Even in absurdity, sacrament.     Even in hardship, holiness.     Even in doubt, faith.     Even in chaos, realization.    Even in paradox, blessedness

 

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"Life expands or shrinks in proportion to one's courage."    ~Anain Nin

{ Thursday, 30 September, 2004 }

Mount St. Helens VolcanoCam

Mount St. Helens VolcanoCam

jaybird found this for you @ 22:49 in Environment, Ecology & Nature | | permalink



Eye of the Storm

fp44.jpg

Suddenly, a calm moment. The world stops spinning, the sun resumes its normal descent, an egg of light dropping from a womb of clouds. The road still pulses, but out of sight, out of mind. The barista interrupts, I can't sit here, I need to move on, whether I bought anything on not. Just when I was feeling at home again, a stranger in my town.

In twenty-four hours, my mind became soaked with sensations of a new place, a far cry from my idiom. When I arrived there, I became immediately sick, the alien town became more so, and the delightfully peculiar sensations of newness took on a grayer tone. I struggled to keep my head as it tried to float off in curiosity and for refuge from a body ruled temporarily insane.

A peal of sirens. A crumpled map. A man paralyzed with drink on a city bench. Beautiful people and an acidic skyline. Hare Krishnas feeding free dinners, talk of God and Consciousness. The smell of work. The tremble of leaves in the trill music of autumn. Fatigue. Friends once distant now in embrace. Strange dreams and coincidences. Forgetting about tomorrow. Ancient cats scaling high walls with magic. Tuning out the news.

I am in wonder at the distances we traverse in such little relative time, while we sill grumble over the miles. I am in wonder how a day can never seem to end. I anticipate the eye of the storm to wink, and show laugh-lines in the cooling clouds. I am tired, and within reach of home, and my muscles have already succumbed to sleep. Where I went or why isn't important, it's that my here and there that are perplexed and dizzy. The sights that have colonized the short-term memory, the overheard conversations, the dispensing of duty, so much fancy in the passing sky. What remains is love... the warmth of a friend long unseen and the unparalleled smile through the bare window at the moment of recognition, these supersede any detail. And to that bright curve of lip, I blow a kiss of veneration and thanks.

This tea tastes of the whole orchard. The tree across the way thrives as the whole forest. And these slight weary words, spelled out in a place less foreign yet just as impenetrable, speak for my whole language right now as they say, without a trace of definition, that its good to be here, in the eye of that storm fearful storm called time and place.

jaybird found this for you @ 19:22 in Somewhere in the WiFi Wilderness | | permalink



This is a moblog* post:

This is a moblog* post:

Remind me to tell you about my dreams.


*Moblogging is posting from a cellphone or other wireless device- if a picture, it's taken from the phone.

jaybird found this for you @ 16:26 in Live from the road... | | permalink



This is a moblog* post:

This is a moblog* post:

I am 250 miles away from home for work and it has been a hell of a morning. Lost, confused, and allergic to Raleigh.


*Moblogging is posting from a cellphone or other wireless device- if a picture, it's taken from the phone.

jaybird found this for you @ 09:28 in Live from the road... | | permalink



{ Wednesday, 29 September, 2004 }

This is a moblog* post:

This is a moblog* post:

I am about 1/4 way across the universe now


*Moblogging is posting from a cellphone or other wireless device- if a picture, it's taken from the phone.

jaybird found this for you @ 16:45 in Live from the road... | | permalink



Traveling

I'm about to drive halfway across the Universe on a work related extravaganza on minutia. I'll be WiFi-ing later tonight and tomorrow morn with my impressions of the place...

Enjoy yourselves liberally.

jaybird found this for you @ 13:36 in Misc. Babble | | permalink



Human/Machine Anomalies In these experiments

Human/Machine Anomalies

In these experiments human operators attempt to influence the behavior of a variety of mechanical, electronic, optical, acoustical, and fluid devices to conform to pre-stated intentions, without recourse to any known physical processes. In unattended calibrations these sophisticated machines all produce strictly random outputs, yet the experimental results display increases in information content that can only be attributed to the influence of the consciousness of the human operator.

jaybird found this for you @ 11:53 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



BBC NEWS | Science/Nature |

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | The deafening sound of the seas

The world's oceans are now so saturated with noise that whales and other marine mammals are dying, biologists say. The UK's Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society is launching a campaign, Oceans of Noise, to tackle what it says is the increasing problem of noise pollution.

jaybird found this for you @ 06:51 in Environment, Ecology & Nature | | permalink



{ Tuesday, 28 September, 2004 }

The Promises of Monsters Nature

The Promises of Monsters

Nature is... a topos, a place, in the sense of a rhetorician's place or topic for consideration of common themes; nature is, strictly, a commonplace. We turn to this topic to order our discourse, to compose our memory. As a topic in this sense, nature also reminds us that in seventeenth-century English the "topick gods" were the local gods, the gods specific to places and peoples. We need these spirits, rhetorically if we can't have them any other way. We need them in order to reinhabit, precisely, common places-locations that are widely shared, inescapably local, worldly, enspirited; i.e., topical. In this sense, nature is the place to rebuild public culture.5 Nature is also a tropos, a trope. It is figure, construction, artifact, movement, displacement. Nature cannot pre-exist its construction. This construction is based on a particular kind of move- a tropos or "turn." Faithful to the Greek, as tro'pos nature is about turning. Troping, we turn to nature as if to the earth, to the primal stuff-geotropic, physiotropic. Topically, we travel toward the earth, a commonplace. In discoursing on nature, we turn from Plato and his heliotropic son's blinding star to see something else, another kind of figure. I do not turn from vision, but I do seek something other than enlightenment in these sightings of science studies as cultural studies. Nature is a topic of public discourse on which much turns, even the earth.

jaybird found this for you @ 21:42 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



Long Trip for Psychedelic Drugs

Long Trip for Psychedelic Drugs

Psychedelic drugs are inching their way slowly but surely toward prescription status in the United States, thanks to a group of persistent scientists who believe drugs like ecstasy and psilocybin can help people with terminal cancer, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, to name just a few.

The Heffter Research Institute, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies and others have managed to persuade the Food and Drug Administration to approve a handful of clinical trials using psychedelics. The movement seems to be gaining ground in recent years. Since 2001, the FDA and the Drug Enforcement Administration have given the go-ahead to three clinical trials testing psychedelics on symptomatic patients, and several more are on deck.

jaybird found this for you @ 07:32 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



Living goddess makes rare

Living goddess makes rare outing

A seven-year-old girl revered by Hindus and Buddhists as a living goddess has had a rare festive excursion from the house where she is usually confined in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu. Crowds roar and young men yell as they tug an ancient wooden chariot through the lanes of the old city...

jaybird found this for you @ 07:30 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink



This is one hell of

This is one hell of an October surprise, albeit a few days early. Here i was expecting some staged terror spectacular, and it's just plain and simple disefranchisement and dirty tricks, the Occam's Razor of political skulldudgery.

jaybird found this for you @ 00:35 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



{ Monday, 27 September, 2004 }

The Many Worlds FAQ, based

The Many Worlds FAQ, based on the Everett interpretation of parallel universus and an infinite number of worlds created by chance and variation.

jaybird found this for you @ 20:11 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



Burroughs, Gysin, and Ginsburg on

Burroughs, Gysin, and Ginsburg on the 'Cut Up' method of automatic literature. (flash, 10mb)

jaybird found this for you @ 17:14 in Authors, Books & Words | | permalink



Carter fears Florida vote trouble

Carter fears Florida vote trouble

Voting arrangements in Florida do not meet "basic international requirements" and could undermine the US election, former US President Jimmy Carter says. He said a repeat of the irregularities of the much-disputed 2000 election - which gave President George W Bush the narrowest of wins - "seems likely".

jaybird found this for you @ 16:12 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



Spiritual Dimensionality of Artistic Creation:

Spiritual Dimensionality of Artistic Creation: Albert Einstein and Sensory Experience of Art

Art can help a person apply cognitive processes, occurring within prefrontal lobe brain cells and tissue mass, to learn how to better use a larger area of the cerebral cortex. Art is about teaching the brain to engage in a greater degree, depth, and level of parietal, temporal, and occipital lobe sensory processing.

A constant process of rapid assembly and disassembly of temporary sensory neuron electrical chemical sequences occurs in parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes. Rapid assembly and disassembly of temporary sensory neuron electrical chemical sequences allow new patterns of energy to be processed.

jaybird found this for you @ 10:04 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



The young put their faith

The young put their faith in mysticism

Young people have more faith in mysticism than in the Church and the Bible, according to research which suggests a revival of the "Age of Aquarius" Nearly two thirds of 18- to 24-year-olds believe in the power of horoscopes, compared to just over a third who swear by the Bible, a survey of 3,000 people has found.

Horoscopes?

jaybird found this for you @ 07:01 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink



{ Sunday, 26 September, 2004 }

Leafy Sea Dragon ('discovered'

Leafy Sea Dragon
('discovered' while listening to a '20s style band in a courtyard, sipping rosewater lemonade with a nip of vodka)

jaybird found this for you @ 19:22 in Creature of the Week | | permalink



Amazing graphic: Massive merger of

Amazing graphic: Massive merger of galaxies is the most powerful on record

The event details what the scientists are calling the perfect cosmic storm: galaxy clusters that collided like two high-pressure weather fronts and created hurricane-like conditions, tossing galaxies far from their paths and churning shock waves of 100-million-degree gas through intergalactic space.

jaybird found this for you @ 18:18 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



Gathering

It's a peace rally; a man is talking about his experiences in surviving homelessness, pigeons are playing in the fountain, and the audience listens in rapt attention to his story. He couldn't stay at the mission, but he held down a construction job for $10 an hour. This is a man who changed his life out of despair. As he speaks, a mockingbird trills atop a lamppost, not singing for spare change.

There are homeless men listening, as he talks about the social injustice of crack addiction. It's hot, but people are sitting patient, as another racing of pigeons flocks by. He's talking about hope. It looks like we all could use that. Guitars, ready for anthemic strumming, glisten in the sun. A leaf falls and lands on my head, that a few minutes ago had mock polar bear ears on them... one had to be there.

It's a lot to explain, but the man speaking is talking about plain truth, and passion, and letting your consciousness take over. Even though the story is jumping all over, nobody's perfect, but some moments, some scenes can be, under a bright blue sky, the clarity of gathering.

jaybird found this for you @ 14:02 in Somewhere in the WiFi Wilderness | | permalink



I'm experiencing this bizarre thing

I'm experiencing this bizarre thing of being online and wireless from a busy Sunday morning coffeeshop... this is too cool!

