Human Evolution

7 Powerful Ways to Turn Every Failure Into Success

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7 Powerful Ways to Turn Every Failure Into Success

🇺🇸 Failure is part of life, and most certainly part of business. We don’t often acknowledge it, but failure is also a fundamental element of our success.

Our instinct is to be ashamed of failure, maybe because we don’t like how it makes us feel–humiliated, as though we have done something wrong.

But if you can shift your perspective and look at failure not as something to be ashamed of but something valuable, you can begin to understand that it’s through failure that we truly learn to succeed.

The sooner we stop shaming our failures, the easier it will be to turn them to our advantage. Here are seven points to think about:

1. Mistakes are not a problem, but not taking the opportunity to learn from them is. Identify your mistakes and learn from them quickly. Many successful people have experienced some kind of failure–and they build on those lessons. Learning to fail well means learning to understand your mistakes. In every mistake there is a potential for growth.

2. Be careful how you talk to yourself, because you are listening. Self-talk can be incredibly damaging, especially after a failure. Handle your self-talk and don’t allow it to make you feel worthless–especially in the aftermath of a failure. Let it sting for a moment, and then do everything you can to stay positive and get back on track.

3. It’s far better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing perfectly. The only true failure is doing nothing–inaction puts everything at risk. When we do nothing, it means we are not moving anywhere. And that is a surefire way to stay in failure. All that is required for failure to triumph is for us to do nothing.

4. We are products of our past, but we don’t have to let our mistakes define us.Even if the past did not go as we had hoped, our future can still be better than we can envision. Too often, we’re afraid to talk about our past and our failures out of fear that they’ll define us. Let it out, but stay focused on what’s ahead.

5. The enemy of success is fear of failure. It’s not failure itself that’s so dangerous–it’s the fear of failure that keeps us doing nothing. Like all fears, you conquer it by facing it down. And when the fear of doing nothing exceeds the fear of doing it wrong, that is when your true work begins.

6. Consistent action creates consistent results. Strength doesn’t come from what you can do, it comes from mastering the things you once thought you couldn’t do. So let yourself fall down, but learn to dust yourself off and get up and move forward. What you do every day matters more than what you do every once in a while. Consistency is key to success.

7. You can’t do it alone–and you don’t have to. Sometimes our failures keep us stuck in our old ways and we need support to help us get past our bad habits. The worst thing we can do is think we need to handle this alone. Find a coach, a mentor, or a friend who supports you in your efforts and has the experience to get you pointed toward your own success.

Failure is the only way to grow yourself and grow your organization, because ultimately, it is how we learn to succeed.

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sure-com America

inspiration  by  LOLLY DASKAL  President and CEO, Lead From Within

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Cancer cell, a new minimally invasive vaccine

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A new minimally invasive vaccine that combines cancer cells and immune-enhancing factors could be used clinically to launch a destructive attack on tumors

(BOSTON) — New research led by Wyss Core Faculty member David Mooney, Ph.D., in collaboration with researchers at thecancer-vaccines-sem-400x301 Dana-
Farber Cancer Institute could potentially yield a new platform for cancer vaccines. Leveraging a biologically inspired sponge-like gel called “cryogel” as an injectable biomaterial, the vaccine delivers patient-specific tumor cells together with immune-stimulating biomolecules to enhance the body’s attack against cancer. The approach, a so-called “injectable cryogel whole-cell cancer vaccine,” is reported online in Nature Communications on August 12. This scanning electron microscopy image shows the thawed cryogel with its well-organized interconnected porous architecture ready to be infused with cancer cells and immune factors. Credits: Ellen Roche, James Weaver, Sidi A. Bencherif / Wyss Institute at Harvard University

Mooney, who leads a Wyss Institute team developing a broad suite of novel cancer vaccines and immunotherapies, is also the Robert P. Pinkas Family Professor of Bioengineering at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

His team’s latest approach differs from other cancer cell transplantation therapies—which harvest tumor cells and then genetically engineer them to trigger immune responses once they are transplanted back into the patient’s body—in that the new cryogel vaccine’s properties are used to evoke the immune response in a far simpler and more economical way.

