Let's start with some good news! Mercury's retrograde has stopped, and ideas are becoming more clear, strategies more defined, with communication no longer disturbed by interference. Saturn, however, is back to where it started and returns to Scorpio. Those who have many projects on their hands must use this time to figure out where to best invest their energies and what can be put aside. Resist the temptation to do a thousand things at once! In love, the new Venus in Leo promises a sparkling summer.

TEMPO: allegretto selettivo

Nobody believed Galileo when he said the Earth revolved around the Sun. And I say the same about your work â€" after weeks of being on hold, you're back in motion. Perhaps you're skeptical, but we'll come back to this in a few weeks. Proposals are growing, as are opportunities to show your worth. Negotiations are unlocked, contracts are signed and the bank balance begins to grow again. Good! Leave aside some energy for love because Venus in Leo promises a summer of surprises for your heart.

TEMPO: ciak si gira!

After weeks of confusion and irritation, things are headed in the right direction again. Entrepreneurs and freelancers can especially breathe a sigh of relief for shared projects and incoming payments. Saturn leaves your opposition for three months, creating the best conditions for contracts on which to build the next working year. When it comes to love, Venus and Jupiter will be in favor, and a no longer hostile Saturn promises a beautiful summer for both established couples and lonely hearts seeking company.

TEMPO: andantino in accelerazione

Your moment is coming! Slowly, the transits that recently created turmoil and confusion in your life are fading away. The return of the sun brings energy and enthusiasm back into your sign. Saturn is in favor again and for the next three months will give you the ability to transform your inspirations into practical projects and activities. The past few months have been tiring, but now it's time to take a breather and enjoy the splendid view â€" both for business and your heart.

TEMPO: adagetto sollevato

It's time to show who you are and what you're worth. The Sun, Venus, Mercury and Mars are on your side, while Saturn teases your pride, goading you to get in the game. If you have clear ideas and you are on the right professional path, this week will bring important confirmations and satisfaction. Venus in your sign gives you an irresistible charm that can open many doors: Use it well. When it comes to love, no "prey" is out of your reach!

TEMPO: allegrissimo grintoso luminoso

Compared to last week, this one begins with a nice boost. Nerves are calmed, things are less hectic and disorderly. Saturn leaves the quadrature and becomes collaborative for the entire summer. Negotiations that were bogged down are back in motion and march towards contracts and other favorable agreements. When it comes to love, a relaxed dialogue returns and the desire to put projects in the pipeline is revived. This summer's sky will be very "fertile" and full of surprises.

TEMPO: allegretto rigenerante

Now that you have merged onto the highway, don't let a few pot holes put you off. Do not let a road closed for construction ruin your mood. Little detours won't divert your from your path and the great journey of growth that you are about to undertake in the professional field. In love there is some impatience or nervousness. Are you sure you know what you really want?

TEMPO: motori avanti tutta!

Saturn returns to your sign for three months and for once it's good news. This will lead to the "fulfillment" of the growth and accomplishments you've achieved in the last two and a half years. Now, the going will get tough â€" though this return of Saturn highlights the most constructive aspect of commitments: satisfaction. In love, it's time to let go a little.

TEMPO: allegretto di formazione

There's something that has been bothering you for some time now. A hidden thought, a muted concern. The theme of your sky this week is: Deal with things, shine a light on your fears and look at them straight in the eye. Immediately, they will become smaller and less threatening. This week a path of "enlightenment" will begin that will free you forever from the ghosts of your fears. In love, you will have an extraordinary sky all summer â€" especially young couples, who will add a crib to their bedroom.

TEMPO: marcia gloriosa

During the week, some small obstacles at work will be resolved and some blockages will be unclogged. Especially around Wednesday to Friday, lengthy negotiations may lead to the signing of a major contract. This first part of the summer is important for laying foundations for new projects and activities that will take off in the autumn thanks to the beautiful trine of Jupiter. In love, the new Venus in Leo will awaken even the laziest of hearts.

TEMPO: marcia di rimonta

Granted, the past few weeks' fatigue weighs on your shoulder like a rock. Such confusion, combined with the feeling of never being able to get a break or having fun for a moment ... Now you are at the final hurdle and the goal of great satisfaction that awaits us around the corner. You have arrived with courage, determination and enormous dedication; it's not worth throwing in the towel now. And among the thousands of commitments, let's look around: Love is there, one step away.

TEMPO: verso il gran finale!

Remember last week's horoscope? Something has changed and will change even more in the coming weeks. Saturn descends to the field beside yours and makes you more lucid, realistic and concrete. Just like a gardener with hedges out of place, that which shouldn't be there must be cut without regrets and doubts. Stop the recriminations and victimizing. Even in love you are more resolute and determined. It is no longer time to accept impossible compromises.

TEMPO: andante grintoso

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Saving The Planet Is Really A Question Of Dopamine

Our carelessness toward the environment could be due, in part, to the functioning of a very primitive area of our brain: the striatum.

Ad scuba-diver and brain coral

Stefano Lupieri

PARIS — Almost every week, a new scientific study alerts us to the degradation of the environment. And yet, we continue not to change anything fundamental in our systems of production and habits of consumption. Are we all suffering from blindness, or poisoned by denial?

In his popular books Le Bug humain (The Human Bug) and Où est le sens? (Where is the Sense?), Sébastien Bohler, a journalist in neuroscience and psychology, provides a much more rational explanation: The mechanism responsible for our propensity to destroy our natural environment is in fact a small, very deep and very primitive structure of our brain called the striatum.

This regulator of human motivation seems to have been programmed to favor behaviors that ensure the survival of the species.

Addictions to sex and social media

Since the dawn of humanity, gathering information about our environment, feeding ourselves, ensuring the transmission of our genes through sexual intercourse and asserting our social status have all been rewarded with a shot of dopamine, the 'pleasure hormone.'

Nothing has changed since then; except that, in our society of excess, there is no limit to the satisfaction of these needs. This leads to the overconsumption of food and addictions to everything from sex to social media — which together account for much of the world's destructive agricultural and energy practices.

No matter how much we realize that this is leading to our downfall, we can't help but relapse because we are prisoners of the dopamine pump in the striatum, which cannot be switched off.

Transverse section of striatum from a structural MRI image

Lindsay Hanford and Geoff B Hall via Wikipedia

Tweaking genetics 

According to Bohler, the only way out is to encourage the emergence of new values of sobriety, altruism and slowness. If adopted, these more sustainable notions could be recognized by the striatum as new sources of dopamine reward. But there's the challenge of promoting inspiring stories that infuse them with value.

Take the photo-collage exhibition "J'agis ici... et je m'y colle" ("I'm taking action here... and I'm sticking to it"), a collection of life-size portraits of residents committed to the energy transition, displayed on the walls of the French coastal city of La Rochelle.

Backed by the French National Center for Street Arts, photographer Martin Charpentier may be employing artistic techniques, but he's also tinkering with neuroscience in the process.

Les Echos
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