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2016-06-20

World Refugee Day: How Europe is (not) dealing with the world's refugees and migrants

Thousands of refugees queue for food in the Yarmouk camp, 2014.


Today is World Refugee Day, 2016.

Here are my thoughts on how Europe is (not) dealing with refugees:

1: We should help as many real refugees as possible. The best way to do that is to build new (and improve existing) camps and cities in unused areas in LOW-COST countries, and make sure that they have a decent quality of life while waiting to return to their countries.

Helping someone in e.g. Norway​ can cost 30-40 times more than in e.g. a country like Lebanon​. And we can only spend money once, so the rational choice is always to spend it where it's most effective.

So - by letting a refugee into Western Europe, we are effectively kicking dozens of other refugees in the face while telling them that "We picked out this ONE guy and we don't care at all about the rest of you."

Instead we should do the rational thing, namely to help as many people as we can. Therefore we can NOT not spend unfathomable amounts of money on the privileged refugees who have the health, money and possibility to get into Europe.

Because left in war-torn regions are those who are too poor, too sick or too afraid to go anywhere. And it's them we are now consciously and actively abandoning. It's obscene and beyond tragic.

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2: According to the UNHCR​ there are over 65 million refugees in the world.

Even though we want to, we can't help these in a long-term or sustainable way by disrupting an already heavily strained European economy and system by letting in millions of refugees. Most of them will cost the system a lot of money because they can't get jobs, either because of lack of skills or other factors.

For example the average Somalia​n immigrant in Norway costs over 1 million euro, while the average Romania​n immigrant will actually integrate well and contribute to our economy.

The rational thing to do is to support people in camps and cities in low-cost countries, so that we can help many more real refugees.

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3: We need to be able to send economic migrants back to their countries in a swift, effective and humane way. European countries must be able to screen and deny migrants access to help. Biometric identification should be introduced, so it will be easy to know if someone is using a fake identity. A clear signal must be sent out that migrants will not be let into Europe, and that trying to do so is useless.

It's completely understandable that everyone wants a better quality of life - but for every migrant we take in there are at least 25-30 real refugees who are not getting ANY help at all. It's irrational and inhumane to help migrants as long as real refugees are not getting the help they need.

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4: The UNHCR​ is chronically underfunded. Time and time again the agency asks for funding in order to better help the refugees they serve - and never receives enough.

It seems obvious to me that we must stop spending money on "expensive" refugees and migrants in western countries, and rather send as much of the aid as possible via UNHCR, which should be 100% funded at all times.

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5: Additionally, huge cultural problems arise when a strict, clan-based, undemocratic, patriarchic and highly religious mentality from many countries in Africa and the Middle East "clash" with our soft, progressive and almost atheist social democracies.

For example we have already seen e.g. tons of sexual assaults on women in western countries. And it will lead to many more, committed by migrants and refugees from cultures with a very different view on the fairer sex.

Also, a new phenomena in Europe are the mass sexual attacks that we've seen in recent years, sometimes referred to as "taharrush jamai". Female victims in Germany describe their experiences in this video, and it was originally seen in Islamic countries like Egypt.

As an example - after the New Years Eve sexual attacks in Cologne, authorities concluded that only four of the 153 suspects involved were German citizens. So 97% were foreigners, and almost half them (68 people) were asylum seekers. 47 people had an "unknown" visa status, plus an additional 18 who were in Germany illegally.


2016-06-16

Interesting links and texts from previous years on my Facebook: 8/6 - 16/6

(from 8/6 to 16/6)


"I can't understand why people are frightened by new ideas. I'm frightened by old ones."
- John Cage


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"Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others; it is the only means."
- Albert Einstein


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"The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself."
- Anna Quindlen


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"There are four principles of failure-proofing behavior. Think of these as insurance against the weaknesses of our common human nature:

1. Make it conscious.
2. Make it a game.
3. Make it competitive.
4. Make it small and temporary."

(Timothy Ferriss in "The 4-Hour Body" on how to change a bad habit)


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Here's a 45-minute seminar about how toxic our every day lives are, presented by Luke Storey for Neil Strauss' The Society: https://goo.gl/QGdE5P

I have no idea how much of this is actually valid - but if only 20% is something to be concerned about, maybe it can help people who are affected by some of the phenomena he's talking about.
Anyway, watch it if you are worried about things like e.g. chemicals in your food, water and other products.