Cryogels are a type of hydrogel made up of cross-linked hydrophilic polymer chains that can hold up to 99 percent water. They are created by freezing a solution of the polymer that is in the process of gelling. When thawed back again to room temperature, the substance turns into a highly interconnected pore-containing hydrogel, which is similar in composition to bodily soft tissues in terms of their water content, structure, and mechanics. By adjusting their shape, physical properties, and chemical composition, Mooney’s team generated sponge-like, porous cryogels that can be infused with living cells, biological molecules or drugs for a variety of potential therapeutic applications including cancer immunotherapy.

“Instead of genetically engineering the cancer cells to influence the behavior of immune cells, we use immune-stimulating chemicals or biological molecules inserted alongside harvested cancer cells in the porous, sponge-like spaces of the cryogel vaccine,” said Mooney.

The cryogels can be delivered in a minimally invasive manner due to their extreme flexibility and resilience, enabling them to be compressed to a fraction of their size and injected underneath the skin via a surgical needle. Once injected, they quickly bounce back to their original dimensions to do their job.

Cancerous melanoma cells shown with their cell bodies (green) and nuclei (blue) are nestled in tiny hollow lumens within the polymeric cryogel (red) structure. Credits: Thomas Ferrante, Sidi A. Bencherif / Wyss Institute at Harvard University
“After injection into the body, the cryogels can release their immune-enhancing factors in a highly controlled fashion to recruit specialized immune cells which then make contact and read unique signatures off the patient’s tumor cells, also contained in the cryogels. This has two consequences: immune cells become primed to mount a robust and destructive response against patient-specific tumor tissue and the immune tolerance developing within the tumor microenvironment is broken,” said Sidi Bencherif, the study’s co-first author and a Research Associate in Mooney’s research group.

In experimental animal models on melanoma tumors, results show that utilizing the cryogel to deliver whole cells and drugs triggers a dramatic immune response that can shrink tumors and even prophylactically protect animals from tumor growth. With the pre-clinical success of the new cancer cell vaccination technology, Mooney and his team are going to explore how this cryogel-based method could be more broadly useful to treat a number of different cancer types.

“This promising new approach is a great example of the power of collaboration across disciplines, bringing together expertise from the Wyss Institute and Dana-Farber spanning bioengineering, cancer biology and immunology,” said Mooney.

cells-in-cryogel-400x367“This new injectable form of this biomaterials-based cancer vaccine will help to expand the cancer immunotherapy arsenal, and it’s a great example of how engineering and materials science can be used to mimic the body’s own natural responses in a truly powerful way,” said Don Ingber, the Wyss Institute’s Founding Director, who also is the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, and Professor of Bioengineering at SEAS.

Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University

PRESS CONTACT
Kat J. McAlpine, katherine.mcalpine@wyss.harvard.edu, +1 617-432-8266

IMAGE CONTACT
Seth Kroll, seth.kroll@wyss.harvard.edu, +1 617-432-7758

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The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University (http://wyss.harvard.edu) uses Nature’s design principles to develop bioinspired materials and devices that will transform medicine and create a more sustainable world. Wyss researchers are developing innovative new engineering solutions for healthcare, energy, architecture, robotics, and manufacturing that are translated into commercial products and therapies through collaborations with clinical investigators, corporate alliances, and formation of new start–ups. The Wyss Institute creates transformative technological breakthroughs by engaging in high risk research, and crosses disciplinary and institutional barriers, working as an alliance that includes Harvard’s Schools of Medicine, Engineering, Arts & Sciences and Design, and in partnership with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Dana–Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston University, Tufts University, and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, University of Zurich and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Kathy Kiefer

NATIONAL SYMBOLS & LANDMARKS

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NATIONAL SYMBOLS & LANDMARKS

A national symbol is a symbol of any entity considering itself and manifesting itself to the world as a national community: the sovereign states but also national and countries in a state of colonial or other dependence, (con)federal integration, or even an ethno-cultural community considered a ‘nationality’ despite having no political autonomy.

