Ian Martínez represents Costa Rica at the University of Utah. His basketball skills were first noticed at the JSerra school in California. He will now play in Division 1 of the NCAA, the prelude to pro ball in the NBA.
He’s been interviewed by the media in the US. They often ask about his goals and his idols, in addition to how he got into football in a country all about soccer. He also likes soccer but his dream is to play in the NBA.
Ian was planning to debut this week, at the start of the NCAA championship, but this was delayed because of the covid-19 pandemic. The first two games are postponed so he now plans to start on December 3, when Utah plays the University of Washington.
His father, basketball player Henry Martínez, is a technical assistant at the University of Utah and always advises his son. He tells him to enjoy the moment and meet his goals step by step.
There’s no doubt that Black Friday looked different this year. Then again, what’s not different about 2020? Anyway, so many stores have changed their approach to sales, for instance, by offering Black Friday deals for an extended time, such as over a week or even all of November.
Additionally, most stores are now selling online, something both stores and customers were a bit afraid of last year but now seems like the norm. We got over our fear of the unknown world of buying online because of the all-to-known fear of contracting covid.
The combination of extended deals and online sales was a strategy that paid off. It allowed stores to achieve transactions equal to those of 2019, according to a preliminary estimate of the Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce.
The flow of customers to physical stores was moderate and controlled on November 27. Strict sanitary measures were in place. For example, the stores were limited to 50% occupancy, leading to long, yet socially-distanced, lines.
Phrenology, which was big in the early 1800’s, is defined as “the detailed study of the shape and size of the cranium as a supposed indication of character and mental abilities.” Neuroscience is not a pseudo-science as phrenology was, but given many of its conclusions, much less its veneration, it has become phrenology’s equivalent in our time.
The popularization of neuroscience has reached head-spinning heights. A recent New York Times op-ed, meant to be uplifting, is lugubriously entitled: “Your Brain Is Not For Thinking.” It’s stamped with a neuroscientist’s seal of authority, and is subtitled: “In stressful times, this surprising lesson from neuroscience may help to lesson your anxieties.”
The piece contains gems like: “There is no such thing as a purely mental cause, because every mental experience has roots in the physical budgeting of your body.”
That sounds a lot like a pronouncement from the Delphic Oracle, rather than sound scientific and/or philosophical insight. Indeed, the Delphic Oracle would not have made such a sweeping pronouncement, because they at least understood that meaning is created in the individual, not in the lab or on the fMRI slab.
The NYT op-ed opens by trying to drown the human conundrum (which has become the human crisis in our age), in the oceans of the primeval past.
“Five hundred million years ago, a tiny sea creature changed the course of history: It became the first predator…this new activity of hunting started an evolutionary arms race…eventually, some creatures evolved a command center to run complex bodies. We call it a brain.”
That’s risible stuff, but at least it telegraphs the author’s intention, which is to ignore the planetary crisis generated by symbolic thought, and locate the problem in the mists of evolutionary time when the predator-prey dynamic first emerged.
Placing the destructive anomaly of man in the fog of the antediluvian past is not just intellectually dishonest however; it simply doesn’t cut it.
Psychology and neuroscience have failed to explain the human crisis, much less point the way ahead for the individual and society. The prevailing paradigm for widespread mental illness and societal breakdown is so deeply philosophically flawed that it has become a big part of the problem.
Psychologist and neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett maintains that the problem isn’t in our stars or ourselves, but in how “your brain runs your body using something like a budget.”
Dr. Barrett acknowledges the “budgetary account of how the brain works may seem plausible when it comes to your bodily functions, [but it] may seem less natural to view your mental life as a series of deposits and withdrawals.”
Never fear, or take responsibility, for “every thought you have, every feeling of happiness or anger or awe you experience, every kindness you extend and every insult you bear or sling is part of your brain’s calculations as it anticipates and budgets your metabolic needs,” Barrett intones.
Furthermore, “anxiety does not cause stomach aches; rather, feelings of anxiety and stomach aches are both ways that human brains make sense of physical discomfort.”
Statements like these are where neuroscientists go from doing bad philosophy to engaging in psychological malpractice.