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"When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging."
- Will Rogers


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Michael Josephson has this nice text about creating a "me file", to celebrate your own triumphs:

"During a dinner with friends I mentioned an e-mail I'd received from a 13-year-old thanking me for the way my commentaries had influenced his life. I was clearly proud of the note, and Sally Kinnamon said I should save this and other affirming mementos and put them in a 'Me File'.

At first I thought she was being sarcastic, but she assured me she was quite serious. Sally came upon the idea while training in-home nurses who often work in isolated conditions with little or no affirmative feedback.

She gave each nurse an empty folder labeled 'Me' and instructed them to put every form of grateful or complimentary feedback into the file, including cards, notes, letters, and positive performance reviews. She said that this folder should be taken out and read whenever any of them felt unappreciated or questioned the value of their work.

Sally acknowledged that most of the nurses were initially reluctant, fearing it was too self-indulgent, egotistical, or just plain silly, but she explained that it's not a bragging file to show others how good we are. Rather, it's a private collection evidencing the large and small triumphs that give us psychic gratification and reconnect us with the best reasons we do what we do. Eventually, she said, most of the nurses came to use and draw great comfort and encouragement from their 'Me Files'.

What a terrific idea! You ought to start a 'Me File' for yourself and put in it anything that validates what you do at work or home.

The next step, of course, is to be sure you're spending time doing the kinds of things that will fill your 'Me File'."


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I recommend seeing this interesting pseudo-documentary from 2008, about a near future (2032) where all countries except USA have introduced rations on the use of food, travel and energy.

Watch "1-1-1", directed by Ole Bernt Frøshaug and Torbjørn Morvik for Tellus Works and Visions: https://goo.gl/4NlSNK

I predict that we must very soon introduce something similar to save (what's left of) the planet, and Norway should with our renewable energy resources be one of the leading countries for such a policy.


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"Light cannot enter darkness when a mind believes in darkness, and will not let it go. Truth does not struggle against ignorance, and love does not attack fear. What needs no protection does not defend itself."
- Helen Schucman in "A Course In Miracles"


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I'm calling my Indonesian mobile provider to order unlimited Internet for my iPhone. I press 1 for English. First operator: "Sorry sir, me no English very good speak." I ask to speak to someone else, but she doesn't understand the question. I hang up, call again, press 1. Same thing again with the next operator. I call back a third time and get someone who speaks a LITTLE bit better English, and get it done.

By the way, of course I should learn Indonesian, I'm not complaining that they don't speak English. I just found it funny that the menu states "Press 1 for English", and even then they don't. :)


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Wow, they have free wifi at the official immigration office here in Bali. That's either a) good service, or b) justified compensation for the loooong waiting times.


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"When I hear somebody sigh, 'Life is hard,' I am always tempted to ask, 'Compared to what?'"
- Sydney J. Harris


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"Are You a Worthwhile Investment?" asks Steve Pavlina in a good new essay, reprinted on my blog: http://goo.gl/CaGtX

Read it and understand more about the mechanics of exactly why people invest time/energy/money, and what you can do to become (more) investment worthy.


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"Four short words sum up what has lifted most successful individuals above the crowd: a little bit more. They did all that was expected of them and a little bit more."
- Andrew Lou Vickery (baseball player)


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"Most people want security in this world, not liberty."
- Henry Louis Mencken


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Top 12 signs it's time to move on from a relationship: https://goo.gl/kvoS1H


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Really good and funny TED talk with researcher and analyst Elizabeth Pisani, showing informative stats about why HIV and AIDS keeps spreading - and why it's very important to use your vote properly: http://goo.gl/VDxCl

The high-risk groups such as sex workers need good sexual and reproductive health services, junkies need fresh needles. "Everyone has a duty to demand of their politicians that we make policy based on scientific evidence and on common sense."


