The Saga Of “Vader”!

“I find your lack of faith disturbing…”, said Darth Vader to Admiral Motti of the Galactic Empire. You don’t mess with a Dark Lord of the Sith, people. You just don’t.

For years I wondered if German and Dutch speakers understood the Luke Skywalker/Darth Vader connection before anyone else. As it turns out – they didn’t. Darth Vader does NOT mean “Dark Father” in either one of those languages.

George “The Chosen One” Lucas himself had spread rumors insinuating that he had known of that connection all along and had planted seeds from the get go, but the truth is that in early version of Episode IV and V, Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker were two separate characters.star wars 3

Also, the German and Dutch words for Dark Father are pretty far apart from that, and while ‘father’ in Dutch is spelled ‘vader’, it not pronounced that way. It is closer to VAH-der, not VAY-der. So, thankfully, nobody had any spoilers. And speaking of that, could you imagine what kind of mayhem would have ensued if that sort of a reveal was attempted today? The studios tried to do it with the ending of The Sixth Sense, and were actually successful. I still don’t know how they pulled that off. There is always the fear that leaks or faulty editing would give too much away, but they managed to do it quite well. Sixth Sense’s ending is still considered one of the best twists in modern cinema, and that says something.

Robert McKee says you need to wow them at the end. If you wow them at the end, you have yourself a hit. This doesn’t mean you can leave your audience hanging for 90-odd minutes. You need to be able to conjure up some kind of a story either way, and be able to allow the viewer to fill in the gaps. Those gaps may or may not be correct. That is where clever writing and editing are your best friends.Star wars 4

Do your job right, and let the audience unconsciously fill in the rest. There is a lot that the audience does, and they are not even aware that they are doing it. This is part of the magic of good storytelling and the power of the screen. In Star Wars, there was a wonderful reveal which is still revered and spoofed and pondered over, so many years after its release. Good storytelling.

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“Tea Tree Or Not Tea Tree”

Tea Tree, Melaleuca alternifolia Foster Purchased 2011

“Tea Tree or not Tea Tree” that is the question. I am an avid health junkie. I have tried
everything from Sweat Lodges to Colonic Irrigations and everything in between! I spent at least
six months of my life being Vegan. I remember juicing every day – mind you I was living in
Australia at the time and so I was constantly living in the Sun (Vitamin D) – so that most certainly
contributed to feeling fantastic – or “awesome” as the Aussies would have me say! So yeah, I
was juicing every day, living under the warm Aussie sun (with caution), residing close to the sea,
trying out new natural essential oils and essential oil based Shampoos and Conditioners. I
remember one of my faves was a Tea Tree oil Shampoo and Conditioner that I would often buy
in a health food shop in Byron Bay. Oh my, this place was a haven anyhow but they seriously had
the best oils a girl could find. I would experiment (safely of course) with making new kinds of
body oils and creams for myself and basically glide around Byron smelling and feeling like a
walking flower!
Tea Tree I must say saved me on many occasions. The natural oil itself has so many benefits
including helping to aid and heal; acne and small pimples, bacterial infections, cold sores, ear-
aches, fungal infections, psoriasis, dry cuticles, itchy insect bites, boils and more! It’s an
incredible oil and one I try not to leave home without.


A typical day for me in the land of the Australians would be, wake up in my really nice hostel
dorm room and my bed of course. Go downstairs and have a good breakfast; anything from
smoothies with all kinds of greens and herbs and well just good stuff to yummy scrummy
porridge and other wondrous breakfast treats. I would then hang out with a few people and laze
around talking about anything from love and peace to the wings of politics to shared stories and
tales of love and loss and sharing in our dreams and travel plans – ahh those were the days!
Anyway! I would then possibly attend a few classes like Didgeridoo making or some form or art
or a yoga class. I would then venture into town and pick up some goodies along the way for my
seaside picnic and I would either head to the beach and then on the way back hit the health
store for my daily fix on new health products and books and oils and body creams and and
and…. I don’t think I have ever been as healthy as that. I really was living like a queen for a year
of my life.

