Amidst Crystalline Fields

I find something intangibly perfect and serene when it snows at night. Humans and animals are scarce and few sounds are audible. A snowy night seems a bit more silent than most nights.

One can imagine the scene now:

The forecast has proven true and clouds loom overhead. One dresses warm, but not too warm, for one ought to embrace the cold. The door swings open, a portal into another realm. A thin coating has started to accumulate on vehicles, homes, and flora. The street lamps dangle over the blanketed pavement, yellow and white light illuminating the world. Everything seems a bit brighter. Oh, physics.

The thin coating is undisturbed, pristine and immaculate awaiting fresh prints. The first step is always crisp as snow is compressed underfoot. Sound seems to travel a bit farther and the silence that often follows seems more deafening than usual. And in that instance one perceives the world a bit differently.

First, loneliness. Not another creature seems to occupy the street one now traverses. And second, peace. One may have never experienced such a stillness before. It seems like the earth has stopped rotating and time has halted. Time only seems to move because snow flakes steadily drift towards the earth, joining their brethren whom rest below. Perhaps this moment could last forever.

Perfect. It is all perfect

Want to be happy? Slow down

In 1972, Matthieu Ricard had a promising career in biochemistry, trying to figure out the secrets of E. coli bacteria. A chance encounter with Buddhism led to an about turn, and Ricard has spent the past 40+ years living in the Himalayas, studying mindfulness and happiness. In this free-wheeling discussion at TED Global in October 2014, Ricard talked with journalist and writer Pico Iyer about some of the things they’ve learned over the years, not least the importance of being conscious about mental health and how to spend time meaningfully. An edited version of the conversation, moderated by TED Radio Hour host Guy Raz, follows. First, Pico Iyer on how he became taken with the idea of staying still:

Guy Raz (left), Pico Iyer (center), and Matthieu Ricard (right) discuss mindfulness and the importance of being still at TED Global 2014 . Photo by Duncan Davidson/TED. Guy Raz (left), Pico Iyer (center), and Matthieu Ricard (right) discuss mindfulness and the importance of being still at TED Global 2014 . Photo by Duncan Davidson/TED.

Pico Iyer: When I was in my twenties, I had this…

View original post 3,181 more words

40 brilliant idioms that simply can’t be translated literally

TED Blog

Tomato_Eyes What does it mean to “have tomatoes on your eyes?” Find out below…

By Helene Batt and Kate Torgovnick May

It’s a piece of cake. You can’t put lipstick on a pig. Why add fuel to the fire? Idioms are those phrases that mean more than the sum of their words. As our Open Translation Project volunteers translate TED Talks into 105 languages, they’re often challenged to translate English idioms into their language. Which made us wonder: what are their favorite idioms in their own tongue?

Below, we asked translators to share their favorite idioms and how they would translate literally. The results are laugh-out-loud funny.

From German translator Johanna Pichler:

The idiom: Tomaten auf den Augen haben.
Literal translation: “You have tomatoes on your eyes.”
What it means: “You are not seeing what everyone else can see. It refers to real objects, though — not abstract meanings.”

View original post 1,629 more words

Freedom of Speech – Remember Charlie