Home Blog

Beyond Closed Eyes: Brain Surgery, a Violinist and Her Music


Dagmar Turner, 53, played the violin during an operation on Jan. 31 at King’s College Hospital in London to help prevent damage that would affect her talent.

Dagmar Turner learned of her tumor after a seizure at a symphony. Her one concern was her motor skills and her music. An accomplished neurosurgeon knew he had to cut the bad tissue out with the utmost meticulousness.

Turner played while staff operated. The success of the operation is now celebrated in hospitals around the world. Today surgeons know enough to keep patients awake during such surgeries. They give them language tests or ask to define the colors or describe the presented pictures to best determine where tumor is located and preserve the vital skills and functions such as speech and movement.

“Twenty years ago the priority would have been to preserve basic movement in a patient,” Keyoumars Ashkan, the neurosurgeon who oversaw Turner’s delicate operation, told the Sunday Times. “We wouldn’t have dreamed of being able to protect the finest, most delicate, most absolute, critical executive aspect of movement needed in a violinist.”

Dagmar Turner, 53, played the violin during an operation on Jan. 31 at King's College Hospital in London to help prevent damage that would affect her talent.

Dagmar Turner had a tumor in her brain’s right frontal lobe, not far from the tissue that gave her left hand control over her violin. After radiotherapy the tumor continued to grow and she needed a surgery. It was a good thing Turner was right-handed. The surgery of the right side of her brain, where the tumor was located, would affect only movements on her left side, she was told.

But to play violin one needs both hands. Turner plays the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra. It is her passion since she was 10.

 “The thought of losing my ability to play was heartbreaking,” Turner said in a statement released by King’s College Hospital.

The medical team mapped parts of Turner’s brain involved in music and language skills. Turner was under general anesthesia while the operation, but was wide awake during the tumor’s removal. She played Gershwin, Mahler and many more.

Dagmar Turner, 53, played the violin during an operation on Jan. 31 at King's College Hospital in London to help prevent damage that would affect her talent.

Read more: Carlo Urbani – a Hero Who Fought Coronavirus: He First Recognised Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

It was remarkable but it was not the first case of such sort. In 2018, a woman played her flute in Texas during deep brain stimulation that was needed to stop involuntary tremors. There was also a case in South Africa when a jazz musician played his guitar during the brain tumor removal.

In 2018, a woman played her flute in Texas during deep brain stimulation that was needed to stop involuntary tremors.
There was also a case in South Africa when a jazz musician played his guitar during the brain tumor removal.

A few years ago a French woman sang through the removal of a throat tumor. Decades ago doctors kept their patients awake during epilepsy treatment British neurosurgeon Henry Marsh was talking with his patient while removing the tumor without affecting his speech and personality.

A few years ago a French woman sang through the removal of a throat tumor.

Nowadays these methods are accepted as a standard. They help to preserve vital abilities. Turner went home three days after the surgery. She is already back to playing her violin.

Turner went home three days after the surgery. She is already back to playing her violin.

Read more: The World’s First Mental Health Ambulance: Sweden Fights Suicide Rates

My Schedule Is Happiness: How Positive Thinking Boosts Your Health and Improves Your Life


“I act often with fear and bravery chasing each other in my eyes…”


L. is a good nurse, and that alone tells a lot about her. She was born in Rwanda, adopted and raised in Europe. L. moved back to Rwanda when she learned her way and made sure that helping her patients was her aim in life. After the genocide her native country needed support, her least lucky people needed her knowledge.  

You must not grudge me a little pomp and ceremony about this story. L. is a fine creature, her big almost black identical in size and shape eyes cause people to confide in her. She learned early on to listen, and this skill proved to be invaluable in her profession. 

“Every day is like putting Humpty Dumpty back together again,” she says. “I begin my harum-scarum day and see the transformation, one person at a time.”

Read more: Intensely Luxurious Feeling of Self-Compassion: 6 Reasons to Practice Kindness Toward Yourself

People often live with the brow of an optimist above and the jaw of a pessimist below. To make one dominate another is to create real value in life. A positive approach to everything one does helps to build a skill set that makes a smile last a lifetime. Whereas, one sardonic smile can bring gloom that blankets everything around.