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I would finish the day after a day on sand and sea by going back to the incredible hostel full of
lovely people from all over the world where it actually felt more like a community with people
coming and going of course. I would meet up with my new found buddies, maybe catch a movie
in the cinema house they had next door (with lie down seats by the way) – i.e. you could lounge
and watch in the latest of movies from the newest in Hollywood to the artiest of art house
movies. We’d maybe all go out for dinner after or catch a hot chai! Man oh man, those really
were the days and the days that brought a smile to my face greater than the tallest of
mountains.

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essential oils 4 Looking for a nice gift for someone who is close to you, which can also be a great gift for you? A set of essential oils, along with a scented body oil which can act as a carrier. This will guarantee these get used, and there is nothing like a nice massage on your day off.

You know those feelings when you wake up in the late morning on a holiday, and you just snuggle in bed for hours? That is precisely the time where a massage with essential oils can be perfect. It feels great, it smells great, and it can open up the senses and invite a lot more into the morning. Some essential oils are highly invigorating, and if you know your partner well, you will be able to make the most of them. Oils like peppermint, orange, or lemon, these are ones which can do a lot. And combined with a good carrier oil, it can form a seductive and enticing duo.essential oils 3

Essential oils are good, because it is a gift you actually use. And it is not something cold and technical, like a gadget. Yeah yeah, gadgets and other stuff, they are cool and they have their place. But this is more of an intimate sort of gift. Not for everyone. But if you know your partner, and you think they will appreciate it, you will be able to spend a lot of fun times with this single gift. And along with a thoughtful card, or flowers, or candy, or all of the above – it makes for a great gift. And it doesn’t even have to be THE gift. It can be an addition. Either way, it works. It is a gift you both can enjoy and take part in. It is a gift for one, made for two.

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Bed Head Recovery

bed head wax Hey, let me tell you – they don’t call it ‘recovery’ for nothing. This duo of Bed Head products by Tigi (love that name, by the way!) is aimed at getting hair back on track. We live in a world which contains many elements, and thanks to the industrial revolution and other factors, many of the potentially-harmful elements are in the air! Huzzah!

Well, not to sound too preachy or whiny or characteristically ungrateful, but it is true. There is too much pollution, too much waste everywhere, and our hair suffers from it. Not to mention the rest of us, right? But at this time, let’s discuss the hairy side of things. There is a lot more to the environment than meets the eye.

This Tigi Bed Head shampoo and conditioner was reviewed by Maple Holistics, and I tend to agree with what they were saying. It cleanses, but doesn’t do anything too extreme. It is a mild cleanser, and it doesn’t claim to be anything but that. It is best to use the two as a duo, as a set, but it is not a must by any means. Even just the shampoo is good enough to get your hair feeling better, cleaner, smoother, and more vital. Which in turn helps you feel better, cleaner, smoother, and more vital!frizzy hair

It is not by accident that sometimes you wake up with a bad hair day. Hair has a lot of meaning, and it is not just a superficial thing. There is a reason why evolution chose to let us keep the hair on our heads, after all. We are one of the only hairless mammals out there, and yet we have a bunch of it on our heads, of all places. Not a given situation at all, especially if you take a closer look at other species.

Okay, now we come to one of my favorite things about this shampoo and conditioner duo – the scent. I absolutely love the smell of these products, and it is one of the best things about them. It is a scent that lingers, and even though fragrances are a highly subjective and personal issue, just about everyone agrees with me on this – my hair smells awesome. As we all know, scent plays a big role in human interaction. Is it as big as in a dog’s world? Of course not. But still, scent haTIGI-Bed-head-Urban-Anti-Dotes-Re-Energize-Conditioners a place in our hearts, whether we care to admit it or not.

Tigi, the company, has been around for some time. They have a variety of products, including waxes – not a fan, btw…

You don’t have to use these on a regular basis, either. I mean, yes, they are considered to be aimed at creating a kind of routine – the shampoo on a daily, etc. – but even an occasional use can bring about some benefits. The ingredients are ones which cleanse but don’t leave your scalp devoid of its natural properties. Obviously, this also changes depending on what products you use already, and on your genetics.