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"After the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box."
- Italian proverb


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You know you're a pop whore when you:
a) take 20 minutes to read on Wikipedia about unreleased songs by Madonna, and then
b) lament the sad fact that both Nile Rodgers' remix of "Like A Virgin" and Hank Shocklee's remix of "Cherish" were never released anywhere.

I would love to hear those!


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"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool."
- Richard P. Feynman, physicist


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To my home country Norway, PLEASE tell Saudi Arabia that their cruel Wahhabism is unacceptable.

Beg United Nations to kick the state off its UN Human Rights Council. Expel the Saudi ambassador and boycott their country.

Use the only weapon these barbaric countries respect - money.


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The Sneeze - ultra slow motion captures of people sneezing. Exceptionally cool footage: https://goo.gl/6cyuOO

"Imagine what will happen when the porn industry finds out about this." This is a new campaign by the Australian authorities to prevent the spreading of flu. More info here and higher quality download versions: http://goo.gl/h5K8jr


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Mediehuset 5080 er en dvask norsk kopi av The Onion, og elsker å gjøre narr av Fremskrittspartiet: http://goo.gl/vZdCEy

Problemet er at statsfinansierte NRK samarbeider med 5080 og gir dem penger. NRK-journalister stemmer også generelt mot venstre og på Miljøpartiet De Grønne. Dette gjenspeiles i at det stort sett er høyresiden som kritiseres mest og harseleres mest med i NRK, mens venstresiden slipper unna mye billigere.

Men til slutt kan det hende at mange nok føler at NRK ler av dem eller urettferdig kritiserer partiet de stemmer på, og da kan grunnlaget for NRK-lisensen falle bort.

Bare en vennlig advarsel fra en MDG-velger.


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The coolest concept I've seen in a long time - check out the very short "The Struggle: A Man Facing Addiction", by Filmingo Films. Addiction of the good kind: http://goo.gl/2kKxb


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Very good article about the disastrous and suicidal consequences of "multiculturalism" for Europe.
Even if you truly believe in a colourful and peaceful unity of all people and religions, please look at these points Paul Weston makes: http://bit.ly/jqXBhB

I agree with point 1 to 21 (from 22 to 30 he goes off a bit), they are crystal clear and cannot be misunderstood. This should be mandatory reading for all politicians in Europe, especially social democrats.

SOME EXCERPTS:
* White Europeans are making up only fifteen percent of the worlds population, and declining. By 2025 that number will be only six percent.
* Europeans in Saudi Arabia can be flogged for practicing Christianity whilst Saudi money is financing thousands of radical mosques throughout Europe.
* Multiculturalism brings with it an increase in violent crime committed at a ratio vastly out of proportion to the ethnic numbers.
* Multiculturalism, if history repeats itself, will lead to a probable rather than a possible civil war.
* Multiculturalism promotes a brain drain from Western nations. One in two native Brits would emigrate if financially able to do so. Young, middle class professionals with children are bailing out of Europe in unprecedented droves.
* Multiculturalism has bought the British National Health Service to its knees. It is unsurprising that immigrants move heaven and earth to bring themselves and their families to Britain to benefit from free medical aid.


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"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


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Check out this really nice 5-minute video from Bucharest in Romania, which shows some of the really nice parts of the city. "Fifty People One Question": http://goo.gl/y2977


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Bad joke of the week:
"Polish football fans have been officially warned that if they cause any more trouble during Euro 2012 they will be deported back to the UK."


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Amazing clip of an absolutely breathtaking catch of a thrown beer cup, by lead singer David Achter de Molen of John Coffey: https://goo.gl/C1NlS7

Shot during their concert at Pinkpop Festival.


