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Eupraxsophy

Secular humanist, freethinker, progressive, and bibliophile. I enjoy love, knowledge, and life itself.

This is Ashol-Pan, a 13-year-old Kazakh eagle huntress living in the rugged Altai Mountains of…

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This is Ashol-Pan, a 13-year-old Kazakh eagle huntress living in the rugged Altai Mountains of western Mongolia. The daughter of a famous hunter, she’s one of only 400 practicing eagle hunters, and the only known female to ever partake in the tradition in its 2,000-year history.

The Kazakhs of the Altai mountains are the only people that hunt with golden eagles, which are taken from nests…

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The World’s Billionaire Cities

Right off the heel of my last post about the world’s poorest denizens, comes sobering article from PolicyMic that highlights the stark reality of global wealth inequality. It identifies the world’s most popular cities for billionaires, based on a recent report from Forbes.

Moscow remains the billionaire capital of the world, with 84 of the world’s richest people, together worth a total of over…

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Portraits of People Living on a Dollar a Day

Portraits of People Living on a Dollar a Day

As a lifelong citizen in a well-off part of a wealthy country (the U.S.), I’m doubly insulated from the miserable circumstances that are the norm for most of my fellow humans. Around 17 percent of the world’s population — that’s one out of six people — live on a dollar or less a day, lacking any stable source of food, medical care, housing, and other basic needs.

Not only do more than a billion…

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Study Finds Government Influenced By Mostly Wealthy Interests

Think Progress reports on new research that won’t surprise anyone but helps confirm a troubling trend: the policies and actions of the U.S. government overwhelmingly align with the preferences of wealthy citizens and well-moneyed interest groups.

“That’s according to a forthcoming article in Perspectives on Politics by Martin Gilens of Princeton University and Benjamin I. Page of Northwestern…

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The Bootstraps Myth

From Melissa McEwan of the blog Shakesville:

The Myth of Bootstraps goes something like this: I never got any help from anyone. I achieved my American Dream all on my own, through hard work. I got an education, I saved my money, I worked hard, I took risks, and I never complained or blamed anyone else when I failed, and every time I fell, I picked myself up by my bootstraps and just worked even…

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Google Doodle Honors Pioneering Black Chemist Percy Julian

Google Doodle Honors Pioneering Black Chemist Percy Julian

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Eupraxsophy:

Remembering an unsung hero of science and medicine, who despite the challenges of racism and segregation, secured over 100 patents and 19 honorary doctorates for his groundbreaking work.

Originally posted on TIME:

Today’s Google Doodlehonors what would have been the 115th birthday of Percy Lavon Julian, a pioneering chemist who overcame the obstacles of segregation to ascend to…

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The Way We Treat Children

The Way We Treat Children

If my perceptions are correct, there seems to be a growing sentiment (perhaps typical of each older generation) that today’s youth are needlessly and excessively coddled and “wussified” (to use the kinder terminology). But the apparently prevailing notion that kids nowadays are excessively spoiled is actually dangerously overstated, according to a recent article in AlterNet by Paul L. Thomas, a…

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Gratitude Is the New Willpower

Gratitude Is the New Willpower

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Harvard Business Review:

A fascinating study that shows another benefit to being grateful for one’s good fortune: restraint and willpower.

Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:

Patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to building capital. But as with most virtues, it’s not always easy to muster, since it usually requires resisting temptations for gratification on…

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The James Bond of Philanthropy

The James Bond of Philanthropy

In my view, with great wealth comes great responsibility. It gives you the capacity to do tremendous good or harm in the world, far more than the overwhelming majority of fellow humans. A little-known Irish-American businessman named Chuck Feeney exemplifies the incredible moral potential that the world’s richest can exercise if they so choose. Forbes did a piece on this amazing philanthropist in…

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20 Stunning Japanese Gardens Around the World

20 Stunning Japanese Gardens Around the World

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Eupraxsophy:

I hope to create my own Japanese-style garden someday.

Originally posted on TwistedSifter:


Honbo Garden – Osaka, Japan | Photograph by 63highland

Japanese Gardens can be found at private homes, in neighborhood or city parks, and at historical landmarks such as Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines and old castles around the world. In Japanese culture, garden-making is a high art,…

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Could You Forgive Your Attempted Murderer?

Could You Forgive Your Attempted Murderer?

Confronting the guilt of one’s past actions — especially if they were something heinous like rape or murder — takes an incredible amount of strength and humanity, the latter of which most would assume to be absent given your deeds. The ability to forgive someone who has transgressed against you so horribly is equally difficult and courageous.

In Rwanda, the site of one of the world’s most…

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The Top 10 Places to Be an Artist

It’s not easy being an artist. Most of those who try to make a living from their creative pursuits either never pull it off, or just barely squeak by (ultimately requiring supplemental income from a different job altogether). But depending on where you live, you might have an easier time dedicating yourself fully to your craft without sacrificing your standard of living. Consider the following te…

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Reason, Empathy, and Human Progress: A Dialogue

Reason, Empathy, and Human Progress: A Dialogue

TED Talk has a great 15-minute animation of a conversation between psychologist Steven Pinker and philosopher Rebecca Newberger Goldstein regarding the role of reason and empathy in bettering our species overall (the ending of slavery, alleviation of poverty, etc). Done in the spirit of an illuminating and investigative Socratic method, it’s a very stimulating conversation.

Do you agree with…

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Twenty Excellent Photos By Anja Niedringhaus

Twenty Excellent Photos By Anja Niedringhaus

To honor courageous and talented photojournalist Anja Niedringhaus — who was recently killed while covering the lead up of Afghanistan’s presidential elections – The Guardian has gathered 20 of her greatest photos. I strongly recommend giving them a look. The world has truly lost one of its finest photographers.

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This is going to be the first of many posts that highlight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, cultural and natural landmarks that are identified for their incredible value for humanity. 

The Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras — which span five sites — was the first property to be included in the cultural landscape category of the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995.
Built 2,000 years ago and passed on from generation to generation, the Ifugao Rice Terraces are a marvel of engineering, built on steeper slopes and reaching a higher altitude than most other terraces. The terrace pond fields were created using stone or mud walls, and were carved carefully to follow the natural contours of the hills and mountains. They’re irrigated through an intricate system that harvests water from the forests of the mountain tops. The rice terraces are incorporated almost seamlessly into nature.

The maintenance of these living rice terraces require a cooperative approach among the entire community. They rely on detailed knowledge of the rich diversity of biological resources existing in the Ifugao ecosystem, a finely tuned annual system respecting lunar cycles, meticulous zoning and planning, extensive soil conservation, and mastery of a complex pest control based on the careful processing of a variety of herbs, all accompanied by religious rituals.

Archaeological evidence reveals that these techniques have been used in the region virtually unchanged for 2,000 years. Because they illustrate the persistence of cultural traditions and remarkable continuity and endurance, they were included in a list reserved for sites of profound global importance to humanity — rightfully so, in my opinion.

The Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras This is going to be the first of many posts that highlight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, cultural and natural landmarks that are identified for their incredible value for humanity.