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Grammarly For Our Education

 

edu-grammarlyEducation is the thing that stands between childhood and adulthood, and I don’t mean this in the way that you probably think that I mean it. What I mean is, what separates the men from the boys is the level of their education. There are fully grown children who know absolutely nothing about the world around them, and very young men who could school these adults. This is the purpose of school, to teach people not only knowledge, but how to process this knowledge as well. And honestly, I think it is the latter of these two that is the more important thing to learn. It’s all well and good if you can remember the Pythagorean theorem, but it’s better if you can learn how to critically think so you can know when applying the Pythagorean theorem will help.

Another thing you learn in school, is how to speak English properly. Or at least that’s the idea, in some places it looks like that really isn’t the case anymore. Aside from those outliers though, the English language is taught in school, and mandatory writing makes it so people will actually be able to get some practice in. However, there are some people who think they can coast by without ever writing, and they might be right while they’re in school, but once they leave, they realize they’re solely mistaken. But they’re not out of luck, this is where spelling and grammar checkers come in. Especially with high quality ones like Grammarly and WhiteSmoke, which have a couple of extra features that make them especially worthwhile. Grammarly which is reviewed on Edumuch has one of the best grammar checkers, checking for over 250 grammar rules, and even looking over your text for styling errors, which is something that not every person even knows about. But the real draw, for me at least, to Grammarly (and also WhiteSmoke) is how it goes about correcting your work. It doesn’t just make the corrections and that’s it, no it goes the extra mile. Instead of simply listing the suggested corrections, it tells you why they’re suggesting that specific correction, so you can actually learn from your mistakes. Which makes it a nice way to teach those people who coasted in high school how to fix their mistakes.use-grammarly

Grammarly is a paid application though, but I really do think that Grammarly is worth the money that you’d be spending on it, just so that you can improve on grammar and spelling. Even if you don’t need to improve, Grammarly is still probably going to be great for you. Grammarly has a very user friendly user interface, and it will also catch a lot of the errors that you might miss going over your writing by yourself. Grammarly has helped me out a lot though, as I was one of those coasters in high school, and when I ended up going to college, without Grammarly I probably would have failed. Grammarly really saved my hide, so why not give Grammarly a try?

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Essential Oils

 

herbal-oils

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Good lord, there are so many amazing oils out there. Extra virgin olive oil is great on a plate of hummus, sure, but that usually comes in a somewhat large bottle. You know what they say – the really good things, come in small packages. Vials. I am talking about essential oils.

Now look, I am not coming down on olive oil. I love the stuff, and it is actually very good to put on your body, as well as eat. It can do a lot for you, and help the body draw out toxins. Some oils, like olive, are associated closely with cooking and the culinary arts. Some essential oils can also be digested, but their main qualification has to do with healing and maintaining the body.

Alright, I’ll bet good money you got hungry just now from reading about hummus and olive oil. Go on, run out and get yourself some, I’ll wait. Oh good, you’re back! Now, where were we? Right, essential oils. Here are some of my favorites. You can read while you eat. No judgement here.

Oregano – this is a staple. I use it every winter, without fail. Why? Because every darn winter, I get all coughy and phlegmy, to the point where I hate everyone and everything I come into contact with. I am not a nice person to be around when I am sick. I am working on it, honestly. Oregano works as an antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory agent. It can help prevent and treat parasites, mosquitos, lice, and other fun creatures.

Tea tree – this is one which is thankfully getting a lot more recognition in recent years. Those Australians and their trees. The tea tree and eucalyptus tree are both amazing, and both help produce highly beneficial essential oils. Both of these oils are realty great, and the only reason I went with tea tree oil for this list, is because of what it does to my scalp and hair. It is a miracle worker, and I use it constantly, whether in the shower or outside of it (in the form of a spray bottle).lavenderessentialoil

Lavender – this is the one which I use every night, before bed. It has been said to help achieve a deeper and more relaxed sleep, and I tend to agree. Not that I was a kicker and screamer beforehand, but I definitely love lighting a lavender oil diffuser before bed time, and then blowing out the candle as I slip into bed. I love the scent of it, and I can only hope that I’ll be able to pass this ritual on to my kids. Lavender is also great when you are wide awake, since it can help you attain focus and concentration. In ancient times, it was put in bath water. I actually haven’t tried that yet, but that is probably out of pure laziness.

