Saturday 30 March 2013

The Danish King Wears the Yellow Star of David

Last week I saw the post that follows on Irene Sendler on my Facebook so I thought I would write about the Jewish resistance but somehow managed to end up writing about the design development of the iPhone – go figure!
Irene Sendler

Irena Sendler

Died: May 12, 2008 (aged 98)
Warsaw, Poland

During WWII, Irena, got permission to work in the Warsaw ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist. She had an ulterior motive.

Irena smuggled Jewish infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried. She also carried a burlap sack in the back of her truck, for larger kids.

Irena kept a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto.

The soldiers, of course, wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids/infants noises.

During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants.

Ultimately, she was caught, however, and the Nazi's broke both of her legs and arms and beat her severely.

Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she had smuggled out, in a glass jar that she buried under a tree in her back yard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived and tried to reunite the family. Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.

In 2007 Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize.
She was not selected.
Al Gore won, for a slide show on Global Warming.

Please share this to honour the sacrifice and courage of this fine human being who gave so much and saved so many

The Jewish resistance has long held a deep fascination for me. I practically gobble up any biographical or fiction books that happen to cross my path and enjoy watching movies like Life is Beautiful where the Jews manage to persist despite the best evil intentions of the Nazis. The fascination started way before I discovered my first name (unbeknown to my parents at the time) is actually a good Hebrew name and quite common in Israel. In fact, I think it might have been my parents recounting of the much loved tale about the heroic act of solidarity by Denmark’s King Christian X in 1940 that initially spurred my interest.
The legend has it that when the Germans ordered Jews in occupied Denmark to identify themselves by wearing armbands with yellow stars, King Christian X of Denmark made his daily morning horseback ride through the streets of Copenhagen sporting the star and explaining to citizens that he wears the Star of David as a demonstration of the principal that all Danes are equal. Non-Jewish Danes follow their king's example by wearing the armband as well which prevents the Germans from identifying Jewish citizens thus rendering the order ineffective.
The coins and red & white ribbons worn as a sign of resistance by the Danes during WWII
 As it turns out, unfortunately the whole thing is just a myth albeit a much loved myth and told for a purpose. In fact, Danish Jews never wore the yellow badge either, nor oddly enough did German officials ever issue an order requiring Danish Jews to wear it. The Danes did however perform many symbolic gestures of defiance against their occupiers, such as wearing four coins tied together with red and white ribbons in their buttonholes (some denominations of the Danish coins have a hole in the middle of them). Red and white are the Danish colours, and four coins totalling nine øre represented the date of the occupation, April 9. In 1941 Foreign Minister Erik Scavenius said to Hermann Göring "There is no Jewish question in Denmark".
 It was King Christian X habit to ride his horse alone through Copenhagen every morning to underline his continuing claims for national sovereignty, unarmed and without escort. He became a national symbol for rich and poor alike and he rejected many aspects of the occupation, made speeches against the occupying force and was known as a protector of the Jews. In 1933 he had attended the 100th anniversary of the synagogue in Copenhagen. Reputedly the Rabbi pointed out to the King that given the situation in Germany where the Anti-Semitism was rife it would be understandable if he were to choose not to attend, and the King answered, "Are you mad? Now there’s twice as much reason to attend!" This is actually a true account and not myth and I can absolutely imagine the King saying this because it’s something the Danes say a lot in their vernacular language ‘Er du helt vanvittigt?’ - ‘Are you completely crazy?...’
My Grandfather with my dad in the garden where he helped the Russian POWs

Of course, I had also grown up with stories of my grandfather’s heroics toward ‘enemies of the German State’ during WWII and whilst these weren’t towards Jewish people (who he had no direct contact with) they were towards another mistreated people who did come within his sphere of contact and ability to covertly assist. This is an extract from my dad’s blog post at Popo Mikes Blog (September 2012) ‘A Father’s Day Tale’:
…They were told, the first few times till word got around, that they must be seen in the garden all Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday, come rain, hail or shine.
Not a problem, they were happy to do it and even worked their butts off. It was all a ruse - they got fed lunch and dinner on the Saturday, three square meals on Sunday and a decent early breakfast on the Monday.
It wasn't long before dad was inundated with requests to join the 'extracurricular work detail' - word had gotten around the POW camp of what was going on. Naturally, everybody wanted a good feed and a comfortable sleep in a decent bed. I benefited from the whole arrangement by having lots of 'Uncles' around at weekends to cuddle and play with me.
The full story can be read at
I think if heroic altruism, either covert or overt, is part of your national and familial history it will strongly influence your own perception of life. My dad for example has always been strongly against the death penalty, believing even the worst person has some good in them, and extremely tolerant of people who may be ‘different’ in any way, whether that’s religious, ethnic, cultural or individually. I know it has certainly influenced me greatly in becoming the ultra-tolerant person I am today – I can put up with all sorts of idiots ;-) – as well as some aspects of my personality that my children share. Conversation with eldest daughter yesterday when we were doing the long 4 hour drive from Perth down to visit R in the country:
Venus: ‘Mum do you think you’re an optimist or a pessimist?’
Me: ‘I feel positive I’m an Optimist ;-)’
Venus: ‘I think you’re an Extreme-Optimist!’

