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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Is there a link between music and happiness?

Is there a link between music and happiness?
by Molly Edmonds
Science | Emotions

Enjoying a musical like "West Side Story" or "Singin' in the Rain" requires believing that it's perfectly plausible for people to begin singing and dancing during moments of extreme emotion. Be it the highs and lows of teenage love in "Grease" or the determination of a plucky orphan in "Annie," musical numbers provide insight into a character's state of mind. Take "The Sound of Music," in which twirling and singing atop a mountain is enough to help a potential nun who doesn't fit in at the convent find her bliss. That character would go on to teach the miracle of singing to seven unhappy children, and not even the dastardly deeds of the Nazis could get that family down, as long as they had music.

If you find musicals like this cheesy, you're not alone. Famed linguist Steven Pinker has called music "auditory cheesecake," something that serves no purpose and happened by accident as language developed. But even the most cynical among us would have a hard time denying that hearing a favorite song can completely change our moods. That's why other scientists spend their time putting people into brain scanning machines and playing them tunes.

While music may seem like an impossible subject to study, if only because we all prefer different types, researchers are starting to determine just how ingrained into our biology the processing of music might be. Even babies enter the world with an ability to determine between different types of music. Understanding the link between a song we're hearing and how our body reacts to it could have enormous implications for treating disease and brain disorders such as depression.

While all this might seem obvious to someone who has ever used some good funk to get out of a bad funk, let's take a look at exactly what happens inside the brain when it's sandwiched between our headphones.

Music and Neuroscience
Music activates so many parts of our brain that it's impossible to say that we have a center for music the way we do for other tasks and subjects, such as language. When we hear a song, our frontal lobe and temporal lobe begin processing the sounds, with different brain cells working to decipher things like rhythm, pitch and melody. Many researchers believe that most of this action happens in the right hemisphere, though others say reducing music to a right brained or left brained activity isn't possible. Regardless of where the brain activity takes place, it does seem to differ based on a whole host of factors, including how much experience with music the person has, whether he or she is hearing live or recorded music and whether or not the music has lyrics.

If the song has lyrics, then the parts of the brain that process language, Broca's and Wernicke's areas, kick into gear. Researchers have found that songs can activate our visual cortex, perhaps because our brain tries to construct a visual image of the changes in pitch and tone. Songs can trigger neurons in the motor cortex, leading you to tap your foot and boogie. Your cerebellum gets into the act, trying to figure out where a piece of music will go next, based on all the other songs it's heard before.

Hearing a piece of music is also tied to memories: If this is the song that was playing during a first kiss, then the medial prefrontal cortex, where memory is stored, lights up. Since this is one of the last brain areas to fall prey to the ravages of Alzheimer's disease, researchers have found that people with the condition can remember songs from long ago, even when they can't remember what they did yesterday.

While many parts of the brain are involved in deciphering a piece of music, brain imaging scans appear to demonstrate that our emotional reaction to music also takes place in the brain. In a study of a woman who had damage to her temporal lobe, researchers found that while the woman was unable to distinguish between melodies, she was still able to have the emotional reaction that you might expect from hearing happy or sad melodies [source: Weinberger]. Further imaging studies have shown that music we'd expect to be happy activates the reward centers of the brain, releasing dopamine, so that music gives us the same hit of happiness that we would get from a piece of chocolate, sex or drugs.

Does that mean your radio could take the place of an antidepressant?

Music and Happiness
The neurological studies of music on the brain seem to indicate that we're hardwired to interpret and react emotionally to a piece of music. Indeed, this process starts very early on. One study found that babies as young as five months old reacted to happy songs, while by nine months they recognized and were affected by sad songs [source: LiveScience]. Physiological states brought on by music only intensify as we grow. Happy music, usually featuring a fast tempo and written in a major key, can cause a person to breathe faster, a physical sign of happiness [source: Leutwyler]. Similarly, sad music, which tends to be in the minor keys and very slow, causes a slowing of the pulse and a rise in blood pressure. That seems to indicate that only happy music is beneficial, but those that know the value of a good cry or a cathartic release may find that sad or angry music can bring about happiness indirectly.