Neuroscience runs into the age-old dilemma: If one’s actions are simply the brain “calculating, anticipating and planning,” then what is my responsibility? And if I am calculating, anticipating and planning, then why does the brain generate self-awareness?
Professional psychologists and neuroscientists (my spell check wants to capitalize the word) can’t have it both ways. If there is such a thing as responsibility, and if the ‘I’ is a construct of the brain, then the personalized ‘you’ in “your brain’s activity” has no meaning.
Of course there is responsibility; there is agency; and we have brains that regulate the autonomic functions in the body. What’s resolves the riddle? Paradoxically, with the insight that there is no separate self in actuality, responsibility becomes greater.
It’s simply not good enough to say, “Much of your brain’s activity happens outside your awareness. In every moment, your brain must figure out your body’s needs for the next moment and execute a plan to fill those needs in advance”—and apply that to the psychological and emotional dimension.
Barrett gives, implicitly and unawares, a theory of human nature that is at once simplistic and confused, overly drawn and falling far short of having explanatory power.
The right response to the truism that “so often we conceive of ourselves in mental terms, separate from the physical” is not to blend human evolution into some blurry backdrop of predator-prey natural selection. That worldview and theory of human nature plays right into the hands of social Darwinists. The right response is to face the universal human tendency and habit of creating divisions and dualisms in the first place.
Neuroscience cannot cure what ails the human mind and heart. It is rightly a product of the rational, scientific mind, but it is fundamentally incapable of addressing, much less remedying the pathologies of thought and emotion.
Date to be there: November 20, 2020, Friday. Time to be there: 7pm. Contact Person: Mr. G. Address to be at: San Jose, CA. Case# 9P16Y69J35650. Activity: Mr. G sees a leopard type of ghost. He witnessed entities taking his window apart and floating it towards him and making the window go back and forth. He sees entities floating around his house. He saw one entity sitting on the floor reading a book and talking to another entity and then talking to Mr. G.
11/21/2020. It’s a long trip to San Jose from Elk Grove. Our first stop was Starbucks. Deanna Jaxine Stinson ordered her drink and Starbucks messed up her drink twice, so we wind up getting 3 types of coffees and 2 of them were free, so now with all of the caffeine inside of us, we were ready to make this trip and we were definitely awake. When we arrived, we received a briefing from Mr. G. Mr. G’s wife wants the investigation to remain confidential and we will keep those wishes by calling our main client Mr. G. Alaceo “Big Al” Rosatano showed up after our arrival. Mr. G briefs us that he has been seeing entities that either may be demonic or even extraterrestrial. Some of the main things that he has experienced is that the entities cause his torso to move back and forth. While we were there, Mr. G’s started moving his waist and said the entities were causing this. Mr. G’s experience with the entities has truly upset him and while he was briefing us, he started crying. Mr. G’s wife just want things to go back to normal again. Mr. G states that when he was a child, he played with a Ouija Board and he may have brought on these entities. One of the scariest things that Mr. G witnessed is that the entities pulled out one of his bedroom windows and the window actually started floating towards him. Mr. G has seen a strange man in a robe reading a book and talking with another entity and then would start talking to Mr. G. This entity would shake his head after talking with Mr. G as in disapproval.
Orb with Face
When we arrived Deanna picked up on a ghostly cat and described it. Mr. G’s wife says that was her cat that died. Deanna picked up on a man and woman leaning over Mr. G & his wife’s bed. Mr. G says that most of the strongest activity is in the garage and when we went to the garage, we captured a Class A EVP that said…”eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee”. Another EVP we captured was a man saying “Hai”. Mr. G’s wife is Japanese and “hai” means “yes”, this could possibly be her deceased father. Big Al captured an orb on his picture and enhanced the orb and inside of the orb was a face. This orb picture was captured in the garage which has the most activity. Deanna felt something grab her arm. Deanna was also picking up on what she called fairy entities, she was seeing small fairy like beings floating around in the bedroom. Mr. G describes “The Tormentor” entity that pops out of no where and scares him. During our investigation, we did not encounter The Tormentor, nor did we encounter the “Phantom Leopard” that has been seen in the home.
