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Beware of the book

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Humanism is older than all the religions.

There have been humanists since the beginning of recorded history, all over the world, though the word “Humanism” has only been used to describe our beliefs and values since the 19th century. These ideas have been recorded in Europe, from the 6th century BCE to about 6th century CE, in China from the 6th century BCE onwards, in India from the 6th century CE onwards, in the Arab world from the 12th century CE, and in the Western world from the 17th century CE to the present day.

If there was no religion, the world would be something other than it is today. But who can say what it would be like? While looking at this sentence, several questions comes to our mind. Even if, we are not brainstorming at the time. These questions will keep disturbing you;

• How would a world without religion have been born?
• How could the cave man have explained the meaning of life without religion?
• How would the cultures of Greece or India have flourished without religion?
• What story would the leader of a group of people have told his people, when a tsunami destroyed their homes?
• Have you thought about the difference between organised religion and religion as it is practised as a personal devotion?
• Religion, what is it good for?
• But what if, religion never existed?
• What we never had religion — or religions — to fight with or against?
• Would the World (and the people who inhabit it) be a better place?
• Would there be something important missing?
• On balance, and ultimately, has religion been a “good” thing or a “bad” thing?

People of religion usually inherit their beliefs from their families, depending on their culture. Humanists have always worked things out for themselves, and we’re still doing it now. For this reason, we’re sometimes called “freethinkers” because that’s what we do – we think freely, rather than believing.

The symbol of Humanism is the Happy Human. Many people hear this list and say “well, I guess I’m a Humanist”. Maybe it’s you as well. Most Humanists don’t believe in God or belong to any religion, but call themselves Humanist because they share these values.

Humanists believe that:
• we can gain knowledge through scientific research and looking at the natural world – what is real, what we can see and touch
• this one life is all we know we have
• our morality (our sense of right and wrong) comes from our human nature and culture
• what is right is what promotes human welfare and fulfilment
• we can and should create meaning and purpose in life

Religion satisfies a deep seated need in humans, the need to feel that there is a purpose to my existence. It is only in the past few years that we have understood the mechanics behind tsunamis. There is a whole lot of history before that, and I don’t see how humans could have passed through those times without building a religion to see them through.

Without religion, it would be much harder to control society – for good and evil. Because religion is a way of sharing morals within a society. It is a way of telling parents which teachings are important to pass on to children. It is a way of building a common life style. Without religion, something else would need to take that place.

Without religion, there would still be morals, and good people. There would still be those good people who want the best for everybody. There would also still be bad people, and people who think they are good, but only out to get “their own”. Quite often human selfishness is the greatest evil of all.

A world without religion would be very different, but it would be different because for humans to not have religion, we would have to be very different beings. And I just don’t know what that could be like. Or then a world without religion would be just like the world of today, except we wouldn’t have things called religion… We’d have other ways of hating people different from us, and being nice to people in our culture.

But, if we look back to the roots in history – during the times of our evolution, when the first two creatures of God, landed on Earth. Did they had any religion? Because, they are the source of the humanity and human race on Earth. If not them, then why us?

Religion does divide people. That is true. However, I prefer the word separate rather than divide. Religion does group people into different sects. Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus. These differences sometimes can cause disagreements and hostility between people of different religious backgrounds. Wars have been waged in the past and present in the name of religion and often times the resentment follows through generations to come.

And if, religion is utmost necessary, for the identification of caste and creed of the large population, then it should be kept in mind that it should not be mingled with terrorism. The statement is so, that what we actually see, is mostly the Islamic States are involved in the clutches of terror – related activities.

A group of people whose behavior, together, results in their own self-destruction… not even animals would do this. So to say that humans ‘would behave’ like this (without religion) is insulting and arrogant on so many (ignorant) levels.

