be interactive holographs that give a multi-dimensional perspective on whatever is being projected. Room-filling displays will be all the rage for company teams and group experiences.

Group dating is common among teens


1994 – America’s appetite for listening to all the lurid details of a sexual scandal had been growing. The scandalous Supreme Court confirmation of Clarence Thomas (1991), with Anita Hill offering riveting details about Thomas’ sexual exploits set the stage for a far more dramatic Monica Lewinsky scandal to follow in 1998.

Being gay was taboo. Porn was largely restricted, available only in printed form (Playboy, Hustler, Penthouse) and on VHS tapes (DVDs came later in 1997).

Fear of venereal disease turned teens into condom-carrying opportunists with most sexual encounters still happening in the back seats of cars.

Unwanted pregnancies were a problem, disdained by families and the community, and it was largely up to the teen to manage the details of her life.

2014 – Sexual scandals are still enough to get an elected official thrown out of office as in the case of Silvio Berlusconi or Anthony Weiner, but they are losing much of their draw as attention-grabbing headlines.

With the pervasiveness of the Internet, every teenager has discovered pornography and much of the mystery is now gone. To normal test-their-limits teens, online videos have become an instruction manual, of sorts, for experimentation. Sexting is now commonplace and services like Snapchat, where the image goes away after a few seconds, is a safer way to be momentarily provocative.

Being gay is not only accepted, but shown as normal on virtually every TV, book, or movie making the charts.

The hookup culture has made sex nearly as casual as kissing. Unwanted pregnancies are more likely to result in a child that is raised by parents, grandparents, and other family members.

2034 – Salacious sex stories of the past will be viewed as boring news in the future. Video tabloids still try to use them to grab attention, but each year they seem to become less effective.

For teens, the Penthouse under the mattress or online porn has been replaced with a full sensory virtual experience. Their first sexual encounter is with the cyber-twin of a consensual partner or cyber-prostitute that costs money.

For teens, sex of this nature will come early and often, and most will be anxiously awaiting the next release of the new and improved super-enhanced experience.

Being gay is yesterday’s news and largely an accepted lifestyle choice.

With fewer and fewer children being born, teen pregnancies and having babies is now a status symbol among young women. Gone are the rigors of child rearing as family members and institutionalized childcare pool together to give them back much of their pre-pregnancy freedom so they can return to an active youth lifestyle.

Watching Television

1994 – TVs were large bulky appliances that take up a good portion of the living room. Virtually all of them were connected to cable television and a VCR. Bookshelves had as many VHS tapes of popular movies as they did books.

Watching normal broadcast TV is a syncopated experience with long and frequent ad blocks giving people time to “do things” during the commercial breaks. Parents who wanted their teens to do something typically received an, “I’ll do it during the commercial,” reply.

Even though VCRs allowed people to record a show for later viewing, few actually knew how to run their VCR, many of which still had a “flashing 12:00” that was later covered with duct tape or cardboard.

As a result, the schedule of TV shows drove the schedule for the entire household, with many planning activities around the times of their favorite shows.

Most hated to be in the room when a young guy had the remote control. Constantly flicking through channels to find something better, he’d typically settle on watching the second half of something he’d seen before.

Movies were typically remembered by the 2nd half because few have ever seen the opening.

For teens, who all have their own smaller screen TVs in their room, the television also served as a game console. The hot new video games in 1994 were World of Warcraft and Myst.

The new fall lineup was always cause for excitement, as NBC, ABC, and CBS each dedicate what seems like a billion hours of ad time hyping each of their new fall shows.

Renting movies was also a popular option, causing many to make frequent trips to the local Blockbuster store to check out the latest releases. Late fees were common practice, and most renters learned quickly to both “rewind and return” promptly to avoid police-like fines and penalties.

2014 – Large cathode ray tubes of the past have morphed into today’s high definition flat panel displays. Screen sizes have mushroomed from 32” (a huge TV in 1994) to often 60” or larger.

Cable television providers went from offering dozens of channels to hundreds of channels, along with a DVR, and Internet connection, and a telephone landline that no one cares about.

Many TVs also get connected to either an Apple TV or Roku box for on-demand viewing of any show at any time. People who don’t mind spending the money can avoid commercials altogether.

