According to Malagasy belief, people are not made from mud, but from the bodies of the ancestors. Hence they hold their forefathers in high regard. They also believe that unless the bodies decompose completely, the dead do not leave permanently and are able to communicate with the living. So until they are gone forever, love and affection is showered on them through the Famadihana festival. Famadihana, also known as ‘turning of the bones’ is a festival celebrated every 2 to 7 years. The main motive behind the festival originated from the belief of the local people that the dead return to God and are again reborn. Dead people are highly respected in the local communities as they are considered to be directly related to God. It is interesting to note that the festival is not an ancient practice of Madagascar. Its origins cannot be traced beyond the seventeenth century.
Oymyakon is a small village located in the north-eastern Russian Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). It is commonly considered the coldest populated place on Earth. Situated in the heart of Siberia an area nicknamed "Stalin's Death Ring" (a former destination for political exiles), Oymyakon boasts an average winter temperature of -45C, with a one-time world record low of -71.2C. Ironically, Oymyakon means "non-freezing water", situated as it is to a nearby hot spring.
Before the 1920s and 30s, Oymyakon was a seasonal stop for reindeer herders. But the Soviet government, in its efforts to settle nomadic populations, claiming they were difficult to control and technologically and culturally backward, made the site a permanent settlement. Today, the village is home to some 500 people, and until recently had a single hotel with no hot water and outside toilet. While a flurry of snow in Western Europe can cause schools there to close for days, Oymyakon's solitary school shuts only when temperatures fall below –52C.
I recently graduated college, so I haven’t really thought about stress in a while. I just haven’t been in very stressful situations. The end of senior year, however, can be quite stressful. It’s difficult to get everything together to make sure you graduate. While I consider myself generally anxious, I do things to keep my stress and anxiety levels low. I believe meditation is a great tool to clear the mind and promote healthy thinking. Many people do not realize that you can do non-religious meditation, and are closed-minded towards it.
Sleep is an obvious means to keep stress in check. I try to get 8 hours every night, which is way above average amongst my friends. I know lots of people who think ‘all-nighters’ are a good idea, but honestly there has to be a point where the lack of sleep overtakes the additional study time. [Via]
Real-life mermaid swims with whales using very own fish tail - and holds breath for two minutes on deep sea dives
- Hannah, 36, was inspired to make first tail after watching Daryl Hannah in mermaid film Splash
- Underwater swimmer Hannah Fraser has been fascinated with mermaids since she was three years old.Hannah, 36, an Australian who now lives in LA, made her first mermaid tail at the age of nine, after seeing the film Splash with Daryl Hannah.Now she works as a model, actress and performer, swimming with whales, dolphins, stingrays and even sharks.Stunning: Photographer Ted Grambeau captured beautiful photographs of 36-year-old Hannah Fraser swimming with whales in the wild to promote their conservation