A tale of the Caliph




One of many short stories that people have told each other, sometimes to pass on knowledge and wisdom, other times to foster good thinking and morals amongst the little ones. Some times for laughs and fears, as ghost stories, as prejudice, or warning examples.
The reasons are as many as there has been story tellers and good night stories to be read. This is one of those, and like all others like it, it changes with each generation re telling it, but at it´s core I am sure it remains quite the same as it was when whomever it was first told it.

Enjoy this tale from the middle east.

Photography and web adaptation by Mike Koontz , 2015, a Norse View Imaging and Publishing



Music of the day The Memory Remains - by Metallica

To the daisy that is my sun and inspiration








Chapters and pages, library and language menu to the left of the screen




















a Caliph of Bagdad



[spoiled by his slaves]





Caliph Chasid, of Bagdad, was resting comfortably on his divan one fine afternoon.

He was smoking a long pipe, and from time to time he sipped a little coffee which a slave handed to him, and after each sip he stroked his long beard with an air of enjoyment. In short, anyone could see that the Caliph was in an excellent humour. This was, in fact, the best time of day in which to approach him, for just now he was pretty sure to be both affable and in good spirits, and for this reason the Grand Vizier Mansor always chose this hour in which to pay his daily visit.
He arrived as usual this afternoon, but, contrary to his usual custom, with an anxious face. The Caliph withdrew his pipe for a moment from his lips and asked, ‘Why do you look so anxious, Grand Vizier?’
The Grand Vizier crossed his arms on his breast and bent low before his master as he answered:

‘Oh, my Lord! whether my countenance be anxious or not I know not, but down below, in the court of the palace, is a pedlar with such beautiful things that I cannot help feeling annoyed at having so little money to spare.’
The Caliph, who had wished for some time past to give his Grand Vizier a present, ordered his black slave to bring the pedlar before him at once. The slave soon returned, followed by the pedlar, a short stout man with a swarthy face, and dressed in very ragged clothes. He carried a box containing all manner of wares — strings of pearls, rings, richly mounted pistols, goblets, and combs. The Caliph and his Vizier inspected everything, and the Caliph chose some handsome pistols for himself and Mansor, and a jewelled comb for the Vizier’s wife. Just as the pedlar was about to close his box, the Caliph noticed a small drawer, and asked if there was anything else in it for sale. The pedlar opened the drawer and showed them a box containing a black powder, and a scroll written in strange characters, which neither the Caliph nor the Mansor could read.
‘I got these two articles from a merchant who had picked them up in the street at Mecca,’ said the pedlar. ‘I do not know what they may contain, but as they are of no use to me, you are welcome to have them for a trifle.’

The Caliph, who liked to have old manuscripts in his library, even though he could not read them, purchased the scroll and the box, and dismissed the pedlar. Then, being anxious to know what might be the contents of the scroll, he asked the Vizier if he did not know of anyone who might be able to decipher it.

‘Most gracious Lord and master,’ replied the Vizier, ‘near the great Mosque lives a man called Selim the learned, who knows every language under the sun. Send for him; it may be that he will be able to interpret these mysterious characters.’

The learned Selim was summoned immediately.

‘Selim,’ said the Caliph, ‘I hear you are a scholar. Look well at this scroll and see whether you can read it. If you can, I will give you a robe of honour; but if you fail, I will order you to receive twelve strokes on your cheeks, and five-and-twenty on the soles of your feet, because you have been falsely called Selim the learned.’
Selim prostrated himself and said, ‘Be it according to your will, oh master!’ Then he gazed long at the scroll. Suddenly he exclaimed: ‘May I die, oh, my Lord, if this isn’t Latin!’
‘Well,’ said the Caliph, ‘if it is Latin, let us hear what it means.’