Other favs? Rosemary, peppermint, palmarosa oils and argan oil. These are all great, and they can do a lot for your mind and body. Which are your favorites? If you’d like to learn about more oils check out Maple Holistics for example argan oil.

 

Don’t Be Dumb, Learn Stuff!

It is important to keep yourself safe. Protecting your body and life is basic survival and although we don’t live in nature anymore it’s still the basic human need, to survive. This means finding a way to feed yourself and clothe yourself. Once that is taken care of you are sort of set but if you are a human that wants more out of life, education is just as important.yeesh

Like your body, your mind is a muscle and needs to be exercised in order to be in tip top shape.  Isn’t the saying goes “use it or lose it”?Sit in front of that T.V. for too long and you will get dumber. I mean you’ll know a lot about pop culture which in this day and age is sort of important but you’re going to be dumb. Unless you want to be TLC’s newest reality show star being dumb is not a great prospect.

Stupidity Prevention

A good way to prevent becoming dumb is by reading and generally educating yourself. Now this doesn’t mean the pressure is all on your head. By no means is that the case. There are plenty of willing and able teachers in the world and on the web that are eager to relay their knowledge to you. Online learning is a major business. Websites like Udemy and Lynda are specially programmed to offer those interested courses on all sorts of subjects. The only limit is your imagination. After some searching I found countless articles about these sites on Edumuch.com.  If you have I recommend you take a look.

The downside to online learning is that the motivation lies squarely on your shoulders. If you don’t want to learn you won’t. There is no one looking over your shoulder making sure you do the work required to move on. In my opinion these websites weren’t made for the un-motivated. They made for people with a thirst, a hunger! Or knowledge and all that comes with it.

Even if you aren’t interested in enrolling in a MOOC or E-learning site there are many other avenues to discover. There are countless tutorials on how to program or how to take the perfect picture. Like I said before the only thing that can keep you from success is yourself. Do some soul searching and find out what makes you tick. That’s the easy part, the hard part is then pushing yourself to learn and master the skills or topics that interest you.python

I myself have been interested in computer science for quite some time. My friend told me I should start to learn Python because it was fairly easy to learn and was similar to a lot of the other computer languages. I thought that learning programming could open up new opportunities for me both creatively and economically. We are quickly becoming a world where technology is key and the programming is the way we communicate with technology so it only makes sense to learn how to write code. I have taken a couple of classes and have really enjoyed them. It has been a challenge but one that I really want to face. I found what it was that made me tick and I am following it through. I recommend you do the same.

The Rise of E-Learning

There are many massive online open course (MOOC) websites online. Some of them are more popular than others, and they all have at least one thing in common – their goal.

The goal of MOOC sites (aka e-learning sites) is to impart wisdom and educate in a new way. No longer will the class be huddled together in some lecture hall or classroom. Those days are gone, but not forgotten.

Classrooms are no longer a necessityClassrooms are no longer a necessity, what with computers being available to such a large amount of the population. The idea behind e-learning is that a student can learn at their own pace, on their own time (or their employer’s time, if that be the case), and gain the knowledge they need in a particular subject.

Sites like Udemy and Cousera are well-know by now, as are Microsoft’s virtual academy for IT, and sites like Lynda and Treehouse. E-learning is becoming more popular by the day, because it is easy, more user-friendly, and it can get results if the students apply themselves.

With some categories, such as IT, it is easy to see how the e-learning platform would be a great success. This may not be the case with other categories and classes, but every website is different. Some have quality university lectures, some have user-generated content, and some have content made at the websites headquarters. It is a very diverse world, and that is part of what makes it so accessible.

Beginnings are tough. The advantage that e-learning has over many other educational methods, is that the student can study at his or her own time. The student decides what to learn, when, where, and how. Sometimes, if a specific subject has several teachers, the student can even choose which teacher to study from.

MOOCs websites are growingMOOCs websites are growing, and it is not hard to see why. The internet has given birth to a new way of gaining information. Not using it for purposes such as this would be a grave error. Some may say that e-learning will never truly replace the classic teacher/classroom paradigm, but only time will tell.

Right now, business is booming for the e-learning sites, and so it should. Many people, all over the world, are thirsty for knowledge that they could not necessarily obtain without the internet. Sites which promote knowledge and learning will always have a place online. In a way, you can say it’s what the internet was truly designed for.

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The Many Advantages to Argan Oil

I had mentioned in an earlier article about the need and or want for people to use natural ingredient cosmetic products. In this article I discuss one of my favorite essential oils.

Argan essential oil may have originated in Morocco, but it is now all over the world. It is a part of everyday life for hundreds of thousands of people who seek to live a more natural lifestyle.

Argan seedWhether it is in their shampoo, on their plate, or on their tummy (goodbye, stretch marks!) – people love using argan oil. The argan tree earned its nickname “the tree of life”, by being such a staple to the natives of morocco and Algeria. It has so many health benefits and cosmetic benefits, it is a wonder the western world didn’t discover this tree sooner.

The argan is a lovely-looking tree, and its oils (originating from its fruit) are like liquid gold in color. Once I started using argan oil in my hair, I found that I didn’t want to use any other kind of shampoo. It protects the hair and scalp from damage and premature aging. There are so many harmful chemicals in the air around us, it is inevitable that some of it will end up on our head. Using argan can help counter the harmful effects of the environment, and it encourages the skin to produce newer, healthier cells.

Applying this oil – always in moderation, by the way – can also encourage hair growth, on top of general scalp health. Those of us with hair issues are sure to benefit from the fruit of the Argan tree, and the great thing about this is that you can see results pretty fast. Massage some oil into your scalp, and watch as your hair strengthens and thickens over time. I found a company called Maple Holistics that produces many natural cosmetics using essential oils like Argan.

Is it 100% effective? Not necessarily. Nothing is. Some individuals may find that itshe puts the oil on her skin does not have that promised positive effect on them. It could be for so many reasons, and I wouldn’t presume to know what any specific person’s issues are. I can only use my own experience. And, in my humble opinion, argan oil is one of the greatest discoveries I made in my early 20’s. I actually found it under the name Moroccan oil.

Argan contains vitamin E and fatty acids. It is one of the best ways to moisturize and hydrate, whether it is skin, scalp, or hair. It is even said to help relieve the pain of arthritis. I wouldn’t know about that one, though. Not planning on getting arthritis anytime soon.

Natural living – Is There Such a Thing?

The reason why i called my blog LmMental is because i believe the things i write about should be elemental in our lives. In the future i will be posting more blogs about what i feel should be elemental here at lmmental.com.

Are we all living so unnaturally, that we must go back to some older, more primitive ways? I mean, what is stopping people from taking it too far, and to start cutting out working plumbing, electricity, and computers? Is that not living more naturally? And who is to say that such a thing is “too far”?

Well, to be clear, some people do that. They completely disconnect, and they want to live as naturally as possible, without any modernity. That is their choice, and I respect it. However, when most of us say ‘natural living’ what we really mean is living and conducting ourselves in a less harmful way. This became a “thing” only because we have been neglecting ourselves and our habitat for a while, now.Riding bikes

In other words, we don’t all want to have a gas-guzzling SUV, and we consider a bicycle to be more natural. We don’t all use hair and body products laced with chemicals, synthetic-fragrances, and preservatives – we consider cosmetic products made with essential oils to be more natural.

So, it is a fine line, and we all tread it. After all, even the most natural cosmetic product is a product. It was probably mass-produced in a factory, shipped using modern methods, and bought by you, most likely in a shop or store of some kind, using modern conveniences.

Same with the bicycle. It is made in a country where many more of these bicycles were produced. It is made of materials like aluminum and types of plastic or rubber. And when you need to maintain it or repair it, you use modern tools and aids. Or, you go to a bike shop. Maybe even pay with a credit card.

The point is, we all have our own take on what constitutes natural living. More 100% naturaloften than not, we don’t mean natural living, so much as we mean less harmful living. And there is something to that, to be sure. It comes into contact with our daily lives, all the time. It has to do with what we eat, how we sleep, who we choose to live and love with – everything we do is some expression of what we consider to be the least (or most) harmful way of existence.

What you consider natural may be very unnatural to others. It doesn’t make you wrong, it simply makes you different. We are here to celebrate diversity and life, so the next time you look at a product or service which boasts 100% natural on it – take a minute to think about what that means to you.