Easter Messages 2016

If you are spending Easter with family members who set you off - or feel depressed about the holidays - take the high road and be nice to everyone. I know self-help teaches that one should be honest with themselves and their feelings but sometimes it is easier and better to suck it up and move forward without drama until your "normal life" resumes. Pretend to be interested in topics that you would normally tune out. Placate ... Placate ... On my ... did I type that? Try not to make commitments you might later regret. Don't start arguments over political, religious, and other philosophies with people who are on a different page. Let it go. They are not programmed to think the way you do. If there are children around have fun with them and try to ignore annoying adults. You might chuckle at your behavior through the day.

Holidays mean different things to different people. For some it's a trip down memory lane through the lens of time - ancient architecture, tomes, legends, traditions and their personal experiences in both past and present lifetimes. For others it's about family gatherings or having a few personal days to relax and catch up on the things they never get to do. We know religions are not the same now as perceived throughout humanity's experiences in this part of reality. All holidays are based on mythologies - the historical record altered through time to fit the storyline one is experiencing. In 2016 many will honor the meaning of holidays in their culture - but life will go on in ways shaped by the linear past that focuses our consciousness in the present. Enjoy your holiday if celebrating.

On Good Friday things were not good for millions of people across the planet. People mourned the loss of those who died by acts of terrorism that pervade our reality highlighted now with the Brussels Bombings.

The conflict between science and religion lies in our brains, researchers say   PhysOrg - March 23, 2016
Clashes between the use of faith vs. scientific evidence to explain the world around us dates back centuries and is perhaps most visible today in the arguments between evolution and creationism. To believe in a supernatural god or universal spirit, people appear to suppress the brain network used for analytical thinking and engage the empathetic network, the scientists say. When thinking analytically about the physical world, people appear to do the opposite.

Science and religion aren't as opposed as you'd think   Daily Mail - March 25, 2016
The debate about science and religion is usually viewed as a competition between world views. Research earlier this week found people suppress areas of the brain used for analytical thinking and engage the parts responsible for empathy in order to believe in god. But regardless of what side of the argument you're on, fundamentally the reasons why you believe what you do have a similar grounding. In fact, the conflict has as much to do with culture, family, moral positions and political loyalties as it has to do with the truth.

Was William Shakespeare's skull stolen from his grave?  
CNN - March 25, 2016

Blessed the man that spares these stones
And cursed be he that moves my bones.

William Shakespeare
April 23, 1564 - April 23, 1616

Pipe Organ

The Easter holiday is a time of music, in which one musical instrument plays a central part: the pipe organ. Mozart once called it "the king of instruments." The first known organ was the Greek hydraulis, or water organ, from the third century B.C. But it didn't evolve into the instrument we're familiar with until the 17th century. Musical instruments used to be considered too secular for church, but the pipe organ began to gain acceptance, some believe, for its power to lift the soul. Today, the instrument's rich and resonant sounds seem almost inseparable from the religious setting. A major portion of its repertoire - among the largest and oldest of all the instruments in Western music - is sacred in nature. Often built with thousands of pipes, it is a marvel of engineering. Inside the organ, banks of knobs, or stops, control air valves to sections of pipes. When all the stops are pulled out, each set of pipes opens fully and the organ is pumped up to maximum volume. And that's where the phrase "pull out all the stops" comes from.

Cherry Blossoms

The famous cherry blossoms in Washington D.C. have bloomed. Washington also blooms with historic change in this presidential election year. With Cherry Blossoms In Bloom, D.C. Issues Reminder: No Drones   NPR - March 26, 2016

The cherry blossom is considered the national flower of Japan. The trees are also blooming in Tokyo, signaling spring's arrival in Japan's capital. It was Tokyo's mayor that gave 3,000 cherry blossom trees to the U.S. capital in 1912 as a symbol of friendship. Japan's love affair with the trees dates to 794, when the imperial capital was moved to Kyoto, where it's thought many cherry trees grew. From then on, the pink and white blossoms - which burst into life then drift away a few days later - were mentioned frequently in literature and poetry as a symbol of death as well as a metaphor for human life. The annual blooms appear first in the south before advancing slowly up the archipelago. Wherever they appear, blossom-viewing parties, or picnics, follow closely behind. The cherry blossoms are so revered in Japan that the peak bloom forecast is front-page news, while radio and TV broadcasters give hourly reports during their brief life span. The budding usually coincides with the beginning of the school year and the fiscal year for companies. The whole country starts anew.

Easter Sunday 2016 - Ellie at the NY International Auto Show