olaf stapledon wrote ‘star maker’ an sf masterpiece

012009With a magisterial sweep this imaginative and scientifically accurate (for it’s time) portrayal of the cycle of appearance of universes was published in 1938. Mankind is but one way of existing, intelligence can appear in many forms as a universe evolves, including wraith-like assemblies of multiple entities in deep space. These highly evolved cooperating consciousnesses are one way in which Stapledon shows how evolution might allow consciousness to develop. A situation intermediate between us here now and the ultimate eponymous ‘Star Maker’. Ideas presented here for the fist time have subsequently formed the bedrock of much subsequent science fiction.

entitled zero

Photo Chilcoot Pass, Klondike gold rush, Alaska 1898
The thief of time ran amock

No Easy Ride one could fortell.

Delays for days, left behind

In freezing slush a cold hell.

Up there yond there is a shock

Along the row the strong nd weak

‘Pass along the line!’ they say.

‘Pass along the line and beyond.

You will find it, what you seek!’.

Love, power, money, influence and

The accoutrements that accompany

Awful attractors of destruction.

Photo Travel chaos China 2014 Daily Mail



All the time rain

Its hard to keep sane

When all there is pain.

Keep free from pain.


Sit in the wheelchair!

Looking! ‘This is not fair!’

Eyes say  ‘You don’t care

I don’t get my share’


How can I cope?

When there’s no hope!

This is no joke!

Can’t explain to folk.


Oft-times invisible

Sometimes its risible

Life’s hardly livable

Hardly a syllable!

wchr%20drway%20manvre%201Going through a door.       Copyright:Text geoff clements:  Illustration Rod A Hunter.

new findings show you can change your body by mindfulness meditation



It is possible to change  but it is hard work and most of us need support.  The evidence is becoming overwhelming that our brains respond to how we use them.  If one consciously decides to lead life in a particular way, for example to engage in routine meditation;  changes in the brain structure result and change the way in which the brain may behave, setting up a self-reinforcing cycle.  A famous example quoted is the increase in size of the Hippocampus (which is involved in storage of long term memories) in taxi drivers who, because of their job, are required to memorize an enormous amount of geographical information.

Recent work suggests these changes are not limited to the brain. A recent study which is planned to be published in February issue of the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology shows evidence of molecular changes in the body following a day (8 hrs) of intensive mindfulness meditation.  Experienced and inexperienced meditators were compared. In the experienced group a range of molecular changes were found affecting  the levels of expression of proinflammatory genes correlating with the expression of components resulting in faster recovery from a stressful situation. There was down regulation of RIPK2 and COX2  as well as several histone deacetylase genes. This is the first time such changes in gene expression have been seen according to one of the authors Richard B Davidson. Interestingly the changes in expression were seen in genes that are currently seen as potential targets for the development of analgesic and antiinflammatory drugs. Previous work has shown benefits of meditation on some inflammatory disorders.