This is not a photograph !

 

No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks. This isn’t a photograph—but actually a portrait, hand-drawn by Portugal-based lawyer and hobbyist, Samuel Silva.
According to Silva, his portrait is based on a photograph by Russian photographer Kristina Tararina—which he replicates on paper using nothing but standard ballpoint pens.

His hyperrealistic portrait uses eight different colors and it took him about 30 hours to complete.

When asked if he’s a professional artist, he replies, “No, I’m just a lawyer, art is just a hobby for me, although it takes from 5 to 50 hours to finish each drawing.”

With his talent, it seems like he’s in the wrong profession—wouldn’t you agree?

The first picture above is Silva’s hand-drawn portrait, while the one directly below is Tararina’s photograph.

Capacity Building for Sustainable Development

Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is becoming an important aspect of new curricular – and like health education will mean that many children’s lives will be saved. Too important to be left to last thing on a Friday afternoon. The case studies listed in the report by UNICEF and UNESCO help us to ‘operationalise’ what we mean by DRR.

(UNICEF/UNESCO)

UNICEF and UNESCO recognise the important role education plays in reducing vulnerability and building resilience. Education can be instrumental in building the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to prepare for and cope with disasters, as well as in helping learners and the community to return to a normal life.

 

This report is a mapping of countries that have included elements of disaster risk reduction into their education system. It captures national experiences whilst noting key challenges in countries where disaster risk reduction is less clearly prioritised or where specific teacher training doesn’t exist.

 

The publication is available here.

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Why do we crave chocolate?

   

Why do women crave chocolate?

Lucky for us, this question doesn’t have just one simple answer.  Don’t you just love questions like that?

Our first answer is the most obvious answer out there:

Dear Aunt Flow.

Once a month, if you’re of the female gender, your annoying and mean Aunt Flow comes to town.  She is never welcome and the week that she’s in town is always the worst week of your life.  She’s needy, annoying, and just when you’ve managed to forget about her she kicks you right where it hurts.  While Aunt Flow is in town, our body is suffering from a deficient in minerals, such as magnesium.  Which, you guessed it, chocolate contains.  So, next time Aunt Flow is in town have some chocolate.  You need it.

But, what if Aunt Flow isn’t in town? Why am I craving chocolate?

Have you been stressed out lately?  Maybe a big paper is due or you have a really important meeting at work?  Maybe you’re starting a new job or school for the first time and you’re a little nervous?  Maybe you’ve been having some family problems and you’re a little down in the dumps?

By eating chocolate, you increase the serotonin levels in your brain.  If you didn’t know,serotonin is the neurotransmitter that causes you to have a better mood.  So, if you’re stressed out or upset, increasing your serotonin levels will not only help by increasing your mood, but they will also cause a significant decrease in anxiety.

Ingredients in Chocolate:

Theobromine – Caffeine-like stimulant

Tryptophan – Increases serotonin levels, leaving you feeling good

Phenethylamine – releases endorphins causing passionate feelings

Sugar and Fat – This causes the wonderful texture

   

With a combination like this, who wouldn’t want chocolate?

However, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing.  Having a piece of cake or candy bar is fine every once in a while, but don’t become addicted to it.

Alright, so you’re happy and Aunt Flow isn’t in town, why else could you be craving chocolate?

I’m one of the many that suffer from low blood sugar.  If I’ve gone too long between meals or I haven’t eaten enough during the day, I start to get a little shaky.  When this happens, my blood sugar levels have dropped.  So, when my levels have dropped and I’m getting shaky and sweaty, the one thing that will bring me out of my little attack is chocolate.  Because of the sugar and caffeine that chocolate has, it immediately raises my blood sugar levels.  Dark chocolate specifically helps stabilize the levels.  So, if you’re in-between meals and you’re starting to feel tired and odd, you may be experiencing low blood sugar levels.

Ok, ok, I hear you.  Aunt Flow’s not in town, you’re happy and you’re not suffering from low blood sugar levels.  Why are you still craving chocolate?

It’s addictive.  There has been some research that shows chocolate contains the same alkaloidcompounds that make alcohol addictive.  Because of this research, it has led many to believe and start to consider that chocolate is physiologically addictive.  Chocolate also contains the compound anandamide, which many believe stimulates the brain the same way marijuanadoes.  However, there is a huge debate going on whether or not chocolate contains enough of the compounds to be as addictive as alcohol and marijuana are.

And finally, if none of these answers have satisfied you as to why you are craving chocolate, here is my final answer to the question why you are craving chocolate.

Chocolate has a wonderful delicious texture that is unlike anything else.  It’s just good.

I hope you’re satisfied with this answer.  I spent quite a bit of time researching and learning about the different kinds of levels in our brain and why chocolate does what it does.  However, if you aren’t satisfied, let me know why so I can be sure to do a better job next time.  Or, you know, just go have a piece of chocolate.

Remember, never stop asking why!