National symbols intend to unite people by creating visual, verbal, or iconic representations of the national people, values, goals, or history.

These symbols are often rallied around as part of celebrations of patriotism or aspiring nationalism (such as independence, autonomy or separation movements) and are designed to be inclusive and representative of all the people of the national community.

In many ways, well-known sights in a country can also be seen as national symbols, as can traditional items of handicraft, folk costumes, national epics and national myths, as well as symbols used by national sports teams and their supporters.

The Great Seal of the U.S.

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress appointed a committee consisting of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson “to bring in a device for a seal of the United States of America.” After many delays, a verbal description of a design by William Barton was finally approved by Congress on June 20, 1782. The seal shows an American bald eagle with a ribbon in its mouth bearing the device E pluribus unum (One out of many). In its talons are the arrows of war and an olive branch of peace. On the reverse side it shows an unfinished pyramid with an eye (the eye of Providence) above it. Although this description was adopted in 1782, the first drawing was not made until four years later, and no die has ever been cut.

The U.S. Flag

In 1777 the Continental Congress decided that the flag would have 13 alternating red and white stripes, for the 13 colonies, and 13 white stars on a blue background. A new star has been added for every new state. Today the flag has 50 stars.

Bald Eagle

The bald eagle has been our national bird since 1782. The Founding Fathers had been unable to agree on which native bird should have the honor-Benjamin Franklin strongly preferred the turkey! Besides appearing on the Great Seal, the bald eagle is also pictured on coins, the $1 bill, all official U.S. seals, and the President’s flag.

Uncle Sam

The image of Uncle Sam, with his white hair and top hat, first became famous on World War I recruiting posters. The artist, James Montgomery Flagg used himself as a model. But the term dates back to the War of 1812, when a meat-packer nicknamed Uncle Sam supplied beef to the troops. The initials for his nickname were quite appropriate!

The United States National History Landmark Program is designed to recognize and honor the nation’s cultural and historical heritage. The program was formally inaugurated with a series of listings on October 9, 1960; as of April 22, 2014, there are 2,532 designated landmarks. A National Historic Landmark (NHL) is a building, site, structure, object or district that is officially recognized by the United States government for its national historical significance. A National Historic Landmark District (NHLD) is a historic district that is recognized as an NHL. Its geographic area may include contributing properties that are buildings, structures, sites or objects, and it may include non-contributing properties.

The program is administered by the National Parks Service (NPS), a branch of the Department of the Interior.   The National Park Service determines which properties meet NHL criteria and makes nomination recommendations after an owner notification process. The Secretary of the Interior reviews nominations and, based on a set of predetermined criteria, makes a decision on NHL designation or a determination of eligibility for designation. Both public and privately owned properties can be designated as NHLs. This designation provides indirect, partial protection of the historic integrity of the properties via tax incentives, grants, monitoring of threats, and other means. Owners may object to the nomination of the property as a NHL. When this is the case the Secretary of the Interior can only designate a site as eligible for designation.

All NHLs are also included on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), a list of some 80,000 historic properties that the National Park Service deems to be worthy of recognition. The primary difference between a NHL and a NRHP listing is that the NHLs are determined to have national significance, while other NRHP properties are deemed significant at the local or state level.

The United States has 114 protected areas known as national monuments. The President of the United States can establish a national monument by presidential proclamation, and the United States Congress can by legislation. The Antiquities Act of 1906 authorized the president to proclaim “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest” as national monuments. Concerns about protecting mostly prehistoric Indian ruins and artifacts—collectively termed antiquities—on western federal lands prompted the legislation. Its purpose was to allow the president to quickly preserve public land without waiting for legislation to pass through an unconcerned Congress. The ultimate goal was to protect all historic and prehistoric sites on U.S. federal lands.

President Theodore Roosevelt established the first national monument, Devils Tower in Wyoming, on September 24, 1906. He established eighteen national monuments, although only nine still retain that designation. Sixteen presidents have created national monuments since the program began; only Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush did not. Bill Clinton created the most monuments, nineteen, and expanded three others. Jimmy Carter protected vast parts of Alaska, proclaiming fifteen national monuments, some of which later were promoted to national parks.