Knowing that music has this impact on the body may eventually influence treatment and care for a wealth of patients. For example, music has been found to boost the immune systems of patients after surgeries, lower stress in pregnant women and decrease the blood pressure and heart rate in cardiac patients, thus reducing complications from cardiac surgery [sources: Lloyd, Wiley-Blackwell]. Researchers at Cal State University found that hospitalized children were happier during music therapy, in which they could experiment with maracas and bells while a leader played the guitar, than during play therapy, when their options were toys and puzzles [source: Hendon and Bohon]. Music therapy has also proven to be more effective than other types of therapies in patients suffering from depression, and it's been shown to lower levels of anxiety and loneliness in the elderly [sources: Parker-Pope, Berger].

You don't have to be sick, though, to benefit from the reduced stress and increased happiness that music can bring. Live music may be the most potent happiness trigger because it provides a way to forge social bonds. When you get in a room with people who like the same thing you do, you might create more friendships, a proven factor in the search for happiness.

However, it's worth noting that too much music could be too much of a good thing. Since music triggers reward systems in our brains much like drugs do, music could also become an addiction that becomes impossible to feed. Having music around us constantly -- from department stores to elevators to our headphones -- could numb us to its effects. Unplugging that iPod every now and then might just help your favorite song sound sweeter later on.


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Take Your Cat To Work Day is June 25th !!

How To Survive Working With Cats!
Take Your Cat To Work Day is June 25th

Here's some tips to surviving the workplace while office supurrvisors "help" :)
Cat People Will Understand...
You know you're owned by a cat when… You receive 5am wake up calls for breakfast, use the kitchen sink to brush you're teeth, vacuum when the cats aren't sleeping, pick up your cat so he can kill a spider, clean the living room - then mess it up again, suffer from kitty paralysis even when you're desperate to pee and always have "help" when you're trying to fold the laundry!
Learn new ways to love… Adopt a cat! :)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

How To Dance Like Michael Jackson

How To Dance Like Michael Jackson
How To Moonwalk
Billie Jean Thriller Beat Bad

by Corey Vidal

Evolution of Michael Jackson

Evolution of Michael Jackson's Dance

The Evolution of Michael Jackson's Dance
By Ricardo Walker's Crew

Cash Cash - Michael Jackson
By Ricardo Walker's Crew

Sunday, June 18, 2017


Happy Father's Day in Many Languages

In Many Languages 
English:   Happy Fathers Day
French:   Bonne fête des pères!
Italian:     Buona festa del papà / Giorno di padri felice

Spanish:   ¡Felíz día del padre!

Portuguese (Brazil)     Feliz dia dos pais!
Portuguese (Europe)     Feliz dia do pai!

Chinese:     父亲节快乐!
Urdu:     ‘یوم والد مبارک’ (Youm-e-Waalid Mubarak)
Arabic:     كل عيد أب وأنت بخير (Kullu eid abb wa anta bi-khayr)
Swedish:     Grattis på farsdagen!
Polish:     Wszystkiego najlepszego z okazji dnia ojca!

Dutch:     Vrolijke vaderdag / De gelukkige Dag van Vaders
Turkish:     Babalar gününüz kutlu olsun.
Finnish:     “Hyvää Isänpäivää!”
Albanian:     Gëzuar ditën e babait!
Hungarian:     Boldog apák napját!
Tamil:     தந்தையர் தின நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்! (Thanthaiyar Thina NalvaazhththukkaL!)
Slovak:     Všetko najlepšie ku dňu otcov!
German:     Frohen Vatertag! / “Alles Gute zum Vatertag”.

Persian:     روز پدر مبارک
Greek:     “χρόνια πολλά”, “chronia polla”
Indonesian:     Selamat hari ayah.
Armenian:     Բարի հայրերու օր:Russian:     Счастливый день отцов

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Father's Day - Star Wars Style

Father's Day Star Wars Style
Wishing  ALL dads a very happy Father's Day!

Yes, even Dark Lords of the Sith deserve good tidings on this special occasion.
We hope you're able to spend some quality time with your dad from this galaxy, and that you enjoy this tender moment caught between a famous father/daughter duo from a galaxy far, far away!

Happy Father's Day

Father's Day

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Hubble Reveals Glittering Galaxies Of New Stars ✨ ✨ 💫

Hubble Space Telescope
Reveals Glittering Galaxies Of New Stars
The number of galaxies in the universe may be in the trillions — and that’s a lot of suns, planets and possibilities for life.
By Lee Speigel

Using “natural magnifying lenses in space,” the acclaimed Hubble Space Telescope has photographed amazing close-up glimpses of what NASA refers to as “the universe’s brightest infrared galaxies.”
“The galaxy images, magnified through a phenomenon called gravitational lensing, reveal a tangled web of misshapen objects punctuated by exotic patterns, such as rings and arcs,” NASA says. “The unusual forms may have been produced by spectacular collisions between distant, massive galaxies in a sort of cosmic demolition derby.”
It’s not just the glitz, glamour and garish-looking spectacle of the galaxy clusters. These galaxies are producing more than 10,000 new stars a year. And their glow is so bright in the infrared range that they shine with the intensity of 10 trillion to 100 trillion suns.
“We have hit the jackpot of gravitational lenses,” galaxy researcher and astronomer James Lowenthal, of Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, said in a NASA statement. “These ultra-luminous, massive starburst galaxies are very rare. Gravitational lensing magnifies them so that you can see small details that otherwise are unimaginable.”
Astronomers “want to understand what’s powering these monsters,” Lowenthal said, “and gravitational lensing allows us to study them in greater detail.”

As more and more planets are discovered in our home galaxy, the Milky Way, the sheer numbers are quite staggering.
The following video explores the question of how many galaxies there are.

Our Universe Has Trillions of Galaxies
Hubble Study - Video

Galaxies range in different sizes and shapes, and include billions or trillions of stars, or suns.

In April, Time magazine announced its “100 most influential people in the world” list, which included three planet hunters. One of those scientists, Natalie Batalha ― the first woman at NASA to make Time’s list ― made some truly eye-opening statements about the detection of new planets.

“These exoplanet discoveries are really changing how we see the universe,” Batalha said during an interview with her fellow planet hunters. “You know, we look up in the sky and instead of seeing stars, we see other solar systems, because now we know that every star in the sky has at least one planet.”

In 2015, Forbes magazine suggested that, after the 25th anniversary of the stunning achievements of the Hubble Space Telescope, “We may yet find closer to a trillion galaxies within our visible universe.”

That’s a lot of galaxies, with a lot of suns, and a lot of planets ― and dare we speculate, a lot of life?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Army of Cats Protect Russian Museum

An Army of Cats
Protect One of The Largest Museums in The World
Around 70 kitties live in the cellars of the Hermitage.
Cats Take Up Residence
At the Hermitage Museum
Why do house-cats roam the halls of the Hermitage? And why did they disappear during World War Two? Since the era of Catherine the Great, the Hermitage has been home to hundreds of house cats. They earn their keep by keeping the museum vermin free. Today, the cats are fed and cared for by dedicated volunteers. But there was one brief period in Hermitage history when cats were nowhere to be found. This was during the Second World War when St. Petersburg, then known as Leningrad, was under siege by the Nazis. The Hermitage was under siege too -- marked for destruction by Adolf Hitler. As the staff of the Hermitage crafted a plan to save the museum's masterpieces, the housecats disappeared one by one.
These cats ‘work’ in Russia’s biggest museum keeping the exhibits safe from rodents.

Around 70 kitties live in the cellars of the Hermitage.
They’re ‘paid’ with food and care. The first cats were brought from Tatarstan in the 18th century by order of Elisabeth of Russia (SOURCE: The New Yorker). 

The cats have three caretakers, as well as their own press secretary. And on Hermitage Cat Day visitors can thank them for “guarding” the museum.

Cats Fight Rats at Russian Museum
One of the largest art galleries in the world is relying on feline power to keep it rodent-free.
For more than 200 years, cats have had a full-time job at the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Today, a new generation of about 60 felines live in the building, the proud descendants of a long line of Aristo-cats.

Hermitage Magazine
Honors Museum's Cats
With Formal Russian Portraits
Hermitage Magazine is honoring the cats that have patrolled the Hermitage Museum since the days of Catherine the Great, commissioning an artist to create six portraits of cats in the style of 18th and 19th century Imperial Palace Servants. Jen Markham has the story.

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Meow! Secret Hermitage Helpers
(RT Documentary)
Russia's State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg is home to countless pieces of art from around the world. 
RT goes behind the scenes of the former imperial palace on the Neva River to meet volunteers of all kinds...including cats.

The Best Animal Hugs Ever !

Hugs are the Best Therapy
People and Animals Hugs
Unbelievable Friendship!
People and Wild Animals
Compilation 2017

The Best Animal Hugs Ever!
Animal Hugs To Create a Smile
Unbelievable Unlikely Animal Friendships
Compilation 2017