1) Negative Thoughts Are as Bad as a Dangerous Plague, and Infinitely as Harmful to Your Health

My Schedule Is Happiness: How Positive Thinking Boosts Your Health and Improves Your Life

“I was 12 when my new parents took me to Europe. I have my first memories linked with horror and fear, loss and grief. Those memories shaped my personality and in some way, I am grateful for the background I have. Although, gratitude was not speedy enough to visit me.”

“My good, generous and loving parents had to put up with a lot. I was not an obedient child, rebelling at anything and everything. I was in constant emotional pain at least first five-six years or so. The lesson of the genocide period in Rwanda left my whole being in ruins. Nearly one million people were killed. I lost my family, my friends, everything I ever loved.”

Read more: Turn off the Niagara of Regrets: 6 Ways to Avoid Being Upset About Your Past

When we feel negative emotions, they surround our brain by a mysterious halo, which shuts off the outside world, limiting our ability to see the way out. Our brain finds it easy to focus on the negative emotions of fear, anger, and stress. The man’s nature finds it easier to see the raw afternoon and the dense fog, the muddy streets, and the bleak houses. 

You need to make an effort to not letting bad things alone take their own bad way. The world takes gloomy and bright passages, and if you take it off-handedly, it will never go right for you. That is why in the midst of the mud and at the heart of the fog you need to force yourself to see the light, to shake the negativity off. 

Procrastination, spoliation, evasion, botheration blind your brain, depriving you of the ability to see the options and choices that surround you.

2) How Positive Thoughts Color Our Life in Healthy Beautiful Shades

My Schedule Is Happiness: How Positive Thinking Boosts Your Health and Improves Your Life

“Love and patience helped me to gradually come back to believing again. Jane and Matt – my stepparents – are my rocks in life. I owe them my new self, or, rather, the return of my old happy before-the-horror-self. I remember and I mourn, I often cry, but now mostly because of happy memories. I have more of those, you know, and the rest is still here in my heart, but not pressing and as vivid anymore.”

“This transformation came with the knowledge that I wanted to make a change. I was sick for a while at some point. A woman that nursed me in the hospital imprinted the longing for the same profession in me. By that time I knew that Rwanda was in the reconstruction period and the system of health needed human resources. I was going to come back home.” 

Read more: Painful Loss Should Be Incapable of Flooring You: 4 Techniques to Eliminate Suffering

The impact of positive emotions on the brain and overall health is hard to underestimate. Joy, contentment, and love open endless possibilities in life, they broaden your mind, make it more prone to new innovative solutions. 

When you seem to be a mass of dull, complaining feelings everything you do may seem distasteful. Gift yourself with optimistic thinking by identifying areas of your life that usually upset you. Each time your thoughts distress you, drive them out or find a way to put a positive spin on them. 

A smile during difficult times lightens the burden of troubles. When you humor everyday misfortunes, you feel less stressed. A good laugh is a luxury, the radiating waves of it break the toughest walls of desperation. 

Our social barometers always should stand at ‘sunny’. Negative people continually war with your happiness. Surround yourself with positive, supportive people who can give help with advice and action. 

3) Motivation is Another Definition of Positive Thinking

My Schedule Is Happiness: How Positive Thinking Boosts Your Health and Improves Your Life

“The desire not only to see my country again, but to be able to bring good – my skillset and knowledge – was driving me in my studies. I followed the efforts of Dr. Binagwaho, who spent years helping to rebuild the country’s health care system. She is my hero.”

“The most precious resource of the post-genocide Rwanda was its people. Thousands of community health workers traveled from home to home providing the necessary care. I willingly joined the rural health tribe.”

Read more: Worry & Anxiety – the Instruments of Our Own Destruction: 6 Ways to Push Them out of Your Life

Life has many costumes and only by looking at it with optimism one can truly value it. Positive emotions prompt useful and valuable everyday activity. Encouraging thinking is a sophisticated weapon in a battle with monotony. 

Building anything requires patience and motivation, both are synonymous with optimism. Only in a state of appreciation you can spark massive changes that can lead to new developments in life.

The ability to stay enthusiastic and hopeful is always located within. Whatever happens outside should not determine your state of mind, for that power rests with you only. So, does not allow an external event to be a disturbance.

