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Self Improvement

106 SAVED IDEAS

Cosmetics Of Ancient Egypt

Cosmetics can be found in most societies on earth. In ancient Egypt, men and women used cosmetic materials such as kohl and henna. Dark green, black or blue kohl was used to decorate the eyes to ward off the evil eye. Scientists now believe the lead in this makeup killed bacteria, keeping wearers healthier.

Egyptians also used castor oil as a protective balm and used creams consisting of beeswax, olive oil, rosewater and more.

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Self Improvement

  • China. Painting fingernails started around 3000 BCE as a way to establish social class. Royals wore gold or silver, however, the lower classes were forbidden to wear bright nails. Plum blossom makeup was favoured throughout the Tang and Song dynasties.
  • Japan. Geishas used lipstick from crushed safflower petals for their eyebrows and lips and used rice powder to colour the face. Ohaguro - a black paint - was (and is) used to colour the teeth for official ceremonies.
Alexander The Great And Makeup
  • Alexander the Great wore makeup. Eye makeup protected the skin around the eyes and repelled flies. It also sheltered the eyes from the sun's glare.
  • Ancient Britons were known as 'Picts' - the painted ones. They had blue woad painted over their faces.
Makeup During The 20th Century
  • During the beginning of the century, the pale complexion symbolised an aristocratic person who did not have to work for their income. Makeup sought to reproduce this pale appearance.
  • After the 1920s, designers followed Hollywood’s lead, and Coco Chanel popularised a now classic look: dark eyes, red lipstick and a suntan.
  • During WWII, makeup was in short supply. Beetroot became a popular supplement for lip stain and boot polish was used as mascara.
  • The rise of mainstream feminism in the 1960s and 70s saw many women partaking in an anti-cosmetics movement. They claimed that makeup was a tool in objectification.
  • The 1970s was a time of real boom for men wearing makeup.
  • 1980s looks featured bright eye shadows teamed with bold lipsticks and big hair.
  • The 1990s brought normcore and grunge to the mainstream.

In the 21st century, makeup is for everyone. Men are quickly catching onto products such as concealer and eyeliner to enhance their own features.

As gender equality movements progress, the line between who ‘can and can’t’ wear makeup is becoming ever more blurred. Now more than ever, makeup is seen as a tool of self-expression, whoever that self may be.

The Maya civilisation
  • The Maya refer to modern people and to their ancestors who built an ancient civilisation in Central America.
  • The Maya civilisation reached its peak during the first millennium A.D. It consisted of many small states that were ruled by kings.
  • The Maya people live on today in Central America and throughout the world. They speak many languages including Mayan languages (Yucatec, Quiche, Kekchi and Mopan), Spanish and English.
The complicated Mayan calendar

The Mayan calendar consisted of eighteen months of twenty days each plus a period of five days ("nameless days") at the end of the year.

This calendar system included a long-count that kept track of time by using different units that varies in length from a single day to millions of years.

In the Pre-classic period (1800 B.C. to A.D. 250), permanent village life grew and lead to the early Maya cities. The early Maya cities were carefully planned. Nixtun-Ch'ich, in Peten, Guatemala, had pyramids, temples and other structures that were built using a grid system.

Farming became more effective during this period, likely because of the discovery of the "nixtamal" process, where maize is soaked in lime or something similar and cooked to increase the nutritional value. Other crops included squash, bean, chilli pepper and manioc.

Maya civilisation at its peak

Between A.D. 350 and 900, ancient Maya reached a peak. The civilisations reached intellectual and artistic heights that few could match.

Cities found throughout the Maya world had their individual wonders.

  • Tikal is known for its twin pyramids constructed at the end of every K'atun (20-year period).
  • Copan is known for its "Temple of hieroglyphic Stairway" - a pyramid-like structure with glyphs on the 63 steps that seem to tell the history of the city's rulers.
  • The site of Palenque is known for its limestone sculpture and the burial of one of its kings inside a pyramid.

Many cities were indeed abandoned around 1,100 years ago, including Tikal, Copan and Palenque. A recent study suggests that drought may have played an important role.

But other Maya cities grew for a time, such as Chichén Itzá. Council houses - places where people in a community gathered - flourished after the ninth century. But, when the Spanish arrived, they brought diseases that decimated the Maya. Despite the devastation, the Maya people continue to increase.