The TV watching experience first involves finding the coffee or end table with 8-10 remote controls on it, finding the one that turns the TV on, followed by finding the surround sound remote to fire up the audio equipment, followed by finding either the Cable, Apple TV, or Roku remote, followed by finding the remote for your electric recliner.

The remotes are often mixed in with game controllers, an iPod, light dimmers, a cellphone or two, old reading glasses, and at least one remote that no one remembers what its good for.

Teenagers often have their own gadget caves with computers, TVs, game consoles, audio players, smartphone, and at least 37 chargers and cords connected to a single extension cord.

Teens will often try to do their homework with a TV on, while writing entries on Facebook, sending a Snapchat or two, and talking on the phone. As a form of limit-testing most are constantly testing the geek capacity for doing everything simultaneously.

2034 – Most houses are now designed around video surfaces with one room designated as the primary viewing center. Gone are TVs as an appliance and in their place are either projection walls or digital wallpaper.

Most video watching is now in life-like holographic 3D that doesn’t require any special glasses. However, most will choose to wear some form of heads-up display to enhance the experience.

Teenagers will be notorious for attempting to watch 2-3 shows or movies simultaneously while carrying on a quirky dialog with their friends.

Walking down the street, teens switch to music/game mode where the world as they see it is part of the game itself. Some games send players on eclectic treasure hunts, often getting them to stop at their favorite retailer to try a free sample and learn about the latest in-store special. Others will be less commercialized and more social-based, giving kids a reason to connect – “my game told me I should meet you.”

Many houses will be equipped with turn-on windows to either view the surrounding neighborhood or their favorite view of the ocean. Others will be designed around turn-on sky projectors shine the weather outside on the ceiling.

A dystopian view of teen life in the future

Final Thoughts – Part One

One of the major difference with teens over the past 20 years has been the technology. We’ve gone from big clunky expensive devices to things that most young people own and interact with all the time today.

With this introduction, I was hoping to set the stage for a more in-depth look into the personal side of teen life – past, present, and future.

Being a teenager has never been easy, but how we develop during these formative years is critically important to everyone’s future.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on what’s missing and what still needs to be included. This is a hugely important topic with lots of facets, so please feel free to weigh in.

By Sameer Thobani

Author of “Communicating with the Future” – the book that changes everything

Here Are 25 Very Strange Things Happening On Earth Right Now You Didn’t Know About

Earth is a crazy place. There are so many things to do and see. Nature is one of the most fascinating things that our planet has to offer. It creates some of the most beautiful displays that you will ever see. Nature also creates some strange things on Earth that humans could never replicate. These are some of the strange things on Earth that happen as a result of nature.

What A Crazy And Beautiful World We Live In !

The never-ending wave in Brazil. It happens only twice a year. Surfs up!

Underwater crop circles in Japan. Made by male pufferfish.

Known as The Bleeding Glacier in Antarctica. It’s actually iron oxide tainted salt water.

Blue lava in Indonesia. Simply beautiful!

Calcified animals from Lake Natron in Tanzania. Slightly Creepy.

Spiders cocooned the trees when there was a flood in Pakistan. Flies beware!

Danxia Landforms in China.

Frost flowers in the Artic.

Known as Green Flash. An extremely rare occurrence when the sun sets.

Hair Ice. Pretty neat but gross sounding.

Horsetail Falls in Yosemite National Park. Happens once a year for just a few moments.

Lenticular Clouds. They are like a hat for the mountains.

Living Rocks. A creature perfectly camouflaged that lives on the beach.

Maelstroms aka Whirlpools. Steer clear of these babies.

Rainbow eucalyptus trees in Australia. They look like someone painted them.

The red crab migration on Christmas island.

Steam Towers in Iceland.

The Black Sun in Denmark. Millions of starlings make shapes in the sky.

The Everlasting Storm in Venezuela lasts 160 nights.

The Flowering Desert in Chile happens afters years with high rainfall.

The Great Blue Hole in Belize. A hot spot for divers.

The Monarch Butterfly Migration in the United States and Mexico.

Underwater Waterfall in Mauritius is actually sand being sucked into the ocean.

Volcanic lighting come from volcanic explosions causing an electrical storm.