4) How to Allow Positivity Reign Amid Chaos

My Schedule Is Happiness: How Positive Thinking Boosts Your Health and Improves Your Life

“The health workers were selected by the villages they served. The people of my native village decided that I would care for them. It was the happiest day of my life.”

“The country’s health system has managed to achieve so much progress on a very limited budget. Other poor countries often call this achievement miraculous, I call it challenging. Our dedication to delivering effective health care improves the lives of the poor and that is the best reward we need.”

Read more: Gratitude Makes Us Absolutely and Fearlessly Alive: 6 Admirable Ways to Be Joyously Tranquil

Do not blame yourself for the lack of calmness, doing so will never bring you to the state of inner joy. Practice awareness of what makes you feel good. Immerse yourself in this activity. Meditate if that makes you display more positive emotions, increased mindfulness, and decreased illness symptoms. 

Explain your inner state of mind in writing. If you note your positive experiences, you will have a better mood level and fewer health problems. 

We are all rooted to our social environment, meeting people we like and … not so much. Schedule fun time with optimistic people. Positivity attracts more of its own self, just being optimistic will make lovely, cheerful people your reality.

 5) Happiness and Success Come Together

My Schedule Is Happiness: How Positive Thinking Boosts Your Health and Improves Your Life

“At the end of every day, I am tired and full of joy and sorrow. Both mixed together comprise my life and make it unforgettable. I take both and grateful for both. The new coming day is ever more incredible because of this mixture of emotions and I always start it on a positive foot.”

“I am happy to be home. To lead the life of purpose is stimulating. I often in a state of inward merriment and I encourage myself to prolong this feeling because it is contagious. People around me can feel it and, consequently, become happier from my presence in their life.”

L. is very contented in her profession. She is a link in a chain of remarkable alterations for the better. 

Read more: Form Friendship With Yourself: 5 Clear Lessons of Happy Life 

In a positive state of mind you can withstand the passing disappointments and pain. You become a strong personality, the only one controlling your inner state of mind. Happy you, develop new skills with joy, that activity leads to success and that all gives you more reasons to be even happier. Serenity and peace are on your way when you remind yourself of your unbroken positivity.

Read more in my books 


L. confided in me and gave her permission to share her story. She only asked to make an emphasis on the happy side of it, showing to my readers the importance of positive, grateful approach to life. She mentioned several times that love saved her sanity, and optimism of her parents, being contagious, helped her to get better physically and emotionally.

Read more: Monopolize Success by Competing Against Yourself: 3 Strongest Arms to Fight the Deadliest Inner Enemies

It is hard to overestimate the importance of positivity. The most deplorable and irreparable results come from deeds made in a state of pessimistic rejection of bright and jolly in life. Whatever comes your way, allow it to be, but experience it with inner belief in a good outcome. A positive approach to life helps you to be preserved and unbroken. It reminds you that what seems distressing at one point in time is a blessing at another. 

Stay tuned… 

The World’s Best Caves: Kentucky Is an Underrated State


Kentucky is a destination of immense interest because of over 400 miles of explored caverns and passages.

Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park has a lot of offer to every visitor. About 80 square miles and more than 365 miles of the five-level cave system with new caves are continually being discovered.

Mammoth is the world’s longest cave system. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the beauty of it is by all means worth preserving. And if you are not afraid of darkness and tightness join the group of people that rangers are guiding below the earth level.

Deep in the Earth you are getting a glimpse at miracles of light in total darkness. Choose from a number of tours:

The Historic Tour, Introduction to Caving Tour, a four-mile Grand Avenue Tour or a five-mile six-hour belly-crawling Wild Cave Tour, the Frozen Niagara Tour, and a river trip or a walk on the River Styx Spring Trail.

Every tour will teach you about the incredible history of the place. You will see the most beautiful areas of the cave. At about 100 feet, there is the longest underground swinging bridge in the world. The bridge ends in an area of the cave that was not accessible before.

The American Cave Conservation Association has transformed this natural wonder into a place of adventure. This place offers a unique experience that you cannot have anywhere else.

Praise the Virus Hunters: This Nurses and Doctors Are Doing Amazing Work


To stop infectious diseases like Coronavirus is hard, to overestimate the bravery of people who willingly fight on the frontlines of outbreaks is impossible.