The Haunted Home in San Jose
Mr. G and his wife felt that Mr. G may have an attachment and Mr. G was prepared to allow me to give him a full submersion baptism. A full submersion baptism is a basic form of exorcism and if Mr. G has an attachment, the attachment will immediately leave. After the baptism, I conducted a Roman Catholic house blessing with Mr. G’s wife and Deanna conducted a metaphysical home cleansing. After the cleansing, things felt lighter and we can only hope that whatever is haunting Mr. G and his wife is gone for good.
Even in a pandemic, and maybe because of it- specifically, the effects of being quarantined and isolated, many have travel on their minds. They dream of enjoying international food, seeing loved ones in other parts of the world, and seeing the sights of their favorite destination.
Juan Belliard, the director of operations of Aeris, explained what to expect at the airport.
The first change will be noticed before even entering. This is that family members can no longer accompany the passengers into the airport, because of limited capacity maintained in order to provide enough space for adequate social distancing. To enter the building, you will have to show your passport and reservation.
Once inside, you will note that the airport is now well equipped to deal with the complexities of traveling during the pandemic. There are hand washing stations. Social distancing is required while on lines and in waiting areas. The management assures that they are up to the standards set forth by the Ministry of Health. Additionally, there are at least 30 auto check in kiosks meant to reduce the amount of contact between staff and passengers.
While liquids allowed on flights are still limited, alcohol gel is the exception to this rule. Larger bottles will be allowed. There is also alcohol gel available throughout the airport.
It is recommended that passengers arrive 3-4 hours ahead of their scheduled flight in order to meet any requirements their specific airline might have in place.
Passengers arriving in Costa Rica will have to fill out a health pass meant to tell the Ministry of Health their clinical history, such as where they’ve been, symptoms they have, and encounters with anyone symptomatic. They will also have to provide proof of health insurance that meets certain requirements set up to ensure proper care for anyone who gets sick.
Russia boasts a covid-19 vaccine, with an efficacy of 95%, that it plans to make available to its citizens for free and the rest of the world for just $10!
The efficacy of the vaccine 28 days after the first dose is 91.4%. An increase in efficacy was seen in results gathered 42 days after volunteers received the first dose. This was a massive study, with 22,000 volunteers receiving the first dose and 19,000 receiving the second.
The impressive vaccine is named Sputnik V, after the first artificial satellite designed by the Soviet Union. It’s in phase 3 of clinical trials that are randomized, meaning neither patients nor doctors know who gets the real treatment and who gets a placebo. Trials of the same vaccine are underway in the UAE, Venezuela, and Belarus.
Speaking to the trust in this vaccine, several high-ranking Russian officials have already been vaccinated, including the Defense Minister, Trade Ministers, and Moscow Mayor.
Among its benefits over other vaccines, it is ready for export and does not require extremely low temperatures for storage as some others do. Other vaccines being developed have effectiveness of 70%, 94.5%, and only one other (from Prizer and BioNTech) has 95%.
Trying to get to the bottom of this whole pura vida thing in Costa Rica.
It’s the age-old question about Costa Rica, asked by expats and tourists alike. Heck, even Costa Ricans have a hundred different answers when asked.
There’s no one answer to the pura vida question. All we know, all anyone who’s ever spent any time in Costa Rica knows, is that there’s nothing more quintessentially Costa Rican than pura vida.
Well, maybe chiliguaros and gallo pinto are as quintessential, but that’s another story.
What many people don’t know is that pura vida isn’t that old as a concept. And it doesn’t even come from Costa Rica.
Sure, right now, there’s nothing more Costa Rican than pura vida, but it’s something the Ticos “borrowed” from, of all countries, Mexico. Wait, what?
Yep, that’s right. Pura vida comes from a 1956 Mexican movie of the same name, where the lead character, played by Antonio Espino, keeps up a positive outlook on life, despite being terminally unlucky.
He used the term “pura vida” throughout the film to describe certain people, objects, and situations.
Ticos watched it and started saying pura vida themselves. The phrase caught on and became a byword for, well, anything anyone wanted it to be for.
By the mid-90s, pura vida was so ingrained into Costa Rican culture, the fact that it came from a 1950s Mexican movie was long forgotten.
If you know Costa Rica, you know Mexico is a massive rival, particularly when it comes to football, and, well, culture in general.
