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THE DIRT

Laptop user in a park / istockphoto

People experience “soft fascination” with nature when they sit on a park bench and let their minds wander, taking in the trees and flowers, noticing birds and squirrels, feeling the breeze on their face. This gentle decompression in nature is actually critical to helping us restore our ability to pay attention. We need breaks where our minds can just go slack and subconsciously take in the complexity of nature. Researchers are still trying to figure out the ideal “dose” of this green medicine, but benefits have been seen with just 10 minutes.

New research argues those breaks in nature only help if we put down our laptops and other devices. A recent study published in Environment and Behavior contends that using laptops, smartphones, and other technologies while sitting on that park bench undoes all the good attention-boosting benefits of nature.

Attention…

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Bharata Bharati

Secularism

Prof Michel DaninoThe entire “Indian” system of education conveys the message that India never produced any knowledge worth teaching. … The misconceived secularisation of education … has resulted in cultural nihilism. – Prof Michel Danino

A retired computer scientist who regularly visits an Indian institution of higher education recently told me how, in the course of his schooling in erstwhile Yugoslavia, he had studied the outline of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. He was shocked when I answered that Indian schools can do no such thing: anyone attempting to do so would immediately be branded “communal” and accused of undermining the “secular” principles of Indian education.

Who determined these principles? Just as most of India’s freedom fighters had an idea of India that was far removed from our nebulous and hypocritical concept of secularism (Our freedom fighters and secularism, 2 May 2018), most pre-Independence thinkers had much to say…

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Bharata Bharati

Sanjeev K. Nayak & Dibyendu Mondal

Sunday Guardian LiveSince the case went to Supreme Court in 2017, only supplementary arguments have been heard because of delaying tactics by lawyers and others. The original case is yet to be heard. – Sanjeev K. Nayak & Dibyendu Mondal

The three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court hearing the long-simmering Ram Janmabhoomi Babri Masjid dispute, on 20 July concluded listening to the arguments and reserved its order on whether a “supplementary matter” should be referred to a larger five-judge Bench or not. The matter pertains to a 1994 verdict of the Apex Court in the Ismail Faruqui vs Union of India case that the “mosque is not integral to Islam”. The judges, however, turned down the demand that the original dispute be also referred to a larger Bench.

Reviving this question 24 years after it was settled by a full five-judge Bench—that too as a supplementary one to an extremely sensitive case like this—has raised…

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The Tepe Telegrams

(After the announcement of the forthcoming decision on the World Heritage status of the site, culturalheritage.news, the Archaeological Heritage Network’s (ArcHerNet) [external link] blog, has just published another article by Eva Götting [external link] on the final addition of the archaeological site of Göbekli Tepe to UNESCO’s World Heritage List. We are gladly sharing it here.)

03-nico-becker-gt10_5869 View of Göbekli Tepe’s so-called main excavation area, Enclosure D in the front. (Photo: Nico Becker, DAI)

On July 1 the World Heritage Committee in Bahrain added the Stone Age site of Göbekli Tepe to the World Heritage List.

On the hill of Göbekli Tepe, stone pillars stand tall against the Turkish summer sky. People first came here more than 11.000 years ago. These men and women, who lived as hunters and gatherers, achieved a great deal with very little. Without metal tools, the highly skilled artisans of Göbekli Tepe carved the T-shaped…

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news from (and about) the trees

Pollution is changing the fungi that provide mineral nutrients to tree roots, which could explain malnutrition trends in Europe’s trees.

To get nutrients from the soil, trees host fungi, known as mycorrhizal fungi, in their roots. These fungi receive carbon from the tree in exchange for essential nutrients, like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, which they gather from the soil.

A huge, 10-year study of 13,000 soil samples across 20 European countries has revealed that many tree fungi communities are stressed by pollution, indicating that current pollution limits set by European countries may not be strict enough, that they may need to lower the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus levels allowed for soil amendments. To read all of this article, click here.

Imperial College, London Imperial College, London

Study shows evidence of convergence in bird and primate evolution.

Neuroscientists have identified the neural circuit that may underlay intelligence in birds, according to…

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Bharata Bharati

Marxist Flag

Leftist recolonisation of the Indian mind was perhaps more dangerous, devious and insidious than what the British had accomplished. It glorified those who exhibited a colonised mindset as true leaders of a country that they had invented, with Marxist historians and members of India’s Communist Party made into the true interpreters of India’s ancient culture – Dr David Frawley

India achieved its political independence in 1947, but did not establish the necessary intellectual independence to go along with it and effectively take the country forward.

It is not that India’s independence movement had not demonstrated an awakening of India’s own cultural values and intellectual traditions. On the contrary, India’s independence movement was based upon a staunch revival of an older Indic / Bharatiya ethos and its profound heritage of thought and meditation about the whole of life and every domain of culture.

India’s independence movement honored the Bhagavad Gita as…

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exhibition-invitation

Caution: disturbing content

The Secular Jurist

Temperature rises as a result of global warming could eventually be double what has been projected by climate models, according to an international team of researchers from 17 countries.

Sea levels could also rise by six metres or more even if the world does meet the 2 degree target of the Paris accord.

The findings, published last week in Nature Geoscience, were based on observations of evidence from three warm periods in the past 3.5m years in which global temperatures were 0.5-2 degrees above the pre-industrial temperatures of the 19th century.

Continue reading:  Global temperature rises could be double those predicted by climate modelling

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