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God kommentar i Aftenbladet av Sven Egil Omdal om hvorfor vi som nordmenn har minimal innflytelse over utvelgelsen av personene som skal styre oss, og hvordan Jonas Gahr Støre kommer til å bli den neste statsministeren: http://goo.gl/jgHziW


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Cool pictures from liberal Afghanistan in the 50's, before war and religion brought it down. Kinda like Iran before the 80's. Photos: http://goo.gl/eSbVU


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If you haven't seen it yet, check out this extremely funny trailer for a faux film called "The Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon". 10 minutes of fantastic horror film spoofing: http://goo.gl/GYNgJ


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"Everything popular is wrong."
- Oscar Wilde in "The Importance Of Being Earnest"


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The world's five most dangerous countries for women: Afghanistan, Congo, Pakistan, India and Somalia: http://bit.ly/kQe0E9

These are all strongly religious countries - four of them are Muslim. Religion never ever promotes rights for women, especially not Islam.


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"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."


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Funny things:
* Hillary Clinton airbrushed out of historic photo by Hasidic newspaper - they don't print pictures of women: http://j.mp/lklxgj
* Same picture - now everyone is a superhero: http://j.mp/jp9JZM
* Sex offender died of a suspected heart attack while raping a 77-year-old woman: http://j.mp/j6PHfD
* Man attempts rape in Bangladesh - she cuts off his penis and brings it to the police: http://j.mp/jnca5V


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If you ever wanna commit suicide, please don't.

But if you absolutely have to, at least donate your organs to hospitals and your body to science.

Or go to the Korowai people of Papua, Indonesia and tell them something like "silahkan membunuh saya dan makan aku", which means "please kill me and eat me" - they are supposed to be the last living tribe to practice ritual cannibalism.

2016-06-07

Interesting links and texts from previous years on my Facebook: 23/5 - 7/6

(from 23/5 to 7/6)


"True love doesn't mean that things are easy - it just means the struggle is worthwhile."


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"Friends are the family we choose for ourselves."
- Edna Buchanan


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"The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas."
- Linus Pauling (chemist, peace activist and author, 1901-1994)


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"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."
- Theodor Seuss Geisel


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"Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don't learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us.

Cynics always say no. But saying 'yes' begins things. Saying 'yes' is how things grow. Saying 'yes' leads to knowledge. 'Yes' is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say 'yes.'"

(Stephen Colbert in his commencement address at Knox College, 2006.)


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"You can learn more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
- Plato

The complete quote is supposed to be:
"If you would read a man’s disposition, see him game; you will then learn more of him in one hour, than in seven years conversation."

(From: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Plato)


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Please don't eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken. Not only are they literally torturing chickens (http://goo.gl/QlqgA), they are also using packaging made from endangered Indonesian rainforest.

This is making life harder and harder for e.g. Sumatran tigers (http://goo.gl/RbevF).


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Seth Meyers in "Weekend Update" on Saturday Night Live S36E20:
- "After Obama decided not to release pictures of Bin Laden's dead body, conspiracy theories are surfacing claiming that Bin Laden is not really dead. Which means Barack Obama will go down in history as the first black person ever to have to prove that he killed someone."


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"Really, Greece, you have to get together. You're in crippling debt, and you don't want to make spending cuts? Really? Where do you think your money's gonna come from - royalties for inventing civilization?"
- Seth Meyers in the "REALLY!?!" segment on Weekend Update/SNL (S35E21)

Always funny! This time with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey!


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Sony Music Norway - when are you going to release a "Best Of Velvet Belly"? And/or make a remix compilation? Or even a "Everything By" compilation featuring all albums, all singles, unreleased stuff plus demos?

But please, no commercial remixes, just quality electronica people on the remix. They were such a good band, they deserve quality and respect.


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Veganism Is The Future gives you top 10 sources of vegetarian protein: https://goo.gl/6Bt8Yt


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"Isn't it incredible how we create our own mental walls?"
- Brent Smith


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Nice article in The Guardian about why Kate Bush never toured again after 1979: http://bit.ly/iOttIW

Plus a bootleg double-CD in FLAC from her first and only tour: http://bit.ly/lWS3CJ


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I just noticed a new trend in house music.

They:
1) Try to make actual songs with (often filtered) vocals
2) Use grand piano in minor chords to emulate the seriousness of e.g. Sam Smith and James Blake (to appeal to the wanna-be hipsters)
3) Add arpeggiated synths, a staccato bassline, dull drums and bland percussion

But of course - most producers don't know how to write good songs, so even with vocals these attempts become just more monotonic genre exercises.