Maybe that’s why I like to read books and watch movies where good will triumph over evil – oh, and I hate it when the guy doesn’t get the girl in end – hopeless romantic I know.

Sunday 24 March 2013

iPhone 2020 - a beautiful yet terrifying concept

Back in the day I used to wake up and go surfing. Yep, salt water, waves, fresh ocean air. These days I wake up and along with 60% of the rest of humanity existing in this modern, post-information revolution decade, I go phone surfing.  In the mid-nineties I came up with a concept for a design competition which I called the ‘Information Disseminator’. 
The concept was that there was all this information out there but people didn’t know how to access it and wouldn’t it be cool if you could access everything you wanted in one spot – like information people normally went to the library for and banking and pay bills all inside these ‘Pods’. A team of four of us designers developed my concept into a physical design that went on to be displayed at the international Nagoya competition in Japan with an honourable mention for a 'radical concept.'
 People thought it was an innovative, futuristic concept and yet here we are,  we’ve skipped right past an actual ‘Pod’ straight into a hold-in-the-palm-of-your-hand internet disseminator – banking, paying bills, checking our mail, accessing the google god for its omniscient information. Yep, that’s right, that iconic piece of 21st Century information design, the iPhone has in fact become master of my life, a beautiful yet terrifying thing.  Seriously though, it’s been like permanently grafted onto my hand for the last however many years and is my chief source of communication with the outside world. What am I talking about? It’s also my chief source of communication with my inside world – that is the world inside my house: text to young son – ‘I think you should go to bed now, it’s really late!’ (he’s in the room next to mine); text to Monkey buns – ‘Aren’t you studying The Crucible in English? It’s on TV. tonight.’ (from the lounge room to Monkey buns in her bedroom) Of course as we all have iPhones and Wi-Fi we have free text messaging between us, making this one step better than the old intercom system. We probably wouldn’t be such prolific intra-house texters if we actually had to pay for our messages. Personally I think it’s a very clever tactic by the underground government and telecommunications industry to deploy future bio-implant transmitters. The phasing in would occur something like this:
1.       Familiarise the population with texting, facebooking and twittering as a ‘normal’ mode of communication (see above) - we are all  plugged in!
2.       De-sensitize the population to invasive messaging – it may come for you at any given moment and you will think it’s normal to respond at 1 in the morning (hello big brother). We accept it as the price to pay for having instant access to ‘real-time’ information.
3.       Foster dependency on the iPhone (smart phone)like some wildly seductive drug – normal addiction signs develop:
a.       Phantom limb syndrome: people act like they’ve had a limb amputated if they lose their phone for 24 hrs. I once ‘lost’ my iPhone in my knickers drawer – I’d put it in there to change knickers and then shut the wardrobe and forgot where I put it – trauma!
b.      Develop a sense of isolation - ‘no one can contact me – inbox me on Facebook, my phone’s not working/lost!’
c.       Paranoid tendencies – ‘What am I missing on Facebook?’ – we’ve all become voyeurs of other people’s lives.
d.      Separation anxiety – ‘What if someone leaves a comment on my Instagram photo, I won’t be able to respond!’
e.      Depression & a sense of helplessness: ‘I can’t get anything done without my phone!’
f.        Schizophrenic tendencies: you start to hear your ringtone even when you know your phone is in the repair shop
4.       Stage the release of successively smaller, faster, smarter phones. I can remember back in ’98 commenting to R that I wished someone would hurry up and design a phone in a watch because it would be so much easier to carry around.
5.       Release of iPhone 2020 – the ‘perfect vision phone’, a bio-implant phone that responds purely to voice command and has either a holographic screen projected in front of you or as a retinal display – that is, on your retina, really putting the I/eye in iPhone – and hello, we have arrived at George Orwell’s 1984 (a few years late of course, but infinitely more mobile than the big screen – no chance of sneaking off to a room in a proles house). We’ll probably even have the audacity to wonder out aloud how on earth people ever managed to live without them.