So Selim began to translate: ‘Thou who mayest find this, praise Allah for his mercy. Whoever shall snuff the powder in this box, and at the same time shall pronounce the word “Mutabor!” can transform himself into any creature he likes, and will understand the language of all animals. When he wishes to resume the human form, he has only to bow three times towards the east, and to repeat the same word. Be careful, however, when wearing the shape of some beast or bird, not to laugh, or thou wilt certainly forget the magic word and remain an animal for ever.’
When Selim the learned had read this, the Caliph was delighted. He made the wise man swear not to tell the matter to anyone, gave him a splendid robe, and dismissed him. Then he said to his Vizier, ‘That’s what I call a good bargain, Mansor. I am longing for the moment when I can become some animal. To-morrow morning I shall expect you early; we will go into the country, take some snuff from my box, and then hear what is being said in air, earth, and water.’





































the Stork moved



[and its graze captivated them]





Next morning Caliph Chasid had barely finished dressing, and breakfasting, when the Grand Vizier arrived, according to orders, to accompany him in his expedition. The Caliph stuck the snuff-box in his girdle, and, having desired his servants to remain at home, started off with the Grand Vizier only in attendance. First they walked through the palace gardens, but they looked in vain for some creature which could tempt them to try their magic power. At length the Vizier suggested going further on to a pond which lay beyond the town, and where he had often seen a variety of creatures, especially storks, whose grave, dignified appearance and constant chatter had often attracted his attention.

The Caliph consented, and they went straight to the pond. As soon as they arrived they remarked a stork strutting up and down with a stately air, hunting for frogs, and now and then muttering something to itself. At the same time they saw another stork far above in the sky flying towards the same spot.
‘I would wager my beard, most gracious master,’ said the Grand Vizier, ‘that these two long legs will have a good chat together. How would it be if we turned ourselves into storks?’

‘Well said,’ replied the Caliph; ‘but first let us remember carefully how we are to become men once more. True! Bow three times towards the east and say “Mutabor!” and I shall be Caliph and you my Grand Vizier again. But for Heaven’s sake don’t laugh or we are lost!’
As the Caliph spoke he saw the second stork circling round his head and gradually flying towards the earth. Quickly he drew the box from his girdle, took a good pinch of the snuff, and offered one to Mansor, who also took one, and both cried together ‘Mutabor!’

Instantly their legs shrivelled up and grew thin and red; their smart yellow slippers turned to clumsy stork’s feet, their arms to wings; their necks began to sprout from between their shoulders and grew a yard long; their beards disappeared, and their bodies were covered with feathers.
‘You’ve got a fine long bill, Sir Vizier,’ cried the Caliph, after standing for some time lost in astonishment. ‘By the beard of the Prophet I never saw such a thing in all my life!’
‘My very humble thanks,’ replied the Grand Vizier, as he bent his long neck; ‘but, if I may venture to say so, your Highness is even handsomer as a stork than as a Caliph. But come, if it so pleases you, let us go near our comrades there and find out whether we really do understand the language of storks.’
Meantime the second stork had reached the ground. It first scraped its bill with its claw, stroked down its feathers, and then advanced towards the first stork. The two newly made storks lost no time in drawing near, and to their amazement overheard the following conversation:

‘Good morning, Dame Longlegs. You are out early this morning!’
‘Yes, indeed, dear Chatterbill! I am getting myself a morsel of breakfast. May I offer you a joint of lizard or a frog’s thigh?’
‘A thousand thanks, but I have really no appetite this morning. I am here for a very different purpose. I am to dance to-day before my father’s guests, and I have come to the meadow for a little quiet practice.’
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Thereupon the young stork began to move about with the most wonderful steps. The Caliph and Mansor looked on in surprise for some time; but when at last she balanced herself in a picturesque attitude on one leg, and flapped her wings gracefully up and down, they could hold out no longer; a prolonged peal burst from each of their bills, and it was some time before they could recover their composure. The Caliph was the first to collect himself. ‘That was the best joke,’ said he, ‘I’ve ever seen. It’s a pity the stupid creatures were scared away by our laughter, or no doubt they would have sung next!’
Suddenly, however, the Vizier remembered how strictly they had been warned not to laugh during their transformation. He at once communicated his fears to the Caliph, who exclaimed, ‘By Mecca and Medina! it would indeed prove but a poor joke if I had to remain a stork for the remainder of my days! Do just try and remember the stupid word, it has slipped my memory.’
‘We must bow three times eastwards and say “Mu . . . mu . . . mu . . . ”’
They turned to the east and fell to bowing till their bills touched the ground, but, oh horror — the magic word was quite forgotten, and however often the Caliph bowed and however touchingly his Vizier cried ‘Mu . . . mu . . . ’ they could not recall it, and the unhappy Chasid and Mansor remained storks as they were.





