White Rainbows also known as fog blows. I wonder if there are ever double white rainbows.

Remember To Share These Strange Things On Earth With All Your Friends!

The Akrasia Effect: Why We Don’t Follow Through on What We Set Out to Do and What to Do About It.

Hi friends! Today I would like to continue a tradition I have conducted each year has been around. I’d like to share my 10 best articles of the year everyday so you can feel yourself coolf . Before we dive into the list for 2018, I’ll point out that you are welcome to browse the 10 Best Articles of 2013, 2014, and 2015 as well. I always find it interesting to see which articles resonated most with you all (and which ones flopped), and I hope you find this list helpful too.

by Sameer Thobani |Accountant and CPO Executive at HDFC BANK . 
By the summer of 1830, Victor Hugo was facing an impossible deadline. Twelve months earlier, the famous French author had made an agreement with his publisher that he would write a new book titled, The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Instead of writing the book, Hugo spent the next year pursuing other projects, entertaining guests, and delaying his work on the text. Hugo’s publisher had become frustrated by his repeated procrastination and responded by setting a formidable deadline. The publisher demanded that Hugo finish the book by February of 1831—less than 6 months away.

Hugo developed a plan to beat his procrastination. He collected all of his clothes, removed them from his chambers, and locked them away. He was left with nothing to wear except a large shawl. Lacking any suitable clothing to go outdoors, Hugo was no longer tempted to leave the house and get distracted. Staying inside and writing was his only option.

The strategy worked. Hugo remained in his study each day and wrote furiously during the fall and winter of 1830. The Hunchback of Notre Dame was published two weeks early on January 14, 1831.


Victor Hugo (The Akrasia Effect)
Victor Hugo as photographed by Etienne Carjat in 1876. By this time, it seems, he had unlocked his clothes and put them back on. (Source: National Library of France.)

The Ancient Problem of Akrasia
Human beings have been procrastinating for centuries. Even prolific artists like Victor Hugo are not immune to the distractions of daily life. The problem is so timeless, in fact, that ancient Greek philosophers like Socrates and Aristotle developed a word to describe this type of behavior: Akrasia.

Akrasia is the state of acting against your better judgment. It is when you do one thing even though you know you should do something else. Loosely translated, you could say that akrasia is procrastination or a lack of self-control. Akrasia is what prevents you from following through on what you set out to do.

Why would Victor Hugo commit to writing a book and then put it off for over a year? Why do we make plans, set deadlines, and commit to goals, but then fail to follow through on them?

Why We Make Plans, But Don’t Take Action
One explanation for why akrasia rules our lives and procrastination pulls us in has to do with a behavioral economics term called “time inconsistency.” Time inconsistency refers to the tendency of the human brain to value immediate rewards more highly than future rewards.

When you make plans for yourself — like setting a goal to lose weight or write a book or learn a language — you are actually making plans for your future self. You are envisioning what you want your life to be like in the future and when you think about the future it is easy for your brain to see the value in taking actions with long-term benefits.

When the time comes to make a decision, however, you are no longer making a choice for your future self. Now you are in the moment and your brain is thinking about the present self. And researchers have discovered that the present self really likes instant gratification, not long-term payoff. This is one reason why you might go to bed feeling motivated to make a change in your life, but when you wake up you find yourself falling into old patterns. Your brain values long-term benefits when they are in the future, but it values immediate gratification when it comes to the present moment.

This is one reason why the ability to delay gratification is such a great predictor of success in life. Understanding how to resist the pull of instant gratification—at least occasionally, if not consistently—can help you bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be.

The Framework You Need to Beat Procrastination
Here are three ways to overcome akrasia, beat procrastination, and follow through on what you set out to do.

Strategy 1: Design your future actions.

When Victor Hugo locked his clothes away so he could focus on writing, he was creating what psychologists refer to as a “commitment device.” Commitment devices are strategies that help improve your behavior by either increasing the obstacles or costs of bad behaviors or reducing the effort required for good behaviors.

You can curb your future eating habits by purchasing food in individual packages rather than in the bulk size. You can stop wasting time on your phone by deleting games or social media apps. You can reduce the likelihood of mindless channel surfing by hiding your TV in a closet and only taking it out on big game days. You can voluntarily ask to be added to the banned list at casinos and online gambling sites to prevent future gambling sprees. You can build an emergency fund by setting up an automatic transfer of funds to your savings account. These are commitment devices.