Thirty states have national monument, as do the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Minor outlying Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands.   Arizona, with eighteen, has the largest number of national monuments, followed by New Mexico with fourteen and California with eleven. Fifty-eight national monuments protect places of national significance,   including eleven geological sites, seven marine sites and five volcanic sites.   Twenty-two national monuments are associated with Native Americans.   Twenty-nine are other historical sites, including twelve forts. Many national monuments are no longer designated as such.   Some were changed to national parks or another status by Congress or the President, while others were transferred to state control or disbanded.

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Seven federal agencies in four departments manage the 114 current U.S. National Monuments. Of these, 107 Monuments are managed by a single agency, while seven are co-managed by two agencies. Only 79 of the NPS’s 80 National Monuments are official units because Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument overlaps with Lake Mead National Recreational Area.

Kathy Kiefer

THE SUMMER SOLSTICE – WHAT IS IT?

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THE SUMMER SOLSTICE – WHAT IS IT?

What is the summer solstice all about?   Is it necessary for us to be aware of what is behind it? Should we be interested in the solstice?

The summer solstice occurs when the tilt of a planet’s semi-axis, in either the northern or the southern hemisphere, is most inclined toward the star (sun) that it orbits. Earth’s maximum axil tilt toward the sun is 23° 26′. This happens twice each year, at which times the sun reaches its highest position in the sky as seen from the north or the South Pole.

The summer solstice occurs during a hemisphere’s summer. This is the northern solstice in the northern hemisphere and the southern solstice in the southern hemisphere. Depending on the shift of the calendar, the summer solstice occurs sometime between June 20 and June 22 in the northern hemisphere and between December 20 and December 23 each year in the southern hemisphere.

When on a geographic pole, the sun reaches its greatest height, the moment of solstice; it can be noon only along that longitude which at that moment lies in the direction of the sun from the pole. For other longitudes, it is not noon. Noon has either passed or has yet to come. Hence the notion of a solstice day is useful. The term is colloquially used like midsummer to refer to the day on which solstice occurs. The summer solstice day has the longest period of daylight – except in the Polar Regions, where daylight is continuous, from a few days to six months around the summer solstice.

Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied among cultures, but most recognize the event in some way with holidays, festivals and rituals around that time with themes of religion or fertility. The solstice is also known as the birthday of the sun, like the queen the sun celebrates twice a year.

Solstice is derived from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices, the Sun stands still in declination; that is, the seasonal movement of the Sun’s path (as seen from earth) comes to a stop before reversing direction.

A solstice is an astronomical event that occurs twice each year as the Sun reaches its highest or lowest excursion relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere. The solstices, together with the equinoxes, are connected with the seasons. In many cultures the solstices mark either the beginning or the midpoint of winter and summer.

At latitudes in the temperate zone, the summer solstice marks the day when the sun appears highest in the sky. However, in the tropics, the sun appears directly overhead (called the subsolar point) some days (or even months) before the solstice and again after the solstice, which means the subsolar point occurs twice each year.

The term solstice can also be used in a broader sense, as the date (day) when this occurs. The day of the solstice is either the longest day of the year (in summer) or the shortest day of the year (in winter) for any place outside of the tropics.

For an observer on the North Pole, the sun reaches the highest position in the sky once a year in June. The day this occurs is called the June solstice day. Similarly, for an observer on the South Pole, the sun reaches the highest position on December solstice day. When it is the summer solstice at one Pole, it is the winter solstice on the other. The sun’s westerly motion never ceases as the Earth is continually in rotation. However, the sun’s motion in declination comes to a stop at the moment of solstice. In that sense, solstice means “sun-standing”. This modern scientific word descends from a Latin scientific word in use in the late Roman republic of the 1st century BC: solstitium. Pliny uses it a number of times in his Natural History with a similar meaning that it has today. It contains two Latin-language morphemes, sol, “sun”, and -stitium, “stoppage”. The Romans used “standing” to refer to a component of the relative velocity of the Sun as it is observed in the sky. Relative velocity is the motion of an object from the point of view of an observer in a frame of reference. From a fixed position on the ground, the sun appears to orbit around the Earth.