Overheard: "Give me two reasons we should do this now, and she said, I'll give you three."

"I asked God for forgiveness and I think She was on vacation."

"That man looks like a fire engine!"

This is the beginning of something weird.

jaybird found this for you @ 11:03 in Somewhere in the WiFi Wilderness | | permalink



I'm playing the part of

I'm playing the part of an escaping polar bear at church this morning. You've gotta love liberal theology...

jaybird found this for you @ 10:14 in Misc. Babble | | permalink



Ultra deep field redux: Hubble's

Ultra deep field redux: Hubble's deepest shot is a puzzle

Scientists studying the deepest picture of the Universe, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, have been left with a big poser: where are all the stars?

jaybird found this for you @ 07:23 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



{ Saturday, 25 September, 2004 }

Bomb Disabled Near N.C. Elections

Bomb Disabled Near N.C. Elections Office, and not just any office in NC, but the one where I go to register and early-vote!

Terrorists, why do you hate Asheville so much?

jaybird found this for you @ 17:44 in Local- Western North Carolina | | permalink



Future Hi: Breaking the Veil

Future Hi: Breaking the Veil

Ever since I was a small child I’ve had the most amazing dream life. Although I’ve also had my share of nightmares and even off periods, most of the time my dreams are always deeply satisfying and beautiful. Like most children I lacked the capacity to clearly distinguish between the dream world and reality. However, if you ask the Aborigini’s, such a distinction is meaningless anyway, with the dreamworld being the more "real" of the two. For me this is a belief I share with them and have carried into adulthood. My dreams have offered so many profound insights, and the lucidity of them has been so intense and real to the depths of my being, that to deny the veracity of these experiences would be to deny my very soul – the deepest meanings that guide my life. And it is here that people start to make value judgments that although the inner life of dreams might be significant, the external world is more important, because without it we die. In the West particularly this emphasis has been valued almost exclusively to the detriment to our inner lives. As Ghandi once said when asked what he thought of Western Civilization, he said, "I think it’s a good idea."

jaybird found this for you @ 16:29 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



Clifford Pickover: We are in

Clifford Pickover: We are in the Digits of Pi and Live Forever

Somewhere inside the digits of pi is a representation for all of us -- the atomic coordinates of all our atoms, our genetic code, all our thoughts, all our memories. Given this fact, all of us are alive, and hopefully happy, in pi. Pi makes us live forever. We all lead virtual lives in pi. We are immortal.

jaybird found this for you @ 07:41 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



{ Friday, 24 September, 2004 }

This is entirely too cool

This is entirely too cool (via MeFi, QT .mov)

jaybird found this for you @ 21:49 in Art, Music, Theater & Film | | permalink



Juan Cole: If America were

Juan Cole: If America were Iraq, What would it be Like?

What would America look like if it were in Iraq's current situation? The population of the US is over 11 times that of Iraq, so a lot of statistics would have to be multiplied by that number.

Thus, violence killed 300 Iraqis last week, the equivalent proportionately of 3,300 Americans. What if 3,300 Americans had died in car bombings, grenade and rocket attacks, machine gun spray, and aerial bombardment in the last week? That is a number greater than the deaths on September 11, and if America were Iraq, it would be an ongoing, weekly or monthly toll.

And what if those deaths occurred all over the country, including in the capital of Washington, DC, but mainly above the Mason Dixon line, in Boston, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco?

jaybird found this for you @ 17:26 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



Bush by the numbers by

Bush by the numbers by 'A Wolf Who Sends Flowers.'

0 Number of times Bush mentioned Osama bin Laden in his three State of the Union addresses.

73 Number of times that Bush mentioned terrorism or terrorists in his three State of the Union addresses.

83 Number of times Bush mentioned Saddam, Iraq, or regime (as in change) in his three State of the Union addresses.

jaybird found this for you @ 15:16 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



Michael Moore: Enough of the

Michael Moore: Enough of the handwringing! Enough of the doomsaying!

Do I have to come there and personally calm you down? Stop with all the defeatism, OK? Bush IS a goner -- IF we all just quit our whining and bellyaching and stop shaking like a bunch of nervous ninnies... It's never over for them until the last ballot is shredded. They are never finished -- they just keeping moving forward like sharks that never sleep, always pushing, pulling, kicking, blocking, lying.

jaybird found this for you @ 12:14 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



Demonstration of 5 voting system

Demonstration of 5 voting system hacks using real software, including a monkey. Yes, a monkey. (via MeFi)

In Washington DC on Wed. Sept 22, five experts will demonstrate various manipulations of the actual Sequoia and Diebold software to be used in the Nov. 2 election. Experts range in skill level from Dr. Herbert Thompson, a security expert and the author/editor of 12 books, to Baxter, a chimpanzee.

jaybird found this for you @ 07:11 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



{ Thursday, 23 September, 2004 }

Bill Moyers: Journalism Under Fire

Bill Moyers: Journalism Under Fire

Our job remains essentially the same: to gather, weigh, organize, analyze and present information people need to know in order to make sense of the world. You will hear it said this is not a professional task—John Carroll of the Los Angeles Times recently reminded us there are “no qualification tests, no boards to censure misconduct, no universally accepted set of standards.” Maybe so. But I think that what makes journalism a profession is the deep ethical imperative of which the public is aware only when we violate it—think Jayson Blair, Stephen Glass, Jack Kelley. Ed Wasserman, once an editor himself and now teaching at Washington and Lee University, says that journalism “is an ethical practice because it tells people what matters and helps them determine what they should do about it.” So good newsrooms “are marinated in ethical conversations…What should this lead say? What I should I tell that source?” We practice this craft inside “concentric rings of duty and obligations: Obligations to sources, our colleagues, our bosses, our readers, our profession, and our community”—and we function under a system of values “in which we try to understand and reconcile strong competing claims.” Our obligation is to sift patiently and fairly through untidy realities, measure the claims of affected people, and present honestly the best available approximation of the truth—and this, says Ed Wasserman, is an ethical practice.

jaybird found this for you @ 20:28 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



Thw Twisted Films of PES...

Thw Twisted Films of PES... very Svankmajeresque...

jaybird found this for you @ 17:30 in Art, Music, Theater & Film | | permalink



A Shoggoth on the Roof

A Shoggoth on the Roof

There are some things that man was not meant to adapt to musical theatre, and A Shoggoth on the Roof has long been regarded as a musical that cannot and must not be produced. Since 1979, every attempt to produce this monster of a musical has ended in disaster, horror, agony and madness. Yet in spite of this hellish track record, seldom does a month pass when the HPLHS doesn't hear from some intrepid band of thespians who think they have what it takes to put A Shoggoth on the Roof. Most are never heard from again.

jaybird found this for you @ 12:28 in Art, Music, Theater & Film | | permalink



No longer speaking for rest

No longer speaking for rest of us, Joni Mitchell got herself back to the garden

Her two arts, painting and songwriting, happen in almost opposite ways for her. "In painting, your brain empties out and there's not a word in it; it's like a deep meditation, like a trance," she says. "I could step on a tack and probably wouldn't know it when I'm painting. In writing, it's kind of the opposite. That's why some people take stimulants.

"You stir up chaotic thoughts, then you pluck from this overactive mind. It's part of my process as a writer, being emotionally disturbed by something exterior someone said or something that is happening in society. It's on your mind, and it won't go away until you deal with it."

jaybird found this for you @ 07:25 in Art, Music, Theater & Film | | permalink



{ Wednesday, 22 September, 2004 }

"Mabon"

"Sweet golden summer, leave me a promise that you'll return.
In your waning light, send a ray through the heart of your parting fire,
May this night of your passing be a long kiss that ends only when you awaken again."

~Isadore Upinsky, "Collected Nothingness."

And there it went, did you see? The last flicker of a descending star in a washed out sky? No clouds bade farewell, no great ode was sung as she slipped into her long goodbye, but the crickets intoned solemn and the window would not let me leave, like kneeling before an altar, a ritual that required my attention.

Summer, I'm at a loss to eulogize you. We never fully got to know each other this year. I did make way through the vivid brambles, questing to find a silent second or even a remnant of self. I did blaze through previously unknown quadrants of your map of days, I did laugh heartily and spill the wine. Yet circumstances, those dreaded things, did often seize me with their timely tentacles, did exhaust me in my struggle to be free, did at times dizzy the mind in the plotting of escape. We did not dare each other in the way of lovers, but more as passing spectacles, a brief, wondrous glimpse. Your star did not visit with the heat and ardor as in your previous incarnations, thus, we both held back a bit, and now you've ascended and now I'm clutching your sunflowers and wishing to at last dive in, lateness be damned.

I will do my best to honor your sister, Autumn, for now she wanders in as gentle, and as the moon dances she will gather her winds and reap, as we sell the harvest on country roadsides and bring cider to our lips as the world is wrapped in the brilliant shawl of transformation, ecstatic colors falling about as little deaths clear the way for the coming dark and ice. I will make a bonfire and jump through it, I will run through piles of leaves, I will intentionally exhale harder to see the cloud my breath makes. Yet I will not deny that I will be tempted to look back, like Orpheus, to swoon for the hot nights and the cool waters that relieved them. Like Orpheus, I will strain to keep my eyes ahead, and promise to adhere to the wonder that even the stark and cold land will bring.

Summer, I applaud you, bravo! For you were a good teacher this year; your storms drenched us with water, so much so that we could not drink it. You flashed so much light in the sky that we couldn't have our own. Your winds all fraught with rage made us to cherish stillness. The crops this year are battered, so we will adore our food even more. And you did nourish me: my feet sank in sacred sand as the Holy Ocean touched me, newborn in ecstasy, naked in passion. I was nourished with the extravagance of your colors and the revelries, festivals, and mad-ass crazy parties we make in your good name. I summoned Satyrs and beheld amazing butterflies. I was love-struck and not innocent of the flesh, I savored the beauty of impossible bodies and was the fool for it. And though brief, I fluttered directionless on translucent wings of whimsy. I will remember, and not regret that. I did crash into doldrums and denial but your unwavering warmth saved me, or at least gave me something to save myself for. The light! The dark! Oh majestic day, it's all one!

You are the season of extremes, and I did dance those random steps when I could. This wine glass, can you see it now? I raise its cheap California grapes to you, and you'll just have to take my word that I love you and I bid you good journeys and will do well until you return. You must prepare to abide in other places now, and may you stir up a great cacophony of desire where your radiance seeps.

Tonight, the feast of Mabon. It's a time to conjure the spirits that will guide us into another kind of love. I await the goodness ahead, and thank you, oh so much, for the abundance of your gaiety, the sagacity of your power, and the giddiness of your delights.

Now, let night come, to make a starry trail for Summer's end, as we welcome with wine and song, Autumn's birth.