The Maya universe

According to stories recorded by the K'iche Maya, the forefather gods Tepew and Q'ukumatz created the Earth from a watery void and added animals and plants. Eventually, humans were made, including twins, Hunahpu and Xbalanque, who defeated the lords of the underworld. Later, the twins' father, the maize god, was resurrected.

The world consisted of Earth (the domain of the Maya people), sky (the realm of celestial deities), and the watery underworld (the realm of the underworld deities.)

  • The Itzamnaaj was lord over the most fundamental opposing forces - life and death, day and night, sky and earth. Itzamnaaj could be depicted as a serpent or two-headed reptile.
  • Other deities included the sun-god K'inich Ajaw, the rain and storm god Chaak, and the lightning god K'awiil.
  • The Maya believed each person had a 'life force' in their blood, and draining the blood in a temple could give some of this life force to a god.

Record-keeping was essential for agriculture, astronomy and prophecy. By keeping records of the seasons, the Maya could determine the best times to plant and harvest their crops.

Moreover, recording the movements of the sun, moon, planets and stars helped them to develop accurate calendars that they could use for prophecy.

The Maya had a sophisticated economy that could support specialists and a system of merchants and trade routes. They used various objects as currency, including greenstone beads, cacao beans and copper bells.

Maya rulers managed the production and distribution of status goods and critical commodities like salt. Maya labourers were subject to a labour tax to build palaces, temples and public works.

Hacks are tempoary

When you try to go for a shortcut, you end up wasting your time. The only way to become better is by working on your skills.

Hacks and tactics are always about stuff that worked in the past. But when everyone starts using the same hacks and tactics, they are no longer effective.

Building a business or career is hard work. It takes time and energy to learn a new skill.

All successful people who've done well for themselves and their communities say the same thing: There is no way around hard work. Instead of focusing on the outcomes like, "I want to make $300K with ads," focus on how you can work better.

When we become complacent, we always look for the easy way out. That is when we fall for hacks and shortcuts that will set us back.

Don't settle for mediocre work. Do your best work so that you are proud of what you leave behind. Keep yourself to a high standard, focus on your skills, get better at what you do, and deliver work that is rewarding.

Emotional Contagion

This is what researchers call when we mimic the expressions and the emotions of the people around us.

The phrase "misery loves company" is a widely-used term and it seems that there is truth behind the phrase. Emotional contagion happens because of the mirror neuron system. Our neurons fire up when we behave in certain ways and is a probable explanation for how we experience empathy towards others.

  1. Mimicry - emotions are starting to be recognized, subtle copying of gestures or facial expressions
  2. Feedback - here is where we begin to experience the emotion being expressed towards us
  3. Contagion - the emotions evoked in us has to be expressed or related to others to provide release.
  • Surround yourself with things that make you happy
  • Send back positivity to others
  • Practice self-awareness to recognize what is happening in the present moment better
  • Laugh out loud
  • Try not to take things personally.
Why We Have An Information Epidemic

We have a never ending stream of information coming at us, leaving our mind exhausted, with no energy left to engage, debate, analyse or refute the epistemic (epidemic of knowledge).

Uncertainty, polarization and misinformation are the three musketeers of this information overload.

  • Uncertainty: Be it diseases, the political landscape, the global concerns of war, environment and other ongoing crises, we have truckloads of uncertainty in our hands, which is stressing us out.
  • Polarization: We are more polarized than anytime in history, trapped in our echo chambers, with our mind filled with confirmation bias. The distrust we have of those who don’t think like us fuels our polarized mindset.
  • Misinformation: Fake news is everywhere, and it is not just to spread misinformation, but to impair our critical thinking abilities.

You can handle uncertainty by:

  1. Limiting news consumption.
  2. Focusing on things that are in your control.
  3. Practice meditation and cultivate mindfulness in order to be more comfortable with uncertainty.

Handle the problem of polarization by:

  1. Rather than competing with others, you can look at cooperation and empathic understanding.
  2. Try to look at the other person’s perspective and learn something new instead of being stubborn with your own beliefs.

Misinformation, or fake news, can be handled by:

  1. Only sharing news stories that are verified.
  2. Prioritizing consumption from news outlets that are meeting high ethical journalistic standards.

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