Religion takes away from us the very thing that makes us human: critical thought, and the ability to make value judgement for ourselves. So, what would happen if humans could interact in using that ability? That, unfortunately, is an experiment that has yet to reach any conclusion.
Now, the question arises, particularly with the religion of Islam, that if the messages of religions, aren’t the root cause of conflict – they are simply a justification for it. Then, why a Muslim family, in a Hindu locality specially is denied home to live in or in some cases they are not being allowed to stay as PG.

Why it is so?

That means, the mainstream society considers the religion of Islam and its followers to be the followers of “Terrorism” as a whole. But, the problem is that, no one even tries to accept the fact that the terrorist or terrorism doesn’t fall under any categories of religion.

It’s a sorry state of affair to see the Muslims are looked down as an Offended class of religions. There is no quick fix to the human condition.

The negativity we see today and falsely attribute to religion is totally a wrong misconception. People who do the wrong do not belong to a specific religion which requires them to do wrong. They do it for money, power, greed etc.

But restricting religion to common definition of Christianity, Islam, Judaism etc., it would make no substantial non-negative difference if they would not exist.

The “No” arguments basically say not all wars are based on religion. But the further you dig into the layers of reasoning behind war, religion always ends up showing its ugly face. Religion is war; the people who say otherwise are more following idiots that will defend it in fear of going to “hell”. The world would be a much more peaceful place without religion. Less fear, less crime and less hate in a world without religion. For now, we are stuck in the dark ages, a world of war until the religions die off.

Some people just take their beliefs too far. They get upset that not everyone thinks like they do. They think they feel this inner peace and they want everyone to feel it. That is until people do things that go ageist their beliefs. Then, they get enraged and start doing things that go against what they say they believe. They tell other people who believe what they do, and get them riled up. The group of people then take to the streets, causing chaos everywhere they go. That is how wars start. The world would be a much better place if people would just except that we all have different beliefs.

The world would not be more peaceful if there were no religion. In order to feel peaceful a society and its people need to feel secure. Religion in and of itself works to give its people a sense of security and peacefulness that they would not otherwise have if they did not have religion.

Om Puri in the movie “Oh My God” said that “Mazhab insaanon ke liye banta hai … mazhab ke liye insaan nahi bante”. Which meant “Religion is made for humans … human is not made for religion”.

Similarly Akshay Kumar, who represented God Krishna in the movie also said, “Maine sirf insaan banaya … aur insaan ne yeh jaat, paat, dharm, mazhab ka dhanda shuru kiya”; meaning “I only made humans … and humans started this business of caste, religion, etc”.

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The Man Who Unlocked the Universe Produced by Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva and Timur Tillyaev

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Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva and Timur Tillyaev

The Man Who Unlocked the Universe is a film that narrates the life and work of the great ruler, warrior and astronomer Ulugh Beg, one of the most outstanding minds in astronomy who also had to live an intense and exciting life in all senses.

Ulugh Beg became an enlightened leader of his time and turned Samarkand, the Uzbek city where he lived, into the world’s great science centre 150 years before Galileo discovered the telescope. The film, produced by Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva and Timur Tillyaev, has critical and spectator support and can be found on digital platforms such as iTunes or Amazon.

This film allows the viewer to meet this somewhat unknown genius and delve into his fascinating life from his birth as a prince to his untimely death announced in the stars he loved so much. This film has a rating of 9 out of 10 in IMDB review and undoubtedly has been a tribute to this leader of the medieval era who was a pioneer studying the stars and the universe.

Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva, the Uzbek producer behind this success

The success and production of this exciting film would not have been possible without the bet of Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva, an Uzbek philanthropist well known in her country for her personal commitment to all kinds of charitable work, especially with the most disadvantaged children in her country. A work she is doing with her husband Timur Tillyaev.

This film has been a personal commitment of Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva and Timur Tillyaev. They wanted to make known to the world the figure of one of the most important scientists of Uzbek origin of all time.

Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva served as Uzbekistan’s envoy to UNESCO for more than 10 years and has been President of the Federation of Gymnastics of Uzbekistan from 2005 to March 2018.