The circumstances differ, but the message is the same: commitment devices can help you design your future actions. Find ways to automate your behavior beforehand rather than relying on willpower in the moment. Be the architect of your future actions, not the victim of them.

Strategy 2: Reduce the friction of starting.

The guilt and frustration of procrastinating is usually worse than the pain of doing the work. In the words of Eliezer Yudkowsky, “On a moment-to-moment basis, being in the middle of doing the work is usually less painful than being in the middle of procrastinating.”

So why do we still procrastinate? Because it’s not being in the work that is hard, it’s starting the work. The friction that prevents us from taking action is usually centered around starting the behavior. Once you begin, it’s often less painful to do the work. This is why it is often more important to build the habit of getting started when you’re beginning a new behavior than it is to worry about whether or not you are successful at the new habit.

You have to constantly reduce the size of your habits. Put all of your effort and energy into building a ritual and make it as easy as possible to get started. Don’t worry about the results until you’ve mastered the art of showing up.

Strategy 3: Utilize implementation intentions.

An implementation intention is when you state your intention to implement a particular behavior at a specific time in the future. For example, “I will exercise for at least 30 minutes on [DATE] in [PLACE] at [TIME].”

Fighting Akrasia
Our brains prefer instant rewards to long-term payoffs. It’s simply a consequence of how our minds work. Given this tendency, we often have to resort to crazy strategies to get things done—like Victor Hugo locking up all of his clothes so he could write a book. But I believe it is worth it to spend time building these commitment devices if your goals are important to you.

Aristotle coined the term enkrateia as the antonym of akrasia. While akrasia refers to our tendency to fall victim to procrastination, enkrateia means to be “in power over oneself.” Designing your future actions, reducing the friction of starting good behaviors, and using implementation intentions are simple steps that you can take to make it easier to live a life of enkrateia rather than one of akrasia.

If you want more practical ideas for breaking bad habits and creating good habits, check out my course The Habits Academy, a premier training platform for organizations and individuals that are interested in building better habits in life and work.


The story about Victor Hugo locking away his clothes has become embellished over the years. Most versions claim that he had a servant routinely lock away his clothes while he wrote naked each day. As best I can tell, this embellishment is a myth. The true version that I describe in this article originally comes from a book by Hugo’s wife: “Victor Hugo Recounted by a Witness of His Life” by Adele Foucher.




Fascinating Photos of 1960s Afghanistan.


In 1967, Arizona State University professor Bill Podlich and his family swapped the United States for the unfamiliar environs of Kabul, Afghanistan. When not working at the Higher Teachers College of Kabul, Podlich made great use of his Kodachrome camera to document an Afghanistan that many of us would simply not recognize anymore. These images just go to show our incredible capacity to change–for better and for worse.

1960s Afghanistan presents a stark contrast to the war-torn region we recognize today. Take a peek at the way Afghanistan was–and how it can be again.

The peaceful hues of 1960s Afghanistan paint a far different picture of the country currently embroiled in corruption and struggle. In 1967, Arizona State University professor Dr. Bill Podlich and his family swapped the stark, sultry summers of Tempe, Arizona for the environs of Kabul, Afghanistan.

After serving in World War II, Podlich wanted to partake in a cause for peace, and for that reason he teamed up with UNESCO to work for two years at the Higher Teachers College of Kabul, Afghanistan. With him were his children, Jan and Peg, along with his wife Margaret.

When not building relationships with his Afghani cohorts, Podlich developed something else: his Kodachrome film, which captured a modernizing and peaceful Afghanistan that belies the harrowing images and thoughts associated with the war-torn country we see today.

That is why, in Peg Podlich’s eyes, her father’s photos are so incredibly important. Says Podlich, these photos “can encourage folks to see Afghanistan and its people as they were and could be. It is important to know that we have more in common with people in other lands than what separates us.”1960s-afghanistan-2

Thanks to the Denver Post for the images above. We also highly recommend watching this Vice series on life in Afghanistan since the American-led invasion in 2001.




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