Oh my!.



[The words, the words, forgotten]





The two enchanted birds wandered sadly on through the meadows. In their misery they could not think what to do next. They could not rid themselves of their new forms; there was no use in returning to the town and saying who they were; for who would believe a stork who announced that he was a Caliph; and even if they did believe him, would the people of Bagdad consent to let a stork rule over them?

So they lounged about for several days, supporting themselves on fruits, which, however, they found some difficulty in eating with their long bills. They did not much care to eat frogs or lizards. Their one comfort in their sad plight was the power of flying, and accordingly they often flew over the roofs of Bagdad to see what was going on there.
During the first few days they noticed signs of much disturbance and distress in the streets, but about the fourth day, as they sat on the roof of the palace, they perceived a splendid procession passing below them along the street. Drums and trumpets sounded, a man in a scarlet mantle, embroidered in gold, sat on a splendidly caparisoned horse surrounded by richly dressed slaves; half Bagdad crowded after him, and they all shouted, ‘Hail, Mirza, the Lord of Bagdad!’
The two storks on the palace roof looked at each other, and Caliph Chasid said, ‘Can you guess now, Grand Vizier, why I have been enchanted? This Mirza is the son of my deadly enemy, the mighty magician Kaschnur, who in an evil moment vowed vengeance on me. Still I will not despair! Come with me, my faithful friend; we will go to the grave of the Prophet, and perhaps at that sacred spot the spell may be loosed.’
They rose from the palace roof, and spread their wings toward Medina.
But flying was not quite an easy matter, for the two storks had had but little practice as yet.


‘Oh, my Lord!’ gasped the Vizier, after a couple of hours, ‘I can get on no longer; you really fly too quick for me. Besides, it is nearly evening, and we should do well to find some place in which to spend the night.’
Chasid listened with favour to his servant’s suggestion, and perceiving in the valley beneath them a ruin which seemed to promise shelter they flew towards it. The building in which they proposed to pass the night had apparently been formerly a castle. Some handsome pillars still stood amongst the heaps of ruins, and several rooms, which yet remained in fair preservation, gave evidence of former splendour. Chasid and his companion wandered along the passages seeking a dry spot, when suddenly Mansor stood still.
‘My Lord and master,’ he whispered, ‘if it were not absurd for a Grand Vizier, and still more for a stork, to be afraid of ghosts, I should feel quite nervous, for someone, or something close by me, has sighed and moaned quite audibly.’