"Keep your young ears yet tuned to laughter, For what is a season but a parcel of time, time the deceiver, And wit alone is the tongue that entertains that strangest of lovers."

~Isadore Upinsky, "Collected Nothingness."

jaybird found this for you @ 21:31 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



Sugar in space provides clue

Sugar in space provides clue to origin of life (via MeFi)

Astronomers using the National Science Foundation's giant Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) have discovered a frigid reservoir of simple sugar molecules in a cloud of gas and dust some 26,000 light-years away, near the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. The discovery suggests how the molecular building blocks necessary for the creation of life could first form in interstellar space.

jaybird found this for you @ 18:30 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



Two Years You Two

You've done it again... progressed through time and space to celebrate two years of being a collective entity. There's a romantic title, eh? Well, for those who don't know R+J, they are a mutual icon of dynamic and daring romantic love. And if you know R+J well enough that you just might be them, looking on the internet for clues for your mystery weekend, you'll find one here.

jaybird found this for you @ 15:52 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



This Bible You Sold Me

This Bible You Sold Me Is Clearly Defective and I'd Like to Return It, Please.

The printer must have run out of black ink, because a bunch of it is in red. At no point does it tell what the middle initial "H" in our Savior's name stands for.

jaybird found this for you @ 14:05 in Silly People, Satire & Strange Behaviors | | permalink



Farewell to Gravity This must

Farewell to Gravity

This must be what it feels like when your soul leaves your body. That's all I could think when the first parabola hit, and I floated in zero gravity for the first time.

If you've ever dreamed you could fly, you already know exactly how it feels. That's the most amazing thing about weightlessness -- the fact that something so unnatural and unfamiliar feels so natural, so familiar.

jaybird found this for you @ 11:03 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



To my sisters and brothers

To my sisters and brothers in Haiti, a land that I love deeply; nothing can compare to the devastation you've suffered recently. Our flooding here in America is a trifle inconvenience next to the horror of two massively devastating floods you've endured this year. As always, my heart goes out to you...

Haiti Flood Death Toll Passes 700

jaybird found this for you @ 07:00 in Haiti | | permalink



{ Tuesday, 21 September, 2004 }

Spirituality and Technology In this

Spirituality and Technology

In this essay, I will first look at some of the social and cultural changes associated with the notion of a Digital Revolution. Then I will examine some basic spiritual attitudes and how various debates within and between different schools of thought are changing attitudes about technology. In this context, I will describe how technology is seen both as a degenerate practice and as a means to bring mankind to a higher level of consciousness or to a more well-developed civilization.

jaybird found this for you @ 22:05 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink



Molecular Expressions: The Religion Collection

Molecular Expressions: The Religion Collection

Our religion collection contains photomicrographs of various items that commemorate the great religions around the world. From the Native Americans, who base their religion on a great respect for nature, we have a photomicrograph of tobacco that was used as a gift made to elder tribal members or by visitors. We have a wide spectrum of photos representing Christianity, including the spices Myrrh and Frankincense, and baptismal water.

jaybird found this for you @ 15:02 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



Alan W. Watts: The Joyous

Alan W. Watts: The Joyous Cosmology, Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness

For a long time we have been accustomed to the compartmentalization of religion and science as if they were two quite different and basically unrelated ways of seeing the world. I do not believe that this state of doublethink can last. It must eventually be replaced by a view of the world which is neither religious nor scientific but simply our view of the world. More exactly, it must become a view of the world in which the reports of science and religion are as concordant as those of the eyes and the ears.

But the traditional roads to spiritual experience seldom appeal to persons of scientific or skeptical temperament, for the vehicles that ply them are rickety and piled with excess baggage. There is thus little opportunity for the alert and critical thinker to share at first hand in the modes of consciousness that seers and mystics are trying to express-often in archaic and awkward symbolism. If the pharmacologist can be of help in exploring this unknown world, he may be doing us the extraordinary service of rescuing religious experience from the obscurantists.

jaybird found this for you @ 11:55 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



In my antihistamine crazed dreams,

In my antihistamine crazed dreams, I found an abandoned house deep in the woods, complete with a greenhouse and a large underground complex. I hiked further up the ridge, to come across a Goodwill store. I asked the clerk if he knew anything about the house. He said it's free to anyone who wants it, because the freezer was broken.

I obviously snagged it.

jaybird found this for you @ 07:11 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



{ Monday, 20 September, 2004 }

Ugh... allergies are back, after

Ugh... allergies are back, after a brief reprieve. It seems as if I'm now perpetually allergic to something, and the steroids the good doc put me on only masked the effect.

Any advice out there?

jaybird found this for you @ 22:55 in Misc. Babble | | permalink



Lewis and Clark re-enactment evokes

Lewis and Clark re-enactment evokes tension [via MeFi]

Two hundred years after Lewis and Clark's tense encounter with Black Buffalo's Teton Sioux, historical re-enactors following the explorers' route have received a blunt warning from some American Indians. "All you did by coming up into our territory is open old wounds," said Alex White Plume, a Lakota from Pine Ridge, S.D., who was among a group of Indians who met Saturday with expedition leaders, including a direct descendant of Capt. William Clark. The expedition members had invited the Indians to their camp on the Missouri River to express their concerns about the re-enactment. About 25 Indian men, women and children came carrying a banner asking, "Why celebrate genocide?" "We're here to ask you to turn around and go home," White Plume said. "Don't proceed through our territory."

jaybird found this for you @ 15:27 in Culture, People & Customs | | permalink



Continuing reports of mysterious creature

Continuing reports of mysterious creature swimming in North America's deepest lake: 'It was like the head of a dragon'

"I got the goggles because it was moving fast and I was kind of curious as to what it was," said Lynn, 66. "It was high, six to eight feet above the water and moving at an incredulous speed. It was like the head of a dragon -- just coming out of the water at just a ferocious speed, just moving like crazy."

jaybird found this for you @ 12:14 in Forteana, Phenomena & the Bizarre | | permalink



An Ancient Gaelic Blessing

For my dear friend Judi as she begins her two year journey of peace in the Ukraine...

power of raven be thine,
power of eagle be thine,
power of storm be thine,
power of moon be thine.
goodness of sea be thine,
goodness of land be thine,
goodness of air be thine,
goodness of earth be thine.
each day be joyous to thee,
no day be grievous to thee,
life of joy be thine,
death on pillow be thine.
power of sea be thine,
power of land be thine,
power of raven be thine,
power of eagle be thine.

jaybird found this for you @ 10:16 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink



This is a moblog* post:

This is a moblog* post:

The net is out again- those lines must really be in a kerfuffle.

UPDATE: As mysteriously as it flickered out, it's back...


*Moblogging is posting from a cellphone or other wireless device- if a picture, it's taken from the phone.

jaybird found this for you @ 09:00 in Live from the road... | | permalink



{ Sunday, 19 September, 2004 }

Frogs: a chorus of

Frogs: a chorus of colors, via Presurfer.

jaybird found this for you @ 21:15 in Environment, Ecology & Nature | | permalink



Researchers invent antenna for light

Researchers invent antenna for light

Researchers said... they have invented an antenna that captures visible light in much the same way that radio antennas capture radio waves. They say the device, using tiny carbon nanotubes, might serve as the basis for an optical television or for converting solar energy into electricity once properly developed.

jaybird found this for you @ 17:45 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



This is a moblog* post:

This is a moblog* post:

No net service for now as Ivan's mess is untangled.

UPDATE: Repaired, for now...?


*Moblogging is posting from a cellphone or other wireless device- if a picture, it's taken from the phone.

jaybird found this for you @ 15:14 in Live from the road... | | permalink



William James: Does 'Consciousness' Exist?

William James: Does 'Consciousness' Exist?

I believe that 'consciousness,' when once it has evaporated to this estate of pure diaphaneity, is on the point of disappearing altogether. It is the name of a nonentity, and has no right to a place among first principles. Those who still cling to it are clinging to a mere echo, the faint rumor left behind by the disappearing 'soul' upon the air of philosophy. During the past year, I have read a number of articles whose authors seemed just on the point of abandoning the notion of consciousness,[] and substituting for it that of an absolute experience not due to two factors. But they were not quite radical enough, not quite daring enough in their negations. For twenty years past I have mistrusted 'consciousness' as an entity; for seven or eight years past I have suggested its non-existence to my students, and tried to give them its pragmatic equivalent in realities of experience. It seems to me that the hour is ripe for it to be openly and universally discarded.

jaybird found this for you @ 10:52 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink



{ Saturday, 18 September, 2004 }

"Thy Wandering Star"

I'm looking to the west-
The sun is long down but these mountains cling
To an ochre light that surrenders into the farthewst away blue.

A flock of birds, maybe four or five,
Races to catch the last scrap of day.

In one week, two great floods have pulsed through
The veins of our valleys...
And as we gathered on the bridges
Gaping at the ruins of our everyday transit
You could see the floodgates bulging with the pressure-
Souls anxious to let the waters pass through, at last,
To be calm again, to see the sun again, and a horizon like now.

It is after the storm
And in the seeping night, behold thy wandering star,
A point of light not affixed to axis,
But to sail free and fearless from day to day
Untethered to prediction, unleashed to drift though
Quadrants of the sky beholden to all extemes
Of the diviner's porent.
And only you can see it.
Only you can follow it's path from season to season
Only you can wade through flood waters and sunlit fields
A star of your own, a mystery that beckons you to
Jump into a wild dance where no movement is planned
To a song where no words are penned.
Behold thy wandering star, your secret, your unkown.