Sunday 17 March 2013

Counting Your Fingers in Dreams

Many of Salvador Dali's were inspired from his dreams
 ‘Did you know you can’t count your fingers properly in a dream?’ Monkeybuns asked me, as she drove home from school this week. Yes, the twins have their L’s (Learners license) and here in Queensland they need to obtain a recorded 100 hours of driving in a 12 month period before they can sit their drivers test. This is a challenge at the best of times but with twins it’s doubly so. We have negotiated that Monkeybuns will drive to school in the mornings and Lion boy will drive home giving them each at least 1 hour and 15 minutes per week.
‘Really?’ I asked ‘How interesting! Where did you hear that?’
‘I saw it on this really cool YouTube channel, so I tried it in my dream last night and I counted my first and second finger fine and when I got to the third I said that it was number eight. I couldn't speak at all after that, isn’t that amazing?!’ Monkeybuns enthused.
Precisely my sentiments so I tried it last night and the fingers kept fading in and out of my vision and the numbers kept changing as I was trying to count my fingers. I was actually aware of what I was trying to do in my dream and this is something called ‘Lucid dreaming’. If you are able to lucid dream, something you can train yourself to do, you can then control what happens in your dream. Whilst I don’t think this is as much fun as letting the dream develop on its own (it’s kind of like writing a book compared to reading a book where you’re not familiar with the plot) apparently it can be useful as a self-development technique. You guide the dream to the outcome you want and this is used as a reinforcement of desired outcomes much the same as visualisation techniques are used. If you’re a sports person lucid dreaming you might dream yourself consistently winning for example.
Here are some examples of people trying to count their fingers in a dream:
  • I counted my fingers. It looked as though I had the right amount, but as I actually counted them, I discovered that I had seven the first count, and six the next.
  • I noticed something strange so I counted my fingers. I counted them several times because the number I counted kept changing between five and six. Eventually I was certain that I saw six fingers, and I realized I was dreaming.
  • I remembered to do a reality check. So I looked at my hands and realized that they're actually claws!
  • My fingers appeared jumbled up as if I had no bones.
  • Spiders and ants were crawling across my hand in a continuous line.
  • My fingers appear floating off the palm of my hand.
  • I looked at my hand, and it looked like I had two or three extra fingers. When I counted them, each one disappeared when I pointed to it.
  • My hand seemed fuzzy, gray, and partially translucent. Something seemed to be wrong with them. When I pressed my fingers into my left palm, I could feel them pushing through like my hand was clay.
  • When I looked at my hands, one was normal but the other hand had several fingers growing off my other fingers making it appear mutated. Immediately I knew I was dreaming.  (extracted from Lucid Dreaming
Chagall's La Mariée; Things that would seem absurd in real life are often perfectly natural in our dreams. Of course the goat is playing the violin.
 Dreams have been the inspiration for some of the world’s most famous novels and one of my favourite novels, Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Mary Shelly wrote Frankenstein after a dream:
 “I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion.”
Edgar Allen Poe saw large luminous eyes in a dream inspiring him to write Lady Ligea.  Stephenie Meyer had an intense dream in 2003 in which two young lovers were lying together in a meadow, discussing why their love could never work.
 “One of these people was just your average girl. The other person was fantastically beautiful, sparkly, and a vampire. They were discussing the difficulties inherent in the facts that A) they were falling in love with each other while B) the vampire was particularly attracted to the scent of her blood, and was having a difficult time restraining himself from killing her immediately.”
She ended up writing this dream into the world-wide bestseller Twilight.  Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was written by Robert Louis Stevenson after he dreamt about a doctor with split personality disorder and woke up gripped by a creative frenzy. Stevenson quickly documented the scenes from his dream and then went on to write a first draft of his novel in less than three days. He always got his wife to review his drafts and, using her suggestions, edited and rewrote sections of the work, allegedly fuelled by copious amounts of cocaine which is no doubt why he was able to finish the whole thing in 10 days!  Drugs in fact can make dreams more vivid and scary and patients with Parkinson’s disease taking L-dopa (dopamine precursor) often experience this.