The Caliph stood still and distinctly heard a low weeping sound which seemed to proceed from a human being rather than from any animal. Full of curiosity he was about to rush towards the spot from whence the sounds of woe came, when the Vizier caught him by the wing with his bill, and implored him not to expose himself to fresh and unknown dangers. The Caliph, however, under whose stork’s breast a brave heart beat, tore himself away with the loss of a few feathers, and hurried down a dark passage. He saw a door which stood ajar, and through which he distinctly heard sighs, mingled with sobs. He pushed open the door with his bill, but remained on the threshold, astonished at the sight which met his eyes. On the floor of the ruined chamber — which was but scantily lighted by a small barred window — sat a large screech owl. Big tears rolled from its large round eyes, and in a hoarse voice it uttered its complaints through its crooked beak. As soon as it saw the Caliph and his Vizier — who had crept up meanwhile — it gave vent to a joyful cry. It gently wiped the tears from its eyes with its spotted brown wings, and to the great amazement of the two visitors, addressed them in good human Arabic.
‘Welcome, ye storks! You are a good sign of my deliverance, for it was foretold me that a piece of good fortune should befall me through a stork.’
When the Caliph had recovered from his surprise, he drew up his feet into a graceful position, bent his long neck, and said: ‘Oh, screech owl! from your words I am led to believe that we see in you a companion in misfortune. But, alas! your hope that you may attain your deliverance through us is but a vain one. You will know our helplessness when you have heard our story.’


The screech owl begged him to relate it, and the Caliph accordingly told him what we already know.






































Mutabor



[The Sorcerer had asked]





When the Caliph had ended, the owl thanked him and said: ‘You hear my story, and own that I am no less unfortunate than yourselves. My father is the King of the Indies. I, his only daughter, am named Lusa. That magician Kaschnur, who enchanted you, has been the cause of my misfortunes too. He came one day to my father and demanded my hand for his son Mirza. My father — who is rather hasty — ordered him to be thrown downstairs. The wretch not long after managed to approach me under another form, and one day, when I was in the garden, and asked for some refreshment, he brought me — in the disguise of a slave — a draught which changed me at once to this horrid shape. Whilst I was fainting with terror he transported me here, and cried to me with his awful voice: “There shall you remain, lonely and hideous, despised even by the brutes, till the end of your days, or till some one of his own free will asks you to be his wife. Thus do I avenge myself on you and your proud father.”
‘Since then many months have passed away. Sad and lonely do I live like any hermit within these walls, avoided by the world and a terror even to animals; the beauties of nature are hidden from me, for I am blind by day, and it is only when the moon sheds her pale light on this spot that the veil falls from my eyes and I can see.’ The owl paused, and once more wiped her eyes with her wing, for the recital of her woes had drawn fresh tears from her.

The Caliph fell into deep thought on hearing this story of the Princess. ‘If I am not much mistaken,’ said he, ‘there is some mysterious connection between our misfortunes, but how to find the key to the riddle is the question.’
The owl answered: ‘Oh, my Lord! I too feel sure of this, for in my earliest youth a wise woman foretold that a stork would bring me some great happiness, and I think I could tell you how we might save ourselves.’ The Caliph was much surprised, and asked her what she meant.
‘The Magician who has made us both miserable,’ said she, ‘comes once a month to these ruins. Not far from this room is a large hall where he is in the habit of feasting with his companions. I have often watched them. They tell each other all about their evil deeds, and possibly the magic word which you have forgotten may be mentioned.’
‘Oh, dearest Princess!’ exclaimed the Caliph, ‘say, when does he come, and where is the hall?’

The owl paused a moment and then said: ‘Do not think me unkind, but I can only grant your request on one condition.’
‘Speak, speak!’ cried Chasid; ‘command, I will gladly do whatever you wish!’
‘Well,’ replied the owl, ‘you see I should like to be free too; but this can only be if one of you will offer me his hand in marriage.’
The storks seemed rather taken aback by this suggestion, and the Caliph beckoned to his Vizier to retire and consult with him.
When they were outside the door the Caliph said: ‘Grand Vizier, this is a tiresome business. However, you can take her.’
‘Indeed!’ said the Vizier; ‘so that when I go home my wife may scratch my eyes out! Besides, I am an old man, and your Highness is still young and unmarried, and a far more suitable match for a young and lovely Princess.’
‘That’s just where it is,’ sighed the Caliph, whose wings drooped in a dejected manner; ‘how do you know she is young and lovely? I call it buying a pig in a poke.’