Case in point - Marc Narrow's "L.O.V.E.":
https://goo.gl/qebeZ6


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So you're fat, forty and finished? Maybe not.

James Altucher has a short article on how to find success late in life, with a dozen examples of famous people who started their careers when they were over 40, 50, 60 or even 70 years old:
https://goo.gl/BdoFHt


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On last week's season finale of Saturday Night Live, the host Andy Samberg and Lil Jon continued the SNL Digital Shorts with this fantastic parody on Avicii: http://goo.gl/bZgJvy

It shows how the current idolatry of commercial DJ's has nothing to do with real music, and how little the fans know about the actual craft of DJ'ing. Watch it!


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"Be responsible for the energy you bring."


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"The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it."
- Harry Emerson Fosdick (pastor, 1878-1969)


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These animated GIFs at The Atlantic show how humans are (negatively) changing the planet: http://goo.gl/qUTA4

We all have to ask ourselves - how can we reduce our environmental footprint in our everyday lives?


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"I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people… I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out."


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Very long and thorough interview in The Fix with Courtney Love about her life of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll: http://bit.ly/kYq8SV


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The United Arab Emirates are slave states that abuse millions of migrant workers and have no regard for human rights. Now Qatar refuses to let Nepalese workers go home to attend the funerals of their loved ones after the quake. The Guardian: http://goo.gl/ZxPHRG

So - boycott UAE:
* Don't visit them
* Don't fly their airlines
* Don't recommend them to others

Stop glorifying "exotic" metropoles like Dubai and Doha. It's easy to find alternative shopping and vacation locations where slavery isn't alive and well.


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Really good TED talk about how men are primarily the ones being violent and abusive. Not just towards women, but also to other men as well as boys and girl: http://goo.gl/qbpTy

Jackson Katz then shows the way out of the current situation - by having more men actively challenge the attitudes of other men, plus having institutions such as the military, schools, universities and sports organizations put in place systems to prevent these attitudes from developing.


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"If you don't fight for what you want, don't cry for what you lose."


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Autistic artist Stephen Wiltshire​ draws New York from memory, after a 20-minute helicopter flight: http://goo.gl/bt0h1d


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The tobacco companies must be proud - it appears that almost every man, woman and child in Bali is smoking everywhere, all the time. And even better, it seems they genuinely don't know how harmful smoking is to their health.

Good job, "Big Tobacco"! Should I buy shares?


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"Never look down on someone unless you're helping them up."


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"To understand your fear is the beginning of really seeing."
- Bruce Lee


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And here is some more proof that whatever you do to help others, there will always be someone criticizing you for it;

I got a very angry message to my YouTube inbox - because a TV show I uploaded about racism attracted too many borderline racist comments, so I decided to just disable the comments section for that video: http://goo.gl/JftaO5

So this is what the user "Fenix" (http://goo.gl/QB7Dw9) wrote to me:
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"As soon as I saw the comments disabled I knew you are a worthless piece of nothingness.
Fuck you and your junk videos.
You should be banned from YouTube.
Please do not reply, I have no interest in what you have to babble on about.
Capiche?"

Note that I've uploaded over 800 clips, all of them in high quality and most of it rare music that's very hard to find anywhere else. I guess this guy doesn't seem to appreciate that. :)


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"A simple hello could lead to a million things."


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This week Instagram blocked Scout LaRue Willis' account because she posted a topless photo of some models.

She fought back by starting a ‪#‎FreeTheNipple‬ campaign, posting topless pictures on Twitter of herself walking around New York City: http://goo.gl/PSbhY6

Scout is the daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore - who have both done a lot of film nudity. So it's safe to assume she has a healthy relationship with her body - much healthier than most of the mass media in the United States, where so much is censored. Sometimes even male nipples!


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"If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much."
- Jim Rohn


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Some really good and rare radio and video interviews with Vangelis: http://bit.ly/l81TKz