Her strong belief in education, culture and sports as key elements in promoting peace and tolerance also encompasses the cultural realm, and therefore her interest in producing the film The Man Who Unlocked the Universe. She understands that education can act as a bridge between different civilizations helping to overcome ignorance and stereotypes.

In any case The Man Who Unlocked the Universe has become an international success and the figure of Ulugh Beg has been put in value thanks to her.

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PRAMA, the new revolutionary interactive fitness program taking the wold by storm

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This revolutionary new fitness and training method is proving that with the addition of modern technology you really can get amazing results in improving your fitness levels.

The technology used plays a vital role in every training session. This is PRAMA, where you train to the rhythm of music and lights set according to a session programmed to suit you. It add a true sense of fun and achievement. Demand for PRAMA classes are already high as word travels about this new interactive exercise, and it is now the new hot trend in gyms across the US and UK.

This revolution is reaching gyms that are at the forefront of modern fitness, who are adapting their available spaces to cater for this new concept in interactive fitness that combines music, choreography and technology.

But what is PRAMA? The easiest way to describe it is to quote Jennifer Coccia, the Director of Asfalt Fitness in New York, who said that her clients felt as if they were entering a crossover between an arcade game and a playground, “yet getting the best workout of their lives”.

The PRAMA system coordinates music, lights and time and for those who their normal training has become mundane can revitalise that motivation and help them get that joy from working out once again. This is what lies behind the whole concept, bring the fun and party element to fitness, in an immersive, interactive and very motivating experience.

“A crossover between an arcade game and a playground”

The treadmills, static bicycles and all the usual paraphernalia you expect to find in a usual gym are put aside to make way for what seems to be like “a crossover between an arcade game and a playground,” says Marcos Requena, CEO of Pavigym.

But PRAMA is not about improvisation or random workouts. These approaches are not productive for getting the best results. Instead the trainers will push their clients through a series of electrical choreographed workouts, interacting with them through the floor, walls and other areas, to complete a series of exercise circuits with high intensity.

PRAMA is already being spoken about in all the major media, and we are seeing many famous athletes, such as FC Barcelona, Boca Juniors or Nicolás Anelka players have trained using the PRAMA methodology. It is really taking off across cities like New York, London, Paris … all this has only served to increase demand that is exceeding all expectations of the gym directors who have deployed it..

The users of gyms are demanding it because, even though the primary focus of improving fitness and health is still there, because it is provided through a fun concept, it becomes enjoyable for those who previously would have found the work out a real chore. You almost forget you are working out!

What can you expect from the PRAMA experience?

The musical factor is key to the experience, it has long been known that music helps with a workout. PRAMA goes one step further and throws lighting into the mix as well to make it truly immersive. The LEDs work in time to the music and move at the rhythm of those taking part. The walls and the floor are all part of the game.

To give a practical example, those who have spent their childhood playing the Twister from time to time, -the game consisting of putting one foot in the blue circle, one hand in the red one and so on until you can’t do anymore without falling over- can understand a little of what this revolutionary method is about, although in a very simplified way.

Another example is those console dance games carried out at home where you have to follow the choreographed moves, or using a dance mat, is similar and known to be great for fitness and losing weight.

Of course the issue with those examples is that movement is restricted, you can’t stop or pause without the game ending. It is not adaptable to help you achieve fitness goals and it doesn’t help you grow. You can waste a lot of calories stopping and starting.

PRAMA easily adapts to the needs of adults, families, children and athletes

The system is programmed according to each person, be it an elite athlete or a beginner but you can also find programs for children and families. The sessions are 45 minutes and are beneficial for the body and mind, so they can even be rolled out in centers with children with ADHD and other problems, but also can be practiced as a family as a way to improve the time spent together but also improving fitness.

Each 45 minute session can also be ramped up for more intensive workouts, and gives a huge advantage to practitioners of the force program. In this program the floor and walls are complemented by medium to high load accessories, to transition the interactive elements into a more HIIT format that doesn’t work well for everyone.

So there really is a workout intensity for every age group and capability, including an innovative one in which you can play a PRAMA version of basketball, a combination as healthy as addictive, which can only be a good thing when it comes to forming those lifelong fitness habits.

In fact if you know you’re going to the gym, it will make people more inclined to use their membership and actually go, and better attendance means better member retention.

A definitive full body workout suitable for any age and ability, and highly adaptable.

It is not only for losing weight, although results there are pretty good so far with PRAMA, given that it is a system more likely to be stuck with long term. It is also a change to gain strength and agility, and have fun with friends and family.

The ground and walls are sensitive to pressure, and the interactive screens and light combinations that attune to the body’s highs and lows during a workout show just how clever this new system really is.

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Miniature painting: how to get started in this addictive hobby

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Painting a miniature may seem as easy as pie at first; however, any veteran will tell you that giving color to a miniature figure can be a tedious and painstaking job if you are not truly passionate about it. If you do not have the patience, it is advisable that you look for another hobby or hire a good miniature painting service. But for those who are still determined to enter the world of miniatures, here are some tips that can help you paint those little figures more easily.

Keep your workspace organized and clean

Any artist needs their own studio, so if you are going to embrace the art of miniature painting, you will need your own workspace. And, since we are dealing with small figures, having neat, clean one does not only positively affect your work flow, but the output as well. One of the benefits of having an organized workspace is that it saves a lot of time, because it will take you a lot less time to find a tool from a tidy table than from a messy pile of objects, right?

Watch your posture while you paint

Painting miniatures can be a long and tedious process, which means you will have to sit in your chair for hours. Having a correct posture while painting can avoid possible pains in the body that you may experience after working hours. Try not to stoop much when approaching to look at the miniature. You can solve this problem by using a shorter chair, or bringing the miniature closer to your face when you paint it, but your hands might shake a bit – so be careful there to not ruin the work.

Do previous material research

A great deal of people have lost money by not buying the right materials for their figures. So, before going to the mall to get you all set, make sure to research about the right tools, paints and brushes that you will need. Luckily for our generation, Internet i sour best friend, so all you have to do is to type into your Google search the type of figure you are going to Paint, and you will surely find a forum or web where you can answer all your questions. Just be careful to not let your attention deviate from what you were looking for.

Take care of the lightning

When we paint a miniature, we must artificially simulate the lights / shadows that the light would produce if this miniature were to real scale. And that we can do by color variations, Lights and shadows can produce visual changes in volumes and proportions. For example, if we have a face with wrinkles, we can highlight them more or less by playing with the volumes and thus going from creating a face with small facial marks, to creating a very old, creepy one.

Plus, a correct location and shape of lights and shadows can also give a surface the appearance of being composed of one or another material, since light does not reflect in the same way in a plastic as in a metal. In the case of the Warhammer, for example, the same lighting techniques will not work to paint the classics figures and the 40k ones because, as they are set in different time, the costumes are not supposed to be the same material. If you are not sure about how to manage this yourself, there are also warhammer 40k painting service that you can use.

Get started

  • Choose a combination of two or three light colors and a dark one as a balance.
  • Use water to dilute them to make their application easier.
  • Apply a first black or white layer depending on whether you’ll apply metallic or non-metallic colors later, respectively. To apply this first layer you can use spray paint, airbrushing or a hand brush.
  • Apply the following layer with the technique of your choice: dipping, gradients, dry brush, dotted, vitrified, petrified …
  • Small parts such as shields and weapons are best left to the end.

Be patient… And practical

Miniature painting is something that requires patience -a lot of patience, indeed, and it is not enough that you like the theme. For example, in the case of the Warhammer, if you are more interested in playing than in painting itself, it is better not to waste your time and use a warhammer painting service to not get frustrated and be able to focus just on what you really like. But if you are truly interested in doing the painting yourself, don’t despair. It’s not easy at first, but you’ll get better results with time. Even the greatest miniature painters took years to make the works that they exhibit now. You could be the next one.

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