She then proceeded to lead the two storks to the chamber. They passed through a long dark passage till at length a bright ray of light shone before them through the chinks of a half-ruined wall. When they reached it the owl advised them to keep very quiet. Through the gap near which they stood they could with ease survey the whole of the large hall. It was adorned with splendid carved pillars; a number of coloured lamps replaced the light of day. In the middle of the hall stood a round table covered with a variety of dishes, and about the table was a divan on which eight men were seated. In one of these bad men the two recognised the pedlar who had sold the magic powder. The man next him begged him to relate all his latest doings, and amongst them he told the story of the Caliph and his Vizier.
‘And what kind of word did you give them?’ asked another old sorcerer.

‘A very difficult Latin word; it is “Mutabor.”’






































Oh the joy



[The Storks smiled and cheered]





As soon as the storks heard this they were nearly beside themselves with joy. They ran at such a pace to the door of the ruined castle that the owl could scarcely keep up with them. When they reached it the Caliph turned to the owl, and said with much feeling: ‘Deliverer of my friend and myself, as a proof of my eternal gratitude, accept me as your husband.’ Then he turned towards the east. Three times the storks bowed their long necks to the sun, which was just rising over the mountains. ‘Mutabor!’ they both cried, and in an instant they were once more transformed. In the rapture of their newly-given lives master and servant fell laughing and weeping into each other’s arms. Who shall describe their surprise when they at last turned round and beheld standing before them a beautiful lady exquisitely dressed!

With a smile she held out her hand to the Caliph, and asked: ‘Do you not recognise your screech owl?’

It was she! The Caliph was so enchanted by her grace and beauty, that he declared being turned into a stork had been the best piece of luck which had ever befallen him. The three set out at once for Bagdad. Fortunately, the Caliph found not only the box with the magic powder, but also his purse in his girdle; he was, therefore, able to buy in the nearest village all they required for their journey, and so at last they reached the gates of Bagdad.

Here the Caliph’s arrival created the greatest sensation. He had been quite given up for dead, and the people were greatly rejoiced to see their beloved ruler again.
Their rage with the usurper Mirza, however, was great in proportion. They marched in force to the palace and took the old magician and his son prisoners. The Caliph sent the magician to the room where the Princess had lived as an owl, and there had him hanged. As the son, however, knew nothing of his father’s acts, the Caliph gave him his choice between death and a pinch of the magic snuff. When he chose the latter, the Grand Vizier handed him the box. One good pinch, and the magic word transformed him to a stork. The Caliph ordered him to be confined in an iron cage, and placed in the palace gardens.
Caliph Chasid lived long and happily with his wife the Princess. His merriest time was when the Grand Vizier visited him in the afternoon; and when the Caliph was in particularly high spirits he would condescend to mimic the Vizier’s appearance when he was a stork. He would strut gravely, and with well-stiffened legs, up and down the room, chattering, and showing how he had vainly bowed to the east and cried ‘Mu . . . Mu . . . ’ The Caliphess and her children were always much entertained by this performance; but when the Caliph went on nodding and bowing, and calling ‘Mu . . . mu . . . ’ too long, the Vizier would threaten laughingly to tell the Chaliphess the subject of the discussion carried on one night outside the door of Princess Screech Owl.















Caliph the Stork

by

time and minds



Author(s), and photography

Michael Koontz
And countless of souls

To the daisy that is my sun and inspiration

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    Eat too little protein and you will start losing lean muscle mass, and your health will start to decline too since proteins are not just the major building blocks of our muscles, they are in fact the mud and water, wood and concrete that builds our entire body, be it your internal organs, your skin, hair, muscles, cells, or our brain.
    And the total amount of daily calories we consume is, of course, pretty much the same thing, eat too little in total, and you will start noticing how your health and fitness level slowly deteriorate. And if you do the opposite and stuff your tummy full with too many daily calories you will start gaining pure body fat in excessive amounts and it will continue to build unless you change your daily choices.
    So, here is my question:
    How big do you need to make your daily calorie deficit in order to lose 250g of body fat per week ( roughly ) while eating enough protein to preserve your lean muscle mass?.