When a new epidemic is gaining speed, scientists have very little information about how a disease jumps from person to person, and how to protect yourself. The only option doctors and nurses have is to trust that somehow, whatever protection they have, it will keep them safe.

Being a health worker in a situation like this is solving near-impossible tasks: facing patients you cannot help; making decisions, the rightfulness of which you can only guess – but the consequences of which will hunt you the rest of your life.

These heroes have to be detectives, trying to find a drug that can if not stop the disease so at least help with the symptoms, gaining time. Their work is inspiring, these people are rock stars.

Nurses are working every day solving real human life drama, trying to see the way out in a never perfect country’s health care system.

Sometimes the only lifesaving tools they have are the heartfelt words of empathy, a true sincere touch, and tears of compassion in their eyes. Humble as those tools can be (in a time like this, when a patient is lonely as never before, isolated from friends and family) – they can become the most powerful remedy for the soul if not for the body.

There is no getting around without people like this. The whole nation may be on the cutting edge, when it comes to pandemic time. Ultimately, nurses and doctors are the only ones making a difference in our world. Appreciating their effort is the least we can do.

Read more: How to Stay Healthy and Sound During Coronavirus Outbreak

The World’s Most Ancient Continuously Inhabited City: Damascus’ Evidence of Settlement Goes 11,000 Years Back


Damascus, Syria is one of the oldest cities in the Middle East, the center of a flourishing craft industry.

The city’s Arabic name derives from Dimashka, a word or pre-Semitic etymology, that suggests that the beginning of Damascus goes back to a time before recorded history.

The city has about 125 monuments from different periods of its history. The 8th-century Great Mosque of the Umayyads is one of the most spectacular. The most outstanding civilizations which created it include – Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic.

The Umayyad caliphate made Damascus its capital, developing the city as a center of Muslim, Arab population.

The remains of the Temple of Jupiter, the remains of various gates and a section of the Roman city walls – all are the evidence of the Roman period. Traces of Greek inheritance are seen in the city’s north-south and east-west streets orientation.

Today Damascus is the Arab Capital of Culture. It is known by its popular epithet al-Fayḥāʾ (“the Fragrant”), earned perhaps for the freshness of its surrounding orchards and gardens.

Mark Twain wrote about the city:

“To Damascus, years are only moments, decades are only flitting trifles of time. She measures time not by days and months and years, but by the empires she has seen rise and prosper and crumble to ruin. She is a type of immortality.”

Read more: Mysterious Ice Age Architecture: 25,000 Year-Old Circle Built of the Bones of 60 Mammoths

7,100 Reasons to Visit the Philippines


The Archipelago is covering nearly 300,000 square kilometers and consists of 7,100 islands, some of them still unnamed.

The Philippines is bounded by the Philippine Sea to the east, the Celebes Sea to the south, the Sulu Sea to the southwest, and the South China Sea to the west and north. Manila is the capital, but the nearby city Quezon is the most populous place. Both located on Luzon, the largest island. A king of Spain, Philip II during the Spanish colonization of the islands in the 16h century gave his name to the archipelago.

The Philippines was under Spanish rule for 333 years and under the U.S. – for a further 48 years. Consequently, English is an official language there.

The area is rich in resources and has the potential to build a strong industrial economy. So far it remains largely agricultural. The mountain regions are heavily forested and the vegetation is similar to the Malay Archipelago.

The Philippines are inhabited by more than 200 species of mammals and hundreds of species of birds. The fossil remains show that elephants once lived on the islands.

The Philippines is a regional leader in education, so the country has the highest literacy rates in Asia. Filipinos are educated, friendly and welcoming.

Read more: First Known Humans Genetically Adapted to Diving: These ‘Sea Nomads’ Can Stay Deep Under Water

Exploring the Country With Twice as Many Pyramids as Egypt

Pyramids at dawn, Meroe, Sudan

Sudan, a war-torn stretch of bland desert, has more pyramids than Egypt.

More than 255 pyramids were built in Sudan during the ancient reign, compare it to Egypt’s 138. They were built by members of the Kingdom of Kush, an ancient civilization that ruled areas along the Nile River.