It's full on night now;
The flock that passed is miles away
And the window glass becomes full of stars
And in that void, as summer prepares to sleep
As the floodwaters recede and the levies are praised for holding
Each beat of my heart creates an opening, and not knowing tomorrow's passing,
I might as well wander onto the stellar trails of impossible suns, just for the heck of it.

jaybird found this for you @ 20:46 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



The Sheboygan Museum of

The Sheboygan Museum of Art is not as well endowed as many other museums in larger metropolitan areas. Because of this, we find it impossible to acquire works by major abstract expressionists like Rothko and Pollock. Instead, however, we think we can demonstrate a sense of the genre with this exhibit of crayon works by Miss Wensleydale's second grade class from Sheboygan Elementary School. You will immediately notice the strong emotional content and powerful juxtaposition of colors present here in the children's works. Seems just as good to us as anything in some fancy-dancy high-falooting snobby art museum.

jaybird found this for you @ 16:20 in Art, Music, Theater & Film | | permalink



Man-made rainforest baffles scientists A

Man-made rainforest baffles scientists

A Man-Made rainforest that should have taken millennia to evolve has baffled scientists by springing up in just 150 years. Rainforests should take millions of years to develop the highly complex, interactive ecosystems for which they are famed, in which every species fills an essential niche. But the forest on Green Mountain, Ascension Island, in the mid-Atlantic sprung up chaotically from a mixed bag of botanical scrap brought in by the Royal Navy in 1843.

jaybird found this for you @ 12:18 in Environment, Ecology & Nature | | permalink



{ Friday, 17 September, 2004 }

Amid all the flood/wind craziness

Amid all the flood/wind craziness here in the mountains, here's a little beauty as a refresher: Kenneth Parker's Photography.

jaybird found this for you @ 19:14 in Art, Music, Theater & Film | | permalink



Our Flood of the Week

The second one in a seven day period... hard to believe:

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jaybird found this for you @ 15:36 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



Far Graver than Vietnam 'Bring

Far Graver than Vietnam

'Bring them on!" President Bush challenged the early Iraqi insurgency in July of last year. Since then, 812 American soldiers have been killed and 6,290 wounded, according to the Pentagon. Almost every day, in campaign speeches, Bush speaks with bravado about how he is "winning" in Iraq. "Our strategy is succeeding," he boasted to the National Guard convention on Tuesday.
But, according to the US military's leading strategists and prominent retired generals, Bush's war is already lost. Retired general William Odom, former head of the National Security Agency, told me: "Bush hasn't found the WMD. Al-Qaida, it's worse, he's lost on that front. That he's going to achieve a democracy there? That goal is lost, too. It's lost." He adds: "Right now, the course we're on, we're achieving Bin Laden's ends."

Retired general Joseph Hoare, the former marine commandant and head of US Central Command, told me: "The idea that this is going to go the way these guys planned is ludicrous. There are no good options. We're conducting a campaign as though it were being conducted in Iowa, no sense of the realities on the ground. It's so unrealistic for anyone who knows that part of the world. The priorities are just all wrong."

jaybird found this for you @ 11:47 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



"Ivan"

It was a dramatic night... I lost power at home after 10, and I spent several candlelit sleepless hours staring out the window at the incredible gusts that blew away anything that wasn't attached. The power of this storm was breathtaking.

160,000 people are without power, and many are without water again. Rivers have flooded, again, and now there's talk of tornadoes, and other doom that the worst is yet to come.

I'm at my office now and there's just been a state of emergency imposed, and the order is to get back home. There's over 150 roads closed and more coming, so driving is tricky.

This area is not used to storms like this, and barely survives winter snows. It's interesting to see how extreme weather brings people together and gets them talking, I just wish that other things that impact our community with equal severity (corrupt political regiemes, environmental degradation, death bunnies) would do the same.

I suppose that I'll find a way to post an update if the power outage drags out. Anyway, it gives me an excuse to get through a massive reading list with the cats...

jaybird found this for you @ 10:13 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



{ Thursday, 16 September, 2004 }

The winds have been incredible,

The winds have been incredible, with plenty of power flickering. It doesn't look likely that power will be able to stay on... the amount of rain will surely make the already deluged rivers overflow their banks...

jaybird found this for you @ 22:53 in Misc. Babble | | permalink



Above the Eye of

ivan_iss_sm.jpg


Above the Eye of Hurricane Ivan

This is the beast presently whipping Western North Carolina and bringing us back into floodland. In comparison, we will fare much better than those further south. It's pouring very heavy rain right now and the wind is gusting to at least 50.

Snuggle in and sandbag kind of weather.

jaybird found this for you @ 20:59 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



L'shanah tova! Happy Rosh Hashanah

L'shanah tova! Happy Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah occurs on the first and second days of Tishri. In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means, literally, "head of the year" or "first of the year." Rosh Hashanah is commonly known as the Jewish New Year. This name is somewhat deceptive, because there is little similarity between Rosh Hashanah, one of the holiest days of the year, and the American midnight drinking bash and daytime football game.

jaybird found this for you @ 17:36 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink



Walking back to genesis It

Walking back to genesis

It is a conceit of hindsight to see evolution as aimed towards some particular end point, such as ourselves. A historically minded swift, understandably proud of flight as self-evidently the premier accomplishment of life, might regard swiftkind - those spectacular flying machines with their swept-back wings, who stay aloft for a year at a time and even copulate in free flight - as the acme of evolutionary progress. If elephants could write history they might portray tapirs, elephant shrews, elephant seals and proboscis monkeys as tentative beginners along the main trunk road of evolution, taking the first fumbling steps but each - for some reason - never quite making it: so near yet so far. Elephant astronomers might wonder whether, on some other world, there exist alien life forms that have crossed the nasal rubicon and taken the final leap to full proboscitude.

jaybird found this for you @ 15:38 in Environment, Ecology & Nature | | permalink



Water Paints Multicolored Desert

Water Paints Multicolored Desert Cliffs

A study of the vibrant red, pink, orange, purple and yellow bands in the rocks of the Valley of Fire State Park in southern Nevada has revealed that the hues in the rocks were probably put there by a complex ebb and flow of groundwaters, faulting and raising of mountains and even the presence of now absent hydrocarbons over the last 150 to 200 million years.

jaybird found this for you @ 12:34 in Environment, Ecology & Nature | | permalink



How we learn to forget

How we learn to forget our fears

Scientists say they have located the parts of the brain that help us 'unlearn' our fears. One of the main areas involved is the same as that used to learn fears in the first place...

jaybird found this for you @ 07:11 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



{ Wednesday, 15 September, 2004 }

One of my favorite memes:

One of my favorite memes: The Mathematics of Monkeys and Shakespeare

...given enough time and enough monkeys, one could eventually produce "Hamlet" by accident. The fact that it is intuitively sound is the argument's greatest problem, because it means that people generally don't bother checking the exact figures. This is a shame, because it is one of those rare areas of speculation where the exact figures can be calculated.

jaybird found this for you @ 17:35 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



Chinese Baiji River Dolphin The

Chinese Baiji River Dolphin

The baiji is endangered for several reasons and the controversial Three Gorges Dam threatens extinction. Lipotes vexillifer has been on the endangered species list since 1989. The most opimistic estimates say there may be less than 200 left.

jaybird found this for you @ 15:27 in Creature of the Week | | permalink



Tracking down the 'jungle yeti'

Tracking down the 'jungle yeti'

Two amateur explorers hope to prove the existence of the mythical "jungle yeti" by capturing the creature on film. Three years ago, the pair found a footprint and hairs which, when analysed by scientists, did not match any known species.

jaybird found this for you @ 12:25 in Forteana, Phenomena & the Bizarre | | permalink



The Starving Ocean: We thought

The Starving Ocean: We thought the ocean was an inexhaustible source of food. And that it would always regenerate more creatures to replace those we remove. But today's ocean is failing to produce fish as it did in the past, and the reason increasingly appears to be an overall decline in marine nutrient cycling. Simple starvation now increasingly limits the growth of fish and other marine life. "Overfishing" appears to have affected not only the targeted species, but the ecosystem in general...and ramifications of this disturbance may extend as far as the ocean-atmosphere CO2 balance. (via MeFi)

jaybird found this for you @ 07:23 in Environment, Ecology & Nature | | permalink



{ Tuesday, 14 September, 2004 }

"The Spirit I..."

The spirit I invoke is crazed with passion and aflame with love.
The spirit I love is bewilderingly infinite and absolutely minute.
The spirit I learn from is desperate to be heard and heeded.
The spirit I hear is enraged by apathy and begging for action.
The spirit I hunger for is beyond name or shape.
The spirit I create assumes every form there is, even what is terrifying.
The spirit I engender is compassionate beyond human limits.
The spirit I serve with devotion dissolves limitation that I may work harder.
The spirit I perceive is unpredictable, contrary, wild, and adoring of fools.
The spirit I dance for contains all paradox in a logic vastly eclipsing ours.
The spirit I doubt answers in riddle and questions with the awe of creation.
The spirit I fear will only annihilate that which is disingenuous.
The spirit I trust will force confrontation of that which is incomplete or imbalanced.
The spirit I dream of is also dreaming and our waking labor is to make it real.
The spirit I birthed from succors with the teachings of potential.
The spirit I die into holds within yet another blossom for the opening.
The spirit I live by is not bidden by supplication or worship, but by awareness.
The spirit I move with can only see ahead by acknowledging light and dark together.
The spirit I bless is made tangible by the magic of our belief and intention.
The spirit I touch suddenly becomes all beings at all times, including those not yet realized.
The spirit I kiss romances with the awe of the natural and the specter of the void.
The spirit I embrace is wizened to the fallacy of institution and the façade of dogma.
The spirit I see in you will not retreat for the broken promises of the past, but will abide ever more insistently for the sacrament of right now,

jaybird found this for you @ 22:56 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



'Speak in my right ear

'Speak in my right ear and sing in my left'

The right and left human ears process sound differently, according to scientists who studied the hearing of babies and found the right ear better at picking up speech-like sounds and the left more attuned to music.

It has long been known that the right and left halves of the brain process sound differently, but those differences were thought to stem from cellular properties unique to each brain hemisphere. The new research suggests that the differences start at the ear.

jaybird found this for you @ 19:02 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



I was at a training

I was at a training all day, so no site updates until now...

Space probes feel cosmic tug of bizarre forces

Something strange is tugging at America's oldest spacecraft. As the Pioneer 10 and 11 probes head towards distant stars, scientists have discovered that the craft - launched more than 30 years ago - appear to be in the grip of a mysterious force that is holding them back as they sweep out of the solar system.

Some researchers say unseen 'dark matter' may permeate the universe and that this is affecting the Pioneers' passage. Others say flaws in our understanding of the laws of gravity best explain the crafts' wayward behaviour

jaybird found this for you @ 17:00 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



Building Corporate Crap at Sacred

Building Corporate Crap at Sacred Sites: Wal-Mart at Mexico Ruins Sparks Protest

Burning incense and sounding a conch shell horn, residents of an ancient Mexican city protested on Saturday at the construction of a Wal-Mart store on the edge of the ruins.

jaybird found this for you @ 06:59 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



{ Monday, 13 September, 2004 }

Here's more of nothing.

Here's more of nothing.

jaybird found this for you @ 22:06 in High Weirdness | | permalink



If he can't find his

If he can't find his heart, does that mean it's not there> This question especially relevant to cyborgs.

jaybird found this for you @ 17:57 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



Photo may be first of

Photo may be first of extrasolar planet

A group of European-led astronomers has made a photograph of what appears to be a planet orbiting another star. If so, it would be the first confirmed picture of a world beyond our solar system. "Although it is surely much bigger than a terrestrial-size object [like Earth], it is a strange feeling that it may indeed be the first planetary system beyond our own ever imaged..."

jaybird found this for you @ 11:29 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



Arts > Art &

A Skyward March, Not a Memorial [via MeFi]

While families gathered at ground zero on Saturday to read out the names of lost loved ones, an artist and a team of riggers uptown at Rockefeller Center were just beginning to place seven climbing life-size human figures on a slanted pole soaring 100 feet in the air.

jaybird found this for you @ 07:27 in Art, Music, Theater & Film | | permalink



"The Father's Sky"

In half a day, a man I know will jump out of airplane.
I cannot guess what he'll be thinking as he crosses the threshold
To fall in joy and fear and perhaps glorious surrender
Into the blue he's always dreamed of.
In the seconds before his parachute will open
Maybe for the first time in his life,
I expect the man to at last know freedom
In the strangest sense of the word.
I cannot fathom the thoughts he will hold tight to
The words he will mouth as the air screams through him
Yet I can see the tears
That will streak from his eyes
And know the many faces
He will dedicate each molecule
As they become tomorrow's rain...
He will do this because he believes that way
And who can fault the man who has become the sky
For believing too much.
He's waited in the quiet hours too long to tell
To fall to Earth.
And we've been waiting
Just as long
For his feet to rush onto holy ground, at last,
That maybe, having landed,
He will look up,
And among the clouds he will see
That he has touched the face of the angel he trusts is there.
And in the exhilaration known to birds
The man will find a reason
To take the plunge within
And be strong.

---

Good luck and Godspeed, Dad.

---

UPDATE: Dad's jump has been postponed until October, where I'll be joining him

jaybird found this for you @ 00:45 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



{ Sunday, 12 September, 2004 }

"The Blessings of a Flood"

floodchair.jpg

The sun goes down an yet another day; I'm leaning out the window, lost somewhere to a great whirl of glinting feathers of light, rushing to the horizon. Not far, a river still rages muddy and breakneck under this deep blue sky. It will take much time for it to resume its slow northward crawl, much time to be clear, calm and cool, much time to move the sad tide of jetsam caught in her fierce Kali dance.

People here cannot remember a time when the French Broad or Swannanoa has shown such a dark face, nor can they recall ever going days and days without water to drink from the faucet. Turn it, and a river flows out, tamed, filtered, hushed, but still a river. As the waters ripped apart cherished buildings and scattered the livelihoods of thousands this week, the faucet either ran dry or issued forth an element upon which every single life depends tainted, dangerous, and cloudy with the threat of death. Markets swelled as bottled water evaporated from shelves, at first, then pallets, then chaotic mounds of boxes torn asunder. A community united by disaster sometimes turned upon itself as scarcity induced panic. The marvel that eclipsed the banks which brought out hundreds to gaze with awe stirred anger as our dependent culture shut down sector by sector, exposing a base vulnerability...

There was a Nor'easter which taught me as a child to revere water as a power. A new moon and heavy rainfall enticed the Delaware River to roll beyond her rocky shore, and send wave upon wave crashing into he basement of my childhood home. Furniture collided with my broken and drowning toys, glass rattled with each historic surge of river, and life, as I recall, assumed an orbit for some time around the damage. The same storm had broken thick concrete seawalls at the ocean eighty miles south, took the treasured boardwalk in its wrath, and collapsed the arcade, a sanctuary of ten year old boys like me from the watchful eyes of family. The ocean and river were no longer 'safe;' there was a fierce trait that could be awakened by vast atmospheric powers incomprehensible to my, then or now.

That never has stopped my fathomless love for all the arteries that feed holy mother ocean; the faintest of springs to the widest of rivers, to the taste of salt after a dive under one of her endless waves. How can you not respect her power, and love her for it? Yet, after all of us here in the mountains tipped our hats to her for the magnitude of her strength, we grew angry and despaired over the advantage so thoughtlessly taken upon this simple chemical that makes even our bones. How can we dare to place flimsy tanks filled with deadly, noxious complex chemicals so close to such an unpredictable channel? How can we dare to waste a drop washing cars and watering stately lawns as weary teams of disaster relief workers unload gallon upon gallon of bottled water from Red Cross trucks? How can we neglect to be thankful for even the quickest of showers, and tea in the morning? How can we protect the river, that she may nurture us?

As I made my way along the river last week to gape a pall of pollution was sickening in the air. A Great Blue Heron flew over, and the scale of this event became immediately and sadly clear; we humans quickly forget that we are not the only beings that crave the river to survive, and yet our pride has mucked it up for an entire ecosystem by allowing our inventiveness to desecrate it with the stink of petroleum for scores of miles. Before our dangerous wits kicked in hundreds of years ago, nature could adapt to a flood, no matter the scale. Now, as a sheen of toxicity besmirches the surface and Styrofoam bobbles in the eddies, nature’s learning curve ascends beyond millions of years of adaptation. Now, only strong, callousing work from all of us can guide her hand. Now, prayers aren’t enough; we must pray by adoring fervently and insistently the very waters that destroy and create, pray with our determined, conscious, and continuous awareness of the absolute reliance all life has upon every blessed ripple.

We will be talking about this week here in the mountains for some time. We will talk of this building or that torn asunder by the power of a river gone mad. We will take thousands of pictures of the damage. We may even find useful or amusing things among the debris, and make a keepsake of it. The challenge is the reverence... the challenge is the communion we make with this vital flow when we do the most mundane things. I hope for, and invoke a sacred irony: that from this absolute crush of this ancient, northward flowing river, from the broken roads and pipes and homes, from the swamped parks and ripped fuel tanks, we will be brought to a far deeper and active appreciation of water. We will drink it with awe, and bathe in it in wonder. We will cherish the tiny minnows that skirt along the islets, and understand the connection between the Great Blue Heron and the steaming cup of tea on the kitchen table.

May this flood be an odd blessing; may our senses be filled by the very precious thing that sustains them. May the sorow of our waste and what is wasted be transformed into dynamic care over our resources. Ans, while we're at is, raise a glass to the river, and be glad for life, even in the rage of the torrent.

PICT0451.JPG

jaybird found this for you @ 22:06 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



Mary's Walk through Africa

My friend and colleague Mary Walker has been on quite an adventure in Africa, taking absolutely amazing photographs. Here are two albums of her journeys so far: Trip to Nkhoma Mountain (Malawi) and Safari Adventure (Tanzania).

jaybird found this for you @ 14:38 in Culture, People & Customs | | permalink



The Folklorist: Pareidolia (perceiving patterns

The Folklorist: Pareidolia (perceiving patterns in randomness). Extensive examples in images.

jaybird found this for you @ 07:45 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



{ Saturday, 11 September, 2004 }

9/11

Anneversary post: last year, and the same day in 2001.

There's a beautiful sunset closing out the day, a day whose combination of numbers has acquired a permanent charge in the American zeitgeist. As it sets, may the sun rise on a day where the whole world is closer to peace, closer to love, closer to affirming the best of humanity.

jaybird found this for you @ 19:39 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



Hypnosis really changes your mind

Hypnosis really changes your mind

Hypnosis significantly affects the activity in a part of the brain responsible for detecting and responding to errors... This explains why, under hypnosis, people can do outrageous things that ordinarily they wouldn’t dream of doing...

jaybird found this for you @ 15:01 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



Naga Panchami: the Ancient Practice

Naga Panchami: the Ancient Practice of Snake Worship

In ancient India, there was a clan called Nagas whose culture was highly developed. The Indus Valley civilisation of 3000 B.C. gives evidence of the popularity of snake-worship amongst he Nagas. This was in pre-Aryan times. The Naga culture was later drawn into Hinduism. In Jainism and Buddhism too, the snake is considered sacred. It is believed that a cobra saved the life of Buddha and another protected the Jain Muni Parshwanath.

jaybird found this for you @ 11:52 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink



{ Friday, 10 September, 2004 }

Performing "Holding the Pen Upon the Page"

rollingth.jpg

Tonight, some bozo speaking at the Rolling Thunder Rally.

Here's what he said:

Rising in the East with the graceful resolve of eagle-flight,
Bearing the first brimming of dawn
Upon wings wide and bold with dreams,
Morning in America surges into lightness.
It flirts with the glass of every window and
Bursts broad upon every dew-kissed field.
It sweeps the sleep from our homes,
And fills the hour with birdsong...
We stretch, we look out,
And find in the expanding glow a reason
To call us into the world,
To inscribe upon the pages of our brief time
A tale of fortunate birth in a promised land...
Turning a few pages back in the American story,
We see the First Peoples braving eastward to
Vistas golden with a fertile prosperity
That endured for thousands of years without a single foreign line
Drawn across her verdant and wild forests and mountains;
Lines of innocent blood dividing ours from theirs, a stolen abundance.
Cleaving from sacred soil what a person may own,
And what shall lie fallow.
In further chapters, caravans and steamships
Overflowing with hope, docked upon our shores and
Criss-crossed the plains, all for the sake of freedom’s distant cry.
The slaves that were brutally shipwrecked across our conscience
Found under the hushed freedom of night and stars
The drinking gourd, and the drum, and a long path still walked
Toward the promise of liberty,
And the prophesized destination of promised land...
In flipping to the page of the present,
Past the legacies, perils and glories of our ancestors
Women and Mothers have only begun to realize a glimmer of equity,
Unions bound by love but not by gender yearn to be affirmed beyond identity,
Discussions across the continents fatigue of punctuation by artillery,
And the people, the planet, hunger of a moment of tranquility...
We live within the pages of a story still being written,
And you’ll see the ink of the present day as strange upon the paper
For the author is strained to record the progress of our promised land
And this very moment might be seen as winding into a question,
And as the morning rises,
We are being called to answer it,
And as the sun’s warmth caresses to your still-tender face, America,
We are being asked to grasp the pen and write,
With courageous commitment, a new covenant of trust and heart...
When each of your spoken words are as ripples
To our farthest sisters and brothers who still look to our land
As a glistening shore resplendent with possibility,
What will you dare to do? What will you dare to say?
Think well upon your answer,
For our words have been stained
By the rage and fear that have been borne against
The far-flung, mistaken in the crosshair of the gunner’s aim
As enemies rather than families.
Think well upon yourself, America,
For the freedom so cherished is concealed;
Denying our neighbors, our children,
A life to be lived in accord with their deepest virtues, fearlessly;
Think well upon the power of your deeds, America,
For the beauty of the land has
Been scourged by the clawing greed of false idols
By machines that flatten our mountains and silence our streams,
When our very adoration could let nature heal and thrive again!
Think well upon your choice, America,
For the vision which emboldened our quest
To form a nation where our words are not weapons
Where we succor the poor, tired, and huddled masses,
This vision needs our eyes, and all our pioneering minds, to become clear again.
Let us crave renewal from the denial of
Of our land, our bodies, our souls, our potential.
Let us create from this crisis of conscience
A resounding and fervent love for all beings
That will follow in our troubled yet resolute footsteps.
Let us be boisterous, giddy, passionate and proud
As our diligence pushes the sun above the horizon.
Let us gather in fellowship into an embrace
And gaze out into the Universe
To be in wonder at this holy flicker of time,
And allow that awe to be our guide in our struggle to
At last seed the world with an enduring freedom
That cannot be uprooted.
As the morning blooms in all wonders and colors,
As a dove softly coos an invocation to peace,
As the children awake wide-eyed and full of play,
We are holding the pen upon the page.
As families in distant provinces and just down the block
Pray for the abatement of hunger and disease,
As the numbing shroud of war is pulled
Across villages and temples in your name,
We are holding the pen upon the page.
As the rising morning light casts a shadow of prison bars
Upon those untouched by justice...
America, we are holding the pen upon the page,
Let us write again of the providence that carried us here,
Let us write again of the beauty that seeks to nourish our spirit,
Let us write again of the power of our dreams and the power of their result,
Let us write again of the graceful resolve of eagle-flight
And the goodness waiting for us, just outside the door,
In the treasured hour of Morning in America.

[poem reposted and revised from a few weeks ago]

jaybird found this for you @ 23:25 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



A Breif history of going

A Breif history of going to the beach:

The idea that going to the beach was good for you was a creation of 18th-century Britain. Entrepreneurs keen to promote an alternative to the spa hit upon the idea that immersing people in cold salty water might be healthy. One of the first recorded bathing expeditions took to the North sea at Scarborough in 1627. A century later, a string of seaside alternatives to the spas at Bath and Buxton were well established. Before that, beaches had been regarded as hostile places, at best a working space for people who made their living from the sea: fishermen, smugglers, wreckers. Swimming for pleasure, and sunbathing, were unheard of.

jaybird found this for you @ 16:28 in History, Civilization & Anthropology | | permalink



This is a moblog* post:

This is a moblog* post:

10948933170021.jpg

Happy friday, grasshopper


*Moblogging is posting from a cellphone or other wireless device- if a picture, it's taken from the phone.

jaybird found this for you @ 12:06 in Live from the road... | | permalink



Taboo: The aim of this

Taboo: The aim of this activity is to tell you something about your moral intuitions.

jaybird found this for you @ 07:24 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



{ Thursday, 09 September, 2004 }

I'm working on my poem

I'm working on my poem tonight for the Rolling Thunder Democracy Gathering tomorrow. It needs to be 7 minutes long and it's running 15 seconds over... I'm hoping they won't be that picky. I wrote it weeks ago and am just now, in true jaybird style, getting around to tweaking it. I'll post the final revision tomorrow.

Night y'all.

jaybird found this for you @ 22:54 in Misc. Babble | | permalink



Who Cares About the Truth?

Who Cares About the Truth?

To many, it seemed naïve to worry about something as abstract as the truth or falsity of our claims when we could concern ourselves with the things that really mattered -- such as protecting ourselves from terrorism and ensuring our access to oil. To paraphrase Nietzsche, the truth may be good, but why not sometimes take untruth if it gets you where you want to go?

jaybird found this for you @ 16:24 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



Global opinion favours Kerry over

Global opinion favours Kerry over Bush, says poll

World opinion is overwhelmingly in favour of John Kerry, the Democrat candidate, to win the US presidential election, according to a poll covering 35 countries. In 30 countries, many of them staunch allies of the US, the public favoured Mr Kerry over President George W. Bush by a two-to-one margin, according to a poll conducted by GlobeScan, a public opinion group, and the University of Maryland. Only Poland, Nigeria and the Philippines backed Mr Bush, while India and Thailand were a statistical tie.

jaybird found this for you @ 12:23 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



Moon Proposed as Genetic

Moon Proposed as Genetic Noah's Ark

"If there were a catastrophic collision on Earth or a nuclear war you could place some samples of Earth's biosphere, including humans..."

jaybird found this for you @ 07:22 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



{ Wednesday, 08 September, 2004 }

Splish Splash

The few bloggers that we have in this town are floodblogging. It's pretty wild folks. There's all kinds of us out there watching the water go by. A friend had her entire antiques mall wiped out. Petroleum has spilled into the river, and you can smell the stench for miles. It's so dramatic just how much power there is behind the current.. Here's a 17-second Quicktime movie of the French Broad River... I've uploaded several flood pics into this directory... Only bottled water tonight...

Local Coverage

PICT0374.JPG

jaybird found this for you @ 21:08 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



Frances floods WNC: Well, we're

Frances floods WNC: Well, we're getting it too folks. It's been raining for quite some time, and heavily. I'll try to post pics of the creeks and rivers, they're full of big muddy rage. Schools and things are closed, shelters (!) are opened, and drug stores are all out of the little plastic granny hoodies.

jaybird found this for you @ 11:58 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



In a secret Paris cavern,

In a secret Paris cavern, the real underground cinema

Police in Paris have discovered a fully equipped cinema-cum-restaurant in a large and previously uncharted cavern underneath the capital's chic 16th arrondissement. Officers admit they are at a loss to know who built or used one of Paris's most intriguing recent discoveries.

jaybird found this for you @ 06:48 in High Weirdness | | permalink



{ Tuesday, 07 September, 2004 }

Anyone can share a story

Anyone can share a story of any kind at A Million Stories... some really fascinating reads.

jaybird found this for you @ 23:01 in Authors, Books & Words | | permalink



Please watch this. Please? Love

Please watch this. Please? Love Docs (Quicktime req'd)

jaybird found this for you @ 18:59 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



How beauty fascinates from birth

How beauty fascinates from birth

Babies are born with an eye for beauty. Infants only hours old will choose to stare at an attractive face rather than an unattractive one - and they also prefer to listen to Vivaldi straight.

(I've never listened to Vivaldi straight. Heh.)

jaybird found this for you @ 17:13 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



A Leonardo da Vinci for


A Leonardo da Vinci for the twenty-first century
It may look like a combine-harvester but a plane designed in a Tuscan farmhouse is being hailed as one of the great breakthroughs in aeronautical history. [via orlin grabbe]

jaybird found this for you @ 12:12 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



How Life First Bubbled Up

How Life First Bubbled Up

...the first battle for survival-of-the-fittest might have played out as a simple physical duel between fatty bubbles stuffed with genetic material. The scientists suggest that genetic material that replicated quickly may have been all the bubbles needed to edge out their competitors and begin evolving into more sophisticated cells. This possibility, revealed by laboratory experiments with artificial fatty acid sacs, is in sharp contrast to a current theory of the earliest evolution of cells, which suggests that cellular evolution was driven by primordial genetic machinery that actively synthesized cell membranes or otherwise influenced cell stability or division.

jaybird found this for you @ 07:08 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



{ Monday, 06 September, 2004 }

My dear and wonderous friend

My dear and wonderous friend Robin has (finally!) gotten herself a blog, and an amazing photoblog at that. I am pleased and proud to present for your edification,

Robin's View

jaybird found this for you @ 20:19 in Art, Music, Theater & Film | | permalink



The Invisible Library The Invisible

The Invisible Library

The Invisible Library is a collection of books that only appear in other books. Within the library's catalog you will find imaginary books, pseudobiblia, artifictions, fabled tomes, libris phantastica, and all manner of books unwritten, unread, unpublished, and unfound.

jaybird found this for you @ 19:23 in Authors, Books & Words | | permalink



Bliss Roundup

Because it's all about the balance...

  • The Erotic Body Alchemy of the Chakras: When he reached the heart - I distinctly remember it - and communed with the lotus there, touching it with his tongue, the twelve-petalled lotus which was hanging head down, stood erect and opened its petals. Then he came to the sixteen-petalled lotus in the throat and the two-petalled lotus in the forehead. And last of all, the thousand-petalled lotus in the head blossomed. Since then I have been in this state.

  • Rumi's Poems of Passion:
    Love is the One who masters all things;
    I am mastered totally by Love.
    By my passion of love for Love
    I have ground sweet as sugar.
    O furious Wind, I am only a straw before you;
    How could I know where I will be blown next?

  • Courtship rituals of birds

  • Modern Ecstatic Dance: As individual self-consciousness and its ego-barriers dissolve on the dance floor, there is only one organism. A mass of bodies in movement - a collective mind. In more evolved times and places this could lead to full telepathic unification. Evolving to this level, we must find mental clarity and identity in the whole; it is not possible if we are lost in the drama and confusion of the illusive reality -the mind of separation and duality. Additionally, there is much to be gained by individual practice such as yoga and meditation. To go beyond psychoactive drugs is to learn how to integrate the experience into daily life. It is futile if we all love each other on Saturday night and then go back to the mundane world, only to be driven by fear and loathing. This is the third rite, and it is not easy -to integrate the experience into daily life.

  • Anywhere in the world, from space, right now. (for the joy of actually being alive on a planet).

    jaybird found this for you @ 14:44 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink



    Outrage Roundup

  • Frank Rich: How Kerry Became a Girlie-Man: Only in an election year ruled by fiction could a sissy who used Daddy's connections to escape Vietnam turn an actual war hero into a girlie-man... Even a $10,000 reward offered this year by Garry Trudeau couldn't smoke out a credible eyewitness to support George W. Bush's contention that he showed up to defend Alabama against the Viet Cong in 1972. Yet John F. Kerry, who without doubt shed his own blood and others' in the vicinity of the Mekong, not the Mississippi, is now the deserter and the wimp.

  • Bob Graham: Bush and FBI block Congressional Investigation into ties between direct ties between Saudi agents and 9/11 hijackers: The discovery of the financial backing of the two hijackers ''would draw a direct line between the terrorists and the government of Saudi Arabia, and trigger an attempted coverup by the Bush administration...''

  • George sent out of Texas as a drunken liability: "Georgie was raising a lot of hell in Houston, getting in trouble and embarrassing the family and they just really wanted to get him out of Houston." Asked if she had ever seen him in uniform Mrs Allison said: "Good Lord, no. I had no idea the National Guard was involved in his life."

  • The Madness of Emperor George: In partial mitigation of his deluded mindset, it must be noted that the madness of George Bush is the madness of a society that produced such a man – and others like him – elevated him to power, and sustains his authority even in the face of his continuing patterns of lies, deceptions, and arrogance. I wrote, shortly after 9/11, that the attacks of that day "have struck deeper into our conscious and unconscious minds than any of us has begun to imagine." In varying ways, most of us are still engaged in a catharsis associated with these events, with many of us yet unable to discover their deeper meaning.

  • The Pentagon has ordered an investigation into the awarding of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's five Vietnam War decorations: ...to the consternation of campaign strategists, the navy has agreed to a request by Judicial Watch, a bipartisan lobby group, [NOT!]* for a full inquiry. Judicial Watch wants the navy to report before the elections, but navy officials are so far refusing to give a timetable for the inquiry.

    *Check out their website. Non-partisan my foot.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:33 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



    Probable Discovery Of A New,

    Probable Discovery Of A New, Supersolid, Phase Of Matter

    "Solid helium-4 appears to behave like a superfluid when it is so cold that the laws of quantum mechanics govern its behavior... One of the most intriguing predictions of the theory of quantum mechanics is the possibility of superfluid behavior in a solid, particularly solid helium-4, and we have strong experimental evidence for this behavior..."

    jaybird found this for you @ 09:44 in Radical Undertakings | | permalink



    { Sunday, 05 September, 2004 }

    "Today's Simple Harvest"

    PICT0305.JPG

    Picking berries is just the excuse
    To climb up into a rocky sanctuary
    To be at ease with the clouds
    To let the wind forage through your soul.

    PICT0269.JPG

    This season, the berries were few
    But ripe as the love that guides me and the wishes
    That I tossed into the valley from a perch
    That was made to unite a million elements in beauty.

    PICT0289.JPG

    While disorder orders even the merest fragment
    Of human life, up here every detail longs to teach
    To grab the mind and say "Look, this is as Divine as it gets!"
    Be still, breathe, and with grace, pluck a berry and commune.

    jaybird found this for you @ 21:33 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



    "Berry Day"

    What a wonderfully lazy, bright and peaceful day. I've got a little work to do around the house but after that, I'm off to the mountains to pick blueberries. It's truly one of my favorite things on Earth to do. When I'm done, I'm going to make some kind of scrumptious pastry, and savor. It's been a wet summer so I'm expecting big, fat, juicy berries. I totally lose myself in the foraging, something ancestral takes over, a state of connection between my work and the food. Gratitude. Peace. Continuum.

    Pics when I get back.

    jaybird found this for you @ 13:22 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



    Omniglot: a guide to

    Omniglot: a guide to abjads, alphabets, syllabaries and other writing systems... fascinating and thorough!

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:42 in Culture, People & Customs | | permalink



    "98.6"

    Ninety-eight point six degrees of separation
    Between the bodies in orbit in the dance of longing...
    Amid the heat of passion joining and parting
    There is a rogue whose eyes witness the spectacle separate and inquisitive...
    He collides accidentally with the spiraling glories that
    Trace the divine lines of this spontaneous divine ritual.
    The ideal of love is here, embraced by the music,
    Can you feel him in the dense motions of want in the crowd?
    His body is built from the stuff of fantasy,
    Romanesque fountains and golden altars of exquisite offering...
    He moves with the heartbeat rhythm of a million saints
    Who ascend from this embattled Earth for the
    Sweet sake of communing, at last, with Love.
    I've been to dark places with incantations spoke
    In the sudden crossroads of souls ready to receive
    Noble sacrifices in the swirl of dust
    For the sensation of feelings such as this.
    Yet he moves on,
    In wild ecstasy,
    Taking my desires with him,
    And his sweat that is given for all the dancing
    Is truly the exertion of the stars...

    jaybird found this for you @ 01:58 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



    This is a moblog* post:

    This is a moblog* post:

    10944192140019.jpg

    Well, i haven't posted from the gay club in a while, so...


    *Moblogging is posting from a cellphone or other wireless device- if a picture, it's taken from the phone.

    jaybird found this for you @ 00:23 in Live from the road... | | permalink



    { Saturday, 04 September, 2004 }

    Quantum Physics and Spirituality What

    Quantum Physics and Spirituality

    What is most essential to a spiritual life is what each of us can embody of love and truth, for that is what shapes our lives, our goals, and our relationship with God and each other. What we think about things, what we intend, and the concepts we hold, are not necessarily what we can be right here, right now. Yet these concepts are useful in creating a path of aspiration - a path that we can hope to walk upon one day. It is with this in mind that we can venture into a discussion of particle physics and its relation to spirituality, not because we are interested in information at this level per se, but because analogies taken from the physical world can sometimes help us understand the spiritual world. This is because the principle "as above, so below" reigns true whether we perceive it or not.

    jaybird found this for you @ 21:01 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink



    The joy of animal plurals

    The joy of animal plurals and adjectives: Beastly Garden of Wordy Delights gives us such semantic wonders as: a rumpus of baboon, a clowder of cat, a business of ferret, and a charm of hummingbird.

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:46 in Environment, Ecology & Nature | | permalink



    Censored! The 10 big stories

    Censored! The 10 big stories the national news media ignore.

    "Corporate media has abdicated their responsibility to the First Amendment to keep the American electorate informed about important issues in society and instead serves up a pabulum of junk-food news..."

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:09 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



    "My Pet Goat" ptII

    "My Pet Goat" ptII

    Wildly unreported in the media, here's this to kick off your Saturday... a moment of Zen: the Evil One's reaction to this: a protestor's sneak into the den of lies. [vid]

    jaybird found this for you @ 10:14 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



    { Friday, 03 September, 2004 }

    Happy Friday: it's gnomez folks

    Happy Friday: it's gnomez folks (flash)

    jaybird found this for you @ 22:07 in Silly People, Satire & Strange Behaviors | | permalink



    Soya boom threat to South

    Soya boom threat to South America


    The spiralling foreign demand for soya beans could mean the loss of millions of hectares of forest and savannah in South America, conservationists warn. WWF, the global conservation group, says nearly 22 million hectares (54m acres) could be destroyed by 2020. It says the demand for soya exports, used mainly in animal feed, is expected to more than double within 20 years.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:27 in Environment, Ecology & Nature | | permalink



    Thankfully, some candor: Kerry says

    Thankfully, some candor: Kerry says Bush 'unfit to lead this nation'

    "Misleading our nation into war in Iraq makes you unfit to lead this nation. Doing nothing while this nation loses millions of jobs makes you unfit to lead this nation. Letting 45 million Americans go without health care makes you unfit to lead this nation. Letting the Saudi royal family control our energy costs makes you unfit to lead this nation. Handing out billions of government contracts to Halliburton while you're still on their payroll makes you unfit. That's the record of George Bush and Dick Cheney, and it's not going to change."

    Meanwhile, now that the party conflagration of pessimistic despotism is now over, Utter Wonder serves up some comedy gold: spot the people of color at the RNC!

    jaybird found this for you @ 06:58 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



    { Thursday, 02 September, 2004 }

    Lectures from The Gnostic Society:

    Lectures from The Gnostic Society: including titles such as The Gospel of Mary Magdalen, The Sorrow of Sophia: Feminine Divine Image of Suffering, and Hermes: Thrice Great Hierophant of Gnosis.

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:03 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink



    "God's Own Party" Roundup

  • For a God lovin', recovering alcoholic, Bush ain't following his process: Bush and the Twelve Steps [via Pax Nortona]

  • Optomism at the Convention

  • Spot the Crosses! [via Mefi], article pertaining to the cross-like designs on the podiums at the 'Convection.'

    jaybird found this for you @ 15:21 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



    Scientists Discover First of a

    Scientists Discover First of a New Class of Extrasolar Planets

    Astronomers announced today the first discovery of a new class of planets beyond our solar system about 10 to 20 times the size of Earth - far smaller than any previously detected. The planets make up a new class of Neptune-sized extrasolar planets. In addition, one of the new planets joins three others around the nearby star 55 Cancri to form the first known four-planet system.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:19 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



    Owls set beetle trap with

    Owls set beetle trap with dung

    Scientists describe such behaviours, where animals use intermediate methods to achieve an objective - such as baiting to acquire food - as "tool usage". "This experiment demonstrates that tool use makes a difference to a wild animal."

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:18 in Environment, Ecology & Nature | | permalink



    { Wednesday, 01 September, 2004 }

    "The Body That Is"

    (A late night, spontaneous and not-entirely-logical rant)

    The rain tonight is soft and easy... about what we hope for any day going by. When it falls on the skin, an amazing string of sensations occur, some unbeknownst to the conscious mind. The body reacts is remarkable, microscopic ways. The mind, at least this one, lets the drop soak in and smiles at the gift of perceiving something so wonderfully given from the sky.

    As a drop finds its destiny on my forehead, and continues the eternal journey of water, the idea leaks in my head like a hole in the roof that the body acts as a awe-filled metaphor for so much that matters in Life and Reality. I am aware of it, my brain commands it, yet just below the skin is alien territory... muscles, bone, sinew, vein. I operate somehow in conjunction with these elements, I know they're there, I rely upon the gut and the instinct, yet am so totally separate from knowing each part, it's astounding niche within the system that bears my name and unique genetic signature. How similar, indeed, to living within the world, within the Universe.

    I do not know the exact combination of molecules that swaddles me into bed as the sound of the rain in the Hemlock branches soothes me into the sanctuary of night, but I accept that such elements are there. The bed frame isn't a solid thing: it's porous down past the woodgrain and nails, down past electrons and quarks and strange matter, it's essentially a swirl of energy and void come together to compromise on this form. The body is the same: a mystery of the seen and unseen, between what I consciously control and what a lump of tissue at the back of my head controls for me to live long enough to write these words. I do not beat my heart, yet I do. It's a paradox that leaves the ego reeling.

    Seeing the body as an exemplar of the Divine Mystery, of the Conundrum of Consciousness, of the Quantum Argument, makes it more than a propulsion system for our identity in a brief streak of time. The body, with all its sensations, pains, pleasures and aging, is a microcosm of the Body of the Universe. From the single cell of the big bang to the super nova of death, from the orbits of loved ones to the ardor of the elemental fires, the body yearns to mirror to our artificially separated consciousnesses the reality of true and deep creation. Yes, our minds have been cleaved away from a state of organic unity: I do not believe we are a walking trinity of mind, body and spirit, but are born and die whole. As humans so enjoy doing, we've replaced a label for a function of the whole for a dogma of hierarchies. The mind is superior, for it controls and governs (rather than operating symbiotically), the body is fallible, for it gets fat and dirty and engages in touchy, morally provocative rituals. The spirit is inborn purity. No wonder we're so confused.

    Acting from a place of organic unity, that the whole of our organism is singular and sacred, from our wispy angelic hair to the scum between our toes and lusty thoughts, we re-approach a sense of self with balance and accord with nature and with all the forces that have met to make us a genuinely new individual. Acting from a place of mystery and wonder, we can peer down at our grimy (or shiny) toe and see a world of underlying unknown, and see that as an allegory for living in the world, a world which somehow manages to function in incalculable ways without our conscious effort. Yet if we put our attention to it, who knows what will manifest from our efforts?

    The rain has slowed to a random drop here and there, and my body, or I, have become tired. Nerves and neurons are communicating unawares to my ever-watchful consciousness without 'me' noticing that bed would be a great place to be. My organs need rest, my being, like the Earth, must succumb to the darkness, the the I that somehow correlates to the furthest rim of the Universe, needs dreaming...

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:53 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



    "Mystery Cloud" Appears Over Eastern

    "Mystery Cloud" Appears Over Eastern U.S. And Canada

    "It was a roundish, yet not all that round, object drifting towards our location very slowly, slower that most satellites because it took at least twenty minutes to move from where we first saw it to pretty much our zenith." After studying it for a while through an 8-inch telescope, Bogardus noticed two points of light, " ... like a satellite would appear, in line and above a jet of gas that seemed to come from them."

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:39 in Forteana, Phenomena & the Bizarre | | permalink



    It's rare that I reprint

    It's rare that I reprint an article in its entirety, but I'm only finding one source for this story and connection with the surely overheated server (Newscientist.com in the UK) is shaky.

    Mysterious signals from 1000 light years away

    In February 2003, astronomers involved in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) pointed the massive radio telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, at around 200 sections of the sky.

    The same telescope had previously detected unexplained radio signals at least twice from each of these regions, and the astronomers were trying to reconfirm the findings. The team has now finished analysing the data, and all the signals seem to have disappeared. Except one, which has got stronger.

    This radio signal, now seen on three separate occasions, is an enigma. It could be generated by a previously unknown astronomical phenomenon. Or it could be something much more mundane, maybe an artefact of the telescope itself.

    But it also happens to be the best candidate yet for a contact by intelligent aliens in the nearly six-year history of the SETI@home project, which uses programs running as screensavers on millions of personal computers worldwide to sift through signals picked up by the Arecibo telescope.

    Absorb and emit

    “It’s the most interesting signal from SETI@home,” says Dan Werthimer, a radio astronomer at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) and the chief scientist for SETI@home. “We’re not jumping up and down, but we are continuing to observe it.”

    Named SHGb02+14a, the signal has a frequency of about 1420 megahertz. This happens to be one of the main frequencies at which hydrogen, the most common element in the universe, readily absorbs and emits energy.

    Some astronomers have argued that extraterrestrials trying to advertise their presence would be likely to transmit at this frequency, and SETI researchers conventionally scan this part of the radio spectrum.

    SHGb02+14a seems to be coming from a point between the constellations Pisces and Aries, where there is no obvious star or planetary system within 1000 light years. And the transmission is very weak.

    “We are looking for something that screams out ‘artificial’,” says UCB researcher Eric Korpela, who completed the analysis of the signal in April. “This just doesn’t do that, but it could be because it is distant.”

    Unknown signature

    The telescope has only observed the signal for about a minute in total, which is not long enough for astronomers to analyse it thoroughly. But, Korpela thinks it unlikely SHGb02+14a is the result of any obvious radio interference or noise, and it does not bear the signature of any known astronomical object.

    That does not mean that only aliens could have produced it. “It may be a natural phenomenon of a previously undreamed-of kind like I stumbled over,” says Jocelyn Bell Burnell of the University of Bath, UK.

    It was Bell Burnell who in 1967 noticed a pulsed radio signal which the research team at the time thought was from extraterrestrials but which turned out to be the first ever sighting of a pulsar.

    There are other oddities. For instance, the signal’s frequency is drifting by between eight to 37 hertz per second. “The signal is moving rapidly in frequency and you would expect that to happen if you are looking at a transmitter on a planet that’s rotating very rapidly and where the civilisation is not correcting the transmission for the motion of the planet,” Korpela says.

    This does not, however, convince Paul Horowitz, a Harvard University astronomer who looks for alien signals using optical telescopes. He points out that the SETI@home software corrects for any drift in frequency.

    Fishy and puzzling

    The fact that the signal continues to drift after this correction is “fishy”, he says. “If [the aliens] are so smart, they’ll adjust their signal for their planet’s motion.”

    The relatively rapid drift of the signal is also puzzling for other reasons. A planet would have to be rotating nearly 40 times faster than Earth to have produced the observed drift; a transmitter on Earth would produce a signal with a drift of about 1.5 hertz per second.

    What is more, if telescopes are observing a signal that is drifting in frequency, then each time they look for it they should most likely encounter it at a slightly different frequency. But in the case of SHGb02+14a, every observation has first been made at 1420 megahertz, before it starts drifting. “It just boggles my mind,” Korpela says.

    The signal could be an artefact that, for some reason, always appears to be coming from the same point in the sky. The Arecibo telescope has a fixed dish reflector and scans the skies by changing the position of its receiver relative to the dish.

    When the receiver reaches a certain position, it might just be able to reflect waves from the ground onto the dish and then back to itself, making it seem as if the signal was coming from space.

    “Perhaps there is an object on the ground near the telescope emitting at about this frequency,” Korpela says. This could be confirmed by using a different telescope to listen for SHGb02+14a.

    Possible fraud

    There is also the possibility of fraud by someone hacking the SETI@home software to make it return evidence for an extraterrestrial transmission. However, SHGb02+14a was seen on two different occasions by different SETI@home users, and those calculations were confirmed by others.

    Then the signal was seen a third time by the SETI@home researchers. The unusual characteristics of the signal also make it unlikely that someone is playing a prank, Korpela says. “As I can’t think of any way to make a signal like this, I can’t think of any way to fake it.”

    David Anderson, director of SETI@home, remains sceptical but curious about the signal. ”It’s unlikely to be real but we will definitely be re-observing it.” Bell Burnell agrees that it is worth persisting with. “If they can see it four, five or six times it really begins to get exciting,” she says.

    It is already exciting for IT engineers Oliver Voelker of Logpoint in Nuremberg, Germany and Nate Collins of Farin and Associates in Madison, Wisconsin, who found the signal.

    Collins wonders how his bosses will react to company computers finding aliens. “I might have to explain a little further about just how much I was using [the computers],” he says.

    Eugenie Samuel Reich from Newscientist.com

    jaybird found this for you @ 18:24 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



    Cybernetics & Entheogenics: From Cyberspace

    Cybernetics & Entheogenics: From Cyberspace to Neurospace [via Reality Carnival]

    At the very moment when entheogenesis—that is, the birth of the Divine Within—reappears in the West with the late Romantics as a subculture, as "occult history," the conditions were being set up for this paradigm shift. We are still basically undergoing it. The only thing that could even pretend to suppress this shift of consciousness, would be the Law, as in the War on Drugs. But our law is a machine law, a gridwork, clockwork law, and it is obviously unable to contain the fluidity of the organic. That is why the War on Drugs will never ever work. You might as well declare war on every plant. So public discourse is approaching breakdown over the question of consciousness. The War on Drugs is a war on cognition itself, about thought itself as the human condition. Is thought this dualist cartesian reason? Or is cognition this mysterious, complex, organic, magical thing with little mushrooms elves dancing around. Which it is to be?

    The paradigm war that's now breaking out is one measure of an antagonism between cyberspace and neurospace, but the relation cannot simply be vulgarized as a dichotomy...

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:31 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



    Skeptical, but enlightening: Miracle on

    Skeptical, but enlightening: Miracle on Probability Street: The Law of Large Numbers guarantees that one-in-a-million miracles happen 295 times a day in America...

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:26 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



    Familiar faces seem more friendly

    Familiar faces seem more friendly

    Far from opposites attracting, people tend to choose friends who look like them, research suggests. The researchers showed volunteers male and female faces that had been computer-manipulated to produce a 'family resemblance'. Men liked other men's faces that resembled their own and women liked other women's faces that resembled their own.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:23 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink




     
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    Ten Considerations for Being Well n this Goofy Universe

     

    0. If you find yourself wonderstruck, don’t forget to return the favor.

    1. Always be of service to the whole and the Holy. You’ll find that the Holy will reciprocate by being of service to your becoming Whole.

    2. You will be called upon to use your mind and your vision in ways I cannot possibly glimpse. Never turn down an offer to shine that light so uniquely yours to help others in their darkness, and you’ll find that when it’s your turn to be in the night that there’ll be someone along the way who happens to have a little glow to share .

    3. The rewards of being true to yourself  are infinite, even when outwardly your efforts are met with nothing.

    4. You’ll also see that  knowledge and wisdom will come from within yourself through your own struggle and curiosity... your loved ones may guide you to insight, but yours is the power to choose it.

    5. You’ll find that some of your choices could’ve been better, or at times were downright stupid. That’s okay... I have a closet full of reckless decisions, but without making them I wouldn’t have the slightest idea of what a good one might feel like if I tried it on.

    6. Your growth will be a mysterious, comic, ecstatic and sometimes scary ride, and I pray that you strive to savor each minute of it, even the most difficult or embarrassing minutes. Don’t count on second chances.

    7. In those times when everything collapses around you, and what’s left won’t go right, don’t forget your chances of being alive in this solar system, in this galaxy, are a little on the slim side. So slim in fact that it could be called a miracle to breathe this air, drink this water, and have whet ever predicament you’re having no matter how you shake, rattle and roll it. So go with the cosmic flow and always choose something over nothing, while remembering that there’s a little of each one hidden in both.

    8. Respond as best as you can with love to adversity rather than reacting with fear... Love, in any situation and  being the primordial source and essence of ALL THIS STUFF, leaves / enters us with the most possible ways out / in.

    9. Whatever you’re doing, celebrate the process of doing as much, if not more, than what you’ve got when you’re done. Magic lives in the action.

    9 ½ . All matter is energy. All energy is infinite. We are but raindrops falling to the ocean, a short time in this shape until we’re reunited with the expanse from which we came. Your delicate yet sturdy, resilient body is a temporary shelter of energy that has swam the universe eternally and will continue eternally. You are a sudden crystallization of the infinite. One must ask themself, therefore, why be bored?

    9 3/4 . Choosing to live in the moment is courageous but becomes effortless once you begin...feeling obligated to survive in the past or future is dangerous and is difficult to continue. It’s one of the few risks I’d recommend not taking, right up there with trusting icons and shrugging off coincidences.

    10. The Universe itself it not confusing, we humans just like it that way. Do frogs seem bewildered , butterflies befuddled and amoebas addled? Nope, just us, my child. So, whenever things just don’t make sense, just take a deep breath and laugh as best you can, because that’s what you get for choosing this goofy, unpredictable place called Earth to embody yourself upon.