  • Fitness School, Do you know the right answer?. Question 26, Black coffee, is it a natural diuretic that causes dehydration or a health improving rehydrating drink?

    Quality time needed: 4 minutes


    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.



    Question number 26 in our School of Fitness.
    Black coffee, the mere words are capable of sending hundreds of millions of people into a state of Nirvana filled with transcending bliss and harmony :).
    But black coffee is also a cup of rejuvenating health for our entire system. It calms the mind with its slowly rising aroma, helps us keep cancer and diabetes at bay, harnesses our creative focus like an arrow in flight, and in enough quantities, it can even boost peoples gym going efforts.
    But is there all there is to it?. Well, here is my question:
    Is the old saying true that your daily coffee drives so much fluid out of your body that you need to supplement your coffee intake with equal measures water too in order to stay hydrated?.

  • Fitness School, Do you know the right answer?. Question 25, Tell us the major muscles in your back.

    Quality time needed: 3 minutes


    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.



    Question number 25 in our School of Fitness.
    Outside of our legs and ass, there is no other muscle group that comes close to sheer size, strength, health impact and lean muscle mass potential than our back. So as exhausting as a proper back workout is, this is one big and essential muscle group you should never skimp out on, no matter if your own goals are all in on health and wellness, sports or just sheer looks, or all of the above.
    Here is my question:
    Tell me the major muscles that makes up our back. Straight and simple folks.

  • Fitness School, Do you know the right answer?. Question 24, Can Maintained Fitness prevent the negative health impact of chemotherapy?.

    Quality time needed: 4 minutes


    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.



    Question number 24 in our School of Fitness.
    Chemotherapy is one of those crucial things that no one ever hoped to one day experience. But when the going gets real tough in life, its a life saver.
    However, undergoing Chemotherapy is no walk in the park and while it can save your life and defeat cancer, it will also take its toll on your body. So much so that a recent study from Australia revealed that just 13 weeks of chemotherapy caused the heart to age by an equivalent of six years.
    Here is my question:
    Can maintained fitness exercise during chemotherapy prevent the now established cardiovascular aging associated with chemotherapy?.

  • Fitness School, Do you know the right answer?. Question 23, How much will my daily fitness activity reduce the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease?.

    Quality time needed: 4 minutes


    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.



    Question number 23 in our School of Fitness.
    How are you enjoying 2018 so far?. I am having a blast, in the gym and outside it, workouts are wondrously good and that is because I stay at it, week in and week out. Stay persistent with food and fitness people and reap the benefits in body & mind. Keeping to a daily fitness schedule is just a choice, after all, and a very healthy choice at that.

    And, for the next fitness school question, let us dig deep down on that word "persistent" and uncover just how much weekly fitness will scientifically aid your health on low, moderate and intense fitness levels.
    And as such, here is my question for you:
    Can as little as 30 minutes of daily low-level physical fitness activity reduce the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by as much as 24% compared to not doing that daily activity?.

  • Fitness School, Do you know the right answer?. Question 22, is there any difference at all in recovery capacity after a hard leg workout in the gym depending on your biological age?.

    Quality time needed: 9 minutes


    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.



    Question number 22 in our School of Fitness.
    2017 came and went in a glorious display of Northern lights. But now that we are all one year older. Let us take a look at that age-old saying that we recover worse and slower after a hard workout in the gym as we grow beyond our 30´s.
    Is there any truth to this at all? Or is this just one more thing that people got wrong in the name of lacking insight, age-related fears, and youth-obsessed peer pressure?.
    To put it simply.
    Will the 22-year-old you recover better after a kick-ass weight lifting workout in the gym doing intense deadlifts than the 50 year old you will be able to do, or can you safely go at it just as hard knowing that you will recover and improve just as good?.