Jonathon Livingstone Seagull  was written in 1959 by Richard Bach, an avid aviator, heard what he called a “disembodied voice” whisper the title of this novella into his ear. He immediately wrote the first few chapters of the work before running out of inspiration. It wasn’t until he was inspired by a dream eight years later that he finished writing his novella which went on to become one of the most profound and philosophically-moving stories ever written.
You might think Frida Kahlo's painting is taken from her dream but in fact she stated 'I never paint my dreams, only my reality'
 Of course it’s not only writers that have been inspired by their dreams but also artists and inventors.
Kekule, the German chemist who discovered the structure of the benzene molecule, worked for ages on it trying to figure it out and it wasn’t until he had a dream about snakes forming circles with their tails in their mouths (our famous Ouroboros that I talked about in last week’s blog post) that he realized that the benzene molecule, unlike all other known organic compounds, had a circular structure rather than a linear one. Elias Howe invented the sewing machine in 1884 after struggling for ages with how the needle could work. He dreamt about a group of cannibals that were preparing to cook him. They were dancing around a fire waving their spears up and down. Howe noticed that in the head of each spear there was a small hole, which ultimately gave him the idea of passing the thread through the needle close to the point, not at the other end.  James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the structure of DNA in 1953 after Watson dreamt of a series of spiral staircases.  
Hitchcock's Spellbound 1945 has fantastic dream sequences based on Dali's work
 Most dreaming happens during REM sleep when signals are broadcasted from the pons at the base of the brain to the thalamus and on to the cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex is the area of the brain responsible for learning, thinking, and organizing information. The pons also sends signals that shut off the neurons in the spinal cord, causing temporary paralysis during REM sleep. This paralysis is caused by the release of glycine, an amino acid, from the brain stem into the motor neurons (nerves that control our muscle movement).  Interestingly from a Functional medicine point of view, REM sleep is associated with increased protein in the brain. As REM sleep is associated with learning mental skills we could assume insufficient protein in the diet might cause reduced REM sleep and therefore impair learning. In fact, recent studies show that people who were low dream recallers were very low on visuospatial skills.
So what about people who are born totally blind or who lost all of their sight very early in childhood? These people usually have little or no visual imagery, but show the same detailed attention to sound, smell, touch, and taste in their dreams as they do in waking life. There is a very close relationship between vision and touch, both of which rely on edges, junctures, and contours to make discriminations and develop an overall conception of an object.
In a series of interviews conducted at the University of California by C. Hall in 1948 with an 18-year-old blind student about her sense of objects in her dreams she recounts how she was sitting around a table with her family in a very nice restaurant, she reported that "I knew we were at a table by kinaesthetic sense and knew it was a nice place by auditory sense (thick carpets, quiet atmosphere, etc.)." Then she went on to explain: "I have a picture of a table because I know what a table felt like, not because I have seen one". In another dream she described a beautiful table with two big silver candelabras on it. When asked how she knew the candelabras were silver, she replied it was because they were "very smooth to touch."
'Dream' by Ruth Malloch
 So when you go to bed tonight make sure you’ve had a high protein dinner beforehand (and taken some digestive enzymes so can actually absorb it properly) and remind yourself to count your fingers in your dreams several times before going to sleep (one of the ‘lucid dreaming’ training techniques) and let me know what happens!

