89 SAVED IDEAS
Billions of songbirds migrate every year to different lands thousands of miles away, and the way they reach the exact same place to nest is fascinating and is as if they have precise GPS instruments installed in them.
This mysterious sense of compass direction is due to a ‘magnetic map’ that is very much like the way we use GPS (Cartesian coordinates).
Adult birds develop navigational maps inside them to help them travel to faraway lands. How this happens is still a mystery and various theories are being considered: infra-sound, smells, and gravity variations.
A theory gathering some evidence is that the earth’s magnetic field forms a grid that is followed by the birds.
Studies done on the reed warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus), a Eurasian migratory bird, provide clear evidence of the magnetic field.
For centuries, virtually every country in the western world had some sort of king and royal family.
Some people in republics like France or the United States will say that clever people grew out of them. Monarchy lovers will respond that really clever countries kept their monarchies. They argue that royal families embody their country's human roots and identity. Brave kings and queens often become symbols of their nation's unity in times of war or crises.
The role of the royal family across the Commonwealth is that of morale boosters.
Younger family members are expected to join the armed forces or participate in some useful social service. Royal people present medals to brave soldiers and cups to sporting teams. They are expected to set a good example wherever they go.
In a representative people's monarchy, the people have the power while the monarch has none.
The British royal family are not supposed to express political opinions. When Elizabeth II reads out the policies of 'Her' government in the Queen's Speech at the Opening of Parliament, she represents the power of the people whose votes put the prime minister of the moment into office. She is a mouthpiece of that government but does not express her own opinions.
People identify with people. While politicians come and go, the royal family creates a sense of human continuity at the centre of society.
History shows that rebels and non-conformists in the family can create more affection than good ones. Diana, the maverick Princess, topped many of the royal popularity polls all over the world.
Briitish taxpayers fund the royal family, which totalled £82.2m in 2018/19. This paid for their 3,200 royal engagements at home and abroad, with over 160,000 guests being welcomed at royal palaces for events. It also financed the reservicing of Buckingham Palace for £85m over the next five years.
While that is a lot of money, in 2016 alone, over 2.7 million tourists visited Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, and other key royal attractions, boosting Britains tourist revenues by £550m.
Succession runs through the male heirs, except when no male heirs are available. That law changed in 2015 for members of the royal family born after 28 October 2011.
The royal family take their titles from the English shires - York, Lancaster, Gloucester, Cornwall.
For the next generation of royals,
In term of precedence, the five male titles of the peerage are Duke, Marquess, Earl, Viscount and Baron. Duke is the highest and most exclusive.
The British royal family survived by being more open and flexible than many others.
The French monarchy was destroyed in a blood-bath in the 1790s because it aligned itself with an oppressive aristocratic upper class who exploited the people. In contrast, the British royal family kept company with merchants and entrepreneurs and was encouraging scientific research. Generally, the British kings accepted the will of the people as expressed through parliament.
A brainchild of France, the metric system, or decimal-based measurement protocol, has not yet been adopted fully by many countries including the United States. This results in a different measurement unit for just about everything.
The U.S. Customary System is an inch-pound system having about 300 distinct units of measurement. A football field is measured in yards, while a race goes by meters. Air pressure is measured in PSI(for tires) but surface atmospheric pressure is calculated in inches on mercury, and air pressure in millibars.
The US inherited many rules and standards from the British Empire, including the British Imperial System, which had evolved from the weights and measures used in medieval times.
Thomas Jefferson, the Secretary Of State back in 1790 endorsed the decimal system of measurement in principle, but could not implement it due to political issues. Hostilities with France complicated the situation, and the United States could not persuade anyone to adopt the metric system.
The growing adoption of the metric system worldwide as of 1866 could not be ignored in the United States any longer. France was more accommodating this time, and a Treaty Of The Meter was signed.
An international committee for Weights and Measures was established, called the International Bureau Of Weights and Measures.
In 1890, an official document was created specifying the fundamental standards for length and mass, based on metric units, including conversion standards.
This was called the International Prototype Metre (for length) and the International Prototype Kilogram (for mass) and was stipulated in 1893, and later refined in 1959.
Apart from the cost involved in the mass adoption of the metric system, the reason for the sporadic deployment is also due to resistance towards change, and the American stubbornness towards adopting something coming from foreign shores, even though what is already in use seems good enough.
Making the conversion process voluntary without any imposition, has resulted in a vast majority of Americans still thinking in terms of inches and pounds.
Asking for feedback and general collaboration with other people provides us with a sounding board that can sharpen our vision and make the execution stronger.
It also helps us recalibrate or pivot the idea and give it the right direction and shape.
Once the project is on trajectory, it is a good idea to map out a schedule, breaking it down into stages.
Even a calendar plan can help us visualize the outcome in the future and not be anxious.
If the idea gets stale after a week or a month, it may not be worth pursuing the same. The creative spark needs to be alive, to keep the excitement and motivation levels as they were before.
One has to invest one’s limited resources (Time, Money, Energy) only in something that is worth doing.
Abraham Maslow, the famous psychologist, had worked on a theory that linked self-actualization to spirituality and self-transcendence.
His Hierarchy Of Needs Pyramid (which was never intended to be a pyramid) familiarized us to the basic human needs like safety, belonging and self-esteem to be a foundation that paves the way for creative pursuits.
Self-Actualization is an internal struggle that one must take by leaning towards stability and our higher goals while minimizing disruption from distracting thoughts and impulses (disruptive impulsivity).
One also has to look out for oneself to not fall in the dark abyss of negativity and doubt, apart from feeling directionless or meaningless.
Self-actualization is the ultimate paradox, in which by losing everything, one gains everything.
It is the ultimate nothingness, the zero that is infinity at the same time.
There is nothing to sacrifice in the process of self-actualization, even though it feels that way. One is freed of the bondage of the ego and is able to function with their full powers in the service of others.