  • Fitness & Health: Going plant-based with your food choices is one of the better food choices you can do.

    Quality time needed: 2 minutes


    Complete the circle.
    Every single day.
    Fitness, Food & Health, its just science baby, smiles, sweat and science :).



    Eating healthy is an essential part of every human beings healthy fit lifestyle.
    And like keeping active and healthy at the gym and in daily life it's a daily choice.
    Going plant-based with your food choices is one of the better food choices you can do. As long as you keep on top of your protein, your fat ( Omega 3 mainly ), iron, B12, Iodine and creatine going plant-based is very easy to do and super beneficial for health & fitness ( and the planet ).

  • The first day of 2018. A tiny micro-short story and the best fitness & health advice you will ever get in life. Let us kickstart 2018 and lay nothing but healthy fit days on the road ahead.

    Quality time needed: 6 minutes


    The arrival of 2018
    And the best health & fitness advice you will ever get.
    Life in the Anthropocene, its just science baby, smiles, sweat and science :).



    Enjoy a healthy fit, and happy 2018 people, but before I start our shiny new year by giving you the single best health & fitness advice you´ll ever get in life, a tiny little micro-short story to welcome you to the rest of your life.
    "the dragon that climbed the world of ice"
    'I watched it climb
    the world of ice that towered us both
    its mighty tail stung the icy cavern beneath us, like a spear it was thrust into the chest of the icy mountain, sending splatter of man-sized ice blocks and snow that bled into the bottomless pit, while it drove its left and right limbs into the frosty mountain above us

    and slowly
    over the endless void of time

    the dragon climbed its way upward
    through a world of ice that tried to hold us captive

    we climbed
    endless step by endless step towards the moon and the stars to hunt them one by one'.

  • Life in the Anthropocene & saving the endangered Rhino. Kenyan ultra marathon providing the adventure of a lifetime and a world improving good cause.

    Quality time needed: 5 minutes


    Health & Fitness
    And the ultra marathon to save the Rhino.
    Life in the Anthropocene is all about our global and individual responsibility.



    And in some ways, I can not think about a much better and more current way to emphasize our individual and globally shared responsibility than the Kenyan Ultra Marathon taking place in 2018.
    It's like all the other sports competitions ever done about the individual responsibility to shape and form your ongoing life and fitness journey so that you can endure and conquer that particular challenge.
    But it is equally much a team effort, to better our planet and to save the Rhino.
    As such it serves as a proxy for our own health, and our modern day pollution, the local and global poverty, the gender and class-based inequality, the competition itself, and the endangered wildlife and all the species rapidly going extinct across the entire world.
    We are all responsible. Individually and globally.
    And in that spirit, this ultramarathon is not just about bringing together runners from all around the world, it is also a marathon to save the endangered Rhino from going extinct, and to better the entire world.

  • Naughty xmas poetry "There are secrets hiding, in the xmas tree" and a merry winter solstice to you guys.

    Quality time needed: 4 minutes


    Winter solstice poetry
    a quality xmas
    and happy new year.



    Enjoy the rest of December people and make sure to allow yourselves and others the only gift truly worth something this xmas. And that is to breathe and exhale, relax and enjoy each and every moment.
    Do not suffocate each other or stress yourself out as you try in vain to achieve the perfect holiday, there is no such thing when it comes to the way we celebrate new years eve, winter solstice, xmas or whatever you call it.
    Chasing perfection and meaningless details are what kills that perfect day even before it starts. So just enjoy your day, yourself and each other the way you are.
    Have a good one and now, here is my perfect xmas in the shape of a naughty winter solstice poem ( and moment ) I am calling "There are secrets hiding, in the xmas tree", enjoy the read and the days ahead :).

  • Fitness School, Do you know the right answer?. Question 18, will obesity increase my risk of developing Alzheimer?.

    Quality time needed: 3 minutes


    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.