So Costa Rica’s beloved motto being from Mexico might come as a bitter blow. But it shouldn’t. It’s fantastic how Costa Rica turned pura vida into its own concept. It’s the most pura vida thing in the world, when you think about it.
I mean, what’s more pura vida than a country so welcoming of other cultures and guests, taking to heart something from elsewhere and turning into their own?
So what does pura vida actually mean to people? It’s something tourists ask a lot, so let’s see what the Costa Rican tourism community thinks.
Four people, four different answers. There’s nothing more pura vida than that! An American travel agent, an Argentinean property manager, a Costa Rican rental car operator, and a Canadian restaurant owner/fishing guide all weigh in on what pura vida means to them.
“Twenty years living here and it’s only now I’m starting to get it. In my view, pura vida is more than a lifestyle or a belief system. It’s an economic model; a fair trade between travelers, locals, the environment, and the tourist industry. I never saw this more clearly than now. I believe it’s what makes Costa Rica so special and a leader in sustainable tourism. I hope that we are able to protect and strengthen it in the recovery.”
The property manager – Joachin Rodriguez, Marketing and Sales Director of Stay In Costa Rica:
“Pura vida is a happy way of living that all Ticos have. It’s the way Costa Ricans accept what comes their way with good graces and a positive attitude. You don’t see that elsewhere, and for me, that sums up the essence of what pura vida is. Another essence of pura vida is how calm everyone is. No-one’s in a rush at all. That can be tough for foreigners to get used to, but once you do, you’ve achieved pura vida.”
“Pura vida is the way we see things and interact with situations. Everyone has pressure, but pura vida represents the way we deal with things. It’s about understanding we can’t control everything and accepting that.”
“To me pura vida is something tangible, a physical thing. It’s the magic of nature, you know? For example, pura vida is being out kayak fishing and seeing a humpback whale come up for air a few meters from you. There’s nothing more pura vida than that! Or it’s surfing at dawn with a close friend and no-one else in the water apart from you two. Or it’s watching the faces of people eating food you’ve prepared yourself, with fish you’ve caught yourself, and they’re loving it. To me, that also sums up pura vida. It’s a lifestyle.”
And what about me? What do I think pura vida is?
Well, I’ve been in Costa Rica a long time myself, but I’m just a humble writer, with no worthy opinions of my own. But I’ll offer one anyway.
To me, pura vida is everything they’ve said above. After all, there’s no one definition, it’s what you believe it is. So whatever someone says pura vida is, that makes it so. Which makes pura vida means everything. And nothing.
Pura vida can also have negative connotations. There’s a cartoon I once saw of a guy dumping sewage into a river while another guy watches.
“Hey what you doing?” says the guy watching.
“Pura vida!” replies the guy dumping sewage.
What this means is that the carefree, happy way of living that epitomizes pura vida can also mean a complete lack of responsibility, of not caring. We can be so laid back that nothing stresses us out, not even dumping trash. I can understand that after 20 years in Costa Rica.
But to me, most of all, pura vida means identity.
I once saw two Costa Ricans who didn’t know each other meet in London, England, which is about the least-pura vida place on earth.
As they chatted, the pura vidas flowed between them. And I admit that I, a non-Costa Rican, felt all warm and cozy inside, and full of love for my adopted country just listening to them.
It could have been that moment, thousands of miles from Costa Rica, that I finally got it. But then what do I know?
Though it’s little more than a trickle, the little creek at the periphery of town is running again after nearly six months as a stream of stones. Following the months of smoke from the worst wildfire season in California’s history, the foothills are vibrantly clear after the first rain of the season.
I sit under a dead sycamore tree until the continuity of thought, as memory and association, word and image, is extinguished in undirected attention. Thought is as dead as the tree over my head, and it is killing the Earth and humanity.
The magnificent bifurcated sycamore of a decade ago is a leper tree of broken limbs and leafless branches now. The sycamore’s slow death over the last ten years has coincided with the destruction (so-called development) of the habitat where I encountered long-eared rabbits, pheasant, gracile falcons, even coyote and rattlesnakes when I first moved to town 25 years ago.
Across the thin creek, the flat is strewn with garbage left by a homeless encampment. Homelessness is a huge problem in California, and the junk is a reminder of society’s gross inequalities, ineptitude and apathy where the poor are concerned.
It’s a good place to camp, even during the rainy season, though the creek can and does swell to a torrent with heavy rains, and inundate the small plain under a steep bank. It’s been one of my favorite meditation places for many years, and I met a fellow one year who had built a nice little encampment. He had been an electrician, and pointed at the monster houses on the ridge miles away, some reaching 10,000 square feet, and flatly said, “I wired some of those houses.”
We talked a number of times across the stream. He was smart and kept himself clean. I helped him out a bit, asking in return that he clean the place and not leave any junk behind. One day he was gone, and the place was clean as a whistle.
In the last few years there’s been a big increase in people camped along the little creek, leaving enormous piles of junk behind. Last year the city cleaned it all up, but it’s almost as bad again this year. One area is blackened from a recent fire, like the small fire that killed the sycamore a decade ago.
A quarter mile behind me now sits the ugliest courthouse I’ve ever seen. And for acres in all directions around it, the most god-awful looking buildings have been constructed.
I talked with the local billionaire developer once, and asked him if there was any vision for the hodgepodge of retro-tech plus Babylonian-style offices, stores and apartments. Even the houses seemed to be designed to convey an anti-aesthetic feeling, which compounds the sadness of the loss of the habitat. He blathered on nonsensically about community.
Meditation can only occur when one remains with things as they are, and things as they were, and allows oneself to feel sorrow, and transcend it. But writing this piece, I recall standing after an hour’s meditation when the place was wild, luminous with the numinous, and watching slender-winged kites hover for half a minute at a time over the fields before tucking their wings back and parachuting to the ground.
During the meditation today as the sun went down, there was the insight that when thought is completely quiet–where there is no thought as memory and association, word and image–God may come. God can only be when the psychological movement of thought is completely still.
By God I don’t mean a voice from on high, or some fatherly or motherly ‘Supreme Being.’ I mean that which is beyond words, a sense of the sacred that suffuses the universe and infuses one’s being.
It’s a very strange thing, with a paradoxical kind of beauty, that the evolution of symbolic thought should both give the human brain the capacity to commune with the inviolability and intelligence that imbues the universe, and be a tremendous impediment to it.
Thought per se is not the problem however; psychological thought, with the self at the center of the detritus of experience that orbits it, is the impediment.
It is also the source of division, conflict, gross economic disparity, war, and the fragmentation of the Earth and the destruction of nature’s integrity and diversity.
Is there a vaccine for psychological thought? Yes, the stillness, peace and insight that come with self-knowing attention in the mirror of nature.
Though having an inner life is arduous, mindlessly continuing in outer-directedness just increases the deadness, within and without.
The evilest stones in the world are thought to hold dark power and attract unlucky moments to whoever is nearby. Well known curses have been placed using precious stones and metals throughout history. One who controls these items, could in essence use them as weapons- as weapons are frequently made of the same material.s. (Where we capture our dreams and desires and wait for them to transform with karmic choice and judgement.)
Below, I am going to outline my top 12 choices for the unluckiest stones, which can in turn create a magnetism to portals in hell itself. I am going to call them the 12 Stones of Hell to mimic the clock, the 12th hour is thought to be the darkest and so forth until a new day begins in clarity.
12 also represents the subconscious world of dreams and desires- which are withheld and can be suddenly drawn from someone easily, with the help of dark inspiration. Dark inspiration can be found through music, magic, fashion and more. The Stones:
Jade represents good luck and can be found throughout many different cultures and places throughout the world. At first glance, it may seem like a good sign, but where the wheel of fortune turns, it falls as well.
Flint opens portals, starts fires and can be found in the wilderness- where one wishes to survive, even to this day. Flint is not the prettiest stone either, but it is quite powerful.
3. Black Diamond-
Diamonds are thought to represent love in all their colors, with clear being the most popular choice- specially to represent true love. However, black diamonds are at the opposite end of the spectrum and represent a dark love and beauty, which is nontraditional and dramatic.
4. Tangerine Quartz-
Quartz is a very hard stone. When it crystallizes, it will change colors depending upon the conditions of the environment, and how many minerals are nearby. Those with large deposits of iron, are generally darker. Tangerine crystals contain hematite, which is a widespread metal- however it is dangerous. Not only is it cheap, but to someone who has allergies to cheap metals- it can poison your bloodstream easily- simply by touching. Treat it like fire and avoid, unless you are aware of any metal allergies you have.
Rubies are a very deep red colored jewel. They have been worn by royalty and elite figures throughout history. They are oftentimes linked to blood by artists- because of the beautiful coloring and richness of light and beauty that they project into the atmosphere. To make your way to hell- one may have to be part of a bloody sacrifice, so therefore this selection is great.
Emeralds are a less common alternative to diamonds for celebrations and proposals in love. Green represents the auric heart- which we strive to satisfy and heal. For those with evil hearts- it will also heal theirs too.
Tourmaline is a crystal which is said to transmute negative energy in the air and purify it, in turn protecting everyone and causing peace. Tourmaline was frequently misidentified as emerald or other forms of crystals and so can be related to the energy of misunderstanding, chaos etc- which can easily cause disharmony as well.
It gets so hot in certain parts of hell- from the fires of transformation- that many curious wonders exist- such as the translucent beauty of glass. It can be man-made or natural and is used in our everyday lives- creating portals through windows, mirrors, computers, screens and much more- even in our automobiles. (Even in a clock, or watch itself).
The people of the night represent the moon. Moonstone is an opaque crystallized jewel, which cast rainbows and its color is affected by the lighting and weather in the surrounding environment. The moon is our subconscious, secret and dream world- which not many know whom are in the mortal worlds.
10. Black Onyx-
Onyx can be found in many different color variations, but to represent the tenth hour- I choose the black variety. Symbolically, it is thought to bring strength so that one can emotionally and physically overcome any obstacles- but, ultimately can be used by anyone as well.
11. Lapis Lazuli-
In the highest levels of hell- one has come to know themselves so completely that they become more enlightened. This brings us to the dark blue hour, tinted by moonlight, water and time. With wisdom, comes great sacrifice- so to wear this stone, represents overcoming trials and tribulations with positive energy and faith.
Because the water is thought to represent the underworld, our 12th level of hell is laid with crystallized aquamarine stones. It is the stone of eternal youth and true happiness. So, to posses this stone will bring you good luck, if you are emotionally pure of heart- it will amplify when surrounded by all these other stones as well.
12 Stones of Hell
These are my selection of stones to open up portals to Hell in your heart, mind and soul- understand them and then overcome with strength, courage and purity. You can meditate on their energy- even by reading this article, I hope they could transform your unhealed parts into beauty.
For every tear you cry, is like a spiritual cleansing of your heart, soul and mind and you will be enlightened and protected through wisdom, strength and glory. Because we know that the more love and beauty you pour into the material of the Earth, the more the positive energy multiplies and helps us heal and mend up our past differences and opinions.
You can use any stones you feel as well, to open your own portals in your heart and mind because they are only like physical representations of an unknown energy, which we wish to express, but might not already feel. But, by thinking and knowing there is an ancient positive and physical energy which exists, we can transmute our desires for destruction into creation instead and ascend in the light and all it’s reflections multiplied. Infinitely.
The trumpet player that used to play for Capital Cities broke out on his own. When the band came to Costa Rica in 2015, Spencer Ludwig didn’t come with them because he was working on his first solo album. We will get to enjoy his music, this year, at Teleton.
The fundraiser Teleton will be on December 4th and 5th and will raise money for the geriatric hospital. Ludwig hopes that, since the event is virtual this year, he will get people dancing through the halls of their homes. He loves to express himself through trumpet.
He has always loved Latin music. He recently recorded Out of Pure Curiosity with the Colombian Fonseca. He has become known for happy and danceable music. Fans are sure to love his presentation from the National Auditorium of the Children’s Museum.
He said that “As artists we must use our platform to inspire positive change, show people that we can unite them, help and attract attention to support important causes such as Teleton.” The fundraiser intends to bring in ₡550 million which will be used to expand the outpatient unit of the Hospital of Geriatrics and Gerontology as well as to purchase a mobile unit for the National Blood Bank.