Sunday 10 March 2013

The Ouroboros and the Philosopher's Stone in modern Anti-ageing Medicine

 “Self-cannabalism” R said “There’s been several instances of snakes found eating themselves and dying from it.”

He showed me a picture on Facebook of just this as we sat in the Qantas lounge this morning waiting for his flight to depart for Sydney. I took a sip of deliciously strong black coffee and said “The Ouroboros, Sir Laurence Gardner writes about it in some of his books.” 
The very first known drawing of an Ouroboros is in the ancient Egyptian funerary text KV62 called the Enigmatic Book of the Netherworld found in King Tuts tomb (14th century BC). Here it represents the beginning and end of time. Once the Romans destroyed the Egyptian civilisation the symbol migrated into Roman magical talismans.
Gnostic gem 1st century A.D.
 In Greece Plato talked about a circular being that self-cannibalised as the first living thing in the universe. Of all possible seven forms of movement this being was given only the one perfectly circular form which is most consistent with mind and intelligence. In later Gnosticism 1-2 A.D. on (which actually means ‘learned’ from the Greek gnostikos or ‘knowledge’ from ‘gnosis’) this circular serpent symbolised eternity and the soul of the world.

The Albigensians who came from Albania in the 14th century used the Ouroboros in their printing watermarks and it also appeared in Tarot decks. Early Ace of Cups drawings were often encircled with an ouroboros. The symbol came from their Zoroastrian and Mithran mystery cult texts and the use of these watermarks is believed to have been used by secret societies as a means of identifying each other and passing on coded information.
Alchemists, despite the popular misconception that they were out to turn base metals like iron into gold, used the Ouroboros as a sigil or seal to define their true purpose which was to find the Philosophers stone – the key to immortality. The Chrysopoeia of Cleopatra, a 2nd century alchemical text depicts an Ouroboros with the words hen to pan  enclosed within it which means ‘one is the all’. 

Chrysopoeia of Cleopatra
  The 17th century alchemist Eirenaeus Philalethes wrote a treatise stating that the ‘stone’ was in fact gold reduced to what we now know is a high-spin state in which it appears as a white powder. He wrote:
It is called a Stone by virtue of its fixed nature; it resists the action of fire as successfully as any stone. In species it is gold, more purer [sic] than the purest; it is fixed and incombustible like a stone, but its appearance is that of a very fine powder.

ORME Rhodium ORME Iridium ORME Gold
Earlier in the 15th century the French alchemist Nicolas Flamel wrote in his Last Testament, dated 22 November 1416, that when the noble metal was perfectly dried and digested it made a fine "powder of gold", which is the Philosophers' Stone Harry Potter eat your heart out.

In the early 1990s, articles concerning stealth atoms and superconductivity appeared regularly in the science press. The Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen as well as the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratories in Chicago and its Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee all confirmed that the gold and the platinum group metals: iridium, rhodium, palladium, platinum, osmium and ruthenium all existed in the monoatomic state. The Institute for Advanced Studies (Austin, Texas, USA) has described the substance as "exotic matter", and superconductivity (one of its primary characteristics) has been claimed by the Center for Advanced Study (University of Illinois, USA) as "the most remarkable physical property in the universe". These substances have been called Orbitally Rearranged Monatomic Elements (ORMEs), and the scientific terminology to describe the monatomic phenomenon is "asymmetrical deformed high-spin". The substances are superconductors because high-spin atoms can pass energy from one to the next with no net loss of energy.

So that now brings me back to the conversation I was having with R in the airport. As an Antiageingdoctor I thought he would be interested in the fact that Ouroboros symbolised eternal life and eternal life was based on the concept of the life extending properties of ORMEs – our good old Philosophers Stone.
The effect of the platinum group metal ruthenium on human DNA is discussed in the May 1995 issue of Scientific American. When single ruthenium atoms are placed at each end of a short strand of DNA, the strand becomes 10,000 times more conductive, making it a superconductor. This confirmed speculation held in scientific circles that the double helix configuration of the DNA might create a highly conductive path along the axis of the molecule and this provided confirmation of the fact.

The Platinum Metals Review has featured regular articles concerning the use of platinum, iridium and ruthenium in the treatment of cancers (which are caused through the abnormal and uncontrolled division of body cells). When a DNA state is altered (as in the case of a cancer), the application of a platinum compound will resonate with the deformed cell, causing the DNA to relax and become corrected. Such treatment involves no surgery; it does not destroy surrounding tissue with radiation nor kill the immune system, as does radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

The medical profession entered the high-spin arena when the biomedical research division of the pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb announced that ruthenium atoms interact with DNA, correcting the malformation in cancer cells. (Monoatomic gold and platinum metals are in effect "stealth atoms", and it has now been ascertained that body cells communicate with each other by way of stealth atoms through a system of light waves.) What the new science determines is that monoatomic ruthenium resonates with the DNA, dismantles the short-length helix and rebuilds it correctly, just as one might dismantle and resurrect a dilapidated building.

It is known that both iridium and rhodium have anti-ageing properties, while ruthenium and platinum compounds interact with the DNA and the cellular body. It is also known that gold and the platinum metals, in their monatomic high-spin state, can activate the endocrinal glandular system in a way that heightens awareness, perception and aptitude to extraordinary levels. In this regard, it is considered that the high-spin powder of gold has a distinct effect upon the pineal gland, increasing melatonin production.

Likewise, the monatomic powder of iridium has a similar effect on the serotonin production of the pituitary gland, and would appear to reactivate the body's "junk DNA" along with the under-used and unused parts of the brain. (Extracted from Sir Laurence Gardner’s article Lost Secrets of the Sacred Ark Nexus Magazine Vol 10, no 2. 2003 and you can read the article in it’s entirety here: