What Does It Feel Like To Die? -TestTube

One of the most intriguing questions that everyone might have asked at some point in his/her life, is what happens at the moment of death and after? If you would have asked me this question two years ago, I would have replied that, as a believer, we will go into afterlife to be judged, and you know the whole story… However, after I became a secular person, I started reasoning with scientific explanations.

Few days ago, I came across this video from TestTube that shows what happens at the moment of death biologically. So the presenter starts explaining that biologically and legally, death is when the brain is dies and starts taking everything in the body with it.

Interestingly, at the moment of death there is a massive burst of energy in the brain (near death experiences?). Following that, the brain sends a damaging signal to the heart, causing it to disfunction. Later, a wide range of neurochemicals are released in the body.

Watch the video below, and let me know what you think about death, near death experiences, and afterlife🙂

All World’s Earthquakes In One Video

Whenever someone says the word “earthquake”, the first things that comes to our mind is catastrophes, destruction, and disasters. However, 422 South, a visual effects company based in the UK, released a mesmerising video showing all earthquakes that had happened since year 2000.

Interestingly, each earthquake is represented by a dot, and it will stay on the map. So eventually, you can see the areas that have frequent earthquakes compared to other locations.

Check out the video below:

Endless Forms Most Beautiful Album Review

Endless Forms Most beautiful album cover

As a Nightwish fan, I was looking forward to the first album with new vocalist Floor Jansen, “Endless Forms Most Beautiful”. In fact, I have attended their concert in Lebanon two years ago, and was amazed by the talents of Floor Jansen, and this is why everyone was waiting for the new album.

“Endless Forms Most Beautiful” is not only a transition album with a new vocalist, but also a transition in the music, lyrics, and general atmosphere and feeling of the music. It offers a new style of poetry and bombastic music that took advantage of scientific inspiration and transformed it into beauty about nature and appreciation of evolution and how the universe works.

Definitely, like any other Nightwish album, the topic is more deep than the title or the lyrics. It holds several depths of general and personal meaning for Tuomas Holopainen, the writer of the songs. After listening to the album few times, you can clearly see how things get emotional at some point, and it is not difficult to guess to whom the words are directed against. Having said so, still the lyrics might have a completely different interpretation of the original writer.

The album starts with “Shudder Before The Beautiful” which has Richard Dawkins as a guest speaking in the beginning. The song reminds me of Nightwish old songs like “Ghost Love Score” or “Chest of Wonders”, where the bombastic start is followed by a more quiet transition and the finale. And let us not forget, the song mentions Oceanborn at some point, so is it a reference to the album “Oceanborn” or just an old Nightwish song?

Second in the album is “Weak Fantasy”. Well, this song can be first explained at how sometimes religious people start believing blindly in their religions and do not see the complete truth. Religion and God are not about torture, sins, fear, or hate. God is loving and caring, this is if we agree on the existence of God. Another interpretation can be personal for Tuomas, and refers to personal experience.

“Elan”, that was the first single to be released, comes to tell us about letting go of all worries and hardships we had in our lives. It talks about the free fall and giving up for the moment and experiencing something we never dared to do before.

After “Elan” we arrive to “Yours Is An Empty Hope”, which ignited many debates and fueled the excitement of many die-hard fans. Floor Jansen growls and shows a wide range of vocals. Honestly, the song reminds me of “Wish I Had An Angel”. Reminding someone of how heavens is, and all the things they could have received. This song is a very personal song, and this is why Tuomas left it open for interpretations. I won’t say what my opinion of the song is, because I took it very personal (excuse me for this).

“Our Decades In The Sun” is a powerful emotional song about the parents and it really touches the smoothest places in your heart. Then we have “The Walden”, another mature song from Nightwish about life and dreams and the feeling of achieving something in one’s life.

“Endless Forms Most Beautiful” takes us on a long journey about life, evolution, universe. It has the general theme of the album and summarizes quite few of the important faces of the new music of Nightwish.

Then, “Edema Ruh” and “Alpenglow”, two of my top favorite songs of this album. I really liked the music of “Edema Ruh” and the general meaning of the song. It speaks for itself. Tuomas does know how to touch those deep feelings in your soul. Similarly, “Alpenglow” offers a nice ride into how the band sees itself roaming in this world, spreading their music all over the world, and behind all mountains.

Inspired by the National Geographic cover of Sharbat Gula’s piercing eyes, “The Eyes Of Sharbat Gula” delivers a nice and emotional melody about the suffering in the world. Because it was difficult to describe all this in words, Tuomas decided to keep it as music only. Still it is highly expressive of its true meaning.

And to end all of this, “The Greatest Show On Earth” ends an epic album with a grand finale (these songs are getting longer from one album to the other?). Take a ride through the history of our universe, and our beloved planet Earth. This is a proper finale for such an album!

Definitely this is one of the best albums by Nightwish! To be honest, I got hooked on all the songs of the album since the first time I listened to it. You can clearly see how the band matured and the amount of work they did in making it something so beautiful and attractive.

This is my humble opinion about the music, and as I said several times before, the lyrics are open to different interpretations and explanations. Isn’t this what we all love about Nightwish.

Happy listening metalheads!


It is time for a come back!