To an observer in an inertial frame of reference, the planet Earth is seen to rotate about an axis and revolve around the Sun in an elliptical path with the Sun at one focus. The Earth’s axis is tilted with respect to the plane of the Earth’s orbit and this axis maintains a position that changes little with respect to the background of stars. An observer on Earth therefore sees a solar path that is the result of both rotation and revolution.

The component of the Sun’s motion seen by an earthbound observer caused by the revolution of the tilted axis – which, keeping the same angle in space, is oriented toward or away from the Sun – is an observed daily increment (and lateral offset) of the elevation of the Sun at noon for approximately six months and observed daily decrement for the remaining six months. At maximum or minimum elevation, the relative yearly motion of the Sun perpendicular to the horizon stops and reverses direction.

Outside of the tropics, the maximum elevation occurs at the summer solstice and the minimum at the winter solstice. The path of the Sun, or ecliptic, sweeps north and south between the northern and southern hemispheres. The days are longer around the summer solstice and shorter around the winter solstice. When the Sun’s path crosses the equator, the length of the nights at latitudes +L° and -L° are of equal length. This is known as an equinox. There are two solstices and two equinoxes in a tropical year.

The seasons occur because the Earth’s axis of rotation is not perpendicular to its orbital plane (the “plane of the ecliptic”) but currently makes an angle of about 23.44° (called the “obliquity of the ecliptic “), and because the axis keeps its orientation with respect to an inertial frame of reference. As a consequence, for half the year the Northern Hemisphere is inclined toward the Sun while for the other half year the Southern Hemisphere has this distinction. The two moments when the inclination of Earth’s rotational axis has maximum effect are the solstices.

At the June solstice the subsolar point is further north than any other time: at latitude 23.44° north, known as the Tropic of Cancer. Similarly at the December solstice the subsolar point is further south than any other time: at latitude 23.44° south, known as the Tropic of Capricorn. The subsolar point will cross every latitude between these two extremes exactly twice per year.

Also during the June solstice, places on the Arctic Circle (latitude 66.56° north) will see the Sun just on the horizon during midnight, and all places north of it will see the Sun above horizon for 24 hours. That is the midnight sun or midsummer -night sun or polar day. On the other hand, places on the Antarctic (latitude 66.56° south) will see the Sun just on the horizon during midday, and all places south of it will not see the Sun above horizon at any time of the day. That is the polar night. During the December Solstice, the effects on both hemispheres are just the opposite. This also allows the polar sea ice to increase its annual growth and temporary extent at a greater level due to lack of direct sunlight.

The concept of the solstices was embedded in ancient Greek celestial navigation. As soon as they discovered that the Earth is spherical they devised the concept of the celestial sphere, an imaginary spherical surface rotating with the heavenly bodies fixed in it (the modern one does not rotate, but the stars in it do). As long as no assumptions are made concerning the distances of those bodies from Earth or from each other, the sphere can be accepted as real and is in fact still in use.

The stars move across the inner surface of the celestial sphere along the circumferences of circles in parallel planes perpendicular to the Earth’s axis extended indefinitely into the heavens and intersecting the celestial sphere in a celestial pole. The Sun and the planets do not move in these parallel paths but along another circle, the ecliptic, whose plane is at an angle, the obliquity of the ecliptic, to the axis, bringing the Sun and planets across the paths of and in among the stars.

The term heliacal circle is used for the ecliptic, which is in the center of the zodiacal circle, conceived as a band including the noted constellations named on mythical themes. Other authors use Zodiac to mean ecliptic, which first appears in a gloss of unknown author in a passage of Cleomedes where he is explaining that the Moon is in the zodiacal circle as well and periodically crosses the path of the Sun. As some of these crossings represent eclipses of the Moon, the path of the Sun is given a synonym, the ekleiptikos (kuklos) from ekleipsis, “eclipse”.

Kathy Kiefer