The Kushites started to build pyramids about 500 years after the Egyptians, and both cultures used them to entomb their dead.

The pyramids in Sudan are steeper and narrower. They are built from stepped stones and average roughly 6 to 30 meters tall, while the average Egyptian pyramid is about 138 meters. The ancient city of Meroë, at some point a thriving metropolis, lies near the middle of modern Sudan and contains alone about 200 pyramids.

Archaeologists are employing drones to scan the area from above and find answers to the many questions they still have.

Read more: The World’s Most Ancient Continuously Inhabited City: Damascus’ Evidence of Settlement Goes 11,000 Years Back

Diamond Dust or Subsun – a Brilliant White Spot Below the Horizon


A white, vertically elongated sport of light that arises through reflection by horizontal faces of ice crystals.

This optical phenomenon is known as an undersun. It can be seen within clouds or haze when observed from above. Numerous tiny ice crystals suspend in the atmosphere and the Sun’s light is reflected off of them.

As a large mirror, the region of ice crystals create a virtual image of the sun. One can see it within clouds or haze. The effect belongs to the family of halos.

Other common types of optical phenomena are the glory and rainbow.

Read more: A Unique Geological Phenomenon: Kerið Is an Icelandic Crater Lake

Sea Without Shores & Coastline: The Sargasso Sea Is the Only One of Such Kind on the Earth


The Sargasso Sea in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean is a unique creation of nature. It is surrounded by ocean currents rather than shores.

The sea is called after the floating golden-brown seaweed that covers the surface of it and known as Sargassum.

In the midst of Gulf Stream on the west, North Atlantic Current in the north, Canary Current on the east and the North Atlantic Equatorial Current on the south located this strange sea.

The Sargasso Sea seems calm and warm – the temperature of the water inside the sea is much more than the water on the outside.

The mysterious sea is a big mystery. The strange disappearances of the ships and air crafts in the close located the Bermuda triangle are all linked to it.

A huge whirlpool created by seaweeds and the powerful currents can work like a centrifuge, that sends smaller whirlpools to the area of the Bermuda Triangle. These whirlpools are rotating ships and drag them inside. Those same small whirlpools create mini-cyclones in the air dooming aircrafts to the same sad destiny.

The ocean currents bring in lots of marine plants into it, but, unfortunately, the same currents also bring a vast amount of garbage from the other parts of the ocean. The Bermuda Government took the initiative to conserve and protect this unique sea.

Read more: Sea Turtles Population Increased by 980% After Receiving Protections Under the Law

Iceland – a Home to the World’s Most Active Volcanoes – Grows 5 CM Every Year


Right now Iceland is growing, as it splits wider at the points where two tectonic plates meet.

The eastern part of Iceland drifts to the east and the western part drifts to the west. Iceland, sitting atop the North Atlantic Ridge, faces a constant growth created by magma.

The volcanic system has been extremely active in the past years. The latest volcanic eruption was in Holuhraun from August 2014 to February 2015. In 2010 Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted and in 2011 Grímsvötn.

Global warming melts the island’s ice caps and that adds pace to the speed of this rise. This phenomenon may be the culprit behind this accelerated uplift.

Read more: A Unique Geological Phenomenon: Kerið Is an Icelandic Crater Lake

The Sahara Desert Painted White With Snow: Snowstorms Blanket Rare Parts of the World


Snow visited this landscape in 1979, December 2016, and January 2018.

In 2018 for the third time in 40 years Ain Sefra, a desert town in Algeria, experienced a substantial amount of snow.

High pressures over Europe caused cold air to be pulled down into northern Africa and the Sahara Desert.

Northern Africa, where the Sahara currently is, was once covered with large lakes, vegetation, animals, and human settlements.

About 5,000 years ago northern Africa’s moisture was suddenly cut off, ending the humid period.

In the coming decades and centuries, we may find the Sahara Desert becoming the fertile grassland it once was. Discover some other places, where snow is very occasional, once every few decades:

Rome, Italy

Miami, Florida

Sydney, Australia

Baghdad, Iraq

Lisbon, Portugal

Malibu, California

Las Vegas, Nevada

Buenos Aires, Argentina

San Diego, California


Read more: Land Art Rises in the Saudi Arabia Desert: Government-Funded X Al Ula Show