    Question number 18 in our School of Fitness.
    Obesity is no friend of any individuals longterm health. We all know that.
    But is cheering each other into obesity and being overweight also scientifically speaking, causing an increase in the risk of developing Alzheimer?.

  • Anthropocene: We have real global progress but also life diminishing quality for hundreds of million of people. Official UNICEF study.

    Quality time needed: 4 minutes


    Global progress.
    And diminishing lives.
    Life in the Anthropocene.



    In a world of global progress in a lot of important aspects, we can never close our eyes to the simple fact that hundreds of millions of people around this beautiful world are witnessing how their lives are becoming increasingly worse.
    quote:
    “In a time of rapid technological change leading to huge gains in living standards, it is perverse that hundreds of millions are seeing living standards actually decline, creating a sense of injustice among them and failure among those entrusted with their care,” “No wonder they feel their voices are unheard and their futures uncertain.”
    - Laurence Chandy, UNICEF Director of Data, Research, and Policy.

  • Black Friday 20% off: fine art for the living room walls by yours truly.

    Quality time needed: 3 minutes


    The art of living.
    Fine art for the living room walls by yours truly.
    Black Friday discount.



    You pick the size, the framing and whether you prefer the white margin or zero margins on your print and there you go, parcel on the way.
    Printing & shipping is handled by the Swedish fine art gallery Printler and they ship to all of Europe.
    And for Black Friday you´ll even get a 20% discount, valid until Monday 27 Nov.

  • 'At the bridge to Asgard, sprouts and roots grow the ever tree'. Here we live in the age of the Anthropocene.

    Quality time needed: 6 minutes


    sprouts and roots
    A healthy you, is a healthy world.
    Life in the Anthropocene.



    'At the bridge to Asgard, sprouts and roots grow the ever tree' through the gates of life and death, and the turning of the Midgard snake.
    We walk beneath a starry sky, weaved by light and dark and obscured shades our eyes can not see.

    We melt and turn the tides of time, as we spill the soil between our fingers.
    It drips back down to where it came from, all while the ants and worms grow unseen layers of brand new soil.

  • Fitness & Health: 'Health at a Glance' is a European health report covering obesity around Europe in 2017.

    Quality time needed: 7 minutes


    Health at a Glance
    A European health report 2017
    Fitness & Health.



    Health at a Glance is a European health report for 2017. And in it the United Kingdom is revealed to be Western Europes most obese nation.
    So, perhaps, fish and chips and beer just isnt the best of national food obsessions.
    Another important highlight that bounces right back at you is how obesity in the UK has increased by 92% since the 1990s ( it´s been increasing in every nation btw, but good ol England is leading the pack ).

    And since we also know by now that obesity & overweight is not just about a individual increase in body fat %, which would have been perfectly fine and all down to personal preferences in body composition and aesthetics, but instead is directly tied to a huge increase in several health issues, such as diabetes & cancer and severely decreased quality of life and longevity.

  • Anthropocene & the annual 'good country index' is back for its worldwide summary with the year 2017. And Scandinavia once again dominates.

    Quality time needed: 3 minutes


    Anthropocene
    the good country index 2017
    Life beyond 2028.



    Sweden once again dominates the good country index, sort of making it an annual business as usual reveal in other words.
    Sweden is followed closely by another Scandinavian country, namely Denmark, which, is no real surprise, the Nordic nations can be found at the top of the world, year after year, after year in a long range of beneficial, quality of life metrics and studies.

  • 9 million annual deaths due to worldwide pollution in air, soil, water. Life in the Anthropocene.

    Quality time needed: 4 minutes


    9 million
    annual deaths due to worldwide pollution
    The art of living.



    Every year the number of people that die prematurely due to worldwide pollution keep on increasing. And right now that pollution in water, soil, air, chemical or work-related pollution is already taking the life of 9 million people around the world.

    Let us think about that for one more second, every single year 9 million people end up dying prematurely due to the modern day pollution we all contribute to.

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