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Best Ukrainian Music Videos 2011: Top 3

December 31, 2011 by  

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  No other country across the Atlantic has that mysterious “X” factor more than Ukraine at the moment. So many surprisingly awesome music videos (see The Hardkiss, Julia Voice, Andreas, Richard Gorn, Tina Karol, Quest Pistols etc) are now coming out of Kiev I’m seriously thinking of starting a new blog just dedicated to the country. To say 2011 was a banner year for clips here is an understatement. The best was NikitA’s just insane “Искусаю” (English version is “Bite”) which generated one of the highest traffic days ever on this blog back in Feb., when it first came out. Lady Gaga only wishes she could be as outrageous as ex-Playmate Dasha and new member Anastasia (a former Armiya member), the duo who are NikitA. Next up is a fantastic song and clip by huge UKR star Max Barskih, where the singer is literally on fire in a video (“Lost In Love”) directed by one of the world’s best at the moment, Ukraine’s Alan Badoev. Finally we have a promo for an act I’ve been obsessed with for well over a year, Mirami, and their catchy, epic “Miramimania.” Ukraine is the future of pop music.  


New Year’s Panchakarma

December 31, 2011 by  

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Ghee, aka clarified butter, elixir of the gods
According to to Patanjali (whose yoga sutras are key tenets of the practice), Sharath noted, there are two different kinds of diseases, those that can be cured by Yoga and those diseases that can be cured by Ayurveda. Ayurveda, the traditional medicine native to India, has preventative as well as curative value. It’s also hard to ignore while visiting the subcontinent.
Several friends gave glowing reviews about their experiences doing Panchakarma at Dixit Clinic here in Mysore. Curious, I signed on for the 7-day cleansing treatment based on Ayurveda to ring out 2011 and in 2012. Panchakarma (Sanskrit for ’5 actions’) is basically a de-tox program, Indian style, relying on several Ayurvedic therapies, including oleation, massage, steaming and purging (there’s more invasive treatment available pending your condition. I asked the doctor to kindly not make me throw up and was grateful that wouldn’t be needed). But this has meant no caffeine and a lot of medicated ghee (clarified butter). For


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A Million Little Lights

December 31, 2011 by  

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OK, so it’s not garden weather. It is, however, holiday lights weather! Check out the display at the Festival of Lights at VanDusen Botanical Garden, 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It’s open from 4:30 to 9 p.m. each day through January 2, 2012. The festival uses at least one million sparkling lights wrapped around trees and trellises to transform the garden into a holiday wonderland.


Going Green: 12 Simple Steps for 2012

December 31, 2011 by  

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As we head into 2012, many of us will be resolving to lose those few extra pounds, save more money, or spend a few more hours with our families and friends. But there are also some resolutions we can make to make our lives a little greener. Each of us, especially in the United States, can make a commitment to reducing our environmental impacts. The United Nations has designated 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. Broadening access to sustainable energy is essential to solving many of the world’s challenges, including food production, security, and poverty. Hunger, poverty, and climate change are issues that we can all help address. Here are 12 simple steps to go green in 2012: (1) Recycle Recycling programs exist in cities and towns across the United States, helping to save energy and protect the environment. In 2009, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to require all homes and businesses to use recycling and composting collection programs. As a result, more than 75 percent of all material collected is being recycled, diverting 1.6 million tons from the landfills annually—double the…

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I Walked into a Buddhist Temple in Thailand and There She Was…

December 31, 2011 by  

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Last night, I arrived in Bangkok after a long journey from Seattle..  I only had one day in Bangkok, so what should I spend my day doing? I asked the owner of The Shanti Lodge (my guesthouse in Bangkok), if he knew of any good walking tours and he replied. “You should go to Koh Kret”. The word Koh, in Thai means island. I hadn’t really thought of that before I embarked on my expedition, but it didn’t matter. I hopped on the express water taxi near my guesthouse and asked the conductor where I should get off. Once I disembarked, he lead me to a man with a half way buttoned up orange shirt, red eyes and no front teeth.. The photographer, talked to the orange shirted man for a few minutes and finally looked at me and said 600 baht.. My boat man arrived in a totally pimped out canoe, freshly painted red with a badass motor and a 4 foot exhaust pipe. I hoped in and we were off and 20 minutes later we arrived on Koh Kret.
It is beautiful. I arrived at a…

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If You Only Had One New Years Resolution….

December 31, 2011 by  

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If you only had one New Year’s resolution, it might be to recognize where this statement applies and do something about it. I’m sure it will lead to countless things you cannot even imagine until you start writing them down. “Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation. So does inaction sap vigor from the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci. AND I’d add to this….it also saps vigor from your life.


Meditation Benefits More Than Our Spiritual Well-Being

December 31, 2011 by  

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One of my New Year’s resolutions is to learn how to meditate. Seems like a silly idea, doesn’t it? How hard is it to meditate, after all? Well, it is hard. To find a secluded place to meditate in complete and relaxed silence, is a challenge. Plus, I’m not able to just turn my brain off. I am surrounded by activity, all day long. I hear, though, that this activity is not only good for relaxation and spiritual healing, it’s also good for the brain. The Harvard Business Review reports that meditation can lead to better brain health: “Eight weeks to a better brain,” written by Sue McGreevey reports on this with detailed information on how meditation can influence our brain matter to “make significant improvements in a variety of symptoms…” She writes, “Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day,” says study senior author Sara Lazar of the MGH Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program and a Harvard Medical Schoolinstructor in psychology. “This study demonstrates that changes in brain structure may underlie some of these reported improvements and that people are


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A Photo Journey Around the World

December 31, 2011 by  

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Here’s a photo journey of some of the fabulous places I hit on my travels in 2011. City Series - Shanghai Shanghai, China Revisted! Shanghai is one of those cities that never fails to intrigue me. This is a city that I’ve visited for business and for pleasure in the last 18 months. No matter what I’m doing while in Shanghai, whether it’s business or pleasure, this gorgeous Asian city never fails to delight me.   Borneo-0969 Kota Kinabalu, Borneo John and I kicked off the Chinese New Year with a trip to Kota Kinabalu. We got caught in a heavy rainstorm while driving to the Tip of Borneo and almost got swept away by a flash flood. We visited Mt Kinabau and Poring Hot Springs, and visited the islands in and around Kota Kinabalu proper. Changing of the Guards in Seoul Seoul, South Korea I went to Korea twice this year. Once in February and once in August. Both trips were work-related, but I couldn’t have asked for more different trips. My February trip was a solo trip, so I had the rare pleasure of exploring the city on my own. That opportunity doesn’t come along very often in…

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