I do not remember the last time I wrote a post for my blog. So many things changed. I moved to a new country, and everything has changed since then.

Personally, I believe Germany is one of the best countries in Europe, and this is one of the reasons that made me come to do my doctoral studies at the Max Planck Institute in Freiburg.

Last year, my new life started at the guesthouse of the institute, where I had the chance to meet new people from all over the world. We shared breakfasts, dinners, and late night chats. Maybe I will tell you more about them in the future.

And later came the serious issues of finding an apartment, fixing my VISA papers, working in the lab, networking with the new colleagues, and basically starting from the zero again.

So many things happened, so many things changed, and so many things were lost. My first year in Freiburg has been a life changing year. Now that I look back at it, I can’t be but grateful for all the chances that it gave me, and all the lessons I’ve learnt.

I am sure more will come in the future.

ANATHEMA – Weather Systems (2012) Music’s healing power

“There’s plenty of melancholy on there as well, but a philosophical maturity and a new ability to express profound thoughts in a simpler, more direct fashion, and even happiness when appropriate”

Make Your Own Taste

Even the cover is great!

Over time, as you write a blog site and review a lot of albums, it becomes clear what your favourite topics are, whether you chose ’em or they chose you. For instance, my favourite band for most of my life was/is The Church; hence, there’s a lot of content on this site about that band. I’ve had a long time to listen to and absorb their music, so my thoughts have some currency. Another, more recent phenomenon in my listening life is Liverpudlian band Anathema, of which you will find a summary here. It’s been a couple of years since I “discovered” the band’s music, and now I must say, when I need a pick-me-up, out of the literally thousands of albums I possess, theirs are very often the ones I reach for. And this one in particular. That’s why there is an embarrassingly…

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How Our Brains React to an Incredible Reading Experience

Have you ever felt “taken away” or “overwhelmed” when reading a fictional book? Some people really get lost into the book and lose focus on their surrounding. Personally, I have felt this so many times when reading outstanding fictional work, such as the writings of
J. K. Rowling and Dan brown.

Interestingly, the science behind these feelings is not clear yet, so a group of scientists at the Free University of Berlin decided to decipher and uncover the reasons why the brain reacts this way.

The main findings mentioned that these fictional stories with a lot of emotional content prompt the readers to feel empathy towards the protagonists.  And such feelings are activated by a special neural network located in the anterior insula and mid-cingulate cortex regions of the brain. The participants were given short paragraphs from the Harry Potter book series, and the content from these paragraphs ranged from emotionally neutral or fear-inducing.

This is, of course, no surprise, but what’s interesting is what was going on in the participants’ brains. The fear-inducing passages were actually triggering different neural pathways into action that the emotionless, neutral passages were not.

Google’s Stock Soars 1,293% in First 10 Years

It’s been 10 years since the initial public offering of the dominant search company, and how it’s grown up.

Google’s (GOOG) rise to power has been so swift and breathtaking, it’s shaken up the world order of the advertising industry, disrupted the technology industry and turned into a massive money maker for investors.

While the advertising company first rose to the fore due to its super-secret search algorithm, Google has used its power to collect vast amounts of data about its users and apply it to new areas. Google has pushed into new industries including mobile, where it is dominant, and also software systems.

For investors, the Internet advertising firm’s success has been astounding. Google is the 11th best performing stock in the current Standard & Poor’s 500 since its Aug. 19, 2004, IPO, gaining 30.15% a year on average, says Howard Silverblatt, strategist at S&P Dow Jones Indices. The stock has rocketed 1,293% since its IPO, says Bespoke Investment Group.

Google’s IPO broke the mold from the very start. Advised by academics, Google sold shares using the Dutch Auction model, where all potential buyers used an online system to indicate how many shares they wanted and at what price. The IPO establishment was outraged since they did not get the preferential treatment and power to dole out shares to their own clients.

Interestingly, Google has outlasted several of these banks that normally would have sold shares. Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers were two of the top investment banks in 2004, Bespoke says, and both are now gone.

And it’s not just the investment banking industry that’s been rocketed since Google. There are 145 stocks that were in the S&P 500 at the time of the Google IPO that are no longer publicly traded, Bespoke says.

The founders also found themselves in a bit of trouble at the time of the IPO when they appeared in Playboy magazine with an interview prior to the offering. It was quickly resolved with a press release and update to the registration documents.

Recently, the company orchestrated a complex stock split, which created another class of stock. Some declared the move, which concentrates more voting power in the hands of founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, as anti-investor. But the company is so profitable, investors can’t resist holding it.

Many people may consider Google to be a technology company, but its secret to success is that it is an advertising company. Google uses its technology products as a way to lure more users from which the company can collect data and sell information about them to the highest bidder. More than 60% of the value of Google’s stock price comes from advertising, delivered both on desktop computers and on mobile devices, says stock information firm Trefis.

These data and Google’s dominant position on the Web with its services gives it so much power, it’s very difficult to compete against. Media magnate Rupert Murdock this weekend again groused at how powerful Google has become with a post on Twitter.

Google’s business model might be difficult for consumers to understand. But it allows the company to offer products at no cost that a traditional software company would charge money for. And those data, it seems, are worth more